Jewel in the crown
Vanya Mishra, 19-year old from PEC, has brought laurels for Chandigarh by winning the Patalonns Femina Miss India contest in Mumbai. We catch up…
Vasudha Gupta

So, today the entire definition of a beauty with brains shrinks to two words — Vanya Mishra. This lucky damsel, at the age of 19, has been crowned Pantaloons Femina Miss India at a glittering ceremony held in Andheri, Mumbai, on Friday. That's for the beauty part. Now, get this. She is an electrical engineering student at Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, and defines the standard norm of an aspiring model.

Visibly delighted, her mother, Ved Mishra, shares the journey of her daughter from the time she was 11 months to everything she has achieved today. "I am on the top of the world and cannot demand anything more from God," she smiles. Between the pride and smiles, her tone, suddenly settles, "You know the name Vanya means a gift of God. Today, she has proved it true," she shares. Caring, emotional and a cool-headed girl, is how the mother describes the young Miss India.

"The glamour industry has a short shelf-life," she says, when we speak to her about family support. "This was the only reason why I asked her to do anything she wanted, but not at the cost of her studies," the proud mum adds. The brush with modelling began much before anticipated. "She was 11-months-old when she was crowned the Rose Princess at the Rose Festival and went on to participate in a Teen Diva competition in between her exams," Ved says.

What about her reaction on contacting mum after grabbing the title, "Oh, she was like mom, did you find out?" she breaks into a laughter. Also, the young lady is a box of unpredictability. "With her, I can never expect anything. Whatever comes to her, she will just do it," Ved says. It's not only because the mother is proud of the daughter that she spills praises, even her teachers feel the same way about the pretty face. "I taught her when she was in second year. She was one of the most well-mannered girls in the class," shares a faculty member from PEC.

Currently beaming with joy, the girl has a huge fan-base in friends and batch-mates as well. We managed to catch up with her 4:00 am friend Avnika Puri, a second-year student of civil engineering, to share the buddy side of Vanya. "I have known her for the past two years," she says. Being of the same age, the two met in the dramatics club and would practice dance together. "She always had this thing in her to be a model. It was like her dream," Avnika shares. Fans of Barbeque Nation, the duo have spent more than enough time in eating and talking their heart out. "I spoke to her last night and in between her excitement, she didn't even let me speak," Avni adds.

Having gone there and won that, Avnika is proud that she has made it. "When it comes to the modelling fraternity you need a godfather, but I made it on my own," she beams with pride. It's not only shopping and food that the beauty enjoys. "Vanya and I have this thing with hugging each other," Kareena, another close friend giggles. Having spent lot of time in Delhi participating in festivalss, the reigning beauty queen has done her share of bargaining and haggling at Janpath. "She is a lively girl and most of the fun moments of my first-year have been with her," Kareena shares with us.

Here is a standing ovation to the perfect definition of a lady!


Still absorbing the camera flashes and the questions, Vanya Mishra is in an unbelievable state. "It has just been no sleep and so many flashbulbs. Good to know life has changed," she shares with us between the chaos behind her, as we finally manage to speak to her over the phone. Running between tight schedules, she has been confident from the word go. "Everything went smoothly and I enjoyed getting along with other contestants," she says. Still surprised, the young dame is keen on coming back home and living the experience further.

In tune with self
Singer Tulika Ghosh says it's ironical that while Indian classical music is popular abroad, we no longer take it seriously in our own country

Right notes: Tulika Ghosh Photo: Manoj Mahajan
Right notes: Tulika Ghosh Photo: Manoj Mahajan

Tulika Ghosh, a fourth-generation Hindustani classical singer, is trained in three traditions — by her father and mentor, tabla maestro Padmabhushan Pt Nikhil Ghosh to begin with; patriarch of Banaras gayaki, Hanuman Prasad Misra, and two authoritative figures of Agra-Atrauli gharana Khadim Hussain Khan and Yunus Hussain Khan. An eminent vocalist, Tulika has the distinction of performing at Musée Guimet, Paris, among other places around the world.

All this hasn't come easy; although born in a family of musicians, her talim did not start till she was 14, while her brothers were learning from the age of four. Her father was wasn't keen on training her to begin with. "Ladki ko to ghar sansar jamana hai (a girl has to set up a household), he would say," shares Tulika, in Chandigarh on Saturday for a concert organised by Triveni Sangeet Sabha in collaboration with Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi.

It was Ustad Vilayat Ali Khan's visit that turned tables in her favour. On his advice, Tulika started training under her father. "It wasn't easy to begin with. I have put in eight hours of riyaaz without a single day's break for 10 years," she says.

Today, based in Mumbai, her students are from different nationalities and she tours around the world for concerts. In fact, she is off on a US tour pretty soon. While her concerts and CDs are grabbed abroad, she rues that her home, Mumbai, and India in general does not take classical arts seriously. "I understand that classical is for classes and not masses but in the absence of kings' patronage, it's the government and corporate houses who have to take charge and support if not promote," she puts in ardently.

In times when people are ready to shell out Rs 5,000 for a rock concert and not even Rs 50 for a classical one, it's hard for the artistes to survive. She is hopeful for the future though, "Truth never dies. And, our classical heritage is truth." She is also glad that today women are independent enough to pick up classical arts or any other field for that matter. On her own she intends to keep on giving as long as she is respected. "I am open to options, be it film music or otherwise, but please no remixes. I have to keep up to what I have earned after slogging for years," she signs off.

The dream set
Treating fellows with respect, attention to detail, taking pride in one’s work and sticking to time schedules are some qualities that Kathryn Bigelow’s Hollywood crew left behind

Act II: (L-R) Darshan Aulakh with Swedish actor Fares Fares
Act II: (L-R) Darshan Aulakh with Swedish actor Fares Fares

One thread that tied almost everyone on the sets was ‘It’s a Kathryn Bigelow’s film’. When Hollywood came shooting to Chandigarh with Oscar-winning director many from the city became a part of the affair. Those who got a chance to be on the sets of Zero Dark Thirty share the experience that has left them mesmerised.

Navdeep Singh, a research scholar from Punjabi University, Patiala, who got a chance to play a significant character in the movie, says that Kathryn and her crew have been true karamyogis. “Not just Kathryn, the whole crew lived to the motto of ‘work is worship’. Each individual took his or her job seriously whatever be the task — canning cameras or pushing trolleys,” he says. Happy at being treated on par with much seasoned actors despite being a fresher, Navdeep swears by the knowledge he got in technical as well as other aspects of movie-making.

Navjeet Brar, a PhD scholar from the same university, is conducting research in comparative study of Indian classical and western theatre. The opportunity to act in Bigelow’s film helped him gain practical knowledge on what he has been reading about. “When I started acting for the film, I followed Bharat Muni’s Natya Shastra. But soon I realised that what works with them is naturalistic way as founded by Constantin Stanislavski,” says Navjeet. Once he understood the concept, to deliver wasn’t difficult. He points out the difference between desi and foreign shoots. “They were such a stickler for schedules; while shooting schedules for Punjabi or Bollywood projects changed every day — ‘actor nahin aaya’, permission nahi mili’. For this one, there was only one day when they changed the outdoor shoot schedule due to the weather,” he adds.

It was not only screen presence that got locals ecstatic, but also the experience in other divisions. While shooting commenced in Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh-12, members of two clubs — Projection Design and Art ‘n’ Photography became associated with the crew. For Kunal Kumar, final-year production engineering student, the stint has been worth each minute of the long shifts he put in on the sets. “Learning the basics of lighting and sound is one remarkable experience that would stay with me forever,” says Kunal.

Venus Dhuria, 4th year, Bachelors of Electrical Engineering student from the same college, wonders at the humility of the crew. “I got a chance to meet brilliant people; most of them are associated with big movies like Hurt Locker, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Rockstar and Don 2. Despite having been part of such prestigious productions, none of them had an iota of ego,” says Venus, who as part of assistant directors’ team was responsible for ‘lock ups’ (ensuring no one came into the frame and sound).

Another member of the team, Harsimrat Singh, shares his take, “What dedication to work they had; Kathryn Bigelow never skipped a single shot. Hers was such a big team, so many assistant directors; they all were well capable of shooting some scenes independently but she never missed a single minute of the shooting. Even if they were taking 50 takes of a single scene, she saw each one of it calmly and asked for another take very politely.”

Not just the experience, these students were pleasantly surprised to get cheques on the last day of the shoot!

‘To work harder’ and ‘take work more seriously’ is the lesson they will remember for life! And, we deride the West for our cultural squalor!

Rare opportunity

Darshan Aulakh, actor, director, line producer and local Chandigarh liaison for Zero dark Thirty not only generated work opportunity for many from the region but also got a chance to showcase his acting prowess. “Getting such a huge opportunity sitting right here has been a stroke of luck,” says Aulakh, who swears by his competent team — Manvir, Daljeet, Vikram, Mukesh and Sukhwinder Kaur. “There came a time when we feared that shooting might have to be stalled, but by God’s grace and persistent support from the local administration everything remained smooth.” Kathryn praised his acting prowress on the sets. And, he has a happy team on both sides — satisfied Hollywood crew and elated artistes on home soil.

Vocal issue
SD Sharma

Voice vote: Bombay Jayshri
Voice vote: Bombay Jayshri

As if anticipating the question, as soon as Bombay Jayshri introduces herself, the very next moment she starts explaining the sobriquet ‘Bombay’, which has been given to her by the media. The suave, slim and confident Bombay Jayshri, acclaimed carnatic classical vocalist, was born in Kolkata brought up in Bombay and lives in Chennai. In Chandigarh on the invitation of SPIC-MACAY, she shares her journey from a humble beginning to stardom.

How did music become your life?

I was raised in an atmosphere where music was religion, so it was but natural that it would be my life and destiny. Initially, I was trained by my mother; training in classical music followed later.

Being an expert at both Carnatic and Hindustani music, how do you perceive them in contemporary times?

While Carnatic music, limited to four states in South-India, retains its pristine purity, the Hindustani music of the North has changed under various cultural influences like Mughal and British.

Carnatic music is religious with kritis of the trinity - Thyagaraja, Muthuswami and Shyama Shastri; are there more creative composers?

Yes, many, but the trio remains the guiding light. Even youngsters are taking more than a passing interest in classical music. I strongly recommend teaching of traditional music in school just as Western classical is being taught schools abroad.

Her world
The Woman 2012 exhibition brings the summer and spring collection
Sabia Talwar

The wedding season is not on but the on-going Woman Exhibition 2012 at Hotel Taj, Sector-17, Chandigarh, offers a variety of formal wear for marriage functions. Tanveer-Rim Sanya from Mumbai has more of Chanderi suits and printed cotton kurtas, long kalidaar suits with jackets with resham, kundan, pearl and Rajasthani gotta works.

The kurtas starts from Rs 1,350 onwards and the suits from Rs 1,950 onwards. Says Sanya, "Long suits with a lot of kalis are here to stay because they suit the Indian body type. The newness steps in form of different cuts."

Pakistani concepts will definitely rule this summer. So, Saboori by Anu flaunts Pakistani embroideries in cottons, georgettes, nets and super nets. Jaipur-based designer Puneet has trousseau wear and bridal collection which includes gotta patti, kasab work, bold embroideries, sequence and dabka work. Says Puneet, "In suits straight cuts and anarkali style will never go out of trend."

With the warm season on, there is an arrival of salwars in different styles. Prayas from Hisar focuses on dhoti salwars with straight cuts. There are also salwars and dupattas with heavy gotta and traditional works. The dhoti salwars are available at a price of Rs 1,200. Even Rihzan Pakistani Concept by Ashima from Delhi has unique cowl style salwars teamed up with very short kurtis and dupattas having lots of laces and that too in dazzling colours.

Moving on to western and fusion wear, Delhi-based Chandni at Eveva has tops, jump-suits, short skirts teamed up printed tops. Says Chandni, "My collection is more of western and Indo-western wear. It includes lehenga saris as well. This summer, vibrant colours will rule. Polka dots will make a come back and breathable fabrics will be in. No designer exhibition is complete without bags, clutches and footwear. Fidaa by Mumbai has footwear ranging from flats to platform heels to block heels with stones and studs on them starting at Rs 1,000. The bags and clutches available here are apt for parties and formal events which start from Rs 1,200 onwards. And women love to shop for home furnishings, especially bed spreads with phulkari work which are offered by Roma from Delhi. Artex-Hong Kong offers bed sheets and quilts in a skin friendly and washable material at Rs 3,000.

(On till today)

it’s rocking
Rustic allure

Malaika Arora Khan in Housefull 2
Malaika Arora Khan in Housefull 2

Malaika Arora is back with her sizzling performance with the item song, Anarkali Disco Chali from the hilarious movie Housefull 2. This item song which gives mujra a modern effect is sung by Mamta Sharma (of Munni fame) and her rustic voice spells a magic. Accompanying Mamta's vocals is the highly versatile singer Sukhwinder Singh. So, Sajid Khan manages to reproduce the Dhanno effect yet again to make the audience go crazy.

Easy to hum

It's neither too raunchy nor cheap, as is the case with most item numbers these days. I totally love this song. The lyrics are surely appealing- simple, sweet and easy to hum.

— Nikita Jain, student, MCM College

Age no bar

The lyrics are very different and Malaika looks sensuous as ever, so the song is a perfect package of entertainment and power-packed performance. It is definitely a dance number and is enjoyed by literally every age group.

— Rahul Sharma, law student, PU

Outstanding one

The track has a complete desi touch to it with some hip-hop beats in the background which make it quite addictive. It has a rhythm which is far better than other item songs.

— Heena Suri, student, DAV College

(As told to Sabia Talwar)

the eatery
Go back to salad days are
Check out these hot spots in the city for scrumptious salads
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Colour of health: Salads are healthy and add zing to a meal
Colour of health: Salads are healthy and add zing to a meal

The weather is heating up and it is time to lose those extra kilos gained during winter. The best way to start is with salads. Though we all love the traditional cucumber, tomato and onion salad, there is wide variety that goes beyond these conventional greens. We check out a few places that serve the best of salads.


Promoters of healthy and fat-free fast food, Subway offers a variety of salads. On offer are veggie delight, roasted chicken, tuna and turkey salad, but you can customise it with the dressing and veggies of your choice by paying extra Rs 40.

Price: The salads range between Rs 120 to Rs 195.

JW Marriott

This hotel has really turned the tables with good food and pleasant service. The buffet offers a variety of salads. Apart from this, the regular menu also has some great options to choose from.

Backpackers Cafe

Nestled in the 'always occupied' market of Sector 9, this is a small cozy place to have a meal. Preferably breakfast, but if you are in a mood to have salad this is one good place. Here you can choose from Niscoise salad to Caesar, warm chicken, pasta salad, smoked chiken, chicken tikka or the classical greek salad.

Price: All salads are priced approximately at Rs 225.

Java Daves

This café is quite popular with youngsters. In Sector 10, here you can try chicken caesar salad, egg salad, chicken pasta salad or the mix leaf salad.

Price: The vegetable salad is priced at Rs 160 and rest at Rs 180.


Known for their fresh pizzas and Italian variety, this joint is Sector 35 serves some good salads. Here you can opt for Forno mushroom, parmesan chicken or the forno tuna salad.

Price: Rs 129, Rs 149 and Rs 159, respectively.

the foodies
Spices of life
Poonam Bindra

The magic of spices and their special role in pleasing the aromatic senses and the tastebuds seems to be a mantra for many restauranteurs out to please the gourmands in Ludhiana. The latest to grab the headlines is Seven Spices, a multi-cuisine hub in the city.

This has been brought to the town by the owners of Greens and Shiraz, the most popular joint in the eighties and a sister concern of the very popular Pakwan caterers. The subdued and soothing ambience in gold and rust greets you as you step into Seven Spices.

The menu shows a fusion trend with the typical Indian cuisine along with various items of the oriental dishes. When we taste the succulent Afghani tikka along with a crispy corn roll and well blended fish orlay, it actually gels well to give the fusion taste.

Anita Bal, a fan of the Shiraz food, says, "We really enjoyed their sizzlers and lollipop chicken years back, and thankfully they remain as delicious as ever for I have brought my kids to taste them also" and while the kids remark "The Thai green curry (gaeng kiew wan) and Singapore rice too are awesome!" That's the new gen for you who want to be adventurous too. The young entrepreneur on the block Arjun Talwar wants that " The idea is to have such a broad base for the foodies that that complete variety of Typical Indian and Oriental fare with authentic flavors and spices is readily available"

As we snooped around we spotted fashion designers Tina and her friend Monica who had dropped in for their vegetarian meal relishing the khaas kofta and a medley of mushrooms alongwith the very green Jade garden soup . Their thumbs up sign in between mouthfuls said it all. The main course had multi flavored fish in tastes of sweet, sour and spicy along with cottage cheese marinated in sake wine and malai broccoli. Sometimes one wishes a little less of the variety to be able to concentrate on a few main items only ! "The challenge is to please today's generation with the immense variety they demand and keep the our old customers happy with their familiar dishes" opined the very experienced Tony Talwar a dependable name for good food in the town. The apt ending to the meal was Killer driller a favorite dessert of the bygone times and the well made fried ice cream with it's crusty coconut exterior with yummy ice cream inside.

The menu's byline of 'Seven spices' ---" It means a taste of culture" says it all!

Price points: Rs 800 to Rs 1000 for a meal for two and Rs 250/head for a Veg Kitty Buffet

green thumb
Cover up
satish narula

A hedge is an essential part of a garden, as it provides privacy, but one has to do it with aesthetic. A hedge is the face of the house and thus needs proper selection of plant and maintenance. Before we talk about the suitable plants for the hedge, we would like to caution you against the ones that should not be used.

At times, we see gardeners using certain flowering shrubs like hibiscus, bougainvillea or even tree species like casurina for screening. In such cases, the flowering shrubs fail to give any flowering due to repeated pruning required and casuarina etc make thick stem with raised crown providing a barren appearance. Never make a hedge with a mix of plants. I have seen hedges of with a mix of clerodendron, hibiscus lantana etc growing together which proves to be an utter failure. Also, do not try to grow a hedge in a shaded place, especially where fruit trees are growing in the near vicinity, as it will be a disaster. The planting material like aliar should also be avoided as in the later stage, the lower part of the hedge become barren. Murraya exotica (Kamini) is another hedge plant that is being used by the gardeners. It has shining leaves and makes a good hedge. However, it is quite prone to the attack of powdery mildew disease in which case white powdery mass appears on the leaves. If not checked in time, the diseases may also take a toll of one of the plants giving gap to the hedge.

One of the most frequently and rightly used plants for raising a hedge is Clerodendron inermi, commonly called clerodendron (see the accompanying picture). Suitability of the Clerodendron inermi is due to the fact that it takes pruning very well. It is also not prone to any serious insect, pest or disease. Moreover, it is hardy and required very less water requirement. It can be easily propagated from cuttings.

Duranta is another such plant that forms a good hedge due to the qualities akin to Clerodendron inermi. There are three duranta species, one with all green leaves, two, a green with white variegation and three with all golden foliage. The variegated duranta makes an excellent edge, specially when made in waves or wavy manner.

Under shade conditions where the other hedges fail, one could go in for shade loving climber. One such climbers is Clerodendron splendens. It demands not only the least maintenance but gives blooms in clusters. (Narula is a horticulturist from PAU)

Randeep Hooda loves horses

Racing Ahead: Randeep Hooda Randeep Hooda is known for his passion for horses. He owns and maintains six horses at the Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai. He regularly participates in Horse Polo as well as equestrian horse jumping events. Undoubtedly, He's the only actor in Bollywood to pursue such a passion for horses.

He tells us how to care for horses.

1 Horses are an expensive passion. A large part of my income is spent on horses. So you need to have money and you need to genuinely love horses.

2 You need to look after them like they are your children. They need to be trained properly. It is harder to keep show-jumping horses as they require a lot of training.

3You need to feed your horses well (they love hay) and very carefully to keep their metabolism up and the diet has to complement their exercise routine. Horses need exercise everyday.

4 You need to tack the bridles, saddles and shoes carefully. Groom your horses regularly to keep them clean and disease free.

5 Horses are high maintenance. They require regular veterinary care and a Head of the Stable to look after them. You could spend and entire day with them, so you need time on your hands. — HRM

One’s loss, other’s gain
Pakistani singer Ali Zafar lost the lead role in Bittoo Boss to the newcomer

Fresh face: Pulkit Samrat There wasn’t any star tamasha or a matter of ego, it was as basic as the industry gets! Actor Ali Zafar was approached for the male lead role of the movie Bittoo Boss by producer Kumar Mangat Pathak. Ali liked the role but wanted to take some time before he made a decision.

Kumar Mangat, on the other hand, after not hearing from Ali, started taking auditions of fresh faces for the lead role. Pulkit Samrat was selected after being auditioned thrice and the makers of the movie loved him. “He is a complete package,” says Kumar Mangat. After two months of mulling over the story, Ali reverted to Kumar Mangat saying that he is interested in doing the movie.

“It was too late, we had already finalised Pulkit. So we told Ali that we will work with him in the next project,” says a source close to the producers of the movie.

Bittoo Boss is directed by Supavitra Babul, the music is given by Raghav Sachar and the lyrics are written by Kumaar. The movie also casts Amita Pathak and will release on April 13th, 2012.

Bittoo Boss is a young charming, ingenious and a fun filled wedding cameraman who takes pride in calling himself a “Sesky Video Shooter”. He is the star of all wedding celebrations of Anandpur Sahib, a small town in Punjab. Amita Pathak plays the female lead in this movie that is very reminiscent of Band Baaja Baaraat.

SRK vs Arjun

Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan were conspicuous by their absence at the 14th anniversary bash hosted by Arjun and Mehr Rampal. Is something amiss in their friendship? This was a double celebration for Mehr and Arjun because it was their anniversary party and the celebration of the success of their successful collaboration with designer Rohit Bal aka Gudda.

SRK and Gauri have been part of every celebration for Arjun and Mehr but why were they absent this time?

A source says, ‘SRK had just arrived from London and had to go to the hospital to visit drunk driving victim and animator Charu Khandal so he could not go. Yet, Gauri could have visited because both her best friends Sussanne and Adhuna were there.’

The source adds, ‘SRK and Arjun used to have fights on the sets of Ra.ONE and Arjun got more of a positive response for Ra.One than SRK! He also stuck to his high fee. Then Mehr also had an argument with SRK at their Eid party because Priyanka’s presence made Gauri unhappy.

Rampal and Hrithik Roshan avoided Shah Rukh at Dabboo Ratnani’s calendar launch. All three and their families were in Dubai for the New Year but Hrithik and Arjun didn’t meet with Gauri and Shah Rukh. However, post the success of Agneepath they were all together at one party and Hrithik posted a picture of himself with Gauri.’

We hope they sort out their differences, if there are any!

Together or not: Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor
Together or not: Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor

Ex-lovers Ranbir and Deepika to reconcile?

Ex-lovers Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone are sure having a good time while shooting for Ayan Mukerji’sYeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in Manali.  The duo went on a dinner date in the hill town twice recently. “Ranbir told Deepika about his love for hilly areas and mountain regions. They also talked about Dharamshala.

They cracked jokes and seemed quite comfortable with each other,” reveals a source.

Their frequent dates together are adding fuel to rumours of reconciliation; however both the actors claim that they are just friendly visits.


Bold and frank

Aashka Goradia Aashka Goradia is enjoying her bold role in Shubh Vivah. After her last negative roles, she is glad to have yet another challenging one on prime time.

Why did you accept this role?

We have seen extra martial affairs on TV but this role is different. I loved the fact that Sarla is quite bold and surprises not just the people around her but the audiences too.

Why do you think negative characters work so well?

I think because people can relate to them. There is something dangerous and exciting about negative roles. Most of us do get negative thoughts, but we don’t act on it. To see fictional characters doing something forbidden and watch the results is exciting. What is a drama without negative characters? 

How different will this role from your last negative role in Laagi Tujhse Lagan?

In Laagi… my role of Kalavati was covertly negative while Sarla is open about her choices and demands. She doesn’t shy away from expressing herself. There are variations in negative roles and I am enjoying Sarla as much as I loved Kalavati.

How do you look back on your career?

I began with Kusum and played a dutiful daughter which was superb. Later, many good roles came my way in shows like Mere Apne, Akela, Kahin To Hoga, Saath Phere and I started playing negative in Laagi Tujhse Lagan. I try to keep variations in my work. I try not to talk too much as it exhausts you as an actor.

You even tried your hand at comedy. How was it?

I did Star Plus’ comedy show Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla and I found comedy very difficult. To make people laugh is tough.

If not an actor what would you be?

I would have loved to be a criminal psychologist . I find criminal psychology very interesting. — HRM

A sweet and sour relationship

Colors explores the sweet-n-sour relationship of saas-bahus with Kairi – Rishta Khatta Meetha wherein you witness the taanas and wisecracks. Starting April 2nd Kairi is a take on the sweet and sour moments of life that a family goes through. Set in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Kairi is the story of a sweet tyrant saas, Imarti Devi, and her loving-yet-rebellious bahu, Ambi. Imarti Devi is the typical Indian mother-in-law who wants the best for her sons and maintains a tight hold on her daughters-in-law, Ambi is the swabhimani daughter in law who refuses to be a bechari even as she maintains respect.

Good times: Kritika Kamra Kritika having fun

Kritika Kamra is having fun working with Sharad Kelkar who plays the new Dr Ashutosh on Sony’s Kuch Toh Log Kahenge. She claims it is easier to do romantic scenes with Sharad. But with Mohnish Behl, who is much senior there was bit of awkwardness.

Good times: Kritika Kamra

Judge’s hat: Kunal Kohli The return of Kunal

Filmmaker Kunal Kohli might return to TV as a judge on a reality show. He has judged two reality shows - Nach Baliye 2 and chilidren’s singing-dancing reality Ek Se Badhkar Ek -earlier and has shown keen interest in accepting the offer.

Judge’s hat: Kunal Kohli

Sticking to the best: Rajkumar Hirani No TV for Rajkumar Hirani 

Buzz is that filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani was offered one crore to judge a singing reality show, but he turned it down. But the channel kept insisting and asking him yet he didn’t relent. Apparently he will start work on his next film so he is busy. Vishal Bhardwaj too was approached but he is busy shooting his film Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola and so he refused.

Sticking to the best: Rajkumar Hirani

Guest list

After Jhilmil Sitaron Ka Angan Hoga on Sahara One Rajshri Productions is looking at bringing their earliest TV production Paying Guest back on either Sony Entertainment or Colors. The show was about common people’s lives and as the concept of paying guests still exits in Mumbai, they will be off to a flying start. Rajshri wants Madhuri Dixit to do a cameo on the show.

Loving it: Anas RashidAnas, Rati in love? 

Rumours are that Anas Rashid of Diya Aur Baati Hum and Rati Pandey of Hitler Didi are in love. Apparently they stay in the same building and have been able to hide their relationship from everyone. Rati laughed off the rumours.

Loving it: Anas Rashid

Successful pair: Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif Akki recommends Kat

Akshay Kumar has recommended his hit heroine Katrina Kaif for his next film with AR Murugadoss and the director is more than happy to cast her.

Successful pair: Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif

Not again: Neha DhupiaJulie once more?

Deepak Shivdasani’s Julie put Neha Dhupia in the spotlight. She had said that only sex and Shah Rukh Khan sell. That was eight years ago and she has come a long way as an actress. She is not interested in doing Julie 2.

Not again: Neha Dhupia

By mistake

While doing media interviews, Asin innocently quizzed her co-star about ‘How come they weren’t linked?’ At this question Akshay Kumar lost his cool and gave her a healthy dose of his mind. Akshay was so furious with Asin that he went to the extent of telling her that he is a married man and did not expect his fellow co- star to ask him such personal questions.

Working hard: Aamir Khan All for fitness

Aamir Khan tolled away for many hours at the gym and ate very differently to achieve a fit body for Talaash and now he is working on becoming flexible and lean for Dhoom 3. This man has some stamina! Aamir Khan is also adding a song to Talaash and editing the film. The film was supposed to release in June but now it is releasing in November. We know that it will be a smashing success.

Working hard: Aamir Khan

New innings: Sachin TendulkarSachin’s film debut

Sachin Tendulkar might do a cameo in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Ferrari Ki Sawaari. The film-makers have spoken to him and there will be a segment about his hundredth hundred. The shooting will take only one or two days if he agrees.

New innings: Sachin Tendulkar

Due date: Shipa ShettyShilpa’s desire

Shilpa Shetty is due to give birth in May. She has pushed away some work-related travel (for her film Desire) to New York because she is heavily pregnant.

Due date: Shipa Shetty

Book launch

Katrina Kaif is just back from London. She launched Prakash Jha’s book on the movie Raajneeti at a suburban bookstore.

Green cause: Yuvika Chaudhary and Liana Warner GrayAlive & kicking

Miss Australia Earth 2009 Liana Warner Gray, and Bollywood Actor Yuvika Chaudhary, during the press conference of Alive Foundation to promote The Earth Diet in Mumbai.

Green cause: Yuvika Chaudhary and Liana Warner Gray

Darling mommy: Aishwarya RaiOff to Dubai

Beti Bachchan Aaradhya will travel with her mother Aishwarya to Dubai. Ash does everything for her daughter and she is taking her along to an event in Dubai so a passport is being made for her. Sweet!

Darling mommy: Aishwarya Rai

Role call: Neil Nitin MukeshNew film

Neil Nitin Mukesh, last seen in Players, has a few films up his sleeve. He has signed on for Bejoy Nambiar’s next film David. He is very excited because he loved Shaitan.

Role call: Neil Nitin Mukesh

Friends in the making

Priyanka Chopra bonded big time with champion Virat Kohli at the Ambani bash for Sachin Tendulkar. Are they becoming friends?

Rana DaggubattiInternational version

Rana Daggubatti is doing the international version of Aamir Khan starrer Raakh (1989). He plays an Indian-American businessman in the movie set in Los Angeles.

John AbrahamJohn’s excited

John Abraham is gung-ho about playing gangster Manya Surve in Shootout At Wadala and says that it will be a career defining film for him and will get him all the recognition as an actor that he wants!

Now, the South to get dirty

The Dirty Picture is being remade in the South. The makers want an established actress to match up to Vidya’s stature and daring performance.

Jealous sis

Kareena Kapoor is a tad jealous of her sister Karisma Kapoor. That is because grandfather Raj Kapoor seemed fonder of Karisma than of Bebo. They both shared blue eyes while Kareena has green eyes. Karisma would get two mangoes from senior Kapoor while Bebo would get one.

Hollywood calling

Jacqueline Fernandez is all set to do a Hollywood movie titled Definition of Fear, directed by James Simpson. She is an international beauty. Way to go!

Comic timings

Asin has done back-to-back comedies: Ready, Housefull 2, and Bol Bachchan. She has said that she likes doing comedies and other types of movies too. Her role was largely comic in Ghajini as well.

P Khurrana

ARIES: You have to deal with a vital relationship issue today. Your intuitive skills are especially sharp and you are unusually sensitive to the vibrations you receive. This may heighten your interest in astrology. Tarot message: Let things run their course and start afresh later. Lucky colour: Deep red. Lucky number: 25

TAURUS: With the presence of Saturn in your money sector, you have to work out your plans for investment. Your love life will be quite interesting and some of you may come in touch with an old love. Tarot message: Avoid the tendency to criticise or judge others too harshly. Lucky colour: Purple. Lucky number: 46

GEMINI: Relationships are essential and vital to our existence and therefore, you must be patient with people around you. There may be times when you feel neglected; however, it may only be a temporary phase. Tarot message: Avoid situations that may turn nasty. Lucky colour: Saffron. Lucky number: 57

CANCER: Let your talents shine through. Business people may plan to diversify or expand in order to increase commitment and profits. Socially, you may have some problems with a loved one. Tarot message: You are advised to focus on professional changes. Lucky colour: Pale yellow. Lucky number: 26

LEO: Those, who are planning a career move, will get a good response from prospective employers. Some of you may also undergo trainings and skill enhancement today. Love will light up your life, bringing much joy. Tarot message: Try not to give money to strangers. Lucky colour: Crimson. Lucky number: 41

VIRGO: There may be some splurging and some of you may also be surprised by a sudden windfall. During the middle of the day, you will be feeling stronger and more capable, at work and at home. Tarot message: Do not leave things up to chance. Lucky colour: Aqua. Lucky number: 62

LIBRA: The focus of the day will be on your ability to deal with more than one thing at a time. It is vital that you plan everything and deal with any hurdles that may come your way. In close relationships, do not let friends get in the way. Tarot message: Strive for perfection at work. Lucky colour: Rainbow pastels. Lucky number: 60

SCORPIO: You will be able to realise your goals and will start working towards them. Social and family bonds will become stronger and closer as you start to see friends and family from a new perspective. Tarot message: Take no chances despite the assurance of people. Lucky colour: Ebony Lucky number: 28

SAGITTARIUS: Take care of your health and exercise caution when driving . Some of you may decide to take some concrete action in order to improve your personal life and relationships. Take care of your health today. Tarot message: Allow a sick situation blow over before starting new. Lucky colour: Forest green. Lucky number: 33

CAPRICORN: Some of you may have overshot your budget in the past few days due to celebrations, so now would be a good time to be conscious. However, you may feel overburdened. Socially, you may have to resolve an old problem. Tarot message: Be honest to your desires. Lucky colour: Lotus pink Lucky number: 36

AQUARIUS: Your instincts will be relatively fast today and as a result, you will make the most of situations. Deal with any pending tasks at work and also, delegate, since doing too much will only burn you out. Tarot message: Take one step at a time and avoid being hurried and over anxious. Lucky colour: Black. Lucky number: 47

PISCES: Although you are driven and focused on your goals, it is also important that you avoid being controlling and critical of team members and partners. This may lead to arguments and undue stress. Tarot message: You must learn to accept responsibility. Lucky colour: Grey Lucky number: 58

Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is April 1...

You are dominated by the zodiac of Aries, number 1 and the Sun. And above all, today is first day of month and the sum of year 1-4-2012 also comes to be 1 which shows a good year ahead with the pace of improvements picking up after June. A year of profit and good health is predicted except for some minor skin aliments. Eligible will get married this year. This highlights the importance of relations with people. All the achievements, both at work and in love, are possible only in cooperation. Relying upon intimate friends gives an opportunity to gain much and to lose nothing. Honour, fame and recognition, will be all for you. With your intelligence and knowledge, you will be able to impress your seniors. You will be duly rewarded in your professional front. Promotions, increments and overall prosperity, is what most of you can expect this year. Don’t get too creative if budget, accounting or other finances are involved. Stick to what’s working or try a slightly different approach rather than a radical change. Your magnetic personality will help you to make new friends. Students, who waste the current opportunity, will have to wait a long time for another chance. You should make a move, even though you find yourself alone. Do not allow anyone to discourage you from chasing your dreams!

Your emotional judgment appears to be off the mark. It may be wise to speak up and express yourself. Financially, you are likely to be in a great position to negotiate a pay rise. Alternatively, you may gain something else that is of value to you.

Asa Maxwell Thornton F. ButterfieldYour health situation may not be consistently good. You may have to pay particular attention to any nervous disorders that may flare up. Mood Projecting into the future

Compatible signs: Cancer, Gemini. Lucky colors: Sea green and silver. Lucky days: Monday and Thursday. Lucky numbers: 1, 10, 11, 19, 29. Lucky gem: Star Ruby.

Lucky flower: Orange rose. Suggestion on Birthday: Donate copies of Ramayana or any religious book on Ram Navmi.

Asa Maxwell Thornton F. Butterfield ( 1 April 1997) is an English actor, best known for starring in the Holocaust film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), playing Norman in the 2010 film Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, and taking the title role in Martin Scorsese’s 2011 fantasy Hugo. He has an older brother, Morgan, who is a drummer for the English band Oats.

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