Jogger’s Park
Neighbourhood greens with concrete paths are a fitness freak’s paradise, says Saurabh Malik 

Chandigarh is waking up to a fresh delight. As the days are growing longer with the sun climbing higher in the sky, so many teenyboppers are pushing aside the blanket of lethargy early to trot down the newly laid tracks in the green belts across the city. Converting them into joggers’ park!

“Until recently, almost all parks were nothing but playgrounds for the budding sports stars,” says humanities student Nisha Chaudhary. “They were hitting the ball firmly all the way to glory in not-so-friendly neighbourhood cricket matches played in these grounds regularly. But for any other activity, there was hardly any place.”

For jogging all the way to fitness and pleasure in the company of fair morning-weather pals, it was either the camouflaged track at Sukhna Lake or the one in the physical fitness trails in Sector 10. No other place was worth sweating, apparently!

On the right track

Now, things are moving fast with the local municipal authorities converting grounds in almost all sectors into parks with concrete paths running in full circles.

“The trails may not be entirely fit for jogging. For, the surface is hard and can cause injuries,” says fitness freak-cum-post-graduation English Literature student Shiven Verma. “But then, they provide the youngsters a platform to unwind.” 

Jog in style

Jogging hotspots 

Sukhna Lake, Leisure Valley, Panjab University grounds, Physical Fitness Trails, Rose Garden, Shanti Kunj and Terraced Garden are nothing less than happy hunting grounds for joggers. The crowd is as fresh as the morning dew. Just in case you are looking for some less crowded place, sector gardens are the best option. The chances of interaction with fellow joggers are more as you bump into the same faces. 

Just in case you too wish to traverse the fitness grounds in flamboyance, pick up some chic sports wear. Reach your fitness goals by picking up stuff from Nike, Reebok and Adidas showrooms in Sector 17, even Manimajra.

They have full range of sports apparels right from air-cushioned shoes to skirts and shorts. Nice red shorts from Reebok are costing around Rs 850. Grey stretch pants from Adidas are costing almost the same. Otherwise, the prices of apparels range anywhere between Rs 350 and Rs 3,000, depending upon your choice.

For all of you joggers willing to burn calories, but not holes in your pockets, go to export surplus stores.

“In case you opt for shorts or pants, remember to go in for ones that bend and stretch with ease. Harem pants offer good option,” says Mohammed Suhail of a garment house in Sector 17.

In tops, you can always go in for spaghetti preferably in whites. They are ideal for this weather and are not very expensive. Rehri markets in Sector 15, 22 and other places offer them for as little as Rs 80. 

Tread cautiously

Before you kick-start your exercising regimen, listen to the experts. They have some useful tips for you. To begin with, consult your doctor if you are above 40 or are suffering from some ailment.

Otherwise, slip into comfortable clothes before sliding into the exerciser’s role and avoid hard surface. It can lead to injuries. Exercise three to four times a week according to your comfort level. In the initial stages, accustom your body to the stress of jogging by few weeks of fast walking.

“Begin your daily work out by stretching. After that, walk fast for a minute or so before breaking into a jog, again for approximately 60 seconds. Follow the pattern for 10 to 15 minutes the first day,” suggests Punjab Civil Medical Services Association president Dr Hardeep Singh.

Khushboo B4U
This VJ believes in living life as it comes, writes Smriti Sharma

Friendly and bubbly, that’s Khushboo Kochar Grewal for you. This twenty something has always been making news when she was here, as a runner up in Miss India North at the age of 15 or as a finalist in Channel V Popstar hunt in 2002.

From anchoring school shows to compeering in college functions, this go-getter has certainly come a long way. Currently dabbling between shoots for music videos to voice-overs for ad films and documentaries, the chirpy dame has her hands full with assignments.

And the latest feather in her cap is that of a VJ with popular music channel, B4U music. She has replaced Ishita in a request show, Video on Call. “I was told about the auditions by a friend and I went for it just like that,” says Khushboo. With the show being aired in UK, USA and other countries, a huge fan following is bound to happen. “Getting fan mails everyday gives you a high,” quips Khushboo. She was a finalist in Cinestars Ki Khoj and was a part of Shiamak Davar’s troupe to perform at the Common Wealth Games in 2006 and a regional finalist at Ponds Femina Miss India 2006. She believes its important to have talent, but equally important to be lucky as well. “It’s by sheer luck that you get spotted at the right time by the right person.” Though she is getting offers from the television industry, Khushboo doesn’t want to get lost in the crowd too soon. “Television typecasts you and at this moment I want to explore other avenues and TV will be my last resort,” she says.

Khushboo says she doesn’t plan any thing in life. “I am one of those who believe in crossing the bridge when you reach there.” Rightly said, isn’t it?

First Day, First Show
Triviality gets a new name 
Rajiv Kaplish

They all have this fatal impulse. Director Lovely Singh of Kya Love Story Hai is keen on scaling new heights of triviality in filmmaking. Actor Tussar Kapoor is desperate to make mincemeat of his portrayal of a lover boy. Ayesha Takia has her own diabolic agenda to reduce the film to a farce. Not to be left behind, debutant Karan Hukku wants to break new ground in overacting.

The result: A cinematic calamity with unending audio-visual assaults on your nerves which only get worse with each passing moment. When the worst is over, you wonder what it was all about. Was it about love? Or, was it about tragedy?

Here is a romantic tale which has neither love nor story. Whether to play a romantic lover or a tragic hero - that’s the dilemma of Sunil Shetty look-alike Tussar who keeps falling in and out of love with Ayesha Takia whom you confuse for Sri Devi and Tabu by turns. You finally settle for as a plump version of Tabu. The problem is the heroine is as bewildered as you are. Unable to decide whether her affections are for Tussar or Karan, she does the next best thing - sing a song. Tender mercies: she does not go on a revealing spree.

Newcomer Karan Hukku has only one passion - flaring up nostrils at the drop of a hat. Maybe the filmmaker didn’t pay him his fee on time.

The director also relies heavily on Rahul Singh and Shyam Mashalkar whose clownish antics give a new definition to buffoonery.

It’s a pity that a rocking item song of Kareena Kapoor in the beginning too fails to uplift the pedestrian tempo of the movie. They have named it “Kya Love Story Hai”. They should have added: “Aur Kya Director Hai”.

Showing at Fun Republic, Piccadilly

Ankita & the wonderland
Saurabh Malik

Innocence of childhood is reflected in the maturity of her art.

Not bound by the symbols of things perceptible, 12-year-old artist, Ankita Khanna, looks at the wonderland with bewildered eyes through the glass of imagination. So while the sun for you is a roaring ball of inferno, it is just soothing shade of yellow blending homogenously with the green below on the canvass to give you the view of creation as she sees it.

Appreciating her sensitivity and ability to break free from the widespread codes at such a tender age, an international organisation has already given the class VIII student an award for designing a greeting card.

This is not all. The ever-smiling girl, with determination as firm as the stroke of her brush, has also won a state-level award for her painting a poster during an on-the-spot competition on energy saving.

Currently, she is giving final touches to her creations for organising her debut painting exhibition. “I would have done it a long time back, but somehow I want the things to be perfect before I venture out into the world of professional painting,” she chirps.

As of now, the little miss has converted her living room into an impressive painting gallery. Push open the doors of her Sector 30 house to enter the room and you will find a fascinating series of paintings adorning the walls.

Among the canvases on display are the “elements” where colours intermix to represent the sun, the earth, water and fire in a rather unconventional manner. And, then you have Alice peeping at the wonderland from behind a door. “The world of temptations is beckoning her, but Alice is holding on to the door with traditional designs,” explains Ankita. “It symbolises her trust in conventions.”

Ask her how she was initiated into the world of art, and she simply smiles. “I really do not remember. I just started painting when I was three. It was with crayons then. Now I translate my thoughts on the canvass with the help of water colour and others.”

After taking you around her gallery, she shows you an album full of dresses she has designed in her free hours. Looking at the graceful ensembles with poetic charm, unpredictable and dramatic look, you realise it is nothing less than spontaneous overflow of emotions recollected in the moments of tranquility. Standing there, you cannot help but wish her the best. 

Write to Renee
at or care of Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29-C, Chandigarh

I am a 29 years old woman suffering from anorexia nervosa. I am painfully thin, yet not happy with my figure and somehow feel deeply discontent and frustrated. I suffer from fainting fits once in a while. I understand I should not be the way I am, but I just can’t seem to get out of this pattern. How can I change?

Anita Pawar

It’s good to know that you are aware of your feelings and your strengths and weaknesses. But this alone is not enough, we are functioning in a practical world and accordingly we have too keep our attitude going. Why the heck are you making yourself suffer? You are suffering from some form of self-hatred. Change your thought process, learn to love and accept yourself for who you are and just the way you are. You will automatically start to heal within yourself. Do not focus so much on yourself and your problems. Go out into the world to help others with theirs, you will be amazed at how your own life begins to change for the better.

I am a boy of 23 years, studying for an MBA course in Pune. I have always been considered the “freak” in school and college as I was always more interested in spiritual pursuit than studies. I spent most of my pocket money in school buying self-help books and attended many yoga camps. But the pull of the material world is too strong for me to resist. I am feeling guilty most of the time as I feel that materialism has started ruling my life completely. I want to work for a multinational or start my own business. I am confused with this new attitude. Please help.

Vineet Suri

You are wonderful the way you are, why do you feel confused. We are in a constants state of evolution and change is inevitable. A change of attitude leads to a change in lifestyle. I think you are fortunate and blessed that you have both the spiritual and material aspects so very well developed in you. Do not suppress these new feelings. Allow yourself to expresses your potential fully in the material world. Do go find a good job in a multinational or even start a new business. After the material world has to be dealt with. I feel a balanced life is most important. No one kind of lifestyle will give us solace and peace. Creating a happy mix between the two states leads to true happiness. All the best for it.

I am 19 years old and just stepping out into the world on a new note. After finishing my graduation, I have joint a design institute. I feel the fashion world is beckoning me and I want to really explore. My family is totally disappointed. My father would like me to do a course in finance or management and join some nice corporate firm, as I happen to be a topper in financial subjects. But I feel most alive and happy when I design. Please guide me.

Niharika Gupta

I do believe in the old saying, “Do what you love, money will follow.” When we actually do things we enjoy, our performance level is the highest. Because each one of us is born with a certain talent and to enhance that talent is our prime duty. We not only do ourselves a favour by keeping ourselves happy but also the world around us is enriched as we are giving to the best our ability. Your parents, of course, have a point when they say that since you are a financial whiz kid, you should adopt finance as your profession. But once you make them realise that even creativity can be channalised into making money, they will definitely come around. Frankly, even running your own fashion business requires good financial help and business sense on the side. So go ahead, give yourself a start in life. All the best.

Street smart
Purva Grover

Are you one of those who travel to Delhi over the weekend for shopping? Undoubtedly, one would agree that the easy bargain lanes of Janpath and Sarojini Nagar do make up a fashion freak’s paradise but then fashion huts in the city, too, are not far behind. So before you head for Delhi next, do check out these shops. Life Style shows the way.

Go casual

An extension of the popular export house, Just Casuals in Sector 9 stands true to his tagline, ‘Original International brands at lowest prices’. It stocks brands like Mango, Cheroke, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess and Banana Republic all under one roof.You can pick up a cotton T-shirt for just Rs 80 and a hosiery cotton top for Rs 140. For an evening with friends pick up a sporty T-shirt, and for a weekend party tube tops are perfect.

Price range: Rs 80 onwards

A wardrobe to die for

Shelly’s frequent trips to south-east Asian countries brought home the idea that she wanted to see the city fashionistas attired in chic designer wear. Handpicking each outfit from there, it is her collection that has made her Shelly’s Wardrobe in Sector 8 a must stop for every party–hopper. “While the women love to dress in beautiful clothes, they are not ready to spend a bomb shell for it,” smiles Shelly. Short cropped jackets, shimmered kurtis, trendy tube tops and party wear tops with a bow and a belt, she has it all. But, ruling the roost here is the dazzling variety of skirts. A must buy are the long dresses in chiffon and net. Also, on offer is funky jewellery, ballerina shoes and bags.

Price range: Rs 160 onwards

Outlet to the world

If you are one of those who sit glued to Fashion TV (FTV) just to catch a glimpse of the latest collection being unveiled by the newsmakers in the world of fashion, then this tiny fashion rack, called fashion Outlet in Sector 8, might interest you. Stocking the most recent collection of Europe and America, this store has picked on with the brand conscious. Stocking international brands, the collection is not aimed at dazzling party wear but trendy chic weekend clothing. You can pick up a T-shirt by Mango for just Rs 290, which would cost you 60 Euros abroad. The store stocks spaghettis, formal tops, chiffon kurtis, and long flowing summer dresses for the girls; and shirts and T-shirt for the men.

Price range: Rs 100 onwards

Campus bazaar

Bazzare in Sector 14 is for the college-going youth, you can walk out from the store with lots of shopping bags without making a dent on your monthly budget. Sphagettis in bright floral prints and plain colours adorned with sequins come at just Rs 100. Pick up a chiffon top with lace work for Rs 250, and a satin scarf for as little as Rs 50!

Price range: Rs 100 onwards

Check this out

One step inside and you know why Style Chek in Sector 17 has a steady following. Stocking about every style, the six-month-old store has people dropping in even from Delhi. “It is a smart casual store,” says Anju, the owner. You can rev up your wardrobe with brands like Armani, Old Navy, GAP and Banana Republic among others; and, what’s more the store informs you of their latest collection via SMS.                        

Price range: Rs 125 onwards 

Ash to ashes
Chetna Keer Banerjee

A friend looked rather harried. Her home turf was in the throes of a minor upheaval. Her maid had left to get married.

Nothing unusual in that except that it was a case of one woman’s domestication and the end of another’s domestic vacation.

But it was the comment which followed that vested the maid’s matrimony with an import beyond the usual. “When?” I casually asked. “Oh, the same day as Ash.”

At once, a run-of-the-mill event acquired a celebrity connect. It brought to mind another remark, of a would-be bride whose wedding fell on April 19. “How I wish it was a day later. Then, my D-day would’ve been the same as Ash’s!”

Never mind if these brides are not stars themselves. They could at least invoke divine cooperation to have their big day under the same stars as the celeb couple.

Commoners can hardly be blamed for aspiring for a starry connection when the entire media went into a tizzy over Shaadi No. 1 and publicity-hunters, too, spared no stunt to be associated with it.

A sweets vendor brought mithai all the way from UP, claiming kinship with the groom dating back to the Bunty Babli days when he’d been bestowed the status of mama.

A 17-year-old admirer of Ash from Patna wanted to gift her a sari she’d hand-embroidered specially for the occasion. A Chandigarh youth’s sole claim to footage was that he was so heartbroken that he was bringing down his poster girl from his walls.

Little-known starlet Jahanvi Kapur, who slit her wrist for Abhishek, of course, took the cake by making the others seem like mere extras in the entire drama.

All these lesser mortals became fodder for the media and, consequently, stars on the sidelines. What better for those who couldn’t gatecrash into Bollywood’s big day than to become a party to a parallel show?

In much the same way, the poor maid, too, kept her own tryst with the stars. The celluloid princess and the pauper are a class apart. And never the twain shall meet. Except now, in the annals of nuptial history. At least, a stellar configuration has united them in their moment under the sun. A moment made all the more auspicious for it fell on Akshay Tritiya, a day that had both the sun and the moon playing planetary facilitators to all bravehearts intending to take the vows.

True, the domestic help is no Maid in Manhattan, with luck or looks as enviable as JLo. Her starry aspirations are merely symptomatic of a larger obsession with the glitterati. A deeper desire to bring home the stars — be it through aping their apparel, lifestyles, mannerisms, whatever.

It’s another matter whether or not the maids imbibe the oomph of tinsel town queens. But some things they certainly acquire in ample measure — nakhras that rival any starry tantrums and a social life that can be the envy of any Page 3 diva.

What else could illustrate this better than the fact that the replacement my friend got for her just-married maid played truant for half of the first week. The reason: she’d been busy party-hopping! 

Matka chowk 
A long wait
Sreedhara Bhasin

Some old commercial buildings in the city have those dingy, dark and steep staircases that make you feel like you are climbing up to the tomb of an ancient and forgotten king. I had the occasion to practice my climbing skill on such a staircase lately — in the hope of gearing up for a future journey to Egypt. Actually, it was a climb in search of something as plebian as an additional gas cylinder. Somehow, paltry as it may be, the process of procuring one turned out to be almost as difficult as unearthing Tutenkhamen’s chamber!

Firstly, I was found to be at fault, for I failed to produce a parchi that was apparently given to me at the time of the initial subscription. Although, I am a genuine consumer number holder and do get regular gas supply to my already proved residence, that was not a comprehensive determinant of my ability to apply for another connection. After I made a couple of trips, to discern the reason of refusal and turned my house over looking for that piece of paper (and disturbed other old and well buried papers and the resting place of some missing pieces of jewellery), I was convinced I did not have it.

I went back again to inform them and was told that now I had to follow the legal route of producing the ubiquitous affidavit — a legacy lovingly left behind by the British. I was given a proforma and told to bring it back with all the stamps in the right place. I have become quite adept at this affidavit business now. I made the trip to the notary, dutifully corrected the spellings and obtained the magical document.

This time I went leaping up the stairs hoping to end this for all. I was told that the gentleman who is charged with the matter of verifying the affidavits was not in his seat and his return time was not known. I urged the other manager to do the work – since it was their proforma and comparing one fullscape paper with another should not be such a challenging task. I showed him my proof of residence, receipts showing my already existing consumer number and my driving license. How hard could it be to prove that I am the same person who lives in the same house, who has the same consumer number, who wants another cylinder? In the end, I gave up and left.

I am to make another trip in the near future. Maybe, I should throw a party when I actually get the other cylinder! It would a good way to celebrate the importance of following processes. After all, aren’t processes the backbone of modern corporate giants?

Health tip of the day

Headache is multifactorial. Headaches originating from the neck respond well to massage

— Dr Ravinder Chadha

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