I finally managed to watch Kai Po Che: I had read the book (Three Mistakes of my Life) long back, when I was still young and foolish (now I am just old and foolish), heard people go ga-ga over the movie and decided to give it a 100-rupee morning show shot. The movie was definitely better than the book (though that’s more of a sad commentary on the book), and it did not drive me to insanity like say, any Salman Khan/Shahrukh Khan movie in the last five years.
What I liked most about the movie was change in protagonist to Ishaan from Govind. Having grown up in a middle class neighbourhood in Kolkata, I have seen a few Ishaans as a child: prodigiously talented, passionate, attractive and yet, equally lazy, laidback, undisciplined and directionless. So when I think about successful people (and here I define success in the conventional sense), I see three sets of people:
1.The talented people who are not born with a silver spoon. But they are committed, hard-working, focused and ready to give it everything despite all odds. And you get your Tendulkars, Obamas, Bachchans
2.The talented people from a privileged background. They are genetically gifted, they already have a platform waiting for them and the sensible ones manage to carry the baton forward. The history of sports, politics and entertainment is replete with such examples
3.The talented people who don’t quite make it. They show promise, potential and passion, but over the long run, it fizzles out. Sometimes, they get distracted, sometimes they become victims of their circumstances and sometimes it’s just bad luck, but at the end of the day, they become like any other anonymous citizen lost in obscurity. What follows is either they become a clerk, trying to feed a family of four and passing on the burden of their unrealized dreams to their kids, or even worse, they lose themselves in a haze of depression, drugs, alcohol, frustrations and self-pity.
But while it would be easy to classify Ishaan in the third category, he was also a rare exception, who fought tooth and nail to salvage a raw talent (Ali), to make sure that his gift did not go wasted, to protect him, to nurture him and cushion him from all the mistakes that he himself had made.
And there you go, that’s the beauty of promise, even more so if it’s undelivered…