“Hichki” – Not a “Taare Zameen Par” but an experience of its own
I saw “Hichki” last weekend and I didn’t know where to start writing. But I really wanted to express the emotions I felt during the story telling of the movie. To be honest, there were a certain moments in the movie that felt clichéd, overly-dramatic and sometimes impractical. And that’s ok, because the intent, the heart of the movie is in the right place. Let’s overlook these things.
Let me breakdown the movie into mainly 3 parts:
- Bullying due to a condition: Here’s my take on Bullying and I speak from personal experience. What’s most important is validating a child’s sensitivity and making sure they’re safe is extremely important. I always tell this to everyone and having worked with about 750 kids at one point, the one thing I saw common in each child was the “safety” feeling. When they feel safe, they confide. As a child, I was abused (long story) by my own father whereas I wanted him to be on my side and help me out. Instead he shunned me and told me I’m the one at fault and continued to abuse me. He abused my mother also. There was no safe place for me to go so I turned to friends. Fortunately I had good friends and they introduced me to Martial Arts. I found a mentor, a meeting lofriend, a coach in my Karate Sensei (Sensei Ravi Lalwani) when I was 14 years old and went to him for the “safe” feeling. I’m still in touch with him. He made me feel worthwhile and assured me “I can do it”. Martial Arts for me became a way to fight my “inner demons” versus throwing a punch and hitting someone else. I decided when I have a child, I will be the father I never had. But that’s my story, not the movie and the reason I stated this here is because bullying can happen any place anytime, and this was shown in the movie very loud and clear. And it had nothing to do with the protagonist being a child or an adult, whether she was in a position of power or not, it was about her as a personality. She was bullied by her peers, teachers as a child and by her students as a teacher.
- Safety Feeling: I’ve written a bit about the safety feeling in the bullying section because they are interconnected but I wanted to give this a separate section. A lot can be dealt with outside in a better way knowing there’s “support” and “safety-net” at home. What we tell our children from ages 0-5 is what they tell themselves for the rest of their lives. That’s why they’re called the foundational years, we are creating a foundation for them so they don’t need external validation after a certain age and stage.
- Finding a Purpose: This is often overlooked where a lot of the youth has no way to channelize their energy. The movie showcased this quite well. The kids in class 9F were street smart, creative and made a solid team together. But they were not utilizing their energy in the right way. I keep giving this example all the time, a Surgeon and a Serial Killer both have similar skill sets, but different motives. It is extremely critical to “find a purpose” and having a place to channelize your feelings in a supportive environment.
The Tourette Syndrome was a metaphor for not being able to fit in with the society’s definition of normal and how our society is insensitive to someone’s condition. It’s not a “Taare Zameen Par” but it’s a story of its own, a story, a message on how an educator can leave a strong solid impact on our lives and our personalities. As its said in the movie too, we leave a lot of burden for the kids, but rarely do we realize that there are no bad students, just bad teachers.
Love and Gratitude,