Heer from Denmark
Tribune News Service

While most of Punjabi singers have been making a beeline to Europe to shoot music videos, Anita Lerche, a Denmark-based singer, has chosen Punjab as the new destination for her musical destiny by becoming the first European singer to release her album here.

Not only that Anita has rendered songs in Punjab but the two videos of “Heer from Denmark,” her album, have been shot at 65 locations in Punjab.

Navraj Raja, a Jalandhar-based video director, liked the project so much that he devoted a number of days for the videos.

“Going to so many locations was a tough task but the idea behind it was to showcase whole of Punjab through a single song. It was a big challenge but the outcome is satisfying,” says Raja.

Anita’s songs have various hues of culture coming alive. For example, in a song she says “Ballad Saja Ke Gadda Jor Lai Ve Haaniya, Sair Kara De Mainu Panjan Paaniyan,” and another exhorts Punjabis to see the dance of the Danish “Gori.” “Gall Sunn Lao Punjaabio, Subha De Majaajio…Ajj Gori Ne Nachauna E Punjaabiyan Nu Thumke Di Taal De Utte.”

In another song, the singer is seen teasing her Punjabi man by seeking return of her passport as he has already fed up with the village life and wanted to proceed back to Denmark.

It is not for the first time that Anita is singing in a foreign language as she has already rendered songs in 16 different languages, including Chinese, English, Italian, Argentinean, Chilean, Swedish and Norwegian. Besides, she is an accomplished artiste in respect of Danish music, musical theatre and choral music and attained a three-year degree in music from London.

“While learning to sing in Punjabi I faced a lot of difficulties because there were so many sounds that I had never heard before. It took a lot of patience and endless practice with my teacher Anurag Sood (from Hoshiarpur) to be able to make the right pronunciation. My first visit to Punjab in 2005 changed my life forever. After two weeks’ trekking expedition in Anurag Sood’s apple orchards in Himachal, I came to Punjab where the atmosphere inspired me to take to singing in Punjabi. And I made a decision to have a permanent link with Punjab with the help of music,” says Anita, who was accompanied by Anurag Sood and her music teacher Bhupinder Singh.



Colours of numbers
R. Jaikrishan
Tribune News Service

Words fail to say what colours and lines mean. That is why most attempts at explaining painting or sculpture ends up in sound and fury signifying nothing. This is an eyes-first journey, which all can make, but few dare to venture. One can sail through the obvious by habit or rot.

First, the eyes figure out the image splashed in the layers of colour. A creative endeavour is rarely illustrative of painterly skills, but of their use to arrive at an aesthetic truth. The best way to appreciate an art form is through another. This is what Aditi Sangwan has done for Rajesh Kalsi’s works, now on view at Virsa Vihar till November 24 with her poem titled “Identity by Numbers-Series Matrix-1”, which appears in the brochure.

Some times Rajesh discovers an unknown form in the colour strokes where identities, reduced to numbers, rest one over the other. It seems he is trying to connect with the Absolute, but what comes out is relative.



DD’s honourable men
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

A perfect blend of hard labour, poetic vision and spontaneous flow of creativity has brought laurels and recognition in the shape of coveted Doordarshan National Awards - 2006 for Agya Pal Singh Randhawa and Jaswant Deed, both senior officers of Jalandhar Doordarshan.

Interestingly, it took three years for Randhawa, Programme Executive with Doordarshan, to accomplish his dream project, ‘Punjab Di Koyal’, a documentary on life and works of Punjabi singer Surinder Kaur, while Deed, Assistant Station Director with Doordarshan, has earned distinction by landing the DD’s national award for the fourth year in a row for his New Year variety programme, “Ajj Dhamaalan Paingiaan”.

What is more interesting is that Randhawa has experimented with the documentary format by making videos of those songs of Surinder Kaur which had never been picturised earlier. Apart from narration, this experiment has infused freshness and life in the well-received documentary.

“My trick has been to create programmes, including ‘Ajj Dhamalaan Paingiaan’, in such a way that it is not only liked by children and the old people alike but it should also retain the element of cultural values. Of course, we have to cater to contemporary tastes without turning vulgar.

That is why I prefer to present a combination of songs and comedy in my New Year programme. I am very happy that I have been selected for the national award for the fourth time,” said Deed, who has already made name in literature as he has authored five books in Punjabi.

“Whenever I am working on my programmes, I always feel like I am accomplishing some poetic creation. Most of things happen spontaneously just like in case of poetry. It gives me immense joy to work, particularly on my themes,” says Deed, whose “Lammiyan Udeekan”, a telefilm based on Mohan Bhandari’s story, had also bagged a DD award. Apart from this, Deed’s promo,

“Haddan Sarhaddan Ton Paar”, on Indo-Pak relations, had fetched him a national award earlier.

Creativity seems to be striking Randhawa so often that besides “Punjab Di Koyal”, his programme telecast on DD national during the Melbourne Commonwealth games, “India at Melbourne,” had elevated him to a higher platform and earned him much applause from far and wide.

He was the DD man, who was behind the live telecast of the DD-Punjabi channel’s inaugural show in 2000, while his documentary on Olympian Pargat Singh had become a talking point in the sports circle.

“Punjab Di Koyal” has been the most challenging assignment for him and it took a full three years to complete.

“It took such a long period because I had to touch all angles of life and works of the late Surinder Kaur and had to do a lot of research. I had to interview a wide range of personalities from both India and Pakistan, including former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Pakistani singers like Jatt Brothers and Naseebo Lal and Canada-based promoter Iqbal Mahal, who was treated by Surinder Kaur as her son. Dolly Guleria, daughter of Surinder Kaur, also helped me a lot once she came to know that I am making a documentary on her life,” says Randhawa.

He says that his biggest regret was that Surinder Kaur was not there to see him getting the award.

“She was a legend, whose songs represented the life of womenfolk of Punjab. Since she was born in Lahore, Surinder Kaur was treated as a daughter in Pakistan. She told me during the shooting that once she went to Pakistan, where the media said she had come to her “Peeca” (girl’s parental home),” said emotionally charged Randhawa.



Punjabis stranded in US
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

As many as 10,000 Punjabis in the USA are not able to return home for the embassy officials there haven’t cleared their papers so far.

NRI Consortium, Phagwara, has conducted an extensive survey about the plight of these Punjabis and is going to take up the issue with the government.

These Punjabis had gone to the USA five or seven years ago looking for a brighter future. “Some of them even masquerading as political or terrorists’ victims in India to convince the US government to issue them green cards,” said Kulwant Singh, general secretary of the Consortium.

He said vice-president of the Consortium Mukesh Duggal had spent nearly two months and a half in the USA to study the plight of these Punjabis.

A report on this would be presented to the government, so that necessary instructions could be issued to the embassy for issuance of their passports.

The survey reveals that none of these Punjabis is a victim of the government or terrorists or had any political ambitions. Instead they had spent a lot of money to go to the USA.

To settle there they lied to eke out a livelihood, said Kulwant Singh, adding that they had even burnt or dumped their Indian passports to get a green card.

Another startling fact, which the study reveals, is that rampant corruption takes place when the embassy issues passports.

“Those who can afford to pay six to eight thousand dollars were issued passports while others were shown the door,” said Kulwant Singh.

He said these Punjabis had been pumping a lot of money into Punjab but were unable to visit back home.

The issue has been taken up with the state government and would soon be discussed with the Central government.

The NRI Consortium had earlier managed to convince the government to issue passports to Indians meeting similar fate in Canada and England besides getting many Sikhs out of the blacklist prepared by the India, he said.



PTU youth fest begins
Tribune News Service

Students from 34 colleges affiliated to the Punjab Technical University will take part in a three-day Inter-Zonal Youth Festival to be held at the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology from tomorrow.

The first and second position winners of four zones of the university will take part in the contest and vie with one another in 25 cultural events.

Contests for debate, elocution, Indian light vocal, Indian group song, play, classical instrumental (percussion and non-percussion), elocution, quiz preliminaries, rangoli, clay modeling and cartooning will be held on the first day.



For dating old is gold
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Scene-1: A crowded campus of a co-educational college during peak study hours. Few students in the classrooms and library while the lush green garden outside is abuzz with activity. Boys and girls walk past, hand in hand. Some couples sit in the garden huddled close together basking in the sun. Those still single, hunt for a partner, trying their luck on few they like. A few boys stand at crucial points, near the stairs and on the sides of the entrance to various departments, busy commenting on girls passing by.

Scene-2: A girls’ college where ‘extra-curricular activity’ is not feasible on the campus as entry of boys is strictly prohibited. But there is scope outside as the boys stand in groups all around the periphery with eyes on all girls coming out. Two girls move out on a two-wheeler and two boys start their bike and immediately follow them, pestering them to be friends with them while girls show their oomph. Then come two girls walking out. While the ‘escort’ moves off, the other girl with her head down and hair on sides blocking her face sits behind a boy dressed in black leather jacket and a black helmet.

Nothing new, for dating pattern is still generations-old in Jalandhar colleges. With a majority of students from rural background, the style has not changed by and large. Niku Park and Company Bagh still continue to be ‘meeting points’ for many. Couples sit underneath trees, on the benches, behind the bushes and ride, falling into each other unmindful of their surroundings.

Coffee shops are happening places for the upper middle class. Boys and girls from schools and colleges sit in groups, wearing latest dresses from the wardrobes and are in party mood making lot of noise. There are a few couples, who take a table in a corner, speak less, eat less but continue expressing feelings through eyes.

Youth festivals too act as memorable moments. Many of the opposite sex, from different colleges but with similar interests, find one another.



No takers for fire-safety norms
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

While the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation boasts of one of the best fire departments in Punjab, high-rise buildings in the city, both government and private, continue to violate fire-safety measures with impunity.

Majority of the fire-safety equipment in these buildings was not in working condition, presenting a state of neglect. At the time of getting completion certificate for the building the equipment were installed, but later no care was taken to keep it in working order.

Extinguishers were coated with a thick layer of dust, testimony to the fact that they had not used or serviced for the past many years.

Officials of the Fire Department expressed helplessness in taking action against violators. Punjab has no Act to challan the defaulters. More than 80 per cent of the buildings, especially cinema houses and hotels, fail to meet the minimum fire-safety standards set under the Fire Safety Act.

The Chandigarh Administration has adopted the Delhi Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Act, 1986. Under the Act, the fire officer can issue a notice and even seal the building in case the norms are not met.

The District Administrative Complex and the SSP’s office here are glaring examples of the neglect. Most of the equipment is defunct.

Almost all extinguishers installed in the building expired years ago. An extinguisher outside Room No 101 in the administrative complex expired six years ago. It was refilled in 1999.

At the tehsil office, two-wheelers were parked inside the building, blocking the entry and exit gates. Deed writers and stamp venders encroach upon entry and exit gates, placing their tables and paraphernalia there. In both the buildings no smoke detection system was installed and the rooms are full of paper files.

As per fire safety measures, there should be a provision of underground and overhead water tanks, automatic sprinklers, alarm system, public address system, illuminated exit ways and smoke detection equipment. These measures were hardly seen in the buildings.

The hotel owners are the biggest violators, as most of them have basements without fire-safety measures and proper entry and exit gates.

Small units in the old city residential areas have no fire-fighting equipment. Congested lanes with overhanging electrical wires further compound the problem for firemen in case of disaster.



Bust stress at home
Tribune News Service

Eighty per cent of hospital occupancy of patients is due to domestic stress, which, is mostly caused by growing wife –husband conflicts.

Dr. Harvinder Pal Singh, the President of the Jalandhar -based Life Care Foundation, said this on Sunday at a workshop on “Domestic Stress Management and Personal Excellence.

The workshop was inaugurated by Ms G. Bindra, the Principal of the Mayor World School.

Professionals and employees of various banks and other institutions participated in the workshop and learnt how to beat stress.

“The underlying factor behind all major disease like blood pressure, heart attack and hypertension is domestic stress, which, counts for about 80 per cent of stress. Corporate stress is also growing at a rapid speed due to overburdening of employees with each passing day,” said Dr Harvinder Pal Singh.

Dr Vivek Mohindra, the Secretary of the foundation, said women were in the process of seeking more power, but men were still holding on to old ways.

Dr Savita Verma, Principal of the B.D. Arya College, stressed for the need for training for young girls so that they could beat adjustment disorders after marriage.



Amway holds blood donation camp
Tribune News Service

The Amway Opportunity Foundation and the Red Cross Society jointly organised a blood donation camp at the Red Cross Bhavan, Lajpat Nagar, Jalandhar, on Tuesday. Seventy Amway distributors donated blood.

The Foundation – which looks after Amway’s corporate social responsibility, has been regularly organising blood donation camps in various parts of the country.

Earlier in Punjab, the foundation had organised such camps in Ludhiana, Bathinda and Sangrur. including Chandigarh. This was the ninth camp in Punjab.

So far Amway has organised more than 250 such camps.



Defence Notes
Vajra Sappers celebrates raising day
Tribune News Service

Vajra Sappers celebrated their 226th raising day in Jalandhar on Saturday.

Lieut-Gen Noble Thamburaj, General Officer Commanding, Vajra Corps, and other officers of the Corps of Engineers paid tributes to the Sappers, who died while on duty.

Cycle Expedition

Vajra Sappers organised a cycle expedition from Wagah to Sumdo (3,200m). It was fagged off from the Wagah check post by Gen Thamburaj on Friday.

The team, led by Capt Vivekanand, comprises three officers, two JCOs and 14 others. The expedition team will cover 720 kms.

Blood Donation

A blood donation camp was organised by the Sappers at Military Hospital here on Thursday.

The Sappers and their families turned out in large number under the leadership of Brig Pradeep Yadu, Chief Engineer, Vajra Sappers, to donate blood. More than 300 units collected.

Sadbhavna Tour

As many as 34 boys and four teachers from Budgaon and Srinagar districts were on a Sadbhavna tour of different parts of the country.

As part of the tour, they visited Beas and Kapurthala military stations and Jalandhar city between November 17 and 19. They came here after visiting different parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The children were housed at Army Public School, Beas. During their stay they interacted with students of the school, especially students from Jammu and Kashmir.

The children also interacted with Gen Thamburaj, who encouraged them to learn computers and English.


The Directorate of Sainik Welfare, Punjab, and the Army organised an ex-servicemen rally at Patiala on Saturday.

More than 500 ex-servicemen, widows and serving personnel participated.

Maj-Gen Chatinder Singh, General Officer Commanding, Armed Division, was the chief guest.



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