Classes 10 and 12 are the most crucial academic years for school students, teachers and parents alike. Even the students who only pick up their books just before the exams are forced to study all through the year. Children become stressed, and parents and teachers turn into strict disciplinarians.
In the year 2005, a movie was released that answered the prayers of all such stressed and troubled souls. The movie was Iqbal. I remember the year clearly because I was in class 10 at that time, and our school principal and teachers scrambled to make us watch it. Thus, on a Monday morning, classes were cancelled and all of us were taken to PVR Chanakyapuri. It was the first time our school had taken us to a movie theatre for a film.
Iqbal was about a twenty-year-old boy who aspired to play for the Indian cricket team. The movie was different in many ways. Before this film, protagonists only wanted to be batsmen, whereas Iqbal wanted to be a bowler and had even named his buffaloes after famous Indian bowlers. Also, this movie had no love story. It had no fancy and loud inspirational songs. It just silently filled our hearts with love and the determination to fulfil our dreams.
One of my favourite scenes from it is when Iqbal (Shreyas Talpade) is nervous about bowling in front of ‘guruji’ (Girish Karnad): his sister, Khadija (Shweta Basu Prasad) tells him to play as he does every day and think of the bystanders as his buffaloes who watch him play daily. This dialogue made me realise that I should not give even a bit of my time and mind space to the mean girls and bullies in my class. Just look the other way and do my thing!
After coming back home, I narrated the story to my mother, who taught classes 11 and 12 in a government school. She liked the story so much that she made me buy the DVD and showed the film to her students. So in a way, this movie not only makes me nostalgic about my time in school but I also fondly remember the time my mother wanted to inspire her students.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.