Just catching you up on a little ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ action. The film crew has now hauled on to the next “I”, India, where Elizabeth Gilbert studied in an Ashram and Julia Roberts is causing a ruckus! As if Hindu scholars weren’t already miffed enough, film production goes and plants its big American behind at Ashram Hari Mandir near Delhi, consequently shutting it down smack in the middle of Navratri, a nine day major Hindu festival of worship. Town villagers are at wits end over the spectacle of presidential proportions with a convoy of bulletproof cars, helicopters and hundreds of police patrolling the grounds keeping riff raff away. And who is everyone blaming? Julia Roberts! And her entourage of gladiators and ninjas, protecting her from slithery paparazzi, mostly.
A senior local police officer said no one would be allowed to breach his security cordon. “There are more than 100 policemen outside the Ashram Hari Mandir and almost equal number inside the premises, both uniformed and in civilian disguise. Nobody can breach this cover and no outsider is allowed to enter the ashram, no matter whosoever he or she is. We have strict instructions,” he said.
That’s the local police talking so obviously there were some preliminary permissions granted, much to the chagrin of the folks who live there, whom the producers and police seemingly neglected to consult in this matter. Oh just a slight oversight. ‘Sorry guys, you can’t worship in your temple, we have big moviestars shooting a film about a woman studying the virtues of Indian spirituality.’ oops.
It’s not really fair, though, to place the brunt of the blame on Julia, who’s taken it upon herself to meet the Ashram’s swamiji, Dharmdev, seeking his blessings with her three kiddies – twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and two-year-old son Henry. They’ll be shooting til Oct 2nd though, so plenty of time to commit further offenses. Can’t wait for Indonesia.