10 Bollywood films that celebrate teachers who challenge, motivate and inspire us

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While Bollywood films have always had an essence of escapism with masala and music embedded in fun storylines, once in a while, there comes a film that not only entertains you, but takes you back to your school or college days. Teachers can be strict, they can be fun, and they sure can touch people’s lives in many ways. Actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Naseeruddin Shah have immortalised  the varied avatars of teachers on big screen. On the occassion of Teacher's Day, we've made a list of our favorite teachers that Bollywood has given us with a lot of bittersweet lessons:

Munnabhai M.B.B.S (2003)

Among Raju Hirani's movies that moved audiences, this one reserves a top spot. Way past the age to be in college, Munna, played by Sanjay Dutt is misfit in the most prestigious medical college. With a funny cold war between him and the dean of the college, Dr. Asthana (Boman Irani), this film is a laughter riot. The film taught us that while conventional ways may seem like the right way to go about it, but sometimes a miracle is long due and it is only possible when a student-teacher relationship becomes a mutually understanding one. Well, like they say, a teacher never stops learning either.

Iqbal (2005)

If not for Shreyas Talpade's stellar performance, the movie belongs to his teacher played by the most talented, Naseeruddin Shah. Iqbal is a 2005 Indian sports drama film which follows a cricket-obsessed boy from a remote Indian village as he aims to overcome his difficulties and become a cricketer and fulfil his dream of playing for the Indian national cricket team.Iqbal seeks help from Mohit (Naseeruddin Shah), who was once a great cricketer and persuades him to be his coach. Mohit trains Iqbal and gets him a place on the Andhra Pradesh Ranji Trophy team, despite Iqbal not having any previous cricketing experience.

Black  (2005)

Losely based on the life of Helen Keller and her teacher, Black is a film that made its mark on Indian Cinema with not just the story but with outstanding performances by Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee. Made under the direction of a storyteller par excellence,  Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Black revolves around a blind and deaf girl, and her relationship with her teacher who himself later develops Alzheimer's disease.  The film beautifully showcased that being a teacher is not a profession bound by four walls and a bell ring, it exceeds all boundaries when it comes to the growth of a student. His conventional and harsh ways seem unacceptable in the beginning but as the fil progresses, we realise, how far a teacher has to go to do justice to his profession and it all ultimately pays off with eventual progress. 

Taree Zameen Par (2007)

This film made under the supervision of the perfectionist of Bollywood, Aamir Khan, balances art, social relevance and entertainment to bring about a change in the way we as a nation raise children in an extremely competitive, standardised, mechanical world.  Darsheel Safary stars as eight-year-old Ishaan, and Khan plays his art teacher. The film explores the life and imagination of Ishaan, an eight-year-old dyslexic child. Aamir Khan played the best teacher anyone could ever ask for. He saw potential in Darsheel Safari’s character and through unconventional methods brought out the best in him. The close knit bond that the two share, made Ram Shankar Nikumbh the ideal teacher.

Chak De! India  (2007)

While we have focussed on the bond of one teacher with a few students, here’s a film that brought forth the struggles of a defamed coach with his rowdy team of players. The film stars Shahrukh Khan as Kabir Khan, who is ostracized from the sport and he and his mother are driven from their family home. Seven years later, to redeem himself, Khan becomes the coach of the Indian national women's hockey. Shah Rukh Khan showed tough love in Chak De! and won hearts of the audience. His analysis of the team’s strengths and weakness helped in their victory. The 70 minute speech is quite famous and is one of the most motivating speeches to go back to. In classroom or on-field, Chak De! India has some fine lessons for all students.

3 Idiots (2009)

The film had two different teachers, Rancho (Aamir Khan) and Veeru Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani) with distant qualities. Boman Irani played that khadus teacher all of us had in our schools and colleges, though, he does come around in the end. The film centres around 3 friends at an engineering college.  Rancho, later identified a Phunsukh Wangdu lives by the philosophy that one should pursue excellence, as when it is achieved, success follows. The film is distinctive for featuring real inventions by little-known people in India's backyards. 

Aarakshan (2011)  

A serious, but vital movie in the student-teacher genre, Aarakshan dealt with the crucial subject of reservation. Megastar, Amitabh Bachchan plays a college principal, who turns into a social activist. He plays Prabhakar Anand, who fights injustice to bring positive change in the education system without compromising on his principles and morals. The socio-political drama sent out a strong message for schools and colleges across the country.

Do Dooni Chaar  (2010)

Directed by Habib Faisal, Do Dooni Chaar is a comedy-drama film starring Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Aditi Vasudev and Archit Krishna in lead roles. The film is about a middle-class school teacher who tries to keep his wife and children happy in inflationary times and dreams of buying a car. In the end, it is not just the teacher who redeems himself by not succumbing to taking bribes, but also his children who begin to see him in the true light and importance of being a teacher and an honest citizen.

Chalk n Duster  (2016)

Directed by Jayant Gilatar and written by Ranjeev Verma, the film is an emotional journey of two teachers Vidya (Shabana Azmi) and Jyoti (Juhi Chawla), serving at a Mumbai–based high school. Their passion and love for teaching bonds them in a special relationship with their students. Their gratification is good grades and moral values they strive to impart to students. 

Hichki  (2018)

Enough movies have been made on students struggling with school, Hichki got us a story about a teacher who has to overcome her shortcomings to do justice to her profession. Naina Mathur, played by Rani Mukerji aspires to be a teacher but suffers from a rare nervous disorder called the Tourette Syndrome which makes her break in to a fit of hiccups every now and then. This makes her a laughing stock initially but she takes it up in a good stride. That’s not all, she is given the task to teach a bunch of students who are rebellious trouble making students.  Understanding their special need and the kind of attention they require, Naina does not give up and continues to be a part of their pranks and jokes until they give in to her ways. Realising their true potential, Rani becomes the ideal teacher and achieves her said goal.

 

Which teacher entertained you the most?

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