Harvesting romance
The fields of Punjab have always charmed B-town directors. No wonder, many hit songs have been shot in the sarson ke khet
Jasmine Singh

A still from Jab We Met
Field day: A still from Jab We Met

The definition of 'mush' in Hindi cinema, especially in Yash Chopra's and Akshay Kumar's movies is weaved around and in the middle of the fields of Punjab. In this case, a handsome looking actor, Shah Rukh Khan, positioned in the centre of the 'fields', plays guitar for his lady love, Kajol, who comes running hearing the romantic melody. Read Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ).

In fact, Khiladi Akshay Kumar has some fascination for the fields in Punjab whether it is romancing Katrina Kaif in the fields (Namastey London) or making dreams for tomorrow with Salman Khan in London Dreams. As it goes, Bollywood pans its camera towards the fields of Punjab capturing the beauty 'only' (who's bothered about suicides by farmers in Punjab) once in the entire movie.

On Baisakhi, we thank the farmers of Punjab for giving us the lush fields that have been and still make for an 'interesting location' for Bollywood.

Actor Sonu Sood from Moga, who is known for his roles in Singh is Kingg and Dabangg, says the visual definition of love in Hindi movies is heavily related to the fields of Punjab.

"Romance acquires a subtle meaning and expression when shot in the sarson ke khet. Everything seems to move in slow motion, which brings back the old world romance." Sonu says as an actor he feels very relaxed when he is shooting in Punjab, especially when the setting is a village."

Ditto for Akshay Kumar, who has in fact highlighted and glamourised Punjab in his movies. "Most movies these days have an actor or actress from Punjab, so it is natural to shoot here," he says.

It isn't only romance that Bollywood is trying to portray through the lush green and golden fields of Punjab, the issues of farmers have also interested various directors. For the second time actor, Aamir Khan is financing a movie showcasing the plight of farmers in Bhopal. Kissan 2009, starring Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan, was another movie shot in Punjab that highlighted the life of a farmer along with other movies like Upkaar and Mother India.

So, no matter what the theme, there is a recee to Punjab - capturing fields, culture, hi-fibre diet of sarson ka saag, colourful dances and more. If not anything, a song dedicated to Punjab definitely forms a part of Hindi movies.

However, director Navaniat Singh of Mel Kara De fame feels differently. "There are many more cinematically beautiful things to be captured in Punjab other than the fields." Adds the director, "Yash Chopra started this trend when he shot the song tujhey dekha to yeh jaana sanam in the 'sarson ki' fields of Punjab, but thereafter none has been able to do justice. Besides, I think Punjab has moved way ahead, so there is a lot more that can be captured in the camera."

Point taken. But as long as the farmers in Punjab spend their energies in bringing fresh crop every year, and till the time Yash Chopra remains smitten by the fields we would keep seeing them in Bollywood films!


Leg(ging)s to die for

Heavy digital patterns, ethnic and futuristic styles, flower motifs and shiny crystals — designers at the just concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) showcased leggings in various varieties, making it the next big trend in the fashion world.

Designers like Rajesh Pratap Singh, Varun Bahl, Alpana-Neeraj, Gaurav Gupta, Kallol Datta and label Virtues showcased leggings in digital patterns and classic designs.

"The 1950s trends are very much in and this is the reason why digital leggings were used to meet the bling factor and add that extra zing to the collection," designer Puja Arya said.

Delhi-based designer Rajesh Pratap Singh's edgy collection teamed perfectly with leggings in shiny crystals and stones, creating a glamorous look.

Varun Bahl showcased a wide range of shift dresses and tunics with leggings, which teamed well with hot pants. Designer Neeru Kumar, who flagged off WIFW, added charm to her collection with black printed leggings, whereas Mumbai-based designer Kallol Datta opted for black digital leggings.

According to designer Raj Shroff, this trend is very much in demand as they not only look glamorous but also give you the option to mix and match.

"The latest fashion trends have definitely brought leggings to the next level, offering countless ways to sport and match different clothing items. It was nice to see designers showcasing stunning combinations inspired by contemporary arts and architectural elements," said Shroff.

Kolkata-based designer Nil of Dev R Nil believes that both haute couture and street style are adopting this trend due to its pragmatic as well as aesthetic effect.

"Digital leggings are easy to mix and match and also, a bright digital print brightens up a dull outfit. One can update the wardrobe with dashing acquisitions that will not only boost confidence but also create a style of its own," said Nil.

"However, one has to be careful that since it's a 'statement piece', one should not go overboard with the accessorisation and footwear and keep them toned down, in case you are going for a bright digital legging."

Leggings, especially in digital prints, are one of the trendiest fashion items. Although they were in vogue for the last few years, these extremely chic and versatile pieces of clothes can still bring an exciting, new air to urban fashion.

Also, as the summer approaches, haute couture styles as well as casual and classic designs can be teamed up perfectly with leggings.

"One can add spice in their wardrobe with a glamorous new acquisition in groovy colours and geometric patterns. Also, girls can use their imagination to create dozens of different tasteful outfits for everyday wear and casual occasions as well. Team it up with long tees, mini dresses or tunics to create a chic urban look," said designer Ankita Chaudhary.

Apart from these sophisticated leggings, designers like Rahul Mishra, Anand Kabra, Anita Dongre and James Ferreira matched up their collection with stockings in pink and black hues, making it one of the checkout trends of the year. — IANS

Watch the WORD
An initiative by Oxford Dictionaries and Oxford Fajar, 'Save the Words' project asks people to 'adopt' an underused word and take an oath to save it from extinction
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

You may not know, but words are an endangered species. Just like sparrows, tigers and vultures, there are certain words that too are facing the threat of extinction. Thanks to the slang and text language, words that are no longer used in conversation and written communication are dropped from the Oxford English Dictionary.

For instance words like ptochology (study of beggars and unemployment), contrecoup (injury to one side of an organ) are rarely used and we are sure these wouldn't find mention till we decide to protect 'unused' words from being wiped out from our world of words.

Well, coming to the rescue of words is a site called 'Save the Words'. An initiative by Oxford Dictionaries and Oxford Fajar, this project, interestingly, asks people to 'adopt' an underused word and take an oath to save it from extinction.

The content of the site has a group of silhouetted men and women who appear with banners screaming 'Save the Words', a wall with hundreds of words, jostling for space, shows up as you move your cursor over them, the words start screaming. "Yo! Pick me," "Me! Me!" or an "Over here" or "Yes, yes, me," catches your attention. And as you click on a word, the meaning of the word is displayed, along with a sentence in which the word is used. If the word grabs your fancy, all you do is register, take an oath to use it on regular basis and adopt it. Interesting, as it may seem if nothing of promotion it is sure to increase your vocabulary.

Professor Rana Nayar, Chairman, Department of English and Cultural Studies, PU, he says, "The whole idea of advertising and promoting language does not fit into my thought process. Language is an evolving phenomena; it cannot be static. Words will keep evolving as language lives in the heart of people."

Though language evolves with time and new words are formed, if you're really interested in word power, the 'Save the Words' also has a 'Word-a-Day' option. If you sign up for it, you receive a new word from Oxford every day via e-mail.

An ardent follower of the site, Anubhav Sood, computer engineer says, "I heard about this site from a friend and since then I have been a regular follower. I pick a word and use it for two days, and believe me it has helped me impress many girls. They think highly of my vocabulary."

Suggesting usage of words like pudify, stagma and volgivagant, the website also has an interesting fashion tip. It suggests purchase a T-shirt and print a word on it. It's likely to be a one-of-a-kind, comment-generating T-shirt and a fashion statement as well.

Girish Kapoor, a civil engineer, with a private firm says, "I know about this site, their idea of finding an interesting word and tattooing it clicked with me. Now, I am searching for that perfect word to tattoo."

chatter box

Ashmit Patel-Veena Malik: Husband-Begum?
Ashmit Patel & Veena Malik
Marital Bliss: Ashmit Patel & Veena Malik

Big Boss 4 hottest couple Ashmit Patel and Pakistani hottie Veena Malik have given each other nicknames. The duo has remained in the news months after the show ended, feeding off on controversy and public appearances. Now, news about their nicknames is rampant. While Ashmit's nickname for Veena is Begum, Veena's nickname for Ashmit is my dear husband. Apparently whenever they call each other, Veena says hello husband while in return Ashmit replies hi meri begum. Hmm… is this announcement of their relationship or yet another tactic to stay in the news?

Shweta, Ronit back together
Foe-turned-friend: Shweta Tiwari
Foe-turned-friend: Shweta Tiwari

Shweta Tiwari and Ronit Roy didn't share the best vibes while shooting Kasautii Zindagi Kay but recently when they came together for Sony's courtroom drama Adaalat, the two actors met as friends. Ronit Roy who plays lawyer KD Pathak in the show was all smiles while shooting with Shweta who will be in an episode of the show.

Probably too much water has passed under the bridge and the two talented actors are cordial again. That is good news for producers.

Sara Khan
Business Deal: Sara Khan

Sara Khan's new venture

Post their wedding and divorce on national TV, now Sara Khan has severed ties with Ali Merchant in their business ventures as well. She had launched a spa called Da Luxury Lounge - Tvam in partnership with Ali, Dr Jitesh Shetty and Richboyz Entertainment. But now she has official cut off from the same and started her own spa. She launched her beauty parlour cum spa called K Sara in Lokhandwala. Her maternal uncle runs the establishment for the busy TV actress. Sara currently is staying with her maternal uncle and aunt.

Business Deal: Sara Khan.

Love story:
Love story: Hanif Hilal

Hanif, Karishma in love

Choreographer Hanif Hilal who was dating Pooja Bedi a while ago is in the news again. Buzz is that he has been seen with television actress Karishma Tanna numerous times.

Recently they were spotted in Escobar nightclub in Bandra, Mumbai.

Both looked very comfortable with each other. Karishma was seeing Bappi Lahiri's son Bappa earlier.

Avika goes to Sasuraal

Avika Gor
Growing up: Avika Gor

Avika Gor, aka Anandi of Balika Vadhu, is back with a new show on Colors' Sasuraal Simar Ka. She will play the role of Simar's younger sister, who is a whiz and has all updates regarding television serials. A chirpy Avika is thrilled to bag this role and looks forward to bigger projects and meaty roles in movies.

Tell us about your role in Sasuraal Simar Ka.

I am afraid I can't talk about it right now. We will soon launch the show and I would love to talk about the character post that.

In the promos, your character is introduced as a young girl who loves watching television and has all the updates about the TV world. Do you relate to that in real life?

Of course! I love watching television and I keep tabs on all serials, especially on Colors. I love Balika Vadhu.

The role seems to be loads of fun and not the crying type…

Well, I enjoy playing all kinds of roles. I won't restrict myself to only dramatic ones, or only funny ones. The true test of an actor is when you perform in a range of roles with the same passion and intensity. I want to try as many as possible. Of course, I am enjoying playing the fun role in Sasuraal Simar Ka.

You have really long hair. Are they real?

Of course they are. I have been growing my hair for a long time. And, I couldn't be happier that they have reached this length.

How do you take care of them?

My mom is a naturopath and she really takes great care of my hair. She ensures I have a good diet and wash my hair regularly. I also get hair treatments once a month to keep my hair healthy and strong. Whenever any chemical is applied, during shoots, I wash my hair once done. You have to look after your hair continuously.

What do you think of Balika Vadhu, now that you are no longer part of it?

I still watch it without fail. I love the show and the twists and turns are very exciting.

Do people still call you Anandi?

Some call me Anandi, some call me Avika and I don't mind it. I love the appreciation and affection of all my fans -old and young. I got numerous names, thanks to Balika Vadhu — Bindani, Anandi, Ladoo — they are all names of affection and I can't have enough. — HRM

astro turf
p Khurrana

ARIES: A career switch can mean having to move out of state. You may spend quite a lot of time planning. Business matters are fairly under control. Consider charitable work. Meditation can clear up confusion. Lose yourself in romance this evening. Tarot message: Beware of depleting your resources on others. Lucky colour: Sea green Magic number: 55.

TAURUS: Stick to the beaten track and look after yourself. You will be proud of what you have achieved. This is the time to go for a medical check-up. Long-term investments mature. Women: Work burden increases. A Capricornian helps. Tarot message: Be honest to your desires.Lucky colour: Rust.

Magic Number: 38.

GEMINI: A special someone in your life might seem aloof and hard to communicate with. Let them know you care and respect their space. Health problem can be satisfactorily treated. Ensure that there is space between you and your colleagues. Tarot message: Arrogance will not be rewarded. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 40.

CANCER: Your card The Devils boosts your enthusiasm and self-confidence. Take this time to expand your social circle, develop new talents; or plan a vacation. You may be introduced to new people who are destined to become friends. Tarot message: Versatility will bail you out. Lucky colour: golden Magic number: 28.

LEO: T Keep business plans hidden. An important day for any job. Students: Go over the books. An unexpected guest may gate crash on your hospitality. A romantic mood can colour even the toughest situation. Tarot message: Plan your life to avoid the in built delays. Lucky colour: Coffee brown Magic number: 41.

VIRGO: The Ace of Pentacles suggests you will begin the day full of energy. Do not trust people. New ventures have a chance of being successful. Friends can disrupt domestic bliss. Deter all invaders. An evening walk can bring a romantic encounter. Tarot message: Bury an old quarrel and be prepared to compromise. Lucky colour: Orange Magic number: 33.

LIBRA: A great day to get your ideas down on the paper and start planning. Do not let people intrude. Anything carried out in secrecy has better chances. Pregnant women: Focus on religious discourses. Complete neglected tasks as early as possible. Tarot message: Don't go in too many directions at the same time. Lucky colour: Lemon Magic number: 39.

SCORPIO: Romance and creativity are highlighted. A perfect time for initiating new projects. Misunderstandings must be guarded against. Your boss will be keeping an eye. Change of job is not advisable. Plod ahead slowly. Girls: Watch out for mistakes. Venus keeps glances on good health. Tarot message: Listen to your voice. Lucky colour: Baby pink Magic number: 27.

SAGITTARIUS: The Queen of Swords suggests spotlight is on appearance & charm. Romance and passion are on the cards. Do not allow frustration to take over you. Newly married: Adjustment takes times. Setbacks will be temporary. Tarot message: Learn from past mistakes and get on with your life. Lucky colour: Coral. Magic number: 60.

CAPRICORN:Your card Five of Swords reveals physical activity and pleasure. Don't be extravagant. Loved ones will not be very helpful. Exercise will have a positive effect. If you are in a sedentary job, playing a sport will add balance to your routine. Tarot message: Think before you open your mouth. Lucky colour: Indigo. Magic number: 42.

AQUARIUS: This is the time to begin new projects. Make important calls and do anything that requires a starting point. Travel will prove futile. Focus on religious discourses. An Arian may treat you as a doormat. If you are partying, watch out. Tarot message: Fitness routines are prescribed. Lucky colour: Lime green. Magic number: 54.

PISCES: Business deals can fall due to lack of details. Confusion over priorities can cause havoc. Not a sensitive day for financial matters. Do not interfere in others' affairs. Keep your mind off the past. A good day for purchasing ornaments. Tarot message: Perseverance is the key to success. Lucky colour: Sky blue. Magic number: 63.

the year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is April 13...

13 will never prove unlucky for you as this year; the year's number also coincides with your basic number 4. Professionally, it is a progressive year and you may change the professional profile very frequently. If an eligible bachelor, the year spells band baza and baraat for you. Media persons will shift to other beneficial organisations. Students will fare well in exams, competitions. Productive long journeys in connection with business or study may materialise very soon. Love bonds will strengthen. New outlook, new outfit, new home, new environment are expected due to lucky 13. Stress levels may be exhausting and may require a break. This break may be taken in any hill resort. So plan today for Christmas or New Year holidays. Ego, false prestige should be replaced with positive thinking. Shun revengeful attitude. Happy Baisakhi and Happy Birthday.

Satish Kaushik Actor, director, popularly known as Calendar, Satish Kaushik (April 13, 1956- Dhanounda, district Mohindergarh, Haryana) shares his birthday with you. Satish has close nexus with Chandigarh where he presented play Salesman Ramlal, in Tagore Theatre in 2010 under TFT Theatre Festival. A product of NSD and Film and Television Institute of India, he's given us hits like Masoom, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, Mr. India, Ram Lakhan, Saajan Chale Sasural. We wish Kaushik 2011-12 a very good period of his career especially with his forthcoming films Qasam Se Qasam Se, Rascals, Double Dhamaal, Chatur Singh Two Star, Overtime, Kuch Khatta Kuch Meetha.

What's common between Mrunal and Anushka?

Mrunal Jain has something in common with hot actress Anushka Sharma and that is they both hail from the same acting school where Anushka was his senior. Mrunal who is currently playing the lead in Imagine's Looteri Dulhan was one of the top ten Gladrags finalist in 2007, debuted in Ekta Kapoor's Mahabharat and played Ronit Roy's eldest son in Bandini.

Mrunal took the acting classes in Mumbai to improve his acting skills. Though he never spoke to Anushka, he always liked her as an actress. He has seen Anushka's all films, including Rab Ne Bana Ji Jodi, Band Baja Barat and Patiala House and loves the spunk she brings to her character.

More drama for Manjari

Manjiri Phadnis, who made her debut with Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa, is back with another release. This time, it is a children’s film called Zokkomon, also starring Darsheel Safary of the Taare Zameen Par fame. The pretty actress talks to us about Zokkomon, Darsheel and much more.


I was also a difficult kid in childhood. I was not a troublemaker, but was always naughty and used to do a lot of masti along with my friends and cousins.

Children's films

Such films have always attracted me, and that's why I signed Zokkomon. The concept of kids' films is new. In India, we hardly see kids' movies. Since my childhood, I have always been attracted towards kids' films like Harry Potter. So, when I got this offer, I so wanted to do it."

Darsheel — the best co-star

He is a prankster, but a very intelligent kid! He knows every angle of the camera, and I was amazed with his knowledge. Both of us bonded quite well on the sets of Zokkomon, as we share the same dance teacher — Shiamak Davar.

Kittu — the saviour

My character is Kittu who comes to save Kunal (Darsheel). Kunal has no family but has some super power. When Kunal is abandoned and attacked in Mumbai, I (Kittu) come to his rescue. We become friendly and share a brother-sister relationship. That's how they find a family in each other.

Summer vacations

My favourite season was the summer, as when I was in school, vacation would begin at that time. I use to be occupied with drawing and painting, as they filled my days with colour and bright happiness. I used to play hide-n-seek and several other games.

Mock fights

Oh, I was a drama queen, but my biggest pastime would be to have a mock fight with my mother. I used to love troubling her. I would go to the extent of writing a letter to her in Hindi that I was leaving home, as I couldn't suffer her abuse and ill treatment any more, I would go and hide in a room or in the lawn, and my mother also played along with me.

Preeti machaye Shor

Preeti Desai
Newsmaker: Preeti Desai

Preeti Desai has not yet made her debut, but has still been in the news since a long time. She came into the spotlight when she was dating Abhay Deol. And now, at last, she is ready to make her debut in Bollywood with Shor In The City, opposite Tusshar Kapoor. We talk to her about her upcoming film and more.

How did she land this role?

"I wasn't auditioning for films, but my agent told me about this film because he knows what kind of work I want to do, and encouraged me to go for the auditions. I was not expected to speak a lot of Hindi, and it was mainly English, so I went for it. I like the role and the script a lot."

Apart from movies, she has also done some commercials and has learnt to be camera friendly, "I have done commercials, so I have been in front of the camera. It did make me camera-friendly. Modelling helped a lot, because it made me confident while shooting for the film. I was not conscious; I just got on with what I needed to do. I found it quite easy," explained Preeti.

Preeti was in the news for dating one of the most eligible bachelors in town, Abhay Deol. When questioned about this, she said, "I don't like my personal life to be talked about in the media. I never shared it with anyone, only with my very close friends. Before entering the industry, my friends warned me about the media, that once you come into the spotlight, the camera is always on your personal side and you have to deal with gossips and rumours. But I need to maintain my personal life and working life separately."

Preeti has done some bold scenes with Sendhil Ramamurthy in Shor In The City on which she commented, "I have no problem with those intimate moments, and don't want them snipped out. They've been shot very aesthetically."

Chicks love Shahid

Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor, who was voted Bollywood's sexiest vegetarian by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), will be seen urging people to turn vegetarian in a new ad of the animal rights group.In the new ad titled “Chicks Love a Vegetarian", a casually dressed Shahid is seen with two downy yellow chicks perched on his body, extolling the benefits of a plant-based diet. The ad is shot by ace photographer Atul Kasbekar.

"I love chicks... pigs, cows, fish, and all the other animals too. That's why I turned vegetarian," said Shahid."I am very happy being a vegetarian and I believe that it is the best way to be. The day I started believing in the fact that I would want not to kill animals for my taste buds, that is the day everything changed for me," he added. — IANS

Scarlett takes up a healthy issue

THE CRUSADER: Scarlett Johansson
THE CRUSADER: Scarlett Johansson

Hollywood beauty Scarlett Johansson is campaigning against the US government's decision to eliminate $ 300 million of federal funding for women's health care centres.

The 26-year-old actress has teamed up with the organisation Planned Parenthood to film a new public service advertisement urging women to sign a petition opposing the new legislation.

"The House passed a bill to eliminate our country's family planning programme and to stop Planned Parenthood health centres from receiving any federal money to provide life-saving preventative care," the 'Iron Man' 2 star says in the advertisement.

"That means no money for cervical cancer screenings and breast exams. No money for testing and treatment of STDs, not even testing for HIV. No money for birth control," added the actress.

Johansson, who is now dating actor Sean Penn, 50, after separating from The Proposal star Ryan Reynolds last year, called the government's plan "disastrous." — PTI

The league of Real Men

Justin Timberlake
CAUSE BOUND: Justin Timberlake

Hollywood heartthrobs Ashton Kutcher, Justin Timberlake, Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn have joined hands to fight sex trafficking with a new campaign aimed at Real Men.

Kutcher and wife Demi Moore's charity 'Demi and Ashton Foundation' has launched the campaign Real Men Don't Buy Girls, which they hope will educate people about the shocking trade.

In Penn's video, he is shown ironing a sandwich with the words, 'Real Men Know How To Use An Iron', while Timberlake is shown about to shave with a chainsaw with the tagline 'Real Men Prefer A Close Shave'.

Kutcher also recorded a video, showing him sniffing his dirty socks, throwing them in the bin and getting a brand new pair out of a packet with the line 'Real Men Do Their Own Laundry'.

Another shows Bradley Cooper in his back garden pouring milk into a box of cereal with the tagline 'Real Men Know How To Make A Meal'.

Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria also appears in the video.

Kutcher, 33, and Demi, 48, set up DNA to "work toward the elimination of sex slavery worldwide as the right to be free is a building block of our DNA".

Moore was recently on a trip to Nepal in support of the NGO Maiti Nepal, which works against sex slavery. — PTI

Of pain & verse
Romantic love can lift one to bliss and that very love can hurl one on a harsh rock. Having experienced both, Maniinder chose to transfer her pain on to the paper

Manju Jaidka, Maniinder, BN Goswami, Harish Jain and Rana Nayar
LAUNCh pad: Manju Jaidka, Maniinder, BN Goswami, Harish Jain and Rana Nayar. Photo: Vinay Malik

After being a news anchor for as many as two decades, Maniinder found a new vocation - that of a writer and painter. Painful, personal circumstances made her forsake her job. To get away from the situation, she made London her new home and landed in the ‘company’ of none but Keats!

"The house where poet Keats once lived was very near to where I stayed in London. To get away from pain, I immersed myself in nature and spent hours at Keat's house. My friend (with whom I stayed there) got me my first paint set," shares Maniinder who released her book of poems This Dewdrop World on Sunday.

Her stay in London turned Maniinder into a poet. She also made illustrations to go with her poem. "My work is 'me' and what my life has been. I wrote and did the illustrations till I could visualise myself in each of the work," shares Maniinder.

Romantic love can lift one to bliss and that very romantic love can hurl one on a harsh rock. Having experienced both, Maniinder chose to transfer her pain on to the paper. "It's like once through with external love, I started my inward journey. Making me realise divine love and the folly of taking the material world to be real. The poems and illustrations healed me of the wounds," she shares.

In her new journey, amongst others, she is happy to come across art historian BN Goswami. "Being in his presence just for 15 minutes was so inspiring that I re-did some 13 illustrations. His guidance has been invaluable, be it the font size for the book or the name," she shares.

Almost equally valuable has been the guidance of Khushwant Singh. "Though my friends warned me about Singh's paucity of time and the manuscripts that land at his door, yet I went ahead and posted him a poem and a painted card with a covering letter. I was one of the few lucky ones who got the response" she shares proudly.

This Dewdrop World, published by Unistar, is priced at Rs 295 with 49 poems and illustrations on nature in its varied hues, which Maniinder has experienced in this world!


HEART talk
Parvesh Rana

Clear the doubt

I am a mother of two and my husband does not cooperate with me in taking care of them. I have often seen him making excuses to stay out late. I have a feeling that he is seeing someone. How do I handle the situation?

Talk it out with your husband; there can be no other solution to this problem. Sit down one day and tell him whatever doubts you have instead of letting your mind go haywire. If he still doesn't listen, then you can think of talking to his parents and friends who can make sense.

Give your best

I am in a strange situation. At workplace my boss is always trying to show me down. He criticises me in front of other s, but he behaves too sweetly when he is dealing with me directly. I can't understand him and this is affecting my work as well.

The probable answer to this problem is ignoring your boss. Some people have two faces and they are scared of showing their real self in front of anyone. Your boss probably has realised that you are a good worker; he is just insecure and wants to pin you down. So, just ignore and keep giving your best.

The queen bee syndrome
Female bosses can wreck other women's promotion

Women who make it to the top of an organisation are more likely to help out their male subordinates than female ones and sometimes can even wreck another woman's promotion prospects, says a study. Called the queen bee syndrome, the phenomenon can be a major obstacle to women climbing the managerial ladder.

Psychologists at the University of Cincinnati have found that instead of encouraging other ambitious women, female bosses were more inclined to obstruct them.

Men who report to a woman manager get much more mentoring and support than their female colleagues.

The findings have been published in the journal Social Science Research.

Researchers say this may partly be due to the fact that women who occupy senior posts want to blend in with their male counterparts.

The study, based on responses from over 2,000 employees in the US, backs up earlier research on the "Queen Bee syndrome".

In 2008, German researchers reported that women who answered to a female supervisor suffered more depression, insomnia, headaches and heartburn than if their boss was a man.

And a British survey said two-thirds of women preferred a male boss as they are straight-talking, less likely to talk about staff behind their backs and not prone to mood swings.

Cary Cooper, an expert in workplace psychology at Lancaster University, said the findings maybe due to women over-compensating as they do not want to be accused of favouring female staff.

"This is the classic Queen Bee syndrome. Women who get into managerial jobs in male-dominated organisations tend to be very much like the men, if not harder," he said.

"Take Lady Thatcher, she was considered to be tougher than lots of the men around her and that's exactly why she got to the top." —IANS

Say cheese!
Veenu dhanda

Veenu Dhanda, a culinary expert from Mumbai, has been running her cookery school - Cook'n'style - in Ludhiana for close to two decades now. She shares the recipe for a stylish, yet easy to make breakfast dish.

Cheese crepes with cream sauce


2 big onions finely chopped

400 gms cheese shopped into small square pieces

2 green chillies finely chopped

1 green capsicum finely chopped without white

2 tbsp butter or refined oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper powder or according to taste

2-3 pinches ajinomoto

1-2 tsp chilli sauce

1-2 tsp 8 x 8 anytime sauce

4-5 tbsp grated cheese


In a heavy-base pan, add butter and keep it on fire. As the butter melts, lightly fry the green chillies. Add onions and fry for 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat and let the onion sauté for 7-8 minutes by covering them. Add cheese, seasonings (3) and sauces (2). Mix very well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add grated cheese and remove from fire. Mix in the capsicum.

Ingredients for crepes

300 gms milk at room temp (1 ½ cup)

3 tsp refined oil or desi ghee

100 gms flour sieved (10 tbsp levelled)

Pinch of salt


Add the sieved flour and milk in a steel or plastic bowl and mix very well. Add oil to it and salt. Do not keep it in the fridge. Keep the mixture at room temp for 1 ½ hr.

Add 1tbsp oil in a non-stick pan and keep on the fire. Pour the batter around the pan and when cooked put on a tray.


  • Measure the batter with a serving spoon and pour it into the pan.
  • Cook the crepe on one side, till it is golden in colour.

Ingredients for cream sauce

½ kg Milk (cold)

2 tbsp Amul butter

2 tbsp Flour sieved

5-6 mushrooms finely chopped (optional)

1 tbsp Mustard Powder

2 tbsp Worchester sauce

½ tbsp salt

½ cup cream or malai (chilled)

½ tbsp black pepper powder


In a heavy-base pan, put butter and lightly fry the mushrooms till they become crispy and golden. Add flour and mustard powder. Mix well. Remove from fire and add milk. Mix very well and add black pepper powder. Keep back on fire. Go on stirring till it becomes thick. Lastly, add salt. Remove from fire and add Worchester sauce. At the time of serving, heat the white sauce and when about to boil, add cream and let it come to a full boil.


  • Add chilled cream
  • Give only one boil after adding cream otherwise it will turn into ghee.

How to set the dish

Put 2-3 spoons of the cheese mixture in the crepe. Make rolls and put one spoon of the cream sauce on top of the roll. Decorate with bell peppers, green capsicum, anything for garnishing except cheese. At the time of serving, heat the roll in the microwave for 2 minutes, but cover the crepes, as the microwave will absorb the moisture of cheese. Decorate with salad on the side. Serve with chilli sauce and tobasco sauce.

(As told to Poonam Bindra)

Trend Setter
Brands all the way

GenY is adopting brands with élan and becoming veritable style icons. Suave and slick Ludhiana lad Arjun Dhanda, studying in Les Roches International school of Hotel Management, on a vacation here as of now, shares his thought.

Your sense of style is…

To always be in sync with whatever is in vogue, as these T-shirts with standing collars - I find them quite slick.

Latest addition to your wardrobe

My Louis Vuitton navy blue suede moccasins. They look so classy!

Brand crazy or street pick-up type…

Brands all the way

Choose a look - chic, sporty or glamourous …

Glamourous. The hospitality profession demands it as well.

My style icon would be…

Without sounding pompous, I think I am a style icon myself.

Who do you think is the worst-dressed celebrity…

Govinda. I think he gets all the negative publicity for his queer dressing sense.

One fashion trend that is beyond your comprehension…

Flashy outfits with stones studded all over them.

Your take on accessories…

I am very much an accessory person; my watch and belt should speak for themselves. I do not carry a wallet.

What gives you a high…

Meeting challenges

(As told to Poonam Bindra)

Show me the money, honey!

Good looks or a sense of humour are increasingly taking a back seat to money when it comes to the criteria women use to find a partner, according to new research in Germany. It said that with women getting better jobs, they are looking for their men to have a spending power to match.

The Cologne-based Institute for the German Economy claimed women quizzed in a survey said they wanted to avoid stress and confrontation over big differences in earnings.

The findings showed that the number of households in which one person earns much more than the other has decreased in the 10 years between 1998 and 2008.

At the same time, couples with two average or high earners increased from 27.9 per cent to 30.5 per cent.Couples that included a high earner and a low earner in the relationship decreased by 2.8 percent from 28.6 to 25.8 per cent in the same time span.

At the same time the inequality of net incomes - or the gap between rich and poor couples - has risen by 15 percent in Germany between 1998 and 2008, said German researchers.


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