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Track 3 - Tracked on June 15, 1997

With last year's Avvai Shumugi and this year's Bharathi Kannama being Mega hits and the more recent Vallal being a reasonable hit, Meena has all the reasons to be proud of.

Unlike most of her rivals, Meena is extremely choosy about her movies. If you carefully analyze her filmography, you will find almost all the movies of Meena will have the industry's to top heroes being paired along with to her. Due to this reason, there are not that many movies of Meena released in a year. However in whichever role she does, this savvy actress creates a definite impression on the audience with her oomph and above all with her acting skills.

When it comes to exposing and acting in those passionate scenes, these days Meena has her own reservations. Compared to her rivals like Ramba, Nagma and Roja, Meena is not all that comfortable in flaunting her body on screen. It is true that during her initial days Meena was made to reveal a lot by those Telugu directors as it was (and still is) the norm of the Telugu industry. But once Meena had left the Telugu industry for good and made it real big in Tamil, everyone is at the receiving end now. With the kind of success that this girl is enjoying, Meena can definitely dictate her own terms in the industry.

Roshini, more popularly known as Nagama's sister in the industry did not have that a great debut with Sishya. No doubt Roshini was definitely youthful and pretty in Shisya. But her face with limited expressions and those small oriental type eyes and mostly insipid songs of the movie all of them have worked against this new comer.

One big surprise in Shisya is Asha, another new comer. In Shisya, Asha acts as a North Indian wife of comedian Koundamani. In many angles Asha reminds you of Meena. With her wider eyes and with the same special smile Asha is a definite look alike of Meena. Asha has also acted in Pongalo Pongal, pairing opposite to Vivek another popular comedian.

The recent release Ullasam, Amithab Bachan's maiden production venture in Tamil, has not received that a good review from the Press. Some of the songs scored by Karthik Raja are really good in Ullasam. But the usual triangular love story and below average direction of JD and Jerry has disappointed the viewers. It is to be noted that there was a big hype and hoopla created before the release of this movie.

Another movie that has generated a lot of expectations for now is VIP. This has the star cast of Prabhu Deva, Abbas, Ramba and Simran. Simarn is the same lady who made her debut in Hindi with "Tere Mere Sapne" a reasonable hit from Amithab's ABCL productions.

The Music of VIP is scored by Ranjeet who once was A.R. Rahman's assistant . It seems that Ranjeet has done a fairly good job in composing the music for VIP. To prove this point, the "Maylu Maylu Maylamma" number from VIP is already making it on Top in all popular charts.

Interestingly the Telugu version of 'VIP' is also called as 'VIP' itself. Probably its Hindi version could also have the same name, unless someone else had already registered this name. As a matter of fact Kamal's blockbuster Tamil hit Indian was to be named as 'Indian' in Hindi too. However there is this Sunny Doel-Aishwarya Rai Starrer which was already named as Indian. This has made our 'Indian' to become 'Hindustani' in Hindi.

The leading Villain Prakash Raj is originally from Karnataka. He learnt to speak Tamil in the recent past but he still can not read or speak Tamil. But people who saw Prakash Raj in Iruvar with his delivery of all those rhetoric will hesitate to believe this. Prakash Raj's new movie in the offing is Nandini. Prakash is so pleased with his characterization in Nandini that he has presented a CD player as a gift to Mano Bala the director of Nandini.

Nandini's heroine is Suhasini Manirathnam. In this movie Suhasini acts as mother of a teenage girl. During his recent conversation with Vikatan, Mano Bala the director of this movie goes gaga over Suhashini's acting skills.

Earlier during election days veteran Manorama had bad-mouthed about Rajini. However Rajini did pardon her and above all included her in his recent release "Arunachalam". This as all we know is a old story. But after performing such a splendid role as an old lady who was cruel to Rajini in Arunachalam, Vadivukkarsi is being shunned by Rajini's fans. To top it all even Rajini-loyol directors also senselessly avoid this talented actress. Strangely roles reserved for Vadivukkarasi are actually given to Manorama.

The Roja girl Madhu Bala, known as Madoo to the national audience, in real life is a wild party animal. In her recent interview to Star Dust, Madhoo has openly accepts her involvement with several industry men. To avoid any controversy in this regard, the following lines are quoted as it appears "Star Dust":

"I have been involved with some of my heroes but it is always superficial. I don't make an issue out of it. I know the industry is not a place to make deep rooted, solid relationships!"

"I have seen relationships formed only on outdoor locations for ten days. But it is very difficult for me to accept the fact that my man is straying while I am religiously calling him and whispering 'I love you's' and 'Baby I miss you's' over the telephone!"

"I've had my fair share of relationships and today I tell dad, 'When I am ready for marriage find me a proper Brahmin ..... (caste name here is censored) husband who puts lots of oil in his hair and is God-fearing, and I'm sure I'II be happy with him!"

What else can we do but to pity that poor would-be husband of wild Madhoo.

According to Kumudam lights-on Vivek, the music director for Rajini's next movie will be the recent national award winner A.R. Rahman.

Here is the Star Tracks news - the next generation: Shiela's son Vishnu, Shivakumar's son Surya, Gangai Amran's son Venkat Prabhu and finally Illaya Raja's son Karthik Raja all of them were room-mates during their college days. Among them Vishnu is the hero of the new movie in the making "Kadal Rojave". Surya is one of the leading men in "Nerrukku Ner". Karthik Raja we all know is a promising music director. But we still have to hear what Venkat Prabhu is up to!

Finally here is a shocker about Sridevi appearing in June 97 on-line issue of "Cine Blitz". Once again to avoid any controversy it is quoted as it appears in "Cine Blitz":

"Apparently, Sridevi's mother was a junior artist in Telugu films, as was her own father. Due to some differences her parents split and her mother took little Sridevi away. She then married her lawyer friend Ayyapan, who was already a married man. He apparently never divorced his first wife, so Sridevi's mother being a second wife, was also allegedly not the legally wedded wife of Ayyappan.

People in Madras are very angry with Latha and feel sorry for Sridevi.

Srilatha was born of this relationship and Satish (who we wondered how he was related to Sridevi), was Ayyapan's son from his first wife.

Confused? So are we. And to make it simple, we say that Sridevi worked all her life to look after her mother, her step-father and mother's alleged illegal husband, their love child Latha and her step brother Satish, and his real mother.

Thirty years after being separated from her real father, Sridevi is paying a heavy price for her mother's mistakes. She worked since that young age of five and her earnings were invested in the name of a man who was apparently not even her real father.

Latha and Satish are therefore, fighting for the money that was in the name of their father and not Sridevi's. Ironical, isn't it?

Can one ever understand how Sridevi feels about working all her life for these people and still being hounded for her wealth? Where would they have been, if she had not sweated it out in those dusty studios?

People in Madras are very angry with Latha and feel sorry for Sridevi. Nobody grudges her, her happiness with Boney Kapoor today. Wonder what her real father, who is still alive in Hyderabad, feels about all this?

Sometimes, the past slaps you in the face... Sometimes, you pay for somebody else's mistakes... and sometimes, you go through life trying to gather love and in the bargain, get used, abused and misused. Sridevi's life is a lesson in humanity. Today, the bitterness between the sisters proves one thing - that had they been real sisters, there would have been some feeling in Latha's heart and she would not have dragged Sridevi to court.

But blood, in this case, was certainly not thicker than water..."

- This edition of Star Tracks is tracked from Star Dust, Cine Blitz, Kumudam, Anandha Vikatan and other Internet sources.

Track 2 - Tracked on May 29, 1997

Nagma vehemently denies her involvement with Sharath Kumar. In her recent interview to G Magazine - a Bollywood magazine, Nagma considers Sharath just a friend and nothing more than a friend. But when it comes to the question of Sharath's rift with Chaya his wife, Nagma fully sympathizes with Sharath Kumar. Here are Nagma's impressions on Sharath:

"See, I do not want to be judgmental. If you are genuinely interested in knowing the truth, please believe me, I'm not instrumental for Sharat and his wife's rift. And why only blame the man? They could both be at fault. A woman should be mature enough to admit that she could be at fault. It's very easy for her to give a sob story. Whether it's her fault or not, she gets all the sympathy. But if a man opens his heart he is branded cheap and fickle-minded. It's unfair.

"All I am asking is why paint the man black without knowing him?"

And how well does Nagma know him?

"I have done three films with him so far. When you work with a man from dawn to dusk, for days together, you can read his moods and know the type of person he is".

And what type of person is Sharat?

Nagma sums him up in one sentence. "He is a very straightforward person."

In her recent movie "Pista", it looks like Nagma has done something more than her glamorous presence. Yes.. she has surprised the viewers with a bit of her acting skills!

Nagma is now busy shooting for "Janaki Raman" Directed by K.C Sunder. Incidently the hero of this movie is Sharat Kumar and the other heroine is Ramba. Portions of this movie are being shot at Gobichettipalayam AKA Gobi the western Kodambakkam of Tamil Nadu and its surroundings. (Ooh it is my home town!)

When you talk about Gobi, one will always associate it with the famous director K. Bhagyaraj who has his roots from Gobi. Bhagyaraj's next movie would be "Vettiyai Madichukkattu". In this movie Bhagyaraj pairs with Nagma. The story is about a Tamilian who moves to Mumbai and Marries a North Indian Girl. Based on the title one could expect a lot of Bhagyarajish humors in this movie.

It looks like wedding bells will soon ring at Gouthami's residence. When Kumudam's Lights-on Vinod contacted Gouthami, she informed him of this good news. However she did not want to reveal her man's name. But sources from Bollywood say it could be Sandeep Bhatia a business man from Mumbai. Sandeep Bhatia's ex-girl friend Kashmira Sha an upcoming actress in Bollywood accuses Sandeep of two-timing with both Kashmira and Gauthami.

Another actress who is on her way to marriage is Ramya the hot siren of Andhara Pradesh. Now Ramya is out of the clutches of her sugar daddy Ragavendra Roa and her marriage is going to be with Krishna Vamshi another successful Telugu Director.

- This edition of Star Tracks is tracked from G Magazine , Anandha Vikatan, Kumudam, Thinaboomi and other Internet sources.

Track 1

After the stupendous success of Assai, Vanmathi and Kadal Kottai, Ajit has now bagged the prestigious film from Amithab's ABCL banner "Ullasam". Ullasam has the romantic pair of Maheshwari the star cousin of Sridevi with Ajit. People who had watched the "O Ranganaada.." number from Nesam will surely swear by the perfect match of this pair.

The "Ullasam" hero Ajit is born to a Sindhi mother and a Malayali father. Because of this he always feels that he is half North-Indian. With his command over Hindi, he is also confident that he might shift to Bollywood sometime in near future. Ajit's obsession for North never stops with this. In his recent interview to Rediff on Net Magazine he is in full praise of those North-girls. Here are his remarks:

"See, North Indian girls tend to be very fair... considerably fairer than the girls in the south. And that is one reason why our Tamil and Telugu producers are increasingly starring them in their films - Manisha Koirala, Urmila Matondkar, Pooja Bhatt, now Sushmita Sen... It's all part of this star fixation," Ajith muses. "The front-benchers here, they go to the theater and see these north girls and they go, Hey, look at her, so fair and nice...!"

Another news about Ajit...Ajit has been dropped by Mani Rathanam from his movie "NErukku NEr". One version says that he is out of this movie because he had severely messed with Mani's schedules. But according to another version Ajit had felt that his role in that movie is not as meaty as Vijay - the other hero of "NErukku NEr."

The replacement for Ajit in "NErukku NEr." movie is Surya another star son to the industry. His dad...? The ever-green hero Shiva Kumar.

More news about Chikni Chachi - Kamal's new venture at Bollywood. This Hindi remake of Tamil Mega hit Avvai shunmugi is being directed by Shantanu Sheorey and produced by Saab John, a long-time associate of Kamal Hasan.

Shoeory the debut director for this movie is husband of Kimi Katker - Bollywood heart-throb of late eighties. According to Shoeory the Tamil version Avvai... did not have that much of humor.

Michael Westmore, a renowned make-up man who figured in films that relied heavily on makeup like Star Trek and Mrs Doubtfire, will be flying down to Mumbai just to help on Kamal's make up.

After every new movie release Rajini has the habit of having a month break at Himalayas then heading to foreign lands. This time, after Arunachalam's release, Rajini had spent his vacation at Himalayas and now he is on his way to visit countries like England and US.

Rambha had very high hopes of making it big on Bollywood. She even wanted to settle in Mumbai if luck favored her. That is why she gave more importance to those roles bending backwards and forwards to please those directors. Sadly, barring one or two, none of her films did well. Even her resemblance to Divya Bharathi (including those squint eyes) and generous exposures could not help Rambha to emulate the magic of late Divya. Now Rambha is concentrating mainly on Tamil and Telugu movies. Thanks to her sensuous looks in movies like Ullathai Allitha, Dharma Chakkarm, Arunachalam and now Rasi, Rambha is the current heart-throb of Tamil Nadu.

The dubbed Telugu versions of Iruvar, Minsra Kanavu and Arunachalam... all of them are declared as flops in Andhra Predesh.

After Azhar and Sangeeta Bijlani the current movie-cricket romantic pair is Anil Kumble and Shobana. Shobana particularly is very open about this affair.

- This edition of Star Tracks is tracked from Rediff on Net, Thinaboomi and other Internet sources.

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