In the annals of Hindi cinema, instances of stellar performances from child actors are neither a new nor a rare phenomenon. It has been happening right from the days of black and white cinema, with names of stars like
Daisy Irani, baby Naaz or even baby Nanda coming to mind from that era. Many of these child stars had however lost their “child star” status after continuing or entering films in their grown up ages, with only a few names sticking to the mind as child stars. Darsheel Safary of “
Taare Zameen Par” fame, however, belongs to a totally different mould, as experienced movie goers would immediately admit. Most child actors in Hindi films, over the years, have portrayed or made to portray “puffed” up roles, where the innocence associated with a child had been sacrificed for theatrical needs. Moreover, in a majority of cases, the characters assigned were typically that of normal kids, portrayed either in circumstances of suffering or neglect on the one hand or in situations of parental pampering. Seldom, however, a child character has been portrayed in the rather deglamourised role of one suffering from an inherent internal disability. Here is one instance of a child character playing a rather mature role, if one can describe it as such. Volumes have been written about Darsheel’s acting in the film, but perhaps the best tribute came from one critic who said that ‘he did not act, he made us believe that he really was suffering from dyslexia!”
Yet, if one looks at his background, he had more inclinations towards dancing, rather than acting, being spotted from Shiamak Davar’s dance school by the discerning eyes of script writer Amol Gupte. Perhaps it was a coincidence that Darsheel’s father also had been a child star having appeared as the young Chanakya in the 1990 DD serial of that name. Currently trying to complete his studies in college, Darsheel had once confessed his desire to become a businessman or jewellery designer, in addition to pursuing his passion for dancing and singing. Now all of 19 years in 2015, Darsheel is not sure how he would like his acting career to proceed, although he has already acted in two films after “Tare Zameen Par”, including the historical “Midnight’s Children” in 2014.