Talk of the town

AFTER JAYALALITHAA, it is now Kamalhasan, with wife Sarika in tow. Both of them are on Simi Garewal's show `Rendezvous' coming up this Saturday.

Pre-show whispers indicate that Kamal reminisces about the day he met the `blue-eyed, handsome, Shammi Kapoor', Gemini Ganesan and mentor Sivaji Ganesan.

Apart from the passion for films and acting, Kamal also nurtures a deep love for wife and kids. Saturday is also `tell-all' time as Kamal talks about falling in love with Sarika, their trying times together, the opposition to the relationship, their marriage and their kids.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course.

There is supposed to be magic in the air, quite literally as Kamal performs some tricks, during his conversation with Simi Garewal.

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ELECTIONS MEAN different things to different people. The flashing television images of poll violence have added a new dimension to these.

But for some academics in Madras University it was all amusing. They point out that a senior politician was seen on TV complaining about the ruling party violence in the civic polls. But, about a year back, similar incidents were alleged during the counting of votes during elections to the managing Trust of a premier charity that runs several colleges and schools. The same politician was seen as part of the battle to take control of the multi-crore Trust. Then too ruffians allegedly snatched away ballot papers, and police connived with them, later denying that any such thing happened.

The affected teachers who went to court, note that they might have lost the case then. But then as they say, what you sow, you reap later, and this has come true.

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THE STATE administration will be deprived of the services of an important official in the IT sector - Information Technology Secretary, Mr. D. Prakash.

The 1979 batch IAS officer has sought voluntary retirement and his tenure with the Government may end this week. Trained in aerospace engineering from IIT-Madras and in MBA, Prakash belongs to the Tripura-cadre. Five years ago, he came to Chennai to serve his home State. He became the first Secretary to Government in the newly-created I.T. department. He was involved in framing the infotech policy and many cyber-savvy efforts of a State, to put Chennai on the world I.T. map.

Reluctant to go back to Tripura, after his innings in TN, he put in his papers a few weeks back.

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AFTER BOOKS, this time it is a cassette. Promoting the ``education'' agenda in music, Vidya Bhavani Suresh, Bharatanatyam exponent, musicologist and author, has launched a work on tape.

The author describes her production as a ``first'', a detailed lecture-demonstration on Bharatanatyam lessons. Where the music teacher leaves off each day, the taped lessons can then take over at home. The cassette brings a `nattuvanar' home.

The basic unit of the Bharatanatyam dance form is the ``adavu'', says Vidya. The album, which has been released by Music Today, is a ``step-by-step'' guide, and the concept, English narration and recitation of ``Sollukattus'' (rhythmic syllables) have been handled by her to help the student along.

There are more books coming, to be sure, from Vidya and her team at Skanda Trust run by her.

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THE SPECIAL public prosecutor's deposition before the Special Judge-I that Mr. M.F. Farooqui, an IAS officer of 1978 batch, was on the verge of retirement has surprised many members in the IAS community.

Mr. Farooqui, cited as a witness in the SPIC disinvestment case, did not appear before the court on Wednesday as he was on leave travel concession (LTC). When the Judge wondered about this, mentioning the Union Government's order on a temporary ban on the LTC, the SPP submitted that the order was not applicable to the IAS officer as he was on the verge of retirement.

The officials say Mr. Farooqui has got 13 years of service to reach the superannuation stage.

The SPP, they feel, should have pointed out to the court that the State Government is yet to revise its stand on the Centre's decision to suspend LTC for two years.

``So, officers are allowed to avail themselves of the LTC,'' they say.

By K. Ramachandran, T. Ramakrishnan and Ramya Kannan

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