2 years of Badhaai Ho: Revisiting Surekha Sikri’s monologue of defending Neena Gupta that floored audiences

One of the most loved films of 2018 was Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Surekha Sikri starrer Badhaai Ho. As the film clocks in 2 years, we revisit an iconic scene from the film that won hearts and Surekha Sikri her national film award.
Sureka Sikri in Badhaai Ho2 years of Badhaai Ho: Revisiting Surekha Sikri’s monologue of defending Neena Gupta that floored audiences
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A film that managed to capture the nation’s attention and turned out to be a sleeper hit was Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Surekha Sikri starrer Badhaai Ho. The Amit Sharma directorial showed the audience a world of Kaushik’s, an average middle-class family living in Delhi, whose world turned upside down when Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao aka Priyamvada and Jeetendra found out that they are expecting another child after their two grown-up sons played by Ayushmann and Shardul Rana.

What happened next was a series of funny situations that consisted of societal stereotypes on middle-aged pregnancy, taboo from grown-up kids and more. However, the show-stealer in the entire film remains to be the stellar performance by senior star Surekha Sikri as Amma. The senior star managed to make audiences laugh when she scolded her daughter-in-law and son Neena and Gajraj for not being safe, but there was one particular scene from the film that won applause from the audiences and that was when she defended her Priyamvada against her own daughter and elder daughter-in-law who were taunting her about her pregnancy and how it was bringing shame due to her age. 

In that one scene, Surekha Sikri as Amma highlighted everything that the two could not do for her in her old age but Priyamvada continued to do. She lashed out at the society’s stereotypes that her daughter and elder daughter-in-law were using to demean and mock a pregnant Neena and questioned them about being absent from her life when she was sick. She said that it was Priyam aka Neena who slept in her room when she was sick and scolded her daughter for lecturing her about values. 

She lauded Neena aka Priyam for taking care of her in the worst times and defended her middle-aged pregnancy by mentioning that there has to be love between a couple, irrespective of their age. 

In an emotional moment, Amma recalls how her late husband did her a favour by choosing Priyam aka Neena as their daughter-in-law and finally, she praised her for everything she did for her over the years.

Not only did this scene shatter society’s stereotypes, but also showed us that Amma loved her daughter-in-law despite being the scolding mother-in-law at the beginning of the film. 

The scene managed to win over audiences when the film released and continues to remain special even today. Director Amit Sharma, in conversation with Film Companion, had revealed that it is one of his most favourite scenes from the film. Surekha Sikri’s performance in the film won her the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress back in 2019. While the main tone of the film remained comic, it surely managed to break stereotypes related to a middle-aged pregnancy. Performances by Neena, Ayushmann, Sanya, Gajraj Rao and others were lauded as well and Badhaai Ho turned out to be a success story.

Also Read|National Award winner Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Badhaai Ho to get a sequel?

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