Cutting edge
In the city, celebrity hairdresser Aalim Hakim shares what it takes to give ‘that’ look
Jasmine Singh

Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Ranbir Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan, Bobby Deol, Abhishek Bachchan… what is common between them? Yes, of course, they are actors and stars in their own right, they’ve seen ups and down in their career, they are credited for giving strings of flops and an equal number of hits.

Not to forget, they have contributed (still are) for the rumour mill! Nevertheless, there is something amazingly common between them. ‘Hairs’ what it is! Not kidding, hair is what connects them. Even better, these celebrities share a common hairdresser - Aalim Hakim.

Saif Ali’s ‘desi gunda’ look accentuated by a clean shaven head, Abhisekh’s small crop cut in Raavan, Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘lost in the wood look’ in Wake Up Sid, Anil Kapoor’s coloured hair in Musafir, Amitabh Bachchan’s hair style in Ek Ajnabi… all it takes is a pair of scissors, a creative jerk and an insight like Aalim.

In the city for the launch of Tress Lounge, L’Oreal at Panchkula, Aalim cuts and designs his passion. “My father Hakim Kairanvi was a celebrity hairdresser who styled for Sunil Dutt, Dilip Kumar, Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan et al. I was nine when he died, but I had the desire to pursue his passion. I went abroad to train for the same,” says Aalim. “I would style hair for my friends in college for theatrical performances or fashion shows. Nobody had heard of a career in hairstyling when I took it up.”

We are eager to move to Bollywood and actors who have bowed down in front of him - of course for some hit hairstyles! He smiles, “Just about everybody.” He modestly blurts the names. “Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Bobby Deol, Suneil Shetty, Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor, Celina Jaitley, Manisha Koirala, Soha Ali Khan, Minisha Lambha, Ajay Devgan, Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Tushar Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Fardeen Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Zaheer Khan, Sachin Tendulkar…I’ve given each of them different looks as per their requirements.”

We marvel how Aalim manages to get a particular look? To begin with, Saif’s bald look in Omkara. “Hairstyling is a creative job, and it requires 2-3 weeks and sometimes months to design and give a particular look to an actor. The process is thoroughly professional - understanding the image of an actor, discussions with the director, script writer, cameraman and then finally talking to the actor, sometimes convincing them on a particular style,” he adds. “I had to really convince Saif in Omkara. He wanted to go with long hair and bandana, but Vishal Bhardawaj wasn’t convinced. Neither was I, but somehow I convinced him showing morphed pictures of my bald scalp and his face,” he laughs. He is quick to add, “Abhishek used to be very rigid about his styling, but he has become calmer now. This has helped me in giving him a short haircut in Raavan and earlier in Paa.”

It goes without saying, to convince someone, you need to convince yourself first. “Absolutely,” says the celebrity hairdresser. “I go by the gut feeling and experience of course. I keep thinking about something different to give to an actor or any celebrity that would speak of their individual style. I give only realistic, believable and followable hairstyles to actors. I don’t give them unrealistic or larger than life cut,” explains Aalim.

Still searching for the fountainhead for inspiration? “I am convinced by international trends and hair styles, nevertheless I don’t ape any particular style, and neither do the celebrities demand a Brad Pitt look. They too want a style, which is ‘individualistic’ to them,” shares Aalim, who is working on Ranbir for his upcoming movie Rockstar, Salman in Dabang and Arjun Rampal for his next movie.

All fair and square, would the hairdresser share his favourite star and the tough time they gave him? He laughs, trying to take the politically correct route. “All are fabulous to work with. Ajay Devgn is always ready to experiment on any new style, Hrithik Roshan is thoroughly professional, give him any kind of style, he lets me take charge. Saif Ali Khan and Ranbir are great to work with and Amitabh Bachchan is always a delight.”

Before we get to the tip of the mane matter, we wonder whether Aalim can read the minds of actors like in the flick ‘Everybody Says I’m Fine.’ “You wouldn’t believe, but I do. It is not possible to give a hairstyle without understanding what the other person wants,” he says.

Face in the crowd
Thanks to the marketing vision of various brands, the next model staring out of billboards could be you

Manpriya Khurana

You and I can become a model! Just about anybody, rather anyone, shall we say, random and sundry! Courtesy, the fashion labels, the marketing visions.About a month ago, Benetton finished finalising 20 faces for their next fall winter campaign. Came summer and Levi’s promised to change the world of 15 youngsters who’ll get a shot at fame, by getting a Levi’s produced music video, a three-city tour. Was it perhaps Dove, that a while ago, asked you to get a picture of your natural hair at the nearest mall?

Closer home, Kapsons did a repeat. Through their Kapsons mission model hunt 2010. The next model staring out of full cover newspaper supplements could be you. “For the kids, we’ve been doing this model hunt for the last three years but this time, inspired by the previous success, we extended it to adults as well,” shares Anu Deb, business development manager, Kapsons.

It’s a step above a platform; an opportunity even for those not fitting into stereotypical statistics. Rather it’s the other way round. “We try not to get professionals, in fact, we prefer to pick freshers.” Back to benetton and ‘It’s My Time’, their global casting competition invited profiles online specifically asking for real people; the people who’d be the face on the billboards all over. There they came, the entries from Ecuador, Cambodia, Portugal and Dublin, comprising roughly 61,000 entries. And along became eligible the second cousin, the neighbour, far-flung friend…two made it from India!

Meanwhile comes inserted in a glossy magazine an opportunity at fame, a chance to be a supermodel with Vogue eyewear. Ultimately, it’s an attempt to strike an emotional chord, an attempt to appeal at psychology.

Shyam Sukhramani, marketing director, Levis India, explains the Levis marketing campaign, marking 15 years into the Indian market, “The campaign needed to be more than just another gift with purchase scheme or a discount offer. The challenge was to use this platform to address not just the rational but also the emotional aspect.”

There’s a graduation from the usual ‘value for money’ offers, discount schemes, happy hours to something that’ll appeal to the aspirational tendencies. Shares Navreet Kang, senior marketing executive, fabrications company, “There’s an ambitious string in everyone, the success of any marketing campaign and especially these kind of campaigns lies not just in the fact that it gives you a chance but that it gives you a chance despite your flaws and average looks.”

He adds, “In any case, a catchphrase promising to make you the next big thing will grab more eyeballs than a regular discount scheme.”

Eventually, it’s a game like any other, of numbers and statistics. Shrugs Anu Deb, “At the end of the day, we want to popularise our brand.”

Talk of results and responses. Shares Sukhramani, “The response to our campaign has been encouraging apart from the sales being strong. On the digital front, our website has received in excess of 1,25,000 hits and around 3,500 youth across the country shared their ideas.” As Anu says, “Even if they aren’t buying anything and just to fill in the entry forms, at least they are coming.”

Anything that promises plain Janes and next-door Jills, a shot at fame, as long as it promotes talent, is mutually beneficial, is anybody complaining?

Six-yard-route to Cannes

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

She has often been criticised for favouring western couture over Indian ensembles during her much publicised stints on the French Riviera but Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be seen in a traditional outfit for Raavan's launch at Cannes.The Bollywood actor, who is one of the best known Indian faces across the globe, has shied away from wearing ethnic outfits ever since her debut at Cannes in 2003, when she was criticised for wearing a green sari.

"Aishwarya is in Cannes for L'Oreal every year as part of the International Dream Team of L'Oreal where on instruction she must wear international western designer wear," the actor's spokesperson said.But the superstar is all set to don an Indian outfit for the launch of Mani Ratnam's film Raavan at Cannes. Aishwarya stars with husband Abhishek Bachchan in the film."This time since the Raavan red carpet is also an occasion, Aishwarya will be wearing an Indian outfit for that which she had already planned," added the spokesperson.

The 36-year-old will wear a creation by designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. She had earlier chosen a sari by the same designer for her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show."I have given her many outfits for her stint at Cannes this year because she wanted to wear something Indian this time but I am not sure which dress will she be wearing," Sabyasachi said.The actor, who has become a permanent fixture at the Cannes red carpet over the years, has wowed the snappers with her choice of gowns.

She wore a violet tulle and mousseline gown from Elie Saab for the festival opening and for her second outing on the red carpet with fellow L'Oreal spokesmodel Eva Longoria, Aishwarya opted for a black Armani Prive strapless number, which hugged her curves in all the right places.The third day saw her on the red carpet in a pink Gucci gown accompanied by her mother who chose to wear a cream and 
gold sari. — PTI

Baby blues

Hollywood star Elizabeth Hurley, who is married to Indian businessman Arun Nayar, is trying to conceive but hasn't had any luck so far.The British model turned actor, who is already mother to eight-year-old son Damian with ex-boyfriend Steve Bing, is hoping to expand her family with a new baby.

"We haven't had any luck so far. Arun would love another one. Damian does not want another one. And I think it would be great if one came along. But we're grateful for what we've got," said Hurley. — PTI

Low-key affair

Not everyone can understand the allure of big weddings and Hollywood superstar Cameron Diaz is one of them.My Best Friend's Wedding star says does not see the appeal in having a over-the-top ceremony and would prefer a low-key wedding if she ever ties the knot."The mystique and the romance of a big wedding are lost on me," said the actor who says that she cannot imagine herself as a Bridezilla obsessed with her big day.

The 37-year-old, who is reportedly dating baseball star Alex 'A-Rod' Rodriguez, says that she would probably have a 'quickie' wedding."I don't think that I could ever do something that extravagant. I am not much of a planner. I would probably make the phone call twenty minutes before the bus leaves for the chapel and ask if anyone is available to come. That's probably how my wedding is going to end up," said The Shrek actor.The blonde beauty admits to being a romantic but maintains that she does not plan too far ahead."I am a romantic. I love romance. I'm not afraid of commitment.

But I hate predicting the future, I really do, because you just don't know. I can't even make up my mind what I'm going to do this weekend," she said.The Charlie's Angels star will next be seen in the upcoming movie Knight and Day with actor Tom Cruise. — PTI 

Honour bound

Mani Ratnam

Acclaimed Indian director Mani Ratnam will be honoured with Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award at the Venice Film Festival to be held in September.

Announcing this at Cannes, just before the launch of Mani Ratnam's film Raavan, Venice Film Festival director Marco Muller said, "Mani Ratnam is one of the greatest innovators in contemporary Indian cinema. He helped introduce the auteur concept to contemporary Bollywood. We are very proud to honour the work of the great Indian director Mani Ratnam."

The festival premiere of Raavan was attended by the director, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Vikram and A.R. Rahman.

Both the Hindi and Tamil versions will be screened at Venice Film Festival.

"Mani Ratnam used to make movies only in his native tongue Tamil, but has been one of the handful of filmmakers to successfully reach out to the all-India market," Muller said.

In recent years the award has been given to filmmakers Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Agnes Warda and Sylvester Stallone.

Raavan tells the story of a bandit leader who kidnaps the wife of a policeman who killed his sister. The film stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Vikram. The music has been composed by A.R. Rahman. — IANS

Wrapped up

As a starry-eyed teenager, she wanted to represent her country at an international event, wearing the national costume. On her very first red carpet appearance at the Cannes International Film Festival, actor Deepika Padukone did just that and with style that wowed one and all.

"Long ago, when I had started modelling I had promised myself that whenever I attend an international event I'd wear a saree because I'd rather represent my country in the national costume than in western clothes. I get enough opportunities at home to wear western clothes. When I'm seen at an international event, I'd rather be fully Indian," Deepika said.

The 24-year-old, who attended the event as the face of liquor brand Chivas Regal, opted for a Rohit Bal -- off white, slightly embroidered saree with touches of gold.

When told that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wore a gown, Deepika said: "I wouldn't like to comment on others. Speaking for myself, I find the saree very Indian and yet very sensuous. I wore an off-white Rohit Bal creation on the red carpet. It felt good to be so Indian so far away from from home."

Deepika had reportedly made discreet inquiries about what Aishwarya would wear before deciding on her own look. The 36-year-old "Cannes regular" looked great this year in a violet blue fully embroidered tulle and mousseline gown from Lebanese designer Elie Saab.

Deepika's two-day whirlwind tour to the Cannes Film Festival also included sight-seeing. On day two of her trip, she took off on her own to take in the sights and sounds of the scenic seaside town.

"There's so much to Cannes besides the festival. In fact, the first time when I came to Cannes in 2002, I was here not for the festival but as a tourist. I remember I had stood outside the venue of the Cannes film festival and taken pictures. I had promised myself that next time I'd be back as part of the festival...and here I am," she said.

According to Deepika, the best thing about the event was the fact that there was unconditional acceptance for Indian cinema.

"Here at Cannes, they aren't looking at me or anyone else from Bollywood as oddities. Even if I was in a saree, I didn't feel marginalised or ethnic. I home!" — IANS

Strip tease

Lebanese-born Rima Fakih, who became the first Muslim Miss USA, seems to have landed in trouble after news surfaced of her winning a pole dancing contest at a strip club in Detroit in 2007.Fakih, 24, was photographed sliding up and down a stripper's pole in a blue tank top, hot pants and high heels.

Other photographs from the competition showed her wearing a bra stuffed with dollar bills.These were posted on the website of a Detroit-based radio show following her triumph at the beauty pageant Sunday in Las Vegas where she had beaten 50 other contestants.

 The radio show's producers claim they have been contacted by the organisers of the Miss Universe competition requesting more information on Miss Fakih's involvement. As the winner of Miss USA, the 24-year-old marketing executive from Michigan will represent the country in the international beauty contest later this year. — IANS

Ticket collector

Hollywood beauty Gemma Arterton says she has become something of a ticket collector because of her run-ins with traffic warden. 

The actor, who played agent Strawberry Fields in Bond film Quantum of Solace, believes that her famous role in the superhit franchise has led to more parking tickets, Daily Express reported.

The 24-year-old, who will be seen playing a princess in new movie Prince of Persia, says she has been unlucky with parking fines.

"I'm terrible when it comes to parking fines - I'm usually a minute late and the warden is waiting there," Arterton said.

"I don't get let off because I was a Bond Girl, I probably get even more because of that. I've had lots." — PTI

The lost art
Namita Jaspal, an art conservationist from the city, says it's a combination of scientific and creative instincts
Neha Walia

If art is an expression, painting propagates it. When an artist paints, he or she puts a portion of his heart out on the canvas. And so when appreciating art, it becomes important to preserve those feelings expressed in colours."Anybody who appreciates art understands the importance of art conservation. Its an interesting combination of scientific and creative instincts," says Namita Jaspal, an art conservationist from the city.

Interacting with prominent museumologists, art curators and collectors; gallery owners and conservationists at a workshop held on 'Conservation of Paintings and Archival Material', she spoke on the theme of creating social harmony through art conservation. "There are many people working behind preserving a piece of art. There are curators, conservationist who work in their laboratories all day; the museum people who find and preserve art works of importance. Each has an isolated job but when combined it completes the process of art. Talking social harmony, I wanted to start from the museum itself," says Namita.

The book, "Painting: Techniques and Conservation", released on the occasion, was also an example of that. "The book talks about various painting techniques right from the Paleolithic Era to the modern day. It has interesting elements like a conservationist giving detailed analysis of art techniques and an artist talking about conservation techniques." Harmony in place indeed!

Namita graduated from the National Museum, New Delhi, 12 years ago and has been restoring art works from across the region such as miniature paintings, silver work in murals and paintings by known artists. She has been able to successfully garner government aid for Singhoor Museum in Kurukshetra and Ferozshah Museum in Punjab.

"The region has a rich art history and the problem is that nobody is aware of art conservation. Places like Patiala and Jagadhari have ancient art pieces that are being wasted because of lack of maintenance." But she insists that conservation is not just patchwork. "You have to feel for art. Apart from a scientific bent of mind, you need to have an artist's perspective."

But she maintains that the gap is starting to fill. "I have conducted a few workshops on art conservation and received good response. People have come in with collector's items like old swords, miniature paintings and sculptures for the purpose of restoration. The city folks have slowly started respecting their art."

Velvety touch

Akzo Nobel India Pvt Ltd launches two new innovative products Dulux WeatherShield Sun Reflect and Dulux Velvet Touch Colours of the World . Dulux WeatherShield SunReflect is an innovative new product which helps reduce the temperature of walls by up to 5 degrees and Dulux Velvet Touch Colours of the World is Inspired from 6 of the most beautiful destinations in this world.

Dulux WeatherShield SunReflect is a unique product which has been formulated to combat the Indian climatic conditions . Dulux WeatherShield, created using SunReflect technology, has higher Solar Reflective Index (SRI)-the ability to reflect the heat causing IR rays. Because of this technology, WeatherShield can reflect IR rays by up to 90 per cent higher as compared to regular exterior paints. Dulux WeatherShield has been certified by the Centre For Energy Studies and Research (CESR), as being a paint which reduces temperatures of walls by up to five degrees. Not only that, the cooling effect that Dulux creates on the walls turns out to be an energy saver if the paint is used as per prescribed systems. The WeatherShield SunReflect is equipped with a unique Colour Lock Technology which makes colour last for a longer period of time. WeatherShield is a superior exterior paint that prevents the growth of fungus and algae, is 100 per cent waterproof and has a five year weather protection. It also has the lowest VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) among all the existing paints in the market.

The Dulux Velvet Touch range uses 'vivid', a state of the art technology that delivers a soft sheen and velvety smoothness, which is unique to every Velvet Touch product. Ideal for homes that want a rich, luxurious feel, Dulux Velvet Touch is an aspirational product that offers a unique rich coating and a pearl like glow that is guaranteed to make walls stand out.

According to Hemant Somani, marketing head, Akzo Nobel India Ltd, "The focus at Akzo Nobel has always been on innovation and technological break-through. It is our endeavor to provide a comprehensive and valuable product portfolio to our consumers. Our latest innovations offer superior quality and benefits to our consumers." — TNS

Something special
SD Sharma

Riding on the success of their mission - promotion of music and dance - under the aegis of S-4 Trust and the Gurukul Vidyapeeth, prominent educational institutions in collaboration with the Social Welfare Department of the city are all set to hold the "Cultural Olympiad for Special Children".

CA Manmohan, Ashwani Sharma and Rinku Kalia of Sa Re Ga Ma fame, at a press conference held at the UT guesthouse, said their noble venture is an effort to explore the hidden talent in specially-abled children. 

The winners in the finals or exceptionally talented artistes will be accorded priority for admission in all Gurukul institutes with 100 per cent sponsorship, assured Manmohan Garg, the CEO. The contest for special children, to be organised at the Bal Bhawan on May 21, will be open for participation in solo, group singing and dancing categories in the age group of 9-15 years and 16-25 years. "As many as 25 institutes and NGOs, including Bhavan Vidylaya, Prayas, Institute for Blind have confirmed their participation," adds Kalia.

Fabulous deal
The exhibition, has block printed material from Rajasthan, Lucknawi chikan, Chanderi, Maheshwari and appliqué work

Master craftsmen display their skills at the Kisan Bhavan-35
Master craftsmen display their skills at the Kisan Bhavan-35 

Fab of India', the ongoing exhibition at Kisan Bhavan-35, apart from offering traditional cotton and silk fabrics from all over the country, is a huge hit with visitors as there are live demonstrations of Lucknawi chikan and appliqué work by master craftsmen from various parts of the country.

Wafa Shekh from Lucknow talks about the famous chikan work, "It's very time consuming. But then the machine stitch can never compete with hand work." She learnt the art a decade back and since then is holding free workshops for women in Lucknow. "Chikan too has evolved. Now there is use of glitter and stone on slightly thicker fabrics," she shares.

Sitting alongside is Sarferoz from Rampur teaching a few women gathered around the square some appliqué work. "I have been doing it since I was eight because it's my family tradition. My mother and sisters work from home and I go to exhibitions and demonstrate this craft." And he has been pretty successful at it. "It really feels great to see a customer wearing your work," he says. Appliqué craftsmen in keeping with times have come up with readymade kurtis, tops and suits in latest cuts.

The exhibition, which has more than 80 stalls, has block printed material from Rajasthan, Lucknawi chikan, Chanderi, Maheshwari, Bhagalpur silk and appliqué work. And there is readymade stuff as well — suit salwars, dupattas, kurtis, tops and saris in a range of colours and materials. One can mix and match stuff available.

And then there is wonderful stuff for kids as well — traditional dhoti kurtas, lahangas, tiny suit-salwars with duppattas, skirts and tops. Another interesting section is home furnishings with bedspreads in chikan, Sanganeri and Pilukhawa.

"The exhibition not only gets customers the original craft from remote parts of the country, but also keeps these crafts alive," says Rajesh Kumar, one of the organisers of the event.

(On till May 23)

Lasting memories
Final-year comes to an end, the days of masti on Panjab University campus are over and its time to bid adieu. Manpriya Khurana catches up with some students on their way out

It’s the exact opposite of a heavy-hearted, finger tugging kid being forcibly dragged to playschool. When you pack up the luggage and there’s excess baggage of a different kind. The session has ended, farewell is done with, exams are over and herein comes the toughest part. Time to exchange addresses, make promises of keeping in touch, say adieu and leave. Final-year students at the Panjab University share their sob stories, as also the things they’ll miss the most about not being a student.

Ask Sanam Sood, UIAMS pass out, hitherto the “greencard holder” of the varsity. “I left the varsity this year after having spent five years here. I’ll be missing just about everything. The Stu-C, library, hostel, coffee house, even my hostel security guard,” he rattles all the things as he sits in his office.

No wonder, there was an out of the way attempt at reliving the last moments. He adds, “I delayed joining the office by two days just to be with my friends.”

No wonder, for those who are leaving, the heart is heavier than the luggage being packed. Jasmeet K. Shan from the School of Communication Studies recalls the past two years. “When I look back and think of all the hectic days, the assignments, work pressures, it was all very eventful and at the end of the day you miss it all. Not to forget, till now it was minus the pressures of a boss. But like they say, you have to end an old chapter to start a new one.” And the grief is directly proportional to the loss, depending on whether it’s just the college days, hostel life, or the student status itself.

Jita Sharma, final-year student, Government College of Art, is already preparing herself for the inevitable while marking the last few months in the college, “Of course I’ll be missing my friends, teachers, library, all the farewells; freshers and countless such extra-curricular activities and events, they all make for wonderful memories.”

She adds, “It’s the apprehension of future coupled with the current loss. When I left my bachelor’s it was quite different; now when I’m leaving my master’s there’s a load of other baggage thrown in as well. That includes the fact that we’ll be leaving the cocooned world and stepping out in the open.”

Somewhat ditto for Sanjana Bhasin, M. Comm student, Government College, “For us hostellers, it’s double the nostalgia and some of us will even be leaving the city. No wonder, it feels terrible.”

So, literally, the “miss you” things go much beyond the obvious Students Centre or college canteen, free periods, overnight studies or even mass bunks. And it’s not possible to give an exhaustive list either.

As for the state of mind, shrugs Jasmeet, “It’s a very mixed feeling, rather there’s an entire package of emotions involved. Maybe it’ll take time to sink in or realise what all do I miss but right now what I can think of the most is my gang of friends.” As Sanam puts it, “It’s like entire one phase of your life has ended.” But then like one of the countless philosophies of life, ‘where there’s an end, there’s a start.’

Blame it on exams

Scoring high in exams is the biggest worry among students these days. Three out of ten young adults aged 18 to 24 worry about exams and gaining qualifications - only second to relationship and money woes.

“Exams can bring with them a whirlwind of emotions: panic, anxiety, fear of failure and fear about the future - getting into university or finding a job, following the recession,” a publication quoted Dr Mike Shooter as saying. Shooter is Samaritans’ trustee and youth mental health expert. Joe Ferns, Samaritans’ director of policy, research and development, said, “It’s natural to feel anxious around this time and many people struggle to cope with the stress, worries and fears about the future.” “It can be very lonely when you don’t feel able to talk about your fears with people around you, but Samaritans is there for you, 24/7.”—ANI

Advantage adventure

Teenagers who indulge in dangerous activities have a more mature brain as compared to their less adventurous peers, according to a new brain imaging study. The study, which focused on teen behaviour, found that adolescents with risky behaviour have frontal white matter tracts that are more adult in form than their more conservative peers.

According to a long-standing theory of adolescent behaviour, this delayed brain maturation is the cause of impulsive decisions in adolescence. But, the new study, which used a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to measure structural changes in white matter in the brain, has questioned the above theory. Emory University and Emory School of Medicine neuroscientists wanted to better understand the relationship between high risk-taking and the brain’s development. “In the past, studies have focused on the pattern of gray matter density from childhood to early adulthood. With new technology, we were able to develop the first study looking at how development of white matter relates to activities in the real world,” said Dr. Gregory Berns.

The researchers measured the levels of engagement in dangerous behaviours via a survey that included questions about the teens’ thrill seeking behaviours, reckless behaviours, rebellious behaviours and antisocial behaviours. DTI was used to measure corresponding structural changes in white matter. “We were surprised to discover that risk-taking was associated with more highly developed white matter - a more mature brain. We were also surprised to learn that except for slightly higher scores in risk-taking, there was no significant difference in the maturity of the white matter between males and females,” said Berns. —— ANI 

Close study
AC Joshi Library
at the Panjab University stands out as a vast repository
Manpriya Khurana

Don’t they say a varsity is a collection of buildings around the library? A place where the serious become the studious, where the studious become scholastic and where all the academic activity takes place unabashedly!

This one raises a toast to the spirit of knowledge. What better way to start our library series than the towering red stone structure at the centre of Punjab varsity site map. This one goes by the name of A.C. Joshi library, called so after a former Vice-Chancellor. What else? This one’s literally surrounded by all the right buildings.

There’s just about enough parking space, the adjoining Students Centre makes for a stiff competition. Once inside, the sections and spaces and pointers guide you along.

Says Rashmi Yadav, Deputy Librarian, “I would say the best thing about this library is that it is student friendly and there’s a very serious bunch of students that come here. In the outer reading hall, most of them come to prepare for competitive examinations, so there’s an environment for studying.”

Given the fag end of the examinations, there’s not much crowd but a student shares, “Generally during November, December it’s packed to capacity and then in the months of April and May. That’s when the semesters exams are there and it’s not unusual to not find a place to sit.” Most of the crowd is overtly casually dressed. Think flip-flops, lowers, tees…and the like.

Moving further into the five-storied building, there’s a newspapers section on the ground floor, a separate textbook section, reading room, mini-hall and photostat section. The reading areas face the north, while the staff area is on the south side. On the first floor are lifesize racks that seem to be stacking all the books ever written! And that’s a repeat on each floor.

Literature on the library places the collection at over 6.4 lakh publications. Logistics apart, it’s a world of manuscripts, journals, dissertations, rare books and bound volumes. Huh! To a first-timer, it hits you and too much for the eye to take in at one go.

Laughs Savneet Bhandari, science student, “During examinations, it’s actually buzzing with activity and apart from the hostellers, students even from Panchkula and Mohali come here during their prep leave to study.” No wonder, the place has got a culture of its own. Step out, and the presence of a coffee counter right in the corner probably acts as a reliever for the students, if not, the Students Centre is actually a few steps away!

Hair stress

Do you keep changing your hairstyle at regular intervals? Well, then you’re probably a little too stressed, according to a new study. has said that women who constantly go from cropped bob to long extensions and from blond to brunette may be stressed out or feeling overwhelmed.

“Changing hairstyles is really common during life transitions such as a break-up or a new career,” a publication quoted Los Angeles-based psychotherapist Heather Turgeon as saying. “Our hair is something we can control, so it’s empowering to make changes especially when you feel like other aspects of life are out of your control,” she added.Frequently changing styles can be a red flag that you’re looking for something more out of life, and think a new do could end your search.

“Someone who is constantly changing her hair is either a natural chameleon whose aesthetic tends to run parallel to her moods, or she’s searching for something and changing her look fills that need,” said Jason Low, stylist at a salon in New York and Los Angeles.And an expectant mom is very likely to change her hairstyle. Low said that he’s seen women in their last few months of pregnancy ask for a short cut or a simple style so they won’t have to fuss as much after the baby is born. “But then they return days later feeling exposed and unattractive, questioning their stylists’ judgment in making the cut,” he said.However, Low has advised women that they should try not to cut their hair on impulse, and stick with a reputable stylist who can persuade them from asking for a cut they will later regret. And they should take comfort in the fact that it’s just hair - and will soon grow back. — ANI

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