4 times when Reema Lagoo played the ultimate Feminist mother

For most of us Hindi movie buffs, the enduring image of Reema Lagoo will remain her sitting in a yellow Banarasi saree shyly singing “meri chaaya hai jo aapke ghar chali” for her daughter in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.  Her coquettishness worked so beautifully reminiscent of Balraj Sahni and Achala Sachdev in the immortal Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen.

Truth is Reema Lagoo, born Gurinder Bhadbhade, excelled in any role you gave her. Starting out as a theatre performer in Pune, she came to Mumbai and changed her name post marriage. Even then her roles in Rui ka Bojh marked her as a performer like no other.

Arguably, she came into her own when she essayed the role of a mother. The was the ultimate screen mother, playing an astonishing array of mothers from strict to lenient, from feminist to push-overs, from a mean minded business women to a courageous chawl-dweller.

This beloved screen mother passed on today morning. She was fit and healthy until she was rushed to the hospital complaining of chest pain. She passed away in a few hours, without suffering much, leaving behind a legacy of a phenomenal acting range. At zenparent.in we salute this mother (she has a daughter who is also an actress) on-screen and off, who always managed to show one at least facet of mother that all of us connected to. Nominated several times for her performances, she was noted for breaking out of the cookie cutter mold of screen mothers by donning a subtly sexy avatar. To her goes the credit of bringing back soft printed silks, mild accented Banarasis and sexy Rekha make-up for mothers.

Here is a list of four films where Reema Lagoo played the ultimate feminist mom. We agree that the credit should go to the writers too who created this character, but it’s equally true that Reema brought the character to life with her soft gentle appeal.


The most searing of all screen mothers ever played on Bollywood, Reema as Shanta Shivalkar is intense. In the movie chawl-dwelling Shanta watches her son stand on his feet, make his mark as a pav-bhaji stall owner. The unexpected turns son Raghu’s (Sunil Dutt) life turns him into a goonda for power hungry politicians. Eventually he watches his degeneration as a human being, every time doing everything in her power to save and bring him back to sane society. Eventually, it is she who gives him ‘mukti’ by shooting him with his own gun while he is begging to be killed.

Reema’s character shows unprecedented courage in facing the truth. Her son has become a menace to civil society and needs to be put away. Hats off!

Kal ho Na ho 

In Kal Ho Na Ho, Reema sported a beautiful short haired look and managed to look regal as the mother of a boy with a terminal disease. As mum to Aman Mathur, the local smile-spreader and stealer of hearts, she maintained a beautiful composure despite her devastating personal crisis. She was the ultimate feminist proving to the world that mothers are the strongest creature’s nature ever created!

Maine Pyaar Kiya

Here Reema was the wealthy mother to an industrialist husband, who wore her wealth lightly. She never forgot her roots and the old kindnesses offered to her by her neighbours 20 years ago. So when the daughter of a car mechanic, whom she calls bhaiyya, and her own son fall in love, Reema’s character not only treats her well, but welcomes her into her home and hearth as the daughter of the house. She admonishes her husband for his deceit and maintains that people are more important than money. Her higher moral ground proved that feminists are fair and honest!

Kuch kuch hota hai

This one may look feeble, but was an important one. As mother to the tom-boyish Kajol, Reema Lagoo never pressured her daughter to change her ways. Later when Kajol turned all svelte and learned in the arts of make-up and shringaar, she accepted her daughter unquestioningly. Even later when she delays marriage to an obviously perfect boy, Reema seems perfect as the feminist mom who puts her daughter’s needs over societal norms and gives her the space, she knows she needs.

If you think our list is incomplete, write to us and tell us your list.

Either way Reema Lagoo, every time a Rajshree film gets made, we will miss your elegance, presence and feminism!