Even as Kangana Ranaut or Rani sparkled in Queen as a single woman honeymooning in distant Paris and Deepika Padukone convincingly managed her cantankerous father obsessed with constipation in and as Piku, it would be safe to assume that the average Hindi film heroine has come unshackled. But that assumption is brilliantly challenged by Deepa Gahlot in this book when she asks: Why has there never been another Fearless Nadia in Hindi cinema?
Sheroes: 25 Daring Women of Bollywood is a stellar account of heroines in roles that debunk the traditional slots in an industry orchestrated by men and obsessed with the 100 crores phenomenon. From the fiercely independent Rosie (Waheeda Rehman) in Guide; the endearingly impish Manju (Rekha) in Khubsoorat; the feisty Damini (Meenakshi Sheshadri) in the eponymous film; the beauteous yet tenacious Zeenat in Dor, to the ambitious wedding planner, Shruti (Anushka Sharma) in Band Baaja Baarat, these and other actresses in the book took paths that were least travelled yet managed to create benchmarks in Hindi cinema. A mandatory read for every lover of Hindi cinema, Sheroes is pathbreaking as it showcases heroines who explode the stereotypes in a male bastion with incredible chutzpah.