A few weeks ago my friend Charan came to me on a peaceful evening when I was rather relaxed and listening to some good old Hindi film music. Arrival of friends is always a welcome occasion and therefore I felt even better when he came over. He had brought a CD of Amir Khan’s new movie 3 Idiots. The CD was a pirated one and contained the camera print because the CD of the movie has not yet been released. The CD was giving Charan trouble. It had refused to play in his DVD player. So, he brought it over to me to see if it plays in my laptop. And it did. The camera print was surprisingly good. Though the screen was small but we could not contain our desire of watching the movie after hearing so much about it. We played the movie and we liked it. It was worth the hype. In a number of aspects the movie is a typical Amir Khan movie.
On the next day when I opened the Hindustan Times newspaper in the morning —there was an article about this movie written by Sagarika Ghosh. I had not met anyone who said anything negative nor had I read any negative reviews about the movie. Critics and the common movie-goer; all were equally praised of the movie. From this viewpoint it was interesting to read Sagarika’s article because she tried to draw reader’s attention towards a subtle but negative message conveyed by the movie.
Sagarika argued that the movie goes overboard in proving that these days college education is nothing but stress and it produces not the innovators but just run-of-the-mill knowledge and degree holders. Though she admitted that our education system is not flawless but her primary concern was that the movie might encourage students to take the suicide route to escape the stress. Next time when a student would find herself under tension due to studies —she would think of the movie and would feel that her limit of patience had arrived and it would be justified if she ends her life. The blame will go to the education system and authorities and she will easily be able to escape the torment.
The author further writes that we do not want to create a nation of escapists. The movie seem to suggest as though becoming a wild-life photographer is a cake walk if compared with becoming an engineer. She asks if the message is interpreted in such a way by students then soon we might have a nation full of photographers but there would be no engineer to build our roads, bridges and machines.
I think Sagarika has a point and I agree with what she wrote. But at the same time she missed a crucial point in her article. The movie’s suggestion is not to escape —it rather encourages students to think and realize where lies their real interest. Even if becoming a photographer is an easier enterprise —I am sure that there would be thousands of students who would still choose to learn engineering because they love the subject. And no matter what sort of ease and pleasures becoming a photographer entail —these engineering loving students would still find photography a boring thing and wastage of time. Moreover, there would be students who would love to click animals but would find it too hard to roam around in the jungle. They would rather learn principles of mathematics and mechanics.
3 Idiots is a good movie. It asks people to follow what they like and not what is “hot” in the market. If everyone would become an engineer (because it is a “hot” profession) then who would paint nice paintings, who would create melodious music and who would dig historical truths for us?