Back to Top

Mother's Day: 10 Bollywood songs to dedicate to your mom

There’s nothing quite as ubiquitous in Bollywood as a mother. In the 70s and 80s, she had a larger part to play in most films made at the time and so, there were several songs created to pay homage to her, most of them are now considered classics. The 90s, 00s and the 10s, by comparison, have seen a drought of tracks, that one can consider to be overflowing with pyaar for one’s maa. In fact, the oeuvre of the last thirty years has yielded a handful of best-of numbers in this genre. In fact, we can narrow down that number to 10.

Here’s looking at our 10 favourite mom-homage numbers of the last 30 years (in no particular order)...

Luka Chippi: Rang De Basanti

Sung by Lata Mangeshkar, composed by AR Rahman and worded by Irshad Kamil, it brings you to tears almost immediately. And when seen in context (with the visuals), you’ve got to reach for the hanky. One can feel the grieving mother’s pain being euphemised by the assumption that her son is playing hide-and-seek with her.

Khushiyon Ka Din Aaya Hai: Beta

Poor little rich kid’s dad gets remarried. Kid has never known a mother’s love (mother died at birth) and exults with joy when his father announces that he has been married a second time — to Aruna Irani’s character. The track, sung by Anuradha Paudwal for the child, is an Anand-Milind composition. The pure, unadulterated feeling of being called ‘son’ for the first time gives you the feels!

Maa Ka Phone Aaya: Khoobsurat

Manju is that overbearing Punjabi mom we’ve all heard of. She’s daughter Mili’s best friend and agony aunt. But she has no boundaries. And that feeling of being stifled is what Mili jokes about in this song from Khoobsurat. Manju doesn’t see what time of day it is and just wants instant updates on her beti’s life. Sneha Khanvilkar’s composition and Priya Panchal’s vocals get the desired effect.

Chunar: ABCD 2

When we meet Suru, he’s been branded a cheater for copying dance moves at a competition and everybody’s giving him grief for that. There’s one particular insult ringing in his ears. “Your mom (a great dancer) died... with ghungroos on. And he tries to exorcise the demons of his sins and his guilt by doing his take on the tandav. How that helps is anyone’s guess. This track by Sachin-Jigar, sung by Arijit Singh, with lyrics by Mayur Puri, sure seems to help.

Meri Maa: Yaariyan

KK goes all rock ballad on this Pritam track, picturised on Himansh Kohli (who plays Lakshya). If you’ve watched the movie, you’ll know this is part of a competition with the Australians. Lakshya’s team’s song has just been stolen and he decides to make up a song about his mom and how much he misses her. He doesn’t win the round, but it sure looks like he wins the audience’s hearts.

Maa Da Laadla: Dostana

In this zany VIshal-Shekhar track, the words by Kumaar hit home with the Punjabi mom played by Kirron Kher. She can’t get over the possibility that her only son might be attracted to another guy — it isn’t so — but she’s obsessed with trying to effect a break-up, that she tries the most inane and silly remedies. Her reactions are so OTT, it only adds to the funny factor.

Maa: Taare Zameen Par

Shankar Mahadevan sings for this tear-jerker of a composition by Shankar Ehsaan Loy. Prasoon Joshi’s words hit home for any kid who has been left behind at a boarding school, without him/her wanting to be there. The isolation is even more pronounced in Ishaan’s case, because of his dyslexia and inability to keep up at school. His parents take the extreme decision hoping for academic change.

Mumma: Dasvidaniya

Amar Kaul’s (Vinay Pathak) life is his hearing-impaired mother (played by Sarita Joshi). He sets out to strike off things from his bucket list, when he finds out he has months to live. One of the things he does in the film is sing a song for his mom, who hears only half the song, yet brings happiness to his mother’s face. Kailash Kher sings, composes and writes the lyrics to the song.

Janam Janam: Phata Poster Nikkla Hero

Pritam gets Atif Aslam on board, with verse by Irshad Kamil. Picturised on Shahid Kapoor and his screen mom Padmini Kolhapure, it features a film-obsessed guy and his relationship with his mother. The world might see him as a good-for-nothing, but she has gotten past that and tries to make him a better man. There is, however, a glimmer of hope at the end of the track.

Sone De Maa: Shootout At Lokhandwala

We’re all aware of the crime story. This is a song that sees the criminals at a stage when all else has failed them. In an utter state of hopelessness, emerges this song — a Euphoria compilation sung by Dr Palash Sen. We hear the words, “Sone de maa, main nahi jeena”, you know the inevitability of what’s coming. Thereon, it’s more a question of when, rather than how or why.