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Inspiring children to dream big

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TIME TO LEARN: Actor-director Balachandra Menon interacting with the children at the summer camp organised by the State Child Welfare Council in the capital city on Thursday. Photo: S. Mahinsha
TIME TO LEARN: Actor-director Balachandra Menon interacting with the children at the summer camp organised by the State Child Welfare Council in the capital city on Thursday. Photo: S. Mahinsha

Film actor and director Balachandra Menon on Thursday took time off his `busy' shooting schedule to interact with a bunch of aspiring doctors, engineers, pilots, scientists and magicians at the State Child Welfare Council in Vazhuthacad.

The programme, organised as a part of the council's summer camp for children, began with an ice-breaking session where children introduced themselves and revealed their aspirations.

The actor told the participants that he had turned up for the session to learn from them.

"I have finished climbing half the hill of life. But you people are yet to begin," Mr. Menon said. He then strolled around holding a microphone and talking to the participants seated on chairs at an allotted area outside the council building.

While a majority of the children wanted to become doctors, a few wanted to wield a magic wand, a testimony to the growing influence of the art on the young minds. The actor said as a teenager one of his dreams was to become a pilot. "I fulfilled the dream by acting as a pilot in one of my films," he said. "As aspiring pilots there are three expressions, which you should be familiar with, take off, airborne and embracing the earth," said Mr. Menon.

The actor said he was comfortable with mimicry artistes imitating him on stage. "I am happy with it. They mimic me because they love me," he explained. Mr. Menon said he was so fascinated by the film world that he even went to the extent of declining the admission he received for MBBS "To achieve your goal one has to work towards it with single-minded dedication," he told the students.

The actor, who loves to spend his leisure hours "gardening" and "cleaning" his bathroom, said he would conduct frequent interactive sessions with children if he becomes the Chief Minister of the State. Mr. Menon concluded the session by singing a few lines of `Manasa Maine Varu,' a popular song from his favourite film `Chemmeen.'

More than 100 children from various city schools took part in the session that lasted for over half an hour.

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