The Mad Extravagance
Hi!BLITZ|January 2017

Glittering, risqué, rebellious and just plain fun, the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria unfolds like a dramatized fairytale for adults. The almost month-long carnival propels the viewer into a magical world of beautiful carnival queens, drag queens, costume parties and street parades.

Gustasp & Jeroo Irani

“Get on with the show!” The comperes of the event were hamming it up for their TV audience. However, the teeming audience around us bristled with anticipation and impatience. Can the chatter and bring on the stars!

The music hit a high note and she strode out on the open-air stage in 18 inch (that’s not a typo) stilettoes. She was drop-dead gorgeous. Long, sensuous legs flashed to the rhythm of the music. Her ostrich-feathers-framed face filled the large TV screens on two sides of the stage. Sparkling blue eyes gazed out from under long, mascaraladen eyelashes and startling red lips pouted at the camera. The crowd cheered as she reached for her bejewelled top and ripped it off with a grand flourish. She was flat-chested.

No surprise! That was the Drag Queen event; the high point of the almost month long carnival that takes place each year in February/March in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria is the third largest of the Canary Islands, which lie to the north-west of Africa and Las Palmas is the capital. (The archipelago is an autonomous region of Spain.)

One by one, drag queen contestants high stepped onto the stage and strutted their stuff. Each one had a themed act like Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood. One queen even dared to invade the macho world of the Wild West. It was a parade of elaborate costumes, glitter, painted faces, ostrich feathers… Showmanship stirred with uninhibited fun. And the crowd, many dressed in drag, loved and cheered every move and moment.

It was well after sunset when the contestants lined up on stage and waited anxiously for the judges’ verdict, conflicting emotions playing across their expressive faces. Drums rolled and… whoops of joy ripped across the open air venue, Parque Santa Catalina… We had a winner! We saw her again the next day as she rode, in full regalia in the Drag Queen float, waving and blowing kisses to the crowds that cheered the street parade that coursed through the streets of the city.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM HI!BLITZView All

Casting A Web

She’s always ready to try something different, whether it’s in her choice of roles or venturing into the relatively new world of web series. The talented and fearless Swara Bhaskar tells Hi! Blitz why she was drawn to a story about extra-marital affairs and the one dream role she’s still hankering for.

4 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
March/April 2017

Vino Wonder!

It’s her passion for wine that has seen Cecilia Oldne move from Sweden to Mumbai, where she’s now been based for ten years, as VP of Marketing and Global Brand Ambassador of Sula Vineyards. In an interview with Hi! Blitz, she talks about how the energy of the city drives her and the many wonders like yoga that India’s exposed her to.

4 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
March/April 2017

The Sisterhood

They’ve both been known for their sense of style, good looks and plenty of chutzpah. Malaika Arora Khan and Amrita Arora Ladak have through the years tried their hand at veejaying, films and are now enjoying the role of motherhood and ladies who lunch. In a freewheeling chat with Farhad J Dadyburjor, the glamorous sister-duo take a nostalgic trip down memory lane while talking about how their relationship has evolved over the years, what’s the most annoying habit of each other and the individual relationships they share with their brother-in-law.

6 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
March/April 2017

Small Bites, Big Gains

Having been in the profession of suggesting healthy eating portions to the conscious eaters in the City of Joy for a decade, Hena Nafis has now launched Eat Good Food café as a destination for healthy indulgence and a haven for guilt-free eating. She insists her project is the harbinger of a huge future trend in health eateries.

3 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
March/April 2017

Akshay Kumar: I Am A Feminist!!

While he’s undoubtedly wowed us on the big screen with his daredevilry and rakish looks, off-screen too we can’t help but be secretly charmed by Akshay Kumar. For being the couple of picture-perfectness after 15 years of marriage to Twinkle Khanna, bursting with pride whenever he talks about his kids or being vehement about his views on gender equality. In a candid interview with Farhad J Dadyburjor, the superstar talks about what makes him a feminist, about his relationship with his kids and why he doesn’t consider anyone from Bollywood a fitness icon.

7 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
February 2017

Koffee At Kochi

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale has triggered offa tourism renaissance in Kerala. Already famous globally for its ayurveda charms, the biennale has ironically caught the attention of the Indian traveller many of whom are hotfooting there for the spectacular art on display. So if you are a biennale visitor what else should you soak in? Kochi junkie Priti Mahajan leads you from the fort to the backwaters.

5 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
February 2017

Krakow Calling!

The magical city of Krakow is one of Poland’s oldest and largest cultural strongholds that abounds with everything from history and food to some stellar museums and basilicas, discovers Raul Dias on a winter trip in and around the city that sits on the banks of the Vistula River.

6 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
February 2017

Valentine's Day Tripping

Dominic Costabir dips into his tried and tested haversack of cues to help you plot the perfect romantic escapade.

2 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
February 2017

Jacqueline Fernandez On Her Journey To Stardom

Diplomatic to a fault and not one to ruffle feathers, the gorgeous Jacqueline Fernandez has made firm inroads into Bollywood in just seven years, always laughing and flashing her 100-watts smile for the camera. But, in an interview with Farhad J Dadyburjor, the actress says that it is this very positivity that has been the most misunderstood thing about her, whilst also talking about the hardships of her journey in Bollywood as an outsider and her plans for soon opening a restaurant in Mumbai.

6 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
January 2017

The Mad Extravagance

Glittering, risqué, rebellious and just plain fun, the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria unfolds like a dramatized fairytale for adults. The almost month-long carnival propels the viewer into a magical world of beautiful carnival queens, drag queens, costume parties and street parades.

4 mins read
Hi!BLITZ
January 2017