On the right track
Purva Grover

Vineet Sharma
Vineet Sharma

A swanky car with one-touch control windscreen wipers, a motorbike with remote reservoir shock absorber and a bicycle with 26 gears and hydraulic brakes. Bi-cycle? Yes, you heard it right — a bike, bicycle or cycle (as you may call it) is the latest fancy machine behind the adrenalin rush. Stylish, packed with innumerable features and pricey (running in thousands), city cyclists on these wonder machines are all geared to re-invent the cycling culture here. We catch up with some of the riders on the accelerating wheels.

Thirty two-year-old Jeevanjeet Singh’s passion for bicycles speaks in numbers. “Each year, I would coax my parents to buy me one for my birthday,” he recalls. Today, he rides a Firefox-Bad Attitude, his 15th bicycle. Nothing short of a dream come true, the stunt bike with a stronger aluminum double wall wheel is worth each penny spent. It cost him around Rs 10,000, but it did not end there, for Jeevan spent a lot more to customise it. It boasts of modified front suspension fox, cranks, handle bars, stems, hydraulic brakes and gears. And besides riding for an hour to his workplace, Jeevan spends a lot of time performing stunts on the bike. “Drops, jumps and bunny hops, the bike lets you do it all,” he says. And, his modified mean machine allows him to perform an 18 feet drop as well.

Ravit Kailay
Ravit Kailay — Photos by Pradeep Tewari

Another stunt freak is Ravit Kailay, a class XI student of Gyan Jyoti School- Mohali. Bored of riding his Hero Ranger Swing and DTB, he pursued his parents three years back to buy him a Firefox-Viper. And next, he spent another Rs 35,000 in addition to the original cost of Rs 14,000 of the bike and modified it into a dream machine. The shining bike in metallic blue with disc brakes, broader tyres (2.35 cm), a front suspension, is quite a creation. Says Ravit, “I don’t ride the cycle to school.”Ask him why, and pat comes the reply, “The cycle parking in my school is not good enough.” His evening and holidays are devoted to stunt sessions.

The bug bit Bhanu Pratap Bhagat, a class X student from Ryan International when he first started watching X-games, BMX and mountain biking on ESPN and other channels. His first cycle was a Suncross that he bought last year. His latest purchase is a black bike that he has modified to include hydraulic brakes, 8-inch rotors, 21 compatible gears, 175mm travel suspension and more. Bruises, scra tches, band-aids and stoopies, wheelies, no footer air stunts and bunny hops spell a perfect day for him. And on weekends, he heads on a cycling expedition to Kasauli.

Vineet Sharma’s record as a cyclist is quite an interesting one. He first picked the bike- Berkeley’s Rockshox when he was eight. At 16, he joined the cycling team of the city and since then, has been into mountain biking, free ride cycling and road racing. In 2000, he participated in a national cycling event held here. Today, this 24-year-old rides a customised bike christened Zenith. He elaborates on the bike’s features,“ Its front and rear suspension are better than a motorbike. Besides, it has oversized handlebars, 27 gears and hydraulic disc brakes. He laments,“ It would do a lot of good if these components were available in India.” Well, though there is still time for this to happen, one thing is sure that these biker boys are all set to put the bicycle on the right track.


Enthusiasm unlimited
Parbina Rashid

History is repeating itself, only with a greater force this time than the year 2006, when it was written with the victory of Debojit Saha in Zee’s Sa Re Ga Ma Challenge. We are here talking about the feeling of solidarity of the Northeast people, when it comes to supporting their idols on small screen. Yes, this is about Sony’s Indian Idol 3 and the battle between Shillong’s Amit Paul and Darjeeling’s Prashant Tamang.

Reports have been pouring on about how Amit Paul mania has already gripped Shillong, a place known for its love for rock and heavy metals, so much so that the state chief minister D. D. Lapang conferred upon him the Ambassador of Peace title during the youth’s recent visit to the state capital. Not to mention how the police went tizzy controlling the huge crowd that gathered to catch a glimpse of their idol.

Reminds us of Debojit’s homecoming, when 50lakh people gathered at Silchar airport to welcome their hero and his famous journey from the airport to his home. It took him about nine hours to complete this 22km distance.

But if you are thinking the excitement is just North-East specific, you cannot be further from the truth. “We are definitely going to vote for Amit as it is nice to see someone from Northeast (though Sony claims that Prashant too is from that region, people think otherwise as he belongs to Darjeeling) coming into limelight. People there lead such a cocooned life and youngsters like Amit can motivate them to come into the mainstream,” says Rajiv Gupta, an Air Force personnel.

L. Premanand Singh and W. Santha Devi from Manipur have already made up their minds to vote for Amit, “Not just because he is from our region, but also he comes across as a good person,” they say.

And here is Veronica from Arunachal Pradesh who is willing to cast unlimited votes for Amit. A student of Women’s Polytechnic-10, Veronica likes him for his husky voice and good guy image, besides his Northeast connection.

Riding on the same emotional crest is this gang of seven Manipuri girls from GCG-11—Geetanjali, Diana, Sonia, Momota, Naobi, Langlen and Geetanjali, who have recharged their mobiles to vote for Amit. “He is cute, has a good voice, is a great performer and the best part is that he is from our area,” they chorus.

Well, we leave them to their mission with a diplomatic wish from our side —“May the true Northeast guy win!” 

Around the World in one day!
Anandita Gupta

Re-doing your home every two months isn’t a passion with you. Saving a share of your salary to set off on an antique hunt figures nowhere in your ‘must-do’ agendas. Nonetheless, (let’s face it) you’ll agree that high-end home décor’ shopping has a charm of its own. Who’d mind, after all, reclining on the royal bed that once bowed under some maharaja’s weight?

And especially, when looking at this furniture can provide you an international experience? Well, go ahead. For, right from South-East Asian to rustic Indian and contemporary European, the local décor hubs are offering everything from around the world. We devour some of the town’s most delicious décor stores, and better still, take you along…


Contemporary Indian

Not long back, locating décor-hubs in town was a laborious process. More like a warehouse than a store, décor items in these stores were strewn across everywhere. Not any more, thanks to the likes of Monita. Having sourced stuff from all over India (glassware, metalware, earthenware, lamps, tee-light holders, antique candle-stands, vases in cheerful colours, Rajasthani pottery and river-grass chattais flaunting zari-brocade borders), the lady’s masterminded her unique home-cum-store, Just Interiors.

“Here, people get an idea about how a décor item would actually look in their homes. I’ve done up my house with knick-knacks sourced from Goa, UP, Rajasthan and South India,” elaborates Monita, leading us on the first floor through the stairway. “Presently, my house has an earthen touch to it and the furniture displayed is Indian,” she quips, pointing towards her cozy, rustic brick floor (laid in a conjunction with glazed, designer tiles), baksa-coffee table, manji-cum-centre pieces and four-poster haveli beds.

And if you have a space-constraint, walk down to Fabindia-8 and get mesmerised. Right from sofa-cum-futon beds (Rs 15,000), utility cabinets (Rs 16,000-20,000) and corners in sheesham and mango-wood, there are bright-hued floor lamps and lampshades (Rs 300-3,000) in silk, cotton, banana bark and cane.

South-East Asian

Just Interiors, Sukhna Enclave
Just Interiors, Sukhna Enclave

If Asian culture beckons you, another picturesque store is Malmays, right in the heart of Sector 22. Brimming with collectables from South-East Asia — Malaysia, Thailand, Bangkok and Philippines, the place can well be mistaken for an art gallery. Pride of the place remain Swarovsky-studded, carved, wooden mirror-frames (Rs 4,000- 30,000), masked faces and papier-mâché figurines — Buddhas, tigers, leopards and fish (Rs 2,000-1, 40, 000), wooden wonders — vases, trays, bowls, baskets (Rs 3,000-13,000), bamboo lamps (Rs 2,000) and cheery glassware (candle stands on wrought-iron (Rs 500 onwards).

The Manchurian-choupsey brigade can check out Sims-8 by Simmi Singh. Stocking Victorian oil paintings, framed in gold-plaited polyresin, Chinese pottery, plant holders, candle stands, fountain statues, waterfalls and flower arrangements, Singh’s store flaunts a captivating display.


Perched on the first floor of Sector 8 inner market, is Fischer’s that forgoes the frippery for a more relaxed and casual sensibility. “The accent is not just on aesthetics but functionality,” muses Ravijit Dhillon, the man behind the contemporary, straight-line furniture here. Exporting furniture to Germany and Canada, the store has an eclectic collection of wooden CD cases (Rs 3,000-4,000), Zen range (Japanese) low-seating coffee tables (Rs 4,000-6,000), benches (Rs 9,000) with leather cushioning, Zen mirrors (Rs 1500-3500), book shelves (Rs 7,000-) and wine racks( Rs 4,000).

Split across a floor, Style Spa-34 too, has embraced the concept of a home-like display, showcasing everything from a slouchy leather sofas (Rs 1 lakh) to smart, no-clutter wall units (Rs 30,000).“Our USP remains termite-proof, water-resistant wood, besides leather and polycot,” informs Rakesh Rana.

Buying décor’ from these hubs isn’t for the faint-hearted, we agree. But, sift through these interior- hubs to savour an international aesthetic treat, while feeling at home!


Fashionably yours
Archana K. Sudheer

The city is riding high on fashion and has emerged as the place for international brands to set shop. On Thursday, United Colors of Benetton opened their largest mega store in the country. The four-storey store in Sector 17 is spread over an area of over 1,000 sq metres and promises to be a must stop for clothes and accessories.

Benetton executive deputy chairperson Alessandro Benetton said, “Chandigarh has proved to be a great market and we hope for a good response in the future too.” The brand first made its presence in the country 15 years back. The event saw a display of the brand’s autumn-winter collection.

A combination of elegance and trend, the collection for men lets you be formal without being boring. Dark and pinstriped suits, jackets and ties, shorts and slim coats complete the Rock Singer look. A mixture of fabrics and knitwear in yarn forms the Camden Town. The Ice Hockey look is a sporty theme abundant with bright colours.

For girls, there are a variety of options to pick from. The University Club range in dark blue denims and bright sweaters, Warm Nepal for an ethnic look and Liberty for independent female of today. The latter comprises floral shirts, embroidered jeans and cardigans, all with a romantic hint to them. The store will also stock Benetton’s other brands including Sisley, Playlife leisurewear and Killer Loop. With seven stores in the region itself, including three in the tricity, Benetton is all set to woo the city fashionistas.


Skin (Es)sense
Aman Minhas

Celebrating the essence of womanhood’ is the focus of 10- year-old Nature’s Essences that has 200 products in its kitty. The executive director of the company Saurabh Nanda was in town to motivate the distributors of their products.

The company, which earns a whopping 50 per cent profit North, thinks that Punjab and Chandigarh have a big market. But, how do they plan to survive in a market flooded with herbal and natural beauty products? Reasons Nanda, “There’s enough room for everyone to survive in the Indian market. Moreover, we don’t just sell products but educate people on their skin and then recommend our products.” And how are these products different from the others? He elaborates, “Our products are made of minimal chemicals and are a rare combination of wild flowers and fresh fruits.”

Nature’s Essences, presently running at 5,000 tonnes production capacity, has a collection of 200 products, mostly for women. The products are made herbal juices and essential aroma oils. The range for women currently has facial kits, cleansers, toners and face washes for the middle class segment.

The company, with a Rs 30crore turnover, plans to launch a cosmetic range for women next month called Coloressense, including make-up and beauty products like lipsticks, mascara, lip gloss, foundations, palettes for parlours .The packaging will be truly international as the material for it is being imported from Korea. An IPO, organic food store and increasing the distributors and employees through the length and breadth of the nation are some of Nanda’s expansion plans.


A libber at eight
Joyshri Lobo

The boys at Vivek Nursery & Preparatory, Sector 9, Chandigarh, were into a spirited game of cricket. Runs were made, stumps flew, tempers were short and the usual sledging greeted the losers. Dressing for the game was far more important than anything else. The right gear was paid for by fond parents, who saw a future star in their offspring. One particular lad, tall, skinny and self assured, stood out from the rest. Yuvraj Singh demanded his father Yograj Singh’s attention after school hours, too. He did get it, for this parent knew that a star was soon going to shine in the world cricket galaxy.

But this is not a story about a legend in progress. Watching the game, at the same school, was a thin, wiry girl called Sundari. The first among two sisters, her parents never let her feel inferior to anyone. They gave her the freedom and courage expected from a son and she grew up to be a very forthright, brilliant, focused woman. However, on that particular day, as Yograj Singh coached the Vivek team, this little girl decided she had had enough of gender bias. She wanted to play cricket with a proper team.

Sundari, at the head of a delegation, walked into Big Ma’am’s office and demanded the girls be allowed to play cricket, too. That the request was not granted has changed the course of cricketing history. The school principal realised that the child before her was unusual. Over the following years, Sundari led many delegations and dropped many petitions in that office. To Big Ma’am’s credit goes the fact that she appreciated the little girl’s fiercely independent spirit and democratic thinking. In fact, she encouraged and nurtured it. The little girl questioned and argued. She took up causes and asked for reasons. In today’s jargon, this is called initiative and accountability. It is prized in all fields of business. Sundari’s voice is still heard on whatever project she oversees.

Today there are many ex-Vivekians all over the world. They are in theatre, business, medicine and sports. If they are in Chandigarh, they visit Big Ma’am. She never forgets a face or name. They bring her roses, respect and fond memories.

Teaching in our schools is big business. The system is like a well-oiled machine to mass produce clones which will then be slotted in various grooves and spaces. Imagination and spirit are dirty words. Both make most teachers see red. Though India is marching ahead in every sphere, the powers that are in the HRD ministry have still not been able to break the deadlock between students and teachers. It is an “us” versus “them” situation-grim! International schools are making their presence felt, but they require deep pockets and a commitment to foreign universities. Some where along the middle path, are schools like Vivek. There should be many more to make a difference. Schools like these bring equality of gender and encourage democracy and the questioning mind. They produce future leaders. 

In search of a new home

Nicole Kidman and hubby Keith Urban are packing up and moving out of their Nashville home. Kidman and her country musician hubby have put their four-bedroom, five-bath house on sale for the sum of $ 2.5 million. The 7,000-square-foot mansion, in a ritzy and gated section of Nashville, also comes with its very own gym, pool and spa. A friend of the couple revealed that Nicole and Keith had decided to put their place on sale because they wanted to find a house that was ‘theirs’. The Nashville home was Urban’s house into which Kidman moved after they wed last year. — ANI 

Learn via post
Parbina Rashid

A Victorian period post card
A Victorian period post card

His passion to preserve the history of Indian postal service began with a jolt. He was in his ancestral village of Dadri in Haryana way back in 1965 when an earthquake destroyed a major portion of his house. While rummaging through the goods displaced he came across a postcard that belonged to the year 1899 with East-India Post Card written over it. It was addressed to Rao Khushi Singh, a member of V.P.S. Rao’s family. This 12.2 by 7.5 cm post card which was sold for a quarter anna that time hooked his interest, leading him to search for many rare ones in the years to follow.

His illustrious family (his father Rajguru Rao Uttamsingh was a royal tutor in the erstwhile Jind Estate) heritage helped him to start, like a postcard written by Mirza Ghalib to his grandfather’s brother Rao Kanhaya Lal. And after years of toiling hard and spending harder, he has amassed enough rare ones, not just to hold an exhibition but also to write a book on the history of postage in India.

A Tucks post card of stuffed wild animals
A Tucks post card of stuffed wild animals

His systematically organised albums of post cards can be a treasure for any student of history. As we flip through it, it takes us to the time of Queen Victoria and George V, when post cards used to come as East-India Post Cards with the size of 12.2 X 7.5 cm bearing a main stamp of the king or the queen and another of the erstwhile royal estates. The simple yellow cards gets a little more meaningful at the advent of picture postcards, renamed as Tuick’s Post Card, in the early 19th century. The size too gets a little bigger 14 X 9 cm with pictures like Raja Sarup Singh of Jind, Trinity College or even Khybar Pass showing a camel convoy finding place. Closer home, Patiala seems to be benefitting the most from Rao’s passion. Not only has he collected some rare ones showing the old fort and its stuff animals, but also the kings and queens of England and Roumalia in the court of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh.

His collection on the freedom fighters is awesome too. Apart from well-known figures like Anne Besant, Mahatma Gandhi with Kasturba, Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu, Rao has a postcard signed by Bal Gangadhar Tilak too. But his pride and joy is a postcard featuring Motilal Ghose, editor of Amrit Bazar Patrika, about whom he has several anecdotes to narrate.

“The entire collection is an important part of my endeavour to preserve the cultural heritage of the land that falls between Yamuna and Satluj,” says Rao, the former editor-in-chief of The Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh Consumer News who has o edited many volumes on diverse subjects.

His collection is now going to be part of a series of books he is writing on the preservation of cultural heritage — painting, sculpture, architecture, calligraphy, music, dance and other art forms. “As a descendant of the Dadri Rao family, I owe this to my people and my place — to fill up the mental, moral and spiritual bankruptcy we are going through,” he avers. A man of few words, but many talents indeed.


youth speak
Stress busters
Divya Bhasin

Rising competition in education job and business family and relationship disputes lead to tension and depression in human mind and with each passing day more and more adults, teenagers and even children are caught in the stress trap. As this issue is becoming very pertinent these days, youngsters must prepare themselves to avoid stress and deal with it better. It can happen if they lead a healthy and focused life.

To avoid unnecessary stress one should plan everything to work efficiently. Think less and do more. We tend to cook up thoughts in our mind but do not apply them. Even so, whatever action you undertake, it should be given a deep thought, so that you do not regret it later. One has to keep in mind that it is not the intentions that are seen but the actions that are counted. Be optimistic and work hard as it helps thinking better and commit best .

We often forget that eating healthy and exercising is also an important part of life and can become a real stress buster. One should go for a nutritious and healthy diet in order to avoid delay and stress. Regular walks, yoga, execise and meditation helps you in minimising your useless thoughts and even help you sleep better.

One must even take time out for their own self and do things that you enjoy. Listen to music, travel with friends or talk to friends and family or plan outings with them.

Feel strongly about something? If you are under 25, this is the forum for you. Mail us your views in not more than 300 words along with a passport photograph at


Art for the masses
Parbina Rashid

Sohni Mahiwal by Sobha Singh
Sohni Mahiwal by Sobha Singh

The art scene has definitely changed and it has changed for the better. Or how does one explain this phenomenon? Art Folio-9 exhibiting paintings whose price tag reads something like Rs 7 lakh (yes, we know money is not a yardstick to judge one’s creativity and a painting’s true value lies in the eyes of an art lover) and sharing the same platform are prints of original paintings, which are selling like hot cakes.

And if you are thinking, by prints we mean those religious ones that one used to buy from small booths in the local market, you cannot be further from the truth. The standard of prints have gone through a sea change too — city art lovers will settle for nothing less than Italian prints and abstract art and they are willing to shell out as much as Rs 5,000 for a print! So the obvious conclusion one can jump into is — art has finally triumphed over one’s lust for that luxurious Persian carpet.

So the scene for selling prints too has changed. Leading galleries have taken a lead and the framing shops scattered over the city have revamped to cater to an elitist clientele. According to Vandya Bagrodia of Art Folio, prints of well-known artists like M.F. Hussein and Manjit Bawa have a lot of takers. “A Hussein print comes for Rs 5,000 and the best part is that it comes with his signature. So what else can one ask for?” asks Vandya. And since a Hussein or a Bawa print has a limited edition, one does not have to live in the fear of seeing his copy in every second person’s drawing room.

Manmant Singh of Artizen-Mohali believes in stocking more of prints than original for ‘prints sell’. So one gets to see a rich variety of reproductions of Sobha Singh’s and Kangra miniatures. “Religious prints, specially those of Sobha Singh’s portrayals of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh are all-time favourites,” says Manmant. Buoyed with the response the art curator now is planning to hold an exhibition to showcase all known and unknown Sobha Singh’s prints next month. “People are familiar with the master artist’s portraits of the Sikh Gurus but very few know that he painted Jesus Christ and Bhagat Singh too. We will showcase some of his relatively unknown works,” he says.

While religion is a dominant factor at Mohali, here the city is game for abstracts. Fatehvir Singh, who runs Indian Plywood Co-18, is proud to show us his huge collection of prints that ranges right from Chinese prints on foil paper to huge still-life and abstracts reproduced from the works of Italian artists that go up to Rs 5,000.

To quote the city bigwigs, prints are a good medium for an artist to reach out to the masses. “Metros like Delhi and Kolkata have acquired the latest technology to produce ‘editions’ of a painting. They do it with so much finesse that each print retains its original traits. Even the Lalit Kala Akademi has started this trend of producing prints of selected artists,” says Bramh Prakash, principal of the Government College of Art. No doubt, our cash starved Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi or Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi has yet to catch up, but then it may be just a matter of time. For the market is already ripe.


Print Perfect
Parbina Rashid

As a city, we have graduated from thinking of gold and diamonds as investment options to art . But then, as buyers have evolved, so have the artists — both in terms of quality and price — creating once again, an imbalance between one’s longing and buying power. So, the immediate solution that the art circuit readily offers you is buying a print of the original painting.

If you are finding it difficult to digest, listen to the story of our homegrown artist Viren Tanwar, who is making waves both at the national and international scene. “Anupama Sood, who is one of the most promising contemporary artists had once sold one of her lithograph prints to a city resident. It was a couple of years ago when the price was about Rs 3,500. Now, she is interested in buying it back as her prints are selling in lakhs,” he says. Even his own story is something similar. His limited edition prints (10 copies only) of award-winning painting Krishna that fetched him about Rs 3,000 in mid-eighties, are now being valued at Rs 65,000 a print now.

So if you want tips on buying prints for investment, here is what the artist community has to say. Go for limited edition prints with signature by the artist. Like M.F. Hussein’s Gajgamini had about 200 prints and was sold for Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 each and not a single print is available in the market now. Whereas Raja Ravi Verma’s oleographs are available in thousands and as a result, the price is somewhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.

Bhawna Kakkar, an art curator from Delhi, who has been in this field for the past 10 years, advises you to buy prints from artists who are essentially print makers and by print makers, she means lithograph or serigraph artists. “Anupam Sud, Laxma Goud, Viraj Naik, Mahesh Prajapati and Walter D’Souza are the artists to watch out for.” The reason is simple — dedicated to print making, these artists have been working by the norms set by the International Printmakers Association. This controls the number of editions that the artists produce, which in turn increases demand.So, it’s time for some smart thinking and procure one or two of their prints before they all go out of reach! 

Body & Soul
S.D. Sharma

Myths and perceptions, both ancient and contemporary, about the sacred and profane dimensions of love and passion are juxtaposed and defined in simple images in the ongoing exhibition of paintings — Body and Soul at Art Folio-9.

Tracing the concept of love and sex from the primordial times and presenting boldly in their paintings works are young artists, Renu Beriwal and Mohan Jangir, who are pursuing their doctorate in the realm of art.

All the six paintings by Renu Beriwal are weaved with the theme of soul. Treated in the acrylic, silkscreen and pencil medium, the works eloquently describe the universality of love in its varied manifestations.

While Melting in Love depicts the state that pleasure in things where the heart lays does not go away with age, it also implies that the evils of hate, jealousy, anger and ego has no place in a loving heart.

Love is Divine, another work in pencil by Renu depicts Lord Krishna’s sanctity of love for the divine consort Radha, with an erotic sentiment (shingar rasa). The pious motherly love is well illustrated in Love needs Care.

A confluence of philosophical content, element of romance and celebration of love vies for attention in her creation, It is My Love for Me. Relying upon the emblem of Taj Mahal, in two contrasting shades, Renu has brought alive its past glory and the feel that it generates among the loving minds.

Mohan Jangir had delved deep into the art of the primitive and medieval era and recovered certain volatile realities about the myths and perceptions of love, passion and sex.

Mohan seemed to walk ahead of the times with daring delineations of passion in a bid to establish human nudity as a casual issue of mind. His dexterity and aesthetic brilliance certainly establish him as an artist of promise.

The ideals of Osho’s philosophy prominently find expression in the visuals of his works like Nudity is ancient, Love is ancient and many more.

Mohan transforms his bold thoughts in his creations by citing the much admired love motif in the sculptor and painting works of various temples and places in India. His works will be exhibited at the World Fine Art Gallery in New York next month.


Rising Star
Bollywood Beckons
S. D. Sharma

The old adage ‘coming events cast their shadows before ..’ is a depiction of the persona of Wamiqua Gabbi, a film star in the making. Barely in her teens, Wamiqua, a student of St. Xavier School has carved a niche for herself in Bollywood with her maiden but impressive role as Kareena’ cousin in Shahid Kapoor, Kareena - starrer Jab We Met. The film will be released on October 19.

Wamiqua was initiated into the world of acting by Vijay Tandon for his serial Saude Dilan De. She also worked under theatre director Anita Shabdeesh in a play Oh Kudi that won her acclaim and rave reviews. Winning laurels for her school, Wamiqua went to figure in the top five, out of 1200 contestants, in Innova’s Naacho Gao Jhumo with actor Aamir Khan.

While she is blessed with beauty and wisdom, Wamiqua’s upbringing and grooming has been done under the care of her mentor and father Govardhan Gabbi. “But the real inspiration, motivation  and confidence for acting comes from her uncle Vijay Tandon, the writer actor and film director,  who groomed and improved my acting skills,” says Wamiqua. Her aim is now to win the Miss India contest. Sharing her experiences during the 20-day-day shoot, she says while Kareena, though very affectionate, has a reserve temperament while Shahid Kapoor is an interesting and a fun person.

“The greatest compliment came from director Imitiaz Ali. He wrote that I was welcome in Bollywood after completing studies,” signs off Wamiqua.

Vocal Treat

“Unlike the other academic subjects of the prescribed syllabus, music is not to be treated as a subject alone but a realm of art and a spiritual bliss. As such, imbibing its finer nuances by any student requires the blessed tutelage of the guru and the disciple’s reverence for him, ” maintains eminent classical vocalist Pandit Bhim Sen Sharma, the foremost disciple of Ustad Amir Khan Saheb. He adds that the aspirants of musical forms like Ghazal, folk, pop or film music are blissfully ignorant of the fac that classical music is the fundamental base for a career in any music realm.

On Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademy’s invitation, Pandit Bhim Sen will present a classical vocal recital on September 21 at the Akademy auditorium here. He has been in the tutelage of legendary Ustad Vilayat Khan, Acharya KCD Brahspati and Pandit Dilip Chandra Vedi, who sharpened his aesthetic skills. A strong proponent of Guru-Shishya tradition, Bhim Sen, holds a master’s degree in vocal and instrumental music, with a research- based specialisation in voice culture, and has groomed over 200 disciples as performing artists or academicians of repute. He has devoted over 45 years in the propagation of Indian classical music as the head and dean of HPU.


New releases
Dhol beats to deceit & competition

Director: Priyadarshan
Starring: Tusshar Kapoor, Kunal Khemu, Sharman Joshi, Tanushree Dutta, Payal Rohatgi, Rajpal Yadav

Well known comedy filmmaker Priyadarshan’s latest film Dhol comes as the director’s fresh creation and not a remake of any other film. The film’s strongest point is its fair share of comedy and Indian values.

Dhol is a perfect laugh-riot, revolving around Sharman Joshi, Tusshar Kapoor, Kunal Khemu and Rajpal Yadav, who want to make it big in life with the least possible effort. The four cannot believe their luck when Tanushree Dutta shifts into their neighbourhood. They try various methods to get close to the girl but somehow nothing goes right. But the boys are persistent and end up discovering a spine-chilling truth.

The film has many twists and turns that will keep the viewers engrossed.Trade analyst Kamal Nahata believes Dhol to be one of the best plots Priyadarshan has written for a commercial film. Dhol is produced by Percept Picture Company and has music by Pritam.The songs have been written by Irshad Kamil, Mayur Puri, Amitabh Verma and Ashish Pandit.

Showing at: Piccadilly, Fun Republic, KC, Panchkula

Loins of Punjab Presents

Director: Manish Acharya
Starring: Shabana Azmi, Ajay Naidu, Ayesha Dharkar, Seema Rehmani

Young director Manish Acharya, a post-graduate in industrial relations who knew nothing about the film industry, is in news with his film Loins of Punjab Presents. This computer whiz-turned-director’s debut film has already won the Best Feature Film Award at New York University’s first film festival. The film is in English and follows the lives of six contestants as they take part in a singing contest in New Jersey. Shabana Azmi plays a wicked socialite in this film. The film will certainly make its mark in India with its excellent script, jointly written by Manish Acharya and Anuvab Pal. For director Manish Acharya, the audience’s response is the ultimate test.

Showing at: Fun Republic

Manorma Six Feet Under

Director: Navdeep Singh
Starring: Abhay Deol, Raima Sen, Gul Panag, Vinay Pathak

The independent film movement is gaining strength and new directors are coming into limelight. Debutant Navdeep Singh is one of them whose Manorma Six Feet Under is the first truly noir film in Hindi language. Set in a sleepy town of Rajasthan, it is about an amateur detective who gets entangled in a web of deceit and murder. This one is set against the murky background of canal water related politics. It is a small budget film and is touted as an intelligent entertainer in trade circles. The film aims to bring in the chills and thrills of a well-made commercial film.

Showing at: Fun Republic

— Dharam Pal

Oh Tina

Dilbagh Singh has come out with his first album, Oh Tina. The album, which is a production of well-known producer G.S. Maan, was launched under the banner of R.F Audio in the city on Thursday. What’s special about this album is that five music directors and a similar number of lyricists have worked on its making.

Music director Aditya composed the music for four songs of the album, including the title track, Oh Tina. The other composers include, singing sensation Mika, Sachin Gupta, Jeetu and Manpreet. “It was a dream to bring out my own album. I was just waiting for the right opportunity,” says Delhi-based Dilbagh, who considers Mika as his guru. — TNS  

Health TIP of the day

While using a neck collar, wear it loose to allow space for head rotation to help look sideways, yet tight enough to support the chin so that the head is in neutral position.

— Dr Ravinder Chadha

What the cards say today...

ARIES: The Moon says don’t worry. A female colleague is difficult. Tread cautiously in career and business matters. You can expect support from friends and parents. Lucky colour:  White. Tip of the week: Watch your action at work and polish your public relation skills. LIBRA: Seven Golden Cups full of light blossom greet you with happiness. A journey for business or holiday is likely. Drive carefully. Focus on investment on Wednesday and Thursday. You delegate responsibility. Lucky colour:  Sky blue. Tip: Don’t be taken in by false promises
TAURUS: The Chariot brings light into darkness. Changes are on the cards.  Students, working people may travel on Tuesday or Wednesday. Some may purchase latest mobiles or computers. Professionals should go slow. Lucky colour:  White. Tip:  Do not expect too much from others. SCORPIO: Your card Ace of Swords shows a prosperous week. You will be attracted to things of beauty. You could be revisiting a previous relationship. Follow the trends, resisting will only lead to frustration.   Lucky colour:  Crimson.  Tip: Lack of persistence can be disastrous in business matters.
GEMINI: The Star is a benevolent card, symbolic of the charm that characterise your attitude on Friday. Expect everything to go your way till Monday. Finances turn around and friends are supportive. Pleasant surprises await you in love. Lucky colour:  Wine red. Tip: Don’t feel guilty about not being in a hurry. SAGITTARIUS: There is a mixed bag of up and down throughout this week.  You receive support from all those who care. Budget or debt could be an issue of concern. On Monday, you overeat to pamper yourself. Adopt a playful attitude on Thursday. Lucky colour: Peacock blue. Tip: Be cautious in your action and speech.
CANCER: The Queen of Cups brings back romance. You meet someone who is dependable and loving. Thursday is a great day for travel. There’s no cause for anxiety on the money front. Family comes under favourable influences on Thursday. Take care of health. Lucky colour: Purple. Tip: Take discussions after taking into the views of others. CAPRICORN: Ace of Pentacles reveals prosperity. You think seriously about important relationship. You are blessed with spiritual insight. Do not get disheartened. New ideas backed by good networking will increase your profits. Lucky Colour: Golden. Tip: Be articulate.
LEO: The Temperance inspires you to climb new heights. A small sum spent now brings profits later. Your desire to help others could lead you into the trouble. Surprises are on the cards on Thursday. Lucky colour:  Creamy white. Tip: Seek out information before making any moves. AQUARIUS: Lady Luck walks with you, so make the most of her. A land deal may come your way on Tuesday. You may find yourself worrying about your mate’s health. Planets form a girdle to support you. Seek help from a Libran for money matters.  Lucky colour: Purple. Tip: Do as many courses as you can to get ahead of others.
VIRGO: The Temperance inspires you to climb new heights. A small sum spent now brings profits later. Your desire to help others could lead you into the trouble. Surprises are on the cards on Thursday. Lucky colour:  Creamy white. Tip: Seek out information before making any moves. PISCES: You are advised to loosen the purse strings. Be careful with paperwork while closing a financial deal. You will be bold on Monday. Get enough exercise. Pack your bags for a trip abroad. Litigations, pending matters reach a peak. Lucky Colour: Baby pink. Tip: Allow a sick situation blow over before you start a new project.

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