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    THAT Chennai is a rock star  city was evident all week, what with people joining hands to help friends, strangers and animals survive the rains. People, businesses and institutions opened their doors to offer shelter from the floods. There were boats being made available and food packets and medical supplies delivered round the clock. Some offered a place for the stranded to recharge their phones, or even have a warm cup of chai. Chennai’s community spirit sure makes me proud. Meanwhile, a quick recap of what kept the partygoers busy before the rains. Apollo Institute of Bariatrics presented Enlighten, to spread awareness on World Anti-Obesity day. It started with a walkathon and ended with an evening at the Hyatt Rengency, where Dr Rajkumar and team did a great job of presenting a serious topic in a manner that appealed to many. Helping greatly in that regard were Alex and Bhargav from Evam Stand Up Tamasha– they addressed everything from raising children in today’s world, to combating expectations when it comes to body image. The audience enjoyed it, and even the people in the front row took the many jokes that came their way, in the right spirit.
    Anita and Ambika Agarwal with the showstoppersRadisson Blu hosted the first of the Christmas parties for the season, at their new restaurant Saltlick, kicking off the yuletide fun, while giving us a taste of molecular gastronomy. I watched with fascination as smoking liquid nitrogen was poured over my brownie, dipped in another crumbly mixture and offered to me as an ice cold popsicle. Also on offer was a modern take on chaat, kheema, gol gappas topped with foam. The festivities ended with a little cake mixing, and an adorable musical performance by the hotel staff.
    Across the city, Chennai’s fashionitas had gathered for the launch of Anita, The Designer Studio on Kilpauk Garden Road. Anita Agarwal, who started the store years ago, and now runs it with her daughter-in-law Ambika, wanted to present the space in a new way, and walking the ramp were popular Chennai faces, Sneha Nair, Priya Rajendran and Vidya Singh.
    Indie music enthusiasts had a blast last weekend at the IndiEarth Xchange that was organised by Earthsync at Vivanta by Taj – Connemara. With concerts from well known indie artists like Tajdar Junaid, Sandunes and As We Keep Searching, and international artists like Howie B, Tulegur and Kokomo, the event saw a lively audience and much appreciation.
    —  paloma@newindianexpress.com

    Paloma Rao

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