Bollywood heart-throb turns into sweeper in Russia

A prospering India movie star gives up his blossoming career for the love of a Russian woman and finds himself sweeping the streets of Russia’s Far East.

It’s a plot that seems straight out of Bollywood. In his native India, Arman Kumar Jha was a movie star. But he gave up the roles of hot heart-throbs and charismatic villains for love, only to end up cleaning the streets far from home.

“I get 50 rubles here and 100 at another place. In all I get about 6,000 rubles a month,” Arman Kumar Jha says.

That’s less than 200 dollars – hardly what Arman expected when he fell for Carolina – a dancer from the city of Ussuriysk in Russia’s Far East. A fan of Indian culture, she had taken dance classes in Delhi. The couple got married three months after they met. With TV ads, soaps and several films under his belt, Arman’s career was going up. But Carolina didn’t want to stay in India.

The actor didn’t think twice before following her to her hometown, where she gave birth to their daughter.

“The money he brought with him would have lasted for years in India. Here it was instantly spent on paperwork and formalities,” says Carolina Jha, actor’s wife.

Arman fast found out that love did not conquer all. Barely knowing Russian, he couldn’t get a job on stage. A local TV station screen-tested him as their weather man…

“He looks great, the camera loves him – a godsend for any production studio!” says local producer Natalya Linchenko.

But his poor Russian failed him there too. Arman tried to return to India to support his family from abroad, but didn’t have the paperwork to leave Russia. Cleaning the streets is the only job he finally found.

“I’m totally broke. My daughter wears what others give us, while in India I was giving money and clothes to the poor,” bewails star-turned-cleaner Arman.

The locals have taken his troubles close to heart.

“He’s very cultured and he works well,” says local resident Valentina Basatskaya.

“It’s a shame that such a nice person is in dire straights here,” says another local resident Christina Leonova.

Arman is saving money for a trip back home. His real-life drama has turned out far worse than a Bollywood plot.