Monday, February 23, 2009


The Marathi film, “Majhi Goshta” (My Story) was screened on last Friday at the International Centre, Goa. The film reveals the travails and the travel of a schizophrenic patient who gets timely help and guidance to discover his self-actualisation in music. The screening was followed by a discussion with acclaimed actor and psychiatrist, Dr Mohan Agashe.

During the discussion, a lady raised a very pertinent point… Films like Taare Zameen Par and Mhaji Goshta generally tend to show protagonists overcoming the handicaps of dyslexia and schizophrenia due to possessing talents like painting or music. She wondered whether this would convey rare exceptions as a rule and hence create a wrong impression in the minds of the audience.

In response to the query, Agashe chose to show another movie – a one-minute animation film made as part of a contest in Chennai. The movie showed a handicapped person being asked about his forte. The questioner was consistent in hurling his queries… Can you paint? Can you sing? Can you do something special? Each time the answer was a humble “no” till the person at the receiving end turned around and asked, “Can you (do any of the things you expect me to do)?”

Too often, we insist that our children, subordinates and others should be extraordinary personalities with gifted specialities. Looking around, we will notice that it is not the people with the best talents or techniques who make a huge difference, but it is the people with the right temperament. We need to be better (at inculcating in ourselves and encouraging in others) the real forte - the right attitude! And the right attitude is one that ensures a developmental approach rather than a judgemental one.

Do not fret and frown at the handicap of a lesser aptitude…
Genuine forte is to BE BETTER at empowering a noble attitude!

- Pravin

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