Paloma about town: Kites, surfing action and Rajini fever

This weekend was choc-a-bloc and how!
At the International Kite Festival
At the International Kite Festival

Choosing a ‘highlight of the week’ would be a hard one with some of the biggest events of the year happening. When Superstar Rajini has a release, there’s a level of fan frenzy that goes with it that we’ve come to expect. But also taking place over the weekend was the Covelong Classic Surf Festival that has become an intrinsic part of the Chennai calendar. I’ll start with the coast and move inwards. 

<em>A surfer riding the waves</em>
A surfer riding the waves
<em>Mehndi at Grand Chennai</em>
Mehndi at Grand Chennai

ECR was one of the places to be, and I firmly parked myself at the surf festival for two days. It seemed like the best option versus battling the traffic to and fro. Some unfortunate peeps experienced a traffic jam of epic proportions, thanks to the rain and a cancelled concert nearby, but that’s a story for another time. The festival itself was everything we expected it to be, with food, a fab lineup of music and, of course, the beating heart of it all, some terrific surfing. With participants from all over the world, the World Surf League saw some serious skill levels, a proud moment for Tamil Nadu, the hosts. The crowds happily lined up for the arrival of Udhayanidhi Stalin, Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, for the final prize distribution and went right back into concert mode, after. Many of the same people tried the ‘two birds, one stone’ approach, also making it to the International Kite Festival on the coast. All manners of things from cute to crazy filled the skies, making it a treat for the entire family. 

<em>Mukesh at the Rubaru pageant celebration after winning Rubaru Mr India 2023</em>
Mukesh at the Rubaru pageant celebration after winning Rubaru Mr India 2023

Back in the city, in the lead up to the Jailer launch, Grand Chennai by GRT Hotels invited us to En Vazhi, Thani Vazhi — Rajinism 2.0, a culinary festival celebrating the renowned icon. It was inaugurated at J Hind, an interpretation of the work of P C Balasubramaian, author of Rajini’s Mantras with dishes such as Basha Bhai Thandai, Muthu Cheese Bombs, Billa Meen Varuval and more. Adding an extra dash of fun was the presence of the Rajini lookalike who had people queuing up to take selfies. The resemblance was uncanny, and those who saw the pictures on social media had major FOMO. 

<em>Ashwathy at the launch of the all new Mercedes GLC</em>
Ashwathy at the launch of the all new Mercedes GLC

The week also included the launch of the all new Mercedes GLC at Titanium Motors, Mount Road. Safe to say, excitement was at an all-time high, for the unveiling of the new car. Adding a dash of drama was a fashion show choreographed by Prajanya Anand, where the models snaked their way through the space, flanking the car in the end. The first sequence was red carpet style with sequins and floor length gowns, by designer Mehul, while the second was ‘black and white’ inspired by the beauty on display. As expected, guests took their time getting up close and personal with the GLC, taking loads of pictures as well. Many of the same faces headed to Injambakkam to celebrate Chennai boy Mukesh Ravi bagging the prestigious Rubaru Mr India 2023 title. The fashion fraternity turned up in full force to raise a glass to his success. All eyes are on him as he represents India at the Mr Tourism World pageant in Brazil later this year.

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