As my friends and I sat for a few drinks last night, we started discussing how women characters have been ruling the roost on Indian television for quite some time now. While most of them are the typical ‘ideal women’- traditional clothes, morals in place and overtly selfless, some have broken these stereotypes and kicked ass at it!
Here’s a list of truly inspirational women characters that we love and need to see more of on Indian TV:
Maya Sarabhai was never the quintessential mother-in-law of Indian TV. Ratna Pathak Shah as Maya is classy, sarcastic and conspires to show her daughter-in-law down… all the bloody time! In Ekta Kapoor‘s world, such a saas would be called Ramola Sikand (remember Kaahin Kissii Roz?). But Maya did it in her own style and better still, made us fall in love with her. :)
She is a bahu on national television and she’s a cop! Need I say more? She has broken the mother of all stereotypes- the ‘izzat’ of the family can only be a homemaker! When she is not busy saving hijacked planes, she is a dutiful daughter-in-law and wife. And the best part, her family supports her. You go girl!
Urmi left her abusive husband and sent him to jail spreading a very important message that no matter what, everyone should stand up against domestic violence! That’s the reason people love her, making Doli Armaano Ki one of the top rated shows on TV.
Who doesn’t know this Balika Vadhu? She was married as a child and abandoned by her husband when she grew up. But that didn’t stop Anandi from completing her education and working towards the betterment of women of her village. Inspiring, wouldn’t you say?
The second coolest mother-in-law on television, Avantika, was the modern day Maya, except she genuinely loved her bahu and was rather expressive about her feelings. She was independent, ambitious and much above the family politics mothers-in-law on television are usually involved in. Also, she wore the best sarees EVER! I was pleasantly surprised to see Manasi Salvi in this avatar after Kohi Apna Sa.
Despite being a superstar’s daughter on the show, Anwesha didn’t conform to people’s standards of beauty. She was outspoken, had red hair and always stood up for what she thought was right. Remix was one of the best shows back in the day and I am most certain, like me, most of you would have wanted to be like her at some point in time.
By the way, have you read our list of 5 Life Lessons To Learn From Remix’s Anvesha Banerjee Ray?
Sakshi Tanwar effortlessly played the role of Priya Kapoor, who is an independent woman with her own ideas about life. She only gets married for the sake of her family and that too, in her 30s (which is totally unacceptable by our society, by the way). However, like any of us, she takes her own time to accept this new relationship, doesn’t stop working after marriage, helps her husband with his life as well as business decisions and wears kurtis and jeans without heavy jewelry. #Winner
Despite being a widow, Jayashree Parekh enjoyed herself without giving a damn about what anyone thought. The best part about her character was that she was too cool to care. She redefined the meaning of gossip queen with her ‘Khabar Main Toh‘ every time the phone rang. How I wish someone writes more such shows and characters for us!
Jasmeet Walia from Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin was REALLY one of a kind! She definitely wasn’t the ‘beautiful’ protagonist that we usually see on a TV show. But she taught us that it’s okay to be different and how it’s really important to love yourself. It was a great show, except the ending would have made so much more sense if Jassi would have still looked like the Indian Ugly Betty as opposed to the beautiful swan she had transformed into.
P.S- Do you know that Jassi and Nandu are still BBFs?
I think Mahi Way revolutionized way people look at women. Mahi was overweight and unapologetic about it… to say the least! She may have had some weak moments on the show where she started dieting to attain the ‘unreal’ standards of beauty, but she eventually gave up. This character made me believe that it doesn’t matter how you look, the right people eventually come along!
A character that deserves a special mention on this list is Ruhi’s Ishima aka Ishita Bhalla from Yeh Hai Mohabbatein. She can’t have children of her own but she got married to an arrogant person like Raman Bhalla (I am just making a point! I still love you Raman) to take care of his daughter Ruhi. She is raising her like her own child and my heart melts every time I see the two on screen. Not the typical step mother behavior we expect!
Is there anyone else who should have made it to this list? Let me know in comments below.