L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Neha ‘colours’ her future to win scholarship
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
It was a dream come true for Neha Ghai, a Class VIII student from the local BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, who has been declared the North Zone winner in a painting contest organised by Hindustan Lever Limited. While the contest was held three months ago and the results were declared in New Delhi recently, she was felicitated at a function organised by the company held at her residence in Gurdev Nagar here today. Neha was awarded a scholarship worth Rs 1 lakh for studying abroad.

The event was held in BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School and the students had been told to showcase their dreams and aspirations for future life through the contest titled ‘Colour your future’. Actress Shweta Tewari, was the chief guest. Neha had painted her dream of becoming a pop singer.

Neha is the second student to win the contest from Ludhiana. Earlier, Reetika Kalsi from DAV Public School had won scholarship for her painting of becoming a journalist in the first round of the contest. This time, 40 semi-finalists had been chosen and finally Shubham Das, national winner from Kolkata received a scholarship worth Rs 5 lakh. Prinsa Sahoo from Cuttack, Mishal P. Ernakulam and Kunjal Jadhav from Surat, three other zonal winners also bagged a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each. One of the winning dreams which had been reflected in the first two rounds earlier focussed on social service as rendered by Mother Teresa. Others included desire to be a painter and doctor working in remote areas.



Ludhiana belle is Gladrags Mrs India
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Naina Dhaliwal, a belle born and brought up in Ludhiana, has been crowned the Gladrags Mrs India 2004, the final contest for which was held in Mumbai on Saturday night.

Mrs Dhaliwal told The Tribune from Mumbai that she was extremely happy over this honour. “It is not just me, but my entire family as well as the state that should feel proud”, “jubilant Naina said. Earlier also, another Ludhiana lady, Rashmi Gangwani had made it to the finals but missed the crown by a few points only.

Naina is a great success story of an ordinary middle class girl having studied in ordinary schools and college and yet making it to the top in the face of fierce competition from people who have some bigger claims to their credit. Born and brought up in Ludhiana, Naina is a free lance model and married to Gursimran Dhaliwal, a fashion photographer. She attributed this achievement to the grooming by her parents and the moral support and encouragement from her husband.

Naina, belonging to a middle class Ludhiana family, has always been brave and bold. In June this year she married Gursimran in a court, obviously with her “own free will”. The marriage was formally solemnised in July. As the Gladrags contest was in the offing she focused more on it than on enjoying the married life by freaking out. Thanks to Maureen Wadia, she could make it to the top within a short span of four months, of course with intense labour and hardwork.

She said she had an army background. She did her basic schooling from Christian Convent School, Kapurthala. Later she graduated in humanities from Ramgarhia College. Subsequently she joined modelling as a free lancer. She was supported and encouraged by Gursimran, “who has always acted as a friend, philosopher and guide”.

“While it takes a lot of hard work to achieve success, but it is also the luck that helps you”, she said, while adding that the people and the judges at the contest also deserved her thanks. She pointed out that there were so many contestants and all of them as competent as she had been. “Who makes it to the top is a sheer chance”, a modest Naina said.



Giddha queen’s saga of triumphs
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 24
Sarabjit Mangat, the Giddha queen, anchor and poetess, hails from Phullonwal village. With an indomitable spirit to explore new horizons, Sarabjit has been pursuing a passion for long. Coming from a rural background, she has Punjabiat in her spirit.

Her career got a kickstart with Dr Prabhacharan Sidhu’s telefilm, “Vehra Shagana Da”. She performed the leading role in Inderjit Hassanpuri’s “Bego Naar” and “Naina de Vanjare” and “Bagawat” and “Lambardar”. Her success motivated her to diversify. Not satisfied with a single genre of art, she carved a niche for herself in giddha. The Peritone company has released her four albums while four albums have been released by Tips.

Brought up at Jagraon, she did her graduation from Government College for Women, Ludhiana. In her second year in college, she participated in the zonal, inter-zonal, Panjab University and the All-India folk dance competitions and was adjudged the best dancer. She has innumerable merit certificates, role of honours, cups and shields. After her marriage, she joined as a lecturer in Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Ludhiana.

It was during this period that she was selected in the Giddha team that represented India in Russia. She performed in 12 states of Russia and returned as a full-fledged artiste. In 1993, the UK Government invited her to impart a two-month with regards to the training Punjabi culture to English children. It was at this time that she left her job. In 1994, she was part of the cultural department of the Government of India to promote Punjabi culture in China, Indonesia and Thailand. She gained recognition at the national and international levels. Recipient of Shaheede Aazam Bhagat Singh Award, she says, “I never acquired any formal training in any institute, my success story is a saga of my personal triumphs.”

Recently she acted in the film “Hawayein”. She acted as an anchor and assisted in the choreography of the cultural contingent at National Games held in Ludhiana. She also anchors various TV programmes on Jalandhar Doordarshan.

She says, “My husband, who is a great admirer of my art, extends moral support to me. He offers me protective patronage in every task that I undertake.”

“It should be our collective endeavour to save the fast eroding Punjabi culture from our lives. Punjabi has an identity of its own and I would keep it intact until my last breath.”

Sarabjit Mangat prefers to live in tranquil surroundings. For this reason, she left the humdrum of Ludhiana to reside in her husband’s village at Chandaran near Doraha. She is fascinated by the rural themes and the simplicity of villagers.



Ghazal writers awarded
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
An annual function was organised by Punjabi Ghazal Academy at Punjabi Bhavan here yesterday. The Punjabi Sahitya Akademi and the Languages Department collaborated to make the function a success. A large number of ghazal writers were present.

The academy honoured Ajaib Chitarkar with Ghazal Shiromani Award for 2003 while the same award for 2002 was presented to Gurdev Singh Nirdhan. The awards were presented for outstanding contribution in ghazal writing.

Two books of Kartar Singh Kalra were also released. The book ‘Samkali Punjab Ghazal’, was appreciated.


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