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Game for the show
She’s sensuous and poised. And she loves repartees. But like many other actors, she is in awe of the Big B of the Bollywood. Rakshanda Khan, in a freewheeling chat with Minna Zutshi, talks about the razzmatazz of the showbiz

Valentine Day: Buying romance off the shelf"
Romance is a big business these days. And the Valentine Day is a pointer towards this. Though the Day falls on February 14, markets in the city are already chock-a-block with cards, jewellery, dolls, teddy bears, heart-shaped pillows, and flowers — all vying for the attention of youngsters who want to buy “romance” off the shelf.



EARLIER EDITIONS

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
Ban on smoking goes up in air
It seems that the ban on smoking has no takers at public places like railway station or bus stand. Neither do the authorities care to strictly enforce the ban. Their contention is that the problem is so rampant that it is difficult to implement the ban. The Anti-Smoking Act was passed by Parliament in 2003.

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Game for the show

She’s sensuous and poised. And she loves repartees. But like many other actors, she is in awe of the Big B of the Bollywood. Rakshanda Khan, in a freewheeling chat with Minna Zutshi, talks about the razzmatazz of the showbiz

You would be hosting a game show “Jodee Kamaal Ki” that is replacing KBC 2. How do you feel about it?

I am nervous to the marrow of my bones. Mr Amitabh Bachchan is the ‘ultimate’ when it comes to acting and anchoring. Since the game show would be aired on Star Television from March 9, I am keeping my fingers crossed. It all depends on how the audience reacts to the show.

Doesn’t this talk of “replacing” KBC 2 sound rather daunting?

There’s no question of ‘replacing’ Mr Bachchan. Of course, I am extremely honoured to do this game show that has the same time slot as KBC 2. I just pray that everything falls into place and I live up to the expectations of the audience.

How important is spontaneity in a game show?

It’s impossible to have a completely scripted game show. I feel that 90 per cent of the show is unpredictable. It has its own flow that cannot be decided in advance. It’s like a relationship that would be stifled if too much of ‘planning’ is put into it. You have to go along with its flow, and yet not be thrown off your balance.

You have acted in Ekta Kapoor’s serials also. How is it being in the Kapoor camp?

Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi…is one of the most popular serials still on air. It’s the “mother” of all daily soaps. It’s nice to be part of such a serial. But I am not ready to buy all this talk about being in the Kapoor camp.

Don’t you think most of the soaps drag on for too long?

Well, at times the soaps do seem to chug along a tad too long. To break the monotony, new tracks and ‘generation jumps’ are introduced and they do rejuvenate the story.

Sometimes, characters in the serials are bumped off unceremoniously. Your comment.

A systematic planning goes into the making of a serial. You can’t fiddle with the storyline unless you want to give some spin to it. It’s not that the producer all of a sudden develops some kind of aversion to the face of an actor and decides that he should go. In case of Ekta Kapoor, I would say that she is clued up on the small screen business and she has valid reasons for whatever she does. And it shows in the popularity of her serials.

What about the regressive portrayal of women?

The women shown in most of the soaps are not weak-willed, fragile creatures. They have a mind of their own. I agree, it may not always be a realistic portrayal. But how feasible is a portrayal that is true to life? Moreover, these liberties are permissible in a dramatised version.

Are soaps physically draining for actors?

Yes. That’s absolutely true. Especially if you are a lead actor in a serial that is on air five days a week, you have to invest a good deal of time and energy into your role.

What keeps you ticking?

The energy of the people around me. I live off their vivacity and dynamism!

Your take on:

The most interesting movie: I have lost the count. Black, Chandni Bar were riveting movies.

The most versatile actor: Rani Mukherjee, Kajol, Tabu. But Mr Bachchan is matchless. He’s hot even at 65..

The most engrossing serial: I hardly get time to watch tele-serials.

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Valentine Day: Buying romance off the shelf"
Tribune News Service

Tribune photo by Pawan SharmaRomance is a big business these days. And the Valentine Day is a pointer towards this. Though the Day falls on February 14, markets in the city are already chock-a-block with cards, jewellery, dolls, teddy bears, heart-shaped pillows, and flowers — all vying for the attention of youngsters who want to buy “romance” off the shelf.

A teddy bear costing to the tune of Rs 10,000. Sounds unbelievable? But for a 15-year-old boy ready to celebrate his foray into the world of romance, the cost is not too high. Even a card can cost more than Rs 1000, and not many would mind this price.

“It’s all about what appeals to you. For some, it may be teddies. For others, jewellery may be a good idea of a romantic gift,” says Sukhwant Warraich, a college student.

No wonder, shops here are offering a mind-boggling variety of gifts at special discounted prices. “Gifts are a must-buy. You have to please your Valentine by gifting her something,” says Rohan, a college student, adding that the cost of the gift does matter a lot.

“A single rose may be very beautiful, but you need something more to express your feelings. The gift may poke a hole into your pocket, but that’s the need of the hour,” he adds.

Flowers are the other attractive buys during the Valentine season, as Harman and Meera florists near the Guru Nanak Mission Chowk say.

“A flower is a thing of beauty and you can’t miss the love and joy it conveys,” says Binnu, a teenager.

But a flower plucked from a garden would not do. The services of a florist have to be hired! Everything comes at a cost and romance is no exception! 

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Ban on smoking goes up in air
Anita D Mahajan
Tribune News Service

It seems that the ban on smoking has no takers at public places like railway station or bus stand. Neither do the authorities care to strictly enforce the ban. Their contention is that the problem is so rampant that it is difficult to implement the ban.

The Anti-Smoking Act was passed by Parliament in 2003. The law forbids smoking at public places and any person if caught breaking the law could be fined Rs 100 to 200.

“I have seen so many people smoking here that it is hard to believe that it is banned,” says Khanna Ram, a cobbler working near the local bus stand.

“Besides passengers and visitors, drivers and conductors of buses, too, do not care about the ban,” he said, adding that he had not found anyone being penalised for the crime till now.

Smoking is more common at the railway station where people give two hoots to the “no-smoking” signboards.

“Lighting cigarette is a favourite pastime for the visitors at railway station when they wait for the train, and for the passengers when the train takes a halt at any station,” says Kishan Singh, a bookstall owner at the Jalandhar railway station.

“I suffer from asthma. When I find people smoking at public places, I feel quite bad about it, as I know the next moment I may get an asthmatic attack,” says Daljeet Kaur, a resident of Patiala who frequently visits the Jalandhar bus stand.

The Railway Police Force registered 528 cases in 2005. In January this year, 85 cases were registered, while in the current month 40 persons have been fined so far, according to an RPF official.

But still authorities concerned find themselves “helpless” in implementing the ban orders. They say its impossible to enforce the orders at such places where so many people from across the country make visits.

“How many persons can be punished or penalised for violating the ban order? This is a very general phenomenon at these places. It is very difficult to enforce the law here because most of the people visiting the bus stand belong to other places,” Mr Manmohan Singh, in charge, Bus Stand Police Post here, said. 

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From Schools and Colleges
Tribune news service

MCA topper

Onkar Bir Kaur, a student of MCA second year from the CT Institute of Management and IT, has secured the first position in the MCA second semester examination conducted by Punjab Technical University. She has secured 626 marks out of 700 marks.

Accreditation

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council has awarded grade ‘A’ to the Prem Chand Markanda Sanatan Dharam College for Women. Ms Kiran Arora, Principal, congratulated the students, teachers and non-teaching staff for this achievement.

Annual day

Tiny tots of Mama’s Pride put up a colourful show to mark the second annual day of the playway school at the Red Cross Bhavan on Sunday. Avneet Kaur, a nursery student, mesmerised everyone with her scintillating dance performance.

(Compiled by Deepkamal Kaur)

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Market Buzz

The Shivalik Tutorials here is guiding students for the medical and engineering entrance tests by making use of psychological methods to facilitate retention, claimed the tutorials’ spokesperson, in a press release issued on Wednesday.

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Clarification

In the write-up “Royalty revisited” (February 3, 2006), it was inadvertently mentioned that the statue of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh is installed in the Kapurthala Administrative Complex. The statue installed there is that of Maharaja Randhir Singh Bahadur Ahluwalia of the Kapurthala royal family. 

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