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Updated: August 4, 2012 05:36 IST

Madhura back home after her 15 minutes of fame

Staff Reporter
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Madhura Nagendra: ‘I did not
carry any weapons besides the smile I wore.’ Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
Madhura Nagendra: ‘I did not carry any weapons besides the smile I wore.’ Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Christened by the media as the “Olympic mystery woman” after she gatecrashed the athletes’ march on the inaugural day of the 2012 London Olympics, Madhura Nagendra, back home in Bangalore, says that it was an “error of judgment” that led her to walk beside Indian flag-bearer Sushil Kumar.

Speaking to The Hindu from her home in Banashankari here where she reached on Wednesday night, she said that having completed her MBA in London, she had stayed back to participate in the Olympic opening ceremony and show put together by filmmaker Danny Boyle.

Clearing the air

While she apologised to her countrymen and women for “hurting their sentiments”, she said that she decided to speak to the media only to clear the air and quash all the “rumours and gossip” doing the rounds on social media and in news platforms. “I worked very hard to be part of the show; I auditioned thrice for it. I was officially selected as a performer. I am a dancer and have even received a national award,” said the 27-year-old. She added that she was one of the dancers who performed in Danny Boyle's show.

Insisting that her presence was in no way a security breach, she said: “I was a threat to nobody. I did not carry any weapons besides the smile I wore.”

Butt of jokes, parodies

Since the incident, Ms. Nagendra has been the butt of many jokes on social media and the web with Facebook pages on her going viral. For instance, an entire series of “Madhura gatecrashes” include cleverly photoshopped pictures of her attending several historic events, ranging from the iconic “stroke of the midnight hour” speech to the moon landing to Obama’s swearing-in, besides political events.

Stealing their thunder

Other reactions online have made it an issue of national pride, and have condemned her for stealing the limelight from Indian athletes.

Asked if she took offence to all this reaction, Ms. Nagendra said: “I would have been hurt had I known about this or even seen this. But I have been completely oblivious. It wasn’t reported widely back in the U.K. and was not considered a big deal at all.”

She said that she was told several impostors had sprung up, responding on her behalf, and explained that she was “out of touch” for now.

“But I will be back with a bang. I’m a brave young person, and I am going to lead my life normally after this,” she said.

Media stakeout

Her parents said that they were under immense stress. Since the opening ceremony day, media persons have been staking out on the footpath outside their residence. Some sections of the media even reported that her father, a leather exporter, “had fled” after facing the media onslaught.

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truly she does not have brains. she is a shame to herself, family and to whole india..

never want to see her again..

from:  imtiaz
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 19:49 IST

She is not a child who can not understand implication of such act. It's
not a childish act but a determined effort to get fame.
I hope Mahesh Bhatt , may be thinking of giving her a chance in some

from:  pawan
Posted on: Aug 4, 2012 at 16:07 IST

Madhura, I live in London and do you know what was my reaction after watching you leading the team in fancy dress? “Who is she? Why she is not wearing dress code? Why is she leading the country? What sport she play?” And next morning my all questions were answered.

I am sorry to say but your “error of judgment”, doesn’t justify your smiling and waving act. To me it clearly looks like a stunt to get fame among friends.

You have not only heart the feelings of our hard working players but also put a bad remark against country on international level.

You must apologies to every player and all Indians too.

from:  Akash Saxena
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 21:26 IST

This girl has made probably one of the most insincere apologies. It was all about her. She had auditioned to dance, she is a Bharatanatyam dancer, she wore a smile, she is smart. Everybody knows that the Olympic parade is for the athletes. She is just a badly brought up, self centered, arrogant creature who thinks she in entitled to whatever she wants without having to work for it.

from:  Shyla
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 21:23 IST

Why do you make a big deal of this? Of course, everyone wants to be on
TV. Poor girl, she just wanted to be on TV and get some limelight, and
everyone is blaming her.

from:  Gowtham Kumar
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 21:13 IST

The headlines on 'The Hindu', 'Madhura back home after her 15 minutes of
fame' is frankly unacceptable. It it really fame? This is some one
stealing other's show time. The English word is notorious. Mudhra shame
on you, not only you insult the Olympians, you also betrayed people's
faith in letting you be there in the first place. The picture of Mudhura
and the article don't stack up, it is like adding insult to injury
showing-off her dance skill. You can see any remorse for that she has
done. She is a big show-off.

from:  Karthik
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 20:36 IST

I was looking to see if she apologized and came across this article. I am shocked that this woman is so arrogant. Horrible apology. She doesn't understand how hard these athletes work and deserve their moment to walk into the opening ceremony. She should be ashamed. She looks like an overweight spoiled brat in the photos where her caption should read "My daddy said I could be in the Olympics too if I wanted". I wish one of their athletes would have taken her out. Ugh, she disgusts me.

from:  Meredith
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 20:05 IST

Cheap corruption, poverty, poor sanitation, child marriage, dynastic politics, un-touchability, poor policing, fire in train, power grid failure etc etc are shame to India. And not what this lady did.

from:  sumesh soman
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 19:47 IST

Let's look at this from a global context. In Olympics this year, there
are women from Saudi and other Gulf countries who have fought local and
religious authorities who prevent women participating in such events.
These women compete in the olympics while wearing the hijab or burqa,
whether they like it or not. This is the example of tenacity and
bravery. Madhura, what you did had nothing to do with bravery.

This is what I would say to my sister or daughter if they had done

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 19:43 IST

If all Indians think like her, we all need to go to the Olympic
stadium to walk beside the athletes. Lets all camera flash us than on
the athletes who struggled their life time.Let us get a cherishing
moment and give a damn to athletes who were preparing so much.So poor
on a educated girl's part to behave like this. She should have the sensibility to distinct what is expected from a grown up person.

from:  Amala
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 19:30 IST

Why isn't the government taking a sterner stand against her?? If they
don't such behavior will only be repeated by others. No way this idiot
would have been given a free pass if she was a citizen of

from:  Padmini
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 18:37 IST

Person of her behaviour should not be allowed to go abroad.
Her passport should be impounded for her highhandedness.India is not a jungle and any body can do anything that pleases their ego.She joined in the parade as a street dog joining a marriage procession.she should be sternly dealt with.she is really a mad woman and need her mental check up at her home town.People of her type bring shame to the country.

from:  B.Kammalan
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 18:18 IST

As Prachi and Karry pointed out, this lady seems to have been totally oblivious
of the very fact that non-Indian Europeans are indeed talking about this. Even
my Hungarian and French friends were asking me about this "controversy" on
the Monday after the ceremony.

As for comments from Mr Vasanth - she being someone's sister or even my own
sister doesn't change a thing. What if the deluded Kasab is your brother?

Having said what I did, I guess she has ruined her own career. Being a noted
gatecrasher (thanks to the media attention) she will find it really hard to get a
work visa to most countries and her reputation in India is better not mentioned.
Good work done Miss Genius.

from:  Sanjay
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 18:17 IST

If something of this sort had happened in India, the whole world would have laughed at us. Well done choosing the London Olympics to pull off the trick. Good thinking! Keep us posted on your upcoming adventures.

from:  Nandan
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 18:11 IST

Just the same shameless victorious smile like the scamster politicians give before going to
the jail / trial followed by a V sign or a big wave of hands. The so called education is wasted
for want of cheap publicity.

from:  Gururaj
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 18:00 IST

If this is an error in judgement, lack of critical thinking after MBA
education - the following warnings should be issued.
1. Prospective bridegrooms - beware, she does not have the ability to
realize the importance
2. Prospective employers - beware, she can really bring down your
company by inappropriately releasing secrets
3. Current and Future "friends", "neighbors" - she has the ability to
judge poorly. She may bite you (not literally). Avoid her.

Practically, she is going to be hurt seeking employment, employers
will avoid such people. As some one suggested here, her wedding should
be gate-crashed. A once-in-a-lifetime event (hopefully) should be

She does not realize what it is to be an sportsperson, an athlete. She
knows nothing of hard work.

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 17:28 IST

In a country where the train accidents are regular occurance where tens of thousands of lives are lost due to accidents, poverty, sickness this issue is not an issue at all. Just laugh at our folly and simply forget about the whole thing.

She needed a thrill. She got it. The child in her enjoyed that moment. So what's the big deal? What if she is your daughter or sister? What all the persons who commented bad about her would say if she is their sister or their daughter?

from:  Vasanth
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 17:28 IST


It wasn’t reported widely back in the U.K. and was not considered a big deal at all.”

We live in UK...we much it was made fun of..
we were asked by our colleagues...about you..and the whole incident..

you made all the Indians worldwide...embarressed about it!!!

and you are still cool about it?


from:  Prachi
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 17:12 IST

The way she is smilimg and posing for pictures seems like she has won an olympic medal or a nobel prize....ghor kaliyug...

from:  bachao
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 17:06 IST

By stating that"it was not reported widely back in the U.K and was not considered a big deal"yet another instance of fooling the people and insulting participating athletes.A cat,sipping milk with closed eyes think that the whole world is also blind to its act.

from:  Seshagiri Row Karry
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 16:53 IST

Finally she herself told she is a national award winner. What exactly was she trying to prove by proclaiming that? That she is already a famous person and this 15 min stunt wasn't intended at getting publicity (or cheap publicity, for that matter). Well, the truth is that this is the ONLY reason with which you became known to people and it is not your "national award". So, confess with that same not so beautiful smile that you are sorry for what happened! Enough of this issue.

from:  Dheeraj K
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 16:51 IST

Unfortunately I did not get to see the opening ceremony. But from reading the comments posted here I feel our people are making a mountain out of a mole hill. It is nothing but vanity and her age an excuse for it. The English are sensible people. They just ignored it which is what we too should have done in which case her plan of getting cheap publicity would have been easily check mated and no body would have even noticed an unauthorised girl was walking along with the athletes! Leave the girl alone! Some girls of her age do even dumber things all for vanity. Let us hope at least from now on she will try to do some thing to deserve the lime light instead of hogging it.

from:  chris theodore
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 16:47 IST

The Hindu is our national newspaper which reports noteworthy credible news...what is this
piece doing here....totally unnecessary and a waste of time.

from:  Divya. Adusumilli
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 16:39 IST

What i fail to understand is, why wasn't this shameless girl in jail
for a few days?....isb't it totally inappropriate to gatecrash an
olympic parade?..."error of judgement"????...why wasn't she arrested
and fined?..Madhura is , in soem ways. an utter disgrace to
India...That is some food for
thought...when we have the whole world watching, we have a Madhura
doing something that reeks of selfishness...In her own way, she has
shamed everyone...and even more shameful is the total lack of action
against this impropriety..Is Sebastian Coe and the entire olym,pic
management sleeping?...would there have been so much silence if this
would have happened to the Brit parade, or if somebody had turned up
next to the Queen in the opening ceremony, smiling and waving to the
crowd like a dunce?

from:  Dr.Rajesh Kamath
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 16:30 IST

The heading should be like this "Madhura back home after her 15 minutes of cheap show-off!" Absolutely ludicrous it was, you 15 min wonder.

from:  Dheeraj
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 16:28 IST

I often notice mentally sick ladies/Men do Mrs.Madhura sort of antics
in front of religious processions in many parts of our country. People
normally ignore this because of sympathy towards them or believe it as
an act to please the Gods. Any ways, for Indians this act is a
forgettable nonsense. But, she has to understand is that we do so
because we would have associated your activity in the same category. I
am worried that many more Madhuras/ Madhurans will do similar jumpings
in next Olympics or such auspicious occasions unless Govt take some
sort of wise judgement against this "error of judgement". Say eg:
Collect her credentials and allocate a negative priority score for all
government services for 3 years. Like, let her book irctc tickets only
after all other indians have booked the ticket whenever she wants

from:  Jose Pius
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 16:18 IST

Pure shame. Destroyed the country's image in front of the whole world just in 15 minutes. Be ashamed and be apologetic. What a senseless (no remorse what so ever) picture in this article. Damn...

from:  Prabakaran
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 16:00 IST

She did it deliberately to get fame. And now wait and watch she will
either get a ticket to Big boss or will get some Ad film or chance to be
part of a reality show. The whole drama sucks and so does people who
support such moral less people.

from:  owais
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:58 IST

I don't think we need to see this as a shame or a great insult to our 'great' country. We need to laugh at this and forget about it!!

from:  Anand Krishnan
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:42 IST

Being 'Oblivious' goes well with your 'Senseless' act... And you are tyring to justify, we'll madam do a reality check.

from:  Hem
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:39 IST

Typical example of 'what is the big deal' mentality. Whoever you are Madhura, protocols and systems exist for a reason and you have not earned any right to breach them. Please feel grateful that in a country like India, no legal proceedings were initiated against you for disgracing the nation. In my opinion, you are just going to use this as a launchpad to lead a life in limelight, which if I were you would be extremely ashamed of.

from:  Ganesh K
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:39 IST

What do you mean by "It wasn’t reported widely back in the U.K. and was not considered a big deal at all". UK will only report the bright side of things to save their reputation as hosts. Grow up learned sis!

from:  Anand
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:26 IST

Madhura you did it for your publicity. But it results in a negative way.if you want publicity then you have many ways like movies(to act as a heroin),modeling,Business(you completed MBA)..but why you've chosen this way to show off???
Once question yourself then find answer(I am sure you will not get it).

from:  Sruthi
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:16 IST

It's good that she is not seeing all the negative things being said about her -- it is not worth it.

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:12 IST

Shame on you HINDU !.. Don't idolize a person who should have otherwise stayed in an asylum, as she herself accepted that she was oblivious to what was happening around. She has just gone for a cheap publicity ! Remove this article. !

from:  SOundirarajan Kalyanaraman
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:11 IST

What actually drove her to walk over there in the parade? "Publicity"

If she is a dancer or have done masters over there, then she should have excelled in those fields and should have got fame via it.

What she has done and even now not realizing her mistake is absolute "BS" and "stupidity".

from:  Ben
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:11 IST

What actually drove her to walk over there in the parade? "Publicity"

If she is dancer or have done masters over there, then she should have excelled in those fields and should have got fame via it.

What she has done and even now not realizing her mistake even now is absolute "BS" and "stupidity".

from:  Ben
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 15:10 IST

So many Indians are there in London. Many famous personalities like SRK were attending the inaugural function. What will happen if they all joined the parade like you did?

Dont think we are all fools.

from:  Sarath
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 14:42 IST

An integral part of becoming an adult is the ability to undertake critical reasoning. It sets an adult apart from a child. This ability helps one make correct decisions which are in our best interests and not detrimental to the community and country. Unfortunately despite the events which unfolded in the aftermath of the photojumping, Madhura doesn't seem to have reflected on the issue. She even seems to allude to all that ensued as a storm in a tea-cup since she was in UK during people's expression of hurt and anger. There seems to be absence of remorse and on the contrary self aggrandizement, showcasing her talents and achievements at the national level. An apology is all that most people of India and our athletes would like to hear. We can't change what happened. We don't begrudge Madhura or her family. Hopefully the focus can now shift to our sportspersons in London, their participation, challenges and achievements. They truly deserve it.

from:  Deepa
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 14:40 IST

Madhura please be honest.Guess you did it for a cheap thrill for a bet with your friends.If you say your act is an error of judgement then you can do anything and get away with it.But in reality it does not work your way all the time,it might even land you behind bars.

Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 14:37 IST

I agree with Abhay.

This was a senseless act and Madhura should only be ashamed. Someone
should walk into her wedding and steal her thunder. That would make her
realise what she has done. And if she calls this an error of judgement,
I dont know what to say :) ...How stupid can one be!!1

from:  Bharath
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 14:37 IST

The security threat is not whether or not she had weapons - it is that
a random person was allowed to escort the Indian team during the
opening ceremony. The girl comes off as severely unapologetic. She
seems to have little sense of the hurt she caused to the Indian team,
and the threat she did pose and the security issues the incident

from:  Gayathri
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 14:29 IST

Security threat does not necessarily come out of someone carrying a gun. It is the question of 'what if?'. 'What if she had a gun?'. 'What if someone else with ulterior motives (with or without a weapon) was allowed in a similar fashion?'. So definitely it was a security lapse on the part of the organizers. And more importantly it was a total moral failure on her part for which she should feel ashamed. She lost the right of 'being hurt' the moment she entered the arena. Terming it just 'error of judgement' shows she does not understand the gravity of her act.

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 14:27 IST

Gate-crashers have now become celebrities that need to be interviewed?

from:  K Palaka
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 14:20 IST

Problem with this girl [Madhura] and many such girls now a days is
they never accept that she was wrong. At least now instead of giving
such clarifications like I was not the threat to anyone...she should
have asked for apology to the countrymen and women. If you really
think you are talented than there are many areas full with
opportunities, go and show your talent there. If you really have
anything [I am sure you don't have], publicity will follow you. And
this is the request to all the brothers and sisters, please don't
follow the footprints of this stupid girl. National pride is our pride
and we must guard this.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 14:01 IST

Nothing to be proud of. Madhura, You should publicly apologies to athletes for taking away the attention from them which they deserved.

from:  Milind
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 13:59 IST

Nonsense !! This is a cheap publicity stunt. You were lucky that you
were not put in UK jail. Don’t you have common sense? It is an insult
to those players who have done everything to walk on that stage !!
Someone file a case and teach her a lesson !!!

from:  balaje radhakrishnan
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 13:27 IST

You did not get selected for the Olympics. It is an insult to the sports people of India who worked all their lives for this moment and you coolly walked along with them. This honour has to be earned and you did nothing of that sort. Foolish, pretentious, unrepentant are the words that spring to mind. Not to mentioned ill-mannered and rude!

from:  Anand
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 13:18 IST

I feel that you had no right to be there along with the few athletes and officials selected to be part of the parade. We are not debating about your abilities or the role that you were selected to play in the london olympics. The fact is that the selected athletes have earned their place to be part of the indian squad and you had no business to be showing off and putting the country to shame. There is no doubt that there was a security lapse and whoever allowed you to join them should be taken to task. Imangine if india was hosting this event there would have been a hue and cry over this event.

from:  R Girish
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 13:16 IST

Still she doesnt realize what mistake she has done. The kind of shame all INDIANS faced has been masked by the media hype of being mysterious.

from:  A Shetty
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 13:06 IST

What is the difference between you and the news hungry media who try to stick their head into anything-anywhere-anytime ? What you did was silly. I wish you tried doing this in a republic day march past in delhi. You would have ended up in Tihar. You should feel lucky that you got away with this instead of experiencing a salman butt kind of a 6 month jail term in the UK prisons. Feel lucky and live a more socially safe life in the future rather than trying to get attention in the wrong ways.

from:  Jagan
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 13:03 IST

Dear Editor. Please take out this article. This intruder doesn’t deserve any more space on Hindu. How on earth it can be an ‘error of judgment’?
If she is unable to judge what is right and what an error is, even after completing a master degree, then all her education is just a waste of time!

from:  sooraj
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 13:01 IST

Her behaviour is an example of a sense of anything-goes and a sense of lack of
accountability. She does not even seem to realise that she has disgraced herself by trying to steal the limelight from athletes who work for years to qualify for the Olympics. Society should treat such people with the contempt they deserve. I hope the media holds her up as an example of how NOT to be!

from:  Antara Darshan
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 11:59 IST

At no point during her chat with The Hindu, she seems to have repented for the disgrace she has brought to the country on the international picture. And why has a newspaper like Hindu all of a sudden bestow so much attention on a person like Madhura?

from:  M.Bharath Yeshwanth
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 11:41 IST

It was clearly an intentional act perceived as a shortcut to fame, including this interview. Indian athletes who have sweat for many years and slowly getting into limelight despite the dispropotionate attention that cricket gets in our contry, get less recognition and respect due to totally unwarranted distractions like these.

Government should take some stern steps and let her get away with seeming intelligent statements.

from:  Ramki
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 11:30 IST

I'm afraid I don't see how can there be such a appalling "error in
judgement" from someone who could be smart enough to go through
postgraduate education. It is not rocket science to understand that she
shouldn't have been there, at least not in the very front (if she for
some reason thought that she was supposed to accompany the athletes). By
waving and cheering the crowd she totally stole the show pretty
deliberately. She is surely NOT guilty of arming anyone but surely is
for deliberate insult. I don't think she should be "punished" but I
reckon her act accounts to "vandalism", where she by her deliberate act
caused "ruthless destruction or spoiling of" the "beautiful or
venerable" Olympics opening ceremony. I don't think she or her
associates can argue back that the Olympics opening ceremony is not such
a big issue, since she herself stayed away from home after her course
just to be part of it.

from:  Sanjay
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 11:27 IST

Why is The Hindu, of all media outlets, giving free publicity to this lady? Would she have appreciated, if, during one of her dance performances, someone gatecrashed "armed with nothing but a smile"?!

from:  Mahadheesh
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 11:01 IST

So you think auditioning 3 times and working hard for Dany Boyles opening ceremony gives you the right to walk with the athletes who has been working for 10 to 20 years of there life. You should have just apologized and kept quiet humans do mistake,But justifying with some stupid reason is really bad. Take care sister

from:  Manu
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 10:52 IST

Sportsperson spend their lifetime, sweating out and slogging, so that they deserve the right to enter the Olympic stadium. But, this female, just was strutting like a peacock, having done zilch in life.

I saw her TV interview, she has no remorse for her actions.

She deserves the Dumbest Female Award !!

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 10:07 IST

Madhura you are a grown up and should know what is appropriate. Just to show off your friends and family how smart and intelligent you became by going to UK is not acceptable. It does not matter whether you carried the weapons or not. It’s an insult to all the Indians and to the country. You should be ashamed of your act.

from:  Abhay
Posted on: Aug 3, 2012 at 09:11 IST
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