Do you remember the cute little boy from Gulzar’s Parichay and Kitaab or Basu Chatterjee’s Chitchor? Well, Raju Shreshtha (who was called Master Raju then) is back — after bit roles — as a voiceover artiste in Ang Lee’s upcoming film.
Raju has appeared in more than 200 films so far but for some reason, he has stayed away from the limelight. The former child star recently provided the voice for Suraj Sharma’s eponymous role in the Hindi version of the film.
Interestingly, Raju admits he has no idea why the producers asked him to dub given the fact that Suraj is fluent in Hindi! “I have no clue. They just asked me to audition and after a couple of voice testing, I did my part. It’s interesting to be a voiceover artiste. Your voice becomes an actor for a change.”
The actor who has remained a part of the industry for more than four decades says, “I started at the age of four and I’m 45 today and I’m still acting. My last film was Maximum, co-starring Naseeruddin Shah. I’ve also been active in several TV soaps.”
Not many child actors managed to replicate success when they grew up but Raju disagrees and blames it on the burden that follows childhood stardom. “It’s a myth and it will break someday. Just like we used to think supermodels can’t act. Most of the actresses today were models not very long ago. Speaking of child actors, Sridevi, Urmila Matondkar, Sachin, Sarika and the others are successful, aren’t they?” points out the National Award winner.
Another feather in his cap?
Turns out the actor who has worked with everyone from Hrishikesh Mukherjee to David Dhawan is quite keen on direction.
In fact, he’s currently busy with his debut Punjabi film. “As of now, I’m editing the film and it will be good for release next year. Later, I’ll be moving to making Hindi films,” signs off Raju.