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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

Wake up and smell the Kumbakonam coffee. Galaata 2006, a seven-hour fun-packed, adrenalin–charged extravaganza for the entire family, is coming up in Los Altos. It is presented by Udavum Karangal San Francisco, a branch of the India-based nonprofit.

Galaata 2006 will feature a popular fashion show and the exciting Matinee Madness.

What is Matinee Madness? It’s where IQ and EQ are passé. Welcome to the world of KQ (Kollywood Quotient, knowledge of Kollywood, the world of Tamil cinema). You can put your KQ to test by registering and participating in Matinee Madness, an hour-long contest of Tamil movies and music trivia.

This year Galaata goes a step further in discovering your talent. It introduces a new event, Galaata Idol, a bilingual (Hindi and Tamil) singing competition. The preliminary rounds for this competition were held in different venues for the convenience of participants.

“The event is already creating a sensation in the community,” says Ganesh, one of the Galaata 2006 organizers. “There has been an overwhelming response from participants and viewers.”

The semifinal and final rounds will be held on April 15, the day of Galaata. Two finalists will be selected from the six semifinalists by popular audience vote. The chosen two will then sing in front of a 1,000-plus audience at a grand Tamil light music bash with Pallavi. The popular Bay Area Tamil music band Pallavi celebrates its 10th anniversary as part of Galaata 2006.

The final verdict on the singing competition will be passed by the audience gathered on the day of the final show. Thy will choose the winner, who will be crowned “Galaata Idol” for the year 2006!

All proceeds from Galaata benefit Udavum Karangal in Chennai. Since 1982, Udavum Karangal has served the needs of orphans and destitutes. It includes Pasamalargal, a home for abandoned infants; Dignity Home, a rehabilitation center for the disabled; Karunai Illam, a shelter for destitute women; and Ramakrishna Vidya Niketan, a school for poor families.

Come and join the fun. You’ll be glad you did. —Deepa Mahadevan

Galaata 2006. Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Rd., Los Altos. April 15, 4-11 p.m. $15, $22 early bird specials till April 9; $18, $25 door; $50 VIP.