C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Wizard contest for students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
More than 500 students from the region are expected to participate in the fifth annual Homi J. Bhabha Memorial Wizard Contest being organised by the Council for Promotion of Young Talent (CPYT) here on January 25.

The contest is open to Class X students with mathematics, science and general ability subjects. The last date for sending in nominations is January 20. The council has urged all schools of the northern region, comprising Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, to send their students for the contest.

The CPYT, Chandigarh, has been promoted by J.S. Memorial Educational Trust with the main focus on the promotion of interests in science. It is a non-profit organisation funded and promoted by persons of eminence in the field of education. The aim of the organisation is to identify and support children who have outstanding potential for sciences. The talent search contests being organised by the council every year offer various prizes and scholarships to winners and deserving students. The shortlisted students appearing for the talent search are provided free career counselling. The forms for the science wizard contest can be requisitioned directly from H.No. 188, Sector 19-A, Chandigarh.


NSS camp held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The motto of NSS, its badge, symbol and objectives were discussed yesterday at an NSS camp being organised at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, here. The camp was inspected by Ms Madhu Bala, Youth Officer, in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Besides this, AIDS awareness, importance of water and clean environment were also discussed. Students had prepared the placards on AIDS and the same were explained by the NSS volunteers.


Schools to have security cabins
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The Chandigarh Administration has allowed the setting up of security cabins at the entrance of educational buildings.

Schools had been demanding security cabins for their watchmen. Some schools had set up temporary tin sheds.


CM to lay stone for college
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 10
Foundation stones for Government College in Sector 14 and Shiksha Sadan in Sector 5 will be laid down by the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, on January 13.

Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, DC said the shiksha bhavan building would be built at a cost of Rs 10.66 crore and it would also house the office of the primary, secondary and higher education.

She said the Chief Minister would also inaugurate Yadav Bhavan in Sector 12 on January 17.


Two city artists bag Camlin art awards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
City-based artists Prabhinder Lall and Bhim Malhotra have secured pride of place at the national-level by bagging awards for their paintings in the Camlin Art Foundation’s Fourth Northern Region art exhibition which is being shown at Ravindra Bhavan in Delhi.

Both the artists have been awarded for their art works that featured in the professional category. In an award function held in Delhi on January 6, both of them were awarded Rs 25,000 as prize money. Prabhinder Lall earned 
appreciation for his painting titled Inspiration - I, which he executed in mixed media. 
Settled in Chandigarh for long, Lall has occasionally been rewarded at the national level. He also has to his credit the 58th annual all-India art exhibition award.

As for Bhim Malhotra, he has been in the art circuit for over 15 years now. Pursuing painting with passion, he has also made it his profession. Currently working as 
Professor of art at Chandigarh College of Architecture, Bhim Malhotra is rated highly among painters of the region. Known for his mastery over the challenging medium of water colours, he is especially famous for his art works on the theme of fog.


Film Review
Fair attempt to break fresh ground
Rama Sharma
Tribune News Service

“In films, we are ‘Umrao Jaan’ or ‘Chandramukhi’, but reality is quite different”, says the central character of “Chameli”, a sex worker. The film is a realistic peep into the life of a woman of the night but it fails to delve deep into the profession. Neither does it provoke you or outrage you — which is the basic purpose of any art form.

On a stormy night, Chameli is waiting for her customer at arches of the Flora Fountain. Aman (Rahul Bose), an investment consultant, let down by his car, is forced to share the shelter with her.

The aesthetically shot sequences are bereft of any touching moments. Kareena Kapoor is vain and talkative. She refuses money, telling Aman “I am a businesswoman, not a beggar”. But her metamorphosis into the character isn’t total though her manners are quite businesslike. “Bolo na sahib kya irada hai, chalna hai kya”, she tells a stunned Aman. But she lacks that raw and earthy look. Her well-maintained figure is too good to fit into the mould.

Rahul Bose’s acting reflects sensitivity. From a repulsive, touch-me-not, he matures into a character whose personality is pleasing to the sensibilities.

The music score is sensuous, heightened by the pulsating “Main teri ho gayi, sajna ve sajna”.

Never mind that the film does not come up to the expectations of discerning viewers. It is definitely a laudable attempt to break new ground.

* * *

“Plan” is a heart-warming dose of giggles coming from a group of four wannabes who are in great form — Badrinath, alias Bobby (Dino Morea), Lucky (Sanjay Suri), Omi (Rohit Roy) and Jay (Bikram Saluja). They leave their modest homes to chase their dreams in Mumbai.

Dino Morea is the stylish “future of Hindustan”. Every now and then, his flights of fancy land him in Bollywood.

When the four run out of money, they kidnap a rich businessmen for ransom and — wham — he turns out to be an underworld don, Musa (Sanjay Dutt). What follows is a fun-filled adventure satire which is quite off the hackneyed track.

The soundtrack is quite okay but Sanjay Dutt singing Adnan Sami’s “Roz roz aata hoon here intezaar ke liye” simply looks out of sync in the sequence and of course doles out unintended humour.


Mehndi popular in rural belts of Haryana
Suman Bhatnagar

Ancient traditions are rooted so deeply in our lifestyle that sindoor, choori and mehndi still have an enormous value in an Indian woman's life, irrespective of the fact whether she is educated or illiterate.

Mehndi, an integral part of Indian cultural heritage is becoming more and more popular even in the remote rural belts of Haryana in its new artistic look. Not only the newly- married or the middle- aged women apply it on their palms on the occasion of karwa chauth , Teej or a marriage ceremony but the school going girls and elderly women could also be seen applying it these days. Now the people have started using it as an ideal hair conditioner and as a cosmetic herb as well.

The application of mehndi on hands at the time of marriage is centuries old tradition. In the Ramayana serial ,one can see Sita applying mehendi on her palms while appearing in a 'swayamber' to decide her groom . In fact, no bride looks eye catching for the marriage ceremony without applying mehndi and wearing bangles on her hands.

Just a decade ago, the bride simply used to dip her fingers in mehndi emulsion and make a few dots on her palm with mehendi but now that fashion has become out -of- date. Some people have adopted it as a profession . They apply mehendi in a very attractive and artistic manner at very nominal rates.

A number of beauty parlours have sprung up in big villages where one can have the mehendi applied on her hands in latest designs. Generally the parlour charges Rs 30 to 50 for applying mehndi but during karva chauth and other festival it reaches up to Rs 100.

Now some of the coaching centres have started one month training course for teaching the skill of applying mehendi. Many housewives especially in big cities have adopted this profession as a part-time business.

There was a time when women used to crush the leaves of mehndi manually for hours on stone plate to get the better colour out of it. It is still said 'rang laati hai hina pathar par ghisne ke baad'. Now a days readymade powder of mehndi is available in the market. Some of the national level companies have also come in the market with attractive packs and varieties.

Mehndi is not a thing of beauty alone, it has medical properties as well. It has remarkable cooling effect on the skin. Some of the elderly persons in northern part of the country apply it on their head to keep it cool . In some of the tribal belts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, women apply mehendi on the uncovered parts of the body to protect their skin from dust.

Some of the middle aged men have also started applying mehendi for dying their greying hair to look young.

Now applying mehendi on hair has also become convenient. Within 15 minutes one can dye his hair. Dyeing of hair is also becoming a trend among young women. Some of the companies have introduced mehndi in various catchy colours.

An Ambala-based beautician said on the occasion of marriage not only the bride but most of her female relatives prefer to get mehendi applied in parlours. She said in the coming years it would turn out to be a full- time profession.


Western cuisines hardly tickle Punjabi taste buds
Ruchika M. Khanna

IS the city evolving as a gourmet’s delight? Or is it still stuck to the dal makhni, paneer and kukkar syndrome? In spite of numerous international food chains eyeing the City Beautiful to launch its operations, the city seems to have progressed little in its culinary journey.

With international food chains like Pizza Hut, Dominoes and McDonalds already making their presence felt in the city, and with another international food chain, Ruby Tuesday, all set to open shop, the city might appear to have opened its doors to Western food influences. “But,” say city foodies, “in the land of rice, chapatti and Indian curries, asking for pizza, buns or fish ‘n’ chips is a bit too much.”

And rightly so. The fact that even international giants like Pizza Hut had to change their menus to tickle Punjabi taste buds — by introducing tandoori pizzas — or the strategy of Hot Millions in the 1980s and 1990s to offer Indianised versions of pizzas and burgers, speaks a lot about their success stories. A spokesman for Oven Fresh, Sector 17, says that though they were one of the first to introduced grilled sandwiches, the filling used had to be “Indianised” by using paneer tikka and chicken tikka fillings. He says that even in the case of Mexican food, like enchillidas, they had to make minor changes in the recipe by adding more cheese and restricting the use of spices.

The only cuisines that have found f(l)avour with city residents are the South Indian and Chinese. Right from the time Chopsticks with its first authentic Chinese cuisine, and Indian Coffee House, with its South Indian delicacies, came to town in the late 1980s, the two cuisines have found takers side by side as the city saw the advent of Sundarams and Sagar Ratna and Yangtse in Shivalik View and Magic Wok at Hotel Mount View. Says Dr Mamta Narang, a foodie, who dines out at least twice a week, “ It is only the younger generation that responds to Western cuisines. So whenever we go out for a family dinner, it has to be Mughlai food. Italian or Mexican food is reserved only when it is me and my husband dining out”.

Mr Manmohan Singh Kohli, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Chandigarh,” says The Punjabi has a ‘deep’ pocket and a ‘deep’ taste, and both are difficult to change. The cuisines other than the Mughlai, South Indian and Chinese have failed to have an impact in the city. Though the international food chains have a regular clientele, these are considered for casual dining, while Mughlai food is preferred for formal dining”.

Agrees Mr Surinder Mishra, banquet manager at Hotel Mountview, “Most of the people, when selecting dishes for a party, prefer to stick to the fixed menu of dal makhni and select varieties in paneer, mutton and chicken. We organised as many as 57 NRI parties last month, and found that even they prefer to stick to the above mentioned menu. Even if they are suggested changes, it does not seem to impress people.” TNS


How to keep cold at bay

THE morning sun may have fooled you into driving down the road on a scooter without donning a leather jacket and a muffler around your neck. But in the evening, running nose, heavy head and puffy eyes must have made you realise your mistake.

In case cold has caught you or your child with vengeance, do not panic. Just spare a little time from coughing and sneezing to read anti-cold manual complied just for you after talking to experts.

First of all, do not send your little one to school if he is suffering from cold. He will only spread the malady. Allow him to sleep because it is the best healer. Also encourage him to stay cheerful. Wrap him up in cheerful clothes. It will make him feel better.

Now rush to the kitchen and pick up ginger. “It soothes your sore throat instantly,” says physician Dr Anil Sharma. “You can sip ginger tea in vast quantities. Else, consume a ginger capsule. This is not all. Honey and lemon, taken with herbal tea, help in lubricating the throat and produce saliva, reducing the dry tickle in your throat”.

Pop up a tablet of Vitamin C. “You may dismiss it as a myth, but people consuming Vitamin C tablets after coming down with cold actually recover quickly,” Dr Sharma adds.

Also, consume garlic. “It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties,” claims another physician Dr S.K. Kapoor.

Remember to consume onions. “You may find it hard to believe, but onions clear up bronchitis and other infections. You should also go in for fenugreek or methi,” Dr Kapoor adds. “The multipurpose legume used often in curries and soups has mucus thinning action. It also helps in unblocking your nasal passages. Pepper is also good for sinuses”.

Even if you are not down with cold, consume fish oil capsules. The capsules protect you against cold in winters. Research has proved beyond shadow of doubt that capsules boost the immune system.

“You should also drink a lot of water,” recommends dietician Rekha Raman Sharma. “It makes the mucus flow freely and helps in dealing with congestion. The consumption of teas and colas should also be reduced as they have a diuretic effect. Try to reduce the consumption of sugar.” OC


Winter care tips for glowing complexion
Monica Sharma

Cool winter breeze can play havoc with your complexion as you drive down the bumpy road to college on your scooter even with visage hidden under a muffler. No doubt about it.

Little wonder, you have tried everything, applied creams and lotions, even white petroleum jelly, to get rid of ruddy complexion and dry hands on which you can draw figures with your nails. This is not all. You have shifted from creams to gels, even changed your shampoo to get rid of dandruff falling on your shoulders. But nothing seems to work, unfortunately. Adding to your woes is a bright red steaming nose.

If you too are suffering from the same malady, do not worry, Just listen to the experts. They will tell you some good winter care tips for a glowing complexion and healthy looks.

First of all, stay hydrated. "It is absolutely essential even in winters," says Esthetician Cosmetologist with Cleopatra in Sector 8 Ritu Kolentine, "Water keeps everything in order, even your skin. As such you should drink 12 to 16 glasses of water every day".

You should also shift from tea and coffee to herbal chai. "Coffee intake increases during winters," says dietician Rama Sharma, "In fact some of us drink more coffee during winters than in the entire year without realising the implications. Caffine blocks the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals including calcium".

Also, alcohol dries your skin. It restricts minor blood vessels that carry oxygen to the surface resulting in a ruddy complexion. "So, try to cut down on the intake of alcohol in winters," Ms Sharma adds.

Another thing, eat healthy food. "For once, you should forget all about junk food. Winter is the season when your immunity level is real low. As such you should be extra vigilant about the stuff you consume," Ms Sharma maintains. "Go in for immune boosting foods including green and leafy vegetables, besides fruits".

Giving details, she asserts, "Otherwise also, Vitamin A is excellent for glowing complexion. Vitamin C is also helpful in combating cold. So, you should munch oranges, apples and raspberries. Further, ensure the presence of zinc in your diet by consuming shell fish and lean meat including mutton. Whole grain bread and pasta is also rich in zinc. Antioxidant substances like selenium and betacarotene protect your skin — Another reason for you to feast on citrus fruits".

Now beauty tips for natural glowing complexion and bouncy tresses. Remember to ditch dryness. Shift to gels and creams. "Spray-on styling products are good, but leave the hair dry. Go in for gels and creams, even hair-wax. They add to the moisture content of your mane," Beautician Neeru Sidhu adds.

You should also use a good shampoo, or a mild soap, depending upon your hair. "A harsh shampoo or soap can cause a great deal of damage to your crowning glory. A mild shampoo, on the other hand, is a boon for your tresses," Ms Ritu says. "Afterwards apply a good conditioner. A leave-in conditioner forms a coating on the hair preventing dirt and pollution from settling down in the process."


Indians ‘lack awareness’ on fitness
Chitleen Sethi

One does not need machines to maintain fitness or to have a good physique. Body building is all about lifestyle, culture and the kind of physical activities one does. This was stated by a body builder who was crowned Mr Monterey California , USA, in 2002 and stood 4th in the US nationals qualifiers the same year.

But then Taranjit Singh Samra, an USA- based Indian is not a typical all -brawn men, he has the brains to match. A Bachelor in electrical engineering from Thapar Institute , Patiala, Taranjit has done his masters in applied sciences from a Canadian University.

Now a certified strength and conditioning Specialist of the USA's National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Taranjit is also freelance writer who specialises in fitness writing for US newpapers and Indian magazines. Taranjit has also presented research papers in conferences and reputed journals.

But its the body building he is the best at. And it shows. Blessed with a good height, Taranjit has maintained a perfect figure which has fetched him major body building awards. Taranjit stood 7th in the 1999 Mr India contest and 5th in the 1999 Indian nationals. And all this with just over 80 minutes of workout a day for four days a week? ‘‘For the contest one has to work hard but maintaining a good physique just takes about five hours a week,’’ he said.

In the town to advise the clientele at the Oceanic Gymnasium here, Taranjit said he planned to reach out to Indians and generate awareness about fitness. ‘‘I find that in the USA, there is a lot of awareness about fitness, nutrition, exercises etc which is lacking here. TNS

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