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This article was first published 6 years ago  » Movies » Meet the most loving mom in Bollywood

Meet the most loving mom in Bollywood

By Patcy N/Hitesh Harisinghani
November 27, 2017 10:49 IST
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Just who is Seema Pahwa?
Find out more about this amazing actress in this video interview.
Interview: Patcy N/
Video and Production: Hitesh Harisinghani/

One of the highlights of Bareilly Ki Barfi is Seema Pahwa.

The actress who plays Bitti's (Kriti Sanon) mother is a delight to watch as she goes about life with only one worry -- getting her daughter married.

Seema first got famous with Doordarshan's hugely popular Hum Log serial in the 1980s where she played Badki.

Audiences loved her in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Subh Mangal Savadhan. caught up with Seema at her tastefully decorated home in Andheri, north west Mumbai.


Like in the movies, Seema is very maternal. She made tea for us and went about her day -- chatting with the dhobi, instructing the housekeeper -- as she got ready for the interview.

Seema, who was raised in New Delhi, gave her first audition as a child, in 1968!

After her marriage to Manoj Pahwa -- what a wonderful actor he is! -- she moved to Mumbai in 1994.


Despite Hum Log, which made her a national celebrity, Seema never expected to be in the movies.

It was Shyam Benegal who gave her roles in Sardari Begum, Hari Bhari, Zubeidaa.

She has since starred in movies like Ferrari Ki Sawaari and Ankhon Dekhi, but work was hard to come by.

All that should change now that audiences have applauded her recent roles.


It's not easy being an older actress in Bollywood, Seema says, as one always gets slotted in mother-chachi-bua roles.

Unlike older male actors like Paresh Rawal and Boman Irani who get good roles to choose from.


Seema regrets passing up Neerja.

She may have missed playing Sonam Kapoor's mum, but she made up with Bareilly Ki Barfi and Subh Mangal Savadhan.


What is Seema's favourite role so far?


Seema loves cooking -- so much so that she once cooked while filming a scene!


There wasn't any role for her in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, but Seema convinced them.

Here's how she did it.


"Hum sirf camera ke liye films banate; relationships nahi ban paate, (We make movies for the camera; relationships can't be made then," Seema says. But that's what sets smaller films apart from commercial cinema.

And here's Seema's advice to movie-makers who make movies for middle class audiences in India.



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Patcy N/Hitesh Harisinghani in Mumbai