Birthday Love: Jaya Bachchan’s characters we loved

Yasmin Shabir

Features Writer


Jaya Bachchan has done some incredible work over the years with some characters leaving a mark like no other.

In ‘Zanjeer’ (1973) she played the part of Mala who for a living sharpened knives. This character of hers was unique because she spoke and behaved like those that lived in the streets. While she acted tough she was very fragile at heart. On the occasion of Bachchan’s birthday, will explore some of her most lovable characters.

‘Bawarchi’ (1972)
Known as the mad house in which Krishna (Bachchan) lives in, the story revolved around how the people in the house constantly quarrelled on a daily basis. Due to their bad behaviour they never seemed to be able to keep the house help as they would end up resigning after a few days in the house. Krishna being the kind-hearted girl that she is would end up doing all the house work and would even be asked to skip college in order to make sure things are kept in order.

Bachchan’s character was lovable because she was a sweet girl who did wrong by no one. She treated everyone with respect and would never complain even when she was treated badly.

‘Phagun’ (1973)
The film starred some big names such as Dharmendra and Waheeda Rehman alongside Bachchan who played the part of their daughter named Santosh. The twist in the story comes when Santosh gets married to Dr Suman (Vijay Arora) and after their marriage her mother begins to live with them.

Her mother promises that she won’t get in their way but she can’t help but interfere in their lives. This constant interference begins to irritate Suman who just wants some attention from his wife not his mother in law

Bachchan played her part well of a loving daughter who understands that her mother means well but is just lonely. Her character Santosh was naïve but even she could sense the tension between her husband and her mother.

‘Guddi’ (1971)
For her role of Kusum aka Guddi, Bachchan received a nomination for the Filmfare best actress award. The plot revolved around a school girl named Guddi who was the baby in her house and very popular amongst her friends. Always laughing and playing around when she is proposed to she reveals that she can’t get married as she is already in love. When she reveals that she is in love with the actor Dharmendra her uncle cleverly comes up with a plan to show Guddi that all is not what it seems in the film world.

Bachchan was able to reach great heights with this very film. With her character of an innocent school girl who is unable to differentiate between reel life and real life she won the hearts of all.

‘Mili’ (1975)
Mili (Bachchan) was a happy go lucky girl always seen with a bright smile on her face. Little did anyone know that behind this smile was a secret that made her want to live her life to the fullest. When Shekhar (Amitabh Bachchan) becomes her new neighbour, rumours begin to spread about his parents causing him to have many outbursts. During one incident Mili and her father go to help Shekhar where she realises he isn’t actually a bad person just misunderstood.

Gradually Shekhar begins to fall for Mili and begins to change for the better. Like many even he is unaware that Mili is suffering from a disease and when it is revealed to him he is in pieces as he doesn’t want to lose her.

Mili was like a ray of sunshine that would brighten up any person’s day, this character was perfectly executed by Bachchan.

‘Koshish’ (1972)
Directed by Gulzar this film was one that touched the hearts of many as it represented those people that are often forgotten. Bachchan played the part of a young girl named Aarti who was unable to speak or hear anything. She lived with her mother who would often worry what would become of her daughter when she wasn’t there. The story showed the difficulties and the experiences people with these disabilities faced. As Bachchan had no dialogues her thoughts and her feelings were expressed through her gestures and facial expressions. Her performance was appreciated so much that she was nominated for the Filmfare best actress award in 1974.

‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ (2003)
Jennifer was a single mother bringing up her three children while trying to run a business at the same time. On the outside Jenny remained strong and tried to put a smile on her face while inside she carried many secrets. Bachchan showed different sides to her character as she was a woman of great faith and lived for her children’s happiness. There was a sarcastic side to her which was quite humorous, this side would often appear whenever her mother in law was mentioned or was around her. wishes Jaya Bachchan a very happy birthday!