In the early years of television in India, a certain chubby-faced
Master Bittu was cast to add that cutesy element to shows. Or a
pretty-looking Baby Guddi who viewers could adore. Few episodes into
the serial, their role was restricted to a bare minimum or they grew up
to be the main protagonist. But in recent times, the responsibilities
of child artistes have increased manifold. "They are the backbone of
our script and they can carry the entire serial on their tender
shoulders," says Arun Mavnoor, director of Main Teri Parchayi Hoon on
NDTV Imagine, a serial which narrates the plight of three children
after the death of their mother.
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Megha Gupta who plays Aanchal in the same show has a similar view
but she feels this sudden transition towards performance-oriented roles
for children is because of advancement of television in India. "Today,
directors want to capture all kinds of emotions and they want character
to be uniquely different from each other," says Gupta. Bigg Boss 2 Updates
While children these days are required to laugh, cry and fight in
serials, Colors' show Balika Vadhu deals with a more mature topic, that
of child marriage. "While there have been roles written for children of
late, this is the first serial that actually has children playing lead
roles and addressing the age-old problem of child marriage," says
Sunjoy Wadhwa, producer of Balika Vadhu. Wadhwa also praises the
maturity and dedication these tiny tots exhibit. "You don't have to
repeat the scene to them. They listen very attentively to you and grasp
every detail. In fact it is easier working with them." LIVE Sensex - World Market
Mavnoor talks about the special needs one has to bear in mind
before having children as part of their cast. "When you have really
young kids, playing major roles, one must make sure that they are
provided food on time. Adequate rest and sleep are also a must."
But these young guns are not main protagonists for nothing. They
work as hard as the adults in the unit. Nine-year-old Aditansh, who
plays the role of Ayush in Main Teri... puts in 12 to 14 hours of
shooting per day. "It is very difficult to manage shooting and school.
But I make sure I study whenever I get the time," he says, adding,
"Initially it was tough mouthing dialogues, but all the senior actors
were very supportive and helped me out."
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If you thought performances are restricted to just soaps, then you
must watch Amey Pandya and Swini Khare perform on the reality dance
show Zara Nachke Dikha. "They are more talented than the older members
of the team. Their raw energy and enthusiasm just makes you feel that
there is more competition than ever before," says Ali Asgar, the
captain of the boys' team on the show. 11 Jodis of Nach Baliye 4
Having children on a show also lightens the atmosphere on the sets.
"Playing with them and listening to their stories could have you
rolling on the floor with laughter," says Gupta. Wadhwa agrees, "But at
times when they are unwell, it does take a toll on the entire unit."