Mere paas Maa hai….
This super hit dialogue from Amitabh Bachchan‘s film Deewaar encapsulates the worth of MOTHER. It drives home the point that no wealth in this world is equivalent to the eternal love of a mother. Hence each year in the second week of May, the world celebrates Mother’s Day, a day dedicated to the selfless sacrifice of an ‘Angel In Disguise’ called –MOTHER! This week, Indian Film History (IFH) dedicates a series of article on Mother And Bollywood. In our first part, IFH takes a look at some of the most glamorous actresses who played Mother’s Role quite effectively and convincingly.
The First name of a glamorous actress that strikes like a lightning is Nargis, mother of actor Sanjay Dutt and wife of yesteryear actor Sunil Dutt. Nargis was at the peak of her career and was known as a bold actress. She wore a stylish wardrobe and even was seen in a bikini in the film Awaara. She was unmarried and her romance with her co-star Raj Kapoor was also making waves. At this crucial stage of her career, Nargis accepted Mehboob Khan‘s film Mother India (1957). At the age of just 25 years, she played the role of an aged woman of 75 years!! What’s more, she kicked her glamorous image and did the role of a rural village woman.
In this film, Nargis played the role of a farmer’s wife and how she undergoes the trials and tribulations after her husband abandons her after becoming a cripple in an accident. Her struggle to raise her sons and her survival against a cunning money-lender amidst multiple atrocities made her character strong. Frustrated by the evils of the money-lender, her younger son turns dacoit. However, she shots him down for the pride of the village thus setting a goddess-like moral example of an ideal Indian woman. The role made Nargis immortal and she won numerous awards including Filmfare Best Actress Award in 1958. In addition, she became the first Indian film star to receive the Best Actress award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the present-day Czech Republic.
The next actress who broke her sex image and played an aged mother at the age of 23 years is Sharmila Tagore, mother of Saif Ali Khan and grandmother of Taimur Ali Khan! Sharmila Tagore like her daughter in law, Kareena Kapoor, was famous as a bold and sexy actress. She did many bold films and lived a high society lifestyle. She smoked in open and wore stunning outfits in her films but in film Aradhana (1969) she took the film audience by surprise by playing an old mother of 60 years. She played mother to upcoming actor Rajesh Khanna. Till date, it is her best role for which she won Filmfare Best Actress Award.
The next beautiful and charming actress who gave a new definition to Mother’s Role in Bollywood is none other but Rakhee, who has got immortalized with her iconic dialogue – ‘Mere Karan Arjun Aayenge” from the movie Karan Arjun (1995). In Karan Arjun, she played the mother of two of the biggest superstars of Indian cinema viz Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. In fact, like Nargis, Rakhee too played the role of a mother quite young in her career.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s she was one of the top actress and shared a popular pairing with Superstar Amitabh Bachchan in hit films like Kasme Vaade (1978), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979), Shaan (1980), Barsaat Ki Ek Raat (1981), Bemisal (1982) etc. At this vital stage, Rakhee took the challenge of playing mother to Amitabh Bachchan in the film Shakti (1982). Rakhee gave a powerhouse performance and won a Filmfare Nomination as Best Actress for Shakti. Later in Ram Lakhan in which she played the mother of Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff, she won Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress and this made her stereotyped. Her most memorable roles as the mother are Dacait, Baazigar, Soldier, Baadshah, Khalnayak, etc.