ORGAN-ic attempt
Punjab movie Ek Noor, to be released on November 12, brings forth the message of organ donation
Jasmine Singh

It goes without saying; at a conference for a movie release the eyes invariably look for a pretty and petite face (the female lead), a handsome hunk (the actor) and rest of the entourage.

At the conference of director Mukesh Gautam's and producer Ranjit K Chandra's Ek Noor, we saw many good looking faces but nothing that could qualify as an actor! Mukesh Gautam could read the curious faces, and finally announces, "Every movie definitely has a hero as the face of the flick, whereas in Ek Noor, the subject is the hero, while heroine is the story."

Ek Noor, releasing November 12, is an effort by Mukesh Gautam to bring forth the message of organ donation and make the audience aware that each one of us can live after death as well. The movie produced by Ranjit Kumar Chandra, president and owner of Shree Kamdhenu Meditech Pvt Ltd, stars Sudhanshu Pandey, Sudeepa Singh, Rhea Sandhu (the child protagonist from Chandigarh), Harjinder Kaur (ex-Mayor of Chandigarh), Yami Gautam, Rana Ranbir, Kamal Tiwari, Neeta Mohindra and Dolly Ahluwalia Tiwari.

Despite a defined star cast, Mukesh has a different take. "Punjabi cinema is doing pretty well as compared to what it was some time back, but it deals with the same NRI topic still. With 'Ek Noor' we will try to give the audience cinema with a purpose, which is entertaining as well. The movie talks about organ donation, a concept that isn't talked or accepted in our country. The idea is to make people know how they can make a difference in the lives of others, long after they are gone."

Mukesh, who has been dealing with real subjects for almost 15 years now, is all for cinema with a purpose. This time though the idea comes from the producer. Says Mukesh, "The concept and story of Ek Noor is largely adapted from Ranjit Chandra's life. The film is a tribute to his wife Aruna Chandra, who died at the age of 28 and donated her eyes. Ranjit wanted a director who could translate his feelings into a subject."

"I also understand that the urban audience does not see Punjabi cinema as their first choice. This is why I have kept the treatment of Ek Noor a little chic. My actors speak English and Punjabi," adds Mukesh.

Having said this, Mukesh zeroes in on a hat key kind of cinema. "Movies like Bheja Fry or 'Peepli Live' have done well, which points to the fact that audiences do want to watch meaningful movies. I haven't gone overboard with the subject, at the same time it is real and actors have done complete justice to their roles."

One actor that does need a special mention is Rhea Sandhu, the protagonist who is from Yadavindra Public School. The little wonder always wanted to be an actor and this movie is a step towards her dream. She tries to recollect her lines, "I like this movie. I wanted to be an actor. I love this movie." Another surprise element is Harjinder Kaur, ex-Mayor. This must have been a different ball game altogether? "Sure it was. I had to play myself; nothing less and nothing more. It is cinema with a cause, which I want to be associated with," she says. Ranjit K Chandra, the man who is glad to see his feelings translate so well, sums up, "The appeal of the film lies in the treatment. Ek Noor will inspire people to take up the noble cause of organ donation."

Punjabi cinema is doing pretty well as compared to what it was some time back, but it still deals with the NRI topic. With Ek Noor we will try to give the audience cinema with a purpose, which is entertaining as well — Mukesh Gautam, director

Changing contours of ART
Ashima Sehajpal

Art that's the product of a philosophical idea and pragmatic approach is sure to stand the test of time. Suppose an artist comes up with an idea that he gives shape to using modern art forms like an installation or a digital print, the work of art will immediately catch the attention of people.

So, when Prajna Paramita Parasher readies to deliver a lecture on the subject Art and Industry, at the Government College of Art-10, she doesn't refer to the much-expected commercial aspect of art but something that is a bit more meaningful.

"Art and the industry is all about ideas and new mediums that technology is offering. An artist can't ignore the new mediums. Art has to move beyond the usual water colours, canvas, oil, acrylics, stone sculptures, bronze and other metals," says Prajna, who was in the city on Wednesday.

Daughter of SL Parasher, founder principal of the college, Prajna was quite nostalgic, "I have seen this college come up brick by brick. The activities that you see happening around justifies why the college was shifted from Lahore to Chandigarh." Based in Pittisburgh, US, she is serving as an associate professor at the Chatham University.

The difference between the two art cultures, she says, doesn't exist at the basic level. "For that matter, art is uniform at the grassroots level all around the world. An artist has to know how to draw with a pencil and ideate differently each time he picks up his medium."

Coming back to the topic of the lecture, Prajna emphasises on the need for an artist to know how to work in his artistic realm and at the same time be aware of the world around. "Artists who began painting Che Guevara inspired people to participate in the revolution. Art has responsibilities that extend beyond the usual - pleasure to eyes."

But is there actual freedom of expression when it comes to art? And like a true artist, she says, "Art comes out best within constraints. It then becomes a challenge for the artist to defy boundaries and bring about a change."

At the lecture, she showed installation, Door Without Walls, which conveys the message that time flies. "Ever wondered how every second of our life passes by? It's an attempt to make people realise the value of every microsecond." And like she said, there is philosophy on time and pragmatic approach in place with the use of a new form — installation. Didn't it catch your attention immediately?

In love with India

In an interview published at, Oscar winner Hollywood star Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman) says that she and her children were amazed by India. "Hazel said when she grows up, that's where she's going to live". Julia's son Phinnaeus even shaved his head. "Hazel [also] wanted to shave her head, so I let her shave the back half of her head. They would chant, and they were just interested." Roberts has three children from her current husband cinematographer Daniel Moder (Grand Champion)-five year old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and three year old Henry.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, seeing Roberts' keen interest in Hinduism, has suggested her to practice regular mediation and thus experience shanti (perfect transcendent peace), pure awareness, and freedom from time-space limitations. Right meditation would result in intense inner wakefulness, Zed stressed.

September issue of women's fashion magazine Elle revealed that entire Roberts-Moder family goes to temple together to "chant and pray and celebrate", quoting Roberts: "I'm definitely a practicing Hindu".

It also indicated her belief in reincarnation. In an interview with anchor George Stephanopoulos at news program Good Morning America on ABC News on August nine, Roberts said that she did practice Hinduism and added, "Hinduism is something I am very intrigued by and very interested in." Roberts reportedly became interested in Hinduism after seeing a picture of Hanuman devotee Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, who died in 1973. There were media reports that Roberts was trying to adopt a child from India. — ANI

Real hero

Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan, who earned the superhero tag with his dare devil stunts in Krissh, said playing a paraplegic in his upcoming movie Guzaarish is not an image change for him.

"I am a super character in the film. I have interacted with about 20 such patients who suffer from complete paralysis of the lower half of the body, including both legs, which is mostly caused by damage of the spinal cord. They are real life superheroes and I am representing their emotions on screen," Hrithik said.

Guzaarish, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, releases on November 19. Aishwarya plays the romantic lead opposite Hrithik in this period film.

"The patients with whom I interacted during the making of the film have become my friends for life. They taught me that you are more than just your body. There is a reason to all your problems and in solving them...Instead of crying over problems, focus on how to face them," he says.

Hrithik, whose last film Kites sank at the box office despite huge hype, says he never felt so responsible towards a character he has essayed on movies.

"I am representing the lives of these superheroes on screen. Apart from the fact that Bhansali's script moved me, I felt the responsibility of telling the world the story of such incredible character portrays how to live life despite struggles and problems after meeting with a near-fatal accident during a performance as magician," he said.

The actor says he spent several hours with the patients to understand what they go through, what they think and what are their needs. — PTI 

Tweet, my love

Hollywood couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's love of tweeting is well known but the couple often use the microblogging website to communicate while in the same room.

The What Happens In Vegas actor, 32, who is 15 years younger than his wife said that he likes the public display of affection, reported People online.

"A lot of times my wife and I sit across from each other and Tweet. It's a little bizarre," said the actor.

"It's the same reason why you send roses to a woman at work. Sometimes people like to be adored in public," he added.

The couple who recently celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary are in Israel, reportedly to renew their wedding vows.

Moore, 47, had decided to stay by the side of her husband, who is fifteen years her junior, even as a magazine published a report accusing the actor of cheating on her with a 21-year-old blonde.

Kutcher denied the accusations and took to micro-blogging site Twitter to make his feelings about the charges clear.

"I think Star magazine calling me a 'cheater' qualifies as defamation of character. I hope my lawyer agrees.

Star magazine, you don't get to stand behind 'freedom of the press' when you are writing fiction," he tweeted.

Kutcher's representative also denied the story, while his wife came out in support of her husband on the website. "Excellent point my love! No question!" she wrote in response to Kutcher's comments. — PTI 

Skin show!
From decorating their forearms to getting funky motifs etched on the wrist, back, neck...youngsters from the city have taken to tattoos in a big way
Alka Kashyap

They are all over the town, painting it red, black, grey and all the hues you can possibly think of! Body tattoos have indeed caught the imagination of our youngsters.

Right from vividly decorating their forearms to getting funky motifs etched on the wrist, back, neck…the city guys and girls are doing it all. Ranging from a petite rose to a blood-oozing woman, there are a number of styles to choose from. Celtic, traditional or Oriental... the motto is to keep it real. Interestingly, the Taj Mahal tattoo is also a craze these days. The world famous Japanese tattoos are based on the meaning behind them. Dragon, which symbolises strength and endurance, is very much in.

Tattooing has been practised worldwide for at least two centuries now and unique designs have always been used as a means of expressing specific aspects of an individual's personality. Tattoos on human beings are perceived as a form of decorative body modification and have been used to emphasise or enhance one's looks. Some of them have been used to convey medical information, such as the blood group.

Many leading Salons in Chandigarh are offering designs to suit the needs of customers. Pocket-friendly tattoos are mostly the temporary ones that add colour to an evening party or a wedding celebration. Many find it a good substitute to jewellery. They are the washable colours, which are jazzed up glitter dust in bright colours. Starting from Rs 100 these can go up to a thousand rupees, depending upon the size and intricacy of the design. Henna tattoo is another good choice, which is easy on the skin. Moreover it lasts quite a few days. These start from Rs 50 onwards.

Tattoos are also the teeny-weeny brigade's latest fad. From Buddha to Spiderman, from Power Puff girls to pink roses, the kiddies are gleefully getting tattooed at birthday parties. Besides, buying innumerable chewing gums to get that free tattoo sticker is every child's fetish!

For those who are ready to bear a little pain, permanent tattoos have established themselves in the market in a big way. The ones that are done by a roadside vendor, usually found near Mansa Devi Temple, start from Rs 10 per letter. If you want a clinically safe, permanent tattoo, it may cost a bit. Starting at Rs 700 per square inch, Nitin Chauhan, at Herbuzer Tattoos, Sector 35, can give you a neat job.

Jeetu, a popular physical trainer in the city, decided to go in for an elaborate tattoo from a good Salon, despite it's high cost. A bird symbolising high ambition reflects his desire to soar in the free skies. Besides it adds a lot of style to his well-toned body. "It's not just a design on you, it's all about your emotions," says Jeetu.

With the increase in demand, there has been a resultant increase in the advancement with regards to tattoo pigment and equipment, and thus, an improvement in the quality of tattoos produced.

Owner of Immortal Tattoos, Sector 9, Rishabh says, "Most places will let you get a tattoo at 16, but it is essential that you have the consent of your parents. Spending a year or two thinking about the design is advisable. If you are still set on it, when you have turned 18, you know you will love it for the rest of your life."

Rishabh has come up with very unique designs that have a three dimensional impact. Still new in the market, his designs are fast catching up with youngsters who can afford them. Justifying the cost he says, "Cheap tattoos are not good and good tattoos are not cheap!" The process of tattooing does not take up much time, given the modern equipment that has become available. This includes the electric tattoo machine, which comes with several needles that are soldered onto a bar. These needles are packaged for single use and are sterile in the manufacturer's packaging. A small tattoo may take only as much as 15 minutes to be completed, but larger and more complex tattoos with multiple pigments may need several sittings over a few hours. 

Namaste India

Huang Rur, 22 studies Hindi at Beijing, China. Interested in Bollywood and Indian culture, because it's as old as Chinese culture, Huang is doing her major in Hindi wherein she studies Hindi literature, culture and philosophy. After her studies, Huang wants to volunteer to work for the uplift of the poor in China and India.

Her fluent Hindi as well as clear writing comes as a pleasant surprise. In the city to be part of a youth programme, and, to understand India and its various religions, Huang shares her view of our city.

First impression

Chandigarh's traffic is managed pretty well. It was a relief to see this after Delhi's traffic, which I feel, is pretty bad.

What brings you here?

I am keen on India especially because of Bollywood. I studied Hindi in Beijing, and, I want to polish it more while I am here because I really want to enjoy Hindi movies.

Highs and lows

I have seen some of the best schools in the city and I am pretty impressed by the facilities and infrastructure available. On the flipside, I am surprised to see the public transport system which is not all that efficient.

Food fundas

I am not too comfortable with spicy Indian meals. Yet, I am doing fine so far.

Contrasts and comparisons

I live and study in Beijing, which in my view is very developed. Metro and buses make travel pretty easy. But my campus which is very green is pretty similar to this city.

Surprise element

Back home, one usually shops in supermarkets where everything is available under one roof. I am surprised to see markets here where each shop specialises in a particular thing.

Silver lining

Relationship: Husband and Wife

Time together: 27 years

Same-to-same: Enjoy entertaining guests, dining out; both are spendthrift and yet religious-minded, family-oriented, loving and warm-hearted.

Yet different: Fun loving, outspoken, enjoys singing; emotional. — Glenda

Reserved, serious, farsightedness and practical. — Michael

Unforgettable moment: The apologetic look in his eyes and the kiss on my forehead said it all as he was unable to make it in time to the hospital at the time of the birth of our first child. — Glenda

On her return from Australia after a gap of three months, it seemed like my world came back. — Michael.

Funny takes: While discussing cricket, Mike once made a mention of how well Kenny Rogers played on that day instead of Roger Benny. — Glenda

My wife loves to dress up for me, which I find rather sweet. — Michael

Special something: Our silver wedding anniversary will always be our special something.

Wishful thinking: Spending our old age in a very fulfilling manner and trying to reach out to as many people as we can.

(Glenda is director, Bachpan Play School -71, Mohali. Michael works with SBI. They have two sons - Neil and Ralph)

A glass half-full..
Even pets can have pessimistic nature

It seems unlikely that a dog could be pessimistic, but a new study suggests that sometimes even they see the glass half empty. A study at the University of Bristol has shown that "a 'glass-half-full' dog is less likely to be anxious when left alone than one with a more 'pessimistic' nature." To verify the same, dogs at two UK animal re-homing centres were trained that when a bowl was placed at one location in a room (the 'positive' position) it would contain food, but when placed at another location (the 'negative' position) it would be empty. The bowl was then placed at ambiguous locations between the positive and negative positions.

"Dogs that ran fast to these ambiguous locations, as if expecting the positive food reward, were classed as making relatively 'optimistic' decisions," explained Professor Mike Mendl.

Gaines says that this study suggests that at least some of these dogs may have underlying negative emotional states, and owners are encouraged to seek treatment to enhance the welfare of their dogs and minimise the need to relinquish their pet. — ANI

Renee Writes
at or Life Style, The Tribune, Sector 29-C, Chd
Move on

I am a 34-year-old woman, sharing a room with my girlfriend. We both work in the same office and over the years have become best friends. The friendship is good, but my friend is extremely jealous of my male friend. She hates him and always makes strange remarks about him. Whenever I tell her I am going out with someone she creates some emergency situation so that my plans are disrupted. Many times I think of running away from this situation but the convenience of sharing the room and other facilities always keeps me there.

Alka Nijhawan


Your friend is extremely insecure about you. You are her major support in life and she is emotionally dependent on you. I agree it is not a very comfortable situation, but I feel that you have also developed a comfort zone. Do not hold on to the situation because you want to get anything out of it, especially for financial reasons. Feel a sense of freedom and give yourself the space and comfort. Tell your friend, firmly not to encroach upon your area otherwise move from the place. Too much thinking will get you nowhere.

Negate the negative

I am 50 years old and have a male friend who is 45. We have a platonic relationship for many years. Although we do not meet very often but we talk over the phone a few times in the day. We are also kind of connected all the time. But whenever I go to meet him I come back feeling very depressed. I feel this is due to some negative energy that he is carrying all the time. Is there a way where I can create a balance between my meeting him and not getting into a level of depression, which seems to pull me towards itself? I feel this relationship is very painful, but I don't see a way out of it.

Ritika Dewan


I think you are stuck in a wrong situation. Do not allow this to happen to you. Your friend seems to be carrying a lot of pent up anger inside him. Perhaps he is angry over something that happened in his childhood. It leads to depression, which your friend could be carrying and you could be victimised. Since your relationship is giving you negative feelings I suggest you make a huge effort to move on with your life. Keep your friendship at an ordinary pace and try and turn your life around.

Don't worry, be happy

I am a 24-year-old man and have recently got a job as an engineer. There are many nice girls working with me and I try very hard to make friends with them but they don't seem to be interested. I don't even try to flirt and I am very careful with my language. I make the correct kind of conversation but somehow things are not working. I am the only child of my parents and have a lot of male members in the family. May be my communication skills with the females is not very good that is why I am not able to make friends with girls. How do you think I can make friends with the opposite sex?

Hemant Pasricha


What a dilemma. Come on don't fret over this one, it is really a negligible issue if you know how to treat it. It's just that you have some issues regarding women since you are brought up in an all male environment. You are probably sending some negative vibration to women and that's why they are staying away from you. You must remember that more than the words you use it is your vibration that seems to affect people's behaviour towards you. Try changing your thought pattern and connect within yourself. Give yourself the affirmation that "women love me and want to be friends with me". Life is wonderful learn to enjoy it.

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