Teachers’ Day is celebrated in India every year on September 5. Teachers’ Day is a very important day that acknowledges the hard work of teachers in imparting knowledge to children and makes them better human beings. Teachers’ Day is celebrated on the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan the first Vice President of India and the second President of India. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an Indian philosopher and statesman who maintained that teachers should be the best minds in the country and when some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday on September 5 he asked that his birthday should be celebrated as Teachers’ Day.
In Indian culture, a teacher holds a revered and important position. Our mythological texts and scriptures talk about princes and princesses going to ‘gurukula’ and learning the art of warfare, Shastra, and Dharma from their teachers. Drona was the teacher of Pandavas who taught them the art of warfare. Lord Krishna is also revered as a teacher who taught Arjuna about dharma and gave discourse which is compiled in Bhagavad Gita. In recent times movies play a very integral part of our lives and there have been numerous movie characters who have been good teachers worth emulating and learning from in real life. Here is a list of few exceptional film teachers who have taught us a lesson for life.
1.John Keating (Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society)
Robin Williams plays English teacher John Keating at an all-male elite prep school. He encourages his students to make their lives extraordinary through his unconventional teaching methods and motivates his students to seize the day.
2.Ravi (Jeetendra in Parichay)
Parichay is a Hindi film starring Jeetendra, Jaya Bachchan and Pran in lead roles and is directed by Gulzar. The film was based on a Bengali novel Rangeen Uttarain by Raj Kumar Maitra. The film is about misunderstandings between a grandfather and five of his grandchildren and how the hired tutor that is Ravi (played by Jeetendra) succeeds in reforming the kids and bridging the gap between the grandfather (Pran) and the grandchildren. Jaya Bachchan plays the eldest grandchild Rama who eventually marries Ravi.
3.Mr.Anderson (Paul Rudd in Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Paul Rudd plays the role of Mr.Anderson an English teacher who connects and helps the main protagonist Charlie (Logan Lerman) adapt to a normal lifestyle as a freshman in a high school after his stint in a mental health care institution for clinical depression. Mr.Anderson is instrumental in bringing Charlie back into society with his clever suggestions of books and egging the reader and analyzer in his student.
4.Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon in Harry Potter series)
Harry Potter series would be incomplete if we don’t take into account the efforts and teachings of Professor Dumbledore. Professor Dumbledore was one of the most powerful wizards in the Harry Potter universe who took on Grindelwald as well as Lord Voldemort head on. Michael Gambon who essayed the role in the most Harry Potter movies lent his incredible acting acumen to the role. Professor Dumbledore was the mentor, guide, defender as well as protector of Harry Potter. He took on a role that went beyond teaching; he became a father-figure to the orphan boy who holds the strength to vanquish the Dark Lord.
5.Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith in Harry Potter series)
Professor Minerva McGonagall is a fair and strict teacher in the Harry Potter universe. She is not enamored by the celebrity status of Harry Potter but also ensures that every student of hers is given equal and just treatment. She goes out of her way to get Hermione Granger a time-turner so that she can attend all the extra classes that she is going to undertake in her third year. She also stands up to Dolores Umbridge who is making life unbearable with her tedious laws and restrictions imposed on students at Hogwarts. Maggie Smith who played the role of Minerva McGonagall did so with such gusto and aplomb that it is difficult to think of any other actor in her shoes.
6.Nikumbh Sir (Aamir Khan in Taare Zameen Par)
Taare Zameen Par was one of the most iconic movies of Aamir Khan and that is saying something. He played the role of art teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh who befriends a dyslexic child in a boarding school on the verge of depression and trauma. Nikumbh Sir finds out that the child is dyslexic and the fact that all the other teachers did not realize this handicap and berated the child for his supposed stupidity and stubbornness is what makes him remarkable. He helps the child improve his self-esteem and regain confidence.
7.Debraj Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan in Black)
Black was one of Rani Mukherji’s career best movies and it had none other than Amitabh Bachchan playing the role of her teacher. Rani Mukherji played the role of a blind and deaf girl who is taught by Amitabh Bachchan to recognize the world around her and express herself through actions.
8.Shekhar (Abhi Bhattacharya in Jagriti)
Shekhar runs a boarding school for boys and tries to reform wayward kids through his unorthodox teaching methods and tries to impart moral values to his students to make them model citizens. Abhi Bhattacharya essays the role of the schoolteacher Shekhar who tries to make model citizens of his wards.
9.Amar Verma (Naseeruddin Shah in Sir)
Naseeruddin Shah plays the title role in this movie which also had Pooja Bhatt, Atul Agnihotri, Paresh Rawal and Gulshan Grover in lead roles. Naseeruddin Shah plays an upright teacher who helps Pooja Bhatt overcome her stammering and also helps her in her love life.
These iconic teachers from our movies and books are people who might not be real but they have tried to instill good values in us. They have all taught us something or the other and made us pine for a teacher who would understand, guide and care for us the way these characters do about their wards and students. On this year’s Teachers’ Day let’s take a moment to remember all those teachers who taught us valuable lessons in our lives and thank them for their generosity and selflessness.