Aru looking festive
Aru looking festive

Paloma about town: Pongal diaries, giant thalis and mini vacations 

A quick recap of all the fun we had over the long Pongal weekend in Chennai

Our social media feeds had mainly two types of images this weekend, giant thalis or pictures of people taking ‘mini vacations’. I fall into the former category, having documented my Pongal spread in great detail. The star of the show of course, was the sweet Pongal, which I ate the entire weekend. Yum. Even better when you have to do no cooking and just land up at your friends’ houses with a big smile on your face. After all the ‘hard work’ of Christmas and NY, this was just what the doctor ordered.


Across the city, it was much the same. Does it even count as a Pongal celebration if you haven’t posted a picture of yourself in a sari? Chatting with a few popular faces, we found out what they were upto and how they celebrated the harvest festival. Rohini Rau, doctor and sailing champ, said that since her in-laws celebrate Pongal in a big way, she’s been celebrating it with them the last few years. Of course, the arrival of their daughter has made it extra 

special with those little touches. “This time, we are in the middle of rehearsing for The Little Theatre’s Dracula — Love at First Bite this weekend. We managed to spend the morning at home and got back for rehearsals,” Rohini said, reminding me to block my ticket for the show.  Aru Nayar Mani, of The Activity Room, said, “I’m Punjabi by blood, married to a South Indian and I truly love celebrating Pongal and all its traditions at home. From rising early, the kolams, listening to the kids say pongalo pongal and the elaborate breakfast spread.” Fashion blogger Sudheshna aka Dimpy’s Corner, offers a different perspective. “I may not have grown up celebrating Pongal traditionally, but this city has made me fall in love with the festivities that come with it. Love the three-day fest, the first one of the year. I always look forward to the sakkara pongal and poli with a side of that blockbuster Pongal release every year,” she said with a laugh.

<em>Megna at Leela Palace Chennai's 10th anniversary celebrations</em>
Megna at Leela Palace Chennai's 10th anniversary celebrations

Also taking place this week was The Leela Palace Chennai, celebrating their 10th anniversary in style. Instead of focussing on making a statement, it was great to see sentiment driving the event. Being a landmark venue of sorts for the city, with beautiful visuals wherever you look, the evening resulted in both beautiful pictures and heartfelt speeches.

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