C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Helmet banks for city colleges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh January 8
With a view to inculcate road safety among the city’s youth, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to set up helmet banks in the city’s government colleges. Students coming to college without helmets can borrow a helmet for use and return it the next day at a nominal charge. This idea, the brainchild of the Director, Public Instructions (Colleges), Mrs Raji P Srivastava, will be implemented in all government colleges of the city this week.

“This decision is part of the ongoing traffic week celebrations. A large number of students in colleges come without helmets. In order to encourage them to drive safely, every college will have about ten twenty helmets which students can borrow till they buy their own,” she said.



Yuvraj summoned in assault case

Gurgaon, January 8
A local court has issued summons to cricketer Yuvraj Singh and his mother Shabnam in a criminal case.

The case was filed by Neelam Mahajan, who alleged in her complaint that her son Yuvraj Siddharth was allegedly beaten up by the cricketer, his mother and other relatives.

According to Neelam Mahajan, the incident had occurred at Yuvraj Singh’s birthday party at his residence in DLF near Gurgaon on December 12, where the accused allegedly misbehaved with her and thrashed her son.

Judicial Magistrate Raj Rani Gupta has summoned Yuvraj and his mother Shabnam to appear in the court on March 13. — PTI



Chaurasia casts winning spell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
SPIC MACAY could not have asked for a better gift for its 30th birth anniversary. The festivity was complete and the occasion, made special by the presence of the inimitable Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia, who blessed the gathering with his generous ways.

Not even once did he flaunt his celebrity status. At home in the IMTECH auditorium in Sector 38, which wore a near-bridal look, Pt Chaurasia held a concert in true tradition of SPIC MACAY.

He did not even once instruct the students and SPIC MACAY volunteers, who were present in bulk at the venue. All he did was strike familiar melodies on the North Indian bamboo flute and test a generation, groomed by SPIC MACAY, for knowledge of it.

The opening composition of the day was the most unexpected of all. Before he started playing it, Pt Chaurasia declared: “Once I am finished, I will ask you if you recognised it. So be ready.”

As it turned out later, the composition was a devotional piece, ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hare’, and though most students pointed out the melody, none could stand up to sing it when asked by the maestro.

The students were more confident about the second composition, which was the all-time Christmas favourite ‘Jingle bells’.Through a simple contrast of interests, Pt Chaurasia made a mighty statement, that we had abandoned our tradition in pursuit of alien influences. “The tragedy of our generation is that it takes pride in the knowledge of everything that is not their own”, said the musician, who had dedicated a lifetime in the enrichment of Indian classical music.

He had lived like an ascetic, reserving his presence for music, which was his religion. Through his concert today, he made several points to youngsters, teaching them all about classical music in simple ways.

The first raga he presented during his recital was one which was revered and practised both in North India and South India. Here in North India it was called raga Bhopali, while in South India it was called Mohanam. The demonstrative recital, which came loaded with surprises and teachings, lasted for over an hour.



‘This one is mine. It is the lullaby my mother used to sing to me...’
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
In the nooks of Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia’s mind, a musical piece still lingers - the only one he has never played out on the flute. In his brilliant repertoire, this melody has the longest history, but one that the world will never know.

“This one is mine. It is the lullaby my mother used to sing to me - the most pressing memory I have,” the legendary flautist said in an unusually-candid interview with The Tribune today. He was here to perform on the completion of 30 years of SPIC MACAY.

On his mind was his mother who died when he was just six and whose lullabies left indelible impressions on his heart. Little had a young Hari Prasad known that the sound of music he heard ages ago would shape him into one of the finest musicians in the world. As they say, first impressions are often the strongest.

The musician agrees: “I never look back on life. The only time I look back is when those lullabies return to my mind. They serve the purpose of self enrichment.” Personally, the musician has touched the zenith of his musical mission, as he calls it, but it has been a tough road -- one where discipline and devotion have been the sole companions.

“You cannot imbibe music unless you set yourself free from the trappings of usual existence. You have to take out at least a decade if you want to come close to music. At Vrindavan Gurukul in Mumbai, I am raising a nursery of musicians who have the passion to renounce everything for music,” says the maestro, who has put on the hold all his engagements till the time Vrindavan Gurukul takes off.

“I want to make music for films and I am in constant touch with Yash Chopra, but I have fixed my priority for the moment. I must stabilise the Gurukul where we don’t charge any fee. We only preach music. Poor and rich, young and old, all are welcome,” said Pt Chaurasia, remembering the old times when the music of Indian films was in a league of its own.

“Those days the musicians had an identity. You could tell a music maker from a song. I don’t see makings of a musician in any of the present-day directors. To me, they all look the same,” the musician observed, blaming the dilution of music on commercialisation. In his opinion, Indian musical traditions like dhrupad have also suffered due to lack of musician’s interest in them.

“No one wants to sing dhrupad because it does not bring any money. Even the parents of present generation drive their children away from traditional arts which are financially non-viable. They push them into meaningless pursuits which guarantee hefty pay packets but erode the soul,” the maestro says, contrasting the scene in India with that in the west.

The west is reverting to spiritualism through music. Pt Chaurasia has several foreigners among his students. Not just that, he is also heading the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in The Netherlands.

On the eve of his travel to Rotterdam, the musician revised his vows to music today and said he considered himself a messenger of Lord Krishna in the world. “Krishna lorded over the world with his flute. I just want to serve,” he said as a parting note.



Artistes justify their roles
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, January 8
A Hindi adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic legend ‘Mouse Trap’ was staged at Tagore Theatre as a part of the drama festival organized by the Sandli Pairan Kala Kendra in association with the Sangeet Natak Akademy, Delhi, along with the Department of Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, Haryana, as also the Chandigarh Administration.

The original play had made history being the longest running production for continuous 8862 shows at London’s Ambassador Theatre before shifting to another venue but maintaining continuity.

Venturing with the entertaining classic crime thriller was indeed a challenge for director Gaurav Sharma who structured the play in a hilly ambience with aberrations of the Hindi adaptation evolved and scripted by Dev Raj Ankur, Director, National School of Drama. It proved be the actors’ play as the accomplished set of actors Yogesh Arora, Sachin Sharma, Bhavna, Rubina, Suvinder Pal, Sandeep Chatterjee Virinder and Ranjan attempted to justify their roles.

Landing in a newly opened guest house these guests with different backgrounds, behaviourous traits and temperaments are faced with a police enquiry into the mysterious killing of a lady. The characters fighting with their inner psychological conditions fearing to be trapped in the murder mystery react through brilliant display of imotions and delivery of dialogues. The suspense keeps the audience in rapt attention throughout till the unbelievable truth is revealed to spell surprise. The man impersonating as investigating police Inspector turns out to be the real killer as nabbed by the vigilant servant who in fact is the police investigator.

The grand set designing with bar, piano, fire place and the superb chiaroscuro lighting sound effects by Parvin Jaggi augmented the level of production. A Punjabi version of Oedipus will be staged tomorrow.



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