She’s a pro at giving interviews. Then again, what else do you expect from someone who, in her own words, gives “up to 50 interviews a week” when she’s busy promoting an album. In town to promote her album Born This Way and perform at Sunday’s F1 concert, pop star Lady Gaga admits that ‘pissing people off’ is all in a day’s work.
“I always have thought that if at least half the people don’t dislike it (your work), you did it wrong. When it comes to a really great piece of art, 50% love it and 50% are pissed off,” says the 25-year-old, when asked about her penchant for courting controversy with songs such as Judas or her infamous ‘meat dress’.
And, she understands why the latter would not go down well, especially in the ‘land of holy cows’.
“I can understand why in India it would be controversial. But it was not a statement about cows. For that moment, it was important for me to make that statement for young gay soldiers in the military so I wore that dress as a statement about equality — we are all meat, we are all human, we are all the same,” she says, admitting that the dress “stunk very bad” when she wore it.
The Grammy award-winning singer, who will be quizzed by Shah Rukh Khan for a show today, admits she is ‘excited’ to meet the actor. In fact, she would even be open to an offer from Bollywood, provided one came her way. For now, though, she’s content getting a taste of India — literally. “I’m trying with all my friends who are with me here to put together a traditional Indian meal. I’d also like to go to a local restaurant,” says Gaga, who paid an impromptu visit to Dilli Haat on Friday night. During the day, she ate food cooked by her personal chef in the hotel’s kitchen as well as got a massage by a female masseuse, who has been hired just for her.
Arguably the most prominent supporter of the LGBT community, Gaga has plenty to say to members of the community here. “I would say to those in the LGBT community here in India that it is important to share your stories, to fight for equality, but fight peacefully. And it is through our shared experiences that we can move forward and transgress that negativity. The worst thing you can do is not speak up,” says the singer who, at the same time, maintains, “I like to be removed in a political way because I almost feel like I can make more of a difference if my politics is free.”
It was a dream-come-true for Indian ‘little monsters’ when they met their Mother Monster on Friday. As part of an initiative by HT City and Desi Hits!, six lucky fans from all over India got to meet Lady Gaga while she was at the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi on Friday. "I had to keep pinching myself to believe this was really happening to me. I went up to her and she hugged me and I had to stop my tears from rolling down my cheeks," said 22-year-old Tareeshi Sangal, who gifted Gaga a pendant.
"She gave each one of us so much time. We all knew that Gaga loves her fans and always meets them with a lot of affection, but still had our fingers crossed. But now I can happily say that she did not disappoint us one bit," said Anurag Gupta, 18.
Shubham Rawat, 17, from Haridwar, brought with him a Krishna idol in an ethnic carved wooden box. "This is my first Krishna and it’ll always be special to me," said the singer, who plans to make a headpiece of all the gifts that came her way.
"I also gifted Gaga a holy rudraksh string from Haridwar and she said she’ll definitely wear it," he added. Seventeen-year-old Saif Tinwala from Mumbai took Gaga’s autographs on his wristband, T-shirt and his diary, and requested her for a kiss. Gaga obliged him with a peck on the cheek. Purnita Bharat from Indore said, "I haven’t ever seen or met any other celebrity who would devote so much of their time to fans and make them feel truly loved. I’ll never forget this day."
Call me ‘mother’
While fans worldwide go gaga screaming ‘Gaga’ every time they catch a glimpse of her, there’s a title she seems to enjoy more. “Some people call me Gaga, but when I see super-duper fans, they call me ‘mother’. It’s kinda great,” she says, referring to her being the ‘mother monster’ to all her ‘little monsters’.
And how did she come up with that term? “Because they would yell and scream at me like monsters when I came on stage,” she says, matter-of-factly. “Whenever they would see me, they would have their paws up just like I did during my performances, and the name sort of evolved from there.”
And she makes sure her not-so-humble followers are constantly in the know of what she’s up to. Thanks to Twitter, where she has amassed more ‘followers’ than any other person, Gaga says she is able to keep in touch with all her fans.
“It’s sort of like constantly texting each other, you know. It is a very important medium for me ... like my friend is ill right now, and through Twitter, I can let all my monsters know what I’m going through or what’s happening in my life,” she says. Of course, nothing beats meeting her fans in real life, which is why the singer is known to occasionally ditch her entourage and go out to meet them.
While she will leave India after Sunday’s performance, Gaga hopes to return next year, along with her entourage of 52 people — chef, bodyguards, et al — as well as her lucky charms. “I always wear my grandfather’s baby ring. He died recently and I feel very connected with him. And also, I have something which was given to me by Clarence Clemons, the saxophone player — it’s the hand that wards off evil and it has five eyes on it. I keep that with me wherever I go. It’s supposed to keep my aura happy and peaceful.” Seems to be working.
Gagagiri in Delhi
A masseur was assigned to Gaga full-time, and there was a detailed confidentiality agreement. She took a massage at three in the morning on Friday
Four Gorkha guards have been flown in for her security, apart from her entourage
She has come with her own chef who stays in the kitchen in the Taj Mahal Hotel, and supervises her meals. He cooked health food and wraps for her
She shopped for a blanket and a stole worth $300 from Dilli Haat on Friday evening, where fans mobbed her.
Her tri-colour hairbun that she sported during the press conference on Saturday was done by her personal stylist from The House Of Gaga
The singer travelled with an entourage of three SUVs.