Will she or won't she? Hollywood actress and Mask of Zorro star Catherine Zeta-Jones could be among millions making a sprint to the holy waters of Allahabad during the Maha Kumbh Mela, following in the footsteps of Sharon Stone, Steven Seagal, Madonna and Pierce Brosnan.
Expectations that Zeta-Jones would visit the 55-day mela are high after the actress said in a statement to a newswire in Los Angeles a week ago that her next India trip would be for Kumbh Mela 2013, along with husband Michael Douglas.
"Personally, I've been going through a tough period in my life. What I require for my mental health and well-being is some peace and tranquillity. I swear by yoga, which I believe has its roots in India. So, I really want to visit India again specifically during the Kumbh Mela and I am told it is a sight to behold for the eyes and soul," the actress's statement said.
Most celebrities, such as Stone, have visited the Kumbh Mela in secrecy. Tour operators, such as Cox & Kings, are believed to be handling a list of "premium guests" but would not divulge details.
An organising committee official told HT that although Zeta-Jones was expected, they have no confirmation. However, as is the practice, she would not be given any special facilities, except for a dedicated call-centre for all foreign visitors.
Celebrities need to have their own arrangements for security and stay, Allahabad SSP Mohit Aggarwal said. "We have no orders for any special reception,” he said.