The southern town of Sivakasi, better known as the sole producer of India’s noisy and colourful firecrackers, is set for an overhaul. After decades of putting goddesses as their package covers, the Tamil Nadu town is now opting for bombshells to sell bombs this festive season. So from Laxmi rockets, don’t be surprised to see Lucy Lui ladis this time around.
Once the territory of Indian idols and south Indian actresses, the cracker covers are now looking to Bollywood and Hollywood for inspiration. From Milla Jovovich to Jennifer Aniston, this year’s phuljharis have also found an unlikely muse in girlbands such as Pussy Cat Dolls.
Says Aftab Shah, who’s been selling fireworks outside Vile Parle station for over eight years now, “Pictures of foreign girls on boxes look nice.” And if he is to be believed, the pictures help increase sales too. “I don’t know why, but on an average we sell twice the number of crackers if it carries a blonde girl on the box.” Ask him his favourite pataka girl and he blushes, “Aishwarya Rai. But Kareena also looks nice and sells the most.” So if the her latest outing doesn’t rake profits at the box-office, here is one stunt that she doesn’t want to blow off.