How Imtiaz rose over a report card

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  • Published 5.05.12

Everyone knows he’s cleared the box-office test time and again with flying colours. But few know he had failed Class IX as a student of DBMS English School, Jamshedpur.

Bollywood director Imitiaz Ali, back for a breather in hometown Jamshedpur, took on the mantle of a life coach when he met students of Carmel Junior College on Friday.

Alarmed over the spate of youngsters committing suicides, the Rockstar director, looking like one himself, shared a secret.

“I repeated Class IX at DBMS English School. But that did not deter my dreams and ambitions. Today I have no regrets sharing this with the whole town. Parents should understand that failure in academics is not the end of life,” said Imtiaz in a 30-minute interaction with students.

Jamshedpur produces some of the brightest children who leave the state with superlative grades after plus two. Those whose report cards don’t show such brilliance suffer low self-esteem.

Imtiaz, with films such as Socha Na Tha, Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal and Rockstar on his CV, said children should chase dreams, not marks.

“It’s not always academics which makes a person great, it is his work,” he dimpled.

On a serious note, he added: “Parents should let children be. When I was in school we had two choices — be a doctor or an engineer. At the most one could become a businessman. Does that mean that the rest did nothing in life? I am a film maker and my parents are happy too.”

Fielding questions such as “How did you become a film director?” and “How can we tackle parents?” with elan, the man with the trademark locks also gave away autographs.

He also touched on recognition for regional cinema — “a great communicating tool” — and praised the highway for “getting better”.

But every state has its own problems and people have to stand up and fight to eradicate them, he told the youngsters.

“Merely complaining won’t help,” he quipped.