Voice of eternity
Melody queen Asha Bhonsle, in Chandigarh for a brief stop-over, says how a future Lata Mangeshkar is ‘impossible’…

Nonika Singh

Asha Bhonsle
On a song: Asha Bhonsle

Face to face with a living legend and words will (can't) possibly measure up! But in an interface with melody queen Asha Bhonsle what doesn't fall short are our expectations from one of the greatest playback singers that Hindi cinema has ever seen.

Dignity and charm personified, her trademark flower and beautiful saree in place, she is all that we have read and heard about her and much more.

Thus the ethereal softness that she has breathed into evergreen lilting numbers permeates her being too. Past, present, future…she answers all queries, both personal and professional, including the trivia like her favourite colours and how she has been wearing a saree since age 13!

No wonder the promise of ten-minute (time allotted to us initially) turns into a long reverie in which we jog down the memory lane with her. And also pause at the now…the inauguration of the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, Anandpur Sahib on Friday, which is what has brought her to Punjab for the very first time in her life. But connections with Punjab go back in time to her first Punjabi film Bhaida Posti in 1948.

And to those who think Punjabi music is dominating Bollywood today, she reminds them of the movie Naya Daur. You bet she is nostalgic about the past when melody reigned, when composers were of the calibre of SD Burman, Ravi, Khayyam and writers of the ilk of Sahir Ludhianavi and Anand Bakshi.

Sahir, she recalls as a frail man who would make suggestions to the young Asha, the Marathi girl, who had little clue of the nuances of the diction of Hindi or Urdu. Today as she has sung over 11,000 songs in varied languages, teamed up with the best of music composers, does she think she gave her best with the maverick composer RD Burman? She agrees only to differ, "Indeed, songs from films like Teesri Manzil are great. But then so are numbers like Jhumka Gira Re (music Madan Mohan), which were not with him."

She remembers Pancham with fondness, as a man who was not only a pioneering music director but an equally ingenuous cook who would rustle up beetroot ka mutton, aloo ka gosht and what not. While they would often compete with each other as far as cooking went, in the musical world she says, "He wasn't a tough taskmaster at all. Recording would take place maje maje mein."

Naushad, however, she reminisces, was stern, dared to stand his ground and brooked no interference from his producer or director.

Was she choosy, discriminating about whom she would sing for? Not back then. But today she would sing only a song which appeals to her heart.

Yes, she is singing and acting too in the film Maai. On acting she laughs and quips, "Far easier than singing." Interestingly, this singer who has reinvented herself a zillion times over and is currently busy giving live shows all over the world, is still apprehensive about her singing.

So being part of the historic moment at Anandpur Sahib where she will be rendering shabads already has made her a trifle nervous. Even at her stature… we wonder? And she answers, "Overconfidence hath a fall." So is this the key to her endless creativity and versatility? Well, there is more. Hardwork and riyaaz "for practice alone makes one perfect," which, incidentally, is the advice she proffers to the younger generation.

Can she sense a future Lata or Asha in the voices of today? Without blinking an eye she says, "Future Lata is impossible." If this unconcealed admiration for her elder sister, the nightingale of India, doesn't puts to rest the rumours of perceived rivalry between two incredibly gifted sisters…listen to this.

They live close to each other in a joint flat. In case you are still looking for an answer to future Asha… well her granddaughter, all of nine, she admits does sing well. Will she step into her shoes one day? And we borrow Asha's words, "Who knows about future? Present is all we have." Of course, there are few voices like Asha's that not only influence past, present and future, but affect eternity!


Cut to location
Young director Armaan Chopra is in Chandigarh hunting the location for his upcoming movie My Name Is Kkhanna
Sabia Talwar

It's a routine interview spot with debutant director Armaan Chopra at Frameboxx, an animation and visual effects institute in Sector 34, Chandigarh. He is here from Mumbai location-hunting for his debut directorial venture — My Name Is Kkhanna.

We do have a few hints about the start of his career but when he sits across the table, we actually get to know how interesting and energetic this 28-year-old director is. With My name Is Kkhanna still in the making, Armaan spills the beans, "It is a story of four people, two males and two females, from in and around Punjab who land up in Mumbai to make a career in Bollywood. It is an out-and-out comedy, which portrays the dreams and aspirations of these four people."

Auditioning for the cast will be held at Chandigarh and Delhi by next month. He adds, "I'm looking out for completely new faces because I feel they have fresh energy. I'm even planning to hold workshops before the auditioning to train fresh talent."

Armaan made his debut with a short film God Is Dead, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2011 and is very much inspired by Hollywood, especially the sci-fi genre of Steven Spielberg fame.

Therefore, for his current project he is planning to get Oscar-winning Hollywood technicians, including Bruce Logan, the cinematographer of Star Wars and Tron fame, and Barney Burman, the make-up artist of Star Trek.

Why does he need assistance from Hollywood? "I feel that film-making is story-telling and that too through good technology, but I would want to make movies in India because I love the content that Indian stories have."

He has even interned with Jonathan Demme, director of Murder Incorporated in Los Angeles. He has also been signed by Bunty Walia for a superhero film Anghad, which has shades of Ramayana, "The movie will take its sweet time to complete, as the meeting element of the two worlds of Ramayana and the modern one has to be infused. Till then, I want to complete My Name Is Kkhanna."

What challenges one faces as a newcomer? "One has to do insane amount of hardwork and sacrifice a lot. Rest, if you have the capability, you can make it happen." He adds, "As a film-maker, one needs to deliver a strong script and I think both as a director as well as the audience before reaching my decisions."

An MBA from Bangalore, Armaan loves film-making, "I did MBA simply for fun, but I knew that film-making is definitely going to be my career. The knowledge I gained during my MBA course is helping me a lot."

We are sure there must be strong reasons for choosing Chandigarh as the location for shooting! "Technically, it is because of the light factor that I want to shoot in this city and there are some other logistics as well."

As for My Name Is Kkhanna, we presume that its pre-production stage is going to last at least six months and the shooting approximately forty days. "I just want the audience to watch the movie and have a good laugh, so the time I require is slightly more."

There is even a writer in this director, so Armaan has a lot up his sleeve!


For brides only

As a curtain-raiser to the upcoming Wedding Asia, Bridal Creations by Anu Couture and Majestic Jewellery by Vikas Chain were showcased.

Anu Hora has used a variety of fabrics, cuts and structures which included ruby red, fuchsia, white, gold and turquoise blended harmoniously with swarovski elements and sequins on bodice-gown flared lehengas, anarkalis and cocktail sarees. The collection, according to her, is inspired by 70's women who dressed up in a very graceful manner. "Designing clothes for the Indian women is a great honour and a big challenge," she says.

Sulish Verma from Vikas Chain and Jewellery (Chandni Chowk,Delhi) says they will be exhibiting a variety of chokers and necklines with uncut diamond (polki) and stones.

"Our workmanship of bridal kundan and polki sets will make the bride feel very special on her wedding day. Our line of wedding bands in white, rose and yellow gold with solitaires and pointers are some of the hottest trends for this bridal season. We will also showcase some very light weight danglers, rings and pendant sets, that we have got custom made from the master craftsmen of Hong Kong," he says.

The three-day wedding exhibition Wedding Asia starts on November 25 at Majestic Park Plaza in Ludhiana. — TNS

Green thumb
Fruit of labour
Satish Narula

Who does not want to enjoy the delicious fruits from one’s own garden? And now when it is well established that the fruits are an essential part of one’s diet, it is all the more necessary to have at least a few fruit-bearing plants in the garden, but of course only if one has the space.

Today we talk about those home gardens where the wise elders had planted fruit trees and the family had been enjoying the fruits of right decision. But over the years the trees have grown too high. Now, the agony of the gardener is that either the tree is too ‘old’ to bear fruit or whatever fruit is borne is too high, out of the reach of the gardeners.

The overgrown trees in a limited space do not let other things grow in the garden. They also shade other fruit trees. Another big problem under such conditions is that when the trees grow old, the spread is such that the limbs join hands. The part of the tree where the branches crowd is also rendered barren.

This normally happens for mango trees. In case of deciduous trees like peach, plum etc. we do the training and also keep pruning these to keep them under control. But a mango tree is normally headed back at eight feet above ground level as is visible in the accompanying picture. Such trees take an ‘off’ for bearing fruit for about three years and then restart with a renewed vigour. The intervening period is for the tree to put forth and complete its vegetative phase.

There are several advantages of this PAU technology, as the trees are confined to limited growth that is well within reach for fruit harvesting, for plant protection against insects, pests and diseases and also from birds. A word of caution; give the cut a little slant so that there is no water accumulation at the cut end in case there is rain. Also smear the cut with some disinfectant like Bordeaux paint and if nothing is handy one could use the slurry of copper oxychloride which is easily available in the market.

The slurry can be made by adding a few drops to the powder. The method of preparation of Bordeaux paint can be learnt from any of the PAU nursery, research station or campus or the government horticulture department. In case one has more than two plants in the garden, then select the ones at the far ends for heading and leave the central one. This way you can use the central tree for obtaining fruit till when the others are ready to do so. And then one can head back the central tree too.

An observation and a word of caution: The poly-sheet visible in the picutre near the base of the tree is wrongly tied as one branch is left untied. This is used to check the upward movement of mango mealy bugs but if a limb is left out, the insects will crawl up through that.

(Narula is a Chandigarh-based horticulturist.)

Weight WATCH
Combat the bulge
Swapana Singla

Obesity not only affects appearance and impairs physical capabilities but can cause serious health problems. Here is the list...

Back and knee pain
Heart disease
Gall bladder stones
Breast and uterine cancer

It is also associated with mental problems like depression, withdrawal, low self-esteem.

Are you fat?

You cannot call a bulky or chubby person obese. You can find out by calculating the ratio of waist to hip. With a measuring tape measure your waist at the level of your

Umbilicus (navel) and hip at the most prominent curve. Risk ratio > 0.85 in women and >1 in males. This means your waist needs to be thinner than your hip.

Take charge

One thing to be registered in mind is that only exercise or only dieting will never help in losing fat, combination of both is the best way.

Now on exercise, just running on a treadmill will not help you lose fat.

Cardio exercise:
It should be only 15 per cent of your exercise regime. Introduce high intensity exercise, for example low weights with many repetitions, floor exercises, and Swiss ball exercises (at least try balanced sitting on the ball for five minutes).


Only walking and running: This reduces your instant glucose stores and does not help mobilise fat stores. This mode is good to remain healthy and fit or for maintaining the present body shape.

No only fruit or protein diet, this puts a lot of pressure onyour kidneys. No crash dieting (diet low on carbs and low on fat), this may bring down your weight faster, but eating normally as before dieting gets you back in the original chubby shape also known as ‘yo-yo syndrome’.

Good habits

Restricting yourself to proper meal pattern of breakfast, lunch and dinner will not help at all.

The moment you get up, your stomach has lot of acids, a glass of warm water, then tea has to accompany either a biscuit or a slice of bread for a good start.

Eating small meals is a norm that has to be adopted. Two hourly should be the regime, small means really small. One small phulka or one banana, one apple or handful off nuts or one plain sandwich.

Have processed dairy products like curd, cheese, paneer (raw or not overcooked) instead of plain milk.

Routine meal should also be two rotis or one katori rice with sabzi and dal.

Calorie intake should be minimum 1800kcal/per day and should not go below this level (minimum for basic metabolic activity)

Boiled food, that include non veg, also with a pinch of garam masala could be the best way of losing weight.

Little exercise before meals is of great help. Fruits before meals, and sweets in-between meals, should be the pattern.

(Dr Singla is cosmetologist and obesity consultant at JJ Hospital, Zirakpur)

star track
A match for Ricky Bahl

Anushka and Ranveer Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh are great fun to talk to. They have similar thoughts and opinions on many things and yet they are as different as chalk and cheese. They both are polite, well-mannered, well-spoken, down-to-earth, energetic, and frank. The happening on-screen jodi talks about Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl.

Chalk and cheese: Anushka and Ranveer

Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl

Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl is a romantic-comedy and it is a con film. It is in the genre of Badmaash Company but they both are completely different films. Badmaash Company was about the journey of four characters. In this film, there is no journey; there is just conning, mystery, and fun. It is great that Maneesh Sharma, our director, has kept the pace of the film up at all times because con films have to be engaging and they have to keep at the edge of your seat.

Playing Ricky Bahl

I am playing one character: Ricky Bahl who has four different avatars. With Parineeti's Punjabi character, he is a gym trainer because she is a spoilt Delhi brat. With Dipannita's corporate character in Mumbai, he plays a curator and is quite outspoken and suave. Aditi Rao Sharma runs her family's cloth business in Lucknow, so he plays a simple cloth merchant. With Anushka Sharma's Ishika Desai, he plays a very cool and handsome regular guy and they both start conning each other. She is a match for him.

Independent Ishika

I play Ishika Desai. She is a Gujarati girl staying alone in Mumbai and she has her own defence mechanism. She is very independent, smart, intelligent, and pretty. She can con people in the sense that she convinces people to buy things they do not need. So the other three girls in the movie get in touch with her to con Ranveer's Ricky Bahl. She is the conflict in the film and provides all the mystery and confusion. She is a match for Ricky Bahl's cleverness.

Working together

Ranveer and I didn't really get along while working with Band Baajaa Baaraat initially because our acting styles are completely different. I am spontaneous and he likes rehearsing. We didn't like each other's style of acting and took a while getting around each other. This time around, we were more comfortable with each other because we understand each other better. Anyway, this film has the same cast and crew (with new additions) but it is a completely different film.

Playing favourites

Anushka: My favourite songs in the movie are Thug Le and Jazba. I loved doing Jazba because I am also from another city and I fell in love with Mumbai.

Ranveer: I loved rapping in Huzoor . My other favourite is Thug Le. I think the album is fun.

Next films

Anushka Sharma: I have Vishal Bhardwaj's film with Imran Khan called Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola and a Yash Chopra film with SRK and Katrina Kaif.

Ranveer Singh: I have a film with Sonakshi Sinha directed by Vikramaditya Motwane. — HRM

WEIGHT is over!

Sonakshi Sinha
Desi babe: Sonakshi Sinha

Sonakshi Sinha is just one film old and has been making headlines since Dabangg's promo came on TV. She has studied fashion designing and is known for her fashion sense too. She usually tries something different always though she looks the same as she has a very Indian face. Even if she is not promoting any film right now you can see her at various events and award functions. She attended the Paris Fashion Week recently and here is what she has to say about fashion.

Paris show

It was a nice experience as I learnt a lot and got to see something different. I was glad to be invited over there. Paris is a place where you can see many fashion icons and it has a beautiful scenic beauty too.

Being Sonakshi

I love being myself and enjoy spending time with me. I know people talk about my weight regime and fashion statement a lot but I am not bothered. Because getting into shape or losing weight is part of my job. I have to look different for different roles and fashion is something which I do what I feel I am comfortable in. So I enjoy what I do.

Weight pressure?

What I have seen is my fans like me the way I am. Not very fat, not very thin. So even if I lose weight they may not like me. Yes there is a pressure from many people to lose weight. But I am handling it well. I know for few roles you have to shed weight but again there are different body types and my fans have accepted me the way I am. So why should I change myself?

Future projects

I have many projects in 2012. There is Rowdy Rathore and Joker with Akshay Kumar. Son of Sardar with Ajay Devgn and then Dabangg 2. I am really looking forward to doing different character roles. I just don't want to concentrate on my looks as I want to be known as an actress and for my acting talent.

Desi to hottie

My first movie portrayed me as very village type girl and even in Joker you will see that desi look. But in other films you will also see me as a modern sexy girl. I am born in Mumbai so I am a cool and casual girl who loves to wear jeans and tees. I like wearing comfortable dresses.

Fit hai Boss!

Akshay Kumar
Fitness mantra: Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar, who is busy promoting his film Desi Boyz, is a fitness freak. For Akshay, working out gives him a lot of pleasure and the fact that he has a martial arts background helps him. He believes that every child should be trained in martial arts in school. He gives us some tips on health and fitness.

Health is wealth

I believe in a healthy lifestyle. An unhealthy body makes a person uneasy and unhappy. We spend several hours working, talking, eating and chatting, so why not give 30 minutes to our body? Exercise is good for every single person.

Six pack abs

I don't believe that everyone should have six pack abs. It's about living healthy for me. Six-packs are not as important as keeping your entire body fit. It's an individual choice. I am awake by four am, and I do Yoga with my son Aarav. I believe that yoga keeps the body and mind fit. I have a small gym at home, but I don't use it much since I feel that working in an air-conditioned environment is unhealthy.

Working out with John

It was a great experience working with John in Desi Boyz. He is a fitness freak as well. We would go on long runs together. He worked hard to get a great physique in Force. He wishes to maintain that body, but in our profession, maintenance is not always possible. However, John somehow manages to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Who's the fittest actress?

All of them are fit, but Kareena is a fitness freak. She works hard to keep her body toned and maintained. However, Deepika and Chitrangda play a lot of sports and they have great figures as well.

Today's youth

Today's youth is not disciplined. They do what they want. So it's my dream to see martial arts, karate and other sports as compulsory subjects in school.

Rishi in new avatar

Rishi Kapoor has earned the tag 'chocolate boy,' because of the movies that he has done in the past. However, the actor will be seen in a new light when he plays a negative role in the remake of Agneepath.

The actor says, "I play a character called Rauf Lala, who is one of the villains. It's a first for me and I'm excited about playing a baddie."

Rishi believes that this character will shed the image of a chocolate boy. "I'm working really hard for my role," he smiles.

While speaking about the movie, Rishi says, "When I was offered Agneepath, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to act in the remake of a classic. Karan Malhotra, the director of the Agneepath remake, has written the script and only Amitabh Bachchan and Danny Denzongpa's characters from the original have been retained."

New item!

Move over Sheila and who cares about Munni, Daler Mehndi's Sheila Ho Ya Munni has the beats to be absolutely hat ke. Daler Mehndi is seen taking digs at Sheila and Munni in his popular number Sheila Ho Ya Munni. The spoof song has already created uproar in his concerts. Even before its release, Sheila Ho Ya Munni has already become quite a rage on Internet. The song seems to have gripped digital platform also in Mehndi Mania. Choreographed by Raka, its video is directed by Vikas Gulati in Mumbai recently.

chatter box
Top Guns
Amitabh Bachchan and Ram Kapoor top TV popularity charts

Amitabh Bachchan and Ram Kapoor
Amitabh Bachchan and Ram Kapoor

According to the ninth edition of Ormax Media’s quarterly study Characters India Loves (CIL), Amitabh Bachchan (Kaun Banega Crorepati) and Ram Kapoor (Bade Achhe Lagte Hain) are the most favourite non-fiction and fiction characters on television, respectively, reported Best Media Info.

This ninth track of CIL was conducted in October with a sample size of 3477 respondents in six cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Indore and Jalandhar, in the 15-44 years age group, with Amitabh Bachchan and Ram Kapoor emerging as the biggest superstars of Indian television.

Amitabh Bachchan leads the non-fiction popularity list with a staggering 57 per cent share.

Ram Kapoor leads with 12 per cent share in a more fragmented fiction category, ahead of past leaders like Anandi (Balika Vadhu) and Jethalal (Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma).

Ragini’s new interest

Ragini Khanna, who became a household name with her portrayal of bubbly and effervescent Suhana in Star Plus’ Sasural Genda Phool, is keen to do more non-fiction shows. She was part of Sony TV’s Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa where she showed off her dancing abilities and the much recent Zee TV’s Star Ya Rockstar wherein she wowed everyone with her singing prowess. Ragini was reported saying she is enjoying Sasural Genda Phool but isn’t keen on doing serials in the future and has turned down numerous offers. Maninee Mishra

Maninee in Adaalat

In Sony TV’s Adaalat, Maninee Mishra will enter as the prosecuting lawyer opposite KD Pathak (Ronit Bose Roy). Her cameo appearance will be for two episodes and she is excited about being part of the hit show. She bonded with Ronit and Romit Raj. She always wanted to play a cop and a lawyer and now her wish has come true.

Maninee Mishra

Sandhya gets BBC show Sandhya Mridul

Sandhya Mridul will be seen on television doing a new show for BBC. Sandhya, who suffered from a spine injury a year-and-a-half ago, has recovered well and is back doing theatre with August: Osage County and live dance performances. She is glad to be part of BBC which is content-driven concept, which will give a boost to her career. That’s quite an achievement for sure.

back on line: Sandhya Mridul

Karan comes back

Handsome Karan Kundra, who was last seen in Imagine’s Kitani Mohabbat Hai 2, is currently working on his Punjabi film Pure Punjabi. As the TV folks are missing him, he has got an offer he can’t refuse, for Ekta Kapoor’s next show called Karan Kundra Fashion to be aired on a popular channel. She has signed Karan for a cameo role.

The heartthrob will appear in first few episodes of the show that will focus on the fashion world. The buzz is that the story is loosely based on Balaji’s previous show Kaisa Yeh Pyaar Hai featuring Iqbal Khan and Neha Bamb.

Fad guy: Karan Kundra


New releases
Desi Boyz

A still from Desi Boyz
A still from Desi Boyz

Producers: Krishika Lulla, Jyoti Deshpande, Vijay Ahuja
Writers and Director: Rohit Dhawan

Comedy King David Dhawan’s son Rohit Dhawan makes his directorial debut with Desi Boyz’. It is not exactly a loud or over-the-top flick, a genre his dad is known for. Rohit’s film is light hearted and funny with subtle comedy.

Akshay Kumar and John Abraham are playing pole dancers who vie for Deepika Padukone’s attention. The Garam Masala pair John and Akshay are back after more than five years. This is the first Indian film to be shot at the Oxford University, UK. This romantic sortie also has Chitrangda Singh.

Sanjay Dutt has lent his voice for the trailer of Desi Boyz. The film has music by Pritam.

Jack and Jill

Producers: Todd Graner, Adam Sandler and Jack Glarraputo
Director: Dennis Dugan

Jack and Jill stars Adam Sandler, Katie Holms and Al Pacino in the lead roles. The film also has cameos by Hollywood actors Drew Carey and Regis Philbin. Jack and Jill promises to be a perfect comedy which should manage to tickle viewers’ funny bone. This film is going to be the acid test for Adam Sandler.

The Muppets

Producers: David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman
Director: James Bobin

Directed by James Bobin, The Muppets is a drama comedy which introduces a new member to the family, Walter. Wanda Sykes plays Jailer. Jason Segel is expected to breathe life into the Muppets which also opens today.

— Dharam Pal

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: Today is the testing time for your competence level in your profession. The day favours those who are experimental. Do not pay too much attention to gossip about loved ones. Evening is comfortable in the company of family members. Tarot message: You gain by being practical.Lucky colour: Saffron. Magic number: 32

TAURUS: Sudden encounters with extraordinary character leave a mark on your life. Work and domestic duty follow a familiar pattern today. You will find it difficult to reach agreements with loved ones. Take care of your stomach. Tarot message: Don’t be emotional. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic number: 25

GEMINI: Your lover may be seeking your attention. Do your best to comply and satisfy them. Employment affairs may be somewhat unsettled, especially in the morning. Home and family affairs will be most enjoyable. Tarot message: Do what is right Lucky colour: Sky blue. Magic number: 28

CANCER: Long-term projects and contracts will be paying off. Mental work will be stimulating. Be a little cautious while meeting people. Fanciful schemes suggested by friends should be gently but firmly rejected. Tarot message: You are advised to focus on professional changes. Lucky colour: Deep red. Magic number: 32

LEO: It is a case of making hay while the sum shines. Relationships move to closer intimacy. Once you have decided on a certain course of action, stick to it. A pleasant evening ahead. Tarot message: You have to push to succeed and your efforts will pay off. Lucky colour: Pink. Magic number: 40

VIRGO: Turn on your charm. Be sure to take full advantage of the good opportunity that comes your way. It is a perfect day for cleaning the house. Enjoy an early dinner and go to bed. Tarot message: By applying yourself you can build great success. Lucky colour: Peacock green. Magic number: 51

LIBRA: A day for workaholics, which is great if you love your job. Income may dwindle and expenses could rise. Do what you can to improve your mind. Friends and finance will not mix. Tarot message: Focus on the better to mitigate the bitter. Lucky colour: Forest green. Magic number: 65

SCORPIO: Make an effort to apply for a job you really want. Do not neglect the daily grind by focusing all your attention on your partner. Club and social activities are not favoured. Tarot message: Empty promises are certain, therefore try to put your terms and conditions in writing. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 61

SAGITTARIUS: Get real about your daily routine and make it a happy one. In the afternoon you will have an opportunity to concentrate on leisure activities. Health issues may be the cause of concern. Tarot message: You find within yourself a fountainhead of a will power. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic number: 47

CAPRICORN: You are not likely to be taken unaware by surprise happenings. It is a good period for working in familiar surroundings . If worried about health you should consider alternative therapies. Tarot message: At work don’t hold back anything from your employer. Lucky colour: Metallic grey. Magic number: 42

AQUARIUS: Spend this perfect day with your sweetheart. Drop whatever you had scheduled earlier and dedicate yourself to the one you love. Exciting new contracts emerge from chance encounters. It is a social day. Tarot message: You must share responsibility with others. Lucky colour: Pink. Magic number: 35

PISCES: If you have recently taken on a new job or contract make sure to negotiate and organise all the specific terms and conditions. A greater work load is likely to be placed upon your shoulders. Tarot message: Don’t make impulsive decisions in personal relationship. Lucky colour: Ebony. Magic number: 40

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is November 25...

There will be many shifts in November, but the one that will affect you the most will be the new moon solar eclipse in Sagittarius, three degrees, on November 25. That will allow you to drive your life in precisely the direction you choose. Romantically, you seem to have a big advantage.

2012 will be a good year for you. You’ve been working hard and finally you have come to the point when your talent will be recognised. A much better position, one with all the responsibility and power that you always wanted, is now within reach, and to that end, Mars will help you. Take a moment to tell them you love them. You are picking up more and more speed - with the wind at your back like this, you can take on the world!

Mood: Cheerful.
Compatible signs: Virgo, Pisces.
Lucky colours: Mauve, Magenta.
Lucky days: Thursday and Sunday.
Lucky numbers: 6, 8, 23, 45, 60.
Lucky gem: Fluorite - the gemstone for spiritual awakening.
Lucky flower: Carnation (red)

Rupa Ganguly (November25, 1965, Kolkata) became popular after playing Draupadi in the hit television series Mahabharata (1988). In 1985, she debuted in Anil Kapoor-starrer Saaheb as a child actress, which immediately got her attention and also led to a role in Mrinal Sen’s Ek Din Achanak (1989). Rupa started working in Hindi TV series with Karam Apnaa Apnaa (2007), moving on to Love Story (SAB TV series) (2007), and more recently in Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo (2009).