C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Students celebrate end of semester
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 14
It was party time at the Canadian Institute of International Studies in Industrial Area, Phase 1, here today. Students were celebrating the end of a semester for bringing them closer to their careers. Some students will now be undertaking cooperative training in institutes like Quark, Deltron, IDS, Convergys, Toyota, Honda, etc.

The students also bid farewell to the institute Director, Mr Bruce Condie, and the Canadian faculty from Georgian College, Barrie, Ontario, who had been here to teach students at CIIS, Ms Rebecca World (Faculty for Communications), Mr Phil Densham (Senior Faculty for Computer Studies), Mr Jack Brown (Senior Faculty for Automotive Studies) and co-op trainee Kevin Smit (CIIS) as part of student exchange programme between Georgian College and the CIIS.

On the occasion students presented a fun-filled cultural show, including Western dances. Solo and duet songs in Hindi and Punjabi filled the air with the sound of music and had the audience tapping their feet. Bhangra, giddha and a skit reflecting the influence of the Western culture in India were also performed. The day culminated eventually with students along with the equally enthusiastic faculty staff taking to the dance floor.



ICA guarantees jobs for its students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
The Institute of Computer Accountants (ICA), which launched its Punjab Chapter here today guaranteed job placements for young accounting and taxation students and better prospects for existing accountants. It also claimed that if anyone failed to secure employment, the entire training fee will be refunded.

The institute offers this job guarantee to all its computer accounts courses ranging from one month to one year. The fee for these courses is anything between Rs10,000 to Rs 25,000.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Surajit Paul, Business Development Manager (All India) said the institute with 150 centres across the country had already provided employment to 4,000 persons. The minimum qualification for 13-odd courses run by them is graduation and one does land up with a Rs 3,000 of Rs 4,500 job per month after doing the course, he said.

The ISO 9001 institute specialises in imparting training for computerised accounts, taxation, banking, excise, portfolio management and excise duty with practical approach.

Mr Paul said VCare India is the franchisee for the Chandigarh Institute. The ICA has 150 chartered accountants that are working full-time with organisation in various fields like R and D, placement, management and Faculty.



Hamara School
The motto is to develop self-confidence

Children participate in their annual sports day
Children participate in their annual sports day

SHARDA Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, Chandigarh, is an institute that strives to mould its students into world-class citizens of tomorrow equipped with moral attributes, spiritual insight, dedication and love for the human kind. The school is on a mission to equip its students with strong character, sharp intellect, self-confidence and self-reliance. The curriculum of the school is designed to achieve a balance between academic and co-curricular activities. The school endeavours to inculcate not only the humanitarian values to help the needy and the deprived, but also concern and commitment towards the improvement of the environment. A conscious effort is being made to mobilise the children with a healthy attitude towards the environment through morning assembly talks by the teachers and the Principal, Mr B.S. Kanwar. They are encouraged to grow trees or help the poor on their birthdays instead of distributing sweets. The school nurtures inherent talents and skills of the students so that they excel in their respective fields. In endeavours to inculcate self discipline, diligence and dedication to groom them to perfection. It boasts of a modern computer lab, a library and a well-equipped math’s and science laboratory for physics, chemistry and biology managed by competent staff where the students are encouraged to develop their habit of reading and learning.

Sports: Our students have brought laurels to the school in different games as they have been selected for the school nationals. They have won 18 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze in inter-school UT competitions, Chandigarh, and won 3 silver and 2 bronze medals in the school nationals. Besides, the school has also won 5 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze in inter-school judo (boys), and 6 students were selected for school nationals.

Inter-house competition: In order to develop self confidence and exposure, the school observes inter-house competitions. These competitions keep the spirit alive amongst the students and help them develop their personality and recognise their hidden talents.

Extra co-curricular activities: Extra co-curricular activities are undertaken on a daily basis. Declamation contests, debates, quiz and writing competitions and competitions related to art and craft are undertaken by the different faculties. It provides the children with a sense of healthy competition and a determination to win.

It is a school where students get a chance to blossom into enlightened citizens fully aware of their responsibilities towards parents, society and country.

The school also participated in various inter-school competitions and won many prizes. They were : Inter-school declamation contest to celebrate the birth anniversary of Swami Shradha Nand in which Kanika, student of Class-IX, A, Divya, student of Class IX stood first and second respectively. Tina won the consolation prize.

Inter-school poetry recitation, handwriting and essaywriting competitions were organised by Punjabi Tribune in which Satinder of Class VII stood first in essaywriting and second in handwriting competition, Ruby of Class IX stood second in essay writing competition. Ratandeep and Reena of Class VII stood second in poetry recitation. Manjeet and Nehan of the same class won consolation prizes in creative writing.

JSR Production of Chandigarh organised various competitions related to drawing, essay writing, dance and declamation in which Vaishali of Class VIII-A and Kanika of Class IX-A were declared best dancers in their age groups. Bunty of Class VIII-A and Ritika of Class IV-B were declared best speakers in their age categories. Sudeep of Class VIII-C won first prize in essay writing and Sujeet of the same class was declared the best painter.

Advice to young Sarvhitkarians:

Even if it seems much too far

Step by step day by day

Keep your eyes on a distance star

Do not think you cannot go all that way........

With faith, courage and good cheer

The goal comes nearer, nearer and nearer.



Principal speaks
‘The faculty encourages humanitarian values’

‘LEADING this prestigious institution has been a deeply fulfilling and rewarding assignment for me. The school is 18 years old. It stands as an institution of sterling worth that has nurtured in its fold young girls and boys who have gone into the world as individuals of various qualities and values. To those who saw the beginning of the school, it is one golden chain which holds the wealth of golden memories, each linked with the other, being a symbol of selfless sacrifice, tireless toil and devoted dedication of people who visualised the fulfillment of their dream — the creation of an institution, which would provide quality education. We have done our best to provide meaningful and qualitative education for their all round development in a healthy atmosphere in which they can grow into healthy individuals and shine in which ever field they pursue.



Bansi’s play offers new perspective on home
Aditi Tandon
Tribune New Service

Chandigarh, April 14
Sometimes travel to a new place gives us a fresh perspective on home and a new appreciation for it. Travails structured by destiny may steer our lives out of control for a while but faith finally prevails upon all that undermines the dignity of life.

Henrik Ibsen underlines these basics of existence in his Norwegian play, “Peer Gynt”, which Bansi Kaul has commendably adapted for the Indian audience. The premier show of his classic work opened in Chandigarh today, with the lack of audiences being the only regret. The two-and-a-half-hour-long play was staged at Tagore Theatre here today.

Like the mother version, the play remains rooted in man and his wanton desires to break free of bondage, notwithstanding the cost. Keeping the script as true to the original as possible, the director incorporates local influences with admirable ease. Bansi’s Gope hardly differs from Ibsen’s Peer, except in belonging. Peer was a Scandinavian. Gope is a Himachali. The folk imagery is strong and the set design appropriate.

Flourish of the hills offers the nostalgic ambience needed for the play to take off. With displacement at its core, the play, along with Gope, travels from Himachal and Mumbai to Rajasthan, reaching back for the hills which are home to the protagonist. The story develops in the mind of Gope, who yearns to master the earth. Driven by hedonism, he moves from one knot of people to another, plundering them of what they have and getting plundered in return.

As he alternates between travail and tribulation, love and rejection, he seeks the warmth of home where he has condemned his beloved to an eternal wait. The range of metaphors is amazing. From the swamp of Mumbai’s underworld to the squalor of mental asylum which is home to all intellectuals, the play offers many reference points to the audience. In each of these points, one relates with Gope, who is constantly being stalked by Chitragupt, the accountant assigned the task of evaluating his life.

Unmindful of God and His power to control man, Gope loses himself in his exhaustive travels which take him anywhere but where he wishes to go. Nostalgic strains of the hills resonate in his mind reminding him of home, where childhood memories await him with all their abandon. As the sense of alienation grows heavier, Gope’s longing to return home attains voracious proportions.

He fights the pain of loss and finds his way home. The joy of the production lies in the protagonist’s triumph over tragedy. Faith, which he grew on as a child, manifests itself despite desperation, as he sleeps in the lap of Shanni, who plays mother to him. The play ends amidst reflective strains of a lullaby, which Shanni sings for a tired Gope.

Supported by the National School of Drama Repertory Company, the play has been adapted by Satish Dave. Music is by Anjana Puri, assisted by Govind Pande. Lights and costumes are by Parag Sarmah and Nalini Joshi, respectively. On stage, Teekam Joshi, Raj Sharma and Baljinder Sharma keep the interest of audience alive.

The play will also be held tomorrow at 6.30 pm.



Traditional and contemporary get-up catches attention
Ruchika M. Khanna

The drawing room, though in the “semi basement” has enough natural light and air circulation through ventilators.
The drawing room, though in the “semi basement” has enough natural light and air circulation through ventilators. 
Double width staircase, on each split level create an element of space.
Double width staircase, on each split level create an element of space. — Tribune photos Pawan Sharma

‘A home of my own... that reflects my innate self.’ Dr G.S. Kochher’s house in Sector 21 here reflects his urbane outlook, with his love for the roots.

The structural design of the Kochher house is American, and interiors are a combination of traditional and contemporary. Built on a 630-square-feet piece of land, with a covered area of 2800 square feet, the different structural design of the house catches each one’s attention.

“We had visited a relative in Los Angeles, USA, a year before we began the construction of the house, and liked the split floor concept (rooms constructed at different levels) of most American homes. We then explained the concept to our architect, Mr V.D. Kapoor, and after numerous sessions came up with the house plan,” says Dr Kochher.

The house has not been constructed in the conventional style of having separate floors, but the rooms have been constructed at different levels. Two steps lead to the lobby of the house, which makes way for a family dining and kitchen on one side, a family lounge and bathroom on the other. Right opposite the entrance are seven double width stairs leading to the next level (four and a half feet above the first level) — which has two spacious bedrooms, including the master bedroom.

The third level (again 5 feet above the second level) has four bedrooms, with attached bathrooms and dressing rooms. Care has been taken while planning the layout of the bedrooms, so that each bedroom has a separate balcony (for welcoming the sunrise at day break, and relaxing after dusk, adds Dr Kochher). Having split floors in the house has given it a dimension of space — so much so that the bedrooms on the second level are as huge as 17 feet by 17 feet, and on the third level are 15 feet by 15 feet in size.

From the main lobby, a flight of stairs also leads to the formal drawing room — cum-bar-cum-formal dining room — five-and-a-half feet below the first level. “It is not a conventional basement, but at half the depth of a normal basement. This ensures that there is sufficient light in the room, and we don’t have to rely on artificial light all the while. This also facilitates in air flow, through the ducts on the windows, and there is no dampness,” he adds. This ‘semi basement’ is 18 feet by 40 feet in size, which ensures that there are two sitting arrangements — one for formal sitting and another near the bar. The dining is on the extreme corner and a flight of stairs again winds up to the kitchen on the first level, to act as service lane during parties.

To maintain balance, the Kochher’s have done the interiors in traditional style — Indian and Victorian. The flooring is marble, Plaster of Paris embellishes the ceilings, which are covered with wall paper, and accessories are more Indian — ceramic chandeliers, traditional paintings, lacquer in lay work chairs et al. TNS



Morning Chatter
Shhhhhh... don’t tell anyone...
Taru Bahl

Your secret service tool kit

  • Ensure no dirty secrets tumble out, especially during weddings, family get-togethers and times heralding new beginnings.
  • Remember secrets have the paradoxical power of uniting and conversely dividing people.
  • There is a direct link between keeping a secret and being trustworthy and good friend material.
  • Have the wisdom to distinguish between secrets which mustn’t be told and which can be told in the larger interests of the people involved.
  • Have the wisdom to distinguish between secrets which mustn’t be told and which can be told in the larger interests of the people involved.

THE moment you whisper, “Hey, please don’t tell this to anyone,” you can be sure that the piece of information you have just shared, is soon going to become public knowledge. Well, there is something about secrets. Having a deadly secret in your possession makes you either feel like a king or results in a queasy sort of a feeling. It keeps needling you to somehow spill the beans. When you think you are just telling “that one single person” who, as per your directive, is not going to take the disclosure any further, you are actually sealing the future of the secret. It is going to travel far and wide.

We all thrive on juicy secrets. They are our staple diet. This is what all tabloids do as they blatantly expose secrets of the rich and the famous. Ninety per cent of the books that have come out after Princess Diana’s tragic death are “scoops” about her various affairs and private conversations and insights into a life that was definitely not meant for public scrutiny. Call it voyeurism, paparazzi frenzy or gossip-mongering, the fact remains that these were little secrets of her life, which have become drawing room conversation worldwide. She is not here to tell us if they are exaggerations or refute them. We, however, lap it up with vicarious delight because we feel we are privileged to have been let into a secret chamber of tidbits which we may never have known.

That secrets are supposed to be sacrosanct is something very few of us understand. In a small city like Chandigarh, where everyone knows everyone or at least knows of everyone, there is danger, not just at the hands of friends and supposed confidants, but also the entire genre of professionals who have access to some secret part of our lives. There is the gynaecologist who knows our entire reproductive history; the heart/lung/liver specialist who knows exactly how much stress is there in our lives, how many drinks go down our gullet every evening and how much damage has been done to our vital organs. Our child’s class teacher knows how miserably he has performed and what bad parents we make and the family astrologer who knows every minute aberration, moral or ethical, that has occurred in our lives. How do we save ourselves from situations where one or all of them spill the beans and set in a motion a disastrous chain of events, all because a small, teeny weeny secret couldn’t stay where it was intended to - in the deepest recesses of the secret-keeper’s sub conscious mind.

A leading gynaecologist of the city, puts your fears to rest by saying, “I wouldn’t dream of saying hello to the girl who visited my clinic last week. Not because I lack social etiquette or that I am snooty, but simply because the teenaged girl may have come to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.” Keeping her secret close to our chest without discussing it even with our spouses is something we owe not just to her but to our profession which has a privacy bond, never mind if it is unwritten and unspecified. The fear of getting exposed in the event of a secret popping into the public realm can only be eliminated by leading a secret-free life. In other words, being so open and transparent in everything you do that there is indeed nothing to hide and be scared of!



Fight off your post-exam blues
Monica Sharma

THE examinations are over and the result is yet to be declared. That is the reason why you have been pacing the room, alone, thinking about the “uncertain future”. No wonder, you have been suffering from this “troublesome feeling of being in gloom”. Matters can get worse if you do not take control of your feelings now, insist psychologists and doctors.

They assert that blues is different from clinical depression, but at the same time it should not be ignored lest “the pain of living becomes more than the pain of ending life”.

Giving details, the doctors insist that depression is a persistent medical problem that requires evaluation and treatment by medical professionals. But “post-examination blues” can disappear within a few days enabling you to resume your daily routine. In the meantime, you can take steps to feel better, like talking to a friend.

“First of all, you should share your feelings with your family. Catch hold of a trusted friend if you cannot talk to them because of some reason. You can even visit a counsellor or dial the suicide helpline number,” suggests young psychologist Dimple Chowdhury.

Regular exercise is another option. “Moderate exercise will not only keep you fit, but will also help you feel better,” she says. “As such, you should go for long walks or visit a gym.

Also spend time with others. You tend to forget your troubles in company of others. It is a proven fact. As such, playing some game, like badminton, with a friend will enable you to feel light. It will also help you in sharing your feelings. You can also drive down to a discotheque for losing your blues”.

You should also look for opportunities to assist others. “Go ahead, teach your maid servant’s son. Or else join some non-government organisation for a few days to help less fortunate. It will make you feel happy”.

Another thing. You should eat healthy meals and get adequate rest. “A good balanced meal goes a long way in boosting your confidence level. Afternoon nap refreshes you,” she asserts.

Just in case you find that the feeling of blues is persistent or severe, seek medical help immediately to make sure that you are not suffering from clinical depression. OC



Eating Out
A booth full of delicious goodies
Harvinder Khetal

THERE are times when out on a routine visit to the local market, shopping for daily knick-knacks, you pass by a gleaming new shop and are attracted to it. And, you end up trying out an item or two, though it was not your list. After all, not many are averse to a quick bite.

Bake 4 Me is one such place in Chandigarh’s Sector 44 market that opened its doors in March. Housed in one of the new booths (No. 316), this confectionery stocks the usual but tempting array of biscuits, cakes, pastries and patties. The aroma of fresh bread wafting through the corridor, as you stroll by, arrests your walk. You are led into the pocket-sized booth lined with racks full of goodies.

The glass fridge displays an exciting range of bars of chocolates, rolls of candies, packets of juices and bottles of cold drinks and sweet milk garnished with almonds and saffron.

Veg and cheese patties are handed out after heating in the oven. Take them away, sipping into a pineapple juice pack held in the other hand.

As the temperature rises, the ice cream container in the tuck shop seems mouth-watering. They have an interesting assortment of a new brand of the frozen dessert — Cream Bell. The ice cream comes in various shapes and sizes. While the kids prefer the licks and joosticks, their parents opt to scoop the calorie-filled coolant from cups with spoons. The cones are also popular, coming in such flavours as mango, lime, orange, pineapple, grape, strawberry, litchee, chocolate, anjir honey and black currant. For the whole family are the tubs of ever-favourite sweets that come in combinations.

You can also carry home a range of biscuits. Some are sweet, some peppered with elaichi or cheese. The other interesting varieties are those embellished with kaju, chocolate or coconut. Priced at Rs 60 to Rs 100 per kg, the cookies are made of atta or maida and you have the option of picking those made in desi ghee. In case of a birthday celebration, place an order for a cake in advance if you want something special or take away what is available.

The packets of Haldiram’s namkeens as well as chips and fingers are equally tempting. With a packet vanishing in one go and, at times, leaving you craving for more, they are never a bad buy for tea time or that occasional inbetween-the-meals snacking. A child’s day is made if you thrust a packet of potato chips in his one hand and a bottle of Pepsi in the other. Your shopping with the kids in tow is guaranteed to be a smooth affair if this is done.

The Bhattis — father-son duo running the confectionery — are new to the business. While the senior Bhatti was into real estate, junior is straight out of college. He says they get their bakery items from Amrit Bakery in Mohali. They inform that a part of their earnings is donated to an orphange — Bal Niketan in Sector 15. So, you have the added satisfaction of being party to a charity as you pick the goodies off the counter. TNS



Looking beyond political barriers
Geetanjali Gayatri

UNIFYING two diverse cultures and looking beyond boundaries and borders, “Amber” is an initiative at promoting exchange of Punjabi-Dutch literature and art. Literally meaning bridging the gap between literature, art and culture of Punjab and Holland, the idea, conceived to popularise the great works of the two languages, is the brain-child of Amar Jyoti, Hans Plomp and Gyazyana Przybyl.

The trio, working on the idea for over a year in Holland, finally, got their act together and brought out the quarterly magazine comprising short stories, poems and reviews of the latest works of Punjabi and Holland, released by the Haryana Sahitya Akademi and Haryana Punjabi Sahitya Academy at a function organised at the Press Club in Sector 27, here today.

“We made a commitment of publishing at least two books of writers from the Indian diaspora at the World Hindi Conference in Surinam. This is one of the steps in the direction of establishing links between literatures of India and its diaspora,” said the Director of the Haryana Sahitya Academy, Dr Chander Trikha.

Speaking about their magazine, Dutch fiction writer Hans Plomp explains, “Both cultures have very rich literature and a lot to teach to the world but, on account of language problem, these usually go unnoticed. With this handicap in mind, we have chosen English as the medium of expression for bringing the two on a common platform and diversifying the scope of our writers.”

Awarded with the Shiromani Sahityakar Award, Holland-based Punjabi writer Amar Jyoti, adds, “I wanted to do something constructive with the Rs 1 lakh that had come my way. I got in touch with my writer friends in Holland and the idea came up during discussions. Also, there was growing interest in India which we decided to tap through our magazine.” Two poetry books titled “Sochan de Nishan” and “Sufi Romance” were also released at today’s function along with the magazine.

Showcasing the creative works by Dutch and Punjabi artists in the magazine, painter Gyazyana Przybyl, adds, “This being the first issue of our magazine, we had to approach writers and artists for their contributions. Given the response to the magazine, we are hoping contributions will flow in from next time.”

Ruing that writing had gradually become commercial wherein writing was being guided by markets, Plomp opined that Amber had nothing to do with deadlines and markets. “We are aspiring to build bridges based on feeling and freedom of expression where writers and artists are not pressurised by markets and deadlines. In stead, through Ambar, their imagination would be given the freedom to explore subjects close to their hearts. People are looking for a new romance, magic and fulfillment in books and write-ups. We are giving them just that,” he maintains.

Przybyl, irked by the gory side of Punjab presented in days of terrorism, holds, “With no bloodshed in Punjab, we hardly get to read anything about the state back home. To counter the negative image created by the media, such exchanges and interactions, even if it is done through books and writings, is essential. Amber is our reply to the one-sided stories carried by the foreign media.”

Terming their country as “financially almost perfect and poor in terms of spirituality, the two foreigners, complain, “Industrialised Holland had lost all contact with spirituality in its race for materialistic gains. Nature and its beauties are almost forgotten. Most churches are forever empty and others have been converted into theatres and auditoriums. Now, again, there is growing interest in search for the inner self and we are turning to India. Naturally, all writings answering questions about the inner self are in demand. We, as ambassadors of our small country, are trying to find solutions by tapping Indian literature and writers.” TNS


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