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Happy Mother’s Day: From Badhaai Ho’s Priyamvada to Gully Boy’s Razia, these movie moms won our hearts

This Mother’s Day we bring you five moms that we met in Bollywood movies last year. These ladies won our hearts, gave us a cosy home and a warm glass of milk before tucking us to bed.

bollywood Updated: May 12, 2019 12:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Happy Mothers’ Day,Mothers’ Day,Movie Moms
Surekha Sikri and Neena Gupta’s performances in Badhaai Ho were loved by all.

It’s Mother’s Day today! As the world celebrates the most precious day of them all, we bring you five movie mommies we met last year on screens big and small. These women won us over with their warmth, their strength or simply by their sassiness. Did your favourite Bollywood mom make it to the list?

Priyamvada (Badhaai Ho)

Neena Gupta as Priyamvada Kaushik in Badhaai Ho.

Neena Gupta found a second coming in Bollywood with Amit Sharma’s Badhaai Ho. The saccharine sweet story of a family coming to terms with an embarrassing secret, gave us a lesson in what it really means to love unconditionally.

Neena was magical as the Everymom struggling with the sharp stabs of her mother-in-law’s tongue, the disdain of her sons and the embarrassing secret that the world will not let her live down.

She is a middle aged woman who gets pregnant after a magical night of love and love poems. Many would find it a nightmare to be in her position but to think about it, who could be remotely as lucky as her? She has found a partner who cannot get enough of her, two sons who would do anything for their family and ultimately, a grateful mother-in-law. But Neena makes sure we empathize with Priyamvada just as much as we are jealous of her.

Dadi (Badhai Ho)

Surekha Sikri as Dadi in Badhaai Ho.

It’s something we rarely see in Bollywood movies but Badhaai Ho gave us not one but two very familiar female characters. Not just the woman who is all strength and resilience in the face of adversity but also the one who barked at her all day from her folding bed in the living room.

Surekha Sikri’s Dadi is such a staple figure in all desi households but she is rarely shown in all her temperate forms. She is either Lalita Pawar, who would murder her daughter-in-law at first chance, or she is Rakhee, who would lie at death’s feet to take her instead. There has never been a middle ground, the ground where all dadis usually exist.

Dadi makes Priyamvada’s life difficult with her constant nagging, keeps a count on how many mango slices she’s had, and even drags her family into her daily screaming sessions.

But she knows she is the only source of stress that Priyamvada deserves. So when the world turns against her, calls her an embarrassment, a joke and a mistake, she makes sure they know how they’ll never be half the people that her daughter-in-law is. In one of the most beautiful moments of the movie, she puts her hand on her head, telling her ‘Khush Reh’. And we know it was all a play. All the drama, all the anger and all the taunts were make believe. And in that moment, we wish for a mother-in-law like her.

Professor Vidya Iyer (October)

Gitanjali Rao as Professor Vidya Iyer in October.

There are emotions so ephemeral that reproducing them for screen often taints them with melodrama. How do you play the mother of a young woman whose death is imminent without overplaying your hand? Faced with this impossible task, Gitanjali Rao punctuated her performance in October with pauses -- a strong woman whohas to hold it together for her family while she struggles with helplessness and a grief so dark that it can subsume her.

The moments she and Varun Dhawan’s Dan share in the film, especially during the climax, show faith and hope are possible in toughest of times because that is what living is all about.

Restraint and silences are something Hindi cinema does rarely; October perhaps is a shining example of mainstream cinema embracing them. In this love story of Dan and Shiouli, Rao is the beating heart.

Amma (Sui Dhaaga)

Yamini Das as Amma in Sui Dhaaga.

“Mamta! Rajma bhigo diyo,” “Mamta! Dhaniya ki thaili kahan rakhi hai?,” “Mamta! Chatt se tulsi todd la chai ke liye.” Sharat Katariya’s Sui Dhaaga may not be one of the greats from last year but it sure gave us some really earthy and memorable characters. Yamini Das’ ‘Amma’ is spotted in so many homes all across north India that seeing her on the big screen felt like coming back home after a long trip.

The overworked, stressed-out mother was also as sweet as sugar. She has very little to say but she gave Sharat’s film that extra earthiness that glamourous Bollywood stars like Anushka Sharma or Varun Dhawan couldn’t. Laying on her charpai or crying over a broken leg in a hospital bed, she even screamed like your Meerut wali maami.

She put on that night gown made of a curtain with a big smile on her face. Even as Bauji was all but supportive towards Mamta and Mauji’s dreams, she was the one who wore their first creation and walked down the hospital lobby like it was a fashion ramp. She is the neighbourhood aunty who everyone loves.

Razia (Gully Boy)

Amruta Subhash as Razia Ahmed in Gully Boy.

Marathi actor Amruta plays Ranveer’s mother in Gully Boy. She may be just six years older than him but their relationship doesn’t feel forcibly forged in a casting director’s office. For her, things fall apart when her husband brings home a second wife, or maybe things were never put together anyway. She feels the humiliation, takes it in as long as she could but also fights back, even in the realisation that she has already lost. The new bride will get a room while she sleeps on the kitchen floor. The new bride will get breakfast in bed while she washes her dishes. Amruta switched from gentle to protective, from feral to broken with organic ease. She is an actor who deserves to be known by her first name by mainstream Bollywood.

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First Published: May 12, 2019 12:36 IST