We were shooting a docu-drama on safe sex, one of my students being a practicing gynecologist. This is part of the weekend batch in the documentary workshops that is going on these days.
On Saturday we pen the script. A group of young people chill out with cold drinks, one young boy takes off with one girl (establishing the scenario), cut to two pink strips on a urine test kit signifying positively pregnant teenage girl (confrontation), panic calls to boyfriend, meetings with girlfriends leads to doctor's clinic, lady gynecologist asks so what is your plan? are you going to marry or do you want to abort the baby? (climax), poor young boy waits in doctor's office, then girlfriend and doctor come back relieved of the problem, doctor gives advice on family planning and use of condoms (resolution).
On Sunday we shoot. Somehow they have managed to get actors of the right age. As usually happens with such topics, we joke with the actors to make them comfortable. Things go fine till the climax. The doctors office scene takes multiple takes to get an Ok take.
The student who is doing the camera is an intense director.
'We should focus on the boy when his girlfriend is having an abortion,' she says.
'Usually the sympathy is on the girl alone. (To the young boy) so, show us how you will look when your girlfriend is undergoing an abortion. No, you wont read the pamphlets on the doctor's table. No, you wont hold your head in your hands like that. Just look straight at camera, without blinking. . . .'
And this is when the poor fellow said, 'This is worse than an actual pregnancy'.
We all laughed but secretly agreed with him. Face to face with the worse thing possible, sometimes it is facing the world that is more difficult than the tragedy itself.