PEOPLE Debutant actor Dhruva Sharma, who is hearing impaired, wants to show the world that disability cannot stop anybody from scaling great heights
Dhruva Sharma, whose speech and hearing have been impaired from childhood, has acted in a lead role in a film and received rave reviews. The only other disabled actor in the Kannada film industry was the late Balakrishna, who was hearing impaired. He used to deliver his dialogues following the lip movements of his co-stars.
Dhruva, son of businessman-actor Suresh Sharma, pulled out of college as he found it difficult to follow lectures. Director Girish Kampalapura ran into him when he was searching for a new face for his debut venture, Snehanjali . Dhruva’s parents were apprehensive about it, and Dhruva himself was convinced he could act only after he understood the dubbing process. Girish explained to him that lip-syncing is all that he would have to do on the screen. “I will certainly do it,” said Dhruva in his sign language, the director recalls. He says Dhruva often worked faster than seasoned performers.
Dhruva’s co-actors in the film, veteran Anant Nag and Anju Varma, were astounded when they learnt about his impairment. His stunt sequences were also impressive and he looked romantic in the song sequences. “Dhruva’s lip synchronising ability is such that viewers failed to realise that he has never spoken or heard a sound in his entire life,” said Girish, who has created a record of sorts in the film industry.
“On the first day of the shooting, I was scared and confused,” wrote Dhruva in a text message. “But, gradually things started falling in place and co-stars began to accept the reality.” Dhruva is now acting in Hit List , a film on genetic warfare, directed by Bala, and Luck , directed by Girish Kampalapura. A faithful fan of Rajkumar and Amitabh Bachchan, Dhruva doesn’t want to become a great star himself! His aim is to tell the world that disability cannot stop anybody from scaling new heights. He wants to send a message to millions that success will come to those who have confidence in themselves and work relentlessly towards their goal.
Dhruva’s other interest is cricket. He is one of the important players in Karnataka Bulldozers. Dr. Suresh Sharma himself was a University player and got Dhruva trained under the guidance of Irfan Khan. He had also played against Pakistan in 2005 and won the match against them, says Dhruva.