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!”

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