C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Message of harmony by tiny tots
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 11
A variety programme and presentation of awards to over 100 students in the academics, sports and co-curricular were the highlights of the annual prize distribution function of MRA Modern Public School in Sector 7 here today.

Giving away the awards to the students, Mr PI Sabu, Regional Officer of the CBSE, advised them to work hard to achieve their goals in life.

Kicking off with “Saraswati Vandana”, the skit, “rainbow colours”, gave the message of living in harmony. The story of “Pied Piper of Hamelin” by Class III and a play, Sindhu Colony”, were appreciated by the audience. A catwalk by students highlighting the activities of the school drew applause from the audience.

The “hasya kavi sammelan” presented the ills afflicting society in a lighter vein. The grand finale was the foot-tapping Rajasthani and Haryanvi numbers.

While the school principal, Dr U. Kapatia, presented the annual report, the Director, Ms Shakuntla Mahajan, proposed a vote of thanks.


PU may fall short of 180-day requirement
Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Missing their target of 180 teaching days prescribed by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Panjab University and affiliated colleges, despite an academic calendar to guide them through the session, are way short of the mark this year.

With a disrupted second term which witnessed students’ agitations on fee hike, affiliated colleges will barely manage to complete 160 to 170 teaching days at the end of the 2003-04 session. The university departments, with five working days, will make it to the 120-mark against 210 days made out in the university’s academic calendar.

Interestingly this, too, has been achieved after the university rescheduled the winter break to coincide with the hosting of the Indian Science Congress to reduce the number of days wasted.

“We have tried to make up for the few days lost in the science congress. The university will be open for six days a week from next week. Only second Saturdays will be off for teaching and non-teaching departments,” the Vice-Chancellor, Prof KN Pathak, said.

This year, though the session began on time and the first term ended in September as slated, the second term from October 4 to December 28 last year saw agitations and protests by students against the fee hike recommended by the UT Administration. Nearly 20 to 25 teaching days were wasted in the process, upsetting the plan of the university to meet its 210 days target.

This year the committee comprising two members of the Syndicate, Prof Charanjit Chawla and Principal S.C. Marriya, along with the Registrar and Controller of Examinations, under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof K.N. Pathak, had managed to provide 210 teaching days while framing the academic calendar after taking into account the days lost in the hosting of the science congress. The UGC, while notifying the revised pay scales in December 1998, had asked universities and colleges to fulfil the requirement of 180 teaching days.

In the last academic session, the university authorities set the clock right by declaring results before June 30 and beginning sessions of on-going classes from July 1. This was the only time that the university fulfilled the requirement of 180 teaching days. 


Capt Kanwaljit opens school campus
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 11
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Punjab Finance and Planning Minister, inaugurated the new campus of Dikshant International School on the Zirakpur-Kalka highway here today.

A unit of Scindia School, Gwalior-Alumni, the campus is spread over an area of one acre. A colourful cultural programme by schoolchildren was the highlight of today’s function.

Mr B.R. Dubey, Chairman of the Indian Public Schools Committee and Principal of Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital, and Mr A.N. Dar, a former Principal of Scindia School, Gwalior, and Doon School, Dehra Dun, were the guests of honour.

According to Mr Mitul Dikshit of the school," the vision of society is to see the school impart comprehensive co-education with equal opportunities, where achievement is celebrated at all levels of ability. “Currently up to Class VII, the school is upgraded by one class every year.

Started in February 2002, the school, run by the Dikshant Education Society and boasts of some of the eminent educationists on its Board of Governors. Besides Mr Dubey and Mr Dar, prominent among the Board of Governors are Mr O.N. Dikshit, a former Principal of Scindia School.

Mr N.K. Tiwari, Dr S.C. Biyala and Mr B.S. Dhir, who have been associated with several prominent educational institutions such as Scindia School, Hermann Jmeiner School, Nainital, Doon School, Alwar Public School, Alwar, Daly College, Indore, are also on the Board of Governors.


Hamara School
Stress on performance-based learning, teaching

International Public School, Kurali, was established in 1996. Though a fairly new institution, its management includes a team of professionals which focuses on the overall development of students. Teaching and learning are performance-based.

The school recognises pre-school education as the foundation of any system. Individual attention, love and care, and expression are important aspects of this system.

The school’s infrastructure includes a state-of-the-art library and a computer centre with Internet facility. Besides facilities for sports and games, the school has a newly constructed activity hall for pre-schoolchildren. The school administration ensures that there is maximum involvement of all. Community involvement is a unique feature of the institution.

The school is delivering quality and affordable education to children of small towns and villages. The management and administration provide an atmosphere for healthy competition and holistic education to help students grow into responsible adults.

The focus of the school is on enabling children to speak English fluently. The school library has over 300 books. Of these, there are at least 150 books on spoken English. The library is also open to the public. Other than the school students, residents of the area and students of other schools are allowed to become members of the library and make use of the books.

The school is also involved in other community activities. The school organises an annual walk for residents of the area, called the IPS Annual Walk. The schoolbus takes students, teachers and some residents almost 10 km away from the school. Everyone then returns to the school on foot.

The school also organises fortnightly workshops on spoken English in which students and professionals who want to learn to speak the language take part. The school’s director, Mr A.K. Kaushal, who is a veteran in English teaching, along with the school Principal, Ms P. Sanger, conducts these workshops along with other English language consultants.


Tuition first step towards commercialisation

Classroom teaching

As the Principal of the school, Ms Promila Sanger, believes that traditional method of education should be combined with modern tools of teaching.

‘‘I feel that traditional ways of teaching have to be changed and give way to the modern methods using computers but that does not mean that the role of a teacher in a classroom has gone down. In fact the role of teachers as a guide towards absorbing the right knowledge and information is ever greater,’’ she said.

On tuitions

I am against tuitions. If the student is concentrating on what is being taught at school there will be no need for any tuitions. Tuition is the first step towards commercialisation of education. Once the school management realises that the parents are ready to pay exorbitant sums for tuitions they too start charging similar amounts.

On education

I am pained to see that education and knowledge has become a commodity to be sold and bought. At our school all efforts are made to keep the infrastructure simple and so that parents and students do not feel that the whole system of education is market oriented. We try and inculcate the spirit of modesty and simplicity by following it ourselves.

About the school

We focus a lot on good habits and manners. Students are taught to speak well and deal with each other in a cultured manner. We feel that a school is not just for students. Other than the fact that we give free education to some students who are from poor families, we also try and organise activities for the community living nearby. The school library is open for residents of Kurali and we also organise an annual community walk to increase interaction.


Poems by students


Parents are our best guides,

they are loving and kind.

they give us joy and take care

their sorrows they never share

we should keep ourselves busy,

by helping our parents

or doing work or study

we should obey their every order exactly

like a soldier

this will make our parents proud

our child is the best they will say aloud.

Sandeep Gaur, Class VII


To forget is a crime

to be lazy is a greater crime

to neglect work and offer excuses

is a greater crime

action without delay is the

soul of efficiency

Ravneet Kaur, Class VII

Winter Toys

The leaves fade in the winter

The air is cold and severe

The sun plays hide and seek

The birds are all asleep

new year and Christmas are here

and that is why we dance and play

and that is why we sing

and that is why we are

waiting for gifts

that which Santa Clause will bring

it is a happy thing I say

to be alive on such a day

Meghna Kaushal, Class VII


Pollution, pollution everywhere

soil water and in air

all are suffering from pollution

we have to think of a solution

buses, trucks, cars and aeroplanes

plants also receive acid rain

plants are dying and animals dying

rids us of pollution all are crying

shame on you human beings

shame on you!

So many killings!

How can you do?

Sandeep Gaur, Class VII 


Nuances of Kirana gharana rendered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11
Pandit Mani Prasad, one of the doyens of the Kirana gharana, is known for respecting the purity of raga. Trained in the classical school by his father Pandit Sukhdev Prasad, the veteran vocalist from Delhi, exhibited the nuances of his tradition on the stage of the Pracheen Kala Kendra this evening. The vocal recital was presented on the occasion of the 84th monthly baithak of the kendra.

Rooted in the discipline of his gharana, Pt Mani Prasad went on to show its quintessential features. Among the elements he reflected through his recital today was the gradual elaboration of raga, from slow to fast tempo. Taking the listeners along, the maestro wove a magical spell, showing how each raga could be lived, if its structure was truly reflected through music. A creator of dhyan kalyan and bhupeshwari — two ragas that beautifully embody the features of Kirana gharana already enriched by legendary musicians like Ustad Wahid Khan and Abdul Karim Khan, Pt Mani Prasad refers to music as a stream that thoroughly combines shingar, bhakti and bairag rasas.

“Music is not what you hear these days. Today music has been reduced to rhythmic tapping, on which vaguely dressed people move in a way that puts the fine art of dance to shame. Music has to have a rich thematic base and it has to be offered with sincerity, because it is the offering you make to God. I talk of classical singing, because I feel all music flows from the classical tradition,” said the vocalist.

Through his presentation of bandishes this evening, Pt Mani Prasad made a wonderful sense out of rhythm, tempo and lyrics, the three essential components of a song. As he said, “Classical music offers pleasure and understanding of a great heritage that has blessed India. Through my music, I must propagate the richness of our culture, which is indeed splendid. All my musical creations laud India and its treasure house of classical musical traditions”.

Particularly famous for his khayal singing, Pt Mani Prasad presented this idiom when he sang “Salona re mora saiyaan”, in raga Yaman. Commencing in slow tempo (vilambit ek taal), the vocalist went on to add pace to the creation, when he presented the drut (paced) bandish, “Maan hari ko tu dhyan dhar le”. Pt Mani Prasad concluded the recital with a Guru Nanak Dev bhajan. He was accompanied by Balraj on tabla and his son Deepak on harmonium.


German teacher all praise for Indian school kids
Arvind Katyal

From Potsdam in Germany to Mohali — the six-month journey of Daniela, a trainee teacher, will end in March. In a brief interaction, she spoke about her three months’ experience of teaching at Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, Mohali. Daniela said more emphasis was laid here on maintaining discipline and teaching children to be respectful to their teachers.

Speaking good English, which is rarely expected of a German, Daniela said after arriving in Mohali in October, she found it a little difficult to adjust, mainly because of the cultural differences. But gradually, she began to acclimatise herself to the environment in Shemrock school, where she was asked to teach English to students of classes II and III.

Praising the intelligence level of Indian children, she said whenever they were attentive in class, they were the best. Daniela said the biggest challenge for her in this school was to strike a balance between the teaching methods of her own and those of her fellow teachers. She said in Germany children neither got up to greet their teacher before the class began nor thanked him or her after it was over.

She found it interesting that children in this school got up from their seats to greet the teacher. Daniela said this was because in private schools more stress was laid on inculcating moral values. She, however, said in Germany most of the schools till Class X were run by the government and education was free and compulsory for everyone.

When asked about the status of English as a subject in Germany, Daniela said in a majority of the schools this language was taught from Class V onwards. However, as it was neither the second language nor the official language, so not much importance was given to it.

She said the lessons here were very dense and taught at a fast pace. She was very happy when many of her students started asking her questions, which meant that they were responding.

Daniela found it peculiar that teachers here spoke very loudly. “In my country, hardly any teacher raises his voice and the method of punishing a child is to give it extra homework,” she said. Daniela observed that in India children were even made to raise their arms as punishment.

Daniela said it was her first visit to India, adding that she had got the opportunity of working in a very well-managed school. “It is really a memorable experience, teaching tiny tots,” she said. She has so far faced the challenge of keeping children quiet in the class and instruct them according to her own style of teaching. 


Feng Shui is the in thing
Ruchika M. Khanna

What is feng shui?

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese science. As against the popular belief that feng shui is only about the products, it incorporates the five elements of water, fire, wood, earth and metal, and the colour schemes based on these elements. Unlike vaastu, where major structural changes in a building are recommended, feng shui is a remedial science and colour schemes and feng shui products are used to create a harmony.

Significance of products

Bagwa mirrors- Reflecting back negative energies. Crystal trees- Prosperity, health and growth of children. Hanging crystal- Enhancing energy of a particular place. Animal set - Protection against bad omens coming from a particular direction. Bracelets/necklets- To enhance and protect positivity. Toad- for money. Pyramid- Colour therapy to create balance. Duck pair- for better human relationships. Crystal lamps- to be used at any corner of the house having negative energy. Sri yantra- for money.

Colour schemes

Fire- Red; Earth-Yellow; Metal-White and grey; Wood-Green; Water- Blue

Yin and Yang seem to have acquired a cult status in the City Beautiful. Going by the ever-increasing takers for the oriental holistic science of feng shui, the residents are using the elements and articles of this science to create a perfect harmony in their lives.

For proof, check this. Big stores like The Other World and some of the top industrial houses in the city, besides almost every residential house in the city will have this oriental impact. Feng shui experts like Ms Shivani Sharma of S.D. Sharma and Associates are doing roaring business. She claims that her regular feng shui clientele is 50 to 60 customers a month.

From the shop in the neighbourhood to the Archies Gallery, and from the road hawker in Sector 17 to the highly stylised feng shui clinics, the residents, cutting across all economic barriers, are making a beeline for the crystal prisms, balls, laughing Buddhas and toads. With vaastu shastra being passe’, feng shui is finding many takers in the city.

Says Ms Sharma, “Because of the fact that in today’s competitive and stressful lives, where the motto of each one is not to move along with the Jones’, but be ahead of the Jones’, feng shui helps by bringing health, happiness and well- being by helping one to live in harmony with the environment. Moreover, it has an edge over the Vedic science of vaastu shastra, because it is cost-effective (we only use remedial articles to bring harmony and not demolish portions of building as in vaastu), time effective and shows results quickly”.

In feng shui’s journey to popularity, it is feng shui experts and shopkeepers who are running to the bank. With these products, ranging from bagwas to cystal trees, crystal balls, bamboo shoots, animal sets, Shri yantras, toads, tortoisse, pyramid houses and grids, selling like hot cakes, the in thing about feng shui, also has a lot to do with the marketing gimmicks.

As a Sector 19 shopkeeper, who does not wish to go on record, says going by the huge demand for the laughing Buddhas, dragons, tortoises and toads and wind chimes, he had to get these products in his gift store. “Most of the customers know little about the effects (if any), but buy it as gift items because it is fashionable to do so,” he says.

But there are others who swear by the positive effects of this science. Take the case of Ms Anjali Sharma and her husband, Mr Vineet Sharma, who swear by the Chinese science. Other than using personal feng shui accessories (bracelets, necklets and pendants), they have incorporated the use of these articles in their homes, office and cars, and recommend its positive effects to all. She says “Feng shui has proved to be very beneficial to us. One of our relatives from Ludhiana, Ms Shobha Mehra, has been able to recover from her failing health only by using feng shui products and using the feng shui colours”. — TNS



It’s my life
Skating, my first love

Chandigarh is a place where one could find every kind of facility. Be it sports, education or health. The day I joined skating , was one of the happiest day of my life. I have not missed it for a single day except on Sunday's, the off day for skating. I enjoy taking part in various tournaments and in roller hockey. It is the team effort which plays a major role. In this city, though we have abundant facilities for skating, but still, it is the Chandigarh Administration which must recognise it as one of the sporting activity. We have heard that the UT Sport Department like Punjab was now planning to accord sports gradation to skating.

I am indebted to my school CL DAV High School, Sector 7, which helped me in achieving success in this sport. I am also thankful to the management of Shishu Niketan School , sector 22, for allowing outsiders to use their skating ring.

People must feel privileged for being blessed with many facilities in this beautiful city of India.

— As told to Arvind Katyal


Malayalees celebrate New Year

IT was fun and frolic at Bal Bhawan auditorium, where over 100 Malayalee families had gathered this evening for celebrating New Year. From showcasing their traditional skills to dancing to the latest Punjabi pop songs and playing tambola, the persons who had gathered here had a gala time.

These families have been residing in the city for the past many years. The city being their second home, they celebrate all festivals together. Today, these families exchanged Christmas and New Year greetings as they enjoyed a cultural show and some fun games.

The programme began with the secretary of the association, Mr Binoy Thomas, wishing happy new year to all. In order to make the event memorable various traditional dances were performed.

This was followed by a colourful cultural programme of folk dances, including Thiruvathira ( Koikottikala), a traditional dance form by Ms Dania Vincent and Lidya besides group dance. Master Honey performed a Punjabi folk dance, while the mimicry item by presented Ranji.

Ms Ashwati's paintings which depicted female form in various poses were widely appreciated. Ms Ashwati is a student of Zoology, Panjab University.

Later, a sumptuous feast consisting of different delicacies was served on banana leaves. Dr John V George, IG ,Haryana police, was the chief guest. TNS


Designer wear exhibition at Hotel Aroma

BE it antique stone work, zardozi, kantha or hand block prints. The three- day exhibition of designer wear for women at Hotel Aroma showcased the latest in traditional women fashion wear. This was one of the many exhibitions that were tempted the city residents over the weekend.

Be it semi-formal or formal clothes, city-based designer Sharan, offers a wide range of suits and lehangas. In her party wear range, the young designer has used fabrics like crepes, tussar, silk, including the latest makhan silk, heavy georgettes and Jaipuri fabric. Most of the dresses have an Indo- Western touch.

Though Ms Sharan has been into designing for long, but she started exhibiting her clothes two years ago. The range of her designer wear start from Rs 2,000 and go up to Rs 9,000.

At Hotel Mount View, it was a sparkling weekend, where Asmi and Nakshatra range of diamond jewellery was on display. Brought to the city by the company's exclusive showroom in New Delhi, the diamond jewellery elicited a good response.

Mr Lokesh Jain of the Delhi showroom said they were showcasing 150 rings and earrings besides 50 designs of bangles and diamond sets each. The prices range from Rs 5,100 a piece and go up to Rs 2 lakh. The three-day exhibition, which began on Friday, ended on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Neerja Sharma, Monica Mittal and Meenakshi Rawal have put their heads together to come up with designer home and personal lifestyle products. From exquisite cushion covers, wall hangings and jamawar shawls and stoles the trio are showing their creations at H. No 1514, Sector 40-B. All products are priced less than Rs 1,000. The jamawar shawls , the brocade and silk cushion covers are worth looking out for. TNS

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |