Indian movies — seeped in the drama that is life — have characters that stay with you even beyond the two and a half hours of movie-playing time. And, of these, the iconic Indian mother is the one that has left an indelible impression on our hearts and minds. Be it Rakhee from Karan-Arjun, whose belief in her sons is unparalleled to a more modern ‘momma’ in Ratna Pathak Shah from the Khoobsurat (2014) — these are women who have embodied the various qualities that make our moms ever so special and given them a filmy glint — sometimes dramatic, and sometimes comic, but always entertaining.
Now, mix Indian moms — known worldwide for their oozing emotions and overwhelming love — with Bollywood and you have a memory for a lifetime. Here are 10 iconic Bollywood moms of all times.
Nirupa Roy: The mother of all moms
Remember the famous ‘Mere pas Ma hai’ dialogue from iconic Bollywood film Deewar? Well, the ‘Ma’ was Nirupa Roy. She epitomises the sacrificing side of mothers that most of them are, atleast for their children.
Rakhee: No mother believed in her kids more
‘Mere Karan Arjun aa gaye’. Who can ever forget Rakhee when talking about moms. She defined ‘love-infused-melodrama.’
Reema Lagoo: The ’90s mom
She is the typical Rajshri Productions mother who you know will give sound advice, cry at the drop of a hat or just know the right words to make you do her bidding with a look. She was a Bollywood favourite through the 1990s and who can forget her shy smiles in Maine Pyar Kiya? She is the kind of mom who weeps and not cries and who smiles and not laughs.
Waheeda Rehman: The graceful mom
Oh! She is a darling mom. She is a kind of mom who supports her children when they are right despite all odds and gently chides at them when they go wrong. What’s interesting about Rehman is that she played Amitabh Bachchan’s love interest in Adalat (1976) and his mother in Trishul (1978), as well as grandmother to Abhishek Bachchan in Delhi-6 (2009). Waheeda Rehman is the perfect example of ageing gracefully.
Ratna Pathak Shah: The ‘momma’, and there is no other
Remember her role in Khoobsoorat? She is a classic case of a ‘coconut’. She’s the kind of mom who refrains from expressing any emotions but loves their children to bits, who can get really strict about the way their children lead their lives but also understand if they communicate. Isn’t she a typical ‘momma’?
Jaya Bachchan: The Mom-Know-It-All
She will never be forgotten for her ‘Ms know it all’ act in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Metaphorically speaking, she is all moms who know everything about their kids from good to bad and beautiful to ugly.
Farida Jalal: Simran ki Maa
If Reema Lagoo was Rajshri’s fave, then Farida Jalal is the Dharma camp’s favourite mom and it’s not difficult to understand why. Remember her worried-mom role in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and then again as dai-ma in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham? She is the mom you want to hug and say ‘everything will be fine’ just to have that said back to you when it’s needed most.
Sridevi: The New Age mother
From leading lady, Sridevi has made the smooth transition to being the latest mom to steal our hearts. Her worrisome character — and coming into her own journey in English Vinglish — makes us love our mothers ever so more while making us realise not only what they have given up to be there for us, but also that we as kids should ensure that they realise their dreams as well. Sridevi came out a fighter, but without going the Rakhee way.
Dolly Ahluwalia: The Punjabi mom
A typical Punjabi mom who enjoys her drinks and makes the most of her life. This mom from Vicky Donor will remind you of every mom on a Punjabi wedding who shakes a leg and doesn’t care about the world.
Kirron Kher: The BEST dramatic mother of all time
Be it Paro’s mother in Devdas (2002) to the cool mom from Dostana (2008), Kirron Kher has emerged as the newest, most favourite mom of this age. She is Reema Lagoo and Farida Jalal combined — ask her to go nuclear, she will; but she will guilt you into doing her bidding equally effectively with her silent tears. This is one mom you definitely want on your side at all times.
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