Jockeys apart
Are some shows on radio going the way of the television when it comes to improper sound and style? Tricity folks voice their views…
Neha Walia

What keeps you company every morning and evening on your dreary drive to work and back home or on those sleepless nights that're so boring? What' the easiest way to keep a track of the latest in music, and gossip as well? Don't rake your brains much, the answer is easy. Your favourite radio station. Acting as a theatre for the mind, radio or FM, to be precise, has become the in thing. Call them RJs or celebrities, they enjoy a huge fan following, as with time radio seems to be getting younger. Celebrity hosts, jazzy jingles, younger to youngest RJs and big-ticket prizes have changed the face of Indian radio since the time of AIR. The content, sometimes more similar to a group gossip session at Barista or CCD, or the pep-talk expert RJ reminding you of a pal on Orkut and Facebook. Get hooked or go for a blind tanka, discuss the monsoons, or Yuvraj Singh's bat and Dhoni's fallout with Lady Luck, why Celina Jaitley's celebratiing the legalisation of homosexuality? So much for a facelift.

"We have to be informal with our listeners to connect with them. Our lighter side is to please the listeners. But one has to make sure one chooses words with care. The entertainment should be without offending someone or using unpolished language," says RJ Sophie of Big FM, who teaches to love out loud. Probe her more and she defines the 'connectivity', "Our TG is between 18-35 years, and at times, whatever we speak may sound bakwaas to some people, but the presentation makes it comfortable. That's where your skill as an RJ comes to the fore. Whatever we speak may not sound music to all ears but the presentation is important." Right from catchy taglines to intriguing on-air personalities, RJs are doing everything possible to woo listeners.

So, does that mean radio too is going the TV way, stretching their limits in the name of openness? "We create a personality for ourselves on air and we have to live up to it and prove that. If I have a serious persona and I crack double-meaning jokes, then nobody would like it. But if my image is more open or casual, then the perspective will be different. Its not about bajana but bonding," feels 19-year-old RJ Satya of Big FM. The Big geribaaz feels that sometimes RJs do cross the line, "There have been instances when some pangas happened because a RJ said some offensive things on air, but things got sorted out. One needs to understand that humuor is important but emotional connectivity with your listeners makes or breaks the deal."

Contrary to the younger versions, Hardeep Chandpuri, from the old school of radio in India, feels it may be too early to judge. "Radio being a new medium, people are still fiddling with its content. It's like a bomb, you don't know which wire to cut, and trying to find the right combination. The frivolity of content sometimes makes me wonder if radio is following in television's footsteps. They need to realise that radio is as much for a rickshaw-puller as it is for a CEO of a company." But he does feel that the Orkut-generation RJs are not to be blamed, "They are young, give them some time and probably changes will be turn for the better."

Any call for some guidelines, "The code of conduct should be decided by the FM heads and the RJs themselves," says Chandpuri. Agrees RJ Satya, "I believe that RJs are intelligent enough to decide where we need a censorship."

When u can't repair ur brakes make ur horns louder

The bold and brash reality run hit a big bump recently when the I&B ministry asked a private channel to run an apology for three days for using abusive language on one of its hit reality shows. We are talking about MTV and the big bully of reality shows, Roadies. Now, thankfully, radio is still untouched by any such slapdash, but there is no envying the fact that it needs to introspect.

"RJing is not just about playing songs or connecting two songs, it's much more. The maturity in content is lacking but then different formats are at work here,' says Diksha Sethi, who was an RJ with Meow, Amritsar.

But we ask people how much are they connected to their on-air friends? "Radio in the city still needs to grow, though it is popular, but mostly because it's something new. The young RJs are sometimes fun and I like the casual on-air chat. You may call it nonsense, but it sounds real and interesting, " says Abhilash Singh, B.Tech student, Chitkara.

But the flipside too awaits, "I fail to understand what generation are they catering to. When I hear contests like: what is the most common dialogue in Hindi movies? Option A, Mein tumhare Bache ki Maa banne wali hoon. Ya, Option B, tum mere bachche ke baap banne wale ho, It goes over my head. It's not funny to me," feels Shivani Kapoor, a young professional from Panchkula. "There is also lack of pure linguistics. It's a mix of everything, English, hindi, Punjabi," she adds. We wonder if it is for good or bad…

Hardeep ChandpuriBhasha and beyond

A taste of Rj lingo: raking our wild side is Fantasy Nites, voting for eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, blind tankas, 9 baje ki settings, thoda flirting-shirlting!

As if this is not enough, the latest 'initiative' includes FM stations launching their own social networking sites.

To much of a mass medium!

The hottest topics of discussion or let’s say dissection on air were gay sex, MJ dead or alive?

Monsoon waiting, Rakhi's Swayamvar and Budget.

The big of small things
For an open, uncluttered feel in the hot, sultry months, use minimal seating for small spaces
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Space constraint is a major issue with almost all of us, who want to place maximum things in a small area. And when it comes to the main accessory of an Indian drawing room- who can forget the king-size sofas of mummy's time and spring sofas of dadi's dowry. But gone are the days of huge looking sofas, its time to don a new look, even in this segment.

Decorative, sleek and plush looking is the choice when it comes to sofas sets. Colour, fabric and material are other areas of concern. While some like the wooden look, there are others who wouldn't settle for less than leather, cane or even metal. Choices are galore, but what matters is the size!

"With so many people needing to find seating solutions for a small living area, the small sofa market has become huge," says Tejinder Singh, sales person from Glass Palace-7. On what kind of designs do people like he says, "Sleek is in, but it's the heavy looking furniture that people prefer these days as it gives a royal look to the living or the drawing area." He adds, "Jute is the liked fabric this season and people prefer lighter hues." Well, if you are planning to pick a sofa set mind it, wood is in, metal and cane is no more the liked variety.

For Sudip, manager, Durian-7, says, "Choices are in abundance, and everyone has a different preference, but people these days have a liking for sleek looking things. And when it comes the centerpiece of a drawing room---the sofa definitely matters and these days we are seeing contemporary styles and refined choices."

Lending some tips before you pick that perfect piece, Mehnaz Amjad, director, Sohrab Group, Malerkotla, says,

"Firstly, think about the space that you have, then the colour you want and if you can't immediately narrow down to one colour, think about the room it is going to be placed in and come up with a few options of what might work. The next consideration has to be the budget. A small sofa will cost a lot less than larger alternatives and if you have a small drawing space, then it suits your purpose.

The material of your small sofa is another choice that needs to be made. Though one has a wide variety to choose from, but going by the working couple scenario these days, leather is easier to clean and tends to last longer, so there are advantages to both." She adds, "Style is another important feature, depending on your choice and space available you can choose between square, box-like sofas or a more curved design. Arms of a sofa make or mar the entire look, so be careful before you buy a sofa set. Last but not the least, is how do you want you sofa to be---deep or shallow, low lying or upright? Going by the trend, it's the low lying sofas that are being liked by people." So, wait for none and make your pick.

Rain check
City swimming pools are doing their best to keep clean in the rains
Jasmine Singh

— Photo: Parvesh ChauhanThe sweltering sun makes for a good enough reason not to venture out of the home. At the same time, it can coax you to pick up your towel and swimming costume and dive into the refreshing cool water of a swimming pool. Now what if you see some lost clouds making a beeline to your sector, how much better would be the splash in the pool? Wait. Before you take that plunge, check for the cleanliness of the pool. For you don't want to come out with rashes on skin and hair loss. We take off on a recee to the swimming pools in the city and find out what measures are taken to ensure safe hygiene.It's 3.00 pm, Three girls in their casuals sitting near the swimming pool at RESA (Rajiv Enterprise Sports Authority) sector-29 share some hurried notes with each other. They are waiting for their coach. Time for some paddling in the water- it's training time. "What if it rains," chips in Samita Sodhi. A thought that takes our mind off from the drops of happiness to a vital issue- monsoon can spoil the pools. It can leave them in a dirty mess?

One of the workers at RESA is quick to add, "We have a extremely good water purifying system in the swimming pool, which clears the pool simultaneously when people are swimming. This filter plant works on a new technology, which changes dirty water into clear one. Besides this, we add chlorine to make the water free from any germs or infection."

The scene at Mountview's swimming pool, sector-10 is a wee different. It is already buzzing with people wanting to dive into the cool water. Of course, this works as a great escape from scorching, blazing sun. Here too, extra care has been taken to ensure that the water in the pool is absolutely safe. Says R.P Singla, general manager with the hotel, "The pool is chlorinated regularly. This works as a disinfectant in the water."

It is important to take note of the fact that failure to clean the pool can leave it messy. According to an official with the Nursery Pool-23, "We offer limited membership. This is beneficial from security and maintenance point of view." As far as cleanliness goes, the water filters at the pool are operational 24X7 and are also chlorinated timely. "We ensure that people get a signed permission from an MBBS doctor saying that they are fit to swim."

Go with the advice

Dr Vivek Malhotra, a consultant dermatologist says, "There can be infections due to sun exposure, chemicals and due to exposure to chlorine, which can lead to fungal, bacterial and viral infections like boils, infection in the groin area.

Remedial Measures

Be careful of your personal hygenie. If you are suffering from any infection, please take it as a social responsibility to not go for swimming till you have clear instructions from the doctor to swim.

Swim safe

Swimming in the morning and evening increases sun exposure by 1.5 per cent. Put water proof sunscreen before going in the pool.

Hair care

High chorination can lead to roughness of hair. Cover your hair with a water proof cap. Take a shower before going in the pool. When you come out of the pool, immediately apply some oil on the skin.

Summer booklust
Sreedhara Bhasin

The weather has been dismal enough to force me (a person with a pronounced streak of cabin fever) to stay indoors. In my state of vegetation, I have reflected upon the different things that one can do in summer and lamented the lack of some of those things in Chandigarh.

We can definitely do with some more bookstores. After visiting Calcutta recently, where one can spend an entire summer browsing in bookstores and finding rare gems, Chandigarh seems to have a very narrow vista. The few stores that we have seem to carry limited choices of books and nothing exciting or out of the ordinary.

The best translation of the Upanishads I ever bought was from the footpath of Calcutta. Same goes for the motorcycle diaries that chronicle the early travels of Che Guevara and poetry of Pritish Nandy (yes - he was a poet before he turned into a movie mogul). But where would one go in Chandigarh to find these book oddities?

I remember being so bored during summer vacations that we read the Mallory Towers threes times in a row. We also had a book-lending club going on amongst the neighbourhood kids. I usually did such a poor job of bookkeeping that two summers later my books surfaced in someone else's bookshelf, brandishing the name of the new owner in bright Red ink.

Then there are the second-hand bookshops. Some of the shops resemble an archeological dig, so deep and dark are the recesses in which priceless books repose. There are enthusiasts who spend hours chasing artifacts in those stores. A few such stores would make good destinations during the long summer afternoons.

Then there is the State Library, which can do with some sustenance. Located in a central area and housed in a half-constructed building, it has airy rooms and corridors and very few books. I don't know about the library budget and how it is devised, but they could fill those great halls with contemporary books. That would be a true summer bonanza.

The so-called Bhavans of Chandigarh are regular venues of innumerable exhibitions selling bamboo coasters, chanderi saris and durees from Himachal. Why don't we have book fairs as well? After all a book mela will be much less messy than a mango mela!

I liked a logo on a t-shirt I saw years ago - So many books to read and so little time. I buy a book since it is comforting to know you have it and on a stiflingly hot summer day you can read it even when the weather Gods are tormenting the human race - perhaps for ruining the universe with its superior intelligence.

Master strokes
On filmmaker Bimal Roy's birth centenary today, yesteryear actors share memories of the legend
Ranjan Das Gupta

When Bimalda cast me as Chandramukhi in Devdas in 1955, I had the fear of being overshadowed by Suchitra Sen, the histrionic queen of Bengal who was performing the character of Parvati," recalls yesteryear heroine Vyjayantimala.

"As the shooting progressed, I found that my fears were baseless. Bimalda handled each of his actors, Dilip Kumar, Suchitra, Motilal and me with equal care and affection. He had a highly gifted script writer, Nabendu Ghosh, who made Devdas a masterpiece by virtue of his pen. I will never forget the shot where Suchitra and I come across each other. Suchitra was travelling in a palanquin. Bimalda took two close-ups of both of us looking towards each other and there were no dialogues at all. So effective was the shot that it conveyed what a thousand words could not," she adds.

Shashi Kapoor"As Chandramukhi, I received some of the best scenes of my career. Devdas established Dilip Kumar and my pair. We again worked together in Madhumati in 1958. Though Bimalda was experimenting with the commercial format, he did not indulge in too much of box-office gimmicks. A director like Bimal Ray is not heard about today."

Bandini & beyond

Remembers actor Dharmendra, "In my formative years, I was very fortunate to have worked in an important cameo in Bimal Roy's last film, Bandini. It starred the evergreen Ashok Kumar and the versatile Nutan. Yet, Bimalda took all care that I did not get sandwiched between the two greats. "As the doctor, I required a controlled body language for Bandini.

DharmendraIn the scene where I medically examine Nutan in the prison and go out with my medical kit and umbrella, Bimalda very effectively took a shot of me walking with my back to the camera. There was a complacent close-up of Nutan before it. The shot was sheer poetry. "Bimalda affectionately called me, Dharmendu. To him, I was like a student and he felt I was substantial clay which, if moulded properly, would yield brilliant results. The various aspects of acting I learnt whilst working under the expert direction of Bimalda is still helping me to go ahead in my 50 year of acting. A sensitive and passionate director like him saw talent in almost everyone he worked with.

Vyjayantimala"Bimalda never thought of using my physique for his films which, unfortunately, later directors capitalised on. As I am maturing in every aspect of acting, I really understand how great Bimaldas and miss him a lot."

Equal treatment

"After Char Diwari, I was noticed as an actor of substance in Bimal Roy's Prem Patra. Sadhna, the heroine, was at first reluctant to work with me as I was not an actor of the stature of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor or Shammi Kapoor. Bimalda convinced her to work with me and she was inspired by the script,” says yesteryear romantic hero Shashi Kapoor.

" There were certain deviations in the Hindi version from the Bengali one. Bimalda was a director who could make even a stone perform. As I acted under his able direction, I learnt many aspects of cinema character. He advised me to concentrate more on my eyes and smile, than my body language.

Meet Dr Khan

Shah Rukh KhanBollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan was today conferred the honorary Doctorate in Arts and Culture by a leading British university for his "exceptional achievement" in the field of entertainment and media.

At a glittering investiture ceremony held at Washington Mayfare, a hotel owned by NRI entrepreneur Joginder Singh Sangar, the Bollywood heartthrob was conferred the Doctorate by Professor Les Ebdon, Vice Chancellor of the Bedfordshire University.

Receiving the honour, Shahrukh said, "Today I feel that I am a part of the illustrious alumni of this prestigious university. I look forward to doing my bit in providing necessary assistance to the deserving children for higher education in my university".

Shahrukh, who got quite emotional at the function, said "While this honour is bestowed on me, I wonder, if the deserving but poor and under privileged children from India can also pursue their higher education in such university and may earn a doctorate as well".

'Routes 2 Routes', an India-based NGO, had nominated Shahrukh Khan for the honour to the university. “We discovered that he has adopted few villages in India for electrification using alternate source of energy. He has been so active whenever the need came for raising fund during natural calamities," Gupta said.

Meanwhile Shahrukh Khan, 43, told reporters that the conferment of the doctorate was one of the "finest things" that has happened in his life.

"It is not something that I expected. It is one of the finest things that has happened to me because of my fan following." Asked how he would like to be known after getting the honour, "as the greatest superstar ever born", he quipped.

Asked how much importance he attached to education, the actor said, "It is not a way of life but life itself. I would like to read and seek knowledge as much as possible. Learning is never complete." — PTI

Couple of chemistry

Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali KhanBollywood actor Saif Ali Khan seems to have mastered the art of handling relationships as the star turned "love guru" for his Love AajKal co-star Deepika Padukone at the sets of the film.

Saif and Deepika who will be seen together in the contemporary love story had discussions about the their respective love lives off screen as well.

When asked about the love tips given by Saif, Deepika said, "I have been getting a lot of gyan from him. He was my love guru on the sets and I was his obedient disciple. I think he can give you some tips as well." And as the question was passed on to Saif, he said, "As we were both away from our loved ones (read Kareena and Ranbir Kapoor) for shooting, the conversation was about longing and belonging. Actually I was very happy to see her as a person in love." "I told her that no matter how much we are involved in our career and how much we achieve it is actually the love which makes it all worthwhile," Saif added.

About their chemistry in the film the National award winning actor said, "It is not about being great friends in real life to have a chemistry. I believe it happens because of the beautiful situations created by the script and the aura of the two actors." — PTI

Fit ‘n’ fine
Big B thanks fans for their prayers, says he's fine

Amitabh Bachchan Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, convalescing from a stomach ailment, thanked his fans for their prayers and said results of all tests conducted on him have suggested nothing serious.

"Your (fans) prayers are indeed a substantial effect on my condition. Tests are all coming positive, but physical examination still have certain areas of doubt," Bachchan wrote on his blog today.

"They need to be cleared and until such clearance come my way, my personal physician does not permit me to travel anywhere," Bachchan said.

The Big B experienced severe pain in the stomach on his return from London where he had gone for shooting of his home production "Pa".

Upon his return, he underwent several tests and has been advised complete bed rest. — PTI

What the cards say today...

ARIES: “The Wheel of Fortune” reveals the past would have a strong influence on your present. Events that may have occurred long ago, in your personal life, would demand your attention and energy, and you would need to deal with them. Tip of the week: The stress of this week may have an effect on your peace of mind, so spend some time relaxing and having fun. Lucky colour: sea green.

TAURUS: ‘The Princess of Swords’ says you would be overflowing with enthusiasm, stamina and confidence. Travel plans may have to be changed and postponed. Work on balancing expenditure and start a regular savings plan. Focus on career matters. Tip: A Light and playful attitude is best adopted in heavy situation. Lucky colour: Red.

GEMINI: “Nine Golden Cups” promise monetary benefits. Investments would be highlighted on Monday and Wednesday. At work and in social circles, you would be sought out for your honest opinion and straightforward attitude. You may devote maximum time on religious discourses. Tip: Meditation and spiritual pursuits are elevating. Lucky Colour: Peacock blue.

CANCER: You card “The Hierophant” enthuses your diligence and determination. It is a time to dance and celebrate life. Those in the fields of media, acting or glamour would be recognised and appreciated. Romance may have to be put on the backburner; however travel would yield benefits. Tuesday and Friday bring strong determination and inspiration on Monday. Tip: Be realistic and practical about your approach. Lucky colour: Saffron.

LEO: “Five of pentacles” are arranged in the Tree of Life formation showing influence. All the efforts and hard work of the past would pay off and you would receive the appreciation and acknowledgment that you truly deserve. Avoid speculation on Thursday. Tip: Do not swing away from the course you have charted so far. Lucky colour: Crimson.

VIRGO: “The Magus” says this would be quite an emotionally charged week. Professionally, you may decide to speak with a senior about your growth and development in the organisation. Housewives and children would need to work extra hard on Tuesday. Tip: Give adequate rest to your mind and body and avoid worrying excessively about trivial issues. Lucky colour: Peacock blue.

LIBRA: “The Two of Wands” would bring growth in profession and business. There may be some hurdles, but you would be able to overcome them easily. Emotions would play a key role in relationships on Wednesday. A Taurean will be helpful on Friday. Tip: Beware of superficial and domineering women in the family. Lucky colour: Baby pink.

SCORPIO: You draw “The Prince of Pentacles”, which symbolises material gains. Your nurturing instincts would be heightened and you would take great pleasure in bringing happiness to others. Social interactions would also, be quite fruitful and would give you a lot of joy. You may also, travel somewhere close by over the weekend. Tip: Go over the accounts carefully and don’t neglect correspondence. Lucky colour: Pomegranate red.

SAGITTARIUS: “The Queen of Cups” dances into your life and you would be reflecting on the past and planning for the future. At work, there may be plenty of meetings and discussions. Fever, cold and cough may bother some of you on Thursday. Consult your physician. Tip: Use your intuitive powers, and don’t lose hope. Lucky colour: Black.

CAPRICORN: “The Star” opens new opportunities for major transformation. There may be deadlines that you have to meet at work. At home, certain joint investments may have to be reviewed and revised. Those of you, who are single, may meet someone interesting in the professional world. Tip: Listen carefully to what other people are saying, but don’t give them your total trust. Lucky colour: Rainbow pastels.

AQUARIUS: Certain stresses would have started to tell on you and this would be the perfect week to deal with them says “The Prince of Wands”. At home, be tactful yet straightforward and things would become peaceful. Spending time with friends and giving some space to your partner would also help. Tip: Do not be disappointed if expectations are not fulfilled. Lucky colour: Rainbow pastels.

PISCES: “The Ace of Pentacles” sees the long hours, hard work and tough challenges would all be rewarded and recognised. Take good care of your emotional, mental and physical health. At home, you would get the love and support that you require from your partner. Tip: Try to be diplomatic. Lucky colour: Silver grey.

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