Wit and grit
Vivek Oberoi, in the city to promote his upcoming film, talks on lessons in life and much more…
Ashima Sehajpal

Do we need to recount the mistakes…err blunders Vivek Oberoi has committed in seven years of his Bollywood career?

Anyways, what's more important is that he has learnt from them or as Vivek puts it, "Life has taught me lessons." As against what we perceived, the film industry didn't contribute to the teaching process, "Bollywood just entertains." And he as part of it promises to entertain with his upcoming flick, Prince—It's Showtime, to promote which, he was in the city on Wednesday with producer Kumar Taurani and one of the female leads, Neeru Bajwa.

Dressed in a casual shirt and a pair of jeans, Vivek was at his candid best, really witty. Every question got an amusingly witty answer. The action-packed film is about a thief who has lost his memory and has just six days of life left to him. "In these six days, he has to figure out why all the police forces are chasing him and who out of three female leads is his real love." So, there are numerous bike chases, action sequences and jumps from skyscrapers, for which Vivek undertook training. He had to… for no body double was used and there weren't any green screens!

"I took five months training in skate-boarding on the potholed roads of Juhu, three months in cable training, parkour and stunt biking. I didn't want to feel nervous while doing the stunts, rather wanted to look like a professional."

Still, he did feel nervous; not while performing the stunts but for a steamy kiss with one of the leads, "Some uneasiness creeps in when you realise that there are 350 crew members and their 700 eyeballs are staring at you. And that too when you are going to kiss somebody you have no emotions for." As for how he feels about bagging the lead role, on which depends the success of the movie, he quips, "I feel really heavy but hope this heaviness keeps me afloat in the industry."

He denies all the speculations that the film has a resemblance with some Bollywood and Hollywood flicks, "As is thought, the film doesn't have a beginning inspired from Ghajini, mid from Dhoom 2 and climax of Bourne Identity." All doubts cleared!

Vivek's another forthcoming venture, Rakta Charitra, has some rumours too…about its 'record-breaking length', "It's not a five-hour or a seven-hour film. I think by the time of its release, people's guesswork might go up to 14 hours. It's just a 2 hour 20 minutes film."

About his character in the film, Vivek says it was challenging as he plays an engineering student who goes on to become a politician and is accused of 400 murders. Also on the cards is a Broadway live show, first of its kind in India.

And immediate plans were to sit beside his friend Priety Zinta and support Kings XI team. One final verdict on how he feels Prince… would be, "A paisa vasool entertainer." Hope it is!


Getting BIG
IPL’s second outing in the city had a double dose of glamour, with a dash of music and a pinch of fun!
Jasmine Singh

The fan club

The battleground is set. Queen of Punjab Vs The Royal lady! And you bet, it is a treat to watch them battle it out on crease. Here it was, at PCA Mohali, Preity Zinta's Kings XI Vs Shilpa Shetty's Rajasthan Royals, an IPL match to watch out for.

The players of both the teams were relaxed. Sreesanth sweated it out in the gym…Shane Warne digging into sumptuous Punjabi buffet at Hotel Mountview. And of course, the usual autograph business is on.

At the PCA, the ground was all set, so was the paraphernalia and bling king, Jazzy B flaunting Kings XI tee with his heavy-duty songs, ready to rock. Upbeat tracks, live energy, the singer sure knows how to ignite the stage. "I am performing for the first time in front of a dedicated cricket audience. I am loving every bit of it," shares Jazzy B, who rocked the stadium with Punjabi numbers Husnaa di sarkar, Tu ni boldi, Rang De Basanti, Aaya main gaddi mod key.

Developing a fascination for cricket when he watched the World Cup in England the singer shared, "I am supporting Kings XI Punjab, and I am a big fan of Yuvraj Singh. I like his style, his immense energy. I have always liked his father Yograj Singh, a great actor."

Jazzy is not the only one to be bitten by the cricket bug; Bollywood's love-to-be-controversial-actor Vivek Oberoi too is gung-ho on IPL. He has been following the game sincerely, whether on screen or on field. "Preity is a cool person, passionate and dedicated. You have to see her cheering her team. "We will rock today, expect a lot of fireworks and action. I hope Yuvraj will give a knock out performance."

Cricket, cricket everywhere. But this is not the reason for Rabbi Shergill's presence in city. He has just dropped in to see a friend, an upcoming golfer. Nevertheless, he has a take on IPL. "Kings XI is back in form. Brett Lee is back, so we can expect something awesome. I am definitely supporting Kings XI," offers Rabbi of Bulla Ki jaana fame, who feel songs have a mind of their own. "I look out for stories, observe people and this where my songs come from. I might just get an idea at the bus terminal, who knows."

Here at the stadium, there is no dearth of creativity. Posters with whacky one liners — Yuvi, Aithey vi, Sree all is well, Rajasthan mithi khao. Need we say cricket can get the best out of a fan?


To do or not to do?
Youngsters today do not mind public display of affection, but not all are fine with it

Holding hands, a hug, a peck on the cheek or something more - public display of affection is becoming increasingly common in our society. A casual stroll around the city — be it some pizza place in Sector 17 or the Sukhna lake — and one can see couples at it! While some view it as genuine demonstration of love, others perceive it as mere show off. Lifestyle checks out.

"We belong to the Sab kuch chalta hai generation. Look anywhere and you see these 'Bollywood inspired' couples," says Sahil Joshi, final-year B.Tech student from Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran. "But our parents would kill us if they see us doing this," he adds. "Personally, I would stick to holding hands or say a peck in public. More than that I would avoid lest I invite the wrath of elders."

"While in Rome, do as Romans do," feels 19-year-old Jia Sharma, an upcoming model studying in DAV College-10. "In Mumbai, no one would care to give you a second look as life is fast-paced. But here in Chandigarh one would end up in trouble," she says. "But then today's youth believes in self expression so I guess public display of affection is fine in youngster hangouts. But it should be avoided in other public places."

"It's our life and we need some liberty," shares a couple cozying up in Shanti Kunj-16. "Our parents know of our friendship but wouldn't be fine with us meeting this often," shares Jotinder Sigh (name changed), a MCA student from the city. "We don't want to be disrespectful to elders, but need some space to us as well," chips in his girlfriend, a BA student.

A word with Neel Kamal Bharti who is taking a leisurely walk with her daughter-in-law amidst love-struck couples in Rose Garden-16, "See it's their age to do all this. How does it matter," she says. "I am fine with public display of affection as long as a couple doesn't really create a scene," she laughs. "One reacts to situations till a certain age. After 55 you start accepting them as they are," says Bharti, who has a masters degree in psychology.

"Age has a lot to do with how one reacts," agrees Premila Verma, a management consultant from sector 11. "I have my reservations on public display of affection. If you love, why flaunt it?" she questions.

"Different generations view it differently," says Shalini Pathak from Mohali. "I guess older people should accept a little and youngsters should curb it down a bit. After all, we have to stay in the same society," she adds.

"Although touch is considered quite positive in a relationship, its public display might not be the best thing to do," says Ranjay Vardhan, a city-based sociologist. "Apart from expressing love, it could be another way to show-off possession," he quips. "The fact is that we are in a transitional phase. Western culture is fast being imbibed by today's generation mainly due to the media's influence. And soon its going to be an accepted norm in our society," he signs off.


Bond wagon
In love, forever

Relationship: Husband and wife
Time together: 40 years
Same to same: We were both in the same profession. He taught Chemistry at the University and I was a lecturer of English. We are retired now and both are sticklers for perfection. We believe in doing good deeds. Whatever we take on ourselves we put our heart and soul to accomplish. We are wholly dependable and keep our promises. Although due of this trait we have been taken advantage of, we carry on. — MP Sidhu

We both love poetry and occasionally indulge in reading sessions together. Robert Frost's Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening is my favourite poem and AH Clough's Say not the struggle not availeth is her favourite. In Punjabi we savour Shiv Kumar Batalvi's poetry. His deft handling of words to express human pain, sadness, despondency and dejection is very impressive. — KS Sidhu

Yet different: Although he has mellowed down considerably with the passage of time, even now the man in him instinctively reacts in the negative to my opinions and assertions. It is another matter that he comes round to my view after some convincing. He is very intelligent and with his mathematical proficiency can manipulate numbers in his head whereas I fumble even computing vegetable bills. He loves watching hockey and cricket on TV. I almost skip the sports page of a newspaper. — MP Sidhu

Unforgettable Moments: On the day of our marriage - a long time back of course - immediately before the garlanding ceremony he presented me a bouquet of beautiful flowers. I was deeply touched. — MP Sidhu

The doli ceremony of my daughter; when she sat in the car with her husband to go to her in-law's house I became so emotional that I could not control my tears. — KS Sidhu

Special Something: He is very, very special. He is my man 'Friday' and I am his most reliable assistant. When he fixes my leaking taps I stay at a calling distance to hand him over the wrench, while he adjusts the washer at the right place. I hold the stool when he replaces my fused bulbs. When he hangs a picture on the wall I am at his side to pass the drill for boring a hole. I also point out the marked spots - I can see them better from a distance - and then hand over the hammer to him. Consequently, the job is impeccably done. He is a sort of connoisseur in food and most of the time tells me what is amiss. — MP Sidhu

I am indebted to her for the way she managed her professional and private life so very earnestly. — KS Sidhu

Funny Takes: When she naively explains something very minutely, I am amused but pretend that I am listening. — KS Sidhu

Even if he has been in and out of the kitchen many times, he would ask in a childlike manner 'what is for dinner', which makes me laugh. — MP Sidhu

Wishful Thinking: "If wishes were horses beggars would ride" yet I can certainly state that I have had a wonderful life and there are absolutely no regrets. At the moment I only wish for his love, care and concern. — MP Sidhu

I want her as she is. My only wish is she should work less hard and take care of herself more. — KS Sidhu

— As told to Mona

If you want to feature here, please email at lifestyletribune@gmail.com or mail at Bond Wagon, Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh, along with a photograph and contact number.

Lifestyle invites responses from readers on the following issue:

What role does fantasy play in real life? Please email the responses in around 200 words to lifestyletribune@gmail.com or post along with your photo and contact number to 'Relatively Speaking', Lifestyle, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh. The best few responses will be published.

To thine own self be true

For better romantic relationships, be true to yourself, that's the suggestion of a new study. The study examined how dating relationships were affected by the ability of people to see themselves clearly and objectively, act in ways consistent with their beliefs, and interact honestly and truthfully with others.

In other words, the ability to follow the words of William Shakespeare: "to thine own self be true," said Amy Brunell, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University's Newark campus.

Findings showed that college students who reported being more true to themselves also reported more positive dating relationships. "If you're true to yourself, it is easier to act in ways that build intimacy in relationships, and that's going to make your relationship more fulfilling," Brunell said. Participating in the study were 62 heterosexual couples, all of whom were college students. The participants completed a long list of questionnaires in three separate sessions that took place about two weeks apart.

The first set of questionnaires probed how true participants were to themselves, a characteristic that psychologists call 'dispositional authenticity'.' This was measured through the answers to questions like "For better or for worse, I am aware of who I truly am." Overall, the study found that both men and women who reported being more true to themselves also behaved in more intimate and less destructive ways with their partner, and that led to them feeling their relationship was more positive. In addition, they also reported greater personal well-being.

In the second phase, participants answered questions examining various aspects of their relationship functioning, including their willingness to discuss their emotions with their partner, and whether they kept secrets. The third phase involved measures of relationship satisfaction and personal well-being. Overall, the study found that both men and women who reported being more true to themselves also behaved in more intimate and less destructive ways with their partner, and that led to them feeling their relationship was more positive. In addition, they also reported greater personal well-being. But the study revealed an interesting gender difference in how authenticity in men and women affected their partners, Brunell said.

Men who were more true to themselves had partners who showed more healthy relationship behaviors. However, there was no significant relationship between women being true to themselves and men's relationship behaviors, the study found. — ANI

Renee Writes
Be the change
at lifestyletribune@gmail.com or Life Style, The Tribune, Sector 29-C, Chd

I am 35, living in an abusive marriage for the last 15 years. I was married soon after college to a very suitable businessman chosen by my family. I feel I am at the end of my tether now. I have been fighting depression for last few years. My kids are suffering as much as I am as my husband is into alcohol and drugs abuse and is a compulsive spender. He has driven us into a very tight spot financially also apart from the fact that he is a social embarrassment. I am a qualified MBA and work with a small company but taking a firm step is a problem. Please advise.

Anuradha Sidhu, Jallandhar

The reason that you are suffering so much is that you are not really dealing with your whole problem. You are so marinated in self-pity for years that it has become a habit. Just dry your eyes and get down to work. Start dealing with your problems one by one and soon you will realise that you actually have nothing much left to deal with. Why don't you create a new world for yourself? Separation from a spouse is not the only answer to resolve a situation. Change your own attitude. That will also make your kids see life from a different perspective. Learn to love yourself and give yourself some emotional pampering, your husband will also come around once you view your situation differently.

Happiness lies inside

I am a young boy of 19 with a drinking problem. I am quite ashamed of it myself but I feel the situation is now beyond my control. I started drinking at 14 just to have a good time. Now it has become a pressure to drink with my friends. They think I am less of a man if I do not indulge this habit. I also feel that it lessens stress, family and peer pressures. I like losing myself but now I am also afraid I might become an alcoholic. Can you advise me on how to deal with this problem? I cannot entirely give up drinking as my image is very important to me.

Manoj Dhaliwal, Doraha

I must congratulate you on your courage in facing up to your problem and also coming out in the open and accepting it. There a are lots of boys like you who are suffering from addictions but till you have not accepted your weakness you cannot find a solution. Your problem is that you are running away from your feelings and finding refuge in drinking. It gives you a momentary high and you are happy until the next day, you have the same routine. Do not identify your image with your drinking capacity. Learn to find happiness and fulfillment from within then you will not need these outside props. Help yourself and the God's will definitely help you.

Be strong

I am 21 years old and feel depressed many times. The reason behind this is that every relation till now with me, whether it is of my family or others is not so strong. I think I am not important in any one's life. I am not confident about anything I do in class or at home. I know I have more brains than the person next to me but I can't help myself. At home my hands shake if I do some housework because I think whatever I am doing is going wrong. Please advise me what I should do to increase my confidence level.

Mana, Chandigarh

Please do not feel depressed. Life is about joy and laughter, what are you stressing over. Most of the problems we carry in life are attitude problems. The moment you change your attitude life changes. Learn to have faith in yourself, why must you feel you're going wrong. When you love yourself whatever you do in your life will be with love. So try and give yourself love and remember only when you love yourself and accept yourself the world will love and accept you. Confidence comes with knowing that you are sure of who you are. So feel free and happy and God will bless you.

Fathers Down Under work harder

Australian dads are better when compared to those in Italy, France or Denmark, says a study. Lyn Craig, a senior research fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW, found fathers Down Under worked harder than Danish, French or Italian ones and the same as Americans in terms of their long hours in paid work combined with their domestic labours.

For example, Australian fathers spend 10 to 11 hours a day in paid and domestic work as compared to eight hours for Danish men, according to researchers.

''They do less than Australian women but they compare favourably to men in some other countries,'' the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dr Craig as saying.

She added: ''Intensive parenting seems to be a phenomenon of Anglo countries. 'Australian men and women -but especially women - spend more time with their children than do parents in the other countries, with only the US coming close.'' — ANI

Action packed
Ashima Sehajpal

Producer is somebody who finances, but here is another take on the definition, "A producer is like the housewife who has 90 per cent onus of running the house. The rest comprise the 10 per cent," says Kumar Taurani, producer, whose latest venture Prince—It's Showtime, is slated for release on April 9.

His work also includes assuring that the movie is made exactly as the script is written. "Conception of an interesting, novel and practical idea is a tough job. What's tougher is its development and processing to give it the shape of a script. And the toughest job is executing the script as its written," he says.

Thus, when the shooting of Prince… was almost complete in February last year, what took its release so long was the post-production work.

"To edit the movie and make it as we thought it to be, we had to bring in editors from Hollywood. Nicholas who worked on Transporter was brought in too."

He agrees that although action and romantic movies have been there for long, the audience doesn't mind an overdose. And action movie has a target audience as well, "TV soaps entertain women, so we target men and youth who need some entertainment."

Taurani also claims that mindless action does no good to any movie, "A sound script is indispensable." His choice of Vivek Oberoi over Akshay Kumar or any other action hero was? "I wanted an actor who has enough dates as the role required training in stunts. Vivek fit the bill and took up the role very positively." The most-awaited, next project from him is Race 2.

And his take on piracy? "Other than pirated CDs coming in from abroad, it is the Internet, which is causing us more harm. The government of India has regulations about pirated CDs, but not much is done in case of Internet downloading of latest films and songs." His production house, TIPS, has hits like Race, Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani, Raaz and Soldier… to its credit.

Food for thought!

Enter Lalit Modi. There we have all chefs ready to just take his order! And he was fine with a glass of lemonade and crispy potato masala. Then there are cricketers, Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia and some or the other celebrity coming in, which means as many dishes, as many orders and extremely busy Mountview staff. "We treat cricketers with whatever they demand," says Vijay Sharma, Corporate Executive, Chef, Mountview.

What keeps Preity Zinta glowing and going in the dug out is Punjabi curry with millet chapattis. Apparently she also loves to have corn and potatoes.

The Pathan brothers will get some energy boost from the halal meat that was just prepared for them. Irfan, however, also gets on demand fish cryol. Now, we don't know exactly what brings Brett Lee back in action, but what we know is he relishes lapeta murg kebab and chicken chumking.

We caught Sharne Warne and Andrew Symonds indulging in continental, our own Punjabi dish butter chicken and dimsums. Somebody also told us… Sreesanth just can't get over the Bhindi Do Pyaza and Dal Tadka. Reetinder Sodhi was seen having uttapam. Long list of delicacies! Food for sure is the secret of some energy! — Ashima Sehajpal

In honour
SD Sharma

The Chandigarh Sahitya Akademy (CSA), under its chairperson Professor Manju Jaidka, selected nine veteran scholars and honoured them during a function held at the Randhawa auditorium on Wednesday.

Among those awarded were Gulzar Sandhu, Gursharan Singh, HS Nama, for Punjabi, Indu Bali, Mohan Bhandari, Virendra Mehndirattaa, for Hindi, and RD Sharma Taseer, Yash Gulati and Kashmiri Lal Zakir, for contributing towards Urdu literature.

These awards, as well as prizes to creative writers from city colleges, were bestowed by the chief guest Bupinder Singh Badheri, Senior Deputy Mayor. The awards included a commemorative plaque and Rs 11,000 in cash. Besides, 18 upcoming writers from city colleges were given Rs 1,000, 750 and 500 for winning the first, second and third positions, respectively, in Hindi Punjabi and English language.

Earlier, chairperson of CSA, Manju Jaidka, welcomed the guests and highlighted the aims and achievements of the academy.

Saintly notes
SD Sharma

Inspired life is virtue absolute and all else is profane," maintains Shailendra Bhartti, a versatile classical, bhajan and ghazal maestro about the ideals and philosophy of Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi.

"In fact, any Indian sage would preach universal harmony and brotherhood, as God pervades all animate and inanimate things," says Bhartti, in city for a devotional recital at the Sai Temple complex. The renowned singer, who was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, and brought up in Mumbai, started his musical journey at the age of eight. His father and guru Pandit Anand Kumar imparted him training.

He is credited with over 350 audio, video CDs, including 35 ghazal albums, playback in TV serials like Ramayana, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and many more. The father-son duo contributed a lot towards the success of Ramayana. While his father Pandit Anand Kumar gave the lead song Mangal bhavan amangal haari… Shailendra rendered the entire playback for Hanuman, besides other songs.

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