: To some, the character of a precocious nine-year-old who goes by the name Sexy in
is just one in a long list of assaults on good taste: for god’s sake, look at all those tiny tots covered in make-up on the idiot box! To others, she is just a child tackling cancer in a charmingly upbeat fashion.
2005: Debuting in Deepa Mehta’s Water to international acclaim, Sarala Kariyawasam plays a nine-year-old widow who is mindlessly consigned to an austere ashram for the “sin” of having lost her husband. Testifying to the amazing potential of child actors, Sarala learnt Hindi and English in just a few weeks.
1998: Selected from among 200 children to play King Khan's daughter in Karan Johar’s directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Sana Saeed wowed Gen X as little matchmaker extraordinaire. A more updated version of her character can be seen in Aaja Nachle, where Madhuri’s daughter slickly palms over mum’s cell number to a cool suitor.
1990: Until Taare Zameen Par, the most “disturbed” child character in Indian cinema was perhaps sketched out in Mani Ratnam’s Anjali, showing an autistic child winning over resistant hearts and minds. Or perhaps the kudos should go to Black or rather its deaf, blind and distressed young Michelle McNally.
1982: As an adult, his acting career never amounted to much. But young Jugal Hunsraj packed a powerful punch as an illegitimate misfit in Masoom.
1978: Debuting as the Big B’s childish avatar in Muqaddar ka Sikander, Mayur Verma went on to reprise the angry “young” man in Lawaris and Bemisaal.