When was the last time you watched a Bollywood movie where the hero (mostly in his 40s) slept in his mom’s lap or the mom fussed about his diet? With recent movies like Badhai Ho, Manikarnika, etc., portraying mothers as strong yet sensitive human beings (thankfully), it is hard to even imagine such caricatures of on-screen mothers nowadays. Yet, there was a time when Bollywood churned out movies by the dozen where a mother’s role was nothing but that! So, here are some of those stereotypes that existed in Bollywood before we managed to conquer them (phew!):
1. The “Gajar Ka Halwa” Wali Maa
The guy gets his girlfriend home – Maa serves Gajar Ka Halwa. He passes his grades with flying colors – Gajar Ka Halwa. Hero/heroine’s favorite dish – you got it, right? It seems as though scriptwriters those days could not think beyond Gajar Ka Halwa as the only culinary expertise of an on-screen mother. Later, ‘Kheer’ was added to the list. But now, even Tiger makes ‘Ma ki dal’ the best!
2. The ‘Khushi Ke Ansoon’ Tearjerker
Give her any happy moment under the sun, the only way this Bollywood mom could express her happiness was shedding tears – of joy.
3. The Forever-Suffering Mother
This type of Bollywood mother either had a drunkard or gambler husband who she’d escape from with her children only to endure even more suffering to bring them up. If not this, then the husband would suffer a grave illness or die leaving her with all the responsibilities.
4. “Mai Teri Maa Hoon” Mother
We kinda like this type of Bollywood mother. It’s her subtle way of reminding her son that she’s the boss and he better not try lying to her. Yet, the hero never gives up his silly antics!
5. “Sanskaari Gyan” Mother
She’s too-good-to-be-true mother. She’s always very sweet (enough to give diabetes) and gives lectures at the drop of a hat. If it’s a daughter, it’d be about her cooking skills; son – request for a bahu; and bahu – practically everything since her mom didn’t teach her anything!
6. The ‘Bahu’ Demanding Mother
Innumerable Bollywood movies have shown idealistic moms asking their crusader-hero sons this question – beta, bahu kab laye ga? This scene usually comes bang in the middle of the movie after we’ve already witnessed cringe-worthy romance between the hero and heroine. And despite this, the hero acts celibate in front of his mom!
7. “My Best Friend – Sewing Machine” Mommy
Whenever life threw lemons at a Bollywood mom, her go-to profession was always sewing. This, after doing her day-time job as a maid! Even in movies where the mother lived in abject poverty, she still found ways to get herself a sewing machine! However, while the hero did grow up to become a ..well.. hero.. the mom would never let go of her best friend – the sewing machine!
8. Ma For Ideal Son; Mommy For Spoiled Daughter
It’s weird how Bollywood of yore has always been biased toward hero’s mothers compared to the heroine’s mother. Sample this:
Mother of the hero – Usually called ma; wears cotton saris; suffers to bring him up with good values.
Mother of heroine – Called mommy; chain smoker, parties hard, high-slit gown-wearing woman who doesn’t give a damn about her daughter.
9. “God-On-Speed-Dial” Mom
Mothers of Bollywood always had a special connection with God. Through innumerable aartis, tying dhaagas at Dargahs, or clanging temple bells in stormy nights, they’d eventually get anything for their children – from pakki naukris to re-incarnation!
Did these Bollywood mommy stereotypes give you the laughs? It sure made us go LOL. Of course, we are glad that Bollywood has now left such stereotypes behind and come up with well-etched characters for women, especially mothers. However, once in a while, you can always go back and check out some of the old movies and see for yourself what we mean.