Delivering strong social messages is the USP of short animation flicks being produced in the city

Cute ugly Shrek, smart Stuart Little or pompous Tom, each has won millions of hearts across the world. Animated characters strike a familiarity with people as much as real actors do, courtesy, the creator. With dime a dozen animation schools opening in out tricity, which offer courses in 2D and 3D, we check out what’s our city producing.

Nanhi Chidiya is probably the first peg to start, for this three-minute film has already won many accolades. Screened at Mumbai International Film Festival in February this year, Nanhi Chidiya delivers a strong message as well. “We usually work on social issues and were wanting to do something on female foeticide for quite some time. When the story was ready (it’s by Jaspal Bhatti) all fell in place,” says Jasraj Singh Bhatti, who did storyboard, character design and direction for Nanhi Chidiya.

Another loveable character that Jasraj has designed is Filmi Keeda, the mascot for Mad Arts School. “Taking a clue from saying ‘mere mein na vo keeda hai’ we wanted to make our mascot a bug, but an endearing one. So we came up with ‘Filmi Keeda’, a bug who supports cool sunglasses and jives to music,” says Jasraj.

Spreading social message is also what Sanjay Rai, a student at Ants Animation School-9, worked on. His 30-second animation Common Man leaves a message not to touch any unclaimed baggage. “I am pretty new to this field. So I picked up this 2D visual and played around,” says the student who seeing a great potential in the field wants to set up his own production house. Sanjay along with his team is presently working on 3D animation that tells the story of two brothers - AM and PM - who control the world’s time.

Puppies for Sale is the work of students from Frameboxx-34. With a motto ‘I will ever stop’, this five-minute film tells story of young Sammy, a lonely but strong-willed boy who takes a pledge to never accept defeat in life. “Our short clip has two characters — Rover and Sammy - and three puppies. Each one gets a name, character and is accordingly designed after considerable brainstorming,” says Mukesh Verma, a student.

Saving wood is the message that students of Arena Animation Academy-17 want to give through their short film Gone With The Woods. Story of a cuddly bear and naughty rabbit, it strongly drives home the point that wood and animals should be saved.

“To have a unique story to tell is the most important step in animation,” says Vineet Kapoor Joshi, chief mentor, Arena Animation Academy-17. Vineet is nowadays living in the world of Sheikh Chilli Ke Tilsmi Sapne, which he along with his team of students is working on.

On the animation scene, the industry is quite upbeat about the region. “Most of the work, even from Hollywood, is outsourced to India for here we have plenty of talent and workforce,” says Sachin Bhatnagar, vice-president, New Media, Frameboxx.

“The only difference is that Hollywood has a huge budget while we are still opening to it,” says Jasraj. However, India has an edge when it comes to the future, feels Jasraj, “India has rich mythology that can make for a great subject for animation,” says Jasraj. “Also, animation and comedy go hand in hand. India and it’s unique set of problems can lead to the most awesome comedy,” he adds.

About the attempts at animation in India, Joshi says, “Applying the Bollywood frame to animation is the reason why some of the big attempts at animation did not succeed. One needs to think a step ahead and express something new to make most of the potential that animation offers.”

Eat like an Egyptian
Pop group Bangles taught us how to walk like an Egyptian, now Bristol Resort is telling us how to eat like one!
Neha Walia

Who says one needs to travel far and wide to enjoy exotic cuisines? Thanks to some of the city restaurants and their willingness to experiment, we have the luxury of enjoying a global buffet. Not just the food but the ambience and the cultural zing too. Place your finger on the map and you can have it on your platter. From the Mediterranean to Oriental to well, just anything…

And, the latest is the weeklong Egyptian Food Festival at Bristol Hotel and Resort, Zirakpur. Dishing out flavours from the Middle- East, the Egyptian Carnivale will have the food and bar menu complete with the authentic and fresh flavours from Egypt.

“The festival is part of our concept of Middle-Eastern food carnivale where we will have country-specific cuisine every week. We start with Egyptian food, with over 40 delicacies from the mystical land,” says RS Rawal, CEO, Bristol Hotels and Resorts.

The menu starts with appetisers with lots of salads like Ta’miya (fava beans soaked overnight and shallow fried), Zatun Wa Gibna (marinated olives served with goat cheese and house green salad), Toom Bil Zabadi (lamb roasted in garlic and olive oil with feta cheese) and more. The main course has delights both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Kufta Bi Fama (sesame coated feta cheese and vegetables served with hummus and mukhalil) Kosa Mahshiya (baked zucchini with feta cheese and nuts), Fuul Mida Mmis (boiled chickpeas tossed with garlic and olive oil), Asafer Bil Morghibiyah (grilled boneless chicken marinated with chick pesa, served with couscous and tahini paste) and Riasch Mashwiya (garlic marinated lamb racks served with khabooz and house salad). The nomenclature may be hard to read but the taste comes easy. To complement the main course, you have Egyptian breads Aash Shamy, Khabooz, Lavach and more.

The sweet touch comes with the famous Baklava and Basbussa, which is a semolina cake served with ice-cream.

“We have Chef Peter Gomez from Goa who will toss up these delicacies for us. The market for the global cuisine is growing. Also, the speciality of Egyptian food is that it’s highly nutritive, with lots of fibres and iron. Everything is cooked in olive oil and it’s easy to digest,” shares Rawal. Some dishes like Batata Hara soup also have medicinal value.

The bar menu with Champagne and Martini-based cocktails like Lama, Jamila, Dhia, Juhanah (no they are not inspired by feminine names) will give the exotic touch. Next on their list is the Moroccan food followed by Lebanese and Spanish delights. So, wait for more!

Drink to idiocracy

The next time you appear for a job interview, make sure you order just a glass of water and not beer or wine, for you could appear less intelligent — says a new study. It's not because you could get tipsy from a single glass of merlot; rather it's what the researchers label the "imbibing idiot bias." "People think that drinking in moderation is safe because it will not impair their thinking.

But they often don't realise that merely holding an alcoholic drink might make others view them as less intelligent," said Scott Rick, assistant professor at the University of Michigan, who did the study along with Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

The study revealed that managers are a lot less likely to hire an applicant if he/she ordered wine before dinner, instead of a soft drink. "Taken together, the results suggest that what we drink may say more about us than we think," the researchers concluded. The "imbibing idiot" effect has grown as advertising bans on alcoholic beverages, campaigns against impaired driving, and changes in legal drinking ages have created stronger negative associations with drinking. — ANI

Go for garlic

Got a penchant for the pungent? Then try a garlic festival. Travel website offers its picks for the World's Top 5 Garlic Festivals.

Gilroy Garlic Festival; Gilroy, California: Visitors can attest that the scent of garlic is in the air before you even get off the freeway. The grand-daddy of US garlic festivals, this one has collected millions of dollars over the years for area charities and hosted over three million visitors.

L'aglio di Voghiera; Voghiera, Ferrara, Italy: Take the Italian countryside, Italian cooking, Italian music, add a little garlic and you have what might be the most blissful three days a human being could ever experience.

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival; Saugerties, New York: This festival offers no fewer than five separate experts who give on-site lectures on the topic of garlic.

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival; Newchurch, UK: This festival offers garlic beer, garlic fudge, and garlic ice-cream. And they say England has a bad reputation for food.

Perth Garlic Festival, Perth, Ontario, Canada: Giant bouquets of the Stinking Rose are sold here the way cotton candy is sold at other festivals. — Reuters

Brawn-y point
Jasmine Singh

Amrinder Singh — Photo: Manoj Mahajan
Amrinder Singh
— Photo: Manoj Mahajan

First, Shah Rukh enticed the fans with his six-pack abs and then Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan was not far behind. He zip zapped on the screen with his eight-pack abs. Female fans wowed on this feat; men called up the gyms to secure a lifetime membership. But Amrinder Singh (20), a student from DAV-10, did not take fancy to anything. He loves the idea of biceps and triceps, but also understands there is a proper way to achieve it.

Chandigarh finalist for Junior India, Body Building Association, Amrinder Singh doesn't want to be harsh on his body. At the same time he wants to utilise it to the best. "At present I have 18-inch bicep and Salman Khan has 16-inch. On television, the camera angles give a different picture," says Amrinder.

Unlike the popular notion of 'doley sholay' and girls drooling over it, for Amrinder, the passion for bodybuilding comes naturally. "I don't do it for anyone. I have a good physique, and my friends suggested that I should pursue body-building. I began taking part in competitions."

Amrinder proudly displays the line up of medals. Mr Chandigarh title 2007 (85-90 kg category), gold medallist in 2008, Mr Punjab University-2009… Amrinder sees it as a stepping stone towards his dream. "I want to win Mr Olympic title. For it I would first have to win Mr India title," shares Amrinder. And he is definitely working towards it. Four hours of gymming and a controlled diet chart is what he is strictly adhering to. "Body-building is all about a good diet." How does a youngster resist temptations of pizzas and burgers? "If one is focused and sees a goal in front of him, nothing is impossible," he smiles, flexing his muscles.

Cotton counter

— Photo: Pradeep TewariCotton Fab is back again, with a plethora of dresses, jewellery, home furnishings and some handicrafts as well.

Bright terracotta flowerpots, corners, idols of Ganesha, Radha Krishna as well as pretty tablas that double up as stools, welcome you to the exhibition. A stall full of readymade kurtis, matching slacks, salwar duppata sets are next. "Our speciality is boat-neck kurtis, which are very popular with girls," says Rajesh Kumar, president, Rashtriya Sanskriti Samaj Avom Sabhayata.

The exhibition has skirts in Rajasthani prints. Check out Gujarati suits for women as well as kids, especially baby boy sets in bright colours with lots of trimmings and small little boots. When there are so many dresses how can jewellery be far behind? So, there is silver, pearls, polki and kundan to choose from. There is another stall full with colourful Jaipuri bangles.

The exhibition has quite a variety in running dress material. You can pick from Bagru, Dabu, Sanganer or Bhag prints sourced specially from these very villages. Chikan is there as well, in whites as well as prints. Banarasi makes its presence felt not only in suits and saris but bedcovers as well. Starting from Rs 1,500, the bedcovers are bright and beautiful. There are cotton bedcovers from Panipat, AC sheets and Jaipuri quilts.

Church of South India, an NGO has brought along lovely lace stuff in casement. They have a variety of things to pick up from - spectacles cases, purses, sandwich covers, runners and dinging table sets. Beadwork cushions, wooden chests, mirror frames, leather bags and magazine stands - the exhibition has some stuff for your sweet home as well!

On at Lajpat Rai Bhavan till August 8

Literary musings
SD Sharma

— Photo: Pradeep TewariHailed as the first literary exponent of Indian peasantry, Munshi Prem Chand, who was also a crusader for the cause of Dalits and women, will be remembered as a great author," opines Sharda Rathore, chief parliamentary secretary, Haryana. She joined the literary fraternity from the tricity in paying rich tributes to the legend on his 131st birth anniversary at a seminar organised by the Haryana Sahitya Akademi at Haryana Niwas on Friday.

The guest of honour KK Khandelwal, APSCM, Haryana, presented a critical analysis of the concept, themes and approach of his writings. "While he has written over a dozen novels, hundreds of short stories and three plays - Santram, Karval and Prem Ki Bedi - the novel Godan was the apex of his literary genius," he claimed. He even read out excerpts from his works.

Earlier, Manmohan Sehgal, in his keynote address, elaborated upon various facets of Prem Chand's life. "His creative writings will keep inspiring young writers," he asserted. Besides Yojna Rawat and Ashok Bharia also expressed their views.

Meanwhile, on the occasion awards were given to the winners of Hindi Short Story Writing Competition-2009. The first, second and third prizes were given to Madan Sharma Rakseh, Rajender Badgujar and Amit Manoj, respectively.

Celebrate friendship

Score, Sector-8

'F'ship Eve' with DJ Cherry

Couples Entry only @ Rs. 1500

On July 31

Timings: 9 pm onwards

Friends Forever Bash with DJ Cherry

Couples Entry only @ Rs. 1000.

On August 1

Timings: 1pm onwards & later on 9pm onwards

Aerizzona, Sector-9

'F'ship Eve with DJ Aabhi

Couples entry only @ Rs. 1000

On July 31

Timings: 9 pm onwards

'F'ship Day Extravaganza' with DJ RYK (Uff Teri Ada fame)

With Couples entry only @ Rs 1000

August 1

Timings: 1pm onwards & later on 9 pm onwards.

Voodoo, Sector-26

'Pre F'ship Day Affair' with DJ Sanjana

Couples Entry only @ Rs 1000

On July 31

Timings: 9 pm onwards

'F'ship Day Affair' with DJ KK & Gee

Couples Entry only @ Rs. 1000.

On August 1

Timings: 1pm onwards.

Rock-n-Rio, Sector-43

'Candle light dinner' and 'Ball room dance' with DJ Aman

Couple entry only and charges as per order

Timings: 8 pm onwards

On July 31

'F'ship Day Bash' with DJ Aman

Couples Entry only @ Rs. 700

On August 1

Timings: 1pm onwards.

The Fusion Bar

'F'ship Eve' with DJ Atul

Couples Entry only @ Rs. 1000

On July 31

Timings: 9 pm onwards

'Friends Reunited' with DJ Atul

Couples Entry only @ Rs. 1000.

On August 1

Timings: 1pm onwards & later on 9pm onwards.

Blue Ice, Sector-17

'F'ship Eve' with DJ Aryan

Couples Entry only @ Rs 500

On July 31

Timings: 9 pm onwards.

'Rose Theme' with DJ Aryan

Couples Entry only @ Rs. 700.

On August 1

Timings: 1pm onwards.

Finally a kiss!
Neil Nitin Mukesh, the virgin on-screen kisser finally locks lips with Deepika Padukone in Lafange Parindey

Neil Nitin MukeshDeepika Padukone has kissed Saif Ali Khan on screen, but her new co-star Neil Nitin Mukesh was a virgin kisser on camera. The conservative actor had no choice but to succumb to a liplock for Yashraj Films' "Lafange Parindey". Neil has pulled out the plug on his no-kissing clause as he was virtually forced to do a long, lingering kissing scene with Deepika.Director Pradeep Sarkar and Deepika had to use every possible power of persuasion before Neil abandoned his chastity vow."At first Neil was totally against the kiss with Deepika. He has refused to kiss in all his films," said a source close to the project."In fact his first director, Sriram Raghavan, threw a fit when Neil refused to kiss Rimi Sen. In his second film, Tera Kya Hoga Johnny, director Sudhir Mishra insisted Neil kiss Shahana Goswami, but the actor refused.

Even in Jail where there was a love-making scene with Mugdha Godse, Neil refused to kiss," the source added. Conservative to the core, Neil plunged into his first kiss only after the director assured him that the romantic relationship needed a culmination."Pradeep persuaded Neil and he finally saw his director's point of view. But the actor was nervous. Deepika had kissed before on screen.

Not Neil," the source said."He first suggested a peck. But was finally persuaded to do a long, torrid smooch comparable in intensity and duration with Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor's kiss in Raja Hindustani'," the source added.When contacted, Neil said: "I can't talk about this. But, yes, we've gone completely by the requirements of the script. And 'Lafange Parinde' is my first love story." — IANS

Pamela Anderson calls Janet Jackson ‘greedy’

Hollywood bombshell Pamela Anderson has publicly called out pop star Janet Jackson for signing on as the new face for luxury fur label Blackglama. Anderson, a long time animal rights activist, called the Scream hitmaker 'greedy'.

"It's disappointing. She has spoken out against fur before. I don't know why some people stop listening to their heart. I guess some people get greedy, but it's sad," said Anderson.Jackson, 40, has come under some major fire for the campaign with the tagline 'What Becomes A Legend Most'. PETA senior vice-president Dan Mathews also sent Jackson a letter questioning her controversial choice.

"You and I spoke at length about the fur issue. You told me that you were always aggravated at photo shoots when stylists would try to throw fur on you and that you were even wary of wearing fake fur out of concern that it might actually be real or look real in photos and send the wrong message.What happened?," wrote Mathews.

Jackson joins a host of Hollywood icons who have appeared in the black-and-white ad campaign including, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor and Lauren Bacall. — PTI

Happy in Paradise

Katie Price, aka Jordan, is all set to take over the number one spot in the Sunday Times Bestseller list, with her new novel Paradise. The former glamour model's fifth novel, the final instalment in her Angel trilogy, will go straight in at number one for hardback fiction, outselling the number two book by two copies to one, said her publisher, Random House.

Katie, who chooses the plots for her books, penned by ghost-writer Rebecca Farnworth, said: "I think it's brilliant that it's number one. It just goes to show people that when I really put my mind to something it makes number one and it's brilliant and I'm absolutely over the moon." Hundreds of screaming fans turned up to HMV on London's Oxford Street to see the 32-year-old mother-of-three sign copies of her new book, which tells the story of a model from Brighton who rekindles her relationship with her ex.

Asked if there were any parallels between Angel's feelings for her ex and her own towards ex-husband Peter Andre, she said: "No, it's a novel and it's fiction." The reality TV star also confirmed the trilogy of Angel novels are to be made into a Hollywood film, as is her own autobiography. "I've already got a director and producer in America who are going to do a film about that," said Katie. — ANI

Jessica BielSay cheese

Hollywood actor Jessica Biel has revealed she is addicted to cheese.

The A-Team actor sticks to a strict diet and exercise regime when she is shooting her movies, which means she has to go without the calorific dairy delight, much to her annoyance.

"I have a pretty good diet, pretty much, when I'm working. When I'm not working it goes out of the window. I'm very much a savoury person.

I love pizza, bread, pasta and cheese. Cheese on top of cheese, on top of cheese! It's the best," she said. — IANS

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |