C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Using students to woo voters shocks DAV chief
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The news of the use of schoolchildren for gathering votes by the DAV institutions in the city was received with shock and disbelief by its central committee in New Delhi when the president of the DAV Managing Committee, Mr G.P. Chopra, reacted by saying that “these schools are playing with fire”.

Mr Chopra told The Tribune that he was unaware of a “change in the strategy” of enrolling voters for the forthcoming elections to the PU Senate on September 19. “We do involve the faculty in enrolling voters for the graduate constituency since we field candidates who represent us. I have no information of the institutions involving children in this exercise. However, if it is true, these schools are playing with fire,” he said.

Mr Chopra said no interactions between the candidates and the voters enrolled by the schools had been organised by them to the best of his knowledge. “We have given no such direction on holding interactive sessions to our institutions,” he stated.

Interestingly, even though Mr Chopra said he had no clue, whatsoever, about the involvement of children in the run-up to the Senate elections, the “informal interaction” of parents with the DAV candidate, Mr D.R. Gupta, was held as per schedule today. Three more interactions are to be held. One in Mohali tomorrow, another in DAV College and the school in Sector 15 on September 4.

On the other hand, Mr S. Marriya, Principal of the local DAV College, said there was no truth in the statement regarding students being forced to enrol voters for the Senate elections next month.

But contrary to his claim, some schoolchildren, in uniforms, accompanied by their parents, were present at the venue for today’s interaction at the DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, while others came without their wards since they were coming directly from offices.

At the meeting, various speakers said the Senate election was a politician versus academician affair and that the voters must favour the DAV candidates who stood for academics alone. “It is about the future of your alma mater,” a speaker said.

Resentment prevailed among parents who came for the interaction session. They rued that they had to leave office early to attend the “interaction”. They had no clue what the interaction was all about. They only knew that the school had directed them to be present at the venue.

This second such interaction in a series of meetings between the voters and candidates which began at KB DAV Centenary Public school, Sector 7, last week.

In a written statement issued here, Mr S. Marriya, reacting to Senator Dharinder Tayal’s statement that DAV candidates should withdraw their names, said, “Mr Tayal’s voice is the voice of frustration since, in the recent PU faculty elections to the Senate, his group lost miserably”.

Over the years, it had been seen that the votes were garnered by political groups and those who had nothing to do with education get elected to the Senate. The committee had launched an educational campaign so that the voters were not misled and cast their votes judiciously, he said.

The staff had been instructed to collect the prescribed fee of Rs 15 each for the enrolment from the voters and not pay anything out of their own pockets, he claimed. 



20 best science exhibits awarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
The two-day regional science exhibition organised by the CBSE and Intel concluded at DAV Public School, Sector 15, and 20 exhibits were judged among the best and selected by the judges. The winners were awarded by the DPI (Schools), Mr D.S. Mangat.

The criterion for selection were best inventive skills, demonstration, and display. Two exhibits of Pathiana Public School, Rohtak, were selected among the best 20. The exhibits were ‘ A window to village- modern chullah’ by Harishta and Nicy and ‘Preparation of bio insecticide’ by Nitish Mittal and Swati.

The other models selected were an exhibit on ‘Renewable sources of energy’ by Lakshya and Puneet Sharma of DAV Public School, Sector 14; ‘Tidal energy plant’ by Nitin Bhardwaj and Indu of SNA Public School, Yamuna Nagar, Faridabad; ‘Him Power’ by Akriti and Shreya Singh of DAV Model School, Sector 15, Chandigarh; ‘Traffic as a boom’ by Sandeep and Sahil of DAV Centenary Public School, Sector 12, Panipat; ‘Automatic electronic sun tractor’ by Mridula of CAK Fertilizer Model senior Secondary School, Naya Naangal, Ropar; ‘Use of lignocellulose in building material’ by Honey Verma and Kitu Sheoran of Blue Bells Model senior Secondary School, Gurgaon; ‘Call up to switch off’ by Sumit Kumar and Mansi R. Bhatt of DAV Public School, Sector 14, Gurgaon; ‘Hover crafts work by Talla Vamsi and Amit Verma from Delhi Public School, Panipat refinery; ‘Star-studded castle’ by Rachit Gupta, Rajat Grover and Sahib Rishabh of Shri Ram Ashram Public School, Majitha Road, Amritsar; ‘Work without Human’ by Anup, Saurabh and Bhavyadeep of Satyog Darshan Vidlaya Vasundra, Bhupanilalpur road, Faridabad; ‘Remote irrigation’ by Harsumail Singh and Hemant Dutta of Police DAV Public School, PAP Camps, Jalandhar; ‘Biofertliser and vermiculture’ by Sheenam and Anmol of St Fateh Singh Convent School, Bathinda; ‘Dry land cultivation’ by Amisha of Spring Dal School, Nangal; ‘Food and health’ by Jatinder and Vikram Jeet from SAS Academy, Roopnagar; ‘Technology and organisms’ by Prabhjot Kaur Sekhon of Guru Nanak Public School, Ludhiana; ‘ Integrated pest management’ by Sabhia Bas and Niharika Patha from Carmel Convent School, Sector 9; ‘ Wealth from waste’ by Smarth Sareen and Akshay Uppal from DPS, Gurgaon; ‘Upflow anaerobic blanket filter reactor’ by Davinder Pal, Sapanjot Kaur and Simardeep Kaur by Nankana Sahib Public School, Ludhiana.



Sohail Khan wins NIIFT award
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 28
Sohail Khan made Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT) proud by winning the Student Designer of the Year-2004 award at a contest held in Mumbai on August 3.

Sohail Khan, who had done a three year course in fashion designing (FD) and had passed out of NIIFT about two months ago, told The Tribune here yesterday that he had been given a cash award of Rs 51,000 by the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India.

Talking about his creation which he had named it as Exaggeration, Sohail said the dress had been designed as an office wear and the colours used were only black and white. Lot of emphasis had been laid on collars for giving the larger than the impact. He said it took him six months to prepare the dress for which he had to do some research work as well.

He said that there were 72 entries for the contest from all over India and a number of them had been dropped at the time of shortlisting. Between 15 to 18 students had given their presentations. Among the jury members were Krishna Mehta, a designer Mehar Casteleno, Mr Noorani from Zodiac.

Sohail Khan, who hails from Patna, said that he got some offers after winning the award but he had decided to work with Rajesh Partap Singh for some time after which he planned to start his own creations. He had been free lancing and giving designs to some companies. He said that at NIIFT, too, he had won two awards for best designer collection and best construction.

He said he had joined the Fashion Designing course after graduation, though most students did it after class XII, because his father wanted him to become a doctor. But he always wanted to become a dress designer to which his father finally agreed.



From Schools
School students celebrate Rakhi
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 28
Students of Golden Bells Public School, Mohali, and Sector 35, Chandigarh celebrated Rakhi. Students participated in group singing, fancy dress and dance competitions. Among those who won prizes on the occasion include Ankit, Pinku, Kulraj, Avleen, and Geeta. The school Principal, Mrs Gurjeet Bawa, addressed the students.

Gian Jyoti public school: Students of Gian Jyoti Public School, Mohali, celebrated ‘Rakhi day’. The school organised a Rakhi and mask-making competitions for the students from classes III to VIII. Among those who won prizes in various competitions included Soumya, Navdeep Singh, Arshpreet, Anmol Singh, Amanbeer, Gagandeep Singh, Megha Sharma, Japsahaj Singh, Neerja, Gourav, Simran, Gurkirat, Harlivleen, Shubhdildeep, Damanpreet, Randeep, Amrit, Sumit Jindal, Jaskaran, Shubhmandeep, Ria Arora, Karanpreet, Anchal, Gunwant, Pawanjit, Jaskaran, Ravinder Kaur, Sidhartha, Sonam Sharma, Chatan, Harpreet Kaur, Monika and Varinderdeep.

Ram Tirath High School: An inter House Rakhi competition was held at Swami Ram Tirath Public High School. Students from classes I to X participated in the competition. Among those who won prizes in competition include Gurpreet Singh, Amit Kumar, Sukhjit Singh, Tanveer Kaur, Vijkramjit Singh, Anuradha, Gurpreet Singh, Kahkashan, Gurpreet Jagdev, Prabhjot Singh, Sandeep Kaur. 



Programme to enhance personality
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
DAV College, Chandigarh, in association with Global Voice, a training organisation, today announced the launch of Personality Development Programme for students of the college.

Addressing a press conference, Prof S. Marriya, Principal of the college, Col D.S. Cheema, and Mr Ashish Nagrath, CEO of Global Voice, said students did not invest time and energy in developing themselves.

Col D.S. Cheema, Director, Professional Studies at the college, said there was need to develop ones potential. Mr Ashish Nagrath said with the opening up of economy and coming of multinational companies, the business environment had undergone a dramatic change in the past one decade.

Ms Archana Nagrath, Director of Global Voice, said the present education system focussed on theoretical aspects and no stress was laid on developing the overall personality.



PU accepts ABVP demands
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Authorities of Panjab University today accepted demands raised by ABVP activists. Consequently, the hunger strike by their president Gurparvez Singh Sandhu was called off.

ABVP activists said their demands concerning engineering students in the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) were accepted by the PU authorities.



Syllabus change decried

Panchkula, August 28
The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) yesterday decried the change in syllabus of NCERT by the Congress led government at the Centre. The parishad also denounced the reversion of fee structure of Indian Institutes of Management, after the fee cut was recommended by the BJP government. — TNS



Telly stars twinkle in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
It poured stars in the city today. Thanks to Sony, the visitors to Hotel Mount View had a mouthful of “starry” treat. Name them and they were there, right from Kumkum of “Kumkum” and Kumud of “Kksum” to Maanav Gohil and Amit Sareen of “Kkusum” and Shakti Anand of “Saara Aakash” and “Crime Patrol.”

Glorying in each other's company, the small screen stars spared all the time in the world for one on one interviews. But as time constraints would have it, one barely managed a glimpse into the life of each one of them. For Juhi Parmar, one could conveniently say “she is here to stay”. Already a well rated actress, she is now going places with a Pakistani project at hand. Recently signed up by Humayun Sayeed for a Pakistani serial, Juhi will play the female lead in “Pehchann”, being directed by a Pakistani woman. “Devi” and “Kumkum” still have a long way to go.

Shakti Anand knows his act very well. No wonder he gave up the profession of a medical examiner to pursue acting, the first love of his life. He is among the few actors who did not allow them to be labelled as Balaji actors. So while Shakti has Ekta Kapoor's Kyunki…” going for him, he is already hogging the limelight with “Saara Aakash” and another realistic crime documenting show “Crime Patrol”.

Maanav Gohil and Amit Sareen owe their fame to “Kksum”. While Maanav again gave up a bright future as an MBA professional to pursue his passion, Amit was sure he wanted to head westwards from Banaras. Quite rooted in tradition, Amit struggled for long before making it into the Balaji team. He took several auditions, and laboured day and night to get the role of Kshitij in “Kksum.” For Maanav, who is a familiar face in other serials too, the going was not as tough. After miserably failing as a model, he made a rather smooth foray into TV. He has a lot at hand now, just like Aashika Goradia, the Ahmedabad girl, who is now sharing the woes of dear mother Kksum in “Kksum.”

All these stars danced to Sony tunes in Dara Studio tonight, even as item girl Nigar Khan added the much needed zing to the event.



Film Review
Pleading a cause indifferently
Rama Sharma

In “Phir Milenge” actress-turned-director Revathy Menon has made a common cause with AIDS patients. She has tried to awaken the film industry hibernating in its commercial cave.

The movie starts on a serene note but moves at a snail’s pace. Tammana (Shilpa Shetty) is the creative head of an advertising agency. Hardworking and talented, she is the most trusted partner of his boss. Her sister meets with an accident and she is told to donate blood. Tragedy strikes when Tammana is told that she is HIV positive. She is thrown out of job. Her office staff shuns her.

Refreshing soundtrack and lyrics are plus points of the first half. Cinematography, too, is good. Shilpa looks drained. Her eyes are more expressive than her dialogues. The Shilpa-Salman romantic track is cool and unexciting. Only Shilpa looks convincing. No great shakes for Salman Khan here. Sidelined by the script,he remains undistinguished.

Abhishek Bachchan, as Shilpa’s lawyer, performs well. He delivers the message in an amusing yet compelling way.When Shilpa tells him that she is an AIDS patient, he becomes jittery. Immediately he rushes to his doctor for a check-up.

In the second half, dull court proceedings blunt the crusade. But the issue of the need for a law to protect employment right of an AIDS patient has been taken up effectively. Instead of highlighting the agony of an AIDS patient, the film is confined to job-related issue. No wonder the issue fails to strike a chord with viewers.

The best thing the film does is telling us that the disease can strike you, me or anyone. It is not the scourge of truck drivers alone. The scenario is scary. Some more wake-up films are needed. That’s why Revathy’s attempt should be lauded. — TNS 



Western Film Review 
Boas that will give you creeps
Rajiv Kaplish

A scene from Anacondas " The Hunt for the Blood Orchid"
A scene from “Anacondas — The Hunt for the Blood Orchid”.

Chandigarh: Hisses and more hisses. Yes, the name suggests that “Anacondas — The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” (Kiran, Fun Republic) might be all about snakes and fangs. It is much more than that.

If “Anaconda” meant horror, “Anacondas....” means absolute horror. The original took the viewers to the edge of their seats. The sequel takes them beyond. As the terrifying saga of rampaging reptiles hunting for defenceless humans unfolds, it becomes a test of the audience’s nerves.

A scientific expedition is sent to the jungles of Borneo to look for a rare red orchid by a pharmaceutical giant, which hopes the orchid can be used to unlock the secrets of youth and immortality. What would have been an uneventful journey turns out to be an odyssey of terror with the team discovering that the orchid is already being used by a swarm of giant snakes that derive their super strength from the flowers. The group also discovers that the monsters do not like sharing their land with the species called human beings and are also extremely hungry.

Soon, the jaw-dropping veterans of the forest create mayhem with hissing rapidity and devour any and everything resembling a human being. The blood orchid becomes a bloody one. Inquisitive intrusion leads to deadly consequences.

Without strewing gut and gore all over the canvas, director Dwight H. Little manages to make it a scary film. Though there are not many gruesome sequences, the wilderness reverberates with fear of the unknown.

Unlike other creature features, the flesh-and-blood actors like Johnny Messner, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Ka Dee Strickland, Morris Chestnut and Karl Yune do not play second fiddle to the techno-enhanced monsters. They share the limelight with the fire-breathing animals. Their relentless struggle for survival in the face of imminent death enhances the visual impact and makes the movie eminently watchable. TNS



Remembering Saigal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
As a custodian of a celebrated tradition, Dilip Sircar has a lot of enriching information to offer, especially on K.L. Saigal. It was the theatre company of his father B.N. Sircar which gave the first ever break to the man who was to be the Tansen of Indian music as also an actor par excellence.

Working with Sircar’s New Theatre Company, Kolkata, Saigal featured in 29 films, apart from nine Bangla films. Such was his command over Hindi and Bangla that no one could tell that he was a Punjabi. Interestingly, all the films Saigal did between 1931 and 1944 were for the New Theatre Company.

In Chandigarh on an invitation from the Environment Society of India to participate in the birth centenary celebrations of Saigal at Tagore Theatre tomorrow, Dilip Sircar shared a great deal of information about the man who endeared himself to thousands with his inimitable acting style and his delightful musical renderings.

“A friend of my father had first introduced him to Saigal. After listening to his voice, my father offered him a role in “Mohabbat Ke Aanso”, the first film Saigal did for our company. He was hired for Rs 200. Then came a series of film productions like “Jeevan Maran”, “Chandidas”, “Devdas”, “Dharti Mata”, “Street Singer”, “President”, “My Sister” and many more.” He was a fine actor and was extremely handsome. I still remember I was 18 years old when he died,” said Dilip Sircar, who met the press at UT Guest House this evening.



No glamour, all gold — that’s Jassi
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, August 28
Mona Singh is one with Jassi, so much so that she loves to carry the baggage of her role around. The star of superhit Sony soap “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi” is so in love with the innocence of her character that she can live it till the end of time unless of course TRP ratings demand otherwise.

Long after Jassi’s identity was expected to be disclosed by Sony, she appeared in her trademark “clumsy” makeover at Hotel Mountview this evening. Her contract is tough indeed as it requires her to appear as an “ungainly, confused dame” who knows nothing about style. But our girl with a golden heart retorts: “I love every bit of my role. Why else would I be living it at all? There isn’t any difference between Jassi and Mona. Both represent the middle class sensibility. Both love to spread love around. Both are rooted in their traditions. That is me, besides Jassi. And that is Jassi, besides me. Practically there is no difference.”

In the city as part of a Sony event, Mona made her presence felt by striking a rapport with one and all. As she flaunted her braces and her little-less-than-bizarre hairdo, one knew exactly why her soap worked so well. It’s the spontaneity of her character and the easiness of her demeanour that makes “Jassi…”click.

“I have been like that always. It is so nice to be normal, to be just bumping into street poles and falling off, to be losing control and letting oneself go. We all need to unwind, to be what we are rather than fake all the time. The ordinariness of Jassi endears her to all. Had she been an Aishwarya Rai, her fans would have thought twice before making the first move. But people can walk up to me, pour their hearts out and go back home lighter,” she says.

It was this very earthiness about Mona which made the producers of “Jassi…” choose her over all those models with hourglass figures. She went up for the auditions with her braces on and she did everything uncouth anyone could think of. “I was myself and the producers were sure of the girl they wanted,” says Mona, giving away information except about when Sony would reveal the real she.

An MBA from Mumbai University, Mona would have been what she is in “Jassi…”, a marketing specialist. Happy to be her, she also loves her relationship with onscreen friend Nandu, alias Gaurav Gera, who was with her today also. Much like Nandu, Gaurav said he loved the feel of comedy. “I like to do things that are light on mind and heart, hence comedy,” he said.



Sufi festival concludes 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
It was another evening of soulful Sufi renditions at Kalagram which came alive with the music of Barkat Sidhu, Hans Raj Hans and Master Saleem. Picking up the affair of melody where Zila Khan and Wadali brothers left it last night, Master Saleem struck the melodic chord with a folk song with Sufi strains. “Aj hove didaar mahi da” was the first presentation of this evening.

In a true Sufi tradition, he presented delightful songs like Bulle Shah’s “Mera piya ghar aaya” made legendary by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Other songs with the Sufi syntax were “Allah hu” and “Sun charkhe di mithi mithi …of Baba Bulle Shah.

Next in line came the vocalist who has proved himself in almost every stream of music from popular and classical to semi classical and Sufi. Hans Raj stole the show with his mixed fare, from his song “Nit khair mangaan Sonya mai teri” from his album “Tera Ishq” and Ulta yaar zamana aaya…to Shah Hussain’s “Mai ni mai kinu aakhan” and “Aao ni saiyon”. He wound up his presentation with Bulle Shah’s “Aaja ve maahi tera rasta udeekdiyaan”…

The final presenter of the two-day Shaan-e-Sufi festival organized by Alpha TV Punjabi and ETC Punjabi in collaboration with NZCC was Barkat Sidhu who wove a web of Sufi melodies with the verses of Shah Hussain and Baba Bulle Shah. 


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