‘Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” – Robert Browning
As the saying goes, there is nothing that is comparable in the Universe to Mother’s love. She’s a friend, a guiding force and even a shoulder to lean on.
The whole world of every mother revolves around her child. She takes care of every minute detail needed to transform her kid into a well-behaved, good-hearted and responsible adult.
But once an adult, how many of these kids care about the same mother and treat her with respect, enriched with love and affection? And even if they do care, will the ideologies of the mother and son ever meet?
Well, touching upon all these aspects is the presently streaming Zoom Studios series, Mom & Co.
The best part about the series is its concept. It is the beautiful story of the single mother, Suhasini Joshi, who has raised her son all by herself, and has reached a phase in her life wherein she is restricted to talking to her diary and penning down her thoughts on paper rather than having a direct conversation about them with her son/well-wisher.
On the other hand, we have the son Aditya Joshi, who is well into his own world of work, friends and girl friend. The youngster does not have time to say two pleasant words to his ‘Aai’ after a day’s hard work. He is often seen busy with his gadgets, either his mobile or the TV.
The fact that Suhasini cooks great delicacies is known to the whole world, but not to son Aditya to begin with. The reason for this being that Aditya avoids eating his mom’s ‘dabba’ at office, and always takes an opportunity to eat out with girl friend. And as Aditya’s friends say, ‘Aditya’s loss is the other person’s gain’… And Aditya’s friends literally get into a crazy fight to eat the yummy food brought by Aditya. And this is how the word about the food spreads…
Aditya who heads the HR department at his office, is given the tough task of laying off his colleagues who have an appraisal scale under 3. And getting caught in a Catch 22 situation, Aditya is forced to give a lay-off letter to most of his friends, including his peer HR friend and also his girl friend. Well, all this animosity only ends with the bitter truth that Aditya too is finally laid off by his boss.
Aditya’s world comes crashing down, as soon, he is forced to run around attending interviews and looking for jobs. On the other hand, his girl friend dumps him after getting a new job.
Meanwhile Suhasini, who has become famous for her food amidst Aditya’s close friends, volunteers to pack ‘dabbas’ for them everyday. And her food starts to do the talking as soon, Aditya is shown a video sent by his friend’s friend who puts in the best of adjectives to describe the food he had. Aditya’s friend sows the thought of starting a ‘dabba’ business in Aditya’s mind.
But soon, Aditya gets a job which makes him happy. However, he realizes that he is just doing a data-entry job which is quite pbelow par what he is capable of handling. The best part is that he has got a job in a company where the bosses feel that since all other companies have an HR department, they too need to follow the trend. And Aditya is soon reduced to the role of addressing every employee’s grievance (that includes the petty charger issue, AC issue etc).
Reality soon strikes Aditya when his mother falls sick after going through an ordeal of delivering the dabbas herself, as the regular delivery boy falls ill. And the financial expert that he is, Aditya makes quick calculations when the request for dabbas slowly increases. And soon he is convinced of getting into the business with his mother!!
And this way starts ‘Aai’s Kitchen’, the new business setup of Suhasini Aai and Aditya Joshi. Aditya resigns from his job, but offers to deliver tasty food for his boss at the work place. Aditya though soon faces hurdles in the form of a food blogger’s bad comment on the food, and also the Secretary at his apartment not allowing him to carry on with the business. However, the determined Aditya uses his sharp mind to find solutions to the hurdles.
And the journey has indeed begun….
Zoom Studios has, as of now, released 4 episodes of the series. The story is precariously poised wherein Aai and Aditya get into a clash regarding the ideologies of how to go about with the art of cooking. While Aditya orders her mom to get the spices required for the masala from the shop and complete the order, Suhasini is hell bent on following her way of making the masala at home and then going ahead with the order.
Will Aditya and Suhasini come to the same page in order to carry forward their ambitious business?
Only time will tell. And we are waiting to watch the rest of the episodes to understand this mother-son bonding even more…
Now moving to the cast and performances – Neliima Azeem, as the mother Suhasini Joshi, steals the show. There is no doubt about her acting credentials for sure, and she has proved it yet again in this series. She brings out the right emotions whether in the scenes where she talks to herself or the ones where she talks to her son. She has effectively brought out the desperation and frustration that every aged mother faces when she is left to herself, with nobody being around to talk to or care for her. However, the zeal of the mother does not go down one bit, as she gets into her house-hold routine day after day. She’s brilliant in the scenes where she cares for her son, enjoys the minute happiness that she gets in her life.
Ayush Mehra, as the son Aditya Joshi, is also doing a phenomenal job. He is initially the son who does not have time for his mother. But we are happy and delighted to see him care for his mother when she falls sick. And the moment, where he found joy seeing the happiness in his mother’s face as she sat to watch a play put up by her friend. Ayush has a great chemistry going with co-actor Neliima and they compliment each other very well.
Ayush’s best scenes have been with Neliima, and our favourite till now is the scene where he tells his mother who is in the bed to only worry about cooking, and not think of delivering it. His scenes with the food blogger (Shreya Gupto) were good and interesting. It is to be seen how their equations shape up.
Ruhi Singh, who plays Aditya’s girl friend Malvika, appeared only in the first episode. She has been good in what we have seen till now. We wait for the moment when she will make a return into Aditya’s house. Well, she was the one who had told Aditya to become independent and move out of his mother’s shelter. Should be an interesting element in the story, whenever she comes in!!
Well, the only drawback of the series is the pattern of Zoom to release one episode a week. Though our heart and mind pushed us to review the series soon after its launch, the story and its premise was not even set till the second episode. So writing a review as early as that did not make sense.
Moving to the writers, Shyni Shetty and and Arsh Arora have done a great job with the writing. It has been kept crisp and emotional too at the same time.
Director Ashish Ranglani has effectively managed to bring in the right emotions from his actors. It is very easy to lose focus in a series which has only a handful of actors in the prime cast. But Ashish has kept the story moving well.
We look forward to seeing how well Aai’s Kitchen does, and we also hope to see more warmth and love pouring in from the son towards his mother…. Yes, small hurdles are surely expected, but we wait to see a happy realization in the son about his mother’s importance in his life at the end of it…
We, at IWMBuzz.com, credit Zoom Studios’ series, Mom & Co. with 4 stars.