In the arc of limelight (From Pratapgarh to Mumbai)

Madhu Sen

“I don't look at film celebrities, actors or actresses; the awe of glamour has worne out. Now my focus is at those running the show.” The make over is evident of this village boy, who now sports long tresses but its unruliness checked with a bandana on the forehead. His stride is more confident and so is his over all body language. This youngster with ear studs is a hero and a crowd puller in his village and neighbouring areas. Just six months into the tinsel world, this gangly boy has made a mark by the sheer dint of his self confidence, with probably many more imprints of his achievements to be emulated in the future.

We are talking about a small village adolescent of 22, Abhay Pratap Singh, alias Buntoo, who was a part of ChildFund India communication team in Pratapgarh, UP, a project area, under the confident, involved and skilled youth initiative, who by now is working round the clock to establish himself as a prominent television actor as well as figure majorly on the silver screen.

,”I was very nervous to face the camera on the first day. People mocked at me because of my rustic humble attitude. In other words not being Bindaas . But slowly I am learning the nitty-gritty of the glamour world,” said the bubbly Buntoo.

As they say talent makes way for itself, it so happened with Abhay. Since childhood he has had a penchant for the arts such as writing, dancing, acting, comedy and music. And these unique creative skills ensured his selection as a leading member of the ‘Communication team' of Janpriya Sewa Santhan, Pratapgarh.

Abhay received professional training in theatre, including street plays, with the support of JSS-ChildFund India . He said, “ChildFund India helped me nurture my skills through training and direct exposure with the community. Therefore I could lead a seven- member team to several competitions and performances. I have even written the script for over several scores of plays. Therefore, I find my confidence level and dialogue delivery of a higher calibre in comparison to the rest I have come across in the industry. Am sure this grounding in dramatics will take me far.”

When Abhay started performing street plays to spread awareness on social issues amongst the village communities, people ridiculed and teased calling him, ‘nautankiwale aa gaye' (drama company people have come). Coming from an affluent family and being the son of a lawyer, the taunts angered him and frustrated him to the point of calling it quits but continued support of the project staff and the long term impact of the good work they had undertaken saw him sail through every hurdle.

With many prominent roles lined up, Abhay has set a deadline of two-years for himself to make his mark in the film industry. Expressing the ambitious he harbours for his communication team mates, he said with an emphasis, “Our communication team members are very energetic and dedicated so I keep guiding them as well as assure to help establish themselves in this field. My roots are in my village and I will always comeback to my roots.”

In a bid to widen his talent, Abhay expressed that his future plans included learning a foreign language and establish a social development organization where people of different states could come together, hold fund-raising plays, the returns of which would be invested for the development of marginalised communities, especially the youth.

“I have earned respect and love from everyone as my efforts has contributed in brining prominence to my village. I feel happy and proud to be the chosen one,” added Abhay.

Recalling his initial naivety that saw him being duped by fake assurances, which he has taken in his stride, Abhay said with a grin, “I used to remember the initially days of performing street plays, the rejection by people and how we still plodded on. Those memories helped rejuvenate my spirit to start afresh with a firmer resolve.”

Abhay still recalls the day, when a simple phone call changed his life. He said that he owes it to his project team, whose love, support and opportunities.

helped him face the arc light and continue his journey with his head firm on his shoulder in the mesmerising glare of glamour and glitz.

Madhu Sen


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