Home Chennai After Dark A weekend of books, wine and cricket

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    From left, Dominique Besnard with guests, Venkatesh and Prithvi Prasad with Paloma & Nikita Singh

    Instead of the usual event-to-event excitement, this week turned out to be more about learning and meeting new people in relaxed settings. The launch of Nikita Singh’s new book, Right Here, Right Now at Starmark, was a great opportunity to meet the pretty young author. And if you thought that only women read romance, the almost entirely male audience would’ve quickly changed your mind. Sandhya Sridhar, director of Pageturn Publisher Pvt Ltd, led the conversation, allowing Nikita to casually share experiences, while the audience hung on to her every word. Of course, there was no shortage of questions, from “Can you help me write a book?” to “Do people tell you you’re too pretty to be an author?” The entertaining interactive session was followed by the crowd mobbing her for autographs. It was interesting to note that every single member of the audience picked up a copy of the book, and some, the entire set of six!

    A Model at Clarion

    A Model at Clarion

    Our week also included a wine tasting class courtesy wine consultant Dominique Besnard, at the Hyatt Regency. It was a small group of people and the intimate setting allowed us to ask all our questions, however ‘silly’. While it would take more than a few classes to learn all that needs to be learnt, we managed to glean the basics (and several new words), over platters of cheese, dried fruit and bruschetta. After educating us on look, smell and taste, Dominique reassured us that in the end it boils down to opinion. You have yours, and allow others to have theirs.

    The next meet and greet on the list took us to sports, with Gillette bringing bowling legend Venkatesh Prasad to the city, along with his son Prithvi. The father-son duo covered a variety of subjects, including how cricketers are role models to most young Indians. ‘Venky’ seemed taken by surprise at the compliments his 17-year-old son sent his way. ‘‘Hey, my son just called me cool,’’ he laughed, ‘‘not something that happens often.’’

    And just when we thought fashion wouldn’t figure this week, Clarion Hotel hosted Mojito Mermaids at their bar, The Purple Room. The show was put together and directed by Srini, who gave the crowd a little bit of underwater magic. To sum things up, slinky dresses, lots of sparkle and even a few bare chested guys in hot pants, just to keep things interesting.

    —Paloma Rao (paloma@newindianexpress.com)

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