Casting director and co-director Lovleen Tandan contacted Ayush's father, Mahesh Khedekar, after seeing his commercials. When she met him, however, she thought Ayush was too young to play Jamal. But she asked him to audition anyway. It took him 10 auditions to finally land the role.
His audition scene? The part where he has to jump from the toilet seat into the pit of excreta. For the actual film though, Ayush was not required to do that scene. An extra got to jump in the pit, which was actually made of chocolate and peanut butter. Later, Ayush was dipped into a drum full of the same paste to get the look, as he ran to Amitabh for that coveted autograph.
"It was fun working with Danny uncle, as we would work and also get to play in out free time. I became friends with Mohammed Azharuddin (who played Salim) and Rubina Ali (who played Latika), and we would play hide and seek on the sets," Ayush grins.
Ayush did not have to miss school much to shoot for the film; most of his scenes were shot during his vacation. Since Slumdog's release, Ayush has become a star. His school mates now ask him for autographs. But Ayush has a complaint: the hoardings only show Dev Patel, the adult Jamal -- they don't show him.
In the picture: Ayush's cousin Siddhi and his three-year-old brother Soham.
Also See: Why Raja Sen loved Slumdog