Maaaa – it’s almost a war cry let out by Hindi film heroes for the longest time. It’s changed and thank God for it. There was a time when mothers were meant to be boring, crying, singing and generally wallowing wallflowers in our cinema. But there have been some moms who redefine cool. They may be older than the leading pair but hey, they can pack in a punch or two, when needed. And often, they had more sass than the heroine and hero! Here’s looking at the seven Bollywood’s coolest moms.
1. Ratna Pathak Shah in Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na
Ratna Pathak Shah is just… cool. Whatever be your definition of the word, she fits in perfectly. So on Mother’s Day she is the first silver-screen mom we must talk about. In Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na, Imran Khan’s (remember the chocolate guy who all college kids had a crush on?) debut film, she 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 in 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. 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 and should be wishing on Mother’s Day.
3. Dolly Ahluwalia in Vicky Donor
Imagine a mother who is fretting and fussing over her son! Sounds like the typical Bollywood maa, 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 in Khoobsurat
How open and liberal is a 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 her sense of humour intact and tongue firmly within her cheek. Wow!
5. Farida Jalal in 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 daughter 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. On Mother’s Day today we wish we could have more B’wood moms like her.
6. Jaya Bachchan in Kal Ho Na Ho
Jaya Bachchan is the polar opposite of ‘cool’. In Kal Ho Na Ho, she wasn’t exactly pleasant or charming or fun-loving but she did take charge of her life.
Also, seeing Jayaji as a denim-clad single mother, giving it back to her bitter mother-in-law was a treat.
7. Dimple Kapadia in Luck By Chance
She was unique. Hardnosed, cynical and very strict. Pushy moms is a subject that Bollywood hasn’t dealt with (come on, our maas are the epitome of good behaviour and sacrifice, aren’t they?), but Dimple in Luck By Chance broke all stereotypes.
Playing a former actress who pushes her daughter into films and controlling her life and love, Dimple was superb.