With the advent of the cable channels, the Indian Television was revolutionized to a massive extent. The 13-episode format of serials were transformed into 1000 episodes ones, and in place of 1 or 2 mega serials, almost every 4 out of 6 serials were termed as “mega serials”. This transformation obviously had to adjust in more masala and more villainy, but everything reached a crescendo with the mothers-in-laws of the serials being turned into epitomes of viciousness. Although this is almost a thing of the past, still many serials abide by this formula to become an instant hit. Let’s look at some similar mothers-in-law—
6. Niharika Kapoor of “Bade Acche Lagte Hain”
This not-at-all-simple story of an apparently simple couple, Ram and Priya, saw a devil in Niharika Kapoor, Ram’s step mother, in the first year of the show. Niharika Kapoor, played by Eva Grover, was much unlike the other vicious mother—with her beautiful charm and equally cunning attitude, she was a major relief from the stereotypical mothers-in-law onscreen. It was her character whose evil doings that had set the whole platform for the whole story to bud and bloom; however, she was the first one (and perhaps the only one) to meet death in the story.
5. Gayatridevi Raghuvanshi in “Desh Ki Beti Nandini”
One of the newest TV serial on the block, Gayatridevi Raghuvanshi, played by Sujatha Sehgal, is one of the pillars of the serial. Her shrewd demeanor coupled with her crackling personality brings unleashes a whole new angle to our understanding of mothers-in-law in Indian Television. Again it was her calculative measures, much alike Niharika Kapoor, which brought together Nandini and Rajveer and thus, formulated the base of the whole story! You can like her or hate her, but ignoring her will never be in your vicinity! Also Read: 8 Iconic Characters In The History Of Indian TV Shows
4. Savita Damodar Deshmukh in “Pavitra Rishta”
Played by Usha Nadkarni, Savita Tai (as she’s referred to) was sometimes a one-man-show. Sometimes she was a terribly horrendous mother-in-law, while at other times, she would be a doting and caring one, while for most of the time she would happily be a comic relief. She was one character whom you could never totally love or hate, and therein lied her simplicity and charisma. In fact, her role as the “saas” got her numerous awards and accolades over the years it was aired.
3. Falguni in “Amita ka Amit”
This sweet story between two antonymic persons also sees the intrusion of a not-so-motherly-mother in Falguni (played by Meenal Pendse). She is not really a bad mother-in-law per se, but it is her too-much affection and love for her son and her despair on begetting not-so-beautiful and tactful “bahu” that brings out her worst every time!
2. Kalyani Devi in “Balika Badhu”
This mega serial might be on the life of Anandi, a child married off at a tender age in the name of custom, but the serial would have not gained all the accolades and appraisals had it not had Dadisa (or, Kalyani Devi) in one of the stalwart roles. She (played by the noted actress Surekha Sikri) is the epitome of a traditional and stubborn matriarch of a rich family, and though she’s shown to have transformed into an open-minded person now, the trauma she proved to be once is clearly etched onto the minds of everyone who was a regular watcher of this serial. Also Read: 8 Ways To Spot An Evil Mother-in-Law
1. Bhagwani Devi in “Na Aana Iss Des Laado”
Ammaji (as Bhagwani Devi was known in the serial) was never the stereotypical mother-in-law who would always throw tantrums at their soft natured “bahus”. She was perhaps at par with the Khap Panchayats in her demeanor, her control over the whole village and her approval of female infanticide. In fact, she was everything that patriarchy cannot think women to be. In fact, Ammaji (played by Meghna Malik) was the backbone and the lead cast of the whole serial and portrayed herself has a matriarch in the lines of patriarchy.