female characters who inspire me
Gender and Movies

Female characters from Indian movies who inspire me!

I had a childhood rich with cinema. Most of what I am today is because of the movies that I watched. And if asked about my role models, I would mostly point at fictional movie characters. They have inspired me in so many ways. I have never really admired the idea of ‘sacrificing women’ tropes in movies. There was a time when there were plenty of such female characters who resonated with the prejudiced trope which was also a reality in our society. But with changing times, we saw some exceptional female characters that broke these tropes, and that is why they inspire me on so many levels. Here is a look at some of these female characters that have inspired, and will continue to inspire me.

1.Amrita from Thappad (Hindi)

Amrita from Thappad

I met Amrita at the right time. I was at an age, confused about gender biases, and somewhere conformed to the prejudice that women have to tolerate or let go of most of the time. I was just learning to stand up for myself when I was introduced to Amrita. She elegantly refused to tolerate disrespect towards her and that inspired me. She will always inspire me to stand up for myself and never let anyone treat me lesser than I deserve.

Read: 5 Amazing female characters from Hindi Cinema

Read: The essence of female companionship in Thappad

2.Neena from Varane Avashyamund (Malayalam)

Neena Varane Avashyamund

I was tired of the “sacrificing mother” trope that we usually see in movies. And that’s when I saw Neena from Varane Avashyamund. She was unapologetically herself. She went out of her way to learn French, and dance without guilt and enjoyed the attention she got. She even falls in love and doesn’t back off when her daughter disapproves. She wasn’t the ever-giving mother who sacrifices all her desires for others and that’s what inspired me about her.

3.Piku from Piku (Hindi)

Piku Deepika Padukone

Daughters are usually perceived as caregivers. Piku was also a caregiver to her father but had her own life as well. She was involved in casual relationships and her father was even aware of them. She ran a successful design firm while also taking care of her stubborn and annoying father. Piku showed me that women can be caregivers without having to give up their life and that’s why she inspires me.

4. Aisha Banerjee from Wake Up Sid

Aisha Banerjee from Wake Up Sid

I’m just one of many women who is inspired by Aisha Banerjee from Wake Up Sid. She is one of the most popular picturizations of independent women in Hindi cinema. I would say, she was my spirit sister. She knew what she wanted from life and went after it with all her heart. That is what inspires me about Aisha Banerjee.

5. Sasi from English Vinglish (Hindi)

Amitabh Bachchan in English Vinglish

Sasi was that sacrificing mother that we all knew. She never complained and was happy with her life, until her family starts taking her for granted. And that’s what hurt her the most. But she didn’t whine about it or repressed her feelings. She feels the need to stand up against her family and goes out of her way to learn English without anyone knowing. She was a middle-aged housewife from whom even her family had no hopes. But she proves them wrong, gaining back her lost respect.

6. Gargi from Gargi (Tamil)

Gargi Sai Pallavi

It’s hard to take a stand when your loved ones are involved. But not for Gargi, she does what is right and corrects her mistake. She believes in fairness and accepts the fate that has dawned on her, and that’s what inspires me about Gargi.

7. Althea Johnson from Taramani (Tamil)

Andrea Jeremiah Taramani

Althea Johnson is one of the most well-written complex women in Indian cinema. She is a modern progressive woman with a son who veers away from the usual definition of a working mother. She is judged, she is ridiculed but nothing stops her from expressing herself and being a good mother to her son, and that’s why she inspires me!

Image Courtesy: YouTube

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