C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


St Stephen’s win overall trophy at Blossom IV
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 21
Colours mingled harmoniously to form rangolis on the floors of DAV Model School, Sector 15, here as 250 students from 20 schools participated in Blossom IV, inter-school competitions.

Their dextrous hands moved steadily to cut figures from magazines to form collages. The students also participated in a poetry recitation competition. The overall trophy was won by St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, here.

The Principal of MCM DAV College, Dr Puneet Bedi, was the chief guest. Highlighting the importance of competitions for the holistic development of students. Principal of DAV Model School, Rakesh Sachdeva, claimed that the response to the competitions was encouraging.

In the “big fight” competition, the first prize was won by Shishu Niketan Model High School, Sector 22. The second prize went to St John’s High School Sector 26. The third prize was won by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27.

Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27, won the first prize in the quiz competition. The second prize went to Shishu Niketan Model High School. The third prize was won by St Stephen’s School.

Creative writing prize was won by DAV Model School, Sector 15, and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The second prize went to St Stephen’s School. The third prize was won by St Peter’s School, Sector 37.

St Stephen’s School and DAV Model School won the first prize in rangoli competition. The second prize went to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Panchkula. The third prize was won by Chaman Lal DAV Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 11, Panchkula.

Alpana competition was won by DAV Model School and Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Panchkula. The second prize went to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The third prize was won by St Stephen’s School.

Hindi poetry recitation competition was won by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27. The second prize went to Chaman Lal DAV Senior Secondary School. The third prize was won by DAV Model School and St Stephen’s School.

The Punjabi poetry recitation competition was won by St Stephen’s School. The second prize went to DPS Himshika, Pinjore. The third prize was won by St John’s High School, Sector 26.

The painting competition for the senior category students was won by Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27. The second prize went to Chaman Lal DAV School. The third prize was won by KB DAV School, Sector 7.

The painting competition for the junior category students was won by DAV Public School, Surajpur. The second prize went to Mount Carmel School, Sector 47. The third prize was won by Moti Ram Arya School. The consolation prize went to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 27.

The collage competition was won by St Stephen’s School. The second competition was won by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Panchkula. The third prize went to Hansraj Public School. The consolation prize went to DAV Model School, Sector 15.



Students enthral audience at annual day
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 21
It was a special and vibrant evening for Sanjay Public School as students were out to display their talent on the second annual day function in Sector 70 here today.

The function opened with the lighting of a lamp which was followed by a variety of programmes starting with 'Saraswati Vandana'. The tiny tots of the school presented their talent in a dance 'Jungle Song' which spread the message of love for animals.

A play 'An Enormous Turnip' by the little ones was highly applauded by the audience who were impressed by the performance of young actors.

The audience applauded as children wearing Punjabi folk dress danced to the tune of 'Saggi Phul Waliye'. The magic of Kishore Kumar was brought, alive by the students of UKG and Class I who danced to the tune of his song 'Eena, Meena, Deeka'. Colourfully dressed girls of Class I gave a scintillating performance dancing to the tune of western number 'Sha-La-La' by Vengaboys. The Bamboo dance, a tribal dance of the north-eastern part of the country performed after the harvest season, also won applause. A band of five boys gave an impressive performance 'Josh' which spread the message that determination was a must for achieving goals.

Mr B.R. Sharma, Secretary of the Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi, was the chief guest.

Mrs R. Sethi, Principal, read out the annual report of the school.



22 schools take part in painting contest
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 21
The local Rotary Club held the 19th Nitish Lehri painting competition for children here today.

The competition, which was organised with the Inner Wheel Club and the Rotract Club, drew students from 22 schools in Chandigarh and Mohali.

The participants were divided into four groups: students up to Class I, classes II to IV, classes V to VIII, and class IX and above.

Participants displayed their creative skills, sitting on durries on the premises of Shivalik Public School in Phase VI.

The subjects of focus were "lend a hand", polio eradication, drugs, AIDS, healthy teeth and stray cattle as traffic hazard.



Students boycott classes over timings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Students of the Evening Studies Department boycotted their classes for the third day in succession at Panjab University here today.

Students have been complaining against the change of timings of the department. The department now starts at 4.20 pm and ends at 10.10 pm. Earlier, the classes started at 5.40 pm and ended at 9 pm.

Gurvinder Kaur, a student of B.Com, said the timings were very inconvenient for the students. Since the classes were for the students who worked during the day, it was impossible for them to attend the first class. Moreover, by the time the classes ended, no bus service was available.



PU exam forms available today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Examination forms will be available tomorrow at Panjab University despite it being a holiday, an official press note said here today.

Examination forms will be available between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Administrative Block.



District Courts
Notice to UT police in dance girls’ case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 21
A local court today issued a notice to the UT police acting on a bail application moved by an accused, Kapil, allegedly involved in a case of trafficking of dance girls to Bangalore for November 25. The bail application moved by the accused came for hearing in the court of the UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh. One of the accused in the case, K.M. Muralidhar, had been granted bail by the court. The UT police had arrested the five accused in the case, including K.M. Muralidhar, Rakesh Batalvi, Baljit and Kuldeep, Kapil.

Notice issued

The UT Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Tejwinder Singh, today issued a notice to the police to file a reply acting on a bail application moved by the two accused, Asha and Feroza, who had been arrested by the UT police in a flesh trade case. The police had arrested the five women in the case.

Bail plea dismissed

A local court yesterday dismissed a bail application moved by the accused, Mohammad Arif, arrested by the UT police on the charges of spying. The accused Mohammad Arif, along with the other two accused, a Pakistani national Abid Mehmood and Abdul Wahid had been arrested by the UT police under the provisions of the Official Secret Acts, Foreign Acts and cheating and forgery charges on February 23 this year.

Abid Mehmood, alias Nihal Chohan, originally hailing from Liakatpur, Raheemyar Khan district in Pakistan, and Mohammed Aarif, a resident of Gulampur, Muzzfarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.



Consumer Courts
Agency told to pay 89,000 for spoiling couple’s honeymoon
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 21
The consumer court has directed a city-based travel agency to pay about Rs 89,000, including air-ticket charges, as compensation to a city resident, whose honeymoon trip to Hong Kong got spoiled due to deficiency in services provided by the agency. The travel agency has also been told to pay Rs 2,000 to the complainant as the cost of litigation by the consumer court.

A resident of Sector-21, Mr Kamal Singh Dhillon, had contacted the Travel Gallery Agents and Tour Organiser, Sector 19-D, to arrange two tickets for Hong Kong on February 5. The agency informed him that Sri Lankan Airlines was the best for flying to Hong Kong and it provided good service at economic rates.

He booked two air tickets of Sri Lankan Airlines by paying Rs 2,000 on the same date.

The agency also informed him to collect the air tickets after paying the balance amount totalling Rs 40,600. The complainant collected the tickets with the confirmation slip for the flight scheduled for February 9, 2002, at 11.45 p.m. The couple hired a taxi and reached the Delhi airport. But Sri Lankan Airlines officials told him that he alone could board the plane as his wife’s ticket had not been confirmed.

The complainant was also told that there was no booking in the name of his wife, Jatinderpal Kaur, and the confirmation slips given to him by the agency were wrong.

Mr Dhillon alleged that he had been humiliated in the presence of his wife and relatives due to the deficiency in the services of the travel agency. The next day, the complainant visited the office of the agency and narrated the whole incident.

Employees of the agency assured him that they would reconfirm his ticket on some other date. Subsequently they gave him confirmation for flight scheduled for February 12, 2003, at 11.45 p.m. Mr Dhillon alleged that he suffered a loss of Rs 4,99,100 due to un-confirmed ticket, taxi fare and physical and mental harassment and booking of a hotel room at Hong Kong due to the negligence caused by the travel agency.

While partly allowing the complaint, the consumer court said in his order that “the travel gallery has been directed to refund the price of tickets — Rs 42,600 — to the complainant and Rs 6,500 as taxi fare, including the coach tickets for the return journey from Delhi along with Rs 40,000 as compensation for mental and physical harassment and financial expenditure on hotel booking and allied counts”.

Meanwhile, the complainant has also filed a case for execution of the order passed by the consumer court in his favour. The court has adjourned the case till January 13, 2004.



‘Bullah’ weaves spiritual magic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
One does not come across performances as powerful as “Bullah” everyday. Basing the entire presentation on the elements of love, affection, peace and all that goodness stands for, Ajoka Theatre put together the very soul of a Sufi bit by bit. As the presentation progressed from one beautiful verse of Bulle Shah to another, all apparent controversies that emerged over the play in the recent past crumbled under the weight of its strength and relevance.

Sarfraz Hussain Ansari in the role of Bulle Shah, the mystic who dared the forces of fundamentalism and bigotry in Mughal rule 250 years ago, was more than powerful as he donned the divine mantle for the space of performance. Along with the Sikh character in the play, Joginder Singh Jogi (played by Tipu Sultan to perfection), Ansari wove a spiritual web, reminiscent of the Sufi ambience. Aiding the spiritual journey were Javed Ansari and Hamnawa, the professional qawwals from Pakistan.

The best part of the play, set in the time of Bulle Shah (1680-1758) and also in the time of the downfall of the Mughal empire, was the outstanding and overwhelming response from the audience of Chandigarh, who naturally evoked great admiration from the Pakistani delegation. People were seated on floors and were standing in every possible inch of the hall, hooked to the enthralling and virtually mystic presentation which provided a complete insight into the life of Bulle Shah, who paid full-throated homage to God throughout the two-and-a-half-hour play.

The play was broadly based on the events of his life, as communicated through his poetry, historical records and popular myths. Scripted by Shahid Nadeem and directed by Madeeha Gauhar, the play was full of dramatic sequences. Not just a period play, “Bullah” came across as a virtual celebration of the rich and vibrant culture of Punjab, as existed years ago. Finally, it is about the relevance of Bulle Shah, his poetry, his kafis, which still stir the soul.



Striking a bond across the border
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

AS a faculty member of the prestigious National College of Arts, Lahore, Prof Aqeel Qazmi strikes an interesting conversation by instantly establishing a bond between Islamabad and Chandigarh, the two cities that came up around the same time in the 20th century. Created with similar concerns, both Islamabad and Chandigarh, Professor Aqeel said, looked a lot alike, not just on the facade, but also behind it.

Having been on the faculty of the architecture department at the college for over five years now, Professor Qazmi, who earlier studied architecture at the same college, talked with extreme fondness about how warm he felt the moment he entered Chandigarh. “It was just like entering the heart of Pakistan that Islamabad is. As a student of architecture in Lahore and later as a faculty member at the college, I have learnt and talked a lot about Chandigarh and Islamabad being twin cities, architecturally speaking. The feel of the cities is essentially common. Another important point of connection between the two cities is their proximity to the hills. Where Islamabad is close to the Muree hills, which houses a famous tourist resort, Chandigarh is close to Shimla, the queen of hills.” Islamabad, Chandigarh and Brasilia, were created in the 20th century, getting linked in some way.

Fixing the historic sets of “Bullah”, the play which Madeeha Gauhar staged at Tagore Theatre on Friday, Professor Qazmi shared a great deal of information on the art and culture scenario back home in Pakistan, as also about the level of art education being imparted at the National College of Art, Lahore, which also has remnants in India. After Partition, the Art College shifted to Shimla to later find home in Chandigarh as Government College of Art, Sector 10.

“Like in India, art students in Pakistan are also interested more in lucrative fields like architecture and multimedia. Graphic designing and the study of miniatures is also gaining ground. We have also had some sort of exchange between art college students of India and Pakistan,” informed Professor Aqeel.

Another interesting detail emerged from the discussion on the art gallery culture in Pakistan. Ruing that the development of arts over the years had not been satisfactory because of the state’s disinterest in promoting the same, Professor Aqeel mentioned that many budding artists were feeding the arts with their energy and innovation. He particularly mentioned a new school of art that was emerging in Pakistan, under the guidance of Dr Aijaz Anwar, in charge of the gallery at the National College of Arts, Lahore.

“The art gallery culture is more prevalent in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi than in other parts of Pakistan. The trend in paintings is shifting from abstraction towards extensive use of water colour as a medium to reflect the Mughal and Sikh history elements that still lace the walled city of Lahore. Many artists are practising this genre, which reflects history in all its splendour. I myself belong to the old school of architecture, where the stress is on brick, as a construction material. My designs are replete with brackets and jharokhas,” he said.

A designer of many private houses and buildings in Pakistan, Professor Aqeel has been associated with Madeeha Gauhar and Ajoka Theatre for about five years now. In Bullah, he created a historic set by making extensive use of Shahjahani and Mughal arches, reminiscent of Bulle Shah’s age.



Macho watches catch on
Monica Sharma

Sales Manager of Asia Omega Watches International, Jonathan Stalder, shows watches
Sales Manager of Asia Omega Watches International, Jonathan Stalder, shows watches in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

YOU have purchased a nice red dress for the evening bash to go along with your highlighted burgundy hair. Have also picked up a mobile case in soft cherry shade. Now you are all set to buy a delicate little watch to look graceful on your tender wrist. But before you drive down to the market for buying one, stop for a little while. Fashion gurus say macho watches are in, even for women of the world.

“A lot of changed in watches for women,” says Sales Manager of an international watch manufacturer Jonathan Stalder. “They are no more slender and slim. On the move women all over the world now-a-days prefer wearing sports watches or the ones with impressive dials wore by men”.

Giving details, Mr Stalder says, “The trend started early in Italy, Spain and France. Now it has spread all over the world. Indians, exposed to the world of fashion, too are fast changing their preferences and asking for such watches”.

The watch is over

  • Go in for “macho” watches with impressive dials. The trend started early in Italy, Spain and France

  • Else, pick up stainless steel pieces embedded with diamonds.

  • You can also have ones crafted from 18 carat gold, crowned with sapphire crystals. Also in are the glitzy watches with luminescent pearls embedded on these.

  • A trendy watch is costing anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 2 lakh.

Explaining the trend, young fashion designer Natasha Gill says, “Watches are no more a necessity, but a reflection of lifestyle. That is, perhaps, the reason why so many youngsters are now moving beyond utility and durability, asking for something more trendy. As they are driving down the city roads and streets in manly multi-utility vehicles or gallant luxury jeeps, they are also purchasing watches that are hardy”.

If you haven’t done your shopping, go to the arcade and pick up the “big” ones in rectangles, even squares, like the ones worn by the guys in the neighbourhood. You can also go in for “James Bond” watches. They look masculine and are water resistant till 300 meters. It’s true that you will not be diving in the sea to reach the depth of 300 meters, but, well, they are impressive. No doubt about it.

In case you want watches that are more “feminine” — the ones that can replace bracelets — pick up stainless steel pieces with diamonds embedded on the dial. They are the hot favourites. Besides the traditional gold watches with diamonds, red gold and white gold are in vogue.

If you have enough money in your bank, go for ones crafted from 18 carat gold, crowned with sapphire crystals. Also in are the glitzy watches embedded with luminescent pearls.

Three link steel bracelet is also much in demand. But if you prefer leather straps, forget all about the ones having “crocodile scales”. Just pick up the ones with black or cognac leather straps.

As far as technical details are concerned, you can go through the manual to see if the watches are battery operated, mechanical or automatic. “There are automatic watches which work according to the wrist movement and have power reserve of 48 hours,” Natasha asserts.



Pak artiste visits kin in Patiala village
Gurvinder Kaur

Pak artiste Soharab Khan along with the family of one of his maternal uncles
Pak artiste Soharab Khan along with the family of one of his maternal uncles in their native village Sahvazpur near Patiala.

THOUGH Bollywood has plied us with scores of long-lost brothers stories, the thrill of such a reel life situation in real life was experienced by Sohrab Khan of Pakistan when he arrived here to find his relatives waiting eagerly to embrace their long-separated kin. The dramatic element in the reunion became pronounced when Sohrab realised that his maternal uncles were now devout Sikhs.

Sohrab Khan is a member of the Ajoka theatre group of Pakistan which is presently in Punjab. The 27-member group presented its play “Bullah” at the Central State Library hall here on Wednesday night. Sohrab plays the character of Sona, a disciple of Baba Bulleh Shah, in the play.

About his reunion with his relatives, he said: “When I started from Pakistan, my mother told me about two of her cousin brothers living near Patiala and instructed me to meet them during my visit to the city.

This branch of the family had decided to stay put in India while we decided to migrate to Pakistan after Partition,” he said.

“When I was told on the phone that more than my ‘mamas’, my cousins could hardly wait for my arrival, I became eager to see them,” he said. Sohrab was in for a pleasant surprise when on his arrival at Sahvazpur village, nearly 10 km from Patiala his six maternal uncles, along with their sons and other family members, gave him a warm welcome.

“When I reached the village, there was tremendous excitement in the air. My cousins were keeping vigil in the streets leading to the house and my nephews were running all around the village having taken leave from their schools in anticipation of my arrival,” he said.

Though initially hesitant, Sohrab found himself warming up to his family after being touched by their affection.

On the next day, two of his cousins, Avtar Singh and Balkar Singh, accompanied by their two sons, turned up to see his performance, after which they escorted him back to Sahvazpur.

Avtar Singh said nobody in the family went to the fields on that day. Sohrab may not visit his kin in India again, but the warmth generated is sure to stay for a long time.



No alternative to hard work

I have come a long way from being a protected and a reserved girl to managing my life independently. Born in the family of an Army officer, I did my schooling from different parts of the country, including Punjab, Rajasthan, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir. I did my graduation from Amritsar.

I went ahead with doing a degree in MBA from FOMS, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh). This was the first time when I stepped out of home. I went through changes in my personal life which honed my attitude for a professional life.

The time spent away from home made me independent and capable of taking decisions on my own. Earlier, I did not even know how to withdraw money from a bank or how to get a railway reservation.

After the completion of the course, I began job-hunting and landed at Chandigarh. I managed a job with Airtel, a leading telecommunication company, as a customer-care officer. After more than a year, I got promoted as a customer care executive.

The only thing I know about a career is that nothing replaces hard work. Having the advantage of professional training, the job only needs a positive temperament and flexibility.

— As told to TNS



Tango with Lady M’ next week

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations in collaboration with European Union countries is organising an EU cultural week from November 22 to December 2 in India.

Under the programme, a 30-member Polish dance theatre “Tango with Lady M” and Ethnoclassical Music Group from Slovenia will visit Chandigarh to give performances on November 25 and 27, respectively. — TNS



3-day Razzmatazz concludes
Our Correspondent

RHAPSODY dance by the students of class I had the audience glued to their seats as Razzmatazz, the three-day annual function of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School in Sector 26, concluded on Friday.

The programme started with a prayer dance by the students of class VII and rhapsody dance by the students of Class I. Tapestry of life by class III students was also appreciated, along with a puppet show and bhangra. The students also presented “Reverberation”.

Meanwhile, folk dances, plays and musical items marked the annual house shows of St Stephen’s School. The shows started off with invocation to God.

The Bishop of the Chandigarh-Shimla Diocese Rt Rev Gerald John Mathias was the chief guest.


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