Trained Kathak dancer, Nikhar, made Chandigarh proud by winning a Latin Dance competition at the national level
Ashima Sehajpal

In the process of learning Latin dance forms, what not she went through! She broke three stilettos, slipped while rehearsing at least half-a-dozen times, got bruised, suffered sprains, even injured her partner when she stepped on his feet wearing 6-inch heel! But, Nikhar doesn't mind these, as she looks back. The 15-year-old from the city won the National Dance Sport Championship held at Mysore this year.

A student of Sacred Heart Convent School, she learnt Samba, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Jive in just two months. The most difficult part of learning the dance was wearing high heels, "Mainly due to the fact that I am a trained Kathak dancer, a dance form which is only done bare feet." Nikhar started learning kathak at the age of five years. "So the challenge was learning a dance form that was entirely different in just two months, the stipulated period I got to prepare for the competition."

It's not like the Kathak training didn't help. Classical dance laid the foundation for learning other forms. "All said and done, Indian Classical dance is one of the most difficult forms. Had it been the other way round-learning classical dance in two months - it would have been impossible."

Out of the four dance forms, for Nikhar, Rumba was the toughest. "Not because it has slow dance movements unlike Jive, Samba, or Cha Cha, which require a lot of energy, but for the fact that I had to develop a chemistry with my partner. It's a dance form that requires intimacy and for that you need to be really comfortable." Only after a month's rehearsal, Nikhar could get over the inhibitions.

Although she has participated in several dance competitions before, she rates this one at the top for three reasons. "It's not a dance form I was an expert at. It was a national-level competition. And most important of all, I secured the position after competing with 88 couples, a few of whom were professionals.

"Likewise, even her dance partner, who was from Delhi, was a trained Latin dancer. "The challenge was not just to perform better than the competitors, but match the standards of my partner." Even till a week before the contest, she struggled to increase her energy levels. "But my hard work paid off. I practiced hard and I knew the end result would be worth it."

Who would mind broken heels and bruises, when there's compensation in the form of a gold medal at the national level? 

Last-minute show
The thirty minutes before any performance is always the most important for any artiste. So, how do our very own Punjabi singers gear up? Jasmine Singh finds out

Before the curtains are up… The Half (a theatre language for the 30 minutes before the actor goes on stage), is almost like a meditative up, close and personal experience for various Punjabi singers, who blow up like a wire on stage. Seeing singer Sukhwinder Singh do a Chhaiyan Chhaiyan on stage makes you wonder, 'what has this man eaten today'!

The reverberating energy in their steps, the depth in their voice, the notes belted one after another, it does take a lot for a singer to prepare for the live action. We share notes with these singers on how they gear up, minutes before the final performance. As we expected, it is an each to his own situation!

From lazy to crazy

All I ask for before any performance is 20 minutes of complete isolation. I don't talk to anyone, no signing autographs, no interviews; it's just me and my thoughts. I don't pace up and down in the room; I like to sit like the laziest man on earth. I walk up to the stage like the same lazy man showing no sign of anxiety or eagerness. And when on stage, I am all crazy, having fun and making audiences enjoy, dance and sing along. — Sukhwinder Singh

Singer prepares

Despite the hype and hoopla, as a singer and performer it is important that I deliver a rocking onstage performance. Normally, we don't have luxury time to relax or collect thoughts; nevertheless I try to prepare myself with stretching and warming-up exercise. This helps me dance and jump around on stage without any injury. In addition, I like to drink something hot or warm to relax my throat. This really helps! — Diljit Dosanjh

Thank you God

From the first day of my performance when I was a kid, till date, I have followed the same practice. Some minutes before the stage performance, I do 'paath,' where I ask god to give me strength to deliver a fantastic performance. There is always a lot of commotion, and snatching time for 'paath' is not easy. But, I have never missed it and now it has become a ritual with me. It also helps me concentrate, collect my energy and focus on my thoughts. — Satinder Satti

All things together

Years after, I still see my thoughts wavering, taking a flight of their own right before the performance. My first job is to collect these thoughts, pack it and keep them aside. I don't swell up with confidence and I do not lie low. I tell myself that I will go on stage and do my best; give a good time to audiences. Other than this, some breathing exercise always plays an important role. — Hans Raj Hans

Designed to SUIT
Jasmine Singh

Gunjan Nagpal All the brides-to-be, if you are dilly-dallying with the idea of spending a fortune on the trousseau, chill out and go ahead. Designer Gunjan Nagpal launches Aura Fashion Design Studio in Panchkula where she designs all garments, which aptly qualify as all-season garments.

Formal, semi formal suits, anarkali suits with Calcutta, appliqué work and lehngas, Gunjan custom designs garments to suit every season and occasion. When it comes to trousseau shopping, especially the lehnga, which is at most worn once or twice, there are a lot of ifs and buts. Gunjan provides a solution, a lehnga, seven to eight panels, which can be worn as a lehngha and a sari as well.

She says, "I understand that girls like to spend money on trousseau. All the same, as a designer I want every garment to fulfill the utilitarian slot. These lehngas can be used as time-wear. Also, Gunjan uses cotton for anarkali suits, giving it a 'wearable' look. "I don't understand why anarkali suits should all be designed in velvet or net, I use cotton, which gives it a semi-formal look, and can be worn at non-party occasions."

At Aura Fashion Design Studio, Gunjan will create dresses that can be worn irrespective of the occasion. "I do trousseau and a lot of Western wear as well. Closer to November, I start making coats and cocktail dresses."

Having trained with Pearl Academy of Fashion designing, Gunjan gives tips on taking care of trousseau wear.

"Maintenance of designer dresses is a must, if you want value for money. Do not pile or stack the clothes, place them neatly. Dry-cleaning is important too, this helps unnecessary damage of swaroski or other crystals."

Par Excellence
Putting - On centre contact
Jesse Grewal

Confidence in 'putting' or even the long game is built with consistent on centre strikes or when we hit the ball from the 'sweet spot'. Every putter has a sweet spot which is more or less in the centre and is marked by either a spot or a line. The alignment line on the back of the putter blade also corresponds to the sweet spot. If we hit the ball from the toe of the putter the putter face will open and the ball will spin to the right. Similarly heel hits move to the left. Both the off centre hits (toe and heel) lose speed and remain short of the hole.

Off centre hits are caused by an excessively in to out path or an out to in path. If the putter is travelling on an in to out path we will tend to hit the ball on the heel of the putter which will make the ball go left. This element tends to confuse a lot of golfers. They make an effort to create an in to out stroke to avoid the ball going left and find it ending up more left. So they wonder how an in to out stroke could lead to 'pulling' of the putts. As mentioned earlier in my articles the club face position at impact (open, square or shut) and the point of contact are the main influences on the direction of the ball. The path is only a minor influence.

To improve your contact place two tees ½ inch wider than the width of your putter. Just leave a little space on either side of the putter. Place a ball in the centre and make a putting stroke without hitting any of the tees. If you hit the outer tee it means that you hit the ball of the heel and it would go left.

This would happen if you are making an in to out stroke or if you are standing to close to the ball. The opposite applies if you are hitting the inner tee. Either the stroke is out to in or you are too far from the ball. The ball will come off the toe of the putter and go right.

Other causes of off centre strikes are an unstable body. If any part of the body -head or lower body moves during the stroke you will not be able to make an on centre strike. Keeping your eye or focus on the ball helps in stabilising the body.

(Grewal has coached several national champions and professionals apart from being coach of the Indian golf team for the Eisenhower Cup (World Cup) in 2008. He is currently Director, National Golf Academy of India and CGA Hero Honda Golf Academy. If you have any queries get in touch with him at

Over a cup of coffee
Shuchita Sharma & Bhanupriya Puri

The logo of the cafe in Sector 15, Chandigarh.
deja brew: The logo of the cafe in Sector 15, Chandigarh.

The concept of community café is not new in India but youth in Chandigarh are getting together over a cup of coffee to share ideas. At Café Kaffee Kuchh, a group of coffee lovers gather every Sunday at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Sector 15, Chandigarh, to chill and just be.

The café with a difference sure has 'kaffee kuchh' in store for the youngsters in attendance. A special zone of their own to share what lies in their heart.

The café is the brainchild of Sukhmani Kohli. She started the café in November 2008. As a youngster she could not find a place where she could meet new people like her, except of course cafes which cost the earth. So, she decided to create one such space, where like minded people could meet and get to know each other.

To bring people who don't readily accept and take part in new ideas food was introduced, she says. The food is priceless as it is what you pay from your heart. The café runs on gift economy. There are no prices mentioned on the menu. Along with your order you also get an empty envelop on a tray. You can put in whatever cash you wish to in it and it shall not be checked. How liberating!

"The café provides a platform to the youth to showcase their talent and gives them a voice. People here are free to do whatever they feel like," says Varundeep, a volunteer.

Some people are even cynical of the concept as they have been conditioned to being told and directed about their action, he says. "But here, everyone is equally responsible in running the café. No individual is the owner of this café; everybody is a volunteer as well as the owner," adds Varundeep.

During the last two and a half years, the café has successfully hosted various events. There have been film festivals, poetry festivals, bloggers' meet, speed dating at singles' café, theatre performances and numerous other events.

Sukhmani insists they are against competition. Competition breeds rivalry and the whole point of the café is to make people feel safe, to just let them be.

Rubina, another volunteer, says they have no specific agenda or policy for the café. Anyone who walks in becomes a part and it is open for everyone. So the café is basically what people want to make of it. The concept is not just people paying for services being provided to them. Our generation misses out on doing something for others without expecting anything, and they get this opportunity is being provided here.

The recent event was 'Open mic', where anybody who had any talent could come up and show it. And not just singing and playing guitar, people also showed their unconventional talent of making PJs, some of which left people in splits while others failed to tickle.

There have been times when there is nobody at the café and sometimes there is no volunteer for the work. The café has evolved tremendously in the past two years. It is a unique, non-threatening place that makes sharing of ideas, conversations and learning easier….a space where hanging out together doesn't need an excuse.

De-STRESS call! 
Jasmine Singh

Sylvia Path, the American poet, knew it too well. Whether or not she dealt with the stress that we do with today, she knew for sure that there are quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure! Indeed, stress is one of them.

Ask an immaculately dressed, sitting in a swanky office, working on an Apple computer, employee and he would tell us the inside and outside of stress. "This is precisely why the corporates need to have a balanced approach to handle all kinds of situations that come unannounced most of the times," says Sahaya, a corporate trainer working from Chandigarh.

Sahaya runs Jeevan Sahaya, a healing centre in Sector 18, which works at enhancing the inner strengths of an individual, facilitating them to tackle the inside and outside world.

As a co-facilitator with Open Third Eye, Sahaya helps design and co-facilitate 'Out Bound Training' where they take corporate employees to outdoor locations, offering them new experiences. "These are activity-based experiences that gel well with their corporate lifestyle that are further assimilated in their everyday work patterns," adds Sahaya, who feels stress can take a person down ebb tide. "Let's be practical, we cannot avoid work for the fear of stress, instead we should device ways to deal with it appropriately. At the 'Out Bound Training' workshops, we engage the employees in management games, leadership activities definitely keeping the word 'competition' in mind," she puts across.

No getting away from the word 'competition'! "None of us can," smiles Sahaya, "survival has a new connotation called competition. It is sad, but the least we can do is gear up physically, morally, mentally to face it." Talking about survival in the corporate world, thankfully there is no gender bias. She breaks in a throaty laugh, "Stress is one thing that is equally distributed between men and women in this sector. At Jeevan Sahaya and the 'Out Bound Workshops' we ask corporates to think out-of-the-box, to break mindsets, to take risks without fretting and fuming."

Sahaya also provides communication training, assisting people in developing soft skills. "The idea is the same, to realise strengths and weaknesses and working on both," she provides. Touching base with the core is what can be a viable solution to stress. Indeed, there are quite a few things that hot water bath can't cure!

HEART talk
Find that connect
Parvesh Rana

I am a homemaker. I have two kids and am in a blissful marriage. But my husband is very possessive, he does not allow me to meet my friends or call them regularly. He also keeps a check on where I go, and whom do I meet. He is otherwise a nice person, how do I deal with his insecurity?

Men may have a developed streak of insecurity, which they don't show often. Take your husband into confidence, and discuss this problem with him. Don't try to explain too much, he might think you are defending something. Try taking him out to your friends, engage him in your activity, this problem would be sorted out. Don't take a loving partner for granted. Try and understand his feelings for you.

Don’t give in to blackmail

I am 27-year-old working as a software engineer in Punjab; my parents are emotionally blackmailing me into getting married. I am not seeing any one but I still want to take sometime. What do I tell them because I am their only son?

Your parents are not wrong and they look up to you for support. If you are not interested in marriage try explaining it to your parents stating logical reasons with it. They are sure to understand. Please do not marry because your parents want you to get married.

Parvesh Rana, actor and anchor, will write this weekly column. If you want a piece of advice on matters concerning the heart, send your query to

Monsoon bloom
SD Sharma

School summer vacations may be over but for many who attended workshops in music, drama, dance, personality development, the vacations become a wonderful memory. It is encouraging that many government or sponsored institutions are following suit.

Yashwinder Sharma, programme officer, NZZC Kalagram, Panchkula, says to promote performing arts in the region we had been organising art workshop at nominal registration fee of just Rs 50.

For the fifth edition of workshop for theatre, personality development, Kathak and bhangra dances for students (4 to 18 years), which culminated recently, over 200 children from different social segments, slums to convent schools took part.

“Our workshop was aimed at bringing out the potential of children. It aimed to determine their capability to choose the right. It was satisfying to see children from various social segments sharing food," says Asif Ali. Ali acclaimed theatre director groomed 75 kids here.

astro turf
p Khurrana

ARIES: Love life is sparklingly beautiful. Enjoy the pleasurable vibes and plan a relaxing day. You may be overprotective of your children and want to keep them around you. But if you have teenagers, be prepared for a battle of wills. Tarot Message: Do not expect too much from others. Lucky colour: White. Magic Number: 50

TAURUS: A piece of good news will cheer you up. A romantic feel to the day is healing. Don't click on those flashing winner signs on the Internet or you might get a virus that slows your computer down. Tarot Message: Be confident to avoid losses. Lucky colour: Forest Green. Magic Number: 35. 

GEMINI: Not a good day for shopping. A level of anxiety could interfere with your sense of well-being. Consider your diet also. Too much caffeine or sugar is not good thing. Switch to water and feel the difference. Tarot Message: Hasty decisions as it could lead to waste of money. Lucky coloUr: Crimson. Magic Number: 33

CANCER: Take things step-by-step. Health glows. Speculate only if you are ready to lose money. Focus on hobbies Anything you have done wrong or in a slipshod fashion can be exposed to the public. Tarot Message: Don't waste an opportunity by being rash or impulsive. Lucky colour: Saffron. Magic Number: 25.

LEO: Be logical in your thoughts. A change of plan can throw you into turmoil. Don't expect people to make compromises and you won't be let down. Stop worrying about what other people think of you. Tarot Message: Learn from past experiences to avoid making mistakes. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic Number: 25.

VIRGO: Push routine to one side. Partnership issues are likely to surface. Singles suffering from the lack of a partner might start reading self-help books. Face the facts talk to your partner, with love and honesty, changes can occur. Tarot Message: Be determined and confident to solve problems. Lucky colour: Mauve. Magic Number: 31

LIBRA: Auspicious day for purchasing ornaments. Hasty actions can lead to situations best avoided. Keep your wits about you and try to pause if agitated. Be sensible. Financial concerns can give you cause for worry. Tarot Message: Be articulate to prevent people from making their own conclusions. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic Number: 42

SCORPIO: There will be good opportunities to show off your artistic flare. Loved ones will do what they can to help solve family financial problems. Savor the romantic glow of the morning. Tarot Message: Dare to accomplish those tasks which normally take up a lot of time. Lucky colour: Red. Magic Number: 52

SAGITTARIUS: Your effort will not go unnoticed by superiors. Talk with you lover about your future plans and goals. Enjoy fantasizing over the countless possibilities. Your imagination is likely to be at peak. Tarot Message: Do not swing away from the course you have charted so far. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic Number: 40.

CAPRICORN: The accent is on pleasure & entertainment. Strong feelings can overwhelm you and distort your sense of perspective. Family issues could also come to a head. Let them stew under the surface. Tarot Message: Don't reveal your plan of action to anyone. Lucky colour: Pink. Magic Number: 63

AQUARIUS: Make efforts to maintain harmony. Communication on the job can assume greater importance. An opportunity to work in advertising might come your way. Your creative imagination is stimulated. Tarot Message: Don't do anything at the cost of health. Lucky colour: Aqua. Magic Number: 59

PISCES: Remember resolutions about diet & nutrition. Health problem could slow you down. Travel is not favoured. Some of you might be lying in the arms of your lovers and be reluctant to make any changes all day long. Tarot Message: Make compromises outside and come to terms within yourself. Lucky colour: Purple. Magic Number: 36

the year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is July 5...
Freedom and enthusiasm are the trademarks of the number 5 people. Air and fire are their dual elements, while they possess earth tones auras. Their lucky month and day are May and Tuesday respectively. Any month's 1, 3, 7, 9, 14 and 23 dates are favourable. Business: Be proactive about making the most of shifting circumstances; you'll look like a rock star. Career: You'll manage matters well and will find the right solution to all problems. Employees will be particularly favoured and will be able to display their capability, thus getting recognition. Those aspiring for administrative services will be successful. Education: you will definitely get success. Family: A weekend trip or gathering may be more taxing than expected. You also fatigue more easily than expected. Finance: Money matters are likely to take a drastic positive change and a marked improvement in financial resources is indicated. Friendship: You are prone to biting off more than you can chew in projects. Health: Those of you, who had been suffering from general weakness and headaches, will find marked relief. Love: Expect to be spellbound by a charismatic person. Travel: Be careful on raods. Avoid confrontations. State of Mind: Eager to invest. Compatible Signs: Cancer, Aries. Lucky Colours: Red, Antique White. Lucky Days: Monday and Thursday. Lucky Numbers: 4, 8, 9, 23, 48.

Bobby Darling (JULY 5) was born as Pankaj Sharma in Delhi. Bobby, during a visit to audition for a television show, caught the attention of Rishi Vohra, who cast her in the film Maine Dil Tujhko Diya as the leader of the college group The Sisters. Initially a minor role, the character was given a more pivotal part when producer-cum-director Sohail Khan was impressed with her performance during its filming. Traffic Signal, Hota Hai Dil Pyaar Mein Paagal, Naughty Boy, Apna Sapna Money Money, Navarasa, Kyaa Kool Hai Hum, Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha, Chalte Chalte, Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Style and Taal are some of Bobby’s films. Astrologically, her gender problem will not be any hindrance in the career. 2012, which has a total number of 5, coincides with her birth date. Bobby will get some major roles next year.

Ratan's partner for life?

Television actress Ratan Rajput chose Delhi-based software engineer Abhinav Sharma as her dream partner in a glitzy Swayamvar on the small screen.

The 26-year-old beat Poland-based Anupam Singh Kushwah and Deepak Pandit of Jammu to win Ratan's hand in the third season of Imagine TV's Swayamvar Season 3: Ratan Ka Rishta. Ratan opted for an engagement on the television as they want to know each other better before settling for marriage. Rakhi Sawant, the first contestant on the show, had also settled for an engagement while Rahul Mahajan went for a television wedding.

"Marriage is like a metamorphosis for a girl. I'm readying myself to enter the second phase of my life. Though I'm nervous about it I am extremely excited about what the future holds for me," said Ratan, who was dressed in a pink lehenga and gold-kundan jewellery.

Sharma said, "I am thrilled that Ratan considered me worthy enough to be her life partner. I wish to honour her decision with a life-long commitment to her. —PTI 

chatter box
Eccentric characters on TV

The small screen has some strange characters with characteristics that are amusing but weird. We take a look at some such characters and tell you why they made it to our list of eccentric people. Read on to find out.

Dadi from Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?

Dadi has a goat and she has even named her Laxmi who is given more importance than her family members. Dadi also dresses Laxmi up and even has conversations with her. She is very possessive about the goat and considers her as lucky. She also puts up with Laxmi's misbehavior without reprimanding or punishing her.

Savita from Pavitra Rishta

Savita has a dog that she has named after her husband Damodar. She dresses the dog well and even takes him to parities that she attends. At a recent kitty party, she forced a guest to vacate a seat so that her dog could sit on it.

Natasha from Bade Acche Laggte Hai

Natasha is a fashion designer who loves creating bizarre outfits -just for shock value. She belongs to a rich family and loves abusing her power. She is also very possessive about her boyfriend Karthik and once even threatened to commit suicide after he refused to accompany her for her movie.

Sajjan Singh from Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya

Sajjan is generous at times and at other times, he expects the world to follow his principles whether they are right or wrong. The latest instance of his eccentricity is that he has brought a girl called Ganga home as her parents are unable to repay the debt that they owned him. He even ordered his wife Sumitra to welcome her with an aarti.

Gangubai from Rang Badalti Odhani

Gangubai has an odd dressing sense as she wears sport shoes with a traditional navari sari. She is also very strict and does not like girls and boys staying together as she does not believe in love.

Dadi from Balika Vadhu

Dadi makes and breaks rules according to her own convenience. Her basic motto is to rule over her family no matter whether she is right or wrong. She expects everyone to follow her orders without questioning her, even if they are illogical.

Brahmanand from Maryaada..Lekin Kab Tak?

Brahmanand pretends to be an upright police officer but in reality he is a womaniser who has no qualms leching about his sister-in-law. He pretends to be a decent person but is definitely not.

Kritika Kamra's sexy fundas 

 Kritika KamraHot, sexy and cool Kritika Kamra appeals to the youth for her frank talk and straight forward attitude. We talk to the young and peppy about love, her man and romance.

What is your sex appeal?

I would like to see all of me but I feel my sex appeal lies in my sense of humor and intelligence. I have heard men complain that women don't have a sense of humour, so I guess I am one of those rare ones who do!! [smiles]

What is your idea of romance?

I am very filmy and believe in the total drama in romance. I want flowers, candle light, beach, and what not. I would want all that and more clichés which make life and romance fun. Dance in moonlight would be the just the right added touch.

One naughty thing you wish for…

It is a fantasy to be all alone with my man, of course, on a cool BMW or Mercedes and let your imagination take over.

What can you do for your man?

Well a variety of things- pamper him, take care of little things for him, love him, - basically keep him happy.

Would you like to be sexy or sober?

Both, because I am cool with both. — HRM


Handsome dude Karan V Grover of Yahaan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli fame, uses his free time to the optimum level. He travels, chills out and unwinds with a variety of activities. Here are few of them.

Movie buff

Watching movies totally de-stresses me as they take me on to a new plane. I enjoy catching up on movies on my laptop during shoots. Though we get limited breaks but I can watch movies in breaks now, it has become a habit [laughs]. If I am at home, then I love having marathon movie sessions.

Travel’s a must

Since last few years I have been going to various places on my birthday. I love travelling and exploring new locales, cuisine, culture and meeting new people. It is a vow I have made to myself that I will see a new place every birthday, and I have lived upto that as last two years I went to Mauritius and Ladakh. This birthday I went to Europe. Totally fascinating.

Spa love

I love going to spa too. I try to go twice in a month. A visit to the spa completely rejuvenates me. Chilling in a jacuzzi is totally delicious. I usually go for a head massage; hair protein treatment and face clean up.

Sports fan

I am into sports and the outdoorsy stuff. I love Kick boxing and used to train twice a week earlier but in the past year I have been very busy to do so. I sure make it a point to regularly go to the gym for my workout. When I get a chance, I love playing football or cricket on the sets or off it.

Books are cool

I have picked up the habit of reading though I was never a book lover but I am on the path. Like movies, I read books in breaks too so mostly I end up not completing them. In the last year I have read Osho's books and as they don't need continuity, I have enjoyed them. I am trying reading fiction too; let's see how far I go. But books are fun for sure as they engage your mind and open a whole new universe for you. —HRM

star track

Ranveer has been endlessly linked with Anushka Sharma and both of them have denied their romance.

They are very good friends but their feelings for each other are apparent to everybody but them. Also, both of them are very ambitious so want to focus on their careers right now.

On a show Ranveer said that he and Anushka fight a lot. He said that she is a lovely girl and he does not have the time right now to give her the attention and time she deserves because he is focussed on his career and so is she.

He also said that the moment was mind-blowing when he kissed her in Band Baaja Baaraat. He has also previously said that he had feelings for Anushka during the making of the movie.

Ranveer is known for his spontaneous and endless energy. At the spur of the moment, he composed a rap song tracing his struggle in Bollywood and included names like Aditya Chopra in it.

We think it will be interesting.

Face of the new woman

Mahi Gill She is only a few films old in Bollywood but actress Mahi Gill is already eyeing women-centric projects and is elated to see that they are not portrayed as weaklings any more.

Gill, a well known name in the Punjabi film industry, shot to fame in Bollywood with her extrovert character of Paro in Anurag Kashyap's Dev D.

The actress feels that after the Tabu-starrer Chandni Bar, there has been a shift in the portrayal of women in Hindi cinema and they are shown as a strong character rather than weak and vulnerable.

“I want to give today's woman a new definition through my characters. They should be strong and flamboyant. Even my character in Dev D was an unconventional one."

The actress will be seen next in Tigmanshu Dhulia's Sahib, Biwi Aur Gangster, where she will be portraying the character of a revolutionary woman who rises from the feudal system of society. — PTI

Manish is the best

Stylist Manish Malhotra won the best costume designer award for the movie Robot at the Filmfare Awards South.

Director Punit Malhotra wished the designer on his success through his tweet.

"I like the 2nd of July for various reasons now. Super night... @ManishMalhotra1 wins the Filmfare Award for Best Costume Design for Robot!!!," he wrote.

One of the most expensive Indian movies, Robot starring southern superstar Rajinikanth alongside Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai was a huge hit. — IANS

Model advantage

Many believe that modelling is a shortcut to Bollywood but model turned actress Sonal Chauhan feels the only advantage of modelling is that it makes a person camera friendly.

The 24-year-old made her debut in Jannat. She won the Miss World Tourism title in 2005.

"Modelling helps in a way ... it allows us to be comfortable in front of the camera. One is confident and doesn't have to fear the camera or wonder what to do and how to do. So, I think it is an advantage to be a model," says Sonal.

As there is no guarantee that a successful model can make it big in Bollywood but for their glamorous image, they do get stereotyped. Sonal doesn't agree.

"Every actor has a journey to take and they improve with time... They take time to explore. — IANS


Rapper Snoop Dogg thinks he would enjoy himself if he relocates to Britain.

The 39-year-old rapper who has three children, with wife Shante thinks he would have a great time if he was forced to relocate from the US. "Would I live in the Britain? I wouldn't mind living here. I think I could really enjoy myself,' he said. —IANS

Professional ties

Abhay Deol has worked with the likes of Imtiaz Ali and Anurag Kashayp, but the actor feels his best professional experience has been with Dibaker Banerjee, who directed him in "Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!"

"My best experience has been with Dibakaer. I think its more to do with the team than the film for a good experience. Dibaker's team has been the nicest people I've worked with. I'm working with them again in 'Shanghai' and so looking forward to it," says the actor.

"Shanghai" is a political thriller directed by Dibakar and it also stars Kalki Koechlin, Prasenjit Chatterjee, Emraan Hashmi and Pitobash.

In the last six years, Abhay worked with Ali in his debut film "Socha Na Tha" in 2005, Reema Kagti in "Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd", Kashyap in "Dev D" and Dev Benegal in 
"Road, Movie".

Banners are important: Vir Das

Stand up comedian-actor Vir Das, who is basking in the glory of the success of his recently released film Delhi Belly, says working with a big banner helps.

"It's definitely important what banner you are working with. Big banners are important because that guarantees a good release. Having said that, I believe if a film is good, it will run," says Vir.

Apart from working with Aamir Khan Productions' Delhi Belly, Vir has also worked with Yash Raj Films. — IANS 

Footballer follows the rapper

 Ashley Cole and Jay ZFootballer Ashley Cole is planning to open a restaurant-cum-nightclub in partnership with rapper Jay Z. Cole and Jay Z will take in unemployed young people and donate some of the profits for good causes.

They are looking at pricey properties in London's Pall Mall area for the nightclub, which will be called 40/40, the same as Jay's US chain of nightclubs. Ashley is said to be keen to support young filmmakers in London.

"This is the perfect way for Ashley to improve his image. He's aware his football career won't last forever and this is the ideal way to launch into a new area of expertise. He knows that his reputation isn't great and working with charities and disillusioned young people would help," said a source. — IANS

Harry charms Rosie

Actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is obsessed with Prince Harry and describes him as the ideal man for her.

Huntington-Whiteley, who played actor Shia LaBeouf's love interest in the recently released movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon, is currently dating actor Jason Statham.

Despite that, the 24-year-old expressed her feelings towards Prince Harry in an interview.

"I'm waiting for my proposal. I keep writing. I think he knows how obsessed I am. Well, he does now. He's so handsome," she said.

She even intitatex Prince Harry to propose to her directly, saying: "Come on Harry!"— IANS

Looking for love

Filmmaker Mohit Suri, who split from actress Udita Goswami after she moved to Los Angeles, is now looking for a new girlfriend.

"I haven't been in touch for a while. She (Udita) is in LA, trying to do some TV shows there. Long distance doesn't work for me. Now I will look for someone after my film," Mohit says. The director, who is currently busy with the release of his forthcoming movie Murder 2, started dating Udita in 2005. They had an on-off relationship before they decided to split this year.

Family first: Jada Smith

Family comes first for Hollywood actor Will Smith's wife Jada Pinkett, who sacrificed her own career for the sake of her family.

Jada, who made her foray into acting on the US sitcom True Colors and went on to appear in Hollywood films like The Nutty Professor, Matrix: Revolution, enjoyed a successful stint in acting besides a blooming music career.

But the 39-year-old star, who is married to actor-rapper Will, 42, and has two children Jaden, 12 and Willow, 10, preferred sacrificing her dreams for her family.

"I had to make choices. Living in

Hollywood, it's up to Will and me to teach them what's real and what's not," added Jada. —PTI

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