C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


ARCHO-2004 concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
As land in the city gets scarce, it needs to find ways to raise enough resources to create new infrastructure, said Advisor to UT Administrator Lalit Sharma here today.

He was speaking at the concluding day of ARCHO-2004, a week-long cultural and sports function, at the Chandigarh College of Architecture.

Mr Sharma gave away prizes to students of the college at the end of its 43rd annual festivities week.

He elaborated on various aspects of maintaining and sustaining the quality of civic services in planned cities. Thorough planning was needed to maintain the quality of civic services being provided to the people, and for this, there was a need for stabilising the population and have presentiment about the future number of user of services.

He said the population concentration in urban sectors was showing signs of change, as the pattern of occupation was rapidly changing and the focus was shifting from primary sector to other sectors. He predicated that this would raise effective demand for urban agglomeration.

Wise decisions in matters relating to town planning, architecture, municipal infrastructure, civic services and technological choices were need, he added.


Stephanians plan get-together
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 18
Students of St. Stephen's College, New Delhi, plan a get-together on March 26 evening at Chandigarh Club here to relive the old student days.

Four Stephanians from the Chandigarh chapter of St Stephen's College Old Students Association - Mr. Sukhbir Singh Grewal, Mr. Anupinder Singh Grewal, Mr. Parag Jain and Mr. Vijay Vardhan - have joined hands to make the event, which will be held at Chandigarh Club, a memorable one with the spirit of bonhomie and camaraderie lingering thick in the air.


High Court
Mansa Devi Complex development restrained
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 19
Taking up the "save the lake" case, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today restrained the state of Haryana from going ahead with development activities in Sectors 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi Complex. The orders were passed by the Bench headed by Chief Justice Mr Justice B.K. Roy.

In one of the petitions filed in the matter, a Naya Gaon resident — Dr B. Singh — had earlier sought directions for restraining the states of Haryana and Punjab, besides the Union Territory of Chandigarh, from investing public funds for purpose other than agriculture in area around the lake.

The petitioner had added that urbanisation by the state of Haryana was a scandal just like the Taj Heritage project. The Prime Minister, he had further claimed, had already restrained urbanisation in the area.

Cop death case hearing

After six months after Panchkula police Head Constable Jaiveer Singh allegedly killed himself, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today fixed April 9 as the next date of hearing on a petition seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the incident.

Directions for the registration of a first information report (FIR) against the officers allegedly involved in the incident were also sought by the deceased Head Constable’s widow in the petition.


Breathing life into glass
Geetu Vaid

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever,’’ said John Keats. And the joy is doubled when the beautiful object is a flower, nature’s most delicate and desirous gift more so when it is hand crafted’.

Asha Mankotia, wife of a retired Army officer, and her daughters Lara Bains and Tanya have brought artistic and eye catching glass flowers and candles to the city. The dainty flowers, wreaths, fillers and candles are all hand-crafted and hand-painted by Asha.

Telling about her art, Asha reminisces about a Parsi neighbour whom she met way back in 1963-64 in Pune. She was fascinated by the way her deft fingers breathed life into lifeless glass, moulding it into dainty flowers.

This combined with an artistic bent of mind and love for gardening made her start making glass items about three years back.

‘‘Gathering raw material was cumbersome and the first few attempts were crude but practice honed my skill.’’ And sure enough the finesse of deft fingers and a creative mind reflect in her work. The delicate flowers in red, orange, lilac, and pink are complete in minute details.

Initially, she started making bouquets for special friends as she believes ‘‘a handmade gift is the ultimate way of showing your love’’.

Soon her son and both daughters, too, joined her. It was her younger daughter Tanya who got the first order for her from Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi. There has been no looking back since then.

Roses, zinia, tulips, lilies, starry, orchids, freesia at Rs 135 to Rs 180 a stem, these glass blooms are not very cheap but the exclusivity and uniqueness of each piece makes it a must have, says Lara manages the marketing for the flowers.

Each petal is moulded separately, joined and hand-painted and stems are wrapped to complete a flower. The glass used is of good quality and is quite sturdy.

Candles ranging from Rs 115 to 200, wine glass holders for Rs 225, fillers for Rs 30 per stem, wreaths for Rs 160 to 1450, bouquets from Rs 500 to 850, table decorations for Rs 20-25 per piece it is quite a display.

The exhibition will be on till Sunday at Club Kebab in Sector 35.


A glimpse into the world of Feng Shui
Gurvinder Kaur

Chidambaram Kumar Aiyarr
Chidambaram Kumar Aiyarr

HE rubs shoulders with screen idols and business tycoons. His clients include Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra, Govinda, Jackie Shroff, Vivek Goenka and Abdul Rehman Bukhtawar, besides many others. Product of Patiala’s Modi College, globe-trotting Feng Shui expert Vedanarayan Chidambaram Kumar Aiyarr is in town nowadays not just to revive the old connections but also to provide Patialvis a glimpse into the mystical world of Feng Shui.

Based presently in Chennai, Mr Aiyarr is back in Patiala where he completed the later years of his schooling and graduation. Relaxing with his friend in a Patiala hotel he surprises you with his fluent Punjabi:” “Dekh lau main halle tak bhulaya nahin”. Warming up to the subject most dear to his heart, Mr Aiyarr says:” Awareness about Feng Shui has reached the North later than it did in the South. In fact this ancient Chinese science has broken the stronghold of traditional Vaastu whose principles are rigid and standardised. Feng Shui helps you balance energy flow and decrease negative energy with addition or removal of objects around you whereas Vaastu requires tedious demolition and reconstruction”.

Feng, he explains, literally means wind, and Shui means water, the two form the main `Chi`( meaning the breath of a dragon which is considered most auspicious in Chinese mythology) used in the science. Both the elements carry positive energy capable of spreading prosperity and happiness if placed in the right order. Mr Aiyarr says that though there exist 4-5 schools of thought based upon the subject, all of them derive sustenance from the basic principles of Feng Shui which states that the five elements — water, wood, wind, earth and metal — ooze energies that are spread out in the house and their placement vis a vis each other can either follow the Order of Generation or the Order of Destruction.

“My interest in Vaastu led me to discover Feng Shui and after a long period of self study I started experimenting with the houses and work areas of my friends . However, a chance encounter with a master Feng Shui practitioner in Malaysia changed the course of my life and I ventured out commercially in this field in 1993 after bidding goodbye to a flourishing business concern. Gradually as word spread large corporate houses started approaching me for solutions to their problems”, states the Feng Shui expert with a smile.

In 1993 itself he was asked to have a look at the Mumbai office of the Indian Express by Vivek Goenka followed by a similar request for the office of the Screen magazine. The success he encountered set the tone for things to come. “Now my clients are spread as far as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Dubai”, asserts Mr Aiyarr, with a quiet note of pride. However, yesteryear’s matinee idol Dilip Kumar remains his favourite client till date. Narrating his experience he says. “I received a call from Saira Banu in 1996 asking for my help as doctors had almost given up hope for the ailing actor. I set about balancing his health sector which had been afflicted and the actor’s subsequent recovery established a strong bond between us.”

Another achievement Mr Aiyarr is proud of is when he was able to bring about a change in the declining fortunes of the Sharjah Cricket stadium. “ I was called by Abdul Rehman Bakhtawar, the owner of Ten Sports, as the stadium had lost a good deal of revenue after the year 2000 following the construction of a pool and gymnasium in its complex. By realigning the position of various objects in the stadium and changing the colours of the seats located in various directions, I was able to achieve good results without going in for demolition or large scale renovation”, he states. In the city at the behest of old friends and clients, Mr Aiyarr plans to stay put for the next couple of days.


She has the key to mind power
Parbina Rashid
Dr Vijayalakshmi
Dr Vijayalakshmi

Alpha Mind Power, the name may conjure up images from science fictions, but spend a little time with Dr Vijayalakshmi Panthaiyan from Chennai and you are convinced that a little meditation is what you need to face life.

“The greatest power is the power of our subconscious mind. Once we understand this and learn to use the power within us, we can change our life,” says Dr Vijayalakshmi. According to this psychologist and counsellor, who has touched 5,000 lives all over the country, the key to betterment lies in alpha level of our mind.

Alpha is a brainwave frequency between 7 and 14 cycles per second, which is also a level between sleep and wakefulness, explains Dr Vijayalakshmi. She is here to conduct a one-day workshop at a hotel on March 21. “Amazing power is lying dormant in this zone. Once you learn to awaken this magical power within you, it is possible to use it everyday for various purposes in life and create desired results,” she says.

One does not need an elaborate ambience or ample time to exercise Alpha Mind Power, according to Dr Vijayalakshmi. “Practice of alpha meditation for 15 minutes everyday helps you to get rid of negative emotions and psychosomatic health problems and at the same time, improves memory and sharpens the mind,” she says. One can practise it even while travelling in a crowded bus.

Dr Vijayalaksmi’s module on alpha meditation comes in a most simplified manner, which can be understood even by a 12-year-old. “It is after attending numerous programmes on meditation and spirituality, I came out with my module in 2000, which suits the busy lifestyle of today,” says Dr Vijayalakshmi.

The most appealing part of alpha mediation is its non-religious nature. “Alpha Mind Power is all about empowering yourself by unwinding your mind and hence, it does not follow in the gambit of any religion. Once you learn to exert alpha power in your life, you move beyond the barriers of religion or gender,” says Dr Vijayalaksmi.


Car fabricated from scrap

Mechanical engineering students of Shaheed Udham Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Tangori, pose with a single-seater car which they fabricated from scrap.
Mechanical engineering students of Shaheed Udham Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Tangori, pose with a single-seater car which they fabricated from scrap.  — A Tribune photograph

Six mechanical engineering( final year) students of Shaheed Udham Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Tangori, have fabricated a single-seater car out of scrap at a cost of Rs 16,000 in eight days.

Christened ‘Meckangel’, the car is powered by a 110 cc Kinetic Honda scooter engine with a little modification. Weighing around 125 kg and running at a top speed of 55 kmph, the car has been designed by the students as part of their curriculum .

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Bhupinder Sharma, one of the students, said they were exploring with the idea for the last two years but started work on the project this year. He said the junk for fabricating the frame was procured from the scrap market in Burail village and the second-hand scooter engine was also procured from a scrap dealer. The other students are Anupam, Aman Bansal, Malvinder Singh, Puneet Kaushal and Saurabh Verma.

Some modifications have been made in the engine part which moves the wheel, said Saurabh Verma, another student. The engine shaft has been replaced with an adjustable chain which moves one of the rear wheels instead of a shaft the differential. The other rear wheel has been kept free. The conventional steering mechanism has been replaced with a simple steering mechanism. The eight-feet long and four-feet wide car got the first prize in the inter -college project competition.

The students said the project became a reality due to support of Mr M.L. Wadhwa, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the college. TNS


Stars dance to his tunes

Ganesh Acharya
Ganesh Acharya

Govinda loves to dance on his tunes. So does Raveena Tandon, Urmila Matondkar and Karishma Kapoor. Ganesh Acharya, the undisputed master of dance direction in films has shown how people with a humble beginning can make big.

Identified with hit dance sequences in the songs like “Chhama chhama”, “Kisi disco mein jaayen”, “Aisa jaado dala re”, “Koi jaye to le aaye”, and many more, Ganesh attributes his success to his expressionist style. Famous as a choreographer who makes his stars sing in movement, Ganesh admits that he directs his pieces with emphasis on movement.

“Nothing registers like expressions, gestures and movement. My dances are not routine dances that overplay lyrics. They take a lead from the words which serve to strengthen movement that can then register in the audience’s memory for long. No one who has seen Govinda and Raveena dance on my number — “Akhiyon se goli maare — can ever forget them.”

Trained by his father and then by Kamal Masterji in Mumbai, Ganesh has established a dance academy of his own in Mumbai. He owns a studio, where he has an entire line up of trained artistes for extremely vigorous dance sequences. Out of the many major numbers that he has done, he specifically remembers the dance direction of “Sona sona” in the film “Major Sahib.”

“Directing Amitabh Bachchan was a dream come true. Although I am most comfortable with Govinda, who picks up my style instantly, Amitji was also a pleasure to work with. He is full of life on the sets and he is willing to accept challenges, which my dance direction is all about,” informs Ganesh, who is also the favourite dance director of Govinda.

Among the actresses, Ganesh admires Madhuri Dixit’s command over movement. “I am yet to come across a dancer as flexible as her. Raveena, Karishma, Urmila and Aishwarya are also fine dancers. Also, I want to direct Sridevi.”

Unlike many choreographers, Ganesh likes to feature in his own pieces. He explains, “There are some dances I feel I can perform the best. For the rest of dances, there are actors.” In Anil Sharma’s film, Ganesh will direct a song sequence set against the festival of Baisakhi. It will be shot tomorrow. TNS

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