Prashant's Weblog
Random Brain "Droppings" of yet another software engineer

Friday, January 04, 2008

(akshar naach rahe hain :) )

One of the advantages of reading TOI is that you will get to read and participate in these utterly useless opinion polls which try collate hard numbers on burning issues and get the feel of pulse of the nation. Recently one such "burning" issue got my attention;

Which Khan is the super duper badshaa of Bollywood? Sha..sha..sharukh Khan or Amir Khan?

Along with this opinion poll they had a half page review of their latest movies OSO(for the reel illiterate, its Kewl way of saying Om Shanti Om) and Taare Zameen par.

As such I am a great sucker for movies but had resisted watching SK movies as I have had real big time trouble coping with the neurological problems after watching couple of his previous movies, but when "enna rascala mind it" became part of lore and when people started to quote me as a example to explain the meaning of "anachronism" after I expressed my ignorance about the happening lingo..I knew..updating myself with the new lingo was necessary, not just necessary but it became a matter of I caved in and watched the movie. Not all was bad..I loved one song and that one scene when Deepika turns and gives that one look..ah!! my paisa wasool. About the rest of the movie, I will exercise my right of "reserve from making comments"(hail democracy) and not speak about it.

Anyways this post is not about OSO, but the other movie Taare Zameen Par , which I happen to see yesterday and am glad I did.

The emotional agony of not meeting parental expectations, which a nine year old suffering from Dyslexia goes through has been picturized really well. Darsheel Safary as Ishaan is simply brilliant and Aamir Khan as Nikumbh Sir, Director and Producer is equally brilliant. A very different story line than usual with sparks of Amole Gupte's brilliant creativity (idea of Ishaan's flip book was truly awesome and adds that extra punch) aptly intersperse with songs having some really neat lyrics by Prasoon Joshi coupled with good music by Shankar Ehsaan makes it a worthwhile movie to watch.

But what I liked the most about the movie was not only does it scores really high on entertainment quotient but also sends out a message about a problem thats so prevalent yet so inconspicuous and neglected, it throws at you a few very relevant questions;

- There is a scene that involves Ishaan family and Aamir Khan. Aamir Khan says Ishaan is good at painting for which Ishaan dad says "Kya Faidaa" (whats the use). The notion that there is no career prospects beyond a doctor/engineer is not that rare even today.

- Ishaan gets punished for not doing well in Maths but all of them fail to notice the confident brush strokes and the vivid colors which he can pack into a white drawing sheet. So the question arises if our education system is geared up to identify these differently gifted students?

- For at least 2-3 years Ishaan's parents/teachers saw the same patterns like reversals of letters/words/numbers, finding it difficult to read or construct long words/sentences, inability to follow multiple instruction(go to chapter 13, page 12, line 12) and tendency to mis judge important characteristics like speed, direction etc of spatial objects(finding it difficult to hold a moving ball), a special sort of failure to recognition words resulting in a poor reading ability and also extreme difficulty in spelling but could not or were not ready to attribute it to a neurological syndrome(dyslexia). So the question of how to recognize and categorize such traits?

- When Aamir Kahn speaks of Ishaan's symptoms, his dad asks "are you saying my child is a retard"... So the question of how can we eliminate the taboo associated with neurological disorders so that people can admit about the problem and seek help?

- Ishaan could not do few things with the same ease as most of his contemporaries did in spite of the fact that their IQ might have been at par or Ishaan better off than most of them and Ishaan had no control what-so-ever on this, even he did not know that what he was doing was wrong. A practical fallout of this was discrimination both at home(dad says his elder brother is so good and Ishaan a "duffer" and Idiot) and outside for no fault of Ishaan.

- If noticed all the "tests" that decide if Ishaan can progress to next class was a "written" exam. Now the core of Ishaan's disability was extreme difficulty dealing with spoken and written language. So the results of the "exams" were actually under-estimating Inshaan's capability. So the question is how to deal with such contradictions? Aamir suggests oral test for Ishaan until he develops his writing skills. So do our schools have provisions for such alternate testing?

- In the movie, its shocking to see Ishaan dad's indifference towards the problems of his son even after he is made aware of it...This basically hints at another problem..when ever we talk of Brain related disorders, we most of the times assume that its not curable. Probably Ishaan's dad had the same notion and that resulted in the "hopelessness" we get to see. So the question is what kind of education is required to spread awareness that not all brain related disorders are incurable.

and probably many more such question, the answers to which can probably lead us to more Einsteins, Da-Vincis ,Abhishek Bachchans or just more Ishaans. Just the possibility of finding one of these makes the effort worth it....what say??



  • YOu have a good blog. I was reading some of the older ones and they are very very well written.

    Now you need an audience.

    By Blogger Y Trip, at 9:49 PM  

  • >>they are very very well written<<
    hey Y! dude big mistake..this is good enough to inspire me to write more and thats not a good sign :)...just kidding thanks man.
    >>Now you need an audience<<
    Got my first one..hopefully more will come

    By Blogger Prashant, at 4:02 PM  

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