C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hamara School
‘Real learning for real life’

Chitkara Educational Trust was formed in 1996 with the sole emphasis on “real learning for real life”. The board of members comprises academicians from the region. Under the vision of its Chairman, who has 25 years of teaching experience in reputed institutes such as IITs and Panjab University, the trust has carved a distinctive niche in the student community over the years.

Chitkara International School is its first foray into the field of school education. It will be among the first schools in the region to implement international curriculum for the primary classes. Consultants from around the world having years of experience in designing international schools have been roped in for the purpose. There are plans to make the school a unique place for serious academic activities and for building lifelong relationships.

Teaching at the school is claimed to be student-centred and project-based, and incorporates the ‘multiple intelligences’ learning concept. While the general curriculum is followed by every student, he or she is also encouraged to develop talents and interests in personal areas of academic interest and in sports, theatre, music and dance. The nurturing of a child’s academic curiosity and development will be at the centre of what school seeks to achieve.

Besides the basic skills that are taught in elementary school, the school claims to have added transdisciplinary skills, those which the student also needs in order to succeed in a changing and challenging world. They are the social, thinking, communication, research and self-management skills learnt in the context of meaningful situations.

The curriculum is concerned with how the knowledge and skills are taught. The school authorities believe that these are not taught within independent reading, writing or classroom lessons, separate from one another (the traditional methods used in the past) where teachers did the talking and students did the listening. Instead, the emphasis is more on different types of lessons in which students use problem solving, teamwork, discussion, dialogue, experimenting and many other techniques in order to learn and experience new knowledge.

They authorities promise that after completing schooling, every student will have the intellectual breadth and creativity to tackle the challenge of keeping pace with the rapidly changing environment.

The aim is to nurture skilled, confident children who enjoy studying, care about others and can increasingly take responsibility for their own actions. At the same time, childhood should be fun and stress free. The youngest children can often learn as much from guided play as from the formal curriculum.

The school is implementing the Primary Years Programme of the International Bacca-laureate for the Elementary School. The Early Childhood curriculum offers a framework that is universal to the natural understandings and methods of instruction.

It is inquiry-based and it is through this format that young children are expected to develop the early understandings of text and its place in our society, the role of mathematical systems and the implications of scientific and societal actions and outcomes. 


‘Parents should show interest in ‘child’s activities’

We have received some many queries about the educational pattern which we are introducing at the school. I will give you some brief outlines of the programme called International Bacca-laureate Primary Year Programme (IB-PYP),” says School Principal Marga Buhrmann.

“The PYP uses ideas from the USA, UK and Australia which are recognised as good contemporary classroom practice. The IB-PYP is a framework that uses the best research and practice from a range of educational systems to organise the way in which a school delivers its programme. The PYP framework helps us to organise the learning experiences a child has at Chitkara, which further allows us to make them as effective as possible,” she explains.

“The PYP is based on our modern understanding of how children learn best,” she adds.

“Educational research indicates that children learn best when they generate, as well as answer, questions. The brain organises information most efficiently by making connections between different areas of knowledge, not by learning things in isolation. The PYP strives to nurture and sustain this curiosity in order to produce children who have the skills to continue to learn effectively throughout their lives,” she maintains.

There are currently around 15 schools in India authorised to teach the programme and many more, like this school, are awaiting authorisation.

“For students to effectively demonstrate all the elements of the PYP Student Profile, there needs to be a partnership between home and school,” the Principal observes. So, she asserts:“Support your child’s learning by showing an interest in all that they do at school. Get to know the language they use. Use them to discuss your child’s work and how they feel about it. Whenever possible, encourage your child to be independent as a learner. Try not to give them the answer to problems but help them to understand where they can find the answers.”


Concept of job security over, says Amrita Dass
Our Correspondent

Dr Amrita DassChandigarh, January 14
The concept of job security is on its way out — at least this is what the Planning Commission of India's member for the Ninth Five-Year Plan, Dr Amrita Dass, has to say.

In Chandigarh to conduct a career counselling workshop at Vivek High School in Sector 38, she asserted, "Jobs are becoming contractual. In order to secure income, you have to deliver professional excellence. It all depends on your capabilities."

She added, "In today's world, talent speaks, knowledge counts." Talking about careers, Dr Dass said it was wrong to believe that scope was limited for students of humanities or science streams. "There are no ideal careers, only ideal choices," she asserted. Commenting on violence against women, she said, "The attitude has to change if we wish to curb violence against women. Social legislation can only bring about change in society if we create social awareness."

She added, "Several agencies have to come together and take up the issue of violence against women. Better networking between lawyers, non-government organisations and the police can bear fruitful results.''

It was in 1976 that Dr Dass got the Best Woman of the Year award while doing graduation from Isabella Thoburn College in Lucknow. After that, she went on to become founder Director of the Institute for Career Studies in Lucknow.

She has pioneered career counselling and guidance services in India. Is also a keen promoter of career guidance and training programmes in the county.

Taking to Chandigarh Tribune, she said, "Gender equality, besides equal access to opportunities for women was always my focus. I have always laid thrust on women empowerment, besides policies and system to facilitate this."

Going into the background, she asserted, "I got offers to participate in UN world summit for social development. I also worked for literacy for poor women at the district level in Lucknow." Even though she continued working on social front, Dr Dass wanted to do something different in the field of education.


Moot court contest from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 14
The Army Institute of Law here will host the North India rounds of the International Law Moot Court competition, 2004. As many as 15 teams from various law institutes in India will participate in the two-day event starting on January 16. The winners of these rounds of the competition will, along with a team from South India, represent the country at the final competition scheduled to be held in Washington in March this year.

The competition named after Philip C. Jessup, former justice of the International Court of Justice, Hague, is an annual event and it is for the first time that the national rounds in India are being hosted in North India. Giving more information to media persons today about the event, Dr Veer Singh, Director-General of the institute, said that for the past 10 years the national rounds were being hosted in South India law schools.

The competition involves law students arguing a common case in moot courts and the teams that will reach Mohali have been selected by the affiliating universities after internal competitions. These teams will be judged by a panel constituted from among Punjab and Haryana High Court judges, professors of law and senior lawyers from the region.

‘‘The competition proposition is a case before the International Court of Justice regarding the differences between two nations, imaginative of course, concerning International Criminal Court,’’ said Dr Veer Singh.

The competition will be inaugurated by Himachal Pradesh Governor Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje and the prizes on the valedictory day will be given by Justice Kuldip Singh, former judge of the Supreme Court.

All teams from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal will arrive at Mohali, while in a separate set of South India rounds to be held in the Department of Legal Studies, Chennai, will hold competitions between teams from Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu.

The competition is being financed by an international company of lawyers.


Lucky is PUSU chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
A final-year student of the Department of Laws, Rajwinder Singh ‘Lucky’ was declared president of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) at a press conference organised at Student Centre, here today.

Unanimously chosen, Rajwinder’s name was announced by president of the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) Malwinder Singh Kang. Chairman of PUSU Mohan Singh later addressed the PUSU activists and assured them that the new president would carry forward the tradition of redressing students’ complaints and creating an amiable atmosphere on the campus.

Speaking at the press conference, Rajwinder said that while welfare of students would be top priority, he would focus on organising more social events and encourage student participation in all activities.

Associated with PUSU for the last three years, Rajwinder said that his party was planning to take action against PUSU (Shella) led by Gurparvez Sandhu for misusing their party name.

“We are a registered organisation. We have a constitution defining our every move. The other group is misusing our name and misleading students. We have absolutely nothing to do with that group. A writ petition challenging the name of PUSU (Shella) is coming up for hearing next month,” he informed.

Meanwhile, PUCSC president Malwinder Kang said that plans were under way to float a students’ body for the region to take up common causes of the student community.

“If all of us present a united front, we can make a greater impact and influence the decision-making process. Initially, we will form an executive body which would be responsible for identifying like-minded students in universities and colleges in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh,” he informed.


10 talented students honoured
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 14
The State Institute of Education, Chandigarh, today honoured 10 students from city schools who qualified the state talent search examination held in November, 2003.

A total of 920 students from different schools had taken the examination. The 10 successful students will take the national talent search examination to be held on May 9.

The students who were honoured are (in order of merit):

General Category: Ankita Chakravarty, Kavisha Singh (Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School), Raghu Mahajan (St. Stephen’s School), Shimul Sachdeva, (Carmel Convent School), Parnav Pandit (Shishu Niketan Senior Secondary School), Rushil Goel (St. John’s High School), Manvi Singh (Carmel Convent) and Shefali Saroha (Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School).

Scheduled Caste Category: Aastha Jarora (Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 47) and Rashminder Kaur (Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School).


Viva competition for students
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, January 14
To enhance the confidence level of the students, a viva competition was organised as part of the Founder`s Day celebrations at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, here today. The students of Classes X and XII were questioned on various subjects.

Mr Krit singh, Principal, encouraged and congratulated the students for their good performance.

Samridhi Gilhotra, Class X, Amanpreet and Mishu Rana, both from Class XII were the winners of the competition. 


High Court
Judges not to interfere in promotion panel’s assessment
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today held that the Judges would not interfere in assessment made by the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) unless the same was proved to be mala fide.

In a significant ruling, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Grewal, added that the courts would also not interfere “unless there was a strong case for applying Wednesbury doctrine”.

The orders were pronounced on a petition filed against the Union of India, the state of Punjab, besides five other respondents, by Divisional Forest Officer Surjit Singh of Ferozepore.

In his petition, the officer had challenged the proceedings of the selection committee vide which a respondent was selected and “appointed by promotion to the Indian Forest Service”. The petitioner had also challenged another order pronounced by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) dismissing his application filed in the matter.

Dismissing his petition, the Judges asserted: “We are unable to come to a conclusion that the selection committee proceedings were either unreasonable or vitiated by mala fides”.

Speaking for the Bench, Mr Justice Nijjar added: “Apart from this, the law has been well settled by the Supreme Court of India that neither CAT nor the High Court would sit as a court of appeal over selections made by expert committee”.

The Judge further added: “It would be wholly inappropriate for this court to interfere in the conclusion reached by the expert selection committee.... In our opinion, the order passed by CAT does not suffer from any error of jurisdiction”.


84 lawyers get seats
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 14
As many as 84 advocates practising in the District Courts were allotted seats in a makeshift shed in the court complex here today. The seats were allotted through a draw of lots. The District Bar Association had received 139 applications for allotment of seats.

There is a shortage of sitting space for advocates in the complex with about 100 fresh advocates enrolling with the Bar Association each year. There are only 108 permanent chambers in the court complex which can accommodate only 324 advocates. At present there are about 2,000 advocates who are practising in the court.

Each of the new allottee has been given three chairs and a table in the shed, said sources.

While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Sajal Koser, president of the District Bar Association, informed some of the advocates who were allotted seats today have surrendered their earlier seats and the same would be allotted through a draw of lots after the forthcoming elections of the Bar Association.


Man sentenced for selling adultrated milk
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 14
A local court today sentenced a Panchkula-based milkman to six months imprisonment for allegedly selling adulterated milk. He has also been fined Rs 1,000.

The order was passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L.M ohal. Acting on a complaint, a Food and Supply Inspector had purchased 750 ml of milk from the vendor, Mohan Lal, on July 7, 2001. The milkman is a resident of Barwala village.

The milk was sent for laboratory tests which revealed that the sample contained 3.8 per cent of fat and 8.1 per cent of solids out of the manadatory 4.5 per cent of fats and 8.5 per cent of solids. The milkman was booked under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.

Work suspended in High Court

Chandigarh, January 14
Following the demise of advocate J.M. Sethi, work was suspended in the Punjab and Haryana High Court this afternoon. The 67-year-old advocate died of heart attack in the wee hours of today.

His cremation was attended by a large number of sitting and retired high court Judges, along with advocates. TNS


Shooting of ‘Shrimaan Chanakya’ begins on PU campus
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Panjab University came alive with “Shrimaan Chanakya” today. For those of you who are wondering what the expression is all about, here are some more details.

Sikander Bharti, the director of films like Akshay Kumar-starer Sainik and Govinda-starer Ghar Ka Chiraag has found an ideal location in the Panjab University sports ground to shoot his next film, titled "Shrimaan Chanakya", which has none other than Amrish Puri in the main role. Landing in the city today, the crew of the film, which has Chandigarh girl Kulraj Randhawa as the female lead and the still-struggling Atin Bhalla as the male lead, remained busy shooting a volleyball sequence, which will continue tomorrow.

Also attached with the project are some famous people like cameraman Kaka Thakur, who has worked for Rajesh Roshan in his hit productions like Karan Arjun and Koyla. Kaka Thakur was also behind the camera for Mera Gaon Mera Desh. Present along with the technical staff during the shooting schedule today was Babloo Mukherjee, who has inherited funny genes from his revered father Keshto Mukherjee. A part of many Doordarshan serials and as many films, Babloo quite misses his father. He is, however, happy that he can handle his pain well and can manage to spill laughter just as his father did.

Also seen hovering around the unit today was Javed, who began his career as a child artiste in Khudgarz. Recently Javed has been seen in the runaway success Ghulam, as also in the critically acclaimed Chandni Bar.

Coming to the lead lady of the film, one finds out that she hails from Sector 36 in the city. Giving details, Kulraj tells of how she became a management graduate in Bangalore and then started romancing the ramp, finally trying her luck at the Gladrags model hunt. “After some years on the ramp, I shifted to Mumbai where I trained in acting at the Kishore-Namit academy. I also learnt dance from Saroj Khan's assistant. Even before I was ready to take the plunge, I had this offer in my lap.”

In Shrimaan Chanakya, which is a story of an upright lawyer out to dispense justice at all costs, Kulraj plays the don's sister. “It is a usual masala film, told in style. I had a lot of scope to perform. That was why I took up this film,” she flashes a smile. The lady has also signed a South Indian film, due to be shot later this year.

With music from Sanjeev-Darshan and background scores by singers of the order of Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Shreya Ghosal and Jaspinder Narula, Shrimaan Chanakya will be shot in Chandigarh and Shimla. While everyone is praying for the success of the film, Atin Bhalla is naturally expecting extra returns, especially after his last flick “Om” came crashing down at the box office.

“I was not even noticed, but then the film was just not meant for the elite. It was made for the masses. I am now looking forward to another film, Jaan Ki Baazi. I will not give up because I am the son of a man who penned lyrics for films like Kalicharan and Rocky,” says the confident hero, who claims to sweep you off your feet with his heavy duty stunts.


Mauritians dance kathak in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 14
Blending Indian classical traditions with contemporary styles, the visiting Mauritian ballet company put up a delightful show at Baba Makhan Shah Lobana auditorium this evening.

The show, organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), commenced with a mesmerising sequence “Sutra of the Lotus”, which brought out the real spirit of cultural exchange as the dancers reached out to the audience, using art as a medium for conversation.

Among the rest of the items that followed was a kathak duet by the two lead dancers of the group — Anna Patten and Sanedhip Bhimjee. As founder members of Indigo Ocean, the band as it is called, the two wove a magical spell, using dance as a medium to strike the chords of rhythm and unity.

The presentation was sourced from the history of kathak itself, reflecting the divine inspiration that shaped the dance style as a vibrant form of expression. Royalty, aesthetics and tradition remained the predominant elements of this invocatory piece.

In another experimental piece, the performers paid a rhythmic tribute to dance and its creator. In this presentation the traditional Sega dancers followed rhythm flowing from the sounds of bells. The grace of kathak was visible in the piece, so was novelty, which is an essential component of any experimental item.

Dance of the Shakti, another item, was delightful with its balanced emphasis on bhava (abhinaya) and pure dance, which again stemmed from the elements of kathak, which Anna Patten had learnt way back in India from Birju Maharaj and Durga Lal ji. Suddenly breaking away from the traditional framework, the dancers got together in another presentation, “Feet in the soil”, to structure a brilliant presentation, inspired by African beats. It was indeed an enthralling presentation, which marked a clear shift from traditional Indian themes to wild African rhythm. The blend of cultures thus came alive on stage.

Kathazz, a blend of modern jazz and kathak, was another item with an exotic flavour. Exploring romanticism with every step, the dancers mixed and matched techniques to hold the audience captive with their charm and talent.


Home is where the heart is
Ruchika M. Khanna

Plaster of paris ceilings and heritage finish on walls are the quintessential feature of the house
Plaster of paris ceilings and heritage finish on walls are the quintessential feature of the house.

The children’s room is bright, but no jarring colours have been used
The children’s room is bright, but no jarring colours have been used
. — Tribune photos by Pankaj Sharma

Home is where the heart is. Mrs Madhu Jain, who has designed her 10 marla house in Sector 17 Panchkula, believes so.

Inspite of the space constraints, the interiors of the house are anything but cramped. Designed in a manner that the element of space is given prime importance, this two-storey house is its master’s canvas, where Mrs Jain has created her masterpiece.

Unlike most houses done by interior designers, which lack personal touch, the house looks lived in because of own creations of the owners — paintings and embroideries — have been used as wall accessories.

“Being a perfectionist, I have always wanted to have a perfect home. With help from my architect, and using our own creations — ceramic paintings done by my daughter-in-law, and pots painted by my daughter — we have created our designer home,” says Mrs Jain.

Everything in the house is perfect — be it the elements of light and balance, or from the outer aspect (facade) to the chic interiors. A small garden has been maintained outside the house, which renders colour to the outer butchwork facade. In fact, the Jains’ garden won the best garden award in the Spring Fest organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority last year.

The house is built on a 250 square yard area, but the covered area, according to HUDA bylaws, is just 70 per cent. While the ground floor has a living room-cum-dining room, master’s bedroom, children’s room, kitchen and a store, the first floor has two bedrooms and a balcony. Thus the size of the rooms has not been compensated for. As one enters the house, one is completely taken in by the tastefully done interiors. The plaster of paris work on the ceilings and heritage finish (on a plain wall, a darker shade of paint is used to create flakes) on the walls adds a touch of gloss and brings emphasis on the wall.

The flooring is sparkling marble tiles, and the paint used on the walls and ceilings is from the white family-crème and beige. Since natural light is in short supply, artificial lights, in carefully selected crystal lamp shades, are used all over the house. Balance has been created in the living-cum-dining room by having a heritage wall with a plaster of paris mosaic design on one side, and a huge ceramic painting on the opposite wall. The tapestry is brown, while the drapes are beige – which renders an earthy appeal to the room.

One of the best features of the house is the designer kitchen. Though the kitchen runs deep inside, it has been created using components of a modular kitchen. Wood-polished cupboards, and chimney, a double basin, polished granite slabs are reminiscent of an American style kitchen.

Even in the bedrooms, the element of space has been given the utmost importance. No heavy furniture has been used. The children’s room is bright and colourful with brick inlay work in deep rust on the one side, yellow paint on the other walls, and custom-made designer bed and toy cupboards. The ceiling of the room also has a carved plaster of paris teddy bear. 


Celebrate Pongal and thank the Lord
Harvinder Khetal

Celebrate Pongal with the Sundarams. For, it is festival time at both their outlets — in the Sector 35 lane of hotels and restaurants and on the Panjab University campus in Sector 14, Chandigarh. Mr and Mrs Sundaram, who have endeared themselves to the residents of the city and its satellite towns with their mouth-watering south Indian delicacies, now want to celebrate Pongal with their guests. Pongal is an important festival of Tamil Nadu farmers who express gratitude to gods and animals for a good crop. Beginning on Makar sankrati, it continues for three days (January 14 to 16).

Mrs Uma Maheshwari Sundaram says the restaurant is offering some items on a complimentary basis till January 20.

As you seat yourself on the table in their outlets, you will be welcomed with some rasam and papad. You can savour the warm tangy syrup along with bites of the fried papad as you wait for your order. The rasam also serves to whet your appetite. At the end of the meal of your from the varieties of sambar-dosa, idlis, vadas, uthapams or rice available, a sweet surprise is in store for you.

Each guest is offered a typical dessert associated with the festival. Called sweet pongal, it is a mixture of new rice and moong dal boiled in milk and water. Sweetened with jaggery, the dish is embellished with cashewnuts, raisins and grated coconut. For added flavour, elaichi powder is sprinkled, completing the cooking process.

Back home in Tamil Nadu, informs Mrs Sundaram, the preparation is offered to the sun god by the farmers as thanksgiving for a bumper paddy crop. In fact agriculturists cook the sweetened dish in new earthen pots that are marked with the religious symbols of vermilion dots and turmeric leaves. As an extension of this practice in homes, the women make colourful rangoli patterns in pooja rooms in honour of Lord Indra, the God of rain.

At the eateries here, you get a feel of the festival by the huge sugarcanes along with their leaves standing on either side of the entrance with a welcome sign. The string of mango leaves adds to decor.


Selling tea for 50 years
Jangveer Singh

Fifty years in the business of preparing tea. Selling tea all night for 20 paise per cup for 20 years. This is Girdhari Lal for you, better known as “Bhapa” Girdhari Lal, who has been running a tea shop in the Anar Dana chowk in Patiala for the past 50 years.

The city, which has been partaking of Girdhari Lal’s tea since 1953, returned some of the warmth at a function to commemorate the golden anniversary of the tea shop. Leading social workers, including Master Tarlochan Singh and Amar Singh Kamboj, paid their respects to 80-year-old “Bhapaji” who continues to visit the tea stall for two hours in the morning and evening even though he has given the management control of the stall to former workers.

Girdhari Lal’s “night tea stall” is part of the folklore of the city. Girdhari Lal came to Patiala from Hoti Mardan after Partition. For three years, he drove a tonga following which he worked as a junk dealer and dealt with the dismantling of old tongas. It was on January 26, 1953, that he decided to go back to the business he was doing in Hoti Mardan, that of selling tea.

He approached a tailor who had a corner shop in the Anar Dana chowk and requested the latter to allow him to sell tea in front of his shop at night and so came into being his “night tea stall”.

Girdhari Lal bought the shop after three years when the tailor moved out. He kept selling tea at night with students of the medical college and rickshaw pullers being his main clients. For the latter, he even provided free service of replenishing their “dhibrees” (night lamps which all rickshaws had to carry). The shop was also a meeting point of the poor and the homeless. Girdhari would serve them cold water during summer and light up a bonfire in front of his shop during winter.

The rates of Girdhari Bhapa’s tea have always been lower than the market since the inception of his shop.

A letter of citation given to him in 1983 by the “Citizens for Social Action”, also signed by the then Deputy Commissioner, states “Mr Girdhari Lal has been successful in maintaining the price (for his tea) till recently when he was compelled to raise the price from 10 paise to 15 paise for half a cup of tea and from 20 paise to 30 paise for a full glass of tea. The market price for a full glass of tea is 50 paise these days. He has struggled against raising the prices and is, therefore, a torch-bearer of fair trade practice.”

According to Girdhari, he charged 75 paise for a half cup and Rs 1 for a full cup of tea till five years ago when he gave the control of the shop to his workers. The workers, who now charge Rs 2 for a cup, give him Rs 60 per day for his daily maintenance. The shop opens in the day now. The turnabout took place during militancy before which it used to run from six in the evening to six in the morning.

Even now, Girdhari goes to the shop for sometime to keep up with old acquaintances.

His other pursuits include distributing books to schoolchildren and helping the poor and needy. Girdhari claims that he was offered a shop in Chandni Chowk long time back but he refused the offer.

“What is the fun in earning money and putting it in your pocket. No ‘phirna or turna’”. TNS


Struggling to keep a tradition alive
Suman Bhatnagar

Sarla KashyapFREE-HAND embroidery, a traditional art frame work of the Indian rural lifestyle which has been fading away in the present fast-paced information era, is being preserved by a housewife of Ambala city. It is really difficult to maintain a hobby which is not only time consuming but also needs a lot of patience in the today’s speedy life.

Sarla Kashyap , wife of a senior judicial officer, has devoted herself to this art of free hand embroidery for the last two decades. She said that she was inspired by her mother for this art when she was studying in seventh standard. Her grandmother used to say that girls should not sit idle. They should utilise the time learning household works , knitting and stitching. A few decades back when embroidery machines were not available in the market, girls used to make embroidery work manually and during matrimonial enquiry it was counted up as an additional qualification.

Sarla, who basically belongs to Pathankot, has made around six dozen wall hangings displaying various patterns of landscape and the lifestyle of remote villages of Punjab. This rare art is worked out with hundreds of different coloured threads and needles on a specific cloth canvas by putting lots of hard work, patience and time. It also needs concentration as one has to sit for hours while embodying a landscape. Two of the best sceneries — ‘spring in full bloom’ and ‘ancient village scene’ of Sarla Kashyap were appreciated by art lovers which took about six months to complete.

She wants that this vanishing art should have been adopted by the girls of today’s era but none of them were found interested in the manually operated art. Although through the embroidery machine such scenery could be prepared with in hours while manually it take weeks to complete. Sarla is of the view that machine-made embroidery could not replace hand-made embroidery.

Sarla wants to organise an exhibition of her art landscapes in an art lovers’ city like Chandigarh but she could not get any opportunity so far. “I know that in a city like Ambala this art cannot be recognised. Even than I will not leave it till my last breath”, she added.


Flower day attracts a few

Students dance at Student Centre,Panjab University, to mark the Flowers Day in Chandigarh
Students dance at Student Centre,Panjab University, to mark the Flowers Day in Chandigarh on Wednesday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 14
Presenting music in all its hues at a request stall, the Flower Day at Student Centre, Panjab University, today turned out to be a gala affair. Though it attracted a few 'flower-presenting' enthusiasts, the request stall proved to be a great attraction.

Music and dance dominated for the second-day as students danced to peppy Punjabi, English and Hindi numbers and requests continued to flow till the end of the three-hour performance.

Most of the girl students were confined to the sidelines of the campus ground. The unofficial dance party saw a deluge of students flocking not only from the various departments but from nearby colleges as well.

The organisers, Panjab University Campus Students' Council, had put galdioli and red roses for sale. While gladioli were priced at Rs 10, roses could be bought for Rs 15. The organisers had stocked 200 flowers at the stall.

As many as 60 selected songs were available in Hindi, English and Punjabi. While students could play their request for Rs 15 each, a hotline service which played the request instantly was also provided for.

Meanwhile, the road leading to the Student Centre was blocked with two-wheelers and four-wheelers, leading to a chaos. TNS

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