The big, fat Punjabi wedding gets...fatter
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Gone are the days when one used to invite artistes to liven up an occasion, be it a marriage or an anniversary.

Instead, the family has taken over to stage their own fraternal show. They now dance to the tunes of songs, thanks to “all-occasion choreography” in vogue. The family-show has thereby made Punjabi marriages more spicy and eventful.

Families have taken it upon themselves to put up orchestrated performance on the wedding of their kin and they are more rhythmic and synchronised as far as the dance performances are concerned.

What makes the concept of the family-dance on joyous occasions interesting is that it not only adds to the flavour of the moment but also demonstrates the love and affection that members have for each other. More and more Punjabis are therefore going in for well-rehearsed and skilfully choreographed dances on special occasions.

“We choreograph them on different numbers and see that no member of the family is neglected. We synchronise, organise and synthesise them in one aura and make their performances love coated,” says Gaggun Bedi, a Jalandhar-based choreographer-cum-dance instructor, who has popularised the concept of wedding choreography in Punjab.

The Munjals of Hero Group, Ludhiana; the Sondhis of PKF, Jalandhar; the Vijs of Jalandhar; the Mehras of Amritsar; the Junejas of Ludhiana; the Mittals of Hoshairpur; the Jindals of Ludhiana; the Anands of Jalandhar; the Thukrals of Jalandhar and the Mittals of Jalandhar are some of the well-known families who have been getting their family weddings or other functions choreographed.

The popularity of the “all-occasion choreography” is an indicator of changing tastes of people, particularly when it comes to celebration of an event in the families.

It certainly is an interesting sight to see the parents of a girl dancing to the track of “Roz sham ati thi magar aise na thi” and the girl herself portraying her feelings by dancing on the track of “Ek din aap yun humko mil jayenge, maine socha na tha”.

“Weddings have always been a special occasion in Punjab, but by arranging some spectacular choreography of marriage anniversary of our brother recently we feel we have become stars in our own small and personal world. It is so enchanting to see our conservative families dancing to the tune of music,” Mr Ramesh Mittal, Chairman, Lovely Professional University confessed smilingly.

“The most alluring feature of choreographies is the style element, which you would find very naturally in the set up as the entire family is prepared or gets rehearsed on one theme. This theme basically exemplifies the choice and portrayal of that particular family to society. Like in the Mahajans’ wedding, the theme was ‘Hollywood-Bollywood.’ So in true sense of the term, the entire choreography was an amalgamation of contemporary Indian era with mother and daughter-in-law tapping on ‘Kaise paheli hai zindagani’ to Hollywood with dandiya on western track.

“For the Mehras in Amritsar the theme was ‘Disco Night’ and choreography was planned accordingly,” says Gaggun.

“Wedding of my daughter could have been a boring event for at least our family members to a certain extent without the choreographed dance being its major ingredient. We rehearsed for it for more than a month and that too without telling other people.

Initially, we had some reservations as practice was a difficult task for elderly people, but once we were on the track after a few days’ practice, it was all fun,” said Kusum (55), a resident of Jalandhar.



Balle-balle not enough, filmi ishtyle is in
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Marriages this season have had a filmy touch in them. Bride, groom, their parents, siblings, uncles, aunts - each member of the family and even friends dancing to a parody of Bollywood numbers, dressed up according to theme of the songs and enacting a completely masala movie kind of a musical drama. The basic idea is to make the big day a memorable one, come what may --even the budget involved.

The whole family goes to a dance school and plans a sequence of dance numbers for choreographies to be presented on different occasions, including ring ceremony, shagun, churra ceremony, ladies sangeet, arrival of baraat and even reception.

They learn their steps and get the exact sequence of songs recorded in CDs and DVDs. While most youngsters go in for peppy numbers, the older generation prefers movie songs from yester years.

It is now not uncommon to see a groom dressed up in a typical Zaheed Khan style as in “Main hoon na” with a band over his hair, bending down to hold the bride’s hand as the duo performs on “Tumse mil ke dil ka hai jo haal.” Both of them regale the gathering with their filmy nakhre and jhatke as they dance on their wedding or may be reception.

A resident of Milap Chowk here, Ms Natasha Sehgal, who got married a fortnight back, surprised everyone as she danced on a sequence of numbers,

“Mere haathon mein nau nau churiyan”, “Gori hai kalayian” and “Churi mazaa na degi” on her churra ceremony that turned out to be a big event. She then went ahead as she performed disco dandiya on “Tune payal jo chhankayi” on her ladies sangeet.

Not just that, her younger sisters and cousins too performed on a parody of numbers as they played Natasha’s role on “Chocolate lime juice”, “Kajarare”, “Yeh galyian yeh chaubara” and “Mehndi hai rachne wali.”

Green Park residents, Mr Ashok Jindal and Ms Neelam Jindal, too have joined a dance school and have been rehearsing for a dance performance that they would put up as mausi-mausa of the groom for a wedding in Ludhiana.

They have planned a mix of old and new songs with “Pal pal dil ke paas” and “Sham hai jam hai” for the latest hit Don.

Alisha, a resident of Cool Road, planned it differently for her sister’s wedding. She collected all the pictures of her sister right from her school and college days till her engagement and made a slide show.It was shown on a huge slide projector put up on her wedding. She surprised her own sister as she even danced for her didi and jijaji on a number from “Hum aapke hain kaun.”

Mr Vivek Aggarwal, director, Vivek Aggarwal’s School of Performing Arts, said it involved a lot of effort in making the whole family dance together.

He said the sequence of songs for each wedding had to be tailor-made depending on the choice, dancing ability and the number of relatives involved.

“If there are some good dancers in the family, we even help them do salsa and dandiya or else we give them simple steps,” Mr Aggawal said, adding that even though he had been teaching dance for the past 12 years such a trend had picked up recently.



CRPF takes lead in rainwater harvesting
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

As cities and towns of Punjab grow economically, groundwater is depleting at an alarming rate.

Concerned over the alarming trend of declining groundwater in Jalandhar, the CRPF, with an investment of Rs 99 lakh, has taken a lead in this regard.

The DIG, CRPF, Jalandhar Range, Mr T.S. Dhillon, said: “Keeping in view the catchment area and the flow of rainwater in the area, particularly during the rainy season, we have decided to utilise the runoff of the rainwater. This will not only help recharging the aquifer system but also control flooding on the campus.”

The 15 recharge wells on the campus and three wells in the battalion campus at Lidran will replenish the thirst of aquifers. The depth of the wells varies from 200 feet to 225 feet depending upon the aquifer, said Mr Manjit Singh, Assistant Engineer, CPWD. The CPWD is implementing the project.

The catchment area of the campus is about 150 acres, while the Lidran campus has 20 acres.

In Punjab, the dependence on tubewells has increased to such an extent that tubewell-irrigated area is about 61.6 per cent, while the canal-irrigated area is only about 38.3 per cent. There are 16 lakh tubewells in the state.

Studies conducted by the Chandigarh-based Central Ground Water Board, North-Western Region say the water-table in 66 per cent area of Punjab has declined drastically during the past 25 years.

In the districts of Patiala, Sangrur and Moga, the water-table is falling at an alarming rate of about 40 cm per year.

In Ludhiana and Jalandhar districts, the decline is between 30 cm and 40 cm per year. In Amritsar district, it is 20 cm per year. Water management experts say the prevailing water crisis can be tackled only through concerted efforts of both the government and the common man.

For the common man, the easiest way to tap rainwater is through rooftop harvesting. For this, one needs to channelise the water to a recharge structure. There are a number of artificial recharge structure designs to choose from. The choice depends on the size of the catchment area or the rooftop area, average rainfall in the area and the depth of the aquifer in that area. Each structure aims at collecting rainwater or other run-off, passing it through a filter arrangement and finally making it reach the aquifer.

Experts say a 200 sq m rooftop catchment can recharge about 152 cubic metre of rainwater every year.

The cost of the structure, which is a bit higher, can be brought down by setting up a joint structure. For setting up the structure, one can take the help of officials of the Central Ground Water Board, Sector 27, Chandigarh.



Candidates relax after elections
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Harbhajan Singh Balalon
Harbhajan Singh Balalon

Ch Swarna Ram
Ch Swarna Ram

Joginder Singh Mann
Joginder Singh Mann

After the hectic campaigning schedule, candidates contesting from the Phagwara Assembly constituency are now in a relaxed frame of mind.

Mr Joginder Singh Mann, the Congress candidate, said though the polling was over, he was visiting and thanking his party workers.

“I am thankful to all those who helped me and stood by me during these days. I am still meeting people and telling them that I will try to do everything possible for them in the future,” he said.

He said he believed in destiny. “Guru Maharaj has taught us to be ‘sehaj’ in all circumstances. One should not forget God in good as well as in bad times. So I am regularly praying to God,” maintained Mr Mann. He said he had finished all his pending work these days and was visiting his family and friends too.

Ch Swarna Ram, the BJP candidate, remarked: “I don’t think my routine has changed after the polling. Everyday I am meeting people. I am thankful to those who supported me all these days. Let the result be in anybody’s favour, but I am convinced that I have been able to create awareness among people.”

He said he was much relieved and was feeling good after the hectic days. But he said he was on the move even after the elections.

“I have been meeting people and thanking all my supporters for all the cooperation. I will definitely serve for the development of the city. I am very hopeful about the results,” he added.

Mr Harbhajan Singh Balalon of the BSP said it was the grace of God that his well-wishers and supporters had reposed faith in him.



Scholarship for DAV College alumnus

An alumnus of the postgraduate department of chemistry from DAV College, Harwinder Kaur, has been selected for a PhD programme with scholarship in the Polytechnic University of Cataluniya, Barcelona. She will undertake the programme in ‘modification of biodegradable polymers for biomedical purposes’. Harwinder Kaur said ever since she pursued BSc (medical) from DAV College, Dasuya, she had always taken a keen interest in making of polymers which act as key products in chemical industries, household articles, automobiles, furniture and clothes for aircraft, biomedical and surgical operations. — TNS



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