Parshathy J. Nath picks out a few Bollywood heroines who have broken the mould of the simpering, objectified woman

Meghna, Priyanka Chopra, Fashion

Meghna is a small town girl with dreams of becoming a model. She claws her way up not hesitating to be manipulative and catty herself. But, in the process of becoming a successful model, she also becomes a better human being.

Geet, Kareena Kapoor, Jab We Met

She loves her family dearly, but runs away from them to marry her sweetheart. It turns out he has feet of clay. Instead of returning with her tail tucked between her legs, Geet picks up the pieces and gets a job.

Aisha, Konkana Sen, Wake Up Sid

The film was about the world trying to wake up a sleepy Sid. But, it was Aisha, the reflective, pensive writer who caught everyone’s eye. Except for a luggage full of books, she is alone in Bombay and she loves it.

Akira Rai, Anushka Sharma, Jab Tak Hain Jaan

We cannot help fall in love with Akira Rai, the documentary film maker in Discovery channel. She is focussed and passionate about her work.

She loves adventure, ticks off her intrusive boyfriends and dances with an army of men! She is definitely no shrinking violet.

Zoya, Parineeti Chopra, Ishaqzaade

The spunky Zoya aspires to be a politician like her father and roams around with a gun. She falls in love with a man from her father’s rival political group, and marries him. She defies not just her family, but the regressive laws of love that govern this country.

Veronica, Deepika Padukone, Cocktail

She turnes heads every time she walks into the screen. She smokes, drinks has flings and does everything a bharatiya nari is not supposed to. The film finally ends with the hero choosing a traditional girl over her. Veronica makes you think about the double standards of the Indian male.

Silk, Vidya Balan, Dirty Picture

A line in the movie declares, “Silk is everyone’s dirty secret”. Everyone is contemptuous of Silk’s promiscuity and willingness to play sleazy roles. But the very same people run behind her tor draw in crowds into the theatre. As the film ends, Silk remains a mystery and the verdict is still out whether she is right or wrong.

Vidya Bagchi, Vidya Balan, Kahaani

The determined software engineer, looks for her missing husband in the crowded streets of Kolkata. She deceives everyone about her actual motive. She stands up to assassins and macho policemen to achieve her goal. Vidya Bagchi is a beautiful blend of feminine grace and powerful persona.

Tara and Gayatri, Vaani Kapoor & Parineeti Chopra, Shuddh Desi Romance

Tara is a small town girl who dreams of becoming an air hostess. When she finds out that her fiancé has run away just before the wedding, she does not mope around. Instead, she orders a cool drink! When the groom returns asking for forgiveness, they become friends and start dating again.

Gayatri braves the frowns of her conservative neighbours, who spread rumours about her. She sends her boyfriends to buy cigarettes and runs away from her wedding. She wants to live life on her terms, and not be bowed down by family and society.