CHANDIGARH INDEX

 





Sailing smooth on silk
Theirs is the kind of music which weaves magic, casts a spell and leaves you touched and yearning for more, says Chitleen K. Sethi after hearing the band ‘Silk Route’ rehearsing for the concert at DAV College, Sector 10 on Friday

One of the first all-boys music bands of India ‘Silk Route’ that took a whole generation of music lovers to the heights of musical bliss with their debut song Dooba-Dooba is in the city to perform at DAV College techfest- Lakhsya 2006.
Riding in a new high, the Silk Route trio, Mohit Chauhan, Kem Trivedi and Kenny Puri, are raring to record their third album. “Music is all we know and music is all we do,” said Kem, a product of the Purcell School of Music, London, who is also now doing a large number of independent compositions now. Any one who saw the Dooba Dooba video would recall this lean, handsome guy who played the flute, flowing into the heart of millions.

HIP 'N' HAPPENING: The youthful group ‘Silk Route’ all set for action. — Photo by Vinay Malik

The youthful group ‘Silk Route’ all set for action

GREEN SPACE
Repairing plants and lawns
Joyshri Lobo

Kids playing football in the house break a healthy bonsai; dogs bite off flower buds in passing and spit them out with contempt for you to find and weep over; visitors pluck a few leaves as they stand awkwardly and do not know what to do with their hands; the friendly neighborhood squirrel nips off fresh, young shoots; the over tame bulbuls remove tender pepper vines for spring’s nest; a velvety lawn is dug up by your hyper active cats and dogs. All these and more are nightmares for a garden lover.

COOL STUFF
Cadbury goes fresh

Cadbury’s ‘first and fresh’ offering of the New Year is a new initiative called Fresh Mint - an efficacious breath freshener under its Power brand - Halls. This new green smooth candy confectionery is all set to augment the brand Halls and give consumers a refreshing alternative under the Halls brand experience.

Realising perfection through Yantra
Jyotii Subramanian

As the tantra adept chants the ‘japa’ constantly with complete concentration, the frequency of the sound vibration forms a visual picture. Yantra is the visual tool of tantra seen by the practitioner as energy patterns.

Getting your pup’s attention
Dr Jaspreet Singh

Every pup is a bundle of joy. We love dogs because they are happy animals. They enjoy everything in life. Just imagine if we could be so happy over a meal at each meal.

Prime-time crime
Randeep Wadehra
As crime reporting involves combing through the seamier sections of society it was considered a staple for yellow journalism till a few years back. For mainstream journalists, it was a thankless job entailing lots of leg-work – the end result of which would be a small paragraph buried somewhere in the middle pages or a couple of on-screen sound-bytes added as afterthought by TV news channels.

FILM & FASHION
Jolie may be carrying Brad’s twins
Hollywood beauty Angelina Jolie’s rapidly expanding bump is causing a lot of people, including a British baby expert, to speculate that she is pregnant not with one baby but twins. Katy Holland, deputy editor of ‘Mother + Baby’ magazine, said that Jolie’s rapidly expanding bump could be an indication that she is carrying more than one child.

Jackson may lose kids’ custody
Pitt wants to star in gay film
Grant and Drew in romantic comedy
Is Elizabeth Hurley pregnant?
Britney Spears plans comeback on sitcom
Berry’s new beau chases babes
Daniel Craig lobbying for Sienna Miller

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

When TV devoured Sharmaji’s time
For so many city residents, a rendezvous with ‘Tulsi’, and a date with ‘Miilee’, is more important than an interface with neighbours, says Saurabh Malik
A date with Tulsi Verani has been keeping him away from his neighbours. Fascinated by her charm and ardent manners, Surinder Sharma has been spending half an hour daily — five days a week — admiring her gusty guise.

A different chilli!
Everyone told him to open a shop on the ‘eat street’ in Sector 35 in Chandigarh. But the Khana Khazana king chose to open his restaurant in Panchkula. And today, ‘Yellow Chilli’ has emerged as a foodie’s delight, reports Anandita Gupta
When the charming anchor of the longest running cookery show in telly history (Khana Khazana) weilds his magical baton, putting his finger in yet another pie, what emerges is a food connoisseur’s delight. And so we have celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor tantalising our taste buds with lots of …well chillies. Sounds familiar? Yes, images of chillies and Sanjeev Kapoor do whip up a delicious association in our minds. Yellow Chilli—the hip multi-cuisine restaurant by Sanjeev Kapoor hits the mind immediately.

Burger Kings
Wayside sellers are selling burgers at an incredibly low price,
says Saurabh Malik
Reposing on plush leather sofa sets with cool hip-hop numbers bellowing out of impressive over-head speakers, you have savoured excitement, along with chicken in a bun. Oh yes, the ones oozing with delight, and thick mayonnaise sauce. But just-off-the-fire stuff has burnt holes in your pockets, no doubt. So guys, forget all about those classy joints, and big fat bills. Just walk down the road meandering its way through the hustle and bustle of life to the market and taste “Burger Deep Fried” for just Rs 5.


— Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chatpati Chaat
Gayatri Rajwade

Piquant flavours adding a zesty splash to the palate. A sparkle of tang, a sprinkle of spices, sprigs of dhania and a dash of ginger and voila the chaat is ready to savour.






Sailing smooth on silk

Theirs is the kind of music which weaves magic, casts a spell and leaves you touched and yearning for more, says Chitleen K. Sethi after hearing the band ‘Silk Route’ rehearsing for the concert at DAV College, Sector 10 on Friday

One of the first all-boys music bands of India ‘Silk Route’ that took a whole generation of music lovers to the heights of musical bliss with their debut song Dooba-Dooba is in the city to perform at DAV College techfest- Lakhsya 2006.

Riding in a new high, the Silk Route trio, Mohit Chauhan, Kem Trivedi and Kenny Puri, are raring to record their third album. “Music is all we know and music is all we do,” said Kem, a product of the Purcell School of Music, London, who is also now doing a large number of independent compositions now. Any one who saw the Dooba Dooba video would recall this lean, handsome guy who played the flute, flowing into the heart of millions.

“I am playing the flute and also composing for the new album. Some of the songs have been recorded and the album should be out by mid-year,” he points out.

Mohit, the lead singer of the group is going places. With the voice that owes its silky smoothness to years of echo practice in the Himachal hills, Mohit can now just outdo himself. Known to have one of the best male voices in India, Mohit did his country proud when CNN played a three-minute rendition of President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s poem ‘Vision’ in Mohit’s voice. “It is a beautiful poem dedicated to the nation. I climbed and climbed, where is the peak My Lord? Bless my nation with this vision”, Mohit hums for Chandigarh Lifestyle.

“I am from Himachal folk music has been one of my major inspirations other than Paul Simon and ‘Dire Straits’,” says Mohit, a geologist by profession who preferred music better and in fact also writes some of the songs he sings.

And if you are still guessing if Mohit Chauhan of Silk Route is the same Mohit who sang the brilliant composition by A.R. Rehman Khoon Chala in Rang de Basanti, then you are right. “Working with the Rehman was an honour. Since we compose music too we learnt so much from his way of working. The way he interacts with his music, the songs, the notes everything is amazing,” says Mohit.

Silk Route got the 1998 Channel [V] Best Debut Act and remained on the dazzling heights through well into the new century. But the group went almost underground after the second album Pehchaan on BMG Crescendo. This second album did not do as well as Boondein but it had some great numbers.“We achieved great success with Boondein and after Pehchann we started doing some individual work and lots of concerts. The quality of our music has never been based on the market,” says Mohit.

Mohit composed the music for Kalpana Lajmi’s Kyon and Pankaj Advani’s Uff Professor and worked with Chandan Arora’s Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh, “Must listen to Guncha from Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh. It is one of my best works,” he said. But are you slowing shifting to films? “No not exactly. The ultimate destination has always been making music, whatever one may make it for,” he says, adding that he is working on a couple of big films.

Percussionist Atul who was in the original Silk route band has been replaced by newcomer Kenny Puri. From Dehra Dun, Kenny Puri left college for the sake of his first love music. I joined the group just after the launch of Boondein and have been with them since. “I play the drums and believe in the kind of music we delve in” he points out.

GREEN SPACE
Repairing
plants and lawns
Joyshri Lobo

Kids playing football in the house break a healthy bonsai; dogs bite off flower buds in passing and spit them out with contempt for you to find and weep over; visitors pluck a few leaves as they stand awkwardly and do not know what to do with their hands; the friendly neighborhood squirrel nips off fresh, young shoots; the over tame bulbuls remove tender pepper vines for spring’s nest; a velvety lawn is dug up by your hyper active cats and dogs. All these and more are nightmares for a garden lover.

There are repair solutions for some of these problems. For instance, I learnt that placing Gloxinias at a great height kept the dogs away. My mother put expanded metal sheets around her thick lawn to stop her dog Badshah, from burying bones. I removed the pepper vine and the bulbuls quit house.

I was devastated when the five Olympic rings on my thirty-year-old pipal bonsai were wrecked by a wayward football. The contrite culprit offered me his pocket money but the rings were beyond repair. The fork of the tree was split but still standing. I sprayed it with insecticide, got two choc-o-bar sticks, and put a strip of gauze to hold them in place. The bandage was tight but porous. Within a month the fork had been repaired.

Such splint jobs can be done successfully on most hard stemmed plants. Broken branches can be joined by splints, drinking straws and bandages as long as the surgery is done immediately and the pieces are fitted along the inner core lines. With jagged edges, use a sharp, sanitized pruning knife to make clean, angled cuts before tying them. Be sure to spray water on the repaired parts daily. But you cannot put a delicate bud back on a stem.

A lawn that has been ripped apart by the dog or cricket playing grandson, needs more planning. March -April and September-October are the best months for this operation. Mow the standing grass to 10 mm. Strengthen it by sprinkling 2 grams of urea per square metre. Do this in the evening and be sure to water it.

Next day, dig and level out the bald patches by putting a layer of sand and soil. Plant grass runners and water lightly every day. Within a week, the new grass will be flourishing. Sprinkle more sand on uneven patches and then lightly jharoo karo over the spikes to allow the sand to settle. Pour fresh sand whenever you feel the lawn is getting bumpy. Over a few weeks, mowable levels will be reached. Do not allow the grandson or dog onto the lawn, till the grass has matured.

COOL STUFF
Cadbury goes fresh

Cadbury’s ‘first and fresh’ offering of the New Year is a new initiative called Fresh Mint - an efficacious breath freshener under its Power brand - Halls. This new green smooth candy confectionery is all set to augment the brand Halls and give consumers a refreshing alternative under the Halls brand experience.

This new variant has been primarily targeted amongst the younger segments requiring fresh breath especially in social interaction occasions.

The all-new Halls Fresh Mint is being made available in a wide base of retail outlets and is competitively priced at 50p

New Gel

Colgate-Palmolive, the world leader in oral care, is redefining the gel segment of toothpaste in India, with the introduction of new Colgate Max Fresh Gel. It is the first and only toothpaste infused with cooling crystals that dissolve in the mouth completely upon brushing, releasing an intense rush of breath freshening power. This patented formula gives a whole new dimension of freshness to its users everyday.

By infusing a gel toothpaste with these unique cooling crystals, Colgate brings to the youth a cutting edge, trendy, modern, innovative product, which they relate to. The state-of-the-art cooling crystal technology used in Colgate Max Fresh Gel Toothpaste is proprietary to Colgate.

Targeted at the achievement-oriented youth, Colgate Max Fresh Gel seeks to connect with Gen Next, who is confident and always looking for something fresh and unique. It is available in two enticing flavours – Spicy Fresh (red) and Peppermint Ice (blue) – and retails nationally in three sizes, priced affordably at Rs.45/- for 150g, Rs.26/- for 80g and Rs.13/- for 40g. The vibrant, eye-catching red and blue premium holographic packaging gives it a young and trendy look that makes it stand out on store shelves.

Adding a fresh dimension to the launch of Colgate Max Fresh Gel are Bollywood film star Saif Ali Khan who’s been signed up as brand ambassadors for the television campaigns.

Colgate will soon be launching an exclusive Colgate Max Fresh Gel website www.maxfreshclub.com. Consumers can log on to become members of the Max Fresh Club where they can play exciting Max Fresh games and take the freshness dimension test to know their freshness quotient.

Holi colours

Pidilite Industries, India’s leading consumer and industrial speciality products manufacturer, has launched ‘Acron non toxic Holi ke rang’—a unique range of colours for Holi. these non toxic colours are made using food grade colours and provide a safer alternative to traditional Holi colours. Acron Non Toxic Holi ke Rang is available in powder colours of 100 gms priced at Rs. 10 in five vibrant colours—Red, Green, Pink, Orange and Yellow. The colour concentrate that’s to be mixed in water, has been launched in the packs of 25 gms and 100gms, priced at Rs.5 and Rs. 18.Acron range of products also includes the Range of products also include the Rangeela Students Tempera colours, wax crayons, plastic crayons and oil pastels.

Easy Off Bang

Reckitt Benckiser has launched Easy Off Bang—a multi-purpose surface cleanser, which removes tough stains like hard water build up, rust and so on. Easy Off Bang was first launched in Europe in 2004 and within two years of launch, it has 21% market share in countries like Hungary. It is one of the fastest launched brands by Reckitt Benckiser and has made the company a global leader in Multi-purpose cleansers.

Platinum Couples collection

For the Valentine’s day, Orra, the group that has 29 exclusive diamond boutiques across India, has introduced a stunning range of rings called the ’Platinum Couple Collection. The collection includes solitaire rings starting from 10 pointers and above, apart from 3 stone rings,9 stone rings and plain bands. These beautifully crafted rings are priced at Rs. 6000 onwards.

YOGA
Realising
perfection through Yantra
Jyotii Subramanian

As the tantra adept chants the ‘japa’ constantly with complete concentration, the frequency of the sound vibration forms a visual picture. Yantra is the visual tool of tantra seen by the practitioner as energy patterns.

The meaning of the word tantra is in two parts— it means to ‘hold’ and to ‘liberate’. Just as esoterically death sets you free, yantra is a step to setting the practitioner free from the attachments of the mind by withdrawing the mind from the external to the internal.

An exercise in yantra formation: Identify the ‘japa’ that is closest to your heart. Sit facing east and chant this mantra. As you chant, relax and allow the geometric pattern of this sound vibration to be revealed to you. This will depend on your sincerity, the depth of your ‘japa’ and the amount of practice. But you may be surprised by the result!

Once the yantra is revealed to the practitioner through the chanting of the ‘japa’, the stage that follows is of drawing and colouring these realised patterns.

These are geometric patterns composed of triangles, squares, circles, hexagons, octagons and require single-pointed concentration to execute.

Amazingly, it has been scientifically observed that this process activates and synchronises the right and the left brain of the person drawing them.

Beginning from the eye muscles while drawing, the effort to balance and synchronise the brain begins. Once again the importance of balancing the left and the right brain to achieve a state of perfection in yoga is revealed. The mind is gradually harnessed and brought in to the point in the centre- the bindu.

The images in the yantra consist of the circle, the square, the triangle, the star, lotus petals; all these perfect shapes are drawn to form a perfect pattern.

Perfection in the outer leads to perfection in the inner; and all eight tools in yoga strive for this balance and precision.

There are many varieties of yantra, the object of desire as chanted in the mantra is revealed to the practitioner in the form of a vision, the shakti yantras are that of the ten forms of the divine mother as shown to the sincere seeker. All these are a matter of experience and not speculation.

Kali, Tara, Baglamukhi, Chinnamasta— the devis reveal themselves to the ardent tantra yogi in the form of these geometrical patterns that are a crystallization of the sound vibration of the mantra. There are yantras to achieve perfection in astrology, numerology and archaeology.

The energy released by the mantra forms the yantra and has no positive or negative attributes and can be used according to the nature of the one using it for the following purposes —peace, enslaving, paralyzing, attracting, distracting and death to the physical. What is to be noted here is that though a mantra can be used without a yantra, a yantra is useless without a mantra.

Getting your pup’s attention
Dr Jaspreet Singh

Every pup is a bundle of joy. We love dogs because they are happy animals. They enjoy everything in life. Just imagine if we could be so happy over a meal at each meal.

I find dogs to be the best stress relievers. The time you spend with them is probably the best you can ask for. But from the dog’s point of view, life can be full of distractions.

It can be heartbreaking if you own a dog that won’t pay attention to you. So how do you get a dog’s attention. If you teach him to give attention to you when you say his name, you can eventually develop the ability to get and hold of his attention anytime you wish. With his eyes on you, he will be ready to obey commands and benefit from training.

The attention exercise is not time-consuming. Just take a few moments and do it with him in every location where you go together. Keep a treat with you but out of the dog’s sight. To initiate the attention sequence, say the pet’s name and move quickly away from him.

When he moves with you, quickly praise him and instantly whip out a treat. Do not show the treats until you are ready to give one. This prevents the treat from becoming, in the dog’s mind, an actual part of the command or a bribe.

Each time you give a treat, align it between the dog’s eyes and yours. You want eye contact from him with that treat. Soon you will find him seeking your eye contact. Always praise him when he does that, and it’s fine to give a “free” treat for doing it.

You can also combine this command with the “come” command. Get on your knees and open your arms call his name and say “come”. The pet will come running to you. Again praise when he does so.

It’s surprising how quickly it becomes habit for the dog to look at you when you say his name— and equally habit for you to positively reinforce his every time he gives you his attention. People will comment on how much your dog loves you and they’ll be right. 

Prime-time crime
Randeep Wadehra

As crime reporting involves combing through the seamier sections of society it was considered a staple for yellow journalism till a few years back.

For mainstream journalists, it was a thankless job entailing lots of leg-work – the end result of which would be a small paragraph buried somewhere in the middle pages or a couple of on-screen sound-bytes added as afterthought by TV news channels.

Things are changing. Now, it’s a high-profile profession that combines journalistic skills with the flair of a detective. Yesterday’s muckrakers have become today’s media stars.

Some of the upmarket TV channels ignore it even today, unless a Page 3 personality is involved. There’s a bit of snobbery involved.

In the first week of January, NDTV sought details of a crime from an IG that could have been given by a havaldar or, at best, local SHO. While the name of the raped South African model’s name was understandably withheld, no such sensitivity was displayed while reporting the rape of a physically challenged girl in Gurgaon. Her name and video-clips were telecast repeatedly.

Most news channels treat crime-reporting as indispensable to their eye-ball capturing efforts. So, we’ve special slots like Vaardat and Hatyara Kaun (Aaj Tak), Sansani (Star News) and Crime Reporter (Zee News).

City 60 on Star News too covers shady activities in our national capital although it deals with other issues too.

The anchors treat the entire proceedings with the delight of a teenaged voyeur. They gleefully rub their hands while they tell the viewer the details.

Take the case of abduction and rape of a South African model in Mumbai. ‘Vaardat’ dwelt at length on how the girl met two guys who took her away after lacing her drink with ‘something’. Then a policeman pointed to the car in which she was abducted and later on molested, followed by interviews with assorted people who weren’t really concerned with the crime. But everyone has an opinion to air.

And, if it’s a senior police officer, religious man or a politician caught on camera in a “compromising position”, you can be sure that the clip will be replayed every few minutes for the entire week accompanied with lots of psycho-babble.

Crime Reporter specialises in this sort of sewage-sensationalism while following the Vaardat blueprint. Hatyara Kaun is formatted in such a way that it becomes a real-time murder-mystery with lots of melodramatic spin to keep viewers’ curiosity alive.

But if Operation Duryodhan on Aaj Tak channel is any indication, there’s really no need for special slots for crime-based shows. Corruption, sleaze and violence are as much a part of the top-stratum lifestyle as it’s of the lower strata. One’s not referring merely to the sting operations that have become commonplace.

The contempt in which lawmen hold the nation’s legal system is common knowledge.

For example, SP Navjot Singh Mahal let loose his lathi wielding men on Sukhwinder Sukha, a small-time politician. The latter was beaten up in Phagwara. His crime was that he alleged that the local ASI had demanded a bribe from him on behest of Mahal.

Nobody in the khaki fraternity even pretended to express regret over this brazen violation of law by those who’re supposed to be its sentinels.

The TV channels’ prime time news will begin with these ominous words, “This is Crime Time, folks!”

“I’m sick of the saas-bahu brigade. Tune in to any channel and you’ll find it flooded with serials depicting stereotypes that no longer exist. But C.I.D Special Bureau is a serial which really interests me, for it’s a crisp and real-like depiction of crime and it’s detection. Each case is refreshingly different from the previous one and is solved by the team that involves a forensic expert as well.

—Kudrat Aggarwal, student

I’m not a very serial person, though. But I immensely enjoy crime serials, particularly Crime Patrol that is telecasted on Sony television, Monday to Thursday at 1 pm. Though some find its presentation gruesome, I personally am fond of it as it’s based on real incidents and hence gives a peep into the crime that’s actually happening. The comperer is dynamic too and the tips given at the end of each episode are quite helpful.

—Rajnish Jain, entrepreneur

A group of four dynamic people, a fiery leader and a noble mission of fighting injustice. Well, Rihaii, the serial telecast on Sony television from Monday to Thursday at 1.30pm was indeed a treat. For, though the NCCW—National Commission for Crime against Women was a fictional organisation, it was very real-like. The overall presentation was gripping and I hope for more programmes like this.

—Manish Jain, Businessman

Nothing enthralls more than comedy. And especially, when it’s mystery wrapped with light doses of comedy, it’s a real treat. The serial that I really enjoyed was Krishna Arjun. Inspector Khare and Khote, who always landed themselves in a soup while unraveling mysteries were very amusing. The best thing was that the criminal was always quite unsuspected, like in one episode, the criminal was a robot.

—Karishma Aggarwal, student

FILM & FASHION
Jolie may be carrying Brad’s twins

Hollywood beauty Angelina Jolie’s rapidly expanding bump is causing a lot of people, including a British baby expert, to speculate that she is pregnant not with one baby but twins.

Katy Holland, deputy editor of ‘Mother + Baby’ magazine, said that Jolie’s rapidly expanding bump could be an indication that she is carrying more than one child.

However, Holland was quick to add that until Jolie herself confirmed that she was pregnant with twins, there was no way to be sure.

“Everybody tends to carry their babies differently, so until Angelina confirms it herself it’s impossible to say for certain,” she added. —ANI

Jackson may lose kids’ custody

Troubled ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson must be wishing that he had never made any anti-Semitic remarks for they just might cause him to lose custody of his kids to ex-wife Debby Rowe.

According to celebrity news website tmz.com, Michael’s lawyer is worried that Jackson’s comments will not go down well with the Jewish judge hearing the custody case.

Lawyer Michael Abrams, in secret court papers, has written that Jackson’s past anti-Semitic comments may work against him in his custody battle with Debby Rowe.

“Judge Lachs is Jewish, as am I. He has made me aware of this in the past and I understand Judge Lachs’ concern about anti- Semitism,” the New York Post quoted him, as saying. —ANI

Pitt wants to star in gay film

Actor Brad Pitt wants to find a script that portrays the ‘ultimate gay love story’.

According to ananova.com, a source told the Sun, “Brad has asked his people to find him a script to play a gay man. He wants it to be a story that appeals to both men and women and he wants it to be the ‘edgiest’ work he is done. He’s seen the critical acclaim that ‘Brokeback Mountain’ has won and he wants a piece of it.”

The source added, “Brad knows it would be seen as shocking to take on a gay role because he is seen as such a heartthrob. But he has never shied away from taking on controversial films, and he has often chosen to do smaller, more challenging movies, rather than go for the big box-office smash.”—IANS

Grant and Drew in romantic comedy

Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore are set to star in a movie produced by Warner Bros that promises to be a rollicking romantic comedy.

The new movie ‘Music and lyrics by’ is a Castle rock production written and directed by Marc Lawrence, who has already made a movie earlier ‘Two Weeks Notice’, which starred Hugh Grant in the lead role.

This movie’s filming is expected to start by March 27 in New York and be completed by end of this year, reports Zap2it quoting a report in the trade paper, Variety.

The film explores the relationship of the two actors, which starts from a professional one and goes on to become a romantic one. The two central characters are the lyricist and writer- performer which will be played by the two actors.

Hugh Grant has acted in number of romantic comedies like ‘Notting Hill’ ‘Love Actually’ and two “Bridget Jones” movies. Drew Barrymore also has acted in few good comedy movies like ‘Fever Pitch’, ‘50 First Dates’ and ‘Never been Kissed’. —ANI

Is Elizabeth Hurley pregnant?

Rumours that British actress Elizabeth Hurley and her Indian-born boyfriend Arun Nayar are expecting their first child together have started making the rounds in tinsel town after the actress was seen leaving an antenatal clinic.

According to British newspaper The Times, the ‘Bedazzled’ star apparently paid a visit to the clinic situated in London’s Prestigious Harley Street.

However, representatives for the actress refused to comment on the news.

Hurley, who has been dating Indian businessman Arun Nayar for three years, already has a three-year-old son named Damian Charles.—ANI

Britney Spears plans comeback on sitcom

Pop star Britney Spears will give her first public performance since giving birth last fall when she appears in an upcoming episode of the NBC sitcom “Will & Grace.”

Rather than singing or playing herself, Spears will take a stab at comedy acting, portraying a Christian conservative talk show host in a guest appearance on the gay-themed series.

She will share most of her scenes with the flamboyant “Will & Grace” character Jack, played by Emmy winner Sean Hayes, an NBC spokesman said.

The episode, marking Spears’ first gig as an entertainer since giving birth to a son in September, will be aired on April 13.

Her last real experience as an actress came in the 2002 teen road film “Crossroads.”— Reuters

Berry’s new beau chases babes

Friends of actress Halle Berry are warning her to keep an eye on her new man, Versace model Gabriel Aubry, as he happens to have more than a glad eye for the opposite sex.

According to a source, friends are warning Berry that when it comes to chasing women, Aubry is even worse than her self-confessed sex addict ex-husband Eric Benet.

“He makes Eric Benet look tame. He wants to be famous, and he will use Halle to get there. He has a place on the beach and he pretty much chases whatever is around,” the New York Post quoted the source, as saying.

However, Aubry is not without his defenders who deny that the model had a rollicking time with women when Berry attended friend Angela Bassett’s baby shower.

“I was with him this weekend. The craziest thing he did was play a round of golf,’ Wilhelmina models co-owner Sean Patterson was quoted, as saying. —ANI

Daniel Craig lobbying for Sienna Miller

New James Bond Daniel Craig has reportedly asked movie bosses to cast former love Sienna Miller opposite him in the next 007 film Casino Royal, but the actress is not keen to do the role.

Craig is keen for Miller, who enjoyed a fling with him last year following her split from fiance Jude Law, to join him in his first film as the suave superspy.

“I don’t think this is the right time for me to be a Bond Girl, even though Daniel might have been lobbying for me — not that I’ve spoken to him about that. I think playing that kind of role now might undo some of the hard work that I have been doing,” she was quoted by Contactmusic, as saying.

“I’ve appeared in Shakespeare and have been trying to do less obviously feminine roles,” she added. —ANI

When TV devoured Sharmaji’s time

For so many city residents, a rendezvous with ‘Tulsi’, and a date with ‘Miilee’, is more important than an interface with neighbours, says Saurabh Malik

A date with Tulsi Verani has been keeping him away from his neighbours. Fascinated by her charm and ardent manners, Surinder Sharma has been spending half an hour daily — five days a week — admiring her gusty guise.

Sharma’s neighbour Rakesh Gupta, living life on the other side of the fence in Sector 9, just cannot understand. Often, he and his family have discussed the reasons behind retired government employee Sharma ji’s refusal to now share the warmth of relationships over a cup of coffee in the evenings.

In fact, they have been wondering why Sharma ji has changed so much over the past few years. He keeps to himself and does not even go out for morning walks with them.  Bank employee Gupta fondly remembers good old days when the Sharma family would come over for post dinner coffee session on government’s liberalization and disinvestment policies.

Gupta’s younger son Dheeraj, doing engineering from a private institute, says in all probability Sharma is not sharing a healthy alliance with his wife. That’s perhaps the reason why he prefers to remain isolated. But the Gupta family is no so sure of the fact.

Well folks, the Gupta family is just not aware that Sharma ji and so many other city residents are getting all the exercise they need without leaving the warm comfort of their houses by doing pranayam in front of the television set. And they prefer characters over individuals with idiosyncrasies and strong dispositions.

Rather, they place themselves on comfortable sofa sets to brood over Kasauti Zindagi Key before meeting Miilee. Absolutely unhappy with the way Kavya reacts in Kavyanjali, they surf the channels waiting for a rendezvous with Tulsi.

On days of Kaun Banaga Crorepati, they sit in front of the intelligent box making billions in their imagination by correctly answering all the questions — well almost all the questions. They are of the firm belief that anyone can become a Crorepati by just reading host Amitabh Bacchan’s body language, but the contestants just do not understand.

As they sit glued to the television sets, the roads running aimlessly towards the downtown ferry only the shoppers, the young revelers and the working class running away from time’s winged chariots hurrying near. Oh, yes, the not-so-young members of the “leisure class”, once so predominant in Chandigarh, are nowhere to be seen. For, television has devoured their free time.

Analysing the trend, young sociologist Raman Sharma says,  “You will hate to admit it, but television has actually been encouraging a kind of passive retreat, resulting in withdrawal from relationships. In fact, too much and too rigid television watching has reduced the levels of intimacy with the neighbours, and even within the family.” Well folks, that’s it. Not a very happy ending to a sobbing opera called social life.

A different chilli!

A Sanjeev Kapoor trained chef proudly displays a decorated dish served in a sleek square plate
a fancy mocktail
the chic overall ambience
MOUTH-WATERING: A Sanjeev Kapoor trained chef proudly displays a decorated dish served in a sleek square plate (above), a fancy mocktail (below left) and the chic overall ambience (below right). — Photos by Parvesh Chauhan

Everyone told him to open a shop on the ‘eat street’ in Sector 35 in Chandigarh. But the Khana Khazana king chose to open his restaurant in Panchkula. And today, ‘Yellow Chilli’ has emerged as a foodie’s delight, reports Anandita Gupta

When the charming anchor of the longest running cookery show in telly history (Khana Khazana) weilds his magical baton, putting his finger in yet another pie, what emerges is a food connoisseur’s delight. And so we have celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor tantalising our taste buds with lots of …well chillies. Sounds familiar?

Yes, images of chillies and Sanjeev Kapoor do whip up a delicious association in our minds. Yellow Chilli—the hip multi-cuisine restaurant by Sanjeev Kapoor hits the mind immediately. After Yellow Chilli restaurants in places like the UAE, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jalandhar and Amritsar, a Yellow Chilli breezed Panchkula on October 16 in 2004. For all those foodies who’ve not checked out the place, here’s some update—

The flagship dining restaurant’s major USP is the name of master chef Sanjeev Kapoor (of Zee TV’s Khana Khazana fame). The restaurant offers a wide selection of authentic Indian, Mughlai and Chinese fare that will delight both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Sanjeev Kapoor has carefully handpicked classical items from the vast treasure trove of Indian, Mughlai and Chinese cuisine and then tempered them to suit Indian tastes.
The menu ranges from appetisers to soups that tingle the palate. This is followed by the main course, with plenty of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to choose from and with a choice of rice or noodles. And then of course, there are the desserts that are luscious and sinful, to say the least. And the hot sellers? ”Tandoori khaas seekh, Royal Hara Bhara, Lalla Musa Dal (Black dal that takes 12 hours to cook), Tripple cripple seshwan noodles (with triple toppings of rice, Mughlai Chandi Galiyan, Gulab gulu kand and leechi slices with honey sauce are our dishes which involve lots of experimentation and are the biggest hits,” informs MD Romil Mahajan.

And what kind of crowd hovers at the place? Says Managing Director Romil Mahajan, “Though the place has a cool ambience, it’s more hit as a family restaurant than a youth hangout. Our food caters well to the Indian palette. Many ladies are booking us for their kitty parties too. Accordingly, we are open from 11am to 3.30 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm, he informs.”

The service staff of the restaurant is fully trained to provide personalised yet unobtrusive service while the kitchen brigade comprises experienced chefs especially trained by Sanjeev Kapoor. Says Senior Manager Ravinder Sharma, “We have 16 trained chefs and all of them have got vigorous training in Mumbai from master chef Sanjeev Kapoor himself.”

Curious? Unleash the foodie in you and get set go. Spicy temptations to titillate your tongues are right there at Yellow Chilli, with a tinge of mirchi of course!

Burger Kings

Wayside sellers are selling burgers at an incredibly low price, says Saurabh Malik

Reposing on plush leather sofa sets with cool hip-hop numbers bellowing out of impressive over-head speakers, you have savoured excitement, along with chicken in a bun. Oh yes, the ones oozing with delight, and thick mayonnaise sauce.

But just-off-the-fire stuff has burnt holes in your pockets, no doubt. So guys, forget all about those classy joints, and big fat bills. Just walk down the road meandering its way through the hustle and bustle of life to the market and taste “Burger Deep Fried” for just Rs 5.

Hey guys! Do not rub your eyes. You have read the fine line correctly. Delicious burgers are actually available at approximately half the price of coke’s small bottle, really. Rehris selling the cool-hot stuff at incredible prices surface all over the city, daily.

Hang around till eight in the evening to catch hold of them, but it’s worth the wait. For, the stuff is actually good. In fact, the whiff of deep fried potatoes lures you towards the rehris as you trot down the fast track of life. The tang mingles with a hint of mint and pickling spices to give the flavour of fried delicacy.

As you stand next to the rehri, dexterous hands slice the bun into two before submerging the stuff in smoking hot oil. After taking out the deep brown buns, they stuff it with a cutlet. Filling it with chopped onion and cabbage, they serve the burger with tomato and mint sauce.

Sounds delicious, but is it hygienic? After all it is something being sold by a roadside vendor - if the question is bothering you, let’s listen to what the doctors have to say about the stuff. A senior doctor in the Sector 16 General Hospital asserts: “Nothing can be wrong with the burger as such. For, deep frying the stuff at very high temperature kills all the germs. The only problem can be with the cabbage and the sauce. If not washed and cleaned properly, cabbage can prove to be highly harmful. Besides this, the sauce can be a source of infection. Both the things should be avoided in case you are going in for the roadside burger”.

Ah, a very sound and sensible advice! You can ask the rehri-walla to leave aside the cabbage and the sauce to be on the safer side. Rather, you can buy a satchel of sauce and savour the stuff. It will only increase the cost by Rs 1.

Talking about the costs, how do the vendors manage to sell the burgers at such low price? “Well, the profit margin is very low. In fact, we save just Rs 1 in a burger,” says Deepak, one such vendor in Chandigarh all the way from Bihar. “Actually, we are able to make both the ends meet because of the high sales volume. Each vendor manages to sell anywhere between 50 to 100 burgers in an evening”. So folks, what are you waiting for? Leave the warm comfort of your house, along with the desire for eating in style. Just taste the stuff and enjoy. Happy eating! 

Chatpati Chaat
Gayatri Rajwade

Piquant flavours adding a zesty splash to the palate. A sparkle of tang, a sprinkle of spices, sprigs of dhania and a dash of ginger and voila the chaat is ready to savour.

Garg Chaat in the Sector 23A market is a carnival for the taste buds, a fitting niche for the chaat lovers of the city. Owner Lalit Kumar calls is a “fine art” that has been handed down to the younger generations over the years, more than 50 to be precise.

“My father began by roaming around with a basket on his head, then we started setting up shop in a chowk every evening and today we have this little place.”

A blend of crunchy-crisp papdi, delicious bhallas, piping hot tikkis and pakoris, delectable golguppas with delightfully peppery pani and pungent bhel that invigorates the senses is on offer.

The crowds are thronging and Lalit’s hands are full as he dips the papdi into the curd, lines up the plate, spoons green and red chutni onto the mixture, showers channas, aloo, dhania and adrak and completes the tasty finale.

Mehek Mehra, all of 18 years, claims she has been eating chaat for 17 years of her life from here! Her mother before her was a regular with Lalit’s father and Mehek is continuing the family tradition! Her favourites—the bharwa golguppa with dahi and chutni (Rs 15 for 5 pieces) and the papdi chaat (Rs 12)—which she swears by.

City based psychologist Dr A. S. Luthra is another frequent visitor who “relishes” the delectable array of spicy treats and has been doing so for over 30 years now!

The ‘clientete’ goes back several loyal years and Lalit claims they includes celebrities like Jaspal Bhatti, Punjabi folk singer Babu Mann and even doctors from the PGI whose job it is to tell you to eat healthy!

What makes this enterprise unique is that every single papdi, golguppa and bhalla is prepared at home by the women of the family. “They start at six in the morning and everything is completed by 2:30 pm,” smiles Lalit. The place opens at 10 every morning and closes at 9:00 pm after the last plate of chaat has been created and fed.

The pride is obvious, for even the spices procured from regulars at the mandi, is of the highest quality and is ground at home under supervision.

“Our golguppa pani (Rs 4 for a glass) khatta (sour) and meetha (sweet) are special for we are very careful about the masalas we put in. Even you would not be using the quality we use in your homes,” explains Lalit.

Check out the traditional fiesta and make your own pronouncements, for the city is a connoisseur of its chaat no less!

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