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A tribute to Bollywood's power moms
Predictably our Bollywood filmmakers also always knew how important moms were... to hold, nurture or to spice up (the story lines and movie plots). B-Town's screen moms usually fit certain slots - the impoverished and helpless mom had to sew clothes for the neighbours to make the ends meet; the fiery mom could challenge the Supreme and pray for her child's well-being; she would also meticulously knead aloo parathas and whip up kheer. Some moms often became the bone of contention between son and his 'modern' wife. The screen ma could also urge her son to avenge his father's death.
Or if she was given a choice between picking the right over the wrong, the Bollywood mom could also shoot her errant son. The mother's character was a favourite fixture in Bollywood films until recently. Mehboob Khan's masterpiece Mother India, was among the first films that glorified a mom on screen without making her a martyr ( Nargis). Durga Khote as the supportive mom in Mughal-E-Azam gave a new meaning to her role. Sulochana; for whom Rajendra Kumar sings Meri Duniya Hai Tere Aanchal Mai, vivacious Dina Pathak in Khoobsurat to Golmaal - there have been women who have immortalised mothers on 35 mm.
On Mother's Day, here's a flashback of all those special moms from Hindi films.
Jaya Bachchan in K3G
As a designer chiffon sari clad mom, dripping pearls, flashing a warm smile as she firmly held the puja thali, Jaya Bachchan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (K3G), was also blessed with an uncanny ability to sense the presence of her son from miles away. Throughout the long family drama, she remains the quiet cardboard figure until she steals the thunder in the last frame.
Nirupa Roy in Deewar
She was one actress you could always visualise as Bollywood's eternal maa. Nirupa Roy in her trademark white cotton sari and a huge bindi on her forehead was the self-righteous mom in the iconic Deewar, who tried her level best to bring her erring son from the path of evil and failed. She was the woman for whom Shashi Kapoor said, Mere Paas Maa Hai. Even when she was helpless, she didn't compromise on her ideals. Though she was a filmi character, Nirupa managed to etch a place for herself in the hearts of many.
Rakhee in Karan Arjun
Rakhee Gulzar has proved her mettle as mom many times over, but among her most memorable shots as mom was when she turned into the long suffering ma in-waiting of Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan in Karan Arjun. Her signature one-liner Mere Karan Arjun Ayenge went on to become the butt of jokes, but she was excellent as always.
Vidya Balan in Paa
Playing ma to Amitabh Bachchan isn't really a 30-something's dream, but Vidya Balan took up a role delivered a game-changing performance in Paa. Essaying the role of an independent and fun mom who was an anchor for her son Auro suffering from Projeria (in the film), Vidya proved why it's important for every child to have a friend in a mom.
Tisca Chopra in TZP
One role and Tisca Chopra was on a roll! Tisca caught everyone's eyes in Taare Zameen Par as the untiring Indian mom who can turn the world upside down for her child. As the affectionate mom who gives succour to her dyslexic child Ishan, she was indeed a treat to watch. Just the kind of urban mom, every kid loves to have!
Zohra Sehgal in Cheeni Kam
Who said 80 year old moms can't be fun? Zohra Sehgal as the fun loving mom full of joie de vivre in R Balkrishnan's Cheeni Kam had more spunk than her sullen celebrity chef son (played by Amitabh Bachchan). She might have had a small role in the film, but as the woman who tries to teach her grumpy single 60 year old son to live life, Zohra was a rare bundle of energy.
Rekha In Koi Mill Gaya
May be you don't think of Rekha at first when you think of Bollywood mothers, or vice-versa. But we certainly remember her doing a white sari act and adamantly saving her son (Hrithik Roshan) from an extra terrestrial in Koi... Mil Gaya. In this Bollywood version of Spielberg's E.T., she was in fact the flavour Bollywood. FYI: Rakesh Roshan was very hesitant to ask the glam-diva to play a mother on the first place, reportedly he tricked her into hearing the script casually. Result: Rekha commanded, no one but she'd play the role.
Reema in Maine Pyaar Kiya
Reema changed perception of the eternal earth mom in Bollywood with a vengeance. She was Salman Khan's favourite screen mom, a role that she slipped into naturally into with the blockbuster Maine Pyar Kiya. She was also among the first screen mothers to have jet black hair and looked young and chirpy enough to be her son's friend in MPK. Her portrayal as the silk sari clad mom with her hair neatly tied in chignon, was pretty convincing in her role play.
Farida Jalal in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
A talented character actress, Farida Jalal was the epitome of the typical urban Indian mother in Aditya Chopra's Dilwale
Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. She lets her daughter (played by Kajol) live a dream and stands by as a strong support when she's needed. For this all-compassing role that was written with care and executed with brilliance, she also won accolades and awards.
Kirron Kher in Rang De Basanti
As the new-age Nirupa Roy for Bollywood, Kirron Kher stole the thunder as Aamir Khan's funny and feisty mom in Raykesh Omprakash Mehra's Rang De Basanti. As the motormouth dhaba owner who prays for her son's well-being (for which she ties her two fingers with a dhaaga) she also provides him silent strength to stand up against evil. You rock!
Ratna Pathak Shah in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Ratna Pathak Shah was a revelation in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na as the paranoid yet liberated single mom who worked as a social activist (and also vented her angst to her late hubby hanging from a photo frame from time to time complaining about her son) in Imran Khan's debut flick, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. A role that was smartly sketched, unfortunately she didn't have too many memorable scenes, although she did make an impact anyway!