C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Proud moment for toppers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
It was proud moment for three meritorious students who topped in this year’s UT middle standard board examination in the non-model school category. Coming from humble backgrounds, the students — Sandeep Kumar, Bhavna Verma and Mandeep Kaur — who scored the first, second and third positions in the examination became part of the four-year education package for meritorious students, initiated by UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd).

Making a humble beginning, Justice Verma today handed over the passbooks to these students indicating the symbolic beginning of the package. For the next four years, Rs 300 per month would be credited into their accounts.

One topper, Sandeep Kumar, is a son of a truck driver residing in Mauli Jagraon Colony. The father of Bhavna Verma, another topper who appeared as a private candidate, stitches curtains. Similarly, the father of Mandeep Kaur sells tea in Mani Majra whereas her mother is a maid servant. While Sandeep has decided to continue in the Sector 27 government school, the two girls have been admitted at the Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 18.

Accompanied by their parents the students were excited as they were the centre of attraction at the UT Secretariat.

Sandeep Kumar said he would work hard to achieve his goal. He wants to become an engineer.

Mandeep Kaur, who wants to become a lecturer and Bhavna, who wants to be a engineer, were all praise for the gesture of the administration.

Justice Verma had instructed the Education Department to evolve a package for these students so that they should not drop out from school because of economic constraints.

Not satisfied with the package suggested by the Education Department, the Administrator himself took keen interest in evolving a package for these students. In the package the students will be granted Rs 300 scholarship per month for four years upto plus two. For this purpose, the Governor has created a corpus out of his discretionary grant, which has been deposited as an FDR in a local bank. The interest component at the rate of Rs 300 per child would directly get credited into the accounts of these children every month for four years.

In addition to this scholarship, the school fee has been waived for four years and the school authorities will provide them books free of cost. The computer fee would also be waived for these students.

Under the package, the school authorities will also pay for the monthly bus pass of these students. In addition the Society for Promotion of IT Chandigarh (SPIC) would provide the three-month compulsory training in computers.

The package to be extended to other meritorious students of Class X and Class XII.

On the lines of the four year education package, the UT Administrator will be extending financial help to meritorious students. A spokesman said a corpus had been created out of the Administrator’s discretionary grant, which has been deposited as an FDR in a local bank. The interest component would directly credited in the accounts of the children. The focus would be on the girl child.


Students have fun
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 15
Students of Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, here participated in a variety of fun games today. The games were introduced with a purpose of learning to enjoy, with a healthy sense of competition.

Children could be seen cheering happily for others. Winners were given sweets. In the blind men’s race, Simandeer and Sahil were first while Robin and Avpreet came second. Bhavleen and Gurinder came third. Ankita Goel, Asheen Kapoor and Ayan won the top positions in picking up grains with straw while Noorpinder. Amitesh, Ishan and Jasleen won the top positions in the game of gathering water with a sponge. Simrat Dhillon, Simran Kochhar and Harmandeep Singh won prizes in filling tumblers using straws. 


Free medical aid to poor: notice issued
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Union Government, the governments of Punjab and Haryana, the UT Administration and the PGI on a petition seeking free medical treatment for poor patients suffering from serious ailments.

The petition, filed by the World Human Rights Protection Council through its Chairman, Advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal, has prayed for directions to the Governments of Punjab and Haryana as well as the UT Administration to make adequate arrangements for free treatment of patients who could not afford the high treatment costs.

The petitioner has cited newspaper reports referring to the deaths of two poor patients, a man and a woman, due to lack of adequate medical facilities. The patients, the petitioner has said, did not have money to pay. After hearing counsel, the Bench issued notice for August 5.


40 cases settled at Lok Adalat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
In order to speed up the process to achieve its aim envisaged under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, another special Lok Adalat was organised today on the premises of the State Legal Services Authority under the aegis of Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, Judge of the high court-cum-Executive Chairman of the State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, to settle outstanding dues of Chandigarh State Cooperative Bank.

This Lok Adalat was presided over by Mr Sant Parkash, Member Secretary-cum-Judge Permanent, Lok Adalat. The other two members were Mr R.L. Sabharwal and Mrs Amar Kulwant Singh. In all, 76 cases were taken up, out of which 40 cases were settled and Rs 10.90 lakh was awarded. Cash recovery amounting to Rs 33,000 was also made from borrowers on the spot.

Mr Sant Parkash said any person from the general public before going to the court could submit an application to get the dispute settled through the Lok Adalat without paying court fee.


New Releases
‘Gaayab’ appears today

With Sahara Manoranjan and Ke Sera Sera for his partners, the most versatile amongst the contemporary film makers, Ram Gopal Verma strikes again with his new venture ‘Gayab’ after ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’. Ramu has revealed a mastery over a variety of cinematic genres. This time he is ready for experiments galore. ‘Gayab’ is Ramgopal Verma’s comic thriller starring Jetendra’s ‘laadla’ Tushaar Kapoor, Antara Mali and Raghuvir Yadav among others is directed by ‘Darna Mana Hai’ fame Prawal Raman. ‘‘Gayab’’ will hit the screen today at Piccadily, Chandigarh, Fun Republic, Manimajra and K.C. Panchkula.

A factory product (Ramgopal Verma’s camp) in association with Prime Focus presents ‘Gayab’ in which Ramu’s favourite heroine Antara Mali is back with a bang. She plays a glam doll. This is the role of a carefree girl who is faced with an invisible man. ‘‘Gayab’’ is touted as a emotional intense love story in trade circles. It is about an ordinary guy who becomes aggressive. Essentially a love story this one has elements of supernatural laced in it.

Tushaar Kapoor plays a complex character with various shades of negativity and aggressiveness.

All we know that it is a comic thriller coupled with love story and Antara Mali and Tushaar Kapoor both claiming it to be the role of a life time, sounds like a good watch. Taabish Romani has penned the lyrics for music composers duo Ajay-Atul: yet another watchable product from Ramu’s camp.


Hyderabad Blues fame Nagesh Kukoonoov is back with his new project ‘Hyderabad Blues-2’. It has been already released in Mumbai and other metropolitan cities. The film opens today at Fun Republic, Manimajra.

Jyoti Dogra and Tiska Arora play important characters. The film has generated a lot of interest. Nagesh Kukoonoov has pinned high hopes on this sequel of ‘Hyderabad Blues’.

— DP


Neha Dhupia sees nothing outlandish in ‘Julie’
Aditi Tandon

It pays to go the Mallika Sherawat way in Bollywood. And though actress Neha Dhupia, who still flaunts her former Miss India tag, may not quite relish the comparison, the fact of the matter is that she has finally crossed the boundaries of conventional cinema to ensure some popularity.

And if the blatantly sexual content and presentation of “Julie”, her latest film, is any indicator, she may have popularity in loads, at least till the time the film survives. In Chandigarh on a promotional tour for “Julie”, Neha, like her director Deepak Shivdasani, naturally defended the film with all her might.

“The film is bold but beautiful. It makes a statement about the oldest profession in the world and manages to talk about the dignity of women involved therein. I play a prostitute in the film and I accepted the role for the sheer challenge of it, also for the scope of performance it offered,” said the suddenly transformed Dhupia.

Going by promos of the film, it is difficult to believe that it has anything to do with performance. The whole sequence features jarring images in which a woman has been portrayed as a sex object. Director Shivdasani, however, thinks otherwise, and maintains that the film is not just a sex-oriented one.

When asked why women in Bollywood are being increasingly portrayed as free agents of their own desire, he said, “We want to create awareness, and reinforce acceptance for this profession. The content of “Julie” is such that skin display could not have been avoided. However, the USP lies in the climax that features a debate on the emotional aspects of this profession. We have used cinema to highlight the trauma of a girl trapped in prostitution. Here we are not dealing with red light areas. “Julie” is an innocent girl, led to believe that she is loved. It is this belief that spells doom for hero. What follows is a poignant tale of deception, desperation and redemption”.

For Neha, choosing the role was not too difficult. Shivdasani today admitted that he wanted a fresh face for the project. “Established stars have vague perceptions about images. So I decided to take Neha, who was ready to offer full commitment,” he said. Neha, for her part, reasoned that she felt strongly for the story. “The narration was beautiful. And though there were initial hiccups regarding intimate scenes I had to do, I came around soon. I put myself in Julie’s shoes and played on.”

Paradoxically, Neha agrees she is a domestic girl. “I am not extrovert as others. I accepted “Julie” because I believe in scripts that are experimental and progressive. “Julie” may appear outlandish but finally it makes a socially relevant point. I have three more projects lined up.”

Neha will be seen in Mahesh Manjrekar’s “Rakh”, Satish Kaushik’s “Phir Hera Pheri” and Ekta Kapoor’s “Kya Cool Hain Na”. As for Deepak Shivdasani, “Triple A”, an action-oriented film, is in the pipeline. He had earlier made “Baagi” and “Pehchaan”. TNS


Exhibition of jewellery

A wide range of jewellery “The Lustrous Collection” is on display at an exhibition at Kidar’s Gallery, Sector 7. The collection is oraganised by Art Karat International Ltd.

The collection includes necklaces, earrings, bangles, bracelets and rings. Each one is handicrafted with various colourful semi-precious stones. The exhibition will continue till July 17. OC


Men prefer long hair

In a role reversal, men are wearing long hair while women, especially young women, are getting their hair cut short.

“This is the latest trend in fashion being witnessed all over the world”, says Ms Shweta Sahni, technical adviser, L’Oreal in a chat with TNS here on Thursday. “As a matter of fact, long hair which went out of fashion for men a few years ago, are now back with a bang. This is the hottest new from the fashion capital of the world, Paris”.

Shweta who was in town for a conducting workshop at Tress Lounge in Sector 8, also offered certain tips for colouring one’s hair. “If you have a dark complexion, dont’ go in for any light colour in the hair. Such a person should have his hair dyed in dark colours such as copper, red brown, walnut, chocolate etc. A fair complexioned person on the other hand can go in for any colour for the hair”. TNS


Well-blended presentation by Jitender Shah

City-based singer Jitender Shah presented an evening of light classical music at Punjab Kala Bhavan in Sector 16 on Thursday. Trained in the nuances of ghazals by famed music maker Virender Bachan, Jitender Shah presented a fine mix of musical pieces that included sufiana qalaam.

Accompanied by his mentor on the banjo, Jitender commenced the programme with a sufiana qalaam of Baba Bulle Shah. He then went on to make a blended presentation featuring ghazals and songs.

Also a composer, Jitender sung verses of Shiv Kumar Batalvi, and later presented some folk songs. He was accompanied by Suresh Naik on dholak, Subhash Naik on percussion, Deepak on tabla, Rajesh on sarangi and Vijay on flute.

Recently, Jitender gave music for two telefilms,— “Daftar” by Sanjeevan, who is associated with Sarghi Kala Kendra, Mohali, and “Chidi di Ambar wal Udaan”. He is now giving music for many a Punjabi theatre production being staged in the city. He is permanently associated with the Adakaar Manch, Mohali. TNS


Food Festival
Relive the taste of Lahore
Harvinder Khetal

You may have heard umpteen stories of Lahore from your parents and grandparents. Of its quaint old-world charm — the streets, houses, schools, colleges, clothes... and most of all, the khana. The special Punjabi dishes laced with typical herbs and spices and desi ghee and dollops of butter. The sweetmeats that they just can’t stop raving about. As in the dum style of cooking, or giving that particular flavour to the murg.

Now, you have a chance to savour some of those delights. Moti Mahal, the fine dining restaurant in City Beautiful’s Sector 17, on Friday started a 10-day Lahori food festival. Chefs from Delhi have specially come to cook and serve delicious spicy food which Lahore in famous for.

“We hope that our customers will be as satisfied and happy with this festival as they were with our Awadhi food festival that was a big success last year,” says Mr Sanjay Ahuja, proprietor.

John, the chef, while giving a sample of the dishes, says that they have made an effort to make each item special by giving it a unique flavour or aroma.

For example, the good old dal makhni becomes interesting with an addition of figs. Cooked in desi ghee, it is obviously called dal anjir.

But til ka ladoo is not as obvious. Don’t be misled by its name. It’s no sweet ladoo of sesame seeds. It is actually stuffed potatoes coated with sesame seeds and made tender in tandoor.

The filling is a mix of cottage cheese, dry fruits and mixed veggies. Similarly, til ka tukda is chunks of chicken marinated and coated with sesame seeds and cooked in tandoor.

Murg hathora is cooked in dum. When the lid is removed, the aroma of the dish hits you like a hammer, hence the name, murg hathora. If you prefer thick and spicy gravy, go in for nahari murg khas made from bone marrow.

Vegetarians could check out subz miloni, which is a delectable portion of fresh vegetables cooked with spinach gravy. The romantic-sounding hasrate-e-husn is panir and chopped vegetables cooked in a rich honey-flavoured gravy.

Complement with bites of ajwaini paratha of the Mughlai variety or the Lahori dum biryani for a taste of the city of Pakistan. TNS

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