Brazilian beauty Giselle Monteiro has been winning accolades for her role as Harleen Kaur in Love Aaj Kal. Her Indian looks have won her fans galore as well. Giselle says she was destined to come to India and play a role. “My dad used to call me Indian when I was a kid and sing songs for me on India," she says.
"But the actual inspiration started from an Opera that we have in Brazil," Giselle reveals. “The soap opera has sparked a mini India boom in Brazil," she further adds. Giselle who is a big fan of the soap opera says the cultures, the traditions and the colours of India have had a huge impact on her.
“The Opera known as Caminho das Indias (Way of the Indias) telenovela, with Hindi phrases thrown into the Portuguese dialogue, has piqued Brazilians' interest. Hindi phrases, yoga, meditation and Indian dance are emphasized on the show," informs Giselle. So much so, that Giselle has also taken to Yoga as a hobby now and she is learning how to cook Indian food.
The Opera, says Gisele, is woven in a story form, like most Brazilian soaps and is told in grueling 200 or so episodes, over more than six months. "Love stories of a low caste boy Bhuvan and a beautiful high-caste woman Maya are very popular in this opera," she adds further.
"The novela shows the respect in India for the elders of a family, which isn't always the case in the West," says the Brazilian model. “I didn"t get to see many episodes, since they started and I had to leave Brazil. But I follow it up on the youtube regularly," she says with a smile.
For now Giselle may be missing the soap opera, but she certainly seems to have made a place for herself in the hearts of her fans in India.