Gu­jarat’s young bri­gade is mak­ing a splash with their achieve­ments. From sports to the arts, this Gen­next is bring­ing home in­ter­na­tional ac­co­lades. While 23 year-old shooter La­jja Gauswami has won gold medals in var­i­ous cham­pi­onships in Kuwait, Ger­many and Pak­istan; Sunny Vaghela, 23, a pro­fes­sional hacker helped the Mum­bai Anti Ter­ror­ist Squad ob­tain confidential in­for­ma­tion on the banned ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion, Ja­maat ud Dawah. And, Su­fyan Shaikh be­came the youngest in the world to have crossed the English Chan­nel at the age of 16. We present 10 young guns of Gu­jarat who have made it big on their own terms, with hard work, fore­sight, a lit­tle luck—and a lot of pluck.


The­atre ac­tor

Act­ing genes

She was a shy child with no in­ter­est in act­ing, un­til a chance role in her fam­ily’s pro­duc­tion, Ku­var vela re pad­haarjo, changed her mind. The ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing on stage when she was only six was so in­tense that when her name wasn’t called af­ter the play, it brought tears to her eyes. Rid­dhi, the bub­bly daugh­ter of ac­tors Ketaki and Rasik Dave, and grand daugh­ter of the le­gendary the­atre ac­tor Sarita Joshi, can say act­ing is in her genes.

STO­RY­LINE She started by lend­ing her voice to school plays, mak­ing her first ap­pear­ance on stage in Mummy 20ni Dikri 40ni, a Gu­jarati play where she got to work with her mother. The play was a great suc­cess and com­pleted 250 shows in In­dia and the US. It was then that Rid­dhi and her fam­ily knew she was go­ing to go places. She has since acted in sev­eral suc­cess­ful Gu­jarati plays like Dikri No.1, Say­yar tu ave

toh jaanu, Hasta ramta jeevi layi and Anandibaa chaliya Am­reli

thi Amer­ica. COMIC LESSONS Af­ter study­ing mass me­dia from Mithibai Col­lege in Mum­bai, Rid­dhi went to Anu­pam Kher’s act­ing school, Ac­tor Pre­pares in 2007 to fine tune her skills. To­day, what she is best known for are her comic tim­ing and stage pres­ence. THE CHAL­LENGES While hav­ing fa­mous par­ents make it easy to get that first op­por­tu­nity, the down­side is that ex­pec­ta­tions are too high. “If I fail, it is the

fam­ily name I let down, so there is no scope for mis­takes,” she says. Con­tact: rid­

BHASKAR Paul/­di­a­to­day­im­

sec­ond opinion “She is a very ded­i­cated ac­tor and has a good sense

of act­ing. The­atre needed young di­vas like her.” VIPUL ME­HTA, DI­REC­TOR OF MANY AC­CLAIMED

GU­JARATI PLAYS “I will con­tinue to en­ter­tain the world, as

that’s the only thing I know”

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