Luxe Loot
Anandita Gupta

Can’t find a Gucci or Goyard? Fret not. City stores may not stock up on these, but there are several stylish options for the flamboyant woman traveller

Photo by Parvesh ChauhanLuxury seems to have found a new pin code — the hearts of ladies in town. Never mind the extra bucks that have to be shelled out. For, all this league of super-spending women wants is to inject some style in whatever they do. Be it holidaying at luxe resorts or flying to exotic locales, city women are vouching for everything luxe. Travel too, is getting wrapped in trendy trimmings, thanks to these upscale women’s penchant for high-end, classy and chic luggage!

Forget criss-crossing the globe for laying your hands on some chic luggage. The city may not stock some of the most coveted brands in business, but there are surely some high-end head turners. We check out for them some of the finest, upscale luggage lines available in the city.

Happy hues

Walk into the luggage stores in town and what greets you is a medley of happy hues — hot pinks, cherry maroons, fiery oranges, leafy greens and tantalising tans. Right from your first business trip to the D-day, there’s everything for every occasion. “Women in town are no longer looking for the plaid black and grey suitcases. They want more interesting colours and styling that gels with their specific requirement,” informs Aman Joshi of VIP Lounge, Sector 17.

Little wonder, VIP has launched collections like Aura (Rs 6,400 onwards) and Vogue (Rs 2,400 onwards), which have everything from strolly suitcases and duffel bags to vanity cases and pouches in colours like reds, pinks, maroons and oranges. “ When I was getting married, I wanted to pack my bright wedding trousseau in an equally colourful luggage. So I picked up this cherry-maroon strolly case by VIP,” chirps fashion columnist Ritu Kochchar.

Chic styles

Pretty women walking down the city streets are very particular about the names of their luggage lines too. Chips in Gauri Sood, a local student, “Luggage today is more of a fashion statement, something you can talk about and flaunt. So, I recently picked up duffel bags in various sizes from VIP’s more feminine range—including Aura, Lustre, Suave, Passion, Dazzle and Crest.”

Not just feisty colours but chic styling too, is wooing the city’s women travellers. Samsonite’s Proverbs collection, having designer suitcases, duffel bags and vanity cases in soft coloured floral prints (Rs 4,100-12,800), is selling like hot cakes. “Proverbs boasts of an interplay of prints, colours and proverbs (each piece of luggage has some words of wisdom printed on it). Hence, I picked vanity bags for my daughter from this range. However, what suits mature women better is Samsonite’s Black Label designer range. Exuberating a vintage feel and sheer class, this luxury luggage line (Rs 10,000-40,000) has vanity cases, shoulder bags, cabin-size strolly suitcases and duffle bags in suave blacks and sizzling steel grays and silvers,” laughs Anuradha Bhalla, an avid traveller.

Comfort zone

And ladies who believe in do-it-yourself beauty care, here’s some news. You may not have read ‘The Room with a View,’ but here’s a suitcase with enough room for you!

Right from your tweezers and scissors to combs and cuticle trimmers, this strolly helps you fit it all. Called the ‘4 Wheel, 360 Spinner,’ this black and beige vintage model (Rs 34,600) flaunts features like a silk lining, mini wardrobe, hangers, waterproof coverings for clothes, silk pouches for lingerie and toiletries and a TSE lock. And isn’t packing sure to be a snap, with this high end and versatile package deal?

Getting wild

Oodles of style and flair are evident in women’s luggage lines, but that’s not all. Many city women are looking for a touch of flamboyance too. Chirps fashion choreographer Priyanka Singh, “My luggage line has bags in cow fur, animal prints embossed on leather and velvet duffel bags by Anna Rusea. Highlights of my collection include Da Milano’s cow fur duffel bag (Rs 9,995), tan coloured,croco-prints-embossed leather suitcase (Rs 8,995) and a buckle bag with cute schoolgirl’s bag look (Rs 9,995).”


Businesswomen, it is time to say goodbye to the plaid black briefcase! For the business travel for a high-powered professional, city stores are stocking durable legacy leather flap business bags, computer cases and backpacks in brighter hues. “Gone are the days when sturdy office bags were in. Today, class has crept into these bags as well. I recently bought this Matrix laptop bag (Rs 299) in carbon-grey colour and Pl PC NEW briefcase (Rs 2,600) with golden plating and leather handle,” smiles Panchkula-based writer Vaishali Aggarwal.

“The last time I had to travel abroad, I picked up a X’Ion lightweight bag (Rs 1,870-6,590). The polyester bag offeres a removable combo-padlock with TSA function, expandable spinner,larger upright cases and a travel kit containing a wet pocket, two shoe bags and a laundry bag,” informs city-based executive Binni Gupta.

Seems like it’s finally the time to pamper yourself. For, when it comes to travelling with chic luggage, there’s enough in the market for a luxurious ego massage.

Filmmaker with focus
Smriti Sharma

Meghna on meaningful cinema & being a Gulzar

She is in every sense her father’s daughter - sensitive, insightful and non-conformist. But Meghna Gulzar is quite her own person too — clear-headed and focused. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise when the daughter of celebrated poet-filmmaker, Meghna speaks of associating herself with meaningful cinema. In town for the shooting of Sanjay Gupta’s film Dus Kahaniyan directed by Meghna, she shares notes on her career and being a ‘Gulzar’.

"Dus Kahaniyan is a feature film which has 10 short stories and Puran Masi, is one of them, based on Kartar Singh Duggal’s nove," says filmmaker Meghna adding, " "Being a creative person, I wrote poetry, anchored television shows but found film making as the most satiating experience for the creative streak in me".

Interestingly, Meghna has also penned her dad’s memoirs. An exclusive biography on Gulzar, "Because he is..."straight in four months. "What posed as the biggest challenge was being objective on a subject I am so emotional about", reveals Meghna.

For Meghna, Gulzar is more of a father than a celebrity. About her other projects, well, after Dus Kahaniyan, its Bread, Butter and Cash, a thriller and another book in the pipeline. "I approach every film as if it’s going tobe my last film and give it my everything, honestly," she smiles. Now that’s Meghna— a perfectionist and truly a Gulzar.

Pals with papa
Saurabh Malik

Dads today are not like Hitler. Just like friends, they share more than their experiences through anecdotes and stories

Photo by Pradeep TewariIn high spirits after clearing his business management entrance exams, Rajiv Sharma had his first swing of beer with him. Huddled together on a comfy sofa in a city restaurant with intoxicating music pouring out of the overhead speakers at a deafening pitch, they had watched the bubble of delight burst at the brim before raising a toast to his success.

A constant companion in all those moments of academic joys and emotional sorrows, he was among the first ones whom Rajiv told about his love for the ‘girl belonging to another community.’ Together they had worked out a strategy to approach the girl’s parents for emerging victorious in the battle of love. Things didn’t materialise, but that’s another story. Well Rajiv’s companion is his 52-year-old dad, Raman Kumar Sharma. ‘Daddy cool’ is how Rajiv describes his dad. And rightly so! For, Raman belongs to the generation next of daddies with a firm belief in the principal of being a friend than father!

Papa’s day out

Archies has come out with a complete series of special `Father’s Day’ gifts. You can remind him of all those loving moments by gifting ‘dad-special’ photo frames (Rs 75- 300) A picture-perfect gift, indeed!


A nice little hardbound diary for him to keep track of his day-to-day activities. Pick up the one with ‘world’s greatest dad’ inscribed on the cover in bold. The cost varies between Rs 99 and Rs 149.


You have been burning a hole in his wallet by borrowing money ever since, make up for it now by buying him a fine leather wallet. Choose from the branded ones or else go in for the not-so-expensive local makes. The price varies between Rs 595 and Rs 1,000. Also up for grabs are key chains (Rs 99), refrigerator magnets (Rs 75), and mugs (Rs 300).


For showering care and warmth, pick up a talking soft toy that sings praise of daddies (Rs 850) and specially designed coasters with ‘I love you dad’ message printed across in bold letters.


Or take him out for dinner. Buy the fountain pen that he has been eying for months. Also remember to share his concerns and develop sensitivity towards him. See if the passing years have brought along with them health concerns. 

“You can see them hanging around in the evenings with their sons and their friends. They stand smiling as their children discuss the gals living in next-door PGs and even have no hesitation in watching fashion TV with them,” says a young sociology lecturer in a local government college. “For, they are the ones with whom you can dare to be yourself without the apprehension of being judged,” he adds.

Back home after picking up a nice little souvenir for her ‘up-to-the-date’ daddy, young I.T. professional Deepti Kaushal only agrees. “I can practically discuss everything with him. Right from professional problems to the guys in my life, there is no restriction when it comes to topics”. She says, ’My daddy strongest.’ And as her assertion takes you back to the curly-haired moppet in a television commercial, she says, “Love him. Ignore him. But you cannot do without him. For, he is more than an automatic teller man. He is my in-house hero. This Father’s Day, he is expecting a gift from me. His logic is simple, if you can present gifts to your friends on Valentine’s Day, why ignore me?”

Right fellows! He is so unlike the fathers of a bygone era who believed in maintaining some kind of order and decorum in the house. Drinking in their presence was unthinkable. Talking about the other gender was nothing less than a taboo. No wonder, guys had to part ways with pretty femmes before entering the neighbourhood. And, an uneasy silence would prevail in the entire house in dad’s presence every time two flowers met on the screen to symbolise kisses. Boy, aren’t we all glad that dads have changed over the years! Cheers to papas this Father’s Day for giving their kids more than just a gift of security and self-confidence!

Write to Renee

I’m a 30-year-old single woman with a very good career situation and not really looking for marriage. Just a few months ago when I was in Pune for an official party, I met this very interesting man and cultivated him. He seemed smart, intelligent and a complete charmer. I dated him for a few days in Pune and then came back. We kept up a regular communication, besides meeting once again in Delhi. I shared many confidential things with him. Recently, I have heard that he has been boasting of his conquest of me. I was shattered. I called him up and exchanged hot words. Advise.

Ruma Sachdeva, Chandigarh

He just sounds like a Casanova. In the Victorian times, perhaps he would be considered quite the beau but in today’s world, if you have been out a few times with someone, I don’t think it can be considered a conquest really. Keep your calm and your dignity please. Always learn to weigh a situation before coming to any hasty conclusions. Life is only beautiful if we allow it to be so. May be, people who are telling you about him are drawing wrong conclusions. If you believe you have been good friends, give him a call, explain the situation and wait for a reply from him. I’m sure the truth will help you reach an adequate answer.

* * *

I am a 24 year-old girl freshly passed out of an MBA and have just got a great job in a private firm in Delhi. I am very happy with my situation on the career front but my personal life seems to be in a mess. I have a steady relationship for the last three years and now that I have a chance to go, my boyfriend has proposed. He is in a great job and says he can afford both our expenses and that I should marry him, settle here and look for a job opening later. I am terrified as I come from a broken family and don’t want to commit so early. I am totally confused.

Niharika Verma, Panchkula

Career satisfaction is one thing but reaching a deep level of satisfaction in your inner world is what we are all looking for. If you have someone steady in your life, who loves you and wants to be with you in your good and bad times, what more can you ask for? Shed the fear and apprehensions , I’m sure you can’t go wrong. And career opportunities will keep coming up. Anyways, learn to trust your instincts they’ll give you the right answers.

* * *

I’m a 32 years old guy working in a sales & marketing job and travelling all the time. On one of my trips I met a girl about a year ago and we have been seeing each other off and on and recently I proposed. I thought she was a simple girl and we would have a simple life together. She has told me that she will marry me if I agree to all the conditions she has laid down . She wrote down a list and gave me which completely threw me off balance. She is only 23 and the conditions as she calls them are not inconceivable but I am not able to adjust to this idea. May be tomorrow she will have a new set of conditions. One of them is my parents can’t live with us. What must I do ?

Anup Kukreja, Mohali

On one side is the girl of your dreams and on the other side conditional love. What do you think ? I have always felt that love is unconditional, how can we lay down preconceived notions and then call it love. I do agree with your girlfriend in one way, she has not kept you in the dark regarding her views on marriage. Perhaps for her it is a social contract. Do not be so confused, she has spoken her mind, you have to decide whether it agrees with your inherent temperament and frankly if it doesn’t, it would be better to move out of the relationship as compromises never bring us happiness.

At or C/o Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29-C, Chandigarh

First Day First Show
Rajiv Kaplish


Song-&-dance menagerie


They say Preity Zinta is a chatterbox. And when she and Abhishek Bachchan work together in a film, there is no stopping them on the sets. Director Shaad Ali Sehgal might have been witness to one such session. So, the next best thing he does is cast them together and create Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. He envisions an ambience in which two strangers, Rikki Thukral, a Bathinda-born NRI, and Alvira Khan from Lahore (settled in the UK), who are waiting for their “fiancés”, Anaida (Lara Dutta) and Steve (Bobby Deol), at London’s Waterloo Station, are forced to share a coffee table in a restaurant and talk non-stop about their maiden encounters with their respective fiancés. They end up falling in love with each other.

As the talkathon struts from London to Paris to Southall, it takes the shape of a song-and-dance menagerie in which the lead actors have their limbs in constant turmoil. Bhangra, pop, rock, jazz, you name it Jhoom has it. In fact, right from the beginning when Amitabh Bachchan, wearing a colourful jacket and a plumed hat and carrying a guitar, gyrates to the tunes of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy till the end he keeps on sauntering in and out of frames, crooning Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

While it will take some time before the response of the Indian audiences is known, the musical extravaganza may be lapped up in the UK. In fact, given its strong Southall influences – whether reflected in the mannerisms of Abhishek, Preity, Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta or in the noisy and boisterous depiction of the NRI way of life in the county, including a clownish Mr and Miss Southall contest, the dance flick suspiciously looks like a film of Southall, by Southall, for Southall.

Showing a Fun Republic, Piccadily

Barbie wronged

Poor versions of Barbie dolls in strikingly bright apparels and dyed blonde tresses have infiltrated city streets, literally, says Saurabh Malik

Razor-sharp peroxide blonde tresses targeting the vulnerable shoulders; brighter than the white-heat apparels with loads of pink, yellow and orange; pale lippers complimenting metallic nail-polishes; and beige platform boots taking the wearer all the way to style — the Barbie-gone-wrong look is “oh-so-hot” in the summers of 2007.

In fact, the animated look, borrowed from the hot favourite doll of so many kiddos, is apparently the latest fad amidst so many teenyboppers infiltrating the city streets. If in the process, they look like poor replica of beach girls of California circa 1970, the flappers of the world are just not bothered about it.

“And why should they be?” questions city-based fashion designer Anju Singh. “After all, who doesn’t want to look like a cute little adorable doll ready to be picked? And if the youngsters can get the party look just by dying their hair golden and wearing strikingly bright clothes, what’s the harm in it?”

Well, just in case you have still not noticed them sashaying down the narrow ramp of life after walking out of the doll houses, go to the city’s downtown. Or even the arcades around the college campuses in Sector 10 and 11. You will literally find scores of them looking good, and confident, in the cartoon-like look.

Fake eyelashes, hair extensions, and mascara, make a feeble attempt to give them a lovable look as they travel in packs.

Right guys, you will almost always find Barbie girls with Barbie girlfriends. After all, dolls of same feather flock together.

It may come as a surprise to you if you are not a regular campus frequenter, but some guys too are wearing the same cuddly look. They are essentially soft and yielding with golden streaks in hair. Don’t worry; you can easily distinguish them by their “fragile mannerism”.     

If you too wish to make use of the doll-like looks, do not forget to start “operation new-you” by bleaching your hair blonde. “Alternatively, you can go in for golden streaks. But make sure you are wearing your hair in big wavy curls for that enhanced effect,” recommends Anju. “Most hair-stylists will do the job for you. Chunk jewelry, carved out of impressive bright stones, and backpacks, are a bonus”.

Another thing! Remember to contrast cheerful apparels with pale lipsticks for highlighting the effect. “As skin tanning comes naturally in this weather, despite the use of sun-blocks and gives you that cool sun-kissed look till it is not in excess, pale blue eye shadow is absolutely essential for emphasizing the ultra tan,” says Sector 35-based beautician Ritu Kapoor. Folks, call it cute or aftermath of commercialization, the Barbie-girl look is apparently not on its way out, at least in the near future.

Matka chowk
Our man Fridays
Sreedhara Bhasin

A lady in Chandigarh once told me that the only reason for living in India is that she has her parents there and her servants. She, however, forgot another very important element in the equation – the repairman - or rather, as in the US he is called a ‘handyman,’ someone who fixes the leaky faucet, the throbbing garage light and the unyielding gate-latch. Many of the ladies, I know in the city would be simply inconsolable and would just not be able to manage if we took the Ramsamirs and the Dil Bahadurs out of their lives.

In the US, the ladies are not that fortunate. When the roof has hail damage and I call the roofing guy and he explains to me about the difference between the stripped valleys and the T-zones, I stare at him in such a dumbfounded manner, that he averts my eyes. When I need to get the air-conditioning serviced and the service-man quizzes me about the number of vents and furnace, I feel like a pianist in an anatomy class. After all, who knows the dark mysteries of construction, water-heating, air-conditioning and lawn-fertilising?

In Chandigarh, when my oven makes a strange noise, I call Subhash and he knows how to tame a humming oven. When the water faucet misbehaves, I call the plumber (that, too, on his private cell phone) and he arrives promptly. He gets it all done, without me having to answer difficult questions and leaves with an amount of money that wouldn’t rob me of a dinner in the Taj. When my car is up for servicing, I drive into the dealership, don’t really worry about reading every centimeter of the fine print and get a bill that will not make me eyes water for the entire week.

Also, when the trees get too big or unruly, somehow a Ramu or a Bhola is there to climb the tree and saw it limb by limb, albeit sometimes in a style that reminds me of the story of the great poet Kalidasa. Apparently, in his pre-literary-genius days, he was known to have been sawing off the same branch on which he was sitting! However, at the end of the day, you have a tamed tree and most of the times don’t even have to worry about disposing off the branches!

I cannot of course, forget the carwash-man. He is a pain in the morning, for he rings the bell when you might be dreaming of winning the KBC with Shah Rukh, but it sure beats having to go over the dust in your car with a wipe cloth to rediscover that the dash clock is still working or that the lost library book was really not lost after all!

How can one not like to live in a land of so many handymen?

Give the kiddies a break
Chetna Keer Banerjee

If the discerning Indian backpacker is busy glamping this season, can the brat pack be far behind?

With summer camps going glam, sending trend spotters into spasms of linguistic overdrive to coin the new term, vacation time has got better, and also busier, than ever before for adults. Ditto for tiny tots.

Vacations are packed with action. Dance workshops. Craft sessions. Casio classes. Sports practice. Outdoor camps and what have you.

Like the schools the kiddie brigade attends, summer workshops too have become a matter of brands. The more upmarket the camp they join, the more it can be flaunted. It’s out and out a lifestyle statement.

More so for the parents. “Did you see my baby’s photograph in the papers? What a show she put up at Shiamak’s (Davar) summer workshop!” one parent gushes.

“Guess what, my kids went to this fundu outdoor camp where they learnt team building,” bleats another one.

With holidays turning so productive, there’s no vacation from expenses. So that their little ones can learn more, the parents need to earn more.

Activity, activity…. more activity. It’s about making vacations utilitarian. It’s the age of zero tolerance to zero-value action. No late risers. No watching Justirisers. No time for mischief or messing.

Break or no break, the alpha kid is gainfully employed. His holidays are loaded with action. Yes, loaded. The burden of schoolbags may have eased awhile, but not the timetables. If it isn’t to classrooms, it’s to camps they’re taking off. If it isn’t syllabi they’re revising, it’s the syntax of theatre they’re rehearsing.

Whither the leisurely, languorous childhood?

When chhuttis were not about rock climbing but climbing the neighbours’ mango trees for those elusive ambis. When being a water baby was not about waddling in swanky pools in itsy-bitsy designer costumes but about drenching under hosepipes in chaddis.

Going by their crammed vacation schedules, parents and their progeny may soon need to attend classes of another sort. Reading sessions on the “noble art of doing nothing,” enunciated by Taoist writer Lin Yutang in his magnum opus The Importance of Living.

And yours truly may be among those soaking this age-old Chinese wisdom. For, I must confess, I’ve just initiated my kid into this summer workshop stuff.

May be, it’s time to give hyperactive parenting a break. Else, the kids may need a break to recover from the break.

(This column appears fortnightly)

Health Peg
Sugar hastens wrinkles

The cake baking in the oven may have a gorgeous golden crust, but inside each delicious crumb is a time bomb of ageing. Sweet treats till now might have been the culprit behind weight gain, but now a dermatologist has revealed that they can cause wrinkles.

Dr Fredric Brandt, who discusses the effect of sweet on skin in his book 10 Minutes/10 Years: Your Definitive Guide To A Beautiful And Youthful Appearance, says removing sweet from diet can make a person look ten years younger.

“Sugar hastens the degradation of elastin and collagen, both key skin proteins. In other words, it actively ages you,” says Dr Brandt. The sugar leads to glycation process that makes sugar molecules bind to your protein fibres, which are flexible collagen and elastin fibres that form the base for a person’s skin.

“Imagine that your collagen is your skin’s mattress and the elastin fibres are the coils holding it together. The sugar attacks these fibres, making them less elastic and more brittle so they break. The result is that your once-youthful skin starts to sag and look old,” he adds.

This rice prevents cholera

Japanese scientists have developed a strain of rice that contains an edible vaccine for cholera. Researchers believe that the vaccine may be used for large-scale and cost-efficient immunisation programmes. Bound within the rice, the cholera vaccine can be stored at room temperature over long periods and is immune to digestion, say researchers. The researchers feel that in future, rice vaccines may provide protection against a wide range of infectious diseases.

The new development is specifically expected to benefit the citizens of developing countries, most of which have rice as a staple food. The researchers conducted experiments with a cholera vaccine to develop an edible version of it. They say that the vaccine targets the immune system’s first line of defence - the nose, mouth, lungs and genito-urinary tract. — ANI


Proper physical exercises are of critical importance in individuals suffering from arthritis otherwise pain and disability becomes inevitable and then one starts to live with pain.

— Dr Ravinder Chadha

500 episodes done

Popular teleserial Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki has completed 500 episodes on SaharaOne. It now plans to introduce new characters with focus on joint family system and traditional Indian values. — TNS

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