C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hamara School
Blend of traditional and modern learning

The defining features of Ananda International School are an amalgamation of the gurukul system of learning and an exposure to the latest in the field of education and information technology.

How Ananda plans to have a maximum of 27 children per class, giving individual attention to each child, not having formal examinations till Class V, developing a system of child-friendly informal assessments and day boarding facility with a wide range of after-school activities. The school also plans to have a co-educational hostel from 2005.

Shri Ram Educare will provide technical collaboration in areas of curriculum planning, teacher selection and training, assessment, setting up of labs, helping incorporate theatre, IT and performing arts into the school curriculum and developing expertise.

Students will have access to DP Azad and Chetan Sharma Cricket Academy, soccer academy, swimming pool, music, dance and theatre labs, behavioural counselling centres, art, design and sculpture studios, mathematics lab and personality development modules on working with children who need special attention.

Ananda has a 11-acre campus which comes to life with students from diverse backgrounds. Ananda promises space for physical growth, emotional enhancement, creative development and spiritual growth. Designed as a day boarding, focus is on developing in-house resources. The textbook experience will be strengthened with inputs from the professional world, it is claimed. Experts from different fields will form part of the visiting faculty and work on collaborative projects with student groups, making learning interactive, relevant and topical.

The team at Ananda is trained to identify and work with children with learning difficulties, to integrate them gently into the mainstream without pressurising them or expecting them to fit into any pre-determined format. To respect each child’s uniqueness as also levels of comprehension, understanding and abilities will be the long-term objective.

‘Childhood is the foundation stone’

Truth, tolerance, forgiveness, fame and intellect, are the qualities of Goddess Saraswati. Where all these qualities are prevalent there will be goodness, happiness and fulfillment leading to eternal bliss.

“This is the guiding philosophy of our school. Childhood is the foundation stone upon which stands the entire life structure,” says Ms Komal Anand, the Principal of the school. The highly motivated team of teachers at Ananda promises to create an environment which allows children to discover, appreciate and develop their inner potential; where they are allowed to make mistakes, learn to self-correct and dare to dream, she adds. One of the most powerful motivating factors after hunger and thirst is curiosity, the Principal asserts, adding that a child’s mind is a flame to be lit and not a well to be filled.

“At Ananda, we endorse this philosophy as we step into the first academic session, conscious of the responsibility that is ours and committed to the cause of education, as also the future of our students, ” she says —TNS.



Swearing-in of High Court Judges tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 5
Haryana's Advocate-General Surya Kant Sharma and two members of the Bar — Mr Rajiv Bhalla and Mr Ajay Kumar Mittal — are likely to be administered oath as the Punjab and Haryana High Court Judges on January 7.

The swearing-in ceremony, expected to be held tomorrow, was postponed as "the warrants of appointment had not arrived". According to sources in the High Court, the warrants are prepared in a "traditional method" with a special ink which takes two or three days to dry. After this, the warrants are placed before the President of India for appending his signature. A notification regarding the appointments is then issued.

The sources assert that the documents were placed before the President today and the notification was likely to be issued tomorrow. As such, the ceremony will take place on Wednesday.

They add that the preparations were in full swing for holding the ceremony in the courtroom of the Chief Justice. Even cards inviting sitting and retired Judges, along with other dignitaries, were being prepared, but the High Court staff was informed in the evening about the postponement of the ceremony.



Riding tall to scale new heights
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh resident Rajiv Kumar on his 7.6-feet-high cycle
Riding his way to glory: Chandigarh resident Rajiv Kumar on his 7.6-feet-high cycle. — Tribune photo by Manoj Mahajan

His visiting card takes you by surprise. Just above “Rajiv Kumar” printed in bold red letters is written in italics, “Limca Book of Records holder”. Right below the name is written, “scaling new heights with different theme”. On the extreme right is printed a photograph of a bicycle with a raised seat and handle.

Sensing your confusion, Rajiv, or Jhony, as he is commonly known, proudly show you his creation — a 7.6-feet-high bicycle parked outside his Sector 41 residence.

As you look at the cycle in amazement, Rajiv pulls out dog-eared newspaper clippings from a handbag. Pointing towards a photograph and an article that appeared in Chandigarh Tribune, he asserts, “At that time, the cycle was just six feet high and it was not all that glamorous”.

Even before you can react, he shows you two metallic shades of brown mingling with each other to form a coating on hard metal rods and the “fine finish”. As you admire the paint, he removes the cycle from the stand to show you the broad rear tyre and headlight connected to a battery just below the pedals.

“I have replaced the cycle tyre with that of a moped,” he says. “Yes, the friction has marginally increased, but that hardly makes a difference because the bearings make the ride smoother”.

The headlight, he says, “is essential for the achievement of my final goal”. Giving details, he says, “Now, I plan to pedal 10,000 km to glory, all the way from Chandigarh to Goa via Mumbai for seeing my name printed in the Guinness Book of World Records. I am looking for sponsors to help me out”.

Smiling back at you, the 22-year-old enthusiast says eagerly, “As of now, the record book carries details of a cycle made in the USA with 10-feet-high wheels. That is all”.

Rubbing his hands enthusiastically, he adds, “I know the goal can be achieved. I have already cycled my way to Delhi. It took 16 hours of pure hard labour to reach the destination, but the trouble was worth it. The journey gave authenticity to my venture. Everyone started taking me seriously”.

His journey to fame started early — when he was in Class X. “At that time I wanted to do something different. In fact, I wanted to be a cut above the rest, but was not sure how to go about it. Then one day I raised the seat of my cycle just for the heck of it, but realised that my feet did not reach the pedals. So I got the bike modified by raising the pedals. Then with each passing year, I increased the height by one feet. Now with the cycle taller than most men, I will have my name written in history”.



Friends celebrate Gurdas Mann’s birthday
Chitleen K Sethi

Having reigned as king over an entire genre of punjabi music, Gurdas Mann who turned 52 yesterday, continues to woo his audience with a style that remains inimitable and a personality that never fails to evoke wonderment.

In the town today to inaugurate a showroom of his friend, Gurdas Mann spoke to mediapersons. ‘‘When I started singing, I could not speak from stage. I used to be so scared. But now I manage to perform on stage and its all because of the blessings of the Almighty,’’he said. His birthday was celebrated by his friends and fans here on Monday.

‘‘Times have changed. And we have changed with the times. I did not have any training as a singer but I think it is essential for any artiste to be well trained and know the art well. In the present scenario, only the best will manage to survive,’’ he observed.

Answering a question about the kabootar trade, Mann said, ‘‘I have never been involved in any such thing. All those people who went with our troupe have come back with us. We were asked by many relatives and friends to take their sons as part of the troupe but I always refused,’’he said.

Stating that artistes were bridges between nations, Gurdas Mann said if he was asked to go to pakistan and perform as part of cultural exchange programme of the two nations, he would happily do so. ‘‘What artistes can achieve politicians cannot. The message an artiste’s performance can convey in other nations cannot be conveyed by any amount of politics.’ he said.

The singer said he felt helpless about the increasing vulgarity in music videos. ‘‘I can only keep myself and my songs away from it all. My focus is Punjabi culture and rurallife, he maintained.

Talking about his film “Zindagi khoobsurat hai” that flopped at the box office, Mann said, ‘‘It did not do well because we lost the focus while making the film. The story was good but while the film was being made, we tried to put in many other things to make it a formula film and that spoiled the story. ’’ TNS



Stiff competition among car firms makes consumer the King
Ruchika M. Khanna

December 2003, saw an unprecedented hike in the sale of small and mid-size cars, thanks to the hefty discounts offered by both car manufacturers and local dealers. Hyundai, Maruti, Fiat, Ford and Tata — major players in the car market — went running to the banks to have a tie-up with them. The sales increased by up to 50 per cent in the city and its satellite townships. Not to miss that, the companies have thus been able to clear their stocks for 2003, and pave way for their improved versions for 2004. It is, perhaps, for the first time that the last month of a year saw the sales figures rising. Generally, the sales of all four wheel beauties plummet at the year-end, as people prefer to wait for the New Year in order to buy a new model.

Though the city has always been an important market — thanks to the ever increasing spending power of the residents (the city has the highest per capita income in the country) — the past couple of years have seen a new found fad of spending more on lifestyle products. With cars being one of the most important products that reflect your opulent lifestyle, the city residents have been going in for bigger and more chic machines on wheels.

Says Mr Gurdeep Singh Bawa, a business executive, who exchanged his Maruti 800 for an Esteem LXI, “Most people wait for the New Year to change their car, but with the companies offering such lucrative discounts, why wait for a new model. Esteem, which would have otherwise cost me over Rs 5 lakh, was available for Rs 4.60 lakh”.

With Hyundai leading the race by offering a whopping Rs 72,000 discount on all models of Accent in December, as part of its celebrations of having sold 5 lakh cars in the country in five years, the other car companies could not have been left behind. Maruti offered a cash discount of Rs 40,000 on its variants of Esteem, while value-addition discounts (like free insurance) was on offer on Maruti 800, Baleno, Wagon R and a 50 per cent discount on insurance cover for Omni. “Besides, we had launched a Giant Exchange Scheme, wherein we were offering additional loyalty bonus of Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000, if our customers were selling us back any model of Maruti for a new Maruti,” informs Mr Hardeep Brar, Regional Manager, Maruti Udyog Limited. Thus Maruti sold 940 cars in the city last month, as compared to a monthly average of anything between 650 and 700 cars.

Hyundai, too, managed to rope in a large number of customers by selling 180 Accents in December — as compared to a monthly average of about 50 cars. The company’s other model — Santro — which had a free insurance cover and a free stereo, sold 185 cars in December as compared to the monthly average sale of 120 cars.

Not to be left behind, Ford offered the year-end scheme of free insurance, stereo, CD changer and security system making a value addition of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 on various variants of Ikon. Tata, too, saw an increase in sales by 40 per cent as it sold 150 Indicas and 50 Indigos in December by offering value-addition discounts from Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000. Opel continued with its Navratra discount of about Rs 50,000 on its fully-loaded Corsa, and also offered discounts or cash discounts to the same tune. For its Chevrolet, the company offered a free Swarovski crystal gift, valued at Rs 16,000, as an year-end gift. Honda and Fiat were the only companies not to launch such offers and their sales remained static.

But no need to lose heart. Opel is still continuing with its discount offers while Honda has also announced discount of Rs 10,000 on Honda City car as a New Year gift. 



Planet M has new address

PLANET M, the music store, has shifted to Fun Republic in Manimajra. The store, has a shopping area of over 1900 sq ft. and one can browse through over 3000 music titles and 1500 CD-ROM/ VCD/ DVD titles on display. It now has three listening posts with nine CDs and 12 TV sets music. A radio jockey and a new stage has been set up for performances by visiting artistes.

The store was inaugurated on Monday with traditional puja and laddoos. It has separate sections for various genre of music.

The CEO of Times Retail, Mr Ajay Mehra, says “We decided to move to Fun Republic as a business strategy. Since customers are moving to shopping malls, these malls attract the youth and, we thought it was the best bet.” They have cut down on the stocks here, since the floor area is small but he claims that “95 per cent of music that is asked for is available.”

This year, we plan to have outlets Planet M in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar,” he added. TNS



It’s my life
Life is like Alladin’s lamp

Coming from a defence background, moving from place to place, imbibing the richness of the highlands and plains of India has been the impelling force behind taking fashion designing as a course of study. Studying from various contents around India and graduating from NIFT, Delhi, helped immensely in nourishing this interest. Now, member of the fashion design faculty with the NIFD, I enjoy molding young creative minds.

Experimenting with materials and fiddling with the hands to infuse life has been the past and present of my character.

Music, dance, painting, swimming, reading and spending time with family and friends have been a part and parcel of the package. I firmly believe that life is like Alladin’s magic lamp, full of wonders. It is for us to open it and release the jin. TNS


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