Indian television has given us loads of Tulsi’s and Baa’s who were just toxic copies of one another. However, there were a few ‘woke’ characters that celebrated motherhood on-screen. Here is a list of all our favourites. 

1. Sushma Seth as Sarla Diwan – Dekh Bhai Dekh 

She was suave, sassy and never let her opinions go ignored in this hilarious family. Truly the OG feminist icon from the 90s. 


2. Priya Tendulkar as Anand Mathur’s first wife – Hum Paanch

She may not have been physically ‘present’ but that didn’t stop this mother from guiding her daughters through thick and thin. She also gave her husband golden advice whenever he found himself in a fix. 


3. Farida Jalal as Nani – Shararat

This mother figure was the perfect head of the household. Not only was she absolutely hilarious, but she always looked out for her daughter and granddaughter, and their ‘magical’ needs. 


4. Surekha Sikri as Radha – Banegi Apni Baat

A mother of three daughters, Radha was the character that bound this show together. Though the pretext of this show was the college life of young students, it also focused on their family values. 


5. Geetanjali Kulkarni as Shanti – Gullak

This sarcastic mother was the glue that held the Mishra family together. She may be loud and bossy, but she would do anything for her family. 


6. Mona Singh as Poorva Gupta – Yeh Meri Family

Being Harshu’s mother isn’t easy but Poorva makes it look so simple. She is kind, warm and loving, but it’s her sarcastic comebacks that make us love her. 


7. Huma Qureshi as Shalini – Leila

In this dystopian show, Shalini goes through hell to look for her abducted daughter, Leila. From running away from an extremist camp to uncovering a child trafficking scheme, Shalini didn’t let anything get in her way. 

Indian Express

8. Tanvi Azmi as Shalini Potia – Family No 1

This divorced mother of three was young at heart and stood by her kids even when they messed up. She always gave them an earful but never let them down. 


9.  Karishma Kapoor as Meira Sharma – Mentalhood 

A new-age mother who blogs about parenting, gender norms and about families is what makes Meira stand out. She knows she isn’t perfect, but she’s learning on the go. 


10. Sheeba Chaddha as Nikhat’s Mother – Adulting

Though Sheeba Chaddha appeared only for a few episodes in this web series, she managed to make a mark with her chilled out personality. From bonding with Nikhat’s best friend to getting drunk together, she was the ‘cool’ mom. 


11. Neena Gupta as Priya Gautam Kapoor – Saans

When Priya finds out that her husband is having an affair, her journey of independence begins. She battles society for her place and looks after her kids, all while trying to handle her feelings for her husband. 

12. Shefali Shah as Vartika Chaturvedi – Delhi Crime

Loosely based on the Delhi rape case, this show follows Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Vartika’s investigation. She is a great cop but her maternal instincts make her emotional scenes of outrage relatable.


13. Renuka Shahane as Vandu Solanki – What The Folks

Vandu aka Vanadana is the Switzerland that keeps the Solanki family calm and composed. Her take on life, love and relationships left us in awe of her. 


14. Ratna Pathak as Maya Sarabhai – Sarabhai vs Sarabhai 

She may have been a savage mother-in-law but this moma always put her kids first. She even loved Rosesh’s terrible poetry! That’s love. 

India Today

Who was your favourite on-screen mother?