Gen X to Gen WHY
This Teacher’s Day, we catch up with gurus who have taught different generations of a family. Here’s the chapter on the change...
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Tutoring us about everything, from the A to Z of vocabulary, the pluses and minuses of arithmetic to the world around us and life beyond the planet, it’s the teachers who make us what we are today.

A guide, a friend and a leader, this Teacher’s Day we salute the educationists who have worked through years and taught generations to make the world a better place. And as we celebrate the day dedicated to gurus, we ask them how different is today’s generation from their fathers, mothers and aunts and uncles.

Prof Indu Banga, from the Department of History, PU, has been in the job since 1966 and on the change she says, “The present generation is different — complex, untamed and less respectful. Earlier, they were level-headed, had a fair idea of what they wanted and wanted less. However, today’s kids are more aware and independent. It is a mixed feeling. When I started my career, I had no hopes and now having obtained things it seems things are moving in the right direction at least for me. But when we talk of the education system as a whole, it is drifting. And as a society we haven’t done very well for the present generation.”

And what about the Internet gurus, “Are they actually an alternate teacher? An electronic gadget cannot meet an individual’s thought process.” Summing up she says, “Change is inevitable, but lots coming down from colonial pages and we need to de-colonise it in our consciousness.”

For Gurkiran Nalwa, principal, Shivalik Public School-41, she has seen the institution grow with her. She says, “I was a student of this school and my mother the principal and then I had my daughter here.” And talking about the metamorphosis of kids to adults she says, “I have seen it all. The changes have been gradual. But the kids today are much smarter.” Her daughter Aleema, a Class III student is all set to walk in her shoes. She wants to become the principal.”

In Carmel Convent, one meets Alice ma’am, an office member who has been around for the past 35 years. “Girls are more outspoken, bold and open-minded these days. Earlier, they were sober and simple. They are careless and do not bother about what others would say.”

For Prof Manjeet Singh, from the Department of Sociology, PU, things have changed. “I’m teaching since 1980. Gone are the days of karm kar phal ke icha nahi, for present generation it is Phal ki icha pheley kar karam hota rahe ga.” He adds, “Earlier education was a motivation to do well in life, but today education is an article for consumption. For kids, education means an instrument to open up horizons and reach new heights.”

Though she hasn’t taught two generations, Moon Sandhu, a teacher at Strawberry Fields, teaches her teacher’s granddaughter. “It was a pleasant surprise when I saw my teacher coming to pick up her granddaughter. Memories flashed back and I saw generations leap in front of my eyes, as I played teacher and she the parent.” A nursery teacher, she says, “These kids are so sure of themselves that they make you think twice. A thinking generation, their thought process is clear and they exactly know what they want. You definitely cannot force yourself on them.”

Cradle to classroom
What happens when your mom also becomes your class teacher? Fun, fiasco and...

Arpan with mother Geeta Vadhera
Arpan with mother Geeta Vadhera — Photo by S. Chandan

They say parents are the best teachers. But what happens when you actually walk up to the class and realise your own kid is in there, a part of the bunch? Is it a cakewalk — for, you have a high degree of comfort with your ward — or a tightrope walk, with an added burden of expectations and increased stress?

Here’s chatting up some city educationists who have also tutored their toddlers and teens.

“It’s challenging,” says Deepti Chabra of St. Xaviers-44, who taught her daughter for a year. The foremost thing is to maintain the required decorum. “You have to treat your child like others. Then, you’re not a parent, but a teacher,” she asserts.

Amanpreet Ahuja, a BCA student in GGSCW-26 fondly remembers her mother being her teacher when she was in fifth grade. “Though it was long ago, memories are still fresh. My mom used to treat me like other kids in the class. Initially, I found it a bit hard to keep distance, as a child is closest to his/her mother. But then I got used to it,” she quips. “I remember an incident when I referred to her as ‘mamma’ in class and she shouted back ‘Tanya’. It was my nickname and till then nobody knew about it,” adds Ahuja.

Her mother Manjit Ahuja also could not hold back her laughter as she remembered the incident. “In fact , both of my kids studied in YPS-Mohali where I teach. They were in front of my eyes all the time, we would go and come back together. Fortunately, my children were bright enough to understand that our relationship was different in class. So, we never had problems. The only challenge I faced was that since they both were good at Maths, many thought that perhaps I was doing them favours. But when Amanpreet got 99 percent in boards she proved everyone wrong, says Manjit. Incidently, Teacher’s day is her birthday too.

However, for Geeta Vadhera, who teaches in St John-26, it wasn’t exactly a smooth ride: “I was shocked to know that I have to teach my son’s section. It was tough with the 40 pair of eyes glued on you. The entire year, the teacher in me dominated in the class. It seemed that I was trying to prove something. Actually, I wanted to make my son a model for the rest. But in the process he kind of started hating me.”

Agrees Arpan, her son, who thinks the parent-teacher combo is a recipe for disaster. “I would not recommend it,” he says. “ When I came to know that my mother was going to be my teacher, I was excited. But soon I realised that I wasn’t going to have any privileges. Worst part was the homework. I just had no escape from the constant nagging. It was stressful. But I guess mom had no other choice. She had to be fair and disciplined. It was tough for her too,” says Arpan.

“The key is to keep the communication going,” says Reena Singh of St. Kabir-26 who played teacher to her three children. “Being a teacher of your kid helps you relate better to other students as well. I taught my twin daughters Jasmeet and Bhavneet six years ago and now I am teaching my son Kushagra. He constantly comes up with ideas to make teaching more fun,” tells Reena, who firmly believes that an ‘off-switch’, which allows one to think of his/her kid as just another student, is a must in ‘parent-as-a-teacher scenario.’

The experts feel the issue is difficult to handle in primary classes where a kid is not mature enough to understand. “It’s very difficult for a young child to control the gush of feelings for his parents. But it’s the duty of the latter to make them understand the difference between the school and home,” says Dr Simmi Waraich, consulting psychiatrist at Fortis. It’s also very important to be fair, otherwise, the chances are that your kid may even be ostracised by other students which will add to the classroom stress. In this scenario, the teacher might get conscious by the very presence of his or her child in the class, she adds.

Objet D’ ART
Baaz buzz
Sobha Singh immortalised this bird on canvas. With its strong form and predatory looks, the falcon continues to inspire many artists in this region
Parbina Rashid

Two rare folios on the training of falcons, which are now in the possession of the Govt Museum & Art Gallery
BIRD’S EYEVIEW: Two rare folios on the training of falcons, which are now in the possession of the Govt Museum & Art Gallery

These two belong to the rare category of folios, which the Government Museum and Art Gallery possesses. Not just for their aesthetic value, reflected in the intricately woven forms with Persian text written in nastaliq script or its delicate illuminated border, but for the subject as well. The folios were once used to illustrate the craft of falconry. Even without the help of the text, one can see that the subject deals exclusively with the training of falcons or baaz, as known in Punjab.

A little help from the museum authority, which is too willing to supply whatever little text available on the matter, it makes for an interesting story, '…it is necessary that the young baaz is hooded for one night and day and made to perch on the hand while the hood has been put in proper place. This is to be done so that the bird becomes used to the hood. On the second night the string of the hood is slightly loosened, half the eyes are uncovered and then the hood is immediately replaced and pulled down….'

Looking at the folios and the flurry of activities undertaken by the men, it seems like a difficult task to be accomplished and for the first time see the bird in different light. After all, one only associate falcons with Guru Gobind Singh without sparing much thought on the bird.

Talking about the tenth Sikh guru with a falcon perched on his hand or shoulder, one immediately remembers Sobha Singh who made the falcon famous. Prints of his Lord of the White Falcon is seen in most homes. "In my long association with Sobha Singh, I have seen him painting the bird many times," says Mehar Singh, the 80-year-old disciple of Sobha Singh. Later, the bird became a regular feature in Mehar Singh's paintings as well. "It's a bird, which has been closely associated with Punjabi culture," says Mehar. He has painted it with Guru Gobind Singh mostly in hunting scenes. "It's a hunting bird, with powerful lines which make it an artist's delight." Like his guru, Mehar too painted the bird extensively in a realistic form.

Other known artists who painted falcon are Devinder Singh and Malkit Singh. While Devinder is known for its realistic form in the religious context, Malkit did a little bit of experiment with it, both in the context and form. During an art camp organised by the Haryana Government couple of years back, the artist painted the bird in the context of Ramayana. "Baaz is a religious symbol for the Sikhs, I wanted to assimilate it to Hinduism. So, when we were asked to paint taking the Ramayana as theme, I brought the bird as a symbol of power," says Malkit. He executed it in a semi-realistic form, something he like he has done in his goat series, with their elongated neck and vibrant colour.

The bird continues to live in many artists' imagination, mostly foreign ones in love with the wildlife. But it is our homegrown artists who have made this bird iconic.

Alpine attempt
After the Himalayas, it is the Swiss Alps for Brahm Prakash, who has once again picked up oil as a medium
Parbina Rashid

A 10-day excursion in the scenic Swiss Alps is enough to inspire even a non-artist to take up the paint and brush. But when the person in question is veteran artist Brahm Prakash then one just waits with baited breath to watch him paint his nostalgia on canvas. For here, one's imagination does not measure up to the end result.

His latest mountain series is all that and much more. First, he has come back to his old love - painting mountains - a phase that came and went in '86 and '87 that marked his Srinagar days. The same phase revived for a short while in '90, courtesy an artist camp in Kufri. What dominated his frames in between and till date was his muse with architectural space, creating forms within the confines of geometrical blocks.

"Mountains have been appearing off and on my canvas. But this trip has really inspired me to take up the subject once again, enough to do a complete series" says Prakash. And if you ask him what about the Swiss Alps that renewed his passion, his answer is - different kinds of mountains with 360-degree view and their ever-changing light and atmosphere atop the peaks.

But surprisingly, Prakash's mountainscape is not completely devoid of squares and rectangles. "That's because this pattern has been part of me since a long time. I would eventually like to come out of it but till its there, I am combining both," he says.

And this series will also see the artist working in oil. Quite a difference from his recent muse with graphic prints. "My job as a principal of the Government College of Art left little time to work in oil. Now, that I am retired and have all the time of my life I plan to work in oil again," says Prakash.

And work he is doing in plenty. A series which will be an extensive one and on the sideline, another exhibition of photographs which he clicked during his stay there. No one could have asked for more!

Pain of a poet
S.D. Sharma

Said Milton, "Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts. Beloved are the rhymes enfolding our pangs of sorrow which keep us engaged in life-time struggle, rather than the pleasure which is momentary and short-lived." Taking cue from Milton, homegrown poet Gurbux Saini, has eloquently depicted the concern of the distressed and downtrodden in his five poetry books. As a poet of the masses, Saini has highlighted social maladies like crass communalism, female foeticide, exploitation of immigrants and rampant corruption. His verses condemn hatred and inhumanity, which politicians perpetuate in the name of religion. His poems depict the helplessness of the common people.

Born and brought up in the pastoral environment and with a master's degree in English literature, Gurbux found his calling in Punjabi poetry. His literary voyage started with his anthology Ikk Maan Bina, which he followed up with Kherun Kherun, Khulla Amaber, Ptta te Parchhanvan, Chhvan Labh de Rukh and Bin Peni Dariya (under publication). He was awarded with the Haryana Sahitya Akademi award for his book Khulla Amber in 1982.

Saini maintains while vision, impulse and mastery over the language are the traits a poet must possess, the urge for creation, however, stems from the struggle of life. "My poems reflect the strains of every struggling soul. My critics call my writings as 'poetry of protest' but I feel honoured while representing the ethos of the suffering humanity in my verses," he says. Sample this — Dharam asthana ute jaa ke, Majhab de na te dange karwaake/ Khara karunga ikk toofaan, Mein taan ban na siasat daan.

Nautanki, Nachurally
Taking the nautanki form to the world

Atul Yadvanshi
Atul Yadvanshi

As per Allahabad-based thespian Atul Yadvanshi, ‘nautanki,’ the traditional  theatre that emerges from radical street performances, is the most vibrant form wherein actors hold direct conversation with their audience, look into their eyes and debate urgent issues that require concern.” Obsessed with the love for the ‘nautanki’ genre and riding on tremendous success of his productions like Batwaare ki Aag, Palti Dhara, Naya Suraj and Baje Dhindora, which made waves on the theatrical firmament in India, Yadvanshi aspires to take it to the world audiences. In the city to stage his most boisterous play Andher Nagri, he shared his views on the issues relating to the contemporary theatre scene.

A postgraduate in sociology and holder of the Government of India’s National cultural research scholarship on traditional folk dramas, Yadvanshi traces his love for ‘nautanki’ from childhood. “Unlike the modern theatre forms, there is no institute to teach you the finer nuances of the art and this worried me a lot. However, my self-learning initiative and creative confrontation with the traditional folklore art and pioneering artists of the popular nautanki taught me, which many educated dramatists could not grasp. My performances are just the repeat of that learning experience.”

He rues that most of the theatre fests have become annual rituals, which are entertainment oriented. “A creative interaction between the directors and artists is missing as a team reaches in time for a performance and packs up the next moment.”

He adds, “The festival spirit is thus missing due to the constraints of the organisers. However, the fests provide a projection of our production and an opportunity to assess our acting potential in comparison with others.” Recalling his group’s participation at the ‘World Performing Art Festivals–2004 at Lahore with Batwaare ki Aag Yadvanshi, he says there were many who had suffered the tribulations and pangs of Partition. “My production was very close to their heart and they all showered adulation on me”.

In an effort to revive and revitalise the nautanki form on the verge of extinction, Yadvanshi had to introduce innovations but within a limited format. “There is no dearth of talent but grooming is necessary. Believe me, my dholak artist swayed the great drummer Shivmoni, holding him in jugalbandi during a performance in Mumbai, “claims Yadvanshi.

A specific cultural policy and only a limited artists are prospering and not the art,” opines Atul Yadvanshi before getting back to his rehearsal.

Window Vistas
Hand maid

It’s raining exhibitions. And whetting the appetite of shopholics, Lepakshi Heritage Collection, an annual exhibition comes calling at Panchayat Bhawan-18. Crafted mainly for artisans from Andhra Pradesh, this exhibition sees an array of handicrafts, clothes, soft wood toys, Hyderabad pearls and more.

A step into the arena and an array of thingamajig attracts your attention. Apart from traditional silk and cotton saris, and suits, here you can pick bed linen.

For your home sweet home pick, dolls from kondapalli, carved wooden panels, statues from Tirupati, hand paintings in Sri Kalahasti, crochet lace worked items, cotton durries, brass art ware, leather puppets, lamp shades, artificial jewellery and last but not the least here you can buy bidri ware from Hyderabad.

On till September 14

— Neha Walia

Cheat to win
The meaner you are, the better chances you have. Learn this through the Roadies’ Cheat Code
Neha Walia

VJ Bani — Photo by Pradeep Tewari

All set for Roadies 6.0. Along with a mean attitude and crude desire to win, here’s that extra ingredient of deception to take you a step closer to your goal. MTV Roadies Cheat Code is just the perfect kit to crack the Roadies auditions. And city girl , VJ Bani, of Roadies 4, has launched the DVDs for this year’s aspirants.

Watch what it takes to deliver that knock out punch and impress the judges, learn the basics and absolute essentials of being on MTV Roadies. The DVD gives tips to face the ultimate bully, Raghu Ram. And what’s interesting is that he is the one preparing you to face him during the audition. There’s more, if you are the chosen one, then there’s a ‘Jump the Q’ card inside the pack, which means direct entry into the second round. Says Bani, “To be a Roadie, you need guts but the right attitude. This DVD teaches you what not to do in auditions.”

With MTV going all mean and in your face, this collection shows how it was earlier. Talking about the new it’s My MTV look, Bani says, “The youth today care only about them and we are catering to their beliefs.” Ouch…some honesty!

And her take on city participants hogging the limelight in Roadies, she is quick to answer, “Well, it’s the Punjabi blood that shows on TV. We want to prove ourselves. The small-town attitude works in your favour.” The ex-Roadie also feels while performing the tasks on Roadies, guys are no match for girls. “I always knew girls were better. And now everybody is watching that on TV.”

On professional front, the city kudi is happy with the way things are going. “My shows On the Job and Youngistaan, are doing great and I am enjoying myself,” she says. And what about Bollywood, after her stint as a second lead in Aap Ka Suroor? She quips, “I don’t believe in planning things. Life just happens.”

Side Lanes
The Parcel
Joyshri Lobo

Parcels are exciting. Unexpected ones, even more so. In 1881, my grandfather ordered a gold, engraved pocket watch from Hamilton’s, Calcutta. It came to Lahore via dak gari or postal carriage. This meant that bullocks were used along the journey. The animals were rested after a certain mileage and on the return journey, took over once again. The organisation of such an operation must have been mind-boggling. I can imagine books, letters, Doulton crockery, Sheffield cutlery, dresses, jewellry and pets, all travelling in the same manner. The journey took many weeks, through dacoit-infested areas. That parcels reached in pristine condition, is proof of the flawless British judicial system.

Today, the word parcel has a different conotation. In South America it refers to ‘sugar’ or drugs, which send takers into a hallucinatory state of bliss. In India, we often give out a parcel or supari, which is a euphemism for the elimination of unwanted individuals. It’s a clean deal that does not sully our hands. Often, when we want to send money out, we call the transaction a peti or fruit consignment. So, what would on the surface appear like a box of Ratnagiri alphonsoes, is actually a peti of stronger stuff.

Our countrymen and women in the Middle-East have devised a unique method of sending home cash and gold. Aunty dies far from home but her spirit will be aflutter unless the last rites are conducted in India. She is embalmed and wrapped in four or five rolls of expensive cloth. Six pairs of superior socks cover her gnarled feet and heavy gold bangles, necklaces, earrings, toe rings, anklets and watches decorate her mortal remains. On her stomach is taped an envelope with a list of recipients who will get the aforementioned goodies. Aunty thoughtfully scraped throughout her career so that the large family in the native village would be well rewarded for the ticket money they salvaged for her outward journey. When the lid of the coffin is nailed on, she becomes a heritage piece with ‘Fragile, handle with care!’ pasted on all sides.

Soon after he went for New York for his Bachelors, my son rang up whimpering for a parcel of biryani. Our hearts broke. Parampara had just the stuff for around Rs 80 per helping. We added a few cashewnuts and a packet of Bombay halwa. The total came to Rs 300. The courier cost us Rs 1,200. We have told Raoul to go to ‘Jaikishan’ (Jackson) Heights whenever he is homesick.

Recently parcels are big news in Chandigarh. I believe one of the judges got a small one and has become persona non grata. All other parcel getters are trying to make capital of the situation so as to highlight their own, unblemished characters. More parcel receivers have been deputed to probe the affair, which gets murkier by the minute. I do believe we should choose our couriers with greater care. They tend to mix up names and addresses, especially in the North, where men and women have the same monikers.

My cousin sent me a parcel last week. It was light but I was not sure whether it had anthrax spores, a bomb or heroin. I let it lie on the sideboard for a week till it fell on the floor and failed to explode. I opened it to find a beautiful, trendy blouse. It was a welcome parcel.

Watch your style

Watch wearing seems to have lost some of its charm after the advent of cells. But to bring the watch back on the wrists of youngsters, Sonata, a watch brand from the house of Titan, has made its foray into the youth segment with the launch of their sub-brand Super Fibre. With a price range from Rs 275 to Rs 550 they certainly are targeting the youth and student segment. The collection has been designed keeping the first time buyers in mind too. With trendy designs and stylish appeals, it aims to attract one and all. The watches come with features like stop watch, light, alarm and scratch- proof surfaces and water resistance upto 30 meters. That’s not all. With 68 different designs, the collection boasts of quantity along with quality. Supar Fibre watches, say the company officials, have been made from superior quality material.

The customers can also enjoy the assurance of one-year replacement on the entire range. The range is available at all multi-brand retail outlets and exclusive Sonata showrooms. —TNS

Live in?
Mum’s the word

Esha Deol, daughter of actor Dharmendra and Hema Malini, says that her mom wouldn't mind her being in a live-in relationship before marriage and adds that her dream man should be like her dad. "I believe in a love marriage and am looking for a guy who would have some qualities of my father," said Esha, who will be seen next with Shiney Ahuja in Hijack. "I think every girl wants her life partner to have some qualities of her father and I also want the same. My father has been the closest man in my life till now, and I'm familiar with his qualities and therefore want my man to be like him," Esha said.Although her parents are looking for a suitable match for her, the 25-year-old actress is not game for an arranged marriage. "My mom is a modern lady and would not mind if I even go for a live-in relationship with someone. I think I would like to live with him for at least two years and then think of getting married. It's always better to know a person well before marriage than getting divorced later," she quipped.According to Esha, she and her mother share many interests. "Both of us like dancing and acting; therefore we share a lot of common things among us. Besides, she has been a constant support in my life." She said Hema is now trying to revive her banner H.M. Creations, which made Shah Rukh Khan starrer Dil Aashna Hai in 1992. "My mom is very keen to revive her banner. She thinks this is the best time to start a project as the market has really grown during the past couple of years.” Though they have decided to make a film, the script has not yet been finalised. "We are going through various scripts, but nothing has been finalised yet." Esha, who debuted with Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe in 2002 and in the last six years has featured in several films, but success has eluded her so far. After doing glamorous roles in run-of-the-mill films, Esha now wants to do some meaningful cinema. "Though I am happy with my sexy image, I want to do meaningful cinema. There is nothing wrong being sexy as most of the actresses feel proud if they are termed as 'sexy and hot'; so do I. But at the same time I want to do some films that also show my acting talent," she said. She is positive about Hijack and says it has tapped her acting potential in the right way. "The role that I am playing in Hijack is what I have never tried before. For the first time I will not be romancing my hero, neither will I be seen running around trees, not even in a dream sequence," said Esha, who plays an air hostess in the movie. "My character is experienced and believes in herself and helps the protagonist, played by Shiney Ahuja, with all her experience in rescuing the passengers." She rubbished reports that she didn't get along with Shiney on the sets of Hijack. "It is not true at all. Shiney and I get along well and I think the media reports of my strained relations with him were just a publicity gimmick. I'm looking forward to do another film with him."

Asked about working with debutant director Kunal Shivdasani, Esha said: "Kunal is an experienced ad filmmaker and he has applied his experience in making the film. He has shot the film aesthetically and also in a realistic way." Hijack, which also stars K.K. Raina and debutante Kaveri Jha in important roles, releases this Friday.

Fact or Fiction
Jagmohan Mundhra's Shoot On Sight in trouble

A scene from Provoked
A scene from Provoked

London-based Indian filmmaker Jagmohan Mundhra, who has made biopics like Provoked in the past, has now been accused of distorting facts in his film Shoot On Sight, which is based on the July 2007 London bombings.

The film opened in London last week and the director stands accused of exploiting the tragic killing of the innocent Brazilian bystander Jean Charles de Menezes. The Brazilian was mistaken for a terrorist and shot dead by the police at a tube station a week after the bombings.

But the filmmaker is unfazed and says the Menezes' family is being incited into causing trouble.

"I'm used to my biopics getting into trouble. I'm sure you remember the problem that was caused by Bhanwari Devi when I made the film Bawandar on her gruesome gang-rape. More recently, after Provoked about domestic violence, I went through a similar ordeal," Mundhra said.

"And now my film on Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been put on hold on the Congress party's request until the general elections. I hope we can eventually make the film without them breathing down our backs with litigation," Mundhra says.

He adds, "It reminds me of what happened with Salman Rushdie after he wrote The Satanic Verses. Not too many had actually read the novel when a fatwa was passed against him. So I don't know what they are protesting about. Also, the flak from the British press includes statements on how Shoot On Sight is like a TV drama. I don't take that as an insult. I've great respect for the TV medium." Mundhra admits Shoot On Sight had a lower opening in London than his earlier biopic Provoked, which had Aishwarya Rai in the lead role of a battered Punjabi wife. "That's because Provoked featured Aishwarya, a known international name," said Mundhra.

Shoot On Sight has internationally acclaimed actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri.

"Naseer has brought his own amazing insights into the role. And if Amitabh Bachchan had played the part as I had planned he'd have imparted his own gravitas," said Mundhra.

About Naseer refusing to dub the Hindi version of Shoot On Sight, he said: "I respect his decision. " — IANS

Stunted growth

Shiney Ahuja is the new unconventional leading man of the Bollywood. Last year he had three big banner releases - Metro, Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Khoya Khoya Chand. The audience loved him in these films. Now he has turned to action with Cheetah bhi peeta hai, fame ad-maker Kunal Shivdasani's Hijack. The flick is reportedly inspired by the Bruce Willis starrer Die Hard in which, Shiney has performed incredible stunts. Shiney who plays a ground maintainer officer at Chandigarh Airport gets talking about his up-coming film Hijack which opens this Friday.

n What is Hijack about?

It's an action film with tons of action sequences and stunts. The story is that of a father whose daughter is aboard the hijacked plane.

n How did you prepare for the action role?

One has to be totally fit for doing an action role. I was confident of doing the action scenes myself.

n How challenging was it for you to do incredible stunts?

It was truly challenging. I performed stunts like being helidropped on the hijacked plane which was indeed tough.

n How do you select a film?

Everybody in Bollywood looks for a good role. My first priority is good story and then the banner.

n How was it working with Kunal Shivdasani?

Wonderful experience, he is an easy going guy. Very grounded and systematic in his ways of working.

n Are you satisfied with Khoya Khoya Chand and Bhool Bhulaiyaa?

Khoya Khoya Chand has a good story and I am satisfied with the film. Bhool Bhulaiyaa also did well. When you are part of a big film, it makes a lot of difference.

n How is life as a father?

I have a baby girl named Arshya. Life is great with her.

n Which are your up coming films?

Har Pal has me doing some comedy. Then there is Sudhir Mishra's Aur Devdas. It is a modern day Devdas for a change. I am also doing an untitled film for a filmmaker from the South. Some more projects are in the pipeline.

n Directors you would love to work with ?

Anurag Basu and Kunal Shivdasani for sure! — Dharam Pal

Hello Tunez
Rock, reggae and religion


Azal is a Pakistani band based in Karachi. Their only claim to fame is their debut single Aisi taisi, which was described by a newspaper: "a rock anthem at par with Jazba-i-Junoon". This album has been woven around that hit. The band wants to do in India what groups like Junoon have done before.

The melodies used in the songs are from India and Pakistan; the background music is purely western. The rock flavour is all pervasive. Azal means shuruat, the beginning of time immemorial. It has four talented individuals — Rajab Ali Khan (vocals), Ehtesham Hameed Khan aka ET (vocals, songwriter, lyricist), Shahbaz Ali Khan aka Shabbi (keyboards, composer, producer), Sameer Ahmed aka Sam (bass). They are all in their mid-twenties.

The lead vocalist Rajab Ali Khan is son of Ustad Zafar Ali Khan and is influenced by the Gwalior Gharana. He brings in the pure classical element, being fully trained in classical vocal and ghazal. They have been quite careful about preserving the traditional asthayi-kaafi-antara format even though their music is modern.

Besides Aisi Taisi, there are nine other tracks, like Hum tum, Allah Janey, Basti basti, Ghanan ghanan, Ankhon ankhon, Shaman, Tere bina, Tere labon pe and Zehr.


Let's not quibble too much over quality. This is one of the very few Punjabi albums by a female singer that makes you ask who is the singer.

Well, she is Mona Singh, the princess of Bhangra and daughter of legendary British-Asian music pioneer, Channi Singh. Her voice is powerful and backed by foot-tapping music. She mixes pop with traditional vibes and manages to hold the stage. No wonder, most of the lyrics are by dad Channi Singh.

The album is pretty diverse. The initial songs are all dance numbers. Then come sweet, romantic ballads. Towards the end, there are remixes galore. She keeps her voice flat but the good music provides excellent support.

Chiti Chiti Chan Di E and Ponche Tang Pa Ke are enjoyable to listen to.


One good thing about the albums being presented by Mystica Music of Anandmurti Gurumaa is that the music is not confined to any one sect or religion. It could be related to Sufism in one album, Sikhism in the next and Hinduism in the one following it.

The album under review is universal in sweep because it sings praise of the Guru - the embodiment of love, truth and hope. It starts with a chanting of the golden glory of the master to the accompaniment of Ney, the Sufi flute. It has been directed by Kanchman Babbar. The second track, Divine Envision (Manas Pooja), is also on the same wavelength.

Taaron mein Chandra samaan ho is a sing-along kind of track that lauds the guru as a bright radiant moon of wisdom, in whose light the glory of stars also fades away. — ASC

Dus Ka Dum


1 Singh is Kinng

2 Rock On!

3 Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

4 Bachna Ae Haseeno

5 Kismet Konnection

6 Karrz

7 Love Story 2050

8 Jannat

9 Ugly Aur Pagli

10 Taare Zameen Par


1 Teri Justjoo—Various Artists

2 Sufi Jannat—Various Artists

3 Aawegi Ja Nahin—Rabbi Shergill

4 Saiyyan—Kailash Kher

5 Meri Kahani—Atif Aslam

6 Ghalib—Abida Praveen

7 Charkha-Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

8 Yaad Piya Ki—Wadali Bros

9 More Piya—Various Artists

10 Play It Loud—Raghav Sachar

Courtesy: Chandigarh Music Centre

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |