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Meet the cutie in Aap Ki Antara

June 10, 2009 17:30 IST

Meet the cutie in Aap Ki Antara

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Rajul Hegde

Zaynah Vastani may be only five years old but she already has a challenging role under her belt -- she plays an autistic child in Zee TV's Aap Ki Antara. The show traces the girl's life, and how her disability tests her family.

Zaynah, who has an identical twin Ziyah, got the part because their mother Havov didn't want her to feel left out. You see, her sister has a film in her kitty.

"Ziyah plays Darsheel Safary's sister in Bum Bum Bole. I didn't want Zaynah to feel left out, so I was waiting for something interesting for her," their mother said. "When she got this offer, we grabbed it because it was for Zee TV. Also, we loved the character. Antara only has to react to situations. There are hardly any dialogues for her, so it's not difficult."


Image: Zaynah Vastani

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Meet the cutie in Aap Ki Antara

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It helps that Zaynah has appeared in several ads like Britania, Godrej, Santoor, Sunsilk and Peposdent along with her twin.

Though Aap Ki Antara is Zaynah's first television show, she did not have to audition for it. "A friend from the industry told me about the show. We sent in a few pictures of Zaynah and she was selected," Zaynah's mother said.

Had her mother ever noticed her daughter acting talent before? "Yes, when she would dance and imitate dialogues on TV," Havov replied.


Image: Zaynah and Ziyah

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Meet the cutie in Aap Ki Antara

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Shooting is not a problem for this little girl in kindergarten, as her school is shut for the summer holidays. "When her school starts, I will make it a point that she shoots only after school hours," Havov said.

Taking about her daughter's schedule, Havov said, "Sometimes, her sister accompanies her to the sets and they play during the breaks. They call us an hour before the shoot, so we don't have to wait long. In between shots, we go to the mall and spend time there. So it's not stressful for her. My mother takes care of Ziyah if I am on the sets with Zaynah. Sometimes, her father, who is a businessman, goes to the sets with her."


Image: Zaynah

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Meet the cutie in Aap Ki Antara

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Being such an adorable five-year-old, Zaynah gets pampered by everyone on the sets. "The director makes her sit on his lap and explain the scenes," Havov said.

At home, when Zaynah watches her show on television, she gets very excited. "She gets so excited to see herself on TV and calls all of us to watch," her mother adds. "And she loves to see it when she sees her picture in the newspapers.

"The kids in our building recognise her. When they call her Antara, it makes her feel good. People don't recognise her when we go out because she's not in the show's get-up. People have been calling and telling me how good she is on the show. Her posters are up all over the city. My sister, who is a teacher, helped us know more learn about autism. I feel I have made the right decision to accept this offer for her," Havov says.


Image: Zaynah and Ziyah

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"When Zaynah was shooting in a school, kids asked her for autographs and pictures. She knows how to write her name but she was embarrassed to give autographs. She agreed to pose for the photographs," her mother added.

Zaynah's favourite actress is Kareena Kapoor but she doesn't want to become an actress when she grows up. "I want to be a piano teacher," Zaynah says. The piano, her mother explains, is a recent fascination.

Zaynah will be seen on Aap Ki Antara for three months, after which an older actress will replace her.


Image: Zaynah

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