My nine-year-old son is the center of my universe. This is the story of his childhood as it unfolds. Please read the first post, "Why I started this blog," to know more.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

'Taare Zameen Par' - Parent trap?

This Sunday, my son and & I - and another 6-odd kids and their mothers - are supposed to go see a movie called Taare Zameen Par (roughly translates as Stars on Earth). I wasn't particularly interested because although it is supposed to be a very well-made film, it is a tear-jerker. True, it is critically acclaimed and supposed to be a 'children's movie,' but something tells me I'm in for a rough time.

It's not even the kind of movie that the little fellow typically enjoys. Let's put it this way. The first full-length film he sat through in the movie hall was Dhoom 2. And that was after he saw the original Dhoom on TV and discovered it was all about fast bikes, thrills, spills and other such things that boys revel in.
The other thing about the little fellow is that he empathizes (perhaps a bit too much) with the characters on screen, crying his eyes out unabashedly when something sad happens. Once, we were watching a rented DVD of the mind numbing Heyy Baby! (Three Men and a Baby at its mutilated worst) at a neighbor's house as part of a weekend get together. There's a scene where the three 'heroes' abandon the baby outside a church. It starts to rain, the baby nearly drowns and is hospitalized with little hope of survival. Poppet started to weep the minute they abandoned the baby and kept crying even after it made the inevitable miraculous recovery. ("People cry from relief and happiness, too!" he howled back after his friend's mother teased him for still crying.)

And TZP is all about parents and teachers not understanding children and forcing them to toe lines of convention. Quite frankly, I'm afraid the clever fellow is going to use all those situations against me. Why? Because I'm pretty strict that he has to finish his homework and studying before he can go play with his friends. I do emphasize the importance of school work. I was never "forced" to study too much - unlike some of my other friends who were literally beaten into 4-hour study sessions every evening. And I did pretty well for myself. So I'm unlikely to constantly give him a hard time about his grades.

Besides, if I'm going to spend weekend rates for a multiplex tickets, I like to be entertained, not dragged into the 'reality' of life! That way, the very shakily scripted Om Shanti Om was paisa vasool (worth every penny) and a good way to pass a lazy afternoon. So as far as TZP goes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed because anything that we see can, and is most likely to be used against me (as a parent)!

ps: other movies that we've enjoyed watching together on DVD have included relatively new movies like the Don remake, and classics like Gol Maal and Khoobsurat. I've also bought Angoor and Naram Garam and hope he'll enjoy both as much as I did when I first saw them. Of course, there aren't any blazing guns and smashing fists involved, nor are these movies slick like today's fare. But they're simple and they're easy to identify with. But more on that later.

Pictures © TZP: Aamir Khan Productions, D-2: Yashraj Films


LizC said...

It is enjoyably amazing to me that we are a world away from each other, and our boys are so similar! We too struggle with the morning routine. I lay his clothes out for him and 30 minute later, he is still in his pajamas! He says that he "forgets what he is doing!". AND...he also is quite sensitive to movies. Not that he cries at the sad parts, but he is frightened about things he sees. He doesnt show it at the time, but later, he seems to dwell on things he's seen and fear them. And of course,he does prefer movies with cars, bikes, etc. His favorite movies are "Fast and Furious".

(As a side note, you ARE mom - and if you don't want him to see particular movie, you have the right to decide not to! Don't feel pressured by others to go if you are dreading it. Good luck with whatever you decide!)

Writing Mommy said...

I guess kids really are the same all over the world! I've had my son tell me the same thing: that he forgot what he was supposed to do. I suppose boys will be boys. :)

I've said no to plenty of movies that he wanted to see and he agreed easily enough. This time, his whole group of friends is going, and the movie's been seriously hyped in the media. Keeping my fingers crossed!

servus said...

I liked the blog a lot. Some wonderful writing and insights.