“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

Many a time, our Bollywood movies too have served as a teacher. They have made us smile through our tears and taught us a lesson or two, even if it was meant for pure entertainment. But more than that, it has been some really memorable performances, of actors who really delved deep into the character of a Guru, and have taught us about the various shades of human nature, and how, some lessons can shape you as a better human being. We have seen on celluloid the many times teachers carve their students into diamonds, and in the process, learn many things about their lives too. Let us take a look at some of these “filmy” teachers, who had an impact in some way or the other, in our lives.

Naseeruddin Shah as Mohit, Iqbal

He was yet another local drunkard, who had long lost his relationship with his first love, cricket. When a mute and deaf, yet talented Iqbal comes to him with pure and utmost faith, we see this drunk transform into a focused teacher, who teaches the young lad all he can, and in the process, fills himself yet again with the drug of his first love, cricket, ditching his love for liquor.

When you watch the movie you realize, that none could have done more justice to the role than Naseer Sir. If Shreyas Talpade won our hearts as the ever smiling and practising Iqbal, Naseer sir taught us that our passion never really leaves us.

Naseeruddin Shah with Shreyas Talpade In "Iqbal"_Bollywoodirect
Naseeruddin Shah with Shreyas Talpade In “Iqbal”

Shahrukh Khan as Raj Aryan, Mohabbatein

Love has always been considered a distraction, but a failed and separated love, is a devastation. That is the lesson this lovable music teacher brings to this uptight school. We love the way Raj Aryan makes his students realize that love is a beautiful emotion to be felt, and is something worth fighting for. A broken man, who rises again after the loss of the love of his life, only to fulfil her last wish, to make her father realise that love is something pure, pious, and not resentful, Shahrukh played the part brilliantly.

Amitabh Bachhan (left) and Shahrukh Khan in Mohabbatein_Bollywoodirect
Amitabh Bachchan (left) and Shahrukh Khan in Mohabbatein.

Amitabh Bachchan as Debraj Sahay, Black

If there has been one performance which rocked us to the core, because of the challenges it contained, it has to be this one. Once you get over the sheer brilliance with which Rani Mukherjee played the character of a girl devoid of all the expressive senses, it is the character of her mentor and teacher, played by Big B that gets to us.

His role was challenging not only on screen, but also off screen. He lived the part and played it to perfection, in teaching a deaf, mute and blind girl, how to communicate, and emote. The patience enacted by the superstar, is really commendable.

Amitabh with Rani Mukherjee in "Black"_Bollywoodirect
Amitabh with Rani Mukherjee in “Black”

Shahrukh Khan as Kabir Khan, Chak De India

Though a coach, he was no less a teacher in this movie. The way Kabir Khan makes the state champions realize that now their goal is to be a team and be national champions, we all experience goose bumps. The role of a failed player who was blamed for his team’s loss, ousted from his home, and labelled a traitor was played to perfection by King Khan. We can’t help but experience goose bumps, and a glow of pride when the same people say that he is the true hero of the nation, and welcome him back with open arms. His famous 70-minutes speech can still fire up any person who is feeling low in life.

Shahrukh Khan in " Chak De India"_Bollywoodirect
Shahrukh Khan in ” Chak De India”

Aamir Khan as Ram Shankar Nikumbh, Taare Zameen Par

There was not a single dry eye in the cinema hall when we empathized with the little Ishaan, who turns from a happy baby, into a sullen and withdrawn child. The character of Nikumbh sir enters into his life like a ray of sunshine, who recognizes his symptoms, and brings back his smile, his love for paints, without making him feel like an outcast.

Little Ishaan again starts to paint, and we can’t stop our tears when this little champ is given the first prize and he runs and hugs his favourite teacher, crying out of happiness. Aamir Khan played the character like a perfectionist he is, and we were awarded with a memorable piece of art, as a result. A beautiful performance.

Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary in Taare Zameen Par_Bollywoodirect
Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary in Taare Zameen Par

Naseeruddin Shah as Amar Verma, Sir

A movie that shows the true respect a person has for his profession as a teacher, and the love he has for his students, “Sir” has been aptly personified on screen by Naseeruddin Shah. It was a difficult character, true to its core, showing how a man loses his family, but still strives for his students and loves them; how he comes to know that one of his stuttering and socially conscious student is the child of the same man who was responsible for his son’s death, yet he keeps his woes aside and helps and protects her overcome her weakness.

A true teacher, Naseer sir does full justice to this beautiful character, and at the end, not just the on screen students, but we all learn something from him, and can’t help but give him a standing ovation, for this remarkable performance.

Naseeruddin Shah with Pooja Bhatt and Atul Agnihotri in "Sir"_Bollywoodirect
Naseeruddin Shah with Pooja Bhatt and Atul Agnihotri in “Sir”

Boman Irani as Viru Sahastrabuddhe aka “Virus”, 3 idiots

It was a character that had negative shades, but Boman Irani played to perfection this role, that symbolized all what was wrong with our education system. We still empathized with him, as he was just a teacher trying to discipline his students and lead them on a path of success, even if it meant walking on the same path trodden upon year after year. We see him as a ruthless teacher, and as a lovable father, and witness his transition from a stern professor who hates Rancho’s audacity, but later on recognizes and acknowledges his talent. None could have done justice to the role and none can we imagine now, other than Boman Irani.

Boman Irani with Aamir Khan In 3 idiots_Bollywoodirect
Boman Irani with Aamir Khan In 3 idiots

Amol Gupte as Babubhai Verma aka Khadoos, Stanley Ka Dabba

If you love heart-warming movies, and have not seen “Stanley Ka Dabba”, you are seriously missing on something. This movie shows us, that there is a child inside every adult, and sometimes, the roles of a teacher and student can be reversed too. When Stanley, once banished by Khadoos for not bringing his lunchbox, comes back with his “Dabba” and offers it to the latter, asking him permission to attend the class, we see a guilt-ridden teacher who finally realizes his folly, and learns something from the innocent and big heart of his little student. We love the portrayal of Verma and Stanley, by Amol Gupte and Partho Gupte respectively.

Amol Gupte in "Stanley Ka Dabba"_Bollywoodirect
Amol Gupte in “Stanley Ka Dabba”


Though not all, but these were certainly some of the most memorable and beautiful performances of on screen teacher-student relationships that we loved. Do tell us about your favourite ones, in the comments.


Written By  – Kadambari Srivastava

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