The big fat Punjabi wedding
The word 'grandeur' just got a new meaning at Bikramjit Singh Majithia's wedding bash
Neha Walia

The guest list had over 6,000 names. The arrangements were grand, with almost the entire Chandigarh police deputed for the job, managing traffic to holding direction placards. The menu was lavishly spread and the parking full with VVIP tags. That's how Wednesday started - luxuriously.

Bride and groom with Sukhbir Singh Badal, his wife Harsimrat Kaur and daughters

For city's who's who, the occasion to celebrate was Bikramjit Singh Majithia's post-wedding bash. For others, it was a typical Punjabi wedding, full on tadka.

It was a perfect farmhouse affair, at the Baikunth farms, near Seonkh village. The subtle ambience created in golden and white, orchids and landscape adding to the warm afternoon. The guests brought in the glitz and glamour of a high-profile event, flashing their designer wardrobe and diamonds. The Badals and Majithias played perfect hosts to former chief minister of Haryana Om Prakash Chautala in his signature green turban, Himachal CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, the entire Akali clan and the bureaucratic brigade of the region.

The bride and groom looked regal- Bikramjit donning a classy and trendy black bandhgala with a pink turban and the bride Ganieve looking stunning in her antique navy blue-maroon lehenga and traditional jadau jewellery.

The D company

Singers Sukhvinder Singh and Harbhajan Mann performed at the reception venue

Prem Kumar Dhumal and Om Prakash Chautala having lunch

The Majithia wedding bash was ruled by the two Ds - diamonds and daaru. To start with the sophisticated first, whether it was a classy anarkali, chic backless straight line suits or the typical designer pieces, each look was complemented by diamonds. The Badals, though stood above the rest with jadao and traditional pieces. Harsimrat Kaur looked her customary self, wearing an aqua coloured lehenga with golden embroidery and teeka in place. The daughters followed the mother with an impressive look. The father-son duo was contrasting with Sukhbir Badal in a grey tailored suit and the younger one in traditional kurta-pyjama and the orange turban adding to the look.

Coming to the other element in plenty, if the women were flaunting their diamonds, the men showed off their glasses. No Punjabi wedding can be complete without alcohol and putting a five star display, the shelf had every brand possible. The spirits were high but in hiding, in a glass of orange juice or in form of a cocktail.

Platter punch

The food was as big an affair as the reception itself. On table were seven lavish cuisines - Punjabi, Hyderabadi, Chinese sans the tadka, Italian, Japanese, Thai and Continental. Catering to the VVIP tastes were XO caterers from Delhi and the menu was unusual veggie only. The meetha too was in plenty, with kulfi, rabri-jalebi matching up with tarts and gelatos. Before the lavish buffet, were teasers like chat, golgappas and exotic fruit salads. If one didn't get tired from just reading the menu, enjoying it sure needed an exhausting effort.

Mann of the moment

If you have guests like Harbhajan Mann and Sukhwinder Singh, you know the party is sure to rock. So, entertaining the guests were the two singers, making them dance to the tunes of their chart busters.

There were also some interesting contrasts seen at the wedding bash. While the younger lot flaunted branded, tailor-made suits, the older lot quite fashionably stuck to white kurta-pyjama with Nehru jacket look.

Caught in the web
Ensure your kid's positive web experience, keep track of what he's doing

Online homework and projects, school-based web boards, chatting with friends, surfing has become second nature for children today. Yet the web also brings with it online gaming addiction, cyber bullying and fake identities trying to mislead curious teens.

The online lives of their kids are proving to be a nightmare for parents across the United States, says a recent research. In the city too, parents have a wide range of concerns regarding the safety of their kids in the virtual world and feel that proper checks and balances are important to prevent online abuse of their wards.

Rajesh Gupta, a bank employee from Sector 8, says, "My 13-year-old son is fond of online gaming. It can get addictive, so I have fixed an hour slot a day which even gets reduced depending on the homework." Banning online gaming is no solution, he feels.

"I am as good as an illiterate when it comes to Internet. My husband is also too busy to track kids' online activities," quips Madhu, an employee of Punjab medical council. "So, the thumb rule in our house is that Internet is accessed only when the adults are around. I feel that the web has more benefits than drawbacks," she adds.

Sudhir and Manju Mittal, parents of a teenage girl, assert that it's important to teach your kids the distinction between the right and the wrong. "My daughter goes online often. I really can't bother her all the time, after all, she also needs some space," says Manju. "But we keep track of her Internet and mobile usage so that she doesn't become a victim of cyber bullying and come across people with fishy profiles," says Sudhir, who is a manager with PCP International.

Maninder Grewal, mother of a 17-year-old boy, is aware of the dangers that Internet poses to her son at an impressionable age. "The Net is indispensable today. Amolak gets much of his stuff related to study and projects online. But along comes the baggage. He's on Facebook, chats often, has a large online social circle. I can't ban Internet but closely monitor what he's up to. Also, I bank on my intuitive insight that always tells me whenever my child is in danger," she opines.

"Children today are entering the virtual world at an early age. And, I hold parents responsible for it, as they are the ones who are making laptops, Internet available to them. The sad part is most parents view Internet as a very positive place for kids and are unaware of dangers out there," says Rajesh Gill, a city based sociologist. She emphasises the need to sensitise parents and close monitoring of their kids' activity online.

Dangers online

* Pornography

* Cyber bullying

* Predators

* Personal data theft

* Alcohol, drugs, gambling

Parental Control

* Keep computers in easily visible areas

* Check you kid's friends list regularly

* Never let them post their pictures

* Check their history files often

No 'cheers' for mum o be

Mums-to-be who consume high levels of alcohol in late pregnancy are likely to give birth to aggressive kids, a new study has revealed. The research team from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research suggests that the amount and timing of alcohol consumption in pregnancy affects child behaviour in different ways.

"Mothers who reported what we would classify as heavy drinking in the first trimester of pregnancy were nearly three times as likely to report that their child suffered with anxiety and/or depression or somatic complaints," said lead author Colleen O'Leary.

"Those who drank moderately during that first trimester were twice as likely to report those types of behavioural issues for their child.

"Exposure to moderate or heavy levels of alcohol in late pregnancy increased the risk of aggressive types of behaviours in the child.

"This research suggests that both the timing and the intensity of alcohol exposure in the womb affect the type of behaviour problems expressed," she added.

The researchers classified moderate exposure as drinking 3-4 standard drinks per occasion- that's about two normal glasses of wine-and no more than a bottle of wine drunk over a week.

Heavy drinking included women who were drinking the equivalent of more than a bottle of wine per week.

O'Leary said health professionals can assist by talking to women of child bearing age about their alcohol consumption and encouraging pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy to abstain from alcohol. — ANI

What men should know

A new book, entitled 150 Things Every Man Should Know, offers to help men through the minefield of being a male. The tome by Gareth May hands out pointers about certain skills, which apparently all lads would find indispensable, such as the correct etiquette, hiding a lovebite, or how to talk your way out of a fight. Here are some favourites from the book:

Hiding a love bite

1. Some swear by white toothpaste. Smear over the bite and leave.

2. Apply arnica cream or take arnica pills. Arnica speeds up healing and reduces bruises.

3. Wear a polo neck, scarf or cravat, or all three. Tell friends you're thinking of joining a bowling club if they're suspicious.

4. If desperate; reach for some concealer.

How to talk your way out of a fight

1. Sometimes offering to buy them a drink can defuse the situation, but don't give them your credit card and tell them to set up a tab.

2. Don't be intimidated or show any sign or weakness.

3. Stand your ground with confidence if they square up to you. Don't shuffle, slouch or put your hands in your pockets.

4. Don't give into temptation, grab a pool cue and yell: "Let's be having you!"

5. Speak calmly and don't crack jokes.

6. If you've used all reasoning and he still wants a fight, chances are it's fisticuffs even if Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were doing the talking.

How to get over a girl

Do: Hit the pub with some mates.

Don't: Drink yourself into a stupor.

Do: Pack her belongings into a box and return them to her as soon as possible.

Don't: Have sex with the ex. OK, just once if you have to.

How to turn a girl off you if you don't like her

Be elusive: Tell her you're busy all the time and never return calls, texts or emails.

Drop hints: Tell her you're in a relationship with someone else who struggles with your platonic female friends.

Disgust her: Wear really old, dirty clothes and don't clean your teeth for a week. — ANI

Relatively Speaking

Lifestyle invites responses from its readers on the following issue:

The wedding season is here. Do you think family celebrations still connect the families the way they used to in the past?

Please email the responses along with a photograph to or mail on Relatively Speaking, Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29 Chandigarh. Only the best few responses will be published.

Renee writes
Negate negativity

I am a 24 years old girl living in constant fear of the unknown. Life has always seemed like a huge question mark to me. I have as a kid always woken up in the middle of the night sweating after a bad dream and even now it happens and I then find it difficult to go back to sleep. I grew up in a boarding school where all the girls narrated ghost stories at night. I remember imagining my life would get taken over by these entities. Even now I hate to sleep alone in a room. Fear seems to be ruling my life and I do not enjoy holidaying or even travelling as I feel I cannot be alone. As it is in India one feels there are a lot of strange unknown factors in play. Please help

Rasjeet Kaur, Chandigarh

Please take heart, calm down, just relax and allow life to flow free within you. It is for you to realise that you are the one giving power to your thoughts and whatever your mind will create will start playing havoc in your life. Learn to control your thoughts. It is sad to know that fear messages sent to us in our childhood for the purpose of controlling us can leave a very powerful and indelible influence on our minds. Just remember all these ghost visualisation which are the ruling fear factor in your life are only conjured up by your own thinking. So only you have the power to drive them away. Visualise a negative energy and just imagine you have negated if, when you do this a few times, your fear images will naturally vanish.

Enjoy life

I am 32 years old nurse in a hospital. For the last few months I have been very friendly with a doctor. He was actually my best girl friend's acquaintance and he told me he was very interested in her. Then slowly as I was trying to help him to find a way into her heart I started to have feelings for him. He is such a wonderful guy. We have very similar interests and I have spent a lot of time with him together and realised it would be really great if we could have a relationship. How do I go about this whole thing? He thinks I am helping him for my friend but somehow I have a feeling he likes me?

Pinkie Atwal, Mohali

You have no reason to feel guilty about your feelings. It is only natural to fall for some body who reflects your way of thinking. After all he is not her boyfriend so you need not feel you are actually spoiling someone's relationship. Just be calm and sensible and try to put it across to the guy that it would be nice if you could be more than friends and see how he reacts. Remember friendship is the most precious thing and this is something that lasts. Just be open and honest about your feelings. Allow them to take precedence. Give him a chance to think for himself and come to his own conclusions. Enjoy life it is a blessing.

Share Responsibilies

I am a 34 years old, married with two kids. The older one is seven years old and the younger one is five. Although my husband and I had wonderful relationship in the past but I feel ever since the kids have come our relationship has become a bit strained. He feels I neglect him and spend too much time with my children. I feel my kids are small and they need attention. I was brought up by a mother who completely ignored my younger sister and me. I always wanted a loving mother. How do I explain this to my husband? He thinks I don't love him anymore. He sulks making me feel guilty. Please help.

Anjali Malhotra, Delhi

Good to hear an honest comment about one's own attitudes and behaviours. Most people conveniently put the blame on others and come out clean. I can quite believe what a handful two little kids are, and specially if you are playing the perfect mom, well bringing up kids between a couple is a shared responsibility, so make your husband feel a part of the rearing of the kids so that he feels so involved. I can understand that you don't want to repeat the mistakes of your mother and want to be supermom but please do not allow the obsession to colour your relationship with your husband. It must have its own place in your life. Life is actually only about balancing relationships. Do not allow anyone of importance in your life to feel neglected. Give a level of emotional comfort and trust me life will find its balance anyways.
at or Life Style, The Tribune, Sector 29-C, Chd

Music to the ear
N. K. Sathi carves out giant guitar and huge saxophone for Chandigarh Carnival
Ashima Sehajpal

Rewind Chandigarh Carnival-2008 - food stalls, fun rides, colourful floats and some performances made it a worthwhile recreation for kids and also grown ups at Leisure Valley-10. This time, besides these, there will be a few add ons - a 34-feet-guitar at the entrance is in accordance with the theme of the carnival this year, music. Also, we have a saxophone, stalls made in tandem with Le Corbusier's buildings, waterfall, a stage for folk performances and err…swine flu (we hope the last entrant doesn't dampen the spirit).

The carnival would be different from last year's and some credit goes to N.K. Sathi, who gave the city its own Sanchi Stupa at the National Crafts Mela. "We usually see huts as stalls at such fests. Since this one is meant for kids, we thought of adding more colour to the scene by making designer stalls," Sathi explains why this year it has a different concept. The stalls are done in yellow, blue, red, pink and other bright colours. Also, they are made in straight lines, a characteristic trait of Corbusier's work. "Our effort becomes apparent to replicate Corbusier's work with the structures of the roofs, made in shape of triangles and squares," he says.

The yellow coloured huge guitar at the entrance deserves a mention too. Sathi is quick to add, "The idea of making a guitar for the carnival was given by Home Secretary Ram Niwas and executed by us. It took us 15 days to complete it." Making a saxophone was tougher than the guitar since the workers hasn't seen one ever.

When explaining doesn't help, Sathi found another solution, "I got an original one, costing Rs 1.5 lakh from a friend to show it to the workers. In a week's time, we were ready with one made in thermocol." This 15-feet-golden colour saxophone with silver buttons will be placed in the centre of the stage at Leisure Valley, "Rest of the stage will have the traditional look done in the shape of arch gates and alleys (windows found in old houses). We are using percolated jalli for the authentic look.

In part of the valley, Nek Chand's figurines would be placed. Also, a waterfall is being put by the Chandigarh Housing Board. Another attraction at the carnival for kids would be the ITFT's Film City, where nuances of filmmaking like writing screenplay, editing to directing will be taught. A musical night by KK, a famous playback singer, will also be held. Now everything is in place. Hope swine flu doesn't play a spoilsport.

On November 28 and 29

Miss to Mrs India
Karishma Randeva Mookhey is enjoying her stint at the Gladrags Mrs India...

City actor Karishma Randeva Mookhey is all thrilled to be part of Gladrags Mrs India competition. "My father-in-law advised me to try my luck at this platform last year. But I was too busy then. This year as I was passing through the venue, on an impulse I decided to audition and none other but Maureen ma'am told me about being shortlisted," she shares over a telephone conversation from Mumbai.

"The new 'reality based' format of the show makes sure that we are judged on the skills that we should have as a woman of the house," says Karishma. Married to a Kanwal Mookhey, a known computer security expert for two years, Karishma is enjoying her time at the pageant. "Being here means that we are trained under the best of the best and no amount of money would have got me this exposure," she says.

This Biophysics graduate from Punjab University can't stop praising Maureen Wadia either, "It's awesome to be around Maureen ma'am for she is one 'women of influence' I have always looked up to," she says.

As for her chances at the peageant, "I am as hopeful as other 15 girls at the house," she shares. — Mona

Mission Mumbai
Theatre Arts presents a street play commemorating the terror attacks on 26/11
SD Sharma

Breathes there the man with soul so dead

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land! - The patriotic utterances of Sir Walter Scot were immaculately illustrated through a meaningful theatrical presentation at the Plaza here today. The artistes of Theatre Arts expressing solidarity with the victims of the Terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year on the black day of November 26 last brought into focus the heinous happenings due to cross border terrorism and equally ineffective lethargic attitude of the government in dealing with the pre and post attack situations.

On this hard hitting criticism throughout this street play Mission Mumbai-Ek Saal Baad, director Rajiv Mehta holds that the Theatre must act as parliament of sorts debating issues of societal concern.

The play was critical of deployment of security personnel for raising the prestige of the leaders or ministers and questions if they were really that weak to be secured at the cost of the poor public.

As many as twenty young actors enlivened the performance which traced the many untold stories hitherto leading to the grave and grim situation of 26/11 which shattered the very confidence of the general public on the governance and posh police posts. 

What a switch!
He may be out of The Big Switch, but it taught Kunwar Harjinder Singh some 'real' lessons
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Kunwar Harjinder Singh, son of Delhi MLA Arvinder Singh, grandson of Buta Singh, lived a 'reality' dream with his brief stint during UTV's reality show, The Big Switch. A show unlike others, this one runs on the concept of rich and poor. To be precise 10 rich contestants paired with a 'buddy' from the slums, work to fulfill a dream of their buddy. One of the rich brigade, Kunwar played his innings and now is out due to a foot injury. He feels that this show made him responsible and made him do certain things that he would have never dreamt of otherwise.

"This show was unlike other reality shows where one doesn't play for oneself, but for someone else. On this show I lived for others and worked for the betterment of society. I cleaned a slum area, polished shoes at the Lokhandwala market and even washed clothes at the dhobi ghat and it was not for me, but for my buddy Farhan Ifran Siddique (a guy from one of the Mumbai slums)."

Ask him what was his reason for joining the show and he says, "It was a challenge and it gave me a sense of satisfaction knowing that I was working for someone else." Well, what is the 'one thing' that he would have never done in life had it not been for the show. "Boot polish. I could have never imagined myself doing something like that, but after I did it, I was proud of myself," comes the reply. Having lived a life of luxury, we ask, has he done anything for the benefit of society or does he support any particular cause? "My mother has an NGO called Freedom. We had organised a cricket match to generate money for tsunami relief funds," he says.

On the personal front, he describes himself as an aggressive, disciplined, focused, hard working and a good listener. Currently attending the Barry John Acting School in Mumbai, Kunwar loves music and wants to be a hip - hop artiste and live like Snoop Dogg and P. Diddy.

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