Satish Kaushik’s film on teen pregnancy Teree Sang featuring Ruslaan Mumtaz and debutante Sheena Shahabadi as teenagers, who become parents after having unprotected sex, was stalled for a number of reasons.
One among the many reasons is the crucial love-making scene where the girl gets pregnant. When the director saw the decisive sequence he felt it lacked the impact it should. Says Satish, “The girl Sheena was inexperienced in that sequence and it showed. We needed to scrap and re-shoot the scene.”
However, a second stab at realism in the love-making yielded no productive results. Kaushik had to shoot the sequence a third time… “This time we finally got it right,” says leading man Ruslaan. “In fact it’s all due to the girl. She went all-out to make sure the love scene looks convincing. We added a kiss this time which wasn’t there originally to make it look convincing. And the whole series of incidents leading up to girl’s seduction and pregnancy looks very convincing now. In fact a little too convincing.”
Ruslaan feels the censor board might have a problem with the scene. “I hope it doesn’t get snipped because, Satishji, Sheena and me worked really hard on it. Sheena was very brave. When we couldn’t get the love making scene right two times, she had this do-or-die attitude the third time. We made the scene as authentic as we could. Now when I look at it, I wonder how I and Sheena will sit with our parents and watch the Teree Sang at the premiere.”
Teree Sang is Bollywood’s first film about teenage pregnancy. Says Kaushik, “A lot of people who’ve seen Teree Sang feel it looks like we’re endorsing teenage pregnancy. But we are not. We’re actually saying teenagers should be more careful if they choose to have sex. It’s stupid to turn coy about matters of sex and pretend our children don’t know about the birds and bees when in fact today’s kids are very much into physical relationships. We need to educate them about how to prevent pregnancy and we must legalize abortions.”