It felt so right. It still does

Love at first sight… sounds a bit too cute, but is true at times, at least was for Karan & Ganimat Sood

We met for the first time in December 2001 at the Panjab University. Ganimat was a masters’ student and I was a speaker for a seminar. She was bubbly and charming, but firm and assertive. I had just returned from England with a masters’ degree. She was also my sister’s best friend.

And as she now tells me, I really didn’t make a very good first impression. But as time passed by, we got to know each other well and feelings grew. I proposed to her at my sister’s wedding.

Being from different backgrounds, we thought our parents might object. She came from a well-educated Sardar family of Chandigarh while I belonged to a Hindu business family based in Ludhiana.

But they supported our relationship. We are very lucky to have parents like them. I used to visit Ganimat often and her family was and is very fond of me. Our courtships lasted for almost a year and believe me those were golden days! Before we even knew, we got married on December 2, 2003...

Post-wedding, couples usually go on a honeymoon and then return back to normal life. However, we shifted out of our parents house to look after a project in the hills pretty close to Shimla and have been on a honeymoon ever since!

I am a real estate developer and she is my interior designer. We think that life is all about understanding, adjusting and standing by each other through thick and thin. We were blessed with a daughter – Gayatri — in the spring of 2005 and we fell in love even more!

Time has been flying ever since and we are enjoying the joys of parenthood. Now, the three of us live together in the tranquility of the hills — with each other, for each other…

For Rashim & Arjun Malik the birth of their daughter strengthened their bond

It was the summer of 1997 and just another day of my life or so I thought. It was the first day of class at a study academy when our destinies crossed. I can still vividly remember myself rushing late into class and sitting on the only vacant chair beside a young man, knowing little that he was the one fate had chosen for me.

For the entire two months that were to follow, we didn’t exchange much conversation apart from the regular greetings. On the last day of the two-month long tutorial when I entered class I didn’t see him there. He had already left for home and I felt the sudden pangs of missing something or someone, definitely not just a friend.

Soon after, one of our common friends walked up to me and handed me a note. My heart skipped a beat to learn that it was from the same man, who for a moment, I thought I would never meet again in life. It indeed was destiny! The note was actually brief and just a goodbye and had his contact numbers.

After a few months of hesitation, I finally called him up and talked to him. It felt like I had always known him. Henceforth, started a sweet courtship that lasted four years and culminated in our marriage in 2001. We have always stood by each other through the fog of uncertainty as we fought our way through to convince and change the minds of two sets of resisting families. It simply felt right to be together and I guess that was where we drew our strength from.

The euphoria of finally getting married was extended and sealed with the birth of our daughter Anoushka in 2003. At this juncture, when I thought that life had shown me all the facets of this relationship, I was pleasantly surprised to see a tender daddy unfold in my husband and the bond between us grew only stronger.

It is oft said that most couples have a seven-year itch but somewhere this chemical theory fails with us. Even today we enjoy many blissful moments and have nurtured the relationship with such delicacy that the freshness of it still exists and would exist forever. Hug wood…

Way to her Heart

The shortest possible route to a woman’s heart is to buy her the piece of jewellery she had always longed for. And this is the time to pick it up, for as Valentine’s Day approaches, the market gets bigger and better.

Chocolates, known for their ‘love boosting’ characteristics are making a grand entry in the market for the D-day. For so many youngsters picking gifts for their beloved, chocolates are the safest option as they leave no tell- tale signs behind.

The Valentine bug has bitten the young and the old alike. If this is the day for the youngsters to profess their love, then for the elder ones, this is an occasion to rejuvenate their romance in their married life.

Saying it with roses has never lost its charm. This year roses have found a place with dress designers too. If you are skeptical about it, listen to these youngsters who feel that St Valentine’s Day is nothing without a bunch of roses in hands and on dresses.

Have a similar love story? Email us at or write in at Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29-C, Chandigarh. And don’t forget to send us a couple picture. We will publish the best three stories next week. Watch this space!

Love, actually

Valentine’s is not just for the young. Residents past their prime too are picking up gifts to rejuvenate their relationships, says Saurabh Malik

Contagious love-virus is in the air. And catching the infection are not just teenyboppers but also the not-so-young!

Also expressing their emotions in the love season of 2007 are married couples advanced in life, brought together by love, parents or even circumstances several decades ago. Sometimes perturbed, mostly glad, they are tightening the knot by gifting presents on Valentine’s.

It’s time for Cupid’s annual visit. Excitement is in the air, youngsters are busy working on proposal lines, buying gifts and red is definitely the colour of the season. Join us in a celebration of love, life...

For some of them, the flame of passion may have grown dim years after they walked down the altar with career taking them on different routes, but they are now rekindling the feelings by gifting more than just airplane tickets for a second honeymoon. They are going in for bouquets of red roses, even soft toys.

Among such revelers is ex-Captain Rajneesh Talwar. Running his own card and gift shop on the Panjab University campus, he has already chalked out plans for the big day. After presenting a king-size card to his wife, he will take her out on a long drive. For academician Rachna Mehra, St Valentine’s Day is time to spring up a surprise. No wonder, she is unwilling to talk about the gift she is looking for her “every loving and caring” husband Akshay Mehra.

But from her queries about photography, you can easily make out she is focusing on the latest model of some sophisticated camera. In any case, she admits cameras are nothing less than a passion for her hubby.

Regional Manager with the State Bank of India, Akshay too has special plans for the day. To begin with, he is all set to go out for a candle light dinner with Rachna to some nice and cozy joint far from the hustle and bustle of city life. There he will present her the gift. Well, he too wants to keep the present under wraps for the time being. “It’s going to leave her amazed,” is all he says with a warm smile playing on his lips. For them, the markets across the city are already flooded with teddy bears and king-size velvet hearts. If you haven’t seen the enormous stuff waiting to be picked up for making the day a big success, just hop on your bike and zip down the commercial road to emotionalism.

“From soft toys to faux and real diamonds, you will get what you like to make your love sparkle like never before,” says Chetan Kumar of a Sector 11 gift and jewellery shop.

So folks, just let the feeling of youth sink into your hearts. Leave the baggage of age behind and make the day an occasion to celebrate even if you are senior in years.

Crazy kiya re…
Saurabh Malik

This Valentine’s there is a gift for every budget. The market is flooded with gifts starting for as little as Rs 25 and the sky is the limit. No mean feat picking up a gift this time!

If you are not too good at deciding, you better not go Valentine’s shopping on your own. The variety of gifts available this year is sure to bamboozle even the seasoned shopper!

To begin with, you could go in for the evergreen bouquet of red roses for Rs 99 to 150.

If you are in an adventurous mood, check out the tiny jewel boxes that hold the key to your future. If you find a golden pearl in the box, prosperity is on its way. A pink jewel means it’s time for you to open your heart to love.

Also up for grabs is a magic pen. Scribbling your love messages for that special someone and he or she can only read it under a special light! So, pour your heart out… just for Rs 50.

Another interesting gift is the “plant of affection”. There are a few seed in a pot, water them and see them grow into little plants with love messages on the leaves! Imported all the way from Korea, the seeds germinate only after you break open the shell and start watering it. Just for Rs 99! The wonders of biotechnology…

While on the hunt, also check out the twin teddies. Choose from hanging teddies, teddies on cushioned-hearts (Rs 350 to 900).  

For the techno-savvy, I-Pods, pen drives, CDs and MP3 players are good options. But prepare to shell out more. CDROM video games also make good gifts and for under Rs 500, these are easy on the pocket too.

Twin photo frames with heart motifs and the ones that say, “I love you” on the press of a concealed button are selling well among the youngsters.

Check out the “red-series” — ashtrays, paperweights, pen stands and even coin boxes in the colour of love. Other hot picks include watch, ring and pendants sets, watches with changeable straps, a heart-shaped pendant split into two and heart-shaped earrings.

Choco Love

You have said it with flowers. Longing to pen down your own book of love, you have even scribbled amorous messages on greeting cards. Now allow soft love molded into chocolates melting all the way into your pal’s heart on St Valentine’s Day.

For, chocolates actually are ‘instant love booster’. Chef Amarendra Mishra of Taj Chandigarh, says the stuff contains the chemical that is produced in ‘our brains when we fall in love’.

In any case, chances are that you will find both chocolate and love addictive. Want proof? Well, in the UK alone, people on an average pull out something like over £ 3 billion ($ 4.5 billion) on chocolates. Consumers in the USA pay more than $7 billion. An average US citizen eats 5.45 kg of chocolate annually. A Swiss consumes 11 kg every year.

So, stop counting those loathsome calories. Just zip down the road to the market and buy for your “honey” chocolates full of blueberry, caramel, cherry and some love. In fact, you will find confectionary shops all over the city displaying boxes and baskets full of chocolates, nicely wrapped in cellophane paper, secured properly with alluring red ribbon especially for February 14.

You can take home the ones in heart shape, tastefully imported all the way from Switzerland and other countries. The stuff fits the occasion. Or else, you can buy the ones molded into teddy bears.

The choice is yours entirely. The ‘desi’ chocolates can be had for anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 250. The imported ones are comparatively expensive. You can buy them for as much as Rs 550.

Third-year Humanities student Rekha Sharma has picked up a nice box of assorted chocolates from a shop in Sector 15 to give her ‘sugar’ a taste of affection on the big day. “I am sure he will relish it,” she smiles. “You see the gift goes well with his personality. He himself is so chocolaty.”

She is not alone. Her best friend Namrita Bhatia also believes in ‘chocolate love’. Her logic is not so complicated. “Chocolates are tasty , cost as much as cards, but are safer. You savour them and that’s the end of it,” she asserts. Guys, if you haven’t done your Valentine’s shopping, forget all about the cards. Pick up chocolates. Now! Happy munching!

— Saurabh Malik 

No limits

This Valentine’s there is a gift for every budget. The market is flooded with gifts beginning at Rs 25 and the sky is the limit.

For starters, check out the friendship bands. Priced at an affordable Rs 25, these are a rage among school kids. Soft toys, another good option, are available in the range of Rs 100 to 4,000. Choose from teddy bears of various shapes, sizes and colours.

Coffee mugs are also a big hit. With cute messages like ‘With you I’m incomplete’ and ‘Some people make world more special just by being in it’, these mugs are a good gift. For Rs 99-250.

Archies has launched a special gift pack for Valentines Day. For Rs 49, you could get a small teddy, a heart shaped key ring, a little mug and an Archies perfume. “It is a hot seller among youngsters,” tells Harpreet Kaur of Archies, Sector 22.

For the poetic, Archies in Sector 17 has heart-shaped diaries and poetry books. Do ask for the special gift wrapping. You could also check out watches (Rs175- 700), wallets (Rs 250-60), costume jewellery (Rs 95-1500), key rings (Rs 25-50) and soft toys (Rs 10-4,000). Says Karan Gulati of Archies Gallery Sector 17, “Candles are also in great demand this year. Prices start at Rs 50. The choice is between aromatic candles, gel candles and heart shaped candles.”

There’s a wide variety in decoration pieces as well. Check out the ceramic couple, love birds, photo frames and lamps starting at Rs 95.

“On purchase of Rs. 30 and above, Archies, Sector 22, is giving a free musical heart” says Harpreet Kaur the owner.

— Shivani Thapa and Sunaina Sharma

Gem of a gift
Smriti Sharma

It’s the day of love— to express one’s feeling, to reinforce one’s faith in a relationship, to show someone what his or her presence in life means. Yes, it’s St Valentine’s Day.

Well there can be thousand ways to show that you care but there is one that is tried and tested by all, and that is giving that perfect gift to your beloved. And as they goes….if the way to win a man’s heart is through his tummy, then a way to win over a woman’s heart is by giving her jewellery she has always longed for.

If giving that costly piece of jewellery that might leave you poorer by a couple of thousands worries you and you needn’t be. With innovation as the buzz word, one can go in for trendy pieces rather than the traditional gold and silver. It can be a pair of that lovely chandelier earrings you saw Rani Mukherji wearing in Baabul or may be more Indian looking pieces a la Shobha De style and if that is not your taste then you might as well go in for the ones in coloured stones, straight from the Victorian era.

The trendy charms are in vogue and top it all they can match well with that pretty dress you wanted to flaunt on the big day. Let’s sneak a quick look on what all is on offer... Intricate pieces of long earrings with imported silver base in pinks, turquoise, sea greens bejewelled with semi precious stones is the hot pick of the season. If you happen to fall in ‘only the real thing for me’ category then you can dig out from the diamonds in white gold, sterling silver, yellow gold and platinum.

So ladies go ahead choose your gifts yourself and feel the pulse of the day. Happy Valentine’s!

Say it with cards
Shivani Thapa

As the love fest knocks your door on 14 February and everyone looks around for that very special way to express feelings for the one who means the most, cards still do what the quivering lips fail to say. To help you again this Valentine the market is deluged with a wide range of beautiful cards. Anything between Rs 20 to 900 no one is complaining when it comes to picking up the right words. Years may fail you in coming up with the right words yourself as 40 year olds are all for buying these cards to express the most beautiful feelings. Call it puppy love or teenage love the beaming teens making a beeline for the card shops start from 14 years.

So much is the appeal of these attractive pieces of paper that the shoppers are ready to curtail their expenses on gifts. Going up the price spiral are cards between Rs 500 to 900 for those ready to indulge. For these prices you get not one but cards that club five in one and this jumbo card come for a price of Rs 895. To celebrate togetherness get a heart shaped twin pendant card or a poster card all a feet tall card for Rs 600, a 30 feet long scrolling card with love messages on it for Rs 760, a love cruise card to write your love story for Rs 365 and not to miss the talent hunt card in which one goes through several love rounds for Rs 700.

Be Indian, look Indian
Smriti Sharma

“Indian look is in, so flaunt it anywhere around the globe,” is designer Narendra Kumar Ahmed’s advice for you. The designer having showcased his collection at four fashion weeks including two Lakme India Fashion weeks, says, “Born to a Hindu mother and a Muslim father, I wanted to retain both the second names, is how he explains his identity. Nevertheless his list of achievements doesn’t just end there. Narendra Kumar

Narendra and Wendell Roderick are in fact the only two designers who have been selected to showcase their creations at the prestigious PAPP (prêt-a-porter Paris). His unusual and wearable designs keep him in news or may be for his own label Chai. It seems this guy is Desi at heart when it comes to his tag line. He called his label Chai, simply for the fact that it was a very Indian and perhaps everyone can relate to the name.

For the first time he has done something for the small screen after his maiden venture in Baabul wherein he did clothes for eye candy John Abraham.

So this man is behind the new look that host Annu Kapoor would sport in Antakshari-the Great Challenge. From ethnic Indian Sherwanis complete with a Dupatta to Indo Western attires, Annu Kapoor’s wardrobe in the show includes well-fitted jackets with neat cuts, in very rich yet not gaudy hues.

“This is my version of Tuxedo for Annu ji”, avers Ahmed. “Colours and style exemplify Kapoor’s personality, his style. The new wardrobe is young and vibrant and at the same time keeping his age in mind”.

Ahmed is busy these days preparing for Mumbai fashion week and the Los Angeles fashion week. John Abraham would be next seen supporting Kumar’s style in his forthcoming flick directed by Anurag Kashyap, No Smoking.

Sajna hai mujhe….
Anuradha Shukla

Sajna sajana time is here for both men and women as Valentines Day is fast approaching. Ready to woo the one they love, the city women are making a bee-line for the beauty packages and discounts offered by major beauty parlours. In store are hair spa treatments, chocolate facials that come with special gift hampers for the boyfriends or husbands.

Kareena Kapoor is not the only one getting her skin nourished with chocolate facials as Cleopatra in Sector 8, is bringing in a full four-day Chocolate Fest, beginning February 10. It offers body makeover package along with chocolate facial, manicure, pedicure, hair spa, hair colour etc at a discount rate. For once, the studio the general concern about calorie will take a back seat as the studio will offer its clients chocolates to eat.

“Valentine Day celebration is not complete without chocolates and women who come to us will not only get herself pampered for the day but will also be taking away a special hamper for her man,” says Richa. “All for Rs 500 the partner can get skin polishing, hair spa, hair cut done,” adds Richa. A thoughtful gesture indeed!

Burjois Spa, Sector 35, is not far behind as the first full-day spa for both men and women offers 14 kinds of spa packages at 30 per cent discount. “The packages include full body rejuvenation, treatments from head to toe starting from Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000,” says Naunihal Singh.

Beautifying your hair can be fun this Valentine Day, as they come at a discount rate. So indulge and get “free hair colouring, texture treatments, free hair re-bonding with hair texture treatments, free hair spa, and also free hair cuts from us,” says Naunihal.

Vidya Tikari’s new studio in Sector 10 is offering make up along with the exotic H2O and Aroma therapy beauty treatments. “There is free eye make-up with the hair do, with the spa treatments you get free hair styling, hair colouring, conditioning etc,” says Mona Sarup. The Aroma therapy treatments begin at Rs 1,800 while the H2O treatments begin at Rs 3,200 for a full body make-over for the whole week,” says Sarup.

If you are planning to get to the root of all your skin troubles and want to weed them out once and for all Kaya Clinic in Sector 8 has some special offers. The clinic offers 15 per cent off on availing two packages and on a laser treatment packages, the discount go up to 20 per cent.

With the beauty shops are all out to pamper you, this Valentine’s Day promises to be fun.

Makeover Mantra
Smriti Sharma

Tune into any of the FM stations and the most pleasing voice greets you. Ever wonder who is behind these fast racy lines and how they manage to pull up that spontaneity, always hitting out at the pulse of the audience. All this certainly coaxes one to think how the Radio Jockeys (RJs) look like in real life.

The rainy Saturday afternoon saw eight radio jockeys from Big FM, breaking the myth that an ugly face suitable for a RJ as they got a complete makeover at Tress Lounge in Sector 8 and viola, this energetic pack was ready to spill some beans on the new-age RJ look.

Lets get started. Arsh, Pankaj, Ishleen, Muskaan, Sachin, Meenakshi and Sukhi are the chosen ones to get a new look. All geared up for the launching of the channel, this bunch of talkers have one common mantra and that is, look good, feel good and do good! Believe it or not, but this make over was called for so as to boost the confidence levels of the RJs, to make them feel like a star, a celebrities in their own regime. Well whatever the reason may by, the truth is the make over is definitely doing its trick on the chirpy gang.

Nidhi, who is ready to rock the listeners with her show ‘Geri’, is bubbling with excitement after her make over. With a high ponytail and a colour sparked all over her hair she is already feeling on top of the world. “I always though makeover was only for VJs. But after getting one myself, I think I can connect well with my listeners now when I go for outdoor broadcasting”.

Ishleen, who will be doing Premier Hockey League matches for all the centres across India, feels it’s all about being presentable. “Chandigarh is one place where looks really means a lot, its great for me as a person also”.

For Pankaj from Shimla, who has earlier dabbled into acting on small screen and has even given voice and speech training to top models like Priya Sachdev and Amy Vashi in Mumbai, radio is perhaps the best thing that happened to him and the make over is the cherry on the cake. All set to co- host ‘Geri’ with Nidhi, he believes the makeover matches with his style completely. A fact the Arsh and Muskaan also swear by. For Muskaan, the whole experience made her feel special and pampered. For Sukhi and Meenakshi the makeover was more in sync with the roles they get to play on the channel. While Sukhi is the flag bearer of comedy and wits with his show Dhamal with Sunil Pal its Meenakshi who would be playing cupid for the lovelorn and agony aunt for the restless souls.

Now that the makeover is done, lets converse.

Write to Renee
Balance is the key

I am a 32-year-old, in a serious relationship with a man for the past 10 years. We have had this ‘on and off’ relationship as he had been posted to different places in his career situation. I have been trying to get this man to marry me for the past five years but he always find some excuse. I am willing to wait but for how long. How should I make him take a decision?

Puja Ahuja Jalandhar

Relationships are wonderful and marriages are great too, but all this only has a true meaning when your connection to your own self is great. You are actually your own best friend. Financial success is important but balance is the key to happiness. Work it out for your inner-self. It is terrible to live in a limbo. Have the courage to tell your man about the way you feel. If marriage is what you want then discuss the issue with him clearly. Just because you have been with it for 10 years, it does not mean you stay in it in a vague fashion. You have developed a comfort zone in the situation. Step out of it, be objective about the situation and then come to a firm decision.

Health tip of the day

Regular moderate exercise reduces the risk of intestinal disorders including ulcers, indigestion and in elderly also lowers the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

— Dr Ravinder Chadha

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |