If you still define the average village belle as timid and quiet, Bollywood has raced you to today’s times. Presenting an era of small town girls who don’t see why they should be any less intrepid than their male or city counterparts.
The trend started with Mother India, when the emotional, self-sacrificing mother was shown the door as Nargis didn’t hesitate to shoot at her on-screen son and off-screen husband Sunil Dutt, when he threatened to disgrace a village girl. Later it was Hema Malini of Sholay who showed the world that giggling and shying away isn’t all that the gaaon ki chhori did. Her tange-waali role as Basanti stole the show as she portrayed an outgoing and independent girl. The 90s had Sridevi, who played the ambitious, gold-digger wife of Anil Kapoor in Judaai, who sold her husband for a hefty sum and luxuries.
Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se saw Deepika Padukone rub shoulders with her male friends as a freedom fighter. The film sank without a trace but it was a commendable job that Dippy did.
2010 saw the new face of the desi girl- Sonakshi Sinha as the no-nonsense Rajjo in Dabangg. While people loved Salman as Robinhood Pandey, they couldn’t stop drooling over his lady love either. Parineeti Chopra arrested the attention of the audiences earlier this year in Ishaqzaade as a pistol-brandishing Zoya who’d fight for honour and even hold the barrel at her own head if need be.
The latest addition is Richa Chaddha- who played Sardar Khan’s wife Nagma in the Gangs of Wasseypur series. Sensitive, strong and brilliant- her role is an integral part of the movie.
Like we said, don’t mistake our on-screen small town girls to be the shy kind. They bark, and they sure do bite just as hard!