Published On: Tue, Oct 13th, 2015

Remembering Nirupa Roy, the quintessential mother of Hindi cinema, on her 11th death anniversary today.





Mumbai : For many, Nirupa Roy was almost a generic term for ‘screen mother.’ This was after she played superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s mother in a string of 1970s blockbusters. As the damp-eyed, long-suffering matriarch, she pulled at the heartstrings of a nation. A skilled actress, Nirupa would lay bare the emotional bruises that came with being the highly-moral centre of the hero’s often sinister world.

12065776_789914584450379_5331681184134636823_nNirupa Roy’s innocent face, her soft voice and large limpid eyes made her the perfect person to play the role of goddess in various mythological sagas. Her tryst with mythology was seen in films like Mira Bai, Satyawan Savitri and Har Har Mahadeo. Her acting talent also came to the fore in films like Do Bigha Zamin (1953).

She first played the role of mother in Dev Anand starrer Munimji (1955).The crowning glory in Nirupa Roy’s life however came in the 1970s when Vyjayanthimala turned down the chance to make a comeback with Yash Chopra’s Deewar (1975). The author-backed role of a mother grappling with her son’s (Amitabh Bachchan)’s transgressions and her own love for him came to Nirupa and she made it unquestionably her own. As the moral pivot of the film, Nirupa’s role was far superior to that of the heroines, Parveen Babi and Neetu Singh. Projecting the straight-backed mother in the famous ‘Mere paas maa hai’ dialogue with perfection, Deewar ensured Nirupa Roy’s place in movie history.

Nimmi, Kishore Kumar and Nirupa Roy in a still from the movie 'Bhai Bhai' (1956).

Nimmi, Kishore Kumar and Nirupa Roy in a still from the movie ‘Bhai Bhai’ (1956).

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology