Dim lights

 

Chennai, these days, is under a pleasant spell of
weather which makes people look up to their calendar
to check what time of the year they are in. Adding
to this spell of pleasantness, the contest winners
of behindwoods.com had one more reason to rejoice
- their meeting with Cheeyan Vikram.It was a pleasant afternoon in Chennai and the winners
were eagerly waiting for their Raavanan aka Veeraiya
to arrive. Not making his fans wait for long hours,
Vikram arrived sooner. He was dapper in a pair of
jeans and a black T shirt and he accessorized them
perfectly with beads round his neck. However, it was
not his attire or looks that impressed the gathering
but his joie de vivre was the reason that floored
them.

Accepting the huge garland from team Behindwoods with
a smile bigger and fresher than the garland itself,
Vikram was ready to interact with his fans right from
the word go. He began the session with a jocular comment
– “you can ask me anything but Raavanan,
Mani Ratnam, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek, Priya Mani and
Prithviraj.” When the audience was reeling under
this comment trying to assimilate his words, he followed
it with quick live wire comment – “I was
just kidding” – much to everyone’s relief.

He braced all kinds of queries thrown at him with
an honest demeanor that belied his stardom. The questions
ranged from his career to favorite directors to his
future projects.

The proof of Vikram’s all pervading appeal and
the impact of his performance in Raavanan came across
in a question posed to Vikram by a senior member present
in the audience. An elderly woman impressed the Raavanan
himself when she wanted to know if he had used a body
double in the climax scene when she said, “enakke
bak bak nnu irundadu anda scene paakumpodu. Neenga
eppadi pannineenga?” Vikram was evidently impressed
by the lady’s dialect, obviously from Raavanan,
and replied using her words that he did not use a
body double but all the same was tensed doing those
shots.

Another fan wanted to know who is the one actress
that he is eager to pair with, now that he has acted
with the most beautiful woman (implying Aishwarya
Rai). “Angeline Jolie,” came the quick
reply.

According to him, Chappani of 16 Vayadinile is one
character he would like to essay. To another fan who
questioned about Vikram’s competitor whether
it was Suriya or Kamal or Vijay, he said that it was
him who he is competing with and no one else.

When the discussions veered to masala films and some
of his fans expressed their desire that he should
not feature in such movies, Vikram politely said that
he would also do them but bring in his own uniqueness
to such films.

The most interesting question posed to Vikram was
one that almost all his fans would have had n their
minds; Why is there a big gap between his releases?
Why don’t we see him more often on screen?

To this Vikram gave a rather elaborate answer.
It came across that the star genuinely wanted to
explain his stand and style of working to each and
every fan. He recalled the days during which Anniyan
was in the making. It was a lull period for Vikram
without a single release in more than a year. During
one of his journeys at this time he met a senior
artiste of the industry who chided him for spending
too much time on a single project. He told Vikram
that he had lost a lot of ground to his competitors,
one of whom had done almost seven films during the
period. He had suggested that Vikram had been left
behind by seven steps. Even that did not make Vikram
give up his dedication to that mammoth project.
And, when Anniyan finally released the results were
for all to see. Vikram said that after having been
left seven steps behind, the huge success of the
movie made him feel as if he had gained forty steps
in one shot. That is why, he explained, he believed
in taking time to deliver the best product possible.
That is one philosophy that, we have to say, definitely
works.

Many people in the audience were a bit upset with
the way the film had ended. Almost all of them were
angry about the climax and offered alternatives.
To these suggestions, Vikram replied with a lot
of enthusiasm. He said that there had been a lot
of suggestions about the climax. The one that had
affected him most was a mail that he received from
one of his fans. The fan had suggested an alternative
ending where Veera jumps off a waterfall, taking
Ragini along, plunging into the waters as Dev and
his co-officers looked on helplessly. At that time
a range of explosives is set off killing the entire
force, leaving only a badly injured Dev who watches
from the precipice as Veera and Ragini swim to safety
and walk away into the dense covers of the forest;
forever.

That would have been a poetic climax. Vikram said
that his mother too preferred Veera’s character
to survive. And, finally, even Vikram said that he
would have ideally wanted Veera to live and Dev to
die.

Then there was a fan who wanted Vikram to reprise
the unforgettable ‘multiple personality’
scene from Anniyan where he has a heated exchange
with Prakash Raj in the interrogation room. Vikram
politely pointed out that it would not be possible
without the presence of Prakash Raj. But on repeated
insistence he relented and provided the eager audience
with a small sample, delighting everybody present.

The session proceeded with many more such questions
and the fans showered their plaudits on the star for
his remarkable performance in Raavanan. Finally, it
was the photograph and the autograph session which
the National Award winner obliged with an ever smiling
face.

Like all good things must come to end, the afternoon
also culminated but with pleasant memories to take
home to which his fans are sure to cherish for a long
while.

Thank You Vikram!