Monday, August 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Punjabi folk dances mark St Anne’s silver jubilee
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 11
Splashes of colour, foot-tapping rhythms and swirling body movements conjured up images of culturally-rich villages of Punjab and Rajasthan as young nubile dancers of various schools presented folk-based group dance items on the concluding day of the two-day silver jubilee celebrations of St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, at Tagore Theatre here yesterday.

As many as 13 schools from all over the city took part in the folk dance competition. Though folk dances of Punjab and Rajasthan dominated the programme, a certain degree of variance in terms of presentation was maintained which helped in keeping the interest of the audience intact.

The major attraction of the programme was the guest item presented by St Stephen’s School, Sector 45 — a peppy bhangra item which has already got them much acclaim at national and international levels. The mixed group danced to the beat of drum with jovial facial expressions that could only match the untamed spirit of Punjab.

St Anne’s School which did not take part in the competition like St Stephen’s school, performed a scintillating Rajasthani folk dance which gave a perfect finishing touch to the programme. The troupe from Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, presented the Manipuri dance that added some variety to the show.

The contest was won by the bhangra team of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 41, followed by the team of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary school, Sector 26, which performed Rajasthani dance. The third position was shared by the team from St Kabir School, Sector 26 and Shivalik Public School, Sector 41.

Father Thomas Achnaikal, Vicar General, chief guest on the occasion, gave away prizes. A panel of judges, including famous kathak dancer Shobha Koser and other noted personalities like Suchitra Mitra and Swati Roy, adjudged the event.


KVs hold social science exhibitions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A cluster-level social science exhibition was organised at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, here today. Charts and models (working and non-working) were displayed showing the cultural and industrial revolution in Orissa and South Africa.

Ms Harsh Batra, Ms Devender Bains and Mr K.L. Sodhi, Government College, Sector 20, and Ms Amarjit Kaur Gill, State Institute of Education, Sector 32, selected the best models and charts for the regional-level exhibition.

Elocution, folk dance and solo dance competitions were also held. The dances were judged by Ms Preeti Phulka, Head of Department at the Government College for Women, Sector 11.

In the elocution competition, 11 contestants, one from each KV, expressed their views on “India and world cultural interactions” in Hindi and English.

The Assistant Commissioner of Kendriya Vidyalaya of the sangathan, Mr D.K. Saini, appreciated the quality of the exhibits and dances presented by students. The Convener, Mr C.P. Singh, presented the vote of thanks while the Principal, Dr S.P. Shergill, presented a memento to the chief guest.

While the host school bagged the first position in the group dance category, the award for solo dance and Hindi and English elocution went to KV, Chandimandir.


A social science exhibition was organised at Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 1, Ambala Cantonment, on Saturday.

Dr Neena Bedi, Principal, Arya Girls College, Ambala Cantonment, inaugurated the exhibition. Students from 10 Kendriya Vidyalayas of Ambala, Patiala, Dappar and Karnal participated in the exhibition. About 200 exhibits were on display, including charts, still models, working models, portrait panels and scrap books. Each Kendriya Vidyalaya was allotted a separate theme on Orissa and South Africa.

Dr Neena Bedi, Prof Jyoti Chandra and Prof Shivi Aggarwal, while evaluating the exhibits, observed that it was a good effort which involved close coordination between students and teachers.

While KV No. 3, Patiala, stood first, KV No. 3, Ambala Cantonment was second and KV, Karnal, was third. About 100 exhibits have been selected for regional-level social science exhibition to be organised at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jalandhar, on August 21 and 22.

An elocution competition in Hindi and English was also organised. The theme for the contest was ‘India and the world cultural interaction’. In Hindi, while KV, Karnal, was first, KV No. 2, Patiala, was second and KV No. 3, Patiala, was third. In English, KV No. 3, Patiala, was first, KV No. 4, Ambala Cantonment, was second and KV No. 2, Ambala Cantonment, was third.



Carmel Convent Chandigarh
Schooling the women of substance
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, Chandigarh, is run by the sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, an Indian congregation founded by Mother Veronica of Passion in 1870.

The sisters were invited by the Chandigarh Administration to start a school. It was founded in 1959. From the very beginning, the school had a steady strength on rolls. In November, 1960, there were 305 boys and girls. In April 1961, there were more admissions and by July, the number rose to 460. By April 1961, we had classes upto VII. In February, 1962, the school opened Class VIII with 30 pupils on roll. In 1961 and 1962, some of the boys of Class I and II left to join St John's school. Nevertheless new admissions kept coming in and the strength of the school kept on increasing steadily. At present, we have a higher secondary school and the total strength of the school is 1400.

A view of Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, Chandigarh
A view of Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, Chandigarh

The school has been best described, even at the risk of exaggeration, in a lyrical write-up by the school itself. Here are a few excerpts:

"At first the silence hits you

Where am I? You may ask

The magic sweeps around you

Carmel's fairy dust is at its task

"Enter Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh. The complete haven for all round development of young girls. A place of peace, spirituality and progress.

"Every year anxious parents throng the institution hoping to secure admission for their daughters. The popularity of the school even after 43 years, is quit apparent.

Oshin Chopra, Class III-A"It's been 43 years

Since our Carmel has stood tall

We take pride in its richness

And have sweep memories to recall

Emerging from a glorious past

One of pride and grandeur

Sweet reminiscences in the minds of all

Marching forth toward splendour

"The modern day Carmel is the epitome of completeness.

Beginning in order lets take under consideration the various parts of the school campus...

"The tiny tons now scramble out

And scream with joyful glee

And in these bright environs

Embark on a playing spree

The Pre-Primary wing is indeed a fairy tale house for the young buds entering the Carmel World and architecturally modeled as a flower. Merry go rounds and seesaws, slides ending in soft sand, and the shady mango tree, the colourful birdcage, toys and blocks, sweets and candies...and amidst all this blooms a healthy learning atmosphere. Sometimes you almost wish you were a child again.

From tiny tots to little girls

The junior block shows the way

There's no place for dullness

There're lost in work and play

"The sturdy walls of the junior block shelter classes 1 through 5. Quite an independent functioning unit, this wing of the school has its own science lab, its own student cabinet, a library and a peaceful prayer room. The staff room is always open to students of all ages, at all times. All in a all a perfect to commence an education.

Akriti Sharma, Class VI-A"Shh! Now lets be quiet

We are entering the secondary block

Students industrious hard at work

They're up to something round the clock.

"A peek into the senior wing reveals that the element of seriousness is judiciously mixed with a dash of fun and frolic that school is all about. The spirit of creativity continues to blossom, unsuppressed, as there is no undue burden of academics...

"The auditorium stands imposing and strong

Through its wooden door

Carmelites throng

To perform in recitation, dance and song.

"The school has always tried to celebrate the individuality of each student through extra curricular activities. The auditorium has played host to many a debate, declamation, quiz, dance performance and play...

A flush of green dash of blue

Welcome to the playground

Badminton, basketball, kho-kho and games of all hue

Are all here to be found

"Sports and academics go hand in hand. The school has a history of achievements in the field of sports...

"But all this would be incomplete

Without our Principal so dear

And our teachers who inspire us

To strive boldly without fear

A major strength of Carmel is prayer. The school lays great stress on the inculcation of spirit of prayer in each one of its students. The school firmly believes without being archaic or rigid that God and prayer are two irrefutable facts of life. Students are encouraged to pray and live each day with a spirit of goodness.

And in this supersonic world

That is with business brimmin'

Its not buildings or roads we make

We are in the service of building women

"Carmel convent School has put its stamp on generations of independent women. It has transformed bubbly little babies into enchanting ladies who set foot into the world with deep rooted faith and determination to make their dreams a reality and capable of facing up to each of life's challenges...

"And finally the true treasure of Carmel Convent SChool is not the large spacious buildings,its beautiful gardens and freshly mowed lans,the inviting shade of the mango trees on a warm sunny day...

"The strength that will propel us forthWe are its fountainhead



Values are the hallmark of all Carmel students’
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Sister OleenWITH a day steeped in meditation and prayers, Sister Oleen, Principal of Carmel Convent School, is on her toes all day—busy with either school work or improving the already high standards of her school.

Confined to her office barring her surprise rounds in school to check if all is well and discipline intact, Sister Oleen says managing 1400 girls in one go is a collosal task, a new challenge everyday where harshness does not pay and love and affection is all that ultimately matters.

In addition, she has her hands full chalking out strategies to improve results, the burden being greater ever since the school was upgraded to senior secondary level in 1992. "The tension is almost palpable at the time of the Boards since the results are made public. We focus of giving them regular practice and making them thorough,"she says.

On the popularity of Carmel Convent

In today's world when values are beginning to lose their meaning, parents are turning towards the school to shape the personalities of their children. Basically, values are the hallmark of all Carmel students and prayer is the essence of life. We focus on instilling this in the minds of the children.

On the meaning of education

Bringing out the best by identifying and tapping the potential in a child. This should not be confined to academics alone but widened in scope to include mental, moral, emotional as well as social development.

On coping with pressure during the admission season

We interview parents to see how united the family is and the response of the child to questioners posed. Yes, there is a tremendous amount of pressure. The only thing that comes handy around this time is patience and convincing them that pressurising won't work.

On maintaining discipline and handling students

We have to be tactful and firm while tackling students. One can not afford to be too harsh or too soft. There has to be a golden mean between the two. It is even more delicate a matter in our school since we are entrusted with transforming young girls into refined and sophisticated ladies.

On promoting sports and co-curricular activities

We encourage all students to come forward and participate in any of the activities most of which are a part of the curriculum. This not only enables all round development of the child, essential in present times when academic merit alone holds little significance, but also promotes sportsmanship.



Still a Child!

I'm a teenager, an adolescent, I guess,

and some responsibilities I hold.

I still have much to learn, they say,

I'ii be an adult soon, I'm told.

I have to learn to be independent,

I have to learn to be free,

I have to learn to make decisions

I have to know what's right for me.

I have to make some difficult choices

I have to know what's right what's wrong,

I have to be firm in my convictions,

I have to be learn to be strong.

I have to be responsible for my actions

I should know what to do, what not

I should be punctual, do my work on time

and not say that I forgot.

I have to learn to control my anger,

My temperament should be mild

I know I have to learn all this and more,

But people, don't push me too hard,

Try to understand, I am still a child.

—Ganveen Kaur Dhillon, Class XI B

A yummy dream

Dream turned into nightmare

Last night, I had a dream,

I was a bowl of ice-cream.

The flavour was, yummy, strawberry

And on the top, was kept a cherry!

I looked simply mouth-watering,

Better, than anything.

My colour was a blushing pink.

Every eye that looked at me, could not blink.

But soon, I realised that something was wrong.

I could not talk, neither sing a song.

I couldn't run, I couldn't play.

I could not even join my hands and pray.

Suddenly, I found someone swallowing me.

I felt like a fish, out of the sea.

I was even unable to scream,

So, I wanted someone to tell me that its just a dream.

Then, I felt someone waking me up.

By the touch of the hands, I know it was a grown up.

When I opened my eyes, I saw her standing with her hand on my hair,

She didn't know at all about my dream turned into a nightmare!

—Gunjan Khanna, Class VIII A



Tradition vs fusion on Teej
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 11
After much prayer and desperate measures like ‘guddi fukhna’ for a few drops of rain, the reluctant monsoon had to give in. When rain came, it triggered the Teej celebration here today that no force could have stopped.

Womenfolk broke community barriers and wore their best dresses to join in the fun, with the pouring clouds to charge up everyone. The most spectacular Teej function here was, perhaps, in Rajasthan Bhavan, where members of the Rajasthan Parishad celebrated the occasion in the most traditional way.

With ‘jhula’, ‘mehndi’ and traditional cuisines, the silver-jubilee show was a hit. The programme began with a ‘Ganesh Vandana’, followed by traditional folk dances dedicated to Mother Nature. A ‘diya dance’ by Renu Swami, Sheela, Vanita and Khusboo was breathtaking and a ballet on Lord Krishna was gripping. The doll show, with dolls in ethnic outfits of every state of India, presenting traditional dances, stole the heart.

While the Rajasthani community laid emphasis on retaining the traditional flavour of the festival, it was a fusion-style Teej in the Press Club today. Women and children decorated their hands with ‘mehndi’ and relished ‘malpuas’ and ‘kheer’; while simultaneously dancing to the tunes of the latest Hindi and Punjabi pop numbers. There was a cooking contest, where the participants whipped up exotic dishes like noodle basket, noodle nest and noodle kabab. The traditional ‘jhula’ took a backseat, giving way to the high-tech mechanical swings.

Even the Teej celebrations by the Bharat Vikash Parishad followed a similar trend with participants taking a fancy to filmi songs. Tradition could hardly find a place where film songs were the order of the day.



A spirited presentation of ‘ragas’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
The tradition of celebrating Indian classical music continued at the Pracheen Kala Kendra, which organised its 67th monthly ‘baithak’ today. To add meaning and form to the evening were two exponents, who are masters in their own right.

Sayeed Khan performs in Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Sayeed Khan performs in Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
— A Tribune photograph

Richa Jauhari Krishna performs in Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Richa Jauhari Krishna performs in Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
— A Tribune photograph

Vocalist Richa Jauhari Krishna mesmerised the audience with her delicate rendering of various forms of Indian classical tradition. She began her recital in Raag Madhukauns and went on to improvise within the set framework of respective ‘ragas’. Her rendering of ‘chhota khayal’ set to ‘teen taal’ was particularly impressive. As she lifted the ‘raga’ and the varied it beautifully to add colour to the evening, the audience sat absorbed and smitten by her capability to treat the ‘raga’ with perfection.

With every tune that she struck, she only reflected her tutelage better. A master in classical and semi-classical forms, a doctorate in music and an ardent learner, Richa, earlier talked about the beauty of the classical stream. She explained how she was led into imbibing it despite the fact that she had no musical lineage. A student of Pandit Mukund Vishnu Kalwint, Pandit Channo Lal Mishra and Girija Devi, Richa is a strong advocate of purity of musical forms. She has released two audio albums in the light classical stream.

About the significance of purity, she said, “Every stream of music is beautiful in its original form. Any kind of tempering with the basic structure of a ‘raga’ amounts to sacrilege.” Herself a believer in the efficacy of the ‘guru-shishya’ tradition, she said the level of dedication was constantly falling.

Exhibiting dexterity in handling ‘sur and laya’, Richa talked of these two components as the soul of any musical pattern. “Without either of these, you are incomplete. The critical balance of these components is real music,” she said .

After the delicacy of ‘khyal’ and ‘thumri’, it was time to experience the magic of musical patterns that sitarist Sayeed Khan wove for the gathering. An artiste of the Delhi ‘gharana’, Sayeed Khan reflected the best elements of all the ‘gharanas’ he has ever been associated with.

Although he began singing at the age of six, he went on to practise sitar as religion. Talking of ustad Vilayat Khan, who invented ‘gayaki ang’ in sitar, sayeed Khan said, “I have been blessed to be associated with the Kirana ‘gharana’. We have also taken exceptional care in securing the purity of ragas.” Sayeed Khan’s forte is his delightful ‘gayaki’. He began today’s recital with Raag Jog in ‘vilambit teen taal’. Exhibiting variation and experimentation, he went on to present Raag Megh set to ‘drut teen taal’.

As a performer, Sayeed Khan believes in absorbing the best from each ‘gharana’. He said, “It is not right to limit music to ‘gharanas’. Music is the language of humanity and it needs to be set free. I have myself picked up the best from every gharana and every performer. I would not mind learning from my own disciple if he has something divine to offer.”



City musician modifies guitar
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Hardly ever has any city artiste been credited with invention in the world of music. There have been creations of the tallest order as far as musical instruments are concerned, but strangely, none out of these has taken place in our region. After long last, however, the jinx now seems to be breaking.

With a city-based musician, Subhash Ghosh, modifying the classical guitar to lace it with the harmonious elements of veena, sarod and sitar, Chandigarh may well lay its claim in the field of musical inventions, just as Jaipur, which has been boasting of Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and his classical creation in Mohan veena. Christened as sarasveena (saras derived from sweet), the new instrument created by Subhash Ghosh, a sarod player from Chandigarh, adapts guitar with a lot of aesthetic and musical sense. After ridding the Western guitar of its limitations of range and depth, Ghosh has created an instrument which is essentially classical in character with delightful range and resonance. The instrument is ready to cater to the aesthetic needs of Indian audience.

Demonstrating the instrument exclusive to Chandigarh Tribune, Ghosh talked about its concept. In place of metal, a lot of wood has been used in the new instrument with an aim to enhance its musical potential. Like sarod, it has been created out of a single piece of wood, which is hollow. Said Ghosh, “Since the instrument is hollow, its resonance has increased tremendously. Unlike guitar, which has metal keys and is made of pieces of plywood, the new instrument has wooden keys. Even the traditional frets are not of metal. Moreover, these have been hidden beneath beautiful craftsmanship given to sarasveena by Kolkata-based Bhavasindhu Biswas.”

After facing difficulties in playing classical guitar, which cannot match the harmony and rhythm of traditional Indian instruments, Ghosh discussed the concept of a new instrument with his guru, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. After receiving his nod, he began working on the concept two years ago. With the support of Biswas, the man behind the final shape of Mohan veena, Ghosh has created an instrument which blends the best in sarod, sitar and veena.

In the final form, sarasveena boasts of rich modifications which make it powerful in range, depth and form. The rounded symbol of veena and traditional craftsmanship add more authenticity to the instrument. Another accomplishment is that metal keys, normally used in instruments, have been done away with. Wooden keys have been used to add resonance. Even the tailpiece is made out of wood. The camel-shaped hood of sarasveena takes its form further close to that of veena, so does the ‘trinetra’ that adorns its hood. Says Ghosh, “Trinetra is symbolic of Lord Shiva. The idea is to seek his blessings whenever one strikes a chord.”

As Ghosh plays the instrument, it reminds the audience of the tone of sarod, the variation of sitar and the amazing depth and range of veena. The musician will shortly announce his invention in the presence of sitar maestro, Pandit Debu Chaudhary.



Knowing all about ‘success’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
Continuing his series of lectures in public interest, Mr Ravi Mann spoke on “success” at his Portraits and Portfolios Art Gallery in Sector 17 today. Lacing his talk with anecdotes and quotations, Mr Mann went on to point out the 101 things which one should know about success. Quoting Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it,” Mr Mann first asked people at the session to write their biographies so that he could know their bents of mind. Then he began to list the important points one by one. Highlights of the lecture, which was heavily attended, were: try and live your today, you cannot change your past, but you can surely ruin your today by worrying too much about the future, to find success it does not matter where you begin; where you finish is the most important.

Then it was time to talk about the three things one should do to find success: have a will to succeed, have a will to learn and have a will to strive until success is yours. Conclusion of the talk was: “Be careful of your thoughts for your thoughts become your actions; be careful of your actions for your actions become your habit; be careful of your habits for your habits become your character; be careful of your character for your character becomes your destiny.”



Audio cassette released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11
A music company today released the first audio cassette of Panchkula-based Muktesh Diwan, who has been working for three years to create a musical offering to Lord Krishna. Although an ardent ghazal singer, Muktesh decided to begin his career in the field of music by paying obeisance to Lord Krishna. Also, because he feels the world of devotional singing is rather unexplored and less-saturated

Titled Shyam Sanware, the audio album has eight devotional songs, set to beautiful musical patterns by city-based music maker Varinder Bachan. Present on the occasion of the launch, which took place at hotel Monarch in Sector 35, was Mr Ashwani Sharma, regional manager, T-Series, the company that provided the platform to the budding singer. The function was compered by Rajesh Ahuja.

Lyrics of the bhajan have been written by Mr D.R. Dhawan. The hallmark of the cassette is its melody, which is essentially based on ragas.



Sub-jr judo meet from today
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, August 11
The Chandigarh State Sub-junior Judo Championships will begin here tomorrow in the Sector 41 Ajit Karam Singh International Public School. This two-day meet will be organised by the Amateur Judo Association of Chandigarh in all weight categories. According to Mr N.S. Thakur, general secretary of the association, the participants will have to bring along age proofs (birth certificates). The weighing-in will be at 8 am.

Athletics meet

In an athletics meet organised by the Modern Housing Complex (Duplex) Residents Welfare Association here today, 200 schoolchildren took part. The Deputy Mayor, Mr Balraj Singh, inaugurated the meet. Lemon race, short-distance races and musical chairs were among the events that were held.

Mr K.L. Aggarwal, president of the association, said winners would get their prizes on August 15 during the Independence Day celebrations.

Karate grading

The Chandigarh Amateur Karate Association conducted a grading test in Sector 38, where 10 boys were given the yellow belt, two were given the black belt and seven got the orange-yellow belts.


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