"Amar Akbar Anthony" 
In her cotton saris with her make-up made to look like
dark rings around her eyes Nirupa Roy embodied the 'every
mother' of 70s Hindi popular cinema. Her portrayal of the
mother was so iconic that actress to this day refer to a 'Nirupa
Roy' type character when attempting to give an explanation
of the type of part they are playing in a film.
In the 70s and 80s Amitabh
Bachchan's, angry young man was her and her son alone,
or so it seemed. If one was asked who the angry young man's
mother was, one could only say Nirupa Roy. She played Amitabh's
mother in seven films.
Nirupa Roy began her film career in the 1940s and became
famous portraying goddess in mythologicals. One of her most
famous roles of the period was as Satyavan Savitri in a film
of the same name. It is interesting in light of her later
career that the character, a goddess from the Mahabharata
is both a queen and long suffering mother.
In 1953 Bimal Roy cast Nirupa in "Do Bigha Zameen"
and the film gave her a new career in social dramas.
Nirupa Roy was a favorite of film director's Bimal Roy,
Manoj Kumar, and Yash Chopra. Possibly her most famous role
was as the mother in Chopra's "Deewaar" .
In the film Nirupa played the quintessential 'Nipura Roy'
mother, a very long suffering and even longer loving mother
to her two sons, who sacrifices all her own needs with maternal
It is notable that Nirupa Roy graduated from playing goddess
in mythological films to mother of mythical proportions in
the angry young man social dramas. This persona and character
transverses the gap between religious text to modern film
folklore. Nirupa Roy and her characterization of the mother
is a firm example of the bridge between classical mythology
and the folklore and mythologizing nature of Indian film.
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