Jammu’s Shehaan Kapahi: from TikTok to TV stardom in ‘Waghle Ki Duniya’

During the COVID pandemic, when people worldwide were grappling with job shortages and lack of opportunities, Jammu’s child artist Shehaan Kapahi, featured in the famous TV serial “Wagle Ki Duniya” on Sony Sab, was creating short TikTok videos to chase his acting dreams.

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For 9-year-old Shehaan, it was a surprise when his mother received a call from an advertising agency asking if he was willing to do a TV ad. With his mother’s consent, Shehaan began his career in TV advertisements. After completing the ad, he was approached for two more ads featuring sports icons Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
When Shehaan returned to his hometown Jammu, he learned that the TV serial “Wagle Ki Duniya” was looking for a child artist. He auditioned and was selected, marking the start of his career in TV serials.
Our video correspondent Ritesh Gupta spoke with the child prodigy about his passion, future goals, and acting icons. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q: Several children see you as their inspiration. How do you see this?
A: It was always my dream to work in TV serials. When I was very young, I wondered how people appeared on TV. As I grew up, I started making short videos on TikTok, and then I got the opportunity to appear on TV itself. It really feels great.
Q: What kind of character are you playing in “Wagle Ki Duniya”?
A: I play the character of a son in a middle-class family. My on-screen father, Rajesh Wagle, faces many financial problems, particularly related to managing household issues, treating patients, and suppressing desires due to lack of money. As Atharv Wagle, I show how students in schools and colleges shouldn’t stress over money issues. My character provides solutions to real-life challenges faced by students my age.
Q: What is the difference between your on-screen and real father?
A: Both my on-screen and real father are completely different characters, but they share one common trait-kindness.
Q: How do you manage a balance between studies and acting?
A: I meet my school friends and teachers on weekdays to make notes and understand the syllabus covered for exams. I study on weekdays and whenever I have time between serials.
Q: What message do you have for students and those chasing their passions?
A: I suggest chasing dreams with full passion but maintaining balance by listening to parents. For those wanting to be actors, start with social media and wait for a breakthrough.
Q: What is the difference between TikTok, TV advertisements, and TV serials?
A: All platforms are different, though they all give you identity and recognition. Managing content on TikTok is difficult, especially as a student, while in TV advertisements and serials, you receive content and support from the team.
Q: Do teachers scold you like other students?
A: Obviously, they do. My mother has specifically asked them to treat me like any other student.
Q: Who is your inspiration, and what do you want to achieve?
A: My father is my real-life inspiration. He is an engineer and has his dream job. In acting life, my inspiration is Hrithik Roshan. I want to dance like him, though I’m not good at it.
Q: What is your dream project, and which artist do you want to work with?
A: My dream project is to appear in a blockbuster Bollywood movie like the megastars of the country. My dream artist to work with is Hrithik Roshan.
Q: Who would you like to credit for your success?
A: My parents and Almighty God, who bestowed me with talent. But my papa is the person I really want to credit for whatever I have achieved so far.
Q: A short message for the viewers?
A: Chase your dreams with passion and perseverance, but listen to your parents, peers, and teachers.