There was a time when mothers were meant to be boring, crying, singing and generally wallowing wallflowers. Think Nirupa Roy, Sulochana and the likes. But with changing times and changing tastes, the mothers of the silver screen too have undergone a change. And thank god for it! At times, they are more fun to watch than the leading pair themselves. Often, they have more sass and more spunk than generation X. Here’s looking at the coolest, strongest and fun-loving mothers of Bollywood!
1. Ratna Pathak Shah
Film: Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na
Remember the iconic dialogue? When Genelia Dsouza, feeling sad about college ending and the possibility of losing touch with her friend, innocently asks ‘Pata hi nahi chala 5 saal kahaan nikal gaye’, Ratna Pathak Shah sweetly says, “Phone pe beta, phone pe!” That itself showed how cool this mother was! Whatever be your definition of the word, she fits in perfectly. In Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na, Imran Khan’s debut film, Ratna Pathak Shah played Savitri – but oh what a misnomer her name was! For she was hardly the sacrificing Sati-Savitri eulogised in our mythology. Savitri was a single woman living with her college-going son. Their relationship was more like friends – they took turns in cooking, she discussed his girlfriends with him and even set him straight when she felt like. And oh yes, she would talk to her husband’s photograph, chiding him even after death, would take on the local bullying policeman with her activism and had a witty repartee or two for her son’s millennial friends. Funny, feisty and very cool.
2. Kirron Kher
Film: Hum Tum
Now, Kirron Kher is Bollywood’s favourite Punjabi mother. She can be funny, sassy and quite a hoot. But her role in Hum Tum was much more well-defined. She played the typical Indian mother, worried about her widowed daughter’s life but extremely supportive of her as well. She wasn’t westernised or hip, but she was a true liberal. Standing by her through her confusion yet infusing the much-needed warmth and humour in her life, Kirron Kher’s Parminder ‘Bobby’ Prakash is the maa that every girl needs.
3. Dolly Ahluwalia
Film: Vicky Donor
Imagine a mother who is fretting and fussing over her son! Sounds like the typical Bollywood mother, doesn’t she? But Dolly Ahluwalia in Vicky Donor, Ayushmann Khurrana’s debut film was anything but ‘typical’. She was a single mother as well, having to deal with a jobless son and a nagging mother-in-law. She had plenty to complain about and she would make her displeasure clear in no uncertain terms. But she was also the Punjabi kudi who didn’t mind downing a peg or two with the saas who she would otherwise crib about. She also wanted a Punjabi bahu but when her son falls in love with a ‘Bangalan’, who is she to object? Hats off!
4. Kirron Kher
This could as well be a Kirron Kher list! In Fawad Khan’s Bollywood debut, she plays a fun and funny mother who allows her daughter to call her by her first name. Kirron Kher’s ‘Manju’ is the kind of mom who eggs her daughter (Sonam Kapoor) to try her luck with Prince Charming. And when Prince Charming’s mother creates a ruckus, she is the one who defends her daughter and stands up for her. All of this, done with sense of humour intact and tongue firmly within her cheek. Wow!
5. Farida Jalal
Film: Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
Cool? Maybe not. But the list won’t be complete without Farida Jalal in DDLJ. Yes, she is a victim of patriarchy but the way she encourages her daughter to break out of it and lead her own life, makes her worthy of a mention here. Remember how she approves of her Simran running away with her Raj? And don’t forget her little jig in the early part of the movie before her husband comes home. Perhaps there was a bit of a wild child within her that never got a chance to fly.