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"WE WILL meet in the ring," director Jayaraj reportedly told K.K. Rajeev when Rajeev announced his decision to make a film. "Of course, it was in the spirit of a healthy competition. I have been yearning to make a film for quite some time," Rajeev quickly clarifies. Loyal audience For someone widely acclaimed as the `man with the golden touch,' Rajeev is the uncrowned king of the small screen. Both his serials - `Avicharitam' and `Orma' have won a handful of awards. "Awards do matter but I am more proud of the fact that my serials have a loyal audience," says Rajeev. In the age of the remote, how does Rajeev maintain the attention of his viewers? "You have to keep in mind that people expect the best - thematically and narration-wise. And if you use appealing visuals, you can get them glued to the television." When serials started a decade ago, it was a weekly affair. Now, the audience has no patience to wait that long. It is the time of mega serials. "Even a mega serial format is not enough to attract the audience. I have heard of housewives `listening' to serials as they work in the kitchen. I would take it a personal affront if someone merely listened to my serials," says Rajeev. So while his regular scriptwriter duo, Bobby and Sanjay, take care of the story, screenplay and dialogues, Rajeev ensures it is packaged alluringly - opulent camerawork, scenic locales, lavish sets and a cast that delivers. With so much going for him in television, is cinema a natural extension? "It is not a natural extension but it was in the wings for long. Right from my days as an actor, I wanted to be a director," he says. "I have been waiting for the right theme and the right time." With producer Prem Prakash giving the green signal, all he had to do was zero in on the appropriate story, which was supplied by Bobby and Sanjay. "It is about three teenage girls, their traumas and their triumphs," says Rajeev, clearly unwilling to divulge more of the storyline. Teenage story "Yes, I know teenagers and their problems have been dealt with before, but at the expense of sounding clichéd, I should say that this will be something you would not have seen before. I am going through the casting process now. There are some interesting faces. I will definitely train the cast once it is finalised. Illayaraja, who was moved by the story, has agreed to compose the music. We plan to begin shooting next month."
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 K K Rajeev