Balancing act
Ashima Sehajpal

Women celebs from the city and their husbands share what keeps their compatibility meter clicking

Khushboo Kochar with  Bipin Grewal
Khushboo Kochar with Bipin Grewal

We actually don't know if this would prove that the Indian society has emerged out of patriarchal shadows. So, we thought why not aim at simpler objectives. This one's dedicated to the dear husbands who aren't infected by the usual male virus of insecurity, chauvinism or superiority complex, not even when their wives hog the limelight. Even better, they show their resistance to the male ' ego bugs' when the spouses are addressed as celebrities or public figures while they remain to be the 'common man'. 
Karishma Kapoor & Sanjay
Karishma Kapoor & Sanjay

But, what keeps such couples happily married, how do the men adjust with the glam world pressure their wife is a part of? "It's not that tough", asserts Raghav Nirula, husband of Amanpreet Wahi, a leading model. And how easy it is, "Insecurities come when one isn't successful in his own field. For both of us, modeling is a mere profession. Just the way I go to my job daily, she walks the ramp."

Bipin Grewal shifted to Mumbai from Delhi just for his wife's career. Khushboo Kochar Grewal is a VJ and couldn't have made it to the national television had he not supported her, "If I was career oriented, so was she and I didn't want her to give up her career for mine." A businessman by profession, it wasn't easy for him to shift his base, "Initially it was tough convincing my family and friends, who thought Khushboo's career wasn't a justification to move to another city." But now Khushboo's popularity proves their decision was right. "I love the importance and recognition she gets in public due to her status. I feel happy for her that she's doing what she's always strived for", says Bipin.
Karishma Randeva with Kanwal Mookhey
Karishma Randeva with Kanwal Mookhey

Well, this all is in the pursuit to be really fair to the fairer sex. As Kanwal Mookhey, Karishma Randeva's husband says, "It was in earlier times that men or women preferred getting married to people in the same profession. A doctor would marry a doctor, teacher a teacher and an actor to an actor. Times have changed and thankfully so has the attitude." Her being an actor hasn't changed anything, "For me, she is still a girl from Chandigarh who wants to give her 100 per cent at whatever she does and is a through professional."

There is, but a limit to freedom for them as well, which they make a point to follow, "Which isn't anything new and is common to all married couples to assure there aren't any misunderstandings," adds Raghav while Amanpreet explains the same, "He doesn't want me support a bikini on the ramp and I don't want him to go party without me." Not a tough deal at all!
Ayesha Takia & Farhan
Ayesha Takia & Farhan

Nothing will stop these couples to fulfill their professional dreams, not even when they begin with their family. Bipin knows how to put it right; "We don't expect a man to put a full stop to his career when he becomes a father, so why should we expect it from woman."

The reason why Manpreet Brar, the former Miss India Universe feels she and her husband, Arjun Walia who owns a security agency enjoys compatibility is, "We understand the enormous hardwork that goes behind a little success in the highly competitive world today." It is mutual appreciation of each other's accomplishments that helped them do well in their respective professions. Arjun adds more wise words, "Success, fame, beauty, glamour are transitory and we both understand the fact well, what's eternal is wisdom and love, but then you have to make conscious efforts for these as well." Marriage was actually never easy!

Picks & piques
  Colossal let-down
Johnson Thomas

A lot of hopes were riding on Vishal Bharadwaj's film Kaminey but it is not likely to fulfill it's much vaunted pre-release promise, at least not to the extent expected from it. Vishal Bharadwaj, in fact, only flatters to deceive. Unlike Maqbool and Omkara, Kaminey lacks conviction and bite. Framed on a flimsy premise, a weak underdeveloped script and plotted without gravitas, this film loses its momentum after the first 15-odd minutes itself.

Even the story lacks originality. Granted that Bharadwaj is attempting a tribute to Hindi cinema of the 60s and 70s but did it have to be so incomprehensible and distended? We've seen the Ram aur Shyam-type convoluted storyline in umpteen films of yore. In this film, the good twin-Guddu aka Sanjay(Shahid) works in an NGO and has dreams of achieving his career objectives and having a family sometime in 2014. It's only 2009 yet and he and his girlfriend Sweety Bhope(Priyanka) make-out one night and find themselves caught-up in the consequences. The film cruises along steadily up to this point buoyed by some quirky takes, a few sharply engineered sequences and Priyanka's convincing display of histrionics. But once the revelation is made, the narrative begins to sag under the weight of several inconsistencies. Sweety is pregnant and only then does she reveal her connection to Sunil 'chopper'Bhope(Amole Gupte), a gangster who has unbridled political aspirations. So, the only way out for the two lovers (despite Guddu's reluctance) happens to be to get married and fly away to a distant land. The bad twin, Charlie(Shahid), on the other hand, wants to win the jackpot at the races. He is also a small-time thug who strikes it big when he discovers a guitar case filled with heroin satchels in the getaway vehicle he steals from the corrupt anti-narcotics squad who were in the midst of setting up a huge deal with an International crime syndicate.

It became pretty obvious that Guddu would get picked up for his twin brother Charlie's transgressions. Bhope, who is incensed by Sweety's treachery, wants to finish off Guddu but finds Charlie instead. The situation gets more complicated thereafter, with all the major players in this ghettoized rendition of underbelly machinations, sweating it out for the guitar case, for reasons of their own.

Vishal's narrative style is quite different from the run-of-the-mill, but it appears inconsistent and incoherent at times. Just when you think the story is beginning to make progress, he inserts flashbacks of back story to further complicate the narrative. And the resultant is not very appealing. The character development is extremely patchy. One wonders why someone like Sweety (supposedly extroverted and full of beans) would fall for someone who is so introverted and into himself like Guddu is said to be. Even her playing truant from college for a whole month without her all powerful brother( who has aspirations of getting her married to a prominent builder's son)-knowing about it, appears far-fetched. Needless to say, there's very little depth in the screenplay. The Me-Marathi angle also appears to be something thrown in without much thought and, therefore, lacks conviction. The convergence of all the main characters in the story towards the climax, is quite unconvincing though the ensuing battle royale, a shoot-out in the midst of a slum colony, is visually gratifying.

The popular, high-on-energy, Dhan Te Nan number appears towards the end of the first half, but it does little to shore up the sagging narrative. The background score though, is quite elevating. Shahid Kapoor puts in sincere effort to convince but it's Priyanka who etches out a better performance despite the weak character development. Amole Gupte's Bhope is too much of a caricature to be impactful. Bharadwaj's dialogues are at times pithy and unnecessarily reflective. The Hindi-Marathi-English combo doesn't allow for smooth conversation. Tassaduq Hussein's cinematography has moments of breathtaking virtuosity but the shabby editing and the inconclusive overall tone only add to the general discontent. On the surface, the film appears glossy and slick but because the characters are so un-involving, there's precious little joy to be had!

Ac(Knowledge) it!

Shahrukh Khan loves e-books and recommends them to all.

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan may be known for his gift of gab and witty one liners during his press conferences but the actor states that he is unsocial by nature.

The 'Baadshah of Bollywood' says that he is not a member of social networking sites and does not blog frequently (apart from his posts on Kolkata Night Riders website) because he does not consider himself socially capable.

"I don't have social etiquettes. I am socially not very capable. I really cant do that 'Hi how are you.. I am shopping is a pic of my dog...'," said the actor who was in the city recently to host a MBA quiz show organised by IIPM. "My friends, Karan (director Karan Johar) and all are deeply into it but not me. I don't even use a phone," said Shahrukh.

But the actor revealed that he uses Internet to download online books as he "enjoys knowledge". Shahrukh said that with e-books it has become convenient for him to read even while he is on the move. The actor who recently downloaded about 300 books online advised to his fans to absorb as much knowledge you can."Whatever it takes, read a lot in whichever medium you feel comfortable. Personally, reading is the nicest thing which can happen to me," Shahrukh said. — PTI 

Bollywood's country concern
 Robin Bansal

Bollywood not shying away from patriotic themes, say filmmakers

Has patriotism been diluted in the films being made nowadays? Bollywood filmmakers admit high-voltage patriotic movies like Purab Aur Paschim are no longer being made, but insist they haven't stopped visiting the theme even though the numbers have come down.

"I don't think filmmakers are not least after what Rang De Basanti did. It created a kind of revolution in portraying anger and love, and proved that young India could love a patriotic film," said Madhur Bhandarkar.

But Bhandarkar concedes that making patriotic films is tricky.

"Taking patriotic values and making a film out of them is quite tricky. The scenario has changed a bit because making a patriotic film not only involves lot of hard work but it needs to be poignant so that it can connect with the audience... that's why Rang de Basanti worked and the three films on Bhagat Singh weren't appreciated," he explained.

Mahesh Bhatt feels audiences appreciate patriotic films if they are presented with a fresh approach.

"Filmmakers are interested but one should do complete research and groundwork, which is difficult at times because nowadays it's easy to make a sequel rather than use a new concept," he said. "Audiences love to watch novel things and not just the same old ones; as long as you're meeting their needs, they are happy and would demand more," he added.

Filmmakers of today incorporate current issues in their patriotic films, but avoid high voltage sentimental drama.

"It was in the 1960s to 1980s when Indian cinema used to sentimentalise the issue of patriotism. In the 1990s, cinema mellowed down from high-charged sentimentalisation to an emotional approach with real events and issues like those shown in Pardes and Border. But since 2001, audiences have changed... they respect patriotism but with rationalisation," said director Subhash Ghai.

"Today we don't want to kill the enemy but want to survive together for mutual interests and sovereignty. We also have to tackle more internal issues like we did in movies like Rang de Basanti, A Wednesday or Black and White and awaken the younger generation... today we are in a good position to talk about real patriotism within our country," he added — IANS

  Bathroom basics
 Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Few tips to keep your washroom spick and span

Among all the household chores, one task that most of us dislike is cleaning the bathroom. And when it comes to monsoons the cleaning and maintaining process increases manifold as washroom remains perpetually wet throughout the day, courtesy wet feet, rain drenched umbrellas and soggy clothes that add to the damp feeling, unpleasant odour and a disagreeable look to the bathroom. For people wondering how to keep their bathrooms moist and dirt free here are a few ideas to help you out.

Wipe it out

Tedious and tiresome-use of a wiper is the only way to keep your bathroom moisture and dirt free. Though the golden rule to this vexing activity is involve each and every family member, children should specially be included in the habit of using a wiper whenever they see excess water on the bathroom floor. Doing so will not only keep the bathroom floor dry, but will also keep it clean and spotless.

Rain drain

To safegaurd the bathroom from dampness check for drainage blockades. Make sure all your pipes are clean and clear so that no blockage happens.

Wet- no please!

To avoid the soggy smell in bathroom, always remember not to hang wet clothes or towels in the bathroom, as they lead to an unpleasant stench and moisture in the bathroom.

Soapy issue

An integral part of the bathroom- shelves need to be kept clean for a sparkling bathroom. So, make sure you wipe away any excess water that is standing in the washbasin or in the corners of shelves.

Infact one must also keep the soap case clean, as a damp soap case can lead to the formation of soap scum and mold formation that can lead to infection. For monsoons, liquid hand wash dispensers are a good option.

Spick and span

When it comes to removing the dampness, make sure you open the windows or any other ventilation of the bathroom, so that fresh air can pass through and some sunrays be allowed in.

Desi nuska

Placing camphor or a few cloves can help protect your bathroom from the dampness in the air.

Fresh as a flower

Remember, bathroom is an extension of your house so use some decoration pieces or flowers to bedeck your washroom. For fragrant bathroom use floral bathroom sprays and other cleaning agents like an aromatic floor wash or dried flower arrangement. 

  Take your pick

What tourist cliche are you: Boozer, linguist, snapper or whinger?

Boozer, linguist, snapper, guidebook-these are just some types of tourist cliches that are found roaming around the world looking for some specific things on their voyages. There are always certain types of travellers who share similar habits, whether good, boring, or highly annoying, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Here are some of the typical tourist cliches that one may encounter at vacation. The Boozer Boozers don't mind whichever country they travel to, as long as the beer's cheap and there are bars playing live football matches. They don't look for temples, cathedrals, or beautiful mornings, and still manage to have a ball.

The Vegetarian Also known as The Fussy Eaters, vegetarians spend their time aimlessly wandering around looking for appropriate food, and then whining at the lack of it.

The Box-Ticker Box-tickers have a list of traveling priorities, and they're going about the business of ticking them off and stick to cities that have a world-famous monument or attraction.

The Strung-Out Hippy Often found at places with cheap, accessible drugs and some sort of coastline (Bali, Peru, Mexico, Colombia etc).

The Linguist- Linguists run around town clutching their phrasebook, and are convinced they're slowly mastering the local lingo.

The Muso- They usually travel with a bulky acoustic guitar and would whip the instrument at the slightest provocation and start strumming crappy Jack Johnson covers in the hope of impressing impressionable girls. The Guidebook- The Guidebook will stick to each and every word written in 'Lonely Planet', will also refuse to eat anywhere that's not in the book, and will sometimes tick off items on the pages so they know which ones they're yet to visit.

The Snapper- They'll be sporting a camera lens that looks like the Hubble telescope, and will be permanently hidden behind it.

The Tight-Arse- If you’ll ridea bus to avoid a 10 dollars cab ride, it's safe to say you're a genuine tight-wad. — ANI

Healthy bhi taste bhi

Foods that we expose and introduce our children to, goes a long way in deciding their overall growth and development. Our modern diet contains of too much sugar, fat, salt, refined flour, processed foods and food additives. Health Cart, which serves and promotes Healthy and herbal menu at Sukhna Lake together with Arney's Backyard, a nutrition based after school activity club addresses this issue. "Our message to parents and their children today through our "Eat Right Stay Bright" Healthy India Campaign is to try and clean up their diet by reducing or omitting foods with non nutritional value. And regardless of the child's specific age and medical problems increase the intake of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and other unprocessed foods".

At the health Cart they have omitted the white starch completely. Their bakery items include healthy sandwiches, bagels and low calorie pizzas, which are highly popular among the children. They have modified the ingredients by substituting them with more nutritive ones. Another significant dietary change is the increase in the consumption of refined grains, such as white bread instead of whole wheat bread, and white rice instead of brown rice.

Over a hundred children from Strawberry World School, Chandigarh participated in the campaign and took a health pledge for a healthy future. Children were also engaged in a small poster making activity "Foods to eat daily and foods to eat occasionally", with an aim to educate them to differentiate between healthy and non-healthy foods. Rotary Chandigarh, Shivalik also joined hands for the healthy endeavour together. — TNS 

  Lessons in royalty

After her demise, books on Gayatri Devi's life fly off the shelves

The craze of knowing about the life of Gayatri Devi, the Rajmata of Jaipur, is on rise after her demise. Hundreds of curious readers are visiting the local bookstores in Jaipur to buy books based on her life.

Touted as one of the most beautiful women in the world by the Vogue Magazine, Gayatri Devi breathed her last on July 29 after a prolonged illness. She was 90. The most sought after books include an autobiography Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur and a biography Rajmata Gayatri Devi.

Readers, who are curious to know more about her personal life, the childhood days in particular, are thronging the bookstores. "Gayatri Devi used to be an icon. She was also known as Rajmata and among the royalties, she was one lady whom you can say that she was literally down to the earth and who used to go to the masses and people really loved her. That's the reason her books are in demand," said Rajiv Chaudhary, an avid reader.

Another curious reader Yadav Singh said that by reading the books people would come to know more about her private life. "The past life of the Rajmata of Jaipur has been really great. The more you read about her, the more things you discover about her. In these books, her life has been described well, which we normal people are unaware of," observed Yadav Singh, another reader.

Rajiv Kapoor, Manager of Crossword Bookstore in The Pink City disclosed that the sale of books on Gayatri Devi has witnessed a rise upto the extent of 60 percent. "After the death of Gayatri Devi, the sale of books based on her life has gone up by approximately 50 to 60 percent and people of all age group especially the younger ones, who are more curious to know about her life are buying the books," noted Kapoor.

Born into the royal family of eastern Cooch Behar, Gayatri Devi married Sawai Man Singh, the then ruler of the princely Jaipur state, in 1939. She was his third wife. During her lifetime Gayatri Devi involved herself extensively in charity works and supported education for women. She even contested elections and was elected as a member of Indian parliament thrice. — ANI 

Matka chowk
Death of a Gulmohar 

They say there is a silver lining in many rotten things that happen around us. The way silver price is shooting up, that may be a good idea even if you are not fond of that metal. I was deeply saddened by the death of a rather large Gulmohar tree close to our house. One morning, after the heavy showers it fell on the road like a frail stick of bamboo. Closer looks revealed its debilitated roots and state of infirmity.

However, it blocked the road completely. People like me from an immensely populated metro city like Kolkata have a different perspective when it comes to municipal functioning and efficacy. I shook my head, thinking that the lane would now be blocked for a good part of the week. By the time we have had breakfast two men were at work hacking away the limbs to clear the road. I gushed and gushed over this marvel while my family members politely tolerated my torrent of exclamations.

Sarovar Path is the road that leads to the Sukhna lake. I see a lot of reckless overtaking on this road, especially on the stretch beyond Madhya Marg. A couple of weeks ago, I was elated to find city workers laying bricks to build a divider on that road. I again went twittering like an excited bird.

The potholes that come up on the roads intermittently actually do get filled eventually. When wires in electricity poles decide to malfunction, the electricity department sends people who are willing to climb the pole despite the late hours.

We have the luxury of the kudawallas here. In some cities, you would be chasing the beeping kuda truck in your nightie every morning. Despite, the bad power cuts we seem to have suffered this year - we do get uninterrupted power supply rest of the year. You can count a lot of sheep on an entire night without any power.

I am thrilled that the administration stuck to its guns and we will have the Tuk-Tuks and the green autos from the 31st. Even though we cannot alter their maddening style of driving, we can at least stop them from polluting the environment. And with the school canteens now being the read the riot act, we will have less children fall prey to gastro diseases.

It's really admirable how quickly we can implement policies in Chandigarh. Our home secretary has very busy working out many solutions - to remedy problems ranging from perils of using cell phones in school campuses to undue corporal punishment in city schools. The verdict has been out with alacrity and put to work with immediate effect.

Now, only if we could get the courts to keep pace with the city administration!

What the cards say today...

Aries: "The Queen of Pentacles" blesses you with the finest of quiet and subtle qualities today as you hold your world safely in your arms. Your intelligent and creative mind fails you when pessimistic feelings and emotions interfere and cloud your vision. Go on fast, else mind your tummy. Tip of the week: Try to avoid serious discussions with loved ones. Lucky colour: Silver

Taurus: "The Magus" blesses you with sensitivity and creativity in whatever you do. You are able to share hospitality and enjoy the good things of life with family and friends as you celebrate an event. You make mature and balanced decisions. Tip: Seek advice but don't feel you have to stick to it. Lucky colour: Rust

Gemini: "The Emperor" gets you in touch with your leadership qualities. Even the smallest things become the greatest adventures when you trust life. You are youthful, beautiful and strong, as if beholding a secret wonder. Deep feelings of love in emotional relationship are countered by negative attitude at work. Tip: A shopping spree can set your budget aflutter, be aware. Lucky colour: Crimson

Cancer: "The Priestess" ushers in a pure, exalted and gracious influence today. If anything, you should take on new projects if they become available. As for tonight, the only person who may be able to put up with you is you. Use courage & perseverance. Tip: Make the best of a bad situation by being polite and understanding. Lucky colour: Pink.

Leo: "The Moon" brings a karmic situation to the fore as you face a difficult emotional choice or decision today. You find time for yoga or exercise. Personal relationships change from dreamy and transitory to real and lasting. It might be that someone is trying to help you. Tip: Spend time on fitness routines. Lucky colour: Peach.

Virgo: "The Knight of Wands" rides intensely on his dark steed bringing passion and energy in personal and professional aspects. There is no room for wasting time at work. Meditation takes you to higher levels of consciousness. Tip: Take your partner out to dinner & renew energy in the relationship. Lucky colour: Royal blue.

Libra: "The Lovers" inspire you to climb new heights and actualize creative ideas today. You may feel oppressed by situations when people around you wield authority and power ruthlessly. You are loving and caring in personal relationships and can expect loyalty. Tip: Adopt a diplomatic approach. Lucky colour: Cheery red.

Scorpio: "Seven of Cups" says amorous happiness will be at your arm's reach and you'll only have to take it. Today you can learn more as a student. A teacher with a knack for making difficult subjects simple can be extraordinarily helpful to you now. Tip: Beware of making rash moves or personal decisions when angry or upset. Lucky colour: Yellow.

Sagittarius: "Nine Cups" full of light & lotus blossoms bring happiness. A personal dilemma is going to work out much quicker and much better than anticipated. Someone may be trying hard to make you look bad. Be discreet about new career related opportunities. Tip: Keep your eyes and ears open for new and exciting opportunities. Lucky colour: Golden brown.

Capricorn: "The Hanged Man" firing up tour key planet Mars today. Tempting you to set big changes in motion. Think twice before moving into action, for anything you do will have a greater impact than you may realize. Tip: Do try to be as charming as possible in all situations. Lucky colour: Ebony

Aquarius: "The Hierophant" takes you through a variety of experiences to learn from. Your success will come through areas of work that deal with communications. Remember that your own mind and will are the only things stopping you from getting where you want to be. Tip: Stop thinking about yourself and see what you can do for others. Lucky Colour: Metallic grey.

Pisces: You draw "Ace of Wands" which puts you in a refreshed and relaxed mood. Spending quality time with loved ones may be a priority today. Romance will be good and singles could meet someone special. Trust your intuitions. It's time to take care of your health. Tip: Take life the way it comes. Lucky colour: Turquoise. 

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