If you have seen the movie “Amadeus” a biopic that was made in 1979. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a prodigal composer and has to his credit over 600 compositions. He started composing at the age of 5 yrs, until his demise when he was only 30+ years old. It was believed that anyone who heard Mozart’s music would become a faster learner – fascinating.
He became a chronic Alcoholic and had a jealous composer of those times Antonio Salieri. In the guise of helping Mozart, he drives Mozart to become an alcoholic and drives him to attempted suicide. Later, Mozart was made to commit to perform a long composition at the end of which he collapses. This was also Antonio’s jealousy that drives him to commit Mozart to a long and difficult performance.
Mozart was always disappointed with people around him, because he thought, and in the film, you get to hear this dialogue from him very often “Mediocrity is everywhere”! He was a genius and anything less was mediocre. He became an alcoholic, he contracted a disease, he left his wife and died early. He was given a shameful burial outside Vienna.
His friend (rival) Antonio becomes mad and is hospitalised, during which time he confesses to have murdered Amadeus by mixing poison into his drink.
This film about Amadeus, one of the best film of all times.
The story of the life of Amadeus is fascinating even though tragic. There have lived many geniuses around the world and in India, How many of such stories are told in our history lessons? Do we tell these stories to our children? Can we help them connect to core issues of “Prodigal”, “eccentricity”, “mediocrity”, “depression”, “jealousy”, Tragedy”, and the great works of geniuses? Mozart is just one example. We have our own CV Raman, Ramanujam, and others. How much do we know about their life, Musical Geniuses, and Legends from India. So much to get inspired from; so much to learn. The current curriculum does not give the bandwidth for many such things. But that’s okay as the curriculum is already pretty crowded.
During the Lockdown, and the extended COVID Pandemic, Could we have used the time with our children to strike conversations about such topics, and get them interested to explore more?
Will the NEP2020 provide the freedom for the teaching-learning system to bring in this diversity? Amadeus was just an example I have used.
We definitely do not want “Mediocrity Everywhere”! The idea is to strive for excellence in whatever we do. Not everybody is a genius like Amadeus. But we need not be mediocre!