Sharad Goyekar, winner of the National Award for Best Child Artist in 2009 for Tingya, is all set to make a comeback after nine years. For the child-artist-turned director, the past nine years have been marked with a series of setbacks.
Though the success of Tingya earned Goyekar overnight fame, it didn’t materialise into more work for him. However, putting his past behind, Goyekar is all set to make a splash with his directorial debut, Babya.
Tingya, a 2008 Marathi-language film, was the directorial debut of Mangesh Hadawale. The movie was based on the life of a rural boy and his love and friendship with his bull. Besides Goyekar, the film featured Shahir Vitthal Umap, Sunil Deo, Chitra Nawathe, Ajit Gawande, Tarannum Pathan and Inesh Chauhan.
“Immediately after the success of Tingya, I was adopted by one Patil family in Pune, wherein they took the responsibility of sponsoring my education. For two years, I stayed at Sinhagad Springdale Residential Public School. Though many film offers came my way in the initial years, I could not take them up because I had to focus on education. Later, there were no offers. Finally, I decided to make my own film,” says 19-year-old Goyekar, who’s also playing the lead role in Babya.
Though after Tingya, his life could have changed in ways more than one, it di’n’t happen. Neither did he get any films nor was he able to finish his studies like normal kids. When Goyekar was in Class 6, his parents had a fallout with the Patil family and he had to leave the school.
Later, he studied at Shramjivi School in Pimpri Chinchwad. However, he quit the school when he was in Class 9 and shifted back to his village. He appeared in Class 10 exams from Open School in 2015. For the past three years, he has been running two kitchen-trolley shops in Shirur and Pune.
Looking back at the years gone by, he says, “One can only mature with age. At the age of 14 or 15, one cannot take mature and calculated decisions. No one was there to guide me. I don’t want to blame my parents, the Patil family or even myself for whatever happened in the past. A lot of negative things were also reported about me in the media. However, with the encouragement of my friends, who showed faith in my acting skills, I am starting a new life now and don’t want to think about the past,” says Goyekar.
With Babya, Goyekar’s life has come a full circle. He belongs to the shepherd community and the film he’s making also deals with the lives of the community. It shows how, because of their nomadic lifestyle, the kids of the community are deprived of education and career like normal children.
“I chose this subject because being from the community, I can relate to it. However, it is not based on my life,” he says.
Goyekar adds that though Tingya’s success did not give him more work, the fame did help him find a producer for Babya, “It is because of Tingya that people are still showing faith in me. So far, everything has been going smooth with the film, which is in the post-production stage and is shot in Rajuri, Dhavalpuri and Malshej Ghat. After such a long gap, I am enjoying being in front of the camera again. I am very stubborn by nature. Though I was unhappy and depressed a few years ago, I decided to bounce back,” says Goyekar, adding that he plans to study further after his film releases around Diwali.
Tingya’s director, Mangesh Hadawale, who knows Goyekar from the time when he was just seven years, says, “He was too young to handle all the attention he received after Tingya. But now, it is time that he forgets his past and focuses on his present. Whatever he is doing now, he should do it with full sincerity.”