In India since the past five years, model Vida Samadzai feels at home away from home. As the controversial Afghan beauty, who caused a stir upon sporting a bikini at a beauty pageant, entered a new home - the "Bigg Boss 5" house - for 100 days, she said she would win hearts with the "language of love".
"I miss home... I really do," the 33-year-old told IANS before entering the reality show.
Born and brought up in Kabul, Samadzai was asked to leave the country after she appeared in a red bikini in the 2003 edition of the Miss Earth pageant. Her parents are in the US, but she feels India's warm culture keeps her at peace.
"It's the people in India, the culture and celebrations that keep me feeling at home. It is a melting pot of different religions - and it is wonderful to see Eid, Diwali and Christmas being celebrated with equal gusto," she added.
The lady has strong thoughts about the upliftment of Afghan women, who have undergone suppression over the years.
"There was a period when women in my country used to hold important posts, be lawyers and people were very liberal. But it's a different scene now. Yes, I am a proud Afghan, but I am happy women in India are grabbing all opportunities to be in powerful positions and that I belong to India now," she said.
She models for a living, and that keeps her on the move, travelling in and out of India.
The "Bigg Boss 5" house is a new challenge for her - meeting new people, adjusting with them, being out of touch with her family without calls, messages and her dear BlackBerry, and communicating in Hindi!
"I know I can't speak fluent Hindi... I have been taking lessons. But you know... the language of love is universal. I am sure I will be able to communicate with that and touch hearts, and I will be able to make my own little family for the 100 days that I will be in the house," she said.
Samadzai is also hopeful of getting a good break in Bollywood, where she made a start with a 2009 movie "Runway: Love Among Gun Shots".
"There are talks with some people in Bollywood. But I wouldn't like to talk about anything unless it is finalised. It takes so much to work in this industry. It's not easy, but I would be more than happy to work here," she said, hoping that her "Bigg Boss 5" stint gets her noticed in India's tinsel town.