Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hamara pyaara adhyapak. Teachers in the 1970's Hindi films.

With the school season upon those of us lucky enough to receive education, I'm sure you're all thinking what I'm thinking - why is young Vinod Khanna not one of my teachers?

But sadly my life is not the 1974 film Imtihan where Vinod plays Pramod Sharma aka The Coolest Teacher Ever who single-handedly spews life-inspiring aphorisms to help the traumatized Madhu (Tanuja), attracts the richest girl in the school (Bindu) and rids the education system of its ills, like cheating and corruption. I've actually only seen half of the film; accidentally spoiled the second half for myself, and suddenly don't feel like watching anymore. Regardless, Vinod in geeky glasses being all-around amazing is fun enough.

Large glasses seem to be a trademark of filmi teachers - as witnessed here on Dharmendra in the 1976 film Dillagi, where he plays a Sanskrit teacher at a women's college, who has run-ins with an uptight Chemistry teacher (Hema Malini). Of course, beautiful ancient poetry wins over even the most hardened scientist, and the film ends up a fun, light romantic comedy, as sweet as anything.

Here we see Hemaji also sporting the trademark Teacher Glasses.

And of course, how could one ever forget Chupke Chupke and Amitabh Bachchan's fumbling Sukumar Sinha, who has to pose as his friend Parimal (Dharmendra), a Botany professor instead of revealing his true identity (and that he's in actually an English professor and doesn't know anything about Botany) to the enthusiastic student played by Jaya Bhaduri. Again, we see the comically thick glasses, but this time they're a part of Sukumar's disguise.

My knowledge is limited, but one more teacher comes to mind - Dharmendra's character in Sharafat is a teacher, worried about his students visiting a courtesan (Hema Malini). This teacher, as far as I can recall, did not have the Teacher Glasses on, but he was all the more righteous and handsome:

So there you have it; the teachers of 1970's Hindi films! It wasn't the most popular hero/heroine profession, but there are a fair lot of examples all the same. Next time you're bored in class,
distract yourself by imagining what it would be like if Amitabh Bachchan (in his 70's form) would be teaching you about the wonders of Shakespeare..

* The title, unless I once again messed up my Hindi, should translate "our lovely teacher".


Cindy said...

Just barely out of the 1970s, Do Aur Do Paanch has Amitabh pretending to be a gym teacher, Shashi pretending to be a music teacher, and Hema playing a (real) dance teacher. None of them wears teacher glasses, but that makes sense given the subjects they're teaching.

Nithin said...


has this gotta do something with the fact that 5th September in India is a Teachers day..

or was it a sweet coincedence

ajnabi said...

I can't tell you how glad I am that my school days are behind me. Maybe if I'd had Vinod as a teacher I would've enjoyed it more. ;-)

Nicki said...

Cute. Haven't seen any of the movies but look interesting. Thanks for pointing it out.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

I am w/ Ajnabi here- I can go back to school for Vinod anytime- like yesterday :)

Daddy's Girl said...

This post brought a smile to my face. I HAVE to see Vinod in teacher mode, must find 'Imtihan'.

Love Hema and Dharam in 'Dillagi' - they are so cute. Also love Amitabh in 'Chupke Chupke'.

There's also 'Kasme Vaade' with Amit ji doing the teacher thing again (in the first half of the movie), this time with Rakhee as his love interest. Not the best film, but he does a very good teacher in it.

I think it was Simi Garewal that played the sweet, pretty teacher in 'The Burning Train' (released in 1980 I think - so not technically the 70s), leading the kids in a rendition of 'Teri Hai Zameen, Tera Asmaan'.

veracious said...

Cindy - Oooh that sounds like a movie I need to check out. Thanks!

Nithin - A lucky coincidence. I was planning this post for a while and only got around to doing it now.

Ajnabi - Aw, I like school. With or without Vinod. ;)

Nicki - You're welcome.

Shweta - Hehehe. :D

Daddy's Girl - I didn't like Simi Garewal in The Burning Train much.. Good luck finding Imtihan. :)

Anonymous said...

teachers in india are notlike these.tehy are arroagant. do u knowe once i write an "a" as @. my class teacher scolded me. i mena how could u scold a 10 year kid over something like that. schoollife in india particularly in govt schools are bad. but bollywood never understand that. afterall they watch american movies.your hindi is really good.

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