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Shilpa feels sorry for Gere

By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Shilpa Shetty is upset about the Hollywood heartthrob being demonised over a kiss (we wholeheartedly agree)

shilpa shetty is back in the hot seat. On Sunday night, at a public event to promote awareness for HIV/Aids in Delhi, Hollywood actor Richard Gere swept her into his arms and planted a volley of kisses on her cheek.

The 3,000 odd truck drivers who witnessed the act were apparently scandalised, or so the 'unbiased' news channels would have us believe.

After all, it's against our Bharatiya sanskruti and all that. Over to the miss to discuss the kiss, then.

What was your first reaction when Richard Gere kissed you?

I was taken a back naturally, but it was really harmless. It was in good humour and I thought it was rather sweet of him. Yes, what he did might not be a part of "our culture", but let's not forget that he doesn't belong to our culture.

Did you have any idea he'd kiss you on stage?

No. It was a very impromptu thing and he was miming a scene from his film Shall We Dance. Richard is a very warm person.

In the afternoon, when we were having lunch together, we forged a genuine bond and I asked him to show me something from Shall We Dance.

So he did that impromptu act on stage and went down on his knees as shown in the film. The next thing I know, people are burning effigies of him! He was just trying to entertain everyone.

It's upset the moral brigade...

Isn't it also a part of our culture to respect our guests? Atithi deva bhava? If a foreigner comes to our country, in stead of respecting the work he's doing, if we start burning his effigies we will only look foolish.

I request everyone to please take note of the huge body of work, time and money he has put into our country for the cause and awareness of HIV/Aids.

Richard can't communicate in Hindi, so he came with an interpreter and also told Parmeshwar Godrej to translate.

He's been working for our country for the last nine years. Next time, a foreigner will have second thoughts before doing something for us.


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