C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


25 schools vie for honours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
As many as 378 students from 25 schools participated in various competitions organised by the local chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India today. For students from schools in Chandigarh and Mohali, the competitions were held at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31 here, while for students from Panchkula and Kalka the venue was Satluj Public School, Panchkula.

Competitions in essay writing, painting and Hindi calligraphy were held. The results of the competitions will be declared on April 24. A declamation contest for school students on the topic “Should India send a man on the moon”, is also scheduled for that day.



Sheshank, Abhishek win health quiz
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 16
Sheshank and Abhishek of Jainendra Public School were declared winners in Categories A and B, respectively, of the health and hygiene quiz organised here today.

The winners of the quiz, organised by Cremica Agro Food, will compete at zonal, district and state levels before participating at the national level. The quiz is intended to educate children about healthy food habits. The company aims at shouldering the responsibility of giving the nation healthy and sound minds, Mr Anoop Bector, Managing Director, said.

The company plans to hold quiz contests in over 250 schools of North India, a press note said. Meanwhile, Shubham and Tarun were placed second and third in Category A and Anuradha and Monika bagged second and third prizes in Category.



Photo show, city impress Mulford
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 16
Inaugurating the unique exhibition featuring photographs spanning 100 years of American history, US Ambassador David C. Mulford today said the show was meant to foster friendship between India and America. Urging the people gathered at Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16 here to take home a visual slice of America, the Ambassador especially complemented Chandigarh on its beauty.

In the backdrop of the frames that concentrate on the developments within America, Mr Mulford said over the past two years, there had been a beginning of a transformation that would open opportunities for the US and India that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. “Our leaders, President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee, have recognised this great opportunity and had the vision to act on it. Today, many areas of bilateral cooperation are expanding very quickly. Our relationship has a multiplicity of themes, which are already visible, but its roots lie in our common values as democratic societies committed to political freedom, representative government, tolerance for religious diversity, rule of law, and also the fight against terrorism.”

Taking the exhibition from the National Archives of America as the reference point, Mr Mulford said among democracies people should remain involved. “The core of the process is individuals working with individuals. That is why I believe that exhibits such as this one today are so important. They can play a vital role in helping our two peoples understand each other better outside the prism of government-to-government relations. I support these opportunities and plan to continue supporting programmes such as these in the future also.” Also present on the occasion was Mrs Mulford.

The exhibition, featuring 157 frames, has been being put up by the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi in collaboration with the Embassy of United States. Dr Alka Pande, Chairperson of the akademi, earlier introduced the guests, including Mr S.S. Boparai, Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, who presented a talk on “Punjab Through the Past Century.”

Meanwhile, Mr Mulford took time off to recount the history of photography. “Photography was discovered in the 19th century, but it was in the 20th century that it flourished as part of the revolution in communications and print media. Billions of photographs were taken in the 20th century, and this exhibition presents only a tiny fraction of them — a selection from those held in the rather remarkable National Archives of the United States. These pictures tell the story of that century, from the American perspective,” he said.



Tanushree to attend NIFD function

Tanushree DuttaFEMINA Miss India Universe 2004 Tanushree Dutta and Vice-Chancellor, Annamalai University, Dr L.B. Venkatrangan will be in Chandigarh on Sunday to formally amoune the tie-up of the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD) with Annamalai University.

Under this technical collaboration, NIFD will offer three-year B.Sc degree programmes in fashion design, textile design and interior design, and two-year advance diploma along with one-year diploma in same streams at select NIFD centres, including Chandigarh, through the Distance Education Mode of the university.

Tanushree Dutta is on her maiden visit to the city, before she dashes off for the Miss Universe Contest. Tanushree will be here for the formal launch of these programmes throughout the country by releasing the prospectus of the forthcoming academic session. An established model, trained classical singer and stage performer, she has also featured in the video of song “Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re” and is a popular face in the advertisement of Benetton and Shoppers Stop.

From this academic session, the degree program me will be offered at 40 NIFD centres throughout the country, whereas diploma programmes will be offered at 80 NIFD centres. The curriculum has been designed by NIFD and these select NIFD centres will conduct regular PCP (personal contact programme) classes for the students enrolled with Annamalai University. With this tie-up, students will have the advantage of getting UGC recognised degree and diplomas from Annamalai University.

Tanushree Dutta along with Dr L.B. Venkatrangan will also present the Annual Performance Awards 2003-2004. These awards are in recognition of excellent performance of various NIFD centres in different spheres. Femina Miss India Universe 2004 will also interact with parents of students of NIFD, Chandigarh centre, and students will also get the opportunity to interact with her. TNS



Controversy grips cactus show
700 plants on display

Ruchika M. Khanna

THE 27th cactus show was gripped in controversy when four members of the National Cacti and Succulent Society of India (NCSSI) decided to participate in the show, but not in the competition, as protest against the selection of a judge.

These members observed a silent protest by not displaying the labels on their collection of greens. Mr B. P Singh, one of the protesting members said that the executive body meeting had decided on a panel of judges, but later on the name of Mr Anil Kaushik as a judge was included, though Mr Kaushik was himself participating in the show. He said being old members of the association, four of them, did not want the annual show to suffer, so they decided to include their plants as part of the show, and not in the exhibition.

Brig C.S. Bewli, general secretary of NCSSI, when contacted, denied any foul play in selecting Mr Kaushik as a judge. “ His name was selected in the executive meeting of the Society, he maintained.

However, Mr Kaushik, who was judging the entries in succulents along with Dr Ram Gandhi, was later selected for the Aneesh Bansal Memorial Trophy (for succulents trained as bonsai). Brigadier Bewli said Mr Kaushik had just one entry in the show and was not judging for that particular category. ‘ Plus, the opinion of the second judge was also in favour of Mr Kaushik’s entry,” he added.

Controversy aside, this exhibition is a must see for those who have managed to escape from the magnetic pull of the cactii and succulents. The green beauties - some thorny, others with flowers , and some growing tall as succulent grasses are on display at the 27th annual show of cactii and succulents.

The show is being organised by the National Cacti and Succulent Society of India (NCSSI) at Lajpat Rai Bhavan. Over 700 plants from 65 categories/ genus are on display at the unique show, and over 35 participants from all over North India — Delhi, Faridabad, Hoshiarpur, Nalagarh, Malerkotla, Patiala, Chandigarh and its satellite townships of Panchkula and Mohali are wooing the onlookers with their exotic cacti, succulents and bonsai.

The plants on display are amazing - Euphorbia Milli (hybridised recently in Malaysia), cream-coloured Cristate, amazing varieties of Opuntia, Indian succulents like Caralluma Sarkaria and Aeonium, bonsais like Crassula and Barsera the tall cereus (which can grow 100 feet tall at maturity), the dichotomously growing Mammilaria etc. The wide variety of Aloes and gasteria also capture your attention, as do the agaves and huge Echinocactus - which are the current favourities for landscaping purposes.

Though the show will be formally inaugurated on April 17, the participants brought their plants for display and judgement today. Dr Ram Gandhi and Mr M.K. Daga from Delhi, and Mr V.K. Chadha from Hoshiarpur, besides Mr Anil Kaushik from Chandigarh were the judges. It took the judges several hours to observe the numerous entries in each category. The plants were checked for their symmetry, flowering and presentation.

Various echiveria, agaves, rebutias and Echinopsis Lobivia were also on display. TNS



Poets celebrate diversity of life

HAD it not been for the inimitable style of Kashmiri Lal Zakir, the all-India poetic symposium held at Haryana Raj Bhavan here would not have been as engaging as it was. Holding the elaborate show together, he infused life into it, often conveying the deepest of thoughts in the simplest of verses, like this one on Indo-pak relations: “Badi adaa se bade baankpan se aaye hain...Hamein milo ki hum unke watan se aaye hain...”.

The symposium, which is an annual feature in Haryana, took off today with the release of poet Dil Kashmiri’s ghazal collection, titled, “Dil Ki Parchhaiyaan”. The beautiful anthology was released by Haryana Governor Babu Parmanand, who was the chief guest on the occasion. Soon after, it was time for singer Vinod Sehgal to present ghazals by Dil Kashmiri, beginning with “Zinda rehna hai to sholon ki tarah dehekte rehna...”.

The symposium then rolled with Haryana’s very own Raminder Jakhu presenting the best of his couplets, including “Ab wahi behtar ki gaon laut jaana chahiye...Juz-avadis shehar ke maahaul mein rakha kya hai...”.

Padma Shri Sardar Anjum held the audience interest with his typically mordant wit, like in this one of his couplets, “Jisme rehti hai mehak meri hi khuddari ki ...maine kuchh aise tarashe hai ana ke pathar...” Another ghazal he presented was “Aao sarhad pe dharen dil ki madhur shehnaiyaan...Apni banno ki yeh baraat bahut haseen hai Anjum.”

Ved Diwana from Kharar maintained the tempo of the evening with his romantic offerings like, “Hansa, hansa ke jo mujhko rula diya tumne.. Har ek haal mein jeena sikha diya tumne...”.

The only poetess in today’s symposium was Nikhat Naseem, who made a case for peace by presenting a poignant ghazal, “Nafrat se nafrat badhti hai...pyar se pyar panapta hai...Aag lagane waalon ko yeh baat magar samjhaye kaun”....

Other poets of the evening were R.D. Sharma, Afzal Manglori, Shamz Tabrezi, Dr Sultan Anjum, J.C. Bhatia Arif and B.D. Kalia Humdum. TNS



Out with her colourful designs

BUDDING designer Palka Sood is out to create waves with her colourful collection of designer wear. Her first exhibition of designer wear is on display at Hotel Aroma.

The young designer predicts a colourful summer. “Tinge of every shade and tone of every colour is there to mix n’ match your myriad moods,” she says. For this summer, Palka predicts a colourful wardrobe as she dabbles with soft voiles, flowing chiffons, georgettes, silky crepes and blends them with hand-printed khadi, machine and hand-embroidered work.

An aluminus of NIFD, Chandigarh, the young designer has brought out, hand printing, block printing and screen printing on suits and fabrics dyed in unique style. Her range of kurtis and silhouttes have a slim fit. TNS



Christ’s teachings on glass

WHAT better way to preach the teachings of Lord Christ than re (inforcing) creating His image all around? St Stephen’s School here has created beautiful images of Jesus Christ’s life on exquisitely carved doors and in stained fibreglass windows.

The new decor of the school goes perfectly with the arched exteriors of the school, so much reminiscent of the ancient Roman architecture. It is thus that the main door of the vestibule and the glass windows, the chapel door, the side entrance doors, and the three lobby doors near the school auditorium have been redesigned in Roman style.

All doors appear brass from a distance, and only when you get close, one realises that the door is wooden. What comes as a surprise is that the doors are actually wooden, with paneling on fibreglass. The doors show the loaves of bread (for Jesus body), grapes (fruits hand-pressed to make wine, which depicts blood of Christ), dove (which depicts the descent of the Holy Spirit), the chalice (for drinking wine) and the cross (depicting the sacrifice of the Lord), the alpha and omega (depicting the beginning and end), and pyramids (for keeping evil forces away).

The story of five loaves and two fish, when the Lord fed multitudes of disciples at Mt Senia, is also etched on the doors. As the story goes, Lord Jesus was preaching thousands of his disciples. As the preaching continued, disciples started feeling hungry. One young member of the congregation had five loaves of bread and two fish, which the Lord put in a basket and covered it, before asking his followers to distribute it to the multitudes. Not only were the thousands of people fed their meal, but a few baskets of bread and fish were left after everyone had been fed.

Stained glasses on the windows of the chapel depict the various facets of Christ’s life — the birth of Christ, His teachings, His crucification and His resurrection. The doors of the chapel have fibreglass carvings of the good shepherd and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove.

Mr Harold Carver, Principal of St Stephen’s School, said the project was envisaged two years ago, and a Kolkata-based designer, Mr Subroto Ganguly, was engaged for the project. TNS


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