Somehow Raj Kumar Hirani maintains a good balance between becoming overtly preachy and entertainment. The two Munnabhai movies were good, and so is 3 Idiots. It definitely is better than the book 5 point someone. A rarity in which the movie is better than the book on which it is based. The movie has its flaws, but yet it is a good clean laugh a minute entertainer. One of the better Hindi movies to have come out in recent memory and definitely could have been better. Do not worry I am not writing another review.
The movie at different points left me thinking and so did the book. Again as many in Tamil Nadu who converted from CBSE to state board for their +1 and +2 I was initially cribbing about how the system is pathetic with the State Board education system and how one had to just spill out the answers in the exams verbatim as they were in the text book (trust me that is how it was even for Mathematics and English!). If there was an example problem being asked in the exam the person evaluating the answers would expect verbatim (including the equation numbers at times!) solutions for the problem. This was very tough for me initially as right from my 6th up until the 10th I was either in ICSE or CBSE. That kind of gave me the freedom to approach problems and solutions the way I wanted. At the end of 10th I wanted to give IIT a shot and wanted to continue in CBSE. But unfortunately to get a good engineering seat in Tamil Nadu I needed to have good scores in my 12th too. Going for CBSE would kind of hinder that – or so my parents felt. So the first thing to be noted is the education system in India has placed more trust in marks than individual’s talent. Marks that are scored by spilling out everything from text books. That problem had plagued engineering too during the days I did my undergrad. Anyways enough of digression. I was decent in Math and I loved the subject so I wanted to do something involving quiet a bit of math in it and hence Electrical Engineering. After seeing the movie though, I honestly wonder how many of us really study as in study and enjoy studying, and how many of us study as in study and get good scores. Aamir asks this question at one point in the movie which even I had been wondering about during my days in engineering – “Ye gadha, engineering padha, fir uske baad ek MBA, fir uske baad ek Banker bangaya. Aur agar banking me uski interest thi tho engineering kyon?” And it is for the exact same reason that avoided doing an MBA for my masters’. Some might argue that we choose something for our Bachelors. If we do not like what we had chosen, we do something else for our Masters. And after masters we might end up doing something totally different again. I again am not comfortable with this idea because, while the banker had essentially completed his bachelors in engineering as a basic step in his education, even though he did not have interest in it, there might have been a more interested individual who would have wanted to do engineering but might have missed out on a seat just .03 or 0.1 percent. Again, in Chennai, the number of tuition centers, the number of centers providing coaching for entrance exams, the number of centers providing coaching for IIT JEE in India as such, all just adds to the competition and the pressure. That is totally unfair. To be even more blunt there are friends of mine who have graduated out of IIT and MIT, only to end up as consultants or investment bankers. Two tech schools and end up doing banking? I am pretty much involved in such a rat race too, but with a difference. I loved math and hence did something in Engineering. But even before that say when I was around 18 or 19, had I known that magic is possible through camera and photography, I might have done something different. In spite of all these issues that we crib about our education system one thing though I have realized that it has inclucated in us. A survival instinct. Most of us might have ended up studying and doing engineering to satisfy either monetary needs, or because knew about nothing else. Even today when I talk about getting an SLR over phone with my mom, she shouts at me – ennathuku chumma oru photo eduka 600 dollars kuduthu camera vaangara?. A debate starts over with me arguing, enna maa do you want me to just keep going to office and coming back home and stare at the computer and the four walls or should I not pursue that is becoming a hobby/passion for me? If this is the response I get now, imagine what would have happened 8 years before if I had suggested doing something other than engineering? After this rant I still am not done and just have a question. Is money the only final criteria? Or should one passionately pursue his/her interests and look to be something someone in that? Is someone earning 1000000$ per month and getting infinite dollars as bonus more richer than someone who is happily working in a field of his/her choice and enjoying the work? Is trying to be in the later category just being too idealistic?