C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hostelers allege harassment by warden
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Inmates of Aravali Hostel in Punjab Engineering College today alleged that the Warden of the hostel, Dr S.K Mangal, was harassing them by levying undue fines on them. Students told mediapersons that without giving a warning about the items or gadgets lying in their rooms, the Warden was levying fine on them. The fine varied between Rs 500 and Rs 1500.

Most of the inmates in the hostel are M.E students. They said despite giving representations to different quarters, no improvement had taken place in the functioning of the Warden. The funds meant for the betterment of the students were being put to some other use. The employees were being asked to perform jobs other than those for which they had been appointed.

However, Dr S.K.Mangal was not available for comments. Mr Vikas Chaudhary, a student of ME (Highway), alleged that the Warden was behaving in an authoritarian manner. He said despite being given permission to keep a refrigerator and television, the Warden ensured that television was removed from his room.



PEC research scholar honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The Mother Teresa Education Trust, Chandigarh, has honoured a Chandigarh youth, Sunil Kumar, a research scholar of Punjab Engineering College, who has stood fourth in the Harvard Scientistica-2004 group at Harvard University in a project research work on rocket propulsion. In this competition, 605 research scholars from different universities of the world took part.

Sunil Kumar was also honoured for saving the life of Class VII student Ravneet Singh, who had suffered a snakebite.



Lawyers seek review of judicial officers’ security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Criticising the killing of parents of two judicial magistrates in Gurgaon district, the Federation of Lawyers Against Corruption today demanded adequate security for judicial officers and their families.

In a representation to the Chief Justice of India, the federation alleged that the judicial complexes in Punjab and Haryana had become unsafe for the judges, lawyers and litigants. Under these circumstances it was very difficult to expect justice from the magistrates.

“Even the middle-rung bureaucrats are provided with heavy security, the judicial officers and their families are left to fend for themselves”, it said.

Demanding an immediate review of the security cover of judicial officers, the representation demanded the formation of a high-level committee, headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, for this purpose.



CAT order on transferred employee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
The Chandigarh Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal CAT today ruled that a transferred employee of the Chandigarh Administration, who had been confirmed in a new department, could not be recalled to the parent department after two years.

Justice O.P. Garg, and Mr LM Mehta, Vice-Chairman and Administrative Member, respectively, in their order, allowed the original application filed by Mr Harjit Singh, a Superintendent with the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).

It may be recalled that Mr Harjit Singh, who was transferred to the GMCH from the Education Department in 2000, gave his option to acquire the lien of the hospital in 2003.

However, in its order dated March 19, 2004, the DPI (Colleges) directed him to report for duty at his parent department.

Terming the order of the DPI as “unjustified and illegal”, the Bench ruled that after the confirmation of the applicant in the new department his lien would stand “automatically terminated.” He could not be recalled by the DPI (Colleges) though he was having a lien in the Education Department, the order said.



Using theatre to preserve fading folk forms
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14
Sanjay Upadhyay It took a lot of soul searching for Sanjay Upadhyay to resist the temptation of landing in Bollywood after leaving the portals of the National School of Drama (NSD).

The urge to cash in on the theatrical skills just acquired was strong, but the desire to use theatre as a tool to revive lost traditions was stronger.

From the NSD, Upadhyay headed homeward to Bihar where the dying folk musical legacy of "Bidesiya" awaited his attention.

He went straight for the literary documentations of this ancient Bihari folk tradition by the legendary Bikhari Thakur and lifted the form for classic adaptations on stage.

Today, Upadhyay can conveniently take the credit of having single handedly preserved "Bidesiya" which he loves using as a canvas to draw up larger pictures for the spaces of performance.

In Chandigarh to present his production during the ongoing National Drama Festival at Tagore Theatre, Upadhyay spoke to The Tribune about his foray into the world of Bidesiya and his digression towards two new styles of theatre seldom practiced earlier.

These include personality-based theatre which he has been using to trace the genius of legends like Kabir, Tulsidas, Habba Khatoon, Vidyapati and the first Dalit poet Hiradom, to mention some.

Last but not the least is Upadhyay's active involvement with the juvenile delinquents in the slums of Nandnagar Colony at Patna.

By launching a mass cultural awareness in these slums, Upadhyay has been successful in diverting the attention of children from planned crimes. He has also worked with the jail inmates in Bihar.

"I am identified most with "Bidesiya" which I am preserving through a sustained movement. Most of my hit productions like "Bakri" draw from this folk musical form. Equally close to my heart are personality- based plays like the ones on Kabir and Habba Khatoon, developed after extensive research. I believe strongly in the educative value of theatre.

Entertainment can be incidental but my productions must be strong, cerebrally. Also I get new people to write scripts for me. This solves the problems created by dearth of scripts. I did a lot of research as Director, Sriram Centre, Delhi," says Upadhyay who runs the theatre group Nirman Kala Manch.

Besides using theatre as a platform for discussing sensibilities, Upadhyay has also employed it more productively in the slums of Bihar where he runs an organisation called Safarmaina.

"This is our home for the juvenile delinquents who have lost direction. Our aim is to make them culturally, politically and economically aware so that they feel the urge to get empowered. We have brought several such children into the mainstream. Many of them have even gone to study theatre at the NSD where I regularly take classes in Bidesiya."

A contemporary of Ashish Vidyarthi, Upadhyay feels strongly about the painful shift of talent from theatre to films.

He says, "I could also have chosen the easy way out, but I felt responsible as a man of theatre. Moreover, I had seen how the vagaries of Bollywood get the better of fine actors like Ashish Vidyarthi.

I stayed put and decided to create meaningful forms, with theatre as my language."



Complex but entertaining
Aditi Tandon

Spiritual and emotional quest forms the core of Sanjay Upadhyay’s “Kahaan Gaya Mera Ugna”, staged at Tagore Theatre on the second day of the National Drama Festival. Structured around the life and times of the legendary 14th century poet Vidyapati, the play develops as a documentary drama suffused with elements of folk heritage like costumes and music.

On the onset, the production appears to take off from Habib Tanvir’s “Charandas Chor” presented yesterday. But gradually the two plays seem to share nothing expect the “folk” label. While Tanvir’s language is easy to comprehend, Upadhyay’s treatment is classic, but complex at times.

Viewed in totality, the production is instructive and entertaining. The two elements hardly stay on the stage simultaneously. Perhaps that is intended by the director, who treats the script like a piece of poetry, retaining the richness of Maithili as immortalised by Vidyapati, the state poet of Raja Shiv Singh of Maithili. Poetry and music dominate the presentation in “Kahaan Gaya Mera Ugna”, a play that has been staged nine times earlier.

Even the dialogues are in rhythm. The heavy presence of music, in fact, seems critical to the script that draws primarily from Vidyapati’s poetry. It also weaves in a striking episode wherein charmed by Vidyapati’s verse, Tughlaq, the Mughal ruler spares Raja Shiv Singh, as a gesture of regard for the poet.

Because the regional dialect dominates the presentation, the story does not travel easily from the stage to the mind of the audience. It takes time to develop as Vidyapati sets out in search of Lord Shiva in the company of Rani Lakhima, who is engrossed in her own quest for her evading husband, Raja Shiv Singh, who disappears from the battlefield. Shiva is common to the search of lead characters, but the search progresses at separate levels.

While Vidyapati is craving for Lord Shiva, who makes frequent but brief appearances on the stage as Ugna, the queen is languishing in love. The spiritual and emotional quests complement each other, until the dejected queen dies. In the denouement, the symbolism inherent in its script surfaces. Ugna appears on the stage for good, justifying the title of the play, which underlines soul searching as the only way of getting to God. Musically, the play is extremely endowed. Portrayals by actors are also strong. TNS



Delhi band wins contest

Delhi band Perestroika has won the first nationwide collegiate music competition ‘Campus Rock Idols’. The September 12 finale of the contest, which saw the selection of Chandigarh’s DAV College rock band at the regional level, witnessed a crowd of over 1,000 youth.

Participating bands included Perestroika, The Super Fuzz Big Muff (winners of the northern regional finals), Funeral Fire, Afflatus (winners of the eastern regional finals), Milican’s Oildrop, Synapse (winners of the southern regional finals), and Dry State from Ahmedabad and Nemesis from Pune (winners of the western regional finals).

Pentagram, one of the most popular Indian bands, performed the headline act for the all-India finals in Mumbai recently. Made up by Vishal, Shiraz, Randolph and Papal, the band won three of India’s biggest rock competitions, one of which resulted in them signing a deal for their first album in 1996.

The competition at Mumbai witnessed bands playing everlasting hits like Pull Me Under (by Dream Theatre) and Fear of The Dark (by Iron Maiden) as well as original compositions like Fade Away, 8 to 5 by Milican’s Oil Drop and Leave Me Out and Equinox by Synapse.

The bands were judged on the basis of originality, quality, crowd response, stage presence and individual instruments like the lead guitar, drums, base guitar and vocals. The winning band from Delhi comprises Vasav Vashish (vocalist), Nitesh Vasandani (drums), Lokesh Bakshi (lead guitar), Gurteej Singh (rhythm guitar), and Joydeep Das (bass guitar).

The winners will get a chance to perform alongside international rock icons, of the likes of Bryan Adams, Rolling Stones, Dire Straits, Duran Duran and Sting, amongst others, who will perform in India. Cash prizes of Rs 75,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 will be awarded to the top three winning bands. This cash prize is apart from multimedia equipment for the college management of the winning bands. TNS



Food Festival
Treat yourself to oriental cuisine

Enter the Dragon at Panchkula. Wah Dilli, a dining restaurant and food court, is out to tickle your taste buds with authentic oriental cuisine. Beginning Wednesday, the eatery in the middle of a verdant garden is all set to organise a 10-day Chinese Food Festival.

On offer will be Chinese dishes with enormous regional variations and each with its own distinct flavour. Dishes from Peiking, Cantonese, Sichuan and Mongolia, besides variations from the native cuisine of Shanghai to the Muslim food of Xingjiang province, will be dished out by the chefs, especially called from Delhi for the food fest.

Start your meal with jeebowhar (golden fried prawns in oyester dip) or tom yuamkumg. Vegetarians have an option from dragon rolls or dim sum. The menu is a four-course meal, which besides the starters, includes soups, main dish and desserts.

The restaurant has been given a makeover, with Chinese tankhas and fans. The tables have been decorated with perfumed candles and miniature laughing Buddhas as table accessories. A live counter will be set up on one side so that visitors can make their own dishes.

Mr Sandeep Sahni, a partner, says they have set up a giant screen in the restaurant, so that the cllients can watch the ICC cricket series. He adds that a special food counter is being set up at food court, where food festivals of each Indian state will be organised on a regular basis. TNS



Enjoying mother’s role

On her way to Shimla for the shooting of a Harry Baweja film, Sushmita Sen halted at the Chandigarh Airport, sparing enough time to interact with journalists on Tuesday. She threw no tantrums, blew no trumpets and took no pride in her accomplishments.

“I am a simple girl I like to do things straight. There are no two faces to me,” said the actress, who was disturbed over having had to leave her daughter Raina alone. “It is a long schedule in Shimla. We will be at work for about 24 days. I am already feeling the pinch that she is home alone. I have never been away for her for this long,” said Sushmita. She loves her role as a mother. Perhaps this is the only role she prides in.

Among her screen roles; Sushmita had no particular favourites though she admitted her penchant for comedy. “There is something very spontaneous about comedy. Tickling ribs of people is a petty tough job. I like the challenge and enjoy the results,” she said.

At ease with performance-oriented roles, Sushmita said she would rather choose a comedy. The actress had been signed by Kalpana Lajmi, known for her choice of socially relevant themes. Though untitled, the film was expected to be another cerebral affair. Sushmita did not mind an intellectually inspiring script as long as she had her share of funny, amusing moments in comedy films.

In love with life and whatever it had brought her way, Sushmita appeared at peace with herself. Not conscious of her celebrity status, she exuded warmth and gave the secret behind her happiness. “I take one day at a time and steal moments of joy. God has given me enough happy memories to cherish,” said Sushmita, casually giving away contact numbers to some journalists. TNS



Fitness Trail
Wheatgrass juice good for health
Renu Manish Sinha

Grass was the first sign of vegetation on earth when land first emerged out of water. Today it can be found all over the earth across five continents, from the grassy outback of Australia to Tundra in the Arctic circle. Grass is also the base of food chain or pyramid for all animals.

Interestingly, grains, including wheat, rice, barley, oats, corn millets etc. which are prime source of food for humans, germinate into grass initially before becoming crops.

These cereal grasses contain many essential nutrients which they absorb directly from the soil.

* Wheatgrass should be grown in shallow pots or trays using organic, fertiliser-free soil(natural compost can be used).

* The grass should be cut after 7 to 10 days after it attains a height of 6 to 8 inches.

* Use hard wheat for seeds (Colonel Sandhu recommends desi wheat).

* Wheat should be sprouted before sowing. The seeds should be covered with half-inch layer of well-moistened soil.

* Watering should be need based after the grass has germinated at least half inch.

* Always have freshly-extracted juice.

* Juice should be always be extracted in a hand blender as the centrifugal forces in a high-speed electric mixer destroy much of its goodness.

An analysis by a soil expert, Dr Earp Thomas, showed that wheatgrass or grass grown from wheat, contained over 100 elements, including all known minerals and vitamins, says nutrition expert, Dr Neelu Malhotra of Mohali. These minerals include vitamins A, B, C, E, and K and calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, sulphur, cobalt, zinc, etc. Hence wheatgrass is a complete food in itself capable of sustaining life in a healthy way, she adds.

Wheatgrass can be taken in the form of juice. In some countries it is also available in the form of dehydrated powder or tablets.

The main component of wheatgrass juice is chlorophyll (70 per cent).

Dr Ann Wigmore in her book ‘The Hippocrates Diet and Health Program’ has rightly referred to chlorophyll as ‘green blood’, as it forms the blood of plants.

Interestingly, chlorophyll or green blood also mimics atom structure of haemoglobin molecules (carrier of oxygen in human blood).

Only the metallic atom element of these two differ. While haemoglobin has iron, in chlorophyll metallic atom element is magnesium.

A research during 1940s claimed that intake of chlorophyll enhances haemoglobin production. A Japanese scientist, Dr Yoshihide Hagiwara, in 1970s put up a similar theory that chlorophyll could be absorbed directly into the blood stream. She claimed that the human body could then transform chlorophyll into haemoglobin increasing the red blood cell count and the blood’s capacity to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to the body cells.

In fact, after learning about this theory about wheatgrass juice many thalassaemic patients under treatment at the PGI, Chandigarh, began consuming this juice.

This prompted a team of doctors led by Dr R.K. Marwaha, Professor, Department of Paediatrics, and in charge, Paediatrics Haematology-Oncology unit, Advanced Paediatric Centre, PGI, to conduct a study to evaluate effects of wheatgrass juice on blood transfusion requirements of thalassaemic patients.

The study was performed between February 2000 and May, 2003. Sixteen patients were analysed. The patients had 100 ml fresh juice daily during this period. During the final analysis the juice was found to have beneficial effects on 50 per cent of the patients. There was a decrease in their blood transfusion requirement by at least 25 per cent. Also the mean interval in between transfusion visits increased in all 16 participants.

Though Dr Marwaha and his team did not speculate on the mechanism behind the beneficial effects but more trials were carried out in November last year involving other patients about testing the efficacy of wheatgrass tablets. The findings of the study on wheatgrass tablets would be released later this year, added Dr Marwaha.

The city has many takers for wheatgrass juice, apart from the thalassaemic patients. Col H.S Sandhu, a Rotarian, has been drinking this juice since mid-80s. The 78-year-old Colonel Sandhu plays golf for three hours every day besides putting in two hours of cardiovascular exercises. He has been growing this grass for the past 20 years and also gives away it to needy, free of cost.

Wheatgrass has three most therapeutic roles: blood purification, liver detoxification, and colon cleansing, according to Dr Wigmore.

Its benefits are said to be wide ranging; from being a blood builder, anti-oxidant, anti-ageing factor, cell rejuvenator, cancer-inhibiter, immune system supporter, protector against environmental pollution, including synthetic fertilisers, radiation and toxic heavy metals. It is also said to be beneficial externally for direct use on eye, skin, gum, genital and ear infections and diseases, adds Dr Wigmore.

Since wheatgrass juice purifies blood and is known for cancer-inhibiting properties (though it is not supported by many studies) many cancer patients also take this juice.

A family friend of Colonel Sandhu and wife of a prominent Rotarian was operated for a cancerous ovarian tumour in July this year. Since then she has been taking 100 ml of this juice twice a day, along with other fresh fruit juices since mid-July. She says, “ I don't know whether wheatgrass juice helped me or not but I have had two chemotherapy sessions since then. While the first session was quite bad the second time I did not feel the bad effects that much. In fact I felt quite better.”


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