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How Bollywood Treats Its BETIS

By SUKANYA VERMA
Last updated on: May 12, 2022 09:24 IST
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Daughters are a blessing, they say.

But in Jayeshbhai Jordaar, Ranveer Singh will move heaven and earth to keep his daughter alive after the gynaecologist reveals that his second child is also a girl.

In his severely patriarchal part of the world, his misogynist father, who is also the village sarpanch, wants a boy at any cost.

Sukanya Verma looks at the variety of daughter characters served by Bollywood on the big screen.

 

Susheel & Shaadi Ready: Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon

IMAGE: Kareena Kapoor and Himani Shivpuri in Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon.

Being an overachiever and attractive is a killer combination, but if your parents are shuddh desi like Kareena Kapoor's in Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, it spells just one two things -- suitable boy and shaadi.

 

Laadli No 1: Angrezi Medium

IMAGE: Irrfan Khan and Radhika Madan in Angrezi Medium.

Her wish is their command -- the kind a parent will go to crazy extents to make her dreams come true. In Angrezi Medium, Irrfan Khan goes through all kinds of troubles and ensures daughter Radhika Madan realises her dream of studying abroad.

 

Papa Ki Pari: Aisha

IMAGE: M K Raina and Sonam Kapoor in Aisha.

Spoilt silly by her single, super rich parent, credit cards and cars are her toys and puppy eyes are her weapon, as amply demonstrated by Sonam Kapoor in her stylish Emma remake.

 

Bade Baap Ki Ghamandi Beti: Laadla

IMAGE: Sridevi and Anupam Kher in Laadla.

Scenario number two of the same -- indulgent, wealthy dad raising Sridevi's haughty, heartless character, leading to over-the-top drama once she takes over the family business.

 

Corrupted By Videshi Taaqat: Namastey London

IMAGE: Rishi Kapoor and Katrina Kaif in Namastey London.

NRI daddy Rishi Kapoor has a hard time convincing wild child Katrina Kaif to embrace the desi ways and munda when she'd rather party with her British beau.

 

Ghar Ki Izzat: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

IMAGE: Kajol and Amrish Puri in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

Clearly, Amrish Puri is a big fan of Utpal Dutt's line in Golmaal: 'Tumhari shaadi usse nahi hogi jisse tum prem karti ho. Tumhari shaadi usse hogi jisse main prem karta hoon.' And so, be it London or Ludhiana, khandaan ki naak-saving Kajol has no choice but save her most susheel version for 'Bauji.'

 

All Hail the Breadwinner: Jeevan Dhara

IMAGE: Rekha and Sulochana in Jeevan Dhara.

Rekha bears the brunt of being responsible for the most parasitic family possible while single-handedly running a household populated by an old mother, blind brother, widowed sister, good-for-nothing brother and his equally inept wife.

 

The Last Resort: Laaga Chunari Mein Daag

IMAGE: Rani Mukerji and Murali Sharma in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag.

Small town girl Rani Mukerji turns high profile escort in the city to make ends meet while her holier than thou parents huff and puff, and yet enjoy the perks of her not-so-reputable profession in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag.

 

Budhape Ka Sahara: Piku

IMAGE: Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan in Piku.

Deepika Padukone demonstrates the art of patience while handling her aged, grouchy, sickly and stool-obsessed father Amitabh Bachchan as they journey on road from Delhi to Kolkata one last time.

 

Beti Is Beta: Dangal

IMAGE: Suhani Bhatnangar, Aamir Khan and Zaira Wasim in Dangal.

Gold is gold no matter who wins it, sons or daughters, believes Aamir Khan's ambitious Bapu as he makes his daughters go through a childhood of drudgery and fulfill his dream of winning gold in wrestling at the Olympics.

 

Bin Ma Ki Bachiyan: Pataakha

IMAGE: Vijay Raaz, Sanya Malhotra and Radhika Madan in Pataakha.

Single father Vijay Raaz spends a good deal of his fatherhood as mediator between his constantly sparring daughters in Pataakha. And what a squabbling, scruffy duo they are!

 

Paraya Dhan: Dil Dhadakne Do

IMAGE: Priyanka Chopra and Anil Kapoor in Dil Dhadakne Do.

Under Anil Kapoor's posh demeanour exists a typical patriarchal mindset who thinks just because he's married her off, he can overlook daughter Priyanka Chopra's competence and pass on the baton to his undeserving, uninterested, son.

 

Rebel With A Cause: Secret Superstar

IMAGE: Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij and Raj Arjun in Secret Superstar.

Young Zaira Wasim not only fights her abusive father by pursuing her musical dreams, but also inspires rebellion against his raging misogyny inside an until now submissive mother.

 

The Different One: Badhaai Do

IMAGE: Bhumi Pednekar and Nitesh Pandey in Badhaai Do.

Bhumi Pednekar conveys the despair, disappointment and loneliness of a loving daughter coming out to her parents only to find herself shunned on learning the truth about her sexuality.

 

The Dysfunctional Daughter: Gehraiyaan

IMAGE: Naseeruddin Shah and Deepika Padukone in Gehraiyaan.

Deepika Padukone's childhood perceptions and tragic ignorance concerning her parents fuel lifelong grudges against her dad Naseeruddin Shah, leading to deteriorated relationships and damaged psyche. Until he gently reminds her, 'We are more than our mistakes'.

 

Little Miss Azaadi: Gully Boy

IMAGE: Alia Bhatt and Sheeba Chaddha in Gully Boy.

Alia Bhatt's medical student in love with an aspiring rap artist from the ghetto refuses to let her family's conservative ways come in the way of her ambitions to succeed and get ahead in life. Let me study, let me live, let me breathe, she pleads.

 

Bharat Ki Beti: Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl

IMAGE: Pankaj Tripathi and Janhvi Kapoor in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.

When a supportive daddy like Pankaj Tripathi has her back, there's no reason why Janhvi Kapoor cannot realise her dreams of becoming a pilot and fly for India during the war.

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SUKANYA VERMA / Rediff.com