Preity Zinta narrated to us the most harrowing experience she had while shooting for the climax scene of Deepa Mehta’s Videsh – Heaven On Earth. For that particular scene in the climax, Preity was required to put her hand in a snake hole and take out a big snake and put it round her neck. That time even director Deepa Mehta was not sure Preity would manage it.
Preity recalling the incident narrates, â€œI had nightmares even before I shot for the scene. I had to put my hand into a hole in the ground, take out this big long snake and not just hold it but also put it around my neck. Deepa wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. So she suggested a digital snake instead of a live one. It would’ve looked as authentic if not more, because the movements of a digital snake would be more controllable. But it didnâ€™t make sense. It was an authentic films and digitalizing this scene would have completely marred the film.â€
Preity says, â€œSurprisingly I did. After I got over my initial revulsion and fear I was fine with the snake. People who have seen Videsh wonder how I could take such a long snake around my neck but then isn’t that what true acting is all about?”
Videsh is said to be inspired by Girish Karnad’s play Naag Mandala where the battered wife imagines the naag devta transforming into a caring loving husband as an alternative life to her nightmarish reality. “The snake is almost my second co-star after Chand who plays my husband so I couldnâ€™t really ignore it. I had to do itâ€ says the brave Preity.