WICKED? MY STEP­MOM IS FAB­U­LOUS

A step­daugh­ter breaks the stereo­type

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - Front Page - by Sau­damini Jain

Mere paas ma hai’ is the mother of all come­backs. And not just to shut up your gang­ster sib­ling.

The mother is the hero of Bol­ly­wood. Even when her only con­tri­bu­tion seemed to be the ga­jar ka halwa made with her own two hands, she was in fact lay­ing solid ground­work to add con­text: She was the ideal; she had suf­fered a great loss (a dead hus­band, penury) but raised a good boy – and his job (and the film’s) was to make mama happy in the end.

In the ’90s, emerged the ‘mod­ern’ mother who was also a friend, she en­cour­aged love or sug­gested elope­ment ( Dil­wale Dul­haniya Le

Jaayenge). Now, she talks sex and gets drunk ( Vicky Donor). This is an ode to them.

THE SANSKAARI MA

WHO: Reema La­goo Prem: Ye fark nahin toh kya hai, ma? Saute­la­pan Vivek bhaiya ne nahin, tumne nib­haya hai! Ma: *SLAP*

WHY: In the ’90s, when Reema La­goo played mother/samd­han/ saasu-ma, she was in her thir­ties. Mag­a­zines cel­e­brated her as the ‘mod­ern’ mother: She was ‘mom’ who gig­gled and teased when the kids fell in love ( Maine Pyar Kiya).

LAST WE SAW HER: Sidelined by all the at­ten­tion her peren­nial Ra­jshri hus­band Alok Nath re­ceived for be­ing so #Sanskaari, she be­came

Face­book Pe Mummy– in Aditi Mit­tal’s hi­lar­i­ous video about moth­ers on Face­book. In real life, she is “tech­no­log­i­cally up­dated – on Face­book and What­sapp.”

ALSO SEEN IN: An un­der­wear ad where she is us­ing both her hands to stretch out a pair of un­der­pants. Clock­wise from left: Sal­man Khan’s peren­nial mom Reema La­goo; Farida Jalal ask­ing Ka­jol to elope in DDLJ and the hys­ter­i­cal Kir­ron Kher in Dostana

SRK’S MOTHER

WHO: Jaya Bachchan SCENE: Ma: *Hold­ing a thali* Rahul: *wag­ging fin­ger* Ae Ma… mere aane se pehle tumhe hame­sha kaise pata chal jaata hai? Ma: *Snif­fles, does teeka* Back­ground: Kabhi khushi kabhi gham… WHY: She hasn’t played too many moth­ers – Kabhi Khushi Kab­hie

Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Fiza. And she’s been Shah Rukh’s mum only once, but she was such a won­der­ful (and clair­voy­ant) mum in the film, that when we think of the Bachchan fam­ily, we think of the Raichands of K3G.

YOU PROB­A­BLY DIDN’T KNOW: Ap­par­ently, when a pho­to­jour­nal­ist ad­dressed her daugh­ter-in-law, Aish­warya Rai Bachchan, by name, Jaya shouted: “Kya Aish­warya Aish­warya bula rahe ho; tumhari class mein pad­hti thi kya?”

THE MA-BEHEN

WHO: Farida Jalal SCENE: “Jab ladki jawan ho jaati hai na ... toh maa uski maa nahi re­hti ... sa­heli ban jaati hai” HOW: Farida Jalal was ev­ery­body’s sis­ter in the ’70s. In an in­ter­view, she had said, “I was much in­de­mand as Dilip Saab’s sis­ter. Ev­ery hero wanted me to play his sis­ter.” And she did – un­til, like La­goo in her thir­ties, she started play­ing mother. DDLJ was a game-changer; af­ter it, “I could quote any price.”

SHE LIKED PLAY­ING MA: “When I was do­ing the sis­ter’s role... I would ob­ject to cer­tain scenes. But there is noth­ing you can ob­ject to in a mother’s role,” she has said.

THE MUM WHO BE­CAME A MEME

WHO: Rakhee “Mere Karan Ar­jun aayenge”

HOW: Shashi Kapoor once said that you could ei­ther write po­ems about Rakhee’s eyes or drown in them. But quite early on, Rakhee be­gan play­ing mother to men she had pre­vi­ously played lover to. In

Shakti (1982), a 35-year-old Rakhee played 40-year-old Amitabh Bachchan’s mother. She be­came a sort of an­gry Nirupa Roy fig­ure – her suf­fer­ing was fol­lowed by vendetta.

WHAT SHE IS UP TO NOW: Her last Hindi film was more than a decade ago. In an in­ter­view, her daugh­ter, film­maker Meghna Gulzar had said, “She is done play­ing the weep­ing mother.” Rakhee her­self thinks, “There’s too much noise and tech­ni­cal­ity now, I don’t fit in,” she said.

MOMEDIAN

WHO: Kir­ron Kher Jeete raho ... phulo phalo ... khair chodo HOW: It ac­tu­ally re­ally started with

Dev­das in 2002. But start­ing in the Noughties, she is mostly Pun­jabi, and mostly hi­lar­i­ous – from giv­ing kan­gans to her son’s gay boyfriend in Dostana to Skyp­ing and be­ing on first name ba­sis (“No, yaar. Manju meri ma”) with her daugh­ter in Khoob­surat.

EV­ERY­BODY’S MA

WHO: Smita Jaykar “Beti toh hoti hi hai patang ki tarah ... shaadi ke pehle apne chatt par ud­hti hai ... aur shaadi key baad dor kisi aur ke haath mein”

HOW: She has played ma to Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Aish­warya Rai, Ran­bir Kapoor… Her IMDb page lists her char­ac­ters in most movies as so-and-so’s mom. So it is not sur­pris­ing that ac­tors “call me ‘Mom’ on set and off set.”

TRIVIA: She is a mo­ti­va­tional speaker, and ‘can talk to spir­its.’

#MOTHERHOODGOALS

WHO: Ratna Pathak Shah “Paanch saal baad tum dono ya­haan saath aaye ho. Yun jan­waron ki tarah be­have karna za­roori hai kya?”

HOW: She’s called the go-to mod­ern mother – be­cause, well, she is. Last seen in Kapoor & Sons, Shah has been set­ting mother­hood goals

since 2008 ( Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na). Her moth­ers are fiery, bit­ingly sar­cas­tic, but over­all, chilled out in their own way – it is how she is in real life.

ON BE­ING A STEP­MOTHER: Shah has two sons, and a step-daugh­ter (Heeba, Naseerud­din Shah’s daugh­ter from his first mar­riage). Their re­la­tion­ship, she says, “was, of course, a strug­gle for both of us in the be­gin­ning! But we be­came friends. There were prob­lems, like all moth­ers and daugh­ters – I fought with my mother a thou­sand times more! But Heeba is a tough one, she took it and she gave back.”

MA KNOWS IT ALL

WHO: Tisca Cho­pra Tu­jhe sab hai pata, hai na, ma?

HOW: Taare Zameen Par, says Tisca Cho­pra, is still pay­ing her bills – and she will al­ways be thank­ful to this film. We’re thank­ful too – be­cause dyslexic lit­tle Ishan Awasthi and his lovely mum snif­fling to Pra­soon Joshi’s lyrics made us rush to our moth­ers to tell them how much we love them.

THE CUTEST ANEC­DOTE: The cast was of­ten thrown into one room to bond. “Darsheel was a brat and so was Sa­chet (Ishan and Yo­haan in the film). I had to use jun­gle tac­tics. We were play­ing Uno – I didn’t know the game. So they kept mak­ing up rules. They were hid­ing cards un­der their shirts – they thought they’d get away with it. I held them by their legs, hung them up­side down, and all the cards fell out. Then, I threw them onto the floor, put a cush­ion on them and sat on them,” says Cho­pra.

THE CHILLER

WHO: Swa­roop Sam­pat “Sex ho gaya na? Im­por­tant be­fore com­mit­ment” HOW: In the ’80s, Sam­pat – Miss In­dia, 1979 – quit act­ing to take up the full-time job of be­ing Mrs Paresh Rawal, and rais­ing their two boys. So we don’t gen­er­ally as­so­ciate her with mother­hood on screen – that is, un­til Ki & Ka.

TRIVIA: Sam­pat is a PhD – she wrote her the­sis on ed­u­ca­tion, drama and learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties.

THE PUN­JABI MOM

WHO: Dolly Ah­luwalia Kitni baari twaanu kaha hai, ki drink karte samay Vicky ka naam mat liya karo. Saari ut­tar jati hai.

HOW: Ah­luwalia is called the stereo­typ­i­cal Pun­jabi mom, but has said, “It is like ev­ery house­hold cooks aloo ke paran­the but some pre­fer to add anar­dana while oth­ers gin­ger-gar­lic paste... each Pun­jabi woman I have played is dif­fer­ent from the other.”

TRIVIA: She has never had al­co­hol, doesn’t have chil­dren, never had a mother-in-law. Go fig­ure how she did Vicky Donor again.

EVIL STEP­MOTHER

WHO: Aruna Irani “Aaj ke baad woh jagega toh maa ka­hega, soyega toh maa ka­hega, jeeyega toh maa ka­hega ... aur marega tab bhi maa ka­hega”

HOW: “For ac­tresses my age,” Irani said in a 2013 in­ter­view, “There’s no work in films any­more. None of my con­tem­po­raries are ac­tive and not be­cause they don’t want to work. To­day the story re­volves around four friends.”

HOW SHE BE­CAME MA: Irani rose to fame as a mother-vamp in Beta. The film was made by her brother – Irani was not his first choice. So, “Dur­ing ev­ery shot, the thought up­per­most in my mind was, ‘You didn’t think I could play this char­ac­ter, I’ll prove you wrong.’ There was anger and vengeance in my mind and eyes through­out.”

Clock­wise from above: Jaya Bachchan, the clair­voy­ant mom in K3G; Rakhee waits for her Karan Ar­jun and Tisca Cho­pra tears us up in Taare Zameen Par

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