C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Demand to revive Sehgal Chair
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
Kundan Lal Sehgal’s lovers in the city want Panjab University to revive Sehgal Chair, which was established in 1993, after efforts were made in this direction by the Environment Society of India (ESI), a voluntary agency working in the city. The demand was made this morning during the 67th death anniversary of the legendary singer at Government Museum Auditorium in Sector 10.

Not just this, the ESI has approached the Municipal Corporations of Shimla and Moradabad, where Sehgal lived and worked for some time. Both corporations have been requested to name roads after the singer. Sehgal worked as a typist with Remington Rand, a Shimla-based company. He also served as a railway timekeeper at the Moradabad Railway Station.

At home today, the death anniversary celebrations of the singer were made meaningful by local students who not only participated in the event, but also made musical offerings in whatever way they could. There were 25 children from local schools and colleges, who sang Sehgal songs during the programme.

Maximum numbers turned up from Mohali Jan Public School. All students who participated in the event had been trained in the Sehgal genre, thanks to the ESI and its members.

The ESI has demanded that Sehgal Chair in PU, Chandigarh, be revived immediately. The members have written to the authorities requesting them to fill the required posts. Besides, formal requests have been made to the universities in Kolkata and Mumbai to set up Chairs in the name of Sehgal.

Said Mr S.K. Sharma, who has made these demands: “Sehgal spent most of his time in Kolkata and Mumbai. He also had a special connection with Allahabad where he was rewarded with a huge silver bowl during the All-India Musical Conference in 1936. So, we have also asked the Allahabad Administration to dedicate a road to Sehgal.”

Among other major demands that have been made by the ESI in this birth centenary celebration year of K.L Sehgal are — name the auditorium of Punjab Kala Bhavan after Sehgal and a request for research on 20 ragas in which Sehgal mostly sang. The ESI has also approached the PU’s Urdu Department, requesting it for research on the title: “K.L. Sehgal’s contribution to the Urdu language.”

Interestingly, the ESI has been seeking the support of schools and colleges to train children in the Sehgal’s style of music. As one member said: “We distribute Sehgal’s cassettes to music teachers of respective schools. They then teach their students who to sing in Sehgal’s style.” These students performed this morning along with singers R.S. Chopra and Radha Chopra, J.S. Grewal, Sangrur-based Bhed Prakash and R.K. Bali.


Valecha says repoll can’t be held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
A controversy has erupted over the announcement of a repoll to decide the tie between Mr Pawan Valecha and Mr GK Chatrath for the Panjab University Syndicate seat of the law faculty.

Alleging that the Returning Officer, Mr Anmol Rattan Sidhu, had over-stepped his authority by announcing January 23 as the date for repoll, one of the candidates, Mr Pawan Valecha, has decided to represent against this to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof KN Pathak.

“Mr Sidhu adjourned the meeting of the law faculty after announcing a repoll on the day elections were held last month. Technically, the adjourned meeting has to be convened again and the decision of the Dean, Mr Sidhu, in this case, has to be conveyed to the faculty for approval.

He cannot, on his own, decide that a repoll has to be conducted for one of the two seats. Also, he has no authority to declare the third candidate elected. The faculty has to decide whether the repoll has to be conducted for one seat or both in the Syndicate,” he claimed.


Law students from Pune lift moot court trophy
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 18
A team of law students from ILS, Pune, today won the North India rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition that ended at the Army Institute of Law here.

The team will represent India during the final rounds of the competition to be held in Washington DC in March.

The winning team was handed over the prize by Justice Kuldip Singh, former Supreme Court Judge, during the valedictory function organised at the end of the two-day event.

Addressing the participating teams and students, Justice Kuldip Singh said every student should concentrate in whatever he or she chooses. ‘‘I have always followed this doctrine of concentration in my life and realised that every person has a special mechanism in himself that tells him what he wants to do on life. Once the goal is decided, complete effort should go into achieving it, he said.

Justice Kuldip Singh said this was specially true about the profession of law. “Work hard and honestly and believe me that there is a lot of room at the top for good, dedicated lawyers. There is a vacuum in High Courts and Supreme Court for good lawyers,’’ he said.

Justice Kuldip Singh said lawyers in India should focus on special fields of practice.

“Environmental law is a neglected field in India and will come up across the world as a major issue in future. Indian law schools should offer advanced courses in environmental law,” he said.

Justice Kuldip Singh along with Justice S.S. Sodhi, former Chief Justice Allahabad High Court, gave away prizes to the winners.

Members of the winning team from ILS, Pune, comprising Amit Shetye, Vera Jehangir Ghadiali, Soumya Banerjee, Suchindran and Aniruddha Rajput, had during the final rounds defeated the Amity Law School (New Delhi) team of Himanshu, Ashish Mohan, Ashish Rana, Mehak Sethi and Gauri Chabra.

The final rounds were judged by JAG Major-Gen Nalender Kumar, Dr David Ambrose, the national administrator of the competition, and Dr Jayaraj.

The team of Vishal Yadwanshi, Sameer Sah, Heena Ssingh, Mansi Seth and Vikas Gaur from the National Law University, Jodhpur, was third, defeating the team of Anuj berry, Shibani Ghosh, Rituparna Bhattachariya, Subrith Parthasarthy and Deepto Roy from the National University of Juridicial Sciences, Kolkata, during the semi-finals.

These rounds were judged by Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Jutice S.S. Sodhi and Prof P.S. Jaswal.

Sameer Sah was declared the “best student advocate” and Suruchi Chabra the “second best”.

ILS law College, Pune, bagged the Best Memorial Award. National University of Juridicial Sciences, Kolkata, got the second prize.

Earlier, Dr Veer Singh, director-general of the institute, welcomed the guests Mr Vinod Surana proposed a vote of thanks.


Hamara School
Aiming at students’ all-round development

National Public School, Kurali, is a progressive English medium co-educational institution which was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kurali on February 14, 1980, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Rotary International. The school was managed by an autonomous governing body, The National Public School Educational and Charitable Society.

The school is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) New Delhi, for the All-India Secondary School Examination and the All-India Senior School Certificate Examination. The infrastructure for imparting instructions in science streams — medical and non-medical — was created and the classes for the same commenced from April, 1999.

The school is following the curriculum prescribed by the CBSE, New Delhi. Though the medium of instructions at all levels is English, students are facilitated to maintain a high standard in Punjabi and Hindi also.

According to the latest educational thought, curriculum included not only academic subjects like English, Hindi, Punjabi, mathematics, science, social science, health and physical education, work experience and fine arts, but also varied experiences that pupils get through the manifold activities that go on in the school classrooms, in the library, in the laboratories, on the playgrounds and personal contacts between teachers and the taught. A well thought out programme is being drawn up to provide opportunities for such enriching experiences.

The library is well stocked and maintained. A qualified librarian and an assistant look after the library. Students are encouraged to develop the habit of library reading to enrich their knowledge and widen their mental horizon.

Education is imparted through various aids and computers. The school is imparting compulsory computer education from Class III to Class XII. The facility for Internet is also available for students. The school has well-equipped laboratories separately for physics, chemistry and biology.

The school provides a wide range of co-curricular activities for all-round development of personality of the students. These activities include debates, declamation, recitation, music, dance, dramatics, art and craft, games and sports and scout and girl-guide activities. Inter-house competitions are organised in all activities in order to achieve the desired objective.

The students also participate in various competitions organised at the district and state levels. During the academic session, students have won a number of prizes, trophies and medals and have got appreciation for the nice performance and excellence attained.

The school provides facilities for a number of hobbies. Periodical check-up of students is organised from time to time with the help of a team of medical experts. The school also has an arrangement with qualified medical practitioners to provide immediate medical treatment whenever required. Parents visit the school on Saturday in order to interact with the teachers for better performance of their wards. Organisation of excursions, picnics, educational tours and treks is done periodically to expose the children to the world.


‘Our motto is body, mind and spirit’

Mr. R.K. Shahi, PrincipalAbout the school: The school Principal, Mr. R.K. Shahi says the motto of the school is body, mind and spirit and this stands for the fact that the school provides facilities for allround and harmonious development of the child in conformity with its motto. At the school, stress is on discipline, character-building and inculcation of human values. The school is committed to groom the students to become healthy, dynamic and responsible citizens with nationalistic feelings and international outlook.

On tuitions: If teachers and students both do their bit in the school with dedication, students will never feel the need for tuitions. It is due to the fact that the way students are being taught in school is lacking in some way and students end up taking extra classes and help from the same teachers as tuitions. If the teacher is the same and the students are the same, how is that the response of both is better during tuitions?

On education: Knowledge is the path to enlightenment. Education includes inculcation of discipline in the students along with dispensing knowledge. Coming to the school on time, following the school rules and creating an atmosphere of seriousness is important for the students. Children may not like forms of discipline and consider these irritating, but these things go a long way in life and help them in every step.

School strengths: We have always had good results. Our results have been 100 per cent since the 1998 session. Our overall result this year has been 87 per cent in Class X and 80 per cent in Class XII. We have a total of 77 staff members catering to at least 1,000 students. We have nine buses plying and I am proud to say that 700 of the students in the school are coming in these buses. We have students coming from Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Chamkaur Sahib. Other than this, the school is catering to the education of a large number of village children. We have students who are coming from at least 100 nearby villages.


Poems by students


Princy Bathla, Class VIII
Princy Bathla, Class VIII

Priya, Class VII
Priya, Class VII

Gurvinder Kaur, Class VIII
Gurvinder Kaur, Class VIII

Damanjeet Kaur, Class IX
Damanjeet Kaur, Class IX

Smile in trouble

Smile in pain

Smile when some one hurts your feelings

Smile when your heart is full of sorrows

Smile in time of grief

Smile in time of joy

A smile you know is very healing

Gurleen Kaur , Class IX

Always Remember

If you want to cultivate, cultivate behaviour

If you want to kill, kill anger

If you want to win, win respect

If you want to speak, speak truth

If you want to get, get contentment

Misha Gupta, Class IX

If You Want

If you want to be great

Never depend on your fate

If you want to be a lawyer

Your studies must be higher

If you want to be intelligent and wise

Please get up before sunrise

If you want to earn a name

Serve the poor but not be vain.

Shabdeep Kaur, Class IX

Good Manners

Say good morning

When you get up

Good afternoon after your lunch

And good evening

When you go to play.

Umang Bhola, Class IV



Special kids have fun

Artistes perform at the cultural programme "Dak Tarang" at Bal Bhavan in Chandigarh
Artistes perform at the cultural programme “Dak Tarang” at Bal Bhavan in Chandigarh on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 18
It was a special day in the lives of ‘special’ children of Bhavan Vidyalaya here as they danced to the tunes of famous Hindi numbers at the annual get-together of students and their families.

The performance was met by thunderous applause as the function went on till late in the evening. The children, enrolled in the special cell of the school, were invited every year to dance and make merry in the company of their family members and the teaching faculty, said the Principal of the cell.

“We must bring a change in the mindset of persons who treat children with disability with indifference. Such children have emotions and they can sense love and affection,” remarked the Principal.

Children from Sadhna Vocational Centre were also invited. TNS


Stellar performance by Malkit
Tribune News Service

An organiser assaults members of the audience during the "Chal Bhangra Paaiye" show on Sunday in Panchkula
An organiser (left) assaults members of the audience during the “Chal Bhangra Paaiye” show on Sunday in Panchkula. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Panchkula, January 18
Even as eminent pop star Malkit Singh was all the way at the Sector 5 Parade Ground here at the “Chal Bhangra Paaiye” programme organised by the Alpha TV Punjabi and Etc Punjabi, the show was marred by poor management and police highhandedness.

Starting off with his latest chartbuster, “chal hun” from the album with the same name, the London-based bhangra king rendered several of his famous songs such as “Gur nalo ishq mitha. The long wait for the pop star was compensated by his stellar performance.

Even as the artistes enthralled the crowd inside the special dome created for the purpose, the Haryana Police and private security was in action outside, preventing those even with valid passes. One of the organisers was seen assaulting a lawyer in front of the stage.

The show got off to an average start with Surinder Laddi singing “Tere phichhe, tera phichhe” followed by some foot-tapping numbers by Balkar Sidhu. His numbers “Jaan”, “Laung tavitarriyan” and “Munde apne vivah vich” were well-received.

Amarinder Gill stuck to dance numbers. However, effective compering by comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi, who had the audience in splits, was the highlight of the show.

The music composer-turned singer, Sukhshinder Shinda, the man behind many a hit by Jazzy B, proved his talent with “Chit kare sajna vehre” and “Sadi gal ta sohniye sun ja” from his maiden album “Gal Sun Ja”.


Wine culture catching up in city
Ruchika M. Khanna

Wining and dining is surely catching on – and not just with the hoi-polloi of the city. From the centuries old French wines and Champagnes to the Australian ones, and South African to Indian – the city residents are being exposed to the wine culture like never before.

For proof, check this out. On an average, 2,000 cases (24,000 bottles a year or 2000 bottles a month) of different wines are sold in the city. Empire Stores in Sector 17, alone claims to sell 30 bottles of imported wines a day. So popular is this drink of the civilisation ( so called because wine is known to have originated at the same time as socialisation of man), that a number of city residents have also begun making their own wines. Mr Navneet Kohli, Area Sales Manager, Chateau Indage states, “ The city is suddenly seeing an awakening to the wine culture. With the percentage of globe totting city residents increasing, past three years have seen an annual 30 per cent increase in sales”.

Italian, Spanish, Australian, Californian, German or South African- you name it and it is available- at the neighbourhood departmental store or at the liquor vend. Interestingly, the sale of wines is better from the departmental stores than the liquor vends. About 80 per cent of sales is from the various departmental stores, because women, who are our target customers, would never go to a vend, but get it off the shelf from a departmental store, adds Mr Kohli.

Names like Blue Nun, River Gum, Cabernet, Ramole, Baron De Meriac, Riunite, Carlo Rossi, Fox Horn, Sula, Chantilli and Madera- are no unheard of with the populace here. Though Empire Stores in Sector 17 is the only retailer selling the imported wines, others like JD’s in Sector 35, Health Foods in Sector 34, MG Stores in Sector 9, and Peshawari in Sector 19 offer the choicest Indian red and white wines. Though the Indian wines are priced at Rs 470 to Rs 750 a bottle, the prices of imported wines vary between Rs 600 to Rs 1,700 a bottle. The fruity wines being marketed by the HPMC, however, have not found many takers, despite being price at Rs 185 a bottle.

Though still considered a symbol of vanity in the city, a large number of residents, mainly the elderly and women, are taking to wine, like fish to water. Mr Jaspreet Grewal, Director of JD states, “ The elite class, especially the elderly, prefer red wine for its positive effects on health – in controlling cardio vascular diseases. And with the local parties not being confined to dining alone, women prefer to sip wine and enjoy its farewell”.

Though unlike in the West, where the mature wines are more popular, for the residents here, drinking is more of a fashion. “Without knowing about the appearance (colour and clarity), impression, total flavour , smell or impression, people are taking to wines. The wine culture has arrived, but not in its true sense,” says Mr Gurmohan Singh, a lawyer. — TNS



Select lipsticks with caution
Monica Sharma

When you are tired after a long day, lipstick adds cheer to your washed-out face. If you do not pick up the "right product" it may leave you high and dry with scaly skin around the lips. At least this is what make-up artists and dermatologists insist.

Everyday, they say, scores of residents visit skin specialists, and private physicians, with inflammation and redness around the lips or with sores and dry patches.

"The other manifestation of lipstick allergy is pimples around the lip area," says cosmotologist Ritu Kolentine. "That is the reason why you should always pick up lipsticks with utmost caution".

Giving details, Ms Kolentine, working with a beauty and slimming centre in Sector 8 here after doing a course in cosmetology from abroad, says, "the market is flooded with imported lipsticks. They are much cheaper than Indian brands.”

She adds: “ the branded made -in-India lipsticks are priced anywhere between Rs 120 and Rs 450. On the other hand you can buy a Chinese lipstick after shelling out Rs 45 to Rs 90 from your pocket. So, most of the residents prefer to buy two imported lipsticks, instead of an India brand, after taking only the shade into consideration. They do not realise the repercussions until it is too late”.

If you are suffering from lipstick allergy, visit a skin specialist for treatment. But first discontinue its use. "In some cases the symptoms simply vanish soon after the product is discontinued," says another London-trained beauty expert Neeru Sidhu. "But in some cases proper treatment is required".

Agreeing with her, a doctor with the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research adds, "in some cases anti-allergics do the trick, while antibiotics have to be administered in other cases".

Anyway, it is always better to take precautionary measures than to visit a doctor. ‘First of all, buy lipsticks with caution,’ advises Ms Sidhu. "The test is simple. A good lipstick will always feel soft on your lips. It will not be sticky".

Otherwise, you can buy frosties, glosses, mattes, liquids, shines and flavoured lipsticks. Mattes are great for office wear and day wear, make-up experts insist. Shines and frosties are best for parties.

Just in case your lips are dry, stay clear of mattes. Go in for a cream lipstick or lip gloss with extra moisturisers and vitamins. In case you wish to acquire the look of glamourous model on the covers of glossy magazines, mix two or three shades.

Also, tone down the intensity of jarring shade for that elegant look. After applying wait for a few minutes to give the lipstick enough time to set in. Three to five minutes are enough. Then carefully wipe off with a tissue, leaving just the absorbed colour and a subtle stain.


Biographies flavour of season
Vikrant Bhasin

Biographies have become the flavour of season. From old and venerable subjects like Jawaharlal Nehru, M.S. Subbulakshmi and K.S. Ranjit Singhji to pop icons Gulzar and Ravi Shankar, anybody who is somebody is having a biography to his name.

For a predominantly unlettered nation, the insatiable appetite for inspirational life stories has taken publishing houses by surprise. “India has produced an extraordinary range of characters and readers want to know about them,” says Ramchandra Guha, author of a recent biography on anthropologist Verrier Elwin.

“We have always brought out biographies, but now we will focus on them in greater detail,” informs Ravi Singh, executive editor of a renowned publishing house. “They will be written by people who have a perspective to bring out these lives, who can address a larger audience.”

Another international publishing house has a formidable list of 13 biographies lined up. Two are already out — one on Bollywood thespian Dilip Kumar and the other, “MS: A Life in Music” (on Subbulakshmi). A breathless Shah Rukh Khan is now compressing his 10 years in filmdom into “Twenty Years of a Decade”.

The other big player in the Indian publishing industry kicked off its “Lives” series with Shashi Tharoor’s “Nehru: An Invention of India” and is now coming up with compact bios on Indira Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar. Besides, there are 10 other bios lined up from a revisionist take on Ranjit Singhji to a “self-inquiry” by India’s first woman Chief Justice Leila Seth.

An indication of how intense the demand for good writers of biographies has become is provided by what is described as the “biggest war over publishing rights” in India that Vikram Seth’s double biography “Two Lives” had generated last year.

The memoir, expected to be published in 2005, is built around Seth’s greatgrand uncle Shanti and his German wife and had fetched a whopping £ 1.3 million as advance. No work of non-fiction in India had ever commanded such a huge figure before.

But then, many publishers are skeptical about the quality of Indian writing in this field. “India has the local tradition of hagiographies, rather than biographies,” observes Rukun Advani who is bringing out Sri Aurobindo’s bio this year. “They are written in praise of a person’s life. In between there are some facts”.

According to Manzar Khan, the publisher of “Life and Times of G.D. Birla” and “Judith Brown’s Nehru: A Political Life,” a distinction has to be made between “well-researched biographies and those which idealise their subjects”. His plans for the year include biographies on Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, as well as an omnibus edition on Gokhale, Gandhi and Nehru.

Writers of course, have their own set of problems, the most common being access to authentic records from official sources. As Guha points out, Indians are not known to be good record keepers and what they have to guard so zealously.

“For instance, there is no biography published till date on Sheikh Abdullah,” he points out. “If I were to go to Farooq or Omar Abdullah, they will not show me his papers. Look at Sonia Gandhi, she is paranoid about showing me Indira Gandhi’s papers”.

Little wonder, most biographies are rewrites of earlier published accounts. Om Prakash Ahluwalia, a Delhi-based writer, narrates how publishers often accost him with copies of two biographies of the same person and ask him to create a third by a mix and match of paragraphs.

“That way they get to circumvent the copyright laws,” says Ahluwalia. “This is why most biographies appear so repetitive and have nothing new in terms of information to offer. We don’t have the culture for rigorous research before embarking in writing a biography”.

Agrees Advani: “The basic problem is the credibility of biographies. It requires solid scholarship but scholars are often not interested in creating that kind of narrative. It needs a novelist’s technique of story-telling to pull off a good biography”.

A safe bet would thus be subjects of popular culture like sportspersons, musicians and film stars, rather than historical and political figures. The former hold more currency, can easily be authenticated (especially when the subjects are alive) and have a better sales potential.

The latest is the sentimental trivia brought out by daughters of famous personalities. Anoushka Shankar’s tribute to sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, “Bapi: The Love of My Life” would fall within this category. Another recent example is the biography brought out on veteran filmmaker-lyricist Gulzar, by his daughter Meghna.

Going by their sales figures, many such panegyric tomes can be expected soon. MF


Dressing down in trousers
Sumona Roy

Lean trouser machine
Lean trouser machine

Trousers have remained the most neglected item of clothing for designers, so long as only men wore them. It had something to do with the male physique and the psyche of being less adventurous than women in trying out different styles. At best, the flare and hip fittings were readjusted from time to time.

Now, with women increasingly discarding the sari and salwar-kameez for trousers, things have changed dramatically. Men, for once, are opening their eyes to newer possibilities in cuts, colour schemes, fabric textures and fall. But the biggest fashion development is in the area of trousers as casual wear.

Designers feel that a heightened sense of physical fitness and body care in both sexes has led to this development. For women particularly, getting into trousers contributes to a state of ‘physical high’ that pencil-thin skirts, salwar-kameezes, sarees and ghagra-cholis can scarcely provide.

Changing lifestyles also account for the popularity of trousers as practical clothing. Indian women are turning career conscious and realise that western wear not only spells modernity, but also projects an image of professionalism.

“Trousers are tough and comfortable and can be dressed up or down,” Poornima Joshi, a Mumbai-based designer points out. “They go well with the lifestyle and body of the modern woman. No wonder, the high street version of Lara Croft’s style has become almost a uniform with teeny boppers in India.”

“On a subliminal level, Indian women are conservative in their attire, but their aspirations are western,” observes Shabir Ahmed, a boutique owner. “They want to fit into the global picture and yet, retain their Indian identity. Trousers allow them to project a macho physicality tempered by traditional elegance.”

There is also a high-voltage message being sent out from the fashion industry. Women are told that it is time for fun and colour. Already youngsters are believing that in order to swing with the times, you need to be seen in something decorative, sexy and flashy.

So there are the ‘fancy pants’ — the low-slung kind with leopard prints Rod Stewart used to prance about in, the embroidered jeans that snaked around the hips of Jimi Hendrix and the lean trousered machine that was Mick Jagger in his technicolor-stripes era.

There is also a revival of tank-girl combat trousers as well as the bootleg with little flared hems which flatter the womanly hip shape and sits smartly on heeled shoes. The ‘fancy pants’ mood has already invaded street fashion,” Aaliya Fakih of Aariya Design Studio points out.

Fakih traces the origins of the trouser trend from the time Amelia Bloomer found a double-legged answer to riding a bicycle to the elegant lounge wear of the sixties, bell-bottoms of the seventies and of late, various experiments with elastic waists and drawstring versions.

In between, were transient phases of drainpipes, followed by flares, soon to be replaced by straight-cuts and so on. These were in the nature of passing fads, usually influenced by the silver screen, but tend to recur with almost predictable regularity. If anything stuck on, they were the jeans.

“In the last three or four years, women have started getting the tummy out, wearing cropped trousers and as chords, illustrating different materials ranging from coarse cottons and gabardine to light silks, rayon, organza and crepe,” Joshi explains.

“In lighter fabrics, you have an unending variety of options in designing trousers,” adds Ahmed. “You can always do something different and make them easy-to-wear. Varied styles actually encourage women with not-so-perfect figures to try out trousers.”

According to Joshi, the switch of loyalty from traditional Indian wear to western trousers is only to be expected . “First, fashion pundits were pushing lady-like styles which involved stilettos and A-line skirts, with just a slit at the back,” she recounts.

“But if you look at the streets, those styles never really took off. Girls were wearing urban sportswear, hipsters, combats and cropped trousers. After about 10 years, those girls have now come clean and admit that they prefer trousers for utility and functional reasons.”

Industry reports also confirm that the trouser market is, for the first time, twice the value of that of skirts and would soon catch up with the sarees and salwar-kameezes. The double-advantage of trousers being suitable for both formal and casual wear has clearly contributed to its overriding popularity. MF


Light-weight jackets in vogue
Rahul Das

Jackets, which are, perhaps, the most effective winter clothing to keep the chill away, are increasingly becoming trendy in Ambala. While jackets have maintained their popularity, it is now that greater attention is being paid towards its design. The mindset about jackets being just a piece of clothing is changing and it is today a reflection of the wearer’s personality.

The improvement in manufacturing of jackets has brought about a sea change with light-weight jackets becoming more acceptable to the youth. The use of polyphil lining has contributed towards reducing its weight. This has resulted in better manageability of jackets.

This winter, fawn and pistachio colour jackets are in thing. Also, the traditional colours like dark grey, black and navy blue did not lose their sheen. Colours like olive green did well in the local market primarily because of the cantonment which houses a large number of Armymen.

Mr Vijay Kumar Kohli of Ram Chand Kohli and Sons, Ambala Sadar, said reversible jackets continued to be popular even as customers sought jackets with quilted inners. “Incidentally, metal buttons are preferred by the customers. The ‘kaaj’ buttons are not so popular,” he said.

Mr Kohli said for the children it was bright colours all the way. “Fluorescent colours like green, red and orange are liked by the children. Black offered a contrast and enhanced the style of the jacket,” he said.

“In my opinion, jackets are better than sweaters. Any two-wheeler driver will vouch for the fact that jackets are useful in winter while driving as compared to sweater. Also, it is easy to wear and it is washable. Good jackets are available at a very reasonable range,” Mr Kohli observed.

For the girls, a host of options are available. The trendy jackets have stylish cuts and soft colours. The collars of the jackets have ranged from straight to wide flaps.

In leather, there has not be a marked change of what was in vogue in the past few years. The short biker’s jacket and the long jacket for women have shown their timelessness.

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