Shankar Mahadevan
Shankar Mahadevan
Anandan Sivamani
Anandan Sivamani
Prabu Deva
Prabu Deva
Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair
Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair

Padma Awards are the highest civilian accolades that the government of India confers on its citizens and those from the Indian diaspora whose immense contribution to the fields of medicine, industry, social work, public affairs and entertainment, among other fields, is recognised.

The awards are conferred in three categories - Padma Vibhushan (exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of a high order) and Padma Shri (distinguished service in any field). The recipients are announced on the eve of India’s Independence Day.

The first of the four winners is singer and music composer Shankar Mahadevan. Born in Chembur, Mumbai, into a Tamil family, Mahadevan learned Hindustani classical and carnatic music as a child and began playing the veena at the age of five.

He has sung for numerous Hindi and Tamil movies and he will perform in South Africa on March 1 - his first concert after being conferred with the Padma Shri.

The second recipient of the Padma Shri from the south was Malayalee superstar Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair for acting. Nair is an Indian actor, producer and playback singer who predominantly works in Malayalam cinema. He has had a prolific career spanning four decades, during which he has acted in more than 300 films. In addition to Malayalam, he has also appeared in other regional Indian films.

Prabu Deva bagged the Padma Shri for his contribution to dance in India. Deva is a dance choreographer, film director, producer and actor who has worked in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada movies. In a career spanning 25 years, he has performed and designed a range of dancing styles and has garnered two national film awards for best choreography. His forthcoming movie, Charlie Chaplin, is much awaited.

Drummer, Sivamani, who lives in Chennai and is married to a Capetonian, won the Padma Shri for his contribution to art and music.

Now for some film news, Dev is actor Karthi’s 17th movie. Slated as an action, adventure thriller, Dev is a road adventure written and directed by Rajath Ravishankar.

Dev marks Ravishankar’s directorial debut. The movie stars Karthi and Rakul Preet Singh, while Karthik, Prakash Raj, Vamsi Krishna and Ramya Krishnan play pivotal roles.

Harris Jayaraj has been roped in to score the music. This marks Harris’ 25th movie. Dev will be released on February 14.

96, which released last year, received critical acclaim for its story, excellent performances by Vijay Sethupathy and Trisha and its soulful music by Govind Vasantha.

The Telugu version of 98 will see Samantha and Sharwanana sharing screen space reprising the roles played by Vijay Sethubathy and Trisha in the original version.

Govind Vasantha stays on as music director.

Actor Dhanush and director Vetrimaaran have a hugely successful working relationship, which has resulted in many hit movies, including the national award-winning movie Aadukalam.

The duo also delivered hit movies like Polladhavan and Vada Chennai. Now their fourth collaboration is a movie titled Asuran. The recently released poster of this movie has garnered great interest.

* Lutchmanan is an educator, author and linguistic campaigner. She is also a presenter/producer at Lotus FM. You can hear her on Inisai Mazhai, Fridays from 6pm to 7pm, and The Best Of Kodambakkam, Sundays 10am to 1pm.