Talk of the Town

ALL OF Bangalore is still talking about this bash. There was enough at the 75th birthday celebrations of Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde to prove that political rivals could be friends in real life. Be civil to each other and recognise the merits in each other even if they belong to parties at different poles of politics.

A whole lot of political bigwigs were in town to greet Mr. Hegde. We could spot the former Prime Minister, Mr. Chandra Shekhar, and the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr. Farooq Abdullah, among them.

The one who stole the show was none other than Mr. S.M.Krishna, our own Chief Minister. The way he hugged Mr. Hegde and heaped sincere praises on him was touching. Well, both Mr. Krishna and Mr. Hegde are suave politicians, with an air of refinement about them which sadly, most politicians lack.

* * *

RADIO CITY FM 91 is all set to prove that it does belong to our City even if some of its RJs insist on talking Mumbai lingo. The spotlight on Sunday's Super Show will be on Mr. Justice Saldanha (of the High Court of Karnataka), one of our most high profile and innovative judges.

We still remember how Mr. Saldanha banned vehicles from Cubbon Park during the early morning hours and saved ardent joggers and fitness walkers from exhaust fumes.

From noon on Sunday, listeners can hear his views on judicial activism, how even ordinary citizens can participate in the law and order process, about personal integrity, the use and abuse of Public Interest Litigation, the freedom we still need to fight for and about important issues affecting Bangalore as a whole.

* * *

FROM ONE Grand Master to another? That was the way it seemed when Wipro Chairman, Mr. Azim Premji, personally congratulated Pendyala Harikrishna on becoming India's youngest ever chess Grand Master. Mr. Premji also politely told the battery of photographers that they should focus on the champion and not on him. And why not? Harikrishna, all of 16, is set to become Wipro's Brand Ambassador, we hear.

In fact, it was at the Wipro Guest House in the City that the teenager received intensive coaching from Super Grand Master Evegeny Vladimirov. The IT corporate also gave him a laptop loaded with chess games to practice and paid all his travel expenses.

On selecting chess for sponsorship, Mr. Premji said, ``As a country we have natural talent in this game and all it takes is corporate or government support for players to make their mark at the international level.''

* * *

HAVE YOU guys noticed that the City's better-known belles have been falling like ninepins to Cupid's extremely well-aimed and adhesive arrows?

One of the first to succumb was Jackie Brestovich of the high cheekbones and slim frame. Now the woman is content being Jackie Shetty. She's not given up the ramp, though and is still seen at fashion events in the City.

The latest is Vidisha Pavate whose marriage this Friday has been using up lots of newsprint lately. The Pavate girl -- protegee of fashion ``pundit'' Prasad Bidappa -- ties the knot with Darren Centofanti.

Vidisha has somehow always been among the ``with-it'' scene, ever since she entered the beauty industry. Remains to be seen if she'll still be in the news from now on.

* * *

SHATRU BHAIYYA has sure got a great voice. And a personality to match. He knows really well to make good use of both. The man was in town, talking non-stop about his Hindi play ``Pati Patni Aur Mein'' to presspersons waiting to lap everything up. Perhaps, that's what made most to overlook Shatrughan Sinha, the man who know knew too much about himself.

That is not pretty confusing talk. Because Sinha, the Shot Gun Sinha of yore, apparently did not love the word ``modesty'' too much. Modesty, thy name is not Shatru. Because he will tell you, he is more popular and respectable than most ministers and parliament members. His acting, flawless and remarkable, had extreme hardwork written all over. The man himself said so.

Shatrughan, undoubtedly, filled the screens for decades, grabbing national attention. But talk of any comparison and watch avid fans raise eyebrows. A query like ``You are like Rajnikanth of Tamil cinema, how do you feel?'' would instantly have these fans at their feet. ``It is the other way around,'' they scream, as Shatru gives a winning smile!

By K.Satyamurty, Afshan Yasmeen, Sahana Charan, Divya Sreedharan and Rasheed Kappan