Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
There are a lot of perks to winning an Olympic medal in India (just ask Abhinav Bindra). State governments offer you lakhs, sometimes even crores of rupees, you get a lifetime railway pass, visit the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi, and even get patted on the cheek by President Pratibha Patil (hey, that’s a perk).
But boxer Vijender Kumar, who is in the semifinals of the middleweight category at Beijing, has one incentive no one, not even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or President Patil can offer him — a hot date with his favourite actress Bipasha Basu.
When told she was Kumar’s favourite, Basu told reporters she would go on a hot date with the Haryanvi lad if he won a gold medal for the country.
There’s two ways of looking at this. Kumar can either take this as the opportunity of a lifetime and give it his all, or be so overawed with the prospect of a dream date that he loses focus.