Band on target
Soul of Punjab, a nine-member band from Chandigarh is ecstatic to be a part of X Factor, a reality show
Jasmine Singh

No matter how much you scan and scrutinise the reality of reality shows, you would still have at least a TV channel cashing on the melodrama factor. You can't blame the contestants for it. Well who minds a moment of name and fame? The members of Soul Of Punjab, a Chandigarh-based band of nine members who made to it to X Factor, a reality show to start on Sony Television agree but then as we said, who cares! Or do they?

Amanpreet, who created the band just six months before the auditions of the reality show shrugs his shoulders, “There are two ways of looking at it. I agree, there are umpteen reality shows on television these days but they do give the contestants publicity, fame and much-needed exposure as well.” It's thumbs up to reality TV from the band who sang Challa in the auditions for the finals, which got them a standing ovation from the judges Sonu Nigam, Shreya Goshal and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Amanpreet adds, “They loved our song. This is the best thing that can happen to freshers like us.” Is someone talking about education, pursuing another career that leads to better realities! Echoes the group Vishal, Uma, Christie, Rinkal, Jagroop, Sharanjit and Jassi. “Music is our passion, and we have brought in something new to Punjabi folk music, something that books cannot equip us with.”

X Factor, the reality show that begins in May, will have for the first time (this is what the Channel claims) various bands, solo singers, duet singers vying for the winning title. Does this sound like an original, 'never heard of before' idea on a reality show. So, what we expect here, tons of melodrama, scripted for the effect dialogues. The band members look at each other. They are not too keen on taking up this one.

Leader of the band Amanpreet says, “We agree, all reality shows are the same. Although 60 per cent is reality, 45 per cent is scripted,” he adds. “We don't mind it. As contestants, we benefit a lot out of the show. We get fame, money and recognition. We get a lot of live shows later.” 

And you are listening to…
Is it hip-hop, Bhangra, Bollywood, love tracks? Know the most requested songs from your favourite RJs
Manpriya Khurana

love ballad: RJ Gagan mush factor: RJ Sophie

Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven, is the most requested song ever on radio. Little did anybody expect, including Zeppelin, that he would be the king of on air requests in America. Radio is music on the move, what's playing on air is perhaps, what's playing on in people's lives at that point of time. So what is on, when the radio is on. In the city, radio requests spin around romance more than anything else.

Much before the music makes its presence felt in the clubs, doesn't it arrive first on the turntables in the radio stations? Before a song becomes most played on the floor, it ought to be most requested on the radio first. If the radio jockeys are to be believed, Indian listeners have their own trends. Shares RJ Sophie, of Big FM, “From what I've observed is the songs that are romantic and songs that deal with heartbreak are all time hits with Indian listeners.” She recalls, “I remember, the song that I received maximum requests for, at one point of time, was for, Dil De Diya Hai. These days, it is songs from the film Tanu Weds Manu and Dum Maaro Dum or F.A.L.T.U. On the whole sad romantic songs are the most requested.”

punjabi bytes: RJ Anubhav

Does love emerge a clear winner? Nods RJ Gagan, of My FM, “The trend keeps changing but one thing that's constant is love songs. They are an all time hit.” Needless to add, at any point of time maximum requests revolve around love. He adds, “These days we have Dum Maaro Dum that's quite popular, then we especially have Party Abhi Baaki Hai. I remember at one point of time Pehli Nazar was one of the most requested. Any song by Atif Aslam for that matter is high on priority list.” Interestingly hardly any stations go rock and roll.

How ma ny times have you surfed stations just to find yourself flipping between two songs of the same genre? In the city, the only alternative to love tracks is Punjabi pop. Shares RJ Anubhav, of Big FM, “If you talk of radio listeners in the city, Punjabi numbers are an all time favourite too.

He adds, “Generally, we play tracks on the basis of mood and timing. For example, what would people like to listen to between nine to ten, when they are driving towards work.”

These days, “It's this song from movie Dharti and then this track Lak 28 kudi da, that people are calling in for.” Retro songs, though sought after by a minority, figure in the list too. Those who want to hear something different can make a request and those who want to hear something similar, can simply tune in. Most probably, Party abhi baaki hai would be on…Happy listening..

Model who didn’t strip

dare diva: Poonam pandey 

Poonam Pandey became a household name, thanks to her promise to strip if India won the World Cup. While she didn't quite get down to the act, the model says she was fully aware of what she was saying and enjoyed the public response."I took it as fun, but people made an issue out of that because I was an Indian girl and not allowed to do such things," Poonam, 20, told IANS in an interview.

"I did many things like opening the fan page on Facebook where I did an exclusive photo shoot. But I was not satisfied, so I came up with this idea, which worked well. It was my own decision and I was awake and fully aware of what I was saying," said Poonam.Suddenly she became a much googled name on the internet.

She said she was refused permission by the cricket board about stripping before the victorious Indian team and will not request it any more.But "I want the media to support me and convey my message to the members as there is no point in asking same thing again and again". Did she face any difficulties after her announcement?"Yes, there were many problems which nobody can even think of. I avoided going to public places.

I faced issues like court cases, arrest warrants and calls from the moral police. But, anyway, it was a good experience," she said, giggling - though not looking comfortable in an off shoulder transparent black short dress.Now Poonam is ready to show her dare devil attitude on the small screen as a participant on Color's adventure show "Khatron Ke Khiladi 4" where she will feature with 12 other celebrities.

"I have seen the previous season of the show. It's something very different and adventurous and that will not be a problem for me as I was into sports during school days. It will be fun facing my fear."This season, the production has added the word 'Torchaar' which speaks many things, so I am looking forward to go on the ride with Bollywood Khiladi Akshay Kumar," said Poonam.She was one of the top contestants of the Gladrags' model hunt contest last year and also modelled for the Kingfisher calendar."It's a very strange story. I am a 20-year-old girl, still going to college in Mumbai But I don't get the time to attend classes because of work. I started my career six-and-a-half months back, so it's a new experience for me."When I thought of becoming a model, the next day I got Gladrags' offer. After that I did the Kingfisher calendar and then I became the most downloaded model on the internet; so the journey was exciting," Poonam said. Is Bollywood her next destination? I got movie offers and item numbers but I will not disclose it at the moment. — IANS

Chatter box
Tantrum star Sargun Mehta

Sargun Mehta essays the role of a demure bespectacled ponytailed Geeta in Zee TV’s Apno Ke Liye Geeta Ka Dharmayudh and is currently shown having a personality transition as she decides to stand up for her rights. Well, Sargun’s personality has undergone a change in real life too and the production unit is not very happy with it. Sources from the sets say that earlier Sargun would arrive on the sets on the given call time and never raise any issue with costumes, make-up or dialogues. She was the proverbial Director’s sweetheart but off late she has developed a starry attitude. She’s late very often, makes a fuss on silly things likecostumes and is not very receptive to the director’s instructions like she used to be earlier.

Kitani Mohabbat Hai 2 to take a leap

Imagine’s Kitani Mohabbat Hai - 2 is now moving towards a leap of one year in the upcoming episodes. Though the story line post leap has not been worked completely, the progression in the story we hear, is bound to happen sometime next week. The show is popular for real life couple Karan Kundra and Kritika Kamra.

Maati Ki Banno to go off air?

Hema Malini productions’ Maati Ki Banno had been under the scanner for quite some time but now finally the show will go off-air. The show will be going off-air from May 6 as the production house has already got a notice from the channel. It initially started with a 1.5 TRP but from then on the ratings have just been falling. Last week the show got just a 0.6.

Sara Khan and Ekta Kapoor spotted together

Sara Khan aka Sadhana of Bidaai fame was recently spotted on two occasions with producers Rajan Shahi and Ekta Kapoor respectively. Except Ram Milaayi Jodi, Sara has no other big show in her kitty. Sara was recently spotted having dinner with Ekta Kapoor.

Katrina Kaif too busy for TV projects

Time Bound: katrina Kaif

Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif is quite popular on the big screen, but this Sheila is too busy for television assignments. Her counterparts from Bollywood may have taken a plunge into TV yet Kat has kept her distance from Indian television. Though the actress does not deny the fact that she has received several offers especially hosting TV shows, yet Kat is very clear about her take on the small screen.

“It’s not on my to-do list for now. Of course, I agree that television has a wide reach as far as the audience is concerned, but I’m happy making that connect through my commercials for the time being,” she explained to media in the recent interview

Further she said in the interview, “I believe in ‘never saying never’, as far as work is concerned, I’m always looking to do something that would challenge me as an actress — basically shake me out of my comfort zone. So, all I’m saying is that for now, TV’s not for me, but maybe in the future — well who knows?

The actress is currently busy shooting for Mere Brother Ki Dulhan with actor Imran Khan.

We hope that Katrina Kaif would very soon debut on small screen with anchoring a reality shows. — HRM

Rathore’s 30-day challenge

daring Act: Rashmi Desai

Colors’ prime time show Uttaran will see yet another major twist in which Tapasya (Rashmi Desai) is trying to get away from Rathore (Gaurav Chopra) even though he is getting closer to her with every passing day. Now he will go a step further and ask her to marry him.

“Tapasya is trying to her to stay away from Raghvendra aka Gaurav Chopra. But he is just not ready to leave Tapu’s life. He is constantly blackmailing her about the truth he knows; later on he will call Tapasya and ask her to marry him in the next 30 days. If she doesn’t take any decision then he will go to Bundela house and declare that Tapasya’s unborn baby is not Veer’s but Rathore’s baby.”

Further our source reveals, “He will also send her their wedding card. He will also visit the Bundela house on the pretext of getting some business-related advice from Veer and during this time Tapasya will be nervous and her nervousness will be caught by Ichcha.”

We tried calling Gaurav Chopra and Rashami Desai but no one answered our calls.

In this exciting track, will Tapu agree to marry Rathore? What would be Rathore’s next plan? Will he tells the truth to the Bundela parivaar, dont forget to watch Uttaran every Monday to Thursday at 10 pm only on Colors.


Reunion tour

Happy Again: Miley Cyrus

Singer Miley Cyrus is glad her parents decided to reconcile as she wouldn’t have considered travelling abroad on her planned world tour while her family was feuding. Billy Ray Cyrus and his wife Tish separated last year and they moved to end their 17- Year marriage for good by filing for divorce in October 2010. They announced in March that they had got back together and called off the divorce, and their 18-year-old daughter admits she’s relieved by the reconciliation. Cyrus is also glad she doesn’t have to feel guilty about heading out on her upcoming Gypsy Heart world tour. “I think it’s good, especially when you go on the road. You have to make sure everyone is happy before you start travelling because you’re away. My family is good. They are excited for the tour. As long as I’m happy, they are happy,” she said. — Agencies 

No wedding plans for Kim

Kim Kardashian has dismissed reports that she's on a fast track to wedded bliss, insisting one first has to be engaged before getting married.

“Well, I mean what girl hasn't envisioned her wedding?” the bombshell business mogul as saying.

She was apparently referring to the Life and Style cover story this week that declared she's marrying boyfriend Kris Humphries this year.

“I mean, my Barbies used to get married a hundred times. But have I found my dress? Am I planning a wedding? I'm not engaged, so ...,” she added. — ANI 

Rihanna has a secret family

It has emerged that pop superstar Rihanna has secret half-siblings in Barbados-two sisters and a brother - from her dad's womanising past. The first time Rihanna met eldest sister Kandy, 32, was when she was a 15-year-old unknown.

Rihanna’s other two secret siblings are Samantha, 30, and brother Jamie, 27. Like Kandy they were each born during a different relationship before their father married Monica.

Although the life of the multi-millionaire singer is a world away from their own, all three of her half-siblings are fiercely loyal to the 23-year-old R and B star, reports the Sun.

Samantha and graphic artist Jamie, in particular, have remained on good terms with their famous sibling and her brothers and often meet up when the star returns to Barbados for family visits or official functions. — ANI

Jim Toth is the one: Reese Witherspoon

Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon says she did not give much thought before accepting Hollywood agent Jim Toth’s marriage proposal. The 35-year-old Water For Elephants actress, who got married last month, says she was absolutely certain that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Toth.

“I knew he was The One all right. A clue was when he asked me to marry him and I said yes right away. Didn’t have to think about it. It just feels like the right thing at the right time in my life,” she said.

Witherspoon, who has two children from her previous marriage with actor Ryan Phillippe liked Toth from when she first met him but says the pair can’t agree on who pursued who at the beginning of their relationship.

“I always thought he was a really nice guy. And then he asked me out on a date and I still thought he was a really nice guy. Of course, it’s always debatable who courted who isn’t it? He tells me, “You courted me.’ And I’m like, “What are you talking about, you courted me!” she said.

Their ability to joke with each other is what Reese loves about her new husband.

“We have the best time together. We literally laugh all the time and it’s great. You know how you get that sort of great feeling when it’s all working out,” she said. — PTI 

Ashton’s love notes to wife keep marriage alive

loving hubby: Ashton Kutcher

Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher leaves romantic post-it notes around the house for wife Demi Moore to prove how much he loves her. The What Happens In Vegas star thinks it is important to let his spouse know his feelings by penning them down on small pieces of paper.

“The type of romantic is, you go to our house, I have Post-It notes placed in various locations, all with messages of encouragement or love or just thought. Some have been there, I don’t know, seven years. They’re all my favourite but my most recent one was just a reminder that I was magical,” Moore said.

Kutcher, who married the 48-year-old actress in 2005 after two years of dating, added, “Post-It notes are much cheaper than diamonds.” He feels it is important to work at a marriage to not let things go stale. “As far marriage goes, I think people set 'getting married' as the goal as opposed to being married," he feels. — PTI 

Reward the ad world: Amitabh

ad man: Amitabh Bachchan

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan loves to watch ads and wants a special category of awards to recognise talent from the advertising world.“I actually quite like the ads. There is some fantastic talent at work in all of them. Young, free and confident, they are the picture of this new generation that grabs the largest percentage of the country’s population,” the 68-year-old actor posted on his blog Saturday.

“And look at their talent! Incredible! Even when they are doing the ads, they are of exceptional quality and expression ,” he added.

Big B has also made a request to award giving organisations. “We should get all the award giving magazines to have a special category in their ceremonies for talent from the ads - best actor, actress, supporting cast, music, direction and so on...I know they have their annual ABBY’s, I think it is called, but that is to recognize the agencies and their work, not individual performance,” he posted.

“I do hope someone from Filmfare, Screen, Zee, Stardust are reading this. Would be such a moment in the lives of those that look upon and design their careers by using ads as their starting blocks. I have a few favourites of mine. Given a chance, I would invite them on my films,” he added.— IANS

Cries of an aching heart

Painful memories of the partition, the trauma that he had experienced in his childhood, charted much of Narendra Mohan’s literary journey. An eminent poet, playwright and critic, Mohan came to Chandigarh for a play reading at an event organised by Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi on Saturday.

The play Amber Habshi, set in the early 17th Century is based on a historical character and maps the personal and political journey of the protagonist Malik Habshi. Malik, born in Ethiopia reached the rank of the prime minister of Ahmadnagar (Maharashtra). He raised an independent army and humbled Mughal might. Malik was lauded for his secular outlook, being pioneer in guerilla warfare, and for turning Aurangabad from a small settlement to a city and its neher (the water system).

“My play is about Malik’s search for the sense of belonging. How his personal and professional life crosses paths and how he emerged victorious amongst circumstances is the theme of the play,” shares Mohan.

Credited with two movements in Hindi Poetry called Vichar Kavita and Lambi Kavita, seven collections of poems, six plays (including controversial play Mr. Jinnah), volume of literary criticism and 15 edited books on various themes and genres, Mohan says its painful memories of the partition that influences his literary genius. “I have seen that maar kaat with my own eyes. Being in an impressionable age those disturbing memories made way into my sub conscience,” says Mohan.

Mohan is concerned about the change in society that technology has brought in the last 50 years. “Advent of mobile phones, Internet has changed life in incredible ways. The language that we used five decades back is no more fit for poetry or even fiction,” says Mohan stressing that it’s time we save shabad (word) and adapt it to present living.

For his latest work, Mohan says, “I am through with first part of my atamakatha (autobiography). I am working on second part of my diary which is called Saaye Se Alag.”

It’s Rocking

We have our fingers crossed for Abhishek Bachchan’s two upcoming flicks but just incase they fail to do well at the box office; the actor has an alternate profession to his rescue. He has now lent his voice to Thayn Thayn, a rap number in the movie Dum Maaro Dum, in which he plays the role of a tough cop. The song has interesting lyrics and he has done full justice to it with his baritone. His fans find much more to appreciate.

Fresh cut

Abhishek Bachchan as a singer came as a pleasant surprise. Last time he rapped for the track, Right Here, Right Now. His Thayn Thayn is step ahead in the same direction. His new look is a welcome change and is going down well with his fans. As for the music of the film, it’s fresh and I love to plug on to it a number of times on my I-Pod.

Prabhjot Kaur, a college student

Hip ‘n’ happening

The lyrics of the song complement the story of the film based on drugs and hippie culture in Goa. Since, the song has an interesting beginning with Thayn thayn terre gale ki jalan.., it compels you to listen to the whole track. Abhishek is looking great in the look of a tough cop.

Chahat Walia, Homemaker

It’s different

The time, when the box office is overloaded with item numbers, it’s refreshing to have a rap track. Abhishek Bachchan has done a fabulous job. If not as an actor, he will surely do well as a rap singer. The song is very different from his first attempt as a singer, Right Here, Right Now. It might not be a dance number but a remix of the same might change it into one.

Manmeet Ahuja, Student

As told to Ashima Sehajpal 

Read on…
Chandigarh Book Fair brings books for children from 20 publishers 

binded friends: An exhibition of books at Panchayat Bhawan.

It was a heartening Saturday morning. To see children jostling to grab a copy of their favourite read at Chandigarh Book Fair at Panchayat Bhavan was sheer joy. “I found stories by Kipling,” came a triumphant reply. “How about this book Aunty, this has lot many pictures, would come in handy in projects,” shouts another. “Have you seen any jokes in English,” asks another.

All this when we cry hoarse that TV and computers have sounded a death knell to book reading.

The exhibition organised by Sandhya Social and Educational Society with assistance of National Book Trust, India is an effort to promote book-reading habits.

The fair geared towards children has titles from 25 publishers-fairy tales, moral stories from Panchtantra, Aesop’s Fables, colour books and motivational stories. Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes rub shoulders with Sharat Chandra here. Hardy Boys, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Panchatantra, Tenali Ram, Akbar Birbal-plenty of titles for the children to track are on display here. Not so young can find their calling in self help books that range from Reiki, meditation, building relationships, Vedic Maths, Spa and Ayurveda.

“The earlier we introduce children to books the better. Once hooked to reading, this habit stays forever. It’s difficult to inculcate this habit later in life,” says Farida Naik, joint director, National Book Trust.

Associate Professor, the Department of Political Science, Panjab University, Ronki Ram, inaugurated the exhibition. “This is a welcome step to promote reading among the young and the old alike by Sandhya Society. The friendship between books and people is very healthy for the society. I get most happy when friends get back books apart from liquor, gadgets and toys from visits abroad,” says Ram.

The exhibition has a bookstall by Osho and educational CDs Tirumala software from Junior to all classes for CBSE.

(On till April 24)

Trend setter
Stand out

High on Style: Nehar Goel 

Every person has an innate sense of style. Yet, there are only a few who’d attract a second glance or make heads turn. The magic could even be in tousled hair or in a simple torn jeans! This week’s face in the crowd, Nehar Goel, a B.Com first year student, believes in experimenting unabashedly when it comes to dressing up.

Your sense of style is…

My philosophy for all occasions is that you should be comfortable and feel beautiful when you step out of the house. Other than that I would describe my wardrobe as full of dresses, high waist pieces, puffed up sleeves, skinny jeans and even baggy jeans.

Latest addition in your wardrobe…

It’s a very college bag in golden colour with street art on it.

Brand freak or street junkie?

A bit of both. I’m not a slave of brands, I pick up whatever I like but at the same time I do like to have certain branded items in my wardrobe.

Choose a look; sporty, glamorous or chic

Definitely chic.

My style icon would be…

It has to Blake Lively from the Gossip Girl. She’s so in sync with the latest and can carry off anything.

So who is the worst dressed celebrity around?

Vidya Balan. No matter what she wears, she just doesn’t get it right somehow.

One fashion trend you just don’t understand…

Blindingly contrasting colours. I mean how can people pair two disastrous colours together.

Your take on accessories

Love them. Though I haven’t yet experimented as much as I would like to but I like bracelets, belts, chunky pieces, watches…

One thing that boosts your confidence

A good hair day and compliments that follow!

(As told to Manpriya Khurana) If you think you too fit in the profile, get in touch with us at

Power print
Jasmine Singh

horse power: A painting by Biswajit Das

His name reminds you of the word made easy game that we played in school. Camelliasuman, indeed an arty name that can be broken into two interesting halves. The same holds true for his work. Every element blends in the paintings.

‘Collection’- a painting exhibition is being held at Punjab Arts Council, Sector 16. Organised by Rudra Events, the exhibition began on April 15 and is based on the theme of women empowerment.

On exhibit are more than 50 paintings by two artists Camelliasuman and Biswajit Das on display. Camelliasuman is an assistant manager, Art, at Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co. Ltd and Biswajit Das, chief designer at IIPM Management Institute.

The have splashed their imagination, inner intent colourfully on the canvas. Camelliasuman blends the symbolic elements with the urge of love and sensuality, which is the unique quality of his work. For someone who has faced and braved many challenges in life, a unique style born out of different experiences comes naturally. He uses acrylic, oil paintings, charcoal drawings, and watercolour paintings. Says Camelliasuman, “The flow of colours and strokes of brushes are a representative of the repertoire of emotions.”

Painting on Buddha, Durga, Shiva in bold strokes highlights a painter’s thought process and creativity.

Biswajit Das, chief designer at IIPM Management Institute, “Feels alive and empowered whenever he can bring his imagination onto the canvas.”

Das who has captured horses says, “Painting like any other creative work needs inspiration. I wish to use all these nuggets of inspiration to enrich the paintings that I try to create.” 

Summer cool
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Soon it is going to be blazing heat, sweltering sun and all that is called summer. Though attitude is most important to stay cool as the mercury soars, we get for you tips for a smooth summer sail.

Soothe your eyes: Eyes definitely need extra care in the blazing heat. So, invest in a good pair of shades. Dr Rajan Chug an eye specialist from Sector 21 says, “Fashion and comfort are important but the most significant part of the glasses is lenses, as it protects from the UV rays.”

Show me water: You would definitely want to hit the pool as the heat raises temperature. So, go have a splash at a swimming pool. Regular pool at Yoga centre, Sector 23, Lake Club, Chandigarh Club, Chandigarh Press Club, Hotel Taj-17, Panjab University are good options.

Footloose: Closed shoes will suffocate your poor toes - go for strappy numbers. Shoe tree-17, Woodland, Pantaloons, Drish-17 and Moch-17 have good variety to pick from.

Head start: Go for hats. There is nothing more ladylike than peering from under a wide brimmed hat.

Fit me not: Its summer's and it's the only time of year when fitted clothes will make you uncomfortable. Nidhi Gambir, fashion designer says, “Baggy like clothes are definitely not the call of season, but yes fitting might be a bit of drag - go minimalist and for straight cuts.”

Colour plus: White is right, but these summers add colours to your wardrobe. Go for pista green, lemon, lavender, baby pink or better spike up your whites with appliqué or chunky jewellery.

Fab deal: Stick to natural fabrics like cotton, linen and mul.

Fashion comes first: Straight fits are the order of the day. Drawstring pyjamas are perfect to beat the heat so are skirts and shorts.

Quickie with Neil

Neil Nitin Mukesh is known for his passions and interests: music, photography, and books besides his acting. He has never been linked with any of his co-stars and has a good boy image. We catch up with him as he talks about his hobbies and upcoming films.

What do you do when you are not shooting?

Either I am reading books or clicking photographs. I recently finished The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini and loved the book, as it was very moving and well written.

What would have you become if not an actor?

I'd have become a photographer, if not an actor, for sure. You’ll find that my camera is never too far away from me. Landscapes and people fascinate me no end and so they end up being my subjects. And then there is one more option, which is music as music flows in my blood so I would have become a musician.

How will you describe Neil Nitin Mukesh?

Neil is a fun loving guy who loves to stay close to nature, loves spending time with his family and friends. Very outspoken and expects the same from others. When it comes to work, very dedicated. I am not the 9 am to 5 pm guy as if there is a work I will finish it. 

Which film are you looking forward to?

Currently, I am shooting for Players with Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Sonam Kapoor and many others and it’s very exciting as it is a multi- starrer. Then there is Pocketmaar, which I will start shooting for by the year-end. 

Don’t come to my wedding…

They have gone from best friends to ‘frenemies’ and now singer Lily Allen has cut out supermodel Kate Moss from the guest list of her wedding. A constant presence on London's party scene Moss and Allen referred to each other as “partners in crime” but have fallen out over the past year. Both the Smile hit maker and Moss will walk down the aisle this summer, but have not invited each other to their weddings.

While 25-year-old Allen will wed fiance, builder Sam Cooper, Moss will marry rocker Jamie Hince, later this year. It’s awkward as the two beauties have mutual friends who may feel divided, a source said. — PTI

Mysterious girl

Hollywood star Jessica Alba, who is now expecting her second child with husband Cash Warren, has revealed that she has learned to accept her changed figure. “I learned to accept my body and to give less importance to my appearance. Being a mother has taught me how to adapt to any situation,” a publication quoted her.

The 29-year-old, who is already a mother-of-one, said she felt “liberated” about her post-pregnancy physique. The Fantastic Four star also told the publication that she now prefers to cover up when she is in the public eye.

“My own style is probably a mixture of high and low. I'm definitely into sort of layering and I like mystery so I don't put it all out there,' she said. “I play dress-up for a living for photo shoots and for working and movies or whatnot. “I sort of wear more revealing things that show my body. But in life I like things that have a little bit more mystery,” she added. — ANI

Aishwarya to go solo at Cannes

After four years of marriage and an equal number of headline-grabbing appearances on the French Riviera, Aishwarya Rai will be going solo at the Cannes red carpet this time, thanks to husband Abhishek Bachchan's packed schedule.The Bollywood beauty won't have Abhishek on her arm this time around as he will be busy shooting in Russia. “I can't go this year to Cannes with Aishwarya. We were there together last year to promote 'Raavan' but this year I will be shooting in Russia that time,” Abhishek said.

This will be the actress' tenth consecutive Cannes outing and Abhishek is proud of the achievement.“I am very proud of her. I think she is the only Indian actress to have that,” said the 35-year-old actor.The couple made their debut at the coveted film festival in 2007, while Aishwarya's first appearance was in 2002 with her 'Devdas' co-star Shah Rukh Khan. — PTI

The year ahead

Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is April 18...

Number 9 is ruled by brilliant and aggressive Mars, so people like you have to wage a struggle for all sorts of achievements. The first phase up to July is invariably fraught with several hardships. But dedication will remove all obstacles. In office you may desist working under the boss, which can create trouble for your career. Remember boss is always boss till you occupy his chair. In fact, you cannot swallow criticism due to strong Mars yet up to December bear with the situation. Bright light waits at the end of tunnel. This year it will happen because your basic number 9 does not see eye to eye with year’s number 4. So you and higher authorities may not agree. Try to make long-term investments to reap the harvest in 2012. However, the home front will be totally opposite to the office atmosphere. Good relations with spouse will make you feel blessed. Love for food may land you in hospital especially due to food adulteration. It is likely to happen during Diwali. Be attentive to work rather than female colleagues as a little lapse can derail the train. 

Chandigarhian Poonam Dhillon, theatre and TV actor (April 18, 1961, Kanpur) shares her birthday with you. She is most known for her 1979 hit film, Noorie, and Sohni Mahiwal, Saveray Wali Gaadi and Naam. A product of  Carmel Convent High School, Chandigarh, she gained fame when she was crowned Miss Young India at 16. Yash Chopra gave her a role in the star-studded hit film Trishul. Subsequently she did about 90 films in Hindi, including Sohni Mahiwal, Red Rose, Teri Kasam, Dard, Nishana, Yeh Vada Raha, Samunder, Romance, Kasam and Sitamgar.

She did a cameo in the hit film Judai. Poonam Dhillon was in Bigg Boss (Season 3) on Colors TV. Year 2011-12 ensures her presence in more stage plays and participation in politics too.

  Tarot talk
P. Khurrana

ARIES: The day starts with smiles and cheers. Business affairs are under control. Friends are pleasant but not particularly significant. A romantic overture to your working day might give you plenty to think about. If thinking about dieting, join a gym and start a comprehensive regimen. Tarot message: Take responsibility for your actions.Lucky colour: Blue. Magic number: 26

TAURUS: An auspicious day for biz-folk. Meeting new people brings delightful opportunity for romance and minor flirtation. Property deal highlighted. Get out and about early; activity and social interaction will do you a world of good. Indulge in creative pursuits and having fun with loved ones. Compromise and cooperate. Tarot message: Lucky colour: Violet. Magic number: 54

GEMINI: Avoid speculation. Romantic time for those married. Take care of health. Social life, political activity brings recognition. Put off dicey deals. Personal and business partnerships highlighted. Apply professional advice. You meet some interesting new people at a social event. Tarot message: Don’t reveal your plans. Lucky colour: Rust. Magic number: 40

CANCER: Don’t rush to make any hasty decisions regarding family matters. Younger member in the family may offer you a valuable advice. Defer a short journey. Postpone plans for intimacy with lover. Home renovations or business plans can be reassessed. Tarot message: Don’t try to end the entire deadlock . Lucky colour: Grey. Magic number: 33

LEO: Dispute over small issue is possible at workplace. Women: don’t use harsh words. Heavy expenses frustrate you. Beware of hitch, delays & postponement. A mixed day. Teamwork is to your advantage. For a promotion talk to someone in the know. Adopt a personal eating plan. Tarot message: Be practical. Lucky colour: Green. Magic number: 48

VIRGO: Take care of your diet.  Love life is exciting. Expectant women get a medical check-up. A friend of the same sex is helpful. Financial matters are strained. Don’t take on more than you can cope with. Combine business and pleasure for profit and fun. Tarot message: Do what is right and watch your best interests. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic number: 56

LIBRA: Enjoy quite morning. Personal relations may be neglected. Students: mind your language. Recognition and rewards are on the cards. Cine artists or players may be in the limelight. Be patient. Express your feelings. A good job offer for students. Tarot message: Delays stop your success. Lucky colour: Black. Magic number: 38

SCORPIO: ‘Six of wands’ will give you extra rewards. You may wish to break the routine. Keep your schedule varied and flexible. A female co-worker could be jealous of your achievements. Be sensitive and helpful. Students: check your canteen bill. New romance likely. Tarot message: Put your terms and conditions in writing. Lucky colour: Red. Magic number: 40

SAGITTARIUS: The “judgement” card gives you strength and a strong vision. Communication over legal matters, travel plans and education can be postponed. Relationships can suffer misunderstanding. Postpone work that requires concentration and physical efforts. Tarot message: Put your terms and conditions in writing. Lucky colour: Crimson. Magic number: 33

CAPRICORN: Today you will have difficulty in getting along with associates. Fraud and trickery likely. Women: avoid overeating and gossiping. Plans are likely to be changed or cancelled at the last minute. Those in authority, especially women, may play a role in your day. Tarot message: Use careful judgment in property issues. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic number: 44

AQUARIUS: Health needs care. Do not hurry to get financial plans underway. Influential people help you. Be prepared for irritations and disagreements. Accept that other people are not going to do exactly as you want. Stay at home and relax with your lover tonight. Tarot message: Plan your life to avoid delays. Lucky colour: Baize. Magic number: 59

PISCES: You spend money on astrology or philosophy books. Agreement made today is very valuable to you. You get ideas for home improvement. Personal and business partnerships are blessed. You meet someone attractive. Watch your budget. Tarot message: You find within yourself a fountainhead of a will power.Lucky colour: Teal. Magic number: 63

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