When music maestro A.R Rahman won his first Oscar, it was his mother whom he thanked even before god. He is not the only one - most people in Bollywood credit their mothers for being their reliable support system. 'There is a dialogue from an old Hindi film - 'Mere paas maa hai' - which means I have a mother. My mother is here, I have her blessings. I am glad she could be here,' Rahman had said when he was honoured with an Academy award for the film 'Slumdog Millionaire'.
From filmmaker Karan Johar to young actors like Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, celebrities have always expressed their love and gratitude towards their mother. Johar says he shares the best relationship with his mother Hiroo and that is also one reason why he hasn't felt the need for a companion yet. 'I share the best possible relationship with my mother. That makes up for every relationship I don't have. She's my best friend and a reason to look forward to the next day,' Johar told IANS.
Ace filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali uses every opportunity to acknowledge his mother's efforts in bringing him up. As a sign of respect and gratitude, he has even added his mother Leela's name to his own. 'I'm proud to have my mother's name as part of my name,' he said. Bhansali, who has helmed films like 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam', 'Devdas' and 'Black', makes it a point to bring his ever-smiling mother on to the stage whenever he receives an award.
Even the younger members of the film fraternity have never shied away from talking about the prominent place their mothers hold in their lives. According to actress Lara Dutta, her mother has taught her the virtues of large-heartedness. 'My mother has taught me to be brave and resilient in the face of adversity. She has taught me to sacrifice love and the familial comfort zone for the greater good of the country and to constantly stretch myself beyond the call of duty. Most important of all, I've learnt the virtues of large-heartedness from her,' she said.
There are others like Ranbir Kapoor, who not only loves his mom, former actress Neetu Kapoor, but is also extremely possessive about her. 'I've watched my mom's films, but I was not comfortable. People would judge her and I don't like anyone else judging my mother. I am possessive about her,' said Ranbir, who has charmed audiences in films like 'Saawariya' and 'Bachna Ae Haseeno'.
Beauty queen-turned-actress Priyanka Chopra, who is riding high on the success of her films 'Dostana' and 'Fashion', says had it not been for her mother's insistence, she wouldn't have even made it to the Miss India contest in 2000, leave alone winning the crown. 'My mother has played a very important role in where I stand today. She was the one who sent in my entry for the Miss India pageant. I didn't even know she was doing it. The win at Miss India and subsequently Miss World was what started my career. 'So, a lot of the credit has to go to her. Having chosen to come to Mumbai and pursue a career in films, my mom gave up a flourishing career as a doctor to enable me to follow my dreams. She has stood with me through all my ups and downs. She truly is priceless,' Priyanka told IANS over e-mail from Mumbai.
Actress Monica Bedi, who has had a roller-coaster career and personal life all through, says her mother has always been a pillar of strength for her. 'Ever since I planned to take up entertainment as a career option, she has been by my side. We used to stay in Norway but because of my career choice, my mom used to stay with me in Mumbai for six months and the remaining six months, she used to spend in Norway with my father,' Monica said. Monica, who has now made a comeback in showbiz, says it is the fighting spirit in her mother that she has imbibed. 'My mother has a lot of ailments but she keeps on fighting and takes life in a positive way. And I must say I have learned this very precious thing from her and her spirit has always been an inspiration for me to come back to Mumbai and revive my career,' she added.