This Dad Lists The Books, Movies, And Music His Kids Should Know Before High School

You may also like: A movie critic on the must-watch movies for your childThat said, heres my list of books, movies or music Id like my daughters to encounter before theyre in high school:Stand By Me (Film, 1986. First encountered at the age of 10): Growing up with a bunch of boys for whom the summer vacation never ended, this truly helped underline the bond of brotherhood & friendship. First encountered at the age of 15): The angst, the misplaced anger, the disappointment of things around you, both real and perceived, was perfectly captured by the grunge movement. First encountered at the age of 16): One of the most haunting images of my teenage years has got to be image of Bruno and his father walking away in to the distance. First encountered at the age of 14): Without a doubt, I havent laughed this hard during any Hindi film since.
Total
0
Shares

If there’s anything I love as much as sport, I reckon it’s got to be books, movies and music.

A heady combination of the three played a huge part in my upbringing, without a doubt. I cannot recall a single instance as a teenager or young adult when I didn’t actively have one of the three whirling in my head. The influence of the three was intoxicating and addictive. It’s fair to say, my regular day involves all three in varying yet substantial degrees.

So, I figured, the best way to make sure that my daughters have their own share of ‘go-to’ movies, music or books is to give them some guidance. A sort of compass, if you will. Of course, if they choose to read a Chetan Bhagat, I won’t stop them, but then I’ll just have to compensate by ensuring we discuss Munshi Premchand or Mahesh Elkunchwar so they understand the true breadth of Indian literature.

While I didn’t necessarily grow up in a very macho environment, my pop culture choices were markedly different from the ones that my wife was making at the same time. That got me thinking that popular culture has got to be one way to help get a more gender-balanced worldview too.

You may also like: A movie critic on the must-watch movies for your child

That said, here’s my list of books, movies or music I’d like my daughters to encounter before they’re in high school:

  1. Stand By Me (Film, 1986. First encountered at the age of 10): Growing up with a bunch of boys for whom the summer vacation never ended, this truly helped underline the bond of brotherhood & friendship. I tended to get a little emotional at the time (and probably still will), because it made me really want to tell my friends that I value them. Of course, I didn’t and we’ve drifted apart since, but I’ll always remember watching the film as the one moment when I suddenly realised that there are bonds beyond those of blood.
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird (Book, 1960. First encountered at the age of 15): Justice. That’s the one word I kept thinking about while I was reading Atticus Finch’s defence of Tom Robinson. It helped me realise that the world isn’t always fair. Yet, (spoiler alert), Bob Ewell’s eventual end also made it clear that those on the unjust path also get their due.
  3. Ten By Pearl Jam (Music Album, 1990. First encountered at the age of 15): The angst, the misplaced anger, the disappointment of things around you, both real and perceived, was perfectly captured by the grunge movement. If my daughters are anything like me, they’ll probably have the same disregard of the establishment, whatever that may be! Pretty sure, this is the soundtrack to that rage against the machine!
  4. Bicycle Thieves (Film, 1948. First encountered at the age of 16): One of the most haunting images of my teenage years has got to be image of Bruno and his father walking away in to the distance. It’s often (and wrongly) cited as a ‘manly’ film. However, the pain of a father’s inability to turn the tide and yet have the strength to assure his son that they’ll get by is both heart-rending and beautiful at the same time.
  5. Revolver, The Beatles (Music Album, 1966. First encountered at the age of 14): Listening to this, blew my mind. As a 14-year-old, I couldn’t fathom how so many musical and non-musical elements could be brought together in one song. In a Google-less world, I pieced together The Beatles’ journey with the help of libraries and fan (think uncles!) inputs. My admiration for the genius of the band grew as did my appreciation of a wider range of music, including ghazals!
  6. The Old Man & The Sea (Book, 1952. First encountered at the age of 16): The simple nature of the writing means you can follow the story on the surface. As you grow older, each reading unravels yet another layer that you did not know existed. Ernest Hemingway is one of my favourite authors, and my love affair with his writing began with this work. For me, this book is to literature, what Revolver is for music.
  7. Andaz Apna Apna (Film, 1994. First encountered at the age of 14): Without a doubt, I haven’t laughed this hard during any Hindi film since. It’s probably fair to mention Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron in this bracket. The absurdity of both is a thing to behold. The more we allow ourselves to discover our own Amar, Vinod, Prem and Sudhir, and the ‘reality’ of our lives, I think we might even learn to live a little bit more.

You may also like: 75 books your child must read (Indian authors included!)

Of course, despite all this, my daughters will probably still read the contemporary version of best-selling-poor-writing (think Danielle Steele), but just as long as they’re also on track to read the next Lahiri or watch the next Majidi, I think this list would have done its job!

Leave a Reply

KSP NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to get the latest news & updates delivered directly to your inbox.

You May Also Like