Power-puff girls
Ashima Sehajpal

Super models, Dipannita Sharma and Indrani Das Gupta give an insight into the glam world

Indrani Dasgupta
Indrani Dasgupta

Let the pessimists cling on to their bygone era's agenda, "Stop discrimination against women" or even to their present concern, "Be wary of casting couch", while we be all positive. Helping us in the cause is Dipannita Sharma, an actor and a model, in the city on Sunday to walk the ramp for a Classic Jewellery fashion show put up by Talwarsons-22, who defiantly claims, "Women rule the fashion industry. Female models are in demand for fashion shows all round the year." Ten years in the industry, and she sees negatives fading out, "Casting couch exists the least in our world. There is work for every model and unlike other industries; we have no competition from men. We don't need to beg for work, in fact we chose what we wish too."

Still not convinced with the real power-puff girl's assertion? Count the number of married and successful models in the industry. We will help you out with some, Sonalika Sahay, Krishna Somani, Amanpreet Wahi, Indrani Das Gupta and Dipannita Sharma, of course. As she says next, "Isn't it cool to be a successful married model? It proves we are out of the age, when society found it insincere on women's part to be in the glam world after marriage and kids."

Besides modeling, it is judging for Making the Cut, a reality show on MTV that's keeping her busy. Out of the two, a judge of a model hunt show and a model, the easier job is, "Modeling any day! The contestants I am judging have been groomed so well that it is a challenge for me to chose the best." She supports the reality shows for they bring healthy competition and provide platform to a larger number of aspiring models, singers or actors.

Another change that has come about in one decade of her in the fashion world is, "The super model phenomena is over." Now before you go on to assume that another deficiency in the models, the fact is, "There is a deluge of top models and all of them are the best on the ramp." Competition can't get better than this for sure. How can we not ask her about her alleged link up with Junior Bachchan. The lady however (as expected) brushed it off, "It's past and I don't think people would be interested in it. What I am doing right now would rather catch their attention I believe." Only if you knew what people are all ears for always!

Being Indrani

This comes as a small lecture for aspiring models-modeling is not about five seconds of ramp walk, 15 minutes of trying on a costume and 50 minutes of putting up make up. It goes beyond the total time of one hour, five minutes and five seconds. "It is about going to sleep at three in the morning after three back-to-back fashion shows, getting up at seven to catch a flight at eight and being ready for another show in some other city at 12 noon," Indrani Das Gupta spells out the hardships of being one of the celebrated models of India.

A graduate from Delhi University and masters in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indrani though calls herself a nerdy Bong, she prefers to teach some modeling nuances, "One doesn't need a professional degree or be a topper from an Ivy League university to take your place in the modeling world, unlike the corporate zone. A day of complacency and there will be 10 other equally competent models posing a challenge."

Having endorsed cosmetics, soft drinks and jewellery, she turned down an offer of a fairness cream advertisement. "Because ethically it wasn't right." There's something else too she feels strongly about and doesn't mince words while sharing, "Actors and cricketers should not walk the ramp. They can't make clothes look better, instead themselves look better."

Now settled in Delhi post marriage, the model has done numerous international fashion shows. So, now when we are also seeing things happening the other way round, foreign models walking the ramp at Indian fashion shows, she doesn't mind it, "We too do it in other counties, so why object their coming here?" The politically incorrect lady speaks out the reason, "Foreign models fit in the 'bill'. As per the international standards, what we get is far less, so we can't further compromise on our dues." Don't forget she's done her masters in Economics!


Call for celebration
Mobile caller tunes complete five years in Punjab
Jasmine Singh

The day Michael Jackson died, umpteen mobile phone users selected his songs from his popular albums for caller tunes as a tribute to the legend. When the nerd-looking Shah Rukh Khan of RNBDJ (Rab Ney Bana Di Jodi) drove his scooter through the labyrinth of Amirtsar lanes, singing Holley Holley, people immediately pressed their mobile buttons to secure the song as their caller tune. Same was the case when Badshah Khan declared that 11 mulkoon ki police couldn't catch him in Don, people made sure the 'legendary dialogue' was their signature tune. The RBT (ring back tones) has indeed have come a long way, from religious songs to regional, filmi, non-filmi, dialogues...heading for name tunes. Technology doesn't wait for anyone. Next is what!

Melody & money

This is not just about fun. Bollywood films use caller tunes as a promotion tool, to popularise the music of their film as well. Celebrating the success of caller tunes in Punjab for the past five years, mobile companies have come out with various offers. Airtel provides a free hello tune for first 20 days of subscription, and one download free.

"What started with Ring Back Tones graduated to regional tunes, subsequently moving towards innovations in caller tunes," says Pradeep Gangal, managing director for mobile value added service provider company, Go Bindas Entertainment. "Monotunes (single instrument playing), polytunes (sound of many instruments) and then ring tones, which can be set up on mobile phones is quite a change. And now, we are heading for 'personalised name tones' that I see coming in India in another six months to one year," he adds.

Not a single song is left out. Just about every popular commercial and non-commercial number makes it to the caller tune list, and you bet the craze is only increasing. Neelam Chauhan, a bank employee in Sector 8, changes her mobiles caller tunes every week. "My husband sees it as a kiddish hoby, but I am hooked to it. Some days it is Sukhwinder's Jai Ho, other times I have Kaisey mujehy tum mil gayi from Ghajini. If I am feeling religious, I change the caller tune accordingly to Tu dukh harta, and if I am in a joyful mood, it has to be Dil hona chahida jawaan by Gurdas Mann," she smiles. Neelam also feels that caller tunes are a reflection of your personality. "A colleague of mine loves poetry, so she has Gulzaar's poetry as caller tunes. She even had Harivansh Rai Bachchan's poetry narrated by Amitabh Bachchan as a caller tune. My sister is a real funny nut, and she as a Malyali dialogue as a caller tune."

Caller tunes, hello tunes as mobile companies have named it differently are a big deal with the companies and with the customers as well. Manjot Randhawa, a student of bio-chemistry hunts for the best available options to be set as a caller tune. "I have different caller tunes for friends, teachers, parents, my gang and relatives. I choose the best of songs from the song list data base." For his jig bang, Manjot has stored Jungle jungle pata chala hai...as the tune. And technology is just getting better. You can select songs of your favourite artistes, filmi and non-filmi both. "I had Atif Aslam's Doorie as a caller tune for almost two months and then moved on to the nasal twang Hinesh Reshamiya for some fun," Manjot laughs.


Playing along
SD Sharma

Actor, director, playwright, make-up artiste, Parvesh Sethi takes Shahid Nadeem's classic play Bullah to foreign shores

Only a few thespians from the region have elicited a warm adulation of theatre lovers abroad for their creative excellence. Ranking ahead is our city-based veteran thespian Parvesh Sethi, who has been frequently invited by art lovers in Canada for performance, direction and imparting training to amateur Punjabi artistes there. Armed with an experience of over five decades, gifted Sethi is undeniably, the complete artiste, as per the connoisseurs' testimony. He has been maintaining his tradition of excellence in acting, direction, make up and playwriting in theatre and cinema with equal proficiency.

Unfortunately the theatre art in India is not as popular as cricket and when Sachin Tendulkar scores a century the whole world is there to offer an standing ovation. But having acted in over 1,000 plays with manifold of stage shows the humble Parvesh has to content with the love a handful of theatre buffs showering on him. Besides incredible achievements as an actor, Parvesh has played important roles in 16 films, 20 television serials besides directing nine plays and scripting four. Just back from Toronto (Canada), where he directed Shahid Nadeem's classic play Bullah for the Seerat Entertainment Society, Brahampton.

There he also played Sant Singh Sekhon's play 'Banda Bahadur". Both were staged at the 1,500-seat-capacity Rose Theatre to a packed audience. While the media carried rave reviews and his interviews on local Radio and TV's followed. "The most common question was whether I was an Indian Parvesh or Pakistani Parvesh and my quick reaction was that I am Parvesh from the undivided India. It rejuvenated them and evoked smiles and laughter.

"I am proud of our rich cultural heritage which has left a profound influence on the foreign nationals there. Citizens of Brahamton honored me with the Life Time Achievement award as Punjabi and Hindi actor and director," says the emotional Parvesh. Earlier, Parvesh was bestowed with the Harpal Tiwana Memorial Anatrrashtriya Award by the Canada International Punjabi Sahitya Akademy in Toronto. Again the Virasat Peace Organisation Toronto too decorated him with the Life Time Achievement award.

Sharing his experiences about plays staged there, Parvesh offered divergent views. "As a director one is faced with many peculiar problems in selecting the cast. Secondly, the rehearsals part remains very challenging as because of the paucity of time all actors cannot attend it on the scheduled time. On the first day, I was elated to see all the 18 artistes in rehearsals but it was short-lived as only three of them came the next day. But the intensity of their passion kept me going," he says.

Even after spending five decades in theatre and films as an actor, director and playwright, he is still seen doing make up, stage setting or petty jobs which speaks of his dedication. Talking of the theatre in the city during the 60s, he lamented that the spirit is missing though technical virtuosity and talent is abundant. "But because of the patronage now there is a burst of activity in theatrical realm. I wish the show must go on," he signs off.

Spice up
Bride in blue
Shahnaz Husain

Over the years, the bridal look has also changed, along with changing times and changing fashion trends. A few decades ago, red was the bride's colour. But today, there has been a lot of experimentation with different colours. Apart from shades of red, to magenta and pink, ordinary colours are also being used for the bride's dress - like sea green, turquoise blue (feroza), lavender (pinkish mauve), strawberry, fushcia, rust, copper, purple and so on. Two colour combinations are also popular. The prediction is that colours like purple, sheer gold, peacock blue may be the new trend in bridal wear colours, used with contrasting colours, like purple and pink, gold and rich green and so on.

Lehenga cholis are more popular for weddings. Brides are also going for fashionable salwar-kurta, with short and richly embellished kurtas. Current fashions do dictate bridal trends. As for saris, they are being worn differently, instead of the traditional way, so that they show off the choli and the heavy 'aanchal' to advantage. In fact, a new trend are the stitched saris, which do not have to be draped, but can just be slipped on. The focus is on cholis, with low and decorative backs, with halter necks or tie-ups. Many prefer the rich, but elegant look.

The blouses (or choli) for both lehenga and saris are certainly heavily decorated nowadays. Plain one-colour cholis or blouses seem to be out of fashion for weddings. Instead of straight sleeves, the sleeves may be shorter, with scallops, or in a magyar style. The same goes for necklines. Decorative necklines, high at the back and low in front, halter necks, octagonal, scalloped, or backless, are in fashion, rather than plain round or v-necklines. The cholis have a richly decorated look, either made out of brocade material, or carrying heavy work with tiny sequins. Crystals (small glass pieces) or tiny beads are being used, along with zardosi work. The entire look, however, is not garish. Bright gold zardosi is out of fashion. If one wishes to wear gold, it is dull gold. Silver, or work done in dull copper or bronze is also being seen. The look is very rich, but subtle too and certainly not bright and garish. Whatever sparkles there may be are being done with crystals, sequins, beads or tiny mirrors.

Different materials too are being used for the bridal dress. In the past, Bananas and Kanjeevaram silks were popular, but today tissues, chiffons, crepes, georgettes are being used. Shimmering materials are also being used to set off the attire like gold or silver tissue.

Organzas, tissues and even sheer nets are being made into bridal 'odhnis', with a see-through look, so that the intricate decorations on the choli and hairstyle are very much visible. Organzas and nets are crisp, transparent and light fabrics and much easier to wear and carry. Even if the head is covered with such fabrics, the bride's hairstyle, hair decorations and flowers are very much visible. In other words, the bride is no longer hiding herself under yards and yards of heavy silk. She is wearing her sari and 'odhni' in a way that shows off her attire.

Some years ago, a bride used to be laden with heavy gold jewellery. But the trend has changed. Diamond or white stone jewelry, or coloured stones are in fashion. Dull or oxidised gold is also being used, along with silver and platinum. Necklace and earrings, studded with diamonds or white and coloured stones are popular these days. Stone setting, kundan, polki, semi and precious stones combined together, are all the rage. Different alloys are being used too and different kinds of finish are also being used, even with gold, like matte, oxidised, antique look and so on. But, I feel that traditional jewelry has its own charm when it comes to Indian weddings and festivals.

Like with the grooming of beauty queens, professional grooming for brides seems to be becoming more and more of a trend. Traditional weddings are very much a part of Indian life, and will always be there. But, our mindset is becoming more modern and this influence is being felt in each aspect of life, including traditional Indian weddings.

Bollywood’s bad boy

Two Hollywood movies, a British venture and an Indo-French collaboration Gulshan Grover has his hands full with serious-themed international projects. But the Bollywood bad man insists he hasn't bid adieu to Hindi films, specially the villainous roles.

"I haven't quit taking such roles (of villain). I gained my popularity, stardom, success, love and adulation by fans by doing villain roles here," Gulshan told. "When I played a villain, I knew I was creating a brand. And today I am in a position where my capability of doing other roles is not doubted because of that," he added. Gulshan insists crossing geographical boundaries is necessary for an actor to grow. "I decided years ago to extend my craft in other countries as well. Natural growth for me means to take my craft to the next level as an actor... whether it is Hollywood or other international cinema. I am glad I could do it," said the actor who was last seen in Bollywood dud Acid Factory.

The 54-year-old actor is set to feature in Hollywood movies Prisoners of the Sun and Nephilim (yet to go on floors), British picture Honour Killing and an Indo-French collaboration with participation from Unicef titled I Am Kalam. Directed by Avtar Bhogal, Honour Killing is about British Asians. "It basically deals with people who stay in London and live a modern life. But when it comes to their own daughter, as in if she falls in love with a boy from some other community, their perceptions change," Gulshan explained. I Am Kalam on the other hand has been directed by Madhav Panda. "The film is about a young boy's dream who gets inspired after watching a speech by our former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. I am a hurdle in his ambitions initially and I try to demoralise him but the kid is persistent and it's his story if he makes it big or not just like Kalam," the actor said. Prisoners of the Sun is more like The Mummy where I play a dashing Indian curator who can decipher all that was written centuries ago," he said.

Gulshan has earlier worked in foreign projects and collaborations like Tibetan film We're No Monks, Italian movie Les Myst`E8res de Sadjurah, Blind Ambition, Sweet Amerika and My Bollywood Bride, to name a few. Gulshan made a mark in Bollywood with negative roles in movies like Sohni Mahiwal, Ram Lakhan and Shola Aur Shabnam. Asked if he was disappointed with the current role reversal in Hindi cinema where the hero often ended up playing villain too, he said: "The good, bad and everything have got merged. There is no clear black and white now. Moreover, the actors who played the hero (earlier) were not interested in playing negative roles. And now everybody is ok with the trend.

"So it doesn't matter. That way even I've played romantic roles in Jism, Boom and in Chehre (forthcoming). But the hardcore villain in Hindi films cannot go. The nasty villain however has gone now," Gulshan said.

The actor admitted that he was finicky about his scripts. "I don't want to choose a boring film so that it becomes archetypal and is being played only in a festival. I want audiences to come, watch it and like it. I am a commercial movie product and movies at the end of the day mean business," he said. His forthcoming Hindi projects include Chatur Singh Two Star, Chaloo Movie, Chehre, Mittal versus Mittal, Mastang Mama and Mahayoddha Rama (voiceo ver). Gulshan said that he is quite content with his career. "It's a very exciting phase of my life...where I am getting everything from name, money, respect and commercial films to performing roles," he said. — IANS

Thinking differently

Bollywood director Rajkumar Hirani showed his witty side on his birthday and said 'idiots' when expanded means 'I do it on my terms', talking about his much-awaited film 3 idiots."Idiots think unconventionally and they listen to their heart while taking a decision. 'Idiots' means 'I do it on my terms'," Hirani told.

3 idiots is about three engineering students played by Sharman Joshi, Aamir Khan and R. Madhavan and their experiences on the campus. The director revealed that whatever is shown in the film, most of it was taken from his college days and that viewers can easily identify with it. "Whatever you see in 3 idiots is taken from our life. Some parts of the film are so natural that one can easily identify with what he or his friends did since the beginning of their college life," said Hirani. "Whenever we write a story, either we copy from a film (laughs), take from a novel or dig into our personal experience and scoop out moments from it," added Hirani.

Hirani also revealed that when he went to speak to Aamir about the role, he was shocked because the actor, who was shooting for Ghajini that time, was sporting a six-pack abs. "When I went to discuss the character, I was shocked to see his huge built, but he assured me that he will look much younger than he has ever looked. In three to four months, he toned down his figure and became lean," Hirani.

Hirani says that when he read Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone, he thought of making a film on hostel life. But the story changed in due course of writing.

"The book had very good anecdotes but there wasn't any plotline. While writing the story, the plotline went on changing and it ended up with a completely different story," said Hirani.

Hirani's earlier directorial ventures - Munnabhai M.B.B.S and Lage Raho Munna Bhai — had a thought provoking message.

Asked if 3 idiots is having any message, he said: "The message in this film is you study to be eligible, success is ought to come." Kareena Kapoor and Boman Irani too feature in the film, while Kajol will make a special appearance.


Big B to be at IFFI

Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, conspicuous by his absence at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) ever since it was shifted here six years ago, will be invited as chief guest or guest of honour next year or the year after that, the organisers said on Sunday.

During the event's curtain raiser press conference held at IFFI venue, Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat tried to evade repeated queries from journalists on why the superstar was not invited to the festival editions held in the Capital.

When the question was posed to festival director S M Khan, he was at the momentary loss of the words when Kamat tried to intervene and shift the issue to a more local subject involving expansion of the Dabolim airport.

When the question was repeated, Khan said "Bachchan sahib is a great actor and he will be called as chief guest or guest of honour next year or year after that." Entertainment Society of Goa, co-host of the IFFI, had earlier said that they wish to invite Bachchan for the festival but such invitations are looked after by DFF.

"We always feel that we need Amitabh Bachchan. It would be great to have him at the IFFI," said Rajendra Talak member of the Red Carpet Committee, which oversees the logistical arrangement for the glamorous event at the IFFI. — PTI

Sacch yet again

Controversial reality game show Sacch Ka Saamna is set to return to the small screen with a second season. However, the show's host has not yet been decided, said an official. The first season that ended Sep 18 was hosted by actor Rajeev Khandelwal.

"The show did well and it will have a season two. But we haven't yet decided on when to air it or who will be the host - all those things haven't been addressed," Anupam Vasudev, executive vice-president, marketing and communication, STAR India, told. "It (the show) is not (planned) in the near future," he added.

The bold content of the game show came under the government scanner after the issue was raised in parliament. Later, the ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a showcause notice to the channel for violating the programming code of the Cable TV Network Act of 1995.

Based on the American show The Moment of Truth, Sacch Ka Saamna featured contestants who had to answer 21 questions about their personal lives. A polygraph machine determined whether their answers were true or not.

A contestant with the perfect score could walk away with a prize money of Rs.10 million. In the first season, celebrities like former cricketer Vinod Kambli, actresses Urvashi Dholakia and Rupa Ganguly featured on the show and made brave revelations, but none could win the prize money. — IANS

Information exchange

On a special invitation from the London International Conference of Educators, Mitul Dikshit, director, Dikshant International School, attended and presented a paper on 'Thinking School': Putting Learning back into Education at the London International Conference on Education. The LICE promotes collaborative excellence between academicians and professionals from Education. The aim of LICE is to provide an opportunity for academicians and professionals from various educational fields with cross-disciplinary interests to bridge the knowledge gap, promote research esteem and the evolution of pedagogy. The LICE-2009 had invited research papers that encompass conceptual analysis, design implementation and performance evaluation. During his 15days visit to UK he also visited and signed an exchange programme for students and staff with Eton College, Harrow School, Wellington College and Gordonstoun School UK. Eight students of class twelfth and two teachers would be spending a term of 45 days and would stay at the school campuses.

Addressing a press conference Mitul Dikshit said, "My visit to UK has been a very fruitful for one, I got an opportunity to present my paper along with world renowned key note speakers like Mike Cole, Jone Freeman, Martin Ashley and Dr. Helene Perrault. My paper focused on 'The Thinking School' and introducing revolutionary ways of mind mapping and ways to improve thinking skills of both students and staff at the school level. Secondly, the exchange programme with Eton, Harrow, Wellington and Gordondstoun which are considered to be the best public schools in the world would provide a great exposure to both students and staff and provide a competitive edge over the rest." — TNS

BODY wise
Combat stress
Sachin Kalra

Sachin Kalra Stress and tension are normal reactions to events that threaten us. Such threats come from accidents, financial troubles and job as well as personal problems. Throughout the day when we experience stress, our bodies automatically react in ways that prepare us to either face the problem or run from the situation. In cases of extreme danger, this physical response is helpful. However, a prolonged state of such agitation can cause physical damage to every part of the body.

The way we deal with these pressures has a lot to do with our mental, emotional and physical health. Here are some ways to combat stress that can be effective for the amount of work and time involved.


Many people exercise just to loose or control weight. However, exercise and stress management too are closely linked. Adding physical exercise to your daily routine isn't that difficult as the opportunity is always there. However it's your personal commitment that makes all the difference. Physical exercise is immensely beneficial in managing stress. There are several reasons for this:

  • Exercise releases helpful chemicals in our brain and body that are beneficial for us.
  • Exercise helps distract us from the mental stress.
  • It warms and relaxes tight muscles and tissues that contribute to stress.
  • It develops and maintains a healthy body, which directly reduces stress susceptibility.


It's widely accepted that nutritional deficiency impairs the health of the body. If the brain is affected, so are our thoughts, feelings and behavior.

A proper balanced healthy diet is essential, both to avoid direct physical stress via brain and nervous system, and to reduce stress susceptibility resulting due to poor health.

Toxins such as alcohol, tobacco smoke, excessive salt, steroids, other drugs and pollutants work against the balance between minerals, vitamins, mind and the body. Obviously, excessive toxins from these sources need to be avoided.

Beneficial vitamins that help combat stress are the vitamin B group and vitamins C and D. Adequate intake of minerals is also essential for a healthy body, and so for reducing stress susceptibility.

Diet tips -Limit your sugar. When we are stressed, a bar of chocolate or a slice of cake or ice cream scoops are very tempting and seem the perfect solution/remedy, but all this is only going to make you feel worse in the long run. Sugar causes you to feel "de-stressed" for a short period of time, but after the sugar high passes; you end up feeling worse than before. If you feel that you absolutely must have sugar, have one scoop of ice cream, not three, or just one cookie instead of half the pack. Gorging is not only going to make you feel sick after the binge but also worse about yourself afterwards.

  • Say no to caffeine. Drinking caffeine can cause your nerves to feel just a bit more frayed. If you must drink caffeine then drink it only until noon and for the rest of the day, drink decaffeinated drinks only. You'll notice that you'll sleep better, and feel a bit less angst during the day. Or, switch to green tea.
  • Drink a lot of water. It's suggested that you drink around eight glasses of water a day.
  • Processed foods are not as good for you as fresh natural foods. Look at all the chemicals listed on the packaging to see what you are piling into your body.
  • Canned or bottled fizzy drinks are generally bad for you. They contain various chemicals, including aspartame, which has been linked in several studies with nervous system disorders. Many squashes and cordials also contain aspartame.

Breathing exercises

Deep breathing is an easy stress buster that has numerous benefits for the body including oxygenating the blood which 'wakes up' the brain, relaxing muscles and questioning the mind. Breathing exercises are especially easy as well as beneficial because you can do them anywhere, and they work quickly so you can de-stress in a flash.


Meditation affects the body in exactly the opposite ways that stress does, restoring the body to a calm state, helping the body repair itself, and preventing new damage due to the physical effects of stress. Meditation builds on deep breathing, and takes it a step further. When you meditate, your brain enters an area of functioning that's similar to sleep, but carries some added benefits that you can't achieve in any other mental state. With meditation, you can learn how to transform your mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy.

When practicing meditation, your heart rate and breathing slow down, your blood pressure normalizes, you use oxygen more efficiently, and you sweat less. Also, your adrenal glands produce less cortisol and adrenaline, you make more positive hormones, your body ages at a slower rate, and your immune function improves. Your mind relaxes; your thoughts are clear and your creative output increases. Meditation is simple and inexpensive. It requires only your time and effort. To reduce stress, do definitely give it a try.


Music therapy has shown numerous benefits for people with conditions ranging from mild (stress) to severe (cancer). When dealing with stress, the right music can actually lower your blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind.


Yoga is one of the oldest self-improvement practices around, dating back over 5,000 years! It combines the practice of several other stress management techniques such as breathing, meditation, imagery and movement, giving you benefits.


Fat chance
Ashima Sehajpal

Losing weight is not just about running on treadmills or cycling. Read on…

An expert explains a participant during health fest. Photo by S. Chandan

Work on the treadmill, cross trainer, cycle and then shift to recumbent bikes, are the usual instructions of a usual trainer to anybody who wants to lose weight. If only the easy instructions and stamina to work on the treadmill helped, losing weight wouldn't have found any mention here too. But it's not as usual a deal for the trainer and the trainee and someone who wants to lose weight, something that was emphasised upon during the health fest organised by Elemention Health Club on Sunday.

"Before taking up any strenuous exercise, it is imperative to know facts like blood sugar level, blood pressure, fat per cent… in one's body. Only then exercises should be recommended in the gym," says Gaurav Sanotra, manager of the club. He further explains, "If a BP patient does an intensive workout on the treadmill, it can further shoot the BP, resulting in dire consequences."

The health fest thus saw people undergoing Body Mass Index and Basic Metabolic Rate tests, "As diet plays an equally important role in losing weight, it is important for us to know the BMR of a person to decide upon the diet." Also, tests for determining the body fat, water level and bone density were conducted here. "Before a person becomes a member of the health club, we make sure he goes in for a proper check up and study his health background." GAIT analysis was also done for fitness freaks at the health fest, which determined as to what type of shoes would suit different foot shapes.

Jasbir Kaur, owner and manager, Oceanic, says of all the factors, the most important to know is blood sugar level and fat content, "It is a must for ladies to have 20-25 per cent fat content in their body mass and for men it is 10 to 15 per cent. People who are diabetic should not go in for strenuous workout as that can further lower down their sugar levels."

Vivek Kumar, a fitness trainer at Ozone, says, "People who do work out, ignoring their health status can in fact end up harming their body. The fitness levels can fall if facts like BP, sugar level and water level are not considered before deciding upon the exercise regime and health."

Weighty issue

Attention ladies, if you want a perfect figure, quit smoking as a new study claims that women can control their weight better by shunning cigarettes.

Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, found women who quit smoking while receiving treatment were better able to shed their flab.

The finding disproves current clinical guidelines that trying to diet and quit smoking at the same time will sabotage efforts to ditch cigarettes.

"Women who smoke often feel caught between a rock and hard place, because they are concerned about their health but also concerned about their appearance," lead author Bonnie Spring said, adding "now they don't have to choose between the two." A new meta-analysis shows women who quit smoking while receiving treatment for weight control are more successful at quitting cigarettes.

Previously, it was assumed that a person could only change one health risk behaviour at a time. "But these findings show that you get an added benefit when you try to change a couple of behaviours at once," Spring said. — PTI

Bar no bar

Spanish research appearing to show that very heavy drinking can reduce men's risk of heart disease has come under fire from scientists who say the study is flawed and should not encourage anyone to drink more. The controversial study found that men who drank moderate, high and very high levels of alcohol had a lower risk of coronary heart disease. Many previous studies have suggested that moderate drinking -- usually defined as a drink or two per day -- can be a healthy habit, particularly when it comes to heart disease risk.

But experts have warned that heavy drinking can damage organs and lead to early death. The Spanish study, released in the British Medical Journal's Heart publication on Thursday, assessed the alcohol intake of 15,500 men and 26,000 women aged between 29 and 69, who were asked how much they had drunk in the preceding year. People were classed as non-drinkers, former drinkers, low, moderate, high and very high drinkers. The latter drank more than 90 grams of alcohol a day, equivalent to around a dozen drinks. Following the patients for 10 years and mapping the number of coronary problems they had, the researchers said the overall results for men showed that drinking alcohol cut the risk of heart disease by 30 percent, and that heavy drinking cut the risk even more than moderate drinking. No significant effect was found in women. "Spain is the world's third largest producer of beer and wine and its per capita consumption of alcohol places it sixth in the world. But it also has one of the lowest death rates from coronary heart disease," the researchers wrote.

But they warned that according to the World Health Organisation, 76 million of the estimated 2 billion people in the world who drink alcohol suffer ill health as a result, and alcohol causes around 1.8 million deaths every year. Robert Sutton, professor of surgery at the University of Liverpool, said the study had "several flaws" and should not be taken to suggest heavy drinking could improve health. This ... study was based on self-reported information.

— Reuters

In the fitness OF THINGS
Size zero controversy


Dr Kamaljeet Kaur SekhonThere is a lot of clamouring going on about the size zero concept. But not many people know what it exactly means. It has been projected in a wrong manner by our celebrities. Young girls are just blindly following the trend without knowing the fact that it can hamper their metabolic process. They are eating sparingly just to get that size zero effect. But size zero doesn't mean to be skimpy, bony or having chicken-like figure. Size zero means having an hour-glass figure, with healthy limbs and overall light weight. Size zero varies from body to body and one can have it to a point and not beyond that. And to get the size zero body one doesn't need to starve to death or do strenuous exercise. Just an active life style will do the trick! Depending on others for your routine work won't help. Walk as much as you can, park your car at a distant place instead of parking it just next to the work place, drink ample amount of water and stay away from junk food. Size zero is definitely in panache but get it by staying hale and hearty!

Dr Kamaljeet Kaur Sekhon


TaniyaSize zero is a controversy ignited by Kareena Kapoor. Today everyone has an opinion about it without even bothering to check what it refers too. It's considered cool to talk about it, to give an opinion whether you like skinny figure or not.


In vogue

ArjunI feel people know what size zero is, thanks to Bollywood celebs who are endorsing it big way. Being slender is always appreciated in celebrities and their efforts to gain it make headlines. May be a layman does not know exact stats but they do appreciate it.



Best bet

Rani MukherjeeVeteran filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, famous for evergreen hits like Chhoti Si Baat and Rajnigandha, finds Rani Mukherjee and Kajol the best among the current lot of Bollywood actors.

"Rani is good, and so is Kajol. Katrina? No, not really," said Chatterjee.

The director, whose last Hindi film was Gudgudee in 1997, is currently working on a Bengali film Trishonku.

Chatterjee created a genre in film-making for himself in the 70s and 80s with his middle-class family dramas shown in a humorous manner.

KajolTalking about comedy films of today, Chatterjee said, "They are well-made films and the directors cater to a certain audience. My films deal with middle-class problems because I come from the same background." Although he watches very few Bollywood films today, Chatterjee praised Naseeruddin Shah starrer A Wednesday and Shah Rukh Khan's Chak De India as ‘good films’.

"I have watched A Wednesday, and also Chak De India, they are good. Priyadarshan's Kancheevaram is another very good movie," he said.

Chatterjee, who had also directed the detective series Byomkesh Bakshi for Doordarshan in 1993, has no plans to return to the small screen.


Gul’s first love story

Former Miss India turned actress Gul Panag is excited about her upcoming film Fatso, which she says is her first love story. "Fatso is my first love story, I have never done a proper love story before. We wanted to name it A Rectangular Love Story as it involves three men in love with one woman," said Panag.

Directed by Rajat Kapoor, the movie was recently screened at the South Asian Film Festival in New York. Panag has teamed up with the likes of Ranvir Shorey and Purab Kohli for the movie.

"I am really happy the film has got good reviews at the festival in New York. I like working with people like Ranvir Shorey and Rajat Kapoor," said Panag, on the sidelines of the Youth Theatre Festival in the national capital.

The 30-year-old actor, who made her Bollywood debut with Dhoop in 2003, went on to star in off-beat films like Dor and Straight which have won her critical acclaim.

Talking about her choice of films, Panag said, "I am doing stuff that will look good ten years down the line also.

At this stage of my career, I am looking for roles which are relevant to the plot." The actor says that she has had a hang of the glamour world when she contested for the Miss India pageant and won the title in 1999 and is not lured by the mere shine of it anymore. — PTI

Theen ka dum
Tribune News Service

Tata Motors unveiled its all-new 'Tata 407 Pickup' and the new offerings from the Ace Platform - 'Tata Super Ace' and 'Tata Ace EX'.

The introduction of these new products- Tata 407 Pickup, Tata Super Ace and Tata EX are all set to vitalise the sub-one-tonne to 3 tonne segment with more payload options and greater power for the changing demands of its customers.

The Tata 407 Pickup comes with a payload of 2.25T, which offers nearly double the payload of any other pickup vehicle in the market. Further, the Tata 407 Pickup gives customers the benefit of a relatively small turning circle radius of 5.5m which, along with an overall length of only 4700 mm, helps in maneuverability even in narrow lanes. The inherent ability of this vehicle gives the customer an opportunity of carrying 2T loads for longer distances. — TNS

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