Just as we were recovering from the first long weekend of the year, the next one followed. It proved to be quite the mixed bag with a little something for everyone, not to mention the festivities in the capital that kept us simultaneously glued to our televisions. My week began with a press conference hosted by Ariel, where I got to spend some time with the newly married Amala Paul. The young actress led the conversation which revolved around men chipping in on household chores, and the concept of laundry no longer being a woman’s job. The crowd might have been more interested in talking about her director husband and new projects ‘post marriage’, but Amala did a great job of keeping them on track. She was quick to stress on how the dynamic has changed, while admitting that in her own house, her husband was the one who does most of the cleaning up.
Later on in week, we made a stop at Starmark where actor and TV host Anu Hasan launched her book Sunny Side Up. Chronicling incidents from the author’s life, the book talks about the moments of clarity she had while dealing with various difficulties. Filmmaker Santosh Sivan, who spoke on the occasion, joked about how he expected it to be a much fatter book, considering who wrote it. Doing the honours and launching the book were Mani Ratnam, Suhasini Mani Ratnam and Charu Hasan.
The weekend came to an exciting close at the Madras Motor Race Track for the finale of the MRF Challenge 2014. After two rounds, in Qatar and Bahrain, the final round saw three drivers battling for the title in Chennai. Eighteen-year-old Toby Sowery, Ryan Cullen and Indian Raj Bharath who had serious home support to bank on. The stands were packed, and the crowd looked like they were in the mood to have some fun. It was the usual mix of hard core fans, along with those that were just along for the ride, pun intended. In between races, fans got to enjoy a live concert, special rides for contest winners, as well as hunting down their favourite racers for pictures. Sowery emerged victorious, the youngest driver to make it happen, with Cullen and Bharath in second and third place.