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Posted at: Mar 15, 2017, 12:36 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2017, 12:36 AM (IST)

Reel to real career roles

How Indian cinema is inspiring youngsters to opt for unconventional careers

Sandeep Singh

Ten-year-old Twinkle is constantly nudging her parents to enroll her in a wrestling academy. She was highly inspired by the story of the Phogat sisters in the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal, and, since then has been pushing her parents to find her a suitable academy to pursue wrestling. Although Twinkle was awed by Sakshi Mallik's performance in Rio Olympics, where she bagged the bronze medal in wrestling, it was the Bollywood movie that prompted her to get trained in a wrestling school. 

Gone are the days when parents had to be cautious about the content in B-Town films and refrain kids from watching movies on the big screen. These days, a lot of movies are able to strike a chord with the audience, irrespective of age and are catching the fancy of young and old alike. Bollywood films have the ability to make the audience laugh, cry, and at times inspire people to follow suit. Filmmakers are no longer afraid to experiment unconventional subjects or fresh and out-of-the-box ideas on celluloid. They are moving away from the purely formulaic themes of romance and revenge and are churning out 'different' films that are inspiring kids to tread a different career path altogether.

Kids, too, are keen to look beyond the traditional career options and are increasingly bypassing the regular arts, science and commerce streams. Thanks to B-Town films with fresh storyline and new subjects, students are now getting an opportunity to lend wings to their imagination. Even Salman Khan-starrer Sultan left no stone unturned to encourage youngsters in the country to pursue traditional kushti. In fact, many well-known training centres have reported an increase in the number of applications post the release of these films. Some of the well-known academies that offer wrestling coaching in India are:

  • Continental Wrestling Entertainment, Jalandhar
  • MFO Pro Wrestling School, Jalandhar
  • Wrestle Square, Noida
  • Guru ShyamlalAaya Nagar Akhara, New Delhi
  • Guru Hanuman Akhara, New Delhi
Romantic songs or fight scenes are added to enhance the commercial valueof films. While we saw Sonakshi Sinha beat the goons hands down and perform martial arts in her latest action-packed flick, Akira, light-eyed actor Tiger Shroff's high-octane action sequences in Baaghi, made many sit up and take notice of martial arts. While martial art is a self-defence mechanism, a career in martial arts can prove fruitful too. There is a demand for martial arts instructors across the country, especially in academic institutions, wellness centres and gyms. Several movies across industries are also in need for martial art trainers for incorporating action-packed scenes in films. Every city has multiple martial arts centres that teach karate, judo, kickboxing, taekwondo, ju-jitsu etc. Students should look out for good and qualified trainers and other facilities like security and emergency care in these centres.

When it comes to picking up jobs behind the camera, women have shown a negligible presence. While the trend of women filmmakers began long ago with the likes of Deepa Mehta, Mira Nair and Sai Paranjape, there are only a handful of them who are keen to make it big as a cinematographer or an editor. However, in Bollywood drama Dear Zindagi, actress Alia Bhatt's role as a budding cinematographer has gone down well with the audience. There is a perception that women are unfit to run around with a camera, but Alia's performance in the film has many aspiring to fit into Kiara's shoes. Some of the leading institutions in the country to pursue cinematography and film-making are:

  • Film and Television Institute of India,Pune
  • Whistling Woods International, Mumbai
  • Center for Research in Art of Film and Television, Delhi
  • FX School, Mumbai
  • Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida
  • Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata.
Apart from these the careers of a psychologist counsellor, sports coach as in a slew of films right from Chak De, Mary Kom, Saala Khadoos etc have also been brought in the limelight by effective protrayals in movies.  The roles of a feisty cop enacted by Priyanka Chopra in Jai Gangaajal or Akshay Kumar's role of a morally upright officer of the Navy in Rustom have also made many students aspire to join the armed forces or in the police force. There are numerous military academies across India for training its personnel. Military schools, Sainik Schools, and the Rashtriya Indian Military College were established to broaden the recruitment base of the Defence Forces. 

These days, children do not want their parents to make career choices for them. Although academically inclined, students are willing to experiment and take the entire responsibility of their career choices. Thanks to cinema's ability to woo viewers, India is suddenly witnessing a plethora of new age careers that have huge possibilities just waiting to be explored. Being personally enriching, professionally rewarding and most importantly fitting into the fast changing social fabric of our country, Indian cinema is now paving the way for future generations to step onto territories hitherto unseen. So, game for a wrestling match with destiny, anybody?

— The writer is Founder and CEO, Edunuts

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