A past master in repartee, DMK president M.Karunanidhi threw ample indication of his dexterity with words at a press conference in the city last week. To a question on what would be his next literary work, Mr.Karunanidhi initially ducked the question indicating that he was still undecided and asked the reporter whether he had read his previous ‘Tholkappiya Poonga.’ When the reporter persisted asking whether it would be a work on the Sangam classic ‘Agananooru,’ the veteran leader quickly punned on the word ‘agam’ which also means house. “Both of us are past ‘agananooru’ and only ‘purananooru’ remains!” he quipped, in an obvious reference to his own advancing age and that of the reporter, amidst peals of laughter among the hacks and the second-rung leaders of the party.

Office bearers of the Tiruchi district unit of the DMK had reason to be happy that they had mopped up Rs.5 crore towards the party Lok Sabha election fund that was handed over to their leader M.Karunanidhi by K.N.Nehru, former minister and district secretary, at a public meeting in the city last week. But their elation was dented when party treasurer M.K.Stalin observed that he expected Mr.Nehru, while handing over the money, to announce that it was only the first instalment. “Five crore, figuratively, represents the fingers of a hand, which also indicates the rising sun symbol of the party. If he could raise his other hand too, we will be happy,” he said. Party MP Kanimozhi said the Tiruchi district unit of the party always set the benchmark, implying that the party office bearers in other districts would have to rise up to the expectations.

The Hindu Young World painting competition was not just another contest for children and their parents who boarded trains and buses late on Saturday night and in the wee hours of Sunday morning to make it to the event. Vinothini, a student from a village near Sikazhi, was among the first to arrive at the venue.

As she waited for the results to be announced, her father took a nap, “We took a train at 1 a.m and arrived here before the gates were opened,” she said. Though they did not take home any prizes, a team of students from Pallikondam near Pattukottai in Thanjavur district were excited as it was the first time they participated in an event outside their district.

The boys woke up at 3 a.m. and took a bus at 4 a.m. Bargath Nisha, the mother of Nasreen Fathima, accompanied her daughter from Karaikal to watch her indulge her passion, though her daughter was in Class X.

Some participants came up with out-of-the-box ideas, they but missed making it to the prize list as they used sketch pens, pencils and crayons, that went against the norms of the competition where only water colours were allowed.