Like Stars on Earth: My Highly Recommended Movie
The Family Got To Watch It First
If I were to recommend a film for all of you to see, I will recommend Like Stars on Earth. It is a Hindi film which was first titled as Taare Zameen Par and was released worldwide on December 2007. It can also be found using the title Every Child is Special. I first got to know of this movie when I arrived home last week and found out that no one has cooked dinner. It's already past 7 in the evening and there's still no food to eat. What is irritating is that the people in the house were not able to cook because they were busy watching a movie they don't even understand the language. Turns out, my brother in-law brought home a Hindi movie with no subtitle. Still, they argued that it was such a good movie that they all got hooked watching it and forgot the time. I even noticed that they were teary-eyed while watching the movie. The next day, after breakfast, the kids requested that they be allowed to watch the movie again. Since it's still vacation time here in the Philippine and they have nothing else to do, they were given the go-signal to play it again. After a while, even the adults watched it again, urging my best friend and me to watch it with them. But because we have work to do, we declined. I find it funny that they were watching a movie they don't understand the language for the second time so I promised them that I would search for a copy of the film with the English subtitle.
Like Stars on Earth
So I searched the internet upon arriving at our small shop and then after an hour of searching, I finally found one with subtitles. I watched it on my computer and it really touched my heart. My eyes got wet and my heart felt heavy with mixed emotions. I felt pity for the boy, anger for his father and teachers, and joy that at last someone had understood and helped him.
Like Stars on Earth is a story of boy named Ishaan who, without his knowledge and his parents, has dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disability affecting reading, writing and spelling. It is a neurological disorder that causes the brains to process and interpret information differently. Ishaan had so much difficulty in school that often times he got poor grades and was about to repeat the grade level again because of poor academic performance. Once when he was asked to read a paragraph, it took him a long time to read it and complained to the teacher that "The letters are dancing" so the teacher asked him to read the dancing letters. When what he did was to talk foolishly, the teacher threw him out of the class and the other students made fun of him. He is very poor in Math and often reversed letters when he writes. He was always belittled by his teachers and his classmates, and sometimes even by his parents especially by his Dad who expects him to excel like his older brother.
In spite of this kind of treatment he gets from the people around him, Ishaan is a lively boy who is always laughing, fun-loving, have a wild imagination and he is very good in painting. Painting is his means of escape from reality. He has a talent that no one recognized. But because of his problems, his teachers advised his parents to take him to a special education school. Instead his family decided to enroll him in a boarding school in the hope that he will change his ways and devote more time to his studies. His father thinks that he was just plain lazy.
Even in his new school, Ishaan continued to struggle with his studies. When he began thinking about why his classmates can do things or understand things that he cannot, he felt lonely and discouraged. After some time, he became weary and did not talk, always by himself, and even if his family visits him, he became aloof. He just accepted but didn’t use the new crayons his older brother has given him. Then came a new art teacher Ram Nikumbh whose style of teaching was different from that of the teachers in the New Era High School because he came from a school that teaches kids with special needs. It soon became apparent to Nikumbh that Ishaan is suffering from Dyslexia as he himself suffered from it when he was young. He then decided to talk to Ishaan’s parents and tell them about the predicament of the boy. At first the father was incredulous. So Sir Nikumbh explained what is dyslexia and what it does especially to children. He then told them and asked the school authorities to allow him to tutor Ishaan. He then told Ishaan’s class about great people who are dyslexic to show the child that he was not alone in that situation and eventually told him that he, the teacher, is dyslexic too. His patience in teaching and helping Ishaan paid off. The child soon became interested in Math and language that his grades soon improved.
At the end of the school year, the school had a painting contest for both the students and the teachers. The contest is to be judged by a famous painter. While the teacher’s painting of Ishaan’s face became the back cover because it won the 2nd prize, Ishaan’s painting of a boy by the pond won the first prize and landed on the front cover of the school’s yearbook. His family was so proud and was happy to learn that Ishaan got good grades in all of his subjects. His father cried as he thanked Mr. Nikumbh who, if it weren’t for him and his patience towards the kid, Ishaan would still wouldn’t know how to read and write. The film ended with Ishaan being tossed in the air by teacher Nikumbh.
My Favorite Scene
Although there are many scenes that I fell in love with, the best scene for me was the scene when Ishaan submitted his painting to Nikumbh and saw at the same time that his teacher had painted a portrait of him smiling. Both were teary eyed as they look at each other. The look they shared was overflowing with love. And I believe that's the time when Ishaan also realized that he is so loved.
On the Solomon islands, when the tribes need to clear the jungle to make way for fields, they don't cut down the trees , they simply gather and collect around it, and hurl abuses at the tree, they curse it. Slowly but surely, after some days, the trees begin to wither. It dies on its own.— - Ram Shankar Nikumbh
Here is the movie of Like Stars on Earth in English - Be sure to have your hanky or tissue on hand
Life is really not about getting the top grades and competing with others, don't try stretching all the fingers; they might break! Sometimes in life, it is healthy to be slow and dumb.— - Ram Shankar Nikumbh