Here is bringing to you the seven most legendary types of mothers in the history of Indian cinema. From fasting for the son who is generally the hero in the movie to sitting at the temples for days and nights at a stretch- these mothers have done it all.
A mother’s dilemma between love and duty was brilliantly articulated when Nirupa Roy (Deewar, 1975) handed over the gun to her police officer son and ‘prayed’ for his weapon to remain steady. Having done her duty as a woman, she left to wait for her errant son immediately afterwards.
Reema Lagoo broke off her B-grade shackles and emerged as the nation’s coolest mother as Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) became the first movie to have a ‘mom’ instead of a ‘mother’. Here was a really cool lady who threw darts, was okay with a bob-cut, actually mouthed the word ‘mini skirt’ and dyed her hair.
Bindu’s role in Biwi Ho Toh Aisi (1988) was one of the great examples of unintended hilarity in Hindi cinema. Her refrain of ‘Secretary, follow me’ and constant harangue against her bahu Rekha were stuff legends are made of.
Aruna Irani in Beta (1992) had an epic battle with her daughter-in-law (Madhuri Dixit), as the step-son (Anil Kapoor), looked on and smiled foolishly, was torn between the two super-heroines and finally got poisoned before rising from the dead to save his mother.
In Aradhana (1969), single mom Sharmila Tagore’s son grew up to be yet another dashing Air Force pilot with the same drop-dead good looks as his father. The mother survived unwed motherhood, a jail sentence and very bad make-up.
The desi version of Kramer vs Kramer, Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995) — had Manisha Koirala leaving super-chauvinistic-really-atrocious hubby Aamir Khan to put up a fight for a career in films. Then she got into a custody battle for which the now-martyred Aamir had to sell off his precious musical compositions.
Mother (2001) had Rekha in the title role and the object of the game was to find out which of her three lovers was the father of her daughter. The contestants were Rakesh Roshan, Jeetendra and Randhir Kapoor.
-An extract from ‘Kitnay Aadmi Thay?’, by Diptakirti Chaudhari