If you’re travelling through Banda Kindi Palle village in Nellore, you cannot miss the 4x3 banners of Sunny Leone erected across the cabbage and cauliflower farm owned by Chenchu Reddy.
Chenchu, a small farmer who owns five acres of agricultural land, is no ardent fan of actor Sunny Leone. In fact, he doesn’t even know who she is. He has been using the photos to distract the ‘negative gaze’ his farm receives away from his plants.
Look closely at the banners and they read: ‘Orey Nannu Choosi Yedavaku Raa’ (Don’t cry at me) a phrase usually seen written behind heavy vehicles against the ‘evil eye’ and ‘Atu Yekkada Choosthunav, Nannu Choodu’ (Where are you looking at? Look at me).
Chenchu says, “Since my field is close to the road, everyone who goes by, looks at my plants and goes: “Vaamoo” (Oh my god)! So in order to divert their attention, I have put up these banners.”
“Earlier I used to erect a drishti bomma (scarecrow type effigy) to attract the attention of everyone before they look at the crops. It is a common practice to erect such effigies to deviate negative attention. But since I couldn’t create one this year, I came up with this idea. Now they first notice the banners and it distracts them from the plants.”
“The result of the banners is good so far,” he says.
Chenchu does not think there is anything obscene about the huge Sunny Leone posters.
“There is nothing wrong about it. No one has approached me saying that it is offensive or has claimed it is indecent.”
“I went to the computer centre and asked them to give me a photo which will deviate the attention of the people away from my crops… and they gave me this photo.”
Chenchu put up the banners in January and it has been grabbing eyeballs since then. He is currently cultivating cabbage and cauliflower in his five acres.
We have seen different superstitious elements used to scare birds and ward off the ‘evil eye’. But this farmer’s ingenious idea of using the photos of a half-naked woman to distract attention seems to be a first.