There’s something about Partho Gupte — the name itself might ring a bell. He is best remembered for his performance in Amole Gupte’s directorial debut, Stanley Ka Dabba, in which he emerged looking quite promising. He was nine years old during the making of the film. Interestingly, despite the overwhelming appreciation from critics in India and abroad, the fame does not seem to have gone to his head.
Actor Partho Gupte and Saqib Saleem in Hawaa Hawaai
What’s worth noting is that Partho didn’t sign a single film after Stanley Ka Dabba despite several offers. Apparently, he’s far more comfortable working with his father. In fact, his next film happens to be Amole’s second directorial venture, too. Titled Hawaa Hawaai, it has Partho playing a boy fond of inline skating while actor Saqib Saleem plays his coach. During the shooting, the two became friends and the Mere Dad Ki Maruti actor has only warm things to share about his young co-star. “He’s the finest child actor Hindi cinema has right now. The little chap won a National Award for his first film and I won’t be surprised if he repeats the feat. He’s indeed gifted,” says Saqib.
Partho, who turned 13 last week, comes across as somebody quite level-headed for his age. He is articulate and
comfortable enough to laugh at his own jokes. He regularly plays the guitar and considers acting as a means to freedom, not conformation. “To me, acting is like being water. You can take the shape of whatever you’re put into. I can convey happiness, sadness, anger, whatever as long as I’m provided the right direction,” says the Jamnabai Narsee School’s eighth-grade student.
Being well-versed with world cinema thanks to early exposure, Partho understands what is required of him on the sets. Maybe that’s why he claims to have had fun every single day. Besides, he doesn’t use the word ‘work’ for the amount of time spent shooting given Amole’s strict four-hours-only regimen. “I don’t really think about what’s going on or what I’m going to do when Dad goes ‘action’ because half of the time, I’m just having fun with kids my age. Like on the very first day of our shoot at Gokuldham, I, along with four other boys from the film, went missing just 10 minutes before the camera would roll. I’m sure the ADs (assistant directors) had a tough time because of us,” Partho smiles.
When asked about his future plans, he says the action, for him, lies behind it, not in front of it. “I want to be so many things when I grow up. I want to be a musician, though I also hope to become a director someday.” He pauses before continuing, “Oh, I want to be a marine biologist too as I’m fond of the sea and a zoologist because I love animals.”
Here’s a guy who has not got it all sorted out. And that’s a good thing.