CHANDIGARH INDEX



Oasis of indulgence
Anandita Gupta

A weeklong of hectic work schedule has left you all drained out. As you finally happen to drop on your bed the following night, all your heart desires is a much-coveted weekend refuge for your frazzled self. Something like an oasis of indulgence—your body soaked in the fantastically salubrious rose-petals bath, skilled masseurs providing you a delicious oil rub (limb by limb, front to back) and the detoxifying coats of marine mud and seaweed wraps transporting you to a lulling cocoon!



The perfect rub: A city youngster getting pampered by a masseur at the Taj Hotel’s Java Spa (top) and a woman gets a heady hair massage at La Coiffure (left). — Photo by Vinay Malik

The perfect rub: A city youngster getting pampered by a masseur at the Taj Hotel’s Java Spa (top) and a woman gets a heady hair massage at La Coiffure (left).

Rustic rendezvous
No matter how urbanites we become, there’s something about the pastoral countryside, which never fails to charm our souls and win our hearts. Though all of us may either not be able to afford the rustic charms of farmhouses or even spend enough time in our primary residence itself due to work pressures. Nevertheless, we all can certainly try to bring in a little bit of the countryside inside and around our homes.

New Releases
A simple love story

Jat Puttar Abhay Deol’s debut film Socha Na Tha came over a year ago and his next Ahista Ahista will be released today at Batra Chandigarh, Fun Republic, Manimajra and Suraj, Panchkula. So, he is back on the silver screen after hiatus. Ahista Ahista stars Soha Ali Khan as the female lead with Shyaman Munshi being the important part of the star cast. Soha Ali Khan is excited about this film because she is the solo heroine in the movie. She finds her role challenging.

Youth Speak
Heading towards a paperless office

The technology of computers, telecommunication, and other devices integrate data, equipment, personnel and problem-solving methods in planning and controlling business activities. Information technology provides the means for collecting, storing, encoding, processing, analysing, transmitting, receiving and printing text, audio or video information and its latest component is broadband.

Goodbye Tulsi, hello Gauri
Gayatri Rajwade
Move over Tulsi (Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi) and Parvati (Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani), prime time is all set to pass the baton of the archetypal, simple yet strong, likeable yet firm, holding-the-family-together mantle of womanhood to Gauri! Sounds confusing? Well, the diva of small screen productions, Ekta Kapoor and her Balaji Television is all set with their new serial, Karam Apnaa Apnaa, which starts on August 29 replacing yet another Balaji production, Kavyanjali. The really interesting bit is that Ekta Kapoor has chosen Marathi film and theatre actor Pallavi Subhash to play the main lead, Gauri, after seeing her on screen for a mere thirty seconds!

         Salil Ankola            Pallavi Subhash

Bursting bubbles
Dead beat and weary of same old boogie-woogie parties bursting at the seams with customary throbbing music and dancing dames in micro-minis, city youngsters busted into an all new concept of a bubble party Thursday afternoon!
As the thumping beats of reverberating music filled the air with ecstasy during the bubbly party organised at Rendezvous in Sector 26, it was time for so many revelers to blow apart the bubbles of excitement glued all over the ceiling and the walls. It was all very usual for the youngsters, eager to trip the light fantastic. Right, till the time light dawned upon them in the darkness of the discotheque.

PARTYING HARD: City youngsters have a blast with bubbles at a party in Rendezvous. — Photo by Pradeep Tewari

City youngsters have a blast with bubbles at a party in Rendezvous.

Campus Cafe
Simmering contentment
Companionship does not brew in saucepans placed over kerosene stoves of roadside vendors sitting under the rejuvenating shade of blossoming trees along the geri route. No, not anymore! It thickens every time the younglings add cream to mugs of steaming-hot coffee in the air-conditioned cool of plush fast food joints and coffee bars across the city.

FILM & FASHION
Uma’s flight of fancy

If there’s one leading lady in Hollywood who doesn’t mind finding her name on the worst-dressed list, it would be actress Uma Thurman.

Splashes of devotion
Rachna Nehria

With a serene smile that lightens up his face, he speaks highly of Sai Baba. With the magic of his hands, he turns a simple calendar of any god or goddess into a beautiful canvas. Since a period of four years, Parveen Kumar, a Senior Assistant in Punjab and Haryana High Court, is working on Tanjor Paintings. “ It is my hobby to decorate the photos of gods”, informs Parveen Kumar.

Right to sneer
Balvinder

A sneering look of a young art college student that she gave while watching me paint a rather lousy picture, during a painting workshop that a local art Akademi had organised recently there in the campus, sent a chill through my spine. It made me think of the purpose these generally non-seriously held workshops or camps serve. These days almost all art organisations in particular have them as one of their chief functions in their annual ceremonial curriculum. Started perhaps in early ‘70s, these camps used to be held by big commercial houses to acquire free publicity and paintings by renowned painters, and that too by spending just peanuts.

Illustration by Sandeep Joshi
Illustration by Sandeep Joshi

Is Kala Maitri possible?
Art is a highly individualistic activity and the coming together of artists is never without its hazards. Rather, it would be not out of place to say that it is nearly impossible. At any time and in any age it has been difficult even for two artists to come together. Remember the classic case of European masters like Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, two great painters who appreciated each other’s work. But when it came to living together and painting, it was pure disaster with many tragic consequences. So when the effort is made to bring together hundreds of artists on one platform it is disaster multiplied by a hundred.

Desi New Yorkers say Alvida to Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
Rabia Tewari
The recent Karan Johar release shot extensively in New York City left the viewers painfully baffled. Contrary to Rani Mukherjee’s dialogue in the film that, saying alvida kills the hope of meeting again, the audience walking out of the movie theater in NYC hoped exactly for that - never to see such a movie again! Painfully long, with a poor script that completely lost its direction and meaning, bad dialogue, weakly crafted characters, and very poor acting by Shahrukh Khan, who insists on repeating in all his movies the only three expressions he knows.

Krrish mania on canvas
Gayatri Rajwade

George Emmanual’s kitschy exhibition on this year’s zany superhero ‘cape’r off the Bollywood block, Krrish, is irreverent, clever, crafty and fun.
For this second-year student of Applied Arts at the Government College of Art, Sector 10, Krrish has proved the perfect platform in terms of eyeballs! After all, it is this year’s biggest blockbuster and features, as George puts it, “hot chocolate” Hrithik Roshan in a delicious macho avatar, so naturally the curiosity to see this exhibition gets peaked!

Star struck: George Emmanual poses with his Krrish series — Photo by Pradeep Tewari
George Emmanual poses with his Krrish series Photo










Oasis of indulgence
Anandita Gupta

Photo: Malkiat SinghA weeklong of hectic work schedule has left you all drained out. As you finally happen to drop on your bed the following night, all your heart desires is a much-coveted weekend refuge for your frazzled self. Something like an oasis of indulgence—your body soaked in the fantastically salubrious rose-petals bath, skilled masseurs providing you a delicious oil rub (limb by limb, front to back) and the detoxifying coats of marine mud and seaweed wraps transporting you to a lulling cocoon!

Well, such sinfully delicious pampering needn’t be confined to your dreams anymore. For, beauty clinics and saloons in town are making all this a reality. Offering their clients some of the most rejuvenating spas amidst luxurious environs, these salons are serving on a platter an experience of delicious proportions, all yours for the taking. From a simple sauna to hydrotherapy, reflexology, massage and marine mud wraps, it’s all there. We frequent some of their pampering environs and peep into the spa treats being offered.

Melt away the stress

Chocolate spas in town are turning the sinfully delicious brown goodie into a tool for self-indulgence. Opines Ritu Kolentine, Cosmetologist and Make-up artist, Cleopatra, “We offer our clients chocolate, as they’ve never seen it before. Our Cleopatra Chocolate and Strawberry Body Spa is done with specialised chocolate creams and cocoa butter. Cocoa is rich in antioxidants (vitamin A and B), which increase blood circulation, and cocoa hydrates and soothes the skin. Then there’s a cleansing and invigorating body massage and thrilling bubble bath.” And guess what’s served amidst these spa sessions? Nothing but yum hot chocolates!

Spice up

Ever thought about applying all those exotic Indian spices over your body? Well, thanks to Jivinia Spa treatment, these spices are being used to exfoliate skin. Informs Kersasp Lawyer, Spa Manager at Taj Hotel, “A scrub of spices like cardamom, cinnamons and cloves is wrapped around the body, which acts as a great exfoliater and blood circulation enhancer. Another of our famous spa is Anana Lepa, done with fresh fruits.”

Scalding stones

Some highly innovative massages are being offered at Planet Fitness, Chandigarh. Informs their Spa Manager Dr. Harsimrat Kaur, “Massage forms a very crucial part of the Spa experience and we try our best to make our massages both relaxing and therapeutic. Like we have this warm stone massage, wherein warm stones are placed on vital energy points and the heat’s made to penetrate deep within the muscles to relieve tension. This is followed with a low intensity massage with blended oil. Besides, our Aromatherapy massage is a big hit. In it, synergetic combination of essential oils like Lavender, Rose, Geranium, Tulsi, Sandalwood, Eucalyptus and Tea tree nourishes and uplifts the body and mind,” she smiles.

A heady trip

Gone are the days when spas were meant just to relax and pamper the body. Today spas are offered for exclusive body parts like the face, feet, spinal area and the head. And Hair spa’s a hot favourite among the city fashionistas. Informs Shivani Sharma, Manager La Coiffure, Manimajra, “Our Hair Spa’s being increasingly availed by clients. In today’s hectic schedules, hair is exposed to a lot of pollution and are hardly cared for by women. While giving Hair spa, we fill the scalp with ceramides that repair weak spots in the cuticles. We then seal it with hydro cream that smoothens and seals the cuticles. And then, we finish off by a vigorous head massage.”

Sea Spas

Many slimming and body-shaping treatments form a part of the spas in town. Most of these stimulate, rejuvenate and purify the skin and are given in the spas, using sea salts. Informs Radhika Oberoi, Clinic Manager Cleopatra, “A salt glow (also known as a salt scrub or sea salt scrub) is the most popular body treatment at the spa and is great for sun-damaged skin. Our most famous spa in this category is the Peppermint Sea Body Treatment. It begins with a pure peppermint essential oil body polishing salt scrub, followed by an invigorating peppermint seaweed body. It stimulates circulation, helps relieves pain, congestion, depression, inflammation, fatigue, migraine or headaches, arthritis and aides in nerve regeneration.”

So friends, with a bevy of spas available in town, be prepared for a divinely uplifting experience. Let yourself be soothed and toned in total luxury.

Blow hot blow cold

“Sanus per equam” in Latin means health through water. In 19th centaury, a Bavarian monk had concluded after several experiments that repeated immersions in coldwater helps to cure Tuberculosis. In 1960 Thalaso therapy centres were opened in English and French coasts utilising water therapy for Tuberculosis Rachetism treatment.

The most common water therapy is either take a hot shower bath or a warm water shower followed by an invigorating cold one to beat stress. This will help in stimulating ones mind and body. Drinking plenty of water and walking in knee deep cool water are also part of water therapy. — Damini Chadha

 

Rustic rendezvous

No matter how urbanites we become, there’s something about the pastoral countryside, which never fails to charm our souls and win our hearts. Though all of us may either not be able to afford the rustic charms of farmhouses or even spend enough time in our primary residence itself due to work pressures. Nevertheless, we all can certainly try to bring in a little bit of the countryside inside and around our homes.

Countryside travels beyond the bullock cart ride in narrow dusty lanes in of India to England known for its quintessential hamlets of rose-hedged cottages complete with delightfully characteristic thatched low-roof pubs and a captivating church set alongside idyllic narrow rivulet with villagers merrily feeding the ducks. Can you visualise a cross or another statue forming a central feature in a small water body filled with multi-coloured sandstone pebbles alongside your main gate?

Would you like to invite a little bit of French village-square into your own garden with wooden benches under stone paragolas weighing down with grape vines? A little windmill standing tall amidst blooming tulips brings in refreshing Dutch winds whilst boulder walls secretly whisper Cornish secrets to the Durham cobbled flooring. Stimulate souring Russian spirits with vibrantly coloured courtyard probably in handmade replica tiles or a Moroccan delight with intricate mosaics or an Afghani style seating with bolsters on low platforms in your semi exposed verandah. Have you discounted a Mughal hallway complete with high glass chip-work ceiling, varied height ceiling hung or floor standing glass lighting with a hukka and rabab to warmly invite everyone inside your abode?

A country motif has a feeling of mother nature. Colors and textures are borrowed from natural surroundings, furnishings are kept simple which echo the outdoors and accessories have a handmade feel. A country touch gives a room the feeling of warmth and serenity. Keeping the colors soft in warm tones adds an airy appeal and helps a smaller room seem less confining.

Start small with a patio having wooden planks flooring slightly elevated from the garden in front with slanted ceiling above painted in light blues, pastel greens or simply white is reminisecent of an American country home. Hang a bird feed from one corner, a hat/brolley stand with abundance of potted plants/flowers to keep you company. Have your defense regiment soldiers carved as wooden railing to protect your patio if you wish. Create a ‘chopal’ buzzing with activity for both young and old, if you have a large tree in your home or in communal garden overlooking your set of flats.

Inside the house you may test waters with a bedroom. Finding something you love is the key. It might be a favorite picture, a rug, or even an accessory. For most the bedding set is usually what first catches their eye. Choose soft muted tones work well and paisley or Victorian floral motifs. Forgo any geometric patterns and flamboyant colors, which suggest a contemporary touch. The perfect window treatment would be tab curtains in soft solid color. A simple country chair placed beside the bed makes an adorable night table to put treasured books, a lamp and a clock. 

Have natural stone flooring and bare wooden planks holding your light coloured ceiling of your personal corner, whilst you enjoy reading in your rocking chair in front of the fireplace. Nothing says country like the quintessential white picket fence style or rustic bamboo furniture. Lots of cushions on white cane furniture go well, as does using jute or coloured cotton balls for upholstering your chairs.

Remember, country is simple and understated. Mix and matching pieces gives will give the room a more natural feel. The central point of a country theme is that it should give a relaxed rather than structured feel. However, remember, rustic goes beyond ethnic and relaxed atmosphere gives you no stamp of approval to create a clutter.

Courtsey: A.P. Singh Besten & Co.

New Releases
A simple love story

Abhay Deol & Soha Ali Khan in Ahista Ahista
Abhay Deol & Soha Ali Khan in Ahista Ahista

Jat Puttar Abhay Deol’s debut film Socha Na Tha came over a year ago and his next Ahista Ahista will be released today at Batra Chandigarh, Fun Republic, Manimajra and Suraj, Panchkula. So, he is back on the silver screen after hiatus. Ahista Ahista stars Soha Ali Khan as the female lead with Shyaman Munshi being the important part of the star cast. Soha Ali Khan is excited about this film because she is the solo heroine in the movie. She finds her role challenging.

Ahista Ahista is a Delhi-based film. It is a simple love story produced by Anjum Rizvi and is special for debutant director Shivam Nair. The movie is about two people from different walks of life and how their relationship develops slowly.

Irshad Kamil pens the lyrics for composer Himesh Reshammiya. D.J. Akbar Sami comes up with stylish remix songs. The presence of Abhay Deol and Soha Ali Khan in this film has generated a lot of interest among the youth.

— D.P.

Youth Speak
Heading towards a paperless office

The technology of computers, telecommunication, and other devices integrate data, equipment, personnel and problem-solving methods in planning and controlling business activities. Information technology provides the means for collecting, storing, encoding, processing, analysing, transmitting, receiving and printing text, audio or video information and its latest component is broadband.

The real broadband can potentially transform India into a knowledge-based economy. The movement towards a paperless office would be a reality. E-governance would soon happen. The connectivity can do wonders for self-employment. With falling prices for computers and laptops, working at home is not a distant possibility.

Employment through setting up of cyber cafes has revolutionized the way Indians access electronic resources. Health care remains one area that could potentially benefit from broadband. E-health care can help doctors sitting in gar flung areas to have a second opinion in case of complicated management. Business tends to benefit the most. Trading online in stock markets and up to minute news and tracking becomes a reality, broadband remains imperative. With so many benefits that can be reaped with it, broadband can be called the next big revolutionary force of India.

— Sumit Narula

Goodbye Tulsi, hello Gauri
Gayatri Rajwade

Move over Tulsi (Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi) and Parvati (Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani), prime time is all set to pass the baton of the archetypal, simple yet strong, likeable yet firm, holding-the-family-together mantle of womanhood to Gauri!

Sounds confusing? Well, the diva of small screen productions, Ekta Kapoor and her Balaji Television is all set with their new serial, Karam Apnaa Apnaa, which starts on August 29 replacing yet another Balaji production, Kavyanjali.

The really interesting bit is that Ekta Kapoor has chosen Marathi film and theatre actor Pallavi Subhash to play the main lead, Gauri, after seeing her on screen for a mere thirty seconds!

Newcomer no more

Pallavi is no newcomer to the frenetic world of Hindi serials having been a part of Zee Television’s Tumhari Disha, but certainly in terms of main leads, this is a big break for the charming lady. “I am a pure Marathi girl from Marathi theatre, serials, films and ad films and yes I am putting all my previous commitments to one side to do this role,” she says sounding visibly excited despite the via medium of dialogue, video-conferencing.

So is she a Balaji fan? “I don’t see much television and what I see is mostly Marathi but Balaji serials, they are chakachak! And yes, she is absolutely ready for a role that jumps forward 20 years since the “character has many shades”.

As for being touted as the next ‘icon’ after Tulsi and Parvati, “I do not wish to compare myself to them, I just want to do my job well. I do not know what Ekta saw in me but she did tell me that they were looking for someone to play this character for months and after 30 seconds she said, that’s my girl,” she smiles. The serial has her essaying the role of a Bengali girl and has been shot primarily in Kolkata but finally it is her role of a “chulbuli yet mature woman” that has her grinning from ear to ear!

Glory off the field

For Pallavi’s co-star (albeit not opposite her!) Salil Ankola the chance to sink his teeth into a meaty “negative character, one of a politician” is something never tried before.

After his television debut in Kora Kagaz a few years ago, Kehta Hai Dil and a longish stint on CID Special Bureau apart from a few films, this is “different”. For someone who has done only one project at a time in his six- year career, this project came along like a breath of fresh air although after his toughie character in CID, “this one has taken a little time to relate to.”

From the cricket pitch to the sets it has been a process of “default because cricket is in my blood but I have worked very hard to act which is much tougher.”

However, he is not completely lost to the cricketing world. “I keep in touch with all my cricket friends, I even went to play for a month in Bermuda recently. What is more, television actors Manav Ghosh, Vikas Shetty, Shabbir Ahluwalia and I are coming together to form a cricket team as well.”

Perhaps the team will find mention in this new venture. Until then tune in Monday to Thursday at 9:30 pm on Star Plus. 

Bursting bubbles

Dead beat and weary of same old boogie-woogie parties bursting at the seams with customary throbbing music and dancing dames in micro-minis, city youngsters busted into an all new concept of a bubble party Thursday afternoon!

As the thumping beats of reverberating music filled the air with ecstasy during the bubbly party organised at Rendezvous in Sector 26, it was time for so many revelers to blow apart the bubbles of excitement glued all over the ceiling and the walls.

It was all very usual for the youngsters, eager to trip the light fantastic. Right, till the time light dawned upon them in the darkness of the discotheque. Illuminated by scores of dancing and blinking bulbs, the bubbles on the wall changed shades in sync with altering hues of light and excitement.

Adding to the enthusiasm of the afternoon were pretty girls in skirts with twin slits on either side, or in backless halter-neck tops, cutting foot loose on the polished dance floor of life, merrily and gorgeously.

As the fever caught the revelers in its exciting high-temp’ grip, their exhilarated figures, illuminated by nice little psychedelic lights, swayed breathlessly in sync with the rhythmic throbs of high-wattage music.

Oh, yes! The beats of kajrare-kajrare and Dus bahane got the crowd grooving in no time with the in-house and the guest disc jockeys (DJs) spinning tracks to produce some cool funky music. No matter what your party style was, the place had something to offer. You could actually gyrate to some of the best tunes dished out by the DJs fervently the minute you set your foot into the joint.

Among the dancers twirling all around the floor were not just teenyboppers, but also young professionals from call centres eager to lose their blues amidst the melodious tunes. Well, the couples had to pay for the pleasure, but “single” girls were let in free. Discrimination on the basis of gender, but guys you just can’t do anything about it!

Screaming over the din of music, one of the organizers Nittin said their basic aim was to unite cream of city’s youth every now and then. “Youngsters want change, and that’s exactly what we offer through new concepts”, he asserted. Swell, isn’t it!

— Saurabh Malik

Campus Cafe
Simmering contentment

Companionship does not brew in saucepans placed over kerosene stoves of roadside vendors sitting under the rejuvenating shade of blossoming trees along the geri route. No, not anymore! It thickens every time the younglings add cream to mugs of steaming-hot coffee in the air-conditioned cool of plush fast food joints and coffee bars across the city.

If you are having doubts about the change in ingredients of a perfect relationship, just hop on your vehicle. Trudge down the route passing through the city’s history for studying the new recipe oh-so-hot amidst so many city students here-a-days!

Right folks, you will hardly be able to enjoy the aroma of youngsters sitting on hard concrete slabs or railings around the vendors sipping tea richly laced with ginger, or even cinnamon, discussing everything under the sun — right from chemicals to chemistry between pals.

Brewing excitement

“Gone are the days when the youngsters in their free time would walk away from the academics environs of educational institutes to savour excitement in cups of tea,” fondly recalls financial consultant to a multinational export and import house Neeraj Gupta.

Sipping after good 10 years tea nicely and properly prepared by vendor Shuklaji, he says: “Those days we would miss our Economics class on one pretext or another for carrying out discussions that affected larger youth interest during the monsoon sessions around the stall”.

But now the very idea of having rundown tea from a roadside vendor in natural surroundings is “too mundane”. It actually does not go along with the chic image the youngsters carry these days, along with hoards of attitude.

Outside inside

No wonder, the kids today prefer to place themselves on comfortable sofa sets against the backdrop of sceneries hanging on the walls. In fact, sitting two on a single-seater sofa, the giggling couples pass on the plastic mug with beads busting at the brim as they enjoy iced lemon or peach tea.

“It’s all so urbane and sophisticated,” says final year graduation student Salil Chauhan. Now, who wants to miss all this for a cup of tea under the banyan tree?

Well guys, you just can’t blame Chauhan and so many of his pals for their attitude. Basically detached from their roots, they look for excitement in things exalted, not in the basics! It’s the approach that needs a little more brewing!

— Saurabh Malik

FILM & FASHION
Uma’s flight of fancy

Uma ThurmanIf there’s one leading lady in Hollywood who doesn’t mind finding her name on the worst-dressed list, it would be actress Uma Thurman.

The Kill Bill star revealed that she would rather find her name on the worst-dressed list of Hollywood celebs, rather than being ‘dictated’ to about the type of clothes she should wear, and having to give up all ‘flights of fancy’ when it comes to her clothes.

“I enjoy colour, shapes and flights of fancy, all those things that can get you into trouble from time to time - not to mention the worst-dressed pages, but that’s just too bad,” Femalefirst quoted her, as telling Observer Woman magazine.

Thurman said that she was rather proud of the ‘rebelliousness’ in her choice of apparel, and that she didn’t want to become just another body for designers.

Suri’s day out

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ infant daughter Suri had a baby’s day out when she attended the birthday bash of celeb couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett’s son Jaden at Los Angeles recently.

And, an eyewitness who saw the little girl said that contrary to reports that she had ‘deformaties’, Suri happens to be a ‘beautiful’ baby who looks more like her dad than mom.

“Suri is a beautiful baby. She had no deformities that I could see! She has a gorgeous head full of dark, curly hair, and she resembles both parents, though she looks slightly more like Tom,” the New York Daily News quoted the source, as saying. As for TomKat, well the couple was happy just to spend some time relaxing at the party, which was held at a roller-skating rink, but did not get into the rink. “Sadly, they did not attempt to roller-skate,” the source added.

Heather no longer ‘Lady’

Heather Mills has reportedly agreed to give up her ‘Lady’ title and revert to her maiden name after her divorce from Sir Paul McCartney is finalised.

The decision is believed to be the first victory for Fiona Shackleton, Sir Paul’s lawyer, who famously won the concession from Princess Diana that she would drop her HRH title during her divorce from Prince Charles.

Ms Mills, 38, told associates on Friday that she will give up any right to be called Lady McCartney because she views the title as ‘irrelevant’.

In the past, however, she has been known as Lady McCartney in documents filed at Companies House. Sir Paul is said to have been worried that his wife was trying to delay their divorce because she wanted to retain the kudos of the title for as long as possible. Like Diana, she would have been entitled to call herself Heather, Lady Mills McCartney, unless she decided to revert to her maiden name.

“She doesn’t need a title to bolster her ego. The title does not matter to her. It’s completely irrelevant to her life,” a close source was quoted by The Daily Mail, as saying.

Dupri learns to make bed

Being an only child when he was growing up meant that Janet Jackson’s beau Jermaine Dupri always had someone to clean up after him. Now, however, the singer is teaching him a thing or two about keeping the house neat and tidy.

Jackson revealed that though she is deeply in love with the producer, she constantly has to tell him to do a few chores around the couple’s home.

“I am always picking up after Jermaine. You can always see when he’s home because his stuff is everywhere. He’d never even made a bed before (when we met), so he finally made his first bed.” — ANI

Splashes of devotion
Rachna Nehria

With a serene smile that lightens up his face, he speaks highly of Sai Baba. With the magic of his hands, he turns a simple calendar of any god or goddess into a beautiful canvas. Since a period of four years, Parveen Kumar, a Senior Assistant in Punjab and Haryana High Court, is working on Tanjor Paintings. “ It is my hobby to decorate the photos of gods”, informs Parveen Kumar.

The beautifully decorated canvases created by this Sai Baba devotee are sold free of cost to the disciples of the god. His inspiration is his wife who skilled him with this talent. He decorates them with his hands and it takes five days to one week to accomplish a canvas. Designs are adorned with golden dust, clay chalk, Plaster of Paris and Fevicol.

He devotes a canvas of god whenever he goes to any temple. “I find a peace of mind when I bequest a canvas to any follower of god and my work gives me full satisfaction”, he says. He also gifts a free canvas to the kirtan mandli or on the birthdays of kids. Till now, he has sold about two thousand canvases on order. His skill has made him quite famous with the followers. No wonder, his deep love for god is reflected from his skill.

Right to sneer
Balvinder

A sneering look of a young art college student that she gave while watching me paint a rather lousy picture, during a painting workshop that a local art Akademi had organised recently there in the campus, sent a chill through my spine.

It made me think of the purpose these generally non-seriously held workshops or camps serve.

These days almost all art organisations in particular have them as one of their chief functions in their annual ceremonial curriculum.

Started perhaps in early ‘70s, these camps used to be held by big commercial houses to acquire free publicity and paintings by renowned painters, and that too by spending just peanuts.

Though big sounding phrases like “interaction of ideas, artists and public” have always been freely used to promote them, one hardly confronts any of such things in these camps. Particularly in these days when art has been reduced to a selling commodity like any other thing, the relevance of such functions must be questioned.

A visual artist, known earlier for his or her reclusive nature, is never trained as a performer. So how the creative process, of which one often talks loudly during such art workshops, could ever be performed by them publicly? And as far as creativity is concerned it is not bound to descend upon an artist during a particularly planned period of time. As far as one’s craftsmanship is concerned it always remains a well-guarded secret as ever, even during such futile exercises in these so called interactive sessions.

For, I remember of a few artists who always would work late in the nights to keep their techniques as shielded as ever!

I can recall nostalgically, of such art camps that Kamal Tiwari used to hold for Haryana State’s Cultural Department in seventies. With serious artists like late Kaushik around they really used to be interactive sessions even if they never produced any masterpieces of art.

With no cameras, no lights, no pompous media glare and no money when Kamal, even as an official organiser, would keep singing with a mesmerising mystic glow on his face throughout the chilling nights, the camp could be described only as a success, rather roaring one!

Today things have changed drastically. In terms of interaction, you ask any so called senior participant of any such ‘mela’ the names of his or her co-participants, you will get the real feel of the non-interaction!

What disturbed me the most was the question that an outside gallery owner asked me recently if I were a regular artist or a camp-artist?

He was right as most of us today have been reduced to mere camp-artists and surface only during them. A petty (dis)honorarium, food for a few days and at times the leftover paints, topped by a mention in the media reports perhaps remain our sole attraction to these ceremonial camps these days.

And youngsters today have every right to sneer at us. Rather they should ask candid questions to all such organisations, many of whom spend from the public exchequer, about the usefulness of such events.

Is Kala Maitri possible?

Chief guest S.K. Sethia sits with sandaled feet on the eye painted by PU VC R.C. Sobti at the Kala Maitri painting marathon in the Sector 17 plaza on Wednesday
BOOTING ART: Chief guest S.K. Sethia sits with sandaled feet on the eye painted by PU VC R.C. Sobti at the Kala Maitri painting marathon in the Sector 17 plaza on Wednesday

Art is a highly individualistic activity and the coming together of artists is never without its hazards. Rather, it would be not out of place to say that it is nearly impossible. At any time and in any age it has been difficult even for two artists to come together. Remember the classic case of European masters like Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, two great painters who appreciated each other’s work. But when it came to living together and painting, it was pure disaster with many tragic consequences. So when the effort is made to bring together hundreds of artists on one platform it is disaster multiplied by a hundred.

Boys will be boys

Boys will always be boys. Remember the time when one six-year-old would tell another that his father was stronger or that his bat was better or that his trousers were longer. This charming boyhood rivalry never leaves even when the boys become big bearded boys. And this is more than evident at the events that Kala Maitri, the association of the alumni of the local College of Art. Of course, it includes the old girls too but this college was male dominated for too long so it is the men who are most visible and vocal even if the event is as ordinary as an old college fellows’ meet. Most comical is the fact that the greatest bickering is within the office-bearers on who should be at the helm of affairs and who should not be. Art and artistry are relegated to the background and capturing the organisation seems to be the prime concern. Pathetic for most of these folks are artists or teachers of art.

Spirit is lost

The spirit with which Kala Maitri was formed is quite lost. It had been inspired by two very old students meeting and sharing reminiscences of the good old times. The bad new times are different for now it is an institution to be captured. This makes one think of the pitfalls in institutionalising an idea or an emotion. Anything from religion to politics to camaraderie just loses its sheen when it is institutionalised. Even calling a person an institution is an affront and this writer learnt it the hard way. Once a long time ago while praising Baba Laali, the Patiala savant who was a source of inspiration to many painters and writers, I wrote that he was an institution. A few days later when I came across Laali again, he called me aside and said: “All our lives the likes of me have fought institutionalisation so it doesn’t feel good to be called an institution.” It is a lesson that was never forgotten.

Kanjoos makhi choos

That is the best way to describe my dear painter friend Balvinder for he beats a Shylock when it comes to being miserly. He refused to pay a token entry fee of Rs 200 for the gala exhibition planned by Kala Maitri. The organisation was magnanimous enough to give a waiver to all senior artists who did not wish to pay. And a little bird that’s going around town humming says that there were quite a few of the kanjoos makhi choos variety.

No public, please

The idea behind painting a mammoth work of art in the Sector 17 plaza on Tuesday, that happened to be the foundation day of Kala Maitri, was that those among the public should also join in. But expecting artists or assumed artists to share an inch of canvas is asking for too much. So many a hidden talent had to remain hidden. A welcome intrusion came from Panjab University Vice Chancellor R.C. Sobti who came and painted an eye on the canvas with his signature. Artists did not take to it very kindly. Painter Malkit Singh was heard saying that the VC should be signing his piles of files. And UT Administration’s HOD S.K. Sethia who is Head of the Department for the College went a step forward to put his shoes on VC’s eye as he squatted on the canvas.

For art’s sake

I once recall the famed news editor, late D.N. Singh, saying that of all the underworlds the underworld of art was the pettiest. One feels like nodding and crying out for an end to pettiness for art’s as well as heart’s sake.

 — Nirupama Dutt

Desi New Yorkers say Alvida to Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
Rabia Tewari

The recent Karan Johar release shot extensively in New York City left the viewers painfully baffled. Contrary to Rani Mukherjee’s dialogue in the film that, saying alvida kills the hope of meeting again, the audience walking out of the movie theater in NYC hoped exactly for that - never to see such a movie again! Painfully long, with a poor script that completely lost its direction and meaning, bad dialogue, weakly crafted characters, and very poor acting by Shahrukh Khan, who insists on repeating in all his movies the only three expressions he knows.

Many desi New Yorkers were looking forward to seeing this movie because it was shot in our city. During the latter half of last year the crew was shooting the movie at various locations in the city and the buzz everywhere was that the movie was about the lives of Indians living in New York. But actually the movie was far removed from that. It could have been shot anywhere else in the world and could have been about any community. Infidelity, the movie’s main theme, is not an integral part of the lives of Indians in New York. The movie certainly had New York’s beautiful locations but it had nothing to do with desi New Yorkers. None of the characters appeared to even belong to New York. Also, soccer is not a popular sport in America. Only kids play soccer here. 

We don’t associate the words ‘believable’ and ‘realistic’ with Karan Johar’s movies, because as per the director’s own admission he only makes entertaining movies, they are not meant to be realistic. But KANK failed to be entertaining. For those viewers who watch Hindi movies only to escape their mundane concerns, this movie provided nothing. They in turn wanted to escape from the movie! Marriage is a complicated subject and how much research and understanding Karan Johar has of this subject is clearly apparent from this movie. The viewer tries very hard throughout the movie to figure out the reason why Shahrukh and Rani have an extra-marital affair when they each have a perfectly decent and loving spouse who is ready to find ways to make their marriage work.  

The only relief in this painful saga was Abhishek Bachchan. He performed very well, displaying a wide range of emotions and expressions. His character was the only one that anyone could relate to and his performance surpassed the entire cast. 

For Bollywood directors today, North American and UK based Indian audiences are almost as important as the cinegoers in India. An overseas success certainly pushes a director’s climb to the higher club. Lavish sets and beautiful locations are not the only components required for an overseas hit. It’s the subject matter and its execution. That’s why when a director like Vishal Bhardwaj releases Omkara, it makes Indians living abroad proud of Indian cinema. The success of Omkara is solely due to its six key components - script, dialogue, acting, music, lyrics and cinematography, which are both powerful and brilliant.

 Mr.Vishal Bhardwaj, you are the man! Karan Johar, wake up and smell the Koffee!

Krrish mania on canvas
Gayatri Rajwade

George Emmanual’s kitschy exhibition on this year’s zany superhero ‘cape’r off the Bollywood block, Krrish, is irreverent, clever, crafty and fun.

For this second-year student of Applied Arts at the Government College of Art, Sector 10, Krrish has proved the perfect platform in terms of eyeballs!

After all, it is this year’s biggest blockbuster and features, as George puts it, “hot chocolate” Hrithik Roshan in a delicious macho avatar, so naturally the curiosity to see this exhibition gets peaked!

George’s aspirations are, however, much wider. “I want to show off my abilities to people and want to convey a message that all this creative energy needs helping hands to put up. I also hope to get some illustration work through this,” he says seriously.

The subject matter, parodied and sassy, is his brainchild completely. Apart from the caricatures which are great, the script (read imperfections in the film!) are highlighted in a comic book format where the storyboard and the dialogues have all been created by him over a two month period. “I did all this in my summer holidays in June and July, so really it was no holiday,” he laughs.

The dialogues, albeit grammatically incorrect, have their witty moments but it is George’s obvious skill in ‘translating’ the gist of the movie through the funny caricatures that carries the exhibition through. He is talented, no doubt (take a look at the Yoko Ono caricature for certification!) and cartoons are definitely his defining moment.

For George who loves watching them and making them, he is working on him very own Indian superhero. So what does he look like? “Every person is a hero of his own life. My creation is the common person. That is why I like Batman the most, because he is real, he does not have a gift. Also my superhero never smokes,” he smiles.

His inspiration is the evergreen MAD magazine while the creative ideas come from Pogo Channel’s Mr Beans and Just Full of Gags.

Apart from Krrish, some of the other actors have also been lampooned in. Shahrukh Khan’s caricature with a cigarette in hand attached to his wrist by a chain gently pokes hilarious fun at the actor’s penchant for chain-smoking, while Priyanka Chopra’s drawing depicts her face as full lips owing to her rather generously shaped mouth!

Since a cartoonist has to find the sunny-side-up to life, George has drawn himself as a “nose-man” poking fun at his own ‘nosey-parker’ attitude to life!

Mounting this exhibition has not been easy, but with the librarians helping him out and the college lending the frames for his cartoons, he hopes to continue this little ‘tradition’ he has begun. Watch out for his next work which he hopes to get ready by November this year. Until then take a peek at Krrish, on for the next two days at the Government College of Art, Sector 10.

Health tip of the day

A walking cane when positioned besides the leg should be long enough for the elbow to be bent thirty to forty degrees and does not require persistent elevation of the shoulders when used.

— Dr. Ravinder Chadha

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

ARIES: Don’t waste time counting pennies this week. Look at the overall cost of things and try to balance your budget. A Scorpio person influences your decision and moves in a progressive direction. A change in your family situation has made you realize where your true values lie. Lucky colour : creamy white. TIP OF THE WEEK: Be articulate to prevent  people for making  their own conclusion.
LIBRA: The Card “The Devil” reveals that you will  be running late on everything you do this week, as a result you don’t have any time to spare. Domestic unrest can be avoided if you watch your step. Some career choices have to be made before an important opportunity passes you by. You could be in for a dose of your own medicine. TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t waste an opportunity by being rash or impulsive. 
TAURUS: “Three of Pentacles” reveal family pressure and responsibilities. Be careful, as you are sufficiently distracted to run into trouble if you don’t pay attention to what you are doing. Do not get tangled with an idle and superficially attractive person. Fitness routines and healthy diets are prescribed for your wellbeing. Lucky colour: Baby pink.  TIP OF THE WEEK: Do not let trival problems haunt you.
SCORPIO: “The Nine of Pentacles” showers blessing on lovers.  Your destiny may well be handed to you and it may help you to make your dreams come true. Your ambitious nature may sometimes attract criticism, so try to be careful on Friday. Be in touch with your sense of humour. Focus on yoga and exercise.  Lucky colour: Rainbow pastels. TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t reveal your plans to your competitors.
GEMINI: This week’s scenario is highlighted by relationships and finances. Don’t let a misunderstanding cause the rot to set into a close relationship. You have been so busy recently that you may have forgotten to pay attention to those closest to you. Job satisfaction can be increased if you decide to be more independent and entrepreneurial in everything you do. Lucky colour: Olive.  TIP OF THE WEEK: Be cautious in your action and speech.
SAGITTARIUS: “The Temperance” inspires you to climb new heights and actulise creative ideas. A small sum spent now will allow you to make big profits later. You have a tendency to be overly generous and forget that you have a budget to respect. Your desire to help others is admirable, but it could lead you into the trouble. Lucky colour:  Creamy white. TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t try to end all the deadlock at one go.
CANCER: “The Hanged Man” shows some decisive moments as well as surprises in store for you, particularly in relation to your personal plans. Career change is definite. You can arrange travel on Sunday or Monday, as you seek out adventure and discovery. Lucky Colour: Golden yellow.  TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t reveal your plans to anyone as people may try to beat you to your targets.
CAPRICORN: “The Empress “ takes you towards the fast and protective lane. Love and romance lead to promise and commitment on Monday/ Tuesday.  Be careful not to burn the candle at both ends, or there’ll be heavy consequences to be paid. A Taurean person needs your support.  A promotion is just on the cards. Lucky Colour: Maroon TIP OF THE WEEK:  Capitalise on your strength and do not trust others.  
LEO: “The Star” promises name, fame and recognation.  You may find it hard to find companions who share your interests and ideas. Wednesday’s scenario is highlighted by strong relationship and love life. You must learn to practice patience and avoid flying off the handle until you know exactly what is happening. Lucky colour: Ebony.  TIP OF THE WEEK : You shall prevent a lot of trouble  by taking  timely action.
AQUARIUS: “Five of Cups” takes you through difficult speculative situation. Emotional relationships are temporary as you come out of them.  You gain from choices made on the spur of the moment. Long-pending disputes related to property or finance will end up amicably. Lucky colour: Magenta. TIP OF THE WEEK: Do not swing away from the course you have charted so far.  
VIRGO: “The Queen of Cups” infuses trust and friendship. A romantic and dreamy time gives you the break.  You are right not to rush into things, but others will not wait forever. Things have been all work and no play and you have let things get out of balance recently. Party and fun times are here and its good to catch up with old friends. Lucky colour : Pink. TIP OF THE WEEK: Keep your eyes on the future as you do so.
PISCES: “The King of Pentacles” blesses you with an inner flowering that allows many possibilities inside and outside. You have worked hard, grown spiritually in the past and built a sound foundation, which leads to success and good fortune in the world outside. Lucky colour:  Peach. TIP  OF  THE WEEK: Do not  divest  assets or transact in uncertain matters. 





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