Friday, January 04, 2008

Taare Zameen Par..

Inside of each grown-up, mature adult with duties, responsibilities and worries, there lurks a playful child, hankering after ice creams and amusement park rides, chocolate and teddy bears, playgrounds and the sheer joy of innocence. Once in a lifetime, a man recognises this fact, decides to worship the child within man, and ditching comercialisation for soul, translates his dream into a reality that leaves one weeping, laughing, wondering, reflecting and determined to do one's mite to changing the world.

Welcome to Taare Zameen Par. Even as I post this, I hum the bars of the title song, and feel moved. For those of us who have been too busy to watch it, please do. In your own interests. If you have, you know what I'm talking about.

The subjects of dyslexic children, insensitive parents, and a mark-oriented academic system are nothing new to the world of cinema. But to gather these subjects up gently with a discerning hand, dispense with all unnecessary drama, bind them together with sensitivity and an innate understanding, and then weave them together into an intensely humane, intensely human tapestry coloured by dreams and real emotions-happiness, worry, betrayal, laughter, innocence, promise-takes more than skill. It takes a love of children, an understanding of the enormity of the subject at hand. Mr.Khan, you win hands down.

At the core, it is a simple enough story- a child with depressing academics and an inclination towards mischief drives an insensitive father and a bewildered mother to deposit him at a boarding school where he is neither understood not loved. His love of and obvious genius at painting are never given the measure of appreciation they deserve. Along comes an art teacher who, mystified by the unusual depth of sadness in this child's eyes, delves ito his life and sees not an incorrigible rascal, but a dyslexic, frightened, nearly traumatised boy. Deeply touched, he takes the initiative that even Ishaan's parents have not, and invests in the boy love, interest and patience. Ishaan makes a comeback that stuns the world.

Taare Zameen Par made me cry, it made my grin, clutch my heart and say Ohmigoodness, but most of all, it opened my eyes to a world that needs understanding- the world of dyslexic children, of handicapped or specially abled children(as is the politically correct term). If the world invested half the time that it did on being politically correct, on the children who really need it, this planet may yet discover the core of childhood buried within it. Love needs no instructor and patience needs no teaching- all it takes is a heart.

Do you have one?