Hindi films are incomplete without mothers. The films have depicted all kinds of mothers, the caring and loving ones, the perpetually weeping ones, courageous and brave ones, sick and dying ones, the mother who sacrifices and sometimes can even be wicked.
“Maa” – this is one word which you think of and in the context of movies you are reminded of Nirupa Roy who is not able to come to terms with the idea that her son has underworld connections. And you even remember Jaya Bachan who can feel the footsteps of her son in a crowded Mall of London, even without seeing him.
Bollywood moms have changed the face of Indian cinema. There is no other place than Bollywood where mothers are revered like this. We all have heard and also sometimes have used the famous line from Deewar- “Mere paas ma hai.” So, here are some Bollywood movies in which mothers are central to the plot and are the driving force of the storyline.
Mother India (1957)
This film showcases the sacrifices a mother has to take in extreme circumstances. The movie is set in a village. And there is extreme poverty. Radha (Nargis) has two sons and lives a poor life with her husband. Her mother took money from Sukhilal to marry Radha to Shamu. But they are unable to pay the debt and have to sell their land to even things out. Distressed Shamu leaves Radha and his children. Her elder son Birju has a lot of resentment towards Sukhilal and after a failed attempt at attacking him, he kills him on his daughter’s wedding. On seeing this, Radha takes an extreme step and kills her very son who dies in her arms. So, the film demonstrates courage and sacrifices a mother has to make. She loves her children but also stands for what is right.
This movie has a woman centric storyline which is about a mother and her two sons Vijay and Ravi who choose opposite ways to prove their mettle. Vijay goes on to become a part of the underworld while the younger one Ravi becomes educated and joins the police force. So, there is this “Deewar” between the brothers due to the diversity of their choices. Their father leaves them when the kids are small so this basically forces Vijay to undertake criminal activities to earn quick money. Ravi on the other hand becomes an honest policeman. The mother now has to decide between the two sons and this is such a difficult decision for her. But eventually she chooses what is right.
Karan Arjun (1995)
This movie shows Rakhee Gulzar play the role of Durga Singh who loses her husband early . She has two sons Karan and Arjun whom she raises alone. She gives them unconditional love and does not tell them about the truth of their father’s death. But the sons find out and go out to take revenge. However, both get killed and Durga becomes devastated and loses her mind. After this Durga prays every day to God to return her sons. 17 years later two men who look like Karan and Arjun enter her life and are determined to take the revenge on the man who destroyed her family. So, this movie is about a mother’s determination and love which can actually create miracles.
Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Ghum (2001)
In this movie, Jaya Bachchan plays the role of Nandini who adopts a boy named Rahul. Gradually she becomes closer and closer to her adopted son and favours him even more than her real son to whom she has given birth. When Rahul grows up, he expresses his desire to marry a girl from a different cast and this makes their father and Nandini’s husband to kick him out of their lives. But eventually it is seen that a mother’s love is so strong that it even melts the cold heart of her husband and she is able to bring them back in their lives.
Chandni Bar (2001)
The protagonist of the film is portrayed by Tabu, who plays the role of Mumtaz P. Sawant. It is shown in the film that she loses her home and family to communal riots. She starts living with her only relative, her uncle. She starts working as a bar dancer at Chandni bar to earn her living. Her uncle starts using the money she earns and spends on alcohol. Not only this he starts taking advantage of Mumtaz and one night ends up raping her. She decided to marry the local drug Lord to move away from this life. She gives birth to two children. Being married to drug lord comes with its own challenges and Mumtaz does everything she can to save her children from this fate that is destined for them.
Kya Kehna (2000)
This story is about a young girl called Priya who meets Rahul in her college and falls in love with him immediately. She becomes Pregnant with Rahul’s child while the latter cuts all strings with her upon realizing that she is pregnant. Priya decides that she will give birth to her baby and raise him/her independently and she is even asked to leave her home. This story shows how strong a lady can be when it comes to rescuing her child even when the whole world is against her.
English Vinglish (2012)
In this movie Sridevi Ji plays the role of Shashi Godbole who does not know how to speak in English. So, she enrols herself in an English-speaking course in America to get some respect from her husband and daughter. Her daughter used to make fun of her English and put her down due to her poor English skills. But Shashi continues to shower immense and unconditional love on her. In the end of the movie, just for her daughter she delivers a speech in English and it surely wins hearts. So, this movie shows that mothers can cross impossible boundaries just to earn little love and respect from her children. Beautiful!
In this movie, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays the role of Anuradha Verma Anuradha is a criminal lawyer and a single mother who has never seen defeat in any of the cases she has fought but then eventually has to speak in defence of a convicted felon after his gang kidnaps her daughter. It brings awareness to the crimes happening to kidnapped children and it also represents a strong mother doing whatever she can to protect the child.
This movie is about Devki (late Sridevi) who has two daughters. However, her daughter Arya remains disconnected and distant from her. She is a sensitive girl and is not able to accept her mother completely like a daughter should. Devki waits for love and acceptance from Arya. But an unfortunate incident occurs and Arya is pushed further to the point of no return. She does not get the answers from the legal system and she takes things in her own hands to fight for her daughter. This is about what a woman who is also a woman does when she is challenged.
Helicopter Eela (2018)
Eela (Kajol) is an aspiring singer and a single mother. She gives up on her dreams to raise her only son “Vivaan”. Now the son grows up and does not want his mother’s life to revolve around him. However, Eela is an overprotective mother and she joins her son’s college to be able to spend more time with him. This does not go down well with Vivan and the plan backfires. She continues to treat Vivan like a small child in front of his friends and so their relationship takes the downward turn. This story is about a mother who tries to salvage her relationship with Vivan and finds her true calling again.
So, the bond a mother shares with her children is strong and special, more than what words can ever explain. For such a long time now, Bollywood has doted on its mothers who portray such a strong role on screen. This Mother’s Day we thought of paying tribute to the mothers of Bollywood by remembering the so many movies they have done. This is not an exhaustive list and there are many more movies in the history of Indian cinema. We do hope that our dear Bollywood gives us many more movies where women play a strong, progressive and kickass role. All we can say is that “MOTHERS ARE THE BEST”
Meta Description: Hindi cinema perfectly portrays the role of mothers in the film. So, this International Women’s Day we are remembering those movies where mothers stood rock solid with her children or what was right and inspired us.