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This Teachers’ Day, take a look at these Bollywood films which have captured the teacher-student bond perfectly.
1. Taare Zameen Par (2007):
Co-directed by Bollywood’s ‘Mr. Perfectionist’ Aamir Khan and Amol Gupte, the film made waves across the country as it brought the gaping holes in the country education system, parent roles and apathy towards mental conditions in the spotlight.
In the film, eight-year-old Ishaan Awasti (played by Darsheel Safary), who was dyslexic, was sent to a boarding school as a punishment as his parents could not understand his condition and thought he was deliberately being bad at studies. The film shows how a new art teacher at the boarding school, “Nikumbh Sir”, played by Khan, understands the boy’s condition and brings out the child’s full potential as an artist.
2. Chak De India (2007):
Partly based on a true story, this film was a landmark in Indian cinema and is counted as one of the greatest films of Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, who plays the role of Kabir Khan. The film portrays the tale of Kabir Khan, the former Indian National Men’s Hockey team who had to quite the sport due to graft charges but who, in reality, is passionate about the sport and patriotic to the core.
He is employed to coach the Indian National Women’s Hockey team. The film shows Kabir Khan binding the women from different parts of the country as a team and throws light on how a coach can influence and shape the identity of a sports person.
3. Black (2005):
Inspired by the story of Helen Keller, this inspirational film starred Rani Mujherjee as a blind, deaf and mute person, Micelle, and Amitabh Bacchan as her teacher and mentor. Michelle is differently-abled since birth and every teacher who has ever come to mentor her has fled. The film was directed by Bollywood heavy-weight Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
It explores the relationship between Michelle and her teacher who taught her how to read at a very mature age despite her disabilities and become a college graduate while he himself developed Alzheimer’s disease later. Both the leading actors won National Awards for the film.
4. Do Aankein Barah Haath:
Directed by V Shantaram, this black-and-white film depicts the story of six convicted murderers and a languishing in prison until they are rescued by a progressive warden who believes he can reform and rehabilitate them. The title of the film is based on the premise of the eyes of the warden (do aankhen) watching over the deeds of the six criminals (barah hath or 12 hands), as he watched over their actions from the window of the hut he housed them in. Regarded as one of the classics of Indian cinema, the film shows how a mentor with belief and conviction can inspire even the hardest of criminals to lead a better path.
5. Iqbal (2005):
Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, this is one of the most underrated films of recent times. The film tells the story of a deaf and mute boy, Iqbal (played by Shreyas Talpade), a farmer’s son, who overcame his hardships and made it to the Indian National Cricket Team, helped by his coach and mentor Mohit, a former cricketer-turned alcoholic, played by Bollywood veteran Naseeruddin Shah. It won the National Awards for the Best Film on Social Issues as well as Best Supporting Actor (Shah).
6. 3 Idiots (2009):
The plot of the film is loosely based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel “5 Point Someone”. Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, it stars Boman Irani as the strict and narrow minded director of an engineering college where the three “idiots” aka students, Rancho, Farhan and Raju, played by Aamir Khan, R Madhavan and Sharman Joshi, respectively, are making mischief.
Rancho is repeatedly thrown out of class for not agreeing with the system of education while Farhan’s parents are hell-bent on him being an engineer whereas he all wants to do is wildlife photography. Raju, on the other hand, is so scared of failing in his course that he turns superstitious and tries to take his own life when the director rusticates him. The film is a laugh riot and stars Kareena Kapoor and Mona Singh as the director’s children who betray their secret to him that his son had also killed himself when he could not clear his engineering entrance and could not face disappointing their father.
7. Parichay (1972)
Directed by the evergreen artist Gulzar, the film’s plot is inspired from “The Sound of Music”. Starring Jeetendra as an unemployed youth, Ravi, the film depicts how the right can teacher can transform the unruliest of students. Ravi gets a job as the private tutor of the grand children of one Rai Saheb, a part played by Bollywood legend Pran.
Ravi not on succeeds in winning the hearts of his students and bridging the gap between them and their grandparents but he also ends up marrying the eldest of the students, Rama, played by the talented Jaya Bhaduri.
8. Rockford (1999)
Remember the song “Yaaron, dosti badi he haseen hai” by KK or “Aasmaan ke par” by Shankar Mahadevan? Both these songs are from the cult classic Rockford. The film tells the tale of a teenage boy and the bond he shares with his PT teacher, role essayed by Nagesh Kukunoor, who also directed the film, in a boarding school.
9. Stanley ka Dabba (2011):
Amol Gupte wrote, directed and starred in this film as a gluttonous teacher who forces his students to share his food with him and chastises anyone who does not bring tiffin to school. He particularly picks a grouse with one of his students called Stanley, a part played by Gupte’s son, Partho. The film shows how a rude teacher finally comes to his senses and highlights the relationship and solidarity shares by the students in supporting their classmate.
10. Munnabhai MBBS (2003):
Starring Bollywood’s original bad boy Sanjay Dutt in and as Munnabhai, the film tells the tale of how a gangster overcomes a tyrannical director of a medical college, a part played by Boman Irani and brings out flaws in medical education and practice in India while trying to fulfill his father’s dream of seeing him become a doctor.
Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, the film also starts Gracy Singh who plays a doctor and the daughter of the director, who helps Munnabhai all along the story line. The film also starred Arshad Warsi as “Circuit” and became a cult classic.
11. Honourable mention – Sir (1993):
The film starred Naseeruddin Shah as professor Aman Verma who helps out one of his students Pooja (played by Pooja Bhatt) with her stammering. Portraying the essence of student-centric films of the 80’s and the 90’s, the film portrays how Verma put his life on the line to help his students, including helping Pooja and Karan (played by debutante Atul Agnihotri) elope.
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