C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


M.Sc (Hons) admission schedule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Panjab University today announced the schedule of admission and interview for M.Sc. (Hons. School) first year in the Department of Botany for this session. The counselling for M.Sc.(Hons School) Botany first year will be held on July 8 at 9.30 a.m. for students other than B.Sc. (Hons School), third year B.Sc. (Pass course) General and B.Sc.(Hons).

In the afternoon session, the university would hold counselling for M.Sc. (Hons School) Botany, first year, foreign nationals, NRI, NRI sponsored, industry sponsored candidates on the same day from 3 pm.



Move to charge fee on consumer court
pleas resented
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 1
The local Consumers Protection Forum has demanded 
that the government should not impose fees for lodging complaints in consumer courts.

The president of the forum, Mr P.S. Virdi, said there was resentment among consumers after reading reports in newspapers that the government was planning to impose such fees. If this was done, it would amount to a violation of the consumer law. He said the forum condemned the proposal of the government in this regard.

The forum also opposed the decision of the PSEB to install electronic power meters in the state. It said such an exercise had failed in Haryana and the government had to later withdraw its decision in this regard. Before taking any decision or the installation of the meters, the PSEB authorities should study the reasons that led to the failure of the policy in the neighbouring state. The forum said electronic meters recorded higher reading than the actual consumption and as such this would lead to a financial burden on consumers.

Mr Virdi said the PSEB was also planning to purchase iron boxes to enclose electronic meters and the expenditure incurred on these would have to be borne by consumers.

He said muddy water was being supplied by the Department of Public Health in many parts of the town and this could lead to the spread of diseases. The pressure of water also remained low and did not reach the first and second floors, he added.



Ronit basks in success of Mihir Virani
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Ronit Roy Actor Ronit Roy is extremely conscious of the spoken word, lest he ends up saying something that may offend his producers. So he plays safe when asked why certain soaps on television seem so endless, as if itching to last beyond an eternity.

“The life of the story depends on the will of the producer and I would rather do my job till the time the story dies its natural death. I have an opinion on this issue but I would like to reserve it,” answers the actor who shot to fame the moment he struck a rapport with Balaji’s creative head, Ekta Kapoor.

With this collaboration, Ronit’s failure in films was almost nullified and he gained a fresh identity - as Mihir Virani in “Kyunki Saas Bhi…” and as Rishabh Bajaj in “Kasauti Zindagi Ki.” He is now better known by the name of the characters he plays rather than his own name.

The Balaji-Ronit association seems to be growing thicker with Ekta picking him up to travel as part of her team to select youngsters for the Balaji/MTV joint production “Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi”. On his arrival at Himachal Bhavan in Chandigarh today, he was literally mobbed by star-struck candidates, who did everything they could to gather his attention. They sang title songs from his serials and repeated dialogues behind him.

For Ronit, being part of the project, is as much exciting. He said, “This is a chance of a lifetime. When we were young, there were no platforms to display talent. But now, the trend has reversed. We are going to the doorsteps of youngsters, coaxing them into trying their luck. Who knows which one among them grows into a star of the future.”

Accompanied by Nivedita Basu, the creative director behind the success of “Kasauti Zindagi Ki” and some other Balaji productions, Ronit talked about his own transformation from a film actor to a TV star.

“The shift from one medium to another was not conscious. It just happened. Initially I had been called in to play a role in “Kanwal”. Then came the chance to play “Mihir” in “Kyunki…”, which was the highest rated TV soap during those days. I was apprehensive in the beginning as to whether I would be able to replace Amar Upadhyay, who had been very popular as Mihir. There was also the fear of audience’s denial. But with time, everything fell in place and I was accepted.”

Now Ronit is featuring in many Balaji’s productions, including “Kasauti…”. He admits, “So many kids identify with the character of Rishabh Bajaj that they address me as Uncle Bajaj. It gives me immense pleasure to know that I have impacted my audience somewhere along the line. This is the kind of result you get when you have complete independence at work. Our director allows us space to create and perform.”



New Release
Who will be the ‘Shikaar’?

No doubt love stories ruled last year, but in 2004 action thrillers are back. London boy Jazz Pandher is hoping his home production "Shikaar", directed by Punjabi director Darshan Bagga, will turn out to be a money-spinner. This one is presented by Valveer Kaur Pandher. Surjeet S. Pandher is the producer. The film will be released today at Nirman, Chandigarh

“Shikaar” is touted as a fast-paced musical action thriller. In the movie there is a murderer who leaves no evidence, no witness, only bodies.

He comes, he loves, he kills. The audience will see yet another murder mystery with haunting music.

Murder mysteries and thrillers have for years been a favourite with small-time producers too because they are considered safe bets. And when the film is made by London-based film maker Surjeet S. Pandher it promises to be a different.

Jazz Pandher, Sadhika, Shweta Menon, Kanishka, Raj Babbar, Aashish Vidyarthi, Shakti Kapoor, Prem Chopra and Danny stars in the film, which has story and screenplay by Rajiv Kaul and Praful Parekh.

So get ready to watch another musical thriller. Anand Raj Anand has come up with a good score.

— Dharam Pal


Play on Banda Bahadur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Holy Theatre will stage a novel production based on the life of Banda Singh Bahadur tomorrow.

Titled “Baba Banda Singh Bahadur”, the historical play, being directed by Hitender Kumar, seeks to explode the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the character of Banda Bahadur. However, the role of Banda Bahadur is not being played on stage, lest Sikh sensibilities should be hurt. The play will be staged at Tagore Theatre at 7 pm.



Brimming with youthful energy
Swarleen Kaur

Ms Yog Shukla, who runs a meditation centre, is always brimming with youthful energy.
Ms Yog Shukla, who runs a meditation centre, is always brimming with youthful energy.

You may be in your teens but your spirits could be like that of an old man who has lost the zest and verve to do something in life and has submitted himself to listless resignation.

In contrast, there are many senior citizens brimming with youthful energy and are never tired of accepting challenges thrown up by life. What keeps them going? Zeroing in on them was no problem. Their lives give a loud and clear message.

Meet two sisters — Ms Yog Shukla (68) and Ms Usha Shukla (63) — who have not lost the zing in their life. Rather they are a living example of the heights one can attain by living rightfully.

Ms Shukla runs Osho Naman Dhyan Kendra in Sector 37-D in the city. A retired college lecturer, she says her 30 years of meditation experience at Pune taught her a lot. “I feel that heart and mind never become old. It is only the body which gets old. Osho’s philosophy is to go beyond the mind and the body and to reach a stage where we can experience that there is something in us which never ages and is eternal. Though gripped with acute spondilytis and skin allergy, I am still ready for any adventure. I do not allow my body to restrain me. My life is full of big and small joys”.

Ms Usha, the younger sister, who is a retired schoolteacher, says “I look after my 95-year-old mother, children and my day is spent in doing household chores. But there is something which keeps me enthusiastic throughout the day. Once or twice a week I unwind by turning to spiritual music. I sway and dance gently in gratitude to the nature. I am thankful to God for what I have received. I do not torture myself thinking what I have missed”.

Similar feelings are echoed by her friend Ms Sandesh (64). She says ageing spells more anxiety for women, who are more conscious of their looks. The mirror may disappoint them, but a graceful acceptance of the law of the nature definitely lends dignity. Besides, women are more capable of sharing love and affection, which adds a sparkle to life,she said.

On the other hand is a 36-year-old housewife, Romila, who admits that during most of her time she is listless and unenthusiastic about her work. “ Most of my time is spent brooding and planning things. In contrast, my 70-year-old mother-in-law is more practical and full of life. She helps me in my household work, narrates stories to children and always exudes hope”.

So the crux is never judge a person by his age. Beneath a wrinkled face you might find a young soul carrying out his routine with gusto and living with a motto.

Swami Narayan Sathayarthi (65), who runs the Osho Dhara meditation centre at Panchkula, tries to explain the psychology.The human body follows the principle of auto-suggestion.Whatever you suggest to it -positive or negative — it behaves accordingly .

He says, “I am lucky that when most people of my age complain about bad health and poor morale, I work about 15 to 16 hours a day without break. It includes meditation sessions ,counselling ,dancing, gardening and even kitchen work.”

What motivates him to undertake such a creative routine? “I want to make the best of every moment which life offers to me ”, he answers. The glow on his face was an ample evidence of his preaching.

He says the secret lies in the philosophy that instead of trying to change things you should accept the situation as it is. If one works to the best of one’s capability each moment, one can remain young at heart, vibrating with energy.“ Meditation is the only remedy to make your attitude positive towards life”, he sums up.


Gramophone is still all the rage
Monica Sharma

REMEMBER the time your grandfather would play “Ek bangla bana nyara” and “Tu mera chand, mein teri chandani” after placing the needle on a gramophone record with automatic hand.

Well, that was a long time ago. In fact, decades ago. Since then, things have changed. Compact discs have replaced records. Instead of record players, you have hi-tech players with massive speakers and graphic equalisers generating crystal-clear music. But changing technology has failed to drown the sound of screeching music and the charm of gramophones.

Still there are so many city residents preserving gramophones and records with pride — not just for listening pleasure, but for adorning the corners of their plush living rooms.

The reason behind their enthusiasm is not hard to see. “In today’s world of ostentation where old is new in fashion, gramophones add a touch of class and sophistication to your residence,” says interior decorator Radhu Verma. “That is the reason why some of the residents hunt for refurbished antique pieces, while others go in for replicas of the original ones,” she added.

If you too are a connoisseur of antique pieces, you can buy a gramophone that actually works. That also without searching shops in Delhi’s junk market. Rather, you can take home the replicas of original without leaving the vicinity of Chandigarh. Right now.

In fact, you will not have to pull out more than Rs 2,000 from your wallet for buying a gramophone with glistering brass horn speakers. The sets with different speeds — enabling you to play LPs and small records — look just like the originals. You just wind the spring, repose on a sofa set. And allow the record to revolve.

The replicas — complete with “His Master’s Voice” logo — should not be confused with the original, ones warns Capt Satinder Sharma, owner of a unit manufacturing gramophones in Jawaharpur village, Dera Bassi.

“They resemble the original ones, but are fabricated here. As such, you should be careful while purchasing the music system of the past,” he said.

Giving details of the gramophone industry, Captain Sharma, involved in the export of the product, says, “The horns are brought from Jagadhri. Rest of the product is prepared here”.

Going into the background of his venture, he says, “My search for gramophones, after receiving an order from the USA, took me to Delhi. Even though I wanted to buy them in bulk, no one was willing to sell them to me for less than Rs 2,700 each”.

He adds, “After purchasing 10 pieces, we disassembled some of them. And started manufacturing them after understanding their functioning. It took us almost seven or eight months to reach the stage of perfection. Today, we are preparing gramophones in at least eight various shapes, colours and sizes”.

So residents, do not face the music. Just buy gramophones. For pleasure and style.


Canada Day celebrated

Students and faculty of the Canadian Institute for International Studies (CIIS), extension campus of Georgian College, Canada, celebrated Canada Day here today.

A blood donation camp was organised by the institute. A team from GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh led by Ms Sabita Basu, acting head, Department of Blood Transfusion collected 100 units of blood donated by students, faculty, support and security staff of the institute.

A large number of fun games like hockey, horse shoes, apple dunking, sack race, etc were played by the students. An art exhibition showcasing the talent of the students was also put up. A quiz show for donors was next followed by Canadian barbecue lunch in which Canadian delicacies were served.

The institute Director, Lt-Gen K.S. Mann, said “Warmth, motivation and high spirits formed an integral part of the Canada Day celebrations at the CIIS. The faculty from Georgian College, Canada, and their wives had organised these celebrations.”

A free health and medical check-up camp was organised at WorldWide Immigration Consultancy Services Ltd (WWICS), Head Office, Mohali, in collaboration with Cheema Medical Complex, Mohali. TNS


1,000 turn up for MTV auditions

Trust Chandigarh youth to make a success of most events. Spirited and zealous, they never miss an opportunity to make it big either in films or at least in serials. No wonder every producer looking for talent launches the hunt from this city, just as MTV and Balaji productions did today.

At the end of the day, MTV people stood surprised by the response to the auditions for the new teleserial. In all, 850 tapes were recorded. And then began the tough job of getting down to the basic figure of 20 candidates, who will be recalled for a second round of auditions tomorrow. Till late in the night, selections had not been made because each tape was being carefully studied by the visiting members of Ekta Kapoor’s team - Nivedita Basu and Ronit Roy.

As for the show, it was more about fun than about winning. Most of the candidates admitted they were around just to enjoy the moment, and not really to win. However, there were some very serious ones who kept rehearsing the dialogues assigned to them until their turn to audition came. Interestingly, most of the dialogues had familiar characters like Kusum…and others.

In the meantime, MTV veejays Cyrus Sahukar and Ramona kept the zing going. There was not one dull moment in the waiting hall at Himachal Bhavan, where curious youngsters vied for VJs’ attention. They played all sorts of funny games - right from the ones that required them to pose as insane and sing songs to those that featured dance sequences in weird costumes. But the glamour-struck city youth did it all, hoping they would be noticed better during auditions. Prizes for winners were sponsored by Cadbury’s Perk, Fa and Santro Xing.

The real excitement began when Ronit Roy of Kyunki...fame stepped on to the dais asking candidates to come forward and play games with him. Little had he known he would have a hard time handling the rush. No wonder he vacated the stage faster than he had occupied it!

Suneet from Patiala was much enthused by Ronit’s presence. He even asked him questions about how to pose in front of the camera. There were other candidates like Harpriya Sandhu, Pallavi, Shruti, Mehek and Munish, who concentrated on their dialogues, for they knew the real test lay in facing the camera. Many candidates, however, fumbled when the actual test began.

Even as youngsters contested hard to win, Nivedita Basu from Balaji productions, said participation in the event was, in itself, an achievement. She assured candidates of fair play, saying, “Our auditions are always genuine. We have often picked up people for our soaps after conducting auditions. Sujal Grewal, Tisha, and Prerna, familiar characters of Balaji serials were picked up from auditions. Also, we are very flexible insofaras cast of our serial, “Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi” is concerned. We can add characters if we think there is someone who can justify it”. Auditions of the 20 shortlisted candidates will be held tomorrow. TNS


Buy off-season clothes with caution

YOU have taken out that nice cotton dress you specially purchased for the sultry weather, but are scared of wearing it. The reason behind your apprehension is not hard to see. You are afraid that the stuff may have run out of fashion.

Well, it is something all of us are scared of. In fact, the fear is worse than looking fat in low waist jeans or repeating same dress in another party. “Your fear stems from the fact that you do not wish to look outdated or old fashioned,” explains fashion designer Radhika Verma.

So here is a complete guide that will help you to select last year’s clothes for this season. “First of all, you should remember that there is no hard and fast rule about how long a fashion trend will last,” says Verma, running her own boutique in Chandigarh.

“Most of the trends in the city, generally speaking, last for more than a year. But if you have picked up a garment at 50 per cent discount from one of those mega sales in restaurant halls, you can be sure of one thing. The stuff will be out of vogue in just one season.”

“Normally manufacturers offer heavy discounts on garments they are sure will be out of fashion next season,” Verma claims. “That is why they try to dispose of the attires. So you should always buy off-season clothes after exercising a little caution.”

You can also be sure of another fact. Odd stuff runs out of fashion fast. “If you purchased a top with extra-large cuffs or one with real big collars last year, you can safely hand over the clothes to your maid for her daughter.”

But there are clothes that never go out of fashion, like denims. “You can bet on one thing. Fashion that is understandable will last longer. Simple white shirts will go with any dress any time of the year even during the rainy season. You can be sure of the fact. Another thing, denims never go out of fashion.”

“A decade ago, jeans were in vogue. They are still the hot favourite among city residents,” another designer Gurmeet Singh says. “The shape, the size and the colours may charge over the months. Instead of regular or tight fits, you can have residents demanding boot cuts. But that does not mean that straight fit jeans will cease to be included in the category of clothes that are fashionable.”

Then there are capris, crops, tank tops and flip flops that always remain in demand no matter what happens. “This is because the consumers love the look so much that they do not allow the style to fade into oblivion.”

In case you want to be more certain about being in fashion year after year, you should stock your wardrobe with clothes that have a classy look like jeans, tees, and black dresses. “They are always in demand,” Gurmeet concludes. OC

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