Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vasudev Sastry a.k.a. Ramesh - Your Perfect 13 year Old, Golconda High School

Meet Vasudev Sastry who plays the role of the cinema crazy medium pacer Ramesh  in Golconda High School. First look at him and you know that here is a typical 13 year old living a 13 year old's life - school, games, movies, television, food and fun. Currently studying in the 8th class in HPS Ramanthapur, the tall, well built and handsome young man is one of the few trained cricketers in the bunch. And typical to Vasu, he is hardly ever found with the crew. He is quite happy playing and chatting with his friends and just living the moment.
Vasu a.k.a Ramesh at the shooting of GHS

The first time when we assessed the boys at the nets we spotted that here was a boy who had all his basics right. He has a good action for a fast bowler and all his basics are in place whether it is batting, bowling or fielding. Surprisingly he has not yet played for his school but he says that he would be going for selections this year. He has trained at the Sarojini Cricket Club run by my friend Kiran Redy, who is the older brother of my good pal and MCC team mate in years gone by, Praveen Reddy. And Kiran has done a good job and deserves all credit for putting all the basics for Ramesh in place. In fact Ramesh says he was picked up by the casting crew of Golconda High School when they  went to  Sarojini Coaching Camp at RTC X Roads. Satyam who is popularly known as ASN, the chief AD, spotted Vasu and so began his story. Vasu auditioned for Mikey, Varun and Vikas and finally settled for the role of Ramesh which I think fits him well.

Vasu lived his childhood in Pune where his father worked before relocating back to Hyderabad to set up his own business of dealing in construction equipment. He has an older brother Mahadev, who studies in the tenth class in HPS, Ramanthapur as well (and is very keen on direction and story writing already!). Though Ramesh has not acted before in commercials or movies as most of the other boys have, he avers that he was always interested in acting and has participated in school dramas and plays. But facing the camera for the first time was something that made him 'nervous, but then after a while I was okay...'

His friends keep popping up beside us as we talk. 'Sir, he loves eating,' says one. 'Eating is his main hobby sir,' says another and he shoos them away. Since there is so much talk of food I ask him what he likes and he says without batting an eyelid - Chinese sir. He also gave a go ahead for the food on the location and said it was good!

Ramesh does have his favourite actors in Hritik, Mahesh Babu, Katrina Kaif and Kajal Agarwal. Pokiri, Athadu and Magadheera head the list of movies he likes. He does have vague ideas of pursuing acting at some stage. Maybe get into FTII he says which is so similar to the character he plays. 'I'd train to become a better cricketer certainly,' he says, 'but I have no ambition in cricket though.' He admires Sachin, Sehwag in cricket and David Villa in soccer which is another game he plays.

When we had made the sides play a small cricket match in real time, just to check if we could shoot it that way, Vasu was elected with Mikey to play the fearsome fast bowling of Srikant Raju and Parvez of Everglades. I was really apprehensive about how these rookies would handle such experienced campaigners. And boy, were these guys good! They handled the pace with aplomb, getting the ball away for fours and sixes in the Don Bosco  ground comfortably. So heckled were the two premier fast bowlers from the opposite team that they threw Baig saab's caution to bowl within limits to these rookies and bowled flat out. But even then the kids were up to the task and I remember Vasu specially playing them square and to thirdman with comfort, without backing away to the square leg! Similarly, when he had to bowl a ball and beat the batsman (Sumanth) I showed him a particular grip which would take the ball out and might help in beating the bat. Vasu heard it out and bowled the perfect leg cutter that beat the bat and took the off stump. But when he came back and I asked him if he had realised what he had done, the answer was typically Vasu - dreamy and vague - No sir. But that is so typical of his age anyway and I was pretty much like that when I was his age.

'My best friends here are Suraj (Vikas), Sriraj (Nissar) and Nikhil (Karthik),' he says. When I ask him what he learnt from this experience he was very articulate. He said - 'Waking up on time, discipline, interacting with people, seeing new places...' Pretty good!

And life goes on for Vasu. With computer games, facebook and chatting, some cricket and some football, some Chinese food and friends and some movies. Good luck Vasu in all that you endeavour to do and may you carry that same happy-go-lucky attitude all through your life. It is a good way to 'sing success to you'.


Unknown said...

Harimohan garu, I am vasu's mother and after reading this blog couldn't resist writing back.I am so proud to read it as it comes from ur pen. One main thing that connected me so well to this blog is " happy go lucky" attitude.
U identified it so well abt him. As mother I am myself constrained to operate from my parent EGO state with him for the "HAPPY and EASY MOM "attitude he shows.

And i wonder how well u idnetified his dreamy and imaginative attitude so well!!!!!

Harimohan said...

Jyotsna garu, thanks for commenting on the blog. These are my honest impressions of the boys from the days I spent with them - they are a really fine bunch. Vasu's 'happy go lucky' attitude however, I suspect, belies a highly competitive person inside. Which is all very well for him. Hoping that all his hard work bears fruit and brings him, and all of you who supported him, great success. And the same goes to all the other boys as well! Thanks again.

Unknown said...

Harimohan garu, I am Vasudev's babai and I was very happy to read the honest impressions compiled by you. I have seen vasudev growing up and he is one guy whom I admire for his focus on his priorities. Yes. you are right on the " happy go lucky attitude ". Also, he very well knows when and where to focus his energies. This feature I really like about him at this tender age of his.

Harimohan said...

Dear Badarinath garu, glad you liked the post on Vasu. And with so much love and support from all of you, I am sure Vasu and his brother, can aim and reach for the stars. Thanks for posting your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Harimohan gaarU,

I have landed on this blog when I was looking for reviews of the film GHS. (I couldn't watch the film because it's not released in Chicago, where I currently am.) I kind of envy you that you have been able to see "your" characters in flesh and blood and that you could interact with and possibly even feast upon the energies and enthusiasm of the teens.

Sai Srinivas is the only boy that I interacted with among the "team", randomly finding him on Facebook on Kalyani Malik's "Wall". I look forward to reading about him too. (Vasudev's is the first I read, and I'd read the rest too now.)

I look forward to reading your books soon as I can, and I'd hope to meet you when I come to India later this year.

Kiran a.k.a. NaChaKi (of TeluguCinema.Com)

Harimohan said...

Hi Kiran,
Sorry for the late reply but life's been a whirl here for the past few days. The movie is out and is now charting its rightful course. Please do read my books and let me know what you thought of them too.
Yeah, it's been fun watching the making of the movie and even more fun to see the happiness on the faces of these youngsters at the way the movie has turned out. Look forward to meeting you when you come to India.