What was it about 2005, Nagesh Kukunoor film, Iqbal, that left a lasting impact on the soul and minds of all the dreamers out there? Irrespective of the fact that we wanted to be cricketers or not( as the protagonist in the film), the film hits us in places that were hard to explain in words. What was it about the world of a deaf and dumb youngster that appealed to us so much? Was it the inspirational title track or a relatable underdog story?
Today we shall try to explore the reasons why this intricate world created by Nagesh Kukunoor stands firm against the test of time.
The film was written by Nagesh Kukunoor together with Vipul K. Rawal. It boasts of the cast including Girish Karnad, Naseeruddin Shah, Yatin Karyekar, Shweta Prasad, and Prateeksha Lonkar. Shreyas Talpade plays the protagonist, Iqbal.
Chapter 1 – Unequal Scales
In life, we often see that the scales aren’t equal. Life is not as fair as we would want it to be and there is nothing new about this fact. The only question that remains is what do you make of the things you possess. That is all that matters. Iqbal was born deaf and dumb. But his dreams were undeterred by that fact. He dreams of being a part of the Indian Cricket team. He wants to sport the blues for his nation. He aspires to be the next Kapil Dev or Irfan Pathan.
Society always tells us to dream big, make our own paths, build a legacy, be unique, etc. But there is a secret that no one talks about until it is the opportune moment. The enormity of your dream should conform to your financial status (because apart from “financial” we don’t care much about anything else). Once a child dares to dream then he is told that he was never allowed to think this big. I mean an individual belonging to the middle class should aim at earning a good salary but how dare he dream of becoming an entrepreneur. And Iqbal’s family were barely able to make ends meet. So how do you expect that society would have accepted this insanely crazy dream of a disabled child to be among the top eleven in a country of billions?
Chapter 2 – An Unforgiving Journey
The hustle starts from the family itself. In this case, the father doesn’t approve of Iqbal playing cricket. He feels that the country wastes the money on such sports which otherwise should be used for the betterment of farmers. Even if he kept his personal loss aside, the fact is how he will face society and tell them about the audacity of his kid. Won’t they mock him to be foolish enough to believe in such a dream, which cannot be fulfilled?
And why can’t it be fulfilled? Just because it is unfathomable for a mechanical being to think beyond the set pattern. They are scared to lose it all and this fear makes them against everyone who is not bound by fear. Iqbal isn’t scared to test the water. It couldn’t get worse than this. He is adamant about converting his disability to his biggest assets. He can hear the sound of victory, unruffled and uninterrupted.
Chapter 3 – Beliefs can move Mountains
I have often believed that fate does bow down in front of the stubborn. People who believe in destiny don’t understand that it can be molded as per our actions. It’s the basic law of attraction. The universe too comes together and strengthens the stand of a stubborn lone warrior. And with Iqbal, he had the added advantage of not being alone. A mother who believed in the dreams of her son, a sister who had immense faith in the abilities of her brother, and a drunken coach gathering himself from the abyss, constituted Iqbal’s team. A coach who got the chance to live his dreams and this time not fall into the trap laid by this system.
But more than anyone Iqbal believed in himself.
In one of the most cinematic scenes I have ever witnessed in my life, Iqbal goes to this small makeshift hut, made of haystacks, he had built in his backyard. He had pictures of his favorite cricketers inside the hut. When he closed his eyes he could feel the uproar of thousands of people in the stadium.
This sound which he heard comprised his soul. It kept him alive. He wanted to manifest this dream at any cost. Anything else didn’t matter. His bleeding feet didn’t matter. His disability didn’t matter. His depravity didn’t matter. All that mattered were the eyes that could see that nobody else could.
Chapter 4 – Rising from the Ashes
Iqbal through its very strong screenplay shows us how to be patient and dissolute in life. There is no plan B when it is about chasing your dreams. One should move ahead unrestrained. Calm waters never created a skilled explorer. It is the tides and winds and currents that create a warrior. And this is not just a stylish phrase but indeed you need to have the spirit of a warrior to achieve something that almost sounds absurd to the people.
When you become this unimpeded beast with blinders on then you not only lift yourself up but the people who are around you. With you they see fiction becoming reality. When in doubt just close your eyes and imagine that sound of victory and then move forward with vigor and passion.
If you haven’t watched this film already then watch it on a day when the shadow lumbers, when the spirits are down and when all the forces seem to work against you. And then let the film speak for itself.
Iqbal (film) is streaming on ZEE5.
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