Sushmita Sen who gave us a much-awaited strong, fierce female lead with her digital debut in Disney+ Hotstar's Aarya, once refused to shoot a song because the lyrics were too suggestive.

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Yup you heard that right folks, Sushmita Sen in real life was always a bold, headstrong woman who knew how to stand her ground. 

Source: Zee News

In an interview, choreographer Ganesh Hedge recalled that she pushed Anu Malik to rewrite the lines and change the suggestive lyrics of the song. 

It was unheard of at that point of time, to command and extract that kind of respect. 
Source: IMDb

It was the early 2000's when Fiza came to theatres and Sushmita Sen's graceful performance in Mehboob Mere stole our hearts. 

Source: Mid Day

But what we didn't know was that this was the song that Sushmita Sen blatantly refused to perform or lip-sync the lyrics of this sexist song until there were changes. 

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'. 

                    - Ganesh Hedge

Source: YouTube

Righteously rebelling against the suggestive nature of these lines, Sushmita exerted pressure on the composers and the lyrics were finally tweaked to, "aa narmi le mere aankhon se". 

Ganesh Hedge further revealed how most of the belly-dancing steps in the song were improvised by Sushmita Sen. And with that , she challenged and broke the norms of filming an 'item song': 

There is nothing usual about her. A lot of the dancing, especially the belly dancing moves, she did herself. There’s a trance-like feel to her dancing and in those sequences, I did not do anything. It was mostly her. 
Source: Sound Cloud

In a time where women and item songs were so popular in the industry, with her bold, unapologetic moves, Sushmita Sen successfully reclaimed the narrative from the male gaze, took control and did what she wanted to do.