Arjun Mogre, 24, Film Director
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Jaya Bachchan in several movies
Jaya Bachchan is my favourite because she doesn’t play the stereotypical Gajar Halwa-feeding mother, but someone who is strong. In Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (Nandini), I liked that her sons could confide in her and she stands up against her husband.
In Fiza, she plays a mother (Nishatbi) whose motive is to find her son while in Kal Ho Na Ho, she plays a warm single mother (Jennifer). I liked her in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (Shabitri), because she is the only one who supports her daughter’s decision to become a prostitute, which is bold. Her role of a woman (Sujata) who loses her son to injustice in Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, is also commendable.
Krishnan Jaikumar, 18, Student
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Jaya Bachchan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
What I loved about Jaya Bachchan in the movie was that she loved both her adopted and her biological son, unconditionally. Throughout the film, her character (Nandini) cares for her sons, played by Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan a lot, and takes care of every need of theirs. Even after her adopted son leaves the family as a sign of protest against his father (played by Amitabh Bachchan), she remembers him all the time and wishes to reconcile with him.
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, 30, Actor
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Nargis in Mother India
Nirupa Roy might be considered the ultimate mother character in Bollywood, but for me its Nargis Dutt (Radha) in the epic Mother India. She was always there for her children. Even if she scolds them she does it with love.
What stands out about her character though is that if her children are wrong, she doesn’t think twice about punishing them, even if it means taking the extreme step of having to killing her errant child who has transformed into a dacoit. It’s not something every mother might have the guts to do.
Lubna Ansari, 47, In-flight attendant
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Dina Pathak in Khubsoorat
Mothers in Bollywood are usually shown to have blind faith in their husbands and overtly loving of their kids which I don’t appreciate. I loved Dina Pathak’s character (Nirmala) because she wasn’t weepy and weak.
She was assertive, commanded respect but at the same time, respected her family as well. Though she was a disciplinarian, she moulded herself and accepted good changes later. It was a very positive character from which should women can learn to respect themselves, too.
Rajni Nair, 50-plus, Business-woman
Reema Lagoo in Maine Pyar Kiya
At times, I am unable to sense if my sons are in the next room...so Jaya Bachchan’s character in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, where she can sense her son’s presence is melodramatic for me. Also, I doubt I have the guts to kill my son, like in Mother India, if he is wrong.
So, Reema Lagoo (Kaushalya) in Maine Pyar Kiya is my favourite — she is beautiful and friendly to her son and to-be daughter-in-law. She does not blindly go with her husband’s choice and takes a stand.
Also, Jaya Bachchan as a brave single mother in Kal Ho Na Ho and Nirupa Roy’s (Sumitra Devi) dialogue ‘Mujhe Khareedne ki Koshish Mat Karna’ in Deewar are my other favourites.