Taare Zameen Par- Every child is special

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Award winning movie and director for the year 2007, this movie is truly remarkable in every sense. Ten year old Darsheel Safaray was nominated for best actor in both the critics and popular category, alongside major stars like Sharukh Khan. Darsheel has made history in more than one way. He was given the award for best actor in the critic’s category at the very tender age of ten. More outstanding is that this was his debut performance. When watching the awards, I was a bit skeptical when they announced that he was the recipient of the award. But after watching the movie, I feel that he truly deserved it.

A very thought provoking and touching movie in many ways. I’m not a person that usually expresses my emotions in tears, but I was left teary eyed at various parts of the movie (I was successful in using the blanket as my cover so that no one would catch me on the verge of crying. Good thing I made the choice of taking the single seat for tonight).

Ihsaan is a nine year old boy suffering from dyslexia. None of his teachers or parents are aware of his condition and mistake his ‘misbehaviour’ and lack of progress in school to be due to laziness and a very laid back attitude towards his school work and life in general. After endless complaints from the school, his father decides to send him to a boarding school, thinking this to be the solution to Ihsaan’s lack of discipline.

Ihsaan is clearly distressed and does not want to leave home. His mother’s love for him is clearly visible, despite his unacceptable behaviour. She has no choice about him going to boarding school once her husband has decided that he will have to go. Unwillingly and with a heavy heart, he is left at the boarding school to begin a new life.

The vicious cycle starts once again and he is repeatedly reprimanded by teachers for not paying attention in class and his lack of knowledge. Ihsaan becomes extremely withdrawn and limits his interaction with his schoolmates to only one boy. A friend who supports him from the very first day, and is a ray of hope in his bleak life.

Good fortune shines on Ihsaan when his art teacher is replaced. The new teacher, Nikumbh (Aamir Khan who is the director of the movie) realises that Ihsaan is having problems and delves deeper in an attempt to help him. It is he who discovers that the boy is suffering from dyslexia, a condition which he suffered from as a child as well. Nikumbh goes out of his way to help Ihsaan overcome his problems and gain confidence in himself. The movie ends on a very positive note, and shows the bond that was created between them because of Nikumbh’s efforts to help him succeed in his life.

There are so many things to be learnt from this movie. One of the most important things I feel, is that despite any form sickness if one has support, love and care you will be able to overcome it. Talking from experience, I have witnessed the power of love and care in one’s life. In times of difficulty, we should support each other. Be united as one unit…and never blame each other for things that happen in life. This support breeds happiness, something which we all seek in our lives.

The tag line of the movie is that every child is special. In this very fast paced life of ours, I have noticed that parents are putting an increasing amount of pressure on their children to exceed in every facet of their life. Kids in grade one and two are under stress, the kind that I only experienced once I reached high school. Why the need to push them to excel in school? Especially when they are not the intellectual type and perhaps are more creative, rather than logical (as it was and I often think still is in my case).

Our lives have been reduced to a competition, and everyone wants to come out as the winner. I have no qualms with winners; I too would love to be a winner. But in my short life of almost twenty one years I have realised that it’s not always about coming out above the rest. It’s about doing the very best that you can. Doing enough to satisfy yourself and not the world around you. Your best may not be enough to be a winner, but it is YOUR best after all. We aren’t all cut out for the same things in life. If we do what we enjoy, then we will excel in it. And more importantly is that we have to be good human beings. We need to live life to the fullest, enjoy it…let out the child in you! And for those who are still young, their youth should not be taken away from them. Let them live their lives as children, that’s what they are.

On that topic, it saddens me at the way our youth have become. I am well aware of the declining quality of the next generations, but this time I’m talking about kids between the ages of five and ten not even the ones in their teens. Although I am almost twenty one there are kids who in comparison to me care so much more about their appearances. They cannot leave their homes if their clothing, shoes and bags are not coordinated. I’m talking about kids over ten years younger than me! I remember going with my little boy cousin to McDonalds one night for ice-cream. He was about ten at the time. Not having the time to change, he remarked “How embarrassing, I have to go in with my slippers!”
Come on, a ten year old with slippers, there is nothing even close to embarrassing about that.

Little girls will not play in the sand for fear of getting themselves dirty and prefer to sit around and pretend to be women. Their quirky, but often rude remarks which come up during conversations (the ones going on between adults), are often just laughed at and brushed aside. At their age, if I had to make those same remarks my mother would have no second thoughts about slapping me for my misbehaviour. And although I’m so much older now, I won’t even try to butt in or be rude!

And then comes the have-to-have accessory. Kids from the age of eight are already given cellphones, that too the model of their choice. What’s the purpose of it? Do they really require cellphones at such a young age in their life? Perhaps their social circles are very extensive and without cellphones their social lives would dissipate. That’s the only way to keep in contact and get all the latest news. No cell phone, no reason to live. (Those last few sentences are dripping with sarcasm!).Where have the ‘kids’ in the twenty first century gone to?

In this race of life, we need to step back and breathe a little. Everything is too advanced, including the new generations. We need to approach life in a different manner. Stop trying to be on top of the pyramid. If we are a little lower down, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have a life or that it is worthless. Perhaps the ones lower down, living life more simply are the ones who are really successful. Successful because they have got what everyone forgot our purpose is-to try and discover happiness. How long will that high status last, or getting that ninety percent in an exam? The elation fades away…But if you have happiness you are fortunate, for it encompasses all the great things in life…such as faith, love, care, contentment, warmth and laughter.

Return to Cyberworld…Jodhaa Akbar

Our bandwith for the month got depleted last week Sunday morning. At first, I was extremely disappointed and wondered how on earth I would be able to survive without the Internet, and more importantly without Facebook. This unexpected turn, I realised had turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The past week has been Internet free (for most of the time anyway, since I logged on from my phone occasionally). I cannot begin to describe the benefits that it held for my studies. I concentrated so much better and have learnt tamed my temptations to log on to Facebook at every possible moment. I’ve set a quota for myself and hope that I can stick to it:)

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What a wonderful Sunday. After many weeks we finally went out for the day. I miss last year’s innumerable outings. I cannot find any specific reason for us staying in so often lately, but today was quite a change from the normal, mundane week-weekend routine. We went to watch ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, which was approximately 3 hours and 45 min long. Great movie, but a bit too lengthy! No doubt, I was captivated and interested to know what the next scene held. Outstanding performances by both the lead roles, as well as other supporting actors. The movie was set in the 1600s AD. A time where there were kingdoms, royalty, palaces and continuous battles. The attention to detail was astounding and I don’t think that this movie would have been as appreciated if I had watched it at home. One of the main themes of this movie was the love that grew and flourished between a Muslim and a Hindu princess. It is the story of an epic romance between Mughal Emperor Akbar and Rajput Princess Jodhaa.I’m not going to delve into the details of the movie, since I’m experiencing some eye complications (perhaps watching such a long movie was not such very soothing to my eyes). One of the things that stood out for me in the movie was the behaviour of the women. They lives were modest in every approach. I love the way they lift their veils over their faces and lower their heads when walking through the palaces. To some people my opinion may seem absurd. But there is a serene beauty in the way they conduct themselves. When comparing it to the way we live, then only will one realise their beauteous actions. They could have done this out of fear or respect. However, the way in which the movie is portrayed, the latter seems to take preference.

Another one of the very profound actions which I admire is the way Princess Jodhaa carried out her religious obligations. She carries out these actions timeously and with so much of zest and love. Although she is of a different religion, her actions can still inspire any woman and especially a married woman to emulate her dedication and faith. Personally I feel that a wife who is religious and righteous in her ways is one of the greatest qualities that a man can find in a woman. To me it is these are qualities which are truly admirable, and I aspire to be such a woman!