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From Schools 
Colourful show by students on annual day
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, December 19
Students of Saint Joesph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, celebrated their annual day here today. Mr D.S. Mangat, DPI (Schools), Chandigarh Administration, was the chief guest. The celebrations were titled — Encore.

The students put up a colourful show of march past, drill, dances, yoga and races. The field was a riot of colour and exuberance as the intricate steps of Goan dance, Olympic drill, tribal and gypsy dances and bhangra unfolded on the sprawling school lawns.

Twenty national players who had represented Chandigarh and 200 state-level players in swimming, net ball, badminton, karate, basketball, fencing, skating, table tennis, carrom, cricket, judo etc were honoured on the occasion.

Students of Sunday School of Christ Church, Sector 18, celebrated Christmas on the school campus here on Sunday. Rev. Darbara, chairman of the school, inaugurated the function with a prayer. Children staged a play emphasising the message of love and brotherhood. The show concluded with the singing of carols. Sweets were also distributed to all those present there.


Students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 35, Chandigarh, celebrated their annual day at the Mohali branch of the school on Sunday. The function was inaugurated by Ms Margaret J. Woodbridge, lecturer, School of Nursing, Ucol, New Zealand.

The programme started with the lighting of a lamp. It was followed by a welcome song. Young children then presented patriotic song: ‘Mere desh ki dharti....’ The song was dedicated to freedom fighters.

Tiny tots gibbered and imitated actions and sounds of different animals and presented them through a song — sabse achha. The essence of happiness and joy was brought forth through lively ketchup song. A qawaali was also presented by the students. It was followed by umbrella dance. The cultural feast ended with a bhangra performance.

The chief guest spoke about the importance of cultural events.

The students who excelled in various fields were also awarded during the function.


Baby show
The junior wing of Satluj Public School, Sector 2, organised an impressive baby show for children between 0 and 5 years of age here on Sunday. As many as 80 babies participated in the contest.

Mr Pritam Singh Serai, principal of the school, said the theme of the show was ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’. The health and dental check-up of the participants was conducted by Dr Sanjay Kalra and his team. Every participant was given a certificate and a prize courtesy State Bank of India. Aryan Beri, Samrat Sharma, Amal Bhatnagar and Maidinee Goja were the top prize winners.

Yesterday, the wing had organised a talent-hunt competition in painting, singing, dancing and fancy dress for children up to 10 years of age. As many as 367 children had participated in the show.

Song, rhyme day
Song and rhyme day was observed for students of Classes I and II at Bhavan Vidyalaya here on Saturday. The function began with the lighting up of a lamp by the chief guest, Mr G.N. Sharma. Children presented poems in praise of the wonders of nature.

Fancy dress show
A fancy dress competition was organised at May Buds School, Sector 21, on Saturday. Children had dressed up as Meera, Sudama, Michael Jackson, cat, lion, snowman etc. Tanya, who dressed up as Meera, won the first prize. Kshitij, who dressed up as a snowman, won the second prize, while Akshit (as Michael Jackson) and Lipakshi (as magic girl) won the third prize. 



Tiny tots mesmerise audience
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, December 19
More than 300 students of Strawberry Fields, Sector 24, in the age group of two to five years kept the audience mesmerised for nearly 100 minutes with their gutsy display today. The occasion was Strawberry Fields Sporty Musical Soiree held under the aegis of the Durga Das Foundation at Nehru Bhavan, Sector 24.

Attired in multi-coloured track suits and other colourful dresses, they presented musical items and also took part in various fun races. Structured as musical extravaganza, the sequences were set to the tune of series of hummable, foot-tapping and easy to comprehend lyrics. The musical pieces had been woven into the programme to create different moods. Scottish tunes served as ideal background music.

The programme began with a march past by students from Lower Kindergarten and they had the presence of live band from the Chandigarh police. The musical item ‘Jumpin’s Jacks’ by children of Play Class (A and B), then ‘Twinkle Toes’ by Nursery (A, B and C) children, and ‘Shakalaka Boom Boom’ by Nursery (D and E) provided further delight to audience.

Two sequences choreographed by Shiamak Davar, ‘Moody Blues’ by Lower KG (A and C )with popular number ‘Chak de chak de 'chak de sare gamm’ from ‘Hum Tum’ and ‘Abracadabra’ from number ‘It's magic, it’s magic (Koi mil gaya) by children of LKG (B and D) gave a scintillating fusion of dance and gymnastics. These sequences won applause from all those present.

In various fun races, ‘Soaring kites’ by children of Play Class A, then ‘Blowin’s Windmills’ by Play Class B,Santa’s Reindeer’ by Nursery A, ‘Season’s Catch’ by Nursery B, ‘Sleapin’s Kangaroos ’Nursery C, 'Mobile Rewinds’ by Nursery D and ‘Speedy Lady Birds’ by Nursery E were a treat to watch. The last four items in races were the hurdles, sprighty balloons and crusty sacks races by various section of LKG children.

Then it was the turn of Jingle Bells and to the surprise of everyone, Santa Claus arrived on a camel. It was another joyful moment for children. Later, sweets were distributed by Santa Claus.

Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, UT Administration, was the chief guest. He gave away the prizes. In a brief speech, he praised the efforts put in by the director of the school, Mr Atul Khanna. He complimented tiny tots and teachers for the magnificent sports-cum-musical show.



GCM trying General Choudhary adjourned
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
The General Court Martial trying Major-Gen P.S.K. Choudhary for professional impropriety in the Tehelka case has been adjourned sine die on account of one of the court members reportedly facing a personal problem.

What is significant in this adjournment is that the court comprises seven members instead of the usual five. Sources said that even if one member was unavailable the trial could have continued as the minimum number of members was available.

The Army Act prescribes that a general court martial should have a minimum of five members, out of whom the presiding officer has to be at least one rank senior to the accused. The other members are equivalent in rank to the accused, but cannot be junior.

General Choudhary’s court martial, being held at Ferozepur, is being presided over by the Director-General, Air Defence Artillery, Lieut-Gen C.S. Chima. Other members include general officers commanding of various divisions.

The officer is facing three charges under Section 52(f) and 63 of the Army Act, which deal with intent to defraud and acts prejudicial to good order and military discipline, respectively. He was among those caught on video tape while allegedly demanding and accepting bribes by operatives of tehelka.com who carried out a sting operation while posing as arms dealers. Now retired, he had publicly admitted his fault.

The GCM began in May this year and has been marked by frequent adjournments for long periods. Till it was adjourned sine die, it was at the stage of examining witness, including Secretary of the erstwhile Phukan Commission of Inquiry, who had produced the original video tapes.

Meanwhile, the GCM trying Brig Iqbal Singh in the same case will resume hearing at Patiala tomorrow. The officer had suffered a mild cardiac problem while returning from a gurdwara about a week ago. He had been rushed to the Military Hospital, Patiala, and is now reported to be medically fit to face trial.

Brigadier Iqbal Singh, who too has retired, has challenged the jurisdiction of the GCM trying it. He has raised this plea under Army Rule 51 and 53. Though the trial’s convening order had been issued several months ago, the proceedings were held in abeyance as the officer had moved the Delhi High Court over the court’s jurisdiction to try him. The High Court had vacated the stay on the trial last month.

The Army is learnt to have sent a special officer to New Delhi to verify the status of the flat possessed by Col Anil Sahgal in Dwarka locality in the Capital. Colonel Sahgal too is being tried by a GCM at Chandimandir for his alleged role in Tehelka scam. He has maintained in court that he took money from the Tehelka team in September, 2000, as advance rent for his flat, the construction of which would be complete in the next six months.

According to sources, a captain had been sent from Ambala on Friday and he collected details about the flat, including its location, area, cost and date of completion from the housing society which constructed it.

The captain has submitted the details to the court trying Colonel Sahgal.



Imagination is the soul of dance: Shovana Narayan
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Shovana Narayan has never allowed the technique of dance to assert itself at the cost of aesthetics. Well entrenched in kathak, a form that she professes more than she practices, she has proved well beyond doubt that imagination is the dancer's greatest asset.

Also, the danseuse has impacted many young minds positively by familiarising them with the nuances of Indian classical dances through her lecture demonstrations under SPICMACAY's Virasat series. The feminist, recently at Nangal and in Chandigarh for dance presentations, even appealed against female infanticide and foeticide, drawing people's attention to the indispensable role that women have played through centuries.

Many of Shovana's dance sequences laud the supreme sacrifices Indian women made in pursuit of tradition. Going beyond women ideals like Sita and Radha, Shovana has associated with the lesser known Yashodhara, Urmila and Mandvi, but for whose sacrifices Indian history would have taken another course.

Admits the dancer, "Maithili Sharan Gupt's "Yashodhara" is my all-time favourite. It is a brilliant tale of a woman who surrenders everything at the altar of duty. Laxman's wife Urmila has also captured my imagination." Shovana is now evolving a dance piece on Mandvi, the wife of Bharat. "It's inspiring to look at the Ramayana from Mandvi's perspective. She is the most neglected of all in the entire epic."

Known for her classic choreographies, Shovana has entered hitherto unexplored realms with kathak. Her translation of the abstract theme of water in the language of kathak was extremely well received, as were her sequences inspired by poetry. But Shovana's enterprise lies in her lack of complacency as an artiste. No wonder, she is always creating things more interesting than before.

Another of her indulgences is K.L.Saigal's music as she works to express six of his songs through dance. Sourced from Pran Nevile, known to be a Saigal lover, the songs are exceptionally rich in lyrics and composition.

Shovana says, "These songs have been written and sung by Saigal. They are so incredibly beautiful that they naturally lend themselves to rhythmic patterns. I'm also evolving a piece on the dimensions of rhythm and colours in kathak."

Among the most challenging of themes that Shovana has taken on is linking the continuity of folk traditions with Sanskrit classics.

"Folk tales form an integral part of our classical dance tradition. Our arts have more to them than Kalidasa," the dancer says. She has already created a ballet on Waris Shah's "Heer" which she presented during the Patiala Heritage Festival last year. Now she is looking at more tales, courtesy kathak which never binds its practitioners to the rigidities of structure and grammar.

Nods the dancer, "The basics of the dance form are like facilitators in the cycle of evolution that can be as thrilling as the dancer wants it to be. Imagination is the soul of dance. Unless there is a part of you in every production, you are not creating anything. You are just repeating things that have been there." 



In the footsteps of Benaras gharana legends
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 19
Bhola Nath Mishra makes no tall claims about his musical lineage. More humble than many of his age, the vocalist has been labouring hard to prove himself worthy of the Benaras gharana which he represents. But unlike those who flaunt the greatness of the tradition, he prides in being a student even after 30 years into initiation.

Led into music by mother Chandravati Devi and father Rakhal Mishra, Bhola Nath is particularly known for his ability to express the emotion behind the word. In Chandigarh to sing for the Triveni Sangeet Sabha, he talked about the revival of classical arts in India and the greater repute which Indian classical singers now enjoy. He, however, began by declaring his love for Benaras, the city that exudes classicism in every way.

“Music is the second name of Benaras where you hear the strains of melody in every lane and bylane. Everything about the city reminds you of its majestic classical musical legacy. Maestros like Girija Devi, Pt Rajan-Sajan Mishra and Pt Hanuman Mishra, all belong to Benaras, which has a long history of folk music as well as classical music.” Blessed with folk forms like hori, chaiti, kajri, thumri and dadra, the Benaras tradition is often mistaken to be less vibrant on the classical music front.

The vocalist clarifies, “That’s a misunderstanding which all Benaras gharana vocalists are well aware of. I sing a lot of khayal to dispel such doubts. There is nothing to beat the glorious classical music base of the Benaras tradition which has given the gift of literature to the world of Indian classical music. This gharana is a treasure house of compositions waiting to be sung.”

Bhola Nath has rendered many such compositions spanning various moods and themes, right from the romantic to the religious. He also forms a part of “Aalaap”, a music album series that features the best Indian classical vocalists in various moods.

Besides being recognised as the finest among young representatives of Benaras gharana, Bhola Nath is also busy cutting albums, in keeping with the demands of the industry. He says, “I have rendered some compositions in raga Malkons, but I have not yet named them after me. No one will accept or respect the creations as mine. The practice in India is to judge performers by their age and not by their merit. I am waiting to grow old so that my talent is recognisable.”

For his part, Bhola Nath is happy to be an A-grade artiste at AIR, New Delhi station. The job leaves him with ample time to create and perform. He is now concentrating on composing. 



Docu-drama on woes of elderly
S.D. Sharma

Eightysix-year-old Dhani Ram Choudhry, an inmate of Old Age Home, Sector 15, Chandigarh, shares the agony and torment of his soul, which epitomises the tragedy of his life. All 35 inmates of the home subscribe to the belief that the essence of life is ‘love’ in all its manifestations and the economic needs are just supportive to run a family which is a holistic unit strengthened by the spirit of sacrifice, reverence and cooperation among its members. Any indiscipline in the cohesive order spell doom for the weakest and the oldest inmate of the family.

The local unit of Doordarshan Kendra, in a bid to project the emotional and financial strains of those elders who had sacrificed their comforts, wealth to see their progeny flourishing, yesterday launched the production of a docu-drama series ‘Ek Din Mere Saath’ on the Old Age Home premises. The potent social theme has a mass appeal of social relevance, especially when these days materialism secures over the moral values of life.

Based on an extensive research by yoga acharya Aneesh Garg, the sensitive theme has been perceived, scripted and directed for the Doordarshan by Sunil Babbar, a city-based film maker and winner of Best Foreign Film award and Producer of the Year award for his English film “The Ants”. The docu-drama series ‘Ek Din Mere Saath’ is in five episodes is a realistic and emotional portrayal of the lives of five senior residents of the Old Age Home, now being run under the care of the local Lions Club.

Besides Dhani Ram, a former journalist who holds three postgraduate degrees and had the privilege of working for Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Acharya Kriplani, the lives of C.B. Sharman (84), A.N. Gupta (86), Janaki Devi (76) and Dharampal (73) and his wife Raksha Devi (63) will be portrayed in the series.

Executive Producer N.S. Minhas observed that the families of the “lower strata” were much more affectionate to their older members.

Doordarshan Director M. Haq performed the mahurat shot and said the episodes would cover the minute by minute details of their daily routine.



Sanjeev Kapoor out to tantalise taste buds

Master chef Sanjeev Kapoor strikes a pose at his restaurant, Yellow Chilli, in Panchkula on Sunday.
Master chef Sanjeev Kapoor strikes a pose at his restaurant, Yellow Chilli, in Panchkula on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma

Celebrity chef who is one of the country’s best-selling authors and an entrepreneur venturing into fine dining restaurants. That is the versatile Sanjeev Kapoor of ‘Khaana Khazaana’ fame.

The celebrity chef was in Panchkula on Sunday, where he announced the week long year-end celebrations at his flagship dining restaurant, The Yellow Chilli, from Christmas Eve to the New Year Day. From turkey delicacies and versions of Yorkshire puddings for Christmas to strawberries in rasmalai, stuffed gucchis and exotic cuisines from all over India — the restaurant is all set to tantalise your taste buds as the mercury dips further.

“By introducing festive cooking in the last week of the year, we are not just wooing the customers, but also breaking the monotony of our cooks,” he said, as he gave details of the exotic menu to be introduced in the Christmas to New Year day week.

He said that he liked doing things differently, which was the reason that in spite of everyone telling him to open shop on the ‘eat street’ at Sector 35 in Chandigarh or some other more happening places there, he chose to open his restaurant in Panchkula. Perhaps, it was this desire to fall out of line and do things differently, especially while trying out different recipes, that gave him his cutting edge. “Cooking is nothing but common sense put to creative use. By making slight variations in the routine food, I have found the mantra for great cooking,” he added. TNS



Book on Lalmani released

THE old masters did not rest with creations of beautiful raga forms but endeavoured hard to project into it the strivings of their innermost experience and consciousness, which made their creation a reflection of their personality. One such old musicologist, Lalmani Mishar of Benaras, who was as introvert as enlightened and left an undocumented rich treasure of musical heritage unknown to even his admirers.

Thanks to the concerted efforts of Dr Gurpreet Kaur, a city-based senior lecturer who toiled hard to study, analyse and came out with an exhaustive book on the legendary Lalmani, the acclaimed exponent of vichitr veena, sitar and vocal music. The book is titled “Bhartiya Sangeet ke Anmol Mani — Dr Lalmani Mishar.”

The book was released at a special function by a Punjab Minister Choudhry Jagjit Singh, the chief guest, at Punjab Bhavan in Chandigarh on Friday. Mr S.K. Sandhu was the guest of honour at the ceremony presided over by the author’s guru and a former Vice-Chancellor of Chhattisgarh University.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Gurpreet Kaur disclosed that her gurus, C.K. Khosla and Indrani , desired her to document the achievements of Lalmaniji and pay a tribute to the maestro. “I lived in his house in Benaras, studied related documents and interviewed over 500 recognised music scholars before compiling this book,” she said. OC



Simran enthrals audience

Six-year-old Simran danced straight to the hearts of the audience at the Kalagram open-air theatre on Sunday in a programme attended by artist cadets drawn from the region. She began with the Guru Vandana and went on to display of the Kathak fundamental syllables like uthaan, tode tukde, paranas and finally a kavit on Radha-Krishna legends. She lent grace to her 20-minute solo spell with the rendition of ‘pedant’ while performing the intricate dance patterns.

Simran, a Class I student of Hans Raj Public School, is under the tutelage of Brij Mohan Gangani, who accompanied her on the vocals, while Mahesh Gangani articulated the rhythm on the tabla.

About 126 cadets selected from Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab under the Punjab Directorate of NCC later presented dances and songs for the final selection in New Delhi. The items selected with the cooperation of the NZCC will be presented at the Republic Day parade, according to the spokesman of the directorate.

Sirjana released

Dr Kulbir Kaur with her book ‘Sirjana’ at the Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Dr Kulbir Kaur (left) with her book ‘Sirjana’ at the Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, Chandigarh, on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Books are celebrated by poets as lovely sights and refreshers, once said Mulk Raj Anand. But the maiden Punjabi Poetry book “Sirjana” of versatile poetess Dr Kulbir Kaur, seems to be her genuine feelings. She has shared herself with the readers through her poetic creations as the title ‘Sirjana’ implies.

Born in a sleepy Khilla village near Tarn Taran, Kulbir had a fascination to express her observations through poetry from childhood.

In ‘Sirjana’ her poems envisage the life graph with comparative analysis of the spiritual and hunger for the Materialistic, segregation of humanity moral depravation and contemporary lifestyles of the East and the West. She laments that the present day ‘woman’ is not extolled as Sita, Savitri or Sulochna but is a hollowed character lured by the fashionable life. “We have not been able to assimilate the virtues enshrined in our scriptures while the foreigners had employed their efforts to access the treasure of civilisation,” she said.

Earlier, chief guest A.S. Pooni IAS officer (retd) released the book at a function organised by the Writers Club at the Press Club in Chandigarh which was presided over by N.S. Rattan and Dr S.S. Bhatti. Poet Sham Singh conducted the proceedings.

Mushaira organised

The Adabi Sangat, a cultural organisation of Panchkula, held a mushaira at their official premises on Saturday. Kidar Nath Kidar, B.S. Karval, G.S. Saini, S.L. Dhawan ‘Kamal’, Balram Khosla ‘Shams’, Krishna Singla and Shamas Tabrezi presented their poems.



Contestants prepare pear recipes

US pear ruled the day at a recipe contest held at the Chandigarh Club here today.

Over 40 women participated in the contest and they all came out with their ingenious recipes made out of pears. The recipes included pear-apricot pudding, pear kheer, pear flock, pear with ginger cream, pear with apricot sauce, pear cheese cake and many more.

Celebrated Chef Sanjeev Kapoor tasted all recipes and judged the best among them. He also gave some tips on how to buy a particular vegetable or a fruit. He advised to rely on senses while buying a particular vegetable or fruit. It should be appealing to the eyes. Touch the vegetable and feel it. It should have a pleasant smell.

He said, “While cooking, one should work with positive energy . It is very important to know ingredients before starting cooking. One should also know basic principles of cooking. Put all your heart and soul in cooking”.

These days, Sanjeev Kapoor is busy with his show ‘Khana Khazana’ and his website. He is also doing-research on ancient cooking and travelling to various places to enrich his experience in cooking.

Later, on winners of the contest were announced. The first prize went to Anu Jain for ‘pear laziz ladoo,’ and Shweta Ohri got the second prize for ‘pear pastries’. Nauneet got the third prize for ‘pear cheese cake’. OC



Music, mysticism complementary
S.D. Sharma

“Mysticism and music are complementary to each other. Both Meera and Guru Nanak Dev adorned their sayings with the melody of music. Music as such had no category except for the combination of “seven notes”. It surfaces only when the musician or the mystic is in tune with the truth, the Almighty, and his divine inspiration. “Sufi” is a state of mind, a rare sense of delight in devotion, a wisdom and a spiritual bliss kindled at the touch of the

divine Master,” said Anandmurti Gurumaa at Panchkula on Friday. She was speaking after launching her 16th cassette.

The album titled ‘Baawari Jogan’ has the poetry steeped in spiritual life with a homogeneous blend of the mysticism of the Turkish and the Indian sublime music. Young music director Kanchman Babbar while inducing the global rhythms had retained the spiritual and didactic content of the lyrics, all penned by Gurumaa herself. She has attempted to disburse the thrill of her soul across the world through her hymns. Gurumaa, has experimentally used the Turkish musical instruments like “beglama”, “bendir” and “ney” to induce the pristine sanctity of Sufism. Intensively creative and inspired to serve humanity. The quest for spiritual realisation is explicit in expounding the physical and aesthetic aspects of our rich cultural heritage, she opined. OC


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