C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU acquits 2 teachers in copying case
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The Panjab University authorities have absolved two teachers of involvement in a copying case during the annual examination last year. A decision to this effect has been taken by the university Syndicate.

The two teachers were earlier held guilty by the Unfair Means Committee (UMC) of the university in the copying case and strict action had been recommended against them.

The innocence of Dr Prem Sagar, a teacher at Government College, Sector 46, was pleaded by senior teachers and university fellows who stood by his impeccable track record. The other accused, Dr Jagdeep Singh of Government College for Women, Ludhiana, is a state awardee.

Narrating the incident pertaining to the university annual examination in April, 2002, Dr Sagar said: “About 30 minutes before the final time in the English (compulsory) paper, I began to suspect the activities of a student. I caught him using help material.”

Dr Sagar noted of the case on the back of the answersheet. “When I got the official paper for filling the details, I saw that the roll number mentioned there was wrong. I made the corrections,” he said.

He was summoned by the university’s UMC. “I was shocked to read about the final recommendations of the UMC. I, along with Dr Jagdeep Singh had been held guilty of unfair practice”.

Sources in the university syndicate confirmed that the two teachers had been acquitted. Meanwhile, it is also learnt that the student involved in the case had managed to get admission in a college at Kharar, a year after he was caught for cheating in university examination.

“It will be interesting to find out whether the university is keen to follow up the case of the student who had cheated the university examination branch, a teacher said.



Students frame the very soul of hills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Ever walked through majestic locales, with gods in attendance? If not, care to walk through the foyer gallery, right at the entrance to the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) and experience the magic of the hills descending on your feet.

In evidence at this gallery are some breathtakingly delightful frames that capture the virgin beauty of the hills, as housed in the grand locations of Tabo, Sangla valley, Samdu and Chhitkul in Kinnaur district. Chhitkul is the last village of Himachal, beyond which Tibet falls.

Seeing the photographs, taken by five final-year students of the college, who were on a trip to Himachal Pradesh sometime back, is like standing face to face with the enamouring images of Himachal’s mountains. The nearly 85 frames result from the efforts of Uday Ranjan Goswami, Sukhtej Singh Gill, Sunil Kumar Kala, Lov Meena and Rohan Khurana.

Striking a connection with exquisite locales, the young photographers have captured intense moments of chill and warmth, which peculiarly coexist in the hill state.

So Uday Ranjan Goswami trips as he feels the pulse and the unstable terrain on way to Mallin, yet another small village perched in the heart of the hills. Going further Uday traces the magic of Sangla, as he chances upon aqueous skies.

The remains of Himalayan foothills emerge in Chhitkul, while the bridges add meaning to the journey as the photographer finds his route to Tabo. Calling Tabo picture perfect, Uday goes on to enjoy a bright noon indulgence in this untouched land of god where labourers are happy passing days handling timber.

Sukhtej Singh Gill’s works stand out for lovely selection of moments — well hunted, well captured. He shoots the faces of denizens who make Tabo a land of loveliness. While in one frame a child stares at you in all his innocence, in another a damsel walks the path to a stream in Chhitkul. From the romantic images of Sangla to the exotic details of Tabo, Sukhtej has his fill with the lens, which also captures the roof-line like peaks in Chhitkul and Mallin, where the world literally seems to end.

Sunil Kumar Kala takes a photographic journey through Tabo, Chhitkul and Sangla. Smitten with the mystic charm of the hills, Sunil titles his works beautifully. At Tabo he is reminded of the famous song, “Yeh kahan aa gaye hum..” whereas at Chhitkul, he is tempted to play with the challenging hills. Traditions of Tabo have been extensively covered by Sunil, who admits to have been trapped in bliss during his journey through Himachal’s divine lands.

Lov Meena dares to move into untouched locations at Kaurik (ahead of Samdu). The remote army base of Kaurik adds a punch to this collection which shows how the photographer stumbles upon beauty in Mallin and how the unusually perilous paths beckon a daring walker. On way to the Tibet border, the artiste feels ecstatic.

Rohan Khurana is most precise with the titles of his pictures. He gives away a world of information through well thought-out captions like the one on Tabo: “1100 years and still standing...Tabo.” Some other interesting captions reveal the beauty of his frames, including “Follow your heart...Chhitkul”, “Colours of a culture...Tabo”, “A topaz sky...on way to Chhitkul” and “Icing in the sky...army base in Samdu.”



NCC celebrates 55th Raising Day
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, November 23
As a part of the 55th Raising Day celebrations, several water sports activities were organised by the Chandigarh unit of the NCC at Sukhna Lake today. Boat-pulling, yatching and rowing were among the events organised.

An exhibition of ship and aero models made by cadets was also organised at the lake today. Majority of the models were scaled versions of warships, submarines, aircraft and sail boats available with armed forces. The exhibition included display of the models’ sailing capability in a specially set up water tank. Wire-controlled aero-models were also flown. A photo exhibition highlighting activities of all three wings of the NCC was also set up.

Congratulating the cadets, officers and men of the NCC, its Director-General, Lieut-Gen B.K. Bopanna lauded the hardwork and efforts put in by them. He said many proposals to increase the effectiveness of the NCC were under consideration and added that attempts to commit state governments for better funding of the NCC activities were bearing results.

In his message, the Deputy Director-General, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, Brig D.S. Dhillon, thanked the heads of educational institutions for their cooperation. He said the NCC offers an excellent opportunity for the youth to cultivate leadership qualities and self-confidence.

Raised by an Act of Parliament in 1948, the NCC, with a strength of 13 lakh cadets, is the largest youth organisation in the world. Besides imparting basic military training and inculcating a sense of discipline among students, it also offers vast scope for adventure activities besides awarding a number of incentives and benefits to cadets aspiring to join the armed forces and certain government departments. Its Raising Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Sunday of November.

PATIALA: The local unit of the NCC, also celebrated its 55th Raising Day with great pomp and show. On the occasion messages received from the Director-General NCC, and the Deputy Director-General NCC were read out to the cadets and staff.

All retired NCC officers of the station were invited to attend the function. The outstation units of the group celebrated the occasion with gusto and zeal in the respective locations and institutes. Both Girls and Boy cadets took the ‘anti dowry’ and ‘anti corruption’ pledge.

Col A.S. Gahlaut, Commander, NCC group Patiala, in his speech said due to the financial crisis NCC activities were at a low ebb. The situation was likely to remain same unless funds were released by the Punjab Government, he added.



Ankita, Prerna bag Hindi debate trophy
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, November 23
As many as 11 teams participated in Mahatma Hans Raj Memorial Hindi Contest held on the third day of the 34th All-India Inter State and Inter School Cultural Competitions. Principal Hari Ram Memorial music contest was also organised.

The trophy for Mahatma Hans Raj Memorial Hindi Debate was bagged by Ankita Chauhan and Prerna Delair of Chaman Lal DAV Senior Public School of Panchkula’s Sector 11.

Addressing a gathering, the Assistant Regional Director of the National Institute of Open Schooling, Mr M.L. Jharotia, appreciated both the speakers who argued in favour and against the portrayal of women in advertisements.

The results of Mahatma Hans Raj Memorial Hindi Debate are as follows. The first prize was bagged by Ankita Chauhan of Chaman Lal DAV Senior Public School, Sector 11, in Panchkula. The second prize went to Amandeep of Army School in Chandi Mandir. The third prize was won by Nitika of Army School, Chandi Mandir. The consolation prize went to Prerna Delair of Chaman Lal DAV Senior Public School, Sector 11, Panchkula, and Ritu Ratewal of DAV English Medium Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Panchkula.

Trophy for Giyani Jominder Singh Memorial Punjabi poetry recitation contest (senior category) went to Monica and Gurpreet Kaur of Dev Samaj Senior Secondary School in Sector 21-D. The first prize was bagged by Varinder Kaur of Government High School in Sector 7. The second prize went to Surpreet of DAV Public School, Moonak. The third prize was won by Varsha of Government High School in Sector 7. The consolation prize went to Arshdeep Saroa of DAV Public School in Ludhiana and Mandeep Singh of the Institute for Blind in Sector 26.

In the junior category, the first prize was bagged by Neetika of Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 37. The second prize went to Harsimar of DAV Public School in Ludhiana. The third prize was won by Jaswinder Kaur of Government High School in Sector 7. The consolation prize went to Priya of Tribune Model School in Sector 29 and Harrattan Singh of C.L. Aggarwal DAV Model School in Sector 7-B.



Haryana students’ body in PU splits
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The Haryana Students Association (HSA) of Panjab University split here today. The controversy over its presidential candidate in the council elections has led to the emergence of a new front.

At a press conference addressed by Chand Singh Madaan, the founder chairman of the HSA yesterday, Surender Yadav was named as the chairman of the association. Other office-bearers are; president — Vikas Rathi; vice presidents — Poonam Shehrawat; and joint secretary — Ashutosh.

Meanwhile, a number of senior leaders have announced the formation of HSA (Democratic). The note is signed by Satinder Dahiya, a former general secretary of the council, Dharmendra Balhara, a former president of the HSA, Jasbir Punia, a former chairman of the HSA and Amit Khatkar, a former general secretary of the HSA, besides others.



School where education is service, mission
Tribune News Service

Harneet Kaur

Tina Mangal, VI-A

Started with missionary zeal from a church, Chandigarh Baptist School, Sector 45, has grown over the years and, now, has an imposing red-brick building and is spread over two acres.

The school was initially started from a residence in Sector 19 with nine students in pre-nursery class only on its rolls in 1987. Unable to accommodate the growing numbers, the school shifted to a church in Sector 44 with its 800 students in 1989.

As more students joined the school, the need for a bigger premises was felt. It was then that the North West India Baptist Association came to the help of the school and its own campus came up.

Affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, the Baptist school , with classes from pre-nursery to Class X, conforms to progressive policies and programmes laid down from time to time by the National Council of Educational Research and Training and is recognised by the UT Education Department.

While academics are priority, the school aims at developing the inherent ability of each child and make him or her an asset for society, accepting each child as an individual and catering to his special needs.

Each class has 30 to 35 students only unlike other schools where a class has almost double the number. The school keeps the strength within manageable limits to give individual attention. The school also provides free education to 100 students while another 250 students are paying nominal fee. Students from the weaker section of society are also provided uniforms free of cost.

A lot of emphasis is laid on sports as well. With coaches to teach various games, students are encouraged to participate in outdoor activities. While students play basket ball, athletics and kho-kho, extra classes before school are held for cricket and martial arts. The school library houses 5000 books on various subjects and students are taught how to sing and dance and use musical instruments.

Sarojini MasihChandigarh Baptist School was the endeavour of Principal Sarojini Masih, who had a desire to educate students coming from the economically weaker section of society. As the school grew and the number of students increased, she did not forget her mission and still has over 100 such students on its rolls.

Essence of education: Education means the all-round development of a child. Education does not necessarily mean focusing on academics alone. It also means giving the talent free play and inculcating moral values among children.

Need for co-curricular activities: We try to give exposure and opportunity to all students. If their talent is tapped and their area of interest explored, they, too, can do very well. We have an activities calendar, which the school follows religiously.

Tuition menace and what the school is doing to curb it: Tuitions are needed to teach students lagging behind in studies in class and are not necessarily an evil. Tuitions are definitely needed for them. However, the evil lies in making tuitions a money-minting exercise and forcing students to take classes after school.

Future plans of the school: We want to build on this base, strengthen it and move on to a senior secondary school. We also want to update all facilities and make better labs. Ultimately, we want to open a college.



Poems by students

The beautiful world

Nitin Kumar, V-B

Sonia Sen Gupta, V-B

The Red flower

The blue sky

The flowing river

Makes the heart full of joy

The colourful butterflies

The dews of the grass

The fragrance of the flowers

Makes the people attractive

The interesting stories

The colourful pictures

The excellent news

Makes us to read the Tribune

Dhanya Nayak, Class V

My friends

I love my friends

I love my friends

They are so me

Like cool cool ice.

I love my Friends

I like my friends

They are so sweet

like a birthday treat

I love my friends

I like my friends

I cannot live without them

Because I will be a tree without roots.

I love my friends

I love my friends

Shalini, Class IX-B


Oh! My examination

You are not dear to me,

Because you have given a fear to me

You are early, but I am late,

I am daily loosing my weight

Don’t come soon look here and there,

Let my lesson first be prepared

You have disturbed my sound sleep

You are sure to make me weep

Most earnestly I do pray for you to go, go,go

To heaven or to hell or may be to and fro.

Davinder Kaur, Class VII B


If a career makes a mistake

Its a new style

If a position makes a mistake,

Its a new law

If a scientist makes a mistake,

Its a new invention.

If a teacher makes a mistake,

Its a new theory.

If a student makes a mistake,

Its remains only a mistake

Aashima Dua, VII-B



Czech ensemble arrives with Celtic charms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The city residents will be treated to a presentation of fire dance by the members of Mimi Fortunae, a Czech dance ensemble. Nurtured by Hana Latalova, a choreographer, dance soloist and a teacher, who has numerous state awards to her credit, the troupe reflects what it literally means — Dance of the Goddess. In Latin, Fortune is considered to be the Goddess of dance. The troupe — founded in 1985 — derived its name from this word.

Since its inception, Mimi Fortunae has been catering to all categories of audience with its rich canvas that presents on traditional Czech dance styles as well as contemporary dance productions that came to Czechoslovakia in 1987. After arriving in Chandigarh today to take part in the Indo-Czech dance festival opening tomorrow, Hana talked about the evolution of her ensemble over the years. She also shared her fondness for Indian rituals which inspired her to get married with her long-time companion and a member of her group, Slavoj Latal. She said; “It happened when I came to India in 1995. I decided to marry Slavoj. The marriage happened at a local gurdwara”. Interestingly, Hana, who loves Pt Ravi Shankar’s music, recently produced a piece called, “Exodus”, a drawing on the maestro’s style.

As for Mimi Fortunae, it changed its face in 1987 when world-famous pedagogues visited the ensemble and instructed it on the techniques of modern dance. Recalling the transition, Hana said: “We had artistes like Bruno Genty, David Appel and Tonia Shimin to teach us contemporary dance. Gradually, I could establish a connection between contemporary scenic dance and compact historical dance theatre, that uses a lot of motion dance.” Mimi Fortunae is also into symbolic dance productions like “The Mirror of Ages”, which will be presented at Makhan Shah Lobana auditorium in Sector 30 tomorrow. Based on historical themes, the dance reflects the finesse of scenic dance and ballet, as developed by Hana, along with her husband Slavoj, who writes screenplays for her and directs dance stories.

Emerging from the shadow of its past, Mimi Fortunae is now delving a lot into symbolic presentations focused on fire and Celtic rituals. As Hana, who is smitten with the charm of Punjabi ballets like Mirza Sahiba (which will be featured in the festival tomorrow), explained, “The ‘Mirror of Ages’, which we will present tomorrow, is more of story telling than pure dance. We know Indians, just like us, have deep feelings for impressive stories.” The Mirror of Ages will begin by showcasing the Gothic Tavern of the 14th century, which was replete with group dances of the wild Middle Age. This will be followed by the light irony of the Renaissance, a period which reminds us of noble ladies dancing with their knights. Noble ball dance of the Renaissance will be proceeded by the Celtic Ritual Beltine, one of the most sacred rituals of ancient Celtics.

From India, Ghungroo Musical Club, also the organiser of the festival, will present Punjab’s vibrant dances.



Reflecting nuances of Jaipur gharana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Any mention of Ustad Moinuddin Khan, the famous sarangi player and vocalist from the Jaipur gharana, must essentially be preceded by the mention of his classic contribution to the English film, “Holy Rock”. Featuring Kate Winslet in the lead role, the film was shot at Pushkar, the spiritual face of Rajasthan.

In one of the most gripping sequences of the film, the lead lady is shown possessed by some evil powers. Anxious and helpless, she runs into a temple where Ustad Moinuddin Khan, along with his set of musicians, are busy striking divine melodies in raag malhar. The moment divine music fills the ambience and Kate Winslet hears it, she is cured of all ills.

Sharing some moments with the Chandigarh Tribune after giving a sarangi presentation at a special show organised by the Writers Club, Ustad Moinuddin talked about his association with maestros like Ustad Zakir Hussain and others whom he has often accompanied on the sarangi. Trained in classical music by his father Ustad Mehboob Khan Saheb, who was also the guru of Padma Bhushan Pt Ram Narain, Moinuddin Khan said that he was passing on his legacy to many others back home in Jaipur.

“We instruct students in the guru shishya tradition. There were temptations to set up institutions, but we guarded against those because with institutions come the elements of commerce which we, as musicians, are poor at handling. We are best as donors of music,” said Ustad Moinuddin, whose presentation was preceded by a ghazal evening by city-based singer Arjun Jaipuri, who is also a music composer. He presented some ghazals written by Aziz Jalandhari.

About his own instruction and training, Ustad Moinuddin said, “Learning sarangi was a very tough task. It demanded patience and labour. It is because the instrument is difficult to master that we have very few sarangi players in India. But I am happy to carry the tradition which reminds us that sarangi is the only instrument which produces sound that gets closest to the human sound.”



Cultural fest at Yavanika
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 23
From bhangra to rock’n’roll and from break dance to a medley of various dance forms to suit the Hindi film music — the cultural show at Yavanika Open Air Theatre was indeed a visual treat.

The programme was organised by the Raman and Rahul dance group. The idea was to give a platform to their students to showcase their talent. As many as 34 items were staged and about 60 students participated in the programme.

Though traditional dance forms like bhangra, gidda and rock’n’roll were also performed, it was the medley of various dance forms set on the tunes of various Bollywood hit numbers that regaled the audience.

A choreography, showcasing what a Punjabi marriage is like, was the main highlight of the show. Raveena as the coy bride and Lakshay as the groom enthralled everybody through their delicate dance movements.

The bhangra by a three-year-old Tanish was also appreciated.



Jassi regales audience
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, November 23
“Channo da jawani vich pair pai gaya...” by Punjabi singer Jasbir Jassi made the audience dance during a cultural night “Jassi Live” organised by Saffron Touch, a cultural club, at Silver City, along the Chandigarh-Ambala highway near here, this evening.

Dance performance by 6-year-old Shubham Banda, who came on the stage to shake a leg with Jassi, was appreciated by the gathering.

Earlier, Mr Deepinder Singh Dhillon, Additional Advocate-General, Punjab, who was the chief guest on the occasion, inaugurated the function. He lauded the Punjabi singers for keeping the Punjabi culture alive through their art.

He also appreciated the efforts of Saffron Touch in organising such cultural functions. Mr Dhillon announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the club.

Punjabi singer Gursewak Mann was also present on the occasion. He, however, did not mingle with people.



Generation Y takes to gowns
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

FROM international pageants to Indian marriages, evening gowns could well be generation Y’s alternative to traditional lehngas and sarees. And it’s not just the junk jewellery crowd which wants a change. “Everyone seems to want to look good but different in parties and marriages. As a result, designers are now experimenting with traditional dress material to create something new and give the customer something both wearable and festive.

At a recent fashion show held in the North India Institute of Fashion Technology, Mohali, young designers showcased a collection of wearable evening gowns. “Evening gowns could well be a lehnga without a dupatta. But since in gowns one wants a larger flare, the material used is different,” said Navneet, a cloth shop owner in the city.

A traditional evening gown does not naturally lend itself to many changes. There is a big wire mesh underneath to keep the span huge. But since most of that is not wearable anymore, we have the beauties participating in the pageants with modern evening gowns. Made rather traditionally, these gowns are created using silk, satin and a lot of net.

Unlike a lehnga which is bottom heavy with most of the embroidery and decorative work on the span, in gowns most of the decoration is on the bodice. Although Indian women prefer to wear gowns with a short stole, typically a gown’s bodice is supposed to be shoulderless and heavily worked upon with embroidery and other decorations.

“We have now an order for a plain blue silk gown which is absolutely plain at the ghera and has a lot of bead and sitara work on the bodice.

Since it is for an Indian setting, it is not shoulderless, but only sleeveless,” points out Mr Nijam, working in a boutique in Mohali.

The evening gown round is one of the most important and decisive rounds in a beauty peagant and Indian designers have designed some very good creations for these rounds which have been appreciated the world over.

“Indian traditional embroideries and availability of good quality pure silk ensures that gowns made in India give a rich and wearable look,” says Navneet.



Mediocrity pains artist-teacher
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Illustrious painter and academician Jai Zharotia has many concerns weighing on his mind. The foremost among them is mediocrity in art. As part of the celebrated art circuit, synonymous with creativity that fosters reality and purpose in every form, Jai Zharotia finds it difficult to identify with the meaning that art has now come to acquire. The vague forms filling the art galleries also pain him.

Head of the Masters in Fine Art (MFA) course at the Delhi College of Art, Jai Zharotia has long been admonishing his students to practise art as passion and not as some stream of creativity that fetches good money.

In Chandigarh for a slide show of his paintings at the local Government College of Art, Sector 10, Jai Zharotia, who is famous in the realm of art as a sensitive, creative and selling painter, spoke about his evolution as a visual artist. He has risen from the family of a poor craftsman to become one of the most revered painters in India.

“Our times were all about skill and creativity. We learnt to train our minds gradually. There was no rush for fame, unlike today. Nowadays, the awareness of art may be growing but the frustration in the field is growing faster.

Students just want to rush to the gallery, without taking time out to reflect on their level of understanding. This attitude has messed up the art scene. Another growing malady is that unprepared artists resort to all sorts of gimmicks to hit the space of exhibition or even to project themselves as artists. Most of the paintings being exhibited lack harmony of thought and unity of style.”

Himself a “rooted” painter, Jai Zharotia emphasised the need to keep the young artists away from the temptation of replicas. Curtly, he said, “The Western world remains more sensitive to the arts. It has its own style for projecting feelings and forms. We, in India, love to copy the West in the name of contemporary art. As a consequence, we have lost hold on our own artistic traditions which are full of spiritual inspiration. Many senior artists like KG Subramaniam are now reverting to roots. This is a healthy sign.”

About western and Indian styles, Zharotia made a categoric distinction, "Western art thrives on physicality. The Indian art has a rich metaphysical base. We have retained the spiritual element in art by not even distorting the image of Gods for the canvas. For us, everything in the nature is perishable. God is the only constant force in the universe. Our art is thus divinely inspired and not commercially governed."

Jai Zharotia, who is known for fusing poetry and common sense in his works, said, “Art, to be known as art, to be respected as art, has to be deeply rooted in tradition. The technique of expression is important in art. As a teacher, I lay emphasis on the study of opposites in art. To feel the night, one must encounter the day. This sensitivity towards forms, feelings, figures is most important.

Once you acquire the power to empathise, you would already have crossed the first step on the ladder to perfection. It is essential to attend a college to understand art which is not just about painting feelings for one’s own consumption, but about making a universal statement, employing visually enchanting mediums”.



Discover the pleasure of cigar smoking
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

“IF I cannot smoke cigars in heaven, I shall not go,” said Mark Twain once while speaking of his love for cigars. Mark Twain could be exaggerating, but there are many who feel that cigar is one of the ultimate pleasures of life.

“A woman is only a woman,” said Rudyard Kipling, “but a good cigar is a smoke”. And Winston Churchill, while holding forth on his passion for cigars, once remarked, “I drink a great deal, I sleep little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two hundred per cent form”.

Winston Churchill and Rudyard Kipling may or may not be right but imported cigars are now available in Chandigarh to give a chance to the residents to draw their own conclusions. Priced between Rs 15 and Rs 375 per cigar, they were launched in the city on Saturday by an Indian cigarette company which has joined hands with the world’s largest US-based cigar company.

Where it all began

Soon after Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492, the Spanish settled in what is now the Dominican Republic and selected Santo Domingo — which remains the capital to this day — as the seat of their empire. Delighted with the moist, rich soil and the warm, tropical sun of their new Island Kingdom, they began to cultivate the tobacco leaf. And roll it into a product that would bring pleasure to all.

Here, in the Dominican Republic, the fame of the cigar might have remained. But history and politics intervened. The Spanish ceded the country to France and it was then incorporated into Haiti. And as Dominicans engaged in several wars of liberation — against the French, against the Haitians, against US occupation — there were two centuries of mass emigration from Dominica to the neighbouring Cuba. The emigrants took with them the tools of their trade, including tobacco seeds. And the famous Cuban cigar was born.

After the Cuban revolution of 1959, the emigration reversed its swing-back from Cuba to Dominican Republic. Cuban cigar makers brought their tobacco seeds into Dominica — seeds which probably originated from there 200 years earlier.

The right way to smoke cigar

Cut the cigar’s head with a cutter so that the inner tobacco is revealed and the cap of the wrapper leaf cut away.

Don’t cut away so much that the wrapper begins to unravel.

Don’t remove the cigar brand because pulling it off could damage the wrapper leaf. If it really bothers you, wait until the cigar is warmed up and the band gum softened, then remove it.

With a matchstick or a gas lighter (don’t use a petrol lighter because it spoils the taste), char the end of the cigar till it is totally blackened.

Do not inhale. Draw the smoke into your mouth, let it circulate and savour the taste. Allow the ash to fall off in its own time.

Don’t flick it off. A long ash keeps the cigar burning evenly.

When you see it beginning to crack up, that’s the time to gently tap it into an ashtray.

If the cigar goes out, simply re-light it after puffing out all the old ash and gases while you hold it over the flame.

Never stub your cigar. This leaves a bad odour in the room. Besides, a good cigar deserves the right to die with dignity.



It’s my life
I combine studies with social work

I feel I am lucky to be born in such a supportive family. I was born at Ajmer and now am fortunate to be a part of City Beautiful. I have done my schooling from St Xavier’s and then joined DAV College. Today, I am a student of electrical engineering at I.E.T. Bhaddal, a renowned and established institute.

Though I am ambitious and wish to rise in life, it will not be at the cost of things that give me satisfaction. I am very keen to join the Army as it inculcates the spirit of discipline, truthfulness, courage, confidence, honesty, sincerity and unity and is a selfless service. I am inspired a lot by Major Castro who had by the dint of his courageous skill saved the lives of tourists trapped in the cable car at Parwanoo.

On the social front, I am the vice-president of the Association for Social Kause (ASK) and take an active interest in its various activities. This association helps underprivileged children and arranges a lot of programmes for them. I also want to work as much as for the uplift of the downtrodden sections of society as I am convinced that ‘the service of downtrodden is the service of god.’

As told to Harvinder Khetal


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