August 10, 2002 
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Kamal Haasan
Kamal's good deeds
Personal life, finance notwithstanding the actor is out to do a good turn

Subhash K Jha

He never flinches from adversity. And though his personal life and his financial condition have been under a cloud for some time, actor Kamal Haasan continues to make himself useful to society.

The latest buzz in Chennai is that the actor has decided to donate his body after his death for medical research. When contacted , Haasan admitted nonchalantly, "What's the big deal? I have been toying with the idea of authorising my body for medical research for some time now. Many years ago, I had initiated a movement for showbiz people to donate their eyes to medical science posthumously. I decided to donate my eyes for medical research after I played a blind man in a Tamil film Raja Parvai in 1978. Now I think it makes more sense to make myself useful after death in some small way rather than have my body consigned to flames."

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The document of consent will be signed by Haasan's daughter Shruti on August 15. "My daughter remains a part of me, no matter what. She cannot be divorced from me. Therefore she has the right to give away my body after my death according to my wishes."

Meanwhile, another long-cherished dream of Kamal Haasan is about to be realised. On August 11, he inaugurates a library of Tamil and English books at a fisherman's colony called Ayodhya Kuppam in Chennai. The library which he has built would be open free of cost to students of every class. "Not having attended school, books and learning remain an abiding passion," says the self-taught actor.

Kamal Haasan A third cherished project which was put on hold for a while is a film with Tamil cinema's most celebrated director Mani Ratnam. After their collaboration in Nayakan Kamal Haasan and Ratnam finally decided to do another film last year. But they couldn't agree on a subject for a long time.

"We have finalised a subject. We need to work out the economics --- it is a very expensive film. We should be ready to roll very shortly," Haasan says. He is now shooting for another mega drama in Tamil, Anbesivam, featuring Haasan and R Madhavan in central roles. The film will be wrapped up in two months.


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