Child artiste Avika Gor was presented with the Small Screen Princess Award at the WAVE Awards last night. The child bride from the Colors’ show, Balika Vadhu, says that her life remains unchanged with a string of awards in her kitty. "No one in school, my tuitions or the sets gives me any special treatment. My attitude hasn’t changed. If it had, everyone would have said I was a snob," says Gor.
The award honours women from different walks of life who have fought against women’s exploitation and violence. Does winning the award mean that she has to shoulder more responsibility?
She shoots back, “Even at 12-and-a-half, I’m a responsible child. I’ve always been that way. I didn’t need an award to be aware of my responsibilities,” says the actress, adding that her school friends and teachers will not treat her differently now.
Gor, currently an eighth grader, is going through her exams and shoots simultaneously. She claims to give enough attention to her studies. “We are having our revision tests now. My final exams will start a little later. I will take leave from my shoots for 15 days during my exams. So, I’m completing my scenes and patchwork. I don’t want to be disturbed during my exams,” states Gor.
Her father, actor Sameer Gor, helps her with mathematics and social studies and her mother takes care of the languages and sciences. Wonder if she helps her colleague, Avinash Mukherjee, who plays her husband on screen, with his studies. She replies, “We go to the same school. I always help him if he needs assistance. But we don’t study on the sets. That’s for home.”
Nothing grade about it
Considering that she’s a full-time actress, and a popular one too, does the ranking system in school put undue pressure on her? Gor says that her school only has grades, no marks or ranks. She adds, “Even if we were to have ranks, it wouldn’t have stressed me because I’m a good student. I focus on one thing at a time. I’ve got A’s throughout this year and earlier too, so I’m not worried about my grades this year as well.” A few months later, Gor will be in class nine, one of the crucial years in school. But this will not prompt her to quit the show, unless it gets too much.
She says, “I’m cool. The unit is very cooperative. My school has always supported Avinash and me. I don’t think we’ll have to quit the show next year, unless there are changes in the track or some unforeseen problems in school. I’ll take leave during my exams.”
On how her kiddie star friends deal with exam pressure, Gor says, “I speak to Sweeny Khara every day. We discuss studies over the phone. We have common interests - dolls and also our school subjects. I’ve always helped my friends with lessons before the exams. But I never help anyone in the examination hall. Imagine, if I get caught, everyone will say that TV’s princess is a cheater. I don’t want to be called a cheater,” she chuckles.