After the success story of The Perfect Husband, Poonam Dhillon, Sooraj Thapar and Lilliput are in the city to stage its sequel The Perfect Wife
Ashima Sehajpal

Sooraj Thapar The very title of the play, The Perfect Wife, is a misnomer just like it’s earlier series — The Perfect Husband. And when we talk of perfection, especially in case of a husband and wife, it ought to be taken for granted that we are just talking about their being reasonably nice. Even the actors — Poonam Dhillon, Sooraj Thapar and Lilliput — agree that perfection is hypothetical.

In the city to stage the play, The Perfect Wife, at the World Tourism Week organised by Chandigarh Tourism in collaboration with Dare Club, the actors talk about the play, their journey in their respective mediums and certain imperfections in the world around them.

Beyond looks

It was ironical for Poonam Dhillon to play the protagonist in the play that was just about The Perfect Husband. The second play of the series, The Perfect Wife, was thus bound to happen. Not to forget, it has an altogether different storyline from the first and was conceptualised by Poonam herself. “The Perfect Wife is about a woman who’s well educated and talented, but is given a treatment no better than a beautiful showpiece,” says Poonam. She feels the story projects the woman of today, who wants to be known for her intelligence and qualities rather than only for her beauty. The play conveys the message that the male chauvinist society doesn’t take women seriously. A satire on the mindset of men, the play brings out the flaws in society.

LilliputBesides, what’s keeping her busy is a film project with Vinod Khanna titled One and Only. She is also planning her debut directorial venture. “The gratification you get from theatre is unmatched,” she avers.

No theatrics

Fifteen years of acting experience on TV and Sooraj still feels he needs to learn more. “You end up performing below the mark when you take acting for granted.” Experience helps, but it also adds to the burden. Says Sooraj, who’s seen in TV Soap, Sasural Gendaphool, these days, “Experience leaves you with no scope to commit a mistake. Your first shot has to be the best.” The only perfection he sees in TV world now is, “Money and fame. For satisfaction, of the artiste inside you, theatre is the only resort.”

Money rules

From someone who has scripted the very successful TV series Dekh Bhai Dekh, critical analysis of television is quite expected. “Producers are doing no social work by making soaps on social issues. They are earning the big bucks, which actually is their sole priority.” The analysis also holds the audience equally responsible. “Producers justify that they present what viewers demand and viewers say that they watch what is offered. Some introspection will certainly help,” says the actor. When it comes to Bollywood, he feels too much of experimentation is being done, “Why can’t we have simple entertaining movies?

(To be staged at Tagore Theatre on September 28 from 6.30 pm onwards)

Rolling…once more
Harbhajan Mann is set to rock with his upcoming album Vaari Vaari
Jasmine Singh

Harbhajan Mann Keep rolling… words overshadow most part of the grey matter. And at 92.7 Big FM’s studio, chatting up with Punjabi actor and singer, Harbhajan Mann, those two words came to the mind again…summing up the singer’s journey so far.

Looking at the cover of his solo album Vaari Vaari, which brings him to the studio, Harbhajan initiated a process, giving it a befitting shape before moving to another project, justifying it, moving on to the next. Keep rolling…he sure was doing it. Relaxed and making no effort to hide his excitement about his album, the singer shares why stagnation could be killing for a creative person.

Jee Aayan Nu was a watershed for Punjabi cinema. I gave my heart and soul to it, promising myself that I wouldn’t leave it in lurch, which is why I kept doing one movie after the other,” he says. “Punjabi cinema looks better and I decided I could now take out time for a solo album.”

Vaari Vaari, the album, emerges after a three-year break. With Punjabi singers producing albums at the speed of light, we wonder what took him so long? Harbhajan is keen to answer this one. “When I take up a project, I ensure that I also justify it to the fullest, whether it is cinema or a solo album. I could have managed to rustle up notes and come out with an album. This wasn’t the idea but, which is why I took out time to create an album that would have a national appeal.”

We see him pointing towards the commercial aspect of art. “It is an important part,” Harbhajan stresses. “My album Galan Goriyan made it to the top of the music charts on various channels. A Punjabi and non-Punjabi enjoyed it alike. I wanted the same for Vaari Vaari. I am going all out to promote the album, a T-series production, choreographed by Pony Verma. I don’t want the video to be played only on Punjabi channels, I want a national audience for it, which I have already started getting,” he smiles, highlighting his dimples.

But it is the done-to-death of everything that bothers him. At the same time, revival of the trend of solo albums is something that this trendsetter aims at as of now. “If you are a music fan, I am sure you know about the vanishing solo albums. Whatever Punjabi albums we see today come across as factory line productions, similar in content and treatment. Where are solo albums anyways? Any single Indy pop or ghazal that you remember specifically? He got us thinking!

“Making an album is a tedious process, it requires extra effort and a whole lot of related stuff for promotion and marketing. Who wants to put in this effort? This holds true for Punjabi movies, aren’t they all the same? I am glad I am breaking the stereotype with Vaari Vaari, which is a perfect mix of eight romantic numbers and foot-tapping notes. I am glad 92.7 Big FM is promoting it in a big way.”

Keep rolling…I hear it again.

Girl on top
City girl Sugandha Mishra has bowled over the hottest Bollywood hunks with her voice and her charm on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa
Neha Walia

How would you feel if John Abraham, on the national television, confesses that he has a 'little crush' on you? Or when the chivalrous Ranbir Kapoor carried you for comfort? Well, living out every girl's dream is Sugandha Mishra, the Punjabi 'mutiyar' who has bowled over the hottest Bollywood hunks with her voice and her charm on Zee's singing reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.

Of course, they too worked up their star magic that has left Sugandha gushing. "I feel so lucky," she says. So we believe girl! "It was a dream come true to meet Ranbir and John. My leg was paining a lot after I fell off the stage during rehearsals, but I never expected a superstar like him to come and help me get on to the stage. He was such a gentleman," she shares.

Typical girlie reaction to a dose of the Kapoor chivalry; what about John's confession? "Oh that was unexpected. I even dedicated my performance to him," she adds. If it's not her charm that impressed everybody, then it's her singing. Until Sa Re Ga…happened we only knew Sugandha the mimic on 'Laughter Champions', but the show has brought out the trained singer in her. "I belong to the fifth generation of Indore Gharana and have been learning music from my grandfather. Music has been a big part of my upbringing," she says. And the fact didn't allow her to get a permission to participate in a singing reality show. "My grandfather didn't approve of such shows since he felt they had less to do with 'gayaki' and were all for commercial 'showbaazi'. I had a tough time convincing them and also had to train myself before participating."

But things have changed since then. "Now, when my grandfather hears me on the show, he feels glad I am a part of it." Another high for Sugandha is under music biggies such as Vishal-Shekhar, Daler Mehandi and Sajid-Wajid. "They have made us all so comfortable that we don't feel like freshers. They put in as much effort with us to make our singing flawless. The best amongst the lot is Daler ji (given his Punjabi connection, we guess)."

Now, for the competition, or going by Sugandha's confidence…is there any? "The level of competition is good, but if I have to choose it will be Kamal Khan from Patiala. But the best part is that girls steal the show this time." And she is sure of a girl winning the competition as well. "Though we have a bad record as far as reality shows are concerned, but given the kind of singers we have on the show, I am sure we would have a girl winner."

Is she counting herself in? "Maybe, but it's not about winning or losing, I just want to learn from the whole experience and become a performer, not just a singer." And yes, stealing a Titanic moment with Ranbir Kapoor was, of course, a big incentive!

Women (em)power

To empower women in their own way, Fair and Lovely Foundation members came to the city on Monday to shortlist candidates for their annual scholarship. For the women who know what they want from life but are unable to pursue their dreams due to lack of finances, this Foundation provides a ray of hope.

In its eighth year, but first time in the city, the Foundation is only pleased. "We got lots of applications from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. We thought Chandigarh would be a better venue than Delhi, which usually is," says Rekha from the Foundation.

"So far I have interviewed four candidates and all are genuine cases. This only gives a feeling of a morning well spent," she avers.

Jitender Kaur, who has came from village Sultanwind, near Amritsar, with her mother, is enrolled in Masters and looking for assistance in order to pursue M Phil. "I want to be a college lecturer," says this girl whose family struggles to make ends meet by tilling whatever little land they have. "I support my family by stitching clothes," says her mother Ranjit Kaur.

Financial difficulties have not deterred these determined girls who have dreams to pursue their vocation. "It's a noble venture to support these students in achieving something in life," says Shiv Singh, city's famous artiste, and one of the judges at the event at Taj-17.

The Foundation provides assistance of up to a lakh rupees.

Winner takes it all

Idea Cellular, the pan-India mobile operator awarded the winner of its popular VAS contest at an event on Monday. Sarabjit Singh was declared the bumper prize winner, and drove away in a new Maruti Alto car. Other 49 Idea customers from Punjab won exciting prizes, including one Bajaj Pulsar motorbike, 40 latest Nokia mobile phones and gift vouchers.

Shubh Karan Sharma was declared the winner of the Bajaj Pulsar Motorbike. The contests witnessed a great amount of participation from the Idea subscribers from various cities of Punjab.

An enthralled and excited Sarabjit Singh said, "I am grateful to Idea for giving me this wonderful opportunity through these exciting contests. With this winning experience, I can now say with belief that 'An Idea can change your life!'"

Speaking at the occasion, Anish Roy, COO, Punjab, HP and Jammu and Kashmir, Idea Cellular, said, "In a highly competitive environment like telecom, we need to constantly innovate to offer something new and different, and reward our customers for having faith in our services. We believe in continuous innovation and work towards bringing great ideas to reality. As a result, we launched this VAS contest which helped us connect better.” — TNS

Sow cause
Satish Narula

Satish Narula The rainy season brings life to the garden. But an extended monsoon may spell trouble in certain aspects of gardening. One of these is the sowing of winter annuals and vegetable seeds.

This year, it seems to be the case. Those who had sown seeds finding gaps lost most of it, especially the emerging and just emerged seedlings.

Now, it seems there is some respite and the gardeners can go ahead. Under the circumstances, one must change style and I am saying this in particular because it is still not sure whether the rains have receded.

One thing is for sure, do not delay it beyond and for better results follow these tips.

The sowing of the seed should commence by now by all means. This can be done by two ways, one outside sowing and sowing under protection.

In case it is a compulsion to sow outdoors due to bulk requirements, the sowing should be done on at least six inches raised beds. The bed should be prepared by mixing good quantity of well-rotten farmyard manure. The seed should be sown about 0.5 cm deep in lines and covered with sieved farmyard manure-soil mixture. You can use coconut peat too as it will ensure less number of weeds. What is most important now is covering the seed with some parali or cloth or a piece of gunny bag. It will have two-pronged advantage, one the seed will have darkness to germinate and second in case there is rain, there is no direct splashing on the seeds or emerging seedlings. But there is a piece of caution too.

As and when the seed germinates, the emerging seedlings need sun and light. The nursery at that time could be protected by raising a temporary 'roof' of polythene on it otherwise the emerging seedlings in dark would become pale, weak and leggy.

Even when you have sown them properly and there are no other visible reasons of less or no germination, you must look in for ants etc as they steal the seed or emerging seedlings. It is better to protect your nursery by spreading some insecticide powder around the nursery bed as barrier. The watering of the beds is also very important from supply of moisture and in a right manner. Any violent application of water may disturb the seeds and if a germinating seed comes out, it dries. It is better to water the beds with the help of a fountain and on the cover of parali, so that there is no direct impact. One thing that holds good for any situation is that there should not be stagnation of water even for a few hours. Once the seedlings emerge and strong, then you can use direct watering. In case the seed is very small, for its uniform spread on the bed, it should be mixed with sand which can then be spread on the bed or applied in lines on the bed.

In case your requirement of seedlings is less, you can sow them in pots, shallow panes or even baskets. You can also create a temporary bed under shade by arranging some bricks and filling it with soil etc. the other observations remain same as above.

Tech Train
Jasmine Singh

Technology is becoming bigger and better, so are the applications. The commercial advertisement market is cashing on it - creative and funny ads, catchy tag lines; technology is driving the world. And in the next 10 years, it would impact every aspect of human life.

Revolutionary technology is just the thing we are talking about. And Manipal Dhariwal, CEO, Sebiz Infotech, who founded the company in 1999, has turned it from a home-based startup in Rochester, NY, with no manpower, to a leading e-Learning, e-Business, e-Marketing, online retail and software services provider. The company now has four offices  (Mohali, Rochester, Boston, Toronto). Initially, he started small – out of the living room of his house with just one employee and a couple of projects - but now, 10 years later, he has more than 500 clients, 1,500 projects, 10 desktop products, two SAAS solutions and three online retail stores.

‘Work hard, play hard’ is what keeps this man going. Wait till he shares on more thing that has him on his feet 24x7 - technology, and its future! One of the panelist at the ‘Power Address: Building New India’ seminar to be held in Chandigarh on September 29, Manipal shares notes on how technology can bridge the gap between urban and the rural. “We have umpteen engineering institutes in this region, but what we require is high quality of trainers. E-learning provides all the answers. In times to come, the e- Learning, which is facilitated through multimedia content and other means, can help in the learning process by providing practical education, which is the need of the hour,” adds Manipal, whose company recently diversified into the finishing school space because he strongly believes in the necessity of bridging the gap between the Indian education system and the corporate world. “I believe in taking risks and feel that diversification of business is the road to success for any entrepreneur.”

If you thought technology is only churning out hi-end mobile phones, in all forms and colours, Manipal, definitely has a different take. “There is no denying the fact that the number of tele-users have increased and so is their dependence on various mobile applications, but this has only helped upgrade the knowledge of people. Now, a mobile user in a rural area is also connected to the rest of the world. He probably feels as much a part of the mainstream as anybody else.”

There is no taking away the focus from mobile and their applications. Manipal nods in approval. “The world is hooked on to it, and so are the youngsters, whether it is networking or anything else. Mobile marketing is already growing in the country. E-banking, e-shopping, mobile users turn to their phones for everything. This situation is going to get better,” he adds talking about the application created by their company ‘my golf navigator,’ which would assist in playing golf. “We have devised over 40 applications for various platforms, and the need is only growing.”

Bits about Bytes
Touching the future
Roopinder Singh

A Palm V was the first touch device that I was the proud owner of. With a black and white screen, it was an organiser, a calendar and phonebook. I caught many envious glances as people saw me tapping the touch-sensitive screen with a stylus. This was in the mid-1990s and Palm had made quite a name for itself, so much so that the brand had become a generic expression for personal digital assistants, or PDAs.

Eventually my cell phone replaced the PDA. It had a phone book, a calendar, and various other applications that I used the Palm for, and moreover, you did not have to look up a number and then dial it. That was taken care of here, something the Palm itself realised when it launched Treo and other phones that tied in the redoubtable Palm software and ease of use, with a cell phone. However, by then the world had moved on, other systems were cheaper and more interesting, and you could migrate your Palm data easily to another platform. Many did that and so did I, successfully. The Palm V joins my Hall of Fame of “Great gadgets that I can’t use, or give up”, one that includes a couple of Nikon film cameras and the good ol’e Mac SE.

I use a virtual keyboard for my cell phone but a real one for my laptop, and I am typing this column on an HP TX 1000 which has a touch screen that operates with a stylus. Ah, the stylus. It is interesting that Apple, the very company that first introduced the stylus in 1993 is also responsible for it being phased out. The "Multi-Touch" experience became a reality for millions of users with the introduction of the i-phone in 2007. The touch screen became much more than what it was. It changed rules of the game, since the consumer’s expectations were sky high now. You could zoom photos with a pinch of the finger or use the flick of your thumb to spin through your music collection. In short, just use various intuitive gestures to get your phone to respond, no more stylus; you could handle the phone with only one hand.

Now everyone is looking for touch, be it in phones, desktop computers, laptops, or even television screens. Touch is attractive. It is also useful, and surprisingly easy to migrate to. In fact, touch screens are especially useful for control and automation systems, because they help to save workspace and simplify operations and save time. Thus operators simply touch the screen to monitor processes, or to give commands. Many people have difficulty in using keyboards and other input devices, and for them touch screens are a boon.

It is almost impossible to buy a latest gadget or use one which is not touch screen based—jukeboxes, gaming devices, kiosks, you have them everywhere. Even somebody like BlackBerry, an avowed advocate of the keypad, is now offering touch screen phones.

Both Dell and HP have introduced their latest computers with touch screens. Dell’s latest in the Inspiron family, is a touch-enabled Inspiron One all-in-one desktop featuring a full HD 23-inch WLED-backlit LCD display with built-in Wi-Fi, Webcam, DVD drive, and HDMI interface for connecting to television tuners, cable and satellite set-top boxes and videogame consoles.

For HP has been in the touch screen game since 2007 when Bill Gates introduced the HP TouchSmart, the first mass market touch screen desktop PC. The latest in its range include TouchSmart 310, and 600 desktop PCs, which have been well received.

For a long time, a computer’s memory dominated the mindscape of users. Random Access Memory or RAM was expensive and thus computers were compared on the basis of how much RAM they had, and later, on what speed it was rated at.

Hard Disk Drives were expensive and I still have my Macintosh SE which has the then state of the art HDD, a 40 MB Small Computer System Interface, or SCSI drive. Today we use 500 GB drives, and no decent computer has less than 2GB RAM. Now that we have taken the processing speed out of the loop, the next frontier is the touch screen and its integration with computer operating systems. Here the hardware and the software come together to give the requisite user experience.

Yes, computers are all about user experiences, not just hardware or software. That experience is what a multi-touch screen enhances, and this is where the future is. We have it in our hands with various small devices, now it will dominate our desks and our laptops too.

One for the memory
Amitpal Singh Grewal

The memory card of a digital camera has a role similar to that of the film in a traditional 35mm camera – it is used for storing photographs and movies. There are a number of factors that should be taken into account while buying memory cards like capacity, speed and the type of card your digital camera is compatible with.


Card capacities are increasing by the day and before purchasing one, it is wise to check the maximum memory card capacity your digital camera is compatible with. This is especially true for older cameras, which may not be able to work with latest memory cards that have higher capacities.


If you own a new digital camera and it has a fast burst rate (the ability to click multiple shots in a single click for fast moving objects) or capture high definition stuff, one should go for a high-speed memory card. If your card is too slow your camera will not be able to operate to its full potential.

Memory cards are also classified into different categories, based on the speed of the card. The higher the class, the faster the speed of the card.

SD cards

If you buy or already own a compact digital camera then chances are it will use SD (Secure Digital) memory cards. These are by far the most common type of memory cards and are used in digital cameras from all leading brands apart from Sony (Memory Card Duo) and Olympus (XD and Micro SD). SDHC cards are available as well. These are high capacity versions of the SD card. They look the same and have the same dimensions as a standard SD card.

Multi Media Cards (MMC) have the same physical characteristics as Secure Digital Cards. They can usually be used as an alternative to SD cards.

Micro SD cards

Very few digital cameras are compatible with Micro SD cards; Olympus and Samsung cameras being the exceptions. If you upload photos either through slots on your PC or via a card reader, you may need to use an adapter. First insert your card into the adapter and then you will be able to insert the adapter into a standard SD card slot.

Compact flash cards

Compact flash cards are now only found in digital SLRs. They offer the highest capacities and fastest speed.

Compact flash cards used to be common earlier, but as cameras have grown smaller in size these have largely been discarded, even though professionals still prefer to work with compact flash cards because of their high-speed performance.

xD Picture cards

xD Picture cards are used in Olympus and some Fuji digital cameras. There are three types of xD card – standard, and types M and H. The M type xD card is similar in most aspects to the standard xD cards, but has greater capacity. The third type of card is the H type xD card. The H stands for high speed. This means that photos and movies can be written to and read from the card faster than they can with a standard or M type xD card. If you have an older camera you may find that it is not compatible with type H and M cards.

Memory stick duo

Memory stick duo cards are found in Sony digital cameras. All current Sony models use these cards.

If you own an older Sony digital camera it may use memory stick (without Duo on the end).

If this is the case you need to take care while purchasing.

As with Micro SD cards, you may be able to use a Memory Stick duo with a Memory Stick adapter in an older camera.

Haute pick

Secure zone

Blue NIO is a security tag that links with your mobile phone via Bluetooth and helps prevent loss or theft of valuable items such as laptops, PDAs, travel bags and even the phone itself.

You can set security zones around your phone and if the gadget moves outside the zone, an alarm is set off.

You can choose from three security zones between two to 20 meters. Press the locate button on your NIO software and the tag will emit an audible SOS tone, which will help find the gadget.


  • Bluetooth USB dongle

  • Rechargeable battery

  • Accurate motion sensor

  • In-built alarm

  • Anti-tamper motion sensor

  • Maximum range: 20 mts


True to its technology and innovation credo, Hewlett-Packard India is back again to delight its consumers with the introduction of the new HP G Series consumer notebook PCs. Designed with style and portability in mind, the HP G Series offers a compelling combination of performance, looks and value for consumers’ everyday use.

This series provides all-day computing in a stylish package of eye-catching and trendy colours. The HP G42 and G62 are available in a colourful choice of chic charcoal grey, velvet red and imperial blue HP imprint finishes.

Measuring under 1.24-inch thin and starting from 2.2-kg, the HP G Series notebooks fuse advanced technologies with stylish designs to deliver a superior computing and unsurpassed consumer experience. Both HP G Series notebooks feature a full-size, ergonomic pocket-style keyboard with flush touch-pad, and up to 750 GB (only for the HP G62 model) storage space for work, music, photos and other multimedia content. Complete with the latest HP imprint finish and fingerprint-less design, the HP G42 and HP G62 notebooks are designed with the environment in mind and energy efficiency.

The HP G Series is available at a starting price of Rs 34,500. — TNS

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