Happy Mother’s Day in India!

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It was originally proposed in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, the founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility as a call to all mothers to rally against the evils of war:

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice
Blood does not wipe out dishonour,
Nor violence indicate possession.

However, Mother’s Day is now a day celebrated in most countries of the world at different times to honour the role of motherhood.

In Bollywood, the stars have been quick to rally in support of their mothers too – but is one day really enough: “One day isn’t enough to celebrate the joys of the mother,” says Bipasha Basu. “It is Mother’s Day every day for me. My favourite screen mothers are Farida Jalal and Reema Lagoo. They look so loving and warm.”

Deepika Padukone would like a special gift for her mother: “I love my mother every single day. But my gift to her would be to spend more time with her. I’m sure she’d cherish that more than anything else.”

And new star Anushka Sharma has similar views: “Each day one must appreciate all that a mother does. Mother’s Day is dedicated to showering your love and appreciation for the unconditional love she has provided. This Mother’s Day, I’d like to spend quality time with my mom over a nice meal. My favourite cine-maa is Jaya Bachchan. She never fails to come across as extremely warm, lovable and relatable.”

Lara Dutta is grateful for her mother’s guidance: “My mother has taught me to be brave and resilient in the face of adversity. She has taught me to sacrifice love and the familial comfort zone for the greater good of the country and to constantly stretch myself beyond the call of duty.”

And finally, Priyanka Chopra recognises the sacrifices that her mother has made on her behalf: “My mother has played a very important role in where I stand today. She was the one who sent in my entry for the Miss India pageant. The win at Miss India and subsequently Miss World was what started my career. So, a lot of the credit has to go to her. Having chosen to come to Mumbai and pursue a career in films, my mom gave up a flourishing career as a doctor to enable me to follow my dreams. She has stood with me through all my ups and downs.”

In line with changes in society, the Bollywood mother has also changed over the years. Initially, maa was big on self-sacrifice and protecting the children, faithful and loyal at the husbands side and tenacious in his absence. Later, as things got better, she became the domestic goddess, ruling the family roost with a keen eye, maintaining strict rules of diet, health and hygiene and being very, very careful of whom her daughters were seeing out and about. In modern Bollywood movies, mom is likely to be a professional – doctor, lawyer, accountant, miraculously balancing her domestic duties with a high-flying career, dressed in designer clothes and driving a BMW. Ma! How times have changed! To read more about the character of Ma in Bollywood check out: Character Decoding 101-The Mother

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