Wednesday, November 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Jackets are a rage
Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service
Baby jackets — teeny-weeny toppers watching out for piercing cold, not biting stares — are a rage amidst the damsels of the world.

Having doubts? Go to Cheryl's residence. As the clock hanging on the poster covered wall announces the time for bidding good-bye to the cozy comfort of the bedroom, the under-grad switches on the high-wattage bulb over the dressing table. Posing in front of the full-fashioned mirror, she adores her image for at least half a minute before adjusting the polo-neck top. Satisfied with her looks, she slips on the windbreaker before pushing the hard metal buttons through the slits with her soft ivory-chiseled fingers, daily.

Turning the collars up, she trots out of her room, kick-starts the gleaming scooter with her high-heel ankle boots and zips down the throbbing hearts of city guys on her way to college for mugging interpretation on Donne's metaphysical poetry.

In days that are no more and will, perhaps, never come back, bulky coats with shoulder pads, weighing as much as the dames wearing them, were in. The reason behind the trend still lingering in small towns was not very had too see. "Maidens tried to look like quarterbacks just to prove they could make it as well as the guys," asserts young socio-psychologist Nikhila Menon.

Otherwise also, long protective coats were asked for by so many girls from time-honored towns, even up-to-the-minute cities. Why? "Anything sleek looking, that fitted the form, was meant only for twinkling stars of Bollywood," reveals Nikhila. "Girls were supposed to wear stuff that nicely and properly camouflaged their delicate figures, lest ever-ready guys, charged up with over-flowing energy, received wrong signals".

That was years ago. Before lasses realised there was nothing wrong with wearing body-hugging clothes.

"`Let the boys think whatever they want to, we will wear the clothes we like' - was the loud and clear message behind the changed attitude brought about by alien serials on the intelligent box", says Nikhila. "Little wonder, everywhere you looked, you had flappers in hip-huggers, even in halter tops".

So gals, if you still haven't done your winter shopping, go to the nearest arcade and ask for cool jackets that promise to keep you warm. You can go in for the ones with bright alluring tops clandestinely stitched in. "They look chic, no doubt about it." says fashion designer Tina Singh. "There is another added advantage. You do not have to pull out extra bucks for buying a top to wear underneath. This is not all. As the jackets with secretly stitched tops come in pre-decided combinations, time is not wasted in selecting the matching hues".

Another thing, remember to buy jackets with buttons. "The ones with sliding zippers are not exactly out, but they do look conventional", Tina insists. "The ones with buttons are, moreover, durable. Zippers do need replacement, we all know about it".

Stuff? "Well, if you can bid goodbye to three thousand bucks, pick up soft faux leather jackets for that rugged biker-girl looks," Tina suggests. "Or else, buy less expensive denim, corduroy, even cotton, jackets.

“The Wild West jackets with multiple pockets in suede are also in. For globe trotter effect, you can gift your guy a Jodhpur jacket for teaming with jaunty beret".

Last word from Tina. "Girls, don casual close-fitting jackets and slim-cut coats over anything - sand blasted jeans, pedal pushers, even skirts with twin slits. But please, for heaven's sake, do not wear them over sarees and formal suits, lest you look weird. If you want to wear something formal, go in for nice embroidered jackets." That's all for now. Happy winters.


Baby face

She's got the cutest little baby face. No doubt about it. As she stands in the afternoon sun, with her ivory-chiseled fingers shielding her fair visage from the onslaught, you just cannot help but wonder how under-grad Sakshi manages to look so good.

Well, she goes to the beauty parlour, but only once in a while. Mostly, she takes care of herself without the assistance of professionals. "I basically believe in keeping my skin free from dirt and grime," she asserts. "That's the reason why I wash my face as often as I can".

No, she does not use harsh soaps on her fragile skin. Not even face wash every time she cleans her visage. "Instead, I use plenty of water," the final year student reveals.

But what about her diet? Any special low-calorie stuff she loves to munch. "I love eating fruits," she croons. "That's why I love winters. You have so many fruits to savour. My favourite are pears and apples. They fill up my tummy and provide me with all the nutrition I require. Also, I drink a lot of water". Alright kids, listen to her if you wish to attain those comely looks.


Red and black perfect combo

All you fashion-savvy kids logging on to a glittering world of swankiness, cautiously empty the recycle bin of your bizarre memory, now. Once again, take out that alluring red and black combo stored in some remote corner of your mind.

Yes, you have guessed it right. In today's world of coalition and package deals, the winning combination of red and black is the latest thing amidst enthusiastic teenyboppers gracefully sashaying down the narrow ramp of life.

The reason behind the resurfacing of the fad after all these long years is not very hard to analyse. In not so good old days, fashion was not a passion among the city kids. No doubt about it. They wore what they picked up "without much application of mind". No wonder, maidens worried about combinations only when getting decked up for marriages.

"Otherwise also, the closed Indian skies provided little exposure to the little ones living in a conservative world," says fashion designer Tanya Singh. "Their only encounter with stuff in vogue was through the Bollywood heroines hardy wearing anything that would excite the young mind. Little wonder, blues and greys were the only shades they asked for".

Things, however, changed in the dying years of the last millennium. The Indian market opened to foreign giants. Along with flashy alien cars, came brand names kids had heard of, never slipped into.

The result was there for all to see. Instead of pullover and jackets in conventional winter hues, you had bright and cheerful scarfs, faux leather pants and knee-length dresses in floral tinges.

"As options increased, combinations came into play," reveals Tanya. "You had dames amalgamating jazzy black stretch leather jackets with white halter tops to be worn over dark studded pants. Or else, white cotton-knit ribbed polo-neck sweater was worn with pleather floral skirt for that electrifying effect."

So guys and dolls enjoying life in a café society, you too can go down the stream in the cool winters of 2002 by teaming up sizzling red with passionate black. What? You haven't tried the combination so far because you still haven't perfected the art of blending the two. Well, worry not. Our experts will teach you a thing or two.

Drive down to the college campus in your jaunty jalopy after donning a black jacket over faux leather dress in red. "If dress is not what you wish to wear, go in for red sleeveless top with blue beads or Lycra viscose top in the same hue," suggests Tanya. "Again wear a black jacket over it. You can also infuse red tops and black skirts with ribbon piping".

Damsels can also zip up and down the geri route by wearing a saucy red tie-and-dye drawstring pant with black belts and tops of the same colour. "If you do not want the fusion to be so conspicuous, carry a patent leather bag of contrasting hue to create the effect," Tanya asserts. Now kids, what are you waiting for?


Bridging gap between ‘haves’ & ‘have nots’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 26
It was indeed a noble way to bring the children of the lesser privileged section of society out into the mainstream education through equal participation. So when the students of Little Flower School, Mani Majra, were given a chance to perform in front of the students of St. Stephen's School, Sector 45, the gulf between the rich and the poor was bridged at least for once.

The students of the former school put up a scintillating cultural show comprising dances which were well choreographed and skits which moved with a flow, showing talent of the children. Starting with a 'vandana', the children performed a "Trinjna" — showing the vigour of Punjab which moved every one into a foot tapping frenzy.

The dance items that followed included bhangra and giddha from Punjab, Haryanvi dance, Himachali folk dance, Rajasthani dance, Kashmiri folk dance and also nursery rhymes by the junior students. The major attraction of the show were two skits "Dhanpoon" which preached people to be charitable in life while other "Ten virgins" was a spritual one, urging people to be alert all the time to receive the Lord.

The school is being run by Shimla-Chandigarh Educational Society since the last 32 years and have been drawing students from the slum areas of mani Majra and Panchkula.


SI’s bail plea dismissed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 26
A bail plea moved by a Sub Inspector of the UT police, who was arrested by the CBI in a corruption case, was today dismissed by a local court. The bail plea moved by SI, Sarwan Singh was dismissed by the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh.

He was arrested by the CBI on November 13 for allegedly accepting money from a woman on the pretext of helping her husband in getting a bail in a fake visa case. The woman had alleged that the SI was demanding Rs 50,000 to ‘‘dilute’’ the charge-sheet of her husband.

Swaran Singh, posted in the Operation Cell, was allegedly arrested red-handed while receiving Rs 5,000 from Ms Pooja Sharma, a resident of Mansa Devi Housing Complex, near the Housing Board chowk. Harish Sharma, husband of Ms Pooja Sharma, had been arrested by the police in the visa case.

It may mentioned that on September 27, the Operation Cell had claimed to have busted the racket involving issuing of fake visas by arresting 35-year-old Harish Sharma. The police had claimed that he was a member of a gang running national-level operations of arranging fake visas. 


No funds for Roma House
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
Paucity of funds appears to have thwarted a move to set up a Rs 30-lakh Roma House and Museum in Kalagram for the preservation of rare and precious material on the life, language and culture of the Roma collected by Mr W.R. Rishi, a Padma Shree awardee.

Located on the Chandigarh-Kalka highway, Kalagram is maintained by the North Zone Cultural Centre and has begun emerging as an important centre of art and culture in this part of the country. Roma people are the gypsies of Europe, Russia, Central and Middle Asia and the Americas. Numbering about 15 million, they are the descendants of Rajputs and Jats of North India comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and adjacent parts of Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. The ancestors of the Roma were forced to migrate to foreign lands during Muslim invasions during 11th and 13th centuries A.D. With the help of the Indian representatives at the UN they have also been granted category II status with the ECOSOC ( Economic and Social Council ).

A former officer of the Indian Foreign Service, Mr Rishi has devoted almost his entire life in creating an international identity for Roma of Europe. Since 1971, when the first Romani Congress was held, Mr Rishi has been collecting valuable and rare books and journals in all the important languages of the world including English, Romani French, German, Serbo-Croat, Russian, Japanese etc. He also has a collection of audio/visual cassettes, gramophone records and CDs of Romani music, slides, Tarrot cards, photo albums and official records of the four World Romani Congress held at London (1971), Geneva (1978), Gottingen (Germany in 1981) and Warsaw (1990).

Mr Rishi who will be 87 in January next year, is a worried man today. He apprehends that his dream of having a Roma House for his priceless collection may not be realised during his life time.

The UT Administration forwarded to the NZCC a proposal to set up the Roma House and Museum at Kalagram last year at a cost of Rs 30 lakh. The NZCC identified insufficient funds and accommodation as the major stumbling block in the establishment of the Roma House. But in view of the importance of the rare collections of Mr Rishi and linkage with the art and culture of the region, the NZCC proposed that it could set up the Roma House provided:

(a) All rights (including ownership) on the collections/property would vest in the NZCC.

(b) It will not pay anything to the management of the Roma House in lieu of collections transferred to NZCC

(c) It will not undertake any liability of the Roma House and Museum

(d) It will design and construct the museum suitable to its requirements on receipt of funds from government of India

(e) It will not be liable to absorb the staff of Roma Museum, if any; and

(f) It will be responsible for maintenance and exhibition of the property.

The proposal was approved by the Governor of Punjab in his capacity as the Chairman of NZCC and forwarded to the government of India. After showing some enthusiasm initially, the Centre too has now conveyed that it does not have the requisite funds for the time being and the proposal be kept on hold till the situation improves.


Discovering continuity of dance tradition
Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
The questions on gender do not interest Navtej Singh Johar, who consciously brushes aside every query related with his being a male dancer. This issue has never been emotionally coherent to the man, who has gone out in the open to launch a crusade of sorts against “cultural chauvinism” in dance.

That explains his promising growth through the three decades that he practiced bharatanatyam, a form with which he struck an instant affiliation. In the city today for a presentation under the UT Administration's Jhankar series, Navtej talked about his initial days of struggle as an artist in this very city. "I was essentially an artist, first wanting to paint, then associating with G.S. Chani's progressive street theatre. Finally I settled for dance, checking out kathak first of all."

Navtej did not find kathak inspiring enough, but bharatanatyam was his immediate choice. "I was inspired by its physicality, angularity of the body that it offers, its technique, lines, everything. I knew this form would suit my body. There was a sense of clarity about bharatanatyam," said the dancer, known to be a choreographer who practices freedom in dance, something that liberates the form of all gender gaps and time planes, making it current.

Known to challenge the so-called guardians of culture, used to conditioning the art form to an extent of damaging it, Navtej voices his reactions through modern dance. Extremely vocal about the malice that had eaten into the very aesthetics of bharatanatyam, Navtej said dance had been capsuled as some kind of a treasure that needed care. "It is important to break away from norms, setting the movement free. I have often seen dancers move about the space of performance, sans motion. It is not in the interest of dancers to act as custodians of culture. They should rather act as mediums for the same."

Driven by the love for dance, Navtej went to Rukmini Arundale's Kalashetra, Leela Samson's Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, proceeding further to the Department of Performance Studies in New York. He picked up nuances of Carnatic music to breathe life into his form. The best part was that he did it all lovingly, unconscious of his manhood. "I have never felt dance was a female prerogative. In my mind I have no hangups with regard to gender," he said.

Some of his best works have been with Bill T. Jones in New York. "He does beautiful work, but extremely political work. Improvising in my form I realised that body could be used to make strong statements. I also discovered that most beautiful things were those which were the simplest." Known for having co-directed the Commonwealth Parade on the occasion of Queen's golden jubilee in London, Navtej has offered many contemporary performance pieces, street-theatre products, performance installations, site-specific events and many more things, including collaborations with painters.

From one form to another, he has always ensured flow of tradition. He is now rediscovering the expanse of human body with yoga. Determined to pursue yoga, he said, "I even sometimes think of quitting dance for yoga. There is a sure conflict between the two but the latter is most beautiful." But before that is done, Navtej is working for an audience, as he said today,"I never work for myself. The licence of my imagination is granted by the audience. I feel proud when there is someone to usher me into a space which I cannot enter alone."

Navtej performed at Tagore Theatre in the evening.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |