C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Manipur Governor opens tourism meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
“Two things which stand out prominently before us are education and employment. Not only do we have to increase the literacy rate, we have also to ensure quality education at all levels from the primary level to higher science and technology.

“The gains we make in education cannot be sustained if at the same time we do not attend to economic growth and employment. The performance of the education sector is both crucial and critical factors in achieving key goals of increased employment, and stronger economic growth. To alleviate unemployment, we have to make our eduction employment oriented.”

This was stated by Dr S.S. Sidhu, Governor of Manipur, while inaugurating a two-day international convention of FEAST (Federation of Scholars and Educators of Tourism) here today. He said the youth had to be made employable with certain skills and traits to enable them to join the service industry, adding that the industrial training institutes had to play an important role in the development of skills and to make the youth employable.

Dr Sidhu said the youth, undoubtedly, are our most precious resource and it is their duty not to waste their skills for lack of job opportunities or entrepreneurial ventures. He said it was the service sector which had emerged as the new engine of economic growth and the biggest driver of employment opportunities.



Lecture on teaching skills
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 8
An extension lecture by Dr (Ms) Malwinder Ahuja, Reader, Panjab University, on the topic — micro teaching and teaching skills —was organised by the Shivalik Institute of Education and Research, Mohali, here, today.

An expert on the subject, Dr Malwinder, helped B.Ed students gain conceptual understanding of micro teaching and motivated them to practice positive teaching behaviors to become effective teachers. She elaborated on the skills of using blackboards, skills of fluency in questioning and skills of asking probing questions through the use of transparencies. She held the attention of the audience by sharing interesting anecdotes and her rich and varied experiences.

The lecture was well received by the audience that included Principal Dr Satpal Kaur Grewal, teaching faculty and students of the institute.



Court orders status quo in Chandigarh Club case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
With a local court ordering status quo in the Chandigarh Club case, a suspended executive member, Capt Sanjiv Gandotra (retd), today failed to get any relief. With this, the crisis in the prestigious club persists with the court now adjourning the case to November 12.

Ordering the status quo, the court said that any decision on the suspension of the member would be taken after arguments in the case. Captain Gandotra had reportedly challenged his suspension by the Chandigarh Club.

Earlier, Captain Gandotra had alleged total mismanagement of the club affairs and “hiding” the acts of financial irregularities committed in the past. He had first sought the interim report of the committee appointed by the Company Law Board to probe the alleged financial and electoral irregularities. He has alleged that no AGM meetings were being conducted in the club. “The least we deserve is the right to information regarding the club matters. They should not be pushed under the carpet”.

However, Mr Mukesh Bassi, the club president, had refuted all allegations saying that probe into various matters, which was being done on the orders of the Company Law Board (CLB), New Delhi, was at different stages.

Following allegations of Captain Gandotra, the club management had suspended him for “indulging in disgrace to the president, the vice-president by using abusive and unparliamentary language.”



“Begum” of Pakistani ghazals
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
With music for company, Munni Begum couldn’t have cared less for rules of the games people play. She would rather write her own rules and invent her own language for musical expression. She has been doing that all her life.

Munni Begum
Munni Begum

Looking back, the Begum of Pakistani ghazals has every reason to celebrate. In Chandigarh to attend the dinner which Haryana CM Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda hosted in the honour of Congress President Ms Sonia Gandhi last night, Munni Begum raised the curtains on her “unconventional” life which placed her in an exclusive league.

Begum rushes to add, “My league may be exclusive but my music is not. When I began my career as a singer in Karachi in 1970s I was surprised to see the complexity of ghazals being rendered. I admired Mehndi Hasan, Farida Khanam and Iqbal Bano for their power to sing “tough” lyrics, but that was not my style.”

Begum released her first album of ghazals in 1976. It became a smashing hit and broke all previous records. “The time was perhaps propitious, but deep inside my heart I knew what made my music work. It was colloquial and effortless. It appealed equally to the man in a Mercedes and another on a cart,” said Begum.

As she redefined the genre of ghazals and elevated it to the mass level, she felt some tremors of dissent. “But I took that in my stride and concentrated on my riyaaz,” she said. Trained in pure classical by Ghulam Mustafa Warsi of Bangladesh, Begum hit the concert circuit in Pakistan with a vengeance.

She was the only woman singer who played her own harmonium. Recalling those days, she said, “I used to be very lean and people used to line up just to see the lean singer who plays the harmonium. More than my music, it was my interactive style which appealed to people. I have retained that style till today.”

As for Begum’s hit ghazals, the list is nearly endless. But few with which fans identify her are - “Jhoom barabar jhoom sharabi”, Shakeel Badayuni’s evergreen “Har qadam zehmatein…”, “Tumhare sheher ka mausam bada suhana lage…” among others.

Hits apart, the best part of Begum’s journey has been her passion for compositions. She says, “I love to compose my ghazals. That’s one way of venting romanticism. You will barely find me singing ghazals composed by others. Also, it is a pleasure to sing new writers.”

Dr Bashir Badr from India is a particular favourite of Begum, who has promoted immense literary talent through her music. Now settled in the US, she has been singing ghazals of Iftikhar Khan, a young writer whose treatment of romance mermerizes her no end.

As for the talent back home in Pakistan, Begum admits there’s plenty but it gets wasted due to lack of music academies. “India has done well to set up music schools. I appreciate Indian talent, especially Asha Bhonsle, Daler Mehndi, even Baba Sehgal. It is another matter that pop music has lost its appeal,” Begum wound up happy that India and Pakistan had finally made room for friendship.



Mink likes to be couch potato
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Bollywood actor Mink takes a break at Shanti Kunj, Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Saturday.
Bollywood actor Mink takes a break at Shanti Kunj, Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Saturday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, October 8
Her sparkling vivaciousness soon has those around her grinning like Cheshire cats! In the city, on a break, to meet up with friends and paint the town red (McDonald’s being the first casualty!), Bollywood actor Mink charms with her earthy earnestness. “I am a very real person, people who are grounded, rooted, do not change at least with material acquisitions and fame.”

Fifteen films old, a veteran of sorts (she has braved the vagaries of the film industry for eight long years!) this pretty lass has now turned her almond-shaped perfectly kohl-lined eyes towards film production. “My brother Punnu and I decided to do something creative, something concrete with our lives.

We launched our production outfit ‘Bro And Sis’ and have just completed our first film, ‘Katputli’ a psychological thriller.”

Starring Milind Soman, the film has all of Mink’s friends like Ruby Bhatia, Ashmit Patel, Aseem Merchant and even stalwarts like Seema Biswas sharing the centre stage. Their second film, “Neend” boasts of Sunny Deol has been held up due to date problems, which are being ironed out.

Mink’s entry into Bollywood has the whiff of a fairy tale to it. A Dev Anand discovery, Mink made her debut in his film “Gangster” which bombed at the box-office, but 13 year-old Mink had been noticed!

“I forgot to thank him for introducing me. Really it is a big honour to be spoken of in the same breath as Zeenat Aman and Tina Munim.”

Born and brought up in Germany, the dazzle of tinsel-town did not sway Mink. “I grew you grow up with a worldly confidence, that is what living abroad does to you. In India, strangers are a big taboo and if someone smiles at you, you know something is brewing,” she laughs heartily, “Therefore, you do not become an ass and get carried away.”

She is the quintessential princess at home and the moneybags do not mean all that much to her. “Sure money is important to live, but I have seen this all. When I was born, I was brought home in a Mercedes!”

She can wear shorts, talk to the spot-boys and the big stars with equal élan but she will not let a fly sit on her if that is what she does not want.

“I am open but am also very conservative, religious and very strong. I have never come across a situation where anyone has tried to take advantage of me because I never give that vibe.”

An intense family person, who draws her succour from her mom (for her strength), likes to cook continental food, loves swimming (gold medallist no less!), loves her diamonds on her fingers and is happiest being a couch potato.

An awesome figure to match her captivating smile, Mink does not work out unless she is shooting, loves to eat burgers, sausages, pizzas and its ilk and does not drink or smoke. “I love people, life and conversations.”

And men beware! Brawn does not attract her as much as intelligence, wit and the ability to laugh with her and it’s an Abhishek Bachchan of all Bollywood hunks who gets her votes on all counts!


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