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Reaching out

In `Time Out' at Kochi, Veejay Craig was truly `The Next Best Thing.'


AS HE walks into the restaurant, some `nervous' eyes start to flicker. The baby-faced star has that `trademark' smile glued firmly on to his face. He is used to it all and seems to enjoy the excitement that he generates, to the hilt. For VJ Craig of SS music channel, this sort of attention is a habit by now.

As the host of `Reach Out', he is quite popular in Kerala, which for him "is heaven itself, especially the picturesque interior parts of the State." This time, in Kochi, in connection with the launch of the `Virtual Request kiosk' at `Music World', where one can choose their song requests posted before a screen with a web cam, Craig was as usual, full of beans.

"I have been here earlier too for programmes like `Time Out' and `The Next Best Thing.' I'll be returning in mid-March with our `VJ Factor' contest, to select five smart youngsters to host our programmes. We're on the look out for stylish guys and gals with the right attitude and multi-lingual skills. Those selected will compete with the winners from Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad," explains Craig.

He feels that Keralites have shown a great interest for the channel considering the whopping response to all those phone-in shows.

How did his stint in TV start? "Believe me, I was so lucky in life that I got this big break in the Southern Spice channel just because I used to bunk my classes. During one such occasion, I met a friend who suggested this option. And here I am, having a dream job," states the chatterbox, who is all of twenty-two years.

It's a privilege being a VJ. I feel it extremely fascinating to interact with people from places that I have never even heard about. My job is to make them comfortable and happy during `their moments of fame'. I thoroughly enjoy doing it," gushes Craig.

When he finds free time, he is busy completing his book titled `Short stories for the idle mind', which he plans to bring out later this year.


He was born Craig Anthony Gallyot to French and Italian parents in Bangalore, "but we were settled in Chennai since I was ten years old." My lineage helped me in picking up several languages. Like, "whenever my father talks to me in French, I know he is angry," he laughs. As a kid he wished to be a pilot, "which I think is too expensive even to dream" and has done his graduation in "the more affordable," I.T. Now, he is doing his MBA along with it.

Films should be a natural option for a VJ, right? "Yeah, I have got some offers. Films will happen, that's for sure. And I wish my ultimate goal -to direct a movie- will also materialise someday. Recently, I saw `Kakka Kakka' and `Pithamahan'. I was quite fascinated by those movies." He has acted in a documentary film titled, "Six inch red ribbon" aimed at creating AIDS awareness.

The toughest thing for him, he says, "is to sing." But he loves listening to music. "Jazz, trans, rave... I love virtually everything." He is a great fan of Robbie Williams.

His current favourites in Malayalam songs are `Karuppinazhaku' and `Ishtamalleda'. "I do get requests for these songs even from people in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka too. I'm told that the latest sensation is `Lajjavathiye... ' but I am yet to hear the song."

He feels that Keralites have a great music sense. "13 AD was an excellent band and now, Motherjane, whom I had interviewed for a programme in our channel, is indeed promising."

Just then his mobile rings. As it is generally said, the best place to find Craig is by the phone. If he's not talking to his callers on Reach Out, he's on his telephone. With that `branded' smile intact.

VIJAY GEORGE

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