"Being seen around too much as a child artiste could go against my aspirations to become a heroine"

Not so long ago, Miss Rolling Eyes Annu of Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand, Sweta Keswani had told me, "Hansika Motwani literally lights up Des Mein... She will go places." Boy, this 10-year old really does! Sometimes seasoned artistes too fail to give the correct expression in a scene, but Hansika has not erred in the same frame!

Hansika's histrionic abilities have been justified in just a span of two years. She has managed to make audiences sit up and take notice of her talent. An integral part of Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand and Shakalaka Boom Boom, of late Hansika has signed some new and exciting serials and films as well.

On her anvil is Mehul Kumar's Jaago, wherein she plays a 10-year old girl who is raped in a local train in Mumbai. Jaago is based on a real life incident that happened last year. Plus, she has signed the Amitabh-Dharmendra starrer Hum Kaun Hai and Dheeraj Kumar's Abra Ka Dabra.

Everything was going rosy for this kid, until a minor hiccup recently when she ceased to be a part of Balaji's Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

Dressed in casual frock, Hansika, accompanied by her mother, spoke to indiantelevision.com's
Vickey Lalwani about why she is no more in the Kyunki... family, and lots more.

Excerpts of the conversation:


What happened in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi? Yesterday, we saw that someone else has stepped into your shoes.

Yes, someone has. I opted out myself. One, I didn't have much footage in the serial. Two, even if I had one scene during the day, I had to wait for endless hours.

Recently, I have signed big films like Hum Kaun Hai, Abra Ka Dabra and Jaago. I have plum roles in these projects and cannot afford to imagine that big stars will be available as per my availability. Also, I am doing Aruna Irani's serial Tum Bin (Zee) and Zameen Se Aasman Tak (Sahara). To add to it all, my role in Shakalaka Boom Boom has been revised. So from now on I occupy center stage in the serial.


But why should you wait for endless hours? Does the same happen in Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand?

That's what I am saying. How can I cool my heels for no rhyme or reason? The same does not happen in Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand. In Des Mein..., the co-operation amongst the artistes is higher relatively.


Does this imply that you wouldn't do a Balaji tele-serial again?

Certainly not. I would love to do a Balaji serial again. But the role should be meaty enough. Then, the question of waiting a long time for my scene to be shot would not happen.

Are kids on television given a raw deal? I mean, is their availability taken into consideration or are they forced to comply with the dates of bigger stars?

During early days, these things do happen; kids are given a raw deal at places. But nowadays, my mother is adamant and vociferous that I am not made to run from here to there, at any date and any time.

Rewind. How did your journey in television and films start?

I am here, thanks to Juhi Chawla and my mom. They started it all. She is a skin specialist. Juhi Chawla was one of her clients. About two years ago, Juhi told my mom that she saw some acting spark in me which should not be ignored. That time, she was doing a Jignesh Shetty's film titled Yahoo directed by Sanjay Chhel, opposite Govinda. There was a vacancy for a kid's role; it required the kid to sing as many as three songs. With mom's permission, I went ahead to do it. Unfortunately, the film got stuck and has still not released.


So didn't the wheels clog?

Fortunately not. Thanks again to Juhi, I went on to do a commercial - Hyundai Santro. Shah Rukh Khan was doing it and the ad required a kid. Juhi and Shah Rukh are good friends. People noticed me in the Santro ad. Soon, I was signed for Rakesh Roshan's Koi Mil Gaya.

Within a short period of time, I started getting TV serials- Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Thi and Shakalaka Boom Boom. Recently, I did the film Hawa, but unfortunately it flopped. In a few days from now, you will see me in more films. The wheels are going at break-neck speed. Recently, I have been lots of ads- Ujala, Samsung Microwave, Onida AC, Bournvita... I love doing ads.


Did your dad have any objection to you joining the glamour world?

No. He is quite cool about it. He has cautioned me not to do anything wrong and he knows that I will never betray his trust. Besides, he knows mummy is with me.


Did you enjoy Koi Mil Gaya the most as there were many other kids around you?

(Smiles) Nothing like that. I have enjoyed working with big stars too. By nature, I am a very friendly girl who can sit between a group of elders and yet feel at home. But yes, being with many kids most of the time in Koi Mil Gaya was a slightly different feeling. Above all, it was a great learning experience to work with Hrithik Roshan. He was always there to give me suggestions and alternatives. There were scenes where I could have said a particular thing in two or three ways. I used to ponder a while. He used to decide in a flash what would suit the best. The results are there for all to see. Koi Mil Gaya is a big hit.


How do you adjust between school and shoots?

I normally shoot after 2 pm only. My school gets over by 1 pm. My mom and I request the producers to keep my scenes after 2 pm. We reserve the Saturdays and Sundays for commercials. Most of the the time, they oblige us. At times when the morning shoot is unavoidable or the shot has to be taken on an out-station location, I bunk school for that period of time.


If you bunk, how do you catch up with studies?

I have a tutor coming to me on the sets. In between shots, he teaches me. Touch wood, I am a good student. I get about 93 per cent marks.


"Even if I had one scene in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhie Bahu Thi during the day, I had to wait for endless hours"


How did you adjust your studies when you went to Canada for about two months for Koi Mil Gaya?

Such a long absence has happened just once so far. A great many thanks to my principal Ms Vandana Lulla. I was given special permission to give my examination at a later date. Question papers were kept aside for me.


What difference have you felt while facing the TV lights and the film lights?

Nothing except the sight that the cameras being used and the co-stars around me are different in both mediums. I have not felt any difference in the quantity and quality of output that I am required to give.


How do you manage the difficult scenes?

Till now, no scene has proved difficult for me. I have never fallen flat, not even stumbled. Maybe I am a born actress. I have a knack of picking up the nuances of the characters. The rest follows naturally.


"My mother is adamant and vociferous that I am not made to run from here to there at any date and time during shoots"

The general assumption about child artistes is that their parents enact the scene and the children just copy them. How do you manage?

It's a myth. Today's kids are far smarter than those of yesteryears. Besides, it's not too difficult to act. I guess that I enjoy acting so much that everything happens quite smoothly for me.
"Once I get into seven standard, I will stop working at least till my ten standard board exams are over"

Don't you get tired with such a hectic life at such a small age?

No. There is a lot of time between the shots I utilise to catch up on sleep. My mom is generally around, so she takes lots of care in ensuring that I am not subjected to any difficulty.


What happens to your mother's practice if she is generally around?

As I told you, I rarely shoot in the mornings. So Mummy does her practice in the morning. For evenings, she has appointed another doctor who can manage the clinic if and when she is accompanying me to the shoots. As and when I am not shooting in the evenings, Mummy is in her clinic. She is very particular about her work.


What is the reaction of your classmates towards you? Have they changed after seeing you so much in television and films?

Not at all. On the contrary, I have more boys and girls coming to me and wanting to be my friend. I guess it depends on the person. If the person has not changed, the people around him generally don't. I am treated like any other normal child- by my classmates and teachers as well. Thank God for that. Besides, today, those days are over when people used to go crazy or start feeling jealous and term him as snobbish if he was someone from television and films. Today, being in this line, is like being in just any other line.


Any bad experiences? Say, you were not paid for your work?

Not yet. Anyway, my entire money is getting deposited and collected in a trust in my name. When I attain 18 years of age, it would be passed on to me.

What else?

Once I get into seven standard, I will stop working at least till my ten standard board exams are over.


Yeah. I want to concentrate on academics for the next four years. Besides, being seen around too much as a child artiste could go against my aspirations to become a heroine. I don't want to be over-exposed. I will retain my own personality and not imitate anybody, but yes, I want to become as famous as Aishwarya Rai!

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