In the rapid countdown to its January 25 release, the makers of Padmaavat are releasing enough promo material on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s contentious period drama online to have Bollywood audiences salivating for the real deal. One such video is the Rani Padmini’s infamous Ghoomar dance number. When the film’s trailer was released with much fanfare on October 25, 2017, and was riotously received, Deepika Padukone as the Rajput royal shimmied and shook her sensuous tummy with elegant abandon to Shreya Ghosal’s soulful song and Kruti Mahesh Midya’s medieval choreography.
God knows their Majesties of the erstwhile princely states must have led private lives in their courtyards that were less than stately. But the Shri Rajput Karni Sena wasn’t fashionably in vogue back then. It only raised its extremist head in 2006. Possibly to attack poor Ashutosh Gowariker’s historical romance Jodhaa Akbar two years later. The caste organisation is a rampaging teenager of 18 today with raging hormones. And among the many other things in Padmaavat it has found intolerable is the Rani Padmini baring her midriff seductively as she twirls 66 times to Ghoomar steps recommended by Rajasthani dance expert Jyothi D Tommaar.
The song received 8.5 million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours. And Bhansali must have danced with joy. But the Karni Sena wasn’t having any of it. Its agitated members said that it was unbecoming for a Rajput queen to expose herself in this ungainly manner. Like they knew.
Fans of Deepika really aren’t going to be disappointed. If they wanted to ogle at the leggy actress, a sneak peak of her belly in Padmaavat has little of the paisa vasool factor of films like Housefull and Cocktail in which she has stripped down to a bikini. Or they might as well drool over the December issue of Filmfare in which Deepika burns hotter than hell with sizzling sexy pictures of a beach shoot done in Sri Lanka. There are pages and pages of it. But there’s no satisfying the permanently angry. The Karni Sena is not impressed by Bhansali’s Operation Cover-up of Queen Padmini’s midriff. It’s not just the song Ghoomar it has a problem with, but the entire Padmaavat film! It has upped its ante in the agitation against the filmmaker and his January 25 release. However, Rajasthani dance enthusiasts can still watch the oldGhoomar online when they get nostalgic for how the royals probably shook a private leg back then. The camera focuses on Deepika Padukone’s middle in passing. It’s certainly not skin show. But the Queen’s undeniably showing her skin. And while legend has it that she infatuated king and conqueror far and wide of Mewar, she managed the trick with her legendary beauty and not a peep of skin.