Vidya Balan : An Inspiration to all


Patience, Persistence, Perseverance and Passion is Vidya Balan’s Hallmark.

Before we all break into joy and cry at the drop of the hat that Anushka, Kangana and Deepika are the game changer, I would like to make you all remember that it is this sari-clad diva who changed the entire game and turned the tables for the good. There is no denying that actresses like Madhuri Dixit, Kajol, Sridevi too have been on the top spot with widespread acclaim and numerous awards in their kitty, However the route which Balan had undertaken is something none ever traveled and it’s extraordinarily gutsy for her to do that, breaking the shakles.

Vidya Balan, one of India’s finest actresses, has completed a decade joining the film industry. She has Padma Shri, National Award (Best Actress in a leading role) and Doctorate degree (From Ahmedabad’s Rai University) to her name; along with that, she has been appointed as a brand ambassador by the Government of India for improving the country’s sanitation crisis.

It’s common to see men finding inspiration from male icons who have well-sculpted body and women from a female icon known for stunning fashion sense. What if the pattern is reversed?

I doubt there are very few and rare men who would dare to draw inspiration from a female (not for fashion sense, quite obvious) but for the dynamic personality she possess. I am amongst those rare breed who finds Balan exotically inspirational and till date, I couldn’t find any replica of her (I hope it doesn’t).

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Photoshoot of Daboo Ratnani

In today’s Bollywood, where actors are ready to outdo each other not only in terms of claiming qualitative scripts but also to ape the Hollywood counterparts in making fashion statements and red carpet appearance, Vidya stands out from the crowd and defies the notion of ageism and marital status like a queen.

We all have, by now, learnt about how she was considered ‘jinxed’ in the South Indian Industry, followed by unsuspectingly being dropped off from consecutive ten to twelve films with an absurd excuse of ‘She cannot act’. Adding more fuel to injury was when one of the directors said She was ‘ugly’ hampering Balan’s self-esteem. Yet, She never lost hope and kept on trying (Despite acting in various commerical and playing the iconic Radhika from Balaji’s insanely successful sitcom ‘Hum Paanch’ for brief period).

Her cinematic journey from Lolita (Parineeta) to Vasudha (Hamari Adhuri Kahani) has been fruitful, diversifying and magickal. A look into her resume and you will realize what a powerful performer she is.

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As a Jury Member for Cannes Film Festival (2013)

From playing dementia struck Tehzeeb (Salaam-e-ishq), Multiple personality disorder affected Avni (Bhool Bhulaiyaa) to Super cool gynaec mom to 12 year old progeric child (Paa), From Delicious femme fatale Krishna Verma (Ishqiya), Justice seeking sister (No One Killed Jessica) to audacious sex symbol Silk (The Dirty Picture), From mysterious pregnant software engineer with a hidden quest (Kahaani) to loud punjabi wife Neetu (Ghanchakkar), From nagging wife Trisha (Shaadi Ke Side Effects), from aspiring spy Bilkis Ahmed (Bobby Jassos) to Domestic abuse deserted wife Vasudha (Hamari Adhuri Kahani). She has portrayed roles and traveled to unknown terrain no one would dare to.

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Vidya as Sabrina Lal (No One Killed Jessica)

What makes her so special and one-of-the-kind is her gall to stay true to herself, stand out amongst the crowd of replicating models, her transparency about her opinion without sounding bossy and to find happiness in her own space without having the need to feel competitive. Her love for saris is well known and the way she pull it off is a treat to our eyes. Thanks to her rivetingly ground-breaking Silk act in ‘The Dirty Picture’, Many women, hitherto shied from accepting their average size anatomy, suddenly changed their perception and had taken a step forward to acknowledge their sexuality and embraced it wholeheartedly.

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Vidya as Silk (The Dirty Picture) : fetched her first National Award for Best Actress

Vidya has always been body shamed and constantly under scrutiny for her dressing sense and the paparazzi till date didn’t put a halt to it. Unlike earlier where she would get personally affected, this time she happily begs to differ and keeps the negativity far far away from her aura and has successfully shield herself.

What draws me to her?

What makes her lodestar for me?

It’s her uninhibited confidence, her stand for being unapologetic about her body (to remain healthy but size zero) and refusal to get approval from the world. Her lack-of-vanity and sincerity to her work she passionately loves and complete submission to art, (a quality I would like to inherent towards my profession). Her openly candid interaction with people where she not only makes sense but also finds an opportunity to add humor even if it may sound weird for others. In short, her willingness to be transparent sans any need to invest energy to unwanted criticism and personal grudges.

One’s transparency can be the biggest factor that has the power to impact millions of life and catalyse a transformation and Vidya Balan does that with panache.

A fan for life !

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