Though Bollywood often sticks to a narrative that focuses on female enmity rather than female bonding, certain movies did give us beautiful, empowering moments of women supporting women. Like these:
1. Chak De! India: Chautala passes the ball to Preeti to score.
At the last match in the World Cup, Chautala passes the ball to Preeti to score the goal, because she wants to help Preeti show her ex-boyfriend that sportswomen deserve to be treated with the same level respect as sportsmen. And, in true sportsmanship, Preeti lets Chautala take the penalty shot in the end. A special mention to the scene where the whole team comes together to fight back when a team member is catcalled.
2. Queen: When Vijaylaxmi reminds Rani that friends will always have your back.
Rani's unexpected trip to Paris also wins her an unexpected friend, Vijaylaxmi, who shows her that there is more to life than finding the 'right man', or rather, crying over the wrong one. And, when Rani travels to Amsterdam from Paris, Vijaylaxmi reminds her that friends will always have her back with this epic dialogue, "Vijay nahi toh kya hua? Vijaylaxmi toh hai."
3. Dor: Meera runs away with Zeenat
Meera and Zeenat's friendship was as unexpected as it was beautiful. Despite knowing that Zeenat's husband is responsible for her husband's death, Meera not only signs the letter that frees Zeenat's husband, but also runs away with her. Because, Zeenat provides her the support and courage to run away, quite literally, from a life of regressive customs and practices.
4. Lajja: When Janki shows Vaidehi what it is like to stand up for yourself.
On the run from her abusive husband, Vaidehi meets Janki, a theatre artist who refuses to bow down to sexist social norms. Janki teaches Vaidehi the importance of being true to oneself. But most importantly, she reminds Vaidehi that men have mistreated women for centuries, and it's time women take up control of their own lives.
5. Axone: When Upasana trusts her friendship with Minam more than Zorem's words
Most movies and TV shows are content with presenting a linear, unidimensional narrative where women tend to mistrust each other at the slightest of provocation. But Axone broke the norm. Upsana refuses to let a passing comment by Zorem change her affections for Minam and continues to plan her friend's wedding.
6. Filhaal...: When Sia agrees to be a surrogate mother for her best friend, Rewa.
Sia and Rewa are best friends, despite opposing views on marriage, commitment, and motherhood. But, when Rewa is unable to conceive a child, Sia decides to become a surrogate mother for Rewa because she values her friend's happiness. Meghna Gulzaar's debut film, Filhaal was truly a moving portrayal of the strength of female friendship.
7. Veere Di Wedding: When
Whether it was discussing how orgasm is pronounced in Hindi or getting drunk at their best friend's wedding, Veere Di Wedding gave us many relatable moments. But when the three friends encouraging Meera--who is self-conscious about her body after giving birth to a baby--to wear a swimsuit, is a beautiful example of women celebrating each other. Though the scene where Kalindi's friends take on the role of her 'brothers' and walk her down the aisle also deserves our love.
8. Fashion: When Meghna helps Shonali fight her addiction
Meghna is not embittered by her experience with the fashion industry, and rather, makes an effort to not only re-establish herself but also help her former competitor, Shonali. At a time when no one comes forward to help Shonali, she takes her in and helps her fight the addiction and rehabilitate herself.
Here's to women supporting women.