Top 10 Indian TV Soap Vamps: We Hate You Like We Love You!

Hindi serials love the ‘good wife vs other woman’ trope. The TRPs prove that viewers love it too.

5 min read
(From left) Adaa Khan, Anita Hassanandani, Rashami Desai, Kamya Punjabi - Hindi television’s best loved ‘vamps’. (Photo: Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)

What does a typical Bollywood film always have? A dashing hero, his glamorous heroine and a few foot-tapping numbers, right? WRONG. Negative roles play an equally significant part in our Bollywood masalas – our films would feel incomplete without them. We, the Indian audience, desperately wait for that little negative twist in the story.

While films tend to favour male villains, the world of Hindi television has stamped its seal on the trope of the good wife versus the ‘other woman’ aka the ‘vamp’.

The 'vamp' in Hindi serials is portrayed as being more glamorous than the female protagonist, often outshining her in terms of her fashion choices. Not only do these roles contribute substantially to TRPs, but there have been instances where the ladies who essay these roles have been bombarded by hate messages from viewers.

Here's a list of 10 actresses in TV serials that we love to hate:

Jennifer Winget (Beyhadh)

Jennifer Winget. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="">Ushanth Styles</a><i>) </i>
Jennifer Winget. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Ushanth Styles)

Hindi serials often receive flak for propagating the stereotype of the submissive, ‘good bahu’ who helps all her family members, while defending herself from an evil mother-in-law. Winget's role in the show Beyhadh breaks this cliché and follows a different style altogether.

She plays a daughter-in-law, who plots against her mother-in-law, and hatches a plot to kill her mother. Her style makes her the talk of the town.


Leena Jumani (Kumkum Bhagya)

Leena Jumani. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href=";vertical=default&amp;q=Leena%20Jumani&amp;src=tyah">Fakhrirazi5000</a>)
Leena Jumani. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Fakhrirazi5000)

Zee TV’s Kumkum Bhagya is incomplete without Leena Jumani’s character, Tanu. She is responsible for creating so-called daraar in Abhi and Pragya’s love story. The show has been leading the TRP race for the last three years. Tanu is one of the primary reasons behind the show’s popularity.


Adaa Khan (Naagin 2)

Adaa Khan in ‘Naagin 2’. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)
Adaa Khan in ‘Naagin 2’. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

The fact that Naagin was immediately followed by a second season is testament to the show’s popularity. Adaa Khan plays an antagonist, who spends most of her time hatching evil plans against the other lead, Mouni Roy. The poise with which Ada takes on the role makes her an absolute favourite among fans.


Anita Hassanandani (Ye Hai Mohobattein)

Anita Hassanandani. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="">@anitahasnandani</a>)
Anita Hassanandani. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@anitahasnandani)

This Star Plus show has been high on the TRP graph since 2013. Hassanandani may be the ‘villian’ who stands in the way of the leading couple’s love story. But she is a lot more than just a villainous trope. Raman and Ishita may be the show’s beloved lead couple, but their popularity pales in comparison to the adulation that Hassanandani receives for her role.


Kamya Punjabi (Shakti- Ek Ehsaas Ki)

Kamya Punjabi (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href=""> @Iamkamyapunjabi</a>)
Kamya Punjabi (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @Iamkamyapunjabi)

Not many can ace negative roles with the ease that Kamya Punjabi can. She has also received awards for playing women with shades of grey. Fans still fondly remember her stellar portrayal of Sindura Pratap Singh in Banoo Main Teri Dulhan.

Her current character on Colors TV is that of a mother-in-law whose only motto in life is to drive her daughter-in-law away from the house.


Rashami Desai (Uttaran)

Rashami Desai (Photo Courtesy: Instagram/<a href=";hl=en">@iamrashamidesai</a>)
Rashami Desai (Photo Courtesy: Instagram/@iamrashamidesai)

With her charming smile and graceful demeanour, Rashami Desai has won a lot of hearts during her stint on the small screen. Her character in Uttaran, where she turns against her own best friend, wooed audiences across the board.

After the show ended, Desai bagged another much-loved negative role in Adhuri Kahaani Humaari.


Sudha Chandran (Naagin 2)

Sudha Chandran (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href=";vertical=default&amp;lang=en">@isalilsand</a>)
Sudha Chandran (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@isalilsand)

With her deadly stares, beautiful sarees and huge bindis, this veteran TV actress is a Hindi serial ‘vamp’ legend. Her character of Ramola Sikand from Kahin Kisi Roz is still fresh in memory. Currently, she essays a negative role in Naagin 2.


Amrapali Gupta (Ishqbaaz)

Amrapali Gupta (Photo Courtesy: <a href="">Facebook</a>)
Amrapali Gupta (Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

Amrapali Gupta is quite a popular name on the small screen, where she has played negative characters a few times in the past. On Star Plus’ Ishqbaaz, she follows a trail of revenge against the Oberoi family. Qubool Hai is another one of her popular performances.


Lavina Tandon (Jodhaa Akbar)

Lavina Tandon (Photo Courtesy: Imgrum/ <a href="">@lavinatandon_fansina</a>)
Lavina Tandon (Photo Courtesy: Imgrum/ @lavinatandon_fansina)

Known for her period show Jodhaa Akbar, Lavina Tandon plays the role of Akbar’s wife. Her character plots against Jodha to win over Akbar and can often be seen strategising to gain her rightful status as queen Ruqaiya Begum.


Urvashi Dholakia (Kasauti Zindagi Ki)

Urvashi Dholakia. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="">‏</a>)
Urvashi Dholakia. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/‏)

And finally, how can any list of Hindi serial ‘vamps’ be complete without the iconic ‘Komolika’?

The character helped make Urvashi Dholakia one of the most popular (read: despised) vamps of the television. From her fashion choices to her signature tunes, Komolika’s popularity is unmatched, sometimes even overshadowing the show’s lead, Shweta Tiwari. The iconic role and the popularity that came with it helped Dholakia win Bigg Boss 6.

(This article was first published on QuintHindi. It has been translated to English by Aastha Gulati.)

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