Mumbai, Oct 24 (IANS) Eight-year-old Purav Bhandare swept the nation's critics and audiences off their feet with his endearing performance in 'Tahaan' and now he has been offered the pivotal role in Irish director Steve Barron's next film.
Of course, 'Tahaan' director Santosh Sivan is raving about the child prodigy.
'Steve came down looking for a boy of a particular age and personality. He knew about my work with kids in various films. I recommended another child from a film of mine. But Steve didn't like him. He immediately took to Purav when he met him,' Sivan told IANS.
Purav's father, Rajiv Bhandare, a dentist by profession, says 'Tahaan' has changed his son's life.
' 'Tahaan' has changed my son's life. I still remember how tough it was for us in the freezing climate of Kashmir. My wife Jigna, who's also a dentist, had to come back to Mumbai since we've two separate clinics to look after and we also have another son who's almost six. But I stayed with Purav throughout,' said Rajiv.
'By the end of the film everyone associated with 'Tahaan' knew my boy had done something special. And his rapport with the donkey was incredible. Purav became so friendly with Birbal (the donkey) he once spontaneously kissed the animal. I thought he would get kicked. But the donkey was my child's best friend.'
Barron's film is to be shot in Bangalore.
'Probably later this year. Fortunately, Purav is taking all the attention in the right spirit. Frankly, he's quite bored of it. He now tells me and his mother to attend the 'Tahaan' events on his behalf. He's tired of getting his cheeks pulled,' said Rajiv.
'Purav's studies won't suffer. He's a very bright boy. He stood 18th in the maths Olympiad. As for his natural acting talents, I've done some theatre in school. I don't know if that counts.'
Rajiv says questions about Darsheel Safary of 'Taare Zameen Par' fame disturb Purav.
'The only thing that puts him off is when mediapersons ask him about Darsheel Safary. Firstly, it takes him time to figure out who they're talking about. Then he's puzzled why he's being asked about another boy from another film.'