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Sean Paul: India is a very polluted place

Last updated on: November 5, 2012 14:59 IST

Sean Paul: India is a very polluted place

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Ankur Pathak in Mumbai
Grammy-award winning reggae singer Sean Paul -- popular for club hits like Get Busy and the boisterously successful Temperature -- concluded his India tour that included performances in Delhi and Mumbai, with a performance in Bangalore on Sunday, November 4. 

Addressing the press at a suburban hotel in Mumbai, Sean Paul expressed serious concerns about the country's dangerously rising pollution levels. He also spoke about his fondness for Indian cuisine.

"I wanted to come to India since a very long time... India is a beautiful place as the people here are very vibrant ... the food is very delicious. I love the food here as I am a huge fan of Indian cuisine. We, as Jamaicans, love spicy food. India has so much variety. I had butter chicken and pani puri in Delhi which was appetising; next I plan to try the vada pao."

Along with pleasing his taste-buds, the She-doesn't-mind hit maker is also doing a spot of local sight-seeing.


Image: Sean Paul


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'I have been having marijuana since many years. I don't see it as a drug'

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India Gate and Rajghat "which was lovely" were on the Delhi itinerary. And of course the inevitable: "Now I plan to go to the beautiful Taj Mahal and also see the great river Ganges. There is so much culture to soak in from India and so many different religions to learn about," the singer said.

And there was one solid and justified brickbat too. 

"It really hit me. This is one of the most polluted places I have seen and there is nothing funny about it. I have asthma, and it gets difficult for me to breathe. We need to strongly do something about it. Air is something we consume unconsciously with our lungs. We cannot carry on like this. The atmosphere here disturbed me not just on a physical level, but it disturbed me on a mental level too," said a seriously concerned Paul. 

Drugs and popular music often go hand in hand. Paul says he doesn't consider marijuana (or cannabis, popularly imbibed as bhang in India) a drug, and takes it regularly. 
 
"I have been having it since many years. I don't see it as a drug. That's a very misleading perception over here, where it is supposed to have originated.

Image: Sean Paul

Tags: Paul , India , Ganges , Rajghat , Delhi

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'I'm against cocaine and heroin'

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I know a number of people who have greatly benefited from it. I'm against cocaine and heroin; these are very hard drugs, but marijuana is medicinal and if legalised, can benefit the economy of the country as well. 

"This is just my opinion. I think marijuana is a plant that has just fallen to a bad reputation. It has positively benefited me."

Turning to lighter topics naturally brought us to Bollywood. 

"I don't particularly know of any Bollywood stars, but I have heard a lot," Paul says. "The production is usually over-the-top here, but its great art-work. I'd like to be in one as Bollywood is big on music and I could represent my kind to it. But to act in one? I think the language would be an issue. Maybe I could do a cameo performance."

Image: Sean Paul

Tags: Paul , Bollywood

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'I know of only two Hindi words: Namaste and Shukriya

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What about lending his voice for a Hindi song like R&B singer Akon did for the hit song Chammak Challo in Shah Rukh Khan's Ra.one?

"That is quite an interesting deal. I have recorded a song in Spanish. It took me eight hours as a tutor across the studio helped me with the pronunciation. My communication is good that way and I adapt fast. So, a Hindi song? Sure, it can be done. But right now I know of only two words: 'Namaste' and 'Shukriya,'" he said in his attractive Caribbean accent.

On a parting note, he spoke about the one thing he is going to take home with him from India.

"We Jamaicans fight a lot. We fight about little stupid things. One thing I have learnt from India is tolerance. There are so many religions here and all live in harmony. That's a thing to be proud of and I appreciate it a lot," he signed off.

Image: Sean Paul


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