Sporting glamour
Jasmine Singh

Three models from Ukraine, Morocco and France are in the city for a shoot with our cricketing stars

Cricketers. God gracious, they are everywhere. Ah well, they are for sure on the field (they ought to be). They are on television (largely), they are on the ramp (more than once now — couldn't get enough of Yuvraj and Dhoni walk the ramp), and yes they are on the silver screen as well.

Did we forget to mention, they do shooting as well. No, not target or sharp-shooting. We mean shooting for an advertisement! A Tuesday morning we catch them doing a jig for a mobile phone company at Hotel Mountview. Yuvraj, Sangakkara and Sreesanth, three models posing as cheer leaders and two boys dressed up as waiters. It is a shoot for a mobile phone campaign, and look who is excited about it — the three models from Ukraine, Morocco and France. The three pretty models know nothing about cricket, however, they are gung-ho about talking to us as they get their make up done at the Tress Lounge, Mountview.

Margot from France does part-time modelling in Delhi, a city she is beginning to fall in love with. Cricket, cricketers, is the girl familiar with anything like this? "Of course, she laughs, but I don't know anything about it." Dhoni, Yuvraj, Sreesanth, do the names ring a bell? "Honestly, they don't. I don't know. Are they models or actors," Margot is quizzing us. (In bits and parts yes they are models and actors too!) "We don't have cricket in France, it is only football and soccer."

Soumia from Morocco, who moved into Delhi last September, explicitly owns up her ignorance for cricket. "Back home we only have soccer," she smiles.

Interestingly, the three of them have heard about Hindi movies and, of course, about Shah Rukh Khan. "Last, we went to watch My Name Is Khan," Marie from Ukraine, a professional model chips in. "We cried a lot and people around were startled. They couldn't understand why firangs who can't understand Hindi were crying their heart out," they add with occasional bursts of laughter.

Back to the basics? So, how is Delhi treating them? What about the rickshaw-wallas, must be taking them for a ride? "Oh no," announces Marie, "Now we know the rates. We are too smart to be fooled."

Margot, on the other hand, hasn't been able to understand how just about everyone stays in Delhi. "It is too crowded, like a mini-world. I have been to places like Jaisalmer, Haridwar, Amritsar and they are really nice." Margot had a lifetime experience at the Kumbh Mela. "Amazing sadhus, getting their blessings, touching holy waters, it was awesome. I can't forget the place for the rest of my life."

Next up, the food. For Margot it is too spicy, Soumia likes Italian and Marie likes to binge on chicken and rice. "I don't understand other foods," she innocently puts in. What emotional Atyachaar! And talking about it, we have a girl from the city, part of the production unit that featured in one of the episodes of the show. Garima, an ex-MCM student, shares that she has moved on in life after the man in his life was captured on TV flirting with another girl. "Trust me nothing on the show is artificial, it is all real." And we trust?

Indian Popular League
Jasmine Singh

With another IPL match set to rock the city, there is no dearth of enthusiasm

Forget about discotheques, pubs, cafes and lounges…the scene of action has shifted from the most happening places to the present 'hotspots' - Hotel Mountview and Sector-16 Cricket Stadium.

Kids jumping around with their newly-bought autograph diaries, girls and ladies with husbands in tow, hanging around in the lobby of the hotel and parking of the stadium, lensman from all over (we heard photojournalists from Jaipur, Kanpur and Jharkhand have descended to the city with hi-tech cameras) occupy 'mera wala' couch in the lobby; office management at both the places work overtime to ensure all is well.

Indeed it is. The king of Rajasthan Royals Shane Warne and the team walks into the hotel under tight security. Can you believe, the policewallas on duty at the hotel outnumbered the players, the visitors, the hotel staff, the journalists put together. After all somebody is justifying his or her job!!

The lucky few who manage to get a peek-a boo of the team come back showing their autographs. Shane Warne and Yusuf Pathan are the favourites. "I am not familiar with the rest of the team," announces a youngster walking to and fro displaying Shane Warne's autograph.

Now that this place is a hot favourite, you bet a lot of action from it as well. Here we have Kings XI Punjab's Ness Wadia and Yuvraj Singh walk in their cool tees and denims. Ah! What a sight. We have the two Pathan brothers, Yusuf and Irfan dine together. What if they are playing from different teams, don't forget they have a blood relation too!

All is well

Amidst the snapshots, the security checks, mesmerised fans, Ness Wadia sits down to share a word or two. Unperturbed and easy, our man here doesn't cow down under 'performance stress' "When the going gets tough, the tough get going. This is how I look at every situation," Ness shares.

"More or less, I don't feel stressed or bothered. I think I picked up this attribute from my father who handles every situation with maturity. Why do I need to feel stressed," he smiles, talking easy.

Nevertheless, a stress buster he relies on? "Talking to the team. Communication is the best stress buster," provides the good-looking co-owner. "I understand it is difficult to cope up with travelling and work. As long as I enjoy the work, it ought to be fun."

We tried a lot, and cautiously played the ball. How do you deal with all kinds of rumours? Ness is sweet enough to smile.

"People will says whatever they have to. My family and I know the truth. I don't get bothered anyways." (That's a Six)

The scene of action shifts. Cricket Stadium Sector-16 is under spotlight. Interaction between city residents and players of Kings XI team, organised by BIG 92.7 FM, is a crowd-puller. Kids, mommies and daddies eagerly wait for their turn to get clicked with the cricketers and walk away with the Kings XI merchandise, T-shirts, cricket bat, ball, wickets, all signed by the players. Puts in Siddharth Bhardwaj, AVP, North, BIG FM, Reliance Media World Ltd, "We organised this event in order to get the fans to meet the team, Kings XI, and cheer them up for the match. Fans had the time of their life I bet."

The minute we think, its pack up time, walks in Angad Bedi, the host of the show Emotional Atyachaar, also the host for Set Max Extra Innings. "Cricket runs in my blood. It is fun to be a part of 'the' most popular reality show and to host a show that is really hardcore. I am pretty comfortable with both." It's playtime folks.

Spring in step
Ashima Sehajpal

Two youngsters are out to popularise dance forms of America here. Read on

When two dance forms that originated on the streets of America are practised by two people in two different parts of the world, it becomes easier to understand how art traverses beyond geographical and man-made boundaries. They then lose their significance, become redundant and corroborate the belief that any form of art is universal, not merely theoretically but in practice as well.

Saajan Singh has his roots in Nepal. He shifted with his parents to Jalandhar 15 years back, where he learnt 'b-boying', a street dance form Of America. Now, an expert at it, he shares, "I didn't take any formal training. I learnt b-boying by watching lots of videos on U-tube and a few purchased ones," says Saajan, one of the finalists of Lux Dance India Dance Season 2 show on Zee TV, who was in the city along with Jack Samuel Gill on Tuesday to seek votes from their fans.

While Saajan, all of 17, impressed the judges on the show with his headstands and air-kicks, Jack learnt another dance form, hip-hop, quite in the same way as Saajan - by watching videos. Based in Norway, Jack came to India only to participate in the reality dance show. "Back in Norway, I was training kids who wanted to learn hip-hop."

Besides performing well, his major concern was how fellow contestants would treat him since his Hindi was weak. "Although I am a Punjabi, my lifestyle is different as I was born and brought up in a country with a different culture." But dance soon formed the bond between all the contestants. "Nationality, region, background or language didn't matter then. The only barometer of judging was who danced well."

Saajan agrees with Jack. Son of an Army subedar (retd), his real achievement won't be winning the contest, "That's just one of the aims. Focus remains on how to popularise b-buoying on the streets of India." Another aim is to do away with the misnomer that be-buoying is merely performing stunts. The dance form includes a lot of flips, cartwheels, head and handstands, and kicks, which makes people confuse it with stunts, "How would a classical dancer feel when people confuse the steps with Bollywood dancing? It felt like that. I have been able to make people realise what b-boying actually is."

As for the future, Saajan wants to carry on with b-boying but Jack is looking forward to studying architecture, "Dance is my first love but it's risk- prone and injuries can keep you away from the floor for even a year. It's better to have a back-up plan." The priority for both, however, remains dance, irrespective of the fact whether it is practiced in Jalandhar or Norway!

Drawing in moolah

Student fests are big and so is the sponsorship required. How is it all managed? Manpriya Khurana finds out

Tug-of- war at Cyanide

Soch ‘09 saw some innovative ideas

It's the other F word. Parallel to student fests is the fun…oops the funds, the finances. The bigger, the better; more the merrier. Therein begins the maddening race for budgets, sponsors, media partners…somehow the cash needs to keep flowing, the fest has to be held, even hyped; made a success. It's a round-up of student events held this session and the balance-sheets can't get more interesting than this.

Beginning with the firsts in the string, School of Communication Studies' Soch '09. "The budget for Soch was around Rs 3 lakh. Like most students, we began planning on a much bigger budget but then came down to a more realistic and practical one," Jasmeet K Shan, organising secretary, Soch '09, briefs. She adds, "We were among the first ones to hold our annual festival and around the same time, many others were going on, so there was a kind of competition among us to get sponsors. But at the end of the day, we did a pretty good job, managed our finances really well and rather saved also a lot."

It's a three-day thing, annual affair and keeping it hyped up, talked about, sought after is the key. No wonder, no budget runs less than a couple of lakhs. Shares a fourth- year student from the University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, "Our budget for Cyanide this time was around Rs 4 lakh and the main source of revenue was definitely sponsors. We made some money by selling stalls plus some by advertising through banners." He adds, "It was the financial closing year and we would've generated much more funds had Cyanide been held a month or two ago."

The hitches with finances are all-pervasive, affecting even the big players in the field. Whether it's the beginner's budget or that competing IIT Delhi's Rendezvous. The event in question is Pec Fest, the big daddy of all carnivals. Shares Anamika Thakur, fourth year student, public relation head, Pec Fest, "This time our budget was around Rs 19 lakh, albeit we were expecting a much bigger one. But given the fact that it was a recession year, we did a pretty good job; it was a success." She adds, "Our major sponsors were telecommunication companies plus the youth-related brands."

It's a question of cash, the ultimate survival kit, and any which way to keep it flowing. Shares Anamika, "Sponsors are the major source of revenue and to rope them in our marketing goes on for over a month, each of the three nights is dedicated. Whatever money is earned through stalls is given away in cash prizes and stuff."

Then there are star nights to be held, rock bands to be invited, lest what will be underscored in the publicity posters. That's one third of the budget spent, in inviting the celebs, holding a star night. "We were running short of funds, so had a DJ night and couldn't rope in any big star," shares Vishal Mahajan, marketing convener, Goonj, UIET. This is despite the budget running into lakhs. He adds, "We had a budget of around Rs 4-4.5 lakh. Sponsors definitely were the major revenue source, but we made some money by selling stalls for all the three days, which were 25 in all."

Chips in Jasmeet, "We originally had 20 events and all of them sold out. Then Apple computers wanted exclusive events so we formulated two especially for them." Like we said - any which way to keep it coming.

Shares Mayank Ojha from Chandigarh College of Architecture, active member, Archo '10, "Our main sponsors were field-related companies and youth brands. Majority of the sponsors wanted brand presence, lesser ones settled in for stalls."

The sponsor snags run deeper than just the peripheral, shares Jasmeet, "At times, they do back out at the last moment or have a lot of conditions and yes, the sponsor money doesn't reach you till 10 or 15 days before the event. Up till then, one needs to survive on own." No wonder, even venue can tilt the balance. As says Vishal, "This time we ran into trouble because originally Goonj was going to be held on the PU campus, but later the authorities allotted us only the south campus because they wanted departments to use only their areas. Because of this shift in venue, a lot of sponsors backed out." Like we said, anything for finances. By hook or by crook!

Laughs Jasmeet, "We even asked students to get used papers from their place for two months and we are a strength of around 100. We managed around Rs 7,000- 8000 that way." So much for inspiration!

Slow going!

With exams approaching, life on the campus is slowing down

Cruel ironies of time! The libraries are getting fuller, the canteens a lot more spacious. The towering Students' Centre has quietly started giving way to the adjoining AC Joshi library. And the xerox shop is a stiff competition to the geri route. It's a see-saw of examination and holidays. The balance keeps shifting and nowhere's the change more perceptible than the campus grounds.

Looks like all the fests are over, so are the rock concerts, as are the singer nights. A matter of weeks and all roads lead to the examination hall! "The change is there and everywhere on the campus grounds, there's a shift in the mood and atmosphere. The parking areas are empty. Now only those students come here who have their practicals or assignments or who are short of attendance and want to complete it during the last few days," shares Komaldeep Kaur, B.Com student, Government College. Did she miss out that with the coming of summers, it's as it is deserted!

The change is slow but perceptible, slight but steady. Ask the ones affected. Laughs Taruni Agarwal, from Chandigarh College of Architecture, "All these past days, our fest kept us busy, but right now there's a lull. But another two weeks, rather now itself, students are loaded with submissions." She adds, "I don't know about other campus grounds but in our college one can clearly see the shift. Psyched out faces carrying thick pile of notes; a symptom enough of exams approaching."

A couple of datesheets on some of the notice boards rings the final death knell. Laughs Neharika from Kasturba hostel, "Nowhere is the change more perceptible than in the hostels. When the mess is empty in flat 20 minutes when the students are dressed to comfort rather than to impress, when the common rooms are emptier, as are the lawns, and the canteen…exams are near."

— Manpriya Khurana

Money can buy happiness

The secret to happiness lies in earning more money than your peers, according to a new study. Christopher Boyce, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick in England, suggests that it does not matter how much wealth people make as long as they are doing better financially than their fellow mates. We tend to be happy" as long as we've got more than the people around us," Live Science quoted him as saying.

It apparently takes from the concept of 'doing better than the Joneses', which is common among children. For example, a toy gets ditched as soon as a shinier toy in the hands of another child is spotted. Boyce insists it holds true for adults as well. He added: "You might buy a new car. But if your neighbour has just bought the same car, that new car doesn't seem as good as it once was if you were the only one to have that car." The researchers studied the British Household Panel Survey data between 1997 and 2004, in which more than 80,000 participants rated how dissatisfied or satisfied overall. They compared the subjects' income with various reference groups, including geographical region, gender and education, and age. It was found that a person's life satisfaction was primarily linked to the income position within each peer group. The researchers cited the results to explain why when national economies grow, average happiness levels do not necessarily increase. Boyce said: "It's about having more than everyone else, which is why our nations are not increasing in happiness on average. "Our study underlines concerns regarding the pursuit of economic growth. There are fixed amounts of rank in society - only one individual can be the highest earner. "Thus, pursuing economic growth, although it remains a key political goal, might not make people any happier." The study has been published in a recent online edition of the journal Psychological Science. — ANI

Rugged charm
Tribune News Service

Bajaj Auto, India's premier automobile company has introduced the new Platina 125. The launch is a part of Bajaj's ongoing efforts to enhance the biking experience for its customers. The new Platina 125 is a strong, rugged and powerful bike, which offers the best in class style, performance and mileage.

Positioned as the Dumdaar Sawari the features are powerful 125 cc engine, convenient electric start as standard, 5-speed gear box for smooth riding, contemporary graphics with all black solid styling, telescopic front suspension and patented rear suspension for a comfortable ride.

Commenting on the occasion, M.S. Ghai, regional manager, sales (two wheeler), Bajaj Auto Ltd, said, "The new Platina 125cc is a strong and powerful bike with premium features like ES, 5-speed gear box as standard. This bike makes for easy commuting even on rough roads and provides an amazing value for money package. We believe that this offering would reinforce our presence in the entry level bike segment".

Ab-solutely fantastic

SRK gives young ones tips for six-pack abs Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who flaunted six-pack abs in blockbuster Om Shanti Om but couldn't maintain them later, is doling out fitness tips to youngsters through micro-blogging site Twitter. "Six-pack more to do with diet than exercise alone. You need to be very disciplined. (Do it for) 30 to 40 days...they will start to show," Shah Rukh posted on his Twitter page Monday.

"Exercise regimen - four times a week. Thirty minutes do a weights or any exercise which makes you sweat. No rice or bread at all with food, grilled food. Lots of water. No alcohol. If you do, then exercise (for) 50 minutes. No music and wasting time during exercise. Just do it like a job...push yourself." "No desserts, ice creams or colas. No food in between meals like chips, etc. Singlehandedly try and bring the junk food industry to closure," he wrote. Shah Rukh says he does 100 push ups and 60 pull ups when he is regular. "When I start I can only do five push ups and one pull up. It just happens (later) if you are regular," he posted.

The actor, who was last seen in My Name Is Khan, is strictly against quick fix diets, and says people must make a careful choice about what they eat and drink. "You make your choices according to your needs. When I work out I don't drink colas myself." — IANS

Taxing job

Akshay Kumar is asking you to pay tax honestly and on time

Pay your taxes honestly and on time, this is what actor Akshay Kumar will be telling people in a new TV commercial. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has roped in Akshay to feature in a TV commercial urging people to pay taxes honestly and on time. Akshay had edged past the other stars in Bollywood to become the highest tax payer for the financial year 2008-2009.

The CBEC was of the opinion that no other Bollywood star could convey the message of tax compliance better than Akshay who for the last four years has been diligently paying his service tax in advance." In 2008-2009 Akshay Kumar emerged the highest Bollywood taxpayer. We approached him to feature in the advertisement since to us he was someone who could represent the message of paying one's taxes on time which is every citizen's duty," a CBEC source said. "He has great appeal and being a superstar he can really help encourage people to pay taxes honestly." The CBEC, which is responsible for collection of customs, central excise and service tax, released the advertisement yesterday. — PTI


Ek Khiladi, Ek Hasina

Priyanka ChopraBollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, who is all set to replace actor Akshay Kumar as the host of reality show Khatron Ke Khiladi, insists she can never step into his shoes."I can never step into his shoes because they are very big shoes to fill. Akshay is the original Khiladi. He is super good at what he does," says Priyanka. "He has taken the show to a different level and my effort will be to take it forward from there. He has already made my job easier," she added.

The actor was the host for the reality show in 2009, which had 13 women - models and actresses - taking part in it. Akshay popularised the show with his daring stunts, which is an Indian version of the US reality show Fear Factor. Now Priyanka will be anchoring the special IPL Edition of the show on Colors, which will have 13 Indian and international cricketers competing with each other. The 27-year-old actress had made her Bollywood debut opposite Akshay in 2003 film 'Andaaz' and also went on to star with him in films including Aitraaz, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Waqt: Race Against Time.

The national award-winning actress, who was in the capital to launch four new body wash variants from Lux, has three films in the pipeline. "My next film Anjana Anjani will release in July or August. I am also starting work on Saat Khoon Maaf with Vishal Bhardwaj and once Khatron.. is finished, I will start shooting for Don 2," said Priyanka. — PTI

Poetic justice
SD Sharma

Hain aur bhi duniyan mein sukhanwer (poet) bahut ache, kehte hain ke Ghalib ka hai andaaz-e-byan aur…" Reiterating Ghalib's own admiration for his poetic potential, Toronto-based surgeon and litterateur Syed Taqi Abedi opines that Ghalib's incredible poetry in Persian has not been appreciated.

Credited with 34 books in Persian, Urdu and English, Syed Taqi Abedi is a man of many talents. Born in Hyderabad, he completed his MBBS from Osmania University and later went for a MS degree to Glasgow. Subsequently, he did super-specialization in blood cancer from New York, which is where he settled. After 17 years of practice in the US he moved to Toronto and has spent the last 13 years there.

And it was his life partner Geeti, born in Iran, who inspired Taqi to learn Persian. Away from his motherland for over 30 years now, he claims to have been deeply in touch with the cultural heritage of India. And this was apparent at the literary 'ru-ba-ru session organised by the Haryana Urdu Academy, where Taqi offered analytical study of the works of legendary poet Mirza Ghalib, both in Persian as well as Urdu.

He informs that Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan alias Ghalib (1796-1869) wrote 1,792 couplets in Urdu by the year 1865 as against the 11,340 in Persian, which he wrote by 1835.

He opined that Ghalib was a visionary, a poet of humanism whose works are popular even after four centuries.

Meanwhile, two volumes of Mirza Ghalib's Persian poetry Kuliyat-e-Ghalib Farsi were released by Shiv Raman Gaud. Earlier Dr Shahid Mahauli, director of Ghalib institute in Delhi, Dr SK Taneja and Padmashri Dr KL Zakir shared their views.


Whirlpool of India, a subsidiary of the Whirlpool Corporation, global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances has announced aggressive plans for growth in the AC category as it launched a new range. The company has launched 30 new products in two sub-brands Mastermind Chrome and Mastermind Aviator. The new range with several unique and premium features is aimed at giving a boost to Whirlpool in the AC category.

The Mastermind series of air conditioners has been designed keeping the requirements of consumers in mind. It is an intelligent AC meant to provide the perfect cooling experience without burning a hole in the consumers pocket.

The Aviator and Chrome series are best-in-class energy efficient machines and will be made available in three and five star BEE ratings only. They have a host of unique intelligent features not available elsewhere that include - sliding panel that ensures greater air flow leading to better cooling, and also protects the internal electronics and the LED panel from dust and other hazards and advanced 6th sense MPFI, a unique 4 in 4 out capillary design to give fast, powerful, energy efficient cooling, 30 min fast forward cool system - gives very powerful cooling during the first 30 minutess of running to give relief to the consumer when he walks in from the heat outside and Aroma Pure System, a scientific combination of filters that removes dust, bacteria and gives a refreshing aroma to the air thereby giving a clean and hygienic environment.

Mastermind Chrome and Mastermind Aviator will be available in five colours - sapphire blue, coral red, onyx black, pearl white, metallic silver and are priced in the range between Rs 23,000 to 33,000 for Mastermind Aviator and Rs 21000 to Rs. 33000 for Mastermind Chrome. — TNS

Wake up call

If you have had enough of daru, mutiyaar, yaar, jeep, jameen and goli`85Jaago Wake Up is probably for you. "Good, clean, family music with a social message is our genre," says Satnam Singh Chatha, owner of 5 Rivers Entertainment Inc., which released its first Punjabi album Jaago`85 at the Chandigarh Club on Tuesday.

"Although personally I am a fan of all kinds of music, this album is truly Indian for we have used only traditional instruments — dholki, tabla, sarangi, tumbi," shares Chatha who is also the music director of the album.

Sung by eight noted Punjabi singers, each song in the album has a social message such as checking female foeticide and drug abuse.

"Commercialism has taken over true art, especially in Punjab," says Chatha, and his is a humble effort to give artistes the space and assistance they truly need. "All the songs are written by Australia-based NRI Shammi Jalandhari. We together create the lyrics on issues that touch our heart," he adds.

This album is truly unique, very different; say Harry Pannu and Zacharry, singer and video director, respectively, of the song Brothers.

"The video we have shot takes you to the old charm of Punjab," says Zacharry. "And you can watch it with your family," he assures.

Something visible, something invisible
Tribune News Service

A reclining figure drawn in black with nothing in the backdrop or a dash of colour on the paper. Another one had the same black figure sitting with his foot resting on his knee. Most of the works by Ram Partap Verma on display at the Alliance Franciase art gallery are figurative drawings in black and white.

And, as might be suspected, the figures don't denote negative emotions. "We hardly get anytime for ourselves. There are people around us all the time, who make us work, even think as they want. The drawings depict how a human being relaxes when he is all by him," says Verma. The collection titled Invisible is Visible showcases how it feels to be at peace with oneself, relaxed and happy. "These were the invisible emotions, rendered a certain form, made visible thorough drawings."

Also, in the drawings, he also explores a human being's relationship with his surroundings. "Relationship of a man with his family, friends, nature, even animals and materialistic pleasures have been shown." In a work, a man is drawn with horses surrounding him around his waist, which depicts, "How a man feels empowered with money, fame, power and other worldly gains. But this stays till the power denoting pleasures don't overpower him, which eventually happens and cause his doom."

In some of the drawings he has used certain vibrant colours like orange, blue and green without any specific reason. "Colours have been used as per my mood while I was drawing," he says. Every drawing depicts a positive thought process.

On till April 2

Leading the way
Tribune News Service

Leadership is that one thing that most people would readily shy away. One organisation that provides thousands of young people across the globe the unique chance to step into a leadership role is AIESEC. Through different activities that it runs, it offers the opportunity to its members to work in various teams, locally, nationally and internationally and gain experience. A leadership experience in AIESEC context means that a person is leading a team of at least three persons for a period ranging anything from one month to one year. These teams work for various purposes within the organisation - organising events like conferences, interactive forums, promotional events and handling projects. — TNS

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