Special: When Bollywood women saved the day!
It's the day womanhood is celebrated the world over.
And, for all its formula films and stereotypes, Bollywood has often risen to the occasion and celebrated women the way they are supposed to.
And even though the industry and its films are mostly male-dominated, there are times when heroines have shone and saved the day.
Here then, are the admirable celluloid heroines who saved the day in their own ways, in their own stories.
Vidya Bagchi, Kahaani
An intriguing women who roams the shady lanes of Kolkata looking for her missing husband, Vidya Balan's Vidya Bagchi exudes rare confidence and inner peace.
She is far more composed in times of adversity than most mortals and takes on an elusive terrorist with the finesse of a spy.
Image: Vidya Balan in Kahaani
Priya Malhotra, Aitraaz
Kareena Kapoor plays the perceptive wife of a man who's wrongly accused of sexually harrassing his boss's wife.
Aided with her law degree and resolve to save her husband's dignity, she makes a strong case against the vengeful trophy wife.
Image: Kareena Kapoor and Akshay Kumar in Aitraaz
As the naive and unassuming young widow, Meera (Ayesha Takia) is conflicted with her warm friendship with Zeenat (Gul Panag) and her sense of justice for her late husband's murder, for which Zeenat's husband is wrongly held responsible.
This conflict of interest causes temporary tensions but Meera finally achieves closure as she hands over a letter of forgiveness for Zeenat's husband.
Image: Ayesha Takia in Dor
Sanjana Dhanraj, Raaz
Sanjana is having doubts about her love marriage to Aditya when she becomes aware of a mysteriously sinister spirit haunting their bungalow in Ooty.
Upon learning that the spirit is bent on killing her husband, she fights with all her might to save his life.
Image: Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea in Raaz
A reluctant and timid bride at first, Roja transforms into a resolute woman manically trying to rescue her cryptologist husband who's being held hostage by militants in Kashmir.
She pleads with indifferent police personnel, fights red-tapism, steadfastly makes her case in front of politicians and is reunited with her husband in the end.
Image: Madhoo and Arvind Swamy in Roja
Saraswati comes as a new bride in a household held together by a scheming matriarch who takes undue advantage of her stepson (Saraswati's guileless and illiterate husband).
She trumps all her mohter-in-law's best laid plans and manages to save the family from a disaster.
Image: MAdhuri Dixit and Aruna Irani in Beta
Nandini, Shakti: The Power
When her husband is killed in his trigger-happy and feudal village during their visit from Canada, Nandini fights a long and tragic battle to escape the confines of her barbaric father-in-law and save her only son.
Image: Karisma Kapoor in Shakti: The Power
Married into a rich family, Damini watches in absolute horror when her brother-in-law and his friends rape the house help while the family is celebrating Holi outside.
Undeterred by her in-laws' pleas and threats to not testify in the case, she fights for justice till the very end.
Image: Meenakshi Sheshadri in Damini
Sridevi literally wears the pants in this madcap comedy as the free-spirited Manju who wreaks havoc in the lives of Tribhuvan and Amba -- her vicious uncle and aunt who've terrorised her estranged twin sister to her wits end.
She becomes a much-needed anchor for her neurotic sister and kid brother while reclaiming what's rightfully hers and her siblings'.
Image: Sridevi in Chaalbaaz
Sonbai, Mirch Masala
An awe-inspiring tale of a woman's resolve to protect her honour and hwo it rubs off of her fellow village women is the centre of Ketan Mehta's 1987 cult classic Mirch Masala.
Sonbai single-handedly takes on the Subedar who has a roving eye and exploits the entire village and exacts revenge.
Image: Smita Patil in Mirch Masala