Motivated design
Exquisite jewellery line is not the only USP of Farah Khan, a leading jewellery designer. She is equally passionate about spirituality, tigers and much more
Ashima Sehajpal

When you wear spirituality on the sleeve, you might as well prove it. Prove not by delivering sermons but through the way you live your life, just as jewellery designer and wife of the famous DJ Aqeel, Farah Khan does. Standing at the counter of Samsaara at Taj, where she has her latest collection on display, she shares details of jewellery pieces with every customer who walks in, before joining us for a tęte-ŕ-tęte with a sincere apology for keeping us waiting.

"I am here with my bridal collection in rubies and emeralds, besides the expected diamonds. The designs have Indian motifs as the base," shares Farah. But there is far more to her than her collection and the most apparent aspect of her personality is spirituality, which makes her take as much interest in designing even after 17 long years into the profession. It also gives her the confidence to experiment and most importantly helps her stay grounded. "Spirituality makes me very positive. I don't ask anything from God now, instead I thank him for everything, I try to connect with him by undertaking a few social causes." The latest cause on her priority list is 'Save the Tiger' campaign. Farah is all set to unveil another collection that will have motifs of tigers and cubs. "A documentary film I watched was an eye-opener. I also helped my son make his school project on tigers. The assertion that there are 1,400 tigers in India is in fact exaggerated. Not more than 800 tigers are alive and it's time to ring the alarm bell." She plans to auction the tiger collection and donate the entire amount to charity. Spirituality also helps her set her priorities of life right. She says, "First comes family and then the profession."

Well, there's another dimension - the social life of celebs. "It makes space for itself when I have fulfilled my prior commitments. I am emotionally satisfied. I don't need outside support, my family and work are enough." Whatever she creates, sells well in the market. As per a latest survey conducted by Lintas, her collection has the highest brand value in India. The reason for it she suggests is, "I make a bond with my clients. I am not just a retailer who will put a few pieces on the counter. I consider myself an artist who wants people to appreciate the design of the jewellery first." To expand her client base, Farah will also launch a budget collection with pieces costing as low as Rs 10,000. Though she affirms the gradual shift of choice from small diamonds to rocks, the pręt line, she believes, will make her jewellery affordable to those who don't have the money for the high-end bracket.

She also feels that the popularity of diamonds has surpassed that of gold, even if the returns from the latter are more. "That's also because the marketing of diamond jewellery is far better than that of gold. In terms of quality, diamond is indestructible and a trend for all seasons." Talking about the international standards, she doesn't deny that India has a long way to go still. She adds that diamond retailers give customers what they demand. "It's a safe bet but how will the clients realise that there are other options available as well. This is why we see duplication of designs even when someone has spent a lot." For now, all that glitters is only diamonds!

Cut to fusion
Ashima Sehajpal

Indian women love to wear ethnic clothes. They also love to travel. And the connection between fashion and globe-trotting is explained by Salim Asgarally, who strongly protests against tagging 'salwar kameez' as the only ethnic wear. "A fusion of ethnic and contemporary is a must for women who travel abroad. The silhouette should have an international touch. All a designer needs to do is replace 'salwar' with trousers or Pakistani pants," says Salim, who was in the city to display his creations at the ongoing Trends exhibition at Taj-17.

For those who might question Salim's credentials to pronounce the ouster of 'salwars' from Indian fashion scene, his experience in the industry is almost two decades now. "I have seen and survived those times when there was just one designer store in India - Ensemble by Tarun Tahiliani. I have seen the fashion infrastructure come up and addition of designers to the poorly populated fraternity in hordes." He is also witness to the multiple fashion weeks happening in every tier 2 city of India. "I am not in favour of them. Inexperienced designers use the platform to gain publicity. The prime motive instead should be to take fashion to people and sell creations."

For years, Salim has been participating in the Lakme Fashion Week and Wills Fashion Week. In fact, he was one of the few designers for whom Aishwarya Rai walked the ramp during her modelling days. Other big names include Bipasha Basu and even Simi Grewal. He feels that there is a symbiotic relationship between fashion and Bollywood. "Bollywood has invaded our lives. We see these stars everywhere, on social, sports, cultural events. They are all over the TV as well. I don't mind them on the ramp as long as they favour fashion. But don't forget to give fashion its due credit. Fashion also makes stars what they are."

The creations on display are mostly a fusion of ethnic and contemporary cuts. Cut-work is done on kurtis in net and georgette, and is teamed up with trousers. The colours used vary from bright to pastels. "Choice of colours is absolutely subjective. It shouldn't define a designer creations."

This is for the first time that Salim is in the city to tap the market and he expects a great response. "Metropolitans are saturated. It's the tier-two cities that are eager to explore fashion. People of Chandigarh are known for their refined taste. Every major brand has a retail outlet here, which is enough to prove people's inclination towards fashion." He's quick to add that he will soon be retailing his creations too from designer outlets in the city. You are welcome!

Abiding love for theatre
In the city to stage her production Balura Gudikara on the final day of the ongoing Chandigarh Ibsen Theatre Festival, acclaimed thespian B Jayashree says more needs to be done to promote art and artistes
SD Sharma

Theatre is a collective enterprise that addresses itself not to individuals but the mankind as a whole by projecting and interpreting the contemporary issues of socio-cultural and economical relevance. Rather good and meaningful theatre is a powerful instrument of social change, which can effectively intervene and participate in the political dialogue of the times, emerging as a parliament of sorts," observes Bangalore-based acclaimed thespian B Jayashree, presently a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha.

An alumnus of National school of Drama, New Delhi (1973 batch), Jayashree was initiated into acting by her grandfather Gubbi Veerana, a theatreperson of repute in South India. Supported by her actor husband K Ananda Raju, she rose like a colossus on the theatre scene with over 50 productions running into over 60 to 70 performances. Lakhpati Rajnakta completed 150 shows alone.

Rightfully decorated with honours like the UP Sangeet Natak Academy's Safdar Hashmi Award, Karnataka Natak Academy Award (1996), Aryabhata and Udaya TV's best playback singer award, Central Sangeet-Natak Akademi Award (1997), Kalpana Chawla Award; best supporting actress award for her role in the feature fi1m Nagamandala from the Karnataka Government and many more. She is on the board of directors of six prestigious national cultural organisations. Jayashree has worked as an assistant choreographer for the Festival of India in Sweden. The play Lakshapati Rajana Kathe, directed by her, was part of the International Experimental Theatre Festival in Cairo and Tashkent in 1989.

She worked in a joint project between Spandana and Theatre Workshop Edinburgh, Scotland, to commemorate 50 years of India's Independence. Jayashree directed a play Hoovi in English for the group ICHF Dallas, USA, in 2004.

Jayashree is in the city to stage her prestigious production Balura Gudikara, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's original play The Master Builder on the final day of the ongoing Chandigarh Ibsen Theatre Festival.

"Neither the public nor the government has so far appreciated the importance of theatre or artistes. In the West and also in some parts of our country, people take pride in enjoying a ticketed show but not everywhere," she says. Ask her about the efforts to raise the voice of artistes in the Parliament and she reiterates her commitment to mobilising opinion for the noble cause.

A strong proponent of folk theatre and music, she feels that each has its own strength, vitality and vigour and even the complex themes can be best interpreted to reach the masses. "Even I have structured Ibsen's instant play in a folk 'Botheata' form, rather regionalised it," she adds.

Ananda Raju and Jayashree maintain that the attitude of theatre buffs and those at the helm of affairs needs to be changed. "For instance, seven billion crones are spent on Ibsen festival in Oslo and art lovers throng the theatres irrespective of whether they know the language or not, which might not be possible here," says Raju.

Toy story
From replicas of life-size cars to jeeps to look-alikes of the best bikes in the market, toy stores are offering the best for your child
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

From powder puffs to innovative gadgets, the range of products for newborns and children is meticulously chosen and displayed in various stores for kids in the city. And what you get to see is nothing less than what you buy for elders.

From replicas of life-size cars to jeeps and look-alike of the best bikes in the market, there are toys, clothes, shoes and accessories that would want you to be a child again! But mind you all this comes at a price that’s no less than some thousands.

Displaying some wonderful cars and bikes for children, Rama Stores in Sector 22 is a hub of all that a child can fancy. But the latest addition that got us also hooked is almost a look-alike of Harley-Davidson bike. A chic-looking bike that would send any boy into frenzy is definitely a head-turner, but wonder who’s buying? “More than kids, it’s the parents who like to select such kind of toys,” says Virender from Rama Store. Ask him what all does the bike feature and he says, “They are battery operated gadgets that are a look-alike of a real bike. Other than that they have music for an added display.” Priced at Rs 6,000 the bike is sure a show-stealer!

Another crowd-puller is an Army jeep that has a steering, music system, indicators, musical horn, accelerator and brakes to run the car. This one costs Rs 5,000.”

With our city expanding and stores like Mother Care and Mom ‘n’ Me, we have a lot to choose from. From car seats for children to an impression kit, just name it and you have it.

“Toys are not the only things where you can spend luxuriously for your little one. Go shoe hunting for a toddler (who hardly can match steps) and surprisingly the price range starts at about Rs 500 onwards,” says Richa Taneja a lecturer at a private college. She adds, “Toiletry is another thing that costs a lot.”

Talk about fashion for children, at Mother Care in Sector 17 you can pick a stylish fur shrug for your darling doll and a casual coat as well as trouser for your sunny boy. From bath gown to stylish sunglasses, the list is endless.

Talking toys, now we even have a concept of renting a toy. From games to books to educational kits, interactive CDs and VCDs, computer games and outdoor games, Juju Beans a Toy Library in Panchkula, provides ample choice from on a rental basis for kids of up to twelve years of age.

Offering membership, the range here also includes monopoly, power rangers, cricket game, bowling, cars, bikes, ludo, housie, life, architect sets, laptops, etc.

The toys can also be booked for your party, playgroup or any function involving kids. Like a library, members can borrow toys for one week.

Wake up call
Extreme stress levels, odd working hours and challenge of meeting deadlines deprives software engineers of precious sleep
Ashima Sehajpal

On a usual day, after working for a usual eight-hour shift, one would sleep for a usual seven hours. Then on another such day, after working for an unusual 15 hours, how long should one sleep for? Instead chances are that one wouldn’t be able to sleep at all!

And just in case if the schedule continues for a few days, lack of sleep might make a person suffer from insomnia. Probability multiplies in case of those who work in the IT sector. Nothing comes without a price. Our flourishing IT industry might be giving sleepless nights to Uncle Sam and counterparts in the West but here too a heavy price is paid. According to a recent research conducted by the University of Mysore, “A large number of software engineers are sleep deprived or suffer from insomnia.”

The reasons vary from extreme stress levels, odd working hours to challenges to meet deadlines. Rajiv Kaul, co-founder of the IT firm, Intelligaia, attributes his lack of sleep to late night shifts. “There’s no choice but to attend back-to-back late night calls. We have to deliver projects on time and for that calls need to be received as well as made at any time the client demands.” There’s not much to offer in terms of solutions due to ten to twelve hours difference in time zones. The scope of an alternative is less because the finances depend only on these projects. “If there are less projects and work demand in the market, IT professionals will have more sleepless nights. Working more is a better option that sitting without work,” Rajiv quips while adding that hardwork at worse will deprive you of sleep.

The high caffeine diet is also responsible for less sleep. Coffee, beverages and tea provide instant energy required to work for late hours. Says, Paramjeet Singh, owner, Webapps Interactive, an IT firm, “Intake of caffeine rich drinks is so high by the end of the day that we aren’t able to sleep even when we want to.” He adds that IT professionals can’t afford to have fixed working hours. “We have to be ready for a challenge 24X7 and thus routine goes for a toss. It’s difficult to sleep for more than a couple of hours during the daytime as everybody around you is working. At night, we again have calls to attend, thus after sometime IT professionals get conditioned to stay awake.”

The study conducted at University of Mysore also suggests that “suitable awareness programmes” should be devised to help software engineers who are at a higher risk of insomnia. A DEL spokesperson says that albeit human beings get used to any working conditions after sometime, the organisation has an on-campus lifestyle doctor to solve such problems. “Our biological clock gets accustomed to any working hours. Besides training employees for late hour shifts, the on-campus doctor advises them on how to prevent health problems that can occur due to change in lifestyle.”

Work related stress is another cause of insomnia. While the work pressure can’t be reduced, it’s important to deal with stress using effective means. Harneet Singh, a software engineer with Quark, suggests planning work and executing it well. “Listening to soft music, a chit-chat with colleagues and ten-minute break after every two hours helps in dealing with stress and insomnia.” If only these are effective!

There’s no choice but to attend back-to-back late night calls. We have to deliver projects on time and for that calls need to be received as well as made at any time the client demands

Rajiv Kaul, co-founder, IT firm Intelligaia 


George Emmannual, a final-year student of Government College of Art-10, has sent a poster to US president Barack Obama that conveys the message of climate control

First Copenhagen and now Cancun, the effect of failing conferences on climate change will trickle down to each one of us. While the tussle between developing and developed nations regarding who should regulate the pollution levels is on, the most important fact is being ignored. “Industrialisation will not provide us food. Capitalists don’t realise that no amount of money will be able to supply fresh water to e entire mankind. Climate control is important,” says George Emmannual, a final-year student of MFA at Government College of Art-10.

George will be sending a poster on the same message to US president Barack Obama. The poster has a sketch of Statue of Liberty. “I also painted a mask on the face of the statue to convey the message that in coming times people will not be able to breathe without a face mask.” Painted in red, the mask cautions about the accelerating pollution levels. “Soon masks will be considered as one of the fashion accessories. The capitalists will then invest in the business of mask making. We might have masks in gold, platinum and embellished with diamonds,” George quips. The original poster is 15X13 feet, but a smaller print will be mailed to the US. George says that developed nations should set an example for other countries. “Only if US and European nations abide to climate law will other countries follow suit. As of now, US is responsible for 70 per cent of the total pollution.” — Ashima Sehajpal

Silk, forever

Silk is the most treasured and traditional fabric. But a round of Silk Utsav, on at Kisan Bhavan-35, would make you think otherwise. The latest colours, patterns and fusion of silk with other fabrics make it haute for sure.

Starting with tradition, Shahib Abid from Indore has Maheshwari saris and suits that have styles from past. “In 18th century Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar got the patterns of the forts on sari borders. These were meant to be given as gifts carrying a slice of royalty. We have treasured those very patterns,” claims Shahib.

When it comes to silk, Benarasi also reigns. But with time there has been a constant evolution. It’s ambi in multicoloured sari is the latest design. “Among Chandigarh buyers, ‘upala’ (textured silk) is a huge hit. Since the city values suits as much as saris, there is a range in Benarasi silk and Jamavar. Bedspreads in silk too are available. A heavy, regal Benarasi bedcover with two pillow covers and two cushion covers comes at a price tag of Rs 3,000.

Kota, Chanderi, Mulberry, Bhagalpur, Kantha, Muga, Aari, Mataka, temple border — there is almost every kind of silk sari available. The innovation also lies in fusion. So you have block prints, bagh, chiken on cotton and silk. Readymade kurtis use different fabrics and a variety of embroideries.

“Silk is the favourite ‘festive’ fabric for a number of reasons,” says Simrata Singh, assistant professor, NIIFT, Mohali. “One thing is its lustre, that goes with the festive spirit. Secondly, it’s a winter fabric, keeps cold away better than many other fabrics,” says Simrata. Another reason is the range of options one gets in silk. “Each state offers different textures, colours and patterns. So there is a mind-boggling variety to choose from,” offers Simrata.

Magic in blue

It’s yet another addition to the celebrity and their signature fragrance.  The ‘Let’s Get It Started’ girl in a blue bottle! Avon Beauty Products India (P) Ltd, announced the launch of its new fragrance ‘Outspoken by Fergie’, the first ever signature fragrance by the singer, songwriter, fashion designer and actress Fergie. The new fragrance evokes the same fearless confidence and independence that this women icon represents.

The signature fragrance by Fergie is an outrageously bold expression of iced berry shockingly contrasted with ultra feminine tuberose absolute and racy leather, which let your true personality shine through. Speaking about her association with Avon to launch her first ever signature fragrance, Fergie said, “I’m so excited to partner with Avon to develop my first-ever fragrance. I’m always seeking out new ways to express myself, and a fragrance is the perfect opportunity to share my originality and confidence with my fans, and the Avon consumer.

I couldn’t be happier to be working with a brand with such a strong reputation for supporting women.” The bold and outrageous fragrance can be a part of your collection for just Rs 1500for 50ml. Available exclusively through personal Avon Representatives. — TNS

Wrap in retro 

To give your home a reflection of contemporary and modern home fashion line, Maspar, a contemporary home furnishing brand unveils its new collection,  Rustic Relic. The magnificent collection Rustic Relic is based on the theme of “Memories of Yesteryears” when the popular colours were only brown and greys. 

The collection includes bed spreads with beautiful check patterns in rich ochre, duvet covers, shams, pillow cases & cushion covers which are unique pieces of art. Get earthy comfort wrapped in geometrical patterns on bed sheets. Cushions are available in mustard yellow, dark brown and cream. Rustic Relic from maspar is a unique blend of different cultures and societies expressed in natural fabric with closely made weaves of different yet compatible colours like Gold, Brown, Beige, Black and White. — TNS

Matka chowk
Furniture Funda
Sreedhara Bhasin

The furniture market of Sector 34 is a good place to go to if you are desirous of suffering from pangs of great misgivings for having bought that exact look-alike sofa from a reputed store for a phenomenally higher price. It is a rather bizarre market with extremely tacky pieces strewn about dusty pavements along with some astonishingly nice looking ones. Overall, it is an interesting place, if you don’t mind the dust and the overall ambience of apathy.

I was there last week, looking for a cheap storage piece. It was one of those rare days when I was not in a hurry. I dawdled about fleeting from one shop to another, trying to find something that would suit my purpose. In one of the shops, I ran into a young man with a loud voice, who with utmost energy started showing me all his furniture ware. I looked through things and commented on the dents in some of the pieces he had. His reply somehow bemused me a great deal. He said, “Madamji, zindagi to bahat rough hain – aadmi me itna dent aa jate hain, aur yeh to furniture hain!” I laughed and asked him is he had received any dents lately. He said surely, he’s had a gall bladder removal surgery lately and that is not only a dent but a hole as well. “Wahan pe toh abhi bhi khadda hai.” I was further bemused, since I too lost my gall bladder a long time ago. I guess I lacked his vision of considering myself as dented. Dents after all are not all that bad, I guess.

While rummaging through more knick-knacks, he showed me a ‘mandir’. “A nice piece,” I said –“but, how come there are no shelves in the ‘mandir’?” He looked horrified. “Madamji, mandir me to kabhi shelves nahi hota hai.” One God would then be above another and will that be fair to the Gods? How can you discriminate amongst the Gods? Aren’t they all equally great and in the same place? I was stunned by his furniture philosophy. How come all of us cannot contemplate that in a larger scheme of global divinity?

I moved on to another booth. My eyes fell on a rather nice looking couch. I asked for the price and found it incredibly cheap. I further reviewed more fabric styles in the process, disturbing the salesman’s mid-afternoon reverie. When I finalised the details, I found much to my dismay that I had heard him wrong when he quoted the price. I walked away from the booth – surely, I shouldn’t have to pay real store prices for a couch here – I mused! But then who is to know what is real furniture any more? Teak is a dinosaur and soon forests will disappear in India. All “real” furniture will end up being heritage pieces.

Maybe, then we will be able to auction our real pieces, just like stolen Corbusier pieces! 

Picks & piques
Problems galore
Johnson Thomas

Band Baaja Baraat is Yash Raj's medium budgeted attempt to stem the tide of negativity afflicting their films of late. The film marks the directorial debut of Maneesh Sharma and stars Anushka Sharma, Yashraj's second favourite heroine (second only to Rani Mukherjee), with her off-screen boyfriend newcomer Ranveer Singh in the lead roles. The film is a romantic comedy. The only other film ready to brave the Yash Raj ire is Anil Kapoor productions' comedy offering No Problem directed by super-successful Anees Bazmi of Welcome, No Entry and Singh is King fame, starring Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna, Sanjay Dutt, Sushmita Sen, Paresh Rawal and Kangana Ranaut. While Bazmi's film is reported to have cost Rs 45 crores, Yash Raj's effort would have cost only a quarter of that, which gives the latter a better chance of retrieving the cost. But that's not all - Yash Raj's film is far more vibrant and likeable than Bazmi's insipid effort.

Film: No Problem

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Paresh Rawal, Sushmita Sen, Kangana Ranaut

Director: Anees Bazmi

Anees Bazmi in Bollywood parlance has come to be reckoned as the man with the golden touch. All his films, those he has helmed, have done propitiously well at the box-office. Why is that? One may well ask, as all those films have been terrible experiences for the learned discerning public. Bazmi is unaffected by all the criticism heaped on his films. He continues to make them, one worse than the other, and reaps rich dividends too! If you analyse his successes, they have a certain formula to them - not the usual Bollywood kitsch formula but something even more retrograde. He ropes in a half-a-dozen stars, makes them look like idiots onscreen by getting them into the most infantile situations while they put on their most untenable performances. And if that doesn't work, No problem, he says while adding some really zany song and dance routines, which more often than not manages to do the trick at the box-office. But No Problem, his latest offering, appears well short of his hit formula. The music is lacklustre and the narrative appears like something even a third grader would feel ashamed to own up to. The plot is thinner than ever. Zandulal (Paresh Rawal), settled in a South African village with his blonde wife and three kids, one of who appears to have African-American genes. In the most degenerate manner we are told that his origin has, probably, something to do with their African cook. It's really not funny and you cringe instead.

Zandulal runs a bank, he is saved from irate gorillas by two conmen Yash (Sanjay Dutt) and Raj (Akshaye Khanna) who later loot his bank. So Zandulal is now in pursuit of the two conmen while the twosome get up to some more shenanigans. There are some more nincompoops adding to the mess. Arjun (Anil Kapoor), a bumbling cop, Kajal (Susmita Sen), his wife who suffers from a multiple personality disorder, her sister Sanjana (Kangana) who falls in love with Raj, their father the commissioner (Shakti Kapoor), Marcus (Suneil Shetty) a hitman, and his moll (Neetu Chandra). Then there's Ranjeet and several others filling up the numbers. The result is a mashed-up story, with the most ridiculous plots and a narrative that just doesn't get even the basics of storytelling right. Mindless, brainless, irritating and beyond stupid! The actors don't even want to make sense of the script and their roles in it. They are in it for the money and it shows. This is crass, unappetising, unrelenting tedious fare - one of Bollywood's worst films ever and as insipid and unappealing as a soiled dish-rag!

Fun time

Film: Band Baaja Baraat

Cast: Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh

Director: Maneesh Sharma

A tale about two Delhi University passouts who start up a band baaja baraat planner, Shaadi Mubarak, and then inevitably fall in love in the process, sounds like staple Yash Raj fare. But there's more to Band Baaja Baraat than just complicated romance.

The promos and the star cast did not seem all that interesting in the run-up to the release. So expectations were tempered enough for Maneesh Sharma to spring a surprise on the audience. The story is simple enough but the manner in which it is narrated makes all the difference. The tone is light-hearted frivolous fun and full of joi-de-vivre.

Shruti Kelkar (Anushka) is far more ambitious than her partner, a laid back kind of a guy, Bittu (Ranveer). Their business Shaadi Mubarak goes from planning small weddings to big and then complications set in. The face-off between the two contrasting personalities leads to each doing their individual thing before finally coming together again.

Salim-Suleiman's music has a rambunctious Punjabi flavour to it and keeps you tapping your toes, looking forward to more. The chemistry between the lead pair is also really palpable. So whatever transpires onscreen in the name of love appears believable. Their performances are also quite distinctive seeing how they play characters that are poles apart in terms of temperament and attitude. Both Anushka and Ranveer give agreeable accounts of their acting chops. The screenplay and dialogues are by Habib Faisal, the director who made Do Dooni Char so memorable. He reels out light-hearted, expressive and literally engaging wordy theatrics while newcomer Maneesh Sharma wields the director's baton with a skill and freshness that is both wholesome and entertaining. The streets of Delhi come alive in all it's glory and kudos must go to Aseem Mishra's city framing camerawork, which lends earthy authenticity to the sequences involving the capital city while adding a great deal of sparkle to this entreating, escapist fare!

Sienna's wishlist

Hollywood beauty Sienna Miller wants to live like her friend, actress Keira Knightley who enjoys a quiet homebound life with boyfriend Rupert Friend. The 'Factory Girl' star, who is dating actor Jude Law, befriended Knightley on the movie sets of 'The Edge of Love' and envies her peaceful life, reported a magazine. "She and Rupert live a wonderful life. They read books and discuss topics and cook for their friends. It's the kind of life I aspire to - I don't know if they even watch TV," said the 28-year-old actress. "But don't be fooled and think she is a goody-goody. 

She can be a really good laugh," Miller added. Knightley, 25, loves spending time at home and admits baking is among her favourite past time or shopping for unique items to decorate her house. "I really do have baking days. I make all sorts of cakes and breads. I love going to the markets really early to find things for my house - it's full of stuff from markets; rugs, tables, chairs, anything I can get my hands on," the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star said. Miller admitted that Knightley, despite being three years younger than her, is so sensible. "Keira has always seemed so much older and wiser than me." — PTI 

Not meaty enough

Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon is not keen to star in science fiction movies, as the genre does not offer substantial roles to female leads. "The movies that are being made feel different. There are a lot of really, really big movies about robots and things - and there's not a part for a 34-year-old woman in a robot movie," said Witherspoon.

The Legally Blonde star feels the futuristic films are limited to 'superhero' roles and therefore, does not interest her, a website reported. "I've never done the superhero movie. That doesn't interest me too much." Drastic change in the film industry has made the actress selective about her work, and when she is not doing a film her daughter Ava and son Deacon keep her busy. "I also have kids, so when I'm not working, it's not like I'm sitting around doing nothing. I'm taking care of two kids who are rapidly growing up in some bizarre time warp. I mean, somehow I now have an 11 year old!" said Witherspoon, who is currently dating Hollywood agent Jim Toth. — PTI 

Miley in a mess

A shocking video of Miley Cyrus has surfaced online showing the teen star smoking from a bong allegedly containing hallucinogenic natural herb Salvia. The Hannah Montana star, who turned 18 last months, was caught on camera puffing on the huge pipe five days after her birthday, it was reported.

In the video, shot by a female friend during a party at Cyrus' LA home, the singer-actress is seen inhaling huge lungful of smoke, allegedly from the burning of controversial but legal psychoactive plant Salvia. The video shows a friend initially lighting the pipe and telling Cyrus to "Hold it! Hold it!" as she takes in the smoke. She then goes into a frenzy of uncontrollable laughter and starts babbling, asking friends if she's "tripping", before mistakenly identifying a man nearby as her on/off boyfriend Liam Hemsworth. "Oh I'm gonna lose it now... I'm going. Having a little bit of a bad trip! Is that a Liam look alike or what the hell is that? Is that my boyfriend? Is that my boyfriend? Oh my God, he looks so much like Liam!" she exclaims.

Cyrus points to her head and giggles as she asks a pal, "Is it me tripping? Is it me tripping?" before breaking down in laughter. She then asks the woman who is filming her antics at the party, "Oh my God, are you being as weird as I think you are right now?" Although the Salvia plant is legal in California, it was banned in Delaware in 2006 following the suicide of teenager Brett Chidester, after his parents argued the substance played a significant factor in his death. — PTI 

Break from acting 

Jon Bon Jovi has said his return to acting is doubtful, as the rock star doesn't find big screen stardom appealing any more. The Blaze of Glory hit maker has appeared in numerous movies including Moonlight and Valentino' and Pay It Forward, as well as high profile TV appearances in Sex and the City and Ally MCBeal.

The 48-year-old singer hasn't acted since 2006, and admitted he has no plans to go back to it as he is too busy with his music and various charity projects, reported a website. "(I) loved it. It adds a great humility to what I do musically, because I was able to continue in something in the arts with all the exuberance of youth and the experience of the music business, but truly on the bottom of the ladder... "Maybe some day again (I will act), but it's so far down the list of things to do these days, because the music has been so great, I've got other philanthropic actions and business stuff going on. So it's not that appealing," said Jovi. — PTI 

Tarot talk
P. Khurrana

ARIES: Your card is Six of Wands, so friends could get on your nerves. You will be surprised by some unexpected professional progress and a booming business. This is a good time to mend ailing relationships. Just go ahead and sort out all the issues. You will discuss new plans with your partner. Tip of the week: Rather worrying; infuse your efforts into decisive action and professional achievements. Lucky colour: Red.

TAURUS: The karmic Wheel of fortune turns in your favour. Personally, this is a great time to introduce the one you love to your parents and cement the relationship. An overseas travel is on the cards. Money may be a little slow; avoid being extravagant. Beware of joint pains; visit a doctor. Tip: Trust your heart and intuition rather than confusing yourself. Lucky colour: Purple.

GEMINI: Two Of Wands that invoke mental power and intelligence. Someone will help you collect money that is owed to you. You will get together with an acquaintance on a partnership. You will be able to make some positive changes at work, which will turn your returns lucrative. Tip: Do not expect too much from others. Lucky colour: Blue.

CANCER: The Princes of Cups reveals this is the week when you would need to take quick decisions and even, quicker action. An enticing professional opportunity will renew your determination to work twice as hard. You will be able to share your deepest feelings with your best friend. Avoid eating or drinking out. Your health may be bothersome. Tip: Listen to others point of view and give them some leeway. Lucky colour: Metallic grey.

LEO: Nine Golden Cups greets you with happiness. Money may be a little slow in the beginning. But things will turn around by the weekend and you will rake in the moolah. You may feel hurt because your partner is ignoring you. Instead of fighting, talk and resolve the problem. Tip: Meditation will bring in mental peace & comfort. Lucky colour: Brick red.

VIRGO: The Lovers inspire you for plenty of changes and adjustments this week. Professionally, don't try to assess situations too fast lest your judgment falls flat. People who are single will meet their dream partner soon. This is a good time to go out with pals and unwind. Avoid backbiting at home. Tip: Be firm and stand ground. Do not let anyone get advantage over you. Lucky colour: Citric green.

LIBRA: You are swift & strong like The Knight of Wands. You will be surprised at the unsolicited attention you receive from an acquaintance. Don't rush into it. A profitable financial project and a spiritual journey keep you busy. Take care of your eyes. Tip: Don't involve yourself in more than one activity at one time. 
Lucky colour: Burgundy

SCORPIO: The Princes of Cups brings you your truth, hopes & desires. Professionally, you will make important contacts, but will have to wait for things to unfold. Personally, you might be weighted down by responsibilities. A relative will share your burden and ease you out. Beware of backache. Tip: Don't be enthusiastic in finalizing a particular deal. Lucky colour: Pink.

SAGITTARIUS: The Magus blesses you with sensitivity and creativity in whatever you do. You can expect some very fortunate changes in your business and finance, as new opportunities fall into your kitty. A delayed payment will arrive within this week. Your relationship may go through a rough patch. Take it easy! Tip: Take things one at a time instead of multi-pronged attacks. Lucky colour: Crimson.

CAPRICORN: Seven Golden Cups full of light and blossom greet you with happiness. You will be surprised by unexpected good news about your work and personal life. You can expect a new romantic interest too! Give the relationship some time and see how things shape up. If you are feeling low then meditate. Tip: Set the unpleasant set of events into motion. Lucky colour: Sea green.

AQUARIUS: The Five of Pentacles brings many opportunities in your life. People working from home will be able to expand their business. Those in jobs will receive good news too! Handle financial negotiations well to avoid misunderstandings. Be ready to fall in love as someone special walks into your life. Tip: Take one step at a time and avoid being hurried and over anxious. Lucky colour: Yellow.

PISCES: You have drawn The Magician. Discussions related to business expansion and fighting financial woes will keep you on your toes. On the personal front, do not shun away your partner's problems. Be compassionate and solve the issues amicably. Stay happy. Tip: Be positive; you can make things happen out of the most unlikely circumstances. Lucky colour: Turquoise.

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