CHANDIGARH INDEX

 





Carnival Mood
It was carnival time at Panjab University. As the rhythmic beats of reverberating music echoed against the decked up walls of Chemical Engineering department on the second day of all-India inter-college fest — Cyanide — the students rushed out of their classes to join the cavalcade of excitement. For so many of them, it was time to croon their knowledge about Bollywood music as the day’s events kick-started with Antaskshri. The lush green lawn in the front of the department was converted into an impressive open air auditorium as the microphone-clutching students sang in sync with the music played live by a band. Even as they competed with each other for musical supremacy, other students reached the “informal stage” for playing couple cricket, or else to participate in the tug of war. “Catch the egg” and some other one minute games proved to be crowd pullers. Paint the face event saw the youngsters smearing the shades of excitement on their visages, and the campus.


BODY ART: A student painting her friend’s arm at Cyanide festival at Panjab University. — Photo by Parvesh Chauhan

A student painting her friend’s arm at Cyanide festival at Panjab University

Play is the Thing
Tripurari Sharma who, penned pithy dialogues for Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala, is in town penning a full-length play evoking empathy for AIDS’ patients, reports Parbina Rashid
H
er serenity is just an indicator of her inner strength. Spend a few moments with Tripurari Sharma and your perception about life changes and you come out a lot wiser. If you are at a loss to place this petite lady, let us jog your memory a little. She is the one who wrote those soul-stirring dialogues for Mirch Masala and more recently Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, a film that marked Jaya Bachchan’s come back to Bollywood. And for theatre lovers, she is the one who wrote and directed plays like Kath ki Gadi and Poshak in her capacity as a National School of Drama teacher.

Drink to health
The category of flavoured energy drinks, though still in its nascent stage, is yet going to be a rage with the calorie-conscious in the city, says Anandita Gupta

Heady, it may not be. But it surely promises a cocktail of zingy flavours, striking colours and natty packaging. ‘It’ belongs to any evening’s entertainment party, graces the local pubs and adds zing to a sweltering summer night at home. A thirst quencher ‘it’ surely is, but also tempts the tongue with its flavour and sugary sweet taste. And in case you’ve thought it’s the soft cola drink we all are so badly addicted too, think again. It may not have the bubbly fizz of your favourite cola, but its got something we’d all vie for…. loads of energy!

Savour the Seven
The taste of tangy water spiced with exotic eastern flavours makes this plate of golguppas a special treat, says Gayatri Rajwade
S
avour the piquant tradition of street food at its best! A delicious mishmash of peppery pani in crisp golguppas that fire your belly, spice up your palate and pique your curiosity for there are six different flavours of pungent, aromatic ‘water’ fillings to relish. ‘Ram Chaat Bhandar’ in Sector 34-C, is a golguppa connoisseur’s delight simply because the variety on offer is mouth-watering—seven golguppas to a plate.


Fire your belly: Seven flavours of peppery golguppa pani. — Photo by Vinay Malik 
Fire your belly: Seven flavours of peppery golguppa pani

Spiked delicacy
If apprehension of bird flu hasn’t forced you to chicken out, go in for scrumptious kebabs. For, the weather is just right for savouring the gourmet’s delight, says Saurabh Malik

K
ebabs — spiked with fresh herbs and seared on glowing charcoals — are hot-off-the-fire passion in the late winters of early 2006. The whiff is unmistakable. As you cross the joints offering tender chicken and lamb kebabs in the evenings, the aroma of barbecued cubes delicately flavoured with a hint of nutmeg lures you indoors. The tang mingles with a hint of white and black pepper to give the flavour of the spiked delicacy right here in the city.

Mechanics of Music 
Four Chemical Engineering students believe the rock scene in Chandigarh is fermenting and young bands like theirs have the capability of playing it big, says Saurabh Malik after meeting the group
I
t’s Chemical Engineering department’s own experiment with harmony. Four of its students have got together to engineer music. Striking the right cord with the audience, guitarists Arpit and Pankaj, along with drummer Asheem and vocalist Saurabh, are rocking their way up the popularity charts, melodiously.

Footloose
H
ave your heart set on those fiercely expensive green Gucci boots you saw in the latest issue of ‘Cosmopolitan’? Or perhaps the strappy white sandals from Versace are more your style. All this and more are available for a song—provided you have the panache to carry off a superior reproduction and the patience to riffle through a magazine, pull out the design and get it made! Americano Shoes in Sector 8-B is the city specialist in ‘stylish footwear’—and this is no mochi business here for they can produce finely crafted leather wear in any pattern that you wish! Not just hi-fashion wear, even orthopaedic shoes, riding boots, roller-skating and cowboy boots are possible, you only need to ask and if confusion reigns just take a peek at the design books on offer.
SHOE SMART: Ajay Kumar and Ram Nath crafting their wares at ‘Americano’ the ‘speciality’ shoe shop in Sector 8
SHOE SMART: Ajay Kumar and Ram Nath crafting their wares at ‘Americano’ the ‘speciality’ shoe shop in Sector 8. — Photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Wedded to the wheels
Anandita Gupta

S
peed, thrill, action…. this twenty something whiz kid zooms past you with wheels beneath his feet. And as he glides across the rink, mercury soars and sweat drenches his entire being. There are sweaty brows, ugly bruises and even a black eye. But he doesn’t seem to care. For, he’s not weak-hearted or weak-kneed either. Perhaps that’s why ‘Roller Hockey’ is his passion, his lifeblood. Yes, the only Chandigarian to have won a Gold medal at the 32nd National Games, he’s roller skater Parminder ‘Pammi’ Kamboj.

YOGA
Choosing Yoga as a way of life
Jyotii Subramanian
W
hy Yoga? People who take the decision to start on this path do so for a variety of reasons, primary of which is good health, closely followed by a means to bust stress and relieve tension, of late it has become a fashion statement. Rarely is the reason spiritual pursuit, at least at the beginning. But all practising yogis know that the moment a seeker steps on the path of yog sadhana with the first pranayama breath or asana, the irreversible journey towards the divine has begun.

COOL STUFF
Chips get techno savvy
F
rito Lay India, the leading convenience foods company of India, has launched its catchy Lay’s ‘Latino Style’ Music Video featuring the cool Saif Ali Khan through a video pod cast on www.lays.co.in. This makes Lay’s the first ever brand to channel its brand communication through Pod casting, which aims at providing content (audio or video) for an audience that wants to listen when they want, where they want, and how they want. 

Ornamenting the garden
Joyshri Lobo
I
ndia, with its rich heritage of pottery, can boast of the best and cheapest containers in the world. The roadside potter, with his unique display of pots and terracotta decorations, offers a wide choice. Just spend some time in choosing the appropriate items for the right space in the garden and home.

Is your dog at the risk of Bird flu?
Dr. Jaspreet Singh
T
he outbreak of bird flu in India has not only harmed the chicken industry it has also dwindled the flavor in the food bowl of the dog. Most pets are now living without their favorite eggs and chicken. Your concern being a pet owner is genuine. Health of your family (and pet) is bound to be your first concern. There are some facts, which may make you change your mind and bring a smile back to your pets face.

Globe award for Brand Manager
L
imited Brands, a leading multi-brand American retail company, presented city girl Rabia Tewari with ‘Individual Globe Award’ for the year 2005 at the company’s Annual  Business Review Meeting in New York last week. The Globe Award is presented to a selected individual to recognize exemplary performance, exceptional results and for successfully handling additional challenges which are above and beyond usual job responsibilities.

FILM AND FASHION
Jessica Parker’s  stiletto woes
S
he may have been admired for her choice of high-heeled shoes in the hit American TV show ‘Sex and the City’, but it seems that wearing all those stilettos damaged actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s feet so badly that she reportedly had to have them digitally enhanced for her new flick ‘Failure to Launch’. 






Carnival Mood

It was carnival time at Panjab University. As the rhythmic beats of reverberating music echoed against the decked up walls of Chemical Engineering department on the second day of all-India inter-college fest — Cyanide — the students rushed out of their classes to join the cavalcade of excitement.

For so many of them, it was time to croon their knowledge about Bollywood music as the day’s events kick-started with Antaskshri. The lush green lawn in the front of the department was converted into an impressive open air auditorium as the microphone-clutching students sang in sync with the music played live by a band. Even as they competed with each other for musical supremacy, other students reached the “informal stage” for playing couple cricket, or else to participate in the tug of war. “Catch the egg” and some other one minute games proved to be crowd pullers. Paint the face event saw the youngsters smearing the shades of excitement on their visages, and the campus.

The prime attraction was, however, the Cyanide Idol. After singing their way through the preliminaries on inaugural Thursday, so many students reached the stage for bursting into hits numbers one after another. As the synthesizer and other musical instruments provided melodious support, the budding singers displayed their flair before the footlights.

Inside the examination hall, it was time to learn the Salsa. The students twirled around the polished dance floor of life trying to hold each other for support as the instructor doled out the dancing tips one after another. Mock rock saw them wriggling with happiness.

As the exhausted sun disappeared behind the buildings in the west, the students, and other music buffs, reached the Department of Laws for feeling the beats of foot-tapping numbers flowing out of the high-wattage speakers.

Folk dance competition — Nach Balliye would be held on Saturday, along with designing newspaper contest. Clay modeling and western dance contest, along with Mr and Ms Placement, too was scheduled to be held on Saturday. The war of the DJs, with VJ Rashmi and DJ Bhanu participating in the event, was expected to be the prime crowd puller. 

—Saurabh Malik

Play is the Thing
Tripurari Sharma who, penned pithy dialogues for Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala, is in town penning a full-length play evoking empathy for AIDS’ patients, reports Parbina Rashid

Her serenity is just an indicator of her inner strength. Spend a few moments with Tripurari Sharma and your perception about life changes and you come out a lot wiser. If you are at a loss to place this petite lady, let us jog your memory a little. She is the one who wrote those soul-stirring dialogues for Mirch Masala and more recently Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, a film that marked Jaya Bachchan’s come back to Bollywood. And for theatre lovers, she is the one who wrote and directed plays like Kath ki Gadi and Poshak in her capacity as a National School of Drama teacher.

What brings Tripurari to town is her research work for a new script on HIV and AIDS. This Unicef-sponsored project is not just about the do’s and don’ts about HIV and AIDS, says Tripurari as she makes herself comfortable at the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab office in Sector 10. As we express our curiosity to know more about this project, she explains, “This full-length play will highlight the callous attitude of the society, even family members towards HIV/AIDS victims and how they are learning to live with it without any bitterness,” she adds. And their experience can be inspirational for not just HIV positive people but normal people too, for their journey in life is full of zest.

Her two-day research work has taken her in and around Chandigarh, giving her a chance to interact with them at a personal level.

“This has been a tremendous learning experience for me,” she says recalling her meeting with one such person whose simple philosophy struck on — ‘how do we know how we are going to die one day. We all have to face death and it makes all the more important to live life to the fullest.’

For someone who has been known for combining theatre with community work and also looking at the world from a woman’s perspective, can we expect a little gender-related sensitivity in her play?

“That is bound to come, not because I am a feminist, but because the gender inequality exists even among the HIV/AIDS victims,” she says, elaborates how in our society it is easier to throw away a daughter-in-law if she catches the dreaded infection.

As she goes around ‘collecting wisdom’ in Punjab as she calls this entire exercise, she mentally prepares her script, though it will take her another three to four months to complete the writing part. “I am planning to make it the North specific, because though a lot of such works have been done in the South or others regions as well, nothing has been done so far in this region.” Tripurari should know, for though she was born and brought up in Delhi and worked all her life in the NSD, her roots are in Ambala.

So the play, which she plans to make it into a character centric, will have the orientation of the northern society.

“It is too early to say much because all these ideas are just bubbling in my head and the picture will be completes only after I finish the script, but I will try not to be judgmental in my play,” she says with all her sincerity. And we know she means it as we depart with a promise to meet again.

Drink to health
The category of flavoured energy drinks, though still in its nascent stage, is yet going to be a rage with the calorie-conscious in the city, says Anandita Gupta


City golfers enjoying energy drinks
GLASSFULL: City golfers enjoying energy drinks. — Photo by Pradeep Iewari

Heady, it may not be. But it surely promises a cocktail of zingy flavours, striking colours and natty packaging. ‘It’ belongs to any evening’s entertainment party, graces the local pubs and adds zing to a sweltering summer night at home. A thirst quencher ‘it’ surely is, but also tempts the tongue with its flavour and sugary sweet taste. And in case you’ve thought it’s the soft cola drink we all are so badly addicted too, think again. It may not have the bubbly fizz of your favourite cola, but its got something we’d all vie for…. loads of energy!

Yes, with the winters having been waved off the final goodbye, these energy drinks are vying for our attention in a big way. Companies are putting in big money in the category of flavoured energy drinks, which, though still in its nascent stage, are going to be a rage with the calorie-conscious, health freak consumer.

With the growing awareness and inclination towards the health drinks and resistance shown by the health conscious customer for aerated drinks, the herbal drink market is growing at an amazing rate of 40% - 50%. The total juice market is today estimated at 800 cr. market with herbal drinks pegged at 100 crores. Opines Dr. Sunila Verma, a dietician, “ Given that man is by now sedentary, has modest energetic intakes and wants to limit his intakes of fats and sugars, these energy drinks will be in great demand.

And when demand rocks the market, can supply be far behind? Many companies have already flooded the city shelves with these energy drinks. Recently, P.V. Beverages formally launched “Phantom” Energy Drink in the City Beautiful. “Phantom” Energy Drink is available now in Chandigarh and markets of Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana apart from the other markets of India.

Mr. Udo Wagner, International Sales Head, Global Beverages, remarked,” The energy category is all set to grow, providing an alternative to soft drinks. And Phantom isn’t just a drink. Its a fantastic source of energy. It’s raises physical and mental performance levels by providing a fast-working supply of energy and vitamins. Moreover, it supplies the body with needed energy and vitamins, contributes towards regulating the body’s electrolyte levels, stimulates the body’s circulation, metabolism and central nervous system. Phantom aids in achieving a higher degree of stress tolerance, especially during periods of intense, sensitive, and demanding work.” He added that Phantom energy drink is low on sugar & does not contain sodium or fat and contains taurine, caffeine, carbohydrates and vitamins, among other selected ingredients. Taurine is principally found in the central nervous system, in the brain, and also in the heart and facilitates the absorption of minerals.

Then, Orissa based Mamta Agro Foods has also launched Power Berry (sea-buck-thorn juice), a medicinal plant which is grown in Ladakh. Mamta Agro Foods has also finalized the procurement and manufacturing of 5 new Herbal drinks with DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation). The new herbal drinks are all set to hit the market in the next quarter.

Explained Mr. Ajay Kumar, G.M (Sales & Marketing), Mamta Agro Foods, visiting Chandigarh to share its company’s road map ahead and growth strategy. Herbal Drinks are doing very well internationally, especially in Europe. But now, the trend is catching up in India too. So we are launching three herbal drinks in Chandigarh and Punjab which have all the vitamins, minerals plus the benefits of rare Indian herbs,” he smiled.
The three energy drinks include ‘Power Berry’, which is made from the extract of the nature’s wondrous plant Sea-buck-thorn which grows in Ladakh. The numerous healing qualities of Power Berry have been got from Sanjeevani Booti- a famous medicinal plant. A daily swig of magical Power Berry gives an experience of a new life with rejuvenated zest and vigour by strengthening body immunity system, improving memory and keeping the entire body metabolism in good order.

The other energy drink is the herbal drink ‘Madrid - Aloe Vera’ for Beauty, Wellness and Health. This drink not only rejuvenates your health and skin but can also be used as anti-aging, weight reducer, anti-diabetic, immunity booster. Aloe Vera contains 20 amino acids, goodness of vitamins A, B, C & E and minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and iron.
The last one called Safed Musli, can help during times of extra stress, demand or weakness, which indicate that our inner balance has taken a knock. From the greatest warriors to the greatest Casanovas all through the ages Safed Musli has been the secret recipe. 

And inspired by the new entrants in the market, the old ones too are gearing up for the competition. Glucon-D, India’s largest selling Glucose based instant energy drink has launched its ‘cool hee cool offer.’ Under this offer, not only will the consumers get a 25% extra Glucon-D with every purchase, but can also win exciting prizes like air-conditioners, refrigerators and even a trip to Switzerland!

Well, we longer need to gulp those ruinous calories, soda and sugar any longer. A healthier option is already in the city!

Savour the Seven
The taste of tangy water spiced with exotic eastern flavours makes this plate of golguppas a special treat, says Gayatri Rajwade

Savour the piquant tradition of street food at its best! A delicious mishmash of peppery pani in crisp golguppas that fire your belly, spice up your palate and pique your curiosity for there are six different flavours of pungent, aromatic ‘water’ fillings to relish. ‘Ram Chaat Bhandar’ in Sector 34-C, is a golguppa connoisseur’s delight simply because the variety on offer is mouth-watering—seven golguppas to a plate.

Get going with bracing zeera pani, followed by one with hing pani, pudina, rai, kali-mirch seasoning and even kewra pani which comes bang in the middle of these fiery treats and soothes the mouth unexpectedly! Top off the plateful with the final golguppa stuffed with chopped potatoes, a small crushed bhalla, red chutney and a spoonful of sweet dahi—a fitting finale to the now itinerant taste-buds!

The base is Ambala where the family has a long-running chaat business at Halwai Bazaar. A traditional enterprise that began with Ram Kumar’s grandfather and has come down the generations is going to turn all of 90 next year.

For Ram Kumar, this little niche in the market, which he opened five years ago, is a homecoming of sorts. Trained as a lab technician, he tried to change his work, got bored and came right back to this business.

While the recipes remain unchanged (and there is chaat and tikkis on offer too), stringent cleanliness measures are adopted to make the eats more palatable to everyone. “The water is boiled. Refrigerators are in place to keep anything from spoiling and all the ingredients for the golguppas and chaat are transported from Ambala every single day,” explains Ram Kumar.

Even the pani that remains at the end of the day is thrown, not stored for next day’s use.

This tiny nook opens at 2:30 pm every afternoon and shuts shop by 9:30 pm at night. And finally, if you eat here, you are in the august company of ace detective, Karamchand alias Pankaj Kapur who Ram Kumar feels certain, he spotted, savouring the luscious golguppas here!

Spiked delicacy
If apprehension of bird flu hasn’t forced you to chicken out, go in for scrumptious kebabs. For, the weather is just right for savouring the gourmet’s delight, says Saurabh Malik 

Photo by Parvesh ChauhanKebabs — spiked with fresh herbs and seared on glowing charcoals — are hot-off-the-fire passion in the late winters of early 2006. The whiff is unmistakable. As you cross the joints offering tender chicken and lamb kebabs in the evenings, the aroma of barbecued cubes delicately flavoured with a hint of nutmeg lures you indoors. The tang mingles with a hint of white and black pepper to give the flavour of the spiked delicacy right here in the city.

If you are hot for the stuff, just drive down to your favourite haunt and gratify your taste buds with an abundance of chicken and Mutton kebabs. You see the weather is just right for you to savour the stuff. The pleasant evening breeze, gently hinting at the dying winter revival, only adds to the essence.

So forget all about counting those loathsome calorie and bird flu. Order well-cooked mouth-melting Reshmi or Chicken Malai Kebab. You can even go for skewered minced lamb kebabs or Panchrangi Kebabs. The choice is yours, entirely

You see, until a few years ago, one had few options as the restaurants across the city were not offering rich variety in kebabs. Undoubtedly you could order Vegetable Seekh Kebab, or even Kalmi Kebab. Or else, go in for Lamb Seekh Kebab, but hardly anything else.

But now the dishes are more and merrier. Pick up the menu card and you will find stuff like Chakori Kebab or else Boti kebab. You can also order Corn kebabs flavoured with fresh herbs topped with buttered creamy rice.

A word of caution here: As some of the dishes mentioned in the menu card are spicy or even rich in cream, just do not hesitate in asking the member of the staff serving at table, lest you land up with gastric or digestive problems. Also, make sure that the food is well cooked in view of apprehensions regarding bird flu.

If you are going to Copper Chimney, remember to order Chicken Chelo Kebab. Tender chicken kebabs are topped with buttered rice to give you a scrumptious kebab meal. You can also go in for chicken drumsticks marinated in pickling spices and mustard extract. Order their creamy kebab and you will get mouth-melting morsels of chicken, grilled in the tandoor, laced with rich cream

At Pick `n’ Move in Sector 8, go in for Chicken Seekh Kebab with thick gravy. The dish is not very expensive. You will get a platter full of taste for just Rs 120. You can also try their Chicken Kathi Kebab and Chicken Shami Kebab. The stuff is good.

Red Skewers in the same Sector offers first-rate Mutton Seekh Kebab with traditional sauce and steamed sweet corn. Just in case mutton doesn’t excite your taste buds, go in for Chicken Seekh Hari Mirch, or else Chicken Seekh Shahi Jeera. All the dishes are costing less than Rs 100. Their Kathi Kebab, in three flavours, is costing between Rs 69 and Rs 89.

At Hotel Mountview, the kebabs are scrumptious without even an extra ounce of oil or fat, despite comfortable levels of chilies. The succulent pieces of chicken, mild flavours, the appetizing aroma of charcoal grilled meats are must-haves. “Our kebabs have resisted the onslaught of off-beat culinary skills,” says General Manager R.P. Singla.

In case you are going to the Andys in Sector 37, the ambience and the setting is fit for a perfect dinner of kebabs for two. Proprietor Suneel Anand claims that the serving staff makes every meal a feast and every spread a gourmet’s delight.

Mechanics of Music 
Four Chemical Engineering students believe the rock scene in Chandigarh is fermenting and young bands like theirs have the capability of playing it big, says Saurabh Malik after meeting the group

Members of “Dhatu” group exhibiting their talent at the all-India inter-college fest
Musical Melody: Members of “Dhatu” group exhibiting their talent at the all-India inter-college fest — Cyanide. — Photo: Parvesh Chauhan

It’s Chemical Engineering department’s own experiment with harmony. Four of its students have got together to engineer music. Striking the right cord with the audience, guitarists Arpit and Pankaj, along with drummer Asheem and vocalist Saurabh, are rocking their way up the popularity charts, melodiously.

Christened “Dhatu” — meaning metal — their rock band coaxed the crowd into tripping the light fantastic on the thumping beats of reverberating music during the second day of student fest Cyanide organized at the Panjab University campus.

For the group, the times are fast changing with the punk-rock scene fermenting. “More and more students even in Chandigarh are now clutching guitars and drum sticks for jotting down musical history,” says Arpit. “Some of the students in city, all the way from the North-East, are doing exceptionally well on the stage”.

Making it big

Music, Arpit asserts, is nowadays all about playing big. “Gone are the days when student-bands would at the most climb up the stage for performing live in marriage ceremonies. Now, they are strumming and plucking their way into recognition at the national level”.

Adjusting the cords, he says, “The phenomenon is just not limited to this part of the region. Some of the young Pakistani rock bands like the `Jal’ and the `Raga Boys’ are bursting into eminence with hard beat numbers”.

The entire music culture, he says, is undergoing a musical change with youngsters striking up the tunes. “The days of Bhappi Lehri and his kind of music are over. Now you have the head-bangers near the stage cutting foot loose in sync with the rhythmic beats of rock bellowing out of high-wattage music”.

The other members also believe that heavy-metal beats are making all the difference. For them, the Punjabi mystical poetry has in recent years gained popularity across the world not just because of its message, but due to the fact that it has been blended with fast tempo. Make the public to listen to old compositions of Punjabi mystical poetry in slow tunes, and see the effect. Majority of the audience will never appreciate it, they assert.

The success tune

Arpit believes anyone can play music with “a little dedication and effort”. He himself learnt music from the Internet, despite time constrain due to the tough “engineering routine”. “I was basically interested in music and would spend hours enjoying the beats. So, I decided to go for it. One fine morning, I went to the market and picked up a guitar. Logging on to a network of excitement, I studied the art from the Internet and am now playing in the band”. That’s the way it is. A classic case of passion unlimited!

Footloose

Have your heart set on those fiercely expensive green Gucci boots you saw in the latest issue of ‘Cosmopolitan’? Or perhaps the strappy white sandals from Versace are more your style. All this and more are available for a song—provided you have the panache to carry off a superior reproduction and the patience to riffle through a magazine, pull out the design and get it made!

Americano Shoes in Sector 8-B is the city specialist in ‘stylish footwear’—and this is no mochi business here for they can produce finely crafted leather wear in any pattern that you wish! Not just hi-fashion wear, even orthopaedic shoes, riding boots, roller-skating and cowboy boots are possible, you only need to ask and if confusion reigns just take a peek at the design books on offer.

Nothing seems to have changed in this little niche in this crowded market in its 40 odd years of survival because there is a confidence, a self-assurance that is evident. “Whatever gets made in our shop does not get made anywhere,” assert owners Ravi Kumar and Sarabjit Kaur.

As the motley crew of karigars—Ajay Kumar, Ram Nath, Chotelal and old stalwart Bhim Singh—snip and stitch away, there is obvious pride in work done well.

With ladies shoes starting at approximately Rs 450 and men’s shoes a tad more at Rs 750, it still works out much cheaper than buying an original creation especially when the replica is a good one.

Sample this: Black leather boots with studs and embroidered flanks for a mere Rs 1200 or knee-length yellow pure leather boots for Rs. 1600.

And the clientele is illustrious! Anupam Kher, Raj Babbar and even Dara Singh amongst various Punjabi singers frequent this place.

Finally what’s in the name? It seems that Ravi’s father who started this place had a “foreigner” client who suggested ‘Americano’. The name stuck! 

Wedded to the wheels
Anandita Gupta

Roller skater Parminder ‘Pammi’ Kamboj romancing the skates
ACTION ON WHEELS: Roller skater Parminder ‘Pammi’ Kamboj romancing the skates. — Photo by Pradeep Tewari

Speed, thrill, action…. this twenty something whiz kid zooms past you with wheels beneath his feet. And as he glides across the rink, mercury soars and sweat drenches his entire being. There are sweaty brows, ugly bruises and even a black eye. But he doesn’t seem to care. For, he’s not weak-hearted or weak-kneed either. Perhaps that’s why ‘Roller Hockey’ is his passion, his lifeblood. Yes, the only Chandigarian to have won a Gold medal at the 32nd National Games, he’s roller skater Parminder ‘Pammi’ Kamboj.

Roller Hockey remains his first love. “Since I was a six-year-old, I was fascinated by the sport and knew that it was what I wanted in life,” chips in the young champion who’s won seven Gold Medals at the national level, besides representing India at the World Roller Hockey Championships held at Korea, Japan, China, England, Italy and Canada.

“It’s a lot of hard work all the way. Five hours of daily practice, an hour of yoga, an hour of gym workouts and yes, litres of milk each day!” he smiles.

“The game’s all about defending, chasing, scoring goals and promises lots of thrill. But its also about being focused, aggressive and yes, having fun,” he exclaims. And isn’t it too expensive a sport? “Oh yes, roller skating equipment costs Rs.70, 000 and has to be changed annually. Also, an international match costs Rs. One lakh per person. However, the game is so interesting, it’s worth it,” explains Pammi who feels a little encouragement to the sport can make it a rage.

Confesses the skater, “The sport is a big craze in Europe, America and Canada. In India, people who get exposed to it enjoy it thoroughly but till now, the government hasn’t done enough to encourage it in a big way.”

But for the time being, no cribbing. He’s concentrating more on his performance. For, the taste of success may be lovely , sweet and deep, but he has promises to keep. Miles to go before he sleeps…

YOGA
Choosing Yoga as a way of life
Jyotii Subramanian

Connecting to the inner self

Sit comfortably on a chair or mat. Keeping the back straight take a few deep breaths to relax the body and mind. Now breathing normally move inwards to connect with the core of silence within. This may take a few practices as untoward thoughts keep disturbing. Keep trying to cut through all extraneous feelings and mental frequencies. Once you are connected stay there enjoying this quality of peace and joy. This is your true nature. 

Why Yoga? People who take the decision to start on this path do so for a variety of reasons, primary of which is good health, closely followed by a means to bust stress and relieve tension, of late it has become a fashion statement. Rarely is the reason spiritual pursuit, at least at the beginning. But all practising yogis know that the moment a seeker steps on the path of yog sadhana with the first pranayama breath or asana, the irreversible journey towards the divine has begun.

Introduction to hatha yoga practice is the beginning of this quest. The yogic postures or asanas work on the muscles, the organs and the skeletal system inducing them to become more efficient. So as the muscles elongate and become more flexible, the skeletal system strengthens, the joints get lubricated and the organs rejuvenate by throwing out toxins that make them sluggish. At the start a general feeling of well being floods the physical body. When a beginner first learns to perfect yogic postures subtle chemical alterations take place in the body. These alterations allow the body to adjust internal climate to external factors. Yoga postures that are specified for particular disease work on that organ. For example asanas prescribed for the diabetic work on enhancing the insulin producing pancreas, those for asthma and bronchitis will be lung specific. Once the physical ailments are taken care of the seeker is ready to move on to higher levels of the emotion, mind and spirit. Though it must be remembered here that the process is holistic and the very practice of asanas also starts the healing and transformation in the emotional and mental bodies, it is the awareness of the one practising yoga that takes time to develop.

The nature of the individual soul is to evolve and yoga creates the ambience that helps this natural process. Without effort the practitioner easily moves from the realm of physical well being to emotional nurturing under the guidance of a sincere teacher. Since the whole process of yoga is of cleansing and refinement, the emotional body too starts to rid itself of excess baggage in the nature of emotional trauma, hurt, grief, anger, hate etc. leading to a state of unexplainable joy and bliss. Finally the mind itself loses its clever conniving ways to become more clear and innocent; acting instead of reacting the yogi moves through life unaffected by external circumstances and becomes free to move forward towards realising spiritual potential.

COOL STUFF
Chips get techno savvy

Frito Lay India, the leading convenience foods company of India, has launched its catchy Lay’s ‘Latino Style’ Music Video featuring the cool Saif Ali Khan through a video pod cast on www.lays.co.in. This makes Lay’s the first ever brand to channel its brand communication through Pod casting, which aims at providing content (audio or video) for an audience that wants to listen when they want, where they want, and how they want. 

The pod cast of this catchy music video reiterates the innovative edge of Lay’s - providing the fun, thrill and excitement that takes forward the immensely popular ‘Latino Salsa’ trend that has created a huge wave across the globe. Lay’s “Latino Style - Hot Pepper & Salsa” is a trend-setting flavour that resonates with this wave and aims at bringing the world of international taste and attitude trends to arm’s reach of the Indian youth. 

With this pod cast - net savvy users can get a web preview of the Lay’s ‘Latino Style’ Music Video by logging onto www.lays.co.in and adding the pod cast URL as the feed URL on their pod catchers. 

Refreshing whiff

Casual wear brand Lee Cooper has come up with some cool design collections for this summer. Called, ‘Life is fun,’ this range boasts of denims, non-denim bottoms, shirts and knits for men as well as women. These denims with minimal detailing and medium washes for a fresh feel are a vacation mode with styles like shorts, mini skirts and capris. Priced at Rs. 599 and above for the top wear and Rs. 999 and above for the bottom wear, the collection is affordable and refreshing.

Water Purifier

Pentair, Inc., a US $ 2.8 billion group and the world leader in water technology and enclosures serving customers worldwide in over 50 countries, launches “Pentair home ro,” a reverse osmosis ( RO ) based water purifier.

Pentair home ro, ideally suited for purifying bore well /salty water, uses special membranes under high pressure to remove suspended, dissolved, bacterial and chemical impurities up to 0.0001 micron from water. These RO systems also have the ability to solve the fluoride problem, which is prevalent in the water in the southern part of the country. In Pentair Home RO systems, the treated water which is free from all impurities and toxic chemicals, is collected in an airtight container ready for consumption and the toxic chemicals, germs and salt are drained to give safe, clean water. The unit incorporates highest applicable standards for drinking water.

Pentair home ro system offers best-in-class technology with features more advanced than any other water purification system. Pentair has launched its CT Deluxe model with futuristic 6 stage PXP technology. Pentair home ro systems are easy to install & treated water stored in food grade airtight tank can be dispensed by a special faucet installed at a sink or any other convenient point in your kitchen.

Available in three models, CT DELUXE, USPA & USP 10’’ and prices ranging from Rs. 10,500 to Rs. 16,50, Pentair home ro systems are widely available through a strong dealer, distributor & service network across the country.

Racing Range

Get into all the action with the Red Tape racing range. Red Tape shoes, unleashes its racing range, for the fashionable male for spring-summer 2006. Red Tape, now synonymous with World Fashion is a brand of semi-formal conscious by constantly defining fashion forecasts.

Red Tape’s Racing Range kicks off this spring/summer season with an absolutely new look that defines attitude, style and comfort. Crafted with leather uppers, the stylishly, lightweight and funky collection is aesthetically designed for the adventurous soul.

The new Racing Range comes to you in a choice of stunning colours Sunset White, Navy, Khaki, Stone, orange and Black, priced between Rs 1995/- & Rs 2195/-. The Racing Range, truly a must buy, is available at exclusive Red Tape showrooms, chain stores and leading Multiple Brand Outlets across India.

Ornamenting the garden
Joyshri Lobo

India, with its rich heritage of pottery, can boast of the best and cheapest containers in the world. The roadside potter, with his unique display of pots and terracotta decorations, offers a wide choice. Just spend some time in choosing the appropriate items for the right space in the garden and home.

Blue pottery is a good option, though a little more expensive. Large, Chinese pieces are flooding the markets throughout the country. I still prefer our ethnic items, as they are cheaper and quite quaint. Be sure that the pots have enough drainage holes and a matching plate at the bottom. I would group blue pottery pieces together to give that rich look. However it is worth remembering that blue fades in the sun, so these pots and plants should be in the house, not out. The grouping according to sizes and colours of plants can be a focal point and conversation starter. However, weekly doses of extra light will be needed for the houseplants. While doing so, cover the pots with two to three layers of paper to avoid fade-outs.

Glazed ceramics are very dramatic. They come in contrasting colours and are easily available at the Government set up at Banur, near Patiala. Have a ball with the seconds, which are dirt-cheap. Mix and match different shapes and colours, keeping in mind the plant heights and circumferences. Remember that a huge pot or two at your entrance, trailing a healthy, colourful philodendron, sends out wonderful vibes and makes quite a statement. Besides, ceramics are comfortable in the sun.

I enjoy showing off my plants with a few statuettes strewn around. In many Chandigarh homes, we can see some of Mr. Nek Chand’s unusual and exquisite creations dotting gardens. If you are lucky enough to get these, good for you! Otherwise, Bankura horses from Kolkata; elephants from Mysore; palms with toddy collectors from Goa; Fisher women with loaded fish baskets from Kerala; lamps from Bangalore-are all available in cheap terracotta. Go to Government emporia for the fairest prices. Use the pieces amongst your plants and trees, inside and out.

Last but not least, are ironwork baskets to hang in corners or balconies. Line them with moss or coconut husk and put in your plants. It makes a pretty picture or even a gift. In fact, how about going to that roadside potter NOW, to pick your pots and decorations for yourself and your friends? I’m sure they will be thrilled!

Is your dog at the risk of Bird flu?
Dr. Jaspreet Singh

The outbreak of bird flu in India has not only harmed the chicken industry it has also dwindled the flavor in the food bowl of the dog. Most pets are now living without their favorite eggs and chicken. Your concern being a pet owner is genuine. Health of your family (and pet) is bound to be your first concern. There are some facts, which may make you change your mind and bring a smile back to your pets face.

Bird flu or Avian Influenza is a highly contagious viral disease in poultry that causes high mortalities in “poultry”. The virus can be spread to susceptible birds through direct contact with nasal and respiratory secretions from infected birds, direct contact with the faces of infected birds, contamination of feed and water and contact with contaminated equipment and humans. In short Bird flu is transmitted to humans through close contact with infected live poultry.

The poultry and eggs available in the market are safe to eat for both pet and owner. There is no evidence that bird flu can be spread to humans through the consumption of poultry and eggs. It is safe to handle raw poultry. However, you should practice general food safety precautions such as separating raw from cooked food to avoid cross contamination which can cause food poisoning.

It is sensible to cook poultry meat thoroughly to kill any germs present in food. Consumers are advised to eat food that is well-cooked.  Thorough cooking helps to kill any harmful germs present. The eating of any raw or semi-cooked food, including eggs, comes with an inherent food safety risk.

There is no likelihood that bird flu can be transmitted to dogs. So let them have their eggs.

But if you are also fond of horses, you may want to save your dogs from horse flu. Canine flu was first discovered last year after an unusual illness began to appear at greyhound racetracks in Florida. The sick greyhounds had a type of influenza ordinarily found only in horses. Canine influenza symptoms include low-grade fever, cough, and nasal discharge. Virtually all exposed dogs become infected, the researchers said. The virus is spread from dog to dog via coughing, contaminated objects, and even people.

Nearly 80 percent of dogs exposed to the virus contract only a mild form of the disease, which mimics kennel cough-a type of canine bronchitis that is rarely serious. So far no case of dog flu has been reported in India.

Globe award for Brand Manager

Limited Brands, a leading multi-brand American retail company, presented city girl Rabia Tewari with ‘Individual Globe Award’ for the year 2005 at the company’s Annual  Business Review Meeting in New York last week. The Globe Award is presented to a selected individual to recognize exemplary performance, exceptional results and for successfully handling additional challenges which are above and beyond usual job responsibilities. Limited Brands net worth is more than $6.0 billion, it has 3,800 stores all across North America and six retail brands - Express, Victoria’s Secret, Limited Stores, Bath & Body Works, White Barn Candle Co., and Henri Bendel. Limited Brands also owns Mast Industries, one of the world’s largest contract manufacturers and importers of apparel. 

Rabia Tewari joined the company two and a half years ago as Business Manager in the Sourcing and Production division. While she was offered this position to manage two brands, within months of joining she successfully handled additional responsibility of two other brands. At the Annual Business Review Meeting the Vice President of Sourcing & Production spoke about the significant role Rabia Tewari had played in the growth of business. In a short span of time she had succeeded in establishing an excellent work relationship with all her business associates within the US and also at all the overseas production offices of the company. She was awarded not only for bringing excellent results, but also for demonstrating the rules of engagement and for being an example of what the company stands for.  —TNS 

FILM AND FASHION
Jessica Parker’s stiletto woes

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker

She may have been admired for her choice of high-heeled shoes in the hit American TV show ‘Sex and the City’, but it seems that wearing all those stilettos damaged actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s feet so badly that she reportedly had to have them digitally enhanced for her new flick ‘Failure to Launch’. According to an insider, a lot of work had to be done to hide Jessica Parker’s feet, for years of forcing her feet into stilettos had caused her veins to protrude.—ANI

Nicole annoys parents

‘The Simple Life’ star Nicole Richie has annoyed a local family whilst filming the hit TV series, by asking an 11-year-old boy, in profane language, if she looked attractive. Nicole, who was shooting for the fourth series of the reality show, titled “The Simple Life 4: Till Death Do Us Apart”, approached the young boy as he played basketball in his Castaic, California driveway and asked if he thought she was a ‘Milf’.—ANI

Sharon sexier at 48

Sexy ‘Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction’ star Sharon Stone has revealed that like wine, age only enhances a woman’s appeal. The stunning actress, who still has the ability to make men’s tongues hang out, said women become more interesting with age, and that age makes them sexual in a different and more alluring way. “I am better at 48 than I ever was at 20. This is a period when I think women become the most interesting. They are sexual in a very different and alluring way,” The Independent quoted her, as saying. —ANI 

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