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From being a cover-page model to acting in films, this 8-year-old has aced it all!

Child actor, Chhayank Anand’s mother, Mahima Anand spills the beans about her son’s upcoming movie, role of his school, and life as a young performer

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At a tender age, Chhayank Anand, a class 3 student at Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, is the face of several e-commerce platforms. Be it brands like FirstCry, Myntra, Ajio, Reliance or Baby Couture, just to name a few, the bright and cheerful face of Anand is unmissable. What more? The child actor is soon to appear in the Hindi-language movie, Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani in 2023 alongside Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt. Sweeping his way through the industry with his charming demeanour and contagious smile, in his first ramp walk itself at the Junior Fashion Week in Delhi, Anand left the audience in awe. In an exclusive interview, Chhayank Anand’s mother  Mahima Anand, Director at Ultimate Infotech Private Limited and he talked about how his career and education are going hand-in-hand, all thanks to his school. Edited excerpts:

How and when did Chhayank begin his professional journey?

Chhayank: I was four years old at that time!

Ms. Mahima: He started with Junior Fashion Week in Delhi. When he was four, I enrolled him for it. He walked for the first season for the brand, US Polo and the response from the audience was spectacular! He then walked again for two more seasons for Flying Machine and Hugo Boss. Shortly after, he started getting calls from other different brands and gradually he became a face that everyone wanted on their e-portals.

How did he get inspired to act?

Ms. Mahima: Well, I myself was interested in the profession before my marriage. I modelled for about six months but then I stopped and acting was never part of my vision. However, it all came back to me in the form of Chhayank. He was interested in the profession at an early age, and with his hard work, he got an opportunity to work with big brands. He has travelled intensively from Jaipur, Kashmir, Shimla and the city of dreams, Mumbai for several shoots and I am lucky to share that his modelling pictures have been published and re-published even by International platforms. From there, his first brush with acting began as he also recently starred in a TV serial, Chhoti Sardarni that airs on Colors TV. 

Apart from acting, what are your interests and hobbies?

Chhayank: I like to make YouTube videos for my channel named ‘Chhayank Anand’. I also like to cook.

How has Chhayank been able to manage acting and academics?

Ms. Mahima: He got his first role during the pandemic when classes had gone fully online. Since that time, the school has been using Moodle for classwork and homework. I must say that the teachers at Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park have always encouraged my son. Whenever he missed his classes due to acting schedules, he could go through the videos of that class. For the extra-curricular activities, teachers always found a way to include him. As a mother, it is huge for me because despite missing classes, Chhayank never missed out on learning. I believe that, ‘one extra clap makes one believe a little more in themselves’, and I am very thankful to his school because they have always appreciated and encouraged his talent. I would like to add that Chhayank carries long-hair because it is part of his persona as a model, and the school has kindly allowed for that because they understand that it is an industry requirement. My association with the school is 18 years long because Chhayank’s elder sister studied there as well. Putting your second child in the same school after 10 years is proof that you are mighty impressed with the school. Due to the immense support and cooperation displayed by the Apeejay management, his acting career is going smoothly.

How was the experience on the sets?

Chhayank: They are very big! I like it there.

A short clip of Chhayank’s shoot with First Cry. Com

Ms. Mahima: Well, as a child actor, he is much pampered on the sets. It is more like a family environment. I feel very proud when someone says, ‘that’s Chhayank’s mother!’ I have always felt warmly welcomed because of him.

Is it difficult for a child actor to manage with the ups and downs of the profession?

Ms. Mahima: I feel that if one has the passion, then anything becomes attainable. All aspiring actors audition every other day and they are not sure if they would get the desired part or not. I have already prepared Chhayank to take opportunities as they come. He has learnt big things at a very early age, and I hope they stay with him throughout his life. He has a long way to go, and everybody cannot be Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan, but hard work has to perpetually go on. A saying that I keep repeating with him is: ‘Phal humesha jhuke hue pedh ko hi lagte hain’ (Only the trees which can bend, bear fruit). I am proud that he understands the value of the opportunities he has received thus far.

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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