Mothers who reflected change – Day 1994

Another film featuring Sulochna in her later years was Johnny Mera Naam. Two scenes stand out in my memory. The first when her son, Dev Anand appears in disguise at the door and she pulls off his moustache, making it clear that she cannot be tricked. The mother in this case is super intelligent and she proves it in the climax when villain Jeevan asks her to point out to her son and Sulochna deliberately and helplessly points to Pran to save Dev Anand.

When young heroines played mothers, filmmakers camouflaged their roles as Bhabhi maa to stroke their ego and I think the concept first emerged with Bhabhi Ki Choodiyaan where Meena Kumari rises at day break going about household work singing ‘Jyoti kalash chalke…’ as her besotted devar follows her from room to room… In Chhota Bhai, an exasperated Nutan has punished her mischievous devar to stand on one foot on the terrace. At dusk, while serving dinner to the family Nutan realizes that he is still there waiting for her release orders, so she charges up the staircase and pleads forgiveness.  The film held a strong social message that Bhabhi is more than a mother!

To be continued