Ratna Sinha is the director who launched late actor Sidharth Shukla in the television series titled ‘Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na’, released in 2008. And since then, there was no looking back for Sidharth.
After his sudden demise, Sinha recalled the upcoming model who had that spark that turned him into a successful actor. Here’s her first-person account of her first meeting with the late actor:
It was around 2007 onwards when I think I saw him in a shopping mall. Sidharth was a ramp model back then when me and my team was looking for a new face for a new show that I was working on.
One of my assistants walked towards him and approached him for acting and he was so skeptical about the idea of acting. He really was a non-actor and when we auditioned, even the channel rejected the audition.
He was actually quite happy with modelling. But we thought there is something in him that will work! We kept on working on his skill and eventually I cast him as the male protagonist for my show ‘Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na’.
As the show received a good response, since then the world of acting opportunities grew for Sidharth. You know I really have seen Sidharth growing from a model, non-actor to a television star that he became. I had a mixed feeling of pride and happiness that this fellow is growing from strength to strength.
It is not easy at all to make it big here in the industry and staying relevant for 13 years! There were many youngsters back then started as a model and stepped into acting but maintaining success is a task that Sidharth was doing successfully. I think ‘Balika Vadhu’ was the breakthrough for him.
When I spoke to him last time, before lockdown, he was saying how keen is he to do more films. He was very keen on expanding his horizon in Bollywood. He did one film (‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’) and he nurtured the hope of acting in more films.
In the morning, when I woke up to the message of his sudden demise, I was numb. Just numb.
In the past one year, we lost so many young talents really. This is hard to process … life is so unpredictable really. I knew how emotionally close Sidharth was to his mother … my heart goes out to her.
(As told to Arundhuti Banerjee)