In TUNE with times
Vishal, of the musician duo Vishal-Shekhar, in Chandigarh as part of his 13-city Dosti Concert, shares how their music is a god’s gift
Manpriya Khurana

For someone whose success is spelt in caps and for someone who’s a part of a multi-talented Bollywood musician duo, he has an opinion on everything. Right from the ever-echoing item numbers that they make to the live coverage of rescue operations (The public interest litigation filed by him a case in point).

If there’s one query that Vishal-Shekhar go mum on being asked…it is how they come up with their kind of music! So while Shekhar is “resting his throat” and hence cannot interact with the media, Vishal enters in a hurry, listens with patience, more than makes up for Shekhar’s absence and fumbles with the answer, “I cannot answer this question. My Hindi is very broken still when someone asks how I write these lyrics, I just cannot answer and the same goes for our music as well.”

“We just sit together and try and make music and the song has to come from above. I think it’s a God’s blessing,” he adds, in Chandigarh as part of his 13-city Dosti Concert for a liquor brand. Their rising graph, perhaps, hit the zenith with Sheila Ki Jawani — a song that stands subjected to opposing schools of thought. “You go back to 1950s and people would say that the 30s and 40S music was great. You go back to 80s and it was a similar story; even today we have some great work going on. The opposing opinions are of people who do not understand today’s music.” He happily discusses the criteria that a composition has to go through: “If the song is true to the script, fits in with the director’s requirement and makes us happy, we go ahead with it.”

It’s an era when any name in the music industry is introduced by the international artists he’s collaborated with. Working with Akon was like — “For us any singer should be in sur and tal. Akon left his stardom outside the studio; never ever did we feel like we were working with an international name.” He adds, “We’ve worked with Imagen Heap, a big name in the UK for a TV show Duress.”

Lined up are a string of releases with music as varied and interesting as is expected of them. “We haven’t changed at all, in terms of our music… There’s The Dirty Picture, whose song Oh La La is just insane. It’s a song based on the kind of music that was on in those days.” Then there’s Shangai, Student of the Year and Kahani. “Kahani has some of the best music we’ve ever done.” Looking forward - we mean to the concert as well!

Fast take

Did he self-invite the question by somewhere mentioning his wife in between the conversations? Is she fasting today? “She fasted for me once, the very first time. But I’m more of a spiritual person; I do not believe in religion and rituals. If I’m not fasting for her, she shouldn’t fast for me.” That’s a fast for thought! The music of, especially the Chammak Challo, is already on air almost everywhere…where does the picture stand? “First week and 200 crores; it’s my bet.” He adds, “It’s a story that has everything - the content as well as effects.”

(To perform today at Sector-5, Parade Ground, Panchkula)

The quest for happiness
Sabia Talwar

He came to India in 1985 and signed a movie with big stars, including Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman and Chandra Barot, but the project failed. Yet again in 1988 he merged with a script writer Prakash Kathori; luck did not favour him again. In 1990, he made an English movie, Lonely in America, but struggled nevertheless. In 1999, he tried making a movie for kids, Hanuman in 3D, but failed yet again.

He did not give up though. Tirlok Malik, an internationally acclaimed actor, who for so many years was searching for pure happiness, was in Chandigarh to promote his latest Punjabi directorial venture, Khushiyaan at Hotel Mountview on Friday. We catch up with him.

Tell us more about Khushiyaan…

One could be the richest person on earth and very successful, but it does not guarantee true happiness. The movie revolves around these moments of happiness; it is a story about relationships.

What about the target audience?

It is a family movie with lots of comedy and emotions. So, anyone who has a sensitive heart and thinks of happiness will enjoy the movie.

Casting Jasbir Jassi and Tisca Chopra in lead roles…

I wanted someone who could play a role of a 35-plus year old man with a six-year-old child and Jasbir was the perfect pick. As for Tisca, I wanted a woman who would not be typically Punjabi.

Any message that you want to convey through the movie?

As I was a born in Punjab and always wished to make a Punjabi movie, I thought of Khushiyaan. The message, rather the movie, is dedicated to all the parents and it portrays the emotional bond a child shares with his parents.

Your role as a director…

As a director I faced many problems while making the movie, as it is an expensive affair but at the end I only hope I get some appreciation from the audience.

Your guiding force…

I have faced so many struggles in life and I truly believe that somebody up there always cares for you.

There is a question I always ask myself — do we determine whatever happens or is there some power that guides you through?

Adorable vampire

Kristen Stewart has claimed that her character Bella Swan is the best person in The Twilight Saga films because she has the most interesting journey in the film. Although she enjoys and respects the other characters in Stephenie Meyer’s books, which the film franchise is based on, the 21-year-old actress believes Bella, who she portrays, is the most important persona in the vampire stories.

“I sound so lame, but vampire Bella really is my favourite character - she’s very representative of a matriarch,” she said.

“She’s very intuitive on almost a psychic level and no one ever acknowledges it, which is interesting. And I think it’s nice to see her finally get what she wants.

“That’s probably the best thing, even if it sounds simple and indulgent. It’s nice to see people be happy. And she really - if I’ve played it right - is born to be where she is,” she added. — ANI

Artistic affair
The third Chandigarh National Crafts Mela being held by Chandigarh Administration and NZCC at Kalagram offers something for everybody

A majestic wood sculpture of Balaji, an embroidered scenery that gives the impression of poster colours, a tad patra painting that charts the story of Banasur - all costing above a few lakhs - are some of the masterpieces at the ongoing third Chandigarh National Crafts Mela being held by Chandigarh Administration and NZCC at Kalagram, Mani Majra.

Besides shopping and eateries from around the country, this fair gives an opportunity to see master craftsmen at work. Busy weaving another pattern on his loom is Khemraj Sundryal from Panipat. The sheer magic of cotton and woollen threads makes for a beautiful picture as is this artist's dedication to work.

Stone carvings from Orissa, wooden masterpieces from Andhra Pradesh, stone pottery from Manipur, Madhubani paintings from Bihar, Kantha work from West Bengal, Phulkari from Punjab - there is loads of typical crafts from across the country!
Various crafts are on display at Kalagram
Various crafts are on display at Kalagram

A huge Punjabi jutti, nine foot by three in leather and also as small as two inches, attracts the crowd.

If shopping is on your mind, stock upon shawls and pashmina from Himachal Pradesh as well as Jammu and Kashmir. It's difficult to resist colourful terracotta stuff.

Save the Tiger is the campaign is what artists from Rajasthan are working upon. Their paintings advocate the cause of environment as well as wild life. And one amazing thing about the fair is the cultural performances by artistes from all over the country, throughout the day. Listen to ragini from Haryana or learn a few steps of Rajasthani folk dance. Make the most of this fair!

(On till October 17)

Sculpting magic
SD Sharma

Stone age: Kumud Mohinder

Ye shayer hain Ilahi, ya mussavir pesha hain koi, naye naqshe, niraali soortein izaad karte hein…" The couplet by poet Aatish immediately comes to mind on viewing the sculptures done by versatile artist Kumud Mohinder from New Delhi.

"My obsession with art can be seen online as Kumud6- Koshish on Youtube," shares this artist, who originally hails from Jammu and Kashmir. Her works are on display at the Kalagram as part of the sculpture camp organized by NZCC. "Once on a visit to Khajuraho, I was so enamoured by the beauty of the paintings, carvings and sculptures that I started dancing, much to the surprise of visitors. My friend from Sweden filmed it and put it online; you can view it on Youtube," she shares.

Brought up in the panoramic ambience of Jammu and cosmopolitan culture of Delhi, Kumud's appreciation for nature, beauty, music and dance grew due to her family environment. She has taken after her parents' talents - father BR Kiran Kashmiri, an Urdu and Dogri poet, and mother Jyoti, a dance, drama and music teacher.

A graduate in fine arts with specialisation in sculpture, Kumud has been awarded the senior fellowship of HRD ministry. A graded artist of AIR, she has performed lead role in dramas and a telefilm Gaanth.

Having held over twenty exhibitions in India as well as abroad, Kumud is a relentless crusader for the parity of women in a male-dominated society. Her works, especially the Oppression series depict the struggle of women and also inspire them to gather courage to fight against all odds.

Kumud, however, rues the lack of patronage for genuine works of artists.

Go purple

Scientists have found that just a couple servings of potatoes a day reduces blood pressure almost as much as oatmeal without causing weight gain. R Researchers used purple potatoes, they believe that redskin potatoes and white potatoes may have similar effects.

"The potato has an undeserved bad reputation that has led many health-conscious people to ban them from their diet," said Joe Vinson, Ph.D., from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania who headed the research.

"Mention 'potato' and people think 'fattening, high-carbs, empty calories'. When prepared without frying and served without butter, margarine or sour cream, one potato has only 110 calories. "We hope our research helps to remake the potato's popular nutritional image," Vinson stated.The finding was presented at the 242nd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), last month. — ANI

Route to roots

Sing along: Manpreet Kaur and Pammi Bai

In an age when everyone is looking for shortcuts, there is one singer who has taken all the pain to go back, trace the roots, follow the routes and document original dance forms from region.

Part of a project from his alma mater Punjabi University, Pammi Bai has played an active role in restoring four dance forms gidha, sammi, bhangra and jhoomer in their textual and visual forms. In Chandigarh for Manpreet Kaur's albumrelease, Pammi shares his take on music.

"With the advent of computerisation, there have been benefits aplenty as well as some hitches," says Pammi who is not all too happy about losing out heritage in the name of modernisation. "Dance is my passion. So, I was very keen on restoring and reviving folk dance forms. I am glad that the project is now available in form of a DVD at the Punjabi University bookstore," he says.

Based in Patiala, Pammi is continuously touring the world to promote Punjabi legacy and that makes for the theme for his upcoming album Panjabiyan Di Balle Balle. "The song that's on air has been shot in about four countries including Australia, Canada, Dubai and UK. "It features those Punjabis who have made a name for themselves abroad," he says.

Happy at the way Punjabi film and music industry is progressing, this singer rues that piracy has taken its toll on artistes. "Sometimes, the movie makes its way to your home through Internet even before its formal release. That sometimes robs artistes of their dues," says Pammi who has uploaded his latest video on Youtube. "I knew someone will upload the video, so I did it in high resolution," he says.

Rising star

Manpreet Kaur was hooked on to music when she was rather young. After two decades of learning, singing, dancing and playing sitar, Manpreet still considers herself a learner. "And I want to be a learner throughout," says Manpreet in Chandigarh for the launch of her album Jogan.

The multi-genre album has eight songs, a mix of Sufi, hip-hop, traditional wedding songs as well as an item number. This Ahmadabad girl is the first in the family to venture into music. "It's my mother who introduced me to music right in my childhood. Since then it has really grown on me," she says.

It was a difficult choice for Manpreet to pick up one from dance, music or play some instrument but she has finally decided to make a career in singing. "Music is everything to me, I know everyone says that but I really cannot imagine my life without melody," says Manpreet.

Visual ode
Vasudha Gupta

Fine line: (L-R)George Emmanual and DS Kapoor

Good words help to create great art," is the thought that lingers on as you walk out of this exhibition. Working on a graphic novel on the life of Guru Nanak Dev, 27-year-old George Emmanual has his research in place. A final student of Masters in Fine Arts at the Government College of Art-10, George who has lived his life with Guru Nanak Dev's teaching is trying to translate them into art.

"I stared as an illustrator and came in contact with Amanjot from Probity Comics. It was when I started my in-depth research. Now, I can't see my self working on any other concept," he says as he shows us around the exhibition hall. "I have now started working on the principle of the golden rule, which was used in creating the Mona Lisa and also widely used in Russian art," he says.

This young lad has gone two steps ahead in his research and clicked hundreds of photographs to get his research right. "One of the major things is that the Guru had a strong connect with nature. Most of my works reflect his bond with nature, how he felt water, air and land," he says. "Like here, I have shown the process of Guru's enlightenment," he says, pointing to his work. "The effect of showing the moonlight and the transparency in water is something interesting," he says.

Secular in his appeal, he believes in the divine power and is certain about being under His control. All of his caricatures are popular at an international level.

"Art is a language. A lot of what we cannot read can be explained thought visual mediums," says DS Kapoor, principal of Government College of Art. Encouraging his work, Kapoor is positive that George's concepts will be able to attract a lot of attention.

Pack for a new life
Vasudha Gupta
Alpana Aggarwal
Alpana Aggarwa

Come the wedding season, normal life goes for a toss - all the banter on the exchange of gifts, narrowing down the guest list, the shopping, jewellery and packing everything to move into a new life! 'Packing' - yes it is important. After all you don't want your new family to open your pretty suitcase and find cosmetics all over the place.

Ensuring you make a flawless first impression with everything you carry for a new life, there are many who will step up and help you out. If there are themes in the flower decoration for the bachelor party, why not in trousseau packing?

"We just need to know what theme you have and we'll coordinate the rest for everything the bride needs to carry with her," smiles Nomida Trehan. Her wrapping boutique, Wrapalicious, has complete packing solutions sans cellophane. "Generally, people focus on doing up the saris, suits and shoes; we have packing solutions for everything," she says. Working on cane baskets, dry leaves, custom-made glass, brocades, velvets, there really is no limit on how intricate packing can become. "The first card, which goes to the boy's side, is always special. We have arrangements to make cards in silver and wrap it to offer something different," she adds.

For some, it's about trying to retain the true colours of tradition. "My grandmother belonged to the royal family of Faridkot and always shared how elaborate the exchange of presents was," says Rehat Brar. Keeping this concept in mind, she uses a lot of embroideries, patch work, velvets, silks and brocades in the work she does through Sukh Sukhiyaan.

Decorative wedding trousseau made by Alpana Aggarwal

"Wedding is the single most important event in anyone's life and presents go hand-in-hand with that, therefore the name," she shares. As a young 24-year-old, it's certainly a positive movement if the youth are trying to protect traditions. "Yes, I believe in the sanctity of everything that goes with the bride and that we should go back to our roots," she says, working on a special peacock theme.

Symbolizing family contribution in weddings is Devotion. Alpana Aggarwal's brain-child, the wrapping boutique has been running seamlessly smooth since the past 18 years and doing some great work. "When we started off, the entire family was involved, my sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law, so it's been more of a family affair," says Alpana. Interestingly, unlike others who buy things from Delhi or Ludhiana, she is an expert in hand-making everything she uses. "I have trained staff and we hand-make every flower or petal we use, so nothing is procured in terms of decoration," she adds.

Using kundan work is more of her specialty. Working across several themes and concepts, she makes customised orders to suit the pockets. "We tend to mix and match. Sometimes traditional cloth with modern twists or the vice-versa," she shares.

If you thought pearls were only for elaborate neck pieces, think again. Beenu Dang from Ludhiana is one of the few who has been using pearls for decorative boxes. "The trousseau packing industry is pretty much like the fashion industry. Concepts change every day and we need to keep ourselves up to date with them," she says. Using re-usable items, she ensures not a penny goes waste. "Lot of my boxes, baskets and bases can be used as platters for food or centre-pieces," she says. Working also with semi-precious stones, her trousseau packing concepts are popular not only in India, but also abroad. "My cousin is in Hong Kong, so we connect for exotic laces and have a strong client base there as well," she adds.

In the business for the past three years, she is already looking forward to opening an outlet. "A lot of people today want extraordinary wrapping and packing solutions, an outlet will be able to give better options to the clients," she says. So, is it plastic and tape or a fancy velvet box for your Ritu Kumar sari?

Upwardly mobile
Katrina most searched celeb on mobile videos

Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif has been named the most searched celebrity on mobile videos in a new survey. She has beaten international stars Britney Spears and Linday Lohan who are on second and third spot, respectively.

According to the Global Video Insights Report for September, released by Vuclip, the world's largest independent mobile video service, Kareena Kapoor is on the fourth spot, while singer Beyonce Knowles came fifth.

Dabangg girl Sonakshi Sinha occupied the sixth place. Singer Pitbull, teen sensation Justin Bieber, Shakira and Don Omar wrapped up the top ten.

"A Bollywood star leading ahead of her global peers in mobile video searches worldwide is a testimony to the fact that mobile videos have finally taken off in India in a big way," said Salman Hussain, Vuclip's vice president, business development and managing director, India and Middle East, in a statement.

"Each month, we see more and more Indians viewing videos on their mobile screen using not just smart phones but even basic feature phones. This calls for new strategies for advertisers, broadcasters, publishers, content aggregators, and telecom and internet companies alike," he added.


Star track
New love
Minissha Lamba
Minissha Lamba

The buzz is that pretty girl Minissha Lamba has found a soft spot in Mukul Deora's heart.

He has produced her films, sorted issues out with director Sagar Bellary and more. They meet from time to time.

Heat stroke

Sick leave: Hrithik Roshan

Hrithik Roshan is no exception to suffering in the sweltering heat of Mumbai.

He was shooting for eight days straight at Madh Island for Agneepath and succumbed to heat stroke. We wish him a speedy recovery.



Pippa is friends with Halliwell
Pippa Middleton has become friends with Geri Halliwell.

The 28-year-old younger sister of Britain's Duchess Catherine of Cambridge recently attended a charity boxing event with boyfriend Alex Loudon, and got on well with the 39-year-old "Spice Girls" singer.

"Far from feeling awkward, Pippa and Geri struck up a friendly conversation. They were getting on like a house on fire," said an onlooker.

Ice,ice baby
Kate Moss's beauty secret? Ice!

Kate Moss has revealed the secret behind her beauty. When the supermodel can't catch up on her sleep, she turns to ice therapy.

"To stay beautiful I get a lot of sleep. I love sleeping. And when I don't have time for that because I've been out all night I just stick my head in a bucket of ice. That always does the trick," she said. Moss hopes to live a relaxed life in London.

"I secretly dream of us all moving to the country. I'd love to grow vegetables and bake apple pie all day. That seems like an amazing life." —IANS

Priyanka's fashion fundas

STYLE ICON: Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra recently won the Best Dressed Award from a popular magazine and has also been voted the Hottest by a men's magazine. She talks about fashion and style.

On winning the tag

I am happy that my fans like what I wear. I am very happy that audiences like my way and style. Style is something which defines a person. No matter what's your size, colour, or texture one should always be fashionable; that's what I think. You don't need to be decked up; even a simple pair of blue denims and white shirt makes anyone look gorgeous. So does a simple salwar kameez.

Inner beauty

I believe fashion is not more important than inner beauty. If you think positive, you automatically look happy and when you are happy you dress well. I find myself wearing any trash when I am not in a good mood. And the day when I am in good mood I try to look comfortable. So positivity is very important in life.

Style statement

In Bollywood everyone is stylish and everyone has their own style. I like the way Kareena, Sonam, Rani dress up themselves. Among men I think Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar are most stylish. Bachchan carries himself really well whereas Akshay dresses up as per his personality and looks good in anything.

On films

I have some exciting films lined up with all different genres. From Agneepath to Don 2 and Kunal Kohli's romantic comedy Teri Meri Kahani. I am very excited about these films. Agneepath is a remake so it's like dream come true but on the other hand we have to work very hard so that audiences don't remain unsatisfied. Don 2 is another action flick where I am working with my favourite actor SRK and in Kunal's film I am working with Shahid. For the first time I have done a rom-com and it's a beautiful love story.

Singing avatar

Yes, I am very excited about my pop album. I have also written few songs. There is a lot to be done on the album as it's just in the beginning stage.

Unfazed by link-ups…

CREATING WAVES: Anushka Sharma

Anushka Sharma is the hot face of Bollywood. Pretty and talented, she is the talk of the town not only for her fashion sense and acting talent, but also her personal life. People always want to know who she is dating. Was she dating Ranveer Singh or is she cozying up to Shahid Kapoor? The actress comes clean and denies the rumours, saying that they are all baseless

Do you enjoy being a Bollywood star?

Yes, I do. It has been a dream for me. I've done films under the YRF banner and everyone has liked me and my performances. I learnt a lot, as it was a great platform. As an actress, I do whatever makes me happy.

Did you start interacting with the media after BBB?

Not really. I always interacted with the media, but spoke more about my film releases. After BBB, I got rave reviews, which has made me very conscious. I know that I have to better the performance in the next movie that I act in so that the expectations do not go down.

There are many stories about Ranveer and you dating. What's your take on it?

He made his debut in BBB. He is very spontaneous and one never felt that he was a newcomer. He is such a great performer and very focused about his work. We had great onscreen chemistry and became great friends during the making of the movie. As for the rumours, I don't know where they come from.

Are you in touch with him?

We interacted a lot during the shooting and promotion of BBB. We also stayed in touch during the making of Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl. However, we haven't had a chance to meet after that, as we've been busy. So it's assumed that since we do not meet, we have parted ways.

We read something about you and Arjun Kapoor as well…

Even I heard it from my friends. It's funny, if you hang out with a friend or have dinner, you're automatically dating. It's a very strange attitude people have. There is no need for me to explain myself. Arjun is a friend and he is my age, so we hang out together.

Do these link ups affect you?

Not really. At the end of the day, I am answerable to my parents and they know what I am up to. I have a great bond with my folks so there is nothing to hide. They know that the stories are baseless rumours.


Home sweet home

new abode: Farah Khan

Farah Khan has moved from Seven Bungalows to Lokhandwala. Her family has shifted with her and she now lives in a skyscraper. Congratulations to the family!

Desi Cruise

Shahid Kapoor carried off Tom Cruise's Top Gun look in Mausam. The pretty boy with boyish charm has now bagged the lead role in the official remake of Knight and Day. The female lead has not been cast yet but it is the biggest project of Shahid's career and will be directed by Siddharth Anand. It is the first time they both are doing action.

Here comes the Don!

Don 2 is releasing in 2D and 3D on December 23 and that means 11 weeks are left for it. The promotions begin from today. The makers want to make the zany lines (Don-isms) a hit before the film even hits theatres. Good luck to them!

Hot pair

Shahid Kapoor and Anushka Sharma have been spotted getting cozy with each other at the success party of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. They both were also linked during the making of Badmaash Company. They make a good-looking pair and are suitable for each other. Good for them!

I am a huge Rajnikanth fan: SRK

King Khan is working round the clock and pulling out all the stops to ensure the success and bumper opening of Ra.One. He talks about the concept for the film and roping in Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth in it.

Idea of making Ra.One

I want to connect with the youth and the new audience. The idea came from my kids. One day when we were chatting they told me they are bored looking at romantic SRK, I should do something else; that's when the idea clicked and I started working on something different and Ra.One fell into place. But I am a lover in the film because the present generation loves me as the lover boy.

Rajnikanth fan

Everyone loves Rajni sir and I am no exception. His presence on the screen makes the film more special. And I always wanted to work with him so I asked him to shoot in Ra.One. We were waiting for him to shoot the scene as his health was not fine in between and more than that I just need his blessings and I believe he is the real superhero of cinema as he has his unique style.

Rajnikanth's absence from promos

As I said because of his health his part of shooting was stuck but now it's been done and we are on the editing process.

Strong voice

We were looking for someone who has a strong voice and when it comes to a strong voice you always end up with Bachchan ji so I asked him for a voice over and he easily agreed. 

Foreign connection

The name of Kangna Ranaut's British boyfriend is Nicholas. He is a scientist and makes her super happy. She met him while shooting for Tezz in England.

IN LOVE: Kangna Ranaut

Chatter box
Stars' romantic get-aways
Looking for the best romantic get-away but running out of suggestions? Don’t worry, we asked your favourite stars about their romantic destinations and the places where they find solace. Here’s what they say…

Sushant Singh Rajput

For me, it's Scotland. Unlike Mumbai, it is very quite, pollution free and a beautiful country. I loved the climate too. The population of the country is very low and there are very few people you will spot even in a crowded place. People walking on the street and going to work, the castle, natural beauty and everything else about the place is a treat to the eye.

Sukirti Kandpal

My favourite romantic getaways are Tahiti, Monaco and Bali. All these places are green, pretty and romantic places. In fact, I haven't been to any of these places for some time. I soon hope to go to Tahiti.

Dream boat: Deeya Chopra Quiet Scene: Sushant Rajput Island plan: Sukriti Kandpal

Meiyang Chang

I haven't been on a romantic getaway yet. But I would love to go to Spain with my girlfriend Monali. Because I feel Spain has the combination of both romance as well as adventures. I am an adventurous person and I love going adventure trips. So, I think Spain would be the best for me.

Sanjeeda Sheikh

You know, it's a stuck-up mentality when we talk about romantic places. People always think of Italy, Paris or Venice. There are so many beautiful places in India itself that we have not discovered. I have been to many places abroad with Aamir. But right now, my favourite place is Kashmir. We recently went there. It's such a heavenly place and being with your partner makes it even more divine.

Deeya Chopra

My favourite romantic getaway would be Venice. I have heard so much about it. A lot of couples go there for honeymoon. It's one of the best places for couples. Be it the weather, shops, restaurants, or the gondola boat, everything is just so romantic about the place. Personally, I feel it's even more romantic than Paris.

Reshmi Ghosh

There are so many places actually. But Greece is one place I would like to go only with my partner and no one else. From whatever I have seen on television and Internet, it looks so beautiful and romantic.

Paris calling:
Jiaa Manek

Jiaa Manek

For me, it would be Paris. I remember when I was young, I had done a school project on Paris. I wrote a complete thesis about the city and the different places it has, culture and everything.

I have never been there though. And from whatever I have seen in pictures, I find it incredibly beautiful.

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: Enjoy a quiet morning and unleash your creativity. Let your imagination run free and go with it. Luck will favour you. Cash crisis resolves after 3.00 p.m. Consider well before acting. Tarot message: Work could pose certain minor difficulties but don't worry. Lucky colour: Green. Magic number: 33. 

TAURUS: You will find people generally hard to pin down. Don’t bury disturbing emotions. Unexpected visitors bringing news from a distance can be an interesting interlude. Tarot message: Have a clear perspective before making decisions. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 51.

GEMINI: Enduring relationships can be formed with new people who live at a distance. Stick to your regular job. Benefits are assured by not taking the comments of others personally. Tarot message: Beware of some shrewd set of colleagues. Lucky colour: White. Magic number: 34.

CANCER: Be flexible in your thinking. Look at a problem from different angles and you may find a simple solution. Your popularity is an asset to you. But ensure that you do not neglect your home and family. Tarot message: Accomplish those tasks which normally take up a lot of time. Lucky colour: Rainbow pastels. Magic number: 39.

LEO: Attention revolves around your home, property and family. Friends' company stimulates you. Heavy workload could put you off but as the day progresses your confidence will return. Tarot message: Hard work will bring happiness. Lucky colour: Black. Magic number: 27.

VIRGO: Hobbies will give you much satisfaction. Confidence and self-esteem will rise. Business negotiations will give you a chance to shine. Put forward your ideas and enjoy the positive response. Tarot message: It is the thought that counts and not the price tag. Lucky colour: Saffron. Magic number: 45. 

LIBRA: Avoid gossiping; it can spoil your chance of success. Sportsmen: get more exercise to keep yourself fit. A friendly vibe makes it easy to broach subjects that might usually be avoided. Tarot message: Be active in capitalising opportunities. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic number: 47.

SCORPIO: Don’t be afraid to get things off your chest and don’t be too demanding from loved ones. Frank discussion could clear the problems. A more comfortable lifestyle will result from a pay raise. Tarot message: Do not leave things up to chance. Lucky colour: Deep Red. Magic number: 32.

SAGITTARIUS: The day will prove sensitive for marital relationships. Give more attention to your health. Appointments could fill up your day, making it necessary to keep your phone turned off. Tarot message: Use your judgments well. Lucky colour: Crimson. Magic number: 29.

CAPRICORN: Partners may not agree with your plans. A positive outlook in life is suggested. Be realistic in any business plans, don't overlook the pretty details. Tarot message: Take care of interests and portfolios of your work. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic number: 42.

AQUARIUS: A relaxed day for senior citizens. Patience pays well. Focus on leadership and inspiration. Make new acquaintances and enjoy visiting places. Loved ones are likely to be agreeable. Tarot message: Try to relax. Lucky colour: Purple. Magic number: 61.

PISCES: Avoid alcohol and drugs. Home renovations may need more money. Speak to your partner about using joint finances to cover an extra loan. Tarot message: Be sure in involving yourself as much as possible in a new project. Lucky colour: Burgundy. Magic number: 58.

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is October 16...

Your birth on 16th suggests that you should be cautious of situations which don’t convince you deep down. The stars could hinder your business. Don’t risk everything and take decisions calmly. If in a job, bosses may decide to give them an interesting task which will be great! I t may not be easy for you to maintain permanent relationships, but you probably will as you are very much into home and family. You may be emotional, but have a hard time expressing these emotions. Because of this, there may be some difficulty in giving or receiving affection. You'll be very receptive and will take every opportunity to improve your finances and ego. Everything goes well; your income increases and you'll be able to finally purchase what you need without worrying. Employees will be favoured by the stars which recommend being daring and asking for a pay raise or a promotion. The time is ripe for you to focus on your goal. You can enjoy your new discoveries if you forget about your worries and keep your distance from time-wasters. Do not get dragged into petty arguments. Making 'health decisions' for elders is possible; discussion is essential. Discord and resentment are likely, especially with elder members. Dreams are very revealing as to 'what you should do.' Money makes money. Professionals will be having a typical period. You may have to rescue a relative whether you like or not. This may include money but most likely will involve a lot of talking, brain storming and support. Lend your 'professional insights. You'll be well both physically and mentally.

You could find yourself falling in love with an old friend. That makes it possible for you to overlook obvious problems that could ruin your fantasy.

Mood: Fair. Compatible Signs: Capricorn, Taurus.

Lucky Colours: Khaki, Lavender.

Lucky days: Wednesday and Friday.

Lucky numbers: 3, 9, 18, 60, 66.

Lucky flower: Water lily

Lucky gem: Moonstone.

You are lucky to share birthday with Hema Malini Chakravarty (October 16, 1948 Ammankudi, Tiruchirappalli), who started in Sapno Ka Saudagar (1968) and appeared in over 150 films, most notably those with husband Dharmendra. The Dream Girl in 1977 starred in a film of the same name. During this period, she established herself as one of Hindi cinema's leading actresses, noted for her comic and dramatic roles, her beauty, and her accomplished classical dancing. She was honoured with Padma Shri, She also served as the chairperson of the National Film Development Corporation. Hema Malini spends most of her time on charitable and social ventures.

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