Little big SUPERSTARS
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Azaan Ali Khan, 6
Instant recall: Azaan is the "Googly Woogly Woosh" kid in the Ponds cold cream ad.
CV: Ads for Dukes Wafers, Ponds cold cream, Singapore Tourism, Nerolac Paints, Dettol, Onida TV, Samsung, Lloyd air-conditioners, Hutch, Reliance, Dabur Lal toothpaste, Gayatri Mantra. Azaan has also acted in television serials Kahin Toh Hoga and Ek Chaabi Hain Pados Mein and in a Vishal Bharadwaj-directed documentary on the Mumbai floods.
Coming up: Roles in films Lori and We Love You Pappe.
Azaan's story: When Azaan was little over two years old, he made his intention clear. "He would insist on wearing Shahluk waali pant and would touch the television screen whenever Shah Rukh was on screen," says mom Roma. Family members insisted that they try their luck in Mumbai. So Azaan's parents—his father is a businessman—moved bag and baggage from Delhi. In just two months Azaan got the Ponds campaign, which was a hit. More commercials followed and he became one of the most recognised faces on television. Azaan, who has just been promoted to Class I at Santacruz's Poddar School, is quite selective about what he wants to be seen in. He just refused a role in Balaji soap Kasamh Se because as Azaan says, "I like doing ads more."
Favourite assignment: Parle's Hide n' Seek commercial with Hrithik Roshan. "Hrithik uncle said ki tumhare baal bilkul mere jaise soft hain (Hrithik uncle said your hair is as soft as mine)," he gushes.
"My body is like Salman Khan but I look like Shah Rukh Khan."
When I grow up: "I want to be a pilot."
What I want for my next birthday: "An ad with my favourite actor Shah Rukh Khan."
Parent trap: Says mom Roma: "Azaan ki aankhon mein bahut kuch dikhayi deta hai."
Did you know: In ad circles, Azaan is known as chhote Shah Rukh.
Shriya Sharma, 9
Instant recall: The girl in the Asian Paints ad who eggs her brother to paste pictures of animals on the walls to make a zoo. "Bindaas kaat," she says with authority. When the parents call up, pat comes the reply, "Pata nahi Chintoo kuch cutting-shutting kar raha hai." This pert, young imp is also the Whirlpool girl.
CV: Ads for Colgate, Whirlpool, Clinic Plus, Nirma, Santoor soap, Asian Paints, Sunfeast Pasta, HDFC, Punjab National Bank. Shriya has also acted in Hindi soaps Kasauti Zindagi Kay, Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate and Telugu film Jai Chiranjeeva.
Coming up: Yash Raj Films' Laaga Chunari Mein Daag.
Shriya's story: She made her first appearance on television as a four-year-old in a small segment in the Say Na Something to Anupam Uncle. The response was tremendous. This prompted her father Vikas Sharma, an engineer, to get her portfolio made. She was rejected in eight auditions until she was signed to play the lead in the disputed TV show Kanhaiya. Her role in Kasauti got her an Indian Telly Award for the Best Child Artiste.
Favourite assignment: The Asian Paints ad. "Even I make drawings of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and paste them on my cupboard."
When I grow up: "I haven't decided."
"Ajay uncle and Kajol aunty played lots of games with me during the Whirlpool ad."
What I want for my next birthday: "An ad with Amitabh Bachchan."
Parent trap: "When Shriya was younger, she used to cry if we didn't let her participate in a stage event," says Vikas.
Did you know: The Himachal Pradesh (her parents are from the state) government has given her the Pride of Himachal award.
Chinky Jaiswal, 6
Chinky Jaiswal, 6
Instant recall: Best known as Bhoomi of Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.
CV: Ads for Colgate, Brooke Bond Red Label, Santro, Dominos Pizza, Kingfisher, Stayfree, Liberty Shoes. Chinky is somewhat of a television soap veteran with appearances in Kyunkii.., Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, Virasat, Kulvadhu, Kumkum, Durgesh Nandini and Prithviraj Chauhan.
Coming up: Role in David Dhawan's film Partner.
Chinky's story: Friends persuaded Chinky's mother Anju to get her daughter's portfolio done. After the Colgate ad, there was no stopping this perky child. Though she started with ads, Chinky has really taken the small screen by storm.The winner of two Indian Telly Awards for the Best Child Artiste enjoys acting. "Main mummy ke saath practice karti hoon aur jab mujhe rona hota hai toh main real mein roti hoon. I don't use glycerine," she says. Chinky has a theory about why she's so popular, "Mere cheeks itne chubby hain na," laughs the Class II student of Poddar School. What she doesn't like about stardom: her friends are too awestruck. "My friends say ki Chinky please hamein bhi Prithviraj Chauhan mein kaam dila do na. I'm so bored."
Favourite assignment: Chinky enjoyed acting with Shah Rukh Khan in the Santro commercial.
"Salman (Khan) uncle calls me Madonna."
When I grow up: "I want to be Principal ma'am."
What I want for my next birthday: "An ad with Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor."
Parent trap: Says Anju, "Because of Chinky, I can't bargain in shops. They all know her as Bhoomi so it's very embarrassing to bargain."
Did you know: Chinky's real name is Vaishnavi.
THE GALLANT MUD-FIGHTER
Amey Pandya, 8
Instant recall: The kid in the Surf Excel ad who picks up a fight with a muddy puddle into which his sister has fallen. "Sorry bol raha hai…." he says after a flurry of punches does the trick. Did we hear you say, "cho chweet" again?
CV: Ads for Dabur Honey, Sunfeast, Dabur Chavanshakti, Savlon and Alpenliebe. Amey has also acted in television soaps Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai and Kesar. He recently made his film debut in Sooraj Barjatya's Vivaah.
Coming up: Film roles in David Dhawan's Partner, Yash Raj Films' Laaga Chunari Mein Daag and a forthcoming Ajay Devgan production.
Amey's story: It was on the insistence of his teachers at the Children's Academy at Kandivali that Amey's parents decided that he should give advertising a shot. "He was very confident and eager to participate in stage shows. So we decided to try advertising. After the Surf Excel ad, there has been no looking back for Amey," says dad Anil, a software engineer. The ad got him the 2006 ABBY award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, the Lowe-Lintas Best Performer Award 2005 and a role in Vivaah.
Favourite assignment: Amey enjoyed shooting the Dabur Honey commercial with Amitabh Bachchan the most. "Amitabhji was great fun. He said I'm very cute,"he says.
When I grow up: "I want to be a software engineer."
What I want for my next birthday: "I want to meet Hrithik Roshan."
Parent trap: Says dad Anil, "Amey is successful because he has great managerial qualities like patience, team spirit, confidence and takes initiative. You pit him against Amitabh Bachchan and even then he'll do his job confidently."
Did you know: The first child artiste in the country to have his personal website: www.ameypandya.com
THE KBC KID
Shrey Bawa, 4
Instant recall: Shrey is the child who just can't stop asking questions in the 130-second clip in Kaun Banega Crorepati's Kuch Sawaal Zindagi Badal Saktey Hain campaign. His line, "Muli ke Paranthe," is a huge hit.
CV: Ads for Britannia Milk Bikies, Bharati Aksa Insurance and the KBC commercial.
Coming up: Ads like Nestle Milk, Vim Bar and TVS bike
Shrey's story: His playschool teacher was the first to point out his unmistakable star quality. "Shrey would always stand apart in class pictures. We decided to try him in ads just for lark," says mom Nimisha, a homemaker (dad's a businessman). Shrey might be just four but he's extremely quick-witted, a quality the KBC promo team was looking for. In his introduction in the audition, Shrey declared, "I like Shah Rukh because I have a dimple just like him." When he met SRK for a photo shoot, he asked him innocently, "How many times will they click our pictures? Aren't they tired? And aren't you tired of smiling?" SRK won't forget Shrey in a hurry. The ad has made Shrey an overnight celebrity.
Favourite assignment: The KBC commercial, of course. Shrey loves it so much that he starts rattling his lines from the promo even before you can ask him to.
When I grow up: "I'll do everything when I grow up."
What I want for my next birthday: "I want Playstation and a laptop. You understand, don't you? I don't want a computer but a laptop."
Parent trap: Says Nimisha, "Cuteness apart, Shrey is special because he is very spontaneous and a people's person."
Did you know: If you Google Shrey Bawa, you get 365 web pages.
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