Hindi Film Industry has a special place for mothers in its stories and some of the most powerful characters played by women in this industry are of mothers. A wife can be portrayed as weak and scared but a mother, she is never weak. Actually, she never was weak in our stories, neither in 1940 when Mehboob Khan made Aurat nor in 2016 when Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari made Nil Battey Sannata (don’t misinterpret, I am putting these two on the same level). Let’s have a look on the Mothers in Cinema.
So, who comes into picture when we think about Maa in films? Of course, Nirupa Roy comes first. After all “Mere Paas Maa Hai” is referring to her only. Here I am listing ten best mothers in Hindi films and as said the list starts with Nirupa Roy.
She started her career playing the leading lady but shifted to playing roles of a mother early in her career. She was the favorite mother of Superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Her role in Deewar made her synonymous with ‘Maa’. Her famous roles include Amar Akbar Anthony, Suhaag, Mard, Muqaddar ka Sikander, Roti, Aan Milo Sajna, Khoon Pasina and Kranti. She may have played impoverished, struggling and suffering mother but she was never a week, take the case of Deewar.
Durga Khote started her career in 1932 and has played a variety of characters but the most memorable is Shehzada Salim’s mother Jodha Bai in Mughal-e-Azam. She also played Kaikeyi in Bharat Milap. Her role in Karz is also remembered even today. She won the Dada Saheb Falke Award in 1983 and was one of the most powerful women in the industry.
Hindi Cinema’s most dreaded mother and mother-in-law, Lalita Pawar has more than 300 films to her credit. She started her career in the silent era in the 1920s and acted till 1990s. Her most memorable roles include Shri 420, Anari, Mr. & Mrs. 55, Khandaan, Bluff Master, Neel Kamal and Professor.
Most remembered for featuring in the song ‘Ai Meri Zohra Zabeen’ in Waqt she has acted in more than 250 films. Her most memorable roles are in Mera Naam Joker, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Arzoo, Chandni and some recent ones like DDLJ, K3G, and Kal Ho Na Ho.
She played the role of the suffering mother of Dileep Kumar in Shaheed in 1948 and after that, the famous heroine of Ashok Kumar became the most suffering and ailing mother of Hindi Cinema. She acted as the mother of Raj Kapoor in Awara, Dileep Kumar in Ganga Jumna and Dev Anand in Guide. Her portrayal of Raju guide’s mother is considered one of the best.
Permanent mother in Rajshree Productions’ films, she is the best middle-class mother of Hindi Cinema. Apart from Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, and Hum Saath Saath Hain, her other memorable roles include Saajan, Rangeela, Kal Ho Na Ho, Yes Boss and Kuchh Kuchh Hota hai.
No one can forget Simran’s mother in DDLJ. Farida Jalal started as a heroine in the Hindi Cinema but after acting in some unsuccessful films, she changed her role to sister and then to the mother. As a mother, she was the most successful with some really good roles in Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai and Kya Kehna. She got National award for her role in Mammo.
Amol Palekar’s borrowed mother in Golmaal, Dina Pathak played powerful roles in a number of good Hindi films. Her roles include ‘Khoobsoorat’, ‘Sacha Jhoota’, ‘Saat Hindustani’, ‘Koshish’, ‘Avishkar’, ‘Mausam’, ‘Chitchor’, ‘Dream Girl’, ‘Golmaal’, ‘Umrao Jaan’, ‘Thodisi Bewafai’, ‘Prem Rog’, ‘Aankhen’, ‘Arth’, ‘Yarana’, ‘Pardes’, and ‘Tum Bin’.
Although she has not acted as a mother in many films, her name deserves a special mention because how can we not include Mother India in the list. Her role in Mother India has given her a special status in the Hindi Cinema. She is remembered for her great contribution to the world of Cinema through her portrayal of Radha who single-handedly raises her two children.
The list would be incomplete without Rakhee. ‘Mere Karan Arjun Aayenge…..Mere Karan Arjun Aayenge’. She played mother to the two biggest superstars Salman and Shahrukh in a single film. Her roles in Ram Lakhan, Khalnayak, Baazigar, Soldier are well remembered. She is considered a natural while playing a mother.