|The doughty little sardar Rajinder Singh a.k.a Lalith
I have been watching Lalith for the past few years because he is a regular at the ML Jaisimha Cricket Academy. He was one of the smallest kids there maybe four years ago, that it really surprises me to see him with a fledgling mustache now, fast growing into a teenager. But from the first day at nets one could make out that this boy is serious about his cricket, is respectful to both the coach and the game and is hardworking to boot. It is this very attitude of his that make shim a ready trier - he auditioned for the role and went through the entire shoot without a murmur - and I think its his steady attitude that makes him adjust easily to unfamiliar roles and be good at them as well.
'I thought there would be a lot of cricket matches and stuff sir,' says he. 'I never thought they would shoot like this - bit by bit, block by block.' He is the one guy who always wants to play a match, wants to practice, wants to play each and every ball as if he is in the nets (unlike the others who know what to do to look good in the shot). Lalith is now 13 and studies at Bolton High School, Secunderabad. His career ambitions are clear. He would like to become a cricketer and a pilot. What about acting? He says if he gets opportunities he will pursue it as well. Talk of being open to opportunities!
He loves his share of movies and stuff. He liked watching Leader, Aisha and This is it. He admires Hritik and Aishwarya and on the cricket field Sachin, who is his role model as well. 'I want to play for the Under 16 state,' he declares. 'I need to play leagues and get at least 3 to 4 hundreds in the season. I want to play Ranji by 16 and play for India by 20.' But he is going to keep his other option open as well. 'I will study MPC and then go to Australia to be a commercial pilot,' he says.
In his free time Lalith plays table tennis, cricket, goes swimming and watches Pogo. I learnt acting from the others on the sets he says. He is a real livewire and we have watched him change from a reserved young lad into a mischievous young man who gets along well with everyone on the sets. 'I learn how to talk to everyone and developed my social skills tremendously,' he says about his learning from the sets.
Lalith is immensely likeable because he comes across as an honest, straightforward young man who has the right intentions about him. His values, basics are right and he has a wonderful attitude of working hard, giving that extra bit and keeping a positive air about him. It was a huge relief to have him in the GHS side because he is the one cricketer apart from Sreeraj who trains regularly. And his attitude was there for all to see in the practice game we played with the 2 camera set up, he waded into the fast bowlers much as the Rajinder Singh in the book does (and these guys are fast and big) and hit them off for several boundaries. No one can forget his dive, on that rock hard Don Bosco ground, as he flew to save himself from being run out. That's Lalith for you, giving his 100% whether its a take or a monitor, enjoying the game by giving his best always. If there's a game to be played give it my 100% seems to be his motto. He was down with a mild sunstroke in the harsh summer but he never complained - just rested a bit and was back. I am really enjoying seeing this new side to him, his perpetual smile, his open and earnest talk and his constant mischief.
Can't hold back an attitude like that can you? He will do well, this Rajinder, whether he plays, flies, acts or whatever. And he will never think twice when it comes to doing the right thing.