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The young and the famous : Article

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CeruleanSky

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Posted: 20 November 2008 at 8:54am | IP Logged
A recent study reveals that most kids want to be famous on television and be rich rather than have good looks or travel abroad
Ajanta toothpaste papa ka, mummy ka, aur ajanta mera…." Ask Swini Khare about her first assignment and chances are that she'd sing out the entire jingle to you to give you an instant reference point. She did the Ajanta assignment when she was barely four. Khare, now ten, has to her credit amongst several others projects Cheeni Kum and Baa, Bahu aur Baby. Cheeni Kum is also one of her favourite assignments. "It was fun to work with Amit uncle and it was challenging to play the role of a child suffering from Cancer," she explains, adding that she also immensely enjoyed Jara Nachke Dikha, her first reality show. Khare, least said, speaks like a veteran. Thoroughly in love with her job, she is keeping her fingers crossed for her future releases — Paathshala and Kaalo. And why? "Everyone wants to be famous. Why, don't you want to be," quips the star who wants to grow up to be an astronaut like Kalpana Chawla. She "hates it when people pull her cheeks but doesn't mind the fame at all".

That's one statement her peers would also endorse, if a survey done by Nick is any indication. A recently commissioned research by the channel reveals that most kids want to be famous on television and be rich rather than have good looks or travel abroad for holidays. Even owning the best gadget doesn't charm them enough. "2,300 kids took the survey and the results, though not alarming, are certainly a little surprising. In fact, even having good looks found low priority with most kids, with less than 10 per cent opting for it. And a holiday abroad appealed to just 14 per cent of them. Most votes, more than 31 per cent, went to kids becoming famous on television, followed by 24 per cent just wanting to be rich," says Kashmira Gandhi, Marketing Head, Nick India.

Eleven-year-old Avika Gor of Balika Vadhu fame too loves recognition. After charming her viewers with her fluent dialogue delivery and perfect diction in her role as a child bride, she wishes to become Miss Universe some day. "I love modelling," says Gor who enjoys the attention she draws from people. "It feels good when people recognise me and appreciate my work," she adds.

10-year-old Amey Pandya is no different. Standing tall at 4ft 3 inch, Pandya 'loves to act, sing and dance.' The Surf Excel star till date draws compliments for his 'daag achche hain' ad.

Fairy tales apart, the story behind the scene is definitely intriguing. In many instances, it is the aspirations of the parents which is the driving force behind the child. "We get several enquiries from parents each day. They think that their kid is talented and therefore stands a good chance in Bollywood or the small screen. Surprisingly, a lot of parents from places like Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Ghaziabad call us up. They want to see their children on screen," says Ashok Pareek, Director, Glamour Hunt Communications. Pareek helps them get in touch with production houses and also offers them web space and portfolio services — for a cost of course. But it is not as simple as it sounds. A modest portfolio costs between Rs 7,000 and

Rs 15,000 and needs to be constantly updated — given that the kids grow and change physically very fast. The lucky few who do manage a break earn Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000 each day.

But, are we able to read between the lines? Is the trend healthy? "To have children as part of the tinsel town glitterati is not really a problem … only as long as age-appropriate-responsible-behaviour is not compromised. But the children, like young adults, are discovering it as a shortcut to success and that is where the problem lies," says Dr Jitender Nagpal, psychiatrist, adding that the role of parents therefore is crucial. "Usually, the shelf-life of tinsel town success is very less. The parents must help the child make informed choices. It is not right if a 6-year-old, following a victory in a reality show, wants to quit studies to pursue a career in music. Apart from acquiring a set of skills, it is important to help the child complete basic education so he has alternative options in future. There must be something to engage him later on. Otherwise he may develop behavioural problems get aggressive and even fall into depression." Nagpal also hints at the problem of precocious social maturity. Possibly a reason why Nick decided "not to hold any auditions for kids aspiring to become 'Toon Jockeys'. Possibly also why Gor, Khare and Pandya have not neglected studies at all. You would often find them studying in between the shots, on the sets. "I get the best scholar award every year at school," chirps Khare, who has been consistent in scoring 90 percentile. Quite a lesson here to be learnt for the kids who just 'wanna be famous'.

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Shikhoo

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Posted: 20 November 2008 at 8:57am | IP Logged
thanks.......

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