Susheel aur sanskaari– the two indispensable traits of female characters Bollywood has been obsessed with. Maybe not now, but it was that way for as long as we could remember. Some weird standards of existence for women were set, especially for daughters. They were portrayed as these women who are self-less, dutiful and as pure as the driven snow. Growing up, these characters were rarely relatable, at least for me.
But then came a new-wave of films which reinvented the image of the ‘perfect’ daughter and unburdened us from the unsought standards. The ‘not-so-sanskaari’ characters set their foot in and disrupted the well-established gender disparity presented through the characters.
And, finally, we found some on-screen daughters who made us realise that we aren’t the “bad ones”, it was just the deeply patriarchal outlook mirrored in our films.
So here’s a look at the essential things I have learnt from some not-so-well-behaved daughters from Bollywood films.
1. Piku from Piku
Contrary to what society presumes, being financially, emotionally and sexually independent, doesn’t make you distant from your parents or less responsible.
2. Maanvi from Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
Owning up to one’s identity, even when your parents oppose it, is perfectly fine and the right thing to do.
3. Amrita from Thappad
Stand up for yourself. No matter who is on the other side, choose you, choose your self-respect.
4. Veera from Highway
Don’t let anyone deny your truth or your experience – even your own parents.
5. Rani from Queen
Marriage is NOT the only important day in a woman’s life and being left at the altar or mandap isn’t the end of the world. Life has so much to offer and you should absolutely take a look around.
6. Kaira from Dear Zindagi
Prioritise your mental-health. Always.
7. Sehmat from Raazi
Women are bravehearts, too. And we can take forward our father’s legacy.
8. Neerja from Neerja
You are more than your past. And in times of great peril, women are just as capable of fighting as men.
9. Mary Kom from Mary Kom
Play like a girl. And take pride in it.
10. Gunjan from Gunjan Saxena
Your gender does not determine your profession. Your dream, passion, and hard work do.
11. Laila in Margarita with a Straw
If it is consensual, explore – life, career, sexuality, and everything under the sun. And always remember, you are enough. Don’t let society tell you otherwise.
Even though via a screen, we are glad we came across these ‘unsanskari’ women.