Rancho Shamaldas Chhanchad, the wisest Idiot

rancho-chhanchadRancho Shamaldas Chhanchad, nicknamed as Chotte in his younger years, and is later to be known as the famous Phunsukh Wangdu. He is well-played by the Indian actor Aamir Khan—he is one of my favorite actors of all time. I have watched several of his films, too, like Ghajini and Fanaa, just additional information just so you know. Well, what can I say about this main protagonist of the film? Oh, he is definitely the man! The character of Rancho was not the boring cliché, he’s got the ordinary looks and upbringing but in reality, he’s not the usual typical guy that you’ve watched from other movies. He is the most intelligent of the three friends, but he is not the typical intelligent type—his intelligence is harmoniously aligned to his philosophies in life which makes him even more intelligent and wise. So yeah, I say that Rancho is not your ordinary intelligent man! He is extraordinary. He has his own view when it comes to education. And he has his own philosophies that would sometimes lead him to argue with his professors, in fact he outsmarts them one by one, especially Dr. Viru Sahasrabuddhe or Professor Virus. I can say that the latter was sort of the enemy of Rancho during his college years, but eventually he ended up in good terms with him.

Pursue excellence, and success will follow! — Rancho

Rancho began as an orphaned boy who served a rich family. He was called Chotte then. What amazes me about Rancho is his love for learning, his eagerness, and his impressive desire to know more. Because he was an orphan he wasn’t able to go to school, but despite that, Chotte didn’t stop learning. His loved for knowledge led him to pretend as Rancho, he answered all his homeworks and went to school as Rancho. When he was caught by the teacher, the real Rancho’s father allowed him to continue pretending as Rancho Shamaldas Chhanchad but with a condition that he can acquire knowledge as much as he can but all the credits and certificates will go to his real son. But then, to Chotte, certificates are just papers, what he loves is the knowledge. So he goes for it.

His young character in the film showed us how he loved to learn new things, and because of this we are slapped by the ultimate realization that it’s not all about education, it’s not all about certificates and diplomas, that it’s not all about papers, what matters most are the things you have learned and acquired and how you are going to apply them into your life—whether you have learned it through experiences, or not. Papers are papers. Documents are documents. But knowledge is power. This is what I realized upon watching the film, especially seeing through Chotte’s character. And to tell you honestly, it’s not just a realization, but it has great impact to me.

What’s so good about Chotte’s character is that he doesn’t let his emotions overtake his life, we see this when he neatly cut ties to all of his friends and even to Pia, his love interest, after their graduation. I think it’s not only because of Rancho’s father‘s condition, but also because Chotte thinks that is the best path—after all, knowledge and learning new things is what feeds him. He is already happy of what he has acquired in school, but his desire doesn’t end like that, he desires to innovate new things and impart his knowledge to little children. Well, he can become emotional most of the time, yes, especially when he is with his friends, but Chotte does not let his feelings devour him like most of us do. He is more rational and logical than being entirely emotional.

To Chotte, inventions and his contributions to the advancement of the society is far more important than his love interest. The negative effect of this is that Chotte tends to love knowledge more than himself, of which is quite alarming. He rather lives alone and invents things than exploring the world of romance and adventures of life. However, this doesn’t make sense to his character, because to Chotte, his inventions are his way of adventuring. I can say that he is pretty normal in his own way. He sees life differently, but because of his different views about life he has come to explore it in a way that will benefit all.

Chotte, on the other hand, has a great love for his friends. He sees them not only as buddies but as brothers, too. He is the type of person who values his time with them while there’s still opportunity to do so. He treasures every moment with his friends as if that’s their last time of being together. He’s not boring at all but in fact he has some pranks under his sleeves, too. He contributes a lot to his friends’ character development, and because of him, his two friends value life more than before. Chotte’s character helps us to evaluate ourselves, too. He helps us to realize that life does not end with a dot…that there are still a lot of chapters onward, and that “ALL IS WELL!”

Farhan Qureshi, the selfless Idiot

farhan-qureshiFarhan Qureshi, played by R. Madhavan. Farhan is the film’s narrator all throughout the story, he is also a best friend to Rancho and Raju. The thing about Farhan is quite a dramatic curve. I say this because Farhan’s life and his future were already knitted by his parents ever since birth. All his life he was manipulated by his parents, disregarding what he really wanted to do on his own. His father wants him to become an engineer while he actually wanted to become a professional photographer. Farhan’s character at first was weak and very dependant to his parents, in fact, he couldn’t decide for his own and he couldn’t fight for his own decision. He puts his parents’ wants first before anything else, which is why he landed on the engineering school where he came to meet Rancho and Raju.

Farhan Qureshi is the selfless Idiot…

Farhan is the type of person who doesn’t like to disappoint his parents. His character is quite rampant to today’s generation, although not to the same level as Farhan. I myself could seem to relate to his situation, because I, too, put my parents first before anything else. The only difference between me and Farhan is that my parents are not manipulative, they only suggest what’s best for me and it’s up to me to decide whether I go for it or not. If I see that my parents would be happy with a certain decision, I would go for it, not because I am dependant of their decision but because I wanted to see their satisfying reaction. In Farhan’s case, however, it’s obvious that he can’t win an argument with his Dad. He chose to abandon his own dreams because he was afraid that his Dad might get angry. I think he’s weak, but not as weak as Raju whom I think is weaker among the three. He is weak in a sense that he cannot stand firm to his decisions. He is weak in a sense that, well, ‘you’re a man, Farhan, grow up, man-up!’

I don’t think I would like a man like Farhan. Why? Because a man who can’t stand up for his own decisions is a petty man, and oh, he’s dependent to his parents. I think it would be a problem in his future marriage. I mean, yoh, if he continues to be like that then whatever situations he encounters in the future, he might as well seek his parent’s decision first—that’s…sad, isn’t it. Although of course, as our parents, we should value and listen to their pieces of advices, however, if we keep on seeking their assistance every now and then we wouldn’t mature—would we?

The way Farhan’s parents have brought him up is also another thing. They had already implanted to his brain that he’s going to become an engineer like they always wanted, so of course, Farhan would not disregard that, knowing that he grew up with those kinds of motivations and words from his parents. I think that is the reason why Farhan is like that. He believed that his parents’ decisions were more superior to his. And so he ended up an obedient puppet.

Farhan might have many weaknesses. But he also have his own strengths. Even though he lived to please his parents, he had this attitude in him that he would do his best, and in fact, he’s got the brains, too. He is intelligent and creative more than you could expect. I like how he sees life in a creative way. I like how he appreciates the beauty in his surroundings and takes a moment to capture them into his personal camera. To him every moment and every second there is always a beauty to capture, and that every thing has its own beauty. These are shown when he first appeared in the film, narrating the events from his life while capturing into his camera what nature has presented upon him. Farhan appreciates the beauty of nature, and that’s what I like about him. The only sad thing about his life was that he was not courageous enough to tell his parents about his real passion—that he needed someone to push him on. In this case, Rancho or Chotte was the first person who made him realized that he should go out from his isolated shell. If it was not for Rancho pushing and encouraging him on, Farhan may not be able to achieve his dream, and that he would become engineer even though he did not like it.

He is a good person. Farhan is someone who can do more, even more than what he could initially imagine. He is someone who can turn his passion and hobby into something especial, only that he needed someone to encourage him. There are a lot of people who are like Farhan nowadays, people who are talented enough and yet they could not make it unless someone pushes them on. I think that people like that should try to see Farhan’s perspective and learn a lesson from it. Farhan has his flaws, but is there anyone who is perfect and flawless? Rancho himself has his own flaws, too.

Even though Farhan hesitated to disobey his parents’ wish, he ended up following his own dreams. Through the life of Rancho, Farhan saw what he had not seen before: that he is not a machine operated by his parents. Farhan is someone who listens to advices, but he is also someone who thinks little of himself, that’s why he really had a hard time. Good thing that Rancho never gave up on him when it comes to encouragement, that because of Rancho Farhan was able to see life in a new way.

I like how Farhan obeys his parents. I like how he loves them to the point that he is willing to abandon his dream for their own happiness. I like how he strives hard to please them. However, even though these are good to hear, even though he seems to be a good kid, we all know that Farhan should not always live his life the way his parents want it to be. Because Farhan has his own life, too. He needs to live his life for himself and not live his life for other’s sake. He needs to get up. And be courageous enough to tell to his parents that he HAS A LIFE. He’s not a machine.

I am glad, however, that Farhan was able to cope up with his weak character in the later part of the film. I’m glad to see a new Farhan. His character reminds me that even though life is difficult and tricky at times, there is always a solution at the end of the rope—we only need to see it until the end and not give up. If we give up easily, we won’t be able to see the end, and if we don’t see the end of it, how are we able to know if the decisions we make are right or wrong? That’s why we should not be afraid of the risks, because risks are there to test our determination. We see that Farhan could not stand against his parents, but we see at the end that Farhan could fight for his own decisions if he really wanted to. In this film, Farhan was able to take the risk by conquering his fears of his parents. His character reminds us that people should not be afraid to pursue their dreams.

Raju Rastogi, the emotional Idiot

raju-rastogiRaju Rastogi, played by Sharman Joshi. Raju came from a poor family whose father was sickly. His sister was unmarried. He was the current able man of the family and because of that Raju bore the burden of sustaining the entire family. He also had the burden in his studies. Raju was someone who wanted to become an engineer unlike Farhan, and he was passionate about his field, too. Only that he was not as intelligent as Rancho. I must say that he was the weakest character among the three friends. He was especially weak when it comes to emotions. He was emotionally-driven most of the time, he was easily taken over by his feelings especially when he was pressured.

Raju Rastogi…is the emotional Idiot.

Raju was not a bad person. Like Farhan and Rancho, he had his own dreams and ambitions, too. However, when faced in difficult situations, Raju was not the type of person who could endure all the pressures and thus, attempted to commit suicide. That what makes him the weakest character among the three. Unlike Rancho, Raju allowed his emotions overtake him. That’s his weakness.

A lot of people in this generation are like Raju, too. People tend to let their feelings control them instead of them controlling their emotions. However, we see that Raju was regretful about that certain event in his life, and after that, he changed for good. I realized that no matter how weak a person is, we don’t have the right to judge him according to that area of his life.

In Raju’s life, I realized that even though we face difficult situations, we should always overcome it and not solve it by just throwing our lives away as if it’s a dirty rag. We should overcome our baggage. That even though we are tired, even though we have had enough to the point that we wanted to die, we should not by any means surrender, much worse to kill our selves. We should learn how to hope for the future, not only seeing what the present is. We should set out goals. We should always look forward what come next after this and that—because who knows, life is full of surprises, after all.

Raju Rastugi may have once wanted to abandon his life, but he was given a second chance to live and correct his life. It was good, however, what if he really died and did not make it? It would be such a waste to lose his future just because he was pressured by the present. I think his character is a great reminder to all of us that LIFE is PRECIOUS. We should not waste it for nothing. As for Raju, having Rancho as his friend also contributes a lot in developing his character. Just like to Farhan, Rancho did not give up on Raju, especially when he was always there in the hospital taking care of him. By then Raju realizes just how much his friends love and care for him, this also gives him hope and encouragement to fight for his staggering life.

There are a lot of people who are like Raju. And everyday there is at least one person who commits suicide all because he is pressured by his life—just like Raju. That’s why I don’t think that the character of Raju is good for nothing. His life reminds us that we should not do the same thing, and even if we already did, we opt to correct the mistake and live a changed life.

As someone from the series I have recently watched said, “Once you are born into this world, life is not enough to show love.” Re-watching 3 Idiots, I was reminded by that quote.

Raju is a great reminder to all of us that we should not forsake our lives just because the world is pressuring us. I think that if we are pressured by the world, we should not let our feelings push us to the corner. Let the world’s pressure take care of itself, instead, let us take care of our own self. We should value life because it is only given to us once, and we do not have the right to take it away from us.

In Raju’s point of view, I see that he wanted to end his life so that he could be released from the pressures around him. True, he could have been released from the pressures by dying, but what about the pressures left behind to his family—to his friends? What about the sadness they would feel by losing him? What about the pain? Dying is not the solution to all the problems. If people think the way Raju thinks, the world might become unbalanced. Thanks to Raju’s character, by the way, because of him we have realized how undesirable it could be to resolve into ending one’s life.