In almost all of mainstream Bollywood films, the role of the mother is essential. Whether it's helping the hero convalesce after a tough fight or whether it's being the emotional support to the heroine, mothers are what make the Bollywood world go round. They are not just plot points but actual plot hooks. From Nirupa Roy in Amar Akbar Anthony to Rakhi in Karan Arjun to Reemal Laagoo in Kal Ho Naa Ho, Bollywood onscreen moms are truly legends. On this Mother's Day, take a look at these lovely songs from Bollywood and play them when you get your mom a lovely bunch of flowers and chocolates!
1. Ai Maa Teri Surat Se Alag — Daadi Maa
It’s not easy to sing in praise of the Mother Figure without tripping into the territory of treacle. This amazing ode to Mom holds up after so many years thanks to Mahendra Kapoor and Manna Dey’s spirited singing and composer Roshan’s joyous tune that envelopes the maternal emotions like a warm blanket. But it’s Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics that finally do the trick. Ussko nahin dekha humnein kabhi par usski zaroorat kya hogi ae maa teri soorat se alag bhagwan ki soorat kya hogi. Wah!
2. Tu Kitni Achhi Hai — Raja Aur Runk
In 1968 when Lata Mangeshkar was 39 years old she sang for the 11-year old child actor Master Mahesh (who grew up to be a well-known actor Mahesh Kothare in Marathi cinema). Lataji’s voice conveys the all-embracing love of a child reaching out to his mother, Nirupa Roy in the film. Laxmikant-Pyarelal who idolized Lataji’s voice insisted she sings for the child. The transformation was magical.
3. Meri Duniya Hai Maa Tere Aanchal Mein — Talash
Composer Sachin Dev Burman’s voice had the power to rip a hole in your soul. In this song that Rajendra Kumar sang for his screen-mother Sulochana(who was barely 15 years older) Burman Dada brings such strong feelings of filial bonding you feel he is not singing but offering prayer to the Mother. The umbilical cord lies unbroken
4. Maine Maa Ko Dekha — Mastana
An exceptional song. Whereas most motherly melodies in our movies sing in praise of the mother, this song composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal actually has the child speaking about the absence of maternal love in his life! Lata Mangeshkar sang for Master Bobby who was just 9 years old.
5. Mummy O Mummy, Tu Kabb Saas Banegi — Khatta Meetha
Again a departure from the syrupy norm. This mom song has ‘son’ Deven Verma grumbling to his screen mom about his delayed marriage. Kishore Kumar sounded so much like Deven Verma in this song that listeners mistook the actor to be the actual singer of this Rajesh Roshan composition.
6. Maa Hai Mohabbat Ka Naam — Maa Ka Aanchal
Remarkable mainly for Kaifi Azmi’s emotional homage to the Mother Figure, the song is composed by Madan Mohan almost like a patriotic song. Interestingly this same long-forgotten film(which marked the debut of Anjana Mumtaz as a leading lady) had Asha Bhosle singing another aching ode to the mom: Maa kaa aanchal ladle daaman hai bhagwan ka.
7. Maa Mujhe Apne Aachal Mein — Chota Bhai
Master Mahesh pining for his mother in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice. Try listening to this Laxmikant-Pyarelal number without getting a lump in your throat
8. Luka Chuppi — Rang De Basanti
The most unusually structured motherly song ever. While the first half of the number has mom Lata Mangeshkar searching for her mischievous child as he plays a hide ‘n’ seek with her, the second-half of the song has son Rahman reaching out to his mother from a place where she can’t hear him. Prasoon Joshi masterfully weaves both the mother and child’s sentimental in the same line of aural vision. A marvel of melodic creation.
9. Mumma — Dasvidaniya
The film may be forgotten. Kailash Kher’s heartwarming ode to Mom is imperishable.
10. Maa — Taare Zameen Par
Poet Prasoon Joshi and composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan put together a song that seems threaded with the teardrops of a child missing his mother. The sobs you hear while the song plays are yours.