Smita Patil and Raj Babbar’s son Prateik Babbar

Not just another star son!
Smita Patil and Raj Babbar’s son Prateik makes a quiet debut

The late actress Smita Patil and Raj Babbar’s son Prateik Babbar makes his B-Town debut in Abbas Tyrewala’s Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na, produced by Aamir Khan.

Very chotu role
The star son is, however, missing from the film’s posters and promos. “That’s because I have an extremely small role,” points out Prateik.

He has no reservations about making his debut in such a manner. “I am 21 and when the time is ripe, I will act. At this age, the girls can make an entry but the guys have to wait for a while. This bit of acting is like testing the waters before the dive.”

Heroine ka bhai
In Jaane Tu…, Prateik plays the character of Genelia D’Silva’s brother. “I am there in a few scenes trying to solve her problems. My character is called Amit and he is a painter. I try to figure out if the guy she is with is right for her or not.”

Thanks to Pakhi
The film came his way through Abbas’s wife Pakhi, who is also the casting director of Jaane Tu… “She called me for the role and after auditioning, I was cast as the heroine ka bhai!” he laughs.

Currently, Prateik is undergoing an acting workshop with half-sister Juhi Babbar and her mother Nadira Zaheer Babbar of Ekjute troupe. “All this while, I would just hang around at their workshops but this time I have enrolled as a student. I hope to hone the craft now.”

He has also learnt salsa from Sandeep Soparrkar. “At this stage of my life I am just learning and absorbing whatever I can and yes I am looking at acting and completing my education as well.”

With both his half sister Juhi and half brother, Arya Babbar, also into acting there are lots of notes to be exchanged on the home front as well.

Smita Patil (1955-1986) is remembered for both her arthouse films like Bhumika, Bazaar, Manthan, Chakra and Ardh Satya as well as for commercial potboilers like Shakti and Namak Halal. She straddled both the worlds of cinema with aplomb in the ’70s and’80s. She was as favoured by a Mrinal Sen as she was by a B R Chopra.

She began as a TV news reader on DD and was discovered by Shyam Benegal. Smita was also a women’s rights activist and became famous for her roles in films that portrayed women as capable and empowered.

She was caught in a media storm when she wed the much-married actor Raj Babbar from whom she had a son, Prateik. However tragedy struck within days of the delivery as Smita died as a result of childbirth complications on December 13, 1986.

Source: Mid-day
Author: Shaheen Parkar
Date: 17 Jun 2008
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