Vidya Balan who never touches alcohol has shot a special risqué number entitled; ‘Ibn Batuta’ in Ishqiya with her co-stars Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi. Says Vidya, “We shot the song last month after the entire shooting was wrapped up. I don’t drink and I had to act sozzled along with Naseer Saab and Arshad.”
The track will be used in the opening and credit titles of Ishqiya. Says Vidya, “Arshad is a fabulous dancer. And Naseer Saab was having a ball dancing to the song Vishal Bhardwaj had composed. I think the last time he danced was for ‘Oye Oye’ in Tridev. But you can’t tell. He’s so good. Both the guys were having so much fun and I had to join in pretending to be totally drunk.”
The song came out so well that the director Abhishek Choubey was thinking of using it in the narrative. But since it didn’t fit in, ‘Ibn Batuta’ will now just be part of the credit titles. That isn’t the only daredevil thing Vidya has done in Ishqiya. This has to qualify as one of the most sensuous things a mainstream Hindi-film heroine is seen doing in any movie.
In what Vidya describes as the most blatant come-hither gesture she has ever seen any actress in Hindi cinema make, in Ishqiya she was required to take Arshad Warsi’s thumb in her mouth and suck on it suggestively.
Each time she did so in the rehearsals Vidya would burst into uncontrollable giggles and Arshad would join in. Recalls Vidya, “Fortunately Arshad is a friend. We’ve gotten along well from the time we did Lage Raho Munnabhai together. I don’t know I’d have been able to do a scene like putting my co-star’s finger in the mouth with someone else. That gesture of sucking Arshad’s thumb was so raunchy and sexy, so not me, I couldn’t connect with it all.”
“That sense of non-connectivity,” says Vidya, runs through her character in Ishqiya. “I play this rustic voluptuous woman. All my weight-loss happened after I did this film. I had to look filled up for this part. In Ishqiya everything from the way I wore my saree to the way I looked at men, was alien to me. The role exposed me to a new way of interpreting a liberated woman. My character in Ishqiya may not know about feminism. But she’s truly liberated.”
Vidya is now looking forward to the release of Ishqiya in January. “The director Abhishek Choubey had to constantly keep giving me a pep talk. Quite often I was stuck because of the language and content.