C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PSEB has withdrawn notices, says Kang
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 30
The Punjab Government has decided to give power supply to villages on the urban pattern by June 30, Punjab Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Jagmohan Singh Kang told a delegation of farmers from Kharar and Morinda subdivisions.

He also told the delegation that the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) had withdrawn the notices served on them, asking them to pay "hefty" amount on account of augmentation charges of lines and transformers.

The deputation had earlier apprised the minister of the hefty power bills sent to them for extension of load of their tubewell connections under the voluntary discourse scheme of the PSEB.

As per an official release of the Punjab Government, the PSEB has taken the necessary steps so that villagers too could get power supply as their counterparts in towns are getting.



Models present an impressive show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Synthetic smog descending on the ramp changed shades as colourful blinking lights illuminated lissome and brawny models during “Bold and Beautiful Mr and Miss Chandigarh” contest held at Tagore Theatre this evening. The programme was organised by Western Star Group.

It all started with the traditional round. As thumping beats of pulsating music echoed against the walls, the models clad in traditional attires sashayed down the ramp. They came back dressed in black and white during the second round. Their cheerful lurex tops glittered during the western outfit and beach round.

The latest in the wedding wear was displayed during the second last round followed by the question-answer session. In all 15 girls and an equal number of boys participated in the contest.

Mr Simran Simmee was the show director, while Naresh Kumar, N.K. Madaan and Subhash Tekchandani were the organisers. The show was choreographed by Sachin Mahajan. As per the organisers, the Judges included, Prof J.P. Sharma and Mr N.K. Rathee of Panjab University, besides city residents Mr Tejee, Mr Arvind Sodhi and Mr Vishal Hafed.



Marble magic camp begins
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 30
Leisure Valley came alive with the beauty of black marble today. As 11 eminent sculptors’ got together in the national sculptors camp, it was time for meaningful exchange of ideas. Being jointly organised by Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi, and the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO), the 10-day camp will require artists to translate black marble stones into art works.

Although the sculptors are being assisted by stone carvers from Bainslana in Rajasthan (from where stones have been procured), most of them are worried over the limitation of time. They felt the stones were too big and the time at hand too short. No wonder, most of them got down to work right after the formal inauguration by UT Home Secretary R.S. Gujral. They began by sketching sculptural forms on canvases provided by the Government College of Art, Sector 10.

Challenged by the time factor and the bigness of material, most sculptors said they were inspired to create better. The inspiration was further enhanced by the serene ambience of Leisure Valley, which looked greener. Sumitabh Pal, lecturer in sculpture from the Delhi College of Art, talking about the significance of black marble, said “This medium is very soft, hence easy to handle. I will experiment with human emotions in stone. For five years now, I have been creating human images in geometrical forms. Most of my works are abstract because they depict emotion.”

Pramod Sharma, curator with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, takes leads from nature. Known for keeping the character of the material alive, Pramod explained, “Marble itself is massive and bold. It does not make sense for the artist to interrupt the flow of its beauty. My job is to use my skills to enhance the character of stone.”

Sandip Chakravorty, who teaches sculpture at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, is most fascinated by birds. “For the past 15 years, I have been concentrating on image of birds in various mediums like wood, metal and stone. None of my works is realistic. Every form is simplified,” said the sculptor.

Simplicity is also the word for Binod Kumar from Benaras Hindu University, who said design and material were inextricably linked.

"Not all materials are suitable for sculptural forms. Black marble is easy to chisel. I will create a functional form from it," he quipped.

Other participants include Vijay Rao from Mysore, Ratna Bhawsar from Nadiad, Ackka Yadgiri Rao from Hyderabad, Vipul Kumar from Jaipur, Radha Krishnan from Thiruvananthapuram, Jagpal Singh from Jammu and Rajesh Sharma from Chandigarh. Along with the sculptors, the stone carvers from Rajasthan also remained in focus as they carved the stones for the creators. Most of them work in the marble mines at Bainslana, known for its high-quality black marble. They make idols, besides assisting reputed sculptors. The eldest in the lot, Shambhu Singh, is about 75 years old.

CITCO MD S.P. Singh said every Sunday, Leisure Valley would remain open for those who wanted to utilise its space for the creation of art. He informed that artists could paint, display their art works and sell these directly to cusmoters. “The idea is to animate the surroundings and revive this space. Sculptors’ camp is just the beginning. CITCO will hold such events regularly so that art activity gets going.”



Birth and death of human values
Raja Jaikrishan

“WINDOW to Gujarat”, an exhibition on the flowering, fall and spring of human values at the World Social Forum, Mumbai, was a big draw.

In keeping with the cyclic worldview the trio — Rochana Deb (exhibition designer), Pravin Mishra (filmmaker) and Ajit Pal Singh (poet and filmmaker) — put up the exhibition in an open-ended circular space.

The exhibition, done by the trio for the Gujarat Social Forum, a conglomerate of NGOs, “started with Dharamveer, an animation film of Pravin Mishra”, says Rochana Deb, Chandigarh-based exhibition designer.

Rochana and Pravin, being students of the National Institute of Design, were in Ahmedabad during the 2001 earthquake and in the 2002 fascist programme. Ajit had shifted to Ahmedabad from Ludhiana in 1984.

By bringing the viewer closest to the panels, he was turned into an insider. He occupied the Gujarat space of maritime traders, Gandhi, and Moditva forces.

He was made to share the grief of gutted dreams as he stood in front of a smoke-blackened wall supporting half-burnt household goods.

The viewer travels the lanes and bylanes of Ahmedabad in “Phir Kyon”, a documentary by Ajit Pal. He wonders how could an industrious community known for creating wealth slips into the dark ages.

He feels that all is not lost in front of three panels:

1) Zhari Ben, who lost all in the earthquake, but helped others to regain the lost ground

2) Prutha, who lost an arm, but painted with the left hand to earn a million and

3) Hazira Ben, a resident of a Muslim ghetto in Ahmedabad, lost 21 members of her family to the Hinduva-inflamed violence. She works with NGOs for the support of carnage survivors.

One leaves the exhibition humming Javed Akhtar’s (one of the panel) poem:

When oppression will not be tolerated,

When homes will not be burnt down,

When blood will not flow on the streets

When the eyes will not be filled with pain,

That day shall come. TNS



From glamour to social work
Parbina Rashid

Ritika SahniFROM Bengali jingles to playback singing, Ritika Sahni, has come a long way. But much more than her success in Bollywood, what earns your admiration is that even after going through the rat race, Ritika has not forgotten her social obligations. As this Bengal born and brought up Punjaban talks about how she is using her fame and talent to benefit the physically challenged children, you cannot help admiring her for balancing her priorities so well.

"If you feel strongly for something, there is always a way to go around it," says Ritika, who, after the success of her debut film "Mein Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon," is now dividing her time between playback singing and working towards bringing the physically challenged children into the mainstream population.

In town to perform at Hotel Shivalikview, Ritika proves what she says. Besides interacting with media persons and getting her act ready for the show, Ritika also found time to visit the Institute for the Blind here and donate the musical album for children "Happy Day" which comes with a song book written in braille.

Ritika armed with a masters degree in music from Rabindra Bharati, Kolkata, entered the music scene with albums in different regional languages like Bengali, Bhojpuri and Rajasthani. In search for greener pastures in Bollywood, Ritika's dream to become a national level singer was realised when she got an opportunity to sing two songs in Ram Gopal Verma's "Mein Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon".

Flooded with offers from big banners like Mahesh Manjerekar's "Rakt", Sagar Sirhadi's untitled film, Ritika is also working on her solo album which is going to be a folk based pop album. "I have written lyrics for three songs in my forthcoming album which is going to be released soon," says Ritika.

Not only that Ritika who has been actively working with physically challenged children, is producing another musical album for them. "Because of the risk factor involved, nobody in the industry is taking much interest. This is one field I would like to explore," she says.



A rich legacy of chandeliers
Rahul Das

EXQUISITE designs and sparkling lights are the hallmarks of chandeliers, which brighten the drawing rooms of many a home. One such home belongs to an Ambala-based family, which is proud of its chandeliers, albeit for a different reason.

The chandeliers in the Mathur household, located on Hill Road, are nearly 100 years old. Unlike the present-day chandeliers, which are made of translucent glass, these chandeliers are made of coloured glass. Each chandelier has a different colour, which gives it a distinct identity.

Mr Gaurav Mathur said the chandeliers were brought from Aden by his great grandfather, Rai Saheb Anand Swarup. He was working as an SDO and had gone to Aden in the early years of the last century. “He brought 12 chandeliers from there,” he said. Of these 12 chandeliers, three decorate their drawing room.

Although the chandeliers are nearly a century old, time does not seem to have taken away their sheen.

When the chandeliers were brought, earthen lamps or candles had to be put in these for illumination. “The chandeliers have a pulley system by which these could be lowered and the lamp could be put in. We now use electric bulbs,” Mr Mathur said. TNS



Let nature be your doctor

IT'S a place where nature takes care of your entire body system. 'Prakritik Kayakalp Kendra', the nature-cure centre at Kala Gram, provides you an opportunity to get rid of your ailments through the four basic elements - earth, water, sun and air.

Having separate sections for men and women, the centre offers a complete body-rinsing process through body massage, mud bath, steam bath and acupressure. Dr Sukhnandan Jain, with more than 30 years' experience in the field, heads the centre.

"We use elements from the nature to treat various ailments like asthma, abnormal blood pressure, common cough and cold, diabetes and gastric problems etc," says Dr Jain, who has written five books on various ailments.

Diet forms an integral part of the healing process here. "There are specific food items for each part of our body and besides maintaining a balanced diet, I emphasise on fasting for at least a day in a week so that our system gets a complete rest," he says.

The centre mostly attracts people who want to cure obesity. "Though the centre is equipped to treat various chronic ailments, mainly people come here to lose weight," says Dr Jain.

He claims to have cured even thalassaemic children. Dr Jain observes that the biggest challenge is to make the people aware of the 
wide-ranging benefits of naturopathy. OC 



Apollo clinics in North

THE sedentary lifestyle of people is leading to a large number of health problems. In states like Punjab, where prosperity means less physical activity and a rich diet, diseases like obesity, heart ailments, hypertension and diabetes are on the rise.

This was stated by the vice-president, (North), Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited, Mr Rohit Das, at Chandigarh on Friday. He said that with obesity and heart ailments affecting younger people each year, these were the main concerns for the health care set up.

Since Punjabis were at a higher risk of suffering from coronary heart diseases, the opening of Apollo clinics in Chandigarh and Ludhiana would help bring primary health care, especially for the lifestyle-related diseases, and quality in health care to all sections of the society.

He said that Apollo clinics had been set up at 15 locations all over the country. After the inauguration of a clinic here, another clinic would be inaugurated in Ludhiana on Saturday. He says that though they were not specifically targeting North, but since lifestyle-related diseases were more prevalent in Punjab, they had decided to open primary health care centres here.

He said that in the next five years, they planned to open 250 Apollo clinics, including 30 to 40 clinics abroad. TNS


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