PHOTOS: #BollywoodBlonde Book Launch

bollywood south africa book
The book by author Gene Gualdi

The book that has received legal threats from the biggest production houses in Bollywood and some of the A-list Bollywood actors has been published and Indianspice was there to capture this moment.

As sly hints through visuals were broadcast on big screens to display some of the secrets guests were captivated!  Instead of having the city of Mumbai take her hostage, she made it her bitch.

Gualdi has worked with some of the biggest actors & actresses including the late Zohra Sehgal.

I was taken through a journey of both the beauty of the slums that she spent time in with the poorest of the poor who had hearts of gold unlike the Bollywood actors and actresses who some had not much of an ounce of moral fibre in them.

The BIG Reveal: October 30th saw the buzz of activity at the Bayliss Gallery in Norwood where the launch of the book, Bollywood Blonde was held. And the unveiling of Gualdi’s photography exhibit of her time in India, which was an absolute opposite of what one would read in her book. Her attention to detail in the photos that are also for sale at the gallery is a breathtaking display of the poorest of India who seem to be the wealthiest in their larger-than-life smiles, deep penetrating stare of their eyes. These are definitely portraits that I would want to have installed in my home.

indian book launch lalenthra naidoo
Amongst the crowd I spotted, Lalenthra Naidoo, owner of Shoe Fanatik (Left)  in Norwood who also stepped out in style!

The afternoon trebled with a guest list that saw more than the usual suspects who I have met at other launches. A rather fun and cultured crowd of gora’s who were quite curious to the woman who was daring enough to bring out her story of Bollywood’s dark side.

Forget the delectable samoosa spread and other desi finger snacks and replace that with the branded Bollywood Blonde beer that was created specifically for the launch. The beverage was a piercing taste that lingered on your palate as I sipped on it bringing back a memory of my first experience of another Indian beer, however this beer was a proudly South African product produced in Eshowe. Not forgetting the Chocolate Masala ice-cream to spice up the night!

About the book:

While most Indians jumped the ship to get to SA so many years ago, a Gori South African chokri – North Indian for “Girl” by the name of Gené fell in love with Bollywood and it was clear that she had a bit of Desi spirit in her to make it big in Mumbai and jetted off to Mumbai for 6 months.

Bubbly fine arts graduate Gené is desperate to get into the film industry. She moves to Cape Town and works as a photographer for a tabloid magazine. Gené starts moonlighting on film sets and finds herself on an Indian paint commercial where a big Bollywood producer offers her a six-month stint in his company in Mumbai.

The guests at the launch included Avashnee Vandiar who as usual stepped out as if she walked out of Bollywood set who ran an impromptu Q and A with me. Watch out for that on her show on ANN7 this week! The launch in Cape Town and Durban will be announced soon, make sure you’re following me on Twitter @naufalkhan and visiting Indianspice for more information.

melinda fergusonThe night progressed with the Q and A with Gualdi by her Publisher, Melinda Ferguson who took us through the painstaking journey of rewrites that she gruelled Gualdi into which led to this book’s reality.

If you are wondering who the producer and actors are that Gualdi is revealing in her book, yes I do know who they are and that’s a secret I will not reveal. However you might just figure out that on your own when you read the book.

You can purchase your edition of #BollywoodBlonde at Exclusive books, a perfect gifting idea for this festive season as well!

Enjoy the visual feast of photos here:


About Naufal Khan

Publisher & editor of Indian Spice.

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