Not just a coffee break
Saurabh Malik

Wind up the hilly roads to unwind yourself, or take off in a plane for landing yourself into delight this Dussehra vacations coz you need a break — Team Life Style tells you why 

We’ re going where the sun shines brightly
We’re going where the sea is blue
We’ve seen it in the movies
Now lets see if it’s true...
— Summer Holiday 
Cliff Richard

For several months now you have been scratching your tired little head with exhausted fingers, thinking of winding up your work at the office or college for unwinding yourself on the windy road meandering its way through the chuckling mountains during vacations.

But, the task of locking up the cabin and leaving behind the workplace unattended, or pals in the neighbourhood all alone for several days, seems uphill. After all, you are too much into it. Otherwise also, some of you may not admit it, but the thought of scaling new heights of social success seldom leaves you in peace. In any case, there is so much to do in so little time.

Look at twenty-something Manpreet Singh. The young information technology professional with a multinational has been finding it difficult to concentrate on his job. Of course, he is tired! And bored! It’s not that he has not been taking his time off to leave Chandigarh for weekend destinations.

Shimla, Kasauli and even Manali have been his all time favourites. But, he has been stuffing his belongings in the SUV’s boot Friday afternoons and unpacking the stuff again on Monday mornings, mechanically and lethargically.

Just like him, even you have been letting everyone down during your stay in the hills by checking e-mails on the laptop. Also by answering calls on the mobile phone regardless of the roaming charges, while rest of the family waits for you to sit in the driver’s seat for steering their lives away to delight.

Guys, it’s high time. You need a real ‘solid’ break during the forthcoming Dusherra vacations for blowing along with the breeze, instead of blowing your top away in not so pristine office environs. Want to know the reasons, well take a short coffee break and read on:

Experts believe escaping once in a while from the daily routine of keying in mails or convincing dealers into picking your products is good not just for you, but also your organisation. Quoting the findings of a research, city-based socio-psychologist Punita Singh says: People going on vacation come back feeling less stressed and more productive.

Showing you snaps of vacations spent together annually with family and friends, she says: Just two years ago, an Austrian study found individuals reporting high levels of work-stress showed greater improvement upon returning to work, compared to less-taxed employees.

This is not all. City-based motivational speaker Pradeep Mehta says getting out of your office for a few days is just plain good for your health. A study carried in a journal of Psychosomatic Medicine says researchers tracked the health of 13,000 men for nine years. And they found individuals going in for annual vacations more frequently decreased their risk of death.

So fellows, what’s good for them cannot be bad for you. Just pack your bags. Get out there and make the most of what you get.

Bon Voyage 

Your lips get rounded in a WOW everytime you spot an exotic locale on telly. With vacations just round the corner, we help you realise your dreams... 

Discover Delight

Turn your dream of an adrenaline-packed holiday abroad into a reality with these exciting packages.

Lil’ time, Big fun

Head for a small and stirring holiday nearer home and be back in time for festive preparations.

Tension Free

Haven’t insured your home-sweet-home? Rest assured with these complete home security solutions.

 Tips for Trips

If you think your work’s going to end, forget it. For, like so many others, you too are totally gripped in the whirlwind of corporate frenzy and can’t let go. Well, do not allow holidays to become your work’s casualty. Here are tips that will help you enjoy your trip:

Set yourself free

First of all, let go of things. Leave behind your work and worries. Just in case you think the office will realise you are dispensable and find a replacement, remember you may not be indispensable, but you are not replaceable either. So stop worrying.

Think ahead

You still have time. Plan your vacation in advance. Make all your bookings and reservations, but before that pick up a time when your team is not loaded with work. Also make sure your colleagues know and prepared for your absence.

Make preparations

Find alternatives. Look for people capable of handling work in your absence. Delegating work to cooperative colleagues helps. Request them, order them, do whatever you can. Just make sure you do not carry baggage full of worries during your vacations and there is practically no need for colleagues to call you up again, and again.

Log off

While it may not be possible for some of you to completely detach yourself from office work, it is imperative to set limits so that your personal time is not encroached up. Even if you have to check mails, fix a time. Before and after that, log off worries. Otherwise also, leave your number in case of an emergency with a reliable colleague or HR manager only.


Also remember, the office will continue to function even without you. So, do not keep calling up the office every day. And be sure you have no reasons to feel guilty. It’s your time and you are not misusing it by spending few personal moments. In the end, listen to silence not in the click-clank of computer keys, but chirping of birds. Happy holidays! 

 Punjabs Unite
Parbina Rashid

It’s a poetic exploration of social issues at the Indo-Pak mushaira at Panjab University 

What happens when as many as 14 eminent poets from Pakistan descend at one place? Everything goes for a six! For, there are markets to explore, a book fair to be visited and tourist spots to be seen. And that too, besides having to participate in a ru-ba-ru, a formal lunch with the vice chancellor, and prepare for the big event in the evening — a mushaira under the banner of Poetry Festival of both the Punjabs. Too many events in single day! So we waiting journos could not even complain as we were tossed between the Department of Punjabi (the host) and the University Guest House, to snatch a few words from the departing poets and to catch a glimpse of them!

But we got lucky as we managed to strike a conversation with president of the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature, Ajeet Cour, who was not just willing enough to talk about the festival but drew a graphic detail on how this apex SAARC body came into being. And to cut a long story short, the idea to have a cultural exchange between the two neighbouring countries germinated when Ajeet received a call from Amrita Pritam, way back in 1982, to meet Sibtul Hassan Zaigham, a poet in Gurmukhi language. “He came to visit the Khwaza Nizamuddin Auliwah’s dargah in Delhi because those days, it was the only pretext one could visit India.

What happened next was years of struggle till the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature came into being. “This mushaira is a celebration of that spirit which made our venture a success and now we are meeting on a respectable, literary platform,” says Ajeet, a Punjabi fiction writer, who has been awarded with Sahitya Akademi Award and Padma Shri besides having her name included in the 1,000 Women Peace Crusaders for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The mushaira will feature Kishwar Naheed, one of the best-known feminist poets of Pakistan, who is leading the group of Urdu poets from Lahore and Islamabad like Prof Abbas Tabish, Prof Asghar Nadeem Syed, Akhtar Seikh, Farrukhyar, Rakhshanda Naveed, Rana Shakeel Asghar, Abbas Shaheen and Haris Khaleeq. Kishwar is known as the realist who has produced over the years a body of work that is innovative, defiant, political and self-aware.

Sayed Akhtar Hussain Akhtar, who draws inspiration from disparity in society to pen down ghazals and nazms, is leading the group of poets who write in Punjabi — Saleem Kasher, Akhtar Imam Rizvi, Saeen Akhtar and Dr Azhar Mehmood Choudhary. The Indian side of Punjab will be represented by Santokh Singh Dheer, Jaswinder, Manjit Indira.

It’s a festival, which will unite the flavours of both the Punjabs.

 2-minute art

Vinod Mehta’s new landscape series is fresh & eye-catching 

Vinod Mehta has always been generous with colour. So we had a preconceived notion as what to expect when we entered the Government Museum and Art Gallery-10 where his latest works are on display. And this city-based freelance artist did not disappoint us. His canvases are as colourful as ever, even his technique has not changed much, for he still does not believe in using conventional brushes. So, it is a mixture of spatula, knife and thumb paintings
in acrylic and mixed media.

If anything has changed then it’s the subject matter, because each of his paintings is now pregnant with a hidden message. Like one of his still-life at first glance looks just like an ordinary bouquet of flowers till you hear his explanation — the vase that holds the bunch is the metaphor for a woman who symbolises the sacrifices she makes during her life time to keep her family happy. A closer look and the vase does turn into a woman figure. Another of his flower series shows the struggle behind the success story. He has even captured the memory of his daughter who dies when she was just 13 as a flower that wilted before attaining full bloom.

Others that highlight social issues like corruption, female foeticide and AIDS come in too explicit a form to appease one’s aesthetic sense, but his charcoal paintings like the Lake, Satyam Shivam Sunderam and Faith are quite pleasing.

However, Mehta springs a surprise, which he saves for the last — his two-minute landscape series. Executed by fingers only, the artist admits of completing each frame in less than two minutes. Not much of thoughts go into it, but the result is quite a few eye-catching sceneries.

On till Oct 8

— P. R. 

 write to Renee

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

  •  I am a 24-year-old girl and have been sharing a room with a colleague. I have recently started dating a guy which is making my colleague jealous. She gets angry over small issues and when I go on a date, the situation gets difficult. How do I deal with this situation? 

Ravneet Nijjar Chandigarh

Your colleague is just scared of losing you. She is emotionally dependent on you. You do not have to feel guilty about going out with your boyfriend. After all, you have a life of your own. Deal with your friend with patience. Make her feel that her place in your life is very secure and that will not change.

  • I am 32 and have been married for the last five years. My husband and I are both working. Nowadays, I have been feeling the need to start a family. My husband feels a child will disturb our peaceful lifestyle. Please help me convince my husband.

Ravinder Mahajan Panchkula

Having a family is indeed a joy in itself and no matter how organised your life might seem on its own, children only bring a couple closer to each other. Have a serious chat with your husband. Tell him to be look at the issue with a more mature perspective and ask him to respect your sentiments.

  • I am a 35-year-old dentist and have opened a small private clinic with an ex-classmate. Our practice is doing quite well. My partner recently hired a young girl for help, it worked initially, but now I feel she is more detrimental to our business than helpful. She is extremely unattractive, shoddy, unkempt, has no social graces and is not polite. How do I deal with this?

Sahil Malhotra Patiala

If this is harming your business then put your foot down gently but firmly. Get the message across to your colleague that a more pleasant person at the reception would be better. It is advisable to first find a suitable replacement and then raise the issue.

 It’s the time to disco

Have you been grooving to the latest hit Dard-e-Disco from Om Shanti Om? And if you think you have got your moves right, then get ready for the live auditions this Wednesday at Fun Republic-Manimjara.CNN-IBN and IBN 7 are organising a talent hunt, Dard-e-Disco Dance Challenge that invites all dance buffs to swing to this hit number. It’s your chance to not just shake your leg but feature in a dance show with the flick’s trio — Farah Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. The five most talented finalists will get a chance to get choreography lessons from Farah.

A seven-week hunt, each week 30 best entries will be chosen by viewers via an SMS poll and then judged by Farah or Deepika. You can also send a one-minute video to CNN-IBN or upload them on their portal. —TNS 

 First Day First Show

Warning: Don’t go near this one! 
Rajiv Kaplish

Go, yells director Manish Srivastav. Newcomer Gautam Gupta and Nisha Kothari have a better idea. They run. Away from their hysterical parents who are opposed to their “dangerous alliance”. Leaving their raving and ranting elders, the star crossed lovers run into a chief minister, Ravi Kale’s PA, who is also on the run. The reason: He knows his boss got his deputy killed and is being hounded by the ruthless politician’s henchmen.

With so many people on the run, we realise that the helmsman’s imagination has run riot. So, what do we do? We also run for cover. But there seems to be no end to our miseries. Srivastav unabashedly continues to unleash his audio-visual assault in the form of ludicrous antics of midget conman Rajpal Yadav who appears to be getting more clownish with each passing film and buffoonery of a burnt-out cop, Kay Kay Menon, who sits on the top of a car and meditates in the midst of bloodletting. As if this is not enough, he ropes in a hirsute goon on the payroll of the killer chief minister who is sent by the latter in the disguise of a member of his special squad to hunt down the PA and recover the incriminating evidence. That the “lambe ball” is interested more in chewing gum than accomplishing his task is another matter.

If Rajpal is small in stature, lead pair Gautam and Nisha are short on clothes. Whenever the filmmaker asks them to emote, they behave like morons and finding acting to be albatrosses around their necks and to get rid of these start getting wet and singing and dancing to the cacophonous tunes of Sneha Khanwalker. You now know why Kothari’s parents have an aversion to Gautam. His might be the most wooden face on this side of the continent and certainly not the kind of guy you would like to come calling on your daughter. Come to think of it, watching him you get a feeling that even child actor Dwij Yadav of Nanhe Jaisalmer acts better than him.

But what about the long-legged lady, you may wonder. Nothing except that even after working in numerous Ram Gopal Verma flicks, Nisha is still not out of the woods when it comes to acting. She does the next best thing. Believing that skin show can compensate for her lack of emoting, she starts shedding clothes. But even while doing that she stutters and stammers with alarming regularity.

Suddenly, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. The director introduces a woman called the “high command (though for some unknown reasons, he shies away from showing her face), who has come to bring the wily chief minister to justice. Finding that salvation is in sight for us, we move to the exit but not before yelling at Ram Gopal Verma for wasting our time and telling him to “go” away from our lives forever.

Showing at: Fun Republic


Cate’s mad about Ford

Cate Blanchett Actor Cate Blanchett admits that she has a crush on Harrison Ford since her teenage years. Blanchett has been cast alongside the actor in the new Indiana Jones film The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The 38-year-old actor asserts that till date she finds the 65-year-old star attractive. “I was completely in love with Harrison Ford and I still am. He’s a hottie and he’s definitely stood the test of time,”’ Blanchett said. The film is scheduled to be released worldwide in May next year. 

Pamela seeks marriage licence

Actor Pamela Anderson insists that applying for a marriage license does not mean she is engaged. Anderson recently submitted an application for a marriage license with poker player Rick Salomon. The former Baywatch beauty has claimed that they applied for the wedding licence just in case they decided to get married. “I’m not engaged. We may never get that far,”she said. — ANI

Off the beaten track
Saurabh Malik

The scorching sun is backing off and holidays are right here. There’s one for everyone. Read on & take your pick!

If you are giving Europe a cold shoulder because of hard wintry conditions, try feeling the warmth of togetherness during the vacations at off-beat destinations.

You can go to Kotakinabalu in Malaysia. Or else, you can savour breathtaking sites along with noodles at Gulin in China. “Morocco, Tahiti and even Bali, is also on the travel agenda of the city residents,” says Sumant Kapoor of Khanna Enterprises-17. “You see, so many of them have already seen most of Europe and other tourist locations.”

Just in case you haven’t traveled wide and wish to enjoy familiar locations, try Mauritius, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The countries are still the hot favourite destinations among the Indian tourists.

In fact, Mauritius continues to top the list with as many as 37,450 Indian tourists in 2006 took the flight of fantasy to the country of beaches and water sports. Needless to say, a substantial number of them were from this part of the region.

This year also the friendly faces with promises of unique vacation experience continue to attract smiles from the Indians. Working in New Delhi with the Mauritius Tourism Information Service as an executive, Deepak Sharma says the number of tourists from India to the country is expected to increase by 26 per cent in 2007.

So far, this year approximately 28,000 tourists have already flown to the island set in turquoise sea for enjoying peace and tranquility. The number is expected to shoot up in the next few weeks with the commencement of the holiday season.

Explaining the trend, city-based businessman-cum-avid traveler Rajneesh Sharma says: “Until a few years ago, foreign destinations were largely for the honeymooning couples. For the rest, it was rolling sand dunes dotted with green, and camels merrily swaying to the rhythm of harsh desert winds. Or else, chuckling mountains jutting into the clear blue skies. But now things have changed. Inexpensive air travel and special packages aimed at boosting tourism have made places like Mauritius, Singapore and Bangkok accessible even for the so-called middle class.”

Just in case you are wondering whether the trip to your hot favourite destination will burn holes in your pocket, ask Mayank Ahuja of ‘MakeMyTrip’. Working with the production development team, he says you can enjoy your stay in a three-star hotel for six nights and seven days with three full days of sightseeing for as little as Rs 33,000 per person.

But if you are averse to the idea of tasting strange food in foreign lands, go to the God’s Own Country, Kerala. Sail through the pristine waters to unfurl the dynamic nature of Kerala backwaters. Enjoy a ‘non-commercial lifestyle’ in a classic houseboat made of bamboo poles, coconut fiber and ropes.

Or else, relax and enjoy the whisper of gentle breeze blowing soft across the swaying palm trees in Goa or the Pearl of the Orient. Hear silence in the twitter of the birds. Or in the swish of lapping waves while walking among the neverending shore line, kicking the golden sand with relaxed feet. Andaman and Nicobar emerald islands are also fast acquiring the reputation of an ideal tourist destination. The choice is yours, entirely. 

Pack  a Punch
 Aman Minhas

Indulge in absolute leisure, adventure, luxury & gluttony...

You’ve been slogging hard, stuck badly in a sort of all work, no play grind. Not to mention the endless times you’ve reminded yourself that you needed a break. And now, with the festive season and Dussehra break parked right at the take-off stage, could there be a better time for planning a holiday and charting out travel plans? In case you’ve already begun your ‘holiday’ homework and are looking for some idea on what to expect in terms of sightseeing and stay, here’s some help. Glance at these alluring packages being offered by the travel agencies in town and get tempted to make your dream travel a reality.

Singapore & Malaysia

The package includes a stay at a four-star deluxe hotel for three nights at Singapore, two nights at Kuala Lumpur and the last one at Genting Island. Plus, you’ll be provided breakfast, airport transbus, a half-day city tour, tickets to the theme park and two leisure days at Singapore that is connected to Malaysia via bridges. On leisure days, get a piece of India at Little India in this affluent Garden City, which is a medley of Chinese, Indian and Malay influences. Enjoy tasty food, good shopping and a vibrant nightlife.

Destination next will be a sprawling KL that has the world’s cheapest five-star hotels. Visit the Golden Triangle, which has most of the city’s shopping malls, five-star hotels and the trendiest nightspots, famous Petronas Twin Towers, Chinatown that bustles with activity and the popular restaurant and clubbing district, Bangsar.

A self-proclaimed City of Entertainment, Genting, is the next halt and the only place where you can gamble legally in Malaysia. It also has a theme park to keep the kids amused.

A must-experience part of this package is the musical fountain show and sunset at Sentosa — a separate island developed into a resort – which is the closest, that Singapore gets to Disneyland. Enjoy this island with an add-on of Rs 1,600. An additional Rs 15,000 can get you a two-night cruise from Singapore.

Duration: 6 N, 7 D

Dent: Rs 35,900 per person, including return airfare.

Where: AM Travels, Sec 9-D

Bangkok & Pattaya

The package offers you a four-night stay at a three-star hotel at Bangkok. You can gorge on a sumptuous buffet and set out sightseeing in the transbus. Catch the Royal Lap, engross yourself in the Alcazar show and witness dreams come true at the Dream World. Discover Thai cuisine, saffron-robed monks, garish neon signs, graceful Thai architecture, spicy dishes and colourful markets, get whisked away in the much-loved tuk-tuks and see the irrepressible smiles of the Thais. Go budget shopping at the Chatuchak Weekend Market or watch Silom, Thailand’s financial center in the day.Head towards Pattaya for another four nights of bliss. Realx in the beaches after a beer from the go-go and beer bars. Try out the variety of activities that are available, including horseback riding, bungee jumping, karting and shooting or watersports like scuba diving, jet-skiing, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.Visit the Sanctuary of Truth, Buddha Hill and Walking Street, the main area for nightlife and shopping. A tour of the Coral Islands, including lunch by the beach, are some of the attractions.

Duration: 8 N, 9 D

Dent: Rs 33,000, including return airfare

Where: Bajaj Travels, Sec 17-C


This package ensures you feel on seventh heaven. Experience hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches here. This Island of The Gods has adventure sports, shopping, massages and extensive sightseeing to offer. Bali can be included with Malaysia-Singapore or Bangkok-Pattaya to save time.

Duration: 3 N, 4 D

Dent: Rs 32,000, including return airfare.

Where: AM Travels, Sec 9-D


The Olympic organisers are making hay while the sun is shinning on them. During your four-night, five-day tour, you could gorge on the Chinese menus and touch the sky from the Great Wall of China. While Shanghai and Beijing wait on you, spend time in the jade factory, Yu Gardens, Cheng Huang temple and many other chinky destinations. Learn some Chinese from your English-speaking guide on the way in the transbus.

Duration: 4 N, 5 D

Dent: Rs 47,000, including return airfare

Where: Khanna Enterprises, Sec 17-C


At this honeymooners’ favourite spot, you can romance the love-laden beaches, Port Louis and the romantic Pamalleous Gardens, as you relish the hospitality of a comfy three-star and the abundantly available cane rum. Stroll around the city to see the Apravavasi Ghat — a World Heritage Site, Corner House — a fabulous stationery shop that sells all kinds of wonderful pens, pencils and books, Caudan Waterfront and China Town, where one can find chinese shops and restaurants and even some chinese pharmacies. The Stamp Museum, Mauritius Natural History Museum, the Blue Penny Museum and the St Louis Cathedral are all worth a look. Spot local products at Bazaar Port Louis.

Duration: 6 N, 7 D

Dent: Rs 46,000, including return airfare. Visa on arrival.

Where: Khanna Enterprises, Sec 17-C


Night light show, shopping, lunch and dinner cruises, Blue Mountains, bridge climbing and the opera house... your itinerary will read much more than this in your event-packed three-night stay at Sidney. And wait till you reach Gold Coast, the beach destination of Australia. A whopping 21 theme parks and attractions, including Sea World, Warner Brothers Movieworld, Dreamworld and Wet ‘n Wild Water Park await you at Surfers Paradise. Also the famous nightlife of the city will keep you occupied. Head to Fleays Wildlife Park to see kangaroos and emus.

Duration: 7N, 6D

Dent: Rs 88,000 including return airfare, taxes and visa.

Where: Ekido, Sec 8-C

If seeing more in less time is your motive, group tours should be your option. Take a peek.


Hold your heart. In this package, you get to spend two nights at Bangkok, Pattaya, KL and Singapore each and the last one at Genting. Get roaming with new friends at the temple tour and gem factory. Learn the culture of Thailand at the Nongnooch Village and Tiffany Show. Coral Islands, Batuk Caves, theme parks, merlion walk, the list is just endless. Live in three-star hotels that cater to your all three meals.

Duration: 9 N, 10 D

Dent: Rs 61,700 (twin share option available), including return airfare.

Where: SOTC, Sec 8-C

(Book, customise and execute these online. Get started with,, and

 I want to break free
Aman Minhas

Big holiday plans seem impossible? Worry not, head to nearby places for an instant pep up 

YIppie! Vacations are here! Ten days of unadulterated fun. Not excited? You think the days are way too less to pack up and leave for a favourite destination. And what about the Puja, Dussehra and Diwali preparations? Naah, vacation at this time is out of the window. Not really though. This is the right time to visit nearby places that don’t figure in your to-go list during summer vacations. Here are a few places that will revitalise you ASAP.

Destination # 1: Phagu, 20 km from Shimla

How to reach: Drive down. Take a bus. Hire a taxi from Shimla (Rs 200)

Where to stay: Everest House, a former mountaineer’s cosy cottage. Situated on the hillside it offers a great view, but don’t expect luxury. Ideal for groups of 4-8. Nominal tariff. Indian cuisine prepared with fresh organic veggies is served here.

Contact: Baldev Kanwar, 09418037855

Thrill factor: One-day treks, camping and a day out at Fun World.

For a night out under the stars, stay in a tent near Deshu temple. Walk up to the Mhasu peak next day or go on horseback from Deshu to Kufri. (5 km one-way) Treat kids to joy rides at Fun World.

Trek 1: Dhali-Seog, 7 km

A walk through a dense forest is doable for most. You can also spend a night at an old bungalow here or return to Everest House by evening. The trail is also jeepable, but you’ll need a vehicle permit from the divisional forest officer in Shimla.

Trek 2: Shali-Tibba temple, 12,000 feet

Split the trek into a two-day hike. Stay enroute at a guesthouse or a temple or head by bus to Shimla/ Mashobra/ Naldehra. Suitable for those who enjoy hikes and have done treks earlier.

Trek 3: Everest House-Tungish temple, 4 km.

An easy walk. Many stop by to meet a Bengali sanyasin who lives en route.

(All treks begin from Phagu)

Destination # 2: Manali

How to reach: Catching a night bus from the city is a good option.

Where to stay: Budget hotels (Rs 1500- Rs 2500, a room)

Contact: Kuldeep Singh, 09868149443 (Delhi) or 09816049443 (Manali)

Thrill factor: One of the most popular adventure sports destinations.

It offers activities like river crossing, trekking, white water rafting, yak skiing, mountain biking and paragliding.

Embark on a 12 km hike from Manali to Solang Valley or take a shorter 6 km hike up to Manalsu Nala.

Destination # 3: Solang nullah, 10 km ahead of Manali

How to reach: Take a bus to Manali and then a taxi to Solang

Where to stay: At Manali.

Contact: Mehar Chand, 09816329829 (for tandem flights)

Thrill factor: Breathtaking scenic beauty in summer and ski slopes in winter.

Camp at Beas Kund at night. Go for a 4-km trek to Dhundi in the morning, return to Manali by dinnertime and spend the next day there.

Go paragliding. Travel agents take care of accommodation, food and equipment. Trained paragliders can enjoy three-minute tandem flights.

Around town

Nepli Forest: Quite near to the city, you can get dropped on the head-on road by a bus or a private vehicle. A fire line laid down by the Forest Department serves as a trek too. Originating at Nepli Forest Lodge, the 8 km long steep trek runs over three hillocks and ends at Kansal Forest Lodge. For an educative trek, take permission from the Chief Wild Life Warden.

Morni Hills: 45 km from the city, Morni combines fun, recreation and adventure. Haryana government offers affordable accommodation. You can also rest at Lal Munia, a forest tourist hut and the PWD rest house. Enjoy trekking and rock climbing here.

Sukhna Lake: The Lake Club offers a number of water sports like rowing, canoeing, kayaking, yachting. Or enjoy a game of tennis and squash. If you are an early riser, then walking, jogging and exercising at the lake in early hours of the day is perfect. 

 Is your home secure?
Archana K. Sudheer

It’s the trip you have been waiting for. A few days away from the hustle and bustle of the city. But will your getaway really be tension-free? Or will you be constantly worried about the security of your home?

Cheer up. All you have to do is to get yourself a watchdog — a complete home security system. Commonly known as the burglar alarm system (BAS), this technology provides complete security. It comprises of a control panel attached with several gadgets, such as magnetic sensors for doors, passive infra-red (PIR) for walls and vibrations for windows. When an intruder enters the house, these gadgets will send out sensors to the control panel.

The system has an auto-dialler in which six numbers are entered. The minute there is a violation, the control panel sends a pre-recorded message to these numbers, informing them that the home has been broken into.

A few systems have hooters too. They howl when someone intrudes the place. The cost of such systems depends on the number of gadgets you install and the size of your home. It starts with Rs 7,500 at Zess Electronics-35.

Another home security system comes with fingerprint locks. Only those whose fingerprints have been fed into the system will be able to enter the house. Feed only the fingerprints of immediate family members and don’t include even close friends.

Then, there’s the digital recording system or DVR. Comprising of cameras and a monitoring gadget, this system is connected to the owner through the Internet. “Switch on your laptop wherever you are and keep an eye on your home,” says Heem Dhillion of Heem Industries-17.

Godrej and Boyce-17 also make sure you are not constantly worrying about your house. In addition to their electronic alarm systems and electronic safes, they offer you fire resistant doors. These doors can withstand fire up to two hours. Made of high quality galvnised steel, the doors inhibit insect attacks and organic decay as well. Moreover, these doors are given a wooden look to match the interiors of your home. With burglaries on the rise, the Chandigarh police too has come up with a strategy. Whenever you go out of town, inform the local area police and they will appoint an additional patrol in the area.

With so many options in sight, even a ‘must-worry’ person can relax. So, it’s time to let technology take care of your worries.

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