Indian Maths Teacher (Do Dooni Char)

Now that we’re back on our “Movie Night” routine, we picked another Indian movie to watch – this time about a poor Maths teacher, Mr. Duggal and his family, a housewife, a daughter (a college student) and a son (a high school student).

Life is hard for the Duggals because their father is an honest teacher who tries to get back on his teacher’s salary but

  • his wife wants a new refrigerator,
  • his daughter wants some cool clothes for college and
  • his teenage son also wants to have fun and a girlfriend at high school.

I like the movie, “Do Dooni Chaar because it shows the reality of life today, which is even worse than when we were kids.

They really need a car but Mr. Duggal may not be able to afford the monthly installments unless he gets a tiny car.

One day, he’s desperate to get a car because his sister’s in law is getting married and she says that she will be shamed if he turned up at the wedding on his old scooter again.

Mr. Duggal doesn’t care but about “face” but his sister bursts into tears and thus, he’s in a dilemma of getting a car he cannot afford.

One things leads to another and you’ll find the funny and sticky situations poor Mr. Duggal gets sucked into.

The movie teaches us parents some valuable lessons:

  • Do you know what your teenage kids are up to? Mr. Duggal’s son looks like he goes to school every day like usual and he’s getting “free” tutoring at a friend’s house. In reality, he’s got a girlfriend and he’s involved with gangsters and illegal gambling!!!
  • Do kids REALLY need all the cool stuff? Mr. Duggal’s daughter is in college and she loves cool clothes and fast cars. She’s made it this far by entering various competitions to win cool prizes. And she’s lucky in a way because she has a rich kid as a good friend and he lets her sit behind the wheel of his car. However, she flipped when her father buys a TINY car because she thinks that she’ll be laughed out when he/she drives it to college. Things get quite complicated (and funny) but it has a nice ending especially for father and daughter.
  • Do you listen to your kids? In many cases, parents don’t. Parents tend to think that kids are small, “What do they know about real life?” Listen to what your kid has to say. You’ll be surprised at how smart they can be. Even if they can’t offer new ideas, at least they are involved and THINKING about the family problem.

Get your kids involved in family decisions. Now, it doesn’t mean that you can tell things point blank: “Your father is a useless drunk. I hate your father – your father is a stupid gambler.” While you may think your husband is useless, to your kids, he is their father, their hero. Don’t break their hearts.

Just talk to them in simple terms they can understand i.e. “We don’t have enough money now. I’ll buy you something we can afford when we have money later, ok?” And keep that promise.

Now that I’m in the education sector again, I’ve been looking for more of such themes in books and movies – there are so many things parents don’t know about education today.

No matter how busy we are or how distant they seem, we parents need to stay updated about our kids, their activities in school and their friends.