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Saturday, December 3, 2011


Srividya (24 July 1953 - 19 October 2006) was a leading Indian film actress of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s in the Tamil film Industry, in addition to being a good singer. In the latter part of her career, she concentrated on Malayalam films. Her brilliant portrayals as a mother in many films were highly acclaimed. Srividya's personal life was full of tragedies. She fought against all odds with dedication in her work until she died of breast cancer.

Srividya was born on 24 July 1953 at Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to Tamil film comedian Krishnamurthy and Carnatic classical singer M. L. Vasanthakumari. She had a brother, Sankararaman. Her mother tongue is Tamil. Her father had to stop acting in the year when she was born because of a disease which affected his facial muscles.[1] Her family fell into financial crisis. Her mother worked long hours to meet the family's financial needs. Srividya once reportedly said that her mother didn't even have time to breastfeed her.[1] Srividya debuted in acting at a very early age. When her parent's marriage faced problems due to financial difficulties, Srividya's youth was blighted. She got a marriage proposal from a scientist based in the U.S., but the marriage did not materialize due to financial problems faced by her family.
Srividya launched her career as a child artist in the 1966 Tamil film Thiruvarutchelvar (1966) alongside legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan. Later she entered Malayalam films with a dance scene in Kumara Sambhavam (1969), directed by P.Subramanyan and in Telugu film Tata Manavadu (1972) directed by Dasari Narayana Rao. However, her first major role was that of a college student falling in love with her professor in the 1971 Tamil film Nootrukku Nooru, directed by K. Balachander. Her first film as heroine was Delhi to Madras (1972) in which she was paired opposite Jaishankar. In mid-1970s, she became busy in the Tamil film industry. She acted in films such as Velli Vizha, Sollathaan Ninaikkiren and Apoorva Raagangal, all directed by K. Balachander. She was Rajinikanth's first heroine in Apoorva Raagangal (1975). She played a heroine in the film Chattambikkavala opposite Sathyan. She gained public attention in Chenda, directed by A. Vincent. Actress Lakshmi is her very close friend.
Srividya acted in Apoorva Raagangal opposite Kamal Haasan which virtually changed her life. In the film she acted as the wife of Rajinikanth and as the lover of Kamal Haasan. She fell in love with Kamal Haasan during the making of the film. They had the support of their families, but they broke up. Later she fell in love with George Thomas, an assistant director in her Malayalam film Teekkanal. She married him on 9 January 1978 despite opposition from her family. As George wished, she was baptised before the marriage. She wanted to stay as a housewife, but had to return to acting, when George forced her to, citing financial issues. She soon realised that she made a wrong decision in marrying him. Her family life became miserable and the marriage ended in divorce. It was followed by a prolonged legal battle to settle financial issues between the two. The case went up to the Supreme Court of India, where she won the final decision. After the divorce, she left Chennai and settled in Thiruvananthapuram.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Sheela (born 24 March 1948), Malayalam: ഷീല), is a Malayalam film actress from India. She, along with Prem Nazir, holds the world record for acting in the largest number of films (107) together as heroine and hero.[1] In 2005 she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Malayalam film Akale.[2] She has also acted in numerous films with Madhu, Sathyan, Jayan and [[M. G. Soman] and several film stars].
Sheela was born in a Syrian Catholic Christian family in Trissur.
Sheela made her debut in Paasom opposite MGR. Her first film in Malayalam was Bhagyajathakom, with Sathyan. The next two decades saw her essay roles in more than 475 films totally in various languages such as Tamil, telungu and Kannada and Malayalam. Very Famous Films such as Chemmeen, Kallichellama, Velutha Kathreena, and Vazhve Mayamwere a few among them. She has won many awards such as Kerala State Film Awards, the Lux award and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award.

Her name, along with Prem Nazir's name figures in the Guinness Book of World Records, for acting together consecutively in 107 films. In the 70s and 80s, Sheela's tried her hand at directing as well. She directed two films, Yakshaganom and Shikarangal. She wrote the story, script, and screenplay for Shikharangaland Yakshaganom, which was also remade in Tamil. Besides films, she has directed a tele-film Ninaivukale neengividu in which Jayabharathi acted. She acted with Kamal Hassan in films like Vishnu Vijayam and eeetta as heroine. She acted as Akhilandeswary in the 2005 blockbuster Chandramukhi alongside Rajinikanth. She has also authored a book, titled Kuilinte Kooduand many short stories. She is a very good painter and her oil paintings and portraits were commendable.

Sheela returned to acting, playing main role in Sathyan Anthikkad's Manassinakkare. The film was a huge hit, and her performance was critically acclaimed. Sheela bagged the Kerala State Film Award for best supporting actress in the film Akale.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Seema (Malayalam: :സീമ) is an Indian actress.[1] She has performed in approximately 250 films in Malayalam, nine in Tamil, seven in Telugu, three in Kannada and one in Hindi. Seema is still active in the movie industry.

She began her career in Tamil film at fourteen as a dancer. At the age of 19, she starred as the heroine in her first movie in Malayalam titled Avalude Ravukal (Her Nights), directed by I. V. Sasi. She continued acting till 1988 when she took a break after the Malayalam movie Mahayaanam. Seema became active again in 1998 in Olympiyan Anthony Adam. Seema won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress in 1984 and in 1985, and is known for her versatility.

Seema is married to I. V. Sasi, the veteran South Indian director, with whom she has a daughter and son.
Seema was born in Ernakulam, Kerala, in 1957 as an only child. At the age of twelve, she learned to dance from Kamal Hassan, who was the assistant of her dance master, Thankappan.

She entered the movies at age 14 as a normal group dancer, under dance master Chopra. Later, she became a dance master and worked in the film industry as a composer and dancer for almost five years. At the age of 17, she was asked to act in a Kannada movie as a second heroine with Kannada actor Ambarish. I. V. Sasi spotted her and gave her the opportunity to act in his film Avalude Raavukal (Her Nights) as the heroine, which was released on 3 March 1978. The movie, with Sherif's script and I. V. Sasi's direction, created waves among Malayali audiences because of its soft porn nature and its challenging subject. Seema's extra glamourous attire in the movie created ripples among the Malayali youth and she became an instant hit among the youth.

During that time, the Malayalam film industry was ruled by actresses Sheela, Sharada, Jayabharathi, K. R. Vijaya, and Srividya. Seema received roles from many directors. Things changed when her movies with the star Jayan proved popular. The Jayan and Seema pair attracted people to theatres. This made her an independent heroine in films such as Angaadi, Kaanthavalayam, Sakthi, Manushyamrugam, Benz Vasu, Meen, Karimpana, Thadavara, and Anupallavi. The hit pair acted together for eighteen movies in a very short span of time, but the unexpected demise of Jayan ended the partnership.

Seema was always at ease with both western and south indian attire as she had a very well maintained physique throughout her career as a mainstream actress. She did do a lot of glamour roles at the peak of her career and all were very well received by the public.

She also branched out to Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films. She was Rajinikanth's heroine in films like Kaali and Ellam Un Kairasi.

Directors wanted to find another star to fill the gap left by Jayan. Many movies were planned for Jayan, such as Sphodanam directed by P. G. Viswambaran. He gave the chance to Mammooty to take the role of Jayan. Later Ratheesh came, also paired with Seema.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Jayabharathi (Malayalam: ജയഭാരതി) (Tamil: ஜயபாரதி) is a popular Malayalam film actress who started her career in late 1960s. She is a two-time winner of the Kerala State Film Award for best actress.[1] She was born in 1953.

Jayabharathi became one of the most successful Malayalam film actresses and performed with such notable leading men as Prem Nazir, Madhu, Jayan, M. G. Soman, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. She won the Kerala State Film Awards for her performances in various films in 1972 and Madhavikutty in 1973. One of her famous films was Rathinirvedam, directed by Bharathan, in which she played the role of a woman who fell in love with a boy younger than her.[2] She also directed few films in Malayalam.

After being trained since the age of five under Kalamandalam Natarajan, Rajaram (a student of Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai) and Vazhuvoor Samraj Pillai, Jayabharathi entered films as a teenager. Life revolved around film studios, dance rehearsals and stage performances. The actress is busy these days with her dance school, Aswathi Arts Academy, which she runs from home. She is also starting another one in Coimbatore. In 2003, Jayabharathi performed in nine temples in and around Kerala.[3] She is married to Malayalam actor Sathar with whom she has a son named AKS Unni.


Sugathakumari is an Indian poet - activist, born in 1934, who has been at the forefront of environmental and feminist movements in Kerala, South India. She played a big role in the Save Silent Valley protest. She formed Abhayagrama, aka Abhayagramam, a home for destitute women (Athani) and a day-care centre for the mentally ill. She was the former chairperson of the Kerala State Women's Commission.
Her father is Shribotheshvaran and her mother is V.K.Karthiyayini. Her husband is Dr K.Velayudhan Nair and her daughter is Lakshmi. She was the Principal of Jawahar Balabhavan. She was the Editor of a Magazine Thaliru. She has won several awards.
Kumari was inspired by her father's poetry as well as his strong beliefs: 'He was a freedom fighter filled with the all too rare ideals of patriotism and sacrifice.' His example influenced her deeply and led her eventually to the conviction that the writer has an important obligation as a social conscience. Although she is best known as a poet environmentalist, Kumari is also the founder of Abhaya (refuge) -- an organization which gives shelter and hope to female mental patients. Her work to launch Abhaya was prompted by an off-chance visit to the government-run Mental Hospital in the capital, Thiruvananthapuram. There women were housed in 19th century conditions, sexually abused and regularly prostituted to men in the neighboring police camp. When she visited the hospital she saw 'women's bodies covered with sores and stark naked. They were emaciated and their hair was matted. They didn't even look like human beings.' The horror of this experience was embedded in her mind and she decided on the spot to do something about it, despite opposition to interventions from ngos by professionals in the field. However, recent news reports

paint a totally different picture of the poet-activist and cast doubt on her credentials. The recent expose of alleged rape

of a lower caste woman by Abhaya office bearers within the center premises as reported in a leading political magazine - PATHRAM - and efforts to cover up the act have raised questions over the center which was originally constituted to treat and rehabilitate victims of such acts.
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Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (Malayalam: പിലാവുളളകണ്ടി തെക്കേപറമ്പില്‍ ഉഷ) (born June 27, 1964), popularly known as P.T. Usha is an Indian athlete from the state of Kerala. Regarded as queen of Indian track and field, P.T. Usha has been associated with Indian athletics since 1979. Her initials stand for her family/house name, according to tradition in many parts of Kerala. She was nicknamed Payyoli Express.

In 1979 she participated in the National School Games, where she was noticed by O.M. Nambiar, who coached her throughout her career. Her debut in the 1980 Moscow Olympics proved lacklustre. In the 1982 New Delhi Asiad, she got silver medal in the 100 m and the 200 m, but at the Asian Track and Field Championship in Kuwait a year later, Usha took gold in the 400m with a new Asian record[citation needed] . Between 1983-89, Usha garnered 13 golds at ATF meets. She finished first in the semi-finals of the 400 metres hurdles in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, but faltered in the finals. In almost a repeat of Milkha Singh's 1960 feat, there was a nail-biting photo finish for the third place. Usha lost the bronze by 1/100th of a second. She became the first Indian woman (and the fifth Indian) to reach the final of an Olympic event by winning her 400 m hurdles Semi-final.

In the 10th Asian Games held at Seoul in 1986, P.T.Usha won 4 gold and 1 silver medal in the track and field events. Here she created new Asian Games records in all the events she participated.She won five golds at the 6th Asian Track and Field Championship at Jakarta in 1985. Her six medals at the same meet is a record for a single athlete in a single international meet.[citation needed]

Usha has won 101 international medals so far. She is employed as an officer in the Southern Railways. In 1985, she was conferred the Padma Shri and the Arjuna award.
Mātā Amritanandamayī Devi (Devanagari: माता अमृतानन्‍दमयी, born Sudhamani, September 27, 1953) is an Indian spiritual leader revered as a saint by her followers, who also know her as "Amma", "Ammachi" or "Mother". She is widely respected for her humanitarian[2] activities and is known as "the hugging saint"
Mata Amritanandamayi was born Sudhamani in the small village of Parayakadavu (now partially known as Amritapuri), near Kollam, Kerala in 1953 [4]. Sudhamani was born to a fishing family of the Arayan caste. Her schooling ended when she was nine, and she began to take care of her younger siblings and the family domestic work full-time.

She is said to have had many mystical experiences as a child. Since 1981, she has been teaching spiritual aspirants all over the world. She founded a worldwide organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust, which is engaged in many spiritual and charitable activities. She addressed the United Nations General Assembly[5] and was recognised as a universal mother figure.

International events1993, Chicago: speech at the "Parliament of the World’s Religions" 100th Anniversary. 1995, New York: address at the Interfaith Celebrations at the 50th Anniversary of the UN. 2000, New York: keynote address at the Millennium Peace Summit, UN General Assembly. 2002, Geneva: keynote address at the Global Peace Initiative of Women innaugural meeting at the UN in Geneva. 2002, Geneva: "Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence" from The World Movement for Non-Violence at UN headquarters. 2004, Barcelona, Parliament of World Religions. 2006, New York, James Parks Morton Interfaith award
Shobana Chandrakumar (Malayalam: ശോഭന; born March 21, 1970) is an exponent of the Bharatanatyam dance and a leading actress of South Indian motion pictures. She was born into a Malayalam speaking family from Kerala, India. Shobana is the niece of the Travancore sisters Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, all of whom were renowned for their skill in classical Indian dance. She has acted in over 200 movies in 5 languages.

Shobana acted for the first time in a leading role in the Malayalam motion picture "April 18" in 1984, directed by Balachandra Menon. She also acted alongside the Malayalam actor Mammootty in the film Kanamarayathu (1984). Shobana won her first National Film Award for Best Actress from the government of India in 1994 for her performance in Fazil's movie Manichitrathazhu, which was a Mohanlal starrer. She bagged a second National award for best actress in the year 2001 for her role in an English language film Mitr, My Friend, directed by Revathi. Revathi is her very close friend, philosopher and guide
Suzanna Arundhati Roy (born November 24, 1961) is an Indian writer and activist who won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her first novel, The God of Small Things, and in 2002, the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize.
Roy was born in Shillong, Meghalaya,[1] to a Keralite Syrian Christian mother, the women's rights activist Mary Roy, and a Bengali father, a tea planter by profession. She spent her childhood in Ayemenem or Aymanam in Kerala, and went to school at Corpus Christi, Kottayam, followed by the Lawrence School, Lovedale, in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. She then studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, where she met her first husband, architect Gerard DaCunha. Roy met her second husband, filmmaker Pradip Krishen, in 1984, and played a village girl in his award-winning movie Massey Sahib. Roy is a niece of prominent media personality Prannoy Roy [2] and lives in New Delhi.
Roy first attracted attention when she criticised Shekhar Kapur's film Bandit Queen, based on the life of Phoolan Devi, charging Kapur with exploiting Devi and misrepresenting both her life and its meaning.[3]

The God of Small Things, coverRoy began writing her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1992, completing it in 1996. The book is semi-autobiographical and a major part captures her childhood experiences in Ayemenem or Aymanam[citation needed]. The book received the 1997 Booker Prize for Fiction and was listed as one of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year for 1997.[4] The book reached fourth position on the New York Times Bestsellers list for Independent Fiction.[5] She received half a million pounds as an advance, and rights to the book were sold in 21 countries.

The God of Small Things received good reviews, for instance in The New York Times.[6] However, Carmen Callil, chair of the Booker judges panel in 1996, called The God of Small Things "an execrable book" and said it should never have reached the shortlist.[7]

Roy wrote the screenplays for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989) and Electric Moon (1992) in which she also appeared as a performer, and a television serial The Banyan Tree. She also wrote the documentary DAM/AGE: A Film with Arundhati Roy (2002).

In early 2007, Roy announced that she would begin work on a second novel

K.R. Gowri Amma (born 14 July 1919) heads the Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS), a political party based in Kerala, India. Prior to the formation of JSS she was a prominent figure in the communist movement in Kerala.

Ms. Gowri was born at Pattanakad village in Alappuzha district of Kerala, where the Holy Menassery Martyr Memorial
Under the influence of elder brother and trade union leader Sukumaran, she entered the vibrant world of politics at a time when women hardly found themselves in politics. Starting her public life through trade union and peasant movements, Ms. Gauri was elected to the Travancore Council of Legislative Assembly in the year 1952 and 1954 with overwhelming majority. She became Revenue Minister in the first EMS ministry in 1957. In the very same year she married TV Thomas, a prominent politician and also a minister in EMS ministry. After the split of Communist party in 1964, KR Gauri joined the newly formed Communist Party of India (Marxist). But her husband, T V Thomas, stood with the Communist Party of India. This created fissures in their relationship and soon they parted owing to the differences in their political views. In 1994 KR Gauri was expelled from CPI (M) on charges of anti-party activities. Following this she established a new political outfit named Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithy (JSS). JSS went on to join the United Democratic Front, the arch-rivals of the Left Democratic Front to which CPI (M) belongs. She served as the Minister of Agriculture in the Oommen Chandy ministry.

K. S. Chithra, credited as Chitra, is a six time National film awards winning singer who has made her mark in the Indian (film) playback industry. Known as the “Nightingale of South India”, she has lent her voice to Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Hindi, Assamese and Bengali films.
Born on July 27, 1963, in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra’s talent was recognized and nurtured from an early age by her father, the late Krishnan Nair. He was also her first guru (teacher). Chithra received her extensive training in Carnatic music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, after she was selected for the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978 – 1984. She was introduced to Malayalam playback singing by M. G. Radhakrishnan in 1979. She made her debut in the Tamil film industry in Chennai under the guidance of film music composer Ilaiyaraaja. Her knowledge of South Indian languages and Hindi enables her to render songs with originality and perfection






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