Warning: Spoiler alert ahead!
As 21st century parents let’s ask ourselves a very pertinent question. Do we really have the courage to let our children be what they want to be? How many times do you lose your sleep over thinking that your child is just average in school and what will happen if he/she doesn’t do well in their final exams?
If you have spent time grappling with these questions, then you need to watch one of our favourite Bollywood movies- Tamasha.
There was something in the trailer, I thought when I first caught a glimpse of it. The lead pair was a great reason to watch the movie but there seemed to be something more intriguing. I always believe that we lead multiple lives and especially in today’s times we lead these lives as different people. I figured this was the essence of the story and was curious to see how director Imtiaz Ali dealt with it. Soon after the movie released there were more negative reviews than positives but I just knew I had to watch it.
Here’s what I loved about the movie and why I find it in the must-watch list for parents today. Scroll down to read my reasoning.
The movie begins with the lead pair meeting and generally having a great holiday in Corsica, France. It then moves into, what will seem strange to viewers, of Ranbir settling into his robotic daily existence. The story is told through flashbacks of the hero's childhood where we learn he loves to listen to stories and loses himself in them. He falls short of his father's expectations and lacks the courage to tell his family what he really wants to do with his life. Instead, he follows a set pattern drawn by his father and struggles with numbers while trying to become an engineer.
As parents we want our kids to have careers that are rewarding, that are safe, profitable, and steady. In Tamasha, the hero's life is no different! Every day he struggles to fulfil those expectations and struggles with anxiety and trauma. Are we unconsciously doing the same to our kids? We always want our kids to be the best. But are we placing unjustifiable pressure on them to be the best at everything? The hero became what his father wanted him to become but was he good at it? He could have been much better at what he really wanted to do.
The director brilliantly brings about the importance of bachpan or childhood, which he says is the most important hero in our lives as it in this phase that we truly fall in love with what we want. It is during this time that we dream, travel through imagination, and live without inhibitions. As we grow up we strangle our childhood dreams and label them immature and 'childish', only to move on to what society and our family expects of us. Think of all the times you told your child to stop doing 'rubbish that's not going to get you anywhere'. When your child said he wanted to be a baker, you said no why don't you try for a doctor?
Tamasha's story is not new and may not change society for many years to come because the truth is we all need to earn a living and life is not a movie. But I do believe that if you follow your heart and love what you do then its easier to make that money. That perfect life is not an escape every 3 months but something we need to struggle to cultivate. Only if you are doing the thing you love, the struggle may not seem so bad.
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I left the cinema with a good feeling of having learned something. Of having a positive feeling and the freedom to let my children just be who they are. The joy of appreciating your child and his many strengths instead of moulding him to the one you always wanted to be. This movie will remind parents of all those times we have asked our children to do something, "just for mama please?" No wonder then that most of our children don't have the courage to tell us what their dreams really are. What they would like to become when they grow up, what they are truly passionate about.
Why don't we take a step towards changing that? Let's open the playgrounds, ask our children what they want to be, and smile at that answer. Let us enable them to be the best at whatever they want to be.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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