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Vineeth…The name (b)rings this awesome ring tone to my mind and heart that my daughter was obsessed with, between maybe 2007 – 2008! It had got etched in all our memory cells, partly because of the multiple times we heard it plus the sheer simplicity of the tune and Vineeth’s mesmerizing voice! As a testimony to music transcending all barriers, there was no necessity for one to know Malayalam to go gaga over this song! I was probably one amongst many others who thought the same. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My2Vw_toXPk

Sometimes being a celebrity-kid has more disadvantages than advantages contrary to universal opinion. I guess one has to be in the “vaarisu’s” (heir) shoes to know the pinch!! Vineeth is son of renowned Malayalam film actor Sreenivasan who is the recipient of many film accolades for his scripting and directing skills including the prestigious national award.

His ‘minnal azhagae’ (composed by Jakes Bjoy) made many people in and outside the reel world, sit up, notice and take Vineeth seriously as a face (and voice) to reckon with! He so delightfully accepted to me, “I thought I was technically under qualified but passion pushed me!”

His debut as an actor was revealed to the real world on February 16th, 2008, through the film ‘Cycle’ directed by Johny Antony and written by James Albert.

Though music beckoned him and he was offered plum roles as an actor, his distant dream (which he knew would take time) was to become a director.

2008 proved to be a work-o-holic one, submerging him in what he loved 24/7/365! His music album Coffee at MG Road became the talk of the town and topped the charts on the internet. His music video Palavattam directed by him, got rave reviews. The day was not too far, before a feature film ‘director is born’ to dawn. Vineeth won the AMMA Best Male Singer Award 2008 for his songs ‘Mampullikkavil’ and ‘Jillu Jillu’ plus the Best Male new face of the year 2008 by Asianet, for his role in ‘Cycle’.

Same year he also started acting in his 2nd film ‘Makante achchan’ (Son’s father) that was released on 23rd January 2009. It was directed by V.M. Vinu and his dad in real life was in reel life too, along with Suhasini as his mom. This film was a box office hit; completing 150 day run in 27 enters. In 2009 he started scripting for his debut film produced by actor Dileep.  Malarvaadi Arts club was released on 16th July 2010 and was declared a soooper doooper hit especially for a debutante. Vineeth so willingly and truthfully declared to me that his muse was Dil chatha hai. The main leads, 5 boys and 2 girls were selected through a talent hunt.

In 2010 September a chance reading of a short story by M.J.Akbar sowed the seeds of a love story in his mind, where the author had said ‘most people in India meet at weddings!’ A few months later, in November, he wrote the scene in Prague, where his hero Vinod proposes to his love Ayesha and these 2 characters traveled with him ever since! (Till July 6th 2012, when his 2nd film was released)

Then ‘Traffic’ came his way (2010) where father and son shared screen space again. Traffic is one of the first multi narratives made in this decade in Malayalam film and due to its success is being remade in Hindi and Tamil (Am not too sure if the Tamil version has started or stalled?)

In 2011, he acted in Chaappa Kurish (Heads or tails) that came up with mixed reviews marking the directorial debut of Sameer Thahir.

This was followed by his role as Shyam in ‘Padmasree Bharat Dr. Saroj Kumar in 2011 a satirical film directed by Sajin Raaghavan, where he once again acted with his dad.

Hearing all this made my head spin! ‘What about your sky rocketing music career’ I asked him brimming with curiosity? Where does this young chap find the energy or make time to cram in so much of effort to make his dreams to come true?! He smiled and rattled off the following data at full throttle!

In 2003, when he was still in his teens, his voice got its ‘1st break ‘with Vineeth as a playback singer. Mohanlal and director Priyadarshan soul friends in real life came together (again) in their 29th film with Kilichundan Mambazham. Vineeth’s debut was under none other than the king of soothing melodies, Vidyasagar. Vineeth also sang his praises about Vidyasagar. “He is so sensitive to his singers’ strain, asks them to sing base 1st and then octave. He personally plays the harmonium to get the feel of his song” said Vineeth, his voice clearly denoting his fondness to this music composer. With his winning smile he said, “I heard my own voice 50 times, playing my debut song in a loop, telling myself this is my voice as heard by the listeners”

Another landmark in his musical refrain, with due respects to my friend Na. Muthukumar, I do not subscribe to the lyrics(!!) ‘avaL appadi ondrum azhagillai’ which brought his dulcet tone to Thamizh cinema too. Also Vadakka therkka in AvaL peyar Thamizharasi in the same year both composed by Vijay Antony, another dear friend of mine! He has more than 50 songs to his credit.

Now that his 2nd film as director Thattathin Marayathu is making waves and breaking records, Vineeth is one ‘heaven of a happy creator’! A romantic musical, it is produced by Mukesh and Sreenivasan under the banner of Lumiere Film Company. The music is composed by Shaan Rahman, while the cinematography is handled by Jomon T. John, and the editing is by Ranjan Abraham. Vineeth said, “We shot through the length and breadth of Thalassery trying to capture the essence of this beautiful small town. We all really had a blast." His enthusiasm is very infectious..

I asked him for a special message for aspiring actors, directors and singers who may not share the (dis)advantage he was born with! To the directors of tomorrow his ‘take’ is: “Make an outstanding screenplay with no loopholes. That is your Rock of Gibraltar. Love your characters and have faith in them. God will take care of the rest” This magnetic lad blessed with oodles of charisma firmly believes, “everyone has their destiny, but an external force makes it happen”

Let us wish this multifaceted charmer who has not been spoilt with all the success, is so humble and down to earth, the very best in his love and life…what delights me the most is that he believed in sending prints of his film overseas with subtitles, thus enhancing the audience viewer-ship %. We got content and creativity…let us not be frogs in the well or wear blinkers please! What started as a germ of an idea in Prague has now blossomed into a lovely tree worldwide. May others while reveling in this shade, being entertained by more films from Vineeth also follow suit in taking Malayalam films worldwide with proper subtitles. For this alone Vineeth gets a special pat on his back from me : - )

So sorry if this was longer than usual but such a young man to have achieved so much in so short a time through sheer passion and perseverance I thought needed to be written, I did not have the heart to delete a single word or accolade!

Be back again, sooner than you expect,


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