City girls trot up the corridors of popularity by slipping into minis & knee-length slacks
Saurabh Malik

No skirting the issue, guys. Femmes of the world are giving a leg up to fashion by wearing minis that just don’t reveal more than panache, and elegance.

If you are finding it all too confusing, just look at Ananya Gupta. The undergrad allows minis to expose her to the heat of all the bashes. Still, no one can essentially blame her for wearing stuff that’s all too revealing. For, she dons style by putting on short denim skirts with knee-length slacks.

That’s right fellows! Parental control and weather restrictions withstanding, Ananya and so many of her buddies have come out with a design that permits them to sport the ‘forbidden stuff’ without being prohibited from wearing it.

They wear spaghetti tops over tees and under coats to permit just a glimpse of stylishness. Nothing more, nothing less! No wonder, as these young girls show off the garb they cannot otherwise carry, you see more of less. Only here, the less is not really less.

Ask Ananya’s best pal Deepika Talwar and she says it’s all very comfy. “You see, I wear what I want to without annoying anyone. It’s all very convenient,” she asserts with a smile. “The trend is really catching up. Go to college campuses, PU grounds, or even in the arcades all around it, and you will see mini-full gals trotting their way to style.”

For them, fashion malls and trend stores across the city have come up with distinctive combos. “In fact, you find hangers full of mini-slack combinations — reds and blues with blacks, ebonies and browns with pinks — just look and you will find the mishmash of your choice,” says young fashionista Natasha Mehra. “And then, there is a variety of slacks you can choose from. You can pick up ones with trimmings, or even with strings… the choice is yours entirely.”

Elaborating on the trend, she says, “Slacks were the in thing in the 50s. They went out of vogue only to return in the late 80s. And now, they are back in a new role of complimenting short and mini skirts. The best thing about the whole thing is that it’s not at all expensive. You get a good denim skirt for as little as Rs 250. Slacks? Well, you can have them by not pulling out more than hundred bucks from your handbag.”        

And if you are still uncomfortable about wearing the combo before venturing in the open with your pals for celebrating an occasion called life, simply slip on long leather boots that promise to add flair to your persona. Keep it up and all the best, gals! 

Sharp cuts, soft touch & interesting palette, it’s time for a fluffy revamp of your wardrobe 
Purva Grover

A fave with designers, fur has for long perked up the sizzle quotient on the ramp.Interesting colours, dramatic cuts, varied treatments; there is no limit to the versatility of fur. And this winter, it weren’t just the ramp scorchers who discovered its beauty, but city fashionistas too. Here’s a sneak peak at the furry delights that have been (and still are, for winter refuses to walk away) on city shelves.

Combined with a variety of fabrics, this season’s fur fashion is casual and wearable. At Ten West-10, there are linear modern coats and jackets trimmed with fur, starting from Rs 1,000 onwards. Long and short jackets in denim complete with synthetic fur, look great when worn over a short dress. A combination of short-hair and long-hair synthetic fur, denim and lace makes up for the layered skirts at the store.

If you want to keep it minimalist, yet make a fur statement, then pick up an animal print belt adorned with flowers in fur and sequins. These belts are priced at Rs 495. Or else, go in for cuffs at Rs 295 and a pair of gloves for Rs 150. Or pick up a white faux fur cap with sequins on the outline for Rs 1,025 from Micky Chabra-10. Or caps in imitation leather with fur trimming for Rs 995. Sport them with a wool-knit dress and make a statement.

Want some more fur-filled excitement? How about leather boots with fur detailing? At Micky’s store, there are ankle length boots with fur lining for Rs 2,225. Another pair with faux fur trims and uppers, these boots look dressy with both skirts and denims. For a sensational look, pick up stoles in hues of purple, pinks, red and blue. Priced at Rs 1,225 onwards, these pieces, a blend of wool, net, satin, lace and dyed fur promise glamour and attitude. A jacket in hosiery material with quilting on the inside, fur on the borders, and sequins on the zipper, is apt for making a dramatic statement.

Short-cropped jackets can be picked from any city fashion hut. Fur highlights on the collars, cuffs, sleeves, pockets or hood is the signature style of today. At Waga-10, you can choose from fur shrugs in colours like cream, brown and green, with a hint of shimmer. Accented with fancy buckles, these are priced at Rs 1,199. Romantic ruffles and frills on a velvet dress or a plain sweater lend the fur jackets a touch of subtle opulence.

For those in absolute love with fur, head to Da Milano-17. Here you’ll find a touch of fur in almost every product on display. Crafted out of Italian pony fur, there are clutches in shades of brown, black and grey, priced at Rs 6,000. An attractive clutch in black and brown fur, interspersed with appliqué work in gold and silver, is priced at Rs 9,000. Chic handbags complete with fur trimmings and leather tussles are priced between Rs 9,000 and Rs 10,000. A must pick is a square shaped bag with a lock adorned with Swarovski; this one comes for Rs 9,995. Or you can go in for animal print leather bags , embossed with dyed fur or plain dyed colours like orange and purple. Luggage bags in fur come for Rs 13,000 onwards. Black and brown fur bag packs are a rage with the youth. Talk office accessories and there are leather file folders with fur patches and trimmings for Rs 2,995. Notepads fall in the range of Rs 795 and Rs 2,195. For men, there are wallets for Rs 2,195. The store also has caps in sheep fur for both men and women.

Well, all one can say is cheers to this fresh fashion element. So fur lovers, hurry and buy a fur delight and deepen your love affair with it. For winters are still here (though it’s getting sunny and bright now) and it’s better to perk up your furry style, before bidding it farewell.

Caring for your furry delights

n Get fur cleaned annually by a fur specialist and not a dry cleaner.
n Never hang fur in a plastic bag or rubber-lined bag as it prevents air circulation.
n If your fur gets wet, shake it out and hang it to dry.
n Never comb or brush the fur.
n Never pin jewellery on your fur.
n Avoid spraying perfume onto fur.
n Get small tears repaired immediately to prevent expensive repairs later.

Martian multi-taskers
City men score 10 on 10 when it comes to juggling multiple tasks together
Parbina Rashid

Dr A. P. Sanwaria
Dr A. P. Sanwaria

Remember the story in Mahabharata, where Guru Dronacharya asked young Arjuna to focus only the on the head of the bird sitting on a tall tree while teaching him archery? He had a point. First of all, Arjuna was a man and men are not known for their multitasking ability. You do not even have to refer to scientific studies to fathom the gravity of the situation. For, aren’t our moms back home doing the all multi-tasking — cooking food, changing nappies of their new-born babies and attending phone calls at the same time, while dads’ focus is on a single thing (either the newspaper or the TV)?

There is a scientific study to prove this too. A study carried out by Dr Glenn Wilson for Hewlett Packard in 2005 revealed that an average worker’s functioning IQ, which is a temporary qualitative state, drops 10 points when multitasking. The study also found out that the functioning IQ drop was more pronounced in men.

Gursewak Mann
Gursewak Mann

But looking at the emerging trend in multi-tasking, Dronacharya’s teaching and Glenn’s findings sound a little outdated. We have quite a few examples in the city, who prove them wrong. Gursewak Mann for instance! The Lara lappa guy is not just singing to his heart’s content and portraying the pain of Punjabis living abroad in his forth coming film Vatna Ton Door, but is flying Boeings too. During a recent interview, he told us how passionate he is about both his hobbies — flying and singing — which he has been doing for the past 20 years and also shared his happiness when he got his license to fly a Boeing 737. It made us ask him how does he manage to do so much? “When you are your own boss, you can manage to do a lot many things,” was the answer. Lucky man!

Arjun Vats
Arjun Vats

When we approach model-cum-management guru-cum-businessman Arjun Vats, his mouth opens in an ‘O’ out of surprise before words come out — “Are you actually going to write about me because I’m doing so many things at the same time?” We let this pass as a simple case of somebody who grew up hearing too much of ‘Jack of All Trades...’ in the negative light. The guy from Mumbai, who is a management guru, a theatre person, a writer, model, actor (Jhankar Beats) and compering events, says, “If you centre yourself and can live in the moment, it is easy to do five-six things at the same time. In fact, what I have learnt is we humans use a mere 0 .003 percent of our total ability.”

Michelangelo Francis
Michelangelo Francis 
— Photos by Pradeep Tewari & Vinay Malik

Ask Michelangelo Francis what motivates him to sing, paint, do freelance photography for magazines and write songs, besides keeping a regular teaching job at St John’s-26 and he gets all dreamy, “One can surely indulge in one task at a time, but the choice of multi-tasking came only after self-discovery that I am capable of doing all that. And yes, financially, it is rewarding, but the feeling that comes with it is priceless,” he says. And the flip side? “I had to give up a lot of things like TV, movies and hanging around with friends?”

And it’s not only our younger lot who are following their dreams, but the older generation too are following suit. Dr. A.P. Sanwaria, a cardiologist, besides working as a freelancer for different private hospitals like Fortis and Mukat, chose to work for the slums in the city, and finally a nominated counsellor. And that’s besides his duty as a grandfather — dropping and picking up his grandchildren from school. How, do you manage, we ask. “I draw strength from young people like you and of course, having served in the Army has brought lots of discipline to life,” he replies.

Hats off to our ‘Jacks of all trades,’ who teach us one valuable lesson — if you have a will, there are multiple ways!

Matka chowk
Power of Prayer
Sreedhara Bhasin

Last Sunday, I woke up to the sound of the morning ajaan. My initial reaction was that of utter chagrin. Surely, my early morning sleep was far more precious than diligent worship? However, as I lay in bed under the rajai – I reflected on the significance of what floated in with the misty air. I had the choice of staying angry over lost sleep or I could seize the moment to connect with a higher self myself. I chose the second option. Thirty minutes later, I felt much better about the world and myself.

In a similar mood of spiritual openness, I started to watch for all the moments I faced during the day and the evening – moments that could give me an opportunity to pray. I found many and realised that prayer is subconsciously addressed to all that I am and all that I encounter in our city.

I first encountered an old woman in a parking lot who showed me an empty eye drop bottle and asked for a few rupees so that she could buy her medicine again. I helped her and drove away, praying that her eyes get better.

Then, I went to the clinic to see my doctor. The waiting room was as usual filled to the brim with people who had come for alleviation. Instead, of sitting there impatiently and watching the watch tick, I decided to pray so that everyone in that room would eventually be cured of whatever ailments affected them. I specially prayed for a young boy who had a huge plaster on his leg. When I left the clinic, I felt far more positive about the fate of all those people, the young boy and even myself.

Then I saw a mother dog with a fresh litter of six crouching with all her might over them in the face of the cold northern wind. Maybe, all her pups would not survive the winter. But, she was surely going to try her best and deserved a small prayer at least!

Before falling asleep, I heard the band party playing in full volume. A cold night to get married – I thought. Then I thought of the young couple who were going to get integrally linked tonight – their fates, their sorrow and their joy – intertwined (hopefully) for all times to come and I prayed for their happiness.

My prayers have not been able to move any palpable mountains, but it surely was a way to view our city in a different light. If only we could get those pesky drivers to do some soul-searching – Chandigarh will be a winner! Maybe, collective prayers can move that mountain. 

It’s Trendz time folks!

Trendz Unlimited promises you a lot more than style and trends. If organisers Yukti Shankar and Inder Chhina are to be believed, they will bring to the city the latest in fashion scene along with a dazzler from the industry to jazz up the show. And this time it is Anita Hasanandani, known as Anjali of Kavyanjali — to dine with the family who is lucky enough to win a lucky-draw contest.

The venue is Hotel Shivalikview-17 and the exhibition hall is as usual choc-a-block with stalls ranging from bridal sarees to lehengas, to kurtas and kurtis to jewellery and home decor items. But the irony is as you strike a conversation with most of the stall owners you come to know that most of them are from our own City Beautiful. And what catches the eye is Savika’s homemade chocolates who has come up with special wedding packages for Rs 350 each. Another striking thing is Dimpy Anand’s (once again from Chandigarh) range of evil eyes to ward off your bad luck — evil eye bracelets, necklaces, earrings, key chains, car accessories, roseries, tress and wall hangings — all imported from Turkey. The price starts from Rs 85 and goes up to Rs 4,000.

But the most educative piece comes from the jewellery stall from Thailand where we get to learn that Tanzanite, the stone with the sparkle of a diamond and colour of blue sapphire is the stone of tomorrow. The stone is found only in Tanzania and costs about $ 180 per karat. Looking at the exquisite pieces in Tanzanite we wonder if the expression ‘a diamond is a girl’s best friend’ will soon be a saying of the past.

Concludes today

Chic Phulkari

Photos by Parvesh Chauhan

Cheer up Phulkari lovers! For, on offer in town is phulkari that’s different from what you’ve been picking up earlier. Ideal for all those, who’ve been looking for diverse phulkari stuff recently, is the expo-cum-sale at Aroma-22 (put up by Aramvi Brar, anchor-cum-assistant director with Channel Punjab). On display here is phulkari-flaunting designer wear, with traditional plus modern touch. Bagh is another phulkari pattern you’ll find here. A traditional wear with heavy thread work on dupatta, this form of phulkari ranges from Rs 3,000 to Rs 75,000. You can get designer suits ranging as low as Rs 600 and as high as Rs 5,000. The expo also boasts of some chic casuals and party wear in cotton, khadi and khadi silk. — TNS

Concludes today

Recipe for success
Nothing succeeds like self-help books when it comes to the city’s book lovers
Parbina Rashid

Looking at the ever-growing size of the self-help book sections in city bookstores, it’s evident that the key to a successful life is not a secret anymore. People who have achieved it are more than willing to share their personal wisdom with the rest of world. And looking at the crowds in front of these shelves, we know there are takers for it. After all, when you see titles that promise Success in 30 Days or to make you Think and Grow Rich, and that too, from the people who’ve attained a name in life, the temptation to grab these books is too great to overcome.

And for the takers, the logic is simple — these books can’t create potential but bring out the hidden talent and re-inforce what one already has. And since most of the authors like Anthony Robins or Steven Covey share their success stories, this genre makes the beginners draw parallels from their experience.

For others, well-researched, self-help books help one to think out-of the-box and tackle problems . But all admit that the process of self-actulisation doesn’t begin and end with one self-help book. It is a process, which continues.

Whatever may be the reason, the popularity of these books is giving bookstore owners enough confidence to invest more and more into these books. “If you want to quantify their popularity, I can say the graph is shooting at 90 degree angle,” says Rajiv Sharma of English Book Depot-17, citing Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People, Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, Napoleon Hill’s The Law of Success and Think and Grow Rich, Dr Wayne W. Dyer’s Your Erroneous Zones and Robert H. Schuller’s The Be-Happy Attitude as hot selling books. And in the spiritual category, there are Dr Brian Weiss’ Many Lives, Many Masters, Robin Sharma’s The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret are still hot sellers.

“Self-help books are riding the popularity crest because there’s something for everyone — motivation and inspiration for youngsters and solace and direction for the retired ones,” says Ajay Arora of Capital Book Store-17.

And for those, who are already on the job, there are books like Robin Greene’s Concise Laws of Power that teach you how to survive the competitive office environment.

So, if you’ve not joined the bandwagon of self-help book lovers, maybe it’s time for you to pick up one. And if you feel you have a success story to share,even you can try writing one. Remeber what Christopher Buckey said in his book God is My Broker (1998), “The only way to get rich from a self-help book is to write one.” Maybe a wee bit cynical in his view, but he does have a point.  

Vision Mission
Purva Grover

Photo by Manoj Mahajan
Photo by Manoj Mahajan

HIS is a cause that he likes to keep quiet about. For Rajesh Kumar who runs a jewellery shop in Sector 23 believes in acting rather than talking. He is on a mission to spread awareness and encourage one and all to pledge for eye donation. And he has been working towards it quietly for more than two decades now. He is not a part of any eye donation society or fancy club and his area of operation is his circle of friends and family.

Then what made him approach us, we wonder? “People known to me felt that it would encourage and motivate people when they read about it,” says the 43-year-old. “Also, I felt this was the right time to speak about it. There’s no point talking about it till one is genuinely committed to the cause,” he tells. That, we agree to. “Today, I am happy to have motivated four of my family members to donate their eyes,” he says. Five years back, he lost his uncle and his eyes were donated at Government Hospital-32. Unfortunately, some time back when his cousin and niece expired, their families too donated their eyes.

But, how did the noble thought click him? “ Way back in 1984, I filled in a form pledging to donate my eyes, but never submitted it. I realised that my pledge will be of no use, if my family and friends fails to act at the right time,” he says. So, that encouraged him to spread the message and save in his mobile the numbers of the concerned authorities. Today, his three children – aged 14, 9 and 8 too know the importance of daddy’s work. He says, “I have both promised many of my family members and friends to ensure that their eyes are donated and also taken a promise from them to donate mine when my end comes,” he signs off. 

Just the right touch
Rajiv Kaplish

Jodhaa Akbar
A less talented director would have reduced an almost four-hour-long peep into the past to a costume drama. Ashutosh Gowarikar turns it into an engrossing fare.

Ignore the allegations of historical distortions in Jodhaa Akbar. Forget that Rs 50 crore has been spent on the magnum opus. Also forget any comparisons with Mughal-e-Azam. And you have an engaging account of the post-marriage love affair between Mughal Emperor Akbar and ethereal Rajput princess Jodhaa.

Executed at a fast pace, the film traces the romance between a strong yet humane and bold yet vulnerable ruler and his beautiful yet headstrong wife. Their marriage of alliance, their misunderstandings and their reunion — all have been told with an acute attention to detail.

Hrithik’s Akbar is far removed from the ageing monarch we have often seen. In place of the adamant and egoistic emperor, is a warrior who is fair, just and is a romantic. If he feels that executing a prisoner of war is unethical, he is also ruthless when it comes to punishing a traitor (The scene in which he orders the killing of his step brother). He can win the love of his wife and a battle with equal ease. He is secular and does not impose his religious beliefs on others.

Beautiful and brave, Jodhaa is a defiant princess who insists on maintaining her religious identity and beliefs after her marriage to the Muslim king. She even takes on her husband when he accuses her of betraying him.

Ashutosh depicts the chemistry between the two in such a way that Hrithik and Aishwarya do not appear to be larger-than-life characters. The scene in which Akbar tries to soothe the ruffled feelings of Jodhaa and the one in which Akbar demands that he should be served the meal from the same platter that Jodhaa used bring out their vulnerability. The fight scene between the two is also remarkable for its deft picturisation. Also noteworthy is the sequence in which Hrithik tames a wild elephant.

The grandeur and scale do not intimidate the lead protagonists whose robust portrayals are the highlight of the movie. However, younger audiences may not take kindly to Hrithik playing Emperor Akbar at this stage of his career. Actors Sonu Sood, Nikiten Dheer and Poonam Sinha (wife of Shatrughan Sinha) do full justice to their roles. However, Illa Arun, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Raza Murad are wasted in miniscule roles.

Barring Jashn-e-Baharran and Azeem-o- Shaan Shehanshah, A.R.Rehman’ s other tracks are pedestrian. Mercifully, there is no surfeit of needless songs in the lengthy narrative. Sets are opulent but these have not been enacted to impress the audience but to demonstrate historical accuracy.

Coming at a time when the historical genre has become almost extinct, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker’s period film is no less than a bold effort to reinvent it.

Showing at: Nirman

Write to Renee

at or Life Style, The Tribune, Sector 29-C, Chd

n I am a 26-year-old guy on vacation to India. I am quite shy. I cannot mix up with the people in my office or party. I would rather sit alone and observe others than becoming part of things. I would love to interact with others but I just don’t know how to go about it. How can I get over my shyness?

Geet Malik, Shimla

Young man, learn to loosen up. Why are you carrying so many ideas of do’s and don’ts inside you? Life is a free-flowing business and just allow it to be so. You are an introvert, so no harm in being that way as long as it’s not bothering you. If you need the desire to interact, go ahead and do so. Anything you want to do in life, you have to make the effort. So, step out of your own self-drawn boundaries. Join a club or even a language class, a sociable situation where interaction is inevitable. Find the interesting guy in your own self and you will find yourself the kind of guy you want to be.

n I am 32 years old and about a year and a half ago I split up with my boyfriend. But I cannot get over this. I am hurt and lonely. It is difficult to sleep at nights and I watch movies till the wee hours of the morning. I know that I should be putting this relationship behind me but I still cannot accept this fact. Do you think I should try and get back to it? Each time I am with my friends who knew us both together I cannot help crying. How do I come to terms with my life?

Hema Malhotra, Ludhiana

I understand you pain. After all, we all thrive in relationships and that is what keeps us going. But, after all you must remember that all relationships are not permanent and you cannot allow the past to color your present. You’re not the only one in this kind of a situation. Hundreds of people like you are busy fighting their own emotional demons. You may feel this was your best relationship but then why did you give it up? Now that you are out of it just move on. Take a vacation, you might meet new people and help yourself to heal. Immerse yourself in some activity that make you happy. You sound sensitive and intelligent, I’m sure you won’t be alone for too long.

n I am 45-year- old and have two college-going kids. My husband being in the Navy has been in and out of my life over the years. Now suddenly I am beginning to feel lost and lonely, up till now I was busy with the kids and I had no time to dwell and brood over my life. My kids have no time for me and somehow even when my husband is at home we have nothing to say to each other. We have grown apart over the years. How do I deal with my life?

Amrit Bhatia, Chandigarh

At this age and stage in life, every woman seems to go through this questioning process. It is like a transition in life. Kids obviously will have their own lives, you have to understand that. I think this is a time when you can start thinking about your own self. Your hobbies, your interests can all be indulged with no guilt at all. And if your husband and you are two different people so what? You don’t have to be similar personalities to love and respect each other. Remember opposites attract. So just view your life from a brighter perspective. Life will be rocking very soon.  

Health tip

Sitting for prolonged periods in the same position causes stiffness. It is ideal to use rocking chair to reduce immobility and encourages muscular relaxation.

— Dr Ravinder Chadha

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