Sense & Sensibility
The confidence and never-say-die attitude which got Sushmita Sen the Miss Universe crown 16 years ago, is still very much intact
Jasmine Singh

The biggest challenge, said Brian Weiss, lies not in taking up Herculean tasks; but in living life on one's own terms, in choosing the path without knowing what lies ahead. And, the biggest challenge lies in dreaming.

The sensational woman sitting in a long black dress at Hotel Taj on Saturday night, oblivious to the cameras capturing even the bat of her eyelid, one morning, decided to lock the guide book of life and sat to pen down her own rules. Sky was the limit, and the beautiful butterfly wanted to explore every nook and cranny.

"One is fearful of moving out of a set mould. The tattoo on my hand reminds me that there is nothing to be afraid of. I am blessed to have found so many opportunities in life. It wasn't easy taking up all, but I was untouched from fear," smiles Sushmita Sen, leaving everyone in the room awestruck with her warmth and confidence.

Of course, she is not a regular face in the crowd. She is a lady who dared to dream, and inched closer to whatever she ever dreamt of. In the city to choose I Am Spirit, a sub contest for I Am She 2010, the official preliminary to the 2010 Miss Universe, Sushmita surely knows what it means to win. "Only two people in India know what it means to win a title. When I was approached to take up the franchise for Miss Universe, I didn't think twice. One, I thought it was in my destiny, and two, it was the question of my country, I am in this position because of my country," says the leggy beauty citing reasons for taking up I Am She.
Sushmita Sen (in black) with Kapil Dev (R) and KD Singh (L)
Sushmita Sen (in black) with Kapil Dev (R) and KD Singh (L) with the contestants

Watching her from a distance, we notice Sushmita is far more confident and comfortable in her skin that we thought of. No wonder she is known as a deadly combination of beauty and brains. She throws her head back in laughter, "Thankfully, the concept of beauty was different when I became Miss Universe otherwise I didn't stand a chance of winning the title. (is she being modest?) But of course, the concept of beauty at the pageants has changed drastically. With the passage of time, Miss Universe has grown in its reach, becoming far more commercial."

It happened almost 16 years ago when she went on to beat 76 beauties from across the world. The title has adorned many heads till date, but what became synonymous with her name is adjective, 'woman of substance' and her 'never say die attitude'. Despite her 'crash' at the box office, Sushmita feels no need to sit back and brood. "I was never a rat and so I never participated in the rat race of the Hindi film industry. My friends often tell me that I haven't got my due from the industry to which I say, 'had I got my due, I wouldn't be here," she flashes another infectious smile.

Dreams are all she has. A dream of making a movie on the life of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi and having a biological child! "Rani Laxmibai is less about an epic and more about the woman's story of courage. Something that can be seen in the 'I Am She' as well. "For the first time a contestant with one eye, another one who will speak Punjabi will be participating inthe contest," shares Sushmita. About the biological kid! "I already have one, building up the curiosity, I Am She, she smiles again. Check mate! Didn't we warn you, this one is carries a combo of brains ands beauty.

In the right spirit

If dreaming is a challenge, so is working towards it. I Am She 2010, the official preliminary to 2010 Miss Universe organised a sub contest I Am Spirit 2010 contest in Chandigarh on Saturday. The selected 30 contestants who walked the ramp underwent three weeks of intensive training under the experts from various fields. The winners of various similar sub-contests will be crowned at the grand finale to be held on May 28 in Mumbai.

Says Sushmita, extending her thanks to Kanwar Deep Singh, chairman, Alchemist Group, for his support, "Girls these days are smarter. A 17-year-old doesn't necessarily need to be groomed. With I Am She 2010, we are trying to break the barriers. I firmly believe in destiny and I am glad that I have a chance to work with like-minded people like Kanwar Deep Singh."

Sushmita also shares that Bollywood is not an eventuality for the winners pf this contest. "We will be giving the girls scholarships in various fields like fashion, direction, animation and in coming times in medicine and law as well." Adds Kanwar Deep Singh, "The contest celebrates life, self-discovery and confidence, which is why are associated with it."

On a song

Suchitra Pillai
Suchitra Pillai

Wearing a crown doesn't define beauty for Suchitra Pillai. For this television actor, veejay, theatre person, beauty is far more than a flawless gossamer skin, chiseled features and an hourglass figure. "Beauty to me comes from within. I do not see beauty in any other form. If you are beautiful within, you will look pretty outside, irrespective of skin colour, shape of eyes or nose," quips Suchitra Pillai, handling the stage for various sub contests of I Am She 2010. "All the same, I cannot rule away the prerequisites for beauty at beauty contests. All the 30 contestants are working really hard on fitness. A fit mind, body and soul add pizzazz to one's appearance," she adds.

About projects in pipline, Suchitra rules out any possibility of working in films. "I would do some comedy on television. I was a clown of my classroom. It's nice to get paid for being one on TV. Besides, comedy is a genre I am thoroughly comfortable with," shares Suchitra, who is all set to roll her music album Such is Life in the market. "I have been working on it for quiet sometime now, it should be on the stands in a couple of months. Such Is Life has all kinds of tracks in Hindi and English both."

— Jasmine Singh

40s, the new 20s 

Bollywood's 'Mr Perfectionist' Aamir Khan can be trusted to bring any character to life but playing a 24-year-old engineering college student at the age of 44? Well, people had their doubts until 3 Idiots happened. The actor played the endearing character of Rancho aka Ranchhoddas Shamaldas Chanchad aka Phunsukh Wangdu with such élan that it is difficult to imagine anyone else in the role.

Aamir KhanAamir is not the only actor to defy age in Bollywood. Be it romancing actors half their age or doing daredevil stunts, Bollywood stars have turned back the clock. The top slot of the industry is dominated by three Khans - Shah Rukh, Aamir, Salman and Akshay Kumar. All these stars are in their 40s but age seems just a number for them.

Salman and shirtless scenes go together but Shah Rukh, 44, took the concept of six-packs to the next level by revealing a toned body for Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om where he romanced with the then 18-year-old Deepika Padukone.

While waterfall scenes are generally reserved for leading ladies in the industry, Khan reversed the trend by putting himself as the pin-up with Dard-e-Disco. The actor is credited for sparking off a trend of six-pack abs amongst the youngsters and unwittingly becoming the face of many a new fitness shops that sprang up post the movie. Not the one to be left behind, Aamir Khan developed eight packs for his character of a revengeful tycoon, suffering from short term memory loss in 2008 blockbuster Ghajini. It took 13 months of workout, with a daily regime of about four hours, for Aamir to achieve the chiseled look. But the actor, who is known to go to Akshay Kumar extreme lengths to fit into his characters, gave up his muscular look and piled on pounds to play 'Rancho' in 3 Idiots. Aamir has now embarked on a new fitness regime to cut out the extra flab. He has been sharing his dietary plans with his fans on his Facebook page and blog.

Akshay, who is known as the Khiladi of Bollywood, is enjoying the best period in his career. The actor has been doing four-to-five movies a year and delivering back-to-back releases. The 42-year-old actor's five films are currently into postproduction-- Action Replay, Khatta Meetha, Patiala House, Tees Maar Khan and Thank You. One of the fittest stars in Bollywood, Akshay is known to do all his stunts. Some of the other late-bloomers in the industry are -Arjun Rampal, Irrfan Khan and Saif Ali Khan, who are enjoying a peak in their careers. — PTI 

Funny side up

Madhur Bhandarkar, who is all set to helm his first romantic comedy, has signed up Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Omi Vaidya of 3 Idiots fame for his latest film. The director, who was compared with Hrishikesh Mukhejee by none other than Bollywood mega star Amitabh Bachchan, is looking forward to walk the same path, which was treaded by the veteran filmmaker in the 70s and the 80s.

Bhandarkar is all set to follow Mukherjee's route with Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji, that goes on floors this July. The female cast of the movies is yet to be decided but Bhandarkar hopes to rope in 3-4 stars for the same. "It is a huge honour to be even talked in the same breath as the filmmaker who has made close to 50 movies. I can challenge that there won't be a single Indian who wouldn't have seen a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film. "With Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji I am looking at doing something very different from my earlier work. This would be a light hearted affair while bringing to fore slice of life," Bhandarkar said.

Ajay DevganThe casting of Devgn, Hashmi and Vaidya has created a stir of sorts in the industry since it is as unique as it gets, especially for a film, which comes from the house of Bhandarkar. It is for the first time ever that the filmmaker is attempting a feel good romcom entertainer.

"I know. I have been known for making hard-hitting, real and controversial films. However, I always wanted to make a light film like Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji as well. This is a story of three guys though there would be a definite place for 3-4 girls as well. Their names would be announced in due course," Bhandarkar said. The director wants to wrap up the shooting by September. Soon after that, Bhandarkar would head straight into Kareena Kapoor starrer Heroine which would go on floors in November.

"All three actors are so excited about the subject because it is very unusual. Despite his busy schedule, Ajay allocated immediate dates. Emraan too was extremely excited and very accommodative despite the fact that he has 3-4 films lined up for which he begins shooting soon. It's the script, which has excited everyone. Also, the movie would be put together very crisply. It is going to be 2 hours and 10 minutes."

However, Bhandarkar refuses to call the film as an out-and-out comedy. "Were Hrishikesh Mukherjee films comedies? I have grown on his films. Anari, Anupama, Satyakam, Guddi, Anand, Bawarchi, Namak Haram and Golmaal - just look at the kind of films he has made over the years. There are so many genres that he touched upon; the list is endless. Though many of them were real lighthearted affairs, all of them had a slice of life element to them. They were all character based films and same would be the case with Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji." — PTI

Lucky charm

Jennifer Lopez Jennifer Lopez has worked her charm to help raise 6.7 million dollars for AIDS charity at a Cannes Film Festival auction. The Back-Up Plan actor tried to tempt the audience to drive up the bids on about 10 luxury lots, which included a gold-plated bottle of champagne and a monkey-shaped pendant in diamonds and gemstones.

In fact, Chris Tucker and designer Karl Lagerfeld also tried their hand in encouraging bidding at the Cinema Against Aids benefit, reports a publication. Guests at the star-studded event included actress Naomi Watts, Paris Hilton, Giorgio Armani, Naomi Campbell and Mick Jagger. And the performers at the evening were punk icon Patti Smith and Mary J Blige, who captivated the crowd with her acapella rendition of Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven. Russell Crowe and Tom Ford were among those who took to help lead the auction. Proceeds from the event will go to the American Foundation For Aids Research (amfAR), a non-profit organisation that supports HIV/Aids research. — ANI

Watt's up?

Actor Naomi Watts was ordered off to boot camp to 'toughen up' for her upcoming spy movie Fair Game. The star plays a role of secret agent Valerie Plame, opposite Sean Penn, in the film.

Director Doug Liman made her undergo rigorous physical training for the role when she hit the set shortly after giving birth to her second son Samuel in December 08. "Because I was in a wholly maternal state at the point when we were supposed to start shooting, Doug said, 'OK, get into a boot camp and toughen up, lady,'" a publication quoted Watts as saying. "It was a fascinating two-day period - how many people can say they've breast-fed while packing a weapon?" she added.


Right move

Reese Witherspoon Actor Reese Witherspoon is reportedly planning to move in with Hollywood talent agent and beau Jim Toth.

A source said the couple, who have been dating for four months, are "talking about moving in together" since they "don't want to spend any time apart".

Although Witherspoon and Toth have never confirmed their relationship, the two have been spotted in several outings, showing their affection towards each other in public, reports a website.

The 34-year-old star previously dated Jake Gyllenhaal for two years. — IANS

Law of attraction

Jude Law says that he has put his womanising ways behind him. The screen star wed Sadie Frost in 1997 and went on to have three kids. But they divorced six years later.

He hooked up with Sienna Miller on the set of movie re-make Alfie. But despite an engagement they parted ways in 2006 after he was caught bedding his children's former nanny.

After that, he was linked to Rod Stewart's daughter Kimberly, and actor Cameron Diaz.

And his 2008 tryst with US model Samantha Burke produced a child, Sophie, who was born last September. But since reuniting with Sienna while appearing on Broadway in New York, Law says that he's a changed man. And he puts the health of his relationship down to a new outlook on life.

"Eventually, you have to grow up and realize relationships are hard work. It's like cultivating anything. They need attention," a publication quoted him as saying. Law insists that influence of all his kids has also been a powerful factor in his decision to finally settle down. "Being a daddy is what counts. My new daughter made me realise that if there's anything that's going to make a man of you, it's having your will broken by a little girl," he added. — ANI 

Chan-ging scene 

Actor Jackie Chan has come forward to aid those affected by a drought in China by personally bringing much-needed water to the area. The Rush Hour star delivered 48,000 bottles of fluids when he travelled to China's Guizhou province.

He also visited an elementary school, where he gave students backpacks filled with notebooks, t-shirts, rulers. In a post on his blog, he writes, "Up in the mountains, they were facing serious water shortages. In the summer's dry season, villagers have to walk 10 miles just to collect two bottles of water. In the car up to the mountain, I could see the roof of many houses, used as a reservoir for water. However, it was covered with moss and there was no filter." he added. The martial arts master also donated one million Yuan. "After seeing how they drank water, I immediately donated one million RMB to the local government. Also, I donated money (for) the construction of 10 km of water pipes and a water tower. Now, 9,000 people in the village can drink clean water!" he said. — ANI 

Sum(mer) total

Renowned international choreographer Julia Klesse from Dresden, Germany with children from Dikshant Global School, Panchkula -12
Renowned international choreographer Julia Klesse from Dresden, Germany with children from Dikshant Global School, Panchkula -12

It's God's plenty - when it comes to what our city has to offer in summer workshops. From sketching, painting, eating healthy, dancing, acting to story telling, the options are endless. Here is a handy list for you and your ward to choose from.

Dance like an Egyptian

Or like a hip hopper /folk artiste/Brazilian or a Bollywood star. With the plethora of classes being offered from the likes of Puneet Jewandah, a trained dancer from the Broadway Dance Centre, New York, to established names like Shiamak Davar or Saroj Khan; one can pick a dance of one's choice — slow moving waltz, peppy street dance, vigorous hip hop or classical kathak. Gaganpreet Chauhan, dance instructor at Spiritu-ALL-7, Panchkula, is holding workshop on contemporary dancing to keep up with the latest trends. "Dance is the best way to shed weight and negativity. It sure lifts up the spirits," chirps away Gagan. And trust us, it's going to be much more fun if you do it with your child or your partner. So, pick up the dancing shoes and swing to a spicy salsa.

What's cooking?

Traditional, yet a great stress buster, cooking is something that can come handy anytime in life. And no, you do not have to be 'big enough' to learn it. Eating healthy is something that's best initiated early in life. Aditi's unique concept Arney's Backyard pulls in kids, along with their mommies, to learn about and cook healthy meals through engaging activities. "Teenagers today are conscious about eating choices that they make. So fruit-based smoothies and quick bites are going to be the highlight of my summer workshops," says Rohini Walia, cookery expert from Sector 35.

Be a sports star

Story telling can be great fun
Story telling can be great fun

If hectic schedule has kept you away from field, make most of the summers' long days by indulging in some sport. Go run, skate, play tennis, take a swim or join a soccer club to warm up for the approaching world cup. "Sports is one the best ways to engage kids for it fosters team spirit along with good health," says Chandar Singhal, a skating coach for last decade. "Skating is an awesome balance-oriented sport and the best part is even kids can pick up fast," he shares. Chandar is out as early as 4.30 in the morning with his bunch of enthusiastic kids for road practice. Evenings are reserved for rigorous practice.

Learn languages

Communicating well is an essential skill to survive in today's competitive world. "An average kid in India has lots of passive knowledge of English but when it comes to communicating, they still fumble," says Suprita Gill, a communication expert. Her two workshops that are being held in various city schools - Magic Minds and VocaBOOM teach language through poetry, drama and horde of other interesting activities.

Art of living

Any art form is expression of life and can be immensely satisfying. So, if it's sketching, portrait painting, model making or something more practical like gift-wrapping on your mind, British Library-9 is hosting activities on these and more. Coveda- 18, apart from range of things also has on offer crafts workshop on paper machie, clay modeling and handmade papermaking. "Not only it is loads of fun but kids also get to learn to turn waste into something useful," says Dev from Coveda.

Act now

Theatre helps shedding inhibitions
Theatre helps shedding inhibitions

Theatre is one medium for release of pant up emotions. "Our workshop will help kids' learn basics of acting and stage designing which in the process is sure to enhance their creativity," says Zubin Mehta, who is active in children theatre for last seven years. He is part of summer workshop at Yadavindra Public School, Mohali. Chandigarh Art Theatre has dance, modeling, anchoring along with acting as part of their summer camp. Acting is also part of Go Bananas Summer Camp at the British School - 44 has workshop on film making along with other fun activities like a splash party and picnic all tucked in summer workshop. Sheetal Gaind’s Creative Daffodils is another place to check up for acting enthusiasts.

Trekking times

While various schools are taking kids to nearby hills for trekking, their parents are busy scurrying the city markets for track pants, torches and trekking stuff. Chandigarh Adventures, Treks and Sports (CATS) is already out to scale Chooridhar peak. Next in the line is five-day trekking trip to Himachal and Uttranchal in the end of June, shares Supreet Dhiman, one of the founder members CAT.

Spice up
Nail this art
Shahnaz Husain

Beauty care and trends are related to changing seasons. And, there is nothing like a change, to make us feel good about ourselves. One of the easiest ways to express the changing season is through our choice of colours. It's not just with the clothes we wear, but also the colours we choose for our lips, eyes and nails. In summer we go for light, serene, pastel colours. We try to be as subtle as possible in our choice of summer clothes. The same goes for the nails too. We can select colours that are icy, "cool" and trendy.

As far as summer colours in nail polish are concerned, pink is ideal for summer. Shimmer is in, so you can go for silver shimmer for the day and gold for the night. Lately dark colours have been in, but I feel that subtle colours are more suitable for summer. If you do go for bright and bold colours, keep the rest of your look simple. You can also add a very glossy topcoat in bold and dark colours, like emerald green, turquoise blue, magenta and so on.

It's a good idea to go for icy summer colours like pink, mauve or ivory and then dress them up with nail art. Or, you can go for shades of brown, like coffee, bronze, copper, or sea shell and then add on glitter.

Summer heat is more intense, so we should think about sun-protection too. Did you know that the sun can affect the nails too? Some pastel colours, specially beige and pink, can become yellowish after being exposed to the sun. The nail too can acquire a yellowish tinge. The most common cause of yellow nails is wearing nail polish constantly. The nails should be left unpolished sometimes.

For sun protection, you can use a clear, transparent nail polish as a top coat over the colour you have used. You can apply sunscreen on the nails too, just like you apply it on the hands and arms, for protection from UV rays. UV resistant top coats are also available.

To protect the nails from the discolouring effect of nail polish, you can apply a transparent base coat first and then apply the colour of your choice. Thus, the nail is protected.

To get rid of the yellowish tint on the nails, scrape the surface of the nail with the finest-grain side of an emery board, so that the nail is not damaged and then use the UV-resistant or clear polish for protection. It will also add shine to dull nails.

The nails can also be "buffed." This is usually done with a piece of chamois leather. It should be gently rubbed with the chamois leather. It helps to remove the yellow tinge and also makes the nails shiny.

Or, you can add baking soda to water and soak your fingers in them daily for 15 minutes.

You can also take pieces of lemon and rub them on the nails. Or add dilute lemon juice with water and soak your hands in them for 10 minutes everyday.

Make a summer hand lotion at home by mixing rose water, cucumber juice and lemon juice in equal quantities. Apply it on the hands daily and wash it off after half an hour.

Or, mix together one teasoon pure glycerin with 100 ml rose water. Keep it in a bottle with a lid. Use a little of this daily on the hands, to keep them soft and youthful.

For another summer hand and nail lotion, take half a cup of orange juice and add one tablespoon honey. Mix well together and then rub this mixture into the hands and nails. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off.

French Manicure

French manicure is ideal for the summer and one can achieve the "cool" look so easily. The square tip was popular, but the oval tip is back in fashion. A French Manicure can complement any outfit, whether formal or informal.

If you like, you can get a professional nail stylist to do them up with false tips in acrylic. Or, you can even try it at home.

Your nails should be long enough, to try the French manicure. First, using cotton wool soaked in polish remover, wipe off old nail polish and soak the hands in warm water, as one does for any manicure. Push back cuticles. Clean under the nails. Using nail clippers or scissors cut the nails evenly and straight across, if you want the square look. If you want rounded edges, use the emery board to round off the edges, filing only in one direction. Apply cream and massage it into the skin of the hands and fingers, specially the cuticles. Wipe off with a moist towel.

Now, paint only the tip of the nail with stark white nail polish. Apply it straight across. If you go for the squarish look, just painting across the tip will do. If you have rounded edges, you will have to follow the shape. Try painting the underside of the nail with white too. Allow the polish to dry and paint a second coat on the tips of the nails. Then using sheer transparent polish or a very pale pink colour, paint the entire nail. Allow it to dry and paint a second coat. Once every coat has dried, you can use a colorless, transparent polish as a topcoat on the entire nail. This helps to protect the manicure. You can just paint the clear topcoat everyday, to touch up and make the manicure last. 

Save environment

Open house, cycle rally, cleaning event, cycling, nukkad natak, shoe shining activity, balloon-selling activity, open meeting, candle light event, walkathon, signature campaign, huh! For the next fifteen days, they'll leave no stone unturned to beg, plead, awake, convince, inspire the masses on the importance and indispensability of environment.

Five students, through their brainchild FyvElementz, aim to do their bit in conserving the environment. Through the project I care, I act, there will be a series of events kicked off a fortnight before the World Environment Day, on June 5.

Shares Mrigya Samyal, volunteer, FyvElementz, "Through these signature campaigns and other such activities, we hope to make people aware not only about the World Environment Day but also hope to inspire them to voluntarily reduce private vehicle use as much as possible." She adds, "Our efforts have also been appreciated and supported by several other voluntary organizations." Adds Hitesh Hooda, "We need to celebrate the day like never before and we need to make our city free from toxic fumes for at least one day." Well, we also need to celebrate the day with the fervour of any other festival.


Musical treat
Tribune News Service

The Chandigarh Institute of Performing Arts in association with Canara Bank organised a singing competition based on old and new film songs on Sunday at the Government Museum and Art Gallery auditorium, Sector 10.

The contest was open to amateur singers above 10 years of age. About 40 contestants participated in the contest. HM Singh, a renowned music director and composer, and Dr Anish Garg, documentary films producer and lyrist, adjudged the contestants. Music was arranged by Satinder Rawat. 

Friends… in fitness & health
Ashima Sehajpal

Did you hear? Ruchika is going around with Karan, Neha and Ritu had a fight, Megha has lost more weight than her sister has in the last one month, Varun wears best of the gym brands…and the gossips continue to entertain in the other wise boring and monotonous workout sessions in the gym. And we thought gyms and yoga classes are meant just to lose and gain weight, tone up body and attain peace of mind. They serve more than the primary cause, encourages social bonding, friendships and even a little more than friendships, all of which have some advantages and disadvantages.

Anil Juneja, yoga expert, FnY studio, Panchkula doesn't mind friendships and even chatting till they don't hamper yoga practice, "In fact social bonding in the classes is a healthy activity as that makes people more eager to mark their presence daily." Those who suffer from stress are advised to join classes because they are able to manage stress and, "Also they get to meet and know new people, who too might be going through the same. They share their problems and that helps them deal with stress. Introverts also get talking about their problems," adds Anil.

Besides the sharing and caring part of it, gym brings in the sense of competition in friends. "It's a usual scene to see boys competing to have a more muscled body. To prove each other who is stronger, they lift weights as heavy as they can, which increases their strength and stamina," informs Balwinder Singh, fitness expert, Planet Fitness. Friends in the gym motivate each other to work out more. "In case of girls, they do more cardio to lose more weight and become slimmer than their friends."

Jasvir Kaur, fitness expert, Oceanic, in fact is a witness to couples who met in the gym and then get married. "It at times gets silly, when youngsters join gym just to find the right girl or boy. But as long as it helps them focus on fitness and weight loss when required, getting in relationships in the gym is not a problem," she quips. Anil talks of another concept that has recently come up in his yoga classes, "Yoga kitty is the latest trend, in which money is contributed by those in one group. People make new friends and due to kitty parties get to spend more time together."

Gyms are the best place to make friends especially for those who shift their base as per their jobs. "To make new contacts, gym is the best place to be at. It makes it convenient for one to have social circle," adds Balwinder. But in any case, fitness has to be the priority. There are instances when people join gyms just for the socialising purpose. As Jasvir puts in, "Boys start stalking girls in the gym, which causes a lot of problems. Also as is the habit with girls, they talk and gossip so much that the duration of work out is mere fifteen minutes in a one hour session." Let gyms be for what they are!

Mane Point
Dr Anup Dhir

By age 50, about 50 per cent of substantial number of men and women-are affected by hair loss, much of which is hereditary. Today many people are battling with hair loss, with this surgery one can restore natural hair through Hair Transplantation. This is a surgical technique where skin that contains hair follicles are moved to bald parts, it takes healthy hair from the back of a person's head and moves it to the front of the head & thus giving a youthful appearance.

Micro-hair transplantation is a state-of-the-art hair transplantation technique that has replaced "plugs" or larger grafts of hair.


Most micro-hair transplant procedures (individual hair micrograft restorations) use local anesthesia and are performed on an outpatient basis. Other procedures such as flap surgery require general anesthesia and are performed in a surgical setting. After approximately six weeks, the transplanted hair will fall out and be replaced about three months later when the new hair grows in. To achieve sufficient density, several sessions may be required. Transplantation is a progressive process requiring hundreds of micro-grafts, each of which will generally contain from one to three hair mini-grafted from a donor site on the side or back of the head. They are randomly implanted in the bald (or thinning) area so that they will grow in a natural pattern and produce an undetectable result.


l Procedure is permanent. Once the transplant procedures are complete, there is no further necessity for surgery.

l Restores a natural, more youthful, and vigorous look, with potentially positive psychological effects, such as a boost in confidence.

l Less expensive than other hair-loss treatments, when factored over time. Other considerations are:

l Must have availability of healthy hair in donor areas of adequate density.

l May be combined with other surgical procedures in patients with larger areas of baldness.

l Time-consuming process that may require multiple sessions over one to two years.

l Procedure involves some degree of minor discomfort, bruising and swelling.

l There may be numbness around the donor or recipient site, which generally disappears within two to three months.

l Several days are required before normal activities can be resumed.

l Patient should not have unrealistic expectations about the nature and extent of transplanted hair growth. Individual hair characteristics, such as coarseness and curl, can affect the possible density of transplanted hair.

l Survival of transplanted hair is not always predictable.

Cost of this Surgery: The cost of Hair Transplant depends on many factors. Like on the nature of the skin of a person, number of grafts required & also on the number of sessions required for a person. But of late, the cost of this surgery has gone down to 50-150 K.

Steps For A Successful Hair Transplant

l Choose wisely your surgeon. Look carefully for a renowned surgeon, which is really very important. Try and know the years of experience of the surgeon. The skills & technique used by one surgeon are different from the other.

l One can always consult patients, which will help to know the right surgeon. As the result of one surgeon could always differ from the other. Ask for the number of procedures performed by him.

l Try and know the best hair transplant procedure that is required for you and discuss it with your surgeon.

l During the consultation period, one needs to know everything about this procedure, the risks and the benefits included.

(The writer is a plastic surgeon and senior consultant at Apolo Hospital)

Staying away from sun causes depression

Hiding away from sun rays to protect oneself from skin diseases can harm one's health in many other ways, says an expert.A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has revealed that applying sunscreen can contribute to Vitamin D deficiency. Though it is vital to protect our skin from harmful radiations, experts fear some people are taking it too far.According to the study led by professors Simon Pearce and Time Cheetham, people are getting far too little sun exposure, which the body needs to produce Vitamin D. 

Staying out of the sun altogether can cause bone problems, and in extreme cases rickets and osteoporosis, depression and even weight gain.However, the study does not suggest that one should not apply sunscreens and let skin burn but to keep in mind that small doses of unprotected sun exposure are vital.According to experts, we need about 20 minutes of sunlight a day to help bodies produce enough vitamin D, known as the "sunshine vitamin". — IANS

Gingerly speaking
Eating ginger can help ease muscle pain caused by heavy exercise, says a latest research.

Ginger root has been used as a household remedy since centuries for a variety of ailments, such as cough and colds and upset stomach, but now the study has revealed that ginger is particularly good for staving off muscle pain.

Professor Patrick O'Connor, of the University of Georgia, who led the research believes this remedy can be better than consuming painkiller drugs.

"Anything that can truly relieve this type of pain will be greatly welcomed by the many people who are experiencing it," he said.

The study showed daily ginger intake reduced the exercise-induced pain by 25 per cent. It is known to contain chemicals that work in a similar way to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin.


Thumbs up, mom!

A Brit mum-to-be is amazed at her sonography results - the 20-week scan shows her baby boy giving a thumbs-up. Marie Boswell, 35, says friends and family are surprised at her son's 'ok' sign that came out quite distinctly in scans taken at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester.

"It's really funny, the thumb is so clear - we can't believe it," the Telegraph quoted Marie, as saying. She added: "I have big hands but nothing on the scale of his - he looks like he's wearing boxing gloves! We're thinking he might make a good goalkeeper.

"I've never seen a scan like this before - we love it. I've been keeping it in a book because I want to show it to him when he is older and I've heard they can fade." Gerry Jackson, lead sonographer at Wythenshawe Hospital said: "It is very unusual to see a baby's thumbs so clearly. It is lovely we have been able to get such a clear image for this lady.

"The new scanners we use do give a really clear picture and we have to look at the hands as part of the national screening guidelines - and we do see the fingers from time to time." — ANI

BODY wise
Here's a breather

Despite the fact that asthma may be brought on by aerobic activity, exercise may still be a desirable option for many asthmatics. One of the goals of asthma treatment is to help you maintain a normal and healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise and other physical activities. Your ultimate aim should be to do 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week at a level of exertion that makes you only mildly breathless and does not exhaust you. And remember, as you get older, even a small amount of gentle exercise will make all the difference.

Research indicates that as tolerance for physical exertion is built up over time, it is less likely that an asthmatic will experience an attack during exercise, and in addition to reducing the risk of developing many other diseases, appropriate exercise can help asthmatics reduce stress, sleep better and feel more energised.

An absolutely essential first step is to have thorough medical evaluation and obtain your doctors permission before beginning any type of exercise program. Your physician may prescribe medications that might further help in controlling your condition, you will need specific instructions on when to take the medication before exercising, how long the effects will last and also what to do in case of a sudden attack.

Once you have received clearance from your doctor to begin an exercise program consider the following guidelines:

1. Always have your reliever inhaler with you when you exercise and try not to come into contact with things that trigger your asthma.

2. Increase your fitness levels gradually and exercise towards the lower end of your target heart rate.

3. Do extra warm up exercises. This will help to prepare your body for further higher intensity exercises

4. Activities such as walking, yoga, swimming are great for asthmatics because they are low intensity and may be done for longer duration. Those who wish to participate in higher intensity exercises, such as running or fast-paced sports, should slowly and gradually increase intensity with time.

5. Take adequate rest when necessary and always listen to what your body is telling you.

6. Restrict exercise when you have a viral infection, like a cold.

7. Take up strength training, as it is unlikely to cause an asthma attack as long as you rest between sets.

8. Avoid exercising in polluted environments, or in cold / dry air.

9. Avoid exercising alone. Have a training partner who is aware of your medical condition.

10. Don't rush through your cool down program. Extending it can help you prevent asthma attacks that occur immediately following an exercise program, a warm bath or shower may also help.

Asthma does not necessarily mean that you have to live an inactive life. Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for both your health and your overall well-being.

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