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Dignity under pressure - the Mia woman


Carrying yourself with dignity in today's world is never an easy task, more so when every move you make is being observed by a media out to sell a few extra pages by belittling you. 

When she finished her degree and started pursuing a career in movies, she got off to possibly the worst start a mainstream actress has had in recent history. Considered a 'jinx' when her debut film opposite a superstar was shelved for unrelated production issues, the superstitious belief spread like wildfire and she was immediately replaced in twelve other movies she had signed up for. In her next two movies, she was thrown out after shooting had commenced. Consider for a moment what that can do to the mental strength of a woman trying to succeed in a profession where few make it large.

To her credit, she did not go hunting for a sugar daddy but kept working in ads and music videos for years till she caught a young director's eye. After undergoing multiple auditions over six grueling months, she finally landed the role of the titular character of the movie - Parineeta. Vidya Balan has never looked back since that stunning debut performance.

She has had no easy path up the ladder at any point in her life. When she wowed critics with her performances on screen, they were quick to judge her off-screen on her weight and fashion sense. The comments would definitely have hurt her, but she never let it deter her. Instead she carried on showcasing her skills, giving up the traditional damsel-in-distress choices for roles which challenged her abilities - a radio jockey out to help the poor, a woman dying from multiple sclerosis, suffering from dissociative identity disorder, an unwed mother and a temptress. Can you frankly imagine any other actress today portraying two roles as diverse as hers in The Dirty Picture (based on the controversial actress Silk Smitha) and Kahaani (where a pregnant lady searches for her husband) within months of each other and pulling it off so effortlessly?

Whether it is her professional life or her personal, she has never let snide remarks and insults get to her. She is comfortable with her body image and confident in her talent. She does not conform to the industry's image of the eye-candy that an Indian actress should be and we love her for it. And yet, in spite of all the hardships she has faced to reach here, the young girl from Hum Paanch is still alive within this National Award winner, gushing and blushing even today when she is around her crush Shah Rukh Khan much to her husband's amused exasperation, I assume.

To me, she represents the grace and strength to succeed beyond the boundaries that the industry tried to hold her in. She lets her work do the talking for her and gleefully revels in the challenges. And for that reason, she is a true Mia woman to me.




This is my entry for Tanishq's "As Beautiful as your work" contest.


21 comments:

  1. She is truly such a versatile actress.. I never realized til i read this, she was the nerdy character in Hum paanch isnt it

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    1. Exactly. I'm adding a link to a pic here.

      http://mrpopat.in/admin/upload/wallpaper/201211201353412481152423993.jpg

      Who would have believed that this girl would become such an iconic actress of our generation?

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  2. She indeed is versatile.. She is so graceful.. I was stunned with her performance in pareenita.. I never appreciated her before that but she is has been really consistent since then.. I am glad men also appreciate her.. I really think she is a woman of substance..!!

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    1. I truly admire her. She knows to carry herself gracefully and that makes her more beautiful to me. As for her acting skills, you really dont need more proof than her body of work till date.

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    2. I would say this is pure gossiip but I heard she dumped shaheed only because he told her always to loose weight.. She said she wanted a man who accepted her the way she is..!! That's really gutsy.. I think she is a dignified lady..!!

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    3. Though she never named the person, it will widely rumoured to be Shahid, indeed. And well, worked out well for her in the end :)

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  3. I love how she is her own judge and not the media. She made saree sexy. And continues to drape it while peers her age are trying to ape lady gaga. And reg her work noone needs any proof.

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    1. True. She did not try to take the easy route but had faith in her abilities.. now she has worked with pretty much all the A-listers on her own terms

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  4. There is one thing that you must know. before doing Parineeta in 2005, she acted in a Bengali film named Bhalo Theko in 2003. The film was screened at Bangkok film festival and it own her the Anandalok Best Actress Award. The film itself own National Award for Best Cinematography and many more. That turned out to be the U-turn of her career.

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    1. I did read about it. Even with that, she still had to wait 2 years before she was considered worthy of a Bollywood movie. And getting replaced in a dozen movies took place in the period before that.

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  5. I am in complete awe of her. She is the best thing that has happened to Bollywood in the last decade.

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  6. She is really a woman of substance. In an industry where men largely rule the roost and women are just arm-candies she has dared to be different and stand apart.

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    1. So true. All the newcomers look to play the insignificant bimbo roles to gain exposure in some way. She was ready to wait even if it meant not having a role for years.

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  7. Never knew she had so much struggle! She definitely is a woman of substance. A very well put post.

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  8. Nice one Roshan :) Never knew she had to go through all these to be the big star today!

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    1. True.. not many do know this aspect of her life.

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  9. Nice post. Thanks for sharing.Keep it up!

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