From the very day in 1994 when she was crowned Miss Universe to today, Sushmita Sen has been a brave-heart, an inspiring role model and continues to smash patriarchy with every passing day. It isn't easy for women in India to live life on their own terms. Perhaps, even harder for a woman in the entertainment business to carve her own path and succeed on her own terms. She has never let anyone dictate the rules and followed her heart, every time, like a total badass.
From adopting two girls as a single lady to not succumbing to the societal pressure of 'marriage', she has, time and again, proved that she is truly the epitome of perfection. She has always defied stereotypes even when most women her age did not have the courage to speak up.
In a recent interview with a popular Bollywood news channel, choreographer Ganesh Hegde recalled how Sushmita Sen made Anu Malik rewrite the lyrics of a Bollywood song. 'Mehboob Mere' from Fiza, which was an item number that Sushmita Sen was a part of.
Sushmita Sen was one of the very few actors who made 'item numbers' a thing in Bollywood. In his interview, Ganesh said, "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 just won’t do it". It was after her strong stand that composer Anu Malik has to change the lines to "aa narmi le meri ankhon se (bask in the softness of my eyes). "It was unheard of at that point of time, to command and extract that kind of respect" Ganesh added. This song was sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and was a huge hit in the year 2000.
You can listen to the song here:
During the conversation, Ganesh also mentioned how working with Sushmita back in the days was a breath of fresh air for him. "She dominated the screen. I knew that from the first time I choreographed her for 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 big gamble on a massive stage like that, but I knew Sushmita could hold the stage down all by herself", he added.
Sushmita Sen recently made a comeback with Hotstar series Aarya, and is being applauded for her performance. All this (and more) just goes to prove that Sushmita has always been proud of what she stands for and won't let others bully her to change her mind. More power to you, Sush!
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