CHANDIGARH INDEX

 





Just buddies
They go together for movies and whisper sweet nothings over a cup of coffee, but nuptial knot is the last thing on their minds as they go around without worried expression that accompanies love, says Saurabh Malik after talking to “buddies” ready for a tomorrow away from each other
J
ust buddies’ are whispering sweet nothings without crooning the wedding song. Stealing affection in the shadows of the dark is their expertise. As the indolent moon peeps out from behind the night’s heavy blanket embellished with stars; they slip out of their houses for a hop. Zipping down the fast track of love, they taste pizzas, and adoration, before sharing thick strawberry shake and happy moments. Finding deserted corners, the young desperados break into the hearts before making off with a couple of kisses. The two are not bill and cooers, just “friends” studying in the same department in Panjab University. Living life in a material whirl of mobiles, malls and multiplexes, they twirl around the polished dance floor of life, merrily and gorgeously. Together for most part of the day, the two — Harman Sekhon and Tina Bhatia — go alone for long rides on his macho bike. Or else watch movies.


hand in hand
: Together till it lasts. — Photo by Pradeep Tewari
Together till it lasts

Romancing Jewels
Swaran Sambandh, the latest jewellery expo in town, promises much more than run-of-the-mill jewellery, reports Anandita Gupta

Glitter’s been unabashedly frequenting the town of late. Laced with a dose of glamour, that is. At times, it comes veiled as the sparkling tiaras resting on Miss Indias’ delicate tresses. Sometimes as glitzy-ritzy nightclub inaugurations and at other times swanky social do’s. The latest entrant in the dazzling world of glitter is Swarn Sambandh—a jewellery expo at CII premises, sector 31, Chandigarh (27th to 30th Janauary, 2006).

No Barbie doll, this one
Anandita Gupta
L
ove-stacked eyes, an ear-to-ear grin and a record-shattering composure. Well, that’s what Manpreet Brar’s all about. An ex Miss India minus the made-up smiles, fluttering eyelashes and streaked or straightened mane. Definitely, the woman didn’t send the temperature soaring when she visited the city recently.. But what she did instead is exuberate what a real woman is made of— Substance!

Tandoori nights
The weather with slight chill in the evenings is just right for you to leave the warm comfort of your house and savour some hot tandoori cuisine, says Saurabh Malik

It was hot-off-the-fire passion in the days of great Mughals. Five centuries later, the craze for tandoori food is still simmering among the city residents. The whiff is unmistakable. As you cross restaurants and fast food joints across the city in the evenings, the aroma of chicken marinated in mild curd and spices, broiling over red hot charcoals, lures you indoors. The tang mingles with a hint of mustard extract and pickling spices to give the flavour of tandoori delicacy as you push your way through the glass panels.

Not just a piece of  cake
New flavours and shapes that Oven Fresh has introduced in its cakes are tickling the taste buds, reports Sai R. Vaidyanathan
T
he good just got better at the Oven Fresh. Around six months ago, they would refuse to make special shapes on their cakes. But now, they are passionately making 3D cakes in different shapes, starting with ‘Noddy’ and ‘Bob the Builder’ which are the current favourites amongst kids to three-tiered heart-shaped ones for marriages and anniversaries.

An array of the baked delights at Oven Fresh An array of the baked delights at Oven Fresh

SINFUL SELECTION: An array of the baked delights at Oven Fresh. — Photos by Vinay Malik


Fiery palette
Parbina Rashid

K
arl Knapp and Pierre-Alain Hubert had nothing in common except for the fact that they lived in the same city in France. Until Pierre, an architect, got interested in fireworks and Karl, an artist, after having a long stint in Hollywood as a film designer came back home disappointed, found the common thread—to reach out to the world through their innovative art—a combination of fireworks and painting. Their medium was as different as fire and ice, but the mission was the same. For Pierre, the Guiness record holder for his 1.6 km ling fireworks, art is all about reaching out to people, hence should be free and for Karl, he wanted to bring art out of museums to the street. 
HATS OFF: Karl Knapp and Pierre-Alain Hubert at Alliance Francaise.  — Photo by Vinay Malik
 Karl Knapp and Pierre-Alain Hubert at Alliance Francaise

GREEN SPACE
Taking care of Bonsais
Joyshri Lobo
I
t would seem strange that a bonsai which is already a miniature, can re-invent itself into an even tinier version. These are the 4” to 6” mimics of large trees and bushes and require utmost care and pampering. As they are very difficult to grow and age, most plant lovers avoid them. However, if you can take up the challenge, the rewards are rich and mind-blowing.

YOGA
Grow young with yoga
Jyotii Subramanian
T
he practice of Kriya yoga is meant for the speedier evolution of the human soul. Masters appear from time to time to keep this practice alive; authorised to suit the practice to the developing cerebral system. This practice has been called the jet way to evolution propelling the practitioner rapidly on the path of yoga inducing the final stages of pratyahar, dharana and dhyan leading to Samadhi. It is the first Kriya of the Raja Yoga.

Fabrics of India
L
ooking for something unique and ethnic? Then FabIndia has it all organised for you. An exhibition showcasing three distinct and rare printing traditions from Rajasthan and Gujarat  (Ajrakh), Madhya Pradesh (Bagh) and Andhra Pradesh (Kalamkari).is on at its Sector 9 showroom.

DJs’ day out
It was a party by the DJs and for the DJs at Hotel Monarch. DJs of the city —Vishal, Sameer, K.K., Sandy, Rohit and Kabir organised a party to promote their music. “One gets tired of hearing the same kind of music in every party. So we are trying to add some new tone to the latest popular songs, says Sameer, the in-house DJ of Disc Blozo.

Tikki Temptation
Rajiv Bhatia
E
ven in these times when fast food joints are offering sumptuous pizzas while you sit on comfortable sofas, the small but crispy tikki never fails to tempt the taste buds. The aroma rising out of mashed potatoes deep-fried in oil is irresistible and the sight of the khatti-meethi chutney and onions on the tikkis is captivating. That is probably the reason why joints selling tikkis attract all those enslaved by the sense of taste.






Just buddies
They go together for movies and whisper sweet nothings over a cup of coffee, but nuptial knot is the last thing on their minds as they go around without worried expression that accompanies love, says Saurabh Malik after talking to “buddies” ready for a tomorrow away from each other

Just buddies’ are whispering sweet nothings without crooning the wedding song. Stealing affection in the shadows of the dark is their expertise. As the indolent moon peeps out from behind the night’s heavy blanket embellished with stars; they slip out of their houses for a hop.

Zipping down the fast track of love, they taste pizzas, and adoration, before sharing thick strawberry shake and happy moments. Finding deserted corners, the young desperados break into the hearts before making off with a couple of kisses. The two are not bill and cooers, just “friends” studying in the same department in Panjab University. Living life in a material whirl of mobiles, malls and multiplexes, they twirl around the polished dance floor of life, merrily and gorgeously. Together for most part of the day, the two — Harman Sekhon and Tina Bhatia — go alone for long rides on his macho bike. Or else watch movies.

Holding hands in the auditorium’s secluded corner, they laugh as comedian Johnny lever pulls another stunt in a fleeting flick. But life-long relationship is the last thing on their ever-shifting mind as they preach loyalty without practicing it. For, the duo believes in all flings and no clings. After all, they are two souls, one body, apparently.

“Going around is one thing,” says Tina, “getting married is another. You see, one has to take so many things into consideration before committing oneself to a life-long relationship. The guy has to be well settled and also rich. His mother shouldn’t be too haughty and there shouldn’t be many dogs in his house. In any case, he should be willing to live separately if need be”.

Passing fair fingers through silky tresses highlighted with burgundy streaks, the Sector 18 resident says: “Harman is a nice guy, no doubt about it. But he will take another three to four years to settle down and my dad’s not going to wait for so long. In any case, dad’s not going to allow inter-caste marriage and I just cannot hurt him”.

Pushing all thoughts of lovers who sacrifice everything for the wedlock, you turn around and ask: isn’t it going to hurt in long run? “Oh no, things are crystal clear between us. Love till you can and then part ways to be friends for life. No expectations, no tears. You see, we just do not want to spoil our today thinking of tomorrow…. Marriage is not possible, but that does not mean we should not love each other. Otherwise also, we believe in the dictum of Capredime — enjoy today, trusting least to tomorrow”.

Ah, friendship of convenience. But one thing is good: The two are at least admitting they are associates. A few years ago, they would have described themselves as cousins — kissing cousins.

Anyway, as she talks of permanent promises of transient relationships, you realise that it’s actually possible for youngsters to be friends with no strings attached after “going around” for good two to three years of campus life.

Of course, she leaves you wiser. Finally you know why so many college relationships are not ending up in marriages. Oh yes, you also realise why couples are possessive no more… and how guys allow their gals to roam about freely in mini-skirts. Thanks to her, you feel enlightened, ready to face the world with a new sense of confidence.

In any case, they make socio-psychologist Nidhi Dutta says: “The ability to see the reality while going around in this materialistic world prevents them from running away into their own microcosms. That’s, perhaps, the reason why you hardly hear college couples tying the knot after eloping”. Good. Let’s hope they live happily ever after.

Romancing Jewels
Swaran Sambandh, the latest jewellery expo in town, promises much more than run-of-the-mill jewellery, reports Anandita Gupta


 Exclusive silver watches studded with precious stones
JAZZY JEWELS: Exclusive silver watches studded with precious stones (above) and the Thewa glass studded jewellery of Rajasthan (below). Photos by Vinay Malik

The Thewa glass studded jewellery of Rajasthan

Glitter’s been unabashedly frequenting the town of late. Laced with a dose of glamour, that is. At times, it comes veiled as the sparkling tiaras resting on Miss Indias’ delicate tresses. Sometimes as glitzy-ritzy nightclub inaugurations and at other times swanky social do’s. The latest entrant in the dazzling world of glitter is Swarn Sambandh—a jewellery expo at CII premises, sector 31, Chandigarh (27th to 30th Janauary, 2006).

And guess what’s hottest about the whole fair? It’s the exquisitely crafted jewellery, exclusive of every state—Rajasthan, Hyderabad, Bengal,Punjab,Maharashtra, Chandigarh and Delhi. The jewellery on display is the hot couture of jewellery line in white gold, diamond, Kundan, silver and Meena. And what can drive the jewellery lovers all the more crazy is the pleasantly affordable prices. Wonder what’s worth grabbing in the first go? We spill the glistening beans—

Sparkle for the wrist

Naidu Pearls, Kolkata may be a stall, snuggly tucked away at a secluded corner of the expo hall, but it doesn’t believe in sitting unnoticed twiddling its thumbs. What it’s done to attract customers is offer them with something very exclusive—Silver watches studded with precious and semi precious stones—Moonstones, Garnets, Oysters, Turquoises and Corals(Rs.800-5000).Besides there are heart-warming pendants(Rs.300-5000), designer jewellery in Oyster, the mother of pearls(Rs.1000-2500) and rings in a riot of colours. Plus, there’s a 20 per cent discount on every purchase. Tempting, right?

Glass-studded

Jusra International jewels from Jaipur glows gleefully with glass. Yes, the jewellery it’s stocking is Thewa jewellery— crafted by fusing 23 carot pure Gold on exquisite glass. The age-old Rajasthani art is now practiced only by a family of artisans residing at Pratapgarh. Says the Marketing Executive Pradeep Sharma, “We get Gold fused on different-coloured glass—Black, Blue, Green and Golden.” The range? Rs 8000 to 65000.But with such enchanting jewellery, does one really mind?

Victorian enigma

Bloodlines run deep but who says royal ecstasy is meant for the blue blood alone? San Gold, Mumbai and Aastha from Delhi have brought the enigma of Victorian times in the city. “Our Victorian jewellery is very colourful and quite affordable. People can coordinate it with their dresses and not vice versa.” Informs Gemologist Ashutosh Behl from Aastha. Both these stalls are offering Victorian jewellery at a price starting from Rs 4000.With this in the offing, who wouldn’t like being a queen?

Hey girly, get pearly!

If diamonds are forever, pearls spell an all-time class. So the purest of pearls from Hyderabad are being offered by Mansarover pearls, Hyderabad. The pearls are pure and in natural colours like Mauve, Orange and brown. Sleek, simple, yet very classy. The range starts from Rs. 500 onwards and is a great pick for young girls.

Dangling delights

Chandeliers and danglers have always enticed women. Be it the tele queens Kamaulika and Ramola or a seventeen-year-old collegiate jiving at a disc, these chunky earrings are a must-have accessory with them. Creative gems from Jaipur takes heed of the need. It offers trendy designer jewellery in Silver, that’s studded with precious and semi precious stones (starting from Rs. 175). The star-attraction here is tit-bits in Turquoise, Creative Gems being one of its largest manufacturers.

So all you ladies out there, let your desires swish and twirl to the tunes of glitter and glamour, shine and shimmer!

No Barbie doll, this one
Anandita Gupta

Love-stacked eyes, an ear-to-ear grin and a record-shattering composure. Well, that’s what Manpreet Brar’s all about. An ex Miss India minus the made-up smiles, fluttering eyelashes and streaked or straightened mane. Definitely, the woman didn’t send the temperature soaring when she visited the city recently.. But what she did instead is exuberate what a real woman is made of— Substance!

Excitement had been brewing at the hotel Piccadilly. The occasion was the launch of cosmetic and baby wipes by Ginni Filaments Ltd. and the buzz was Manpreet’s arrival to grace the launch. As the young model-turned-mom walked briskly towards the podium, what caught the eye was the lady’s natural self.

Black pants, red coat and naturally long hair; Manpreet was dressed more like a corporate woman than anything else. And why not, when the woman’s more of a cut-throat professional rather than being just glamour’s favourite Barbie doll. Came the quick confession, “ I’m not a workaholic, but I do have those spells of depression when I’m not working. My passion is not to be a mediocre and excel at whatever endeavor I ever take up. I get a satisfaction, a sort of high when I’m working.”

And where does her marriage stand? “I enjoy a blissful marriage, thanks to the perfect chord that strikes between me and my hubby,” she declares, adding, “My spouse is a very busy businessman himself but has always supported me 110 per cent in my work. He has full faith in my abilities and always tells me to go ahead and take the plunge.”

One wonders which are the waters wherein the lady’s presently trying to swim? Unfolds Manpreet, “ Though Bollywood sounded a natural next step post Miss India, I was somehow not too keen on it. Today I’m dabbling in anchoring lifestyle shows and events on TV. Besides there are TV serials, product launches and a family to take care of. And yes, I’m bringing up my son Oom. Nothing can ever put value for it.” Beams the lady, juggling many balls simultaneously.

Tandoori nights
The weather with slight chill in the evenings is just right for you to leave the warm comfort of your house and savour some hot tandoori cuisine, says Saurabh Malik

It was hot-off-the-fire passion in the days of great Mughals. Five centuries later, the craze for tandoori food is still simmering among the city residents. The whiff is unmistakable. As you cross restaurants and fast food joints across the city in the evenings, the aroma of chicken marinated in mild curd and spices, broiling over red hot charcoals, lures you indoors. The tang mingles with a hint of mustard extract and pickling spices to give the flavour of tandoori delicacy as you push your way through the glass panels.

If you are hot for the stuff, just drive down to your favourite haunt and gratify your taste buds with Murg Afghani, Kalmi Kabab, Achari Chicken or any other dish grilled to perfection. You see the weather is just right for you to savour the stuff. The slight chill continuing in the late hours, mildly hinting at dying winter’s revival, will only add to the essence.

So folks, forget all about counting those loathsome calorie and order mouth-melting morsels of chicken laced with cream, grilled in scorching-hot tandoor, or else chicken chops flavoured with a zing of green chilies. You can even go for paneer tikka or vegetable seek kabab. The choice is yours, entirely.

You see, until a few years ago, one had few options as not many restaurants were offering variety. Undoubtedly you could enjoy Tandoori Chicken and naans stuffed with paneer, chicken and even mutton, along with seekh kabab and tandoori gobi, but hardly anything else.

But now the dishes are more and merrier. Pick up the menu card and you will find stuff like “lightly grilled baby potatoes steeped in mint flavour” or else “garden fresh cauliflower marinated in spiced yoghurt grilled with care and affection”. Even the roadside dhabas are cashing in on the rage by offering platter full of barbecued or grilled chicken for less than Rs 120.

In Mountview, the ambience and the setting with light music floating in the air is just right for a perfect evening. You can order tandoori platter for savouring mutton and chicken seekh kabab, along with chicken tikka and tandoori chicken. It is sumptuous.

Gazal in Sector 17 is another place for enjoying tandoori food after reposing on comfortable sofa sets. Begin with tandoori chicken. Go ahead and order murg malai kabab or whatever you like. The stuff is good.

In Copper Chimney, the crowd, the view and par-excellent service adds to the charm of having tandoori stuff. Remember to order Bagani Bahar. Dipped in a refreshing mint marinade, chicken legs are broiled over charcoals before reaching your table. Reshmi Kakab is another good dish to order. Boneless chicken, it is delicately flavoured with white pepper before being served.

If you are a vegetarian, go in for makai seekh kakab. Spiced vegetables and corn kababs are flavoured with fresh herbs for that “delicate flavour”. Achari Mushroom is something you will not get anywhere else, at least not as delicious as the one you get here. Fresh mushrooms are flavoured with mustard along with pickling spices and nicely barbecued. The dish is costing just Rs 120.

Go for cheese malai tikka in Celestia, or else Tangri Kabab in Maya Palace. Red Skewers in Sector 8 offers good stuff. Served with traditional sauce, you can go in for chicken tandoori tikka. You can also try fish tandoori. “The dish is not heavy and actually delicious,” says Jatinder Rana, working with the joint.

You can have seekh kabab tandoori at Pick `n’ Move in the same sector. Their tandoori malai chicken is simply scrumptious and is not costing much. In fact, you can eat a plate full by pulling out just Rs 110 from your wallet. Happy eating!

It is still hot

If you love tandoori food, here is some hot stuff for you: Traditional Indian barbecue started during the Mughal rule in India and has survived its way to perfection. In fact, the desi version of barbecued or the bright red “tandoori chicken” is famous worldwide.

Tenderized in a yogurt marinade, it is seasoned with ginger, garlic and other spices for that oh-so-hot red hue.

And if you are wondering why the stuff is so delicious, here is the answer: The tandoor cooks food by combining heat from smoldering embers at the bottom and energy retained by the thick clay walls. The intense heat cooks the stuff quickly and seals in the juices, giving that distinctive flavour that characterises tandoori food.

Not just a piece of  cake
New flavours and shapes that Oven Fresh has introduced in its cakes are tickling the taste buds, reports Sai R. Vaidyanathan

For a fluffier cake

To make your cakes fluffy, whip the eggs really well. Make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved in the dough. Add cocoa at the last stage of mixing of the dough. For proper baking of the cake, it is recommended to bake the cake at a lower temperature and for a longer time than at a higher temperature for less time.

Coffee talk

Add 5 ml (half teaspoon) of syrup—Irish cream, vanilla, butter scotch, English toffee— to your cup of hot or cold coffee and feel the difference. Or add a pinch of cinnamon to your cup of hot coffee for better taste and aroma.

The good just got better at the Oven Fresh. Around six months ago, they would refuse to make special shapes on their cakes. But now, they are passionately making 3D cakes in different shapes, starting with ‘Noddy’ and ‘Bob the Builder’ which are the current favourites amongst kids to three-tiered heart-shaped ones for marriages and anniversaries.

Premium quality has been the selling point at the Oven Fresh for nearly a decade whether it was bakery items or patisserie. “Here at Oven Fresh, emphasis is laid on standardisation of the taste and the flavour. Our endeavour is that you should get the same taste day after day, year after year,” says director Rohit Kumar. “For that, the raw materials come from the same companies and a logbook is maintained for the quantities put in every recipe,” he adds.

But as the product is made in-house, there is a possibility of making the product according to the desires of the customer. For the health conscious, sandwiches and burgers can be made without the cheese and with less butter.

Wide range

If there is food from across the world like enchilada, gateau and pizza, there is also the very Punjabi chicken-tikka sandwich and not to forget the samosa. But the samosa here is a baked, un-liked the fried ones one usually gets at the neighbourhood halwai.

Starting from Rs 7 for the baked samosa to approximately Rs 100 for filling up an empty stomach, it caters right from 10 in the morning to 11 at night.

In the ‘faster than fast food’ section, Oven Fresh has an wide offerings for the ones on the run like businessmen, students, executives who can just pick up a croissant, puff or roll from the shelf, wait for less than a minute for it to be warmed in the microwave and go off munching.

Then in the ‘quick serving restaurant’ segment, one has to wait for a maximum of 10 minutes for the meal to get ready. The third segment is the ‘value meal deal’ segment, where there is a cold drink to gulp the meal down with and a sweet or fries at the end.

Most items are available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties and even sweets of the egg-less type are made on order. Special flavours in cakes like lemon curd, orange, kiwi are also available on order and also the mocha cake with chocolate and fresh coffee beans from Cuba. Plus, there is a range of hot and cold coffees on offer to which different flavours can be added to augment their taste and aroma.

“Customer knowledge has grown in the past decade. In the beginning, about a decade back, there were a very few customers who had widely travelled and knew about international bakery products and different varieties of coffee. But times have definitely changed,” says Rohit Kumar.

“The thing that is a hit with customers is the cole slaw, which is a rich salad with a creamy texture. It has shreaded cabbage, capsicum and carrot and tastes sweet with a tinge of sour,” reveals Kirti Thakur, Restaurant Manager. It is an accompaniment and can be had with bakery items, sandwiches and fries.

Oven Fresh opened a second outlet in Sector 17 in 2003 and “We plan to open a few more outlets in the city and in North India,” declares Director Bobby Garg. Oven Fresh would venture soon into biscuits like chocolate chip and melting moments and by March, a delivery boy may bring these goodies to your doorstep.

Fiery palette
Parbina Rashid

Karl Knapp and Pierre-Alain Hubert had nothing in common except for the fact that they lived in the same city in France. Until Pierre, an architect, got interested in fireworks and Karl, an artist, after having a long stint in Hollywood as a film designer came back home disappointed, found the common thread—to reach out to the world through their innovative art—a combination of fireworks and painting.

Their medium was as different as fire and ice, but the mission was the same. For Pierre, the Guiness record holder for his 1.6 km ling fireworks, art is all about reaching out to people, hence should be free and for Karl, he wanted to bring art out of museums to the street. So together they evolved their own art, Karl using styles like colours, be it film, dance, photo or theatre using mediums like acrylic and fire and Pierre providing the technique and form.

“I was a good student and graduated from the Ecole Normale Superiere. I was in my 30s when I learnt about fireworks,” says the artiste who has been baptized as ‘dealer in dream’ by the media.

Familiar with the cultural heritage of India, Pierre can talk at length about the concept of zero, nothingness as depicted in Hindu philosophy and yoga, all with the air of an absent minded professor.

Karl, on the other hand comes as the intense one. “Art is for the masses and galleries and museums are stagnant places. It’s time to beak those barriers which make art, something

only for the elite, says Karl as he explains how he creates fusion art through visual art forms and graffiti. But then he does not believe in lowering his level of creativity to reach out to the masses. “The audience has the intelligence to come up to our level, you just have to give them a chance,” he says.

What made him taking a break from Hollywood? “It’s no place for creative people,” his reply was spontaneous. “It’s shallow and totally lack of art,” he continues. Does he share the same view about Bollywood too? “They do make good films here. I saw ‘Salam Bombay’ and like it,” he tells us.

The duo was in city to perform an installation work called ‘We can’t catch the wind’ at Bal Bhavan. But after watching a little bit of their work in the projector at the Alliance Francaise art gallery, we are sure they would capture the hearts of the people here. 

GREEN SPACE
Taking care of Bonsais
Joyshri Lobo

It would seem strange that a bonsai which is already a miniature, can re-invent itself into an even tinier version. These are the 4” to 6” mimics of large trees and bushes and require utmost care and pampering. As they are very difficult to grow and age, most plant lovers avoid them. However, if you can take up the challenge, the rewards are rich and mind-blowing.

Small leafed plants are best for these. Jade plant, Euphorbia, Lantana, Laurel, Acacia, Anar, Chickoo, Ber, Karaunda, Jamun, Crotons, Neem, Pride of India, Bougainvillea, Hawthorne, Duranta and perennial, flowering bushes are ideal to work with.

The methods and seasons for planting, pruning, de-rooting and nipping are the same. As usual, these bonsais require all the sun they can get to increase chloretic content for food manufacturing purposes.

Therefore watering has to be done twice a day — early in the morning and at dusk. If plants are watered when the sun is at its peak, wet leaves magnify the rays and we get burn spots. Extra watering is necessary because the container is shallow and small and soil dries out fast.

Feeding, too, has to be frequent — atleast once a week. A useful suggestion is liquid feed. Leave cow manure, urea, crumbled humus, neem and groundnut khali in a bucket of water. Let it rot further and sprinkle it through a can onto the loosened soil. Moss planted at the base also helps in retaining moisture.

As these tiny bonsais need to be displayed with finesse, I would suggest ornamental, expanded metal shelves against or embedded in a wall. No point at all in having your magnificent plants at floor level. No one will notice them.

To stress on their small size, place interesting terracotta artifacts near them. Even unusual pottery and stones will stress the contrast and complement them.

Another trick to show age is to drape roots over stones, shells and statues. But do make sure that most of the root tips are well covered with soil. These also have to be hardened, mature roots, not young, tender ones. Give enough space for each bonsai to show itself.

During the summer months, once a fortnight, soak the pots in a shallow tub of water. This ensures complete satiation for thirsty roots and is a necessary pick-me-up. Mist the leaves daily.

The monsoons are the happiest season for bonsais as they are bathed continuously. I would suggest that most large leaves are nipped off to encourage smaller ones.

It is very important to maintain charts of planting, pruning, rooting and feeding. A watering schedule is essential for shallow pots.

If missed out, you can damage a bonsai beyond repair. Sunlight is a must, however small the plant. Placements are crucial for a better display. Occasionally you can take in your favourite bonsai for a day or two if you want to create a talking point or conversation starter. But don’t forget to put it out as soon as possible.

YOGA
Grow young with yoga
Jyotii Subramanian

Breath consciousness: Sit comfortably on a mat or a chair. Make sure you are calm and at ease. Without effort, take your attention to your breath. Just watch as the breath flows in and then flows out. Do not try to regulate the breath; sometimes the incoming breath may be long or the outgoing. Be a witness to it; be aware of the sensation of the breath in the body. Do this for five to ten minutes everyday. As you progress, the witness consciousness will develop and leave you with a sense of calm.

The practice of Kriya yoga is meant for the speedier evolution of the human soul. Masters appear from time to time to keep this practice alive; authorised to suit the practice to the developing cerebral system. This practice has been called the jet way to evolution propelling the practitioner rapidly on the path of yoga inducing the final stages of pratyahar, dharana and dhyan leading to Samadhi. It is the first Kriya of the Raja Yoga.

The Bhagavad Gita makes a mention of this science where Yogavatar Krishna says in chapter 5, verse 27-28, “The meditation expert (Muni) becomes eternally free from external phenomenon by concentrating his gaze between the eyebrows; and by neutralising the uneven currents of Prana and Apana flowing within the nostrils. Such a yogi transforms the sensory mind, the intellect and thus becomes free from the karma of fear, anger and desire.”

According to Himalayan master Yogiraj Gurunath, the Kriya Yoga pranayam called the pran-apanic fire rite by the Yogis, teaches man to untie the cord of breath that binds our soul to the bodily cage. Thus releasing the soul to fly and expand into the super conscious skies of omnipresent spirit and come back at will into the little body cage. This is no flight or fancy this but a true experience of divinity.

Constant practice and the presence of a living master is an essential requirement for any progress in the path of Kriya yoga. This practice is believed to slow down and reverse the decay and ageing process of the body.

The blood and the body cells are rejuvenated with pranic energy and gradually the body becomes illumined.

The practice of kriya yoga must not be mistaken for any other commonly used pranayam techniques, which are only means to attain the Kriya breath. It must also not be confused with the bandhas and kriyas that are purification techniques. The practice of Kriya yoga is a personal and positive approach to life and only for serious practitioners of yog sadhana.

Fabrics of India

Looking for something unique and ethnic? Then FabIndia has it all organised for you. An exhibition showcasing three distinct and rare printing traditions from Rajasthan and Gujarat  (Ajrakh), Madhya Pradesh (Bagh) and Andhra Pradesh (Kalamkari).is on at its Sector 9 showroom.

According to Diltaj Grewal, Manager, FabIndia, Chandigarh, this collection represents Fabindia’s endeavour to bring the finest craft products to their clients.

We also get to know a little details about the three printing traditions her. Ajrakh is a lengthy, detailed and highly skilled printing process, involving 13 different steps in the creation of a single print. Bagh is hand block printing with great precision and imagination in which the printers work with a natural bright red and a black dye on cotton fabrics. Some special Bagh compositions may contain as many as 1300 separate block impressions in a bedspread. The intricate designs, elaborate borders and understanding of balanced composition has given Kalamkari its well deserved place as a popular idiom and one of the most widely imitated styles of Indian painting. Real Kalamkari, however, with delicate floral, geometric motifs and vegetable dyes, is far more subtle,” she added.

On display are a wide range of bedcovers, bed sheets, pillow cases, bed and cushion covers, table linen, dupattas, lamp shades, durries and garments. —TNS

DJs’ day out

It was a party by the DJs and for the DJs at Hotel Monarch. DJs of the city —Vishal, Sameer, K.K., Sandy, Rohit and Kabir organised a party to promote their music. “One gets tired of hearing the same kind of music in every party. So we are trying to add some new tone to the latest popular songs, says Sameer, the in-house DJ of Disc Blozo.

So the party was mainly organised to promote deejaying as well as their kind of music. But the youngsters had fun, gyrating to some popular numbers like ‘Let the music play’, ‘Don’t Cha’, ‘Right here, right now’ and of course the new version of ‘Dus bahane karke le gaye dil’. —TNS

Tikki Temptation
Rajiv Bhatia

Ambala’s famous tikkiwala
GOLDEN BROWN: Ambala’s famous tikkiwala. — Photo by Neeraj Chopra

Even in these times when fast food joints are offering sumptuous pizzas while you sit on comfortable sofas, the small but crispy tikki never fails to tempt the taste buds. The aroma rising out of mashed potatoes deep-fried in oil is irresistible and the sight of the khatti-meethi chutney and onions on the tikkis is captivating. That is probably the reason why joints selling tikkis attract all those enslaved by the sense of taste.

Neki Ram, who became famous as Nakeli tikkiwala, started and carried on this business on a rehri in Bartan Bazar of Ambala Cantt and served tikkies for a good 45 years. He was famous for special daak patal wali tikki.

After his death, his son Bhushan Chand took up the reins of the family business. Profit grew to enable him to buy a small shop. His sons followed him into the business following the family tradition.

Krishan Chand, one of Bhushan’s sons, explains that people visit their shop from far-off areas for tikki. “Even on a fleeting visit to Ambala or its surrounding areas, many do not forget to find out some time to visit us to taste our tikki,” he says.

He adds, “We use our own spices which ensures their purity. My father taught me to make spices, including amchoor, chat masala and other raw material for tikki. He would buy daak patal and other items for serving.”

Giving details of his daily schedule, he says, “In the morning, we prepare the material for the tikkis. Nowadays, we serve kachori and sabzi in the afternoon and sell tikki in the evening.”

“The cost of the tikki is less than other fast food items. Two pieces of tikki cost only Rs 6. We have continued with the tradition of serving tikkis with gud wali chatni, dhai and aloo on daak patal. We earn between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500 daily.”

“I have also served at many marriage functions and birthday parties in J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi,” says Krishan.

Rupali, a resident of Panchkula, says, “She visits Ambala with her husband often and never misses a chance to taste the tikkis on offer. She adds, “Things have changed. People love to eat pizzas and other fast food. But I like tikki, because it is a part of the Indian cuisine.”

“On my way to Delhi for a business trip last year, my friend took me to Nakeli’s and from then on, I don’t forget to visit them whenever I am in Ambala,” says Yogesh, a Chandigarh-based businessman.

So, the next time, you go to Ambala, don’t forget to drop in for some tikkis.

Removing stains from furniture

Rare is a scratch on seasoned hardwoods which can not be treated and repaired to maintain the salient charm and splendor of your wooden interiors:

  • Milk or alcohol: Use your fingers to rub liquid or paste wax into the stain. Your could also rub in a paste of boiled linseed oil along the grain with 2000 waterproof sandpaper, substituting fine pumice for matt finishes. Alternatively rub with ammonia on a dampened cloth. Wipe dry and wax or polish.
  • Light Cigarette Burns: Rub with scratch-concealing polish, or with a paste of linseed oil and 2000 waterproof sandpaper, working along with the grain until the burn mark disappears.
  • Heat Marks: Rub gently along the grain, using a dry steel wool soap pad or a cloth dampened with camphorated oil or mineral spirits. Alternatively rub gently along the grain with extra-fine 0000 steel wool. Wipe clean and wax or polish.
  • Nail Polish: Blot the spill immediately, then rub with fine steel wool dipped in wax. Wipe dry and wax or polish.
  • Paint Marks: If fresh, remove latex paint with water and oil-based paint with mineral spirits. If dry, soak spot in boiled linseed oil, wait until paint softens and lift carefully with a putty knife or wipe with cloth dampened with boiled linseed oil. Residue can be removed by rubbing along the grain with a paste of boiled linseed oil and 2000 waterproof sandpaper. Wipe dry and wax or polish.
  • Sticky Paper or Glue Marks: Douse the mark/stain thoroughly with salad oil, wait five minutes and then rub along the grain with extra-fine 0000 steel wool. Wipe dry and wax or polish.
  • Wax or Gum: Harden the substance by holding an ice cube wrapped in cloth against it. Then use your fingernail or plastic credit card to remove it. Rub the area with extra-fine 0000 steel wool dipped in mineral spirits. Wipe dry and wax or polish.

—Courtesy: A. P. Singh Besten & Co.

TAROT TALK
What the cards say today...
P. KHURRANA

ARIES : You have drawn "The World" so this is a good time for relaxing and rejuvenating yourself and do the things you most enjoy. Don't be in a hurry and or be impatient on Sunday. Think twice before you speak on Wednesday. Travel on the seas is likely. You will be juggling your finances well. Lucky colour: Wine red. Tip of the week: Handle your projects secretly and carefully. 
LIBRA : You are advised to loosen your purse strings. Your card is good for closing a financial deal, but go carefully over the paperwork. You will be bold on Monday and a meeting with bigwigs will go well. Get enough exercise. Your relationships gives you hope. Lucky Colour: Baby pink. Tip of the week: Allow a bad situation to blow over before you start a new project. 
TAURUS : "Seven Golden Cups" full of light and blossoms greet you with happiness. A journey for business or holiday is likely. Drive carefully and give attention to any odd symptoms of your vehicle on Tuesday. Focus on investment on Wednesday and Thursday. Lucky colour: Sky blue. Tip of the week: Try not to get carried away by your initial success. 
SCORPIO:  Your card "The Moon" says don't worry. Though not everything is perfect for you right now, stay cool. Schedule a medical check-up and don't fret over debts - they'll be cleared shortly. A female colleague may be demanding. You can expect support from friends and parents. Lucky colour: White. Tip of the week: Watch your action at work and polish your public relation skills. 
GEMINI : Your card "Ace of Swords" shows overall a prosperous week. You will be especially attracted to things of beauty and may have a desire to travel to distant places. You could be revisiting an old acquaintance and will enjoy the meeting. Lucky colour: Crimson. Tip of the week: Make a decisive choice and then live with the outcome of your decision. 
SAGITTARIUS : Financially, you may have expenses as much as there is income. Students, working people may travel on Tuesday or Wednesday. Some may go in for purchase of latest cell model or computers. Professional people may have to go slow, lest they may incur losses. Lucky colour: White. Tip of the week: Do not expect too much from others. 
CANCER : There is a mixed bag of ups and downs throughout this week. You are the recipient of help or resources from those who care about you. You may also find solutions to concerns about budget or debt. You may not conform to social norms. Lucky colour: Peacock blue. Tip of the week: Be cautious in your action and speech. Wait and watch others. 
CAPRICORN : Expect everything to go your way till Wednesday. Finances turn around and friends are supportive. The events that take place now are guaranteed to bring results. The stream of events in the domestic sector keeps you on the move. Lucky colour: Wine red. Tip of the week: Don't feel guilty about not being a man in a hurry. 
LEO : "Ace of Pentacles" reveals the seed of prosperity and material gain — perhaps as yet unseen. You are thinking seriously about important relationships during this period. You are blessed with clarity of vision as you move with a new wave for the future. Lucky Colour: Golden. Tip of the week: Be articulate to prevent people from making their own conclusions. 
AQUARIUS : Look for a fresh way of doing your routine job. Stop waiting for the winning lottery ticket. Be realistic and practical about your approach to financial matters. In a relationship you need to express yourself more openly. Lucky Colour: Light brown. Tip of the week: Extend your circle of friends as people are your best bet against a hostile situation at work. 
VIRGO : Lady Luck walks with you, so make the most of her. A land deal may come your way on Tuesday. On the relationship front, things are totally breezy, though you may find yourself worrying about your mate's health. Seek help from a Libran for money matters. Lucky colour: Purple. Tip of the week: Do as many courses as you can to get ahead of others. 
PISCES: A time for bonding. All the workmates in your life, your boss, your kith and kin help you but an unexpected event is triggered off at work, but it's not necessarily negative. You meet someone who is dependable and loving. Take care of health and avoid stress. Lucky colour: Purple. Tip of the week: Don't let opposition faze you when you decide to walk the path you wanted to.




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