Anandita Gupta

Lighting up their personas with panache is a daring dose of delicious diamonds!

If Stone Age inhabitants ever decided to leap out of those voluminous history books and visit our city, they’d surely find themselves in ‘glittering’ company (pun intended). No, we aren’t using diamonds to create rock engravings, as this civilization did. However, the tri-city’s fast emerging as the fastest growing hub of diamond consumption.

No wonder, our swish set obsesses over stones, priced enough to make even the most generous of spouses snort. We peep into their jewellery boxes to catch a glimpse of the fabulous world of fantasy that lies inside.

Diamond is forever

According to Prasad Kapre, business director, Diamond Promotion Society (Diamond Trading Corporation), “Maharashtra, despite being the hub of diamond trade in India, is witnessing 16 per cent growth in annual diamond purchase; North India leads the pack with 27 per cent growth rate. While the diamond market in Punjab and Chandigarh was estimated by the DTC to be worth Rs 2,000 crore in 2005, 2006 saw 27 per cent growth. And pinch yourself, if that’s hard to believe, but the DTC’s Gayatri-Devi-Arisia range of one-carat royal solitaires (Rs. 2.5 lakh onwards), has actually found one of the largest markets in Ludhiana and Chandigarh.

Many dub her as the City Beautiful’s queen of hot joaillerie. Ask her regular clients — Lara Dutta, Raveena Tandon, Ritu Shivpuri, Yukta Mukhi and Anna Singh (besides Punjab’s diamond-dripping women) and they’ll agree. For, not only is Chandigarh-based Anmol Sandhu the designer behind many extravagant jewellery connoisseurs, she herself possesses a splendid collection of diamond-dazzlers.

Anmol’s most prized possessions include priceless antique diamonds. “These are 18 carats of rose-cut diamonds, set against 25 carats of Burmese rubies in pure gold. Studded in a Victorian set, these belong to my grandma’s antique, ancestral collection.” Chirps Anmol, whose baubles are being retailed at Bhimji Dass Jhaveri and Notandass Jewellers, besides being exported to New Zealand, Canada and Africa, “My eternal favourites are peacock earrings, designed by my hubby (Rs 2.45 lakh). Set in 32 grams of gold, these earrings have yellow, pink and green Belgium diamonds with every feather of the peacock flaunting different coloured diamonds!”

She’s always found sitting pretty... in more ways than one. Panchkula-based Priyanka Khosla may be draped in luxurious fabrics, but lending her streaks of glamour, is some seductive sparkle! Dazzling diamonds — indeed remains Khosla’s two-word style-summery.

“My personal favourite is a designer ‘petalled rose’ ring, costing Rs 85,000. Framed in Hong Kong and set in Mumbai, this ring has 5.2 carats of diamonds set in 12.2 gm of gold. My flashiest collectable, however, is a diamond necklace, with Aquamarine and 3.73 carats of diamond set in 18 K white gold. A part of my designer jewellery collection called Salil, this necklace costs Rs 54, 3,140.

From Queenie Dhody to Farah Khan Ali, Khosla’s got her diamond baubles designed by the country’s top designers.

INIFD director Ritu Kochhar has been dubbed as the Jewellery Encyclopedia by friends. Sounds strange? Well, not quite to Ritu, who laughs, “I remember each detail about jewellery worn by actresses in movies, and so the name stuck.”

“While my fascination with jewellery began by dressing up dolls with junk jewellery, I soon graduated to diamonds. The yellowish tinge of gold was too tacky to me, whereas diamonds seemed minimalist. At the age of 16, I purchased my first piece of diamond jewellery, a diamond band from TalwarSons Jewellers, Chandigarh. “Today, I have exclusive diamonds for all occasions,” informs Kochhar, who loves picking up Tanishq, Era, Carbon and Nirvana diamonds from stores like Tanishq and Ebony.

Ritu’s most cherished collectibles include her diamond drop earrings, set in 18 k white gold, accentuated with garnets (Rs 26,4,764) and accompanied by a garnet necklace.

For Panchkula-based Archana Malhotra, splurging is synonymous with solitaires. “Solitaires had always held me in their sway. These are very classy and graceful and I can wear them everyday without making an overstatement. My favourite ones are my 1.5 karats solitaires that I purchased five years back from Talwar Jewellers, Chandigarh.

Though svelte ex-Welhamite Deepti Bansal wears her diamond studs everyday, she loves to flaunt flashy diamond dripping jewellery during weddings. “My diamond collection boasts of rich luxe—chunky designer rings, flashy chandelier earrings and neckpieces with solitaire strings.” But the piece de resistance of her collection, is a designer diamond set from Hazoori Lal Jewellers in Delhi (Rs 4.75lakh), comprising a pair of chunky, bow-shaped diamond earrings, set in 18 k gold. The accompanying neckpiece has four strings of solitaire diamonds set in a gold chain, enhanced by a chunky diamond bow.”

For anyone who meets her, however, what strikes the most is a spiral diamond ring that looks like a chunky and beautiful, square-shaped rose. The ring (Rs 35,000) has 40 diamonds, set in pure gold.

While dabbling in luxe couture at her boutique, Nidhi Bajaj is mostly found minus the jingle of any jewellery. “When I’m working, there’s just the sparkle of my diamond-stud nose-pin winking at me,” laughs Nidhi. However, at parties, the lady carries off flashy diamond jewellery with high-end panache.

“I’m really into diamond-studded chandelier earrings, set in white gold. One such pair I procured from Talwar jewellers, Chandigarh (Rs.1.35lakh). Besides, I have a pair of Victorian earrings, wherein diamonds, accentuated by garnets, emeralds and sapphires, are set in white gold (Rs 50,000).

Nidhi’s wedding set had a designer neckpiece, very long earrings with saharas, a tikka, a few rings and bangles — all having uncut diamonds, accentuated with tourmalines, garnets and rubies.

Well, these are just a few among the city’s many fabulous diamond collectors. The bespoke diamond pieces they possess can fuel the fancy, if not envy, of any jewellery aficionado!


In full bloom
Anandita Gupta

Two young floriculturists successfully experiment with exotic flowers

“No more florists and flower stories (unless of course, the usage of ‘Bloom’ is for Orlando Bloom!)” The resolution spins in my head over and over again. For, Valentine’s Day is finally over (and thank God for that!) and all the possible flower stories have been churned out. But then, the office phone refuses to stop ringing. Some florist’s on the line and my colleague tells me he’s growing something ‘interesting’. So hesitantly, I take the call. Twenty minutes later, I pack away the day’s boredom, inhale a (already flower-scented!) whiff of fresh air, and am on my way to this florist’s farm Farming Roots. For, whatever this florist is growing, is indeed interesting. Yes, very interesting!

It isn’t exactly like a scene out of a Yash Chopra flick. Nevertheless, the misty-muddy smell of the earth, rows of colourful flowers lining the small area and the surrounding emerald patches of undulating green, make it all very picturesque. We are on a winding path, which leads us to an exotic world – spread across 9 acres is an unending expanse of exotic flowers—tulips and liliums. This ornamental treat scarcely conceals the scent of success that fills the air of Gurmeet’s beauscape farm, just behind Chandigarh Club-2. For, the man has experimented with and successfully grown these exotic flowers (earlier imported from Holland, China or Banglore, domestically) this season.

As we can see in this sun-drenched site, the flowers are showing early flourishes, indicating the onset of blooming. Having started with the cultivation of regular flowers like lilies, gladulas, roses and Bengali marigolds, Gurpreet Singh and Jaspal, the floriculturists behind the venture, decided to give regular cultivation a miss for the more exotic variety. “We relied extensively on the floriculture magazines and sites for the insights . We’ve already sold 40,000 bulbs of tulips and around 50,000 bulbs of liliums this year. While tulips are fetching Rs 100 per stick, Asiatic and Oriental liliums are being sold at Rs 100-125 per stick.”

While no body else in entire Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh is cultivating these blooms, they are greatly in demand, not just in India but in Japan, Korea and France. No wonder, Gurpreet and Jaspal already have an impressive clientele list, including Ferns n’ Petals head office. “We started off by providing flowers to local florists, but soon started exporting flowers to Delhi. Next in the pipeline is exporting tulips and liliums to Europe,” chirp the flower lovers, who also have their sprawling farms in Kullu and near Ropar.

Masala Mar Ke
Parbina Rashid

Scriptwriter-turned-director Pammi Somal is now concentrating on commercial cinema

You cannot be associated with Bollywood for more than two decades and not get affected by it. The industry may affect the way you think and project yourself or even the way you live. But when Pammi Somal gets affected, she makes a film. No, not the likes of Mummyji, the Chandigarh-oriented film, which received rave reviews, but a pure fun and masala film — Bollywood Biwies and to quote Pammi, ‘the name says it all’.

“This one is going to be out and out a commercial film,” says Pammi, who was in town recently for the screening of Mummyji at the Chandigarh Film Festival. Based on the lives of the wives of stars, producers, directors and industrialists, the film promises to offer everything — lavish party sets, emotions and a message. “Emotion is my forte, so I am concentrating more on it along with good dialogues and an engrossing plot.”

For Pammi, good cinema is the one that can keep people engaged for three hours and make them happy. “When I watch a film, I watch it in totality. I do not compare it with others and wonder about what it could have been. If I enjoy it, I stay glued to my seat for the entire length or just walk out,” says our Chandigarh’s pride and joy who admits enjoying Tare Zameen Par as much as she did Om Shanti Om and Saawariya.

But that’s what Pammi is — living life for the moment. “I am a positive person and love partying. In fact, whenever I come to Chandigarh, my life becomes a big party as all my old friends live here,” she says. And positive she is — someone who learnt to write emotional letters to her parents for everything she needed when she was just 10, slowly blossomed into a gossip columnist writing for leading publications, including The Tribune, to the scriptwriter of serials like Neeyat, Siski, Sukanya, Kasauti and finally the woman who got up one fine day in the morning and decided that she’d rather make films.

A woman with many hues, does she believe in bringing out the true essence of women in her films? “Yes. My films are women-centric, as you have seen in Mummiji. In fact, once as I was discussing a few story ideas with Urmila Matondkar, she called me her friend, because all the stories had woman protagonists,” she avers.

“Not that I do not bring in a man’s point of view, and the years of experience in journalism help me to come out with a balanced viewpoint,” she adds.

And Pammi’s options being Tabu or Juhi in the lead role alongside a few fresh faces, makes the project sound interesting enough — after all, a woman’s take on women always has a fresh perspective.


All in the neighbourhood
Saurabh Malik

For the southern sector residents, shopping for more than just the necessities is just a locality away. As Sector 38 is fast bagging the distinction of a ‘business district’, they can now actually look for style and pleasure without really getting behind the steering wheel of their sprightly cars.

Correct! Right from foreign shampoos and deodorants to garlic and cabbage imported from alien lands, there is nothing that’s not being offered to the residents on the platter of panache.

If you are having any doubts about the emergence of the new mini-city centre, just walk your way to the arcade that still has an undeveloped parking lot. And, you will find aisles lined with temptations that’ll coax you to pull out crisp currency notes from your soft leather wallet.

Oh yes, right in the beginning of the marketplace you have Reliance Fresh offering you provisions, groceries and even kitchenware at discounted rates. Saunter a little further and you will find yourself peeping through the impressive glass doors to see what all Subhiksha is offering below the maximum retail price.

Ambling further through the corridors of pleasure, you come across US Dollar that brings you stuff from the land of goodies. Just name the product, and you have it there. Games, shampoos, perfume and even stuff that promises to give you a new look — it’s all there dazzling under high-wattage lights ready to be picked up. The store is a part of a chain, guys! 

So, forget about asking your cousin’s cousin to bring shaving foam from abroad during his next visit to India. Just grab it, folks.

And then you have Big Flicks with their rent-hours-of-pleasure policy. Just in case you do not know, you can rent, or even buy, the compact disc of the movie of your choice. You have stuff featuring James Bond and our own tired-but-not-retired 007 Amitabh Bachchan. In fact, right from Hollywood blockbusters to Bollywood hangama — everything’s available on rent.

The latest to find a place for itself in the market is Choupal Fresh. That’s right fellows! After offering you the experience of family shopping for fresh veggies and fruits from their showroom in Sector 26, Choupal’s pulling up the shutters of another showroom in the Sector. The size is comparatively small, but than dimensions really do not matter. Freshness does!

Well fellows, the only thing the area needs is good fast-food joints and hangouts for the hip-hop crowd, eager to taste life in party environs. And if you ask the shopkeepers, they assert some of the national and international coffee-bar chains are already exploring the feasibility of setting up hot and happening joints in the area.

Ask the city residents putting up in the nearby sectors, and they are pretty excited about it. “Gone are the days when you had to drive all the way to Sector 17 or even 22 for buying good stuff like quality lippers,” says Plus-two student Anusha Khurana “Now, it’s all in the neighbourhood.” Congrats gal, and happy shopping.


Youth Speak
The media bomb
Varun Garg

The new era of media is rising. Yes, it’s the fast emerging paparazzi culture. So what really is it? Is it really contributing to the society? Or is the standard of media really stooping down? These are some unanswered questions that need to be addressed.

And now, let’s talk about electronic media. We are already bombarded with 10 to 12 news channels and the number is constantly increasing. Oh, there’s this channel that was recently showing a clipping about how the image of lord Hanuman was seen on a neem tree. And yes, there was another one, showing that a woman in some village gets goddess Kali in her and she has a cure for all the health problems.

And as if this was not enough, another channel telecast the havan ceremony that was performed by Mr Bachchan to get rid of manglik dosh present in his bahu’s so called janam patri.

Media, in fact, is a very powerful tool and it can really turn out to be a boon for the country if it acts responsibly. We all have witnessed how the Jessica Lal case was given a completely new turn, thanks to the media. Also, the sting operations have proved to be really effective and have had a instant effect at almost all times.

Yes, you’re guessing it right. Media is indeed the ray of light, which can give brightness to this dark country. At present, our country is like a river, which is full of dirt particles. And yes, media can really act as a filter. It can clean the whole

river. Only if it becomes a little more responsible and constructive, instead of just being bothered about TRPs.

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 lifestyletribune@gmail.com

Like sister, like brother

Paris Hilton’s younger brother Barron seems to be following in her sister’s footsteps. He was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. The 18-year-old was apprehended in Malibu, California, after a witness reported seeing his black Mercedes-Benz swerving into a gas station on the Pacific Coast Highway. According to the witness, Barron was driving around the station in circles, chased by two men in a grey pickup who eventually confiscated his keys. Website TMZ.com reported that when Barron called Paris to post his $ 20,000 bail, the hotel heiress said: “You’re going to learn your lesson.” Eventually Barron’s friends called in a bail bondsman and he was released.

Ex-flame rekindles

American actor Vince Vaughn has revealed that he would love to work with ex-girlfriend Jennifer Aniston again. “Yeah I would, I definitely would. She’s great! I think the world of Jen,” he said. “She’s a great actress, so you never know.” Vaughn was quite taken when the hosts of the show pointed out that he and Aniston had ‘great chemistry’ together, “I appreciate it, thank you,” he stated. However, it seems that Aniston is not the only person he has good chemistry with, as seen in the upcoming romantic comedy Four Christmases, where he has a love scene with Reese Witherspoon. — ANI

New releases
The Power of Love


Starring: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

JODHAA Akbar is a sixteenth century love story about a marriage of alliance that gave birth to true love between Mughal emperor Akbar and Rajput princess Jodhaa.

Political success knew no bounds for Emperor Akbar (Hrithik). After having secured the Hindu Kush, he furthered his realm by conquest until his empire extended from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal, and from the Himalayas to the Godavari River. Through a shrewd blend of diplomacy, intimidation and brute force, Akbar won the allegiance of the Rajputs, the strongest of the Hindu castes. But little did Akbar know that when he married Jodhaa (Aishwarya), a fiery Rajput princess, in order to further strengthen his relations with the Rajputs, he would in turn be embarking upon a new journey – the journey of true love.

The daughter of King Bharmal of Amer, Jodhaa resented being reduced to a mere political pawn in this marriage of alliance, and Akbar’s biggest challenge now did not merely lie in winning battles, but in winning the love of Jodhaa – a love hidden deep below resentment and extreme prejudice. Jodhaa-Akbar is their untold love story.

In reality, Akbar’s wife was never known as Jodhabai. The use of the name Jodhabai appears to have been a 19th century mistake. Her real name was Hira-Kunwari before marriage and after marriage she was known as Mariam-uz-Zamani.

According to historical texts, Akbar actually did meet Jodha before they were married. It was Akbar who proposed to her father for her hand in marriage to create an alliance and also because he somehow became fond of her. Akbar had many wives, some of them were Rajput princesses. Over 80 elephants, 100 horses and 55 camels are being used in the movie. The song Azeem O Shan, Shahenshah featured about 1,000 dancers in traditional costumes, wielding swords and shields at a grand location in Karjat.

Showing at: Nirman & KC-Pkl

Big Bro is watching
Joyshri Lobo

THIS is one of the most calming dentistries I have seen in a long time. All over, at strategic, very visible corners, a very tall, handsome gentleman greets us. It’s the same photograph in all related facilities. He has wonderful features that would make most women swoon. However, deep down, from my postgrad days, I recall Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Mr Gorgeous is watching all of us and we cannot ever forget that. That is why his hospitals run so well. Perhaps Sansad Bhavan requires a combined version of Krishna Menon and Indira Gandhi to remind us to behave ourselves or else

All this reminds me of the early days of my marriage. Sheodan Singh, the batman, was tall, reed thin, taciturn and unsmiling. He spoke in monosyllables from the side of his mouth. He woke up Sirji with a single cup of tea, made one bed, dusted one window; laid one plate and put out one chair in the verandah. He was a Rajput and proud of the fact. He believed women were to be seen occasionally and not heard at all. I was far too noisy and evident and did not meet this criteria. Trying to salvage some of my tattered dignity, I asked the fauji half to tell Sheodan to knock on the door before entering the bedroom with the said cuppa. Something maybe lost in translation but this is how the conversation went:

"I do not knock because I do not need to."

"Why not?"

"I only come in when the coast is clear."

"And how would you know that?"

"I enter only after looking through that hole," he said righteously, pointing to a tiny aperture in the door.

Needless to say I put chewing gum in the peephole and went around wrapped in a tent thereafter! However, I am glad to report that after a few years of exile in the icy regions, Sheodan accepted me as a necessary but harmless evil. He brought his wife to live in our barrack. I still have the gold and blood red choker she created and with great humility, offered me as a token of our`A0friendship.

Today, spying and phone tapping are acknowledged employer privileges. The USA and Russia are professionals at it. Tamil Nadu is catching up. I have a knack of being able to talk to people and make them feel at ease. Sometimes they even confide in me if they need help or want to de-stress. My boss noticed this and asked me to pass on all information thus gleaned. I refused as friendship matters more than promotions.

Chandigarh is now following the same psycho pattern. Each time I drive past Matka Chowk, I have an uncomfortable feeling of being watched. It has finally occurred to me that the matka looks like the symbol of overflowing`A0motherhood and all of us are reminded of her watchful, critical eye. Mum’s watching kids, so mind your Ps and Qs. Try to behave well!

(This column appears weekly)

The peace within
Parbina Rashid

The artist in him is in search of peace and it reflects in all his frames. Somber and serene, Sudipta Tewari’s meditative figures have the capacity to enchant and seduce. Classical faces in black and white come as a refreshing change, breaking the monotony caused by abstract paintings, the toast of almost all major art shows that happened in the city recently.

Sudipta, a self-taught artist’s paintings are not new to the city. He came with his work as part of a large group about two years ago and this one at Art Folio happens to be his first solo show. And this show, which he calls In Search of Peace shows his shift to the medium (charcoal) which he executes with expertise — capturing minutest details with just the right amount of shades and a texture that imparts an antique look, and we get to see the beauty from the bygone era.

His figures remain bereft of colour, while in some, the surroundings get the hue of green and blues (mixed media) and it is not just women who are meditating for peace, but men too. Though the faces look almost similar, the variation comes in form of different media — charcoal on paper and acrylic on canvas.

On display are 23 frames in different sizes and the price tag ranges from Rs 12,000 onwards.

On till February 29

Rising Star
Street Smart

S.D. Sharma

Yogesh Kumar “Donating blood for more than 52 times is not for setting up a record but simply obeying the dictates of my inner-self ,” maintains noted theatre actor Yogesh Kumar. He holds that a true artiste should have the knowledge of our cultural heritage and a vision to imbibe the ethics of life and bring it out on stage.

His latest performance in the epic Ram Leela in USA and Vancouver in 2007 under the aegis of Theatre Arts, of which Yogesh is the president, got him applause. “Some people came and touched my feet after I played the role of Laxman. It was inspiring to see 60, 000 people crowd at the Cowboy Stadium, Dallas (Texas).”

Playing the role of Kabir for H.S. Latta’s multi-media panorama, including Guru Manyo Granth with 30 shows, Bole So Nihal and Sher-e-Punjab too was wonderful experience, says Yogesh. His versatility to play diverse roles in TV serials and tele-films like Shikanja, Shadi Lal Bicholia, Bashira won appreciation.

But theatre, especially street plays, is Yogesh’s first love. Credited with 200 stage performances during seven years he equally relished playing comedy, tragic or character roles. His all-time hits include Court Martial, Medea, Gadhey ki Baraat, Good Bye Swami, Kissa Kursi Ka, Shaeed ki Wapsi and many more street plays.

“While acting amongst the audience, you can feel their response and involvement. One can debate the issues raised in the play more effectively, looking into their eyes and their spontaneous reactions,” he adds sharing his experience.

Smile please!
Anandita Gupta

Gripped totally by Valentine’s fever, these twosomes were all eyes for each other…looking endlessly into each others’ eyes…oops teeth (with their happy gazes pointed a little downward), as they smiled their best 1000-watt smiles. The glow on their faces said it all, but it was their unmistakable pearly whites, which helped them win each other’s hearts, and well, prizes on the Valentine’s Day. Having the ‘portrait-time’ of their lives at the Valentine’s smile bash at Fun Republic (courtesy Trigon Dental, Panchkula and Noble Biocare) were these love-struck couples. As they walked hand-in-hand into Trigon’s Photo-studio at FR, this moment of love was captured with a click!

And whoa, all these bright, sexy, gorgeous and picturesque smiles were issued a coupon post getting clicked. This coupon entitled them to 70 per cent discount on their framed photographs. Prizes included smile packages worth Rs 4,000 every hour and a bumper smile package worth Rs 12,000 (including an oral health kit) for the winning couple.

And the prizewinners were all smiles, of course. Beamed 28-year-old Priyanka Newar, “My hubby Aditya and me just decided to participate in this contest while we were waiting to watch a movie at FR. But winning the ‘Best Smile’ hourly award has come as a pleasant surprise. Then there was this Punjabi couple Wimmi and Rubal Singh who chirped, “It’s fun to be here among so many happy faces. It’s a very different sort of Valentine celebration and will give us something lasting to cherish forever.”

Smiled Rita Kalra, the dentist behind the venture, “Dentists are no longer doctors with drills and a six-month bounty on your mouth, but consultants who can help you improve your smile. So the purpose of this fun activity is to create awareness among people. And Valentine’s Day, being the day of love and togetherness, what better time to create this awareness about dental care and implants than this romantic activity? And we agree. For, don’t the couples who smile together, stay together?

Aromatic Rampur

What sets Rampuri cuisines apart is its characteristic aroma attained by a mixture of special herbs and spices. If you want to have a first hand experience, Moti Mahal-17 is to be in. The 10-day Rampuri Food Festival is starting here from February 15, 2008.

The place has roped in Shaukat Ali Quereshi (ex-Maurya Sheraton chef) and his team.

Though Rampuri cuisine is more popular for its non-vegetarian fare, the vegetarian items are equally lip smacking. Chef Shaukat Ali Qureshi started working at the age of 13 year from Lucknow and is the younger brother of world renowned chef Imtiaz Ali Qureshi, corporate chef of Maurya Sheraton Hotels and Towers Worldwide

Though Rampuri cuisine is more popular for its non-vegetarian fare, the vegetarian items are equally lip smacking. For the non-vegetarians there are Murg Tikka Kandhari, Rampuri Seekh Kebab, Boti al – Shadab, Murg Pakeeza Kathi etc while the menu for the vegetarians include Paneer Shoola, Paneer ke Kofte, Hara Kebab al-Tabak among others. — TNS

Why women get easily depressed?

A new study has shown that that the brain’s serotonin system differs between men and women, leading researchers to state that this might be the reason why depression and chronic anxiety are more common in the fairer sex. Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that is critical to the development and treatment of depression and chronic anxiety, conditions that, for reasons still unknown, are much more common in women than in men. The findings reveal that women have a greater number of the most common serotonin receptors than men. They also show that women have lower levels of the protein that transports serotonin back into the nerve cells that secrete it.

It is this protein that the most common antidepressants (SSRIs) block. “We don’t know exactly what this means, but the results can help us understand why the occurrence of depression differs between the sexes and why men and women sometimes respond differently to treatment with antidepressant drugs,” said lead author of the study and associate professor Anna-Lena Nordstrom.

The group has also shown that the serotonin system in healthy women differs from that in women with serious premenstrual mental symptoms. “These findings indicate that when developing antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, scientists should evaluate their effect on men and women separately, as well as their effects before and after menopause,” said Nordstrom. — ANI

Rebirth with Rebirth
Neha Jindal

Fans of desi Pop have another reason to rejoice now. Raj Brar, former producer and lyricist of Punjabi songs, and presently a Punjabi cultural singer, has come up with his new album — a mix of folk plus pop music. Valentine’s Day saw Frankfinn Entertainment Company Private Limited launching Brar’s latest offering ‘Rebirth’. The album was launched in collaboration with Honey Singh.

“The album is rightly termed,” says the singer, adding, “As a singer and an artist, it is my rebirth from cultural music to modern songs, since change is the need of the hour.” But the singer still believes that cultural music is his soul. Two songs of the album have already been shot and others are in the process.

The singer has quite a few Punjabi cultural albums to his credit and will shortly be seen in a Punjabi movie, produced by K.S. Kohli, Chairman, Frankfinn Group. For Gurdas Mann, Brar says, “A star is only born once a generation.” Also an admirer of Babbu Mann and Jazzy B, Brar feels that they are the true souls of Punjabi music.


Health tip

Short height individuals should avoid sitting on a seat which is too high for the heels to reach the floor to avoid calf pain.   A slanted foot stool, sandbag is ideal.

— Dr Ravinder Chadha

What the cards say today...

ARIES: The Emperor reveals that this week you would meet someone who would play a strong role in your life. There will be favorable news from relatives and friends. Projects that had been delayed would start. Your efforts in work place would be appreciated. Lucky Colour: Brown. Tip of the week: Wait and watch.

TAURUS: You draw The Ace of Cups, which will leave you with the feeling that the job that you are doing is not what you truly want to do in life. Find something that interests you. On the personal front, you may want to get a personality makeover done. Lucky Colour: Rose. Tip: It is high time you learn to take responsibility for your own actions.

GEMINI: The Moon takes you through certain changes in the professional setup which would cause a crisis and you need to be tactful. This would not only resolve things but also, put you in the limelight. You would be able to spend happy moments in the company of your loved one. Health needs your attention. Lucky Colour: Brown. Tip: Don’t try to end the deadlock at one go.

CANCER: The Ace of Pentacles reveals your new temperament would carry forward into this week as well and you would begin to see the changes that it brings. Try not to be too aggressive or defensive. Introspection would help you to identify your weak areas. Don’t let your personal problems influence your performance. Lucky Colour: Black. Tip: Handle your projects secretly and carefully.

LEO: You draw Six of Wands that says your partner or loved ones will make demands on your time and energy. Friends, however, will be supportive. At work, your hard work and efforts would be acknowledged by superiors. If planning a big sale/purchase, this is a good time. You may have to travel either for business or pleasure. Lucky Colour: Blonde. Tip: Take no chances.

VIRGO: The Prince of Cups shows the week would start on a positive note and bring you social appreciation. Professionally, things will fall into place. At home, it is important that you set the right boundaries, else you may be taken for granted. Lucky Colour: White. Tip: Be careful while making decisions.

LIBRA: Your card the Sun says this week will be exciting and packed with action, especially, on the home front. You need to be accountable for your relationship with your partner and other family members. Business proposals would go through smoothly. Lucky Colour: Ebony. Tip: Do not be extravagant.

SCORPIO: You draw the Five of Wands. Professionally, you will rise. There will be quite a bit of socialising with friends towards the weekend. Spend time with loved ones, since some of them may be feeling neglected. Lucky Colour: creamy white. Tip: Arrogance and pride will not be rewarded.

SAGITTARIUS: The Seven Golden Cups says this is a positive week for all job-related activities. Businesspeople will profit from new alliances and partnerships. Relationships with loved ones would be fulfilling. There may be a fair amount of socialising on the cards. Lucky Colour: saffron. Tip: Focus on long-term interests.

CAPRICORN: The Hermit reveals the attention you have been paying to your health and well-being will show results. Focus on emotional health. Helping someone out on Wednesday and meditating on Thursday and Friday would empower you. Lucky Colour: Crimson. Tip: Avoid splurging.

AQUARIUS: This week will be favorable to work on your plans and give them some definite shape, says the Chariot card. There will be certain projects that will give you sleepless nights. You will be able to bring an element of newness into your relationships. Lucky Colour: White. Tip: Your own ideas matter.  

PISCES: The Ace of Pentacles sends an indication for an easygoing week. At home, you may be somewhat upset by the absence of a loved one, however, this temporary separation would do your relationship good. Do not succumb to get-rich-quick schemes. Lucky Colour: Golden. Tip: Pay attention to your health.

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