C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Students Council to fulfil promises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
With the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council in office, the focus has now shifted to fulfilling promises made at election time. The representatives who assumed office said that the emphasis would be on improving lot of the student of Panjab University.

President of the Council, Rajwinder Singh Lucky, says, “Since it’s a split verdict, to all elected members are trying to put their heads together to work out a common programme with students’ at the centre of the agenda. We had promised a student-centric university and that’s what we will make it. The scales are tipped in favour of the authorities who choose to sit over students’ demands, delay response and are indifferent to the plight of the students.”

The Council would soon begin to identify problems of every department, he said that the Council would hold meetings of department representatives in rotation. “We will target one department at a time, find out the problems they are facing be it that of faculty, rooms, water and address these by representing to the authorities. After procuring an action taken report, we will move on to the next department,” he said.

The Council would leave for an educational trip to Himachal Pradesh, other priorities are organising a freshers’ party, preparing teams for the youth festival slated for the last week of October and formulating a plan for increased co-curricular activities and greater participation from the student fraternity.

Also a grievances committee will be set up to take care of individual complaints. “We don’t want to ignore the complaint of a single student. The committee will be headed by an office-bearer of the Council so that the case can be followed up with the authorities rather than ending with a representation,” added Lucky.

The only girl in the Council, Ankita Thakur, the Vice-President, maintained that issues pertaining to security of girls on the campus would be taken up and their hostel issues discussed at monthly meetings with the Council.



Dasehra confusion: attendance in schools remain thin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Owing to confusion over the Dasehra holiday, the attendance in government schools remained thin. On the other hand, in most of the private schools it was a holiday.

Since the UT education department had declared a holiday on Friday, it was a working day in the government schools. “ Since it was a holiday mood due to the festival season, a number of parents preferred not to send their children to school,” said a teacher.



WIPRO placement for 9 Rayat Engg students
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 23
Nine final year students of Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology have been selected by WIPRO during campus placements.

According to Mr M.L. Gambhir, Director, Rayat Institute of Engineering & Information Technology, WIPRO conducted placement test and interviews for final year students of various engineering colleges of Punjab, Haryana and H.P. and nine students of their institute were selected.

Students who got selected are Siminider Chopra, Jagwant Kaur, Amit Vig, Richa Gupta, Jaideep Singh, Harman Preet Kaur, Parul Kundra, Abhishek Kapoor and Gurpreet Kaur.



Zonal youth fest from Oct 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Glimpses of the folklore and traditional culture of composite Punjab, as it existed prior to 1947, will be witnessed during the Panjab University Zonal Youth festival beginning at DAV College, Sector 10, from October 25.

For the first time, all girls’ colleges of the city will also be participating in the event. In the zonal festival, teams of all 11 colleges of the city would be putting their best foot forward, said the organising secretary, Prof Umesh Vinayak.

Rechristened as “Youth Festivals and Heritage Festivals” by the Department of Youth Welfare, Panjab University, the six-day gala event would give an opportunity to the participating teams and the visitors to get a taste of the traditional through display of various art and craft forms. Teams of various colleges are taking special training in “vaar” and “kali” singing, playing folk instruments and “naqqals”.

College staff has been assigned various duties to act as perfect host for the event. This year the stakes of the participants and the hosts are high as the event has also been opened for all girls’ colleges for the first time. Around 1500 entries have been received for 39 different events. For the smooth conduct of the events, performance stages have been provided at four places in the college premises, said Prof Vinayak.

Events like bhangra, gidha and drama, which attract maximum, crowd and often witness unruly scenes would be held in the main auditorium. The participants would be issued identity cards to ensure that unwanted persons did not create law and order problem. Around 50 faculty members and equal number of students have been assigned the duty of guiding the participants.

The maximum participation would be witnessed in contest like shabad bhajan, ghazal, geet, folk music and debate. In the gidha contest, nine colleges are participating and in bhangra teams five colleges would be testing their talent. In another keenly contested event, drama, would see participation by teams from nine colleges.

The teaching in the host college would not be discontinued during the festival days. “ There would be no bar on the students from seeing the performances”, said Prof Vinayak.

Barring October 27 and October 28, when the events would continue till 9 pm, the event on other days would end by 6 pm. For the inaugural day, the Irrigation Minister, Himachal Pradesh, Thakur Kaul Singh, has been invited. The zonal heritage festival is being held in the last two days. The programme of heritage festival will cover, culture of composite Punjab as it existed prior to 1947 including areas of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and also of Pakistan.



PU to host workshop on bio-sensors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23
Panjab University will host a national workshop on “Prospects of bio-sensors in modern biology and biotechnological applications” from October 25 to November 6. The workshop is aimed at enabling participants from the region to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field of plant, medical and microbial sciences.

Prof I.S. Dua, convener of the conference, said that the 40 resource persons comprising professors and scientists from various institutes would present their views on the latest research with regard to sensors.

Among those slated to address the participants during the workshop are Prof P. Rama Rao, Director, NIPER, Dr B.D. Gupta, Professor Emeritus, Prof J.V. Yakhmi of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, PGI Director, Dr K.K. Talwar.

Seven local institutes, PGI, IMTECH, CSIO, DRDO, NIPER and Department of Science and Technology, Chandigarh Administration, are collaborating in this exercise under the flagship of Panjab University.

The workshop will be inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof KN Pathak, while the Union Minister for Science and Technology, Mr Kapil Sibal, will be the chief guest at the valedictory function.

Paper presented: A lecturer of the Department of Computer Science and applications, Panjab University, Ms Sonal Chawla, chaired a session and presented a paper on “e-learning” at the International conference on “WWW/Internet 2004” held in Madrid from October 6 to 9.

Her paper was the only one from India to be selected for oral presentation and has been published in the proceedings of the conference. The conference had Prof Hermann Maurer from Austria and Prof Thomas Reeves from the US as keynote speakers. Ms Chawla has also been invited by the University of Greenwich, London, for delivering a talk.



Film Review
A spoof on horror
Rama Sharma

When producer Ramgopal Verma of “Bhoot” fame claims that Vaastu Shastra is the scariest film he has ever seen, expectations are of an average plus fare. But sadly the scare here is aborted. And we think we are better off without such promises.

A couple (Sushmita Sen and Chakarvarty) moves to their dream bungalow on the outskirts of Pune. The dimly lit screen manages to create a spooky ambience with the help of some good cinematography.

The sound effects too signal an impending disaster. So you wait with bated breath but nothing happens till the first half. It is just a yellow ball entering the window climbing sofa and chairs with the little child watching in amazement.

Director Saurabh Narang has avoided skulls or blood wrenching scenes. It is just some ghosts staring angrily in the first half. He effectively uses an old dying tree to give creeps.

The title “Vaastu Shastra” is misnomer except that the haunted house complies with vaastu norms.

Sensuous Sushmita without any make-up looks so real, simple and natural. Peeya Rai Chaudhary who made her debut as Aishwarya Rai's wild sister in Bride and Prejudice, negotiates for reel exposure here.

Chakravarty (of “Satya” fame) is a self-centered writer who seems to be waiting for the script writers’ nod to go ahead and induce a twist. But nothing of this sort happens.

It is the child artiste Ahsaas Channa who comes across as the real hero. His dialogues are refreshing and acting spontaneous.

What gives the real shiver and a lesson too is the maid maltreating the child in the absence of his mother.

Towards the end, all dead dear ones of the heroine reappear in their gory form, thirsting for her blood. This appears to be quite a U-turn, especially when the Hindi cinema had always reinforced that love remains even after death.

The movie will haunt many for its inability to coincide with their mood. It is sure to hound those hooked to horror fare out of the cinema hall. — TNS



Reliving the pangs of Partition
Aditi Tandon

The Partition of India has always remained a challenging subject for literary and artistic interpretation. Small wonder litterateurs, poets and dramatists, have over the years been engaged in assessing the colossal losses resulting from India’s dissection, writing being their only tool.

Of the four classics ever authored in India on this subject, “Masiha” by Sagar Sarhadi is in a league of its own. The other three being Amrita Pritam’s poem “Aj Aakhan Waris Shah Nu”, Sadat Hassan Manto’s “O Kahani Hai…” and Dr Harcharan Singh’s “Ek Vichari Ma”.

While the last three works have managed rave reviews from time to time, the first one has been any theatre artiste’s delight.

Staged once in 1971 in Bombay under the aegis of Juhu Art Group of Balraj Sahni, “Masiha” is now coming to Punjab, courtesy eminent dramatist Gursharan Singh and his troupe.

In the two-day theatre festival planned for October 27 and 28, “Masiha” will be staged for the first time in the region.

Structured for the space of performance by Gursharan Singh himself, the play is being directed by Jagjit Saini, a product of the Department of Indian Theatre, Panjab University.

What is interesting about “Masiha” is the timing of the play. Speaking to Chandigarh Tribune about the relevance of the play written long ago, Gursharan Singh said its subject was the tragedy of the Partition.

“But its treatment is new. We have addressed the larger question of refugees by using Sagar Sarhadi’s protagonist as our reference point. Though the play is set in times when Indians and Pakistanis were struggling to come to terms with the gruesome consequences of the division of land, it is relevant to all times, because war is the reality of all ages,” says Gursharan Singh.

Interestingly, the play is being touted as powerful even before it has been staged. This, because Sagar Sarhadi has always been associated with works that have tremendous emotional and human appeal like films — “Bazaar”, which he directed, and “Silsila” for which he wrote dialogues.

Gursharan Singh admitted: “Sarhadi’s play is visually so powerful that we did not have to do much to prepare it for the stage. The theme is universal and contemporary. The play is thought provoking. It raises valid points, the most critical being the status of refugees. The main character is anguished by the end of the play, so anguished that he questions his own existence as a refugee. He says he never wanted to be uprooted from his home and he never even did anything to deserve being a refugee. In the climax, the writer demands that the responsibility of losses be fixed.”

Surcharged with emotion, the play ends with the message — “Every man is a ‘Masiha’, because he dies for another’s sake, and most often because of another’s fault.” For his part, Jagjit Saini is enthused about treating the play, regarded among the finest pieces of drama ever written in India.

The second production of the two-day festival also raises pertinent questions. Written by National School of Drama (NSD) alumnus Piyush Mishra, “Gagan Damama Bajyo” is a document on martyr Bhagat Singh’s philosophy.

Audaciously constructed, it seeks to set certain issues in the right perspective. To begin with, it will trace the relevance of Bhagat Singh’s ideology to present times.

Director Rahul Joshi says: “The play deals with Bhagat Singh’s viewpoint in totality — his thoughts, his inspirations, his perceptions and his resolves concerning the freedom struggle. There are 30 characters in the play, extremely crucial to the health of the production. We have Rajguru, Sukhdev, Mahatma Gandhi, Chandrashekhar Azad and every other freedom fighter associated with the life and times of Bhagat Singh.”

Interestingly, the play does not get into the dynamics of Gandhi-Bhagat Singh relationship.

The director clarifies: “Their relationship was more like that of Krishna and Karan in Mahabharata. Both had the same end in mind, but their means made all the difference. We will try to clear some dust off this aspect of history. Actually, Bhagat Singh was all respect for Mahatma Gandhi. His conflict was ideology based.”

The plays will be presented on October 27 and 28 at 7 pm in Tagore Theatre. TNS



Qawwalis rendered at cultural show

To give different experience to the city residents this time Weekend Cultural Show at Plaza at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Saturday brought a qwaali evening. Neeley Khan Mohammad Sadeeque, the main attraction of the show filled the ambience with his musical notes by singing soulful qwaalis .

He rendered qwaalis including ‘ Aakh vekh ke na rajje meri’ Tumhe dillagi bhool jaani padegi and Paas rakh ke bhi phasala rahe’. But he drew a lot of appreciation when he rendered Nusrat fateh Ali Khan’ s qwaali’ Je tu Rab nu Manauna’. Meherdeen on Tabla, Desraj Gurdaspuri on Harmonium and Teetu on octopod accompanied him well.

The show was organised by the Department of Tourism Chandigarh Administration and the Oasis Events. OC



Youngsters evolve own style
Swarleen Kaur

YOUNGSTERS in the city are in no mood to accept trends set by fashion magazines. With a will of their own, they evolve their own style. Making a fashion statement is something very personal. Into an experimenting mode, they are creating their own fashion and style. No wonder they have forced designers to be innovative.

As chill is already in the air , the hunt for winter garments is on. The market, flooded with fresh winter stock, is also eyeing the youth segment. In view of the festive season, many shops are offering discounts on winter collection.

Girls have something to cheer up in this chill. Woollen T-shirts studded with sequins in lemon blue and red have arrived to go with the jeans.The price ranges between Rs 895 and Rs 1,100. This season’s reigning colour are orange, red, yellow and pink.

For those trying to make a sober impression in traditional salwar suit without looking old fashioned there are zippers and jeans with patchwork.The price ranges from Rs 689 to Rs 1,000.

And the evergreen cardigan with self-designs which can be worn at any occasion without a forethought, can be had for Rs 520. The price may go up to Rs 1,400.

In menswear trendy sweaters are being sold at Rs 1,199 and range can go up depending upon the quality of wool used. This time a lot of vibrant colors are holding the sway. Jackets in denim have arrived in new styles with stylish pockets and button designs.

For those looking for greater warmth, there are woollen trousers which will make them look good and as well save them from cold. Almost all main brands have come up with sweaters, sweatshirts, high neck and leather jackets.The sweaters are available in combinations which you can match with any of the dresses.

As for the prices, they have not changed much as compared to the last year. Nor have the preferences changed much. Sweatshirts are the hot favorites of almost all youngsters. Available in trendy designs, these have various neck shapes to go with different body frames. While helping people to fight cold, these also impart a sporty yet formal look.

Sweaters in V shape and zippers are also among the favoured collections. These are available in light weight and subtle colour combinations, offering necessary warmth in the chill.

For boys sporty look is much sought after this season. It can be clearly seen that there is no fixed fashion for this season. It has changed and might keep changing for the rest of the winter season.

Sunidhi, a BA, first year, students said,” I keep on experimenting with clothes. I don’t stick to a particular choice of colour or brands. I can buy a T-shirt from Sector 19 market costing Rs 150 or a branded one from a showroom in Sector 17. It depends on what catches your eye”. OC



Jewellery crafted from paper
Harvinder Khetal

Kanchan Gupta
Kanchan Gupta

Art combined with innovation and keen business acumen can lead to a product which while satisfying one’s creative urge also opens the doors of an enterprising vocation.

Nitin and Kanchan Gupta from Kanpur is one such couple which has found its calling in the field of jewellery, but with a difference. They craft colourful pieces of art studded with gems and beads from paper.

In Chandigarh for an exhibition for their work, Nitin told TNS that the contemporary concept of paper jewellery is trendy, durable and in the affordable range of Rs 20 to Rs 5000.

What started as a hobby, with them designing pieces for family and friends, got a push when they received export orders at the international trade fair in 2001. They have not looked back since then as their business has grown by leaps and bounds to clock nearly Rs 2 crore this year.The fact that they have the patent in this line has only helped.

“Utmost care is taken to ensure that the paper is treated and hardened enough to withstand sweat and water.It is also a boon for women suffering from allergies to nickel or metal plating. The jewellery is nickel-free and made of surgical stainless steel. The colours too are fast and can be matched with one’s dress,” he informs while listing the features that have led to the wide acceptance of their handicraft.

Their glittering lightweight earrings, bracelets, bangles, necklaces, mangalsutras, “maangtikas” and bridal sets have also caught the fancy of celebrities like Mandira Bedi and some film stars.

Having gained acceptance in Europe and the USA, from where they recently got an order for a Christmas collection, the accessary designer duo is tapping the Indian market. In this connection, they are showcasing their adornments at a hotel in Sector 22 here from October 24 to 28. TNS


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