My favourite heroines

This I will begin by describing some heroines from earlier years-my major movie-going ones.

I liked Mumtaz for her vivaciousness. She came across as a regular girl, unlike the heavenly Madhubala (who is also a favourite, like 100 percent of the male population who has ever watched her films), and had quite a few roles where she acted well. Khilona, for instance, where she takes care of a mad Sanjeev Kumar, and Apradh, where she has a vampish role with Feroz Khan. Rajesh Khanna and Dev Anand are two others with whom she did well on screen. Tere Mere Sapne and Roti (Gore rang pe na itna gumaan kar was a favourite song of mine, from Roti) were two with these guys I remember well.

Hema Malini was and is the most beautiful of the heroines for the last 40 years. She actually got the correct label of Dream Girl in her first film, and it stuck. Her romance with Dharmendra was of course one aspect, but she was fantastic teaming up with Dev Anand (Johny Mera Naam is my favourite here, particularly the duet O mere Raja). Sholay's Basanti was a classic too.

I liked Saira Banu for her exotic looks and her good role in the film Padosan, which I think is a film that is hard to beat on many counts-humour being the foremost. Her solo songs, and the innocence she brought to her role was fantastic.

Rekha was another favourite, particularly her roles in the films Muqaddar ka Sikandar and Khubsoorat. Particularly the latter, where she espouses the cause of freedom and delight- nirmal anand.

Smita Patil was another gorgeous woman of substance. Any role she played got elevated a few notches by her presence. I saw quite a few of her films, and liked her in art and commercial films (Namak Halaal, Chakra).

Vidya Balan and Kajol will probably round up the list. Vidya was capable of much more than we saw of her in films like Kahani. Kajol was like a breath of fresh air-completely original. Gupt and Dilwale Dulhaniya are two of my favourite films of hers, apart from Baazigar.

Some others who might make it to the list are Tanuja, and Chitrangada Singh. The former in Hathi Mere Sathi, Jewel Thief, and the latter in Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi were great.

Shriya Saran and Tapsee Pannu are two recent heroines I liked in one film each that I saw of theirs. And Deepika Padukone, in most films. Queen's heroine Kangana also gets an honourable mention. She was good in Tanu Weds Manu also.

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