Hamare Pass ‘Mom’ Hai!


Reading Naomi Woolf in her easy chair, outwitting husband’s mocking jibes, dealing with children’s new sexual dynamics, taking turns with kids in preparing breakfast or rejoicing at son’s wedding with drinks and dance—the new-age Bollywood mother is rocking the scene! She is spicy, she is elegant; she is supercilious, she is lovable; she is candid, she is stern—she is an all in one! Indian cinema in its centenary year is enthralled to acknowledge the fiery, liberated, new-age Bollywood mom. On this Mother’s Day let us celebrate 5 dynamic, vivacious onscreen Bollywood mothers.

Dolly Arora

Dolly Arora (Dolly Ahluwalia) in Vicky Donor is coming of age of Indian cinema! A feisty single-mother, she runs a small beauty parlour from home for livelihood and convincingly mirrors the lives of numerous middle-class Indian women. But she is not to lament the hardships of life; she believes in knocking these challenges head-on, pampering herself in a saloon, sharing a drink with her mother-in-law and leading a high-spirited life, quite literally! The stellar character gave Dolly Ahluwalia a National Award for the Best Supporting Actress.


She is lively, charming, a scene-stealer and my personal favorite! Biji (Kamlesh Gill) in Vicky Donor is a zesty grandmother, we all would love to have, who outdoes all moms in the category with her liberated outlook and sublime smile. If she can lovingly rebuke her daughter-in-law for not bringing dowry, she can fondly share a drink with her. Biji is adorable and a live-fire! She is not to be confused with Bollywood’s stereotyped grandmother who pronounces only ‘ram-naam’ or virtues from scriptures at the drop of a hat. Our Biji can aspire for LED TV and 32GB iphone as easily as she can accept a divorced girl as his grandson’s bride and can rationally suggest adoption to the childless couple. She holds the dialogue—’Dilli mein do he cheezen modern hai, ek metro aur ek aap’ true to the core!

Shashi Godbole

Gently, composedly Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) rejuvenates the character of an Indian mother in English Vinglish from a ‘homemaker’ to an ‘entrepreneur’. She is an elegant, affectionate mother who epitomizes the indomitable spirit of womanhood. With her, our Bollywood mother decides to come out of the Rajshri genre of family sagas where a self-effacing mother (often Reema Lagoo) is a kitchen wizard, serving piping hot food to the children and husband and is caught between the complexities of her family life. Shashi dazzles as a conventional middle-class Indian homemaker who decides to fight her anxieties, her everyday struggles with a belief in herself and a smile on her face.

Savitri Rathore

Savitri Rathore (Ratna Pathak Shah) of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na enlivens the screen as a realistic new-age mother who is a guide and a pal, someone who ducks cooking with as much fervor with which she picks a novel. She is an educated, emancipated single-mother, a fierce social worker but is far from being portrayed as an unrelenting, hardheaded mother (read Dina Pathak from Khubsoorat). She is a comforting listener who can get into a candid discussion with her son about relationships and holds a splendid sense of humour. When her son’s friend grieves about the end of college life and asks her where those five years went, she wittingly replies—’On the phone, beta. On the phone’. Guys, don’t we just adore her!

Parminder ‘Bobby’ Prakash

She came and she changed the game! Kirron Kher as Parminder ‘Bobby’ Prakash in Hum Tum though came almost a decade back, needs to be credited for ushering the era of new-age, bold and sexy mothers replete with authentic mannerisms. What came next are extensions of her role of a liberated mother—Kamaljeet ‘Kamal’ Saran (KANK) and Mrs. Acharya (Dostana) who can tackle the complexities of love, marriage and sexuality with élan and have inspired the Indian mothers to suffuse some humor with homemaking.

Indeed these new-age Bollywood mothers, in their bold and charming avatar have rescued the teary-eyed, pensive Bollywood ‘Maa’. For long, Bollywood has fetched claps by unraveling tales of righteous vengeance, defiance and justice on the struggle and suffering of a mother. But it is time now to exalt the emancipated, liberated and spirited Maa (and ofcourse grandma!) of Bollywood who is intelligent and humble and does no preachy melodrama. So kudos to them and wishing all a Happy Mother’s Day!

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