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    This weekend might not have been mellow by choice, but it turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. Quite a few people headed to Bengaluru for the Comedy Central Chuckle Festival, to catch actor and comedian Russell Brand live in action. The crowd, it appears, was quite familiar with the Brit’s unique sense of humour, thoroughly enjoying the theatrics, along with jibes at everything from Bollywood to the Twilight series. A small bit involving Deepika Padukone obviously ended up getting all the attention, including a variety of strange headlines in the following day’s newspapers.
    In Chennai, foodies were excited about the launch of Winter Palace at the Russian Cultural Centre. They opened their doors with a food festival, inviting select guests to sample authenic Russian cuisine. The mixed crowd moved between the outdoor verandah and the indoor area, sampling bits of everything. Cold cuts, fresh bread, traditional casseroles and soups, teamed with signature vodkas, all curated by chef Sergey Nekrasov. Doing the honours was Mikhail Gorbatov, director of the centre, who inaugurated the restaurant, happy to give Chennai a taste of Russia that is ‘more than just borscht’. Rumour has it that there are about 2,000 Russians in the city, so it’s great that they can have a piece of home right here. Meanwhile at Small World, a themed night by footwear brand Kethini, saw the ladies winning loads of goodies, besides free shots. Generous amounts of alcohol, along with fun games for the contestants, proved to be just the right entertainment for a Friday night.
    The week ended with all eyes on the Filmfare Awards South, with celebrities really upping their game on the red carpet. Well-tailored tuxes, floor-length gowns and deconstructed drapes had bloggers all aflutter. It was a face-off of the starlets, with Shruti Haasan’s bold outfit choice getting more than its fair share of attention. She also bagged the Best Actor Award — Female, for her Telugu film Race Gurram. Tamanna Bhatia was a close second in an elegant barebacked piece on the red carpet, followed by a quick change for a high-energy performance.
    After his appearance at the awards, Kamal Haasan also launched a crime-thriller authored by his friend and colleague, Gollapudi Subba Rao. Cinematographer and filmmaker Rajiv Menon was also present, and was given credit for being the one who gave the author the idea to write the book. Anecdotes were shared by all three from their early days in the industry, post which guests got to interact with the author.

    – paloma@newindianexpress.com

      Paloma Rao

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