Parenting and conceiving a child has always been the utmost important topic of discussion in our society. So much so, that it’s naturally associated with marriage. However, motherhood and raising a child is a choice, that also doesn’t confine to one method. While some Bollywood films have talked about surrogacy and adoption in the past, these subjects haven’t been brought up in a positive light or an honest representation.
The 2021 comedy-drama is the first film that comes to mind, when we think of a recent example that talked about adoption and surrogacy. Mimi explored both the subjects with a wider perspective than movies from yesteryears, and tried bringing the right questions to mainstream cinema. There were however some problematic scenes and outcomes – for one, when it talks about abortion, which indirectly questioned the choice.
2. What The Folks
This mini-series by Dice Media is an honest take on modern families that are also flawed. In the last season, the storyline shifts to adoption and how Nikhil and Anita (the protagonists) juggle with the process, while dealing with their emotions. What The Folks discusses the importance of the subject without being preachy, and also shows us the changes or doubts that might come with it.
Mai starring Sakshi Tanwar, was all about motherhood and the emotions that come with it. However, the web-series also talked about relative adoption – where Sheel’s (the character portrayed by Sakshi Tanwar) son, Archit was adopted by her sister-in-law. Both Sheel and his adoptive mother have a different relationship with Archit, and the show managed to put emphasis on how motherhood means different things to different women.
4. Good Newwz
The comedy-drama might have dismissed other important topics like adoption and abortion, but it tried bringing about a conversation around unconventional methods of pregnancy like IVF. In a typical setting of the Indian society, the film revolves around the mindset of conceiving and raising a child, that might come with a lot of pressure. It then went on to focus on the central theme of pregnancy through IVF.
5. Badnaam Gali
The light comedy film talks about the stereotypes associated with surrogacy and women who choose to be surrogates. Badnaam Gali was a start of a conversation that we haven’t witnessed in good light in most Bollywood films. With its humour, the film tries to comment on the society that questions or frowns upon women who are choose this method for pregnancy and in turn, motherhood.
6. Badhaai Ho
While the film doesn’t directly talk about unconventional methods of pregnancy, it does revolve around conceiving at an older age – and the complications that surround it. The film also aimed at pointing out the stigma and constant shaming associated with exploring sexuality in older characters. Badhaai Ho was a subtle and rooted take on the subject.
Directed by Meghna Gulzar, this film talked about surrogacy much before. While the film also added drama to the storyline, it still managed to bring about the conversation at the time. It also focused on the realities associated with surrogacy – both practically and emotionally. Starring Sushmita Sen, Tabu, Sanjay Suri and Palash Sen, the film released in 2002.
8. Badhaai Do
Badhaai Do not only talked about the concept of lavender marriage, but also put emphasis on the issue of adoption for queer couples in the country. Also, unlike other family dramas, the film was comparatively shown in a more positive light towards adoption. It managed to change the narrative and introduce another important subject, naturally without much force.
Times are changing, and it’s important that content does too.