Ramayan has leapt into the phase in which Sita is sent off on another spell of vanvas. This is when she gives birth to Luv and Kush. Rishab Sharma and Perin Monish Malde, 11 and nine years old respectively, will play the two little princes.
The older of the two, Rishab, is preparing for his Class Five exams (which wrap up by the next weekend) while Perin has been promoted to Class Four.
“The production house only shoots on weekends,” says Rishab. Perin can’t stop gushing about his school results: “I passed all my papers with good marks. Sangeeta Miss was very happy.”
The Sagars who produce the mythological soap for NDTV Imagine, had to sift through several tests before they zeroed in on the duo.
Rishab states that he got on board after only one audition. Perin’s turn, however, came only after several
other boys had been screened for the role. The two boys have become good friends in the course of their shoots at Baroda.
“We love playing football and badminton in between shots,” smiles Rishab.
It does get rather hot during the day-long shoot schedules but the children have their own ways of combating
“My mother wraps an ice-cold wet towel around me.. phir garmi nahin lagti. Aur main juice bhi peeta hoon,” says Perin.
Rishab glugs nimboo sharbat in between shots. “Udhar bahut garmi hai,” he sighs.
The school buddies of both boys are excited to see them on the tube though Perin bashfully adds that his friends aren’t
exactly “jumping up and down.”
“My friends say, ‘Tu toh TV pe chhaa gaya,” grins Rishab. His classmates help him out with homework and teachers are supportive too.
Perin’s long-haired appearance on TV, according to his friends, makes him look very different. “When I’m in my colony, everyone introduces me again saying, ‘Yeh Perin hi hai. lambe baal mein alag lagta hai,”