Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India: 45-year-old, Chenchu Reddy of Banda Kindi Palle village in Nellore district says he put up a poster of Indian-American parn star turned Bollywood actress, Sunny Leone – adjacent to his 10-acre farm – ‘To ward off evil eye’ of fellow villagers so as to keep his crops safe. The superstitious farmer’s idea is apparently that haters will focus their ‘evil eye’ on the poster and not his crops.
In the poster, Sunny Leone strikes a sultry pose in a red bikini against the green backdrop of the farmer’s large field of vegetable crop and as intended, she attracts all the attention.
The strategy is working apparently and Leone is diverting people’s gaze from his field. “The trick has worked. Nobody is looking at my crop now,” Reddy said.
Chenchu Reddy is not a particular fan of Sunny Leone, but her poster is keeping his bumper crop of cauliflower and cabbage safe from the “evil eye” of fellow villagers.
“This year, I have a good crop on 10 acres. This has been attracting unnecessary attention of villagers and passersby. To ward off their evil eye, I thought of this idea of putting up the big flax poster of Sunny Leone a couple of days ago,” he said on Tuesday.
The poster has a line written in Telugu: “Orey, nannu chusi edavakura (Hey, don’t cry or feel jealous of me)!”
It’s quite common in the countryside for superstition-steeped farmers to use straw-filled scarecrows with an upside down clay pitcher to resemble a human head for scaring birds away from fields or put ugly, fearsome dolls — called “bommalu” in Telugu — to block the evil eye.
In rural Andhra Pradesh, demons drawn on a metal plate or a pumpkin are set up as “dishti bomma” or evil eye doll in front of homes and near farms. But a poster of a popular actor in a skimpy bikini is a first, perhaps.
The farmer doesn’t think he has breached any indecency law, and nor does he give a hang to agriculture officials or police finding the visual objectionable. “The officials never bother to come to our fields to find out our problems. Why should they have any objection?” he asked.