Exclusive: Shalini Pandey on the disturbing charan seva scene in Maharaj

In Maharaj, Shalini Pandey plays the role of a religious young girl whose devotion is exploited by a godman. The film which also features Junaid Khan, Jaideep Ahlawat and Sharvari Wagh revolves around the Maharaj libel case. 

During an exclusive interview with Filmfare, Shalini Pandey admitted that the film’s most disturbing scene where Jaideep Ahlawat’s Jadunath Maharaj sexually abuses Kishori, left her feeling anxious. Opening up about the day of filming the scene she said, “When you read something like this, you’re obviously wondering how to go about it. I sat with my director and he assured me I wouldn’t be uncomfortable. It’s not an intimate scene between two lovers, it’s a very disturbing scene. We didn’t have an intimacy coach, but my team was so lovely. My DOP is a genius and you already know that he will place you within the frame in a way that won’t make you uncomfortable. Despite that, I remember after doing that scene, I stepped out just to breathe. I was so anxious. I wasn’t feeling okay.” 

Shalini Pandey Maharaj

She further added, “I haven’t felt like that in any of my work before. I have done kissing scenes and I fully committed to them. But this is completely different. As Shalini, I know that this man is taking advantage of Kishori. But you still have to believe that she is doing this without understanding what that means. That got to me. I even told my co-stars that I was feeling a little anxious and they were very understanding. A lot of things happened emotionally. We got through with people supporting me and believing in me.”   

Shalini Pandey Maharaj

Maharaj which is based on true events is currently streaming. 

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