CHANDIGARH INDEX




Small wonders turn big
Already celebrities in their own right, two kids from the city and one from Patiala have made it to the final stage of the POGO Amazing Kids Awards. Parbina Rashid reports
They are amazing kids. They are POGO kids. And guess what? Among 40 such kids who have beaten thousands of children to go up to the final stage in the POGO Amazing Kids Awards, the city has a share of two. Priya and Akrit Jaswal from Chandigarh and Isha Dang from Patiala are almost there, within the grasping range of glamour. Well, perhaps it’s wrong to say that for they are ready already celebrities in their own right. Fourteen-year-old Priya is a scholar who is a leading child artiste and also a scholar.

Isha Dang and Akrit Jaswal
DANCING DIVA & BOY WONDER: Isha Dang and Akrit Jaswal


On a Firm(iny) Footing
Diwan Manna’s forthcoming exhibition on Le Corbusier in France assumes significance with Chandigarh being placed on the tentative list of the World Heritage Sites by Unesco, writes Parbina Rashid
Diwan Manna’s French connection is getting stronger by the day. On a trail of discovery (not just French wine and cuisines), Diwan is rediscovering Le Corbusier in a small city called Firminy in Saint Etienne. And when it comes to our own shutter-happy local lad, his discovery comes in forms and colours, which are well beyond your imagination. So, as he clicks on images of churches and buildings, which Corbusier had designed, your eyes get glued to his computer screen.

SHUTTER BUG: Diwan Manna is all set for yet another exhibition at Firminy, France. — Photo by Vinay Malik


Diwan Manna is all set for yet another exhibition at Firminy, France

Roomy ramp
You do not have to land on the ramp from abroad like Katrina Kaif and Yana Gupta. Even small-town models are making it big in the fashion industry, says Saurabh Malik
Impeccable accent accentuating flawless and fluent English! An assured gait brought about by prolonged exposure to the ways of the world! And poise that comes from sashaying down the ramp of life—all the way to popularity! Anyone will think models born and bred abroad like Katrina Kaif, Nina Emanuel and Yana Gupta are pushing the “resident” beauties off the ramp.

STAGE SAVVY: Mehak Chahal with Inder and Jatin Grewal (right) are all for promoting local talent. — Photos by Pradeep Tewari
Mehak Chahal with Inder and Jatin Grewal (right) are all for promoting local talent

Haute & Heady
The scorching has begun. Across seven cities, fourteen designers are putting up 21 winsome shows as part of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour—2006. With a gala kick-off in Kolkata, this annual ‘haute’ event is proving to be a ‘do’ that must find an entry in the diaries of the city’s glitterati, all this in the mere five years that it has been on show. What is more, this fashion fiesta is all set to charm Chandigarh on November 21. And catering to the city’s couture needs this year are Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Nikhil and Shantanu Mehra, Aparna Chandra and Ranna Gill.

A TOAST TO FASHION: Models and designers are gearing up for the forthcoming Blender’s Pride fashion Tour

Models and designers are gearing up for the forthcoming Blender’s Pride fashion Tour

‘Vivah is today’s film’
Young and gorgeous, Amrita Rao may be just 10 films old but she is the talk of Bollywood with the release Sooraj Barjatya’s Vivah. She is bubbly and cheerful, yet intense and thoughtful in her own way. What strikes you is that she is so essentially Indian in her mannerisms in the lead role of Poonam in the movie.

Relive the Raj
Thoughts of The British influence bring in the memories of imported tea caddies, tufted footstools and Regency-style antiques, accessorizing a velvet English sofa for a spot of hi-tea with scones and cucumber sandwiches. English style is about things collected along the way and displayed all around the house. The character of the room changes as you add bits and pieces, but even as it evolves, it always feels like home.

Décor Diva
Anandita Gupta
Many a life’s beautiful moments may slip away easily into the deepest recesses of the past. But there are some very precious ones, which form warm, indelible memories. And these are the special moments, which never fade away, caressing us always—like a lingering kiss. A meeting with Ashu Bhallani would leave you with similar reflections. For, the surreal radiance of creativity, that surrounds her like a halo, is hard to forget. As one walks into Ashu’s tastefully done home in sector 2, Chandigarh, you’ll find an unbridled surge of creative energy, cascading down her imaginative brain.

ALL-IN-ONE: Ashu Bhallani does costume and set designing with equal elan.
— Photo by Pradeep Tewari
Ashu Bhallani does costume and set designing with equal elan

Painting in two minutes
Gayatri Rajwade
City-based artist Vinod Mehta is on a new roll. Not content with experimenting with art all his life, he is now making paintings with his hand, in a matter of a few minutes! And this new style came upon him quite by chance, just a few months ago. “I had to attend a formal dinner at a hotel in the city and the hosts came up to me and said please make us a painting in two minutes before you leave.

Romance of ghazal
S.D. Sharma
Vocal music has been endowed with a far higher status than instrumental music as only the human voice is said to be capable of expressing the whole spectrum of human emotions”, agrees young ghazal maestro Arshad Khan. But he holds that a similar emotional depth can be achieved with instruments like the Sarangi and Esraj if they are played with immaculate perfection. Trained at an early age in the family tradition of Esraj-playing by his father and guru, Ustad Allaudin Khan, of Delhi gharana, he gradually became inclined to the romance of ghazal singing.

WAH USTAD: Arshad Khan with his accompanists
Arshad Khan with his accompanists

HOPSCOTCH
History in search of Culture
The times that we are living in call for a new approach to the writing of history. It must be other than what we studied in the classrooms at school. It is no longer just dates of battles and the obsessive details of the ruling classes. It has to be people’s history and not just a mere record of the dead and gone past but a living document that sees the positive factors of societies and the bonds that held them together in a humane manner.

YOUTH SPEAK
Religion and stereotypes
Religion — a wide term, one that most of us are familiar with, but not many of us take time to understand it. A term that has been misunderstood and misinterpreted by most of us, it has led to the division of the entire human race. Not only have countries been divided, but also cities and even societies are also divided on the basis of religion today.

FILM & FASHION
Beyonce in Mariah’s footsteps
It seems Beyonce Knowles is following in the footsteps of fellow singer Mariah Carey, as far as diva-demands are concerned. The Crazy In Love singer shocked organisers of a British gig by asking for an unlimited supply of Pepsi cola and a two-man ‘love seat’. Beyonci’s demands didn’t end here, as she stunned organisers further when she ordered her dressing room be heated to exactly 78 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain her voice, before her performance at the BBC Chart Show Live in Brighton on Sunday.