South Asian gossip blogs have been a buzz recently over a racy Indian-themed New York Lotto commercial filmed over a decade ago.

Created in 1999 and starring the then-unknown actors Bipasha Basu and Vivek Oberoi, the lavish ad is set in the court of an ancient kingdom. Viewers see a topless princess (Basu) bathing in a pool and briefly glimpse the side of her right breast as she prepares to meet a prince (Oberoi).

Watch the ad below (it gets NSFW at 0:19):

The ad's appearance on YouTube has created a minor scandal for Basu in India. While she hasn't spoken about the controversy directly, her representative had this to say:

"Bipasha had done this ad in 1999 when she was modelling for Ford Modelling Agency (sic) in New York. It was done as an international assignment and was meant for the international market. I don't know why such an old ad has surfaced now."

What do readers think of this ad? Any speculation as to why it was never aired?

I thought the commercial was striking for the following reasons:

1) The nudity was puzzling. I can't imagine a station airing an unedited version of this commercial today, let alone in the late 1990s.

2) The spot was ahead of it's time in a way, as it was produced years before Slumdog Millionaire and the current trend of seeing Indian-Americans everywhere on TV.

3) Lastly, this is by far the most elaborate and expensive Lotto ad that I've ever seen. (As a point of comparison click here and here to see other Lotto ads from the nineties.)

Lakshmi Gandhi is a freelancer and blogger based in New York City. She graduated from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in December 2008.

Read the original article at Lakshmi's blog.