The 25 HOTTEST Village Belles of Bollywood
If it's a village girl from the movies, she's inclined to follow a specific code of conduct.
Namely, beat her anklet-adorning feet against rushing streams, twirling her majestic skirt in open air fields, bite off obstinate-looking sugarcane, climb atop trees to pluck mangoes, wear tons of flamboyant, noisy bling, perform aartis in a local village temple, saunter by the river with a matka clutched between her arms or flirt with ubiquitous 'shehari babus', it's a familiar picture, right?
And for whatever reason, this classic Bollywood cliche hasn't lost its novelty in our filmmakers' imaginative head.
Here then, is a look at Bollywood's 25 popular village belles over the years.
Reema Sen, Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
Playing village girls works favourably for the actress who made her debut opposite Fardeen Khan in the long forgotten Hum Ho Gaye Aapke.
After playing the typical village milkman's daughter in Priyadarshan's Malamaal Weekly, Reema Sen turns on the heat and a visibly lascivious Manoj Bajpaiyee to make an impression as the quietly brewing Womaniya in Gangs of Wasseypur.
Image: Reema Sen, Gangs of Wasseypur
Sonakshi Sinha, Dabangg (2010)
As the pyaar-fearing, pottery-selling Rajo, Sonakshi Sinha proves she's a chip of the old block with her charismatic screen presence and dialogue delivery prowess that pleased both Chulbul Pandey and the audience.
Image: Sonakshi Sinha in Dabangg
Vidya Balan, Ishqiya (2010)
Sly and shrewd, Vidya Balan's Krishna applies her velvety voice and smooth manners to conceal her true agenda, tricking both her admirers (Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi) and the audience with remarkable efficiency.
Image: Vidya Balan in Ishqiya
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Guru (2007)
What happens when a lovely, gutsy village lass is thrown in the crazy, fast-paced rush of city life that suits her husband's equally ambitious, restless disposition?
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan finds out after a short-lived heartbreak in Mani Ratnam's Guru.
Image: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Guru
Ayesha Takia, Dor (2006)
As the innocent young widow yearning for friendship and freedom, Ayesha Takia forges an endearing bond with a girl (Gul Panag) from Himachal Pradesh.
Little does she realise her newly-turned confidante's husband is accidentally responsible for her present misery in this moving Nagesh Kukunoor drama.
Image: Ayesha Takia in Dor
Rani Mukerji, Paheli (2005)
Besides looking her best ever, a dazzling Rani essays the role of a spirited Rajasthani bride married to a seemingly disinterested individual.
But when a romantic ghost takes her husband's form and pursues her in the most desirous manner, Rani's Lachchi blooms in ways she didn't realise were possible.
Image: Rani Mukerji in Paheli
Gracy Singh, Lagaan (2001)
Fun-loving, supportive, jealous, nagging, Gracy Singh's Gauri embodies all the qualities of a standard village girlfriend in Aamir Khan's Oscar-nominated Lagaan.
Rani Mukerji was the original choice for Gracy's role.
Image: Gracy Singh and Aamir Khan in Lagaan
Kareena Kapoor, Refugee (2000)
Picking an unusual debut in J P Dutta's Refugee, Kareena Kapoor offers to showcase her inherent radiance as the childlike Naaz, a Bangladeshi Muslim who falls in love with an Indian lad.
Despite her evident urban persona, Kapoor adopted the body language of a gullible village girl with astonishing ease.
Image: Kareena Kapoor in Refugee
Mahima Chaudry, Pardes (1997)
In Pardes, Subhash Ghai attempts to the show Eastern values Vs Western evils through the character of his leading lady, Ganga.
Mahima Chaudry makes a confident debut as the afore-mentioned moral beacon refusing to accommodate to the American way.
Image: Mahima Chaudry in Pardes
Tabu, Virasat (1997)
In the Hindi remake of Tamil hit, Thevar Magan, Tabu plays Gehna, a wide-eyed, gullible wife of an educated, influential Zamindar's son (Anil Kapoor).
But the most memorable aspect of her critically-acclaimed performance is a spontaneous rendition of Payalay chunmun chunmun.
Image: Tabu and Anil Kapoor in Virasat
Manisha Koirala, Bombay (1995)
Mani Ratnam treats Manisha Koirala's Shaila Bano like a wispy dream.
She barely utters a word but conveys a myriad of emotions through her shy sensuality and simmering grace that is compelling enough to defy her conservative Muslim household and marry a Brahmin boy before they elope to the titular city and engage in a brand new chapter of their lives and Ratnam's story.
Image: Manisha Koirala in Bombay
Dimple Kapadia, Rudaali (1993)
Based on author Mahasweta Devi's short story, Kalpana Lajmi's Rudaali stars Dimple Kapadia in a National-award winning turn as the ill-fated Shanichari.
Despite all the sorrows that engulf her, Shanichari's inability to shed tears makes her job as a professional mourner more challenging than one would think.
Image: Dimple Kapadia in Rudaali
Juhi Chawla, Bol Radha Bol (1992)
Lending her chirp and adorability to a playful village girl named Radha in David Dhawan's hit comedy, Juhi Chawla is best remembered for her vivacious dance to 1990s chartbuster, Tu tu tu tu tu taara.
Image: The Bol Radha Bol poster
Madhuri Dixit, Ram Lakhan (1989)
Although her role isn't much in terms of footage, Madhuri Dixit's demure Radha, blindly in love with the village rascal steals the show every time she popped on the screen.
Be it O Ramji or Bekadar Bewafa, Dixit is a delight to watch in those elaborately choreographed dance sequences.
Image: Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in Ram Lakhan
Smita Patil, Mirch Masala (1987)
Ketan Mehta's Mircha Masala, set in Kutch during colonial times, boasts of a power packed performance from Smita Patil as the indomitable Sonbai.
And the film's unforgettable climax fittingly reiterates why you wouldn't want to mess with her.
Image: Smita Patil in Mirch Masala
Mandakini, Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985)
Al though it's best preserved memory is a see through sari under a relentless waterfall, Mandakini's Ganga stands to convey the degradation of social models through cultural metaphors.
Oh well, who are we kidding?
Image: Mandakini in Ram Teri Ganga Maili
Rekha, Mr Natwarlal (1979)
Apart from some roaring chemistry with Amitabh Bachchan on display, Rekha plays the vibrant Shanno with remarkable gusto and crimson-lipped glamour.
Her gypsy chic makes for tremendous eye candy against Rajesh Roshan's upbeat tracks, Tauba tauba and Pardesiya.
Image: Rekha in Mr Natwarlal
Zeenat Aman, Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978)
Hindi films are really known to go all out in creating discomforting imagery. And Raj Kapoor's Satyam Shivam Sundaram is no different.
Zeenat Aman's Roopa makes up for a partially disfigured face with a smoking hot body highlighted in low-waist mini-saris and cleavage-baring blouses.
Image: Zeenat Aman in Satyam Shivam Sundaram
Hema Malini, Sholay (1975)
Talkative can be sexy too. Dharmendra sure thought so.
And so did a major chunk of audience that loved and lauded Hema Malini's horse-carriage driver and compulsive Ramgarh chatterbox, Basanti in Ramesh Sippy's 1970s classic, Sholay. That same year Bollywood's beloved Dream Girl also portrayed a subdued village woman with elegant conviction in Gulzar's acclaimed Khushboo.
Image: Hema Malini in Sholay
Asha Parekh, Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971)
The city slick fashionista of Teesri Manzil and Love in Tokyo embraces the bucolic charm in dacoit drama, Mera Gaon Mera Desh to impressive results.
Asha Parekh sports a wardrobe of colorful ghagra cholis and shiny costume jewelry to play the good ol' 'first I hate him, then I like him' brand of heroine.
Image: Asha Parekh in Mera Gaon Mera Desh
Mumtaz, Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
As Shanta, Dilip Kumar's livewire girlfriend with a penchant for throwing tantrums and breaking into impromptu jigs, Mumtaz finally scored that big banner hit and heroine stature in Ram Aur Shyam.
Image: Mumtaz in Ram Aur Shyam
Saira Banu, Shagird (1967)
Remember the 'Aiyaa' spewing, mini-sari draped imp from Shagird?
Saira Banu plays the proverbial gaon ki gori who falls for a sworn-to-bachelorhood city lad (Joy Mukerjee) in this frothy 1967 romantic musical.
Image: Saira Banu in Shagird
Sharmila Tagore, Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)
Before going on to become Bollywood's most classy sex-symbol, Sharmila Tagore made her Bollywood debut opposite Shammi Kapoor in the formulaic but fun-filled romance, Kashmir Ki Kali.
The audience was blown away by the dimple-cheeked flower-seller Champa not so much for her inexperienced acting as for her drop dead gorgeousness.
Image: Sharmila Tagore in Kashmir Ki Kali
Waheeda Rehman, Bees Saal Baad (1962)
Waheeda Rehman has played a village girl in several films but it's her lively turn as village belle Radha in black and white whodunit, Bees Saal Baad we're huge fans of.
Watch her in action as she experiences her girl, you're a woman now moment in Hemant Kumar's silvery composition, Sapne suhane ladakpan ke.
Image: Waheeda Rehman in Bees Saal Baad
Vyjyanathimala, Madhumati (1958)
There's so much to love about Bimal Roy's celebrated classic, Madhumati.
Engaged with the theme of retribution and reincarnation, Madhumati is essentially an eternal romance between its characters Vyjyanthimala and Dilip Kumar. The stunning actress renders her tribal girl an ethereal, haunting quality while infusing it with the energy of her zingy dances against Salil Chowdhary's grand soundtrack.
Image: Vyjyanathimala in Madhumati