8 Awesome Teachers in Hindi Films

Ever since the time of Dada Sa'ab Phalke, films have influenced generations (we are not debating in whether a good or bad way) by molding their habits, their lingo, their behaviour and attempting to infuse the values of family and awesome violence. Here's to using the occasion of Teacher's day for listing our favourite on-screen teachers

8. Naseeruddin Shah as Amar Verma in Sir

Half of the lists that we make here on Filmistani won't be complete without the inclusion in some form or other of Naseer bhai.

Pictured here carrying the dead weight of Pooja Bhatt and Atul Agnihotri
This film was made at a time when such films were made (Prod : Mukesh B, Dir : Mahesh B, Starring : Pooja B) and understandably Mahesh Bhatt had the good sense of giving top billing to Naseer bhai. He played a teacher who cared for his students (even though they included Pooja Bhatt and Atul) that he went to parley with not one but two gangsters, the gangsters in question being Paresh Rawal (during his mega-evil phase) and perennial badman Gulshan Grover.

The movie had some memorable music, unfortunately it's most popular song now sounds like a jingle for a Guthka brand.

7. Raj Kiran as Sandeep in Hip Hip Hurray.

We have mentioned previously that Hip Hip Hurray is one of the better made sports movies in India, it was made around three decades ago by a young and ambitious Prakash Jha (before he was swallowed up by the desire of making movies with the names pulled from a hindi dictionary), it starred Raj Kiran as a teacher who fills in as a Football coach.

Also, his girlfriend was the beautiful Deepti Naval
He works in a school in a very small town/quasi-village, and he inspires and trains a group of young teenagers into achieving something as important as winning a major tournament - he helps them beat a rival school at a grudge match.

This movie is not as famous as it should be, we believe Raj Kiran (and Sandeep Sir) deserve more recognition.

6. Dharmendra as Professor Parimal Tripathi in Chupke Chupke

The Extraordinarily Handsome Prof 
Admittedly this Botany prof did not hold many classes during this laugh-riot of a film, but Dharmendra managed to make his character one of the most well remembered wielders of knowledge (and a chalk and duster). It was a different kind of Dharmendra, one who did not rely on rustic lovability (sic) nor urbane charm to woo a girl. He portrayed the lover as an academician and did a damn good job at it.

5. SR as Kabir Khan in Chak De India

There are only a few movies in which SR does not star as SR, one is Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, another is the long and slow Swades, but perhaps the best known is Chak De India, a movie which deservedly became bigger than it ever intended to.

The last time SR looked Good
SR is a great actor, in fact he is an industry unto himself. His finest hour was in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, but this is easily his second best film. He portrayed the role with a kind of understated intensity that actors rarely bring on screen. SR has often displayed his personal love for Hockey, and that love can be seen on-screen. Credit also goes to Shimit Amin, for crafting scenes which made Kabir Khan one of the best teachers to grace the Indian film screen.

4. Jeetendra as Ravi in Parichay

Parichay is one of the warmest films ever made. It is an adaptation of a Bengali novel as well as Sound of Music but it stays at being an adaptation, it does not go into Pritam mode. Only the basic elements of the story are the same. The film has Jeetendra (plus moochh) playing a private tutor to some rich brats.

No Jumping Jack 
And Masterji Ravi excels in his tasks, moving beyond traditional forms of learning to bring masti and happiness to a group of kids whose life is sore because their grandfather is a pre-Zanjeer Pran sa'ab.
There are only a few reasons why we can forgive Jeetendra for producing Tushhar Kapoor and Ekta, and Parichay is one of them.

3. Aamir Khan as Ram Kumar Nikumbh in Taare Zameen Par

It might be arguably said that Aamir Khan is one of the best things to happen to Indian cinema, his production house is yet to have a certified flop film (Dhobhi Ghat might be said to be a flop, but then it was never intended as a mainstream film)

He even allowed himself to take a literal back-seat in a movie he both produced and directed
His recent work with Satyamev Jayate is not the result of a 'Christ-Complex', and rather can be traced back to this film, where he brought awareness to the issue of dyslexia and the plight of school going kids in India. His character, that of an art teacher, had one of the best entrance scenes ever, and although he had little screen time, he left behind an impression on every kid (and adult) hoping for a teacher like him in their school.

Nikumbh sir is no magician, nor is he a hardened task-master like Kabir Khan, and yet he is successful in improving the life of a young troubled kid and changing the attitudes of those around him.

2. Naseerudin Shah as Mohit sir in Iqbal

A thousand times better than Greg Chappal
Naseer sir played the stock character of a Drunken Master who changes the life of a differently abled young boy and helps him achieve his ambition of becoming a fast bowler for the Indian cricket team. It is a character that might be stereotypical, but then Naseer sir is known for changing Stereotypical into awesome.

His character was as important as the eponymous Iqbal because he battles personal demons and alcoholism in his efforts of bringing happiness to the small and impoverished family whose son he takes under his tutelage (after much persuasion from his student), he handles delightfully cute death threats by Iqbal's family members and rampant nepotism in state-level cricket to ensure that the teacher and the student both end up as winners by the end of the story.

Much as we would have likes to start and end this list with Naseer sir's characters, there is one more name, another actor, another character who is a favourite with us Filmistanis.

1. Ashok Kumar as Colonel Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh in Chhoti Si Baat

Colonel J N W Singh is the closest bollywood has come to portraying Lord Fredrick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, and shares many traits with him, the chief being a deep rooted desire to help down-on-luck lovers.

Spreading Sunshine and Sweetness
He tutors Amol Palekar (who doesn't have to try hard to look Bechara) in the art of wooing the girl and in besting prospective villains, and does so with more wit in a single line of dialogue than the entire film 'Partner' had. His success transforms Amol Palekar into a confident young man who unlike many other shy-nice men gets the girl. For his innate cool-ness and because of the fact that he is Ashok Kumar, Colonel Julius Nagendranath Wilfred Singh is the most awesome teacher in hindi films.


{ Rishabh Sood } at: September 5, 2012 at 8:23 AM said...

SRK in Mohabattein is surely a miss....

{ Shreya } at: September 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM said...

Nice article with one of my favorite movies. Don't quite know why you failed to mention the name of the movie 'Chhoti Si Baat' and probably Amitabh Bachchan for Black?

{ abhi } at: September 5, 2012 at 10:14 AM said...

arey yaar black me amitabh..

{ amit kumar } at: September 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM said...

really good ...completely agree with this article..

{ novice } at: September 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM said...


{ Vaibhav Srivastav } at: September 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM said...

I agree, Nana Patekar from Prahar and Amitabh from Black are a miss, And Chhoti si Baat waala I will edit and correct

{ Subhav Joshi } at: September 5, 2012 at 1:37 PM said...

Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh from Do Aur Do Paanch :P

{ Pushpendra Kumar } at: September 5, 2012 at 10:18 PM said...

where is Vinod Khanna from Imtihaan?

"Ruk jana nahi tu kahin haar ke"

{ Yayaver } at: September 5, 2012 at 11:44 PM said...

There is an old movie for kids : Jagriti. No mention of that...

{ adarsh khare } at: September 7, 2012 at 3:04 AM said...

shahrukh khan from muhabbatein :(

{ Sushant Trivedi } at: September 11, 2012 at 1:40 AM said...

I really liked Amol Gupte in Stanley ka Dabba.

And maybe you'll have to revise the list once HaramKhor, where Nawazuddin Siddique plays a teacher, releases.

{ madhulika sinha } at: September 4, 2013 at 11:11 PM said...

Hi, Aamir's name in TZP was "Ram Shankar Nikumbh" and not Ram Kumar Nikumbh. Please Do add Amitabh Bacchan for Black, Vinod Khanna from Imtihaan, Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh from Do Aur Do Paanch, Nana Patekar from Prahar are not be missed, I guess!

{ Abheek } at: September 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM said...

how can u leave out sushmita sen in mai hun na :)

{ rusty } at: September 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM said...

Vinod Khanna in Imtihaan is a definitive miss.

{ Santosh Kumar } at: September 4, 2013 at 11:42 PM said...

Poonam pandey in Nasha :(

{ Rajat } at: September 5, 2013 at 1:03 AM said...

I smiled when I saw Ashok Kumar :) nice list

{ Som1 NOT Like U } at: September 5, 2013 at 6:58 AM said...

Digbijoy likes Abheek's comment.

{ sanjeev sinha } at: September 5, 2013 at 8:11 AM said...

Ans SRK in muhobbatain

{ It's mE } at: September 5, 2013 at 8:16 PM said...

V. Shantaram in "do aankhen aur barah haath"

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