C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Read into child's psyche through his drawings
Aditi tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Aligarh-based Alka Singh uses colours to unravel the secrets behind a child's personality. All this day she remained busy telling parents how to read into the colourful scribblings of their wards and also how to understand why their child was using a particular colour more than others to give shape to images in his drawing book.

"Colours are telling tools. They are a window to the child's mind and heart, his thoughts and fears, his infirmities and strengths. For the past about seven years I have been trying to go beyond the drawings made by children in class. A drawing teacher at Amethi Public School in Aligarh that I am, I had a chance to study children and their thought processes through their drawings and their techniques. I call this system drawing therapy. By gaining an insight into the child's psyche, I counsel parents on how to handle him better and how to inspire him towards perfection," said Alka Singh, who organised a drawing therapy camp for children between three and 12 years at Lajpat Rai Bhavan today.

The session threw light on how colours in a drawing spoke for the child's mindset, his perception, at a given point and his attitude towards life and work. As the expert informed, "A child who uses red in excess is loaded with confidence. Orange is a colour of aggression. Pink reflects affection and kindness. All dark shades including black and dull hues of green and blue hint that a child is an introvert and remains depressive. Likewise all pastels indicate that the child is generally peaceful and sober."

As the kids used colours, Alka Singh conselled parents on how to understand their child, his thoughts and his needs. Some of the children who attended today's session used a lot of black, baring their sadness to an extent. A particular child painted an icecream cone all black, virtually making a statement on his own melancholy mood. Later when Alka Singh questioned the child's parents, they admitted having scolded their kid very often, besides not having given him enough time and care.

Another six -year-old used dark green for some inconsistent strokes on paper. He was actually exposing his aggression that stemmed from the negligence of his parents. After counselling it was found that the kid's parents were spending most of their time and energy on the newborn, thus unconsciously ignoring the elder child.

Coming to strokes, Alka Singh explained how to gauge a child's thoughts by reading into his strokes and the technique of colour employment. "Soft strokes that run consistently without gaps indicate that the child is laborious and diligent,. but he lacks the confidence of independent decision making. He is comfortable with routine and does not allow his strokes to dither from a certain line. This routine shows that he is not ready to take risks with anything. Such a child is too dependent. His confidence needs to be boosted,"

explained Alka Singh. Full dark strokes show that the child is aggressive and full of confidence. He just needs a reorientation. Similarly inconsistent strokes are indicative of an unorganised child. Another who draws in circles is affectionate and sensitive. He is also homesick and needs a care and verbal reassurance.

As parents took vital tips from Alka Singh, she also gave them solutions to their children's problems. "All aggressive kids should be inspired to use soft colours that impact their mind better. Similarly you can paint the walls of the house pink so as to create an effect which will soothe aggression." About 100 kids attended the therapy session.


Punjabi theatre festival begins
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 4
The three-day Punjabi theatre festival began at Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, this evening. Organised by the Kendri Panjabi Rangmanch Sabha, Mohali, the festival began with the presentation of play ‘Dulari Bai’ by students of Department of Theatre and television Punjabi University, Patiala.

Directed by Ms Kamlesh Uppal the play is an Punjabi adaptation of a Hindi play of Mani Madhukar. ‘Dulari Bai’ is a strong portrayal of the ultimate fate of humanity hankering after its material possessions.

Dulari Bai is a legendary character considered to be greed incarnate. ‘‘The episodic narration if Dulari’s old shoes may be a part of the legendary material but it connotes human eccentricities and quirks born out of man’s longing for money. The enactment of these episodes contains satire, romance, comedy, poetry and above all, caricature of the powerful and the politician,’’ writes the director Kamlesh Uppal.

The play was adapted in Punjabi by Ms Uppal eight years ago and the play had been staged earlier. More of a musical, the dialogues were rendered poetically. ‘‘While rendering lyrical portions of the text, Punjabi folk tunes kept ringing into my ears,’’ said Ms Uppal who also composed the music of the play. The singers, Shamim Iqbal, Kudip, Lakhwinder and Vishal were guided by Dr Nivedita.

The artistes, all of them first semester students of the Department, include Sarabjeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Athar Habib, Deepika, Haneef Mohammad, Amit Khanna, Vishal, Shukhveer Dhillon, Manish Bassi, Rajvir, Ramesh Chander, Bhushan, Rajwinder Singh and Dushyant.

Dr Sahib Singh, general secretary of the sabha while welcoming the guests, informed that the festival was the first effort by the sabha and from this year onwards, the festival would be made an annual feature.

Tomorrow two plays will be staged at the Tagore Theatre as part of the festival — ‘Jaimal Singh urf rab da kutta’ written and directed by Mr Gursharan Singh and ‘Jadon Roshni hundi hai’ written by Gursharan Singh and directed by Dr Sahib Singh. The play, ‘Masiya di raat’ written by Dr Saravjbir and directed by Kewal Dhaliwal president of the Kendri Punjabi Rangmanch Sabha.


Artworks from Tamil Nadu on display
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 4
Giant-size wood carvings, highly decorated bronze artefacts with rare motifs and expressions, exclusive brass lamps in shapes of peacocks, parrots and swans and beautiful marble pieces embellished with gold work are some of the attractions of the Tamil Nadu handicrafts exhibition which is going on at Lajpat Rai Bhavan in Sector 15.

The handloom range is also extensive, with saris of varied descriptions being stocked at the stalls of the exhibition, which is being supported by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

About 25 artisans are participating in the show, which is an annual feature in the City Beautiful.

Apart from cotton silk and other fabrics, the exhibition also features exquisite gemstone works, apart from massive panels carved put of a single log of jack fruit wood.

The costliest pick from the exhibition is a wood idol of Lord Ganesha, placed at the heart of the venue. This piece is priced at Rs 1.20 lakh.

Organised by the Tamil Nadu Handicraft Corporation, the exhibition is enabling artisans to establish direct links with buyers.

The corporation has a network of 18 showrooms all over Tamil Nadu, Bangalore, Pondicherry and Kolkata. The corporation has also undertaken temple projects, like the manufacture of wooden, silver and golden chariots, vahanams, kavasams, temple bells and other temple paraphernalia.

The exhibition is on till January 13.


City homes go green with exotic plants
Ruchika M. Khanna

Longifolia variagated
Longifolia variagated

Ficus Kingbush
Ficus Kingbush

City homes are going green — and certainly not with envy. Displaying the ever-new and exotic varieties of foliage and other ornamental plants in homes seems to be the new mantra in home decor.

From foliages to light up home interiors to green topiaries, and from hundreds of varieties of the succulent cactii to seasonal flowers like pansies, petunias and their ilk-making homes, green is on the increase. The fact that this fashion fad can dig a huge hole in your pocket notwithstanding, more and more people are going in for making paradises in their backyard.

A few of the exotic plants like logifolia variagated, ficus kingbush, ficus dianelle, zenadu and ficus rippen (all crossbreeds) are the hot favourites with the denizens. Each of these plants can cost up to a few thousands, depending on the age of the plant (the older the more expensive).

Though the city nurseries maintain that these days most people prefer seasonal plants — antirrhinum, aster, calendula, potted carnations, and cineria and salvia (which can also grow in the shade), the number of customers for foliages to decorate indoors and ornamental plants has increased.

The city residents have always been obsessed with their gardens. Their love for the green has been as old as the city itself, with each house overlooking a garden. In the southern sectors, where the size of the plot is much less, residents still ensure a few potted plants like cactii, money plant, and maybe pansies and marigolds.

But now there is a definite shift from the gardens having well- manicured lawns, with a few fruit trees, and some flowers to lend colour. In their place come the terrace gardens in smaller houses, and the landscaped gardens with undulations and lotus ponds.

Mr Vinod Kalra, a resident of Sector 37, says that each month he keeps aside some money for reworking his terrace garden and adding more plants and terracotta accessories.

According to Mr Vikas Mahajan, proprietor of Durga Nursery, there is a definite shift in the tastes of people. Earlier, there was no concept of landscaping, but now we get a lot of customers seeking advise for land scaping their gardens. In fact, a number of people are keeping separate budgets for having a garden. A number of people, who are either constructing new houses, or redoing their homes, keep a budgetary allocation of anything between 2 to 4 per cent of the total cost of construction, for their garden. TNS


New fashion trends spell doom for ‘parandi’
Gurvinder Kaur

With kingdoms and principalities vanishing into oblivion after the advent of democracy after Independence, many a means of livelihood and many a style of life peculiar to erstwhile kingly states have been almost wiped out.  This is especially true of numerous “parandi karigars” of the once royal Patiala city who are facing virtual penury owing to the fast- changing fashion scenario in the region.

 Short hair and new fashion trends have not only dealt a deathblow to the famous “parandi” making tradition of the city, but has also forced hundreds of its “karigars” to eke out a meagre living doing odd jobs, for which they are paid a pittance.

Enjoying relative prosperity under royal patronage, the “karigars” are now not only short of income but also the prestige that once accompanied their skill.

 The city was once known for its  exquisite “parandis”, “nalas” and “juttis”. Matching these three accessories with dresses was an absolute must for women from the royal and noble families of Patiala. Some of the “nalas” made from brocade and silks were so ornamental that women took pride in letting them hang low down till the knees over the “salwar”.

 Though the “parandi” bazaar in the walled city endures till date, things have never looked worse for both “parandi” sellers and makers. Says a shopkeeper dealing in “parandis”, “While the ‘nalas’ have disappeared completely, the ‘parandi’ has become limited as an accessory during wedding ceremonies only instead of being an item for daily use as earlier”.

But even at weddings, only the bride or her closest friends want to wear the “parandi” and only the most ornate pieces find buyers during the marriage season.

 Production as well as sale of the “parandi” has come down to 20 per cent of what it was around 10 years ago, says Vicky Bansal of Shyam “parandi” House, near the Quila Chowk. Neelam Kumar of Khanna di hatti says “Very few girls want to wear the ‘parandi’ any longer and  ‘kaleerans’ (gold leaf and silk tassels mounted on top of each other) have replaced  our once best selling item — the ‘parandi’”.

 Shopkeepers traditionally dealing in the “parandi” may be able to deal with the situation by selling other products, but for the “karigars”, there are few alternatives. “There was a time when shopkeepers use to vie with each other to give us their work”, says 80-year-old “parandi” maker Amarjeet Kaur. “Now we sometimes get an order to make specially designed ‘parandi’ using ‘tilla’ (gold wire). Otherwise, we are dependent on small-time work assigned to us by shopkeepers to earn a livelihood”, she adds.

 The income of entire households in Krishna Gali, Jattan Wala Chauntra, Sirhindi bazaar and other areas who were engaged in “parandi” making has taken a sharp dip since the decrease in sales of this traditional handicraft.  “Karigar” Prem Kumar says that most households now supplement their income by going in for either embroidery work or “rakhi” making whereby an average worker is able to earn around Rs 10 to 15 per day. “The wages may be low but at least we have some work in hand. During the monsoon, it is very difficult to procure any kind of work at all,” he adds.

 The plight of these workers has not gone unnoticed altogether. There could be some hope for the “parandi” makers yet, says social worker Manmeet Singh. He suggests that a society could be formed which could give and take work from “parandi” makers directly as there is still a large scope for the “parandi” outside Punjab as well as abroad. The “karigars” can also be engaged in making of other traditional handicraft items which could make them earn a better living, he adds.


Revving up car thrills this champ
Harvinder Khetal

“Sir, I am your fan. I want to have the test-drive with you,” requested Manav Batra, a local motor sports enthusiast. And nine times national rally champion Jagan Nanjappa, immediately put off his lunch break, and sat beside Manav in the power-packed Ford Endeavour car.

Like Manav, a lot of Chandigarhians got the honour of testing the car with him in a small circular dirt track with crests, mounts, and a slush in Sector 34 here today and yesterday. And all of them came out of the car, smiling. After all, the experience of manoeuvring the beautiful SUV equipped with a 2.5 litre intercooled turbo diesel engine, with a champ guiding you and updating you on motoring does not come daily.

In a talk with The Tribune after the ride that was pleasantly smooth despite the dirty looking water-filled slush and scary mounds, Jagan Nanjappa shared his views on the subject that has been dear to his heart since 1981. A coffee planter from Coorg, Karnataka, he says he had a lot of free time to pursue this hobby. Also, the dusty roads of Coorg, with not much stress on traffic rules, gave him the opportunity to race around.

Jagan recalls that he was inspired into this game of adventure by his father Appannan, a fast driver. Beginning with mobike rallies, he graduated to cars. “The thrill of winning with the smooth beauties racing under my heavy foot and empty head, besides the good prize money offered in the eighties goaded me on. It is a total ego sport. As trophies of TSD, stage and raid rallies, fell into my lap, MRF teamed up with me as sponsors,” he informed. His wife Anita partnered him in his career, too. She has been his navigator in the events. They have been covering the Himalayan tracks every year religiously.

But politicisation and infighting with a lot of federations coming up, has made him hang boots for the past one year. To promote this game, he set up Nanjappa Racing Foundation in Bangalore last January. The events organised by the foundation regularly in Bangalore and other cities in the country have attracted a good response. The attempt is to acquaint the youth with this thrilling activity by holding such events as drag racing that is major sport in the USA. The TSD rallies (Time , Speed and distance) are harmless and a good outing for families, he says.

On when he would bring an event to Chandigarh that has such great roads, he laments that the city lacks in awareness. While the residents are enthusiastic about cars and speed, the other must-features — big machines and dedicated audience — are missing. TNS


Vintage cars attract crowds at 2-day show

Move on to the new, but don’t forget the old. This was the concept behind the display of Vintage Ford cars at the Great Ford Drive show, along with the latest models of Ford cars and convertibles, on display at Sector 34.

Four Vintage cars, which are the make of Ford, displayed at the two day Road Show attracted a large number of people. These cars had been displayed here with the help of Vintage and Classic Car Club of Chandigarh, which has asked its members’ cooperation in displaying the cars.

A Ford Tourer (1933 make), 1928 Ford A model, 1930 Ford A model and 1942 Ford jeep are on the display. The Tourer is of the British origin, manufactured as Y model. It was initially marketed in the UK at £ 100 a piece. The Vintage beauty, presently owned by Mrs Sukhjivan Phoolka, caught every body’s attention, and a number of youngsters were seen queing up at the registeration, asking if the car was on sale.

The Ford jeep, which was used by the Americans in World War II, was also a favourite with the visitors.

The two-day show, which ended today, also had a display section of its latest model of Ford Ikons, Mondeo and Endeavor. A test drive for the vehicles was also available. The unique test drive for Endeavor, on undulated land, attracted a number of youngsters for joy rides, besides those who were genuinely interested in buying the vehicle. TNS


Youth taking to meditation

With increasing stress everyday and life getting more mundane, a number of people are turning to meditation. This is perhaps the reason for a large number of meditation centres coming up in the city and the peripheral areas.

A visit to the Yoganda Dhyana Kendra in Sector 28 on Sunday revealed that a number of young people are taking to meditation. A number of teenagers and young adults were in meditating inspite of the chilling cold. Even the satsang in the evening attracted a number of college-going students and young couples.

Mr S. L. Gupta, chairman of the kendra, told the Tribune that a number of youngsters have become members of the kendra during the past couple of years.

“There is nothing better than meditation to beat the stress of life. From childhood, stress is there to perform better — be it in studies, or later on in professional life. Thus, meditation offers the equilibrium between the stress and the quaintness,” he says.

The kendra is holding five-day celebrations to commemorate the 112th birth anniversary of the founder of the kendra, Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda. Devotees from all over the region are attending the camp, which has been held outside Ranchi for the first time.

Swami Nityananda Giri, along with other monks, are conducting the meditation sessions, energisation exercises (advanced yoga techniques), satsangs and question and anser sessions. TNS


It’s my life
Ambition to serve humanity

A story of determination — to make the world recognise me for what I am, a quest to carve out my own place in the world. That’s how I want my life story to be.

I come from a modest family background wherein I have been supported in all my right decisions. My parents are working and I have a younger sister. One of my aims in life is to give them as much happiness as possible.

My life style has always been simple as I believe in simplicity. Being a Piscean, I have this zodiac sign’s all qualities. I am a sentimental person who believes in trusting people. I love making friends and my friends are one of my assets.

I did my schooling from Eicher School, Parwanoo, under the guidance of my idol and my principal, Mrs Lata Vaidyanathan. I did my graduation in business administration from Guru Gobind Singh College from Women, Chandigarh.

After I completed my graduation, I had an aim to go in for masters degree in business administration through correspondence.

Meanwhile, I just happened to go through an advertisement in the newspaper for the post of guest relation executive at the NIFD. I decided to give my resume for the respective post. Fortunately, I was shortlisted and by the grace of the Almighty I was selected for the post.

This was a big opportunity to work in such a renowned institute of fashion world where not only the study atmosphere was cool but even the working environment was equally good and comfortable.

My future plans include completion of my masters degree and continuation of my job. I also want to serve every human being to the best of my ability so that it brings good name to me, my family and country.

My ambition is to achieve more and more with the blessings of God. Let me see how the Almighty helps me in fulfilling my ambition.

— As told to A.S.P.

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