Scene by Scene: “We Care about Ishaan” in Taare Zameen Par

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Picking out a favorite movie scene is like selecting your favorite song: there are so many and you don’t know which one to choose because the choices always vary with time. So zeroing down on just one scene was a difficult task, but this particular scene from Taare Zameen Par (TZP) will always remain one of my favorites.


Ishaan Awasthi’s father (Vipin Sharma) visits Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aaamir Khan) at the boarding school with the intention of stating that they are caring parents and proving Nikumbh’s presumptions wrong. Nikumbh quietly tells him what taking care actually means thus silencing Mr. Awasthi and making him realize his mistake.


TZP is filled with emotionally poignant scenes but this one stays with you because it does not make use of excessive drama or heavy-duty emotional dialogues. When Ishaan’s father states that they do care for him as they have done ‘online research on dyslexia’, Aamir’s character tells him in a very subtle manner what caring for someone actually is. Nikumbh’s short monologue makes one realize that parents’ responsibilities don’t end with providing the best educational options or materialistic comforts or a luxurious lifestyle. Taking care of your child means to comfort him, be with him when he needs you the most, motivate him when he’s dejected; just a hug or a kiss is enough to show that you really care.

To a silent Mr. Avasthi Nikumbh quietly says, “Khayal karna isi ko kehte hain na? Mujhe ye sunkar khushi hui ki aapko lagta hai ki aap khayal karten hai.” (“Isn’t this what is called caring? I am glad to hear that you think you do care.”)

Another important point raised is the affect words can have on people. Nikumbh tells him of the Solomon Islands where the people don’t cut off an unwanted tree but gather around cursing and abusing it, indirectly telling us that the arrows of poisonous words can destroy even the brave-hearted. Words can make or break a person. A slap will never have the same affect that a harsh word has.

As the chastised father prepares to leave, he sees his dyslexic son struggling and succeeding in reading a hoarding…

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