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From Maa to Mom

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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

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