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Good Things Come In Small Packages
The child actors on television though are small in size and age but they have big ambitions and goals to achieve in life.
Generally, while talking about TV actors, we tend to think more about the adult ones like Smriti Iraani, Sakshi Tanwar or Apurva Agnihotri; but delve deeper and one realises that an equivalent, if not more, contribution towards making these soaps popular has also been of the sweet child artistes-be it Fruity in Sonpari on Star Plus or Chakki in Instant Khichdi on Star One.

Tanvi Hegde, better known as Fruity of Sonpari of V N Sule High School, has been a part of the glam world for the past decade having done around 200 advertisements and films like Rahul, Pitoah and Viruddh, apart from Sonpari, which made her a household name. Her entry into the industry was due to a neighbour who found her very photogenic and clicked and circulated some of her pictures, which got her an immediate response.

Coincidence was also responsible for Venny Arora (Home Sweet Home) entering serials, when an assistant director on some set spotted her near her home that shed gone to visit. Her co-artiste in the serial, six-year-old Aditi Bhatia, has been working in serials and ads ever since she was seven months old, after her parents were repeatedly told on their overseas vacation that they had a cute daughter who ought to be on screen. Aditi has done over 70 ads and has also worked in Kal Ho Naa Ho (her part was edited). However, there are also some kids whove been introduced into the glam world as a conscious decision of their parents. Says Suman Joshi, the mother of Shivani Joshi, a fourth standard student, whos been working from the age of four, "We felt that todays kids need to do something different from the rest of the pack. With that aim in mind, we introduced Shivani and her elder brother Rahul in this industry. Rahul has done Shakalaka Boom Boom on Star Plus, whereas Shivani has acted in serials like Dhadkan, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Dhoom."

For Lakshya Sharma, the eight-year-old seen in Wo Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki and Koh-I-Noor, it was again a family friend who convinced his parents that their child had it in him to make it big in the entertainment world.

The parents of the nine-year-old Yash Mittal, who features in Instant Khichdi and Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai on Star One, Kutumb, etc. and his brother Madhur have come to Mumbai from Agra to make a career in the industry.

This brings us to some pertinent questions. Is the pull of glamour so strong that kids and their parents are willing to go that extra mile for those fifteen minutes of fame? How do these kids manage to balance their studies with their erratic schedules? And most of all how long do they plan to work in the industry because there are examples a plenty of very successful child Artistes fading into oblivion after they grow up right from Jugal Hansraj to Macaulay Culkin-if this happens, will it not lead to frustration?

Talking about the fame-factor, Richa Bhadras (whos currently seen in Instant Khichdi) mother says, "Its about making our kids smart in todays competitive world." As for the studies, most of the kids we spoke to claimed to do their studies on the sets, in between shots. Says Sakshi Sem, a standard six student, who has been working since the last eight years and has done around 150 ads, many serials and also a film Raju Chacha, "Most of the child artists I know, have to bunk school for at least ten days in a month, or else, they can shoot only after school hours. However, in both the cases, most of the homework and routine study is done on the set." Though this may raise doubts about the quality of knowledge gained, all the parents claim that their wards secure more than 75 per cent.

But what about their future plans? Save for the brother-sister duo of Instant Khichdi, Yash Mittal-Richa Bhadra and Lakshya Sharma, all others will digress from this industry and take up different careers once they grow up. Venny wants to be a journalist, Sakshi is determined to become a photographer like her dad, Shivani plans to become a doctor whereas Tanvi wants to become a Camera - wielder, "So that I can be a part of the industry in a more creative way," she quips. Aditi is too young as of now for her parents to decide anything but they are sure that itll entirely be her choice. Sajeel, the cautious one, has decided to continue acting and even to enter the film industry. Well, thats Gen-Next for you! Focussed, prepared, knowledgeable and multi-taskers ready to boot.
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Posted on : 17/11/2005
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