August 20, 2009 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
Atulith has just come home from school and is not surprised to see the Press waiting for him with camera et al. The seven year old kid says he wants to freshen up before the interview and meanwhile orders his mother for green tea. While you raise your eyebrows he calms you down, "It's for publicity, please!". He obviously doesn't want people to think he drinks milk after school.
While his mother rubs off the excess powder on his face, he shows his pictures on the wall and clarifies, "That's not a wig, it's my own hair. That's not my sister, my mom dressed me up like a girl, etc.," and takes you to the terrace and shows off the beautiful view. "You know what, Sania Mirza's husband's grandfather's son lives there in that white building, and demons dance in the night in that old ruined house," adds Atulit with seriousness that would make anyone believe his words.
The child artiste made his debut when he was a little over three years in Tulasi. His father Suresh didn't have films on his mind, he wanted him to do some meaningful commercials because his friend worked with O&M in Calcutta. But his relatives urged him to send the boy's pictures to the "Venky with child star" hunt being aired by Gemini TV and he was selected from around 5,000 kids. "The pressure and pain is entirely mine," giggles Suresh, his father who had gone through the grind of counseling, brainwashing Atulit to face the camera.
Producer Suresh Babu even took him for a drive and Nayantara played with him before the audition to make him feel comfy. It was only on the first day he refused to open up before the camera, probably because of the pressure or hatred for mobs. Suresh Babu probably guessed that the child might cause trouble any time and even kept the child star from 'Fanaa' as an alternative. Later there was no looking back.
Ask Atulith if he is going to become a hero later on, he replies, "Any doubts?" Actually little Atulit is fickle as any other kid. His preferences keeps changing. When he watches Venkatesh in Gharshana he wants to become a police officer, some other person some other day. He enjoys acting but hates to dance or recite dialogues when friends and teachers in school ask him to do so. He asks why should I? All the acting, dances are only for the camera, one should wait to see him on screen, he knows his mind well.
Mother Lavanya has an interesting incident to narrate. Once they went to Annavaram and school kids in a bus spotted him and all of them alighted, asking for his autograph, calling him Tulasi Babu. He didn't even know then what an autograph was, he hated the attention.
The parents make sure Atulith has a normal upbringing and are very particular about the way he keeps his room, the attitude towards his elders. He is studying in the second standard in Saint Peters in Domalguda and lives in Himayath Nagar. Three days of the week he goes to learn dance and his master comes to train him on the other three days. His favourite actor is Prabhas and has seen Chatrapati atleast thirty times.
Ask him about his role in his upcoming film "Ma Naanna Chiranjeevi", he points his finger at his dad. He says, "It's his job to explain, but you come in here..I want to show you my favourite Zorro costume, the jacket I'm going to wear in my upcoming film and my latest pencil box."