"Acting needs a lot of concentration."  

Be it in school or on location. Or even in a party, this teen deserves a second look. His debut release fetched him a Nandi award. He went on to win many more accolades. That's P.B.S. Aananda Vardhan for you. This 13-year-old fella chills out with Suresh Krishnamoorthy

STUDYING EIGHTH class at St. Anthony's in Himayatnagar, he is as normal as any student can be, with a rank of anything under 10. Aananda Vardhan has grown up with Enid Blyton's Famous Five and the Secret Seven and goes ga-ga over Harry Potter.

There the resemblance ends. Being the grandson of the grand-old singer of yesteryears, P.B. Srinivas, he was probably exposed to `filmi' figures. Director Gunasekhar first spotted him and decided he would `do' as a child actor.

Gunasekhar cast him in Sabdalaya's `Raamaayanam,' in which Vardhan played a dual role - that of Balanjaneya and Valmiki. But it was Melody Makers' `Priya Raagaalu', directed by A. Kodandarami Reddy, that turned the spotlight on him and the barely three-year-old `toddled' away with a Nandi in his first film!

What happened after, almost reads like a fairytale. But the best part is that success has not gone to this young gun's head at all. `Priya Raagaalu' apart, he got a Nandi for a telefilm, `Tellavarindi,' and a dozen more awards in a career that includes 20-odd films, including a Kannada and a Hindi film.

`Raamaayanam', `Preminchukundaam Raa', `Suryavamsam', `Maavidakulu', `Pellipeetalu' and `Manasichchi Choodu' and `Indra'. This child prodigy has worked with big names in the industry. Remember the song `Tuniga, tuniga' in the film, `Manasantha Nuvve'?

In 1999, he worked with none other than the Big B in the Hindi version of `Suryavamsam' and the stalwart called him a `tiger'. Vardhan is just like any other kid, with the infectious smile that only a child can sport. Very confident and very sharp is this son of P.B. Phanindar, a chartered accountant, and Rohini.

Ask him about his favourites in the Telugu film industry and he is very careful and says he has enjoyed working all the big stars.

"I like them all. They have supported, encouraged and made me feel at ease,'' he says, a mischievous smile playing on his lips.

This kid does not go for ice-cream but loves `Black Forest' pastry and chocolates. He loves playing caroms but does not go for chess.

"Acting needs a lot of concentration but chess requires application of thought and I can't do it,'' Vardhan signs off.

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