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Royalty revisited
Brigadier Sukhjit Singh does not believe in wearing royalty on his sleeves. Kapurthala, founded in the 11th century by Rana Kapur of Jaisalmer, has its unique charm, discover Minna Zutshi and Deepkamal Kaur as they take a peep into the royal heritage
Towns with a royalty tag have an air of mystery about them.
And Kapurthala, about 26 km from Jalandhar, is no exception. Remnants of royalty are perceptible in various facets of the life here — the buildings, the monuments and the very aura of the city that is on the cusp of modernity.

A step in the right direction: Brigadier Sukhjit Singh does not believe in wearing royalty on his sleeves. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma






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Craftsmen can be seen sharpening scissors in the Kainchiyan Wala Bazaar in Jalandhar. Knives, scissors and some old-world charm
Like any organic city, Jalandhar too has lanes spread like veins of the human body, each unique in its usefulness. One such example is Kainchiyan Wala Bazaar inside the vast old market area called Rainik Bazaar.

Fired with Zeal: Craftsmen can be seen sharpening scissors in the Kainchiyan Wala Bazaar in Jalandhar.
— Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Shrinath Sood Different Strokes
Taking care of injured animals
Shrinath Sood is doing alone what People for Animals is doing in cities. This 65-year-old resident of Shekhupur village situated on the outskirts of Kapurthala on the Sultanpur Lodhi Road, since the last six years, has been taking care of injured cows and calves left on the road after accidents.

K.L. Rishi, an artist from Phagwara. A canvas full of experiments
It is said “Well begun is half done.” K.L. Rishi is just making a beginning in the field of art and his paintings presently being exhibited in his small shop here in Phagwara, definitely speak volumes of his skill and talent. Inspired by Doshi-Meshi duo of Jalandhar, he himself wishes to inspire others by his art.

K.L. Rishi, an artist from Phagwara. — A Tribune photo

Fighting social evils through art
“Experiments in Punjabi theatre”, a ten-day theatre workshop organised by the Postgraduate Department of Punjabi of DAV College, concluded on the campus here this Sunday.

 The Garha Road in Jalandhar has numerous garbage dumps that reek of putrid smell.People’s concern
Garbage dumps dot Urban Estate roads
Heaps of garbage, reeking smell of decomposed food and used materials, herds of cows and sick dogs. This is the scene usually witnessed on the Garha Road at the Urban Estate here.

The Garha Road in Jalandhar has numerous garbage dumps that reek of putrid smell. — Photo by S.S. Chopra

Republic Day celebrated
Students of Seth Hukum Chand S.D. Public Senior Secondary School sang patriotic songs and recited poems as they participated in Republic Day celebrations last Thursday. The Tricolour was unfurled by the school Principal, Ms Manju Arora.

From Schools and Colleges
An inter-school drawing and painting competition was organised at Eklavya School here on Tuesday, in which students from over 20 schools participated. In card making, Manmeet from Police DAV School, Damanbir from Swami Sant Dass Public School and Shreya from Shiv Jyoti Public School stood first, second and third, respectively.

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Royalty revisited

Kapurthala, founded in the 11th century by Rana Kapur of Jaisalmer, has its unique charm, discover Minna Zutshi and Deepkamal Kaur as they take a peep into the royal heritage

A view of the building that was earlier the Jagatjit Palace, Kapurthala. It now houses Sainik School of Kapurthala.
Illuminated Splendour:
A view of the building that was earlier the Jagatjit Palace, Kapurthala. It now houses Sainik School of Kapurthala.
— Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Towns with a royalty tag have an air of mystery about them.

And Kapurthala, about 26 km from Jalandhar, is no exception. Remnants of royalty are perceptible in various facets of the life here — the buildings, the monuments and the very aura of the city that is on the cusp of modernity.

But nothing can possibly give us a clearer perspective on the Kapurthala royalty than a visit to the Villa Kothi — the residence of Brigadier Sukhjit Singh, the grandson of Maharaja Jajatjit Singh of Kapurthala’s royal family. (A recipient of Mahavir Chakra, this septuagenarian sought premature retirement from the Indian Army in 1977 after commanding a Mountain Brigade in Arunachal Pradesh.)

Our longish drive leads us to the villa. On the way, images of green fields, and men and women with weather-beaten faces flit across. There’s no hint of royalty. But once inside the villa, it’s hard to miss the signs of royalty. Even the tall trees that dwarf the rest of the things have a touch of royal grandeur about them. And the driveway’s quiet, broken by occasional chirpings of a few sparrows, is almost uncanny. “Royalty does not brook any noise, it seems,” we say amongst ourselves.

And as we are shown into the verandah, an alligator carved on the wall draws our attention. “Hunting. Royalty is about shikar,” we mumble. Another stereotype fits into the scheme of the things.

We ensconce ourselves in chairs that have been laid out in the verandah. We think about the ‘aloof royalty’ that prizes its privacy to its last room. And our list of suppositions vis-à-vis the royalty gets longer still.

But once Brigadier Sukhjit Singh arrives, the stereotypes all fade away. He’s a vibrant man who loves to share his thoughts with guests, and hospitality is something that comes naturally to him. As we get down to the royal-talk, the past flows like a cascading brook that meanders gracefully to find its way in the stream of ‘here and now’.

“Royalty entails a certain responsibility, too. You consider yourself to be privileged in the sense that you know it is your duty to preserve the legacy,” says Brigadier Sukhjit Singh. In fact, preservation of Kapurthala’s royal heritage is something on which he can speak passionately for hours together.

Renovation is by no means the foisting of something that is alien to the original; it is only the upkeep and preservation of the original as unobtrusively as possible, we learn from the Brigadier’s comments.

The preservation of 75-year-old Moorish Mosque has been high on his priority list. It was his idea to give a new look to 109-year-old statue of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh installed at the Kapurthala administrative complex. In his capacity as the Chairman of the Kapurthala Heritage Society, he has been instrumental in organising the Baba Jassa Singh Sharad Utsav since 2001. But he prefers to downplay it all.

“When we go in for the so-called style and elegance, and replace the original with the ultra-modern, what turns out may well be a disappointment. For instance, the renovation of Gurdwara Ber Sahib, Sultanpur Lodhi, has not added to the elegance of the structure. Neither has it made us spiritually richer,” he says, as he shows us around the garden and the vast stretch of the land that is part of his villa.

Colourful peacocks flutter about in the far end. It’s time to segue into nostalgic mode. “When I was a child, it was wonderful to enjoy the beauty of nature that had not yet been ravaged by humans. I would accompany my grandpa during his excursions and tours, especially to the Kanjli Lake,” he tells us, while reiterating that the Kanjli Lake micro-hydel project is his dream project.

And as we leave the gates of the villa, we find it hard to shake off the ‘royal’ impressions!

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Knives, scissors and some old-world charm
Anuradha Shukla
Tribune News Service

Like any organic city, Jalandhar too has lanes spread like veins of the human body, each unique in its usefulness. One such example is Kainchiyan Wala Bazaar inside the vast old market area called Rainik Bazaar.

It is an entire bazaar catering to those looking for made-to-order “desi” scissors by umpteen buyers who meander through the vast expanse of these byelanes to look for knives and scissors.

Over a dozen shops adjoining Attari Bazar cater to the needs of wholesalers, retailers and general customers.

One can find an old-world charm as one moves through the narrowing lanes and byelanes and comes across these shops.

The workers can be seen sharpening the edges of the knives and scissors. Dust from the tyres of the machine called “saan” flies in the air.

Two persons work on the saw at one time to sharpen the scissors and knives which have been crafted by more than 10 craftsmen inside the small workshop each shop here has.

“Majority of these shops came up at the time of Independence when new settlers from across the newly-created border set base here”, Subhash Chandra, whose father set-up the shop along with a friend, said. “With time, my father’s friends created their own units.”

The momentum of the work remains the same, but the interest of the new generations has changed to other business avenues, 18-year-old Ajay Sahdev, said. “Once, up to ten members of my family used to work in the workshop but all have now branched out to other businesses like selling ornaments and automobiles.”

When we ask that was it for more profit that they branched out, the youngster replied that no one wanted to dirty their clothes in the dust of the “saan” anymore. “You work on the machine from dawn till dusk and the clothes get smeared with the cement-like material of the Saan.”

Ajay left his studies to help his father in the workshop since all other relatives had left the business.

The returns, besides being connected to the roots, are still lucrative. Retailers, domestic users and wholesalers, all come here to buy the products. And where else can one find such a large variety of the basic tool required in every household or hotel kitchen.

Here, a scissor is priced between Rs 45 and Rs 300. The scissors made of brass and iron are the most sought after. These come in two different price ranges and qualities which only the craftsmen who make them can differentiate. There is one of inferior quality made of dust-mixed metal alloy called “Deggi”, which makes the scissors so brittle that these can break after a fall.

The scissors with no signs on them are called “Kamani” and those carrying signs from the “Saan” are known as “retti”. The scissors are available in sizes of 8/9/10/12 to 14 inches and the prices range from Rs 45 to Rs 300.

The knives available in this market are also unique, as they come in varying shapes to suit the requirements of everyone: from the housewife to the butcher. These knives with wooden handles are more durable than the ones with plastic handles and also give an earthy feel.

The knives begin from 5 inches at Rs 5 to 20 inches at Rs 50. The bigger ones are used for cutting candles, paper or meat and the smaller ones, especially the curved “chakku”, are used for chopping vegetables.

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Different Strokes
Taking care of injured animals
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Shrinath Sood is doing alone what People for Animals is doing in cities.

This 65-year-old resident of Shekhupur village situated on the outskirts of Kapurthala on the Sultanpur Lodhi Road, since the last six years, has been taking care of injured cows and calves left on the road after accidents. First he used to leave his grocery shop in the hands of his wife to take care of the injured animals but they winded it up due to lack of time.

“On Lohri, six years ago, I was going to the market when I saw a police gypsy hitting a calf. Three legs of the silent animal were fractured. I carried it home for treatment and the passion was born,” Mr Sood said. At present, 35 cows, five calves and four dogs are under Mr Sood’s care.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of my wife and my sons who agreed on my proposal to spend all the money I got as rent from my three houses in the village, on the injured animals,” he said.

The rest of the money, he added, came from different quarters.

Sardar Jaspal Singh from the nearby Brindpur village is always ready to send his tractor-trolley to carry the injured animals to a roadside shed erected by Mr Sood near the village.

Similarly, tempos going through the road carrying vegetables voluntarily deposit bags of old vegetables to the shed. Mr Sood started the process with the help of Ashok Kumar Mahajan, a commission agent in the market.

Dr Bittu Anand, a veterinarian from the village, provides free treatment to the animals. Children of Shekhupur Brahman Sabha also collect money to help the cause. Some people from the town too contribute in kind and cash for the purpose.

Mr Sood said it was pathetic that people left their cows on the roads to die after the animals stop giving milk. “Some people even urge me keep their animals in my shed after they stops giving milk.”

“One day I was going with my son on scooter when I saw a cow sitting over stubbles that had been set on fire. The cow was surrounded by flames. I called for help from the nearby village and managed to rescue the cow which I then carried home,” Mr Sood added.

On the problems he was facing in maintaining the shed, he said its location on the road posed a threat to the animals as well as commuters. “If the administration can provide a suitable place away from the roadside, the problem can be solved.”

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A canvas full of experiments
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

It is said “Well begun is half done.”

K.L. Rishi is just making a beginning in the field of art and his paintings presently being exhibited in his small shop here in Phagwara, definitely speak volumes of his skill and talent.

Inspired by Doshi-Meshi duo of Jalandhar, he himself wishes to inspire others by his art.

Rishi feels that the love of art was always inherent in him but he never could tread on this path till recently.

After graduating in 1978, he spending the years painting just sign boards and started serious painting only in 2002.

It was his passion for art and craftsmanship that caught the attention of Mr Harbans Lagha, an NRI, who enthused him to show his skills.

He has used his vivid imagination and came up with oil paintings on velvet and canvas without using pencils or graphics.

His paintings spell variety from portrait to landscape. The experiments in colour schemes shows his growth as an artist. He tries to explore the myriad possibilities of colour in a finer manner, the strokes of brushes and the vibrant hues making an attractive combination.

He presents the famous portrait of a Kashmiri bride by artist Sobha Singh in different colour scheme altogether, giving it a completely new dimension.

“What stands out about Rishi’s paintings is his strong handling of the medium and his brush sense, which is quite mature,” Father G.P. of a Jalandhar church, said.

Rishi is preparing for a big exhibition in Belgium or Italy in the near future. Though his creative journey has just begun, he feels he has a long way to go.

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Fighting social evils through art
Tribune News Service

“Experiments in Punjabi theatre”, a ten-day theatre workshop organised by the Postgraduate Department of Punjabi of DAV College, concluded on the campus here this Sunday.

During the workshop, more than 20 drama critics and playwrights shared their thoughts about Punjabi literature, drama and theatre. A nukkad play was presented at different places in the town, besides seven other drama presentations by different theatre groups. Popular comedians Gurpreet Ghuggi and Chacha Raunki Ram, and singers Jasbir Jassi and Teji Sandhu, participate in the workshop.

The Chairman of the Department of Punjabi, Punjabi University, Dr Satish Kumar Verma, delivered his lecture on the first day. He said that since over 5000 theatre artistes had been actively involved in Punjabi theatre, there was no need to worry about its future. He talked about the history of Punjabi dance and theatre, and about various experiments that had been tried in Punjabi theatre from time to time.

Dr Harjit Singh, former Assistant Director of Doordarshan Kendra, Jalandhar, talked about the contributions of theatre artistes in the past. Sardarjeet Bawa, Producer, Jalandhar Doordarshan, discussed technical deficiencies of Punjabi theatre and shared his views on getting the best results with the minimum light effects. He even talked about changes in costumes and make-up.

During the course of the workshop, paper presentation was also held, in which Dr Kulbir Singh Dhir from Patiala talked about the changing face of Punjabi theatre. Dr Satinder Singh Noor presented a paper on the comparison of Lahore Punjabi theatre and Delhi Punjabi theatre. Chandigarh-based make-up artiste, Sohan Khungar, talked about some dramatic effects that could be incorporated with make-up.

Nukkad Natak ‘Sionk’ (meaning termite infestation) was presented at various places. A play against drug addiction, “Sarhadan hor vi ne”, and a play “Dastane dil” were other major attractions. Chacha Raunki Ram said that Punjabi comedy was popularised by “bhands” and “marasis”. TV critic, Dr Kulbeer Singh, said that Doordarshan was not promoting Punjabi drama in real sense. Ms Kamlesh Uppal from Patiala shared her views on the impact of absurd theatre on Punjabi theatre.

Dr K.S. Thind and Dr Jagdish Garg, professors of the host college, coordinated various events held during the workshop. 

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People’s concern
Garbage dumps dot Urban Estate roads
Anita D. Mahajan
Tribune News Service

Heaps of garbage, reeking smell of decomposed food and used materials, herds of cows and sick dogs. This is the scene usually witnessed on the Garha Road at the Urban Estate here.

The residents and the shopkeepers of the area complain of the unhygienic situation prevailing in the area for the past one year. They accuse the Municipal Corporation (MC) for using the road as a dumping site for the garbage collected from various colonies.

“Around a year back, employees of the corporation used to dump the garbage in a vacant plot situated at the corner of the T-point. However, when we complained against this to the Corporation, the plot was barricaded. But we did not know that this was not the end of the problem,” Mr Mahender Malhotra, a shop owner in the area, said.

“Later, the Corporation employees started dumping the garbage just outside the plot creating chaotic and unhygienic condition on the road,” he added.

However, the MC officials claimed that it was the residents of the area who dispose off their garbage at the site.

“The department clears the road from time to time, but residents of ward numbers 45 and 47, again dispose off their garbage at the site,” Mr H. S. Bawa, Municipal Councillor of the area, said.

Besides this point, piled-up garbage dumps can also be found in other nearby areas. One such site is near Maharishi Valmiki Chowk in the Urban Estate, Phase I.

When contacted, Mr Vikas Garg, the Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA, said, “The residents of the areas are responsible for this, as they dump their disposable materials here.”

Not only these dumps can cause epidemics in the area, but many cases of accidents are also reported from the roads where stray cattle give a tough time to vehicle drivers.

“Accidents occur in every two-three days, as cows and dogs gather on the road, especially in night, to satiate their appetite with whatever they find dumped here,” Vijay, owner of a dhaba near the turning point, said.

However, Mr Bawa admitted that the Corporation was facing the problem of non-availability of landfill sites to dispose off the dumps. “To sort out the matter, the MC has asked PUDA to allot pieces of land for dumping the garbage in the area.”

Mr Garg also confirmed that the procedure of identification of sites for the purpose was in the process. 

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Republic Day celebrated

Students of Seth Hukum Chand S.D. Public Senior Secondary School sang patriotic songs and recited poems as they participated in Republic Day celebrations last Thursday. The Tricolour was unfurled by the school Principal, Ms Manju Arora.

At Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg, 50 students from Roshni, a Rajpura-based NGO, visited the school where they were given blankets and cash prizes. A cycle rally was also organised. A function was also held at Apeejay School, Model Town. Apeejay School, Rama Mandi, organised a week-long awareness programmes prior to the Republic Day. Students of Manav Sehyog School celebrated Republic Day in a unique manner. Sixty students took part in a cleanliness drive at Kalyanpur village.

They planted 125 saplings. Celebrations were also held at GDR Boarding Public School, Phagwara GDR Convent School, Phagwara Sanskriti KMV School and Dr B.R. Ambedkar Public Senior Secondary School. — TNS

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From Schools and Colleges

An inter-school drawing and painting competition was organised at Eklavya School here on Tuesday, in which students from over 20 schools participated. In card making, Manmeet from Police DAV School, Damanbir from Swami Sant Dass Public School and Shreya from Shiv Jyoti Public School stood first, second and third, respectively. Among those who painted the holiday scene, Keshni Gupta from Innocent Hearts School, Shubham from Army Public School and Manisha from Police DAV Public School won the top three prizes. In nature study, Amritpal from Police DAV School and Rashmi from Innocenet Hearts School stood first and second, respectively. Ravleen from Guru Amar Dass School and Sonia from Army Public School School shared the third position. In pot painting, Harmanpreet from Police DAV School and Ramanpreet from Darshan S Pheruman School won top ranks.

Karate

Students from A N Gujral Senior Secondary School, Nakodar Road, bagged the first and third positions in the National Karate School Competition that concluded in Noida last Sunday. The school students represented the team from Punjab that won the first prize. Lorish Khanna, a student from the school, won the first prize in the under-19 (50 kg) category. Kimti Lal, another student from the school, got the third prize in the under-19 (55 kg) category.

Modelling contest

A modelling contest was organised for the students of the pre-primary section from Apeejay School. Dilsimar Singh was declared Master Apeejay while Minal was chosen as Miss Apeejay. Among the boys, Ameesh was selected Mr Runner Up, while Meghna was declared Ms Runner Up.

Basant Panchmi

Basant Panchmi was celebrated at Seth Hukum Chand SD Public Senior Secondary School on Wednesday. The students brought yellow eatables to show the significance of the colour on the day. Competitions were held for group songs, declamation contest and poetry recitation.

Conference

Sant Baba Bhag Singh Institute of Education, Khaila village, organised its annual conference on “Quality Education: Role of State Government, UGC, National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) and Universities”. The event concluded on Friday. Dr S.P. Singh, Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, was the chief guest. — TNS

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Market Buzz

Tanishq is offering a discount of up to 25 per cent on its range of diamond jewellery.

The offer, that began January 20 in the city, has made diamond sets as affordable as Rs 2,500. Eighteen caret diamonds sets are available in hundreds of traditional, western and fusion designs.

Lifestyle club
A lifestyle and boutique club, Club Cabana, opened in the city recently. The club offers a private haven for those looking for a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Mr Anil Sharma, Managing Director of Sharma and Associates, said. “Spread over many acres of land, the retreat has landscaped greens and artificial lake and will give the members seven-star luxury,” he added.

New service
TATA Indicom now offers “Ab Aapke Ghar Tak”— a new home delivery service for its pre-paid customers.

The service delivers recharge cards to the customers at their doorsteps.

Along with Jalandhar, the facility is available in Amritsar and Ludhiana.

The customers will have to dial 8282 and provide details to place an order, Mr Sunil Batra, COO (North), TATA Indicom, said.

He said the service would benefit women, the elderly and businessmen.

Meeting
The Engineering Export Promotion Council held a meeting with the Passport Officer, Mr Amarjit Singh, to redress issues related to passports of exporters.

The officer answered queries of the exporters and assured them of all possible help. — TNS

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