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Shams Patel National Award winning child can't watch his own film 'Thanks Maa'

Shams Patel, who won the best child artist National Award for his performance in "Thanks Maa", is upset because he isn't allowed to watch his own film as it has been given an adult certificate.

"Will you please talk to the censor board?" requests the 13-year-old actor. The film releases Friday.

"'Thanks Maa' has been given an A certificate. Wohi to problem hai (That's the problem). I can't watch my own film for the next five years. Will you ask them to change it to a UA certificate, so I could see my film accompanied by my parents? Ideally, I want to watch it with my friends," he says.

Shams says the National Award has brought joy to his parents.

"I'm very average at studies. So they feel at least I've made a name for myself in another field. My parents are very excited. I'm too. But nothing compared to them," he adds.

Shams belongs to a business family with no background in cinema.

"I got the role in 'Thanks Maa' because director Irrfan Kamal is my 'mama' (maternal uncle). He asked me to audition along with many other hopefuls. I had no acting experience...After I got the role, I attended workshops," he says.

Shams admits he wasn't familiar with the slum setting of the film.

"But 50 other kids from the slums came for the workshops. I observed them and their way of talking. I copied them. I saw their emotions and used them. I was very moved by the way the people live in the slums. The clothes they wear, the food they eat and the language they speak in the slums was all a new experience for me. I came out of the film a different person," he says.

He gets defensive on comparison with Danny Boyle's slum saga. "I've seen 'Slumdog Millionaire'.'Thanks Maa' is totally different. Of course, the characters and clothings of us slum kids are somewhat similar. But our storyline is totally different."

He plays a Salman Khan fan in the film and also happens to be one in real life.

"I am a huge fan of Salman Khan. After 'Thanks Maa', I'll meet Salman for sure," he adds confidently.

(News published under the licence from Indo Asian News Service)

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