TAMIL NADU

Talk of the Town

YOU KNEW that Vikram had `Dhil'. Now, he's all set to roll out `Dhool' with his buddy from college, Ramani, the director who gave the hero the hit that cemented his position. But `Dhool' is still in the casting stage with the director looking out for a fresh face for one of the heroines.

And Vikram, apart from shuttling between shoots for AVM's `Gemini' and `Samurai' scheduled to hit the screens in February, is also finding time to indulge in... well, singing!

Though ideally he would have preferred to space out his releases, he has no complaints over reeling out one film after another...

After all, `Kasi' did click and get him all those rave reviews, `Samurai' is promising and almost complete and `Gemini' directed by Saran will open in theatres for Tamil New Years.

The buzz is that not only does he have plans to come out with his own album with Pravin Mani, Vikram a.k.a.

Kenny has also sung a song for Surya's upcoming project `Sree', produced by Venkateswaralayam and T.S. Muralidharan for a music director.

* * * A SEASON of dance. That is what the project is all about, and raising it to heavenly levels, the producers, Krishnaswamy Associates have called it ``When the Gods Dance''.

From Friday, DD's foray into culture, Bharati, will telecast the first capsule of the 33-episode programme originally produced by Mohana for Singapore TV 12. The individual capsules feature a variety of dance forms, including Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi and Manipuri.

Some leading names in the dance styles are to be seen on screen _ including Padma Subrahmanyam, the Dhananjayans, Leela Samson, Chitra Visweswaran, Anita Ratnam, and the directors of the serial, Lata and Gita.

For those who want to go folk, there are dancers from ``Gujarat to Nagaland, Punjab to Tamil Nadu'', says S. Krishnaswamy. Tune in at 8 p.m.

* * *

IT IS not yet summer, but Madhavan is already asking for ``more.''

We will see on Friday, Maddie with Trisha, in a new TV commercial by film maker Gautam Menon, why things actually go better with a particular soft drink.

The whole thing takes off on Maddie-Simran starrer Kannathil Muthamittal, which will hit the screens in mid-February.

There is even a jingle that is built around a song in the film, to promote the drink.

Those who have been following the promotions that Madhavan has been doing for some time now, need no prompting about which drink we are talking about: Pepsi, of course.

And the theme of the commercial: the drink plays catalyst for Trisha meeting Maddie and... Kannathil Muthamittal.

* * *

IT WAS a real quiz, from a site that wants to make its presence felt in the virtual world. The India Heritage Quiz 2002 had stiff competition, and the winners were Chettinad Vidyashram, its team of B.S.Nagaraj, V.Sharanya and Nakul pipping Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ashok Nagar to the post.

On hand to greet them were P. Swetha, the national award winner for the best child actor in Malli and later Kutti, along with singer Janani, who is fresh from her new album.

The whole quiz was hosted by chennaikids.com, a site that has its sights firmly on the younger generation and its working to broaden its appeal with listings of tuition teachers, music teachers, shops and birthday offers.

* * * HE IS the fifth Commissioner to occupy the hot seat at Ripon Buildings in less than seven months. Now the Chennai Corporation grapevine is abuzz with talk on how the new Commissioner, T.N. Ramanathan, is finding himself drawn in different directions.

Already the Commissioner has made clear his no-nonsense ways by refusing to accept gifts on his day of assuming charge. (This has miffed some of the powers that be). Some of the lower level staff of the civic body say that the official has also said `no' to several `requests' for transfers.

But the going might get increasingly tough for the official, who is a comparatively junior officer in the IAS cadre, observers say.

Compared to Mumbai and other major Corporations of the country including Kolkata, where IAS officers of Chief Secretary grade are appointed to the prestigious post of Commissioner, the post in Chennai has been reduced to a figurehead.

In the present case the Commissioner was appointed by the Election Commission itself. ``He is sure to stay, at least till the Saidapet elections,'' a source adds.

By Karthik Subramanian and Sudhish Kamath

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