Fearless as they come, Swara Bhaskar knew she was taking a risk in Rasbhari, her new webseries where she plays an English teacher in a school in a small town filled with lusting boys, not to mention their drooling fathers.
“Now, this could have easily become sleazy and cheesy. In fact, my team said no to the offer without asking me. Then I happened to meet the producer at a very boring get-together where he narrated the subject to me. I was immediately interested,” confesses Swara whose sexually frank conduct in the film Veere Di Wedding aroused aggressive animosity.
Trolling her for her unconventional teacher’s role in Rasbhari has already begun.
As if Swara cares. “I know the criticism has started. That the Guru is like God, and how can she behave this way? I knew I was going into dangerous territory. But I trusted the director and the writer. I had seen the director Nikhil Bhat’s earlier film Brij Mohan Amar Rahe. I knew I was in safe hands. And I was right. On watching the series with trepidation I was reassured. Rasbhari pushes the borders without getting obscene. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s not easy to avoid sleaze in a film about sexual awakening, first kiss, first sexual experience. ”
In one bold sequence Sawara smooches a female and male co-star in the same breath. Swara admits that was not easy. “I had four kisses in the film and two of them in the same frame. I must say my co-stars were far more nervous than I was. I didn’t want the sequence to look like an orgy. I wanted my character to introduce the young couple to the pleasures of sex. Then I requested the director to show my character slowly move out of the frame to reiterate the fact that she was only the catalyst of sexual awakening between the two youngsters. ”
Swara is glad for the OTT platform. “My last appearance on the OTT platform was in 2018 in It’s Not That Simple. Now there’s Rasbhari which I am very curious about. How will audiences react to its bold intent? Let’s face it. We all have had a major crush on some teacher in our growing up years. Rasbhari is a tribute to that feeling of idolizing/lusting after a teacher.”
She says she was specially worried about her second character. “The tawaif Rashbari belongs to a different era,a different culture. I didn’t want her to come across as a stereotype. I wanted her to remain an enigma till the end.”