Johnny came lately…
…and sprung quite a few surprises about himself and his approach to life and acting
Neha Walia

This one comes straight out of your dreams. If you happen to meet John Abraham, what pick up line would you choose for him? Thinking…still thinking… Here's an advice from the actor himself, "I don't like pick up lines." Well, for someone who qualifies by all standards to be 'picked up', this comes as a surprise. And so, obviously he doesn't have any favourites here. So, how does the industry's most handsome dude score with women? (Not that he has to make an effort)

"I am actually very shy when it comes to approaching women," says the hunk. No, Bips has nothing to do with it. "I believe most Indian men are that way, given our culture. But it also depends on what you say."

That's precisely one thing that prompted him to take up Jhoota Hi Sahi, his latest movie where he plays Siddharth, a shy guy who lies to get the girl he loves. So, does he lie for love? "Who doesn't? Everybody lies for love, all the time. But I usually get caught," he says. Speaking more about his film, John is ready to break another barrier in his acting career by playing a geek. "It's a light movie, a romantic comedy where I play a character who is not really a outspoken, introvert person and has a fear of approaching women. So, he lies. It's my most commercial movie till date and I just love Abbas Tyrewala, so grabbed this chance of working with him," he says.

Call it professionalism or in-born trait, John makes the specky-guy look a hit without much effort. "Jhoota Hi Sahi has me playing Clark Kent, the opposite of Superman," he jokes. We take it as one, given the fact he already has two action flicks lined up where we will see his Superman side, "I am busy with Race 2 and a Nishikant Kamad movie which brings me back in action, literally (and so you see him a little beefed-up).” Professional and unpredictable; John is working hard to break his boundaries and also silence the critics, "I have been experimenting with each film. I am six-seven years old in the industry but still don't want to find a comfort zone, so I don't get stuck up. The idea is not to give up what your audience will appreciate about you." His other projects include Desi Boyz, another comedy and Dostana 2. So, we see him and Abhishek once again as a pair? "Of Course, he is my true life partner."

Don't get any ideas, now. But after giving a legitimate platform to openly discussing homosexuality in Dostana, John is comfortable with the idea this time. "I had shared with Karan that I felt like a piece of meat. But he told me to be unapologetic about my body. After all, films are a visual medium and if you got it, flaunt it." We like this one.

But he does agree that there is a lot of pressure to look good, even for men in the industry. "But I guess women take it too seriously." Sure, like we buy that one! "I don't like size zero," he takes another shot to convince us. Anyway, back to where we started, if not a pick up line then what? "A diamond. It's the safest thing to do to impress women."

Raghu Returns

We loved to hate him on Roadies. But the mean machine is back, in a lighter avatar. What happened and how it happened is our instant reaction? "I actually had nothing to do. So I took up this movie offer," he says. Well, only Raghu can be brutally honest. And he continues…Wasn't the film originally titled 1800 love? "That's a lie. We just wanted to keep it a secret and lie to publicise the movie." Good for fun, but don't believe that. "People would not have related much to 1800 Love so we changed it to something more acceptable," comes the real reason. 

Pakhi was pleasantly surprised by John when he signed up for the movie, "I thought he would never like the idea of being paired against a newcomer. But he did."

Rising from the ash
Sonakshi Sinha walks the ramp at HDIL India Couture Week
Sonakshi Sinha walks the ramp at HDIL India Couture Week

Fashion designer Rohit Bal has showcased his latest creations, based on the Persian work 'Khakastri', at the HDIL India Couture Week 2010 in Mumbai. 'Khakastri', which means colour of ash, had colour tones like beige, white, earthy browns, black, maroon and electric blue. Bollywood actors Vivek Oberoi and Arjun Rampal were present on the occasion.

"Rohit Bal is a good friend of mine and I started my modelling career because of him. And I feel that if there is an international designer in our country, then that is Rohit Bal. His creativity level is very high and is beautiful. Whenever he showcases his collection, I get very excited. I wish him the best always," Rampal said.The HDIL India Couture Week commenced on Wednesday. Several celebrities and fashion divas across the country are expected to be a part of this glamorous weeklong fashion extravaganza. The five-day-long event will end on Sunday, and would showcase the work of eight eminent designers. — ANI

Act 3

Actor Dino Morea is planning to get into movie making and has started working on the cast. Morea said, "After acting in several films, I have decided to be a producer. I am planning to make a Hindi film which will be a romantic one and casts for which are being finalised."He said he expects to start its production from January" but did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, Morea was all praise for the Navratra festival here and said he would appeal his colleagues in Bollywood to visit Vadodara city during the festival where thousands of people take part in garba wearing traditionald resses. — PTI

Sex appeal?

Hollywood actor Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed that she was asked for sex in return for a role in a film when she began her acting career.

The Oscar-winning star was left stunned when an unnamed guy suggested they should conclude their meeting in 'the bedroom', an offer she refused.

"When I was just starting out, someone suggested that we finish a meeting in the bedroom. I was pretty shocked," she said.

The 38-year-old is also dejected by the lack of variety in the roles she is offered.

"There are a lot of roles that are OK, but there's little that's really good, especially for someone my age. Sometimes you find out that something you really liked is going to someone 10 years younger. I find it heartening that Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock have been able to find and create amazing projects." — IANS

Bonding with words

Former Bond Girl Denise Richards is writing an autobiography, as she wants to share the story of her rise to fame with her fans. The 39-year-old actor will tell all about her journey from a small town in Illinois to Hollywood, her tumultuous marriage and divorce from Charlie Sheen and life as a single mum to her daughters with the actor. And Richards is hoping her story will inspire others caught up in trying situations.

"I wanted to write a heartfelt, honest book that would be a source of hope for others going through difficult times," Richards said. The memoir, which is currently untitled, is expected for release in July next year.


Al right!

Hollywood legend Al Pacino is reportedly set to star as notorious record producer Phil Spector in a TV film to be written and directed by David Mamet.

Spector, who is famously obsessed with guns, is serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life for the 2003 murder of actor Lana Clarkson. He was found guilty of second degree murder in 2009 after two trials lasting more than 10 months.

The as-yet-untitled film which will tell the story of Spector is in the early stages of development. — IANS

Mission possible

It's Hollywood calling for Anil Kapoor. The Indian actor has been signed to essay an important role in one of the biggest film series of Hollywood, Mission Impossible.

Anil landed in multiple Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire following which he got a major role in 24, one of the most watched television series in the US. He will now be seen in Mission Impossible 4 alongside Hollywood's top actors Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg.

"At this point I can only say that I have been contacted for Mission impossible 4 and I have said yes for the role," Anil said in a statement. — IANS

Something to Die for

Hollywood actor Bruce Willis, who is currently filming his fifth film, says he is concerned that he may be replaced in the Die Hard franchise. "In the next few years they could easily find a replacement for me or call the character someone else. But for me, I want to do Die Hard 5, then one final Die Hard movie - Die Hard 6 - before finally hanging that white vest up for good," a website quoted him as saying.

"At the moment, I can run and I can fight on screen. But there will come a time when I no longer want to do that. That's when I'll step away from the Die Hard films."— IANS 

Berry cozy

Hollywood star Halle Berry has reportedly taken her rumoured romance with Olivier Martinez a step further by introducing the French actor to her mother.The Oscar-winning actor has been spotted cuddling up to the Unfaithful star during breaks from filming their movie Dark Tide in Europe, and now she's taking their rumoured relationship to the next level.

Berry and Martinez were reunited in Los Angeles on Thursday after a week apart and she took Martinez to meet her mother, Judith."It was a big deal that Olivier got to meet Halle's mom. It shows that they are getting more serious," said a source.Later, the pair visited French Art gallery Marcelita L'Art et Le The in West Hollywood to socialise with pals. — PTI

Moving on

Prince Harry seems to have got over his split from Chlesy Davy. The third-in-line to the British throne is said to be now dating a stunning blonde, an uncanny lookalike of his former girlfriend.

The 26-year-old Royal has, in fact, been on a series of dates with marketing girl Gemma Wilkinson and has told friends he "couldn't be happier."

A source close to Gemma, also 26, was quoted by the British tabloid as saying, "She's very similar in looks to Chelsy and Harry loves a blonde." Harry and Gemma have been on the same social circuit in London for some years now and recently got it together after being introduced by mutual friends.

"They both party in clubs like Raffles around the King's Road so it's no surprise their paths have crossed. But Harry seems quite taken by her right now. At the moment it's nothing serious - but who knows? They're enjoying a 'no-strings' style relationship for now," the source said.

Harry has been single for only a matter of weeks after being ditched by South African Chelsy after their on-off six-year relationship came to an end. She ended her romance after he told her that he was not ready to settle down. The trainee lawyer had also returned to South Africa to continue her studies.

A source revealed: "Harry's name is mud with Chelsy and her friends. He messed her about too much. Harry's been dubbed the 'Dirty Dog' by Chelsy's gang. He was in no way taking their relationship seriously, whereas Chelsy really was. She's pleased she's split with Harry now and can get on with her private life. She wanted the commitment of a proper relationship." Gemma has, however, refused to comment. — PTI

Desperate move

Actor Eva Longoria Parker says she was cast in Desperate Housewives by creator of the show Marc Cherry because of her ‘selfish’ approach.

The actor who has played Gabrielle Solis on the comedy drama for seven seasons explained she arrived for her audition with Cherry without reading the entire script.

"Marc Cherry asked me, 'What did you think of the script?' So I said, 'You know, I didn't read the script, I just read my parts and I think she's fantastic.' And he said he knew I was Gaby. That I only read my part. He goes, 'Yep, there's our Gaby'," said Parker. — IANS

Perfect blend
Manpriya Khurana

It's a tangent to the Chandigarh Fashion Week, will inevitably get compared to it, perhaps carry forward the similar pros and cons but nevertheless promises to be the bigger, better and colourful version, an exclusive of the Land of Five Rivers. What with city girl, Bollywood actor Mahie Gill at Bella Vista passing on the message loud and clear, "You ask me questions in Hindi, you ask me questions in English but I'm going to answer only in Punjabi," and thereby pronouncing the arrival of Blenders Pride Punjab International Fashion Week.

Present at the occasion were a fleet of designers closely tied to the five-day event scheduled at Ludhiana starting November.

"We've already been organising fashion shows at various places in the country, Punjab was the next natural progression. We chose Ludhiana because it's the industrial hub and so a natural for us to choose as the venue of the fashion week," Gaurav Sharma, CEO, Storm Fashion Company, the organiser for the event, gets started. Here to choose the models for the show, he adds, "There will be 30 designers showcasing at the week, of which 27 are from India, including seven from Punjab."

Opening the show will be designer Charu Parashar from Delhi, who was scheduled to do a sponsored show at Chandigarh Fashion Week as well. "My flight didn't land here because of the weather!" she recalls and adds, "My collections are surrounded by two festivals; of Baisakhi and Lohri. I've worked on a totally Punjabi look surrounded around these two occasions so they are going to be colourful and celebrated designs," she outlines on what to look forward to. What sort of work she's putting into the pieces? "I'm doing a lot of research on the embroideries, there's going to be swarovski with phulkari and very Maharani of Patiala look and even the colours will be centric of the place." Expect true blue regional shades - oranges, hot pinks and turquoise.

Sealing it all will be the showstopper Mahie Gill.

Over to the city girl. "Homecoming is always good. Anyways my mother is here…I insisted on the models being chosen from here because the city has immense talent. And like, I too have been selected from here." Post a short stint in Dabangg, what's on the cards are a string a releases; including an item number. "I'm doing an item number in the upcoming Knock Out and it's a very raunchy song on the lines of Munni Badnaam Hui." Was she comfortable? "Initially I wasn't but then the choreographer Ganesh Acharya made me quite comfortable." She adds, "I'm also doing a movie with Irrfan Khan which has been selected for Dubai, New York and London film festivals. Then there's Michael with Naseerudin Shah in which a I play a nurse and Sahib Biwi aur Gangster which is something like Maqbool." Did we leave anything out? "I've been doing a lot of serious cinema and now I'd like to do a comedy film, maybe do one and then get back to doing serious stuff."

Back to the show and the grand finale and there's lined up designer Archana Kochhar from Mumbai. She begins, "I've never done a show here, it's my first time. My collection is called Gulaab Gainda Gehna and it's going to reflect the spirit of celebrations because Punjab is so much about it." It's been a "month since I've been working on my collections now." True to the regional bridal wear; lehengas saris, suits. She adds, "I haven't yet decided on the jewellery, it might be by Gitanjali or something else."

As for her showstoppers? 'They are going to be true blue Punjabi people who are quite celebrated. We won't reveal them now because we want to keep them as surprise for all."

Reviving note
SD Sharma

With the delicacy, fineness of feeling of the ornate poetry lying at its heart and adorned with soulful soothing music, ghazal uplifts the soul of a listener sky high which only accounts for its popularity through the ages, from the periods of Mir, Ghalib to Nida Fazli and contemporary times," maintains ghazal maestro Chandan Das. "But it is shocking that despite a spurt of TV Channels beaming news, devotional, preaching, there is not even a single channel for ghazals, folk and Indian classical music," rues Das, who is

in Panchkula on the invitation of Haryana Cultural Affairs to perform at Mata Mansa Devi shrine.

The eighties were considered the golden period for ghazals. So what caused the downfall? "No music company is willing to cut ghazal albums on the plea that there are no takers among the new generation. In fact, the new generation is not at all exposed to the grandeur of ghazal or classical music. Every budding artist is infatuated with the glamour and financial rewards that reality shows promise. This tendency must be condemned."

However, everything is not so bleak. "There are takers for Hindi ghazals too, if my last four-hours long concert at Bhopal is anything to go by, claims Chandan.

Credited with 24 hit ghazal albums, playback in two TV serials Khali Haath, Phir Vohi Talaash and films like Halaat, Chandan's music lessons started under Ustad Moosa Khan. Originally from Murshidabad and then to Patna where he sang for radio progarmmes and baithaks before shifting to Delhi where Amaritvani company cut his first ghazal LP.

Drawing the line

As an architect, I have studied Le Corbusier and Chandigarh but seeing this city has left me awestruck,” says Henrik Valeur, a Danish architect, critic, curator, thinker and writer. In the city to be part of Le Corbusier Day celebrations at Chandigarh College of Architecture-12 on Saturday, Henrik cannot get over the way the city enjoys perfect harmony between the concrete and ecology.

“I have nowhere seen anything as beautiful as this. The only city I can compare Chandigarh with probably Brasilia, capital of Brazil. Both are logical, modern capitals but the greenery that Chandigarh is missing from Brasilia,” shares Henrik.

Recipient of prestigious Golden Lion Award of the Venice Biennale (2006), on Sustainable Urban Development in China, Henrik says one should brace development as a friend. On the issue of ever-growing Chandigarh versus retaining the basic, Henrik says, “Cities are meant for development. Be it social, economic, cultural or academic. More and more people would come to cities, something one cannot change.” As for solutions, he suggests, “Let a few selected sectors be the testing ground. One can try making it a high-density, pedestrian friendly, mixed use and social integrator. The plans that are successful here can be used as a model.”

Another admirer of Le Corbusier, Tomaso Villa, an Italian architect working with Massimiliano Fuksas, one of the world’s most sought-after architects, Tomaso shares, “ The sheer volume and magnitude of work that Le Corbusier had done, puts him a league of his own. Computers have made our work much easier today. We just need to have half a plan, the rest computer helps you complete it. But what Corbusier did at that time without any machine help is indeed remarkable,” Toamso says.

On Chandigarh, Tomaso says, “The very straight crossings make Chandigarh unusual and in marked contrast with most of European cities.” A bike trip with Pradep K Bhagat only left him mesmerised. “I kept asking him where is the city centre and he said ‘this is it’. I haven’t seen such a green city centre ever.”

The Corbusier celebrations had a beautiful stage From Line To Design set by students made of string. The event brought some of the illustrious alumni of the college —Nawab Kasim Ali Khan, a graduate form CCA, with double masters from University of Columbia. This prince of Rampur shares, “I have had the best of the times here and keep looking at the slightest excuse to be here. It pleases me immensely that city is progressing academically, commercially and culturally.”

While the students made most of the exhibition and lectures by guest architects, it was principal Pardeep Bhagat’s lecture on Should Corb’s Chandigarh Welcome the Inevitable or Draw a Line that was received well by students and guests alike.

Spice up
Beauty basics
Shahnaz Husain

During the various marriage functions, a lot of make-up is used and special care is needed to keep the skin looking fresh and problem-free. Also, with the late nights and festivities, there can be fatigue, which reflects on the eyes and skin. Special care and attention helps.  

Cleansing of the skin assumes more importance, in order to remove make-up and other impurities. Nighttime cleansing is an absolute must. Some make-up cosmetics, especially foundations, can have an effect on the skin. They not only cause dryness of the skin, but actually disrupt the normal acid-alkaline balance of the skin. They can also cause rashes and other eruptive conditions on oily skins. People with dry skins should use a cleansing gel, containing aloe vera, which not only rehydrates the skin, but also restores the normal balance. For oily skins, use a cleansing lotion or light cleansing milk. Cleansers containing sandalwood, rose, lavender or lemon are ideal for oily skins. However, for the area around eyes, it is best to use a cleansing cream or gel. Apply it around eyes with a light massage, using only the ring finger. Then wipe off gently with moist cotton wool.

Apart from cleansing the skin twice a day, it should be wiped and refreshed with a rose-based skin tonic. Or, rose water by itself can also be used. Rose water is actually very refreshing. At the same time, it also has a calming and soothing effect. It can be chilled in the fridge and would help to close the pores. For pimple-prone skin, it is a good idea to apply an astringent before applying make-up, or use a protective cream containing sandalwood. The cream can be used as a base under make-up and helps to prevent rashes and eruptions. It acts as a barrier between the skin and make-up cosmetics. 

A “pick-me-up” facemask can leave your skin clean and glowing, in-between the wedding functions. It is a simple of way removing fatigue and refreshing the skin. Mix honey with egg white and apply it on the face. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. If you have no time to mix ingredients, a peel-off mask can add that touch of brightness to the skin.  

After applying the facemask, soak two cotton wool pads in rose water and use them as eye pads over the eyelids, with eyes closed. Lie down and relax for 15 minutes, while you have the mask and eye pads on.  This is extremely relaxing and refreshing and a great restorer of both body and mind. Rose water actually has a calming effect, helps to remove fatigue and brighten the eyes.  

Hair care

Styling products, like sprays and gels, tend to cling to the hair and can also collect on the scalp and block the pores. The can also make the hair dull. The best thing would be to have a conditioning treatment before shampoo.  

Get yourself a mild herbal shampoo, a plastic shower cap, towels, a comb with large, wide teeth, as well as some hair conditioning ingredients.  

First wash the hair with very little shampoo. Dilute it with a little water and then apply. Rinse thoroughly with water.  

Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and honey with one egg.  Beat them together well. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Wear the plastic shower cap and keep it on for half an hour.  

Then wash the hair again, using less shampoo. If the hair is dry, apply a creamy conditioner after shampoo. Apply very little, massaging it lightly into the hair. Leave on for two minutes and rinse off with plain water. A beer rinse also helps to add body and shine to the hair. Add the juice of a lemon to the beer before rinsing the hair with it. Leave on for 5 minutes. 

Joy ride

Fun, frolic and excitement was the order of the day as more than 200 enthusiasts participated in the first edition of the Treasure Hunt organised by the GGDSD College Alumni Association, Chandigarh (SDAAC) on Sunday. An impressive holiday crowd cheered as the event, which began with a lamp-lighting ceremony by the college principal AC Vaid, was flag off from the college premises in the morning hours.

The participants -- families of alumni members and general public -- were given clues to reach their first and subsequent destinations. The participants were required to touch all the destinations and return to the college. The successful participant consuming the minimum time was declared the winner. The organisers had chosen a special day 10.10.10 to organise the event and they timed the start of the event at 10:10:10 am. 

As the families and teams assembled for the flag off they were given instructions to strictly follow the traffic rules besides ensuring that they signed at every check point set up by the organisers. After handing them over the clue sheet along with packed water bottles and salted snacks, the participants were timed at the point of departure and given a maximum of three hours to complete the treasure hunt. 

Ashu Vaid, who stood first, picked up an LCD as prize. A second position for Damanbir S Brar earned him a microwave oven and third placed Meenu Manchanda won a DVD player. Another prize was given to Rohini in recognition of her being adjudged the best lady participant. Each participant received a certificate. —TNS

Jewel deal

A brand new festive collection of Gold & Diamond jewellery Indulgence of the Senses by renowned jewellery designers from Delhi Ritu Modi and Shivani Modi is being exhibited at Hotel Peninsula, Sector 8, Panchkula.

Nearly 500 pieces are on display. This includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, etc. Each piece is exclusive and one-of-its-kind. Gold Karat jewellery comes with a guarantee card certifying the authenticity of the piece and is BIS Hallmarked. The jewellery has been designed keeping the modern woman in mind. Average pricing is from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2 lakhs. The range is both contemporary (kundan and jarau pieces) and western (with precious and semi-precious stones).

Moving away from the regular designs found in the market the design team of Ritu & Shivani have created designs that will fulfil every craving of jewellery buyers in the city.

Gold and diamond jewellery is always rated on the counts of purity, quality and designs. By withstanding the tough standards applicable to precious jewellery in Europe and America the company has a proven track record of high standards of purity. As for the quality of workmanship and beauty of the jewellery, Gold Karat assures you that your quest for perfection ends here. The workmanship is in tune with the quality you always looked for but rarely found.

on till October 12
— TNS 

Green vs red
Celebs turning vegetarian is not so uncommon, but there is now a reverse trend with Angelina Jolie leading the pack
Ashima Sehajpal

Krishna Somani
Krishna Somani

Replace chicken streaks with cheese ones. Sip healthy vegetable soup instead of chicken broth. Prefer soya and milk products to red meat. The world listens when celebs like Pamela Andersan, Megan Fox, Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor and her ex-beau Shahid Kapoor spread the message urging us to turn vegetarian. The world also takes a notice when a contrasting statement comes from a celebrity again. 'A big, juicy steak is my beauty secret. But seriously, I love red meat. I was a vegan for a long time, and it nearly killed me. I found I was not getting enough nutrition', that was a statement from Angelina Jolie who made no bones about how she missed her non-veg diet.

But is it really difficult to maintain fitness level on a vegetarian diet or resist those non-veg food?
Rahul Dev
Rahul Dev

Rahul Dev turned vegetarian three years back. He admits that initially the shift to vegetarian food was not easy, "Non-vegetarian food is the storehouse of protein which no vegetable or pulse can equal. But the right balance of vegetables and pulses can work wonders." He does take egg whites a day to compensate for the less protein intake. He made a shift from the non-vegetarian to the vegetarian diet for it's a healthier option. "We keep talking about chemicals present in the vegetables but infected chickens are far more harmful to health. Also there is no way to test if the meat or chicken is fresh enough. The whole world is taking to organic diet."

For models Krishna Somani and Nethra Raghuraman, keeping fit on vegetables, fruits and pulses have always been a conscious decision. Says Nethra, "If chicken, fish and meat have a lot of nutritious content, it also accounts for the increased levels of cholesterol, which is unhealthy for the cardiovascular system." She takes flaxseeds everyday for its high protein content. "Veg diet offers a lot of healthier options. I eat oats, soya nuggets, soya milk and egg white," Nethra says.

Krishna has always been a vegetarian and she says she has never faced any problem because of her diet. "I have never faced any problem due to my diet. Be it minerals, vitamins, proteins, iron, vegetarian cuisine can provide everything."

The only difference between the nutritious content of veg and non-veg diet is in term of proteins. Informs dietician Sunita Malhotra, "Protein in non-veg diet has a high biological protein value. In vegetarian diet, soyabean is the healthiest with 45 per cent protein value. In rest of the pulses, it's mere 25 per cent." She says that chicken is healthy but one must avoid red meat. "Not all non-veg foods are healthy. Red meat contains more of saturated fat, which can lead to heart problems in the later age." Are you listening Angelina Jolie?

Cup of good health

Just three cups of tea in a day are enough to protect you against heart attacks and stroke, claim researchers. A new review has demonstrated that regular drinking of either black or green tea can reduce the risk of heart problems by 11 per cent.

It cuts the build-up of plaque in the arteries - a combination of dangerous fat and cholesterol.

In terms of the delivery of antioxidants, two cups of tea is equivalent to five portions of vegetables or two apples The review by researchers at the University of Western Australia revealed that the benefits of tea are largely due to the flavonoid content, antioxidant ingredients that counteract cardiovascular disease.

One cup of tea provides 150-200mg of flavonoids.

As far as the delivery of antioxidants is concerned, two cups of tea is equivalent to five portions of vegetables or two apples.

The review also found that the flavonoid content of black tea is equal to that of green tea. Almost 80 per cent of Britons are tea drinkers.

"There is now consistent data indicating that tea and tea flavonoids can enhance nitric oxide status and improve endothelial function, which may be at least partly responsible for benefits on cardiovascular health," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Jonathan Hodgson, co-author of the review, as saying.

Dr Catherine Hood from the industry-backed Tea Advisory Panel said: "Compared with US studies, the cardiovascular benefits of tea are particularly strong in European studies. This includes UK studies where most of the tea consumed is black.

"Plaques in the carotid artery (a marker of atherosclerosis) have been shown to be less common in both men and women who drink tea.

"Bearing in mind the number of studies, including human trials, data demonstrates that flavonoids in tea can inhibit the development of atherosclerosis.

"This review also highlights evidence from randomised controlled trials showing that tea consumption may improve the health of the inner lining of the blood vessels as well as evidence that tea may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and lower blood pressure.

"Adding milk to tea doesn't affect the absorption of flavonoids from tea, according to several human research trials. In addition, the antioxidant effects seen in our blood following tea consumption are similar whether or not milk is added." "Evidence is growing that three to four cups of black tea each day is good not only for general health, but also for cardiovascular health. Given the popularity of black tea in the UK, this is good news for those who enjoy regular cups of tea," she added.

The review is published in the science journal Molecular Aspects of Medicine. — ANI

Advantage zero
Anuja Jaiswal

The craze of being size zero may push young girls to go on crash diets but the truth is that in their pursuit of having that erstwhile Kareena figure, they could be actually playing havoc with their body structures and sowing seeds for osteoporosis, a bone disease.

A recent study conducted by a London-based university reveals that crash diets to gain that slim figure could make one's bones porous. The research, which was conducted on 4,000 young girls (15 years), shows that fat mass plays an important role in building bones.

"Building strong bones at a young age is particularly important for women, as they are three times more likely to develop osteoporosis, and suffer up to three times more hip fractures than men," says the research. It has long been known that the amount of muscle in the body is related to bone growth, but this new study shows that fat mass is also important in building bones, particularly in girls.

Researchers point out that "zero size" is unhealthy and not many are aware of what it really implies.

Agreeing to this research, Dr Manuj Wadhwa, orthopedician at Fortis hospital, Mohali says, "Size zero refers to maintaining a slim figure. Do the right kind of exercise under the guidance of a certified trainer and have the right kind of food that helps you acquire a slim figure. Simply aping superstars and trying to be a size zero is something no sensible person will support."

Jon Tobias, professor of Rheumatology and leader of the research, has noted that "There is a good deal of pressure on teenage girls to be thin, but they need to be aware that this could endanger their developing skeleton and put them at increased risk of osteoporosis."

Researchers have also found that constant images of size zero models, pop stars and actresses fuelled a rise in eating disorder amongst young women. The craze for size zero was sparked by Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor, who reportedly lost eight kgs to acquire a bikini body for Tashan in 2007.

Many people think that exercise is the key to losing weight and building strong bones at the same time - but this may only be true up to a point. "If you do a good deal of low impact exercise, such as walking, you will certainly lose fat but you may not be able to put enough stress on the bones to build them significantly," says Dr Wadhwa. "To offset the detrimental effect of fat loss on your bones, it may be important to include high impact exercise as well, such as running or jumping," he added.

BODY wise
You can work it out
Sachin Kalra

Everyone these days knows the importance of keeping fit. We are constantly bombarded with information regarding the benefits of exercise and nutrition. And most of us do make an initial effort but soon get off the track. People start strong with an exercise programme, and then within a few weeks they have an excuse for not being there. Only one-third of those who begin an exercise programme will still be exercising by the end of their first year. But don't get de-motivated. The good news is that with some planning, one can beat the dropout odds. Here are some tips that will help you stay motivated and will also help you to keep the thrill in your workout programme.

Key player: Most people see exercise as a recreation activity and not a necessity, which means that workout time is the first thing to get cancelled out whenever there is a time crunch. Make exercise non-negotiable. Think of it as something you do without question like brushing your teeth or going to work. Cause if you don't, as soon as the excitement of the new programme wears off, everything else will get in your way of exercising. Write your workout time in your calendar and stick to it as you would with any other appointment.

Right choice: Choose a fitness activity that you enjoy. Going to the gym is not the only alternative. Pick up a sport if that's more to your style. But make sure that the going in itself doesn't become a hassle. If your sports club or gym are far off and there is no easy parking available, the chances are that you will try and avoid going there in the first place.

Slow & steady: Many people start out too aggressively, going to a level that is higher than what they are capable of. As a result they injure their muscle fibres and have to bear with some pain. Then they stop going to the gym because they start dreading the pain. So start out slow and increase your workout intensity gradually. Long drawn out workouts are not necessarily better. Learn to train smart.

Set goals: It's very common that when you start a new programme, you expect too much with the result that you might have set unrealistic goals for yourself. If you set your sights too high, you will end up being disappointed and discounting the gains you are making. So, when you are starting out, go over your long-term goals with your trainer, and decide what you can achieve based on your workout schedule. Also set up intermediately goals which are achievable sooner and with which you can gauge your improvement level. This will help to keep you motivated. It's also important to set reasonable time frames. If you expect too much too soon, you will surely be disappointed. Be patient and remain focused.

Progress report: Gains from one workout to the next can be subtle, and the only way to keep a record of your improvement is to write it down. Keep a journal of your workouts, your food intake, your body weight and measurements. It helps you to track your progress better and also helps you to recognise which workout or which diet works out the best for you. And seeing concrete proof of your improvement boosts you up.

Mix it up: Doing the same workout day in and day out gets boring. It also affects your results as your body gets used to that workout. So, give yourself some change. No one said that you have to walk the same route each morning or bike day in and day out. Keep things varied and don't get stuck in a routine. You'll find that you look forward to different scenery and changes in activity.

If you do strength training, change your routine regularly to keep things interesting and to break through plateau periods. A lack of variety leads to staleness. Change your sets, reps, and weight and rest periods every 3-4 weeks. You will have more fun if you learn new tools and keep doing different things.

Partner deal: Studies show that people who exercise with a friend are more successful. You can keep each other accountable. Knowing that someone is waiting for you, can be a great motivation to show up and get it done. Some spirited competition can be added, which will make working out more fun and challenging.

Get help: Workouts seem easier and are more effective with a professional guiding you and constantly motivating you. When there is someone keeping an eye on your progress, there is an incentive to keep going. If you can't afford to hire a trainer for every workout, just do it for every couple of weeks or once a month and have him or her set up goals for you to reach in between.

Dress the part: Wear comfortable and smart clothes for exercising, they will help you to feel like working out. Buy yourself some outfits that make you feel good; things that you want to put on. Wear good shoes that are appropriate for what you are doing. Do not wear them for too long as worn down shoes make you much prone to injuries, which seriously affect your motivation to exercise.

Reward yourself: If you find exercise a torture, give yourself something for getting through it. Whether you exercise for five days in a row or jog an extra mile, if you are happy with your performance, give yourself a prize! This could be a new pair of jeans or a day off from the gym. Make yourself happy because you deserve it.

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