Movie – Chalk n Duster (2016)
Surani Pictures’ school-tale Chalk n Duster (2016) featured the song Deep shiksha ke hain… This movie was directed by Jayant Gilatar and produced by Amin Surani. The movie starred Juhi Chawla, Shabana Azmi, Zarina Wahab, Girish Karnad, Divya Dutta, Aarya Babbar, etc.
The movie begins with students and teachers preparing for the Annual Day and then returning to the staff room. Jyoti (Juhi Chawla) is a multi-talented teacher and is asked by the other staffers why did she not join another profession. She replies that teaching is also good, “It is a noble profession.”
It’s Annual Day and despite the principal Indu Shastry’s (Zarina Wahab) insistence on the reporting time to be 10, the supervisor Kamini Gupta (Divya Dutta) orders the teachers to come to the school at 8. Jyoti wakes up early and performs her yoga. I wonder how she gets that much time. I would be bogged down with correcting worksheets or preparing the next day’s lessons the whole day back home. No me time! No shopping time! My Mom had a bad time taking care of our home during my years as a teacher.
Jyoti picks up another teacher Vidya (Shabana Azmi) on her way to the school function, in her scooty. I could not buy a computer in the salary I would get as a teacher. (My last drawn salary at an affluent school was 9k!) How can Jyoti have a scooty? She must already be rich and had taken up this ‘noble’ profession.
Only rich teachers have some value in these schools. I went to speak to the school psychologist about the bullying students, in one of the schools I was working in. She told me that the parents do not listen to teachers coming from a lower middle-class background. You have either to be from the upper class or earn enough to gain their respect! The first principle of team psychology is to give a patient hearing to even the most insignificant person in the team. This I never got from the schools I worked with.
Since then I have been wondering, who tells the parents about a teacher’s background or salary details. With no support from the school, I became desperate and began speaking to the parents, one at a time, on my own. Surprisingly, they were not interested in my background or salary. They wanted their children to be good students. That’s it! My job was tough. But, it was working.
Well, except in one case where when I informed the student’s father that his son would flunk his exams, he said he wanted to meet me. The next day, when he met me and we had talked about his son’s studies, the principal came and the man changed his attitude. He said that I had told him to meet me. Then, the principal and the HR lady, who had hired me, got to know about what I was doing, they threatened to throw me out! Thanks to these kinds of men, women like me have to suffer. So disgusting!
Back to the school function in the movie, Jyoti sings this song and her students perform the dance.
Song – Deep shiksha ke hain
Sandesh Shandilya is the music composer of Deep shiksha ke hain… and Javed Akhtar has penned it.
The lady sings, “We are the lamps of education. We shine brightly on the earth.”
Video – Deep shiksha ke hain
The cinematography is by Baba Azmi. Dance choreography is by Shabina Khan.
The video opens with oil lamps lighting the darkness and the music beginning. The lights are switched on and children make auspicious Hindu symbols, with their bodies. Aarya Babbar, Divya Dutta, Zarina Wahab and others are in the audience.
Shabana Azmi checks on the other kids backstage. Juhi Chawla is singing, just out of sight of the audience. The kids appear donning the uniforms of various professions. Soon, the song peters out and the kids take a bow. The video ends with the audience applauding.
Alka Yagnik sings for Juhi Chawla. Shabana Azmi, Aarya Babbar, Divya Dutta, Zarina Wahab and others are watching the performance.
There is not much cultural influence on this song. I would not call it filmi because Javed Akhtar has penned a very different song than his usual Hawa Hawaii… Mr. India (1987) and Ek do teen… Tezaab (1988). The song is good and picturized well. The video is watchable for the performance of the kids.