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Student-teacher relationship has made for good cinema (Teacher's Day is on Sep 5)

Ritika Arora
3 September 2013

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) Teachers can be strict, they can be fun, and they can touch people's lives in many ways. Over the years, Bollywood films have captured such emotions in all their glory, with actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Naseeruddin Shah immortalising the varied avatars of teachers on big screen.

On the occasion of Teacher's Day, observed on Sep 5, IANS lists ten popular Hindi films that essayed the spectrum of the teacher-student relationship - the emotional, the turbulent and, yes, the romantic.

"Sir" (1993) - Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah's fans still remember him for playing a fun-loving teacher in this film. His character showcased how teachers can be friends too as he went out of the way to help his on-screen students, Pooja Bhatt and Atul Agnihotri, in their tough times.

"Rockford" (1999) - Director Nagesh Kukunoor's film revolves around the life of a teenager who finds himself lost among hundreds in a boarding school, until he befriends a teacher. The movie sensitises viewers about the hardships that boarding school children go through, and it highlights how a healthy teacher-student relationship can be encouraging for young ones and help them to lead a better life.

"Mohabbatein" (2000) - In this film, megastar Amitabh Bachchan's towering personality suited his role as Narayan Shankar, a strict principal of an all boys institution, where superstar Shah Rukh Khan played a young music teacher who brings in a breeze of change with his fresh ideologies. The movie showcased how an understanding teacher's ways can work better than those of a disciplinarian.

"Main Hoon Na" (2004) - The teacher here not just taught chemistry in class but also gave out fashion tips! Clad in gorgeous chiffon saris and sexy blouses, actress Sushmita Sen perhaps redefined the way people looked at a 'teacher'. Whoever said teachers are boring? She flaunted fashion on her sleeve and fell in love with her 'student', essayed by Shah Rukh Khan too. Boman Irani and Bindu added the fun 'teacher' element in the movie.

"Black" (2005) - A sensitive tale of a teacher who helps a visually challenged and deaf and mute girl, this Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie shows how the confidence of a 'guru' in his student can move mountains. With stellar performances by Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji, "Black" delves into a melange of emotions that a 'guru-shishya' can share.

"Taare Zameen Par" (2007) - A special film about a special child. Aamir Khan's directorial debut saw him play a teacher, who made learning easy and fun for his students. He made them sing and dance and gave them the freedom to showcase their creativity. Moreover, the film focussed on guiding viewers about a learning and writing difficulty - Dyslexia - and he showcased ways to deal with the special children.

"3 Idiots" (2009) - Here was another strict, ambitious but entertaining college dean, Viru Sahastrabudhhe, for whom books and grades were above everything else. But change ensues when a student, played by Aamir Khan, proves that life goes beyond textbooks, and learning can happen beyond classrooms. The film turned out to be a huge success.

"Paathshala" (2009) - The film didn't do well at the box office, but it managed to highlight the important subject of commercialisation of education. Actor Shahid Kapoor, as a music teacher named Rahul Udyavar, gave out an important message of how students and teachers can be encouraged to stand up against the inefficiencies of school management.

"Aarakshan" (2011) - A serious, but vital movie in the student-teacher genre, "Aarakshan" dealt with the crucial subject of reservation. Amitabh 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.

"Student of the Year" (2012) - Students can teach their teachers a lesson or two as well - that's one vital thought that "Student of the Year" captures. Karan Johar's romantic comedy drama depicts how an annual competition at a school ruins friendships, and how at the end of it all, one brave student confronts the dean, Rishi Kapoor, about the vicious concept of the competition. The confrontation helps the dean realise that he was wrong all the way.

(Ritika Arora can be contacted at ritika.a@ians.in)

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