Objects take on a special meaning when they are part of the family folklore and some proud owners of such treasures share their sentiments with Parbina Rashid
t may not be in the league of Durian or any imported breed of furniture, but one look at this huge chest and you are hooked, lined and sinker. Majestically set in a corner, this heavily built mahogany coloured chest smells of the past and as you hear the owner talking about her prized possession that takes her down to three generations, you just begin to understand the meaning of the expression, ‘neighbour’s envy, owner’s pride’. The envy part comes from the fact that since collecting antiques has become a fad now and one would give one’s eye-tooth to acquire one ‘made in Zirakpur antique gramophones’ or a oxidised antique look-like hookahs from Chandni Chowk in Delhi, here is a few lucky ones, who owns a few quite a few items which are not just genuinely antique and can relate to the history of each piece.
Billa Brar with her antique chest and milk jar
TREASURE HUNT: Billa Brar with her antique chest and milk jar. Photo by Parvesh Chauhan and Pradeep Tewari

Corporate culture

Now that the city has its share of corporates and many more are likely to descend upon what was once a sleepy little town, it is time indeed to talk of corporate culture. Of course, some months ago the city corporate folks were pained to see their picturisation in the film, Corporate.   That was not the way they were. What then is corporate culture? Organization culture is like pornography; it is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. This is what Ellen Wallach says and there are other opinions. Some enthusiastic folks see roots of this culture in the wisdom of none other than the Chinese philosopher dating back to 479 to 551 BC. Yes, the very same Confucius who had said: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
SHOWING OFF: Don proved to be a corporate special in the city.

 Don proved to be a corporate special in the city

Of spaces within 
Gayatri Rajwade
here is an underlying lyricism to it all. A dramatic narrative distinguished by a zesty nip in the air, the winding narrow cobbled pathway that leads to the small amphitheatre, to the plaintive sound of the flute and the discordant clash of a thali. It is here that Naga-Mandala comes alive contrasting fervently with its surrounding space. And it is here, as in all of Neelam Man Singh Chowdhary’s plays that the space ‘speaks’. As the play unfurls, the ‘grandeur’ cannot be missed.

BOXES FULL OF IDEAS: Neelam Mansingh Chowdhury uses props, stage and actors to create a special space. — Photo by Malkiat Singh

 Neelam Mansingh Chowdhury uses props, stage and actors to create a special space

When the city sleeps…
Gayatri Rajwade
hen the world sleeps this artist awakens searching for images in the blackness of the night. In a country where the ‘Electricity Fairy’ (read electricity) is as rare as it is precious, Yann Toma gives stimulating life to images he seeks and creates. This may sound surrealistic but that is precisely what Toma’s images are. In a series of photographs shot all over India and all in the deepness of the night when just a few stragglers are awake, French photographer, artist, explorer, clicks pictures gilded by the light of torch-lights against backdrops vibrant and stark which speak eloquently of the electric energy that emanates from each person. 

FACE TO FACE: Yann Toma views his digital art at the Alliance Francaise de Chandigarh.
FACE TO FACE: Yann Toma views his digital art at the Alliance Francaise de Chandigarh. — Photo by Pradeep Tewari

Transparent Art
Lovkesh Kumar
e are in this profession to save our family tradition, and we decide to continue with our mission till the day we live,” says Bharat Kumar from Delhi, who is here to give finishing touches to the cut glass project at Dhakoli, Zirakpur.

A thorny affair
Rajiv Bhatia
ollecting rare plants is more than a hobby. It’s a passion. Nothing else can explain the presence of so many exotic plants imported from across the seas in the Sector 29 house of Gurdeep Singh. Meet this nature lover, whose religion is collecting, nurturing and doting a variety of plants. Gurdeep, who comes from a humble farmer family, is in love with plants right from his childhood.

Mongolian maza
Gayatri Rajwade
s the sizzle and sputter of the grill comes alive, the piquant sauces hop into the air wafting down to where you sit enticing your taste-buds and curling under your tongue. This is the Mongolian Barbeque at Café 17, Taj Chandigarh where in the age-old tradition of savouring food, you can linger over delightful morsels of food being cooked on a slow fire, retaining the pink of the salmon, the creamy-white of the succulent lobster, the verdant green of the Pak-choy or the spry red and shiny yellow of the bell-peppers.

Akangsha dons role of Meerra
ith small screen offering great opportunities to actors and many are seen making a name for themselves. Akangsha Rawat is one of them. Akangsha with her cute smile and girl next-door looks is a woman of substance. She is all set to play the character of Meerra in Sahara One Television’s new show Solhah Singaar, which premieres on October 30 at 8.30 pm, Monday to Friday.

Shooting in the wild
Vishal Gulati
on’t buy wildlife trophies, products and apparels made of animal skins,” says wildlife filmmaker Syed Fayaz, who was in the city recently. “Despite stringent laws, poaching continues to flourish throughout the world, especially in Asian countries. A large number of species like the turtle, jungle cat, sambar, Indian monitor lizard, hog deer, barking deer, hare, wild boar and the red jungle fowl are hunted for culinary delicacies and some endangered species like the otter and the tiger are killed for pelts,” says the filmmaker, whose award-winning documentary, “A Brush with Death”, is about poaching of the mongoose for making drawing and paint brushes.
A footage taken by Paul Redman of the Environmental Investigating Agency, UK, shows certain communities in Tibet decorate themselves with tiger and leopard skins for a festival. 
A footage taken by Paul Redman of the Environmental Investigating Agency, UK, shows certain communities in Tibet decorate themselves with tiger and leopard skins for a festival

Attacking teachers is no answer
eachers have traditionally been called gurus and they have been worshipped no less than Gods in our culture. For an auspicious start it was a must to take the blessings of the teacher or guru. Time may have changed many things but success cannot be achieved without a good teacher.

Time for the Pumpkin
e recently cleaned and decorated our homes for Divali and Eid, so why miss the opportunity to celebrate Halloween, celebrate the spooky holiday, replete with the delights derived from dressing up in scary or bizarre costumes. This is the night when all the ghosts and witches come out in their party best to scare the hell out of you!

Kidman gets family support
hile singer Keith Urban had wife Nicole Kidman “at his side” as he checked into a rehabilitation treatment centre, the Oscar winning actress’ family is standing by her in her time of need. The country star, who married Kidman, 39, in June, has suffered a relapse in his battle with booze.