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Inspiring Bollywood movie characters that stepped outside the hustle culture

For most of us Indian kids, we have grown up with Bollywood, idolising it. While Bollywood has taken care of our playlists for years, these films have been so much more. There have been several inspiring Bollywood characters over the years that have been so much more than the glitz and glamour of the industry.

It is true that films are a mirror of society. While they make for an unparalleled source of entertainment, there have been several movies that have struck the right chord, especially with their protagonists. Today, we are going to look at some iconic Bollywood characters who showed us what it is like to leave a promising career in the hustle culture and follow your dreams. These characters told us that it is okay to not like your high-paying job or a promising career in engineering, but to do what makes you happy. While the sad reality is that a lot of kids are still pressurised into pursuing a career rather than following their passion, that is slowly changing, thanks to the immense influence Bollywood has on us.

Inspiring Bollywood characters that stepped outside the hustle culture

Ved, Tamasha


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It’s not like we didn’t have inspiring Bollywood characters who broke free before Ved. But with Ranbir Kapoor’s stardom, Imtiaz Ali’s brilliant storytelling, and of course, great marketing, this movie has become a cult. Ved is stuck in a boring sales job, and he believes that is the norm, because everyone does it. But as fate would have it, he bumps into Tara again, who he had met four years ago on a trip to Corsica. What follows next is a messy affair, but ends up working for Ved, because he realises where his true calling lies. Tamasha is widely loved for having inspired the youth to follow their dreams.

Aditya Shroff, Rock On


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Rock On was THE movie of the late 2000s, the movie that gave us so much beyond Farhan Akhtar, the filmmaker. We had the singer, the actor and possibly the best album of that decade. But this inspiring Bollywood character also showed us what it feels like to be stuck in corporate, while your true calling lies somewhere else. And most importantly, much before Imtiaz Ali did. Farhan Akhtar’s Aditya Shroff and his band of boys were all we were rooting for back in the day. You are a true 90-s kid if the last concert still gives you goosebumps.

Sid, Wake Up Sid

An endearing story of a man child born with a silver spoon turning into a man, Wake Up Sid is a timeless classic. Another inspiring Bollywood character played by Ranbir Kapoor, this movie is the story of a boy in a business-class family of upscale Mumbai, who has never had to struggle for anything in life. Things change when he fails college and leaves his house, to come stay in a tiny apartment with his friend Aisha. There he learns to make his first meal, clean his things, gets his first internship and his first paycheck too. The son of a successful businessman who found his love in photography became our favourite story.

Farhan Qureshi, 3 Idiots

Who thought that in a world of larger-than-life action heroes and romances, we would actually fall in love with three engineering students, two of whom don’t even clear their papers? It is true that everything Rajkumar Hirani touches becomes gold. But this gem of a movie got its place on this list not for its protagonist Rancho, but for Farhan, played by Madhavan. Portraying the sad reality of India where most parents force their kids into engineering for a lucrative career, Farhan was someone who fell into the same template. But he wanted to become a wildlife photographer, much against his parents’ wishes. How he convinced them to let him pursue his dream is what makes him one of the most inspiring Bollywood characters out there.

Karan Shergill, Lakshya

We have all been there at a point in our lives where we didn’t know what to do next. If you relate to that, this film is for you. Karan Shergill is the perfect Bollywood character to take inspiration from. Coming from a rich family, Karan has no idea what to do after college, while all his friends have figured out their next moves. From there to making his way into the Indian army to successfully leading one of the most difficult army operations in India, this is truly one inspiring Bollywood character. Karan told us that it is okay to feel lost in life sometimes and take your time in figuring things out.

Mohan Bhargav, Swades

Swades asks an important question- as responsible and intelligent members of society, how can we contribute? Mohan Bhargav is a NASA scientist who returns to India to convince his grandma to move to the US with him so that he can take care of her in her old age. But on his visit back to his homeland, he learns about his country and how even the basic amenities are lacking. That is when he decides that his village needs him more than NASA does and stays back. The film shows the high contrast between the world between the word of NASA and the world of his village back home. This leads to Mohan’s simple quest to generate electricity in his village.

Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy Instagram/tamashaofficial

Sreetama Basu
A self-proclaimed plant mom, Sreetama finds joy wherever she sees greenery. The list of other things that bring her joy is pretty long, but writing about them is her way of celebrating them. In love with little, inconsequential things, like neatly tucked-in bedsheets and big, significant things, like whole cheesecakes. She dreams of being a baker and writing about food someday.
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