Can We Say, “Bollywood Ke Paas Maa Hain”?

Posted: July 14, 2017

Bollywood mothers are the substance of legend. Here is a trip down memory lane that will leave you nostalgic, yet feeling happy for the current trend.

Bollywood has traversed decades with many changing phases. Who can forget Nargis in Mother India single handedly bringing up her two children? Who can miss the jollity of Farida Jalal in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? Who doesn’t remember the mesmerizing love of Jaya Bachchan for Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum? And today’s muscular Mary Kom with Priyanka Chopra and a fighter mother in Jazbaa with Aishwarya Rai.

It is said “cinema is the reflection of society” and with changing trends of society, versatility in roles is also seen. Her alluring smiles, tears in eyes, villain tormenting her, a hero struggling for her respect, love and sacrifice for children, fearless moves… this is what we love; the storyline which remains meaningless without her character.

Today, changing steps are bringing the strength to the character of women as mothers, the patriarchy which has existed in our society for generations is getting unchained with the portrayed characters today, which are setting the new definition, and are making a mark.

Iconic Bollywood mothers

The role played by them won everyone’s heart and became immortal forever. It took us back to “Mein beta de sakti hoon, laj nahi”, from mothers of all mothers Nargis Dutt in Mother India. Even today her role as Radha stands peerless, to sacrifice her son for protecting a woman’s chastity made her an all-time hero, an inspiration which is eternal.

Nirupama Roy – “Mere paas Maa hai” of Deewar is enough for picturing her; she almost became Amitabh Bacchhan’s default Maa on screen. Also seen in “Tu kitni achchi hai, Tu kitni bholi hai…” – a true picture of the love of a mother? Achla Sachdev of “Ay Meri Johra Jabi” is also one of the favorite mothers of all time.

Others who stand unmatched were ‘Mausi’ of Sholay, Leela Mishra. Zohra Sehgal – who could have been a better mother of 60+ Amitabh, an outstanding role in Cheeni Kum. Motherly charm Deena Pathak, her character as Bhuwan’s mother in Devdas received great appraisal; she is one of the strongest Bollywood mothers of all time.

“Mere Karan Arjun Aayenge” by youngest mother of grown up men, Rakhee was another wow! A woman in conflict with duties, representing a true society culture by Durga Khote as the mother of Akbar in Jodha Akbar was a remarkable performance. Kamini Kaushal played strong characters at these times, mostly remembered as Bhagat Singh’s mother, and Amir Banu, the oldest mother, who displayed motherly affection outstandingly in her roles.

This was the generation with a mother in a poor family, bringing up the child, struggling for survival, passing through difficulties, but in the end touching the heart.

The older generation

Then there were the different kinds of iconic Bollywood mothers. Famously known as a moping mother Jaya Bachchan portrayed a great character in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum, Fiza and Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa. Reema Lagoo was greatly appreciated in Maine Pyaar KiyaHum Aapke Hain Kaun, Hum Saath Saath Hain.

Chubby Farida Jalal is a symbol of jollity and the cutest mother ever, definitely. Her zingy, playful attitude make a unique space for her, she is loved in DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Hema Malini portrays beautifully a mother and wife in Baabul.

To counter the sweetness and simplicity, step mothers were always there Aruna Irani as a wicked mother in Beta, Lalita Pawar, most dreaded mother ever as an iniquitous mother in law, also Bindu in negative roles as a mother in law were portrayed and are remembered.

The next generation is led by Kiran Kher, mother of laadlaas, a Punjabi mom, a glamorous mother who speaks as ‘melodrama mom’, has appearances in Veer Zaara, Om Shanti Om. Waheeda Rehman was splendid in Rang De Basanti.

Today the roles chosen are mother specific too – coming out from already set standardized roles, more strengthened and empowered roles are seen.

Bollywood mothers today

Sridevi in English Vinglish is a beautiful middle class mother seeking and acquiring her identity, she truly represented millions of middle class mothers. Priyanka Chopra in Mary Kom displayed the super woman who continues pursuing her passion even after being a mother, a remarkable role. Kajol also finds her place in replicating a sweet middle class family mother.

Coming to mothers of today, Tabu’s role fighting for her terrorist child in Haider had been yet another milestone. Dimple Kapadia in Pyaar Mein Twist, was a mother wearing jeans, a new generation mother who easily matches with the lifestyle of children. Ratna Shah is also amazing as a new age mother, remember Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa?. Aishwarya also performs splendidly while advocating for her child in Jazbaa.

All Bollywood mothers are loved, admired and share space in our heart. They deserve a big salute. The changing role of the mother is bringing a new strength and identity to a woman, challenging and leaving the deep impact. We hope that Bollywood remains blessed with mothers.

Images source: YouTube trailers

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An engineering student at MNIT Jaipur who loves writing. Along with, a versatile being who

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