Category Archives: Opinion

Look here to find inspiration

I am a great fan of those inspirational movies, yes ‘the human spirit’, ‘battle against odds’ stories which make you feel good  after and make you sit through the movie many times over, later on. So when I saw that Mouthshut had a review section called Five Best Inspirational movies of Hollywood, I decided it was time to make my list of five.  The list of five I have compiled may not cater to everyone’s tastes, as I am no movie connoisseur and may not have watched the wonderful movies you have liked. So here goes my list of five movies.

Rudy(1993) Director: David Anspaugh Starring: Sean Astin


This is the first movie which really inspired me and to this day it remains my favorite. The tag line of the movie encapsulates the essence of the movie remarkably well. “When people say dreams don’t come true, tell them about Rudy”. The movie is based on the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger and who chases his dream of playing for his favorite college football team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Most of the people around him did not give him whiff of  a chance as he was really small for an average person, let alone a football player and did not have the athletic ability to be a top sports person. Mind you, we are talking American football here and players,especially at college level are huge and are top athletes. How Rudy battles his self doubt, dyslexia which becomes an obstacle in getting into the college and  doubts of most people around him by drawing energy from some close friends and more importantly by his sheer determination and willpower forms the crux of the story.

The Shawshank Redemption(1994) Director: Frank Darabont Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman

This would be a shoo-in to any list of inspirational movies. It was not a commercial success and barely missed out on an Oscar to Forrest Gump. Tim Robbins plays the lead role, that of a prisoner, Andy Dufresne(pronounced Due-Frain) in the Shawshank prison where he has to go through a tough ordeal, the usual challenges that a prison throws up and also the brutalities of the corrupt and effete prison authorities. He strikes a chord of friendship with Red( Morgan Freeman) and their relationship through the long years at the prison, the changes that come in their lives and those around them as a result of Dufresne’s work at the prison progresses the story but the climax is what really knocks you off your feet. Brace for it is all what I can say now.

October Sky (1999) Director: Joe Johnston Starring:  Jake Gyllenhaal

This movie is inspired by the life of Homer Hickam, a young boy from a rural mining town, who on seeing the Russian satellite, Sputnik, streak by on a starry October sky, decided that he himself was going to reach for the stars by building his own rocket. He and motley group of three friends, with due encouragement from their teacher proceed to build rockets. However they have to overcome many a hurdle on their way including a father who believes that football is the only way to get out of the coal mines and other paths should be given short shrift, their schoolmates who make the rocket boys the butt of all their jokes and even a brief altercation with the police who accuse the rocket boys of causing a wild fire which started near by. Homer Hickham and friends survived those tough times and became successful in life. Watch how “One dream lights up the sky”

The Pursuit of Happyness(2006) Director: Gabriele Muccino Starring: Will Smith


Another real life inspired movie, Pursuit of Happyness, pursues the life of Christopher Gardner a traveling salesman, in his quest for happiness. After his wife leaves him, Gardner has to take care of his young son Chris and make both ends meet at the same time. He then chances to meet a stock broker, who is quite successful and Gardner decides to learn the tricks of the trade from a stock broking firm. However, he has to pass an unpaid internship at the firm in order to become a broker. He also had to go through a few days when he is homeless and once even had to spend a night with his son in a restroom at a subway station. This pursuit of happyness will leave you with tears of joy at the end

Life is Beautiful (Vita è bella, La) (1997) Director: Roberto Benigni Starring: Roberto Benigni

It took me a lot of attempts to complete watching this movie, mainly because of the fact that I wrongly interpreted Roberto Benigni to be hamming it up as Guido. At first, I felt many of the scenes were over the top and closed the movie window out of frustration. However one day, when I thought I had nothing better to do I sat through the movie and I was glued on to my seat by the brilliant storyline and incredible performance by the entire cast. In the initial part of the movie Benigni was building the character brick by brick and Guido’s mannerisms and antics are used to explain the man’s persona. The latter part of the movie set in a concentration camp has some heart rending scenes, captured beautifully without shedding a drop of blood. Life is Beautiful is a directorial masterpiece if ever there was one.

Of 49.5% and 99%ile

The HRD ministry with its decision of increasing the reservation of seats in the IIMs and the IITs for the backward community to an insane 49.5% has placed a huge hurdle in front of the deserving candidate. A hurdle which may prove to be too high for him/her. A helping hand for the backward community?. I beg to differ with that opinion also.
What is the objective of having Reservation in various educational institutions? It is basically to help the socially and economically backward classes rise up the proverbial “ladder”.Having reservation in the IIMs is like replacing the top two steps of the ladder with an escalator. While doing that the “Reservation Rule Makers” are forgetting about initial steps. Do these “socially and economically backward classes” get the proper basic education? Does Rural India get proper English Education? Does a rural indian attend the Common Aptitude Test or the Joint Entrance Exam with the same amount of training as that of an average urban-school educated student? NO..and a real big NO it is

What is the use of putting an escalator at the top for the backward classes if the bottom two rungs of the ladder are broken!!

So who makes use of this 49.5%. Someone’s got to fill up those seats.Dont worry there will be lots queueing up with certificates.Some of them will be carrying fake ones, lets leave them alone, they are always there! Most of these persons will be there not because they are socially or economically backward but because their surname makes them so. These are the minority within the minority who have the moolah to get themselves admitted to good schools and coaching centers.Should they be given an advantage over the others? They already are at par with the average GC(General Category) person and that should place them in a level-playing field with the others.

However the rural Indian candidate will suffer a lot because of the lack of proper English Education given to him/her at the school level as he/she will struggle to compete agains the city educated students when it comes to the English section of the CAT and the GD\PI part of the selection process. The candidates who will get through will be the private school educated ones with the “lucky surname”.They most probably will only need to just sign against their names in the attendance register and ensure that they are not dumb enough to miss a few sitters in the question paper and voila! The doors of the IIMs are open.

A 60%iler might join an IIM because of the “49.5” while a 99%iler might miss out and such a scenario is tragic