Baradwaj Rangan at Caravan Magazine:
THE FEW PEOPLE WHO REALLY know the Tamil star Vikram have probably been surprised by this admission of fear. Because even with those close to him, he’s always been about the jokes and high spirits and anecdotes that can really punch up a conversation. Like the one about how he ended up with that name. His parents—J Albert Victor and Rajeswari—named him Kennedy and called him Kenny. He hated the name, even if he had to admit that it was better than the one his ambitious grandfather had in mind: “Astronaut”. At some point, realising that if he wanted a name he liked, he’d have to come up with it himself, he took VI from his father’s name, K from Kennedy, RA from his mother’s, and RAM from his sun sign, Aries. A screen name was born.
That’s the kind of story you’re likely to hear from Vikram and the people who know him, like Dr PVA Mohandas, a famous surgeon at Vijaya Hospital, who operated on him after his accident. “He had a huge number of friends,” Mohandas said. “A big gang used to assemble in the evenings, during visiting hours.” Mohandas told Vikram’s mother, “I have seen so many actors and politicians here, but I’ve never seen such crowds.”