Thursday, September 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


DAV Principal back with award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Back to school after receiving the CBSE award, Principal Sarita Manuja of DAV Public School, Sector 8, was given a grand welcome by students and staff, here yesterday.

Students made posters congratulating her on her achievement and to express their happiness. While class monitors handed over colourful cards to her, staff members brought in bouquets to express their joy. Students also read out speeches in the morning assembly in her praise.

She was elated to receive the award from the President of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, she said.


150 students donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The NSS unit of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, organised a blood donation camp on the college premises here today. With 150 units of blood collected at the camp, the students earned the appreciation of the doctors from the PGI.

Plantation drive

A sapling plantation drive was launched at the Government College of Education, Sector 20, here on Wednesday. The Assistant Director, Adult and Continuing Education Department, Panjab University, Dr C.L. Narang, said environmental degradation was a major problem being faced by the country. 


Thai teachers visit school
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A group of 10 teachers from Chiang Mai, Thailand, visited Bhawan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, here, today to study various techniques of teaching used in India.

They went to different classes and were appreciative of the warm welcome given to them. They found students highly attentive and intelligent.



Kalam to inaugurate legal conference in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, will inaugurate a two-day international legal conference being organised here by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association (PHHBA) from September 29.

A number of legal luminaries from India and abroad are expected to participate in the conference which will also be attended by the Union Law Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, according to Dr Anmol Rattan Sidhu, President, PHHBA.


Antara — all set to play a star
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Madhuri Dixit seems to have found a sure reflection in Antara Mali, who is praying hard for the fruition of her labour in Ram Gopal Verma’s latest film “Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon.” Chosen out of hundreds of actresses available to play the lead role of an obsessed Chhutki in the concept-oriented film, Antara is soaring high and naturally so because she has succeeded in putting to rest all speculations surrounding the casting of the film’s heroine.

As you take a closer look at the unassuming actress, you are more than just convinced about Ram Gopal’s choice. Donning the Madhuri mantle to near perfection, Antara is already looking like the star’s clone. In the city today, along with co-star Rajpal Yadav and director Chandan Arora, Antara talked about her character in the film, which is all about making dreams come true.

Set in a rural Gharchola, the film explores the journey of Chhutki, who nurtures an unusual dream of becoming Madhuri Dixit. After Chandan explained how the concept emerged during a conversation between Makran Deshpande and Ram Gopal, Antara took the lead to introduce the listeners to the concept behind the film.

“It was both easy and difficult to play the role. Easy because I could relate with my character in the film; difficult because it was a virtual challenge to match Madhuri Dixit’s technical prowess. I had to watch her dance sequences repeatedly to pick up the nuances of her style. The film underlines the human power to make dreams come true. It draws from aspirational qualities, we all possess in some measure.”

Playing the role with ease, Antara is already earning rave reviews for her performance, which is being showcased through fleeting promos. For an actress who chanced upon Ram Gopal and then went on to become an inseparable part of most of his productions including, “Company” and “Road”, it must have been rather difficult to silence the critics. Ask Antara about the eternal row between her and Urmila Matondkar, and she throws back a smart answer, “That row was generated by the media. I leave it to the media to generate an answer also.”

Busy with three projects — Pawal Raman’s fiction fantasy “Gaayab” Anurag Kashyap’s “Gulal” and “Naach,” Antara makes it a point to clarify that nothing compares to “Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon.” “This film has been an ultimate challenge. It has all shades — from obsession to passion. It explores the relationship between Chhutki and her friend Raja (played by Rajpal Yadav) who is her quintessential anchor.”

Rajpal a pass-out from the National School of Drama and a part of many productions like “Aadhe Adure” and “Aashadh Ka Ek Din,” has been frequenting in Ram Gopal Verma’s productions. He explains,” Ram Gopal has an eye for detail and precision. I have grown through his films. Identifying my talent, he gave me a break in ‘Jungle,’ which fetched me the best villian award. I, however, prefer to call myself a student of performing arts rather than a performing artiste. Complacency has immense potential to seal growth.”

As for the film, it is preparing for an October 3 release. Director Chandan Arora sums up, “The film will take you closer to good cinematics. It will also help you scratch your hidden talents. Finally it is about dreaming and making it big.”


Budding actor dreams of Hollywood
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, September 10
The twinkle in his eye is hard to miss and so is the conviction in his voice. As Naval Preet Rangi, the budding actor, director and playwright walks upto the stage as the jilted husband in the 45 minutes solo play “Uparlee Manzil” with the same confidence that matched Balraj Sahni in the same play 30 years ago, you can understand why this youngster dares to dream so big — the dream to be a part of Hollywood some day.

Naval Preet summons an array of emotions as the husband who has been ditched by his wife — anger, self pity and disgust in this 45-minute play which unfolded at the auditorium of DAV College, Sector 10 today. As the director and actor of the play, Naval Preet comes across as an intense character.

“I worked on this play for the past two years and I already have the legacy of the great actor Balraj Sahni to guide me. If not cent per cent I can atleast pick up a few traits from his signature style of acting to help me achieving perfection,” he says.

Naval Preet has another advantage. As a play writer, he understands the basic fibre of a character and as a director he can get into the very soul of the play. “Acting is basically understanding a character and then reflecting his emotions under different circumstances,” says Naval Preet. This BA part II student of DAV College, Sector 10, Naval Preet has already penned down four books.

“My first play “Chiraga Di Low” was published when I was doing my Plus Two and the rest three — Gith Muthiye, Mano Billi (a children’s play) and Nath Patori were published during my first year of graduation.”

Eager to learn as much as he can about drama and film, Naval Preet has tried his hand at everything — theatre with Gursharan Singh and Anjala Maharishi, assisting in direction of telefilms like “Aag” and “Bus Conductor” and dancing bhangra with all Punjabi singers that includes Harbhajan Mann, Balkar Sidhu, Dolly Singh and others.

“To make my dream of joining Hollywood come true, I have to learn all techniques of drama and acting,” says Naval Preet. But this youngster does not believe in joining the National school of Drama for gaining the finishing touches. “If I am learning on the job itself why join NSD?” says this youngster. Till his Hollywood call comes through, it is all acting, writing and directing for him besides completing his graduation in Punjabi literature.


Feast of classic plays in offing
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service


September 15: “Kitchen Katha”; writer Surjit Pattar; director Neelam Mansingh.

September 16: “Yatra Dar Yatra”; writer Krishna Baldev-Kamata Prasad; director Devendra Raj Ankur.

September 17: “Nachni”; written and directed by Bhanu Bharati.

September 18: “Mere Bhai Mere Dost”; written and directed by Daya Prakash Sinha.

September 19: “Saiyaan Bhaye Kotwaal”; writer Jayant Dalvi; director Kewal Dhaliwal.

September 20: “Seema Paar”; written and directed by Prasanna.

Chandigarh, September 10
The Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Department, Haryana, is getting ready to host the much-awaited annual National Theatre Festival, which begins in the City Beautiful from September 15. Featuring in the mega festival this year will be celebrated plays of writers of the order of Prasanna, winner of Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award, Daya Prakash Sinha, Krishna Baldev Vaidya, Kamata Prasad and Bhanu Bharati.

It will begin with the presentation of local theatre director Neelam Mansingh’s much-acclaimed presentation of love lost and gained. “Kitchen Katha”, written by famous Punjabi writer and poet Surjit Pattar, is all about a culinary romance where food and images of food are used as metaphors of life and love. The play is set in a kitchen. To connect eroticism with food, this play creates a mapless journey through the realms of sensual memories in which the boundaries between love and appetite become diffused.

A series of recipes, link with the narrative, to create a love story. Seduction with food and stories about sex and eating, titillating recipes of aphrodisiacs take the viewer through protagonist Chand Kaur’s sensual journey.

Next in line comes “Yatra Dar Yatra”, written by Krishna Baldev Vaidya-Kamata Prasad and directed by Devendra Raaj Ankur. Enacted by Suresh Bhardwaj, the play is a man’s journey from one travail to another, where he attempts to severe ties with his past, but finds himself thrown face to face with the same past again and again.

Nachni, played by Sindhu Mishra, written and designed by Bhanu Bharati, unfolds the drama in the protagonist’s life. As a folk dancer making presentation’s in rural fairs and often dancing to keep up revelry of feudal lords, Nachni, the protagonist, reveals her life and its scars through a conversation with a daughter, who is absent. Finally, the story rests on the power of a woman to reinvent herself through art. The heroine, although, wronged and jilted throughout life, emerges victorious in the end.

The much-appreciated play, “Mere Bhai Mere Dost”, written by Daya Prakash Sinha in the backdrop of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, will be presented on September 18. Directed by the writer himself, the play has a great standing in the world of Hindi literature. It underlines love, the most basic of human emotions. Through powerful dialogues and packaging, the play derides communal forces and once again glorifies peace.

Kewal Dhaliwal will also mark a presence in this festival with his famous production “Saiyaan Bhaye Kotwaal”, written by Jayant Dalvi. A production of Manch Rangmanch, the play explores human emotions through various phases.

The final presentation of this year’s festival, to be organised at Tagore Theatre, with the collaboration of the North Zone Cultural Centre, will be “Seema Paar”, written by the celebrated writer Prasanna, who has also directed the play. A renowned playwright and a director, Prasanna graduated from National School of Drama in 1975. The play has been translated by Dr. Sidhling Pattanashetti.



Garhwali film to be released on Sept 13
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 10
Making an endeavour to highlight Uttaranchal’s culture, Arsh Films International brings out another Garhwali film “Jeetu Bagdawal” which will be released here in the city on September 13. Giving this information at a press conference in Sector 8 here yesterday, the producer of the film, Balbinder Basson, said the film would help people to understand the beauty of Garhwali culture.

Though the producer claims the film is based on historical subject, the central character, Jeetu Bagdhawal sounds more like a mythical character and the film has all the trappings of a fairy tale, the man character getting kidnapped by fairy and later made to bear the burnt of her wrath. However, Balbinder’s claim of the historical angle could be true in the sense that the plot takes one to the period which is about 300 years old.

“Though this mythical character Jeetu Bagdhawal existed about 11,000 years ago, because of lack of research materials on this subject we had to restrict ourselves to the period which was just 300 years ago,” says Balbinder who after a long stint of advertising has taken up film making as his new career. A relatively low budget movie, Balbinder has taken a calculated risk in producing this film.

The target audience is Garhwali people living outside the region. “There are at least 2 lakh Garhwali people here in the city and about 20 lakh in and around Delhi and these are the people who likes to see their culture on celluloid,” says Balbinder. With Uttaranchal opening up an independent channel the future for such productions look bright, he adds. Directed by Mahfuz Khan, the film has Bhagwan Chand and Isha Rawat in the main lead along with Luxmi Gousain, Gurudial, Ramesh Balbir, Manju Bahuguna.

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