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Talk of the Town

HEARD OF films and happy endings ? But, this one's about happy beginnings.

It was the most awaited star wedding after all. Ajit and Shalini not just tied the knot, they exchanged rings and got the marriage registered as well.

`Amarkalam' sparked it off all. The love-story in real life. The hero proposes, the nervous heroine asks Director Fazil to talk to her parents, the director arranges for the dialogue between the families and a happy ending.

To make up for the exclusivity of the wedding that was a family affair, the families arranged for a grand reception at Taj Connemara. Even as industry bigwigs, star families and friends graced the occasion, word spread about Shalini calling it quits.

All eyes were on little sister Shamili who had followed big sister's footsteps starting off as a child-artiste. Now the grapevine has it that the producers are just waiting for an appropriate time to ask Daddy Babu if the starlet sibling would take the plunge.

As they say in tinselville, `The show must go on'.

`SHAKA-LAKA-BABY' Vasundhara Das is crooning a different tune this time. Going Indi-pop for Magnasound. ``I'm still composing. It will take another 10-15 days before I can say something about it,'' says the hazel-eyed `Hey Ram' girl. But what about music composer Praveen Mani's quote that the album was ``something like Jennifer Lopez''?

``Nooo, it's nothing like that,'' Vasundhara squeals. ``I don't want to say anything now, not even that it is different. It is for people to decide,'' she says.

The A. R. Rahman find had created a minor flutter at the Filmfare awards function on Saturday when she broke into a Spanish number. ``It was a Spanish `poema de amor' (poem of love) by Serrat sung in gypsy style. It is not pure Spanish but a dialect of Spanish that is full of similies about love,'' she explains.

If Jennifer could go `On the six' with her Latin influences, our very own Vasundhara with her Spanish influences might just spring a surprise. This girl's just arrived, so what if she signs off `Adios Amigos'.

IT WAS the climax, alright. But not exactly the courtroom drama types. At the Madras High Court, the evergreen Sridevi, sporting a brown churidhar, went unnoticed, when she made a cameo appearance as the judge passed a decree on the sharing of the family property.

After their mother, late Rajeswari Ayyappan, died in '96, the star's family won a Rs. 7.10 crore compensation suit against a US hospital for wrong treatment. Sridevi's sister, Srilatha Sanjay Ramaswamy had then taken the family to court to settle the dispute over sharing of the compensation and other property.

On Monday, the tangle was sorted out as the family members entered into a compromise. Srilatha now gets Rs. 2 crores, and another claimant, Suryakala takes Rs. 50 lakh. No prizes to guess who took the rest of the money home. Mrs. Kapoor not just won a few crores, but also a share of prime properties in Chennai and its suburbs and in Mumbai.

LEGALLY THE Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was over long ago, but not the political waves it created. For some ``nationalist groups'' in the State, it is still cause for uncomfortable hiccups.

Last week, posters appeared in several parts of the city flaying the ``north Indian official for questioning locals'' in connection with the assassination case. It went something like this: ``A CBI which cannot question persons named by the Jain Commission is now questioning Tamils. Is Tamil Nadu an open house for all types of dogs to enter?''

Grapevine has it that the BJP-led Government has quietly asked the CBI to probe a new angle to the assassination case and, if possible, put some Opposition members in a spot.

A team led by a joint director has arrived in the city, and is making discreet enquiries among a few politicians.Some ``Tamil groups'' are obviously trying to pre-empt the new probe and the posters are just the precursor.

By S. R. Ashok Kumar,

Sudhish Kamath

and K. Ramachandran

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