No Child’s Play

Can we talk now as I have to get back to my studies for my Board exams?” came a polite request from actor Parzaan Dastur when we contacted him.

Written by Pallavi Jassi | Published: March 11, 2009 3:30 am

Parzaan Dastur of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Ayesha Kapur of Black have grown up and are ready with their debut as adults

Can we talk now as I have to get back to my studies for my Board exams?” came a polite request from actor Parzaan Dastur when we contacted him. Dastur was six-years-old when he counted the stars in a scene for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. His performance as the bright turbaned Sikh boy and the only dialogue he spoke — “Tussi ja rahe ho? Tussi na jao.” was an instant hit with the audiences.

But Dastur is no longer a child artiste as he returns to the screen as the male lead for the first time in Piyush Jha’s Sikandar. “I have been part of almost seven films and many commercials as a child artiste. But I’d say this is the first where I have long dialogues and I’m really excited about it,” says Dastur,17,who started out at the age of four as the jalebi boy in an oil commercial. Portraying the role of a 14-year-old Kashmiri boy whose life takes a dramatic turn when he comes across a gun on his way back from school,Dastur is not worried about taking up serious cinema. “I’ve done serious role in Parzaania as well but it wasn’t as much. Sikandar is an offbeat subject to start with but more importantly it is a great story that needed to be told. It is about the life of many young Kashmiri boys,” explains Dastur.

Dastur is paired opposite Ayesha Kapur,who created a sensation with her no-dialogue performance as the young Michelle McNally in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black four years ago. “Black didn’t have any dialogues so it wasn’t difficult but for this film Hindi was my main challenge. Since I didn’t know the language at all,I spent a lot of time learning it and reading the script while all my friends would go out and have fun,” says 14-year-old Kapur,who’s born to an Indian father and a German mother and lives in the seaside town of Auroville in Pondicherry. “I hadn’t taken up any films after Black although I received some offers for typical commercial Telugu films. But this script is the first to excite me,” says Kapur,who plays Nasreen— Dastur’s friend in the film. The 35-day shoot took place in Pehlgam in Kashmir with actors Sanjay Suri and R Madhavan.

Though Dastur and Kapur are all admiration for each others proficiency,they have other plans apart from acting. While it’s education for Kapur,it’s music for Dastur. “I might be going to the US to study further. I’m not shifting to Mumbai for movies for sure,” says Kapur,whose day is usually packed with plans with friends,horse-riding and writing. Dastur,however,reveals,“I’ve been playing the piano for 11 years and have taken the exams for Trinity College. I compose my own music too. So I’m open to doing all the creative work which depends heavily on the kind of chance one gets.” But before that,Dastur gets back to studying for his Boards while Kapur heads out for riding practice.

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