Sawant storm!

AT THE same time, it’s made Rakhi Sawant hit the headlines time and again. So much so, that Karan Johar recently celebrated Rakhi on his ‘Koffee with Karan’ in style. We track this Mumbai’s cop’s daughter with her muddles and triumphs always in the eye of the storm.

Slapped with

Originally an item girl, she was Neeru who later switched name and body to Rakhi Sawant.

She was first booked for obscenity in a stage show in Tamil Nadu by the police (the irony being that she is a cop’s daughter!) where she wore revealing outfits. But strict action wasn’t taken and she was let off with a warning.

Rakhi was next booked by the Kolhapur police. They registered a complaint against her for ‘indecent behaviour’ and ‘destroying public peace’.

For her next show in Nasik after that, she performed in a sari.

Now there’s trouble in Nagpur again. MLA Nitin Raut and his supporters recently chanted slogans and burnt an effigy of Rakhi in front of Deekhshabhoomi, since she allegedly hurt the sentiments of Buddhist community. The actress was seen on a TV show, with an idol of Buddha in her bathroom. Following this, a complaint was registered against her in Amravati.


But when films followed item numbers, Rakhi went all out to see that she fit the bill —literally. She took a break and got herself tailored for voluptuousness. “What God didn’t give you, the doctor can,” she boldly admitted.

Rakhi also claims that no other Bollywood actress might have dared to bare as much as she did in Deepak Tijori’s Khamosh, released two years ago. The film had a shower scene where the camera caught her from behind a glass door with Rakhi clad in transparent underwear.

Film history was also made via her brother, Rakesh Sawant’s venture, Hot Money. Not only did Rakhi’s mom act in the film, Rakhi put herself out in a sensational outfit designed by her brother. Her outfit was made of 2000 Rs.1 coins. Shiv Sainiks furiously objected saying that the rupee coin is inscribed with the Ashok chakra, hence it’s offensive.

But bare and dare as she might, apparently, she won’t give in. One of the few actresses to admit that the casting couch exists, here’s Rakhi. “Yes I’ve faced the problem of the casting couch. "Aur maine bahut logon ko thappad maara hai, jooton se maara hai... Isi liye aaj main itni strong hoon.”

The kiss

Last year, she made news yet again at singer Mika Singh’s (Dalher Menhndi’s brother) birthday party, via the famous kiss. He apparently grabbed hold of her, pinned her down and socked it to her. The furious Rakhi insisted that he had almost mauled her, “he bit my lips so hard and tore off my earring”. She went to town and the media with the incident. When people hinted that it was a publicity stunt cooked up between Mika and her, she was even more outraged. “He must have wanted publicity for his party… I hate that b-------. Please don’t talk about him to me.” She even slapped him with a court notice.

In fact, the reason she insists she might be uncomfortable in Hollywood is because “I would never even do a scene where kissing on the lips is required.”

Who’s the Big Boss?

Perhaps the most sensational exposure Rakhi received was on the recent TV reality show ‘Bigg Boss’ —the Indian equivalent of ‘Big Brother’. Creating a furor in the house, she told off all those people she didn’t like. She vowed dramatically to commit suicide and then changed her mind saying the people there were not worth it. Though voted out of the show at one point, she was brought back by popular demand. Rakhi stuck to her guns in calling Ravi Kishen a flirt and hinted at his over-fondness for model Carol Gracias. She even called people like Rupali and Kashmira Shah hypocritical and says today, that they wouldn’t dare call her after the show.

The benefits

Apparently though, all that Rakhi has done has reaped dividends. She has no less than seven films releases lined up for this year. Among these are Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout at Lokhandwala where she plays herself; Gumnaan —the Unknown, Gahraee, Jaanleva, 24x7 Bombay Saloon Unisex, Rahul Rawail’s Buddha Mar Gaya and Khaffa.

Branching out from the ordinary in 2007, she has just made her debut as a singer too. The album is titled ‘Supergirl’, with her favourite DJ Sheizwood composing the tracks. Singing the title track ‘Yaara Dil Na Laga’ in her full throated vocals, she is aided by high definition arrangements and some pep and fun. Perhaps the more noticed highlight of this album is Rakhi dressed in Superwoman gear for the video promos in which she has replaced the ‘S’ on the costume with a large ‘R’!

The boyfriend

‘Bigg Boss’ also introduced us to the love of Rakhi’s life, Abhishek Awasthi! “Mere paas bhi ek Abhishek hai,” she grins mischievously, “par hum shaadi nahin karnewale hai. We have a good relationship but I don’t believe in marriage.” Apparently, Abhishek is Rakhi’s choreographer, secretary and boyfriend all rolled into one. He makes for a great support system in her life, considering she has left home since she couldn’t get along with her mother. Rakhi says her parents just don’t understand and accept her straightforwardness and this caused the problem. Lately, Abhishek has reportedly moved in with Rakhi and she helps him get work.

Celebrating with Koffee

Obviously Rakhi has arrived as was apparent with Karan Johar inviting her on his show. Though he later brought on her friends Carol and Rahul Roy, Rakhi clearly stole the evening with her frank and amusing comments. She said unpretentiously that she was thrilled to be dressed in a Manish Malhotra sari, “Mujhe bahut achcha lag raha hai with the earrings, the good bracelet and good purse. Mujhe aisa lag raha hai ke main Sushmita Sen, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Kajol lag rahi hoon philhaal.” Refusing to speak in English, she admitted that she’s proud to speak in Hindi.

Perhaps what touched one’s heart was that she was thrilled to win the ‘Koffee’ hamper and thanked Karan that her image would certainly change now that he had invited her on his show.

Cause celeb

Rakhi has joined the list of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In the ad, she is dressed like a tiger to protest against the use of animals in circuses.

She recently landed up outside a prison with 10 odd computers (“which I bought with my own money”) for the inmates.

And to sum up, in her words, “I have struggled and I know what injustice is. I can’t stand to see injustice done to people who can’t fight back.” On her controversial life: “I don’t create controversy or go looking for it. These accidents just seem to happen to me, then I speak my mind and I get into trouble!”

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