Like parent, like children
They followed in their parent’s footsteps and made a name for themselves. Was it the home environment or genes at play? Parbina Rashid attempts to find the answer

Aditya Prakash & Vikramaditya
Aditya Prakash & Vikramaditya

Satwant Singh & Kavita
Satwant Singh & Kavita 

Ever thought why a doctor’s child becomes a doctor (in most cases) or an architect’s kid will prefer to be an architect? Is it the environment at home that determines the children’s choice of career or is it in their genes? Having no patience to sit in a library with a fat volume on genetics or environmental sciences for company, we prefer to do our own research for the city has a large number of such samples to build an indigenous data bank!

The first such household we zero in on is architect Aditya Prakash’s. Aditya has been involved with the making of the city ever since it was conceptualised. His son Vikramaditya has made it big in foreign shores as a professor in the history of architecture.

It’s in the air

As the conversation moves from Vikramaditya’s childhood to adulthood and an enviable career at the University of Washington, we come to know that he once upon a time dreamed of becoming a writer. Was it Prakash Sr. who bullied him into becoming an architect? "No, the city itself is a big bully," pat comes Vikramaditya’s answer.

But then he did grow up in the "right" environment. "I remember having regular tea or dinner sessions with architects engaged in animated discussions on Chandigarh – it was the most-happening topic back then. Though I was not formally included in those sessions, I used to sit and listen. So when I decided that I would not be able to make it as a writer, the obvious second choice was architecture."

Though Prakash Jr. describes his profession as a chakravyuh one can get into but cannot come out of, the author of Making of Chandigarh and a number of plays and articles, seems to be thoroughly enjoying being in the chakravyuh.

What about papa Prakash? Is he happy to have a follower? "I have no grudge," comes the typical reply one would expect from Aditya. But he is quick to add that Vikramaditya is the trendsetter in the family.

"The bottom line is that I am Vikramaditya’s role model. I used to play cricket, so did he. I act, so does my son. I write, so does he. It is a different matter that he has outshined me!" A case of environmental impact, no doubt.

Gene pool counts

The next persons we meet are artist Satwant Singh and his daughter Kavita. Though the environment also seems to be the predominant factor here, both Kavita and Satwant subscribe to the idea of genetic inheritance too. "It is a case of fifty-fifty actually," says Satwant, describing how Kavita at age six would copy him. "And guess what? She was actually good at it," he says.

That we know. At 15, Kavita took up art seriously, working on her style in graphics. At 16, she became the youngest artist to have exhibited solo at Punjab Kala Bhavan. "I was always sure that I wanted to be an artist and once proved I was serious I got all the help from my father," says Kavita.

Though the learning process continued through the Guru-Shishya parampara, Kavita made it a conscious decision not to follow her father completely. "I am into graphics and mask-making which is totally different from my father’s works," says the young artist, who is now teaching at the Department of Fine Arts at Punjabi University, Patiala. However, she admits that the environment was conducive enough to inspire her.

"We still exchange notes and discuss art. In fact, we are growing together in art," they say.

The clincher

So is it the gene pool or family environment? The arguments are inconclusive. As we look for the clinching point, the most interesting input comes from theatreperson Harleen Kohli, known for her modules in alternative education that she carries out through her voluntary organisation, CEVA.

"One can never safely say that it is genetic. Genes can remain dormant for generations but the role of the home environment is there for everyone to see," says Kohli.

Her daughter Sukhmani dropped graduation to travel and learn life practically. "I volunteer to work with CEVA whenever I am in town. Apart from that, I like designing jewellery and educating people through different creative outlets," she says. Her dream is to now make a documentary highlighting the stories of different generations.

Sounds too much like her mother. "Yes, many a time I follow in her footsteps and many a times I carve out my own path," she is quick to admit.

But then this is what Harleen had always wanted of her offspring. "I always wanted them to be open and thinking persons and the dream I have for her is that she should be a facilitator of education for she is a creative person with a good vision."

Well, in a time when every parent expects their son or daughter to score above 90 per cent, secure a seat in IIT or IIM, Harleen’s dreams come across as offbeat. But we finally get our answer — Do not depend too much on your genes — if you want your children to head a certain way, create the right environment at home.

Why be afraid of Nishabd?
The debate over sexuality is a non-issue. The freedoms provided to the individual to express himself emotionally, intellectually, socially and usefully is the issue says Ashwini Bhatnagar

Romance knows no age and the heart knows not any laws. It is all in the mind really, and when it ticks, it causes righteousness to erupt. It channelises people towards socially acceptable stereotypes. Lives are then ordained to be laid out in immaculately cultivated patches and relationships become the well- manicured tapestry of a planned garden. Neat pathways, luxuriantly green lawns and rows and rows of flowers ‘nodding their head in a sprightly dance’ is the design envisioned by the Great Social Gardner.

The crafted garden is the mind at work; away from it, it is a jungle out there – a jungle of raw emotions, dimly-lit, moisture-laden soft- to-touch feelings, frightening uncertainties about the future, dark shadows of the past and the tangled vines of memories. The jungle reclaims the garden every day even as the garden fights back to reclaim its plan.

The battle between perfectly non-conflicting social order and individual liberty is endless and within its ebb and flow lie relationships that cease within the garden and begin in the jungle. The unspoken relationships are therefore relationships of denial. They exist in tangible life-altering terms but never find their due voice and expression. The individual accepts them but society would rather wish them away. They are like bad ghosts from the jungle casting their horrible shadows on a perfect plan.

Certain relationships therefore remain unspoken. They cannot scuffle with social righteousness. They exist in their silence and thrive away from social mores, in private peace. They are non-judgmental about themselves and sprout because of an overwhelming need for immediate expression between two people. They may be ephemeral or long-lasting relationships; but whatever they are an individual’s response to a feeling that overrides righteousness for a moment or forever.

An 18-year-old girl’s love for a 60-year old and vice versa is a strict na-na. The 18-year- old may be forgiven in most cases because a large part of her affection may be assigned to her immaturity, but for a 60-year old to accept her love at the cost of responsible behaviour towards his family is virtually unpardonable. Similarly, many taboo relationships, which vary from community to community and religion to religion, are impossible to solemnise in face of social wrath. Definitionally, they ought not to exist and therefore cannot be allowed to survive. Maintenance and furtherance of social order carries with it the premium of snuffing out ‘deviant’ attempts.  

There are good reasons to think so too. Winter-spring liaisons or taboo outreach bring with them complexities that are irreconcilable with community life. They are not practical and hence out of the question. Intolerance is the answer to such liaisons. But can we be judgmental to the extreme? Is there some elbowroom for those individuals who choose to express rather than repress a deep and strong urge? 

Traditionally, the sub continental culture has followed the restaurant approach to living. Strict codes of conduct have coexisted with liberal ways. The maryada of Ram has been venerated as much as the raas of Krishna. Sculptures, poets, writers and even ordinary people have enjoyed a licence that it unknown in any part of the world. On the other hand, penance, fasting, piety, negation and complete detachment have been the hallmark of many an Indian philosophy and way of life. Conversion from one line of thought and action to another has traditionally been entirely an individual’s choice.

Relationships too have been similarly routed. Gays and lesbians have been as much a part of the fold as has been immaculate conception. Other ‘deviant’ behaviours have also been similarly assimilated. The only strictly enforced code of conduct concerned the preservation of the genetic pool. Licentious procreation has been a taboo; not licentious recreation. Interestingly, all ancient texts describe sex as a sport (krida) but elevates it to dharma for propagation of the vansh.

All societies in the world have only two categories of relationships – taboo and non taboo. However, the Indian society has a third group between the two – the joking relationship. This special category group provides room for light flirtation and involves the relationship between devar-bhabhi, jija-saali, samadhi-samadhan, etc. It recognises that the interaction between two set of people can neither be completely sexual nor non- sexual. Flirtation has therefore been socially legitimised within an extended household and, in case of a slip-up, the genetic pool remains unsullied.

Containment of deviancy first and thereafter its assimilation has been the special feature of the Indian ethos. It takes care of the needs of an individual by creating that space within a system, which, ironically, appears to be an unbending steel frame to casual observers.

The typecasting of morality has been Queen Victoria’s gift to her colony. Victorian or middle-class morality or even the present-day messy mix of moral police and liberal western mindset is perhaps a more deviant social behaviour than all other behavioural licences put together. This type of morality achieves none of the social assimilation and acceptance of individual’s special needs. Rather, it bears down from the point of a stand-off. It results in social friction, normative tension and argumentative politics. The I-am-right-because-I-say-so logic deprived of its holistic approach hurts the individual without benefiting the society. In the long run it damages the social fabric irreparably. The tom-toming of gay and lesbian rights after years of Victorian subjugation in the West is a case in point.

The debate over sexuality is therefore a non-issue. The freedoms provided to the individual to express himself emotionally, intellectually, socially and usefully is the issue. A social order based on repression and non-negotiable edicts will crumble before long. It will also lose its life force, which stems many a time from moving away from the norm. The wheel was invented thus and the best artistic expression flowed from some so-called deviant behaviour.

A carefully maintained garden as well as a jungle, individually and collectively, goes towards preserving a conducive environment. The jungle of feelings and emotions gives life breath to the well-ordered garden of community living. The threat lies not in the uncertainties of a jungle but in the rigid regimentation of a grid plan.

Dial S for security
Saurabh Malik

When you receive a guest, the system flashes a message on your phone. Students have spent Rs 20,000 on the project. But with large-scale production, the cost is expected to come down to Rs 8,000. 

Fingers pressing the backlit keys of mobile phones will now be able to do more than just receive messages or call up pals. For, three young researchers from The Chandigarh College of Engineering, Landran, have devised an advanced security system that enables you to receive warnings about intruders-and guests-on your cell-phones.

Without burning a hole in your pocket, the system also functions as a fire alarm. If you want to know more about the system, let’s begin with the fact that it has been granted the stamp of authenticity by none other than the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

The project was adjudged second out of 102 entries initially received during the Asian-level contest at the IIT. Out of the total, 67 made to the second round while in the grand finale, the three final-year electronics students from Landran —Gurpreet Singh, Sukhjinder Singh and Harmandeep Singh— competed with 16 other contestants to bring home the award.

Presenting the project, Gurpreet Singh says unlike other ventures designed on the same lines they have not used computers to enhance security. The entire process of dialing up security is carried out with the help of GSM mobile phones.

As soon as a visitor lands up at your house, the system flashes a message on your phone. In case you go in for the one with MMS facility, you even receive the guest’s photo. If you wish to respond, the message you send is displayed on the LCD panel at your house in a matter of seconds.

And in case your unwanted guest decides to barge in, the infrared sensors, placed at vulnerable points around the protected areas, enable the system to inform you. Ditto in case of a blazing inferno!

But this is definitely not the end of it. You can turn the device on or off from a distance as well. In other words, you can switch off your TV when your mom is watching her favourite “sobbing opera” even when you are in Delhi or Mumbai!

Last but definitely not the least, you do not have to worry about accidentally switching off the refrigerator by forgetting to lock the keypad. For, the commands are through the short message service. College chairman Satnam Singh Sandhu has already asked the students to install the system in the college grounds. Let’s hope the lines do not remain busy.

Green Couple 
Starting today, Lifestyle profiles winners of the best garden prize at the Rose Festival. For Subhash and Kavita Marriya, it has been five years of sweat, toil and accolades
Parbina Rashid


  • When you start a lawn, demarcate the area—how much area you want for the flower beds and how much for the grass.

  • Timing is important when it comes to sowing seeds.

  • Pruning at the right time is as important as manuring.

  • Use vermipost and urea for fertilizing the ground. Mustard cakes add to the nutrition value

We all know the Marriya family and their prize-winning garden. When a garden bags 28 prizes at the Rose Festival and is declared the best garden of the city for the fourth consecutive year, it makes news! So it was not the curiosity to see the vast variety of flowers or neatly laid out flower pots that made me accept Marriya’s invitation for a morning cup of coffee — despite the fact that 9 am is an ungodly hour by any self-respecting journalist — but to find out what does it take a man or woman to amass 2,000 flower pots and 150 varieties of seasonal flowers.

And it did not take too long. For when you talk to the Marriyas, conversation is bound to centre on flowers, with or without coffee. For the garden they both so lovingly nourished in the past five years is not just an extension of the house, but also of their lives.

“The day starts when we hear the koyal, a regular visitor to our garden, sing in the morning. What follows next is yoga and pranayam in the open greens,” says Subhash Marriya, also the principal of DAV College, Sector 10. Besides the koyal, regular visitors include an owl and birds. However, not every visitor is welcome here — especially not the simians from neighbouring PGI. “Our Golden Retrievers — Cubby and Cooper — shoo away unwelcome guest tempted by the mango, litchi, berry and other fruit trees,” says Subhash. “In fact The Art of Living guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, prefers to stay with us because of our flowers,” he beams.

While Marriya’s time in the garden remains at the functional level, his wife Kavita, who heads the clothes and textile department at the Government Polytechnic for Women in Sector 10, goes one step ahead and derives her creative inspiration from them.

“I often pick up a flower and ask the dyer to make my saree and suits that colour. They all are familiar with my eccentricity now!” she says. And looking at her pink saree that matches the colour of most of the kale, double petunias, sweet peas and so many unheard of flowers, we understand what she means. Even for the trousseau for her daughters-in-law to be, the inspiration comes from the garden!

Coming back to the garden, Kavita inherited green fingers from her father who had introduced her to grafting and pruning. She later studied gardening in Plus Two as a special subject and then in graduation at Lady Irwin College, Delhi.

“When we got married we had a smaller house. I used to keep potted plants and mostly took part in flower arrangements. Then we moved into this house and the two-kanal open space threw up a challenge that we gladly accepted,” Kavita says, showing us how they converted the backyard into an elevated garden, complete with colourful pebbles and a water feature!

The duo has a team to help them out, with Amar Singh and Ram Bharan doing most of the leg works. Kavita supervises and Marriya, of course, sanctions the budget. Kavita now to put up a hammock in the front half. “It is a bit expensive. So I’ll have to work a bit to get my proposal approved,” she says in a lighter vein.

Two hours and two cups of coffee later, we see the couple – which seems united in their passion for colour — share one tiny difference. Kavita would not mind breaking a leg to get a garden accessory of her dreams — like she did while collecting a shell in Goa — and Subhash wants no obstacles so he can tee off whenever he likes! But that’s not a big deal, considering that they could tide over their differences to remain married to each other for 29 years. 

Back to faith, via art
B.N. Goswamy’s latest book unveils a whole new world of Sikh art
Aditi Tandon

The very mention of Sikh art brings splendid images of Sikh gurus to mind, the sort of images that flourished during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He patronised a genre of art that painted the faith in golden hues and depicted the glory it had achieved during his times.

But splendour was not the only reality of the period. Around the same time when Ranjit Singh was promoting decorative art, painters at the grassroots were doing simple work. Their work focused upon the broader vision of Sikh faith, its open mindedness and its stress on simplicity and equality.

For the first time, these images have been brought to life in the latest book by art historian Dr B. N. Goswamy. The book, published by Mapin and titled I See No Stranger: Early Sikh Art and Devotion, was written to catalogue the exhibition on Sikh art that just concluded at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York. The exhibition was inspired by a demand to showcase Sikh art in New York, the most polyglot of America’s cities, which houses more than five lakh Sikhs.

For Goswamy, it was a chance to bring to the world an aspect of Sikh art never presented earlier. He co-wrote the book with Dr Caron Smith, chief curator of the Rubin Museum, and laced it with 124 colour illustrations drawn from museum collections in India, the US and private collections in Canada, the UK and US.

The images are striking and project the core Sikh beliefs as developed by the ten Sikh Gurus between the 16th and the 17th century. Through them, a viewer is taken behind the external signs that identify Sikhs and to the principles of the faith, as it was founded.

Goswamy, who has 23 books to his credit, describes the work as overdue. “Between 1999 and 2004, San Francisco, Toronto, London, and New Delhi hosted important exhibitions reflecting the history and beliefs of Sikhism. An ongoing installation at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History documents the 500 years of Sikh culture since the founding of the religion in the late 16th century. But these exhibitions provide a larger view of Sikh art and culture. The exhibition my latest book catalogues focuses on the visual reflections of the faith’s fundamental beliefs,” he says.

The book brings to life the closeness to the earth that the Sikhs have always felt. Documented herein are images of humble men at work. These include a watercolour showing a block printer on the job.

Created in 1875, the work is charming in its details. It shows dye-soaked pads lying in wooden frames, wood-blocks of varying sizes, earthen vessels holding water and other fluids. In totality, it takes us through the entire process of block printing. Other images contained in the book celebrate dignity of labour by painting the thread maker; the die stamper, the carpenter, the tracker and the oil presser at work.

In a way then, the works justify the book’s title by emphasising “simplicity” and “equality” as preached by the gurus. Then there are Janmasakhis – the remembered accounts of the life of Guru Nanak. These, Goswamy says, have remained close to the heart of the matter in terms of picking up the precepts around which the faith was founded.

“Our goal was to focus on the early period which found reflections in the later paintings. Works featured in the book are of three kinds: the Janmasakhis, images of the Gurus who followed Guru Nanak through the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, who died in 1708, and manuscripts of the text named by Gobind Singh as his successor and the Eternal Living Guru,” said the writer.

The most interesting part of the book is its collection of conceptual portraiture of the gurus who were never painted in their lifetime. “What we see is the rendering of memory images by different painters. And because they never consulted each other, we have different painted versions of the same guru,” Dr Goswamy explained.

The book also tells us that Sikh art in the early 18th century was in the Pahari and Mughal styles. This was the time when Hindu and Muslim artists were representing the Sikh Gurus and their teachings through the eyes of their respective religious beliefs. This is evident in the portrayal of the Gurus with Hindu gods and deities. In contrast, Mughal artists were portraying the Gurus as Muslim pirs.

The saga of secularism, thus, goes back many centuries. And art tells us how.

The guru of subtlety 
Munna Shukla represents eight generations of the Lucknow kathak gharana
S. D. Sharma

The man and his disciples
The man and his disciples. — Photo by Malkiat Singh

“The ancient masters were never content with their dance compositions or presentations but always endeavored hard to project into it the strivings of their innermost experience to achieve an ultimate perfection which veritably reflected their personality and the gharana,” observes acclaimed kathak guru Munna Shukla, torch-bearer of the Lucknow gharana. The guru after a teaching and performance experience in Japan distinguished himself in the realm with a memorable performance at the Festival of Indian in Russia, Singapore, European and African countries between 1988 and 1994.

Earlier, he had imparted training to Indian and foreign students at Kala Chhaya, Pune, and the Film and TV Institute of India. Credited with various memorable choreographies, he is presently associated with the Shree Ram Bharti Kala Kendra. Here to perform with his disciples, he shared his views on classical arts.

A proponent of pristine traditional purity in kathak, or for all that matter in other classical dance forms and the guru-shishya parampara, Munna Shukla represents eight generation of the Lucknow  Kathak gharana. Nephew and foremost disciple of kathak samrat Birju Maharaj, the guru maintained that kathak was the oldest dance form with a celestial origin, rejecting the view that the form is a hybrid offspring of the vastly divergent Mughal and Hindu cultures.

He agreed that the genre flourished under the patronage of Mughal rulers and the element of sensuality through Arabic strains eclipsed mythological-based themes. Unlike the South Indian bharatnatyam, which is purely steeped into religious tradition retained its rigid code of conduct in performance and teaching, the kathak being practiced in the North had to face the obvious influence of the Mughals owing to attacks for many centuries. He was candid enough to concur that the comparative low growth of kathak in India or foreign countries can be attributed to the rigidity of the teacher–taught tutelage regulations. No disciple is permitted to give an independent performance for at least five years or more unless the guru testifies the credentials of the disciple through the customary arangetran ritual.

Unfortunately, the very discipline is lacking in our stream as the blending of more modernity into the tradition had lost the required balance. On gharanas, he holds that it induces a sense of discipline and retention of individuality of tradition though the ultimate aim is to serve the art. He supports his plea with a couplet:

Jaam to vohi hai saqi, mijaaz apna apna Koi pee ke muskuraye, koi pee ke moonh banaye.

Dil hai Hindustani 

“Every dance form has its own aura and exhales its characteristic atmosphere, but Kathak is close to my heart” says Tatiyana Nazrova (28), an intrusive Kathak dancer from Moscow. In city with Munna Shukla, Tatiyana says, “Of the all the fine arts, dancing is most attuned to the Infinite, having its essence in nature itself and as I love nature, I had developed a passion and profound love for Indian classical dances.”

Daughter of an engineer couple, Tatiyana, a science graduate from Moscow university,  had won the ICCR scholarship to study and learn Indian dancing. Since 1994 she is in the tutelage of guru Munna Shukla.

“Soon I realised that it is necessary to imbibe the cultural traditions, environment and socio- cultural aspects of Indian life. I was inquisitive to learn about these fundamental requirements from my ensemble members who had come from different regions and cultural backgrounds. With a view to understand their customs and rituals.”

Tatiyana curiously follows various participants who represent the north region, to which Kathak owes its origin and proliferation. She says,” the close proximity with the environment and life had indeed facilitated my bringing the emotional content of each ‘mudra’ with consummate ease, which otherwise is a formidable challenge for a foreigner.”

“Indian dancing art is richly sublime but the philosophical content is too deep, like its intricate and complex rhythmic patterns but with the blessed tutelage of Guru ji, I had given many solo and group programmes. Compared to the perfect performances by the Indian maestros, I feel I have miles to go,” says Tatiyana humbly. — S. D. S

Chai with Ayushman
Smriti Sharma

Versatile, energetic and spontaneous is what defines 23-year-old Ayushman Khurana. After winning the coveted MTV Roadies in 2004 and reaching the finals of Channel V’s Popstars in 2002, the guy is back in his new avatar, this time as a radio jockey on Big FM in the Capital. So what prompted you to take up RJaying as career, we ask.

“After finishing with my post-graduations, I was thinking of taking up something exciting and decided to give it a shot in Mumbai,” recollects Ayush. And if you expect a predictable turn of events, here’s a twist in the tale. Being born to an astrologer father helped Ayush. “It was my father who told me to leave for Mumbai that very week or else I loose any chance of getting work for next two years.” So hereafter he packed his bags and was off to the tinsel town. “After two days I was training to be an RJ,” he beams. After undergoing training for a couple of months at the prestigious MICA in Ahmedabad, Ayushman is hosting the morning show BIG Chai with TV actor Raajeshwari Sachdev Badola.

After being a guest judge on Zee Cine Stars with Madhur Bhandarkar, very soon he will be seen as a guest anchor on Sabse Politically Incorrect Kaun on NDTV and in RJ special Antakshari on Zee TV. The guy is certainly going places!

A beggar lay whistling there...
Joyshri Lobo

It was a foggy January morning in Chandigarh. The airlines were in a tizzy as not even a stray pigeon was visible in the swirling mists over the runway; the Shatabadi was late; the Himalayan Queen lost somewhere down the track. Muffled figures in various layers of woollen warmth tried to carry on with their fog-disrupted lives. The cook declared that rations were low. We had to go and pick up mundane things like bread, eggs and milk to justify our cold, miserable, heatless existence. Crawling out of bed, we drove out to Sector 9 and delved into groceries at one of the well-known shops.

Loaded with packets and in a hurry to enter the cocoon-like warmth of the blue buggy, we were accosted by a beggar. Looking at his tattered clothes and the frayed cap on his head, we suffered pangs of guilt. Surely he too deserved something from us especially after the expenditure on many unnecessary luxuries. He did not have the watery eyes of a drug addict but one could never be sure. I consulted Ozzie and we decided to buy him some fruit buns and biscuits from the friendly baker. I paid for the packet and handed it to the man. He opened it, saw the contents and asked: “What about the tea?” I was a bit surprised at his cheeky response and retorted: “You’ll have to substantiate your menu somewhere else!”

Amused we entered the car and drove off. Looking back at that day, I have realised that two cups of tea and some hot pakodas would have been a better option for a man who had every right to be riled by my patronising attitude and insensitive generosity.

When I discussed the incident with family and friends, I got the following inputs: Navneet fed the “poor” after a death in the family. He thought orange bars would be a thoughtful and welcome change for the have-nots. They were not pleased with the hand- outs and told him they would have preferred choco-bars instead.

Rinee felt very sorry for the woman who sat in the corner of the verandah with three, all-under-six, snotty-nosed children. She went and bought two loaves of milk bread and handed them over. The mother looked disappointed, the children refused to eat. The young woman handed the loaves back when suddenly an older woman darted out and barked: “Take them back, we can sell them!”

I am very careful about handing out old clothes, shoes or food, for fear of a well-deserved rebuff:  Is India shining? Have beggarly incomes increased? And yet I still see the beautiful, doe-eyed, one-armed teenager who sits in an alley in Sector 17 with two lovely babies. Where did she lose her arm? Is she being exploited? Are those her children? I am a coward and do not want to know. Maybe you don’t either.

New Releases
Hottest Bollywood pick

Celina and Aftab in Red
Celina and Aftab in Red

Red — The dark side

Director: Vikram Bhatt

Producers: Sunil Chainani, Sameer Srivastava

Cast: Aftab Shivadasani, Celina Jaitley, Amrita Arora

Director Vikram Bhatt is back with Red-The Dark Side and hopes to recapture some of the Raaz glory, while Aftab Shivdasani stars with Celina Jaitley for the first time. The movie dwells upon the dark side that every man and woman keeps from their life partner.

Aftab, in short hair, first time kisses on silver screen. Preview circles are abuzz that it is Aftab’s most defining performance to date. The chemistry between the lead pair is unbelievably hot! Great music by Himesh Reshammiya and sizzling locale, hopefully make it an entertaining film. At Piccadily, Chandigarh and Fun Republic, Manimajra.

Sarhad Paar

Sanjay Dutt in Sarhad Paar
Sanjay Dutt in Sarhad Paar

Director: Raman Kumar

Producer: Nimbus Motion Pictures

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Tabu, Mahima Chaudhary, Chandrachud Singh.

Long in the making, Sarhad Paar starring Sanjay Dutt and Tabu finally see a release. With director Raman Kumar and power-house performers like Sanjay and Tabu, you just can not go wrong. Sanjay Dutt as a POW, fields of Punjab, Kargil heights, Tabu as a grieving wife- they are all there.

Blended with sensitive moments, emotional scenes, high drama and raw earthy action, Sarhad Paar carries good pre-release report. Trade pundits say director Raman Kumar is at his best. Watch it at Kiran, Chandigarh.


Director: Deepa Mehta

Producer: David Hamilton

Cast: John Abraham, Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas, Khulbhushan Kharbanda, Waheeda Rehman, Raghubir Yadav, Baby Sarala.

Oscar nominated Deepa Mehta’s Water, starring John Abraham and Lisa Ray, finally sees the light of day. The film, which depicts the plight of a group of widows in the holy city of Varanasi, was nominated as Canada’s entry to the 2007 Oscars. John is quite excited about ‘Water’. The heartthrob of young generation will be seen in a dhoti.

Just like Fire and Earth, A.R. Rehman gives music for Water as well.

At Fun Republic, Manimajra.


Director: Amit Sagar

Producer: Moti Sagar

Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Ravi Kishen, Deepak Dobriyal, Kumud Mishra, Manav Kaul, Chitranjan Giri.

Sagar Films returns after two decades with 1971, a compelling tale of sacrifice and patriotism. The film is set six years post the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Director Amit Sagar zooms into the life of six Indian POWs. Manoj Bajpai helms the cast. The visuals, story and screenplay are the highlights of ‘1971’.

At Fun Republic, Manimajra. — Dharam Pal

Buddhist to the core

Singer Belinda Carlisle has abandoned her hard-partying ways to become a committed Buddhist. The Vacation singer embraced the religion half a decade ago, and now leads a much healthier, balanced life to the wild one she was known for in the 1980s. While speaking to Australian newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald, Carlisle said: “I don’t smoke anymore, I don’t drink any more and I don’t do drugs any more. I am very much into my Buddhism. “ The star was born into a Christian family, but admits she could never connect to it the way she did with Buddhism. — ANI

Health tip of the day

Muscuskeletal chest pain occurs due to injury or poor posture like sitting in front of the computer for prolonged periods of time. The associated cause in heart patients could be obesity, excessive smoking, breathlessness and a strong family history— Dr Ravinder Chadha

What the cards say today...

ARIES: ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ spins in some good luck, travel and opportunity in your life. A good time to make breakthroughs at work and changes at home. You get past health problems quickly and get ready for a happy journey. Lucky colour: Orange. TIP OF THE WEEK: Do not leave things to chance.
LIBRA: ‘Three of Pentacles’ reveal family pressure and responsibilities. Be careful, as you are sufficiently distracted to run into trouble if you don’t pay attention. Timely support from an Aquarian friend surprises you. Lucky colour: Crimson. TIP: Avoid situations that may turn nasty.
TAURUS: The card ‘The Hermit’ brings a change and mutation, whether you want it or not. You will come up with certain bright business ideas. Make sudden decisions and express your views strongly. Lucky colour: Blue. TIP: Use your judgment and be firm in extracting a commitment.
SCORPIO: “The Star” promises name, fame and recognition. You may find it hard to find companions who share your interests and ideas. Wednesday’s scenario is highlighted by strong relationship and love life. Lucky colour: Red. TIP: Do not play into the hands of a shrewd set of colleagues.
GEMINI: You draw ‘Knight of Pentacles’ which means a confusing week. You have an abundance of physical energy and self-confidence right now and can take on new projects and challenges with ease. Lucky Colour: Turquoise. TIP: Delays are the only obstacles in your way to success.
SAGITTARIUS: “Two of Pentacles” showers blessing on lovers. Your ambitious nature may sometimes attract criticism, so try to be careful on Friday. People are attracted to you for your intelligent mind and gift of communication. Lucky colour: Black. TIP: Don’t accept situations you dislike.
CANCER: You draw ‘Seven of Swords’. To be secure, you need to get your finances in order. Major changes in profession and business may look constructive. Beware of making rash moves or personal decisions. Lucky colour: White. TIP: Don’t be too certain about obtaining a clearance.
CAPRICORN: ‘The Fool’ infuses you with courage. You find ways to express your creativity and emotion. Luck in speculation is indicated and you could also make some investments in shares and stocks. Lucky colour: Scarlet. TIP: You are advised to focus on professional changes.
LEO: You draw ‘Seven of Swords’. You cope better when detached and light hearted. Business persons can get involved in a legal dispute over a financial matter. Professionals and self-employed will do better. Lucky colour: Crimson. TIP : Do what is right and watch your best interests.
AQUARIUS: The Queen of Cups’ blesses you with the finest of quiet and subtle qualities as you are on a winning streak. Past efforts will lead to new opportunities on the career front. Lucky colour: Brown. TIP : You should pursue your goals without a thought for the disapproval.
VIRGO: ‘The Lovers’ inspires you to climb new heights and actualise creative ideas. Your sunny spirits are back. New projects will start on Tuesday. Do not get tangled with an idle person. Lucky colour: Burgandy. TIP : Don’t waste an opportunity by not exploiting a contact.
PISCES: The Three of Coins’ describes proficiency in craft and profession. Family situations may require deft and strategic handling. You are likely to face several disruptions, which will make it difficult for you to stay on schedule. Lucky colour: Rust. TIP: Avoid the tendency to criticise.


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