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The curse of the child star

The curse of the child star
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Quick question: Where is master Mayur now? Doing a Google search? Don’t even know who this guy is? This is the famous child actor who in most Prakash...

Many kids who forayed into the hearts of audience with their cute performances on screen had failed to make a mark post their stint as child artistes

Quick question: Where is master Mayur now? Doing a Google search? Don’t even know who this guy is? This is the famous child actor who in most Prakash Mehra and some other movies played the kid Amitabh. So much that he started growing his hairstyle and mannerisms.

Big things were predicted for him. Nothing came true. Then the other notable one was the “Takbak takbak” cute girl from Masoom, once a rage with every Indian middle-class parent, we do not know where this girl is today.

Then we all know about that sweet brat of Home Alone – Macaulay Culkin – once the most famous kid face on the globe is now nowhere to be seen. There are many more I could count, the most notable was this young kid of ‘Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke’ and ‘Zakhm’, who returned years later as one of the pranksters in ‘Golmaal’ series and brooding movies like ‘Kalyug’. In that sense, you can say that Kunal Khemu and Urmila Matondkar are the only exceptions.

Somehow it is difficult to digest for us as the audience that the charming innocent twinkle-eyed girl or boy have matured into a more serious glum face which does look fresh but is nowhere near that cuddly innocent kid we knew and shared parental warmth with.

If you noticed, again in case of Kunal Khemu and Urmila they carefully disappeared from the screen for a long while before they made a comeback with bigger better roles. We do not know really what Kunal Khemu did post ‘Zakhm’ in 1998 and what Urmila did post ‘Masoom’ in the 1980s. They faded out, maybe as a deliberate strategy to come back with a bang.

Those who remained in our site never really evolved because the image of the child remained brutally strong in our minds. The most telling example is Ali Asgar who first became popular with India’s answer to Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ in a serial called ‘Ek Do Teen Chaar’. It took Ali Asgar one dogged performance after other and the phenomenal success of Kapil Sharma’s comedy show to come out of the image of that glutton kid who just loved to eat.

Some kid stars in my book were plain unfortunate. Like Alankar Joshi, if you were that kid who refuses to pick up the coin thrown at you after you have polished Jaichand’s shoes in ‘Deewar’ then try as hard as you might after growing up. People would not forget you. Assume, by a miracle they did and your next job was to get killed by Gabbar’s gun as the grandson of Thakur.

Then god almighty decides that both these movies released in the year 1975. Then try as hard as you might for the rest of your life you will either be the ziddi Vijay or the masoom potha (grandson) of the Thakur. Nothing else, so while in your childhood you enjoy the adulation by the time you understand that the adulation has struck around your neck as an unchangeable image it is too late.

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