“When You Are Born With A Passion, Little Footsteps Are Never A Limit.”
Meet Harshaali Malhotra, the most adorable superstar of bollywood. Born on 3rd June 2008, Harshaali got a chance to act in Salmaan’s movie Bajrangi Bhaijaan when she was 6 years old. After her innocent and endearing performance in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, she won several hearts. Everyone loves this little girl who was the central character in Salman Khan’s blockbuster. With her innocent act and rich talent now she owns a dream to become a superstar when she grows big. Harshaali has always been a regular and punctual child and she knows how important is discipline, proper fooding and regular routine into one’s life to achieve anything. At such a young age, Harshaali has been facilitated in various award functions, her major awards being :
1. Big star entertainment award
2. ITA Award
3. Asiavision award
4. Zee cine awards (this is most special as this is for best debutant female )
5. Guild film award
6. Star screen award
7. Stardust award
8. Tiifa ( the Indian icon films award)
9. Adhi Aabadi women’s achievers award 2015
She has also been facilitated from different communities in terms of women’s awards at such a tender age. As far as her school achievements are concerned, Harshaali is doing pretty well in studies as scoring excellent grades every year along with a few other different trainings that she is taking. With such rich talent and awareness of goal, the day is not far when she will be doing more wonders and setting huge marks with her passion and achievements..
In conversation with Harshaali’s mom Mrs. Kajal Malhotra:
Q: So how did Harshaali crack the auditions and get entry as the Bajrangi Bhaijaan small girl ‘Shaida’?
In 2014 , I got a call from Director Mukesh Chabbra’s office in May. They called Harshaali as they were already having Harshaali’s pictures and intro profiles with them. They just wanted to test Harshaali’s body language. At that time, they took a test of Harshaali’s body language in terms of how she cries, laughs, talks and each and every expression. And till later there was no conversation about this movie. After 3-4 months they called up again and said that Harshaali has been shortlisted, please bring her back again. After that I was told a little that there is a movie with Salmaan khan and it’s a very major role. It’s a story of a little girl and a man. In October, I received a call again that Harshaali has been finalised for attending workshops. And there will be about 8-10 girls those who will be attending that workshop. In that 5-6 days workshops, for 2 hours everyday, where a girl used to give them activities like the scenes of the movie itself. Shoumi, the girl explained to them that scene and told them that they have to act it in their own ways. And Kabir and Mukesh used to observe the children from outside that who is reacting first and doing it properly, and after that Harshaali was finalised out of those girls. Later on I was told that Harshaali used to be the first to act all the scenes. In terms of Kashmiri looks also, Harshaali was mostly selected. But it was a test that how she acts. Before the workshop I was given a little hint from Kabir that Harshaali has been selected but everything depends upon how she acts in the workshops. After the last day, I was told by Mukesh, that Harshaali is now finalised for the movie and that in a day or two she will be taken to meet Salmaan Khan. Then Salmaan also gave a thumbs up, after he met her and the second day itself the procedures of outfit was taken up. That’s how she got entry into it.
Q: Do you have any family background of actors and actresses?
We don’t have any actors or actresses. Not even a model from our four generations. Not from mother’s side, not from Father’s side. The acting skills I believe and even people believe is a god gift to Harshaali.
Q: Harshaali also appeared in various serials and TV commercials before. When and how did it all start?
When she was 1 and half years old, she took up modelling, and that too by chance. And gradually she grew up from tvcs, serials and then Bajrangi. She had never ever joined any school or acting class before. Directly she did Bajrangi Bhaijaan only.
When Harshaali was 1 and a half years old, then we went to do shopping for Harshaali only. That time we were in Delhi. In Ambience mall there was a store called Mom and Me for expecting mother’s and infants. So there was a contest organised there to promte their brand itself. Any cute child that will come to their store for purchasing, they will click their pictures and there was an actress who had to finalise that child. They had to select different children from different age groups. So, at that time Harshaali got first in her age category. From there Harshaali did her first modelling assignment. Her fun shoot started from that time itself. We never expected that all this will happen. She went for a shoot on 14th February. All night, during that winter time it was raining in Delhi. It was a peak winter cold time. At the time of the shoot, Harshaali was wearing a very thin cotton frock, and she was standing in the midst of the bunch of flowers and it was all muddy there due to the rain. All she was irritated was because of the mud, that sticked to her legs. But she was unaffected by the thin frock or the peak cold. We were wearing so many layers at that time. Being a parent looking at her, we were thinking that how this 1 and a half year child is doing it. And every single person standing there and watching her was also stunned and said that she is born for this only and will go very far.
Q: What were the changes in the attitude of people towards her in school and around homes after she got this big break?
After Tvcs people hardly knew her. But after serials there was an increase in her fan following. As soon as the teaser was released, people came to know that it is Harshaali only and after the release of the movie there were bizzare reactions from people all around. In school, there was a rule that we have to drop the children on the gate itself. But After the teaser of bajraangi people came to know her. Due to security reason, we had to take permission and I had to drive the car inside the school premises and one person will take her from that place and there will be one person to drop her in the classroom. Because, it so happened that the 10, 11th and 12th students of the school randomly used to come and meet her and she was too young to understand why all this was happening. So, for few months teachers had to take Harshaali into the staff room during the break. There was a teacher and attendant to pick her from me and bring her back to me again. She was never left alone. And even now, every where she goes people want to click a selfie, take her autograph. But still Harshaali asks me why all this is happening and why people want to click pictures with me.
Q: What challenges and practices were required during the shoot of the film? How did she manage her studies along with this?
Harshaali was in 1st class at time, so in class 1st there are not soo much of major studies. But the school people cooperated very well with us. And like on weekly basis teachers used to send me works or my husband used to bring it from schools and send it to me. I took her books with me , like in Kashmir we had a stay for 1 and half months and in Rajasthan also there was a schedule of 1 and a half months. And generally in the evening, packup was usually done, and after bath she used to study and from the next day on the set itself she used to revise and while playing there she used to learn the spellings and question answers and tell it to me. And finally it was managed. When we came back, I used to be in contact and I used to tell the school people that for this period Harshaali will come to attend the class. So they used to tell me that at this stage we will take her exam so that none of her exams are missed and grades are proper. And finally she managed to get good grades. Her studies were managed very well that year. And now also she is managing her star life as well as her student life and her child life very nicely.
Q: How does it feel after becoming a young celebrity? How overwhelming was it for her to work with the well-known stars of Bollywood Salmaan, Kareena and Nawazuddin?
Becoming a younger celebrity: Acting is a passion for Harshaali and she asks me that am I a star now? So I made her realize that yes now you are a celebrity and people know you and love you so much.
During Bajrangi, I saw Harshaali’s biggest limits. Acting is her passion and by chance it came to her. But gradually we found that it was her passion from earlier time itself and her destiny has to be this only. And so step by step this path was formed. When we were shooting Bajrangi, like a good girl she always woke up at 6 and reached on the sets at 7. She never complained me for anything. She took her breakfast properly and her lunch and milk always on time.When I explained to her, she understood that if she doesn’t eat, how will she shoot and act the best. This girl used to shoot, and she understood that if I don’t take rest then how will I wake up the next morning and do all this. So, she was very aware of all these things.
Working with Salmaan and Kareena was like a dream come true for her. Because after the movie, she started loving Salmaan so much. When Harshaali met Salmaan in the first meet itself, first thing after hello she said was, ”Mujhe bhi apne jaisa superstar bana do.” Salmaan also went mad for that. Though She was not aware of Nawaz, but she is very emotionally attached with Salmaan now. With Kareena it was huge fun for her, but there was less time so much bonding could not happen with her, as much as was with Salmaan.
Q: Winning the Filmfare awards and Star Screen awards at such a young age is highly appreciable. What are the upcoming breaks where we can watch Harshaali winning hearts again?
Even we have never thought and dreamed that Harshaali will win so many awards. But it is a great honour for us too. I feel so proud being called Harshaali’s mother. As far as Upcoming movies are concerned we are not getting good roles like Munni or Shahida. So following her dream and passion, I have to be very wise and cautious to select a role for her. Because right now it is my responsibility to take care of the milestone that she has set in Bajrangi through her remarkable act. I can’t make it go waste. So, she keeps doing actings and all. But surely, for movies her fans will have to wait for the right role to come.
Q: What are her other areas of interests/ hobbies? What does she aspire to be?
She is attending dance classes. She wants how to sing music because she wants to be a superstar who wants to dance act and sing for herself like Shraddha kapoor does. Sometimes, she likes playing table tennis too.
She wants to be a big superstar actress. This is her passion, her goal. Time to time, we keep judging her if there is a chance in her thoughts and everytime she has to say this only.
Q: How confident is she after this? What are her future goals?
As everyone knows she wants to be a big superstar actress. This is her dream and passion and apart from this, she does not says anything. Everytime she only has this tagline to say that,” She has to become a big superstar.”
Harshaali’s Facebook Page