Where would we be if it were not for our mothers! It seems even Bollywood lovingly embraces the importance of mothers in our lives. For an industry that has thrived on portraying the intricacies of families, relationships and saas-bahu sagas, mothers have always played an important role in setting the tone of a film, helping move the plot further, and at times, being the center, around which the plot of a film revolves and evolves.
Be it Rakhee mouthing "Mere bete aayenge, mere Karan Arjun aayenge ... zameen ki chaati phad ke aayenge, aasman ka seena cheer ke aayenge," in Karan Arjun to Jaya Bachchan realising that her on-screen 'son' Shahrukh Khan has arrived even before his helicopter lands in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, the 'maa's of Bollywood' have left quite a mark on the big screen.
On the occasion of Mother's Day, as the world celebrates the power of the womanhood, we take a look at some of the most iconic mothers to have graced the screens of Indian cinema.
The actress was lauded by critics and audiences alike for her role as Radha in the 1957 critical and commercial success Mother India. The film saw Nargis evolve from a young bride with painted eyebrows to a matriarchal figure who does not care for appearances. Mother India was Nargis' big chance to prove her acting prowess outside the Raj Kapoor brand of cinema, and she delivered spectacularly.
The quintessential Bollywood mum, Nirupa Roy effortlessly donned motherhood in films and enacted the role of the mother to characters played by Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. Roy became synonymous with the role of the suffering mother during the 1970s when the angry young man movement was on in full swing.
The actress, who co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan in several films, did not hesitate to take on the role of his mum in films such as Laawaris (1981) and Shakti (1982). In the late 1980s, the actress portrayed the role of a bereaved mother, often at the mercy of villains in films like Baazigar (1993), Khalnayak (1993), Karan Arjun (1995) among others.
The actor returned to films with the role of a grieving mother in Govind Nihalani's Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998). In 2000, she starred in Fiza, for which she received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role. She also featured in Karan Johar's family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) as a mother.
Known for her comic timings, she has essayed the role of the mother in films like Raja Hindustani, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, for which she won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.
The actress is best known for her performances as Juhi Chawla's mother in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) and Salman Khan's mother in 1989 hit Maine Pyaar Kiya. She also played the role of Madhuri Dixit’s mother in the box-office hit Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.
Unlike actors who found fame through essaying the role of a loving and a doting mother, Lalita Pawar was better known to play the wicked, scheming mother or the foul mother-in-law. She did notable films like Sau Din Saas Ke, Hum Dono, Daag among many others.
While these actors are often remembered for their roles as a mother on screen, they are not the only ones. Actors Achala Sachdev, Waheeda Rehman and Leela Chitnis, among others have often essayed the role of a mother beautifully in Indian Cinema.
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