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Six Bollywood Films on Cricket, We Must Learn Life Lessons From As soon as the cricket fever of the Indian Premier League gets over, movie lovers will queue up to the theatre because a cricket-based film Mr. & Mrs Mahi, starring Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor is all set to release theatrically on May 31. So, here we look at five Bollywood films on the game of cricket that taught us the best life lessons ever…

By Arundhuti Banerjee

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As cliché as it may sound, there is a strong relationship between Bollywood and cricket. Nothing, really nothing can unite the whole nation than cricket and cinema; we do not look at the gender or religious identity of a fan when we gather in the theatre to watch Shah Rukh Khan or feel immensely proud to win the World Cup! As an audience, it still gives us goosebumps, recalling the last match of Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhede Stadium when the whole crowd cheered, 'Sachin! Sachin…' Winning the Cricket World Cup in 1983 and 2011 was as exciting and a proud moment for every Indian as Lagaan getting nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002.

So here we look at such six films including Mr. & Mrs. Mahi we should revisit to learn the best life lessons from our B-school, the Bollywood school!!

Mr and Mrs Mahi: While living the dream of parents sometimes comes across as an easy option for some, the upcoming film Mr and Mrs Mahi twists everything around it. Though initially once the title of the film came out, many assumed that the film might have some connection with the former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni whom we lovingly call 'Mahi', as soon as the trailer was released, the reason behind the title got cleared. It's the story of a young couple named Mahima and Mahendra, and their nickname is 'Mahi', thus Mr. and Mrs. Mahi!

Mahima was quite happily living her parents' dream of being a doctor and Mahendra was living his father's dream of running his family business. As destiny had it, both got married and cricket became one of their common interest areas to bond. Mahendra was a failed cricketer and Mahim loved cricket as a hobby though never played professionally. How one inspires another to become a cricketer, instead of living one's parents' dream – will be revealed on May 31, when the film releases in the theatre.

The film is directed by Sharan Sharma and produced by Karan Johar.

83 : Directed by Kabir Singh, the film 83 takes us back to a time of Indian cricket when even infrastructures were not in place for our sports and how a team, who were never even considered to reach the final round of the tournament, eventually wins the first ever Cricket World Cup in 1983 for its country.

Under the captainship of the great Kapil Dev, it is wonderful to revisit how a cricket team smashes all the obstacles and wins the finale against the deadly team of world cricket then, West Indies. The film was released in 2021 and Kapil Dev's character was played by the Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh. The story of the film, not only captures historical moments of Indian cricket but also shows the celebration of unity in diversity that the Indian cricket team has always been.

Dil Bole Hadippa: Though women's cricket is getting much better limelight in the present time, and we have our girl squad with some of the finest crickets like Mithila Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur among others, the Rani Mukherjee and Shahid Kapoor starrer film Dil Bole Hadippa released at a time when women's cricket was certainly not a mainstream affair.

The film addresses the issue of gender inequality in the field of sports and how women, despite having equal talent, due to lack of opportunity and societal barriers, are pushed away to participate in the game, especially in small towns. Though initially Veera Kaur, a budding cricketer played by Rani, dressed as a man to be part of the boys' team, a few twists and turns reveal her identity. However, it is inspiring to see eventually she, finds her place in a cricket team.

Directed by Anurag Singh, and produced by Aditya Chopra, the film was released in 2009.

Iqbal: The story of the film Iqbal revolves around a young deaf and mute boy with a big dream of playing cricket. Coming from a poor family, being born as a disabled child, Iqbal was highly discouraged by his father and ridiculed by society for his dream to play for a national team. Eventually, how he achieves his dream under the mentorship of Mohit, a former cricketer played by Naseeruddin Shah and constant support from his little sister Khatija, played by Shweta Basu Prasad is the crux of the film. It's one of the rare films that everyone must watch. This National award-winning film, starring Shreyas Talpade in the title role, teaches how if someone has a genuine talent, and has a dream in their eyes, nothing, not even physical disability can stop them from fulfilling the dream.

The film is directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, released in 2005.

Lagaan : Once Upon A Time In India : The Ashutosh Gowarikar directorial Aamir Khan starrer film was one of the true celebration of patriotism and the nomination of the film under the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film category in 2002 added an extra feather to the cap! The story set in British India, revolves around villagers who were burdened by a huge tax. The British Indian Army challenged the villagers to play the game of cricket and win, to exempt the tax. How Bhuvan, a young farmer, played by Aamir Khan, takes up the challenge and not only inspires the villagers but also builds a cricket team to play against the British and eventually wins the match - sets the journey of the film. The film teaches one of the biggest lessons of life on how with dedication, hard work, and the right motivation one can win the situation, no matter who is in the opposition.

Patiala House: The Akshay Kumar, Rishi Kapoor starrer film Patiala House revolves around the dilemma of the central character Gattu who was torn between leaving his family and living his dream of playing cricket for England that his father being a true patriot, was strongly against. How the situation changes and Gattu gets his biggest second chance in life to fulfill his dream takes the story forward. The film shows the audience how it is important to live for our dreams and that our parents' dreams are not always ours, we are born with our destiny.

Released in 2011, the film is directed by Nikhil Advani.

Arundhuti Banerjee

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