Contribution of Cinema in Managing Parental Stress in Dealing with Dyslexia in Child: A Case Study of the Hindi Film ‘Taare Zameen Par'

Title: Contribution of Cinema in Managing Parental Stress in Dealing with Dyslexia in Child: A Case Study of the Hindi Film ‘Taare Zameen Par'

Article-ID 202006012/I GLOBALCULTURZ Vol.I No.2 May-August 2020 Language:English:E                                                

Domain of Study: Humanities & Social Sciences

                                                                      Sub-Domain: Cine-Studies {Reviews*}

Sujit Kumar (Dr.)  

Associate Professor, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India


 Manali Takkar 

Research Scholar, mamangement, Mewar University, Gangrar, Chittorgargh, Rajasthan, India



The present paper is an example of adverse effect of stressed out parents on the development and mental growth of a child. It is based on an in depth analysis of the contribution of one of the Hindi film called Taare Zameen Par directed by Aamir Khan, Amole Gupte and Ram Madhvani in 2007 in seeking attention towards the mechanism of dealing with the children that are suffering from a mental disorder i.e., Dyslexia. The paper attempts to find out the cause of irrational or impatient behaviour of parents towards the child who actually require more warmth and patience to overcome the trouble in academics. In the end this paper emphasize the significance of work life balance in managing stress as well as the general approach to be adopted by the parents while dealing with their children suffering from dyslexia. In addition to this it advocates the positive impact of love, care, attention, reward, guidance and warmth contrary to comparison, expectation, ignorance, punishment and scolding upon the normal child.

Keywords: Dyslexic, Stress, Work life balance, Taare Zameen Par


Generally, films are meant for entertainment but there are films which addresses various issues such as family, social, economic, cultural, religious, scientific, space, differently challenged people and so on.  

Among all very few films deals with the problems faced by differently challenged people. One of the hindi film Taare Zameen Par is one of those which highlights the need for special attention to the kids suffering from Dyslexia. According to Lapkin 2014 “It’s a common condition that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language. Dyslexia is principally connected with trouble reading but has the potential to affect writing, spelling and even speaking” (Para 5). “Individuals with dyslexia typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although, the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are: difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding” (“What are Reading Disorders?”, 2014). It is frequently noticed that dyslexic people are very creative and artistic. Many famous people were dyslexic but at the end they managed to come out with flying colours of success and shown the world their supremacy. The list includes many, such as; Albert Einstein a German born physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, Leonardo da Vincy known as the father of paleontology, iconology, architecture and a great painter, Walt Disney the famous cartoonist, Thomas Alva Edison inventor of electric bulb who marked his presence in phonograph, motion picture camera etc..

Therefore, it is learnt that dyslexia does not refers to poor aptitude and reluctance to learning. It does not mean complete end to learning or in other words, hopelessness in contrast it requires employment of different tools and techniques to help the dyslexic child to understand the subject as well as continuous motivation to sustain the spirit of learning and performance. In other words, dyslexic child demands an extra attention from parents and teachers by creating conducive environment for learning. 

Stress and Work Life Balance

Normally dyslexia is dealt in stress by parents with the background of stressful working environment and work life imbalance. Stress is a comprehensive phenomenon that includes all the intermediary variables that has an impact on the psychological and emotional well-being which ultimately affects behavior of an individual. It is a byproduct of personal and professional changes that are either seldom viz., death of a loved one, divorce, loss of job etc. or frequent viz., work-life imbalance, job insecurity etc. According to Ivancevich and Matteson (1980) Stress is an adaptive response, mediated by individual characteristics and/or psychological processes that is a consequence of any external action, situation or event that places special and/or psychological demands upon a person (p.8). Though an optimum level of stress called eustress contributes positively towards achievement of results since Kets de Vries (1979) had noted, each individual needs a moderate amount of stress to be alert and capable of functioning effectively in an organization. Organizational excellence and individual success are achieved through well managed stresses. Similarly optimum level of stress in parents results in more caring attitude towards their kids and generates better understanding level of the child’s requirements. Parents are positively more involved in evolving techniques and methods to maintain uniqueness of their child instead of criticizing them for their failure. But stress is more commonly used in negative sense and therefore became more synonymous with distress that has a pessimistic impact on an individual emotional and psychological well-being and affects his overall performance.

One of the major contributors of Stress / Distress that require special mention in this paper is work life balance that denotes “living a full filled life inside and outside paid work, and having control over your time so one can achieve that” (Wells S., 2001).

Thus, it implies achieving effectiveness in every important domain of one’s life i.e., personal, professional, family thereby eliminating stress and guilt. “The pursuit of work life balance is a worthwhile endeavour, in contrast to the pursuit of wealth and materialistic goals, one that is conducive to human growth and development and produces eudaimonia” (Westman M., Brough,P, Kalliath T., 2009, p.588). Thus, maintaining harmony between work, family and personal life would reduce the most prominent stressor called work life imbalance. 

Therefore, it is crucial to know the ways and means that help in managing stress. It is not child’s play to come out of stressful situations or events easily and hence the role stress management exercises exerts greater importance in today’s unpredictable environment. 

Understanding the Mechanism to Deal with Dyslexic Child through Movie

The picture Taare Zameen Par clearly hinted that how lack of broader vision, understanding, work life balance as well as stress affects the mental peace of parents which makes them frustrated and irritated and in such circumstances if they are confronted with other problems e.g. complaint about their kids in terms of studies, reckless behaviour etc. they lose their mental balance and pass on that frustration to their kids by scolding them and manhandle them instead of sorting out the problem maturely. This is shown with the help of following image taken from the movie, the child named Ishaan in the movie is misunderstood and ill-treated by his father after receiving complaint from the neighbour.

This in turn aggravates the problem and has a negative impact on the growth of Ishaan. Since in the movie the child was already suffering from ‘Dyslexia’ about which parents were completely unaware and not even bothered to think maturely and peacefully about the child’s problem of making and repeating the same mistakes in studies. Due to their preconceived notions and one sided view, Ishaan’s parents employed only carrot and stick approach.

When this approach did not work his parents send him to the boarding school to pass on the burden of Ishaan’s failure to the boarding school. In simple words, they ran away from the child’s problem as the father is too much involved in his professional life and fulfilling responsibilities that are restricted to earning and demanding results that are purely materialistic. On the other hand the mother is busy in following the strict schedule of daily household work to remain in the continued race of competition that has no end. 

Later on, Ishaan got a good teacher in the boarding school whose name is Ram Shankar Nikumb in the movie and this character is played by actor Aamir Khan who minutely examined the reasons behind Ishaan’s inability of reading, writing and learning skills. This leads to identification of the real cause of the problem which reveals that the child was dyslexic due to which he cannot perform or deliver according to his age.

Ishaan felt that he was punished by his parents by sending to boarding school due to which he lost his confidence level, trust, pleasure and felt frustrated, ill-treated, lonely and sad.

Therefore, it took a lot of efforts, patience and time on the part of the teacher to regain the lost hope, enthusiasm and trust to convince the child to accept the challenge and perform.

Thus, Ram Shankar Nikumb gone the extra mile to boost the child’s confidence with the help of different techniques like learning through playing games, writing letters on the sand and remembering stories with help of examples besides conventional teaching. All these efforts help the child in retaining information for entire life. Moreover, playing games on phones and laptops improved his eye hand coordination. Later on Ishaan was able to show his hidden talent of painting to the entire school. 


This article truly concludes that in today’s competitive world every parent want their children to perform best in academics, sports and at the same time in all household activities like maintenance of cleanliness, become well cultured and praise worthy human being, attain full knowledge about the surroundings, have the ability to tackle household problems smartly. But one should keep in mind that every child is different and parents should stop comparing and underestimating their children.  Even a normal child can become frustrated and irritated by becoming the victim of this narrow minded approach towards life and leads to underperformance.

So, in general a child requires a helping hand and warmth to guide him properly throughout his career rather than putting the burden of our wishes upon the child. Thus, a child is a flower whose fragrance remain intact if he grows naturally with proper care, attention and guidance otherwise he will be lost in the dark shade of life.



Ivancewich, J.M., Matteson, M.T. (1980). Stress and Work: A Managerial Perspective, Dallas: Scott, Foresman.

Kets De Vries, Manfred F.R (1979). Organisational stress: A Call for Management Actions, Solan Management Review, 21(1). 3-14.

Lapkin, E. (2014). Understanding Dyslexia, retrieved from 

Wells, S. (2001, June), Equal Value on work/life balance , HR Magazine, 46(6), 52-58.

Westman M., Brough P., Kalliath T. (2009, July). Expert commentary on work-life balance and crossover of emotions and experiences: theoretical and practice advancements, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(5), 587-595.

What are Reading Disorders? (2014). Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, retrieved from /pages/disorders.aspx.

* Observations on the above article may be submitted to by August 31, 2020