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How I Felt Watching Taare Zameen Par As A Parent This Time Around…

Back then, I wasn't a mother. Back then, I wasn't a mentor interacting with kids day in and day out. Back then, my lens for watching the movie was different.

It is rightly said that we must read our favourite books or watch our most loved movies at different stages in life. We fall in love with these stories all over again with renewed appreciation because each time, we uncover a new perspective or creative brilliance that we might have missed earlier.

Watching Taare Zameen Par with my daughter has probably been one of the most immersive, soul-stirring and thoughtful experiences I have had of late. I don’t think I cried so much even when I had watched it for the first time years ago when it was released.

What was different from when I watched it earlier?

Back then, I wasn’t a mother. Back then, I wasn’t a mentor interacting with kids day in and day out. Back then, my lens for watching the movie was different.

Today, the movie hit me differently. It was not just an emotional reaction to the story of a little boy who struggled for years because of adults who failed to see him for what he was.

This time, it was an introspective journey of a few hours where I kept asking myself throughout – Am I understanding my child right? Am I the safe space for my child? Does she trust me enough to be able to share her insecurities and vulnerabilities with me? Will she find the courage to stand up to bullying if she ever faces it? Have I been successful in instilling the right values in her so that she can stand by the bullied, even if it may mean being alone? Am I empathetic to her? Am I taking her feelings for granted sometimes?

I have always been an intuitive parent, and have allowed myself to make mistakes as I learnt along the way. But the movie made me face the questions galore – pertinent and uncomfortable – that were playing hopscotch in my head.

And then, my thoughts also kept drifting to the many ‘Ishaan’s who have been a part of my creative writing classes. I have seen them bloom with time. I have seen them come into their own. With a little love and support from people who matter to them, they found and embraced themselves.

How we fail our children

There is a brilliant scene in the movie which I particularly want to point out here. On one side, Ishaan is extremely distraught and withdrawn into his shell because he doesn’t want to be at the boarding school. Here is a child who is screaming to be heard but is lost and gloomy. His parents tell him they cannot come to meet him that particular weekend because of his brother’s lawn tennis match that deserves more priority.

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On the other side, his brother ends up losing the match, and with a guilty and dejected expression, mutters a ‘Sorry’ to his dad who has no qualms about making his disappointment obvious. Such a telling scene! I mean a child who seemingly has everything going for him is no less burdened because he constantly needs to keep proving himself worthy of being the ‘bright’ kid of the house. In one stroke, we are shown the mirror.

The movie convincingly conveys how we fail our children time and again, knowingly or unwittingly. By ‘we’, I don’t just mean the parents but the entire system that the child has to brave during the growing years. The message is simple really – It is not about ‘the right intentions. It is about ‘the right actions. It is not about leading the child. It is about following the lead of the child and being a guiding light through the journey.

We surely can do better. Because the young ones deserve better.

The following lines from the soulful song in the climax of the movie just sums it up perfectly –
Tu Dhoop Hain
Chham Se Bikhar
Tu Hai Nadee
O Bekhabar
Beh Chal Kahin 
Ud Chal Kahin
Dil Khush Jahan
Teri Toh Manzil Hai Wahin

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About the Author

Anupama Dalmia

Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...

110 Posts | 732,513 Views

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