Saurabh Malik

Eleven recipients of Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards redefine courage

Valour is not just about leaping without looking into troubled waters for pulling someone out of sure-shot danger, but also about overcoming social and emotional handicaps for leading your man on the wheelchair to the hymeneal altar.

Also about drowning your miseries in the click-clank of computer keys writing about the troubles of others, or stepping down the rungs of ladder to social success for spreading messages against pre-natal sex determination tests and HIV/AIDS.

That’s right. As 11 bravehearts, mostly from Chandigarh and some other parts of the region, receive the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Awards here for acts of valiancy that redefine courageousness, you realise heroism has lot more to it than ‘fear holding a minute longer’ for saving lives. It’s all about convictions and taking hard knocks when occasion calls.

Among the braves in Chandigarh for receiving the awards are Reenu Balhara and her husband Dr Lokesh Balhara from Rohtak. When they were doing M.Phil together in the early 90s, Reenu took the decision of tying the knot with polio afflicted Lokesh.

Even though the family and everyone around thought the meritorious daughter of a Brahmin income tax officer was divorcing all logic, she took the stand and married the Jat Sikh man of her dreams.

In the same category is Patiala-resident Bhupesh Kumar Chattha. At first glance, he appears to be just a normal guy with a burly physique. It’s only when he extends his hand, you realise Chattha suffers from 100 per cent disability.

Both his arms were amputated way back in 1994 after he was run over by a train. Using artificial limbs, the young journalist drives his own car and files his own stories. “Handicap is in the mind! Overcome it and you can conquer the world,” he says.

Dr Rekha Mishra has been treating the ills of the society after diagnosing the problems. Even if the line of treatment involves assistance of ‘decoy patients’, the doctor from Faridabad does not hesitate. She has, in fact, played a vital role in the first conviction for sex determination tests.

Shimla-resident Ranjeet Singh Rana has formed the Parents and Guardians Society of Mentally Challenged and is running not just day-care centres, but also respite-care centres. “My own child is facing the problem. I know what it is like for others,” he says.

City-based Gaurav Gaur carries the destiny of so many people in his specially designed carry bag — materials on HIV/AIDS prevention in Hindi, English and Punjabi.

He also carries condoms for free distribution. For, his target audience includes sex workers, even homosexuals and intravenous drug-users.   

For city-based photojournalist Sunil Sharma, it was more than a photo opportunity. He and his friends were en-route to Kasauli when near the Timbertrail Resort the fanatic calls of a roadside vendor made them stop. After learning about a car mishap, Sharma and his friend Anil Mahajan slid almost 75 feet for saving precious lives.

In city-resident Kirandeep Kaur’s case, it is reversal of roles. she did everything that’s expected of a man. Rowing at Sukhna Lake, the national-level swimmer saw a youngster heading for his watery grave in September 2005. She just took the deep plunge to save the boy from committing suicide.

Receiving a gold medal for ‘exemplary courage and presence of mind’, she doesn’t find anything odd in a damsel coming to the rescue of a guy in distress.      

Hoshiarpur-resident Bahader Singh also saved a life from drowning during a college trip to Himachal Pradesh in October 2002. “For a second, I was dazed with anxiety and fear. But then, I let myself loose and pulled her out before it was too late.”

Super-cop Rajendra Thakur did more than just dial help after he saw a bus sliding down the slope near Shimla. “The bus was about to overturn and there was a possibility of landslide. But I crept in and managed to pull five injured. In all 10 lives were saved,” says the young constable.

So folks, next time you sense danger, think of them and place others before self. It’s worth the mental satisfaction.

Documenting Punjab’s soul
Purva Grover

Photo by Vicky GharuHe narrates nothing new. His work is, once again, the depiction of problems in Punjab. Even the medium he’s chosen is an old one. However, it is his conviction that makes the difference. Meet 25-year-old documentary maker, Simran Singh Kaler. To his credit are 16 documentaries that he has directed in the last one year. Ask him why documentaries and pat comes the reply, “They give more scope for research. You can explore the subject from zero to hundred per cent.” So much so, that he prefers to call his documentaries as case studies. His work is all in Punjabi and revolves around social issues and problems.

A postgraduate in mass communication, the fundas of this budding director are very clear. He says, “Most important is the concept, everything else comes later. And, also time should never be a constraint.” While, he has conceptualised and finished a handful of his works in just a month’s time, there are some for which he has devoted almost a year. His maiden work was titled Sikhya. A visit to a school for slum children in Sector 43 encouraged him to highlight the noble work being undertaken there. A seven-minute creation, the work continues to be closest to his heart.

Ask him what his USP is and he smiles, “My vision”. I look at the problems and situations like a common person would. “Did you know that slavery is till prevalent in Punjab?” he asks. A one-hour work titled Saade Hisse Di Zindagi, begins with a voice from the siri (bonded labourer) who cries for his share of freedom. The work took him to many districts of Punjab, including Mansa, Faridkot, Sangrur and Moga.

His seniors at Channel Punjab seem content with his work. “I approach them with a concept and then head to the field with my unit. As the channel is on air in more than 100 countries, my work is spreading all across,” he smiles. Keeping him busy at present is his work titled Buddhism in Punjab, which will trace the origin and development of the religion in the region. On his wish list is a chance to work with BBC or Discovery. “I will show the world that Punjab is much more than the nachta gaata Punjab that they see in vulgar videos. One day the world will know me as the king of documentary films,” he signs off.

Lights, camera and action for him are all meant to move beyond the image of nachda-gaanda Punjab

Five rivers still thirsty: Current problem of water in Punjab, on how the ground water level is going down and people are getting diseases from polluted water.
Five rivers still thirsty: Current problem of water in Punjab, on how the ground water level is going down and people are getting diseases from polluted water.

Punjab vs Pesticides: Extensive use of pesticides in Punjab and its effects. And, examples of people going in for organic farming.
Punjab vs Pesticides: Extensive use of pesticides in Punjab and its effects. And, examples of people going in for organic farming.

The legend of Malerkotla: Based on the history of nawabs of Malerkotla.
The legend of Malerkotla: Based on the history of nawabs of Malerkotla.

Surging ahead
S.D. Sharma

Before the advent of television channels in the region, All-India Radio was the only lifeline for the entertainment of common man. No wonder, radio artists were revered as celebrities. Similarly, the annual AIR awards for excellence were equated with any national award, which brought recognition to the artists. Likewise, a young playwright and drama artist, Sukhchain Singh Bhandari, was bound to be the cynosure of many eyes. Bhandari created history by winning the All - India Radio’s coveted first prize for four years in succession (1961 to 1964) for sculpting radio plays. “All my award winning plays were translated into many languages and aired by all stations of the AIR”, claims Bhandari.

Credited with 15 publications in drama and poetry, besides short stories in Hindi, Punjabi and Saraiki, this postgraduate in Punjabi literature shares his views with us while arranging for the release of his latest drama book Thakya Hoya Aadmi. Striking an amiable stability between creative writing and selling arms and ammunition from his Gun Houses in Mohali and Sirsa, Bhandari, with 50 years of career in writing, is still surging ahead. Pragmatic with social perspectives , his writing represents the ethos of the common man and the elite. Perhaps, it’s this vision in his writing, which accounts for his winning six Haryana Sahitya Academy Annual Awards for his books and many other prizes for short stories. “The recent book too chronicles the inevitable tensions in a family,”he avers. Bhandari’s been honoured by literary organisations in India and abroad and his name figures in many reference books. Looking ahead, he resolves to bring the best in his writings, which, however, is yet to come.

2 minute wonder
Purva Grover

Lunch, dinner, snack ...
It takes two minutes to cook, even fewer minutes to eat!

Photo by Manoj MahajanHostellers, paying guests, single men and women, married men whose wives are out for work or on a holiday, children of working parents, all those who are too busy to cook and those who are simply lazy—this one is for you. Easy on pocket, high on taste and low on time, we are talking about the century’s greatest invention and a life-saving product for many, it is mmmm…Maggi.

The two-minute delicacy rolled on the fork was introduced in the market as a savior for the new working class. And today, be it children or busy working adults, all have relished it. And no matter how many people told us that the daily dose of maida was bad for health or we should be eating something healthier, we have gorged on happily and even narrated figures from the oh-so-familiar yellow packet (calcium –100 mg, iron – 2mg, carbohydrates — 62.2gm).

And while we agree that old is gold and nothing can beat the all-time favourite Maggi Masala, there are the adventurous ones, ready to go beyond the basic recipe given on the packing. The favourite with the hostellers are fried masala, tadka Maggi, garlic cheese or fiery chicken. Tempted? Then head to Mocha in Sector 26 and bite into Maggi Bolognaise which is cooked in mince chicken sauce. Or how about a Maggi in Thai style, cooked in peanut sauce and mixed with shredded chicken for Rs 105? Also, on offer is Arrabiata for Rs 95. It is prepared in a tomato base. Says Amandeep Singh, manager, “On an average we get orders for 60 cream and cheese Maggi.” However, he too admits that the all-time hit is still the plain masala one.

While the pack of four is ideal, but if you are trying to give up the addiction then go in for the single packet for Rs 10 or still the smaller one for Rs 5. Says Neha, a hosteller in Sarojini Hall, P.U. “It is the best thing that has happened to all of us.” Chips in her Maggimate for each evening, “It is like a daily ritual with us.” The delicacy is served with or without vegetables and with or without soup (as they call it) for Rs 13 in the hostels. And, if you are not a hosteller don’t worry, for, you can head to Stu-C and bite into it for Rs 12 for plain and Rs 15 with veggies. Some even have tried having it raw but then it might lead to a tummy ache, they warn.

Another gang of Maggi-lovers is these boys who stay in a rented accommodation in Mohali. And, if you thought boys were clueless about cooking, then listen to them discussing the technique and the style of cooking Maggi. “Ideally as the tagline says it should take two minutes only, but it actually takes five to six minutes depending on the flame,” says Sahil. Adds Vikram, “It also depends on the surface area of the bowl.” Besides, these boys also regularly head to The Coffee Times Shop in Phase V, Mohali, for a quick Maggi bite for Rs 15.

The Maggi fans claim that if a poll is conducted to find out which of the noodles is more popular, then Maggi will surely leave brands like Top Raman, Wai Wai and Cup-O-Noodles far behind. What’s more, the tangy spicy taste of plain masala is still ahead of Maggi Atta or Maggi Rice. We question them—what if someday Nestle decides to stop the production of Maggi? And they reply back, ‘nice joke’ and happily grab the bowl and continue to chomp.

Peach Perfect
Kandla Nijhowne

The peaches are out in all their splendid glory, with a spot of blush on their fuzzy cheek. In the midst of the mango-eating frenzy, this gorgeous fruit tends to get somewhat sidelined, though it adapts perfectly to many a delectable dish. Peaches do not ripen or sweeten after they are plucked, so always choose what looks ready to eat, and not the hard ones tinged with green.

Peach Cobbler

4-5 cups, sliced peaches

¾ cups sugar

1 cup maida

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon powder

? cup sugar

1 large egg, beaten

½ cup cold butter, diced

Sprinkle the ¾ cup sugar over the fruit. Toss gently to mix and place in a shallow, ovenproof dish. Sieve together the maida, baking powder and cinnamon. Scatter the diced butter into it and rub it in till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg and ? cup of sugar. Pat the flour mixture evenly over the peaches in a thick layer. Bake in a 350º F oven for 30 minutes, or till the top is browned and crusty. Serve hot or cold with cream or ice-cream.

Peach Bavarios

3 cups peaches, chopped

1 cup sugar

3 tsp gelatine

2-3 tsp lemon juice

2 cups cream

4 tbsp chopped nuts

Cook the peaches till slightly softened. Add sugar and dry out further on medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool. Soak gelatine in ¼ cup of water. Warm gently to dissolve, and then add to the peaches along with the lemon juice. Whip the cream till fluffy and fold into the peach mixture. Taste for sweetness and add more powdered sugar if required. Transfer to a bowl and freeze for 6-8 hours. Scoop out and serve in glass goblets, garnished with nuts.

Cheese & Peach salad

7 tbsp olive oil

1½-2 tbsp vinegar

¼ tsp each, mustard powder, salt & pepper

8 lettuce leaves

3-4 ripe peaches, sliced

150 gm cheese, cubed

2 tbsp slivered, toasted almonds


Make the dressing by mixing together the first five ingredients. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized shreds and arrange in a salad bowl with the cheese and peaches. Keep chilled and just before serving, pour the dressing over the ingredients, sprinkle the almonds and toss gently.

Tip of the week

Want the salad to have added zing? Substitute some of the vinegar with orange or blackcurrant juice and throw in a spoonful of finely minced lemon peel.

Going off the eaten track

Shelves of city departmental stores are lined with an assortment of mixes that promise gourmet food in a jiffy. Just snip open a packet, follow directions & voila... Swati Sharma checks out what’s available.

Photo by Pradeep TewariAs the sultry weather adds to the misery of summer, cooking indeed is cumbersome. But all those who dread it, worry not. For, we have a way out for all the mommies who want to beat the heat and rustle up some appetising meals for their kids. We suggest you pack off those long hours of cooking and opt for instant cooking instead. With umpteen number of ready-to-eat recipes and curries on the shelves in market, here’s a list of options available.

Photo by Pradeep TewariOne can try on anything from Oriental to Thai or Mughlai and prepare sumptuous delicacies in a few seconds. Now cook your favourite Chinese soups everyday in minutes with Knor’s Chinese chilly soup, which has culinary sauce powder in it, or typical Chinese Schezwan soup, at Rs 24 only. Another option is Maggi hot and sour soup, chicken soup and for those who love cream and creamy chicken soup at Rs 25 each. Other flavours in soups are the Sweet and sour tomato noodles soup priced at Rs 26. On the shelves is Oriental Chilly Garlic sauce by manufacturers of Maggi at Rs 29 for a 200 gms. For those who enjoy piquant meals, there is Maggi’s Teekha Masala at Rs 28 for 200 gms.

Photo by Pradeep TewariGo Italian with Sunfeast’s pasta treat available in two flavours, tomato cheese and masala sauce. A must try for all pasta lovers its 87 gms, masala pack that will cost you Rs 15 and 91 gms tomato cheese one at the same price.

If your family enjoys Thai food then try on the imported authentic Thai green curry to prepare it. Priced at Rs 20 for a 50 gms pack or cook your meal in Red curry paste at the same price. It promises a serving for three.

Photo by Pradeep TewariNow, there is no need to cook the chicken gravy for hours in the kitchen. Taking you to the beaches of Goa is Parampara brand ready to eat, Goan fish mix gravy priced at Rs 30 for 100 gms it is a must try for all those who like fish meat. For the hard-core non-vegetarians, here’s Mutton Kohlapuri mix at Rs 30 for 200 gms it serves three. You can try out their 21 different flavours starting from Butter chicken, Tandoori chicken, Chicken sukha or the Malabar chicken. If rich creamy high-calorie food is not your choice, then bite into some Nawabi mix with boneless chicken pieces and it’s tangy in flavour.

Now cooking a perfect gourmet meal is no longer a trouble with all these ready-to-eat curries and mixes easily available at any store. All you need to do is boil water in a pan and put the soup mixture or the gravy and an appetising meal is ready. So chill out and eat the heat with ready meal mixes this summer!

Call of luxury

Tough, elegant and expensive. City men have found a new obsession
Tough, elegant and expensive. City men have found a new obsession

Designer cuff links, an exquisite watch, the latest iPod, an ace palmtop, a satisfying luxury car and a bar at home with a huge variety of spirits and cocktail shakers. Now, who says only Punjabi women love to show off? The status and fashion conscious men brigade too is not far behind. From key chains to wallets, they spend fortunes to get their hands on the tiniest of fashion accessories. And latest on their wish list is the world’s most luxurious hand-phones from Vertu.

The collection was simultaneously launched in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Ludhiana. The first company to focus on the luxury mobile communication market, Vertu reached the city at Ethos-8 this April. And quite interestingly, it has already found 15 buyers.

Crafted with material used in the aeronautical industry, these are the creation of outstanding craftsmanship of seasoned jewellers and watchmakers. And, while these handsets starting from Rs 3 lakh and going up to Rs 50 lakh have multi-features like MMS, a seven-pixel camera, bluetooth et al. But with Vertu, it is the name and looks that make the difference. All the phones are assembled at the company’s headquarters in the UK.

And the world’s most expensive phone is...

Luxury accessory producer Peter Aloisson has created the — The Diamond Crypto Smartphone. This expensive cell phone is priced at $1,300,000, and what makes the phone so expensive? Apart from the platinum body this expensive mobile phone, features a cover adorned with 50 diamonds including ten rare blue diamonds. The Ancort logo and the navigation key are made of 18-carat rose gold. Built on the Windows CE, the most expensive cell also features a high-resolution color TFT display and a 256 bit cryptographic algorithm.

A blend of the finest materials from the world of watch making, automotive, aeronautics and jewellery, the collection includes ranges called Ascent, Signature, Constellation and Signature Diamonds. Says Rakesh Mohunta, Head of Operations, Ethos, “It is the man’s way of rewarding himself.”

A look at the 12 models on display is a treat enough for you eyes. The handsets finished in gold or stainless steel with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal face, ultra-strong highly polished ceramic, fine leather for better grip and jewelled bearings fitted under each key ensure far more than just communication. Also, each ceramic key is polished and laser perforated to allow lighting through the key, a method unique to these phones. Some sets in the collection are so complex, that years are spent to hand assemble a piece.

The least expensive model on display is the base model from the Constellation series costing Rs 1,99,000. And the most expensive here is for Rs 12,00,000 under the Ascent collection. But, wait, the most expensive from the brand costs a whooping Rs 45 lakh approx. Now, who said that mobile prices are slashing down? Hmmm…so all you style-hooked men all you need to do, to own one of these creations is work a little, oops, a lot more overtime! — P. G.

For body & soul
Purva Grover

Indulge in an aromatic and rejuvenating splash at home

A scent of ripe peaches blended with delicate almond and laced with fresh mimosa. Or maybe some coconut milk with a hint of creamy cocoa and sweet vanilla. Sounds mouth-watering, isn’t it? But, wait for these are not for your sweet tooth, rather they are exciting indulgences for your body. From cocoa butter to peppermint to cucumber-melon and citrus, the fresh and exciting market of shower gels is all set to take you on a fragrant, relaxing and wonderful journey.

Here’s how

A shower gel can be simply rubbed on or you can use a loofah. A loofah is used like a body scrub and it exfoliates dead skin and helps in the cleansing action. Do remember to wash it once every week to avoid any bacteria. Other products in the same category are brushes, gloves and sponges. They are available in different shapes and sizes. A big spongy loofah attached at the end of a long wooden handle allows you to reach every spot of your back. Also, there is belt-shaped loofah that you can rub along. The more convenient ones include a glove- shaped loofah that doesn’t keep slipping out of your hand and another that can be strapped along your hand for a better grip. These are available at a price range between Rs 70 and 224.

Soap vs shower gel

Soaps tend to take away the moisture out of your skin due to their alkaline nature. A shower gel causes less skin damage as it is neutral.

Shower gels have neutral Ph levels that neither leaves the skin too dry nor oily. The gels help to open up the skin pores and let the skin breathe, which is very important especially in summers.

The daily shower is no longer limited to mere cleansing but rather it is all about surrounding oneself in therapeutic aromas. From our very own Lux and Palmolive to Marks and Spencer and H2O, the city is flooded with just the right kind of gel for your skin type. Irresistible radiance, firm skin, extra sensitive or silky glow, there is something for each one.

Wrap your skin in a light veil of pearl proteins and orchid milk with Lux’s Heavenly Milk, priced at Rs 150. Or pick on Glowing Touch and let Shea cream add to your skin a touch of delicate brightness. Also, in this four-month-old range is Sparkling Morning with green tea and lime extracts. Let Palmolive’s range of exotic gels wrap you in a sensation of well-being. For an easy priced exquisite spa at home, pick on the thermal spa and let the minerals massage you. All for Rs 90, the caring formula of the spa will surely cut down your visits to the parlour. Also on the shelves is Fa’s green tea and spring flower spa at Rs 119.

For those who want to experience luxury at night, there is Dove’s Calming Night that comes with a whiff of sandalwood for Rs 150. It also has a special Night Bath for a late night refreshing bath for Rs 225. Another affordable herbal range is from VLCC, which includes gels with patchouli oil and nutmeg, lavender and aloe vera extracts. As tantalising as their names is Camay’s range of Mystique, Romantique and Delicate gels at Rs 210.

If it is imported brands that lure you then try the latest Poolside shower gel by H2O with melon and magnolia, and it will ensure that your skin remains hydrated at all times. Also in the H2O range is Tango Mango, Clearwater, Kiwi-Classic, and Raspberry Guava Lemon Lust. Lavender Sage, Ginger-Citron and Natural Spring Aquatic are among others that are sure to catch your fancy; they all fall in the range of Rs 600 to Rs 900. Let the gentle aroma work for you with Marks and Spencer’s Peach Bloom. For a further fruity delight, try their papaya exfoliating shower scrub or an aloe vera gel, all priced at Rs 299.

When it comes to experiencing the exotic, the men too are not behind. They can try out AXE’s shower shake with ginger extracts. Or try Denim’s revitalising gel, available in Original and Musk and priced at Rs 199. For a fresh, clean and masculine fragrance, Gillette’s Cool Wave at Rs 270 is a must buy. Adidas’s citrus, menthol, sea minerals, urban spice all for Rs 199 will keep you going the whole day. So what are you waiting for, splash on some gel and enjoy the luxury at home.

(With inputs from Bharti Bedi)

Healing the herbal way
Purva Grover

As schoolchildren, we all were taught that Prevention is better than cure. And, while it remained a mere adage for many, it became an inspiration for Dr Sonica Krishan. An Ayurveda doctor, Sonica has been running her clinic Arogya in city’s Sector 7, for a decade now. She says, “ Ayurveda is a preventive science and it has minimal or no-side effects at all.” And that explains what motivates her to spread awareness about this field of medicine. “After all, what could be better than healing the herbal way?” says Krishan, who pursued her B.A.M.S (Bachelors in Ayurveda, Medicine and studies) from Dhanwantari College, Sector 46. And, we agree.

Today, she is an author of two books on the subject. A writer by hobby, she has written several poems and pieces on subjects like human relations, nature and God. But, it was the ignorance of the people that encouraged her to pen a book on herbal healing. Her first book Herbal Healer was released in 2006. “It contains complete information on fifty easily available herbs,” she says. Encouraged by the response from the readers, this doctor soon began working on another book and released her second book this month. Titled Home Remedies, it’s packed with herbal cures for a hundred common ailments, be it hair fall, acidity, diabetes or cold and is priced at Rs 95. Avers Sonica, “ The aim of the book is to educate the layman on the importance of herbs.”

She signs off with a cure for two common ailments during monsoons. “For Amoebiasis, take one tea spoon of the powder of seeds of Bilgiri, twice a day, with buttermilk or honey. And for acidity, coconut water and 10 to 20 ml of amla juice a day works good.”

You’re cordially invited
Anandita Gupta

Nothing lasts forever, but memories do. City denizens add class to their weddings through customised invites

Photo by Vinay MalikWhen it’s the fond memory of one’s wedding, it’s meant to stay, safely tucked in that snug corner of your heart! In fact, don’t most of us secretly desire our wedding-memories to stay forever—not just in our own,but in the hearts of all our wedding guests? Well, you and I might have just wished it, but city’s Gen-X is actually ensuring that it happens. Not by throwing those ultra-lavish bashes, mind you, but going in for wedding-invites, that are sophisticated, yet stylistic and suave.

Labour of love

Gone are the days when amidst good food, laddos and wedding songs sung by aunts and loads of fun, wedding cards were written by relatives. Today, stationers and wedding card companies are providing designer wedding cards (Rs10 to Rs1, 000 each!) Experimenting with a wide range of designs (traditional to contemporary), multiple colours (pleasing pastels to earthy and vibrant), designer paper (handmade, banana fibre, silk-laid to imported art card) and arty motifs (from Ganeshas and mauli threads to Mughal carpet prints and fun fonts), these professionals are offering chic cards.

Fairy-tale invites

So you thought a wedding invite meant a perfect beginning? Well, when it comes to fantasy-like fancy invites, pre-wedding bashes seem to be stealing the show. Engagements, bridal showers and cocktails are being celebrated with oodles of style, via jazzy invites. Frilly, romantic and feminine—seems to be the look of the season, for these invites. Must-picks include—perfumed papers in pastel hues. Embellishments jazzing up these cards are powdered glitter, scented tissues, golden ivory netting, ribbons, bows, pearls and Swarovski. The printed ones flaunt paisleys and floral motifs. Humorous jokes and fancy quotes are scribbled on these cards. No wonder, these dressed up invites can give the bride beautiful some tough competition.

Designer invites may be a wee bit expensive, but spending big-time on them seems the mantra for injecting style into one’s wedding. “Invitation cards gives the first impression about the wedding you’re planning. So, people today are using them as a unique statement of their personality and the occasion,” says Rohini Juneja of Juneja Design Studio-17. “People want to splurge, not just on the invites but engagement and bridal shower invites too. In fact, while wedding cards are mostly bearing a traditional stamp, engagement cards are more creative and fun,” she smiles.

Splash of colour

Opulence has given way to class and jazz when it comes to wedding invites. Informs Jyoti Sahni of Card Studio-8, “A delicious colour palette — hot pinks, purples, oranges, greens, powder pinks, peaches and baby blues, has replaced the traditional reds and maroons. “Even whites, crèmes, silver, copper and dull gold are really in. City people are shedding the superstition of using whites for wedding cards. White looks classy and fabulously supports the western, sleek-styled look that most people want today. We’ve done many cards in white and even a funky one in black!”

Bye-bye mithai dabbas

“Nobody wants the traditional mithai to go along with the invites. People are gifting chocolates, almonds, imported sweets and wines instead. So, we’re designing chocolate boxes (Rs 25), wine bags (Rs 50-80) and carry bags for gifts with wedding cards. A special effort’s made to coordinate these boxes with the invite, informs Sahni.

Also, ornate motifs have made room for playful prints (paisleys, florals and geometrical) and funky fonts, “Initials of the bride and groom are printed in stylistic fonts, not just on the card but also on its flap. In fact these initials are being used as a logo, which is printed on everything that goes with the card,” beams Ashima Kumar, presently doing table cards, menu cards, sweet boxes and gift boxes — coordinated with the invites.

Well, with all this hoopla about going paperless, virtual cards may replace wedding cards. However, with the interesting invites on offer in town, seems like this wouldn’t be happening soon!

Cool Stuff
Fruity Twirl

Tropicana launched its two new exotic juice drinks — Apricot and Strawberry Twirl. You can now enjoy the goodness of delicious apricots, passion fruit and apple in the former and savour the freshness of luscious strawberries with apple in the latter. Enjoy the naturalness of these twirls and savour the refreshing taste all day long.

It is available at Rs 15 for 200 ml and Rs 75 for a one-litre pack. These summer treats promise a refreshing, natural and delicious taste. The launch of the new flavours by Tropicana takes forward the success of the Lychee and Peach Twirls introduced last year.

Menz Only: Soft & Fair

Olivia introduced Hiz Aloe Bleach for the fashion conscious men who wish to stay highly invigorated and well groomed. Enriched with aloe vera it will not only make your skin fairer, but also moisturise it relieving stress and fatigue. The ultimate herbal solution leaves your skin soft, and glowing. Its gentle properties lighten facial hair gently and aloe vera works as a natural healer. It is the first fairness bleach exclusively formulated for tough male skin. It penetrates 13 layers below the skin surface acting and removes dirt and any harmful residue, which may have remained on the skin. It is recommended for use every 15 days for maximum impact.

Zip past: Powerfully Stylish

Want to be mobile instantly without having to carry around a large device? Pick on i-mate’s latest pocket PC. JAMA is compact, lightweight, powerful, stylish and very competitively priced. Packed with Windows Mobile features, the 15.6 mm slim build allows for a rich multi-media experience with a high quality 2.4” touch screen that allows for easy navigation and a 2 MP effect camera. It is also equipped with Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC giving the user the familiar benefits of all Microsoft Windows experience such as MSN mobile, instant messenger, media player 10 mobile and internet explorer. Priced at Rs 15,990.

Fashion: Chic Footwear

Leather, suede and canvas, Numero Uno’s new range of casual footwear offers an exciting collection of casual and semi-formal shoes comprising both slip on’s and lace up’s. The range is crafted from top quality leathers, comfortable suede’s and sturdy canvas. It is designed keeping in mind optimum comfort and a perfect balance between style and protection. Hip and trendy, the range is available for men in stunning colours like camel, navy blue, khaki and beiges, and in pink, silver, green, white, black for women.

A letter from Crowe

Russell Crowe has written about the honour of fatherhood in an emotional letter to his two sons, which they’ll read after 25 years. The Gladiator actor says three-year-old Charlie and one-year-old Tennyson will receive the letter in 2032.“Our lives have been blessed by you. Whatever happens, I’ll always love you with my heart and soul,” he writes. — ANI

Health tip

To avoid back pain, one should instinctively tense the abdomen muscle and diaphragm to build up pressure in the abdomen which markedly reduces the pressure on back muscle. — Dr Ravinder Chadha

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