Humility is a rarity in tinsel town. It’s either instilled or inherited. In Surya’s case it’s in his DNA. His father Shiva Kumar is one of the most revered figures in Tamil cinema. There was never a whiff of a scandal or misdemeanour.

When I met Surya for the first time at Bangalore airport for an interview I was floored when he mentioned I must have travelled a long way. It was genuine and not said for effect. His expressive eyes reflect care and concern. It's only after I met him that I understood why one of my favourite actresses Jyotika opted for matrimony over fame and fortune. He makes it a point to reply to messages and calls whenever he can, just to keep in touch. He updates you about what he's been up to but never talks ill about others or comments on the fate of his professional rival's films. Little wonder then that his fan following is swelling by the day. He's undergoing an ideal phase in his life. He's currently shooting for Ramu's “Raktha Charithram” in Mumbai but yearns to be with Jo who's due to deliver their second child anytime now. His latest release “Singam” is running to packed houses all over. “The pundits say it'll be my biggest hit,” says the soft-spoken star.

He will spend time with his family before moving on to Murugadoss's magnum opus titled “7Am Arivu”. “I can't reveal anything, but the script is fascinating,” says Surya. “Singam” is a racy, unapologetic entertainer. A typical Hari film, it showcases the macho side of Surya who plays an upright cop refusing to be cowed down by a powerful goon.

There's nothing new, technically or content wise. What keeps you rooted is the relentless pace at which the film is narrated. Nothing is stretched. The comedy is stale and the songs disappointing but Surya carries the film on his sturdy shoulders reiterating the fact that he's next only to Rajni and Kamal where popularity is concerned. Surya roars as “Singam” while the film currently rules the box-office.

***There's good news for girls who're crazy about Chetan. The failure of the much touted “Suryakanthi” led to a period of introspection before the determined actor accepted a film.

You can never be too careful in the film industry but it doesn't pay to be careless. Chetan is involving himself with scripting and has even penned the dialogues with Charishma Bharadwaj. “It was a revelation how important the spoken word is in a film,” says Chetan. The film is to be directed by Sharath Khadri and produced by Surabhi Talkies. Chetan plays an architect in this film about love, life and the predicament a man undergoes at various stages in life.

Lets hope this venture turns out to be a turning point in Chetan's career. We need a pleasant face to light up our screens.

S. Shiva Kumar

sshivuyahoo.com