ENTERTAINMENT

Bollywood Likes Its Mothers Young, Sometimes Younger Than Their Screen Sons. Here's Proof.

Roll your eyes, hard.

20/05/2017 12:55 PM IST | Updated 20/05/2017 10:24 PM IST
Getty | Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters

You think a weepy, sacrificial mother in Indian cinema, and you think Nirupa Roy. In fact, Nirupa Roy -- thanks to a slew of Bollywood films in the 70s and early '80s -- became a cultural currency to describe the melodramatic mother figure.

Her name is almost synonymous with Deewaar's famous dialogue -- 'Mere Paas Maa Hai'. In the film, a dapper Shashi Kapoor walks up to an angry Amitabh Bachchan and declares, he may not have the 'bangla, gaadi' etc. but he has their mother. That dialogue from the 1975 film turned into a cultural phenomenon of sorts.

Now here's a fun fact: when 1931-born Nirupa Roy played that role she was 44-years-old. Her onscreen 'sons' -- Shashi Kapoor was 37 and Amitabh Bachchan was 33 -- were just seven and 11 years younger than her respectively.

In 1976, another film starring Dharmendra and Hema Malini as the romantic lead released. It was called 'Maa' and guess who played the titular role? No surprises that it was Roy. 1935 born Dharmendra was just 4 years younger than Roy, who played his mother.

In 1999, Bachchan was cast opposite Manisha Koirala in the film Lal Badshah. Koirala was 29, Bachchan was 57. When Om Shanti Om released in 2007, Shah Rukh Khan was 41, Deepika Padukone 21. More recently, Sonam Kapoor (then 29), played the romantic interest of Salman Khan (then 49) in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and in an interview, Khan joked that it was strange to romance his friend's daughters.

Oh and wait, should we also talk about the women who have been playing the romantic interest of 66-year-old Rajinikanth? One of them was Sonakshi Sinha, whose father and Rajinikanth had played people of same age in films in the past.

Now if we were to start a list of male actors in India and especially Bollywood who played the romantic interest of women decades younger than them, we'd need an entire book.

While things are slowly changing -- Aishwarya Rai romanced Ranbir Kapoor in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil recently -- women have an almost inflexible sell-by date in Bollywood. One has to blame the consumers of Bollywood as well, they have no problems mooning over a 50-year-old romancing a 30-year-old but, but the masses will never pay to watch a woman that age play the lead.

A Twitter handle -- @BollywoodQing went on to make a thread on the Mother's Day pointing out Bollywood misogynistic outlook towards its actresses in this thread.

Here are a few instances that they brought up and a few that we dug up.

#1 Reema Lagoo - Sanjay Dutt

The screen mother the 90s kids were most familiar with, late Reema Lagoo played mother to every big male star in Bollywood. Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, and Aamir Khan - everyone has played Lagoo's son in multiple films.

GoldminesAction / YouTube

1958-born Lagoo played mother to 1959-born Sanjay Dutt in Mahesh Manjrekar's 1999 crime drama Vaastav. If we were to apply the same logic to male stars, do you think Aamir Khan (52) would play dad to Shah Rukh Khan (51)?

Getty | Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters

#2 Nargis Dutt - Sunil Dutt / Rajendra Kumar

India's another poster-mother -- Nargis from Mother India -- played mom to her husband Sunil Dutt in this iconic film.

Mehboob Khan

You may want to know that Nargis, Rajendra Kumar and Sunil Dutt were all born in 1929 and was of the same age when Mother India released in 1957.

Mehboob Productions

#3 Supriya Karnik - Hrithik Roshan

1975-born Supriya Karnik played mom to 1976-born Hrithik Roshan in the 2001 romantic drama Yaadein.

Mukta Arts

Supriya has also played Priyanka Chopra's (33) mom in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004).

Mukta Arts

#4 Himani Shivpuri - Salman Khan

Himani Shivpuri, born in 1960, also has been Bollywood's preferred mom-masi-bua-chachi for a long time. She has played mother to Salman Khan, who is just five years younger to her.

Rajshri / YouTube

Getty

#5 Reema Lagoo - Salman Khan

Reema Lagoo (born in 1958) has played 1965-born Salman Khan's mom several times.

David Dhawan | Shemaroo

This is like Salman Khan / Shah Rukh Khan playing dad to Aishwarya Rai. LOL.

Getty | Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters

#6 Himani Shivpuri - Govinda / Milind Gunaji

You need to look no further than this picture below to be convinced how sexist Bollywood can be to women. This still is from the film Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hain which released in 2000.

Seen in the frame are following:

Himani Shivpuri, playing mother. She was born in 1960.

1961-born Milind Gunaji and 1963-born Govinda play her sons.

Jackie Shroff | Ayesha Shroff

#7 Priya Tendulkar - Jackie Shroff / Anil Kapoor / Shah Rukh Khan

The Hum Paanch photo frame's mom, Priya Tendulkar (born in 1954) played mom to Jackie Shroff (born in 1957), Anil Kapoor (born in 1956), and Shah Rukh Khan (born in 1965).

Mukta Arts

Mukta Arts

#8 Supriya Pathak - Kay Kay Menon

Supriya Pathak, a powerhouse performer, has often been cast as a mother in big budget Bollywood films.

K Sera Sera | Sahara One

Pathak ( born in 1961) happened to play Kay Kay Menon's mom in Sarkar (2005). Menon is just four years younger than Pathak in real life.

RGV

#9 Reema Lagoo - Shah Rukh Khan

She's going to make quite a few appearances in this list.

Karan Johar

This young mom has even played Govinda's (53) non-biological mom in Jis Des Mein Ganga Rehta hai.

Karan Johar

#10 Reema Lagoo - Daggubati Venkatesh

My favourite part of the movie Taqdeerwala (1995) was Yamraj (Kader Khan) eating "heem cream" and hand grenades. But looking back now and seeing the cast and their age, hand grenades is the least amusing part. Venkatesh, who was just two years younger than Lagoo, played her son in this film.

Suresh Productions

#11 Rohini Hattangadi - Sanjay Dutt

The year is 2030. Dutt is 70. He plays a gangster. His mom is Madhuri Dixit. Really, no one will be shocked if that were to happen in Bollywood.

Rohini Hattangadi (born in 1951) played Sanjay Dutt's mother in Rajkumar Hirani's Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. Dutt is nine years younger to her.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra


#12 Farida Jalal - Anil Kapoor

Farida Jalal (born in 1949) who has worked with 1956-born Anil Kapoor in movies such as Judaai (1997), Pukar (2000), Lajja (2001) played the role of Kapoor's mother in Laadla (1994) and Loafer (1996).

Nitin Manmohan / Bollywood Talkies | YouTube

Getty

#13 Kirron Kher - Shah Rukh Khan

Kirron Kher (born in 1955) played 1965- born Shah Rukh Khan's mother in Om Shanti Om (2007). Kher has also teamed up with the Baadshah as his mom in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) and step-mom in Farah Khan's Main Hoon Na (2004).

Farah Khan

Just to give you a perspective, this is like Govinda (53) playing Hrithik Roshan's (43) father.

Getty

#14 Kirron Kher - Aamir Khan

Who Khers about the age difference, right? Kher (born in 1955) played 1965-born Aamir Khan's mom in Rang De Basanti (2006).

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Film star Kirron Kher, Aamir Khan in film RANG DE BASANTI *** Local Caption *** Film star Kirron Kher, Aamir Khan in film RANG DE BASANTI. Ph Photo

Getty | Christian Charisius / Reuters

#15 Waheeda Rehman - Amitabh Bachchan

Waheeda Rehman (born in 1938) plays 1942-born Amitabh Bachchan's mom in Namak Halaal (1982).

Shemaroo / YouTube

Rehman played Bachchan's wife in 1976's Adalat. Sigh, what's going on Bollywood?

Shemaroo / YouTube

Just Bollywood things, eh?

STRDEL via Getty Images

#16 Shefali Shah - Akshay Kumar

Okay, this is just very, very weird. Shefali Shah (born in 1972) played 1967-born Akshay Kumar's mom in the movie Waqt (2005).

Vipul Amrutlal Shah | Kumar Mangat

Who knows, someday Bollywood will make Kareena Kapoor play Ranveer Singh's mom.

Getty | Reuters

#17 Dimple Kapadia - Salman Khan / Arbaaz Khan

A very young Dimple Kapadia played mom to Khan brothers in the action-packed Dabangg (2008).

Arbaaz Khan Productions

Arbaaz Khan Productions

Dimple Kapadia was born in 1957. Salman was born in1965 and Arbaaz is 1967-born. Kapadia also played 1967-born Saif Ali Khan's mom in Cocktail (2012).

Stringer India / Reuters | Mail Today via Getty Images | Hindustan Times via Getty Images

#18 Rohini Hattangadi - Rishi Kapoor

1951-born Rohini Hattangadi 1952-born Rishi Kapoor's mom in Damini (1993).

Aly Morani | Karim Morani | Bunty Soorma

Yeah, go ahead, roll your eyes.

Getty | Stringer India / Reuters

#19 Nirupa Roy - Shashi Kapoor/ Amitabh Bachchan

Vijay: Aaj mere paas paisa hai, bangla hai, gaadi hai, naukar hai, bank balance hai, aur tumhare paas kya hai?

Trimurti Films Pvt. Ltd

Ravi: Mere paas maa hai!

Who, by the way, is just 7 years older in real life than her screen son in question.

Trimurti Films Pvt. Ltd

#20 Rati Agnihotri - Akshay Kumar

Khiladi Kumar (1967) is extremely fit and shows no signs of ageing what so ever. However, he's 49 years old and playing son to 1960-born is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

Prabhudeva

Yep. Agnihotri also played the role of Saif Ali Khan's in Hum Tum (2004).

Prabhudeva

#21 Rohini Hattangadi - Amitabh Bachchan

If you scroll down and see the poster below, you'll realise even Amitabh Bachchan is wondering wtf is up with Bollywood and its casting. Rohini Hattangadi (born in 1951) -- 11 years younger than Big B (born in 1942) -- played his mother in the 1990 action drama Agneepath (1990).

Yash Chopra

Yash Johar

(Major credits to @BollywoodQing for flagging sexist ageism in Bollywood. You can always contribute to this list and we'll add it here with due credits.)

Also, make this a habit. Every time you watch a Bollywood movie, check the cast and go...

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