CHANDIGARH INDEX

 




Living on the edge

Homemakers can learn a lesson from them in scraping and saving. For they shell out less coin in a month on food than the hard cash you pay for family-size pizzas in an evening full of fun. It may sound incredible to a discerning ear, but girls living as paying guests all over the city are spending something between Rs 300 and Rs 400 a month on grub.

Oh yes, less than Rs 10 a day on diet — dinner and breakfast included. Now don’t you think that they are watching their waistline, or else starving themselves to death for protesting against the landlady’s callous attitude. Existing away from home with limited means in a stiff city, they have simply devised a way to keep within the budget without wasting a smile.

BRANDING CELEBS
With more and more celebs landing in the City Beautiful, the region’s corporate world is busy roping them in as brand ambassadors, says Anandita Gupta
Champagne bottles fizzing over. The clink of the glasses resounding across the clear night air. Fiery murmurs, grins, and gesticulations breaking the ice. Kisses and clasps sealing the love deal. The euphoric mood says it all…that this marriage is not made in heaven. It’s rather conceived in the boardrooms of CEO’s and marketing professionals.

The second coming
Some of the creative streak in Tulsi ‘Tanha’ has survived an accident that almost left him dead, reports Sai R. Vaidyanathan
Conversing with Tulsi Das ‘Tanha’ these days means paying attention to his unclear words. “But words come out in free flow when I am compering for stage shows — by the grace of God,” he says.

Aesthetically abstract
City’s pioneer architect Aditya Prakash is back with his solo show, ‘Abstractions’, at IndusInd Art Gallery after a gap of three years, reports Parbina Rashid
When Aditya Prakash invites you to have a look at his paintings, you do not just prepare yourself to witness the most unexpected but also for a head-on collision with this forceful character, who is as old as the city itself. As you try hard enough to have a grasp over the subject matter, which is totally abstract, his teasing nonchalant manner does not help at all.

Music beyond borders
All my music is an expression of love for my motherland, Afganistan, its cultural traditions, mysticism of its great saints and sages” feels the Kabul-born, Rabab maestro Daud Khan Serdozoi who is now settled in Germany. Though away from his native place for the last three decades, the compelling charm of rich melodies of the Afghani folklore and the panoramic terrains are sources of inspiration for him. That is what makes him stick to traditional music and to the Rabab.

Touch Wood
The key to lasting beauty of your wooden flooring is proper maintenance. Certain steps must be followed, irregardless of the finish of the floor, in order to maintain the beauty of the hardwood floor.

Youth Speak
Be yourself and become confident
In today’s world, only someone who has a unique personality and displays tremendous confidence can attract attention and sustain it. But confidence has nothing to do with latest trends in fashion, having lot of money or having the latest technology at one’s disposal.

FILM & FASHION
Selma says Reese is Hilton’s antithesis

Actress Selma Blair calls her best friend, actress Reese Witherspoon, the “antithesis of Paris Hilton” because she avoids the spotlight and only wants to concentrate on her work. According to contactmusic.com, Blair had worked with Witherspoon in the movie “Legally Blonde” and called her a “sensitive little earthling”.

Flying beyond the clouds of glamour
There is more to an airhostess than just glamour, says city-born Nelu Trivedi, HR Manager, United Airlines, in an interview to Anandita Gupta

Breakfast in Jamaica, lunch in Singapore and dinner in Paris. Shopping your way to luxurious seven-star hotels. Touching up your make-up every half an hour. Smiling endlessly, almost till the lips get glued. And tiptoeing your way to someone’s seat (and not heart, atleast initially!), whispering those three sweet words—Tea or Coffee?

New releases
Of romance and seduction
Mere Jeevan Saathi
Aksar

A bride’s best friend
When a petite Aishwaria Rai donned a rustic Fuchsia lehenga choli in Bunty aur Babli, it stirred up lots of loud applause (in and outside the movie). Madhuri Dixit had millions drooling over her with her ghagra choli in Khalnayak. And Rani Mukharjee glowed like a queen in those Rajasthani Ghagras in Paheli.

Camaraderie amidst controversy!
For Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa finalists Vineet Singh, Debojit Saha and Hema Chandra, mentor walkouts, contestant protestations, surprise vote-outs even an ULFA threat be damned. After all, it is all about the glamour quotient!

Yellow fever
Amidst a whirl of excitement, strident music, bright yellow balloons festooning the trees, swirling streamers and a lone kite flitting through the deliciously warm day, CITCO’s Basant Festival filled the air at the Lake Cafeteria today.

TAROT TALK










Living on the edge
Saurabh Malik

Homemakers can learn a lesson from them in scraping and saving. For they shell out less coin in a month on food than the hard cash you pay for family-size pizzas in an evening full of fun.

It may sound incredible to a discerning ear, but girls living as paying guests all over the city are spending something between Rs 300 and Rs 400 a month on grub. Oh yes, less than Rs 10 a day on diet — dinner and breakfast included.

Now don’t you think that they are watching their waistline, or else starving themselves to death for protesting against the landlady’s callous attitude. Existing away from home with limited means in a stiff city, they have simply devised a way to keep within the budget without wasting a smile.

Having doubts? Just look at their daily routine to realise how they cut corners for acquiring satisfaction that comes from living within the means. To begin with, the girls staying together, pool in their resources for buying vegetables and other daily use commodities.

“For saving those precious bucks, we follow a tight schedule. According to the turn, one of us goes to the grain and vegetable market every morning for buying the green stuff at reasonable rates,” says Neerja Sharma, putting up in one such house in Sector 18. “For instance, we buy cauliflowers for Rs 10 a kg. It’s enough to last the entire day. Between the five of us, we pay something like Rs 2 each for the stuff. Add the price of oil and cooking gas, the total comes out to be around Rs 4”.

If you think cooking is a problem for them, they have an answer for that too. The five of them, working in call centres and even fast food joints, have hired the services of a maidservant. For just Rs 500 a month, she prepares scrumptious food for them in the afternoons. Each ends up paying just Rs 100 a month for home cooked food.

“Initially we tried eating in a Sector 19 dhaba,” says roommate Kamalika Arora, in Chandigarh for studies and a part-time job all the way from Panipat. “It was not very convenient. We had to ride all the way to the market, come rain or sunshine. The food was not very expensive, but then it was a trifle too oily for our reed-thin looks”.

Right girls, we understand. Looks are something you just cannot compromise with. Anyway, back to Kamalika. Reposing on a comfortable chair in the balcony of their house, she smiles: “Call us misers, whatever you like; we are cutting the coat according to our cloth without imposing unnecessary pressure on our parents”. Bravo girls, kept it up.

Within means

No matter how much money you make, little is left in the name of savings. After all, you have to pay for petrol and pull out solid cash to keep the blue flame burning. And then the banks show no mercy in deducting installments for the car you purchased on loan. But no matter what your situation or income is, there are steps you can take to bring money under control. Here are some ideas taken from the net to help you get on track:

First, closely monitor your spending habits. Rather, track your spending for two weeks. Devise ways and means to overcome the ones that knock your budget off-balance. Do not buy yourself treats just to cheer you up when you are feeling bad. Avoid spending money to reward yourself.

Prepare a shopping list and stick to it. Do not buy after falling in love with the stuff at first sight. See if you actually need it. Do not go food shopping when you are hungry and, if possible, bring lunch to work.

Also, take advantage of “early bird specials”. Buy in bulk and share purchases like lawnmower with others. Buy washable clothes, not those that require dry cleaning. Avoid clothes that need ironing. Hang wash to dry rather than using a dryer.

Understand your budget. Figure out what is left over from your salary after you have taken care of all the necessities like rent, mortgage, groceries, childcare and even clothing. Then think about your money goals — the way you like your money to work for you over the long term. Think in terms of reducing debt or an increase in savings.

Another thing. You should talk freely about money within your family or your household. Work together to reduce spending or increase the earnings. Just keep one credit card. If you are going for a casual visit to the market, leave your credit and ATM card at home. All the best and happy saving.

BRANDING CELEBS

With more and more celebs landing in the City Beautiful, the region’s corporate world is busy roping them in as brand ambassadors, says Anandita Gupta

Mahima Chaudhary endorsing Brooke Bond at PanchkulaManpreet Brar launching Ginni Cuddles at Chandigarh
IT’S RAINING CELEBS: Manpreet Brar launching Ginni Cuddles at Chandigarh, and Mahima Chaudhary endorsing Brooke Bond at Panchkula. — Photo by Manoj Mahajan

Champagne bottles fizzing over. The clink of the glasses resounding across the clear night air. Fiery murmurs, grins, and gesticulations breaking the ice. Kisses and clasps sealing the love deal. The euphoric mood says it all…that this marriage is not made in heaven. It’s rather conceived in the boardrooms of CEO’s and marketing professionals.

And the wedlock, that emerges when the marketing gurus rub shoulders with the glam glitterati, is celebrated through brand endorsements and rip roaring launches. Any guesses what this marriage is all about? It’s the top-notch brands roping in stars to caste a sparkling spell on the target customers.

Every nook, cranny and open space is brimming with high profile Brand Ambassadors. India’s top-notch sports and entertainment stars come a-visiting at the bash that brands are throwing. Spinning promotional contracts, guest appearances at private parties for hefty fees, and paid-for editorial plugs on metropolitan cocktail circuits, India’s sports and entertainment stars are making quite a fortune.

Big B Amitabh Bachchan continues to be the Betaj Badshah (undisputed ruler) not just of Bollywood but big brands too. Following him are rich athletes like ace cricketer Sachin Tendulker, Tennis champ Sania Mirza and actors like Aishwaria Rai, Amir Khan, Sharukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan and John Abraham.

Celebs in town

And the city beautiful was recently breezed by many of them. Among them was Mahima Chaudhary— the brand ambassador for Brook Bond Red Label. Dressed up in Red, the lady beamed in front of the cameras.

Then there were Amrita Thapar, Miss India Universe 2005, and Sindhura Gadde, Miss India World, 2005 who launched NIFD’s collaboration with ATR Institute of Jewellery Design. Amrita attended the whole function without sporting that chunky necklace by ATR. It was only when the press started a tete a tete with her that she hurriedly slipped it into her neck. “No woman’s complete without jewellery.” She smiled. We doubted if she really thought so!

When Miss Indias launched a new course, even ex-Miss Indias were not far behind? Manpreet Brar, ex-Miss India cum TV personality was here to launch the cosmetic and baby wipes by Ginni Filaments Ltd. “I have to feel connected with a brand or a product in order to endorse it,” chirped the model turned mom.

However, the lady who’s also been the brand ambassador for Omega and Christian Dior, found it tough recalling the brands she’s endorsed in the recent past. Is that the kind of connectivity celebs share with brands they so vehemently stand for? We wondered.

Whether they actually relate to a brand or not, they are definitely enjoying the whole joy ride. Beams Kareena Kapoor, leading film star and Pepsi’s new brand ambassador, “I am extremely excited to be a part of the ‘Pepsi Café Chino’ launch that redefines the concept of fun and excitement. It was a pleasure working on the television commercial designed for Pepsi Café Chino and I hope that Pepsi fans like it too!” Adds Priyanka Chopra, “I am privileged to be here and launch the stylish new ‘Pepsi Café Chino’ with my fellow brand ambassador – Kareena Kapoor.”

Magic mantra

And what do marketing gurus say? “India is such a celebrity-driven country. A large section of India mostly lives out its lives in fantasies in entertainment.”

Opines Raghav Sinha, an advertising professional from Chandigarh. And with about 85 television channels [carrying advertising], how do you break out of the clutter. But with so many celebrities doing the rounds, you need to know how to make a creative use of them,” says Panchkula based Marketing professional Amit Saluja.

So folks, the era of worshiping stars is by gone. Today, your favorite stars are at your beck and call. They’ll interact with you, shake a leg with you and even ask you for a cup of coffee. Provided you don the brands that are paying them those mega bucks!

The second coming

Some of the creative streak in Tulsi ‘Tanha’ has survived an accident that almost left him dead, reports Sai R. Vaidyanathan

Tulsi TanhaConversing with Tulsi Das ‘Tanha’ these days means paying attention to his unclear words. “But words come out in free flow when I am compering for stage shows — by the grace of God,” he says.

Fate had cut short the promising career of this talented artiste in 1992 when he was hit by a car while he was driving his scooter. He went into coma and lay there declared dead for 47 hours after which a doctor noticed one of his fingers moving.

What fate took away, God gave some of it back—slowly. He breathed normally three months after the accident and lost movement in his right side. The compere who had anchored shows with the famous radio announcer Vijay Vashisht managed to utter his first words after seven long years when the hole in his throat filled up.

He is half the man that he was before the accident but the spirit in him was not scathed by it. Earlier, he was the dance and drama instructor in three schools and two colleges in the city and had won several accolades in acting and bhangra, including the All-India Best Actor award three times and the National Award in the Kulu Dashera for bhangra.

“I was a break dancer when Mithun Chakraborty was making it famous on the silver screen in the early nineties,” he reminisces. Acting in plays, compereing for stage shows and lending his voice to radio and TV jingles kept this multi-talented artiste busy then.

A chief guest at a function in Ambala was so impressed by his compositions on ‘Tanhai’ (solitude) that he addressed him as ‘Tanha’ and since that day the name stuck.

He has acted in Punjabi film Yaar Gariban Da along side Yograj Singh and Mehr Mittal and fate obstructed the launch of Tanha’s career in Bollywood. After hearing the storyline of his play Kaun Hua Kiska, which had been staged three times already, Yash Chopra asked him to rewrite it as the screenplay for a film. He ready to leave for Mumbai when he met with the accident.

After spending years in bed, he was forced to set up a cigarette shop with support from his father. After 10 long years, he got a job as a salesman in an educational cassettes company and can be seen selling his ware at the Sukhna Lake.

You can’t keep a good man down for long. Along with other shows like Rafi Nite, he compered for a year in the cultural event held every Saturday and Sunday at the Lake in 2003-04. In 2002, he directed the students of S. D. College for the play Chappan aur bhi hain, which was judged the best play of the competition.

His compositions in his own inimitable style were recorded and released by Paul Music Company in the form of a cassette titled Tanha Tanha last year.

“I lost movement in my right side but I was determined to continue writing poetry so I learnt to write with my left hand. I can even shave with my left hand,” he declares. He has 10 diaries filled with his verse but hasn’t been able to get it published. He has also completed two scripts for TV serials Paisa bhi hota hai and Bikharte khwab.

After hearing his story we realise, he is not ‘tanha’, for his creativity and his zest for life will always be by his side.

Aesthetically abstract

City’s pioneer architect Aditya Prakash is back with his solo show, ‘Abstractions’, at IndusInd Art Gallery after a gap of three years, reports Parbina Rashid

CUBES & CURVES: A display of Aditya Prakash’s colourful abstracts.
CUBES & CURVES: A display of Aditya Prakash’s colourful abstracts. — Photos by Vinay Malik

When Aditya Prakash invites you to have a look at his paintings, you do not just prepare yourself to witness the most unexpected but also for a head-on collision with this forceful character, who is as old as the city itself. As you try hard enough to have a grasp over the subject matter, which is totally abstract, his teasing nonchalant manner does not help at all.

But take a closer look, both at his work and him, patterns begin to form and things fall into perspective. Simple lines and curves, which exist in the super-conscious mind of the artist, appear from nowhere and disappear into nothingness, but not before living an imprint in one’s mind. So his lines sometimes take the shape of a ‘Cosmic Dance’ or sometimes a ‘Morning Raga’, or some mudras from ‘Bharat Natyam’ or even Einstein’s Theory of Relativity ‘E=MC2’.

So what inspired him to come up with this particular series? “I am always inspired,” says the Chairperson of the Chadigarh Lalit Kala Academy. “I keep absorbing things which then come out to form patterns,” he adds. And he is quick to add that the paintings are not something that resulted from his conscious mind.

“Mind is the biggest hurdle when it comes to creativity. When you stop thinking the truth comes to you,” so we learn a little about his working methodology. But whatever the mind conceives, do they always have to be abstract?

“Abstract paintings are nothing extraordinary in the Indian art. What is a Natraj, Ganesha or a Krishna? They are all abstract art of a very high order…..fantastic imagination which has fascination the mankind which has fascinated the mankind across centuries,” he shots back.

Knowing Aditya Prakash, we were a bit surprised to find his creation titled, neat and proper. “The titles came as an afterthought. Since my creations are open-ended, titles give some direction to a viewer. They are not definite but serves as a starting point,” he explains.

Besides his paintings in charcoal and acrylic, both in canvas and brown wrapping paper, there is a delightful collection of Worli paintings and miniatures based on motifs from ancient civilization. The Worli series on harvesting and fishing village particularly stands out for their minutest details.

The former principal of the Government College of Architecture, refuses to admit that the city, that he almost built in his lifetime, had any influence on his art. “I am the city itself, so how can the city inspire me” says Aditya Prakash. And when he does it with such air of finality, nobody denies it. We just remain thankful for this opportunity to see his work once again after three long years.

Music beyond borders
S. D. Sharma

Daud KhanAll my music is an expression of love for my motherland, Afganistan, its cultural traditions, mysticism of its great saints and sages” feels the Kabul-born, Rabab maestro Daud Khan Serdozoi who is now settled in Germany.

Though away from his native place for the last three decades, the compelling charm of rich melodies of the Afghani folklore and the panoramic terrains are sources of inspiration for him. That is what makes him stick to traditional music and to the Rabab.

Rabab has been immortalised by Bhai Mardana, foremost disciple of the Sikh Guru Nanak Dev and by other Muslim Sufi saints.

Daud Khan learnt Rabab, the traditional lute instrument of Afganistan under the tutelage of Ustad Mohammad Umar at Kabul. Though the old instrument is on the verge of extinction having lost its lustre even in Arabian lands, Daud Khan is crusading to maintain the traditional purity of Rababic interpretations of the classical as well as folk style of the Mohammad Umar School.

Not averse to blending tradition with modernity, Daud Khan learnt to accomplish the finer nuances of ‘Sarod’, the offspring of the original Rabab, brought to India by the forefathers of Senia Bangash family as they migrated from Afganistan to Gwalior in India.

Though Daud had never visited his homeland during the last thirty years but he is a frequent visitor and an avid Rabab performer in India after he came under the tutelage of Ustad Ali Amjad Khan, who represents the sixth generation of the Banghash family of Rabab and Sarod players.

Daud Khan had performed extensively at the World Music Festivals since 1992 including India where he had been twice conferred with the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan award.

He presently heads the Academy of Indian Music in Koln (Germany) founded by Ustad Ali Amjad Khan.

“The takers of Indian music in Germany are very dedicated and disciplined despite being in small numbers. They are too inquisitive about the rich Indian cultural heritage,” says Daud.

Daud Khan is in the city to perform at a programme organised by the Pracheen Kala Kendra today at the auditorium in Sector 35.

Touch Wood

The key to lasting beauty of your wooden flooring is proper maintenance. Certain steps must be followed, irregardless of the finish of the floor, in order to maintain the beauty of the hardwood floor.

  • Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions. Follow maintenance processes specific to each type of finish.
  • Never wax a urethane floor. Never use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and dull in appearance.
  • Buff to restore shine of wax floor but never over-wax. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
  • Maintain humidity levels. High humidity causes wood to swell. Low humidity causes wood to lose moisture and shrink. Extreme changes may cause warping, splitting and cracking.
  • Place mats and throw rugs both inside and outside the doorways to help prevent the tracking of grit, dirt and sand. 
  • Sweep or vacuum wood floors regularly. Never wet-mop a wooden floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
  • Wipe up food and other spills immediately with a dry or slightly dampened towel. 
  • Put plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
  • Remember that cleats and high heels can dent any floor surface.
  • Place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink to catch sink splashes and cut down on wear. Water/moisture absorbent bathroom mats are a must at bathroom entrances.

— Courtesy: A. P. Singh, Besten & Co.

Youth Speak
Be yourself and become confident

In today’s world, only someone who has a unique personality and displays tremendous confidence can attract attention and sustain it. But confidence has nothing to do with latest trends in fashion, having lot of money or having the latest technology at one’s disposal.

Confidence comes from being one’s own self. Here are some tips to becoming more confident:

  • Wear what you suits you and what you are comfortable with. Try making your own fashion statement.
  • Develop a habit of reading newspaper headlines daily. This makes you generally aware of the world around you.
  • During a conversation, speak on topics which are relevant to the other person taking care of his likes and dislikes.
  • A man is known by the company he keeps so make good friends. Listen to their advice but ultimately the decision has to be yours.
  • Don’t bother about the opinions of people who are jealous of you. Avoid them and have faith in your ability.
  • Stop giving silly pretexts for what you couldn’t achieve or what you did wrong. Believe me honesty pays.
  • Conquer your fear of failing. Do the things you are afraid of and witness your list of successes getting longer.
  • Remember Gandhiji famous words “Don’t watch, speak of or listen to bad things.”

These would be my tips to making a confident you.

 — Divya Bhasin

Young and bubbling with creative vibes? Have something to say? Well, send your views on something you feel strongly about to lifestyle@tribunemail.com or Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29-C Chandigarh. The best will find place in Lifestyle

FILM & FASHION
Selma says Reese is Hilton’s antithesis

Reese WitherspoonActress Selma Blair calls her best friend, actress Reese Witherspoon, the “antithesis of Paris Hilton” because she avoids the spotlight and only wants to concentrate on her work.

According to contactmusic.com, Blair had worked with Witherspoon in the movie “Legally Blonde” and called her a “sensitive little earthling”.

Blair says, “Reese is the antithesis of Paris Hilton. She has never courted the tabloids or wanted to be on parade for the drama. She’s doing good work.” — IANS

Jackie launches new range of hats

In keeping with a recent celebrity trend set by the likes of Diddy and Jackie Chan J Lo, martial arts star Jackie Chan has been busy boosting his clothing business by launching a range of hats.

The stylish panamas are the latest foray into fashion for the Rush Hour actor, who already sells items such as t-shirts and jackets under his brand name.

Fans were thrilled when the Hong Kong-born star arrived at Tokyo’s International Fashion Fair to model the eye-catching headgear in person. Embellished with a distinctive dragon logo, the hats retail at around 110 pounds. — ANI

Carrey teams with Leoni for remake

Funnyman Jim Carrey has confessed that despite never been fascinated by the idea of remakes, he couldn’t decline the offer of starring in the remake of ‘Fun with Dick and Jane’, as he was convinced he’ll “have a rebellious romp” with his feisty co-star Tea Leoni.

“Oh I hate remakes most of the time, but I was seduced by the idea. I thought it would be really fun for me and a really good actress to have a rebellious romp with,” Femalefirst quoted The Mask star, as saying.

“I love Tea, she’s a total gamer who is willing to do anything and go anywhere, and I love the idea of a couple just throwing the rules out,” he added.

‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ was originally made in 1977, starring George Segal and Jane Fonda. — ANI

Theresa plays villain in ‘Spider Man 3’

One-time “Black Widow” star Theresa Russell has become ensnared in Spidey’s web. The actress has joined the cast of “Spider-Man 3.’’

Russell will play Mrs Marko, the wife of Flint Marko, a.k.a. the Sandman. Plot details from Alvin Sargent’s screenplay are scarce, though it is known that the villainous couple has a daughter.

Russell, who has played a number of femmes fatales in her three-decade career, most recently appeared in HBO’s “Empire Falls”. — Reuters

Flying beyond the clouds of glamour

There is more to an airhostess than just glamour, says city-born Nelu Trivedi, HR Manager, United Airlines, in an interview to Anandita Gupta

Breakfast in Jamaica, lunch in Singapore and dinner in Paris. Shopping your way to luxurious seven-star hotels. Touching up your make-up every half an hour. Smiling endlessly, almost till the lips get glued. And tiptoeing your way to someone’s seat (and not heart, atleast initially!), whispering those three sweet words—Tea or Coffee?

Well, that’s the image most of us conjure up, if the word airhostess is mentioned. But there’s much more to the profession than all this goody-goody glamour associated with it. Chandigarh born Nelu Trivedi, HR Manager with United Airlines, spills the beans.

Qualities of an airhostess

If the words dependable, punctual and flexible had a human form, it would an airhostess. Informs Nelu, who’s worked with United Airlines since 1998, “An airhostess entails a huge responsibility on her shoulders and that is human safety. So, she should be able to work as an alert and committed safety professional. And yes, communication skills are very important so that she can understand the needs of the customers and cater to them accordingly.”

Recruitment process

Yes gals, it’s not easy. Just having a good height and presentable personality, we learn, is not enough. “An open house screening of candidates is followed by interviews, group discussions and some playful exercises.

The candidates streamlined here are then made to appear for a one-to one personal interview, to gauge their confidence, personality and composure levels in an emergency. The selected candidates are then exposed to nine months of a vigorous training programme. They are trained to be adept in communication, customer satisfaction and safety control,” reveals the lady presently recruiting on board people.

Grooming

If you’ve been thinking grooming forms an integral part of this profession, you are in for some surprise. Nelu believes that all airlines are not big on the grooming part. “Depends from airlines to airlines. But, most do not spend a major chunk of time on grooming and body language. Yes, following a basic code of dressing is very important .Like the hair have to be neatly tucked, well pressed uniforms worn and no stilettos adorning the feet please!”

Punctuality

You’ve cleared the interviews and before the formal training begins, the airline has invited you over a relaxed cup of tea. Well, go relaxed but be on time. For, this tea is not just a goodwill gesture. Rather, your employer is trying to gauge how punctual you are. Informs Trivedi, “Every passenger is an airlines’ bread and butter and one minute delay on it’s flight departure can cost it millions of dollars. So punctuality is drilled into every aspiring air hostess’s head right from the start.

Lifestyle

A lavish lifestyle promised by this profession has lured many. But is the lifestyle really so luxury packed? Explains Trivedi, “Well, it’s grand in the sense that the pay packet is thick plus one gets to travel and stay at the best of places in the world.

But a lot of discipline and hardwork is needed to. One sleeps and wakes up at unconventional hours, stays away from home for long intervals and has to stay calm in emergencies.”

So all you young ladies out there, fasten your seat belts, think and rethink, and know the pros and cons of this profession before you decide to take off!

New releases
Of romance and seduction

Mere Jeevan Saathi

A still from ‘Aksar’
A still from ‘Aksar’

After Bobby Deol and Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Dosti’, producer-director Suneel Darshan is once again in the news. His much delayed project ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’ will open in theatres today.

Suneel Darshan’s favourite Akshay Kumar teams up with Amisha Patel and Karishma Kapoor. This one is touted as a romantic musical in trade circles. Akshay play role of a budding pop singer madly in love with Amisha Patel. Karishma is in her first negative role.

‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’ also stars Gulshan Grover, Ashish Vidyarthi, Maya Alagh and Alok Nath. Sameer has penned the lyrics for music composer duo Nadeem-Shravan. It will be released today at Nirman, Chandigarh and Fun Republic, Manimajra.

Aksar

Emraan Hashmi and Udita Goswami starrer ‘Aksar’ is a film with bold scenes. The promos are very very ‘hot’.

The team of Emraan Hashmi and music composer Himesh Reshmmiya is back in this film.

This one is a third directorial attempt of actor-turned-director Anant Mahadevan after ‘Dil Vil Pyar Vyaar’ and a romantic comedy ‘Dil Mange More’.

The film promos describe the film as “Seduction, scandal and suspense” and have already created excitement since they were aired.

Dino Morea, Irfan Khan and Tara Sharma also star in ‘Aksar’. It has music by Himesh Rashammiya. Sameer has penned the lyrics.

The movie opens today at Piccadily, Chandigarh and Fun Republic, Manimajra. — D. P.

A bride’s best friend
Anandita Gupta

When a petite Aishwaria Rai donned a rustic Fuchsia lehenga choli in Bunty aur Babli, it stirred up lots of loud applause (in and outside the movie). Madhuri Dixit had millions drooling over her with her ghagra choli in Khalnayak. And Rani Mukharjee glowed like a queen in those Rajasthani Ghagras in Paheli.

No wonder, lehengas continue to enjoy massive appeal in the hearts of Indian Women. They may not be exactly a rage now, but lehengas are still worn to enhance a woman’s grace and spectacular appeal. The traditional chunky a-line ones may have replaced the trendy fish cut or fitted ones, but lehengas continue to enjoy a perennial appeal. Celebrating the love of lehengas is the 15-day lehenga festival (28th January to 12th February) organised by Sham Fashion Mall.

On offer are lehengas, sarees, suits and fabrics in rainbow like hues and glittery embellishments. The lehengas available are in different styles—A-line, fish cut and ghagra choli. Stone, dabka and mirror work on the lehengas seems to add glitter to the whole affair. And guess what sparked off the whole utsav? A glitzy fashion show, wherein four city models exhibited the exotic lehengas in Fuchsia, Maroon and orange colours. And the lehengas on offer are in all these colours and more. Informs Owner Harinder Singh, “We have more than 1000 lehengas in bright as well as unusual colours. What is selling well, however, are the Fuchsia, Red, Wine and hot Pink ones.

“And folks, you don’t need to make your wallet reach the morgue to so source one of these lehengas. “We have ample variety to suit every pocket and occasion. Right from Rs. 3000, our lehengas are upto Rs. 70,000,” informs Vijay, senior accountant at the mall.

“We moved to sector 34-A from sec 22 and thought organising this festival was the best way to make an entry statement” says Harinder.

So friends, visit the place and get wrapped in ecstasy.

Camaraderie amidst controversy!

For Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa finalists Vineet Singh, Debojit Saha and Hema Chandra, mentor walkouts, contestant protestations, surprise vote-outs even an ULFA threat be damned. After all, it is all about the glamour quotient!

The experiences are all about insights—“Into the world of tinsel-town, the music industry courtesy our musical mentors (read judges!) and how to get that intonation right for playback singing”—echo the three boys.

Appeal is the key for as Vineet puts it rather succinctly, “To remain in the eyes of the public is what counts as success.” What of amity then with wily “rumours” of Debojit being boycotted by the other two? Vineet is apologetic. “I cannot explain what happened as it is personal but it had nothing to do with the voting patterns. ‘

Debojit’s continued participation comes under a cloud of stories of mass votes pouring in from home state Assam and ULFA threats. Should he get voted out? Visibly displeased, he attempts to put these to rest. “I want to tell those who have floated these reports that please do not do this with artistes. “And baseless they indeed may be “For the selection of the top 10 spots was done by stalwarts like Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Jagjit Singh, Alka Yagnik to name a few,” avers Debojit. “Public voting only started after the final 10 were chosen. “

What of their own favourite songs? It is a motley collection of the old and the new though the flavour belongs to Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey and to new entrant Kunal Ganjawala’s ‘Bheege Hont’ from the film ‘Murder’.

Having tasted sweet fame, courtesy the show’s popularity, winning or losing does not matter any more, they insist. “Having sung for Aadeshji (music director Aadesh Shrivastava), I have already tasted stardom,” smiles Hema Chandra, the only contestant to “represent the South”.

So, the field is open, for he who makes it, the moon it is and for the two who do not, they have already reached the stars. For this is about starting with simple dreams and catching the big fish, the rags to riches stories we all love. — G.R.

Yellow fever
Gayatri Rajwade

Amidst a whirl of excitement, strident music, bright yellow balloons festooning the trees, swirling streamers and a lone kite flitting through the deliciously warm day, CITCO’s Basant Festival filled the air at the Lake Cafeteria today.

Celebrating the glories of spring, the flowering of the sarson crop, the beginning of the harvest season, the celebrations filled visitors with bonhomie and good cheer.

To mark this festive day, CITCO Managing Director Jasbir Singh Bir invited 200 under-privileged children from the Bal Bahar School, Bapu Dham colony, Karuna Sadan and even 45 special children from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for an afternoon of delightful food and liveliness.

Delicious fare in hues of yellow—kadi chawal, basanti paneer, lemon slush, piping hot moong dal halwa and of course yellow butter scotch ice-cream — peppy melodies and joyous fervour marked the occasion.

The “dance floor” was packed to capacity with the special children from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan swinging to the rhythmic beats of bhangra, Bollywood hits and Punjabi pop. “It is sheer love for music and dancing that has these children enthralled,” beamed a proud Neelu Sarin, teacher at the school.

For little Preeti from Bal Bahar, it was the yellow balloons that held her fascination while for Akash, it was water in the lake that held all the allure! The afternoon also saw an enchanting sight in Pradyuman Singh Chauhan, retired officer of the Indian Railways exulting in the spirit of the day clad in yellow from head to toe. “I believe every month should be celebrated with a different colour,” he laughed before tucking into the appetizing food on offer.

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

ARIES : If you are looking at future plans then it could be time to think the unthinkable. You suddenly have the power and the desire to make dreams come true. Beware of superficial and domineering women in the family. Turn your attention to exercise and diet. Lucky colour: Peacock blue. Tip of the week: Allow a sticky situation blow over before starting something new.
LIBRA : "The Empress" card says you would be meeting a powerful person who might help you in your work. Share your views and feelings with friends on Sunday. Do a little charity on Tuesday. Defer new ventures. Money flow may cause anxiety. Lucky colour: Golden yellow. Tip of the week: Trust your heart and intuition rather than confusing yourself.
TAURUS : "Ten Golden Cups" arranged in the tree of life pattern suggests deep family roots, feelings and strong relationships. Peace and compromise after crossing swords with a loved one are on the cards. Financially you may expect a windfall on Tuesday. Lucky colour: Deep Red. Tip of the week: Be careful not to go in too many directions at the same time.
SCORPIO:  It is time for new beginnings! Work on your own, and keep yourself out of trouble. "The Justice" card shows you winning especially in legal cases. Your sincere efforts pays off on Tuesday. An unexpected monetary gain is likely on Wednesday. Lucky colour: Rusty red. Tip of the week: It's best not to be unrealistic about goals and targets.
GEMINI : 'The Princess of Swords' brings you face to face with truth and clarity in personal and professional situations. Business and financial gains will come, be patient. Using your hands while cooking, cleaning, gardening, playing instrument and dancing can heal you. Lucky colour: Green. Tip of the week: Keep your cards close to your chest.
SAGITTARIUS : SAGITTARIUS: "The Fool" card advises you to take some calculated risk. You will encounter an Aries person who will change your life. Finance will improve on Wednesday. Concentrate on your goals and achievements and plan your professional strategy. Lucky Colour: Crimson. Tip of the week: Take no chances despite the assurances of some people.
CANCER : "The Two of Wands" rides in on his chariot of fire making you a winner in a difficult situation. If you rely on someone else, you will find yourself in a bind. A journey by air is on the cards. It has to be your own decision. Love is in the stars if you are true to yourself. Lucky colour: White. Tip of the week: Beware of depleting your energy or resources on others.
CAPRICORN : You are full of life and energy to tackle professional and personal issues. You could spend lot of money on socialising on Sunday. It is time to renovate the workplace. A change of job is on the cards for persons whose name start with alphabet A or S. Lucky colour: Jade. Tip of the week: You are capable of earning money provided you keep your balance.
LEO : Venus, the planet of love teams up with Moon making you walk down memory lane with an old friend at a reunion. You may feel a bit lost, but if you take the time to look around, you'll notice that there are signs everywhere. Meditation takes you to higher levels of consciousness. Lucky colour: Red. Tip of the week: Make compromises outside and come to terms within yourself.
AQUARIUS : "The Ace of Pentacles" shows a time for wishes has come true. Be careful of jealous people on Tuesday. Investments in shares and property will fetch good returns. A frequent change of mood is likely on Monday. Further studies will help fine-tune your capabilities. Lucky Colour: Burgundy. Tip of the week: In your ambitious pursuit, be careful not to take wrong decisions.
VIRGO : "The Hanged Man" is fired up to tour the key planet Mars tempting you to set big changes in motion. Think twice before moving into action. A Taurus person supports you financially as he also stands to gain from a project. Lucky colour: Green. Tip of the week: Learn from past experience and desist from making a similar mistake again.
PISCES: You draw "Six of Wands" which helps you in professional work. Don't get into any argument on Saturday. A visit to a religious place on Sunday will bring peace and solace to you. You will have a lazy morning and busy afternoon on Thursday. Lucky colour: Royal blue. Tip of the week: Don’t alienate people with an arrogant approach or all your efforts might come to naught.




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