Don’t sulk without Harley, modify your Pulsar
Jasmine Singh

Sexy and stylish

"Modification does not change a cheap bike into an expensive one; it only changes the exteriors. A foreign made Yamaha WR 450 and Karizma are the two modified bikes that I used for rallying.

— Yogesh Lakhani, rallyist

By part: The expensive parts of foreign brand are available online while the others are brought from Bangalore.

You can't take your eyes off a naked sophistication called Ducati Streetfighter. The maximum you can do is tear the paper and put it in your cupboard, or better still get someone to give your old bike a complete new look. Something is better than nothing. Work on this funda, and drive your bike to a place where people, 'experienced mechanics' of course, will give your bike a makeover. This is how it happens.

Pure adrenaline

"Good looking hi-end bikes come at a cost. Everyone cannot afford a Harley Davidson or a Kawasaki Ninja; this brings in the concept of modification. I have three modified bikes CBF Stunner, a Discover Bike (combination of Platina, Pulsar and Bajaj) and Pulsar 200.

— Mick Sondhi, professional DJ

How & what

— Photo:Vinay MalikIn modification, we change the external and internal look of the bike from silencer, tyre and handle to other accessories. We get them from Delhi and down South.

At a price: Depending on what the customer wants, a bike modification costs Rs 2,000-2.5 lakh. Certain tyres are priced at Rs 1.5 lakh

What's new: Nitrous Oxide Kit (NOS)is the new thing that is put to increase pressure in the engine, which increases the speed. One litre costs Rs 4000-5000 and it stays for only 10-15 minutes.

Types of modifications

Bikes can be modified in two ways - performance wise or looks wise. You could go for both the two. Looks modification could give you the satisfaction of riding a super bike while performance modification in no way guarantees that your bike would not perform like the bike of your dreams! This is where things like mono-suspension and socketting come into play.

What changes: Suspension and engine are modified. Another thing called high lift cam, which increases the length of the stroke, comes under modification. Mono suspension improves handling and turning comes in this.

Modification kits

Modification kits are available for each and every part of the bike. You can get body parts altered or replaced with new moulded ones. Most alterations are done using fibreglass reinforced plastic, which offers one the quality of parts, perfect finish and a glazing surface. Looks-oriented modification kits include clip on handlebars, stylish graphics and stickers, mag-alloy wheels, rear view mirrors, tuned exhaust silencer, especially designed seats etc. You could also get fitted modified mudguards or petrol tanks on your bikes.

How to do it

Common modifications like removing the saree guard, rear view mirrors, changing the handle bar, increasing the size of the rear tyre, using alloy wheels and changing shock absorbers fall under enhancing the external look of the bike. Says Munish Mali, biker who owns Honda Unicorn Dazzler, "I like to retain the engine when it comes to bike modification. Some do go out for only sound modification. A diffuser gives the base sound of a Harley Davidson while chambers endow the effect of dirt bikes and race bikes. An exhaust gives the effect of a powerful bike.

Where to go

Big Boyz Toyz, Sector-48, Chandigarh.

Ravi Auto, Chandigarh.

Word of caution

Whenever you remodel your machine, its market value decreases. Bike manufacturers too give the warning that even minute alterations on the bike affects its performance.

Are you happy today?

Those of you who did not have a great start to the week should read this - Today is apparently the happiest day of the year. Don't believe it? Here's why: Two weeks after Blue Monday, the day when our spirits are at their lowest because of post-Christmas debt and limited daylight, comes Happy Monday - as good as it's going to get all year.

According to psychologists, a combination of getting the first pay cheque of the year and booking your summer holiday make today the highpoint of the year. "We each experience an average of ten major happy days every year but none is happier than January 31, or Happy Monday," said Dr David Holmes, senior psychologist at Manchester Metropolitan University. "We all go into work on that Monday - January 31 - with renewed vigour, buoyed by the excitement of having money in the bank again and having one of the major family events of the year - the annual summer holiday - to look forward to," he added.And indeed, the last weekend in January was the busiest on record for the travel industry in 2010. — ANI

Q: Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s current ringtone?
A: Tum Paas Aaye.. (Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai)
Ashima Sehajpal

How would you react if a classical maestro's caller tune is not a raga but a Bollywood's hit romantic number? Re-check the number and that's exactly what we did when we called up Grammy award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. The song was Tum Paas Aaye from the blockbuster Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, one of Bhatt's favourite.

"If the music is pleasant to the ears, irrespective of its genre, it should be appreciated. I am open to all kind of music," shares Bhatt, who is in the city on Monday to perform at the cultural extravaganza organised by SPIC-MACAY.

It's not just caller tunes that cement his relationship with Bollywood and Hollywood. He has been part of various projects like Lagaan, Sathiya and Iruver. "The latest films are Ishqiya and Saat Khoon Maaf. You can't ignore the media that enjoys mass appeal." He cites the example of AR Rahman. "He made it big in the West because his music had quality. People understand and enjoy the music he produces. He too doesn't follow the rules of classical or mainstream music. The sole rule he follows is that music should be melodious." Bhatt has worked in collaboration with Rahman on his latest project, Jana Gana Mana that all multiplexes have already started playing.

About his experience he says, "It's the best rendition of our national anthem so far. It's a pleasure to work with the best from the music world." Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Pandit Jasraj, Hariharan, Bhimsen Joshi, Jagjit Singh, Kavita Krishnamurthy, SP Balasubramaniam are also the part of the project.

He plans to play ragas on his invention, Mohan Veena, which would interest young as well. The reason for the choice is, "We have to generate their interest in classical form of music along with the other popular forms, which isn't possible unless we introduce certain modifications. We, classical musicians, need to have a liberal approach towards music, so that young can take to it too." Liberal he is, as is evident from his caller tune.

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Multi-cuisine USP of new restro-lounge
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Popular choice

  • Thai cuisine is in demand.
  • Prawns are the most liked.
  • 90 per cent people order dal.
  • Mediterranean snacks are ordered the most.
  • Indian food is what most people order for main course.

Tricity seems to be spawning lounges-cum-restaurants. And why not, it is a viable business option, combining the qualities of lounge and restaurant, reducing the trouble of going to different places to eat and drink. It was on a Saturday night that Barryo Fiesta, a restro-lounge-cum-bar opened in Sector 8, Panchkula. Multi-cuisine, this restro lounge spread in an area of 2,500 square feet can seat almost 85 people at a time.

Food for thought

— Photo: Vinay MalikThe restro lounge serves Indian, Oriental, Continental, Mexican and Italian cuisine, so you have a variety to choose from. The chef suggests ‘Samundari Noor’ (prawns marinated in ginger flavour cooked with Indian herbs), Hara bhara kebab (spinach and vegetable patties deep fried), Fish in basket, Chicken Teppanyaki and Kung Pao vegetable.

Feel at home

Plush interiors, faint lights and neutral hues, the interiors of the restaurant are done up in a chic manner. More of a drawing room seating, the restro-lounge spells elegance. Says Sunil Garg, managing director, “We wanted the interiors to be simple and have a cosy feel. So, we designed the interiors in an uncomplicated way.”

Dine ‘n’ drink

Along with the food here you can drink spirits, wines and masterly blended cocktails and mocktails. The bartender suggests Diakrey (rum-based drink), Basil Mohetto, B 52 (Irish liquor based drink) and LIIT.

On offer

During the cricket World Cup, the restro-lounge would come up with some special recipes. Apart from that, 70mm screens have already been put in the lounge. Saturday would be a couples night out and Thursday a ladies night out.

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Pranic healing is for all

If you want to learn how to manipulate mind power to make things favourable to you, Pranic healing may be what you are looking for. From addiction to arthritis, Pranic healing offers solutions for physical, emotional, financial and relationship problems.

Developed by Grand Master Choa Kok Sui, this ancient eastern healing therapy promises to give one happy, peaceful and productive life.

“This system is totally scientific. Pranic healing works on the bio-electromagnetic field known as aura that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body,” says R Lalshmi Dhevi, pranic healer and trainer.

This software engineer got in touch with this system when everything else failed to treat her husband’s (an air force officer) vertigo problem. “Our life had come to a standstill. Pranic healing not only cured him but also gave my life a new direction,” says Lakshmi who cured her mother’s multiple problems resulting from diabetes.

Very popular in the West, there are many takers for Pranic healing even in the city. “I recently had a case in which a woman with a relationship problem was on the brink of suicide. Pranic healing made sure that she realises ‘what’s best for her’ and helped her lead a normal, happy life,” says Betty Nangia, city-based Pranic healer.

Pranic healing is a simple technique but one needs to learn it. And if you want to, there are two workshops — Basic (on February 5 and 6, fee Rs 1500) and an advanced GHMCK Workshop on Prosperity, Success and Business management on February 18-20 being held in the city.

Ek garam chai ki pyali ho!

There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea on a frigid day to warm you up. Adding an innovative product to their product portfolio TTK Prestige, a kitchen appliances brand gets the Indian ‘Tea Maker’ into the market. Ideal and suitable for the Indian palate, the Prestige Tea Maker promises to brew a perfect cup of ‘Desi Chai’ hassle free in a jiffy.

Prestige Tea maker comes with a wide mouth and single touch lid locking system for convenience. Unlike regular kettles, the automatic cut off function enhances the power saving options. The 360 degree swivel base makes it much easier to handle.

The product is available across all Prestige Smart Kitchens and is priced at Rs 2495. — TNS

Footwear for men

Alberto Torresi—a new footwear brand offers premium and assorted range of men’s shoes in the domestic market. The collection offers premium casual and formal range of shoes which surely speaks high on comfort, quality and style.

Sushil Sachdeva, Managing Partner, remarks, “This season the launch of our new collection for men is indicative of the fact that there is a strong need of a value based commodity.” Alberto Torresi, lace-up shoes, are available in different sizes ranging between 40-44. It is available in shade of black and is priced at Rs 2495. — TNS

Guild award for The King's Speech

Colin Firth holds awards for best actor and ensemble for The King's Speech at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Colin Firth holds awards for best actor and ensemble for The King's Speech at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday. Photo: Agency

The King's Speech won a key award from Hollywood directors on Saturday, four days after the British royals drama picked up a leading 12 Oscar nominations. The film's director, Tom Hooper, was named winner of the union's prize for outstanding achievement in feature film at a ceremony in Hollywood, beating a field that included another Oscar favourite, The Social Network director David Fincher.

Actor January Jones of Mad Men strikes a pose during the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Actor January Jones of Mad Men strikes a pose during the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Photo: Agency

The Directors Guild of America race also included Christopher Nolan for Inception, Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan and David O Russell for The Fighter. The latter two also received Oscar nominations, along with Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit, who were overlooked by the DGA.

Only six times in 62 years has the winner of the DGA prize not gone on to claim the best director statuette at the Academy Awards. The last mismatch was in 2003, when Rob Marshall won the DGA prize for Chicago but lost at the Oscars to The Pianist director Roman Polanski.

With four weeks until the Oscars are handed out in Hollywood on February 27, the race appears to be a tight one between The King's Speech and Social Network.

The King's Speech was named best picture by the Producers Guild of America last weekend, although that group's track record as an Oscar barometer is not as strong as the DGA's.

The Social Network picked up the best film and directing awards from the reliable Critics Choice Movie Awards and the increasingly erratic Golden Globes. — Reuters

Pooja Bedi plays Egyptian princess

Actor Pooja Bedi is upbeat about her comeback to Telugu cinema. Nearly two decades after featuring in Chittemma Mogudu alongside Mohan Babu, she will now be seen as an Egyptian princess in Junior NTR-starrer Shakti.

With a budget of Rs 45 crore, the film is being touted as the costliest movie in the Telugu film industry.

"I've just finished a Telugu film with Junior NTR. It's called Shakti. It is one of the biggest budget Telugu films, and I play an Egyptian princess with supernatural powers in it," Pooja said.

Without divulging too many details, the 40-year-old said the movie will be "high on sci-fi and special effects".

Shakti has actor Ileana D'Cruz in the lead, and features other Bollywood actors Jackie Shroff, Sonu Sood and Manjari Phadnis.

Best remembered for her Marilyn Monroe skirt act in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, Pooja has been missing from the big screen for a long time. She is more active on small screen and participated in reality shows and even got to host her own chat show - Just Pooja.

She participated in dance reality shows Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 1 and Nach Baliye 3. She tried daredevil in the first season of Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi.

Recently she featured in Sony TV's Maa Exchange, a twisted Indian version of internationally popular show Wife Swap. Now she is keen on more reality shows and a comeback with her talk show.

"I am getting more offers for reality shows. Let's see what I decide. But I am very hopeful to return with my own talk show where I can be a relationship counsellor for the general people. I think I can handle it really well," said Pooja.

Pooja, daughter of actor Kabir Bedi and late Odissi dancer Protima Bedi, is a single mother to daughter Aalia, 13 and a son Omar, 10. She divorced her husband Farhan Furniturewalla in 2002, after an eight-year long marriage, and admits it is tough being a single mom.

"My kids were very young when my husband and I took divorce. When I went to (comedian) Rajeev Nigam's house as part of Maa Exchange, I saw him bond with his son. At that point, I did miss the father-child bonding in my house and for a moment I felt that I need a husband now," she said.

Unfortunately, the feeling of settling down was short-lived for Pooja.

"It has been really tough being a single mother. You have to take care of the children - financially, emotionally, so you have to work hard and also spend time with them. It wasn't easy but I am proud of the way my children have shaped up - mature and well-mannered. Their scores are wonderful, the walls of their rooms are full of medals and certificates and they enjoy all sports. Most of all, they respect me and their elders. So I have no complains!" she said. — IANS

Eva single again

Hollywood actor Eva Longoria is now officially single as her divorce from estranged husband Tony Parker has been finalised. The Desperate Housewives star, who married the basketball player in 2007, grabbed headlines in November last year after filing for divorce from Parker citing irreconcilable differences.

The 35-year-old actor alleged that Parker was unfaithful, but the claims were denied by the NBA star. The couple's marriage was dissolved last Friday. "The divorce documents will come through today, she is happy and moving forward with her life," said a friend of the 35-year-old actor. — PTI

Carey Mulligan is brilliant at crying

Hollywood beauty Keira Knightley says her Never Let Me Go co-star Carey Mulligan is brilliant when it comes to crying onscreen. The 25-year-old actor said that Mulligan, who plays Kathy in the movie adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's dystopian novel, was 'on another level.'

"It was like clockwork. I've never seen anything like it," Knightley said. "Actually, no. Sienna Miller can do the same thing. It's astonishing. I had to say to [Mulligan] after every scene 'I'm just so sorry.' She'd say 'It's all right.

It's pretend,'" Knightley said.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star was elated to reunite with Mulligan after playing sisters in Jane Austen's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

"One of the big reasons I wanted to do this was the opportunity to work with a friend because it happens so rarely," she added. — PTI

Chitrangada wants to work with Aamir Khan

Chitrangada Singh Bollywood actor Chitrangada Singh Saturday made a candid confession about wanting to share screen space with superstar Aamir Khan. "If you ask me to name one actor with whom I want to work, then its Aamir Khan. If Sudhir (Mishra) makes a film with him then I would stand in line with a hope that I will get a chance," she giggled.

Chitrangada, along with director Sudhir Mishra and actor Arunoday Singh, was in the city to promote their upcoming film Yeh Saali Zindagi.

Yeh Saali Zindagi is a romantic thriller. It is about relationship, love, danger and all these. It is a romantic film in guise of a thriller. It has a plot of thriller but has emotions of a romantic film," Mishra says.

"Life is unpredictable. If you watch the film, you will get to know that the name of the film reflects the personality of the film," he added.

Yeh Saali Zindagi deals with primarily three characters -- Arun, played by Irrfan Khan, Priti, played by Chitrangadha, and Kuldeep, played by Arunoday Singh.

Arun is in love with Priti but she loves somebody else and Arun has to save his life.

On the other hand, Kuldeep is a young gangster who is trying hard to save his marriage. — IANS

Key it in
Nokia’s X2 is the latest handset that comes in trendy designs
Jasmine Singh

Keep aside the functionality, for a while give the megapixels 3G, 4G (Radia G sounds better) a rest and tell us how do you like a mobile phone for the first time? Avoid the philosophical inner beauty trash, and be straight - from the look of it. Nokia’s new entry X2 opens the scoreboard with the fashionable designs.

A ‘near’ close to being called a clone of E63 and 71, Nokia X2 has a simple and plain USP written all over it, not literally though. The QWERTY keypad is designed to make messaging fun and easy. Just about every mobile company is cashing-in on our habit of SMSing, so what makes this different? Pricing. If we can bear the weight of petrol prices and onions, we can handle anything! Rs 4,459 for a QWERTY key pad, lovely design and 24X7 connectivity with the world. Rest is for you to decide, but here is what the phone looks like.

A look alike of the popular series E 63, the phone, Nokia X2-01 is designed to keep people busy. The QWERTY keyboard, combined with the 2.4” landscape QVGA (Quarter Video Graphic Array) display is ideal for typing, reading and editing emails, and offers quick access to email via a dedicated messaging key. Does this mean your girlfriend sitting next to you can make out on a single glance what is written on the screen? Scary! Brave the odds with a smile, and go on connect to the world with the new product as it makes it easy to set up chat and email direct from this mobile phone. This means superfast access to your favourite Ovi Mail, Ovi Chat or other popular accounts.

Stay connected is what Nokia X2 wants us to do. The phone allows live updates from social networks such as Facebook, Orkut and Twitter directly from the home screen. And if you are done with twittering, you would also want to know what else you are getting for Rs 4,459. One click gets you access to the music player and the set has a 3.5mm AV connector ideal for headphones or speakers. It also has Bluetooth and can support up to a 8GB micro SD memory card and has a standby battery time of up to 20 days.

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Intex offers security products

Intex Technologies (India) Ltd. announced the addition of one more business vertical in its portfolio - consumer security software products. The first product in the series to be introduced is INTEX Safe Surf AntiVirus 2011- launched in partnership with leading security software developer PC Tools.

Integration of multiple layers of technology, such as Antispyware, Antivirus, Advanced Behavioural as well well as Web-based protection from Site Guard and Browser Guard, ensure that Indian consumers are protected from threats at every entry point. — TNS

Spy with these cameras
Deepak Verma

Reality shows have changed the face of television. If on one hand they have encouraged people to come out and share their ‘personal’ lives, on the other they have also given a boost to spy cameras. Thanks to serials like Emotional Atyaachar, Bigg Boss and Spiltsvilla, small things like a pen, a cap, handbag or sunglasses have also become objects to spy on.

This has also contributed to the steady rise of the hidden spy camera industry. We get you a low down on the most dreaded gadgets on the shelf.

Key chain camera: It looks like any other key chain, but there could be a little camera hidden inside the key chain. These cameras have a high capacity polymer Li-in battery for about 2 hours of recording with sound. With a picture format at 1280*1024 pixels resolution in JPEG format, key chain camera is used by detectives and in reality shows.

PS: The anchor has to bring the suspect close to the camera, otherwise the device cannot capture far off images and sound. These are supersensitive to sound with a quality of–60db.

Cost: Rs 1,500-1 lakh depending on image quality, battery back up and sound quality

Handbag camera: These cameras have a pinhole lens that cannot be seen. It can record 12 frames per second AVI files. The spy handbag camera includes a wireless remote, so you don’t need to press the recording button awkwardly.

PS: It can be used for 15 hours, which means it has to be fully charged everytime.

Button camera: A small button-like thing, it can be carelessly ignored. With a 3.6 mm wide angle lens, this camera is made of metal with black painted finish. It can be easily connected with the PC and laptops. No driver is needed.

PS: Continuous recording is required until memory is full or it is manually shut off.

Sunglasses camera: If you are an expert in electronics, you can turn regular sunglasses into a camera. Simple black sunglasses can accommodate mini cameras on the side. These cameras come in colour and audio recording capabilities, and offer higher quality video and audio footage.

PS: This cannot make for fashionable style statement!

Watch cameras: Wrist and wall clock are used as spy cameras in reality TV and also for surveillance. These are the smallest cameras along with digital video recording facility inside the watch itself. This can record information of up to 5 hours. This spy camera has 13-mm diameter. Besides, it also offers real time recording and a built-in flash 4GB.

Shoe cameras: The biggest thing is that this camera can be used as a receiver and the video can be recorded. If you are thinking about shaky images, trust technology to take care of it.

Cap camera: Just put on your cap and turn on this clever camera. It is positioned at the centre of the cap, allowing the operator hands-free video recording capabilities.

PS: The undercover has to keep changing position towards the direction of the target.

(The writer is a documentary filmmaker)

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