Friday, 20 May 2016 12:20



HARSHAALI MALHOTRA aka MUNNI who won millions of hearts!

By: mehnaz nasreen

The Youngest Superstar who has captured hearts of millions with her powerful performance even without uttering a single word, she is none other than “Munni” of “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” – the seven-year-old-Harshaali Malhotra. Youth Street News had a chance to visit her place to interact with her, the ultra-cute kid, at her residence in Mumbai. It was supposed to be a 10-15 minutes affair, however, we spoke for more than 3 hours!! Errrrr…correction, not only talks but we laughed, we played, we sketched and we also ate in those few hours! I would say it was the toughest interview of my life. Initially thought that it would be an easy interview as she is just a tiny tot! But well, apart from the interview, she wanted to do everything else! Playing with Barbie dolls, painting, solving Math problems, cracking jokes, clicking selfies and videos to mention a few. You guys must be thinking why I am explaining all these to you! Well, if I had a tough (sweet one) time making her answer few questions, just imagine how Salman Khan and the other cast and crew must have really enjoyed those “tough time” with her, that too for a movie! Well well…It was just one of its kind interview…an unforgettable one! I would love to narrate the whole interaction episode and I am sure you folks would just love it .. love her!

It was 4:30pm. We entered her house and were greeted warmly by Harshaali’s mother. She went inside to call Harshaali, after she asked us to sit comfortably. We were just looking around. We saw a wall full of Harshaali’s decoratively framed photographs and awards and accolades, the bright kid had won this year for her unforgettable performance in “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”. In her cute pink top and a floral short skirt, Munni came out with her mom. Her mom says, “Harshaali, say Hi to didi.” With her long lock beautifully arranged with a hairband, she looked just like an angel. She said, “Hello.” And came to sit beside me. She looked a bit tired since she was just back from the school yet the cutest she was. We gifted her two packets of chocolates. “Thank you didi,” with a broad smile she said.

“Harshaali beta, how was your school today?” I asked.

“It was okay”, she replied.

"Beta, would you like to answer few questions? I asked.

“Hmmm…”she nodded.

Actually, she was trying to adjust with us. She was not comfortable initially. Then I realized, it was better we give her some time to be comfy. But who would have imagined that she would become very friendly and cute with us. She was no more “Munni” of “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” who couldn’t speak a word. We asked her to open those boxes of chocolates. She was so excited to open it. Then she was like, “Even I have chocolates.” We laughed. After looking at what I was doing, she asked for my phone and started searching for games. I showed her the soft copy of Youth Street News featuring Salman Khan. She shouted in excitement, “Aaahhh! It’s Salman Uncle!” Then she flipped through the pages and saw her picture with Salman Khan.

“Who is this?” she asked us naughtily.

“I don’t know,” I joked.

“He he he…he he he…It’s me!” she was so excited to tell me that.

The notepad I carry wherever I go out, she just snatched it from me and she was like…

“You want my autograph?” she smiled.

“Yes yes…Please please…I would love to have it,” I said.

Like a superstar, she signed on my diary (You can see in the pictures.) Then she started asking us to solve few Math problems. Mathematics is her favourite subject! No doubt – the reason why  she so intelligent! Giving us those problems, she started speaking out.

“When I met Salman uncle for the first time, I asked him if he could make me a Superstar just like him, “she narrated the interaction she had with the superstar, Salman Khan.

Then I asked, “What did he say?”

“Of course - was his answer,” smilingly she told me. “You know what didi, I used to play games on his phone during shooting,” she continued.

“Where all did you go for shooting,” I questioned.

With her little fingers near her face and those big eyes looking above, she counted “1…2…3…first…Delhi…Karjat…Punjab…Kashmir…No…no….Punjab….first…then…ammmm…no…no…. no…Delhi…Punjab, Karjat, Kashmir,” she replied just like remembering her forgotten lessons. She literally wrote down the names of all these places on that diary asking me the spellings. Harshaali was at her cutest best!

“So what do you wanna become when you grow up?” I asked.

“SUPERSTAR! I told you so,” she confidently answered.

I further asked, “Do you like acting?”

“I love it…roll…camera …action…but I don’t like action scenes,” she said.

“Why?” I asked.

“I get very scared and I feel like crying…” she uttered.

Well, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” Director - Kabir Khan, in an interview, mentioned that Harshaali got so scared in an action scene so much that they had to film action sequence in her absence. Anyway, she just loves acting and loves camera. Her mom also told us that whenever they ask what she wants to do later in life, she always replies by saying that she will become a superstar. Well, we wish the same as well, Munni and hope you become the topmost actress. Cut to the conversation, she asked me to solve another Math problem…I pretended not to know the answer…she was like…”you dumb…it’s so easy” and solved it with her little fingers doing the counting.

“Okay Harshaali beta, tell me who is your favourite actor?

“Salman uncle,” replies cutely.

“Favourite actress?”

She excitingly quipped, “Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Shraddha Kapoor” and the list went on and on….

Surely, this wonder girl loves her Salman uncle a lot…well…who won’t! We asked how her school teachers and friends treat her now, after “Bajrangi Bhaijaan.”

She promptly replied, “Now everyone in school calls me Munni.” And giggled.

We got to learn from her mother that she is very good in studies as well. When I asked if Harshaali is taking up any other films, since she must have got so many offers after Bajrangi, she told me that they are waiting for a good and lengthy role as she played a lead character in her previous movie so they don’t want her to play small roles now. And of course, Salman also advised them not to let her do small roles. Her mom said, “We have to consider and oblige Salman’s suggestion as, of course, it’s come from Salman himself who has been in the industry for so long.” “So Harshaali will focus more on movies than her studies?” I asked. She told us that until Harshaali reaches the secondary level wherein she has to study very much, they would let her do movies while continuing her studies side by side. She further told us that Harshaali needs to complete her study first then she can decide whatever she wants to do, be it acting or whatever. She further said that as parents, they would never force her to do anything against her will. Then she told, “As of now whenever we ask what she will become, she always replies that she wants to act.”

“What is the language you are speaking?” Harshaali asked me while I was chatting with my fellow colleague.

“Manipuri,” I replied.

“Please teach me Manipuri,” she requested.

“Say Eina Nangbu Nungshi,” I told her.

She stupendously copied me saying very quickly, “Eina Nangbu Nungshi.”

This was just wow! She was so quick to learn it! And that too with proper Manipuri accent! Don’t believe me? (Do watch her short clip speaking in Manipuri on our Facebook and Instagram pages) I must tell you, she was just awesome! Then she was literally after me to teach more Manipuri while I was trying to capture few photographs of her. She tore a page from that diary and made me write many Manipuri sentences. She is so talented that she cramped up everything and started blurting out those Manipuri words to her mom, grandmom, among others in front of us. For instance, she dragged me till their kitchen and asked me to check if she was speaking the right Manipuri to her Grandmom. Well, her Grandmom couldn’t understand a word! And yes, she was shocked, so was I! She made me translate all those words into English and Hindi! Phew!!! What a task it was! I thought I was to interview her but it was turning the other way round!! Ha ha ha…anyway, the point here is that Harshaali is such a fast learner and a natural actor that she can do anything in a fraction of seconds. Must say, this girl is here to stay. I won’t be surprised when she becomes a superstar one day! Talented young girl she is!

It was dark and 8 o’clock in the evening. Her dinnertime. We spent more than three hours there. As she had school the next day, we readied ourselves to leave after few photoshoots. Well, she became so connected with us in such a short span that she was not willing to let us leave the house. She asked me to teach more Manipuri and started telling few more jokes as well. Truly speaking, we did not want to leave seeing her cute attractive face either. She dropped us till the elevator and asked us to come back again. Speaking out loud the words I had in mind. She did not leave the opportunity to ask how to bid goodbye in Manipuri. I taught her.

“Mathang amuk thengnase, phajana Chatloko, good bye!” she waved her little hand with a smile.

And Munni shouted, “Eina Nangbu Nungshi!”

The elevator door closed.

P.S. “Eina Nangbu Nungshi” translated into English as “I Love You”.

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