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All for a cause

Popular soap stars will be part of a Hindi comedy "Tea, Coffee or Me" to be presented by "The Guild & 30" on September 30

PHOTO: S. THANTHONI

SERVICE-MINDED Annu Bharathan, Gita Vishwanathan and Himani Datar

The Guild of Service has existed for a remarkable length of time. Established in 1923, it is today a mammoth social service organisation that supports 1,148 underprivileged children in various homes, 3,595 children in educational institutions, 364 physically challenged children and 700 elders. The Guild has 19 units in and around Chennai and 34 branches around the country. Run by a wide network of volunteers, the non-profit organisation relies heavily on philanthropists to carry on its work. As it has now grown in many directions and hosts a variety of projects, the need for a steady supply of financial resources has never been so acutely felt.

This pressing need has reflected in its recent fund-raising events — by their content and professional execution, they are aimed at reaching more people. This year's fund-raiser promises higher standards and greater entertainment.

To begin with, the Guild has tied up with the Madras Esplanade Round Table 30 and the event is called "The Guild & 30". The decision to make common cause with the Round Table 30 seems to be a good one, because it has managed to rope in a leading producer of plays, Mumbai-based Manhar Gadhia. Moreover, Round Table 30 is taking care of publicity requirements in a big measure.

Manhar is a name recognised by the Hindi-speaking population in Chennai. Although he has also staged plays in English and Gujarati, Hindi drama is his calling card. At "The Guild & 30" event, he plays to his strength, offering a Hindi comedy "Tea, Coffee or Me" at The Grand Ball Room, Taj Coromandel on September 30, at 7.00 p.m. While Gadhia will be serving a rich lather of desi humour, the Taj will host a donation dinner.

If you are wondering about it, "Tea, Coffee or Me" has no connection with the Brita McVeigh film that goes by the same title, except that `Coffee' comes before `Tea'. In Gadhia's play, the protagonist Sarang poses as a doctor for the sake of love. But artist Narang's advent causes some confusion. The entry of Tanya, a model, further confounds things. To cover the true state of things, Narang has to pretend to be Sarang. The artifice works only for a while. The structure of deceit crumbles with the arrival of a few other characters. But, the story ends with everyone grinning from ear to ear.

Gita Viswanathan, chairperson, Guild of Service, says it is a star-studded cast. Having worked in films and television, most of the actors are known beyond the stage — Sunil Barve, who plays Sarang, has acted as Tabu's son in the film "Astitav" while Swapnil Joshi (Narang) has acted in popular serials "Hare Kaanch Ki Chhodiyaan" and "Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand", Ritu Chaudhary plays Shoba in "Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" and Komolika Guha is Gayatri chachi in the same soap. Prithvi Zutshi, another well-known television actor, is also part of the play.

Tickets are available at Landmark (Nungambakkam, Spencer's and City Centre) and Bombay General Stores (Sowcarpet). For bulk booking, call 98402 00568.

PRINCE FREDERICK

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