Bollywood loves to romanticize romance and companionship to the extreme. In various ways and for a long time, films and shows have taught and shown us how to be in love. While we swoon over romance, there are times when it gets too much and too far away from reality. There are some characters who can be idols for those embracing their individuality regardless of their relationship status.
Building your life after heartbreak or simply being self-sufficient in the absence of a companion is more crucial than finding love at times.
Here are some of the Bollywood characters who taught us about strength in singlehood.
- Kaira in Dear Zindagi
Kaira’s unresolved childhood trauma comes up in her relationships. She eventually learns how important it was to make peace with oneself first. To be able to love healthily, she learns to love and be at peace with herself.
She takes initiative and goes for therapy with a free-spirited psychologist Dr. Jehangir Khan. The scene towards the end of the movie where she expresses her emotion for Khan and in turn is refused politely is shown in a positive tone that it is not compulsory to get reciprocated with your feeling.
2. Piku in Piku
An independent female character who was never reduced to a love interest, Piku taught us the importance of being comfortable in your space with or without a person. She is someone a lot of women relate to and want to be like.
No matter the adversities or hardships, Piku separates her life, living for herself on her terms. We all have responsibilities to take care of, but we also have ourselves.
3. Rani in Queen
Rani, a woman with scant English-speaking skills, goes off to Europe on her honeymoon alone. After a lifetime of listening to other people, she takes control of her own life and dreams. She opens her mind and heart to new people and experiences.
She refuses to mop after being left at the altar. After some self-realization, she proceeds to dump her no-good fiancé. Marriage is not the be-all and end-all for women.
4. Sandhya in Pagglait
Pagglait critiques our marriage-obsessed society. “Jab ladki logo ko akal aati hai na, toh sab unhe Pagglait hi kehte hai!” encapsulates the essence of Sandhya’s journey. She is a widow after the death of her husband of 5 months.
While her in-laws’ home keeps flooding with mourners, she spends time reading condolence messages on social media, unaffected. Sandhya finds out about his ex-girlfriend Akansha and is inspired by her independence. She is an MA topper, but her qualifications are useful only for a rich groom.
5. Bunny in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
The one who knew how to love himself and focus on himself without getting tangled in love. Kabir Thapar aka Bunny is by far the most enthusiastic character in Bollywood movies. He is full of life and independent.
He embarks upon adventures as and when his heart orders him to. He is the one who seeks all that he wants in life without waiting for anyone’s approval.
6. Veronica in Cocktail
One of the strongest reasons why she came out as the real hero was her attitude toward life. Veronica showed how every woman can be bold and speak her mind out. She is independent and confident without the influence of men.
Despite not knowing Mira at all, she embraces her with open arms just as she did for Gautam, not differentiating between love and friendship. She is the life of any party, knowing the best places in town and helping you loosen up.
7. Alizeh in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Alizeh is an emotionally layered character who inspires people not to change themselves or their decisions for others. Her agony of being wronged by all the people upon whom she loved, goes unnoticed.
She wanted to live life on her own terms, with her independence and own life decisions. Aayan’s pity party was so exaggerated that Alizeh’s misery was subdued. She did not reach out to people who wronged her, for help, but coped with illness and trauma alone. Her emotional maturity and loving nature is beautiful, even though she could have set better boundaries.
8. Laila in Zindagi Milegi Na Dobaara
One of the main reasons that people love this movie is because of its characters. They teach the viewers to take a break from the their monotonous life and live a little. Laila is the main one who does so. She lives a dream life, travelling and living experiences that we can only imagine.
She refuses to conform to the “normal” and “safe” lifestyle. Money is not her priority, chasing a man is not either. Laila only wanted to live every moment of her life to its fullest, sleeping under stars, breathing in the ocean, meeting new people.
9. Geet in Jab We Met
How often do you tell yourself, “mai apni favourite hu”? Geet is full of life and has her own fundas when it comes to living a happy and contented life.
She is childish and unabashed in her intensity of love. She does not tone it down for another person, only stays honest to who she is. However, she loses herself and her spark after being abandoned.
10. Shakuntala Devi in Shakuntala Devi
Based on the real-life story of the mathematician Shakuntala Devi, the movie takes up the life of a woman who chooses singlehood after marriage, raises her child herself, and makes a living like no one else. Shakuntala Devi could not be happy in a traditional family set up and missed her career and fame.
She left everything behind and restarted her career. In this journey, she is objected to by her husband and daughter. However, she keeps striding the path till the very end and does not sacrifice her aspirations. She owned her brilliance and dressed the part too.
11. Sid in Dil Chahta Hai
Sid was the most mature one in the trio, he was ahead of his time. He was not scared to accept an unconventional kind of love into his life. He even stood up for it when one of his best friends did not respect him and his love. He set strong boundaries, refusing to be immature. He does not let his closest people change him.
Through his art, he expresses his inner turmoil. He doesn’t go about life with the same pace as his friends who can’t seem to dig deeper. He is content with being Tara’s friend, offering his support, and making her portrait.
Everyone deserves an icon who teaches them to be single and healthy, even if these icons are on-screen.