Home Chennai After Dark Chennai supports art and Sri Lankan refugees

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    Fromleft, Thejo Menon, Farah Bangera and Sameea Bangera & Cheruba, Prasana, JD Madan, Poongkothai

    As temperatures go up, so do plans for summer getaways. It appears that the humble hill stations have been replaced by more exotic destinations. Our news feeds are filled with pictures of friends on snow-capped mountains, skiing and snowboarding. For some with a weekend to spare, Sri Lanka and Thailand are the destinations of choice, where fun is to be had on a reasonable budget.

    Taruna, Rina, Nishani

    Taruna, Rina, Nishani

    For those of us in the city this weekend, the Arts Illustrated Smile charity gala proved to be a breath of fresh air. Supporting education for the girl child, the event at Park Hyatt offered a platform where art can be a catalyst for change. Besides the art exhibition—showcasing works donated by female artists from around the country—one of the highlights was the art installation by Jacob Jebaraj. Titled Winds of Change, the interactive installation is modelled around wind chimes and temple bells, and encourages people to touch, feel and engage with it. While some tested out the bells, others got their share of ‘selfies’, all resulting in magical sounds filling the air.  Pianist Anil Srinivasan provided the final performance element, playing to images of the girl child by Cartier Bresson. Meanwhile, The Vagina Monologues at the Alliance Francaise, ran to a full house with an audience that laughed and paused on cue and was also a comforting mix of men and women.

    We ended the week on a gastronomical high, as foodies lined up for an unusual night out at Social, with a Lankan Secret Supper prepared by Sri Lankan refugees. Guests got to dine for a cause at the trendy gastro pub (to support the refugees’ day-care centres), while enjoying some explosive cuisine. So we’re talking delicate string hoppers, spiced mutton curry, fish fry, Kiribati and my favourite, coconut sambals. It saw a mixed crowd, happy to partake of the six-course meal and ‘eat, dine and make a difference.’

    Paloma Rao (paloma@newindianexpress.com)

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