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L Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurthy got married on Nov 11 A marriage of musical minds
L Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurthy got married in Bangalore on November 11. They announced it to the media only on November 15, and newspapers splashed the news, with a colour pic, on their front pages.

Kavita Krishnamurthy, Mumbai's top playback singer, told reporters they had been planning to get married for some time but had not decided when. The Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram gave them a date that left them only four days for the arrangements, or they would have to wait till January.

"Doctor saab", as Kavita calls L Subramaniam, impressed her with his "perfectionism, hard work and melody". And the composer of music for fusion orchestras and movies like Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala finds his bride caring about children and "untouched by her celebrity status". Subramaiam has four children from two earlier marriages.

Both Kavita and Subramaniam are from the south; they enjoy national popularity thanks to their association with the Mumbai film industry.

The surprise wedding took place in Bangalore in the presence of just 25 relatives. The star couple plan a reception for friends in January.

Kavita and Subramaniam had met at various concerts and recordings since early this year.

Nowhere in site: The news of his wedding is all over the media but Dr L Subramaniam's website is oblivious to all the excitement.

His simple site, done up in black and burgundy, gives no details about the event, but it does offer a short profile of his career and one-line excerpts from press reviews of his concerts. By the way, did you know Subramaniam made his stage debut when he was just six? Or that he completed his degree from Madras Medical College and almost became a registered medical practitioner? Subramaniam's label is called Viji Records, after his earlier wife, who was also a musician. The link to his online store is not functional yet.

Meet Lata Mangeshkar, MP

Lata Mangeshkar has just been nominated member of parliament.

The government has announced the names of four people who will sit in the Rajya Sabha. Distinguished people who don't stand for elections are invited to become MPs directly so that parliamentary debates benefit from their wisdom and experience.

The celebrity singer was in the news as a photographer too. Kalamandir, a new art gallery in Mumbai's Vile Parle, opened end October with 32 pictures taken by Lata. "It's just my hobby... any amateur can be better than me," she said modestly. Her frames included wildlife, people and landscapes.

Vintage photographs of her actor-musician father Dinanath Mangeshkar were also on display.

Lata also scotched rumours that she was seriously ill. "I'd been to Pune for a while and somehow rumours spread that I was in a very bad shape," she told reporters.

Ears wide open

Who's Manickam Yogeswaran? He's the Tamil from Britain who sang a shloka from the Bhagavad Gita for Eyes Wide Shut. Hindu groups in the US were enraged a Hollywood movie should use a verse from a religious text for an orgy scene. And when director Stanely Kubrick decided to replace the track, he asked Yogeswaran to record another. That's when Yogeswaran wrote and recorded a new song in London.

Kadala, enpama, idu oru naragama, it goes, and Yogeswaran is proud a Tamil song has been used for the first time in a Hollywood film.

Yogeswaran sings for a German band called Dissidenten, and also runs his own group which he calls the Tamil Classic Band.

Yogeswaran says he didn't know his verse would be used for an orgy scene. "They just picked it up from a recording done three years ago", he explains.

The Beatles are still No 1

Who's the role model for today's bands?

The Beatles, according to a survey covering 1,400 bands. The 'fab four', as they were called, broke up three decades ago, but continue to influence '90s bands.

The survey was conducted by Peoplesound, a website that mediates between bands and talent scouts.

"It is amazing to see tomorrow's stars are still looking to the Beatles for inspiration and direction," Ernesto Schmitt, president of Peoplesound, said in a statement.

Agency reports said recently that remastered songs of the Beatles-inspired movie The Yellow Submarine would be available on CD and cassette soon.

A medley of style king's songs

Rajnikanth has just announced he will give away all the money he earned from his latest hit, Padaiyappa, to a charitable trust.

That's about Rs 3.5 crore. He has also willed away half his life's earnings to the Raghavendra Public Charitable Trust, which he says will help the poor conduct weddings. The trust plans to reach all districts in Tamil Nadu.

Shivajirao Gaikwad, who began life as a bus conductor in Bangalore, took on the screen name of Rajnikanth 25 years ago, and is today the undisputed emperor of Tamil cinema. To mark the 25th year of his cinema debut, his fans plan a bash in December. That means the release of a taped medley of his film songs, with a message in his voice. Latha, Rajnikanth's wife, is the moving spirit behind the month-long Chennai celebration.

Tamil Nadu waits with bated breath to see if he'll enter politics and become the next MGR. "My route is like no one else's," he repeats every few shots in his latest blockbuster Padaiyappa, but cinema to chief ministership is a time-honoured route in this state.

Watches, gold coins and posters will be among the commemorative merchandise on sale, and their proceeds will go towards the school Latha runs for the poor.

Historic webcast, but not all browsers are happy

Netaid hasn't yet announced how much money it collected from the biggest ever charity show on October 9, but the 11-hour concert entertained millions around the globe.

Pop celebrities performed simultaneously at New York, London and Geneva for the biggest charity concert since Live Aid, which took place in 1985.

Sixty countries aired the concert on TV and 132 nations on radio.

But it was bigger for the Internet. Browsers around the world saw the concert live in streaming video, or just heard the audio. A London report said the huge number of people accessing the Netaid site made the pictures jerky and grainy. Many browsers complained they couldn't log on at all.

The audio webcast reached India too, but the reception was somewhat like a shortwave radio's.

The London concert drew a crowd of 80,000. The Black Crowes, Jewel, Sting, Puff Daddy, Jimmy Page and Busta' Rhymes performed at New York. About 1,200 UN staff heard the concert in Geneva. The United Nations Development Fund was the moving spirit behind the concert.

Towards the end, a live link brought the three concerts together.

Netaid's website gives stark details of poverty and hunger. Its charity concert was backed by 1,200 servers in 90 locations worldwide. The causes to which you can contribute at the site are "ending hunger, helping refugees, saving the environment, securing human rights, and relieving debt".

Yesudas finds remixes 'meaningless'

Yesudas, singer of such hits as Gori tera gaon bada pyara, finds more noise than music in today's songs.

The Kerala Film Critics Association honoured him in Thiruvananthapuram on October 2.

Yesudas has been singing for the last four decades in Hindi and the southern languages. He disapproved of remixes, saying they ignored in what context the composer had made the original tune.

The singer, in his 50s, said he would continue singing. "I'll stop if someone points out an apaswara in my voice," he told a press meet the same day.

Yesudas bemoaned the lack of melody in film tunes these days, which he felt was replaced by "instrumental noise".

What fuels search engines?

Diana Ross topped the Lycos 50 list after she was hauled off an aircraft in London.

The pop diva didn't like the way she was frisked, and vented her ire. Customs authorities didn't like that, and she was arrested.

Lycos prepares a weekly list of its top 50 search requests, and Diana was number one in the list put out on September 24.

Lycos was flooded with requests for information about Diana Ross, and she pushed down other musicians currently popular as search items.

Ricky Martin, the Spanish sensation, was barely in at 48, although Shania Twain, the midriff-flaunting singer, and Jeniffer Lopez, another pop star, figured higher up.

The list indicates preoccupations in the USA. Browsers seek information about TV stars, and models like Pamela Anderson. Interestingly, there were more requests for information on tattoos than on pregnancy. When the school season opens, "frogs" outstrips many glamorous stars, perhaps because students have to submit assignments.

T K Govinda Rao will be Sangeeta Kalanidhi

T K Govinda Rao will receive the Sangeeta Kalanidhi title at the Music Academy's 73rd annual conference in Chennai in December.

The senior vocalist gets this honour this year. Each year one artiste is conferred the title.

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