In her upcoming film, Hichki, Rani Mukerji plays a school teacher with a special ability to reach her students. We have just learned that Mukerji, who is known for getting into the skin of the character, has drawn inspiration from her real-life school teachers who impacted her life and thinking and shaped her up as a human being. Through her character, Ran will exhibit the invaluable life lessons she learnt from teachers that shaped up her life.
A feel-good, uplifting and inspiring story, Hichki is about the positive attitude of turning one’s weakness into a strength, and taking on challenges head on. “Rani plays a common girl who has an extraordinary situation and she stares down at the challenge and never backs off when others would mostly crumble. She plays a teacher who practices what she preaches. She tries to bring out the best in her students. Rani drew upon memories of her schooldays and the friendly, supportive atmosphere that some teachers would build for students in her school to play the part. It was very nostalgic for her as she thanks her students for shaping her up the way she has in life,” informs a source.
When contacted, Rani confirms saying, “We had many inspiring teachers in my school (Maneckji Cooper, Juhu, Mumbai). Mrs. Vakil, our Geography teacher, used to teach us in such a crystal-clear manner, that we wouldn’t need to study once we went home. Mrs. Dadarkar, our History and Literature teacher was excellent. She would spend time with students, and teach us Julius Caesar in a manner that brought the story alive. She made us live a story like it was happening in front of our eyes.”
She adds, “Our teachers were very friendly, informal and wouldn’t heap a lot of academic pressure on us. We had toppers, students who did well, like me, and students who would barely manage passing marks. But our teachers were never harsh on those who would fail or struggle to pass. I remember growing up in a manner where we were never forced to chase high academic scores all the time. We had fun studying. This realization of mine, I have tried to reflect in Hichki through my character.”
“I think the biggest lesson today (for teachers and parents), is that students should be able to express themselves freely at school. They should be able to fly. School is the only space where one can express oneself freely, for once a child grows up, pressures of building a career and earning money will automatically emerge. It’s very important to let children explore and figure out what they are good at – it could be academics, sports or the field of art. As school years are the most formative ones, it’s important for parents and teachers to let children fly at this stage. I learnt this from my teachers and I thank them for shaping me up the way I have today. This was invaluable learning for me and my character in Hichki will live this philosophy, this learning.”
Directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra and produced by Maneesh Sharma, Hichki will release across India on February 23, 2018.