Mothers are always shown as fragile, people who can’t take an independent stand. In films, they’re usually only written as someone seeking a ‘perfect’ child, and anything doesn’t fall into that definition is condemned by them. As if they’re only moulded to care about ‘log kya kahenge’, which also remains the major or only conflict for them.  

With the evolution of content into something more meaningful, we’re finally getting to see mothers who aren’t one-dimensional characters, sucked in by society’s idea of a perfect child. 

They take a stand, even if that means standing alone and they embrace the flaws of their children, treating them as people. These mothers are everything but fragile.

1. Shamshu in Darlings

Shefali Shah’s Shamshu is getting all the praise since the release of the film, and rightly so. She’s the epitome of fearlessness and I’m not getting over this character anytime soon. While Badru deals with abuse and manipulation in her marriage, Shamshu doesn’t leave her side – even if it comes to literally killing the offender, her husband. She doesn’t ask her to ‘compromise’ with Hamza, but tells her what’s right – leaving. 


2. Sheel in Mai

After the loss of her daughter, Sheel acts as a fighter to avenge the murder of her daughter. Her anger transforms her into a new person. She realises how her daughter stood up against people who were wrong, and she makes sure that she does justice to her intent. Unlike what we are used to seeing, Sakshi Tanwar’s Sheel doesn’t blame the victim, but actually does what’s right, even if it means putting her own life at risk. 


3. Jashoda in Jayeshbhai Jordaar

Despite not being exposed to an environment where women can make their own choices, Jashoda course corrects from what she was used to. Ratna Pathak Shah’s character realizes the need to stand up against her husband, and for her daughter-in-law in order to do what’s right. Ergo breaking shackles, while also helping other women in the village to do the same.

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4. Anamika in Fame Game

While being a victim of an abusive marriage, Anamika puts her fear behind when it comes to her children. She not only makes sure to be an emotional support for her son, but also realizes the need to literally fight her husband after seeing his reaction to their son coming out. Madhuri Dixit’s character was a driving force and a constnat pillar for her children, in a world that failed them in many ways. 


5. Gangubai in Gangubai Kathiawadi

In her own ways, Gangubai was a maternal figure to so many children who were shamed by society. She made sure that they got equal opportunities and treatment from the world which was always unfair to her and other women involved in sex work. From getting those children admitted to a school to making sure that another girl isn’t forced into sex work, she was always bettering the world for them. 


6. Najma in Secret Superstar

In a household, where Najma and her daughter were shackled from making their own choices, she learnt to fight back. While making sure that her daughter gets to pursue her ambition, Najma deals with everything that comes her way. She was fierce without even knowing it, and a selfless woman who wanted a better world for her daughter to grow up in. 


7. Neena Gupta in Masaba Masaba

Like most mothers and daughters, Neena Gupta and Masaba Gupta portray a bond that feels real. They do not usually have the same opinion on things, but that doesn’t mean that they do leave each other’s side. Neena Gupta, from yelling at Masaba’s investor to finally coming around her choices, does it all in ways that hit home. At the end of the day, she knows what makes her daughter happy. 


8. Ruksana in Jalsa

Unlike how society does it, or how we’re shown in a lot of films, Ruksana tells off people who blame her daughter for going out at night. Going out at night (like any normal person) doesn’t mean that her daughter’s accident was justified or it could be controlled, and she gets it. She even continues to be a fierce role model for Ayush, like a maternal figure who wants the best for him. 

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Fierce mothers, y’all.