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    AND just like that, one month of the year is already over. I feel like just yesterday we were all yelling ‘Happy New Year!’ This week also happened to include my birthday, which resulted in a last minute Pondicherry trip with a few friends. I decided to trade the usual party (forgive me, I’m a little partied out), for a more scenic, chill-by-the-pool plan. It turned out to be a great idea. Plus turning a year older isn’t as exciting a prospect as it used to be. Pondy, as always, did not disappoint, as we indulged in lots of seafood, fresh-baked goodies and an assortment of breezers.
    Meanwhile, in Chennai, the girls were in a frenzied state with the arrival of Farhan Akhtar for a concert in the city. A little birdie told me that a lucky few managed to catch his pre-concert impromptu performance of sorts at a school carnival, which only helped to further whet everyone’s appetite. The fundraiser at Amir Mahal, presented by Touch Makeover Studio and Vajra, saw the crowds turning up early, waiting for the show to begin. After a short speech by the Nawab of Arcot and an opening performance by his son Asif, it was Akhtar’s turn to entertain the masses. And entertain he did. The performance was power-packed from start to finish, including everyone’s favourites from  Rock On to Senorita. It’s difficult to describe the show without sounding like a complete ‘fan-girl’ but he was the ultimate rockstar, complete with the moves and getting the crowds to sing along. Not that they needed any prompting.dgvd

     

     
    Sunday saw us at the launch party of the new Chinese restaurant, Five Sen5es, at the Westin, with the general manager Shrikant Wakharkar and his charming wife Radhika. The spread was a delightful mix of Sichuan, Japanese and Indonesian, among other Asian cuisines. The Som Tam station made for a refreshing start, where we could make our own raw papaya salad. The evening ended with some sweet and coconut-flavoured notes, thanks to their generous range at the dessert counter. We are definitely coming back for more.
    Finally, for a lucky few, the weekend ended on a high note, sipping glasses of Brut Tropicale wine and listening to bands like The Cat Empire and Kailasa at the ninth edition of the SulaFest in Nashik. Short skirts, spiked hair and tiaras ruled as we jostled shoulders with over 11,000 people  from all over the country and spent two days partying hard. Hangovers aside, it was a great way to say salut to the new month.

    —  paloma@newindianexpress.com

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