From Maa to Mom.....

Courtesy : Google Images

I do not claim to be a Bollywood buff.   I am certainly not the one who quotes from Hindi movie dialogues and thinks Amitabh Bachhan is God.  Our taxi driver at Dalhousie threatened to offload us the moment he came to know we hadn't watched Gadar.  He kept muttering in an anguished tone - Aapne Gadar nahin dekhi!!   My favourite celluloid moment is from the movie Kaalia.  Every time Amitabh strode in to bash the baddies, the background score would reverberate with chants of Kaalia..Kaalia...Kaalia.... I still chuckle at the thought of it.

I grew up on a sedate diet of Sai Paranjpe, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Satyajit Ray movies.  Multigrain chapatis with steamed cauliflowers for us, while my parents feasted on kakoris.  I am ashamed to admit that I watched Sholay a decade after it was released.  Soon my parents gave up on conscientious parenting and the whole family watched masala flicks together.  From Suhag to Lawaris to Sharabi to some random flick starring Jeetendra and Sridevi - I have watched them all.

Before I could be condemned  to eternal damnation for subjecting my senses to torture,  I was married to a man averse to even the thought of Hindi movies.  After years of dedicated whining and veiled threats, I manage to drag him to the theatre once in a while.  His delicate senses cannot tolerate more than a couple of Hindi flicks annually.  The moment he reaches his threshold,  he goes on a dharna.  No, he hasn't reached a stage when he has to say Chalo Jantar Mantar.

Why am I babbling about movies on Mother's day?  Am I not supposed to wax eloquent about my mother instead? Because any Mother's Day celebration is incomplete without the mention of our legendary Celluloid Maa (CM).

The matriarch earmarked for suffering and unfailingly a victim of a series of unfortunate events.  Any disaster, any catastrophe, any medical ailment - the CM was always the happy recipient.  Despite being the candidate for the best Mommy ever, she would manage to lose her kids after the movie had progressed to just a few scenes.  This after she had watched her Pati Parmeshwar get killed mercilessly by the smuggler with a ghastly dress sense (checked bellbottoms, shirts with collars that reached his navel,  pencil thin moustache and cheap shades).   She would spend the rest of her miserable life hunched over a sewing machine or working under the blistering sun at a construction site.  It worked as a good reminder of why we should study and not waste time watching movies.   The movie would end happily with her reuniting with betaa dear and the smuggler reuniting with his dear departed relatives in hell.

Times have changed - she is no longer Maa but Mom. With liberalization she weeps copiously in her Manish Malhotra saris, matches steps with her bahu on Karva Chauth   Sadly she is no longer the centre-piece but a mere show piece.  She has been edited out of B-Town. There are too many Sheelas and Munnis vying for celluloid space, why waste time on Maa. But one Mom who really stood out in the current crop of movies, was Supriya Pathak's character in Wake Up Sid.  The uncool Mom who loves her wastrel son unconditionally.

Do you have a favourite CM?  The Eww Mom who made you want to throw up. My candidate would be Rakhi ...Mere bete ayenge....Mere Karan Arjun Ayaenge in her very bong accent.  She was nominated the President of headbangers club after her excruciating performance.  Or the Kewl Mom - the one who made you wish she was yours.  I nominate Ratna Pathak Shah in Jane Tu Yaa Jaane Naa.  The cool crusader with her mind of her own - she was sharp,  funny and so very gutsy.

And now it's your turn to name your favourite candidiate for the title of The Eww CM and the Kewl CM. Ready?

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  1. See what globalization has done to our cultural "Maa".
    Sometimes some uber cool boys greet their "Maa" aka "Mom" with "Yo". How sweet na!?! Eh!

  2. Damn.....I have no answer to the question you have asked in the end. Kewl Mom and Ewww Mom of celluloid? No idea about that. On an average I have seen 2 Hindi Movies annually.
    But that was an entertaining post. More entertaining than a Hindi movie, if I am allowed to say so.

    P.S. Why did you choose such an awful image?

  3. CM EWW OR KEWL whatever one other than Uma Devi (Remember Tun tun) the always vocal mum of 8 children in our childhood days movies.

  4. I can give you some kannada actresses names, but you do not know them :o). I too am not very big fan of bollywood or any commercial movies for that matter.
    But i liked Wake up Sid, mommy too.. :)

  5. You coined a new term here 'Celluloid Maa'. For me Nirupa Roy should be awarded the brand ambassadorship of CM which is rare now. It is the age of kewl moms, as you have said.

    I guess Karan Johar still shows some CM characters (kabhi khushi kabhi gham), rest has shifted the focus to Munnis and Sheelas.

    Enjoyable reading. Thanks.

  6. I've always liked Kiran Rao as a CM. Especially her portrayal of a loud Punjaban but a loving, supportive mom to Rani's character in Hum Tum was memorable. Add Shernaz Patel's performance in Black. Also Tisca Chopra as Ishaan's mom in TZP was quite good. I don't know whether they qualify as kewl moms or not but they do adhere to the much more acceptable standards of real moms. :P

  7. my eww CM wud b mohini hattangadi. i jus haaaate her!
    n kewl num nummm- lalita pawar...ya wahi torture woman...she was hilarious n a treat to watch...full on drama queen!

  8. Hahaha...hilarious! The depiction of gangster villain in checked bell bottoms,pencil moustache- ultimate! All through the post i was wondering why no mention of Rakhee in Karan Arjun. And when i read that headgangers...oh my! I burst with laughter!!! My hubby is so averse to watching Hindi movies like ur hubby dear- they are hindimovieophobes;) Ewww Mom would be obviously Rakhee in Karan Arjun...all other moms are kewl;)

  9. it's perfect timing that you captured the declining role of the mother in the Indian movies/culture ... on mommy day - the day you change your profile pic to the one with your mom in it !!!

    not only that moms are edited out of the scenes but they are cut out from the movie halls - with the kind of movies these days, I am kind of scared to go to a movie with her :)

    P.S. Satyajit Ray is awesome ...

  10. What a refreshing Mother's Day tribute! Eww Mom? I will name one, long before your Nirupa Roys and Achala Sachdevs -- Pandhri Bai. She took the bread, cake and ale and whatever else in that dept. I liked Vidya Balan's mother in Paa as a candidate for Kewl Mom. sorry, don't know her name.

    Now, when do we get the awards?

  11. Good one Purba. Ah I can remember one eternally wailing maa in Malayalam movies. She wails in every movie she's in, everyone loves her, I cringe when she belts out the same scenes in most movies. And yes, many a movie today has these smart n trendy mom's who'd rather see their teenager hooked than buried in books. I'd mention a grandmom, from the movie Rules- Pyar ka superhit formula! Although I dont agree to all her rules, I love her thinking with the new-age!

  12. I think the RocKstaRR Maa of the decade shud go to Kiron Kher in Dostana.. the way she reacts 2 finding her son 2 b gay is awe soo Maa-gnificiento... some brilliant lines too..."Phoolo aur Phalo...khair chodo!" ....n the scene whr she welcums her son's gay boyfriend complete with K3G background music is totally tops!!! It's all very over the top n makes fun of the Nirupa Roy stereotype of the past.. My vote fr the Maa of the Maa-linneium: Kiron Kherrr, anyday :)

  13. The Eww Mom goes to the lady who was the mom of Manu Sharma in NOKJ..
    (Kuch bhi ho,mere Manu ko kuch nahin hone dena..)
    The Cool Mom would be,Zephyrs choice..The gifted actress is Arundathi Nag. (Wife of Late Shankar Nag a legendary
    movie maker from Kannada film industry)

  14. The Eww CM - Kamala Kamesh. She cries on screen every time. Bad :(
    She used to be cast as a down-trodden, struggling for bread and butter mom in every other movie. For some strange reason, people dint feel bored rather they sympathized with her. I hate the way she cries leaning on to a pillar[thoon in Tamil]. YUCK. EWWW.

  15. Prateek...As long as they don't call her babe, it's ok.

    Prats...No, you are not allowed to get away with that excuse!

    RK...Can't remember her playing Mom in any of the movies.

  16. Bhavana...There are many Kannadigas who read this blog - I'm sure they will understand :)

    Sarbajit...Nirupa Roy's tear jerking performances are a benchmark for how not to act.

    Samadrita...Thankfully we are past the era of Nirupa Roy type moms. They were almost an insult to womanhood.

  17. Sadiya....Ahh Lalita Pawar always played the evil saas. She was scary!

    Cloud nine....Guess what, I haven't even watched Karan Arjun. Rakhee is bigger than the movie :D

    Sash..The current crop of directors show promise. I never miss any Vishal Bharadwaj movie.

  18. Ambika...Ooh I just loved Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula (watched it for Milind). And Tanuja was one kickass of a Grandma.

    Raj...That character was a caricature but trust Kiron Kher to do a good job of it.

    Blue Lotus....Haven't watched any of Arundhati Nag's movies :) And the NOKJ character sounds like a typical Delhi Mom.

  19. Oooopss I wrote Kiran Rao instead of Kiron Kher. :P :P
    And I don't even wanna remember Nirupa Roy now. *shudder*

  20. :) who can miss the larger than life moms of celluloid!! The Eww CM to me would be Jaya Bachan in KKKK and KHNH. Yikes, she was the limit. why does she want to it at all, beats me! The Kewl CM Siddharths mom in DCH and Farida Jalal in most instances is Kewl!! :)

  21. Karthick...Why always a woman to evoke sympathy!!!'s ok and I not Amir Khan to take offense.

    vaidegi....And considering Jaya Bachhan is such a powerful actress - what a waste!

  22. The trend was perhaps started by Reema Lagoo as Salmans mom and not Maa in Maine pyaar Kiya.

  23. Lovely read. I simply loved Ratna Pathak in Jane Tu Yaa Jaane Naa. She portrayed one really Kewl Mom!
    Now Ewww Moms.. the one roleof Rakhee you mention is really ewwwwww!

  24. Haha.. This reminds me of "Mere bete Aayenge.. Mere Karan Arjun Aayenge"

    And of "Mere paas... *constipated pause* Maa hai!.. Maa hai.. maa hai.. "

    :) loved the post. *drowns in thoughts of all the CMs, but only one picture plays out.. of Nirupa Roy (Just googled her name ;) )

  25. Alka...That was such a regressive movie! The first and last Rajshri movie I ever watched.

    Shail....She takes melodrama to excruciating new heights! Am I glad we got rid of such CM"s

    mazingout...She was the permanent sob factor, the raison d'ĂȘtre for the scowling hero of the 80's.

  26. I may not remember the names but Karan Arjun has to top the list but have not watched Mother India so i donno she may be vying for the spot of gutsy mom,

  27. 'mere karan-arjun aayenge .. wo aayenge..'
    had me in splits.
    For me shes the Maa of all CMs other than the self-caricatured Kiron Kher in OSO and Dostana. Of course the Eww kinds!

    Ratna Pathak in JTYJN would certainly be my choice for Kewl CM too.
    And I am highly ashamed, coz despite being a movie-buff, cannot recall any other! Damn!

    Hillarious! and completely unexpected on the gooey Mom's Day!!

  28. what about Nirupama ROY.. the jagat MA.. she has been the mother to every actor i think..

    and how about the Mother I dont know here name in Maine pyar kiya or kuch kuch hota hai, she is a WOW mother ...

    Loved your post ...


  29. ok then :)
    The Eww CM-- is Pandari Bai. I had enough of her cryings and all and what more she acted as mother to the same guy with whom she acted as a herione.
    The other one is Shruthi, my goodness, it would be better if i do not say anything about her motherly roles!!

    The Kewl CM-- I donno, since I have long stopped watching most Kannada movies.

  30. :-)I will always remember Nirupa Roy and another one whose name I never knew. My favorites are the Ma songs like--Tu kitni achchi hai...

  31. I feel celluloud Maa somehow doesnt hold a stand against the real Mums. For Hindi movies are not mother centric but hero and heroine centric. Sorry to say havent seen Jane tu.... but yes i definitely remember Supriya in Wake up Sid. I feel real MUms take the cake :)

  32. MY fav is Kiron Kher....for dostana and Om shanti om

  33. Perception....I am sure it was one of the most powerful characters ever portrayed on screen, but how many of us have watched the movie?

    mepretentious...I didn't expect myself to write anything on Mother's day but then I got inspired by filmy Moms.

    Bikram...That was Reema Lagoo, a very graceful actress.

  34. Bhawna...Pandari Bai is Zephyr's choice too :)

    Giribala...As if she needs to hear it - doesn't she know it already!! :D:D

    Abha...Of course celluloid Moms don't hold a candle to the real ones :)

    Sub...Oh she was fantastic in Om Shanti Om - the drama queen Maa.

  35. Z E P H Y R ..........

    Oops I missed the ultimate kewl Mom's comment

    I couldn't get myself to watch Paa, was too sacred to watch Amitabh Bachhan's antics :)

    Award will be a toothy smile and a loud thank you for humouring me :)

  36. you saw sholay a decade after it was released - really ! I am not a huge movie buff myself but I have seen sholay a trillion times. coming to your question - I used to hate Nirupa Roy - all she did wac cry and sacrifice a image of mothers and womenhood I so want to change :)
    I loved Kiron Kher in Rang De basanti though !

  37. @purba
    Tuntun features as a mother of 7 babies in coolie (83) and Taxi taxie (of 9 children) atleast thats what google is saying ...

  38. LOL I don't get why people treat movie stars like a god as they get their talent from god. As for movies.. I only watch them if they were recommended by someone.

  39. Ruchira... My list goes longer than that :p Nirupa Roy is on everyone's hate list, her sob act would grate your nerves.

    RK....Missed watching those movies :)

    Emmy...Word of mouth publicity works well for a movie.

  40. well...its 'MAA' or 'MOM', hardly matters as long as mothers remain center-piece but not a mere show piece....
    it was an entertaining read really.


  41. this just makes me wonder... I dont remember any of those mother characters 0_0
    what's wrong with me? :/

    bt I love my mummy... she is so cool not like d stereotyped mom.. but this isnt what you asked for. What am I doin?

  42. Irfan...Relationships are changing with time - is it evolution?

    Aakash...Umm expressing your love and affection for Mummy dear?

  43. It was a delight to see Sai Paranjpe mentioned in the blog-o-sphere. Her films totally stood the test of time, and I say this even though i'm one step removed from the generation of Indians who produced those Gems.

    Oh and Saeed Jaffrey is the King!


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