Who are the Top Ten Actresses in Bollywood today?
Not a part of any rat race, she says. Off the record, however, every actress competes with another.
They all vie for the same roles/magazine covers/fashion trends. They all covet a movie with the Khans. They all love to outdo the other in a sizzling item song.
In Bollywood's world of cutthroat rivalry, every actor wants to break another's record at opening a movie whereas every actress is aiming for the number one spot.
Currently, Kareena Kapoor is the reigning queen of box office and beyond. Things are going great guns for the A-lister what with all her recent releases (3 Idiots, Bodyguard, Golmaal Returns, Ra.One) turning out to be record-breaking propositions and a wax statue at Madame Tussauds.
Image: Kareena Kapoor in Agent Vinod
Katrina Kaif comes a close second with her steady contribution of successes (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan).
While the top two of Bollywood's top 10 heroines is easy to predict, what about the rest?
There's much speculation about which leading ladies should fill the slots from 3 to 10. So here it is, dear readers, a list of eligible candidates to pick from in this wild game of numbers and ranking.
Image: Katrina Kaif in Bodyguard
Strengths: Attractive? Check. Ambitious? Check. Confident? Check. Powerful screen presence? Check.
Weakness: Inconsistent. Her performances fluctuate from dazzling to drab. Tends to go overboard in incapable hands.
Coming soon: Don 2, Agneepath, Teri Meri Kahaani, Barfee, Krrish 2.
Image: Priyanka Chopra
Strengths: The intelligent viewer's numero uno, Vidya has both -- the courage to experiment and the skill to amaze.
Weakness: Her disinterest in catering to conventional heroine stereotype limits her fan base to an extent.
Coming soon: The Dirty Picture, Kahaani.
Image: Vidya Balan
Strengths: Smoking hot body, super professional attitude and an eagerness to make most of her favourable position in the industry today.
Weakness: Unless dimples are declared a substitute for bland performances, Deepika remains an utterly ordinary actress.
Coming soon: Desi Boyz, Cocktail, Race 2.
Image: Deepika Padukone
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Strengths: The renowned beauty is a terrific dancer and a disciplined star. Clearly, Ash has everything it takes to be true Bollywood royalty.
Weakness: More often than not her performances leave a lot to be desired. Moreover, with a baby on the way, the 38-year-old is going to be out of action for a while.
Coming soon: None.
Image: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Strengths: There's a lot of old world charm to be found in her ethereal face and subdued charms. Don't be fooled by her doe-eyed allure. The Kapoor girl can convincingly flitter between a gentle Jane to stylish Susan from movie to movie.
Weakness: The fashionista overshadows the actress.
Coming soon: Players, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Image: Sonam Kapoor
Strengths: The spontaneous and chirpy import from South has cool comic timing. More importantly, two of the three Hindi films she's starred in turned out to be massive blockbusters, namely Ghajini and Ready.
Weakness: Asin's shtick is getting tiresome and monotonous. It's time the girl spiced things up a little.
Coming soon: Housefull 2, Bol Bachchan.
Strengths: Just when you thought you've got her all figured out, Kangna takes you by surprise. From forceful to funny to flippant, she's done it all.
Weakness: Needs to work really hard on her ghastly dialogue delivery.
Coming soon: I Love New Year, Tezz.
Image: Kangna Ranaut
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
Strengths: Her bubbly appeal and candid fervor fills the void created by Preity Zinta's extended absence.
Weakness: Uh oh, which means she's heading towards stereotypeville.
Coming soon: Ladies VS Ricky Bahl, Matru Ki Biwi Ka Mann Dola.
Image: Anushka Sharma
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
Strengths: An ever-raging hotness quotient. Even after a decade in Bollywood, Bips is turning heads with her blazing bikini style in the Players teaser.
Weakness: Hasn't delivered a solid or solo hit in a long, long time.
Coming soon: Players, Race 2.
Image: Bipasha Basu
Strengths: Only one film old, Sonakshi's proved her worth as the chip of the Sinha block with her solid screen presence and capability to deliver lines.
Weakness: Breaking out from the gaon-ki-gori image, after an impressive turn as Rajjo, might not be that easy.
Coming soon: Rowdy Rathore,Joker, Son of Sardar, Dabangg 2.
Image: Sonakshi Sinha
Strengths: Cute and clever is a winning combo. And the adorable Kalki's proved her versatility with an impressive range of roles from Dev D to Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
Weakness: Has yet to prove her mettle outside urban, contemporary fare.
Coming soon: Shanghai.
Image: Kalki Koechlin
Strengths: Stocked with an unending supply of effervescence, Genelia is the proverbial Ms Sunshine. Her palpable energy and disarming disposition injects life in random, one-dimensional roles.
Weakness: Stuck in Aditi's shoes. Find a new pair, Gen!
Coming soon: Hook Ya Crook, Tere Naal Ho Gaya, Rock The Shaadi.
Image: Genelia D'Souza