Suhaib Ahmed may have grabbed the attention of millions by playing a young Aamir Khan in the blockbuster 3 Idiots, but the nine-year-old’s heart lies elsewhere. The child actor from Leh, instead of cashing in on the success, wants to become an ice-hockey player.
“I play football and cricket but I like ice-skating the most. Last year, I attended an ice-hockey camp in Leh and loved it. I want to become a very good ice-hockey player,” says Suhaib, currently enjoying a vacation in New Delhi. “I have won a prize in an ice-skating competition in Ladakh and want to win many more,” he adds.
Rajesh, the assistant director of the movie, spotted Suhaib in Leh while looking for a kid with Mongolian features who could be a young Aamir Khan. “Rajesh took some of Suhaib’s snaps to Mumbai where director, Raj Kumar Hirani, and Aamir zeroed in on him,” recalls Suhaib’s father, Bashir Ahmed.
“Initially, we had no clue that Suhaib was playing Aamir in the movie. But, in our second meeting, we were informed about the role and that made us extremely excited,” adds Bashir, an assistant drug controller in Leh and Kargil.
Suhaib’s scenes were shot in Ladakh, Shimla and Chail between September 2008 and June 2009 but the final shots used in the movie are from Shimla. “Though there are no theatres in Leh and Ladakh, Suhaib is approached by passers-by whenever he ventures out. He is so shy that he has stopped going out these days,” says Bashir, who is also the general secretary of the Ladakh Winter Sports Club.
Suhaib’s magical moment: “When I shook hands with Aamir and he asked me about my school and friends. I told him I had watched Taare Zameen Par,” says Suhaib.
“Though I have got an offer from a leading advertising company, I want to be a scientist and a good ice-hockey player,” says Suhaib.