Kirron Kher (Dostana)
How would an Indian mom react on finding her son in the act of being gay ? That expression and scene was nailed by Kirron Kher in Dostana. Even though the Bollywood veteran did not play a major role in the film her cameo added the extra element of comedy and mirth. Her portrayal of the “Punjaban” mom is deserving enough to earn her a nomination in our list.
Jaya Bachchan(Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham/Kal Ho Na Ho/Fiza)
No one other than Jaya Bachchan can be thought of if you talk about Bollywood mothers. She has portrayed amazing characters with a lot of diversity ranging from the standard subdued Indian house wife in Kabhi khushi Kabhi Gham to playing the strong and calm mother in Fiza and Kal Ho Na Ho.
Tisca Chopra(Taare Zameen Par)
A film that gave a very different angle to the mother-son relationship at a very nascent and difficult stage. Not known to play largely impacting roles on-screen Tisca Chopra gave a moving performance as a mother to dyslexic child and won our hearts.
Deepti Naval (Listen…Amaya)
Listen…Amaya is the story of a widowed mother and her relationship with her grown up daughter. As Amaya, the daughter, on seeing her mother (Deepti Naval) fall in love with a widowed photographer, Faarooq Shaikh, insecurity, shame and anger surface and estrange the mother-daughter bond for Swara Bhaskar(Amaya). The film goes on to give one of the most practical climax to the crisis as Deepti Naval not only plays a cool and composite friend but a protective and selfless mother in the modern age.
Amrita Singh (2 States)
Punjabi mom’s and mother in laws are one character that Bollywood has always understood perfectly. Whether it be her over dramatic loud tone or the extremely possessive and caring affection towards her son, Amrita Singh nailed the role of a Punjabi mother in 2 States. Capturing almost every aspect of a Delhi based Punjabi mom, Amrita Singh is one of our all time favourite on screen mothers.
Richa Chadda (Gangs of Wasseypur)
Gangs of Wasseypur was probably about everything else but motherhood, but Richa Chadda’s sassy character of Nagma Khaatoon where she plays a mother to Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vineet Kumar Singh is one which is hard for me to forget. Her bold on-screen character and simple yet punch packing dialogues add essence to the film and land her up in the list of the coolest 21st century Bollywood mothers.
Vidya Balan (Paa)
Paa gave parenting a completely different look as we saw Vidya Balan and Abhishek Bachchan parent a specially abled child, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. The film adds a fresh flavour to motherhood as we see Vidya Balan essay an independent mother who brings up her son ensuring he fits into the society despite his physical and medical challenges. Though it may not be one of her remembered roles, but Vidya Balan did pull off a stereotypical yet audacious mother in Paa.
Swara Bahskar (Nil Battey Sannata)
Another on screen mother daughter relationship which blew us away completely with its simplicity and adorable character. With Swara bhaskar essaying the role of a mother to a stubborn and out of control daughter the film talks about the problems a typical lower middle class mother faces in bringing her child to the right track.
Ratna Pathak Shah (Jaane Tu Ya Jane Na)
Ratna Pathak Shah will always be remembered for her television character Maya Sarabhai and her bold yet elegant mother’s act in Jaane Tu. Playing a single mother to debutant Imran Khan she adds the perfect amount of humour, wit and control to the mother’s character a film like Jaane Tu needed.
Zohra Sehgal (Cheeni Kum)
If you talk Hindi film mom’s you cannot miss out on the witty little Zohra Sehgal in Cheeni Kum. Playing a mother to the veteran Amitabh Bachchan could have been a tough task but late Zohra Sehgal pmade it an exemplary performance. Not only was she witty but also used the standard Indian mom style sarcasm to blow off the veteran Mr. Bachchan at times. If not an all time favourite, she is one of the top contenders for the coolest on screen mothers ever played.
Sridevi (English Vinglish)
In her directorial debut Gauri Shinde gave us an image of a Marathi house that is solely run by a housewife, Sridevi. As a mother to two children and a wife, her inability to comprehend and speak English is taunted at every step by her husband and her daughter. As the film progresses she goes onto learn the language to the best of her ability and ends the film wrapping up one of the most modest and self motivated Bollywood mums.