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    I CAN’T believe that it’s just a week to Christmas and two to the end of the year. After everything that Chennai has been through, it felt almost wrong to celebrate, but I’ve realised now more than ever that we need to rejoice in the feeling of brotherhood, love and oneness. I guess I’m not alone in feeling this way. So I invited a few friends and their kids over, and put up my Christmas tree, and while their little ones sang Christmas carols at the tops of their voices, I was happy in the thought that (as sentimental as it sounds), our city could survive this, because we all have each other.1S4A0899

    It’s great to see this attitude continue, as the weekend saw multiple meaningful fundraisers. Evam StandUp Tamasha presented #PokeMe by Karthik Kumar, with a really interesting concept to include NRIs and others living abroad who’ve wanted to contribute, in the wake of the floods. So a person living abroad could buy a ticket, the proceeds of which would go fully towards the cause, and donate it to a volunteer, who could then enjoy the show. Judging by the loud cheers at Museum Theatre, there was a lot of support, not just from overseas but from right here in Chennai as well. Nothing was off-limits for the Evam star, be it our politicians on social media or crocodile rumours. The team jokingly described the show as “pro Maggi, pro LGBT, with lots of ajinomoto. And South Indian with a capital H (pronounced ecchhu)”.

    Earlier this week, The Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) also organised a fundraiser at the Goethe Institute, showcasing a mix of music and dance styles — from classical music by Malini Hari to Bharatnatyam by Gowthami Ashok and western Jazz by Arvindh Krisnan and team. Photographs were auctioned to raise funds which will go towards buying water purifiers in the worst affected regions of Chennai and Cuddalore.

    Meanwhile, Delhi became party central last weekend. Men’s couture found a prime spot at L’Homme 2015 at DLF Emporio, Delhi, with Aki Narula getting corporate honchos to walk the runway wearing all the top international labels. Elsewhere, fashion designer Manish Arora’s latest collection, celebrating  the modern Indian bride, was showcased at the Embassy of France. Seemingly, the entire fashion fraternity, from Ritu Kumar to  Rohit Gandhi, had come in to cheer him on. Mumbai was rocking, too, with eclectic musicians from Johnnie Walker — The Journey Begins, at Mehboob Studio. Inspirational talks and performances by Italian disco producer Giorgio Moroder and the American post rock band Explosions in the Sky, plus Bollywood in attendance. What more could one want.

    — paloma@newindianexpress.com

    Paloma Rao

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