Minissha Lamba’s Interview to the Media After the Detention

Minissha Lamba’s Interview to the Media After the Detention

Starlet Minissha Lamba has had a harrowing time, after losing her baggage on her trip back to Mumbai from Cannes. On reaching the city, Minissha was detained for 16 hours. Adding to her woe was writer Shobhaa De’s Twitter post “Poor Minissha: Lamba race ki ghodi or lame duck? Warning to other Bollywood wannabes to leave those borrowed rocks at home.Dazzle wt yr talent (sic)”.

Though initially shaken, Missha regained her composure and by the time she was permitted to leave, she sounded jubilant and wiser as she spoke to the media. Excerpts from the interview:

What really happened?

It was just a minor discrepancy in my papers for the jewellery. I’m just so shocked by the monstrous proportions that the incident acquired. But I don’t want to go into who was responsible for it.

Is it true you were detained the whole night at the airport?

I was detained for sixteen hours, which, if I may say so, was completely unnecessary in a case like this. But if my papers were not in order because of a minor technicality then the authorities were totally within their rights to detain me. We’ve to go by the book. No complaints about it.

Did you really have undeclared diamonds worth 40 lakh rupees?

Definitely not! The value was much less. I can’t tell you how much but I had paperwork to authenticate it.

Were the airport authorities civil?

They were civil and extremely friendly. They served me the most amazing food and were constantly cracking jokes to ease my nervousness. We had a very lively sixteen-hour session. I am sure they’ve encountered worse offenders than me.

It sounds like you had a party?

What can I say? I had the choice of either sitting and crying or trying to make the best of a bizarre situation. I chose to take a chill-pill. I’m just a little sheep that inadvertently got caught up in a situation.

Has the controversy shaken you?

I think I got into the controversy by default. It’s one of those life-experiences. Even in future I will find myself in unpleasant situations. What I make of them is in my hands entirely.

So, you thought you could bring anything and everything with you and clearly make it through the customs?

Well, I guess you can bring whatever you want as long as your paper work is in order. That’s the impression I had and I have. I feel this whole detention thing that happened was mainly because of paper work and they wanted to know that. The studded jewellery that I had was taken by me from India and brought back. It was as simple as that

And what about stories that rumoured – Minissha Lamba carried gifts from Cannes by top designers?

There was nothing that was gifted to me at Cannes. I am not Angelina Jolie that the world out there will be sitting in giving me gifts.

But weren’t you even aware of the basics of bringing what and what not while entering India from the overseas?

Nothing like this has ever happened to be before. The procedure requirements were really complicated. It’s not a simple procedure. I am getting conflicting advice from the customs as far as the procedure to bring jewellery is concerned. The process to declare your studded jewellery is very different from the other accessories you bring from outside India. My question is – How is a regular person suppose to know that?

And you think all this was blown out of proportion or you were basking in the limelight?

I am somewhat of a known person and that’s why the limelight. If it was to happen to anyone other than me then I doubt that it would’ve made such a big noise. I think it’s all blown out of proportion. I just feel that the rules and regulations have become a big issue. The surprising thing was that I was getting a lot of text messages and calls from various people who knew me from Cannes Film Festival too. Such are the times that controversy travels at a lightning speed.

You gave Shobha De back on Twitter….what was all that about?

What I tweeted to Shobha De was in good humour and I don’t want to comment on that further. She too must’ve done it in a good humour I guess and everyone has the right to defend themselves on a public forum.

You must be going through hell right now after all this?

I am very strong and it takes a lot for a person to make me go through hell. There is no one to be blamed in this. Laws are complicated. Things like going a day before to the diamond plaza to get your jewellery assessed and valued. Then they seal it and stamp it and then they send the courier consignment to the mentioned address, etc. All this is very confusing. I’m sure no one knew that this is one of the procedures one has to undergo.

So, lesson learnt?

But yes, lesson learnt that I need to buy a customs act book and need to go through the whole thing. I hope no one goes through what I have gone through.

Some good talk now. How was your experience at the Cannes Film Festival?

My experience at the Cannes Film Festival was exciting. It was beautiful. It was the most professionally organised film festival in the world. I would be in awe of how such a thing can be even possible. You need to be dressed up in your evening dress. No casuals allowed. Only formals. You have to be presentable and professional. I love that formality. Even if we had to go for a regular screening, you still have to be looking dapper. I hope that our entertainment industry and our law and order too are such well organised.”

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