Tara Rum Pum was released on 27.04.2007 and I went to watch it with my family in the Om Cineplex of Kota on 29.04.2007 simply because of an animated bear family shown in the promos containing one mom-bear, one dad-bear and two bear-kids. That animated bear family appeared so lovely to me, my wife and above all, my kids that we could not stop watching this movie. However the experience of watching this movie went beyond my expectations. Though I found some flaws in it, nevertheless, as a whole, it turned out to be not only a complete family entertainer but also a movie rendering some invaluable lessons of life to the audience. When I came out of the cinema hall, I was not the same person who had entered it. This movie had inspired me, energized me and provoked certain thoughts in me (in addition to entertaining me). Now ten years have passed when I look back and recall what this movie was all about. My life has undergone drastic changes during this period and the original instigation for the change had come from this movie only.Tara Rum Pum tells the story of a US based Indian cab driver turned car racer – Rajveer Singh aka RV whose fate provided him the right channel to showcase his talent of fast driving through Hariprasad aka Harry (Javed Jaffrey). He went on to win 50 high profile races and made enormous money, married the love of his life – Raadhika nicknamed as Shona (Rani Mukherjee) and got two lovely kids when the ill-fate struck him and his rival in profession masterminded his accident during a race. The real story of this movie starts with the aftermath of that accident. RV survives but loses something as precious as life – his self-confidence. The haunting moments of that mishap have taken on his nerves, not allowing him to reach his peak in any race. The speed of his driving breaks down the moment the bygone painful moments start haunting him. Now he is scared of picking up the required speed during any race. And the result is obvious. He fails. After winning 50 races prior to his accident, he goes on to lose 10 in a row post his accident.
The world does not belong to the losers. A loser is bound to lose money, resources, recognition, support, opportunities, almost everything. RV also heads for the same destiny because he is no longer a winner. He has to digest the harsh reality of being a loser. But one thing he has not lost – the faith of his wife in him and his abilities. She has loved him in his riches. She loves him in his poverty too. She had married her against the wishes of her rich father and now in the difficult times, she is not ready to accept any parental help and hurt the self-respect of her man. But the problem which is staring right into the face of both RV and Shona is even bigger than their poverty. Hitherto they have fostered their children luxuriously but now their offspring has to learn to live in the conditions polar different from what they are used to. How to convey it to the tender hearts ? The parents, i.e., RV and Shona devise a plan to make their little son and little daughter accept the changed situation. They tell them that they are going to participate in a reality show whose requirement is to live in poverty and if they successfully spend their time in impoverished conditions, they will win the show.
RV, Shona and the little ones shift from a palace like mansion to a small shack and start living under severe monetary constraints with RV becoming a cab driver again and Shona playing piano in the hotels and parties. The only thing that they strive hard to ensure that their children do not lose, is good education. The parents work hard and arrange enough money to ensure that their kids are able to continue in their erstwhile school. Hardships do continue in terms of food, clothes, shelter and medical treatment. The zenith of their trouble comes when their little son needs a costly operation to survive. How to arrange the hefty sum ? RV’s adversaries are happy about it, mocking his helplessness and misfortune. The moment has come for RV to overpower the painful flashback and re-enter the skin of the winner. Harry comes up with an opportunity which RV can encash to repulse the inching death of his son and the ill-fate of the whole family. Can he do it ?In my blog post – Main Der Karta Nahin, Der Ho Jaati Hai … I have asserted that it’s the fear in a man (or a woman) which leads to his (or her) doom; hence get rid of fear and sooner or later, you will get rid of failure too. Late Dhirubhai Ambani used to say – ‘Seek an opportunity in every adversity you face’. RV learns it in the movie when a horrifying adversity is looming over his family. I got the inspiration from this movie only that if you don’t take any risk, you are taking the biggest risk. Besides, fear precedes failure and you have to overcome the fear (real or imaginary) first in order to escape the failure. This movie motivated me to take a risk in my career when an injustice was imposed on me in my then employment which was in the public sector. I left the job and grabbed an opportunity in the private sector. Other than the job security issue, there were several other practical difficulties too. However seeking motivation from Tara Rum Pum, I changed my job as well as place and shifted to Delhi in June 2007. Destiny has landed me in the southern part of the country now. Can’t say whether the decision proved to be right or wrong in due course of time, however it was to be taken to protect my self-respect and Tara Rum Pum gave me the courage to take that risk.
The movie underscores Indian family values and highlights the significance of saving alongwith earning. The lesson that RV learns the hard way is if you spend every penny you earn without any saving for the unforeseen difficult times, those times will hit you harder than normal. The movie underscores the significance of wife’s love and support for the husband when he is not the winner in the worldly life and her standing by him in the tough times. Shona’s protecting her husband’s self-respect when the days are no longer sunny for him, is exemplary. Such wife only is able to pave the way for the return of happy times for the family later. After watching this movie, I told my wife that I would gift a DVD of this movie to my daughter in her marriage so that by watching it, she is able to understand what an ideal wife is all about.
The plot of the movie has been inspired by certain Hollywood movies. Cinematic liberties have been taken aplenty and the movie is melodramatic in some parts. The filmmaker conveniently forgot that impoverished people can’t wear designer clothes. Anyway, the positives of the movie outnumber its negatives. It is interesting from beginning to end and several scenes leave a deep emotional impact on the viewer.Shot lavishly in the USA, this movie is technically superb. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is ear-soothing. I like its title track the most in which the animated characters appear with the human characters.
Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerjee make an ideal on-screen pair. Both have complimented each other very well and lit up the screen with their marvellous performances. The child artists alongwith Javed Jaffrey and others have also done their parts perfectly.
So here comes the great Indian family which sticks together and renders some great messages for life. I don’t know why this decent family entertainer did not score on the box office. For me, at least, it has a repeat value.
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