A ray of light
It’s langar time once again. Before you rush to the nearest gurdwara to join the birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak, delve into his teachings, says Parbina Rashid

Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev
Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev

It’s that time of the year when, even if you are a non-Sikh, the lure of visiting a gurdwara is too hard to resist. The reason, of course, is the sumptuous langar, which is served to mark the birthday of Guru Nanak. The fun (even firecrackers are in these days) and fervour that follows make the day all the more attractive. But is this what Gurpurb means to us? So we talk to a cross section of society to find out what it means to them.

“I just sleep through the day,” is Prof Surjit Hans’s flippant reply. But a little tap on the surface and his serious self makes itself felt and we get to know the scholar he really is.

“The fervour has gone up but the underlying significance of Gurpurb has reached an all-time low,” says Prof Hans, explaining how Guru Nanak stood against corruption and “now look around you and name a department which is not plagued by corruption.” And “simplicity”, another attribute of Sikhism, has become a rare commodity too, says the scholar who has authored more than four books on Sikh history, including his famous Sikh Ki Karan.

The conversation becomes serious as he manoeuvers it towards Sikhism and globalisation. “Sikhism is a religion that can be described as a “refuge of the refugees and power of the powerless” and hence the policy of globalisation is an anti-Sikh concept. But then again it is a debatable subject.” And since we are not equipped to debate on the subject, we just leave it at that and move towards the younger generation to find out how they perceive Gurpurb.

Jaskiran Kaur Banga of Mohali stands for integration and it reflects in her Gurpurb celebrations. “Gurpurb is like Divali for us. We go to the Sector 34 gurdwara and serve and partake of langar there. In the evening, we light up the house and burst crackers,” she says. And guess what, Jaskaran makes a rangoli at home to celebrate the occasion.

Even the not-so-young generation in the city is celebrating Gurpurb with an open mind. “Since it’s Guru Nanak’s birthday, I would love to visit a gurdwara, but in case I am tied up with work, I will wish Him in my own house, first thing in the morning and remember him throughout the day,” says Gick Grewal, our homegrown theatre artiste.

In Gick’s words, “I respect all religions and I bow before all religious places. I celebrate all festivals with equal fervour.”

Even for A.P. Singh, a city-based businessman and interior designer, Gurpurb is an occasion that makes him think seriously about the teachings of Guru Nanak. “Guru Nanak taught us that all religions are one and this pious occasion makes us look deeper into the meanings of his teachings which are so relevant in today’s society,” says he. For him rituals do not hold as much value as the sentiment behind it.

Once again our mind goes back to the discussion we had with Prof Hans in the morning. “Guru Nanak is called the Jagat Guru and it’s time to break the man-made religious boundaries and make Him one in the real sense.” After talking to the people here, we can safely say that we are on the right track. 

Capt Amarinder Singh
Capt Amarinder Singh

Milkha Singh
Milkha Singh

Malkeet Singh
Malkeet Singh

Pammi Bai
Pammi Bai

Pargat Singh
Pargat Singh

Pagri Sambhal Jatta
Anuradha Shukla

Pagri Sambhal Jatta, the line inspired the peasant community with zeal to fight for the country when Lala Lajpat Rai exhorted the farmers to stand up for their rights, dignity and honour. Pagri or the turban, once commonly worn headgear by members of all communities and faiths, has now been relegated to special occasions like a wedding.

The young find the turban cumbersome and are fast giving it up. As the nation fights for the right of Sikhs especially to wear a turban in foreign countries like France, attempts to get the Sikh youth to take to tying turban are on, in one way or the other, in the country also.

This Gurpurb we celebrate attempts, like the one by Punjabi folk singer Pammi Bai. Saluting the tradition of tying a turban, he has shot famous turbaned celebrities on video. Leaving out the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Chief of Army Staff, Gen J.J. Singh, the video features celebrities like flying Sikh Milkha Singh and the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, among others.

Paggan vichon Pagg Patiala Shahi ni, karda sifat jihdi sara jagg ni, bochvin ne pagg sardar bunnde, shonkin bunnde teddi pagg ni goes the song.

Well, who wears it which way, you can make out from Pammi Bai’s video on the song that will feature Secretary-General, Indian Olympic Association, Randhir Singh, Olympian Milkha Singh, Punjabi pop singer Malkeet Singh, former cricketer and MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Minorities Commission Chairman Tarlochan Singh, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Director, Sports, Punjab, Pargat Singh, Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai among others. The video will also feature poet Surjit Pattar, classic Punjabi folk singer Mohammed Sadeek, and Baba Farid. “Baba Farid and Bulle Shah are the torch-bearers of our culture and always wore a turban. They will also be a part of the video”, says Pammi Bai.

“My song written by Dev Tarikhiyanwala is a salute to the tradition of turban”, says he. “It is an attempt to highlight the tradition of wearing a turban in our culture. The audio portion is complete and the video has also been made on singers Malkeet Singh and Sukhjinder Shinda, says Pammi Bai.

The video will present the glory of the turban and I am delighted with the way everyone I approached readily said yes except the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff because of protocol reasons, says he. “If my attempt can stir young minds, I will consider my efforts rewarded”, says the Punjabi folk singer.

On the turban trail

Gurpreet, Gaganpreet, Jaspreet and Inder Mohan Singh thought of a unique way to propagate their faith. Preaching apart, the young boys got together more than two years ago to start a school to teach youngsters how to wear a turban.

The popularity of the school has grown so much that they now have students, aged between 10 to even 40 years, who come from far-off places.

Besides holding pagri-tying competitions, these youngsters teach others how to win these competitions, too. They expound on the turban tradition, which stands for honour.

Skills like tying a lar or giving pagg de peche require mastery and these experts at tying the turban have tips ready for the enthusiasts.

Their aim is to do seva for the faith and they do not charge anything for the course. Under their guidance, the simple turban turns out to be a style statement of sorts as the turban is tied in more than four styles!

“Patiala Shahi, Ludhiana style, Amritsari Pagg, Tikkhi Pagg, Bhangra Pagg and the Gol Pagg, or the round turban, are the various styles out of which the Patiala and Ludhiana styles are the most popular ones”, says Jaspreet Kler.

If you don’t know the difference, the “Patiala Shahi, like the one tied by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has lar or layers of the folded cloth of the turban seen on both sides, while the Ludhiana style has six or seven layers or lar to be seen on one side while the other side is kept plain.

The Ludhiana style is tilted on one side,” he explains. The Amritsar style is tied on the jooda itself and has six lars, to be precise. Bhangra turban is readymade, but it is round with the edge lars starched to stand up. —A. S.

The rising spirit
Colourless and malt-free, Vodka is gaining popularity among the womenfolk in the city, says Saurabh Malik
Cheers! Vodka is uplifting the spirits of so many city residents—like never before.

It may hit you like a strong drink if you are not in the habit of swaggering into hotels bars, clubs and nightspots. But more and more connoisseurs across the city are now placing beer mugs down on the table for saying bottoms up to Vodka.

Right fellows! You have guessed it right. God’s nectar is fast finding its way into the hearts, and the houses, of the liquor lovers. Not just for religiously celebrating drink, dance and dine parties, oh-so-hot these days. But also as invigorating means of daily relaxation!

No wonder, Vodka’s sale is shooting up like the spirits. As compared to the corresponding period last year, the sale has gone up by a whooping 329 per cent. From April to September last year, as many as 3,751 cases of Vodka were sold in Chandigarh, while the sale has increased to 16, 201 cases for the same period this year.

President (Sales and Marketing) of Radico Khaitan Limited Raju Vaziraney says the demand has been steadily going up not only in Chandigarh, but the entire Punjab. “In 2003-2004, as many as 7,336 units of Vodka were picked up in Chandigarh alone as compared to 8,245 cases in 2006-2006,” he asserts.

Doling out the figures for Punjab, he says: Compared to the corresponding period last year, the sale has jumped up by 340 per cent in the state. As many as 27,858 cases were sold in Punjab between April and September last year as compared to 94,657 cases for the same period this year.

In Chandigarh for the launch of “Magic Moments Vodka”, he adds that the sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) on the other hand was not showing a very intoxicating trend till last year, though the situation is improving now.

“In comparison to 2003-04, the sale of IMFL liquor went down by 48 per cent in 2005-06, though it has started to rise again in 2006-07. In fact, compared to the corresponding April to September period last year, it has now gone up by 213 per cent”.

Elaborating upon the reasons behind Vodka’s popularity in this part of the region, he says: The silent spirit is attaining the status of most-sought-after drink in the city brimming with rich and responsible devotees of Bacchus as it leaves behind no testimony to starry nights.

Flashing an intoxicating smile, he says people are moving away from beer to Vodka as the camouflaged drink goes unnoticed, making it convenient to guzzle. “It is transparent and does not contain malt. Therefore, the chances of hangover are almost ruled out. To top it all, it leaves no smell in the mouth. Little wonder, young women are fast including the drink in their lifestyle”. Sounds neat guys! Three cheers to the drink.

Reaching for the stars
Anandita Gupta

Photo by Parvesh ChauhanEven though dusk has long fallen, his studio, (or do I say little store?) is abuzz with activity. Animated young clients bustle about; errands are meted out to helpers, and a personal assistant frantically tries to contact him. There is, however, no sign of the man in question, save for his trademark, vividly coloured, embellished garments, that are a dead giveaway. The minutes tick on, and I am eventually made to wait more, for the designer who’ll be arriving by evening Shatabdi. Any impatience I sense with the delay, however, fades away on encountering the gentlemanly charm with which he strolls into his little store.

Salil Gulati—the city-based designer, who’s been retailing for 4 years, from his little store, tucked away (almost unnoticeably) in the bustling Sector 22 market, has now carved a niche for himself in the Mumbai’s prêt-e-porter couture market. And so, Salil’s clothes are racked next to those of celebrity designers like JJ Vallaya, Manish Malhotra, Rocky S, jewellery designer Queenie Dhody and Hasseena Jethmalani, at Mumbai’s most chi-chi style haunt AZA—the posh Altmount mega store, spread over 5000sq feet of prime property.

And as if rubbing shoulders with these high-profile designers has not contented him, he’s found sharing space with Rohit Bal, Shantanu&Nikhil and Manish Arora at the Sagar Couture, another hot-spot on Bandra’s upmarket linking road, frequented by many Bollywood fashionistas. “Believe me, it’s not easy to get noticed in a place like Mumbai, especially if a designer does not belong to a metro like Delhi, Mumbai or Calcutta. But where there’s a will, there’s definitely a way,” he muses.

And an iron-steel will he definitely has, for even deception couldn’t break his back. “I was wronged by a fellow designer .I had rustled up beautiful creations for one of the most awaited movies of the season, which the stylist for the movie had got designed from me, promising me the credit. But just before the movie released, the stylist took all the credit, alas!” he sighs. However, this made him resolve to make his presence felt in Tinsel Ville, and reach for the stars (pun intended!). “Today, my creations are all over Mumbai, and I’m sure destiny will smile at me,” chips in the hardcore optimist.

Besides opening a door full of Bollywood opportunities, what are the positives of his creations being displayed at Mumbai? “The most important factor of this new phase is that it gives me the freedom to design without the restrictions of budget, as spending at these stores is very high and the client is very knowledgeable.

And how’s Mumbai fashion different from that of City Beautiful? The designing part of Mumbai’s taste in embroidery is pretty much the same , the same pieces that are being retailed from my store in 22 (Gulati stores) are on he racks of AZA and SAGAR COTOURE. But yes, surprisingly, we sell more of strappy sexy numbers than those in Mumbai, the pieces with sleeves being in more demand there,” he smiles.

Speed Call
Sukant Deepak

A few stitches, a fracture in the head—even then, Sarika Sherawat, India’s only woman professional rallyist, did not think twice before participating in the 8th Raid de Himalaya, where she walked away with Coup de Dames trophy. Sarika, who’s been rallying for more than five years now and has a presence in the country’s Karting circle, ‘Desert Storm’, besides the prestigious Indian Natioanl Rally Championship (INRC), insists that it’s not just guts or driving skills that ensure that you do fairly in a tough rally. It is experience that helps you complete any rally.

Then what’s left to conquer now? “C’mon, there’s plenty. I am desperately looking forward to prove my mettle in the Great Himalayan Desert Rally—where man and machine will be pushed to the limit and endurance will find a new meaning.” But isn’t the Gypsy low on power for such events? Says she, “That vehicle is very dependable. My experience shows that it seldom breaks down.”

Is she proud of the fact that she wears ‘the only woman rallyist’ badge on her shoulder? Sarika smiles. “Yes, I feel very proud, in fact great. You see, I’ve never had a godfather. Initially even my family opposed. But I was too determined and couldn’t ignore the call of racing. And, before I forget, my first rally was in Chandigarh, in which I ‘punished’ a Maruti-800!”

How do men perceive a member of the fairer sex behind the wheel of a fast machine and she asserts, “Initially, they were in constant awe but now they have accepted me as a part of their tribe.”

You may be expecting a usual crybaby answer as the word sponsorship is mentioned. You’re proved wrong again. Says she, “In contemporary times, marketing and presentation have assumed paramount importance. My PR carries a laptop and ascertains that the whole presentation is done in a professional and slick manner. There has been a 25 per cent increase in sponsorship in the last five years!”

When asked as to why guys from down South do exceptionally well, Sarika says go there and acquaint yourself with the exceptional infrastructure. You have Karting tracks, racetracks, and ample guidance from people who’ve done exceptionally well during their time besides of course sponsorships. Moreover, most of the INRC rounds are conducted in that part of the country.”

As she’s all set to zoom off in her Gypsy, it’s hard not to ask her—“First love? “And the only one,” she offers a hearty laugh, punctuated by the vehicle’s exhausts.

Journey through art
Gayatri Rajwade

Namita Roy
ARTY DELIGHT: Namita Roy. — Photo by Malkiat Singh

Art is no frivolity and the accompanying recognition can sometimes become “an unnecessary hindrance”. City-based artist Namita Roy is determined to keep her art free of social constraints. Even though she teaches art in a government school, it is her own creative and explorative process while painting that keeps her alive.

And the only way she could think of doing this is by staying often in Chandigarh (actually she lives in Manimajra) where she and her husband, fellow-artist Avijit Roy, spend many hours working on their canvases.

They last exhibited together in 2001 at Art Folio in Sector 9 and Namita also held a solo show in 2003 but having spent the last five years dabbing their canvases, they are now ready to emerge once again as butterflies from their cocoons.

With exhibitions being planned in four cities—Cochin, Calcutta, Delhi and Chandigarh—in December, the year-end will finally see the re-emergence of these two fine artists.

While it was their inherent love for printmaking that brought the husband-wife duo together, Namita never really knew what she wanted to do until she was in her final year in school and her fine arts teacher pointed the way to Government College of Art, Sector 10, to her.

A Bachelor’s degree in printmaking followed. “When I initially applied at the College of Art, I got graphics and that stayed with me right through. I like it because it is an indirect medium which uses a lot of modern techniques and provides flexibility to experiment.”

Next came a Masters’ degree in Fine Arts from Kala Bhawan, Shantiniketan.

“The place is like home, a gurukul and not an institute. It gives you the freedom and atmosphere to be yourself and discover. What Shantiniketan gave me was exposure to the national and the international art scene,” she reminisces.

With the likes of Somnath Hore, K G Subramanium, A. Ramachandran drifting in and out, Namita’s world of art grew by leaps and bounds.

Her own work, though, is influenced by Prabhakar Kulte’s style. However her technique, approach and imagination are her own. And while her style may have developed, it has not changed significantly.

Her line is inspired from the mandhubani style but she draws heavily from her environment, though not consciously.

Besides the construction and architecture of Chandigarh, which finds voice in her work today, she also found meaning in the gentle landscape of Shantiniketan.

Despite her degrees in printmaking, she shifted over to painting since there were no significant printmaking studios in the country. And she has tried her hand at a variety of mediums—gouche on paper, black and white drawings and collages. Right now it is acrylics on canvas.

Her connection to her art comes from deep within, from a meditative realm that helps her to perceive different things in the world around her. In fact, her works can be termed as ‘abstract’ without the perplexity of modern art. Some of it may have to do with the orderliness of Chandigarh, to where the duo came back “deliberately to spend more time on work” but ultimately it is the call from within, to delve into art for art’s sake that keeps Namita working—yesterday in shades of black and white and today in a palette that is vivid with red, yellow and blue. 

Operation Celebration
As Minerva Academy marched into its 51 st year of existence, retired and serving officers from the armed forces along with bureaucrats and other powers-that-be, descended on the institute grounds to launch celebrations, reports Saurabh Malik

Charged up, they marched down the glittery lanes of memories decked up with nice little psychedelic lights to make inroads into celebrations. As Minerva Academy launched operation golden jubilee, retired and serving officers from the armed forces mounted an attack on time to retrieve good old days spent together learning the military art of inculcating “officer-like qualities”.

For so many of them, it was time to celebrate more than just the academy’s victory in the battle for preeminence. Armed with sparkling cut glasses of invigorating golden elixir, they stood there narrating heroic tales of their first encounter with adventure at the boot camp while receiving orders that would eventually let them take the forces by storm after scaling the seemingly insurmountable walls of inhibitions.

To receive its heroes, the academy had made military preparations. Bang on the Chandigarh-Kharar freeway, you had victory flags fluttering in the cool evening breeze. Just round the bend leading to the academy in Daun village some 10 km from Chandigarh, impressive boards had been installed to announce the holding of celebrations.

And on the lane meandering its way through time all the way to the academy, you could see twinkling lights garlanding the trees and the buildings. Even the fields for training the candidates, charging towards their ambition of entering the forces, were illuminated.

At the gates, dolls and marionettes holding platters full of flowers, and best wishes, were there on the horse backs for giving the visitors a heroic welcome. From there the guests, including bureaucrats and former judges, were given a red-carpet reception, literally.

Inside, you had albums of reminiscences with black and white photos of the days that are no more and will, perhaps, never come back. Then there was the visitor’s book with remarks from people now no less than celebrities.

As night besieged the evening, so many guests lurched ahead to clutch the microphone for spraying a volley of emotions to further softened up the mood. Among the speakers was Rupan Deol Bajaj — Punjab ’s former IAS officer-cum-daughter of founder principal J. Deol and founder director Lt. Col. I.S. Deol. For her and others, it was mission accomplished, yet time to keep marching ahead! 

Photo Ops
Sreedhara Bhasin

I never seem to have the camera handy when it is needed the most - unlike, some of my friends from the West who have their cameras ready at all times. Since the departure of my last set of friends, who clicked constantly, even taking in things like diesel smoke belching out of new autos, I have resolved to catch the spirit of Chandigarh in Kodak – more earnestly.

This morning I decided to get the cobwebs out of my jaded eyes and view our lovely city with the eyes of a fresher. And to my delight, found a great many things that would make perfect pictures!

One would be the way they carry long ladders in our city – two men riding on their cycles, with one end of the ladder reposing on each person’s shoulder, riding in perfect unison and maintaining perfect equidistance at all times, despite the crazy traffic.

My next choice was another cyclewala wheeling away on Madhya Marg. He had a langur sitting on his backseat – with quiet equanimity and a collar around his neck, one end of which was secured to the handle.

My third choice was a pair of men on a scooter. The pillion rider was talking on his cell phone and holding another cell phone to the driver’s ears, who was in turn shouting away an intense conversation.

My fourth choice was a monkey sitting on my neigbour’s rooftop. He had managed to open the lid of the water tank and was peering onto the water and making faces at his own reflection.

Then there was a horse-drawn cart on which sat a man amidst a mountain of what seemed to be boxes of printer cartridges. Also there sat a small boy who ate boiled eggs.

I thought that the street repairmen would make an interesting item. I photographed a man sitting on a stool on the footpath and dissecting the guts of a cell phone with great concentration.

I also found a lone mali watering the chowk at Sector 34. While the buses and cars roared around him like Godzillas, he peered at every leaf of the rose bushes, snipping and pulling as if he was in a de stress yourself’ spa.

My quest ended at the lake – at the end of the jogging track, I found a little paradise – a garden of water lilies in a circular pool surrounded by white bulrush. The first set of migrant waterfowls played alongside, in the shadows of the Nepali hills.

And of course, I shot the milkman on a motorbike, with aluminium canisters of milk hanging all around – his shawl billowing in the morning wind. The series would simply not be complete without that one!

I think I will need many more of these days.

Red alert!
Anandita Gupta

Ever wondered what instills a certain romance in the air around November? Is it the hues of festivity (bringing along a slew of festivals—Divali, Karva Chauth, Id, Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s in quick succession?), the delicious nip in the air, or something else? Well, it could be a little of all this, but more than anything, it’s the colours worn during this month’s soft, mellow days that welcome an aura of romance.

Richest indigos (putting every ink pot to shame), glossy greens (glistening more than the Garden of Eden leaves), guava pinks (blushing like a coy bride) and sunshine yellows (flaming, sizzling like a glam goddess on ramp) are the colours that have a pivotal position in this month’s fashion idiom. However, it’s cadmium red - a carnally vibrant hue – that spells the season’s magic.

Like a magic wand, red creates look that varies from light fun to flirty flutter to heavy-duty magic. Ordinary fabrics and outfits that lurk behind the veil of red, achieve a heightened sense of drama, an almost foreboding spell that magnifies ordinary emotions into poignant moments.

The awe of red rests in its dual character of being scary, yet sacred, haunting, yet inspiring. A hue inspired by a ‘trail of blood’, red is a colour that symbolises the violent, evoking a haunting sense of danger. And yet, red is also the colour of vermilion, the colour that our most Indian weddings are awash with. Frequent any Hindu wedding and one after another, images of society women—glittering silhouettes in fiery reds, fleet past your eyes.

A lady in red, therefore, may be voluptuous, amorphous, yet imbued with lyrical sullenness, if at all one can explain the contradiction! Paradoxical twists heighten the illusion of mystery and so, red remains the unrelenting hue of passion.

So all you fashion dudes and divas, while celebrating the season’s romance with gossamer fabrics, lush accessories and delicious body skimming essentials, don’t forget to add a smidgen of electricity with a sultry siren red number. For, could anything be more romantic than a slashed, georgette, red number—ensconced in a scene replenished with scented floating candles, tumblers of potpourri, a gourmet meal and liqueur chocolates? Or more heart thumping than a soft tomato red, lacy frock that lovingly caresses your body?

So embrace red and keep the flame of love burning infinitely, the romance in your life steadfast forever.

Dress up for the occasion

Now that we are well into the party season it’s best to be prepared and put best face forward. Every function or a party has its own ambience, created by the time of the year, location and also by the people who are invited. So it definitely makes sense to coordinate one’s make up with all these related factors.

Off to dinner

Dinner usually means dim lighting; make up must be applied naturally, yet it must have adequate definition to be able to show through.

Foundation can be applied more heavily with the use of Oriflame compact foundation.

If concealing is required, then this is the time to conceal under eye shadows, pimples or pigmentation, with Kryolan pansticks. Use these products very sparingly as a heavy hand can make the problem look every more obvious.

Light dusting of powder all over face, this helps set the concealer.

Revlon shadow should match the colour of the outfit. Blend well into the crease of the eyes with medium eyes shadow brush.

Use a matching liquid liner to emphasise eyes. Use coloured kohl inside the eyes.

Curl lashes and use 3D L’Oreal mascara. Avoid using under the eyes if there’s a dark circle problem; with dim lighting this could be enhanced as shadow if mascara is used under the eyes.

Use clear mascara on very bushy eyebrows to tame them into place. If this doesn’t help, then give the brows a slight trim.

A bronzing blush can be used to accentuate the cheekbones. Be sure to apply the bronzer under the cheekbones to cut and lift the face shape. To add a puff of colour, use a brighter blush colour on the apples of the cheeks.

Lips must wear a long-lasting lip colour it saves time for touch-ups.

Use a thick body lotion for shine on exposed skin.

A fashion show or cocktail party

This is an occasion where one can really let one’s personal style ‘shine’ through. Get out all your glitter, gloss and funky accessories.

Skinlights foundation for those with great skin or alternatively Studio tech compact foundation by Mac.

Concealer either by Kryolan for difficult areas or Mac cover up.

Use a light transparent setting powder only on cover up areas.

Put Vaseline sparingly on eyelids (only up to eyelid crease). Wipe away excess Vaseline, it should only be a smear.

Use a shimmer powder shadow on the lids with medium eye shadow brush (preferably a dark bright colour).

Use the same colour glitter, or one shade lighter, over pigment powder. If you are not a glitter person, then leave out this step.

False lashes can be worn. Mac No. 7 lashes are perfect.

Mascara can be applied to blend false lashes to the the natural ones.

Either the same glitter can be extended into a liner on the bottom line, or a coloured liner can be used instead.

Using the shimmer powder ‘Goldmine’ by Chambor can enhance a strong blush colour. This is a loose powder, which can be swept on the cheekbones after a blush or bronzer.

Lips can be nude for a fashion show using ‘barely’ nude gloss by Clinique. For a cocktail, lips can have a lacquer gloss by Mac. This will glamorize them by making them strong, yet soft.

A farmhouse party

Farmhouse parties are huge and one can literally get lost in them. So this is a chance to get noticed by using all the dark colours you have forgotten about.

Kryolan panstick or Mac Studio tech foundation for heavy coverage. Those with good skin, go for Mac hyper real foundation.

Use a smear of Vaseline on eyelids extending up to the brow bone.

Use matching colour of shadow to outfit, all over eyelid. Use a beige/gold highlighter on your brow bone.

Use a deep plum, brown or grey on the outer one-third of the lid. This should definitely open the eyes out. Extend this to underneath eyes, if you’re in the mood to experiment.

Use Chambor ‘star candy’ blush on top of cheekbones. For further enhancement, add gold glitter extending to the temples.

Use a black glitter as on eyeliner on the top lid. Kohl inside the eye will also complement this look.

Curl lashes and put two applications of L’Oreal mascara.

Use a deep plum cheek colour under cheekbones.

Darken brows if needed and brush with clear gloss.

Lips are to be lined with a deep maroon or red. Use a matching lipstick or tone it down with gold powder.

Off to the movies

This depends on whether it’s a night or day show, however, the only difference would be the base application.

Use Mac studio fix powder for the base.

L’Oreal eye smoker can be used directly on the lids as a shadow-cum-eye pencil.

For those with thick lashes, use Oriflame clear mascara or a lash ‘curl’ mascara by L’Oreal.

Use a natural rose-coloured blush by Chambor for a fresh and natural look.

Use the Lakme long-lasting lipstick with lip pencil. No need to touch up during the popcorn breaks!

Umrao Jaan fails to impress

For filmmaker J.P. Dutta of Refugee and LoC fame, this week is his acid test with his Rs 25 crore costume drama Umrao Jaan up for grabs. Dutta has had enough highs and lows in his career but Umrao Jaan is something extraordinary he has attempted that viewers will scrutinize. Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan, released in 1981, is still loved by cinema lovers. Dutta’s magnum opus is no match to the former. Most viewers come out of the cinema hall disappointed. The film bears ethnic and cultural looks of the early 19th century and it has fine teamwork of Vaibhavi Merchant (choreography), Bijon Das Gupta (art direction), Javed Akhtar (lyrics) and Anu Malik (music). It is an average costume drama, predictable to the core.

Like other J.P. Dutta movies, this one too is technically sound. There are two good songs but the film, based on the classic story of Mirza Haadi Ruswa’s novel Umrao Jaan Ada (1905), fails to deliver. Dutta’s latest venture features beautiful actress Aishwarya Rai in the lead role of Umrao Jaan. She is no match to Rekha who also got a national award for the same role. Abhishek Bachchan is just okay. Shabana Azmi, Suneil Shetty, Divya Dutta and Puru Raaj Kumar are convincing and stand out.

Dutta’s last film LoC was a debacle and his ambitious project Umrao Jaan, which opened on Friday at Piccadily, Chandigarh, Fun Republic, Manimajra, and Suraj, Panchkula, fails in the story telling department. — D.P.

Alone but not lonely

I am a single woman in my early 30’s. I was married to an NRI who stayed here with me for 2 years but has now told me that he has found someone else and has pushed off to Canada with her. My self-esteem of course has taken a big blow. I keep hoping for him to come back to me as I cherish whatever time we spent together. My friends and family think that I should move on with my life. I am unable to push these past few years out of my life although I do make an effort to do so. I know this is affecting my health and other relationships too. How to I get rid of these feelings.

Suchita Verma, Jalandhar

Though you are lonely, you are not alone. There are hundreds of other people like you out in the world fighting their own emotional demons. So do keep your spirits up. There is no time in the world to feel unhappy. The very fact that you are feeling low shows that you are sensitive and intelligent. You might have to struggle a year or 2 in your emotional doldrums but be sure you will emerge a winner. You have created this niche for yourself to wallow in self-pity and misery. A woman like you does not deserve this. You probably think he was the only man for you. The fact that he walked out on you means he does not deserve your love and respect. Just completely transform your life find a new vocation or a new interest to fulfill you and get you rid of your past addiction. Self-medication is a complete cure for your state of mind. You have to just work on yourself and see life happening around you.

I am a 37-year-old woman and getting married to a man who has just turned 30. Now that we are engaged and almost about to get married I am beginning to get very apprehensive about the whole situation. All kinds of doubts seem to be invading my mind. I am really beginning to the wonder whether I have made the right decision. In my five years of courtship I was the happiest woman, and age never seemed to be of any consequence to me, but now that we are getting married, I am always looking at other people reactions to the situation. Sometimes I wonder that may be after a few years he might look for a younger woman.

Harinder Kaur, Mohali

Drop your insecurities and be sure of yourself and the decision you are taking. I feel it is the compatibility, which is most important. Emotional maturity is one of the rarest qualities at all ages. What is most important is how you feel about the relationship. It could have been a man much older than you, if he is emotionally mature and not sensitive to your feelings, then it would be of no consequence in your life. Your level of happiness has to go by your personal gauge. These days most women are working, so marriage by the olden standards has gone through a complete change. As far as looking for a younger woman is concerned even an older man could be doing that. So if you feel you have enjoyed you relationship in the past, have faith in yourself and the courage to go through with your decision.

I am in my early 30’s and I feel that I have been in love a few times but it never felt like the real thing. I grew up reading the ethereal romances and believed that one day it would actually happen like that but in today’s extremely materialistic world, I feel there is no place for such romanticism. Should I wait for it to happen and keep my faith going or should I just forget about all this foolish romanticism find a nice and sensible life partner for my self.

Aman Sidhu, Chandigarh

You are right, the world is so taken in with the material rat race that romance has simply flown out of the window or has been left to the words of some whimsical poets. But then surely with your kind of temperament, you cannot simply just give up on your enlightened dream. If you believe in your idea very sincerely surely it will manifest in your life. After all we cannot allow ourselves to get so cynical that we forget about the beauty, we are capable of experiencing. Pray to God to grant you the joy and happiness your gentle soul deserves.

Health tip of the day

A particularly hazardous movement to the lower spine is a twisting turn while lifting or pulling. It is MUCH safer, whenever possible, to rotate the body and face the load squarely so the force is exerted in the body’s middle and not to one side. — Dr Ravinder Chadha

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