As the sass and wit of Indian Cinema a.k.a Ratna Pathak Shah turns 63 today, we can’t help but think about all the memorable, woke on-screen mom characters that she has blessed us with. From Maya Sarabhai to her most recent role as Sandhya in Thappad, here are instances that prove that Ratna Pathak Shah is the best T.V mom. 

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1. Savitri Rathore From Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na– The Independent & Revolutionary Single Mother 

The unapologetic mother who left the luxury of being a royalty behind so that she could shield her son against the ravages of toxic masculinity that ran in the Ranjore ke Rathore. She hustled to raise a son who was molded outside the gender roles. Remember how Savitri and Jay took chances to cook food? That was the cutest, most woke scene. 

And let’s not forget Savitri’s unconditional love and understanding. Her upbringing was the reason why Jay had a sensitive and sensible side. Instead of telling him to suppress his emotions, Savitri taught him how to confront and express his feelings.  

2. Maya From Sarabhai VS Sarabhai; The Savage Momma

The graceful character that changed the face of on-screen-mother-in-laws. With her upper-class poise, and sassy digs at Monisha’s upbringing and lifestyle, she always managed to make us laugh. 

But that’s not all. Maya was one of the most progressive feminist mothers in the history of Indian silver-screen. From not letting silly superstitious beliefs rule her life to openly talking about normalising abortion on national television, Maya Sarabhai was way ahead of her time. 

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3. Sunita From Kapoor & Sons; The Imperfectly Perfect Mom

Juggling between her small scale start-up, her troublesome marriage and her semi-dysfunctional family, Ratna Pathak Shah’s character in Kapoor & Sons proved that even mothers who’re always expected to be righteous and perfect can sometimes make mistakes. When Sunita sneakily gave Arjun’s (Sidharth Malhotra) script to Rahul Kapoor (Fawad Khan) she favoured one child over the other, but its repercussions left a mark on the family. 

Ratna Pathak Shah

Her honest mistake just distanced the brothers further apart. In fact, after angrily confronting Rahul about his sexuality and having various screaming matches, towards the end she comes to terms with her son’s boyfriend. 


4. Nirmala Devi From Khoobsurat; The Over Protective & Controlling Matriarch 

Burying the grief of losing her firstborn to an unfortunate accident, Her Highness Nirmala Devi would control everything that went around in the regal palace. Sure, she was a stricter parent than any of us would like but she just wanted what she thought was best for her kids and family.


After all, when her husband succumbed to his paralysis and chose to disconnect with his duties, HH Nirmala Devi was the one who stepped up, took care of the household and carried the family legacy behind. After what happened with her son, all she wanted to do was shield her kids against bad decisions. Even if it meant that she was being overprotective.


5. Sandhya From Thappad; The mother who’s a product of patriarchy

Ratna Pathak Shah’s character in Thappad is that of a relatable middle-class mother who thinks that a girl has to sacrifice her dreams to keep her family intact. A product of toxic patriarchy, she sees yet ignores the violent incident, for she knows that her daughter is strong enough to take the “right decision” and “adjust” to the situation.

However, Mrs. Sandhya’s character evolution is seen when she breaks the cycle of being a submissive subject like her mother and grandmother had taught her. She stands with her daughter’s decision to file a divorce and supports her when she chooses to be a single mother.  

6. Blossom D’souza From over Love Per Square Foot; The simple mom

Miles away from her Maya Sarabhai persona, Blossom D’ Souza is a simple mother who just wants to see her daughter settle, like every other desi mom. Helpless and worried, she supports her daughter at every step of the way, through thick and thin, even when she decides to marry a Hindu boy. 


Her persona and simple humour in Love Per Square Foot will not fail to surprise you. 

Peeping Moon

Whether it is shattering the stereotypical idea of being the “perfect mom” or standing up for a social cause, Ratna Pathak Shah has always impressed us with her out-of-the-box, diverse versions of her on-screen mom characters.