“A good teacher is like an entertainer who must hold his audience’s attention, it’s only then can he or she teach his lesson.”
Teachers are integral to one’s formative years, having left an impression which you may realise years later. There are teachers who are admired by one and all, there are those who are feared and then there are those who turn your moral compass.
Bollywood has paid its due to the evergreen character of the ‘teacher’ figure in more ways than one. Somewhere, some time in our lives we have all met teachers who remind us of the gorgeous Ms. Chandni from ‘Main Hoon Na’, or the fearsome Dr. Asthana from ‘Munnabhai M.B.B.S’. Here are our most loved ‘reel’ teachers.
1. Vinod Khanna in Imtihaan
Once in a while comes a teacher who doesn’t just have education and textbooks on their mind, but instills in the students a lust for life; and that’s exactly what Vinod Khanna attempted to do in the film Imtihaan. Though his character as a professor in history was a little bit towards the idealistic side, yet, he tried his hand at something no teacher would dare to!
2. Jitendra in Parichay
Speaking of daring teachers, there was another one which made a mark. Jitendra in the film Parichay was repeatedly warned of five mischievous children in the same household who drove every teacher away with their antics. But when Jitendra comes into the picture, somehow, their usual pranks don’t seem to affect him at all! The Hindi adaptation of Sound Of Music surely struck a chord.
3. Amitabh Bachchan in Black
A teacher has to go to every extent to mentor his pupils – and Amitabh Bachchan in Black stands testimony to that dedication of a teacher! Amitabh Bachchan’s harsh ways seemed hard to digest for the mute and visually impaired Rani Mukerji, but his carrot-and-stick approach proves to be fruitful for her in the long run.
4. Sushmita Sen in Main Hoon Na
The teacher who spun heads every time she came, whose mere presence caused violins to play in the background – Sushmita Sen in Main Hoon Na was the object of affection on campus! Her ‘Chemistry’ prowess aside, she sure got the chemistry going with Shah Rukh Khan. We were reminded of every time we too were infatuated by one of our guiding lights.
5. Aamir Khan in Taare Zameen Par
It takes real talent and passion for a teacher to bring out the best in his student, and that is what Aamir Khan’s character did for his child prodigy Darsheel Safary in Taare Zameen Par. Aamir Khan’s character was the beacon of light, bringing order in Darsheel’s otherwise haywire, hapless and confused life.
6. Rani Mukerji in Hichki
It’s not just the students who face challenges, but teachers do too. Rani Mukerji in Hichki was a path-breaking new character, who handled a rowdy bunch of students even though she suffered from a nervous disorder called the Tourette’s syndrome. Her character reminded us, guiltily so, of every time we may not have been so kind to our teachers.
7. Rishi Kapoor in Do Dooni Chaar
If there is one thing common among all the teachers in this list – it is their passion for the subject they teach! This passion was manifested brilliantly in the maths professor played by Rishi Kapoor in Do Dooni Chaar. His journey articulated the struggles of every teacher in the field, trying to arouse his pupils interest in the subject in spite of their aversion to the same.
8. Shah Rukh Khan in Mohabbatein
Shah Rukh Khan tugged at our hearts as softly as he did at the strings of his violin! Shah Rukh’s character as a teacher in Mohabbatein went a little ahead of the ambit of teaching, and aimed to spread the message of love among all his students.
9. Nasseeruddin Shah in Sir
Naseeruddin Shah’s character in Sir was one whose duties as a teacher took him into the unlikely den of gangsters and mafia. The actor stays loyal to his profession to the extent of jeopardising his life and that of his students, but all’s well that ends well!
10. Boman Irani in Munnabhai MBBS & 3 Idiots
Boman Irani in Munnabhai MBBS and 3 Idiots, both, were professors who would go down the teacher hall of fame in Bollywood! Both professors made us laugh, made us shake with fear, sometimes angry as well. Their methods and ways of achieving discipline were far from ideal, and yet, at the end of the day they were simply all about the betterment of their students.