By Imtiaz Jaleel
From a poor nomadic hamlet to the national stage to winning the National Award for Best Child Artist 2009, Sharad Goekar's life has been as stunning as his acting abilities.
The 11-year-old who recently won the National Award for his performance in Tingya, a film about a poor farmer boy's desperate struggle to save his bull from the butcher's knife, was found by director Mangesh Hadawale in a tribal hamle 90 kilometres from Pune.
Sharad is from the nomadic Shangar community, and spent his early years tending herds of sheep and had never been to a city. Today, he is not only in a big city, but is also getting the best education and living a life no less than a celebrity.
NDTV caught up with his parents and his teachers for their responses to his recent achievements.
''I remember when he came he had no idea about English. But now he has adjusted himself very well and has become very confident too,'' said Sunny Mathew, Principal, Springdale Public School, Pune, where Sharad is now studying.
Sharad, who is happy about his success has, however, not forgotten those back in the village. He said, "I am very happy here. Then I remember the hard times my parents faced in the village, and that makes me cry.''
His parents still live in a roadside shanty, and it is Sharad's dream to become a bureaucrat or an actor. He says once that happens, he will build a house for his parents.
For the time being, he is grooming himself to meet the President in New Delhi to recieve the National Award.