|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'.