In a recent interview, choreographer Ganesh Hegde recalls one episode where the graceful Sushmita Sen refused to lip-sync suggestive lyrics of the song that forced Anu Malik, the composer of the song to rewrite them.
Ganesh recalls, “There was a line that went ‘aa garmi le mere seene se’ (come feel the heat of my bosom) and she refused to sing it. She said, ‘I won’t just do it’. After the actress refused to lip-sync ugly lyric, the composer Anu Malik had to change the lines to ‘aa narmi le mere aankhon se’ (bask in the softness of my eyes). The song in the movie ‘Fiza’ and it was released in the theaters in 2000.
Lately, Bollywood songs have been criticized for its stupid, derogatory, misogynist and offensive lyrics. Such songs have not only degraded the quality of Indian music but also contributed to many criminal offenses against men and women in society.
Many big actors and actresses lip-synced songs with offensive lyrics without questioning them. But, Sushmita Sen is not that lady. She has always maintained grace and elegance in her professional and personal life. As Ganesh says, “She dominated the screen.”
He further adds in the actress praise: “I knew that from the first time I choreographed her for a stage performance, and unlike what we did with most actors, we let her dance alone on the stage to Sting’s Desert Rose. It’s a gamble on a massive stage like that, but I knew Sushmita could hold the stage down all by herself.”
That day the actress took stand not just for herself but also for all women in the country who were going to listen to that music and find it disrespectful and couldn’t have the power to do anything about it.