Sunday, July 14, 2024

‘I’ve always been open about my reproductive health with my parents’

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Actress Rakul Preet Singh’s upcoming film Chhatriwali is all set to break
the ice on the topic of safe sex. In a recent interview, the actress opened up about her take on safe sex, some insights about the film, and much more.

Shikha Duggal

Rakul Preet Singh is one of those actresses who never had a fear of being judged. With her upcoming movie Chhatriwali on Zee 5, she’ll be seen representing safe sex in the media, without being too medicalised in her way of speaking/focussing on scandalous stories is commendable. Straight up to the chat with us, she says, “Sex is normal and I was one of those lucky girls who got her half-hour lesson on the reproductive system in school,” she asserts.

Playing the role of a teacher, you’ll see her pointing to diagrams,””penetration” might get a mention and she drops the bomb: “I signed up for this movie to give a clear message that sex is also about having babies and not just orgasms.”

Not letting anything go unacknowledged on the zoom call, Kondapolam actress was so meaningful in the way she spoke that the media was in awe of her. She continues, “I really hope the relevant information about safe sex is documented for the whole life through our movie. We know a movie like this wouldn’t be the first choice of the cine-goers but when they hear that Chhatriwali is spreading sex education in a friendly and not so preachy manner, they’ll be intrigued to watch.There are no adult scenes in the film, neither have we taken a text-bookish approach. We are just talking science! Why is there a societal shame?”

Rakul feels with the lack of accurate information, the young generation is clueless at the moment and they are feral in nature when it comes to sexual intercourse. She speaks up against it, “When the government is raising awareness about sexual diseases and viruses — why are people still figuring out everything for themselves? I urge the youngsters to not just think of pleasure, you can bring a lifetime disease upon yourself. We are creating education for this solemnity. Nobody discusses women’s reproductive health, that’s what my film highlights. I am here to challenge such ideas!

Then this leads to abortion rights, miscarriages and teenage pregnancies. Honestly speaking, a woman’s body is often tortured despite the option of contraceptives. I know of women who “thinks” sex is a moral duty. Changes in their mindset is rarely changing even now. If your physical health is as important, so is mental and sexual health! I will continue to reiterate this awareness on using protection even if the promotions end.”

Proud to be a part of a changing community now, she goes on, “When I got subjected to the statistics, I took this up so seriously and personally that when I read, only seven percent of our population use contraceptive methods — I was puzzled! With even more research, it continued to enrage me. I was bothered, deeply affected, reading how women are suffering. Teenage pregnancies are the highest in our country, and we are not discussing it. Why? I see kids not wanting to attend the biology class when the specific “chapter” comes — I was also a kid once and did the same.

We were giggling, felt sheepish about the topic and wanted to bunk. We don’t even call our reproductive organs by the scientific name, again bizarre. An unhealthy reproductive system can lead to cancer, when will we understand this? You cannot discard your reproductive system, wake up.”

Her hope is that society begins to grasp that comprehensive sex education from her movie, and, “As I grew older, learnt that sex education actually ends sexual violence. The way we breathe, is exactly how we reproduce too. It’s time to spark a more open conversation. Get educated, even if it’s from a podcast available online or books.Talk to a gynaecologist but don’t harm your reproductive health! The newly introduced virginity pills aren’t also good for your body, this is where sex education plays a role. I am so lucky, that I am extremely comfortable speaking about sexual health with my parents and they do not form a stupid opinion about me; instead they educate me more. My dad was an Army officer and that’s why he doesn’t turn a blind eye to such relevant topics.

The film, for example, similarly emphasises on giving sex education at the right age because as we grow our “curiosity” is gushing to know about “sex”. So, right information at the right time in a strategised manner is equally important.”

Truly, speaking up on taboo topics made us realise why Rakulpreet has such a massive fan following these days, because she is not busy blurring the lines. “For the first time, the script arrived with the statistics — this is the graveness we are bringing out. I intentionally didn’t take help of a sexologist because my character also gets to know about the nuances of safe sex during the movie. So, I wanted to stay true to my character.

The real Rakul is aware but I couldn’t have projected my beliefs on the screen. My job was to give a new voice to the character, and I rightly did so. At the trailer launch, a sex educator and gynaecologist was invited and they let the media know on how young adults and newlyweds to be aware of do’s and don’ts when it comes to women’s reproductive health,” Ayalaan actress signs off.

I urge the youngsters to not just think of pleasure, you can bring a
lifetime disease upon yourself. We are creating education for this solemnity. Nobody discusses women’s reproductive health, that’s what my film highlights. I am here to challenge such ideas!

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