C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shopkeepers’ strike continues
Tribune News Service

Panjab University shopkeepers from tomorrow will open shops despite continuing their on-going protest against the alleged ill-treatment at the hands of the university administration. The shopkeepers will wear black badges.

The decision to open the shops was decided at a meeting held this evening.

The shopkeepers said the decision to open shops was taken for the convenience of residents and students.

Chandigarh, September 5
Shopkeepers of the Panjab University continued their strike for the third day today to protest against the eviction of a shopkeeper, here today. A decision in this regard is expected tomorrow.

The shopkeepers claimed that the locking of shop number 1 was unjustified and a “callous” step of the university authorities since the owner was recuperating after a surgery at PGI.

Senator, Gopal Krishan Chatrath, met the members of the PU Market Association to express solidarity with their cause.

He said that the shopkeepers told him that the university had raised the rent of shop arbitrarily and it was anywhere between 30 to 100 per cent. “I was surprised to learn that a tea shop was paying a rent of Rs 11000. Is the university on a money-minting mission? I don’t understand this sudden greed for money they have developed. For the first time since my association with the university have I seen the shopkeepers angry enough to keep their shops closed for three days,” he said.

He condemned the fact that the eviction had been carried out in the absence of the shopkeeper who was in hospital.



e-journal on education and technology launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
EduTech, India’s first e-journal on education and technology, was released here today by Dr Kalpana Mahajan, Professor at the Department of Statistics, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Releasing the journal, Dr Mahajan said, “The delay and decay process in printed journals has been quite agonising for the researchers. In this fast-changing world, when researchers are keen to see their ideas and efforts being shared without much delay, EduTech is a Teachers Day gift from the Society for Excellence in Education and Career Planning (SEECAP) to the teachers and researchers”.

It will be a quarterly journal, wherein besides invited papers, research papers with focus on education and technology as approved by the referees shall be uplinked.

Besides the e-journal, the website of the society, www.seecap.org, will soon provide links to examination overviews, information on various courses and institutions, admission alerts and examination alerts. Presently, the website also provides info-bits on general studies for those who are appearing in competitive examinations.



From Schools & Colleges 
Freshers welcomed at GGSCW-26
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
A two-day talent search-cum-freshers day celebrations concluded at Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, here today. On the first day, contests were held in music and dance events.

The concluding day saw talent search with poetical symposium and a declamation contest. The topics of the declamation contest were empowerment of women, India: vision 2020, Olympic games- myths and realities, Menance of communication technology.

Then came skits, mime and mono acting followed by miss fresher. The function ended with a gidha performance by the students of the college. Mr Bharpur Singh, secretary of the college society was the chief guest. Dr Harjinder Kaur, Principal of the college, gave away the prizes.

Paper reading contest: The History Association of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, organised a paper-reading contest. The topic of the discussion was “Past, present and future are linked together in the endless chain of history”. The contest saw participation by the students through meaningful illustrations on the relevance of history in contemporary India.

The principal, Ms Puneet Bedi, appreciated efforts by the students, The winners of the contest were Jaspreet 1, Ruchika Saharan 2 and Virpal Kaur 3.

Exhibition: Students of St Peter’s Secondary School, Sector 37, organised an exhibition on the school premises here. The exhibition was divided in to science, art and a social science section.

Talk: Swami Brahmeshanandrom of Ramakrishna Mission delivered a talk on teacher-student relationship. He emphasised on the gurukul tradition which was a panacea for the problems faced by the student community. A study circle of Swami Vivekananda was set up on the occasion.

Scholarship: Mr A.S. Rawel, secretary of Guru Harkrishan Education Society , said Childen Hope India, a New York based society, has donated Rs 3 lakh for scholarships to the needy and intelligent students. The New York based society was started by a group of women professionals in 1991. The organisation was working in collaboration with Guru Harkrishan Educational Society. The scholarships were given for professional, vocational, managerial, medical and post-graduate courses. So far the society has disbursed Rs 57.81 lakh to 40,47 students.

Elected: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Lions Club Chandigarh Nightingale: president- Kulwant Kaur; vice-presidents- Harminder Singh, Happy Grewal and Simrit Josan; secretary - Neetu Singh, joint secretary - Harpreet Waraich; joint treasurer- Triptu Khanna; PRO - Renu Bali.

Nutrition week: The Foods and Nutrition Department of Government Home Science College is celebrating nutrition week from September 1 to September 7. Various contests were held to mark the week.

Low fat category- Chandanpreet 1, Shuchita 2 and Aandchal 3; high-fiber category - Vandana 1, Neeyal and Ishwarpreet 2 and Shail 3; sprout/ greens category - Pavneet1, Neha and Shikha 2 and Archna 3.



Lions Club honours eight teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The Lions Club, Chandigarh Supreme, celebrated Teachers’ Day by honouring eight teachers from different schools for their contribution in the fields of academics, culture and sports. The function was organised at Government Senior Secondary School.

The teachers, who were honoured by the District Education Officer, Ms Rajesh Chaudhary, were Mr Gian Chand, Government Model School, Sector 35, Ms Dev Prabha, Government Model School, Sector 22, Ms Veena Sharma, Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, Ms N.Kennedy, St Annes Convent School, Sector 32, Ms Suman Kapila , St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, Mr Om Parkash, Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 46, Mr Shekhar Chander, Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 47 and Ms Saroj Bhasin, Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 45.

Municipal Councillor Kuldeep Singh was the guest of honour. Mr Subash Arora, President of the club, was also present.



NSUI congratulates Sonia Gandhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 5
The unit of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) held a special meeting today under the chairmanship of Nitin Goyal, President, and passed a resolution congratulating Ms Sonia Gandhi on the victory of the NSUI in Delhi University elections, here today.

The NSUI has won all seats in DUSU except that of the joint secretary. The election of Joint Secretary is under dispute and re-counting is being demanded for, and we will get favourable result for this seat too, a statement of the NSUI said.

This victory, the NSUI said, was an endorsement of the pro-student policies and decisions of the UPA government.



Capturing the beauty of moment

Ronny Kaula
Ronny Kaula

TO capture the beauty of the moment in camera is an art and Ronny Kaula, a photographer is quite good at it. He was in Panchkula on Sunday to shoot a model for a French retail store. Kanika Ashok is modelling for this assignment. Delhi-based makeup artist Chandini Singh is doing the makeup.

“For a good photography one has to develop strong colour sense and sharpness. If you are shooting a model or a product then you need to be creative and vivid in lighting preferences. Quick decision and spontaneity are other qualities which helps you in photography,” Ronny said.

A graduate of Delhi College of Art, he worked in an advertising agency earlier. Later on he worked in Paris as an artist and then moved to photography.

“Whenever I used to deal with other photographers I found it difficult to get the required work done from them. Then I decided to do photography myself,” Ronny said. He never took any formal training in photography and learned on his own. He likes the photography style of Atul and Bharat Sikka. “I never copy any other photographer because I want to develop my own style.”

He has worked with Sharukh Khan, Karisma Kapur for Filmfare Magazine. With designers Ritu Beri and Michel Adam of FTV, he gained experience of fashion world . Other actors he has shot are Jimmy Shergill, Preeti Zinta, Gracy Singh, Neha Dhupia, Mallika Sherawat, Rahul Dev and Priyanshu Chatterji.

“But I enjoyed shooting Aisha Thapar who is an Indian version of Brooke Shields.”

His international photo shoots are from locations like Moscow, Leningrad, London, Paris, Bangkok and various other countries. Well-versed in Hindi, English and French, he feel at home doing international project. He keeps on shuttling between Los Angles and Paris. “I try to give my best to the client without any compromise,” he said.

How working in India is different from other countries? “The problem of shooting in India is that you have to take the permission of everything but abroad you can shoot anything. People in India are warm but sometimes they get ‘extra warm’.

When I shoot some model at a particular location the crowd just gather and watch around for hours. It creates disturbance. But still I feel at peace in India,” he said. — OC



Chiks enliven decor
Parbina Rashid

The history of chiks (bamboo blinds) probably is as old as the Mughal history in India. But there is a new awakening among the city elite about this. Thanks to the innovative styles of about 15 artisans, who have given a new ‘avtaar’ to this age-old bamboo partitions. Now, the humble chiks of yesteryear is presented in all colours and patterns to suit the décor of your household.

Chiks, beautiful-patterned and in attractive colour scheme, have enlivened the otherwise shabby lane of sector 22. There are the raw ones, ones gets to see in the making on the spot by the artistes. And there are the readymade, refined ones, brought from Assam, all ready to take definite shapes as per your requirements. What is more, there are now chik-curtains to complete the ethnic look of your drawing room.

“Chiks have become so popular in the recent past that almost 50 per cent of the city population has discarded traditional fabric drapes in favour of chiks,” claims Surinder, a second-generation chik maker of the city. Decors of hotshot clubs and eating joints of the city bear the testimony.

“We came to the city in 1958 and started our business of making traditional bamboo chiks, mainly for the middle class people. But in the recent time its popularity has caught up with all strata of people. Be it for schools, or offices or homes, there is a great demand for chiks everywhere,” say Sarswati and her brother Nand Lal, who claim to be the pioneers in the city. Though the popularity of chiks as home accessory cannot be traced to any particular designer or a brand of designers, it has made a big splash in the interior decorators’ circle.

“Now that ethnic look is in, chiks act as a major contributor in achieving the old classic look,” says S. Rana, an interior decorator of the city.

Not that chiks were ever outdated from the utility point of view, says Viren Tawar, renowned artist and amateur interior decorator. “I remember my childhood in Uttar Pradesh where chiks were used as “purdah”, separating the men and women in religious and cultural functions.

However, Viren Tanwar is not using them just for its utility purpose. “Chiks are beautiful, they have this poetic quality about them which allows yet at the same time obstructs the sunlight and wind, lending a mystic aura to the entire ambience,” he says.

The price tag varies depending upon the workmanship. The lower limit starts from Rs 5 per square feet for the thick plastic-wrapped ones, which could be used outdoors for shades, whereas the fancy ones, meant for indoor decor, starts from Rs 20 onwards. The curtains, which are combinations of bamboo and fabric, are available for Rs 1200.



Master of Mughlai cuisine
Harvinder Khetal

He is a master chef who has tickled the taste buds of generals, film stars and other celebrities for eight decades. He is Babu Khan, the 85-year-old master chef from Delhi. His lifesize portrait adorns the lobby of Hotel Maurya in New Delhi in recognition of his work and skills.

He was eight years old when he first wielded the ladle under the guidance of his father. Bawarchi Babu Khan traces his ancestry to forefathers who gained expertise in the culinary art in the kitchen of Shah Jahan. The royal style of cooking was passed down to generations with emphasis on “Mughlai khana”. The “khazana” comprises gems from the Hyderabadi, Sindhi, Lucknowi and dum strains of cuisine.

The dimunitive Babu Khan has a sharp memory and he regales you with his anecdotes of having fed a thousands of hungry people spanning across the times of British Raj to the present day.

The chef is especially proud of a day in 1974 when he single-handedly cooked chicken and mutton kormas, kebabs, tikkas and biryani for 22,000 delegates of the Islamic Conference in Delhi. As also of having had the honour of catering to guests in the weddings of Dilip Kumar-Saira Banu and Sharmila Tagore-Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. With numerous other fans of his mouth-watering creations like playback singer Mukesh, film star Om Parkash, Sam Manekshaw and Shiela Dikshit, the chef has become a living legend.

Though still exuding old world charm with his typically Muslim appearance complete with topi, kurta-pyjama and beard, the octogenarian has kept with the times. Like, coal and chullah have given way to the gas cylinder. He admits that the taste of “gosht” does change with the mode of cooking and the handis used, but people also evolve their palates in time. Like, health consciousness has led to a drastic reduction in the consumption of ghee, oil and masalas. That partly is the secret of connoisseurs still literally eating out of his palms.

Today, the cook has passed on the mantle of his catering shop in Delhi, near Appu Ghar, to his sons. He concentrates on supervision and training young boys free of cost. It pleases the teacher when they branch out to do well in various restaurants and hotels. He was in Chandigarh to inaugurate his disciple Deepak Bhardwaj’s biryani and korma kebabs corner in Sector 35. “But if need be, I don’t hesitate to lug 120 kg of rice on my 1962 Priya model scooter which I race,” adds the sprightly old man who does hold much importance to money. Sharing a tip, he says for best biryani results, basmati rice must be soaked in water for at least two hours.



Singing ghazals is her passion
Swarleen Kaur

Sadhana Rahaatganvkar
Sadhana Rahaatganvkar.

Singing is her passion, her meditation and life. She draws nourishment from singing “ghazals “. For Sadhana Rahaatganvkar, who hails from a small village in Chattisgarh, it was this passion which brought her recognition and awards. She was in the city for rendition of ghazals at a hotel in sector 26 on Friday.

She has made a name for herself, singing ghazals of Bashir, Azad Gulati, Shakeel and various other singers.

Sadhana has been singing for the past 25 years across the country. She received initial training from her father and the Late Pandit Bhagwan Prasad Sharma.

Her guru in semi-classical music is Pandit Vimlender Mukherjee. She devotes eight hours daily to riaz.

She has been honoured with ‘Abhinav Kala Samman’, ‘Shreshath Ghazal Gayika’ and ‘ Swar Mitra Samman’. Apart from singing, she works As Assistat Professor in Hindi at Patan college in Chattisgarh.

“Ghazal singing may not have a larger audience but there is definitely a discerning audience which can appreciate the subtle nuances of ghazal gayiki”, she said.

Getting nostalgic, narrates she recalled an incident: “When I was 17, I was called on stage to sing. I received note from someone in the audience. I opened it immediately, thinking it to be an note of appreciation. But It mentioned “ please don’t sing anymore”. This made me depressed. But later on I accepted the challenge. “Now people can listen to me more than two hours” she laughed. For the younger generation, she has a suggestion it should devote more time and energy to ghazals.



Home Decor
Seacoast ambience at conventional home
Chitleen K Sethi

Ms Alpana N.P. Singh with her children at their Phase VII
Ms Alpana N.P. Singh with her children at their Phase VII, Mohali residence. — Tribune photos by Pradeep Tewari

The exterior of the house
The exterior of the house. 

Here is a house where the fragrance of soil under your feet is mixed with a distinct smell of salt-laden breeze of the high seas. The owner of this house is a merchant navy engineer who has collected exquisite articles from across the seaports of the world. These items grace various corners of his creatively designed house in Phase VII, Mohali.

A gazer’s ball from China with miniature hand painting done through a small hole at its side, an aboriginal tribal drum, an old wooden treasure chest are some of the things you will generally not find in other houses.

“My husband, Mr N.P. Singh is fond of collecting such items and whenever he visits other countries, he does not forget to buy a thing or two to add to his collection,” says Ms Alpana.

With Mr N.P. Singh sailing for a large part of the year, it is left to Alpana and their two teenage children, Jasreen and Deepan, to take care of the house. “It is difficult to take care of a large house and ensure that everything is in place. But with children taking care of their rooms, half the work is done,” she said pointing out the jazzed up, but spic-and-span rooms of her children.

The elder daughter, Jasreen, has her room flooring and walls in three different shades of soothing colours. “For the floor, we have used three different materials. There are large chips that form a walkway into the rooms, tiles and wood. Similarly, the walls and the ceiling have been designed to give an interesting effect. But what we are most proud of, are the curtains. These have been designed and stitched by my father specially for my room. He used old cotton sarees for the curtains and the effect is beautiful,” she said.

The double-storey house offers a unique facade. “The attractive part of the facade is the main gate. It is a wooden gate in metal framework. In fact, when my husband explained the design to the ‘karigar’, he said it was not possible, but in the end we managed to get the gate made. After that the ‘karigar’ actually went around offering to make similar gates for other homes,” says Alpana.

The house owners also take pride in having a bar that would make many restaurant bars fade in comparison. The bar on the first storey is a cosy corner with wooden tall stools to match. “The best thing I like in the bar is the basin. It is a pure crystal bowl that has been converted into a sink. A hole was cut at the bottom and fitted under the tap to collect water,” explained Alpana.

A host of treasure chests and wooden boxes decorated with motifs, miniature paintings and designs dot almost every corner of the house. “We are fond of collecting boxes. It is almost a fetish with us,” said Deepan.

Before you start believing that every beautiful things in the house has been bought from inaccessible port cities across the world, have a look at a creative set of colourful kites that decorate the staircase wall. These kites are of glass painted in a myriad of colours giving a glorious effect to the whole house.


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