Recounting a horrible incident can be traumatic. But as Sapna Bhavnani narrates the story of her gang rape in a spoken poetry performance, she hardly exudes a swing of emotion and keeps steady. At the Road to Global Entrepreneurship Summit in New Delhi, the gender rights champion and entrepreneur explains, “Don’t fall for the ease of the performance. I feel I am good at articulating what happened to me without really showing you what I went through. What you saw on stage is necessarily not the whole story. But it has become easier to perform this piece, especially in the last one year, since I started penning my memoir. I have been dealing with my own stories in a way. I just returnedfrom Chicago where I went to actual spot of the act (rape) and I think it gave me strength to talk about it here.” Her memoir, which will be published next year, is titled Chapter One (tentative).
A video she shared recently of M.S. Dhoni grooving to Jhak Maar Ke from Desi Boyz has gone viral. Talking of the video, she says, “I have seen him throughout his journey as a young boy to the grow up man he is today. What happens in the cricket field stays in the cricket field. Neither do I follow the game nor have I seen him play. I spent some amazing moments with him and sometimes share them for his fans so that they get to know his other side.”
She goes on, “You can’t make him do anything. He will do it if he wants to. As much as I’d want to take credit for making him dance, I didn’t!” So, does he like dancing? “He is both a great dancer and singer. I have a few videos of him singing too,” guffaws the 46-year-old. Dhoni, when he burst onto the scene, made news not only for his unusual power hitting but also his hairdo. On this the celebrity hairstylist, says, “He is probably the only Indian celebrity, who cut through because of his hair style.”
She narrates another anecdote. “Recently a rickshaw wala was staring at me and I asked him if he had not seen a woman before. He replied, ‘par aapke jaisi nahi dekhi.’ And I realised, where he comes from, he genuinely has not seen a woman with red hair and body full of tattoos. I remember the first time Mahi saw me, he too didn’t talk at all. On our second meeting when he heard me playing Kishore Kumar, he spoke and said, ‘I am sorry but I had not seen a woman like you before and thus, kept quiet the first time’. We are too judgmental and it’s bad. For a video for A.R.Rahman, I stood before a rickshaw stand with free hugs board. 250 rickshaw drivers came to hug me and not one guy touched me the wrong way.”