Bollywood has given us many, many great films. A lot of these films have shaped our thinking, at least at some point in our life. It is true even if at times you wish it weren’t Whether it was feeding our girly fantasies (think Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) or awakening our dormant patriotism (think, Rang De Basanti) Bollywood has played its role in our life. 

So it should come as no surprise that the Hindi Film Industry has given us many interesting films on women. These films have taught us important life lessons. Which lessons, you ask? Read on, to discover…

Sri Devi made her comeback with Gauri Shinde‘s English Vinglish. The film very subtly put across two messages – that being a housewife doesn’t limit you and that you’re never too old to learn something new.  

Kangana Ranaut‘s performance as the jilted bride was superb. Queen’s badass move of going alone on her honeymoon and finding herself showed us how important it is to stand up for oneself in life. 

Kalpana Lajmi gave us this gem in 1993. The film starred Dimple Kapadia, Raakhee, Raj Babbar and Amjad Khan. Rudaali teaches us resilience and finding joy even in our misfortunes. 

Kahaani was nothing short of brilliance. It gave a clear message – don’t mess with women. There’s no limit she isn’t capable of crossing if you get on her wrong side. 

Zubeidaa showed us the struggles some women have to face to be free; what it feels like to be captive without being bound in chains and shackles. It teaches us the importance of free spirit.  

It answers the question – what makes a "good" woman? Should we let the society dictate the rules women are expected to abide by? Should we let it define if a woman is good or bad?  

Mother India celebrates the spirit of being a woman. It celebrates the unassailable quality of a woman, which pushes her to face life and its struggles, for her family. 

A film inspired by real-life story, it shows us how a woman can be both a victim and perpetrator. Gulaab Gang shows us the two stark opposite sides of women. 

If you want something, fight for it and fight till you get it. Black teaches us this important fact. 

Another example of ‘Hell hath no fury, like a woman scorned’. The film shows us how strong a woman truly is.

Mirch Masala
Mirch Masala shows us the strength of independent woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. 

Damini teaches us lessons of morality and the sense of justice. Supporting what is right is important even if you have to stand against your family or the whole world for it. 

Bandit Queen shows us the story of Phoolan Devi, the struggles and strifes that she faced that lead to her turning into a dacoit and eventualy her surrender. We learn of a woman’s wrath and her tenderness towards the ones she cares about.   

Margarita With A Straw is an amazing movie and there’s no doubt about it. But the lesson it teaches is better. The film tells us to not let our limitations limit the way we live our lives.  

Even though this isn’t exactly a Bollywood film, Bend It Like Beckham had to make it to our list of lessons. We learn to never let stereotypes shatter our dreams.  

Neerja Bhanot‘s story has been documented in the upcoming film Neerja. Sonam Kapoor plays the fearless girl who saved lives and became the youngest person to be awarded India’s highest peace time military award for bravery, the Ashoka Chakra. The film releases on 19th February 2016.