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    IT’S great to be able to say that Christmas is finally here! If there was ever a city or a group of people in need of some festive cheer, it’s us. All around Chennai there’s a fierce determination that nothing’s going to stand in the way of our festive spirit. So here’s my attempt at a quick round-up.
    Our first stop was at the Hilton for one of their big attractions,  a life- sized gingerbread house. Kids from the Indian Global Mission were invited to join in the fun, and armed with icing and a range of edible decorations, they set to work under the watchful eyes of the chefs.gingerbread-house-inaugural-ceremony_2
    Next stop on the list was The Little Theatre’s annual ‘panto’, which has, over the years, carved itself a place on all our Christmas calendars. The season wouldn’t be complete without it. This year’s Star Warz – The Panto Menace was no different, running packed, giving us a good dose of family fun, and serious  talent. Directed by Krishnakumar Balasubramanian (aka KK) and produced by Aysha Rau, the  musical comedy had a variety of elements, from great sound and lighting, to interactions with the audience, to hilarious lyrics by Rohini Rau. The crowd favourites included Maya Krishnan as Kabali, as well as performances to Moves like Vader and Kala Chashma. And a  special mention to Supriya Cherian as Princess Leia, who at the age of 92, truly showed us that age is just a number. Her granddaughter Rohini shared with me that the last time ‘Didu’ was on stage was in 1941.
    Our weekend ended on a ‘Supermodel’ note, making anyone under average height want to fish out their highest heels and stand a little taller. Sunday saw us celebrating Madhavy Raj’s baby shower, where the mommy-to-be looked as radiant as  ever, ready for an afternoon of girly fun. We sipped on fruity drinks and attempted to pay attention to the games at hand, which ranged from the factual to the highly imaginative. We might not have been entirely successful, but we definitely get points for enthusiasm, while our hosts deserve points for trying to keep us on track.malaika-and-shvethajpg

    Many of the same faces were at the launch of Gorgeous, Shvetha Jaishankar’s book, at The Folly at Amethyst. No surprises that the venue was bursting at the seams, considering the presence of style icon, fashionista and all-round diva Malaika Arora Khan. The format was kept simple, with the two chatting about the book, along with anecdotes from their lives. My favourite line from the evening was Shvetha describing life with her husband Raghu as a ghee-laden slippery slope. Post the launch, guests got to have their copies signed by the author, as well as sample a few select recipes from the book.

    Paloma Rao

    —  paloma@newindianexpress.com


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