King of hearts
Ajay Jadeja on cricket, his stint in Bollywood and the love of his life, Aiman...
Aman Minhas

Exuberant cricketer, born athlete, effervescent human with an infectious charm and a dotting father. That’s Ajay Jadeja, who at 36 can set just about any heart aflutter with his trademark smile.

Off the field for quite some time now, how does he feel when he cheers for the team that he was once an integral part of? “Nothing can match the thrill of playing but after watching the recent match with my son here, I realised how much fun it is to cheer and be on the other side of the stadium.”

Happy where he is at this point in life, Ajay is grateful to God for all the good things that have happened to him. Composed now, he feels that experiences in life have done that to him and prays for better days to follow.

Speaking about cricket, Twenty20 interests him and he feels that new form is here to stay as it makes more sense in our busy lives. The much talked about selection process could not have been left out with the high profile Ajay amidst us. He laughs it off saying, “The selection system in India is like all other things. We learn to accept it the way it is but a Sachin or Dravid can never be ignored and he will feature on the team.”

About his involvement with Nick channel, Ajay is diversifying and we can’t help but ask if he is going the Sidhu way and he answers, “He is a great entertainer and I could not imagine a couple of years back that he would be where he is today. I’m diversifying and doing what I enjoy.”

So are we likely to see him dancing around trees and killing bad men again? Pat comes the reply, “No. I’ve made a mistake once, but not again.”

Ajay loves to spend time with his son and that reflects when he talks fondly about five-year-old Aiman. He is happy that he doesn’t have to play long schedules and gets to spend time at home to watch his son do his antics.

So will a cricketer’s son be a cricketer? “He is inclined towards cricket more than children his age and the interest has increased in the past two-three months, but I want him to be an individual with his own mind and become what he wants to be.”

From hating kids to loving them, Ajay has come a long way. He dotes on his son. But ask him if he is the favourite of his son, Ajay has a different story to tell — “Whatever fathers might do they can never beat the moms.”

Ninja Hattori comes calling

Vice-president and general manager of toon channel Nick Nina Elavia Jaipuria with her team, popular toon Ninja Hattori and ace cricketer Ajay Jadeja were in town to announce the launch of its grand promotion Nick Chak De Ninja contest. This contest is a part of the promotional campaign that the channel has during the vacations.

The contest that gives an opportunity to all the kids across India will start from October 18 and culminate on November 12. Ten lucky kids with their parents will get a chance of their lifetime to watch and cheer for team India at the Indo-Pak cricket match with their fave toon Ninja Hattori and Ajay Jadeja. All one has to do is watch Nick between 6:30 and 7 every evening and answer the simple questions. That’s not all, as there are lots of goodies like 28-inch televisions, mobile phones and Nick notebooks are to be won everyday.

 Disco Deewane
City boy may soon shake a leg with the Om Shanti Om trio 
Purva Grover

Photo by Manoj Mahajan

He had just thirty-seconds in his hands to cast a spell. His magic worked and today 12-year-old Mohak Meet is nurturing the dream to train under none other than Farah Khan.

Last week, Mohak auditioned in the city for Dard-e-Disco challenge and is now one of the semi-finalists in the ongoing seven-week talent hunt show. And the ‘superstar’ as his friends in school, Government Model School-16, have started calling him, is practicing and praying hard to get a chance to share the stage with Farah Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. The 30 best entries chosen from across the nation will be chosen by viewers via SMS and the final five will get an opportunity to get trained by Farah.

And this is not Mohak’s first feat. Last month he impressed the team of Nach Baliye at Bhargava Auditorium-PGI. Mohak heard about the auditions for the show on a radio channel and roped in his 11-year-old friend to make a jodi. “I didn’t know the auditions were only for elders. Tanya and I prepared a dance on O Choori Zara Nach ke Dikha,” he recalls. The judges too were surprised to see the young dancers, nevertheless, gave them a chance to perform.

Lest you think it is only dance that gets him going, hear him sing. He says, “If I get a chance to meet SRK, I will sing Mitwa for him.” Last year, he made it to the finals of Zee’s Little Champ. As for Farah, he will perform on It’s the time to disco and Mahi Ve. And, what’s more, the talent runs in his genes, his father M.S. Meet was a singer, theatre artiste and dancer in his university days.

A self-taught dancer, Mohak has now joined a dance school to learn Western and Punjabi folk dance. He is now busy getting his moves right for Dard-e-Disco. “His video clipping on the entire song will be sent to Mumbai,” says his father. And, while he wore a plain black tee with grey capris for the audition, his mother is now busy putting together a special shiny outfit for his next performance. Well, we wish to see our disco dancer shine too.

Puppy Love 
With one child norm taking over, kids are bonding with their dogs
Archana K. Sudheer

Ansh Khullar &Sherry
Ansh Khullar & Sherry.— A Tribune photograph

The famous song Who let the dogs out would have been a major flop had it been written now. Who keeps the family dog in these days? Gone are the days when a home used to be bursting with children and the harried mother kept running around trying to figure out who needs what. And, the family dog was kept in the kennel, or even allowed inside, but definitely not allowed to add to the ruckus.

Now, it’s 2007 and with working parents and busy lives, the one-child norm is soon catching up in the city. And, dog plays the role of not just a keeper, but is now more of a friend.

Four-year-old Zoherat Singh just can’t stay away from her best buddy Tyson. Gifted by her nanaji, this three-year-old black Russian Pug has always been her pal. Although he is a little lazy, she feels, no one can take his place. “I love the way he licks me,” the lil’ kid says. Mention Tyzee, as Zoherat fondly calls him, or Pugzee (another name), and her face lights up.

Zoherat Singh &Tyson
Zoherat Singh & Tyson .— A Tribune photograph

“He follows me wherever I go,” says the girl, who studies at Strawberry Fields. “Because she is an only child and grew up with Tyson, the attachment is strong,” says Guneet Narang, Zoherat’s mother, adding, “In fact, no party is held without him.” The family also has two more Labradors – seven-year-old Buzz and eight-year-old Jazz. But, as Tyson is around Zoherat’s age and he relates to her very well. From playing piggyback to spraying Tyzee with a water hose, Zoherat does everything with him.

Prabhkirit Kaur also can’t stay away from her buddy, Figgo. “He wakes me up everyday and walks me to the bus stand,” the nine-year-old says. Ever since a friend gave her the Labrador, life had changed. “Initially, I was scared of him, but now I cannot do without him,” she says. Not only does Prabhkirit play with the dog, but also talks to him. “He never leaves me alone. I can tell him anything,” the Class IV student of Carmel Convent says. And what about games? “He lets me pull his tail. When my parents scold me, he will hide as he feels he’s the next to be scolded,” Prabhkirit says fondly, adding, “He’s my little brother.” She even thinks he has dreams just like all of us.

What better way to become the talk of the neighbourhood than walking your St Bernard around? Ten-year-old Ansh Khullar does just that with his huge seven-year-old Sherry. “I love it when my friends meet Sherry. Some of my friends get really scared when they see her,” says Ansh. Remember the young kid in Beethoven who scares off bullies with his dog? It’s the same here, except Ansh anyways has tons of friends and Sheru, as Ansh prefers to call her, just adds to the fun. He loves playing football with Sheru. “She’s pretty good at it,” says the lad with spiked hair and a tee that screams, ‘puppies’.

So, all you anti-dog persons out there, pause and think! Aren’t you missing out on all the fun? Maybe this is the high time to add another member to your family; a pet that will love you and make you love more no matter what.

 Health Peg
Honey Heals

Honey, used for centuries to heal wounds such as burns, is finding favour once again as an effective healer, with researchers now advising surgeons to use the sweet and viscous fluid when treating patients. The new research is based on 18 studies covering more than 60 years, led by Dr Fasal Rauf Khan from North West Wales NHS Trust in Bangor, and stresses the need for the use of honey because of it’s number of benefits.

“Honey has a number of properties that make it effective against bacterial growth, including its high sugar content, low moisture content, gluconic acid, which creates an acidic environment, and hydrogen peroxide. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling,” Dr Khan said.

Dr Khan’s research team has also reported that applying honey can be used to reduce amputation rates among diabetes patients. “It can be used to sterilise infected wounds, speed up healing and impede tumours, particularly in keyhole surgery,” Dr Khan said.

Studies have suggested that honey should be applied at regular intervals, from hourly to twice daily and that wounds can become sterile in three to 10 days. “The research suggests that honey seems to be especially indicated when wounds become infected or fail to close or heal. It is probably even more useful for healing the wounds left by laparoscopic surgery to remove cancers. Our research suggests that surgeons should seriously consider using honey for post-operative wounds,” he added. — ANI 

youth speak 
Risky ride
Neena Cherian

The Blueline, a private bus service in Delhi has snatched away many innocent lives due to the negligence on part of the bus drivers. And, the private buses in Punjab are no exception. The drivers here are known for their rash driving. It is the inadequate services provided by the government that gives rise to the need of private bus operators. Breaking the speed limits, violating the traffic rules, overtaking from wrong side are just some of the reasons behind these accidents.

The private operators easily get away unpunished, thanks to their connections with politicians and transport authorities. Urgent measures need to be taken to get rid of this menace. The government should ensure that private companies follow all guidelines. Those guilty of rash driving should be severely punished and the license of such persons should be cancelled. There should be refresher courses for the drivers and regular inspection of the buses to ensure that they are in proper working condition. The government should impound all the illegal buses. Moreover, the citizens of the country should take an initiative to create awareness about the road safety.

If the government is able to provide good services to the people, there would be no need for private players to operate. A little initiative from the government can go a long way in reducing the road accidents. And, the sooner, the better.

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

 New releases


Director: Vikram Bhatt

Starring: Urmila Matondkar, Aftab Shivdasani, Zayed Khan, Sanjay Suri, Amrita Arora, Tanushree Dutta

The buzz is that Vikram Bhatt’s new film, which has all the box office chatpatta masala, promises to be a great mix of mystery, action and comedy, in the beautiful backdrop of London.

Sandeep Malhotra (Zayed), an absolute good-for-nothing rich brat comes to London to convince his girlfriend, Sanjana (Tanushree), who has just dumped him, to give him another chance to prove his love for her.

Richa (Urmila), a schoolteacher lives with husband Sidhart Verma (Sanjay), a well-known chef and their son, Bobby, an over smart kid. Together, they are one happy family, but one lie changes everything. Kabir Khan (Aftab), an ex RAW agent with his ladylove, Sophie, is soon going to create International chaos.

Rohan Nath (Aashish), the super-cop of London is in charge of the security of a high profile visitor. But his girlfriend, Sam (Amrita) wants him to celebrate her birthday.

Little do they know, that amongst them is an undercover M15 agent, an Indian Prime Minister, an innocent victim of love, a man who’ll soon turn out saviour, a son protecting his mother, or so it seems, an International catastrophe. In 6 hours their lives will change forever. It’s their race against time.

Showing at: Batra, Fun Republic

Simply Intoxicating
Purva Grover

A holiday package, a bottle of mineral water, a n awards night, packs of cassettes and CDs, recognition for bravery and honouring of teachers — these are some of the few ways that liquor reaches your living room, each day. Courtesy, flippant rules, defiance of order and lack of responsibility that all comes packed in your daily dose of reading and watching television.

Spirited ads in the garb of consumer products called surrogate advertisements have been quite prominently and successfully introducing, encouraging and promoting liquor sales for quite some time now. And, all this despite a notification issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in August last year that says — promoting sale and consumption of liquor directly or indirectly on TV or print media is not allowed.

The ad formula of liquor brands is simple — huge visual display of brand names combined with extremely small fine prints that make the presence of accessories, holiday destinations, CDs, cassettes, parties, mineral water and awards felt. And still simpler is their impact. It imprints the mind of the happening youth, who form 57 per cent of our population. So even if you have ensured that your children stayed away from the bar till the right age, sadly enough they might have actually memorised all the brand names by then and also got a boost to pursue the latest hip activity of consuming liquor in fancy pubs.

There is a lot to worry about, however, the good news is the rise in consumer awareness. Between April and June this year, three liquor ads that were termed as surrogate by the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India), were withdrawn. Well, this leaves you with two options — one, blame it all on the system and two, gear up and fight. And, if you chose the latter, here is where to begin. (See box)

Brand Talk

Bagpiper: Soda, cassettes & CDs

Kingfisher: Airlines, Mineral water

Chivas Regal Whisky: Chivas Regal Polo events

Teachers: Achievement Awards

Bacardi: Bacardi Blast Audio CDs

Seagram’s 100 Pipers: CDs & Cassettes

Haywards: Soda

Royal Challenge: Golf accessories

Join the watchdogs

It all started with an informal discussion over a cup of tea and samosas at the department hut and ended with a PIL filed in April 2007 by this bunch of pass- outs from Panjab University. The petitioners prayed for a direction from the court to restrain private respondents who are in the business of manufacturing and selling of liquor and other alcohol products from advertising and promoting sale and consumption of liquor products directly or indirectly on TV and print media. And their action is not limited by legal boundaries. In August this year, the group organised a panel discussion in association with the Burning Brains Society at Press Club-27. Last month, they got together to spread awareness by means of enacting plays on the theme of surrogate advertising. They are now working on to spread awareness at a national level. Now, that calls for Cheers! You can get in touch with them at

Ok, Tata,Bye-bye
Joyshri Lobo

MY earliest memories of overloaded trucks related to the word tata, which was supposed to mean bye-bye, ciao or toodles. Even today toddlers say a fond tata to those departing the home or the world. Added to the graffiti were words like buri nazar wale, tera munh kala” or the more sophisticated  “horn pleaze”  and “horn plis.” All sounded like delightful messages to those trailing behind the sturdiest trucks possible.

It was in my teenage years that I discovered that  Jamshedji Tata was a pioneer and entrepreneur. Rattan Tata’s interview with Simi Grewal made us change our perceptions of the perfect gentleman. This one was gentle and a man. Great combo! I finally realised that the Tatas were a global force.

Married to a planter, the Tatas stood out for fairness, trust and quality. Their teas today, maintain high standards of taste and quality.

Bangalore started eroding my poster image of the Tatas. Broadband had just come on the scene. Tata offered the cheapest option. Our son was off to the USA and we needed to communicate with prospective universities at top speed. But the powers above had decreed otherwise. For a month, polite young men visited our flat, trying to get BB going. They blamed the computer, the CPU, the installer — everyone but themselves. They punched in codes, rang up Bombay, assured us undying service and allegiance. But still BB refused to hit the trail as promised. Ultimately, a very nerdish young computer genius walked in, sat around for four hours, encrypted all codes, talked to the right people in Bombay, punched the right buttons and Eureka! BB was buzzing. He was not from Tatas. We etched his mobile number in gold and cried for help whenever in dire straits.

We moved lock, stock and potted plants to Chandigarh. I still have TIBB on my “favourites” list but the Bangalore experience had made us wary, so we singled out another mobile service. Then Tata Sky came into our lives. Wonderful, economical, efficient and trustworthy! Our faith was restored we went to the next cheap deal — a card to call our son in the US. That momentous event took place last month. We called Raoul  at NY once, visited Mussoorie and lost the connection. We talked to Beta no. 2 in the UK but Beta no. 3 can still not be communicated with. At the service centre, the girls and boys who explain these mysterious goings on, are charming, patient and hard working. However, as of October, the connection is still a non-starter.

Ossie and I are thinking of going in for a small car that can slip into tight parking slots. Tatas offerings are middle class-friendly and are not going to burn a hole in our shallow pockets. But, will the infrastructure be in place before the product? Retirees like us count our paisas.  Are Tatas rushing ahead, leaving us to pick up the nuts and bolts that fell on the kuccha road they just crossed?

 Sweet Revenge
Neelam Man Singh’s forthcoming production portrays complex human emotions in a simple situation
Parbina Rashid

The play is yet to take full shape, but the subject has got us hooked. When Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry narrates the story of her latest production The Suit, we are at a loss — whether to marvel at the simplicity of the storyline or cringe at the anger the characters emulate.

And, this is the kind of impact it had on Neelam when she first watched this play way back in 1995 at the Tricycle Theatre. Written by South African writer Can Themba, the play captures the domestic bliss of a married couple with a considerate husband who slides out of the bed quietly as not to wake his wife until he has prepared her breakfast. It turns sour when he catches her in bed with another man. If you are expecting some high-flying drama, hold your breath. All that the husband comes out with is ‘I see we had a visitor’ in a sweet, yet subtle menacing voice and a placid, unreadable expression. But what follows next is shocking. A typical situation in a non-typical treatment that can be summarised in one word — bizzare.

The husband (played by Vajinder Bhardwaj) takes his revenge by insisting that his wife (played by Ramanjit Kaur) continues to treat the suit of his lover that he left behind in hurry as an ‘honoured guest’ that means giving it a prominent position in their house, be it when serving food or when out for a Sunday stroll. It becomes a constant, tormenting and embarrassing reminder of her infidelity.

Dramatised by Surjit Pattar and with dialogues that evolved through a workshop (a contemporary Punjabi-English mix), the play leaves you with too many questions — Who is guilty, the husband for brutalising his wife or the wife for betraying him? Was he angry or was she lonely? Well, Neelam is not going to be judgmental about her characters, so do not expect her to give you all the answers.

In fact, we cannot even get it out of her as how the story ends. “In the original version, she dies. But I thought it was an easy solution to the whole situation. So I have twisted it a bit, but no, I am not going to tell you the end,” she says. She will be taking the play to Bangalore’s Ranga Shankara Festival on October 22. As for us, we’ll have to wait for Neelam leaves us with a promise to stage it in the city, but only after a couple of months.

 Kelly’s sexy fragrance

Kelly Brook has become the latest celebrity to join the celebrity fragrance market with the launch of her self-named perfume. Kelly Brook’s perfume is advertised as having a ‘sexy, fruity and enticing’ scent designed to capture the retro glamour. “I’ve been involved in every step of the development of my fragrance to ensure that everything about it is perfect, from the intriguing scent to the beautiful bottle,” she said. The model and TV presenter lines-up with other stars like, and Katie Price, aka Jordan, whose brand is the current best-selling celebrity fragrance. Jordan is followed by Kate Moss and Christina Aguilera’s brand at second and third places, respectively. — ANI

 Little Interview
The need for speed

A cool attitude, calm mind and passion for acting, the Mast Mast girl Urmila is heading towards the right direction. In films like Rangeela, Satya, Bhoot, Pinjar, Tehzeeb, Ek Hasina Thi, Banaras, Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara, Urmila Matondkar has played different roles. The glam actor discusses with Life Style about her new release Speed, directed by Vikram Bhatt.

How was it being directed by Vikram Bhatt?

Working with Vikram was very inspiring. He takes great effort to make you feel comfortable. Also, he is a confident filmmaker.

What was appealing about the story?

It is a fast-paced story of how lives of unknown people get intermingled during a crisis. Vikram and his team were so passionately involved that every minutest detail was worked out on paper.

You have done a couple of films with first-time directors. How is it different from working with the established ones?

It has good and bad points. The bad part is that they tend to fret about every little thing. The good part is that they have fresh ideas and tend to do things differently.

Do you look at films only as an artistic pursuit or do you worry about the commercial prospects as well?

For me films have always been an artistic pursuit. Money is important but I will never do something that makes me unhappy just for the sake of money.

Are you happy with the way things are going – both professionally and personally?

I have never done anything that I did not enjoy. And I put my stardom aside when I go back home.

How do you evaluate your current standing?

I leave it to the viewers. I am too happy and busy doing what I love doing.

You are pinning a lot of hope on Speed...

Yes, this is one role I have given my best to. I am very nervous but hoping for the best.

— Dharam Pal

The nightingale

After the award-winning Rivaaz, Meghna Naidu is a busy bee these days. The sultry actress is currently busy doing stage shows all across the nation. Not only that, the pretty actress is also getting ready with her next Tamil film, the shoot of which will start from next month.

 Speaking about these developments, Meghna says, “I am doing stage shows all across the country at the moment since the festival season is in the air. Moreover, my regional films are getting ready for production and I will be starting the shoot of my Tamil film from next month. “

  Despite being busy and constantly on the move, Meghna does not skip her fitness regimen. Says she, “I am a total fitness freak and make sure that I get enough exercise even when I am doing stage shows all over the country. Though I can’t go the gym everyday when I am out of the town, I compensate by playing tennis, which is a great and easy way of getting a proper exercise.”

 Seems the singer/actress apart from making right career moves is also keen on making the right curves for that added oomph! — TNS

Health TIP of the day 

Placing a light weight sand bag or a book on the head for short periods of time could help improve neck posture. — Dr Ravinder Chadha

What the cards say today...

ARIES: Third eye of Lord Shiva opens for inner transformation. There will be emotional growth by awareness and experiences. Flap your wings in the vast sky of freedom and feel free. Love and romance brighten your horizon. Lucky Colour: White. Tip of the week: Your well-wishers give you sound advice.  LIBRA: The Hanged Man instigates to make worthy sacrifice. You manage the expenses within income limits. Tough days work wise. Students’ health may get disturbed. Family situations will be peaceful.  Health and heart need care. Lucky colour: Black. Tip: Do not spend extravagantly. 
TAURUS: Queen of Pentacles blesses you with subtle qualities as you are on a winning streak. Taxes are to be paid and budget to be worked out. Success crowns on Wednesday. An older woman could be a useful ally in a family conflict. Lucky colour: Chocolate brown. Tip: Extend your circle of friends  SCORPIO: The Fool says you feel free, unburdened and happy.  You can’t fully control the object of your love without changing it into something different. You may face some drudgery, but don’t let it drag you down. Buying or selling property is favourable on Monday. Bolster your confidence on Thursday. Lucky colour: Jade. Tip:  Don’t waste an opportunity by not exploiting a contact. 
GEMINI: Hermit tells you to take an honest look at relationships. Hurried actions and judgment can lead to chaos and confusion, be patient and preserving. Appreciation and respect begets love and support. A heavy investment is on the cards on Wednesday. Lucky Colour: Cream. Tip: You must share responsibility with others. SAGITTARIUS: You are swift and strong like The Knight of Wands. Emotional impulses dominate you.  New career opportunities arise due to your past efforts. Spending time with your partner is a priority. Expect good news regarding a family member on Thursday. Lucky colour: Brown. Tip: Apply yourself to build success. 
CANCER: Prince of Wands instigates dynamic changes. Expect profits if a new deal comes through on Monday. Romance may blossom. Keep home and work separate. Journalists, teachers, advocates, models and cine stars are in the limelight.  Thursday could be financially irksome. Lucky Colour: Cream. Tip: Take time before reacting.  CAPRICORN: The Prince of Wands promises power & energy. Your sense of humour bails you out of difficult situations. New beginnings and opportunities play an important role. Decide if you want to be a subordinate or a leader and give full energy into manifesting that reality. Deal with health issues effectively. Lucky colour: Rust. Tip:  Balance in all aspects is recommended.
LEO: The Empress takes you to the fast and protective lane. Love and romance lead to promise and commitment.  Do not to burn the candle at both ends, or there’ll be heavy consequences. Independent entrepreneurs will work hard at new project. Lucky Colour: Maroon. Tip: Don’t reveal your plans. AQUARIUS: Prince of Cups brings the truth, hopes and desires that you mask with a calm surface. You feel agitated if there are disagreements with colleagues. Trust your instincts when feeling uneasy about a situation or person. Be careful with finances as you are in the mood to splurge. Lucky colour:  Rainbow pastels. Tip: Strive for perfection at work.
VIRGO: Queen of Cups infuses trust and friendship. You don’t want to rush into things, but others will not wait forever. You have let things go out of balance recently. Luxury shopping burns holes in the pocket on Wednesday. Fun times are here, so catch up with old friends. Lucky colour: Pink. Tip:  Take limited risks.  PISCES: Ace of Pentacles sends an indication to achieve family happiness now. Monday and Thursday are good daysto present ideas. Real estate investments could be prosperous. Most partner problems are a result of both people not living up to their promises. Lucky colour: Purple. Tip: Do not refuse offers without seeking someone else’s advice.

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