Between words
John Siddique, writer of an international repute, feels he does not have to sell himself as there are takers for ‘real’ things 

He grew up in a town with no poets, a home without books and yet knew it’s in him to become a poet. By seventh standard, he had read all the books in his school library. His teacher who used to bring him books from home also took him to the local library one Saturday to introduce the librarian where John spent hours reading books.

“Books were an escape route from the harsh circumstances at home. Reading a book is like someone addressing you straight,” says John Siddique, a poet of international repute. In Chandigarh, on Monday, as John addressed a small gathering, reading a few lines from his latest book Full Blood, he was totally unassuming, poised and eager to take on life.

His latest volume took him 15 years to complete. “Reducing the complexities of life and presenting it in a simplified way takes effort as well as time,” says John.

Simple lines ring in any reader, but as one delves deep there are layers and layers of meaning to be explored. See this: “Each of us changes when placed next to each other/ We place ourselves, or are places or paired creating/ Stories, a new idea, sometime love”

It’s not difficult to impress the reader with one’s knowledge but for John, the challenge lies in making the narrative simple. It took him 15 years of research for Full Blood, he read Bible, Koran, Hindu mythology and Chinese folklore. And, yet, he drops no names.

“I believe literature is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if we are literate or not, each one of us loves to read stories,” says John. Full Blood has lots of such stories of people he came across in life. Jumno is one story that started in Manchester as John got in touch with this seller from South Korea. This story laid buried in John for years and while living in Los Angeles as writer in residence, John penned it down. It reads: Hibiscus petals falling – South Korea/puts her son on a plane for East Sussex/you are the generations of family moving forward/ a strong brown river. Junmo’s mouth is numb.

‘Intelligent, sensual, highly erotic, manly and beautifully mortal’ is how John’s poems are labelled. A romantic he is, not ‘hopeless’ but ‘hopeful’, he says.

Walt Whitman, Yeats, DH Lawrence and Pablo Neruda figure amongst his inspirations. He would want to be a Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet but also takes after his namesake John Donne. “Mine is also an effort to be a modern metaphysical poet you see. I am not someone who ignores the past. Past is ever present,” he says. John reads extensively (‘it’s reading that makes a writer’, he says), closer home he has read Faiz, Gulzaar but it’s Saadat Hasan Manto who tops his favourite list. “Manto is my brother,” says John who admits to being moved by Toba Tek Singh.

A British citizen born to an Indian Muslim father and an Irish Catholic mother, John would rather have ‘literature’ for his nationality. It worries him that modern life is churning out consumers with little knowledge who go buy and die. “It’s books that give knowledge, make men who can think,” says John who is also against all kinds of walls, boundaries.

His next project takes after the direct image from French poets. And, yes, he has no deadlines. “My publisher publishes when I am ready,” he signs off.

In Chandigarh…

“I am in Chandigarh because it’s not England,” says John. “An artiste needs to travel. In everyday routine, a person is pulled in different directions. ‘Life Blood’ is work of 15 years of extreme hard work. I am here to meet friends and ‘gather myself’.”

On becoming a writer

Learn to sit and be invisible, surround yourself with ordinary things. Take no notes in public. A glass of water with your coffee will let you sit for longer. Never appear interested in the talk. Be plain on the outside. Inside your mouth is a diamond; never speak of it before you set its ways in ink.
— Taken from Full Blood (Salt Publishing)

Go for action

“Not every pitch is successful, you gain some, you lose some,” says architect Arun Loomba, in a matter of fact manner. Sitting in his office in Panchkula, surrounded by books that bring the latest that is happening in architecture the world over, Arun is a man of few words.

More than four decades into the profession, Arun has given the city its first multiplex, Fun Republic, and also first five star hotel Mountview (the expansion plan). The mind and the man behind few of the most prestigious stadiums in the country, possibly the world’s most beautiful one in Dharamshala, second largest in the country in Raipur and closer home state-of-the-art PCA-Mohali and many such monumental works, talks about what he thinks are the characteristics that pave way to success.

Perseverance pays

We deal with projects that have a long time span, sometimes as long as eight to 10 years. Being on the job for this long, while maintaining time and budget deadlines, requires resolve and fortitude. But then perseverance pays.

Be honest

Just no fudging does not account for honesty, but, also, being abreast of the latest in the field to having all answers for client’s questions. We spend a considerable time and energy in research and development and in making buildings state of the art.

Passion for profession

I guess one can’t do anything unless one has the passion for it. Passion for profession does entail sacrifices, especially one’s family suffers because there is no time. I particularly remember once we got an assignment to make a pavilion in three months time for World Cup 1996. Those three months we were on the job 24X7. There was nothing on our mind but work, but, we moved out of site on the very day of the match, gratified and it still stands there!

Creativity is essential

In architecture, creativity is the fuel. Each project comes with a different site, budget and demands. The challenge lies in creating a successful design. Our projects are always put to test. For me the project’s value lies in it, the money that comes with it is secondary. From a revolving restaurant KC Residency in Jammu in 1989 when no such know-how was available in the country to Mega Sports Complex for the National Games in Ranchi have been creatively challenging and gratifying.

Challenge yourself

One needs to challenge oneself to reach one’s potential. Being in rather sleepy and small town Chandigarh did not limit my work. I reached where the challenge was. I have worked on big and small projects with equal zest. Though with age I have started to take it a little easy but still my ongoing projects are spread far and wide. Two cricket stadiums in Agaratala, a reception area for a five star property in Dharamshala and another prestigious project at Noida promoted by JP group are keeping us occupied.

Last but not the least, architecture offers a great future today for our country is 
growing… `

A cut above the rest

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada The Indian canvas appears like a paradise for those who love colour, according to veteran Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada who believes Indian fashion is growing very fast and experiencing a great moment.

The 51-year-old visited India as a part of the “Spain, New Urban Cultures”, an initiative to promote cultural exchange between Spain and India, and said: “I love colours, hearts, simplicity, freedom and avant garde and it’s dominant in my creations...”

“It is not my first visit (to India), I have been here before and I love it. I’m a big fan of India because India is the paradise for colour lovers and that is exactly my style,” Agatha said.

An old name on the fashion scene, Agatha began her fashion career in 1980 and showcased her first collection in Madrid in 1981. Since then she has been an integral part of international fashion shows, including those in Berlin, Japan and France.

After making a splash on the world canvas, she now aims to impress Indian fashionistas with her collection.

“I think Indian fashion is in a great moment and is growing very fast. It’s very popular and recognised by people all over the world. The designs here are vibrant and refreshing.” Lauding the Indian fashion industry, she said, it is in a “good position, not only because of the good prices but because of the Indian sensibility”.

“I wish to showcase here, it is a dream for me. Hope it happens soon as India has always been a great inspiration for designers all over the world. The land here is charismatic and people are very warm, it proposes a variety of options from fabric to colours to designs,” she added. Agatha also praises designer Manish Arora’s designs. —IANS

Window View!
If you think window shopping is a favourite ‘pass time’ for those who have nothing else to do, think again. For, done wisely, it can benefit you in many ways
Sabia Talwar

We all go gaga over shopping, especially women; after all they have a strong reason like retail therapy attached to the whole ceremony of spending lavishly and loading themselves with those carry bags!

But there is another equally fun activity we have forgotten about—window shopping. Yes, window shopping is, in fact, the first step towards one’s buying decision.

Basically, window shopping is a fun and inexpensive activity enjoyed by people all over the world. This process involves walking through a shopping area or a mall with the purpose of just looking at the window displays. So, to give a little bit importance to the task of window shopping, we talk to people about their learning experiences with the same.

Says Sheetal Mahajan, a Chandigarh– based housewife, “Window shopping helps you to make up your mind whether you want to buy a particular thing or not. It is also one of the best stress busters, where you just look at things and it is not at all a compulsion to spend money.”

Some people may also choose to window shop to pass the time when they have perhaps nothing else to do.

Ridhima Gupta, an MBA student from Panjab University, says, “Although I love shopping but window shopping sometimes is the best thing to kill time while you are waiting for someone. Also, there are times when you feel lonely then window shopping is the best companion for you.”

The windows display mannequins which are dressed up with the latest fashion clothing and the whole get up from top to bottom is mesmerising.

Says Nomida Trehan, who runs Wrapalicious, a trousseau and home accessories company from Panchkula, “Window shopping gives you so many ideas on how you can dress up with things you already have. The way mannequins display various colour combinations and styles, it gives you tips on how to go from regular to chic.” She adds, “Some window dressings also help you to set up interiors creatively at home with items readily available with you.”

Apart from the fact that it does not cost you anything to go for window shopping, there is one more benefit to it and that is comparison.

Says Bani Sahni who looks after the marketing of Ice Cube, Chandigarh, “It is not always necessary to buy things at one go. Window shopping gives you ample time to compare things like quality, fitting and price with regard to clothes. I always window shop, compare and then take my decision.”

The virtual world too has this activity and that appears when you view items on display at online stores. One advantage of virtual window shopping is that the interesting web pages can be bookmarked for a return visit at a later date. Says Mehak Sharma, a BA student from GGDSD College, Chandigarh, “Online window shopping is equally enjoyable as you browse through various sites and get to know the items which are in trend.”

So, next time go window shopping and save money.

Par Excellence
Extend & release
Jesse Grewal

Most good players have a fully extended right arm (for right handed players) post impact and a supinated left wrist position. Supination is turning the palm of the left hand upwards and this happens through impact. The left wrist pronates on the backswing which is turning the palm to face the ground which helps in opening the club face and then supinates which closes the club face squaring it at impact and also helps increasing clubhead speed as it approaches the ball. This action during the forward swing happens in approximately 1/15th of a second. To train the hands try this drill.

Take a ball in your right hand and make a sideways underarm throw. On the backswing your right elbow will fold and the right palm will turn to face the sky (picture 1). The ball will be above the hand. When you make a throwing action the right arm will extend outwards and away from the body and your right palm will face the ground. If you make the throwing action without letting go of the ball you will find the ball below your hand (picture 2).

Take the club and as you make a backswing you fill find the back of your left hand face the sky as it is opposite your right palm which is facing upwards (picture 3). Your right arm will be bent at the elbow and the elbow will be pointing downwards. As you swing the club forward the right arm should extend away from the body and the left palm will turn upwards as the right palm turns over to face the ground (picture 6). Just after impact the left wrist will remain flat and supinated (picture 4). A common mistake is the ‘flip’ in which the left hand pronates through impact. It ends up facing the ground instead of upwards (picture 5). This adds loft to the club thereby causing a loss of distance and also sends the ball to the left.

(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

Heart Talk
Balancing act
Parvesh Rana

I’m a working woman and married for three years now. I have a two-year-old daughter, and lately I have started feeling that it is a bit difficult to strike a balance between work and family. My husband is also working and whenever I discuss my problem with him, he tells me to resign from the job. What should I do?

Neha, Chandigarh

First of all have a strong belief in yourself that you can do anything .Then sit and make up your mind as to what do you want in life. If you want to become an independent woman along with a good mother you just need to be daring and strong. But if you think you can’t manage things right now, you can take a break from work for sometime and when your daughter starts going to school, you can join back.

I’m a thirty-year-old unmarried man and I love this twenty-five-year old girl who is working in my organisation. The problem is that I think that she tries to avoid me but I want to marry her. Please tell me whether I should confide my feelings to her.

Vishal, Ludhiana

Yes, the first rule of love is to express your feelings to the other person. Maybe she is avoiding you because she feels you are eyeing her but it is absolutely normal. If you are really serious about her and think that your relation with her will work out, you should give it a try.

(Rana is a Bollywood actor and anchor)

Cheating is normal for men

A study has found men are always likely to cheat despite loving their partners and never wishing to leave them and suggests that society embrace more sexually open relationships.

According to sociologist Eric Anderson, cheating gives the men the best of both worlds. And most of them who do still want to stay with their partner they just want to have more sex on the side, a publication reported.

Monogamy has ostracised men from doing what they most want to do, says the American sociologist, who teaches at Britain’s University of Winchester.

In his book, The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating Anderson writes cheating is the norm, not the exception to it, and it’s high time that people start embracing sexually open relationships that coexist without hierarchy or hegemony.

He says the ones who don’t stray are actually setting themselves up for socially-compelled sexual incarceration.

For the study, Anderson surveyed 120 undergraduate men both gay and straight. He found that 78 percent of those with partners cheated, even though they said that they loved and intended to stay with their partner.

He told that men want to be emotionally monogamous, though their body craves sex with other people somatically.

To Anderson, it’s better for men to cheat and repent for it, since telling their partner that they want sex outside the relationship is a tried-and-true relationship-ender.

“When men cheat for recreational sex, not affairs, they do love their partners,” he said. He added, “If they didn’t, they would break up with them.” — IANS

Chic Choice

Ganga Chaudhary A stylish person stands out in the crowd. His or her look may not be governed by an inherent beauty or by donning brands, it may just be that person’s sense of co-ordination in clothes or simply the attitude. Whatever it maybe, the result is that it warrants a second glance. Effervescent yet demure Ganga Chaudhary, a B Com student, shares her sense of style…

Your sense of style…

For me style means an elegant combination of clothes , colours and accessories which gel with the occasion. I prefer jeans and T-shirts for casual and dresses for formal occasions.

Latest addition to your treasure of clothing or accessories…

A dreamy dress in white, off-set with lace

Brand crazy or street pick-ups?

Brands I like but also junky and funky things off the street are fun to wear.

Your style Icon would be…

Hmmm! That would be Anushka Sharma and Sonam kapoor.

Who do you think is the worst-dressed celebrity?

Ranvir Kapoor

Which look would your prefer - sporty, chic or glamorous


One fashion trend that goes beyond your comprehension…

Wearing different earrings in both the ears, and different coloured nail polish on one hand is something I can’t comprehend

Your take on accessories?

I simply adore accessories-stylish rings , bracelets and bags!

What gives you a high on the confidence level?

When my mom gives me a compliment, says that I am looking good, I feel confident while stepping out!

(As told to Poonam Bindra)

Master Chef
Vishvesh Khanna

Soups are an all-time favourite. It might be called a light broth or a yakhni or a rasam, yet they all are hot liquids which are supposed to be healthy and easily digestible. And if the soup is loaded with nutritious goodness of the veggies and pleasing to the palate, it becomes the perfect food. 

Ingredients (portion5)

Refined oil 20ml

Red curry paste 50gm

Chilli paste 15gm

Garlic 25gm

Lemon grass 6 gm

Galangal 6gm

Basil 29 gm

Celery chopped 20 gm

Coconut milk 2.5 tin

Stock 250 ml

Mushrooms 70 gm

Broccoli 70 gm

Carrot 70 gm

Bokchoy 60 gm

Chinese cabbage 60 gm

Lemon juice 30 ml

Tasting salt 50 gm

Thai soy 6 ml


Heat the oil and sauté the garlic and thai red curry paste and add lemon grass and galangal. Gradually add the coconut milk and stock with rest of the vegetables. Add lemon juice to it and adjust the seasoning.

Garnish it with crispy fried glass noodles and serve hot.

Khanna is an executive chef with Geoffrey's in Ansal Plaza

As told to Poonam Bindra

In a league of their own
They have barely shed their baby fat, but tweens today come with a strong sense of fashion and the market is out there to please them 
Gurvinder Singh

Tweens have passion and aspirations of their own and their own favourites heroes. The sheer variety of cartoon and kids channels, kid’s stationery, and kids stuff available in markets for these ‘after-babyhood-and-before-adolescence’ bears this testimony.

Many global giants such as McDonalds have piggybacked on the undeniable demands of these little ones and catering to this segment has been the core of their marketing strategy for years.

“Colours and graphics have a significant role in the design of kids’ wear. Graphics have to be designed keeping in view the vibrant imagination of this age group,” says Mohita Indrayan from Ivy League, a newly-launched outlet especially for tweens at Westend Mall. “Vibrant colours like red, light blue, yellow, baby pink attract them and have to be used along with the changing palette trends. Some elements like big buttons, bows are used to make these designs essentially kiddish,” she says. Kids in this age group, thanks to their exposure, are more aware than ever and so the Manchester United, rugby, Hannah Montana clothing reflects in the design.

Nine-year-old Ayush knows about popular cars and loves his Ferrari T-shirt, while the number seven jersey of 11-year-old Raghav’s favourite soccer team has been considered his best T-shirt so far.

“My kids are observant of what they see around them. The kid’s fashion shows in schools, fancy dress competitions, and exposure to different media and marketing entirely focused on them has made them choosier,” says Navleen Gaba, mother of three. “Kids these days have a wide choice and more and more companies are now riding on the whims and fancies of these kids,” says Manu Talwar, who has two kids. “It is good that they have more opportunity to develop their imagination, but at the same time responsibilities of parents have also increased to guide them through,” she adds.

Star Track
Two left feet
Pakistani actor Ali Zafar recently had a tough time getting his steps right for an item number

 Dancing blues: Ali Zafar Pakistani actor Ali Zafar seems to be having a tough time perfecting his dance steps for a Bollywood item number. “Most painfully joyous process. Dance rehearsal for an item number! Fully Bollywood! Must sit in a tub full of ice before sleeping!” Ali wrote on his Twitter page.

The actor-singer is currently busy shooting for filmmaker David Dhawan’s Chashme Buddoor remake. Apart from Ali, the film also stars Anupam Kher, Rishi Kapoor, Siddharth and Divyendu Sharma of Pyaar Ka Punchnama fame. The original 1981 film starred Farooque Sheikh, Rakesh Bedi and Ravi Baswani.

Ali made his Bollywood debut with Tere Bin Laden, which won him critical acclaim from all over. He later entertained audiences in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Ali’s next will be London, Paris, New York, with Aditi Rao Hydari. Directed by Anu Menon, it releases on March 2. — IANS 



The best, so far

 John Abraham Bollywood actor John Abraham has had a tryst with a number of comedies in his eight-year-long career but he says that his upcoming film Housefull 2 is the craziest of them all. The 39-year-old model-turned-actor, who played a male stripper in his last comic venture Desi Boyz, says he is now happy to be a part of this Sajid Khan directed comedy as it was a difference experience for him.

“Frankly, I have shocked myself by adapting to the world that Sajid Khan has created in Housefull 2. It is one crazy film and nothing that I have been a part of ever before in the last decade gone by. “Sajid’s sense of storytelling is radically different. I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of both worlds in the span of one year,” John, who started his career with Jism, said. In Housefull 2, John shares screen space with actors Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh as well as veterans Rishi Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty. “What else would an actor want? It has been fun shooting for the film and though it is still around five months away, I know the kind of euphoria it is all set to create on its release. It is one masala entertainer with romance, drama, comedy and of course a lot of action,” he said. —PTI 



The new D

Akshay Kumar Akshay Kumar, who has taken over Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai from Emraan Hashmi and Ajay Devgn in the sequel, says he is completely relying on director Milan Luthria for the movie, which will see him in a role inspired by Dawood Ibrahim.

The actor is gearing up for another busy year this time with four releases like Housefull 2, Rowdy Rathore, Joker and OUATIM 2.

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai was a hit thanks to the chemistry between Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi and Akshay hopes to replicate the film’s box office performance in the sequel too. “I have to live up to the hype, the brand name, the sequel and the fact that the story has to be even more interesting than the already brilliant story that has been told in 2010,” said Akshay.

“I am extremely excited about this film and I know for a fact that Milan Luthria will do a fantastic job. A great director that he is, what can I say but the fact that my future is in his hands now,” the actor added.

The 44-year-old will be seen in action mode again with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s production Rowdy Rathore, which will see him wearing a moustache after a long time. The film is directed by choreographer-turned-filmmaker Prabhu Deva.

“I am thrilled with the response Rowdy Rathore is getting. From the poster to the script, the songs, choreography and raw action, this is a bundle of rowdiness. Prabhu Deva is a name in his own right,” said the actor about the Wanted director.

His other two outings Housefull 2 and Joker will see Akshay returning to the now familiar territory of comedy. First to arrive would be Housefull 2, directed by Sajid Khan. “I feel this is a huge film; now how big is something that I will never know.

However it is a full house of humour/action/
slapstick/bromance and so much more. There is nothing missing in this film and there are so many great actors in it that there is something for everyone.” Meanwhile, Akshay has also almost finished Joker which is his second outing with Shirish Kunder after Jaan-e-mann. “In many ways he has grown and so have I since Jaan-e-mann. I have grown as an actor as well as a producer while Shirish has become more confident and capable of what he wants. He has studied a lot in many aspects of cinema, something that was really required especially for a film like Joker,” says Akshay. — PTI



No tags please

His performance opposite Vidya Balan in Dirty Picture has made him another bankable star in Bollywood but actor Emraan Hashmi says the success of the film did not change him as a person. “I am as grounded as I was five years back. Tags like stars and superstars aren’t something that I take too close to my heart. I know that as much as people would love to give such tags to someone, they are easily taken away as well. I would rather stay away from such temptations,” Emraan said.

The 32-year-old actor, who started his career as an assistant director to uncles Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt and Vikram Bhatt, said he was intrigued by his role of an out of luck filmmaker and narrator in The Dirty Picture.

“It was always about great scripts. From the very first day of Dirty Picture, I knew what was the size and duration of the role. Still, despite a relatively shorter role, I found the script quite intriguing. “I guess sometimes what is seen less creates more impact and that was the case with The Dirty Picture as well. Presence of Abraham (the character played by him) was always felt and moreover since I also did the voiceover for the film, there was a certain persona that was created. It was just spot on,” he added. Emraan will be seen in films like Jannat 2, Shanghai and Raaz 3 this year. —PTI



Alive and kicking

Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal is taking a step ahead as an entrepreneur to launch his debut fragrance this month. “Good Morning, sorry been tied up, reading scripts and gearing up for the launch of Alive a fragrance I have created. Time to smell good,” the 39-year-old actor posted on Twitter today. With the launch of the perfume, the Rock On star will be following in the footsteps of Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Shilpa Shetty. The fragrance will be available worldwide in stores from next month. “Alive is my fragrance. There will be two different scents, a masculine and a unisex. The fragrance will be available world wide, but a month later post our launch,” he added. — PTI



Ryan Seacrest to be axed from American Idol?

After having hosted the American Idol since the beginning of the talent show, Ryan Seacrest may be axed after his three-year contract comes to a close after the next series.

The parent company of Idol producer 19 Entertainment is no longer willing to pay the enormous USD 15 miliion per season for the 37-year-old presenter, the a publication said. Idol bosses have seen that the show has continued to prove successful after Cowell’s exit and now hope that Seacrest’s leaving won’t hamper the show either.

“There’s no way FremantleMedia (who also produce Idol) and CKx will continue to pay Ryan when he can be replaced for USD 2 million to USD 3 million,” a source said. Having presented the show since its first series back in 2002, American Idol became a runaway success, achieving over 26 million viewers weekly. Seacrest may indeed be following fellow presenter Steve Jones who after fronting the first season of X Factor USA has reportedly been told to leave the show after negative reviews. American Idol will kick start its next season on January 19. — PTI



On-set romance is too distracting: Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams Hollywood actress Rachel McAdams, who is currently dating her Midnight in Paris co-star Michael Sheen, says on-set romance is too distracting.

The 33-year-old actress, who has also dated Ryan Gosling after working together on The Notebook, rejected the notion that movie sets spark romantic vibes, reported a website.

“A set may seem like a good place for romance, but I don’t think it’s very conducive; it’s too distracting.

Every relationship I’ve had with a coworker has come after the fact that you end up actually spending a lot of time with those people promoting the movie,” McAdams said.

When asked why her ex-boyfriends still have nice things to say about her even after their break-up, she said, “I’m paying them. But, no, that’s lovely to hear.”— PTI



On a ‘trip’

 Brad Pitt Brad Pitt was spotted with a cane at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the actor said it was because he tripped while carrying his daughter.

The Moneyball star was walking with the help of the stick on the red carpet of the 23rd Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Awards Gala, said a publication. “I was carrying my daughter and I tripped and fell. But everyone’s fine,” said Pitt, who was accompanied by his partner Angelina Jolie. Jolie, in a cafe latte coloured silk chiffon pleated Elie Saab halter gown, was doing interviews on her own and added, “Everyone’s fine. I think all parents get injured. When Maddox was young, I fell and hurt my elbow. It’s common occurrence.”—PTI



Shades of grey

Hollywood superstar George Clooney says his biggest fear in life is hurting someone and he lies to avoid hurting people’s feelings. The 50-year-old, who is currently dating former wrestler Stacy Keibler, said he can’t stand the idea of making another person feel miserable, reported a website. When asked what his biggest fear in life is, Clooney said, “Hurting someone.” The actor also said he has lied to people on occasions when he thought telling the truth could cause them harm. “When telling the truth causes harm, it is better to lie,” Clooney said. — PTI

Chatter  Box
Though there is enough work in the television industry, actors get to play similar characters again and again. After a while it gets boring and actors reach their saturation point. A reason, why they start producing shows. We take a look at some new producers on the block
Shakti Anand & Sai Deodhar

Shakti Anand & Sai Deodhar Husband and wife Shakti Anand and Sai Deodhar who haven’t been seen on telly since a while launched their production house called Thoughtrain Entertainment. Apparently they approached Star Plus who has approved of their idea which revolves around the lives of a mother-daughter relationship, their emotions and the story is extremely contemporary. They have shot for a pilot and are awaiting a green signal from the channel.

Shakti Anand & Sai Deodhar



All for the big bucks

Sumeet Raghavan

Famous for his role in Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Sumeet Raghavan is currently seen in Sab TV’s Sajan Re Jhoot Maat Bolo. He has launched his production house called MHO2 recently in partnership with Babul, ex- creative head of shows like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Sumeet plans to produce television and film projects in regional and mainstream industry. Explaining the name, Sumeet says, “In MHO2-MH means media house or mad house and 2 is for the number of partners. The name is also like a number plate seen on vehicles.”

Amar Upadhyay

Amar Upadhyay, aka Mihir of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Bigg Boss, started his production house called Bharti Telecraft and launched first show under the banner called Crime Files a la CID on Doordarshan.

Abhinav Kohli

Known as Shweta Tiwari’s boyfriend, Abhinav Kohli has turned producer with his production house called Palak Puniya. Palak being Shweta's daughter’s name and his family owns a publication house called Puniya. He has started with producing theatre shows- a comedy play Ab Akbar Banayenge Mughal-e-Azam and another play Aaina featuring Shweta. He has also pitched an idea for a fiction show to a channel and is awaiting approval.

Shabbir Ahluwalia

Though his show Laagi Tuhje Se Lagan ended on Colors, Shabbir Ahluwalia is already a successful producer as he produced Sahara One daily soap, Ganga Kii Dheej last year under his banner Flying Turtle Films. Now that he is free from his work commitments and even got married recently, he is focusing on new projects for his company.

Astro Turf
p Khurrana

ARIES: Patience and time are required to make progress. The advice of elders, professionals and people with greater experience than yours can make a lot of difference. Your love life will be active. Tarot message: Plan your life to avoid the inbuilt delays that come your way. Lucky colour: Pale yellow. Magic number: 59

TAURUS: Excitement and happiness will make your day. An increasing income will give you more luxuries of life. Socialising can be costly. Just as well this is an easy going day. You need a breath of fresh air and time out today. Tarot message: Strive for perfection at work. Lucky colour: Blood red. Magic number: 63

GEMINI: Grinding through committee crowds will be annoying. Someone you meet today may give you a useful business tip. It will be a good idea to stay at home during leisure time. Tarot message: Be sure of involving yourself as much as possible in a new project. Lucky colour: Golden yellow. Magic number: 57

CANCER: Their will be a real buzz in the air. Today should see many of the policies that you have been following bearing fruits. You will take a lead in partnership affairs. Do not allow family to distract you during study hours. Tarot message: Do not leave things up to chance. Lucky colour: Cream. Magic number: 50

LEO: Finance is in the spotlight. Looking for a higher pay! Speak to your boss in the afternoon. Be sure to grasp the opportunity, which comes your way. Sudden changes in romance are on the cards. Tarot message: Don’t be too certain about obtaining a clearance. Lucky colour: Sea green. Magic number: 41

VIRGO: Make sure you are doing your best. You could be in line for a promotion or recognition in the form of an award. Your interest in overseas affairs is likely to be stimulating. Enjoy and ride your luck in the evening. Tarot message: Rivalry and competition would push you to do your best. Lucky colour: Beige. Magic number: 52

LIBRA: Friction in the workplace can slow down production. Words said in the heat of the moment may not be real feelings. Try to stay balanced and remember “Silence is golden”. You will have more time to see to the needs of others. Tarot message: Balance in all aspects is recommended. Lucky colour: Lotus pink. Magic number: 25

SCORPIO: Feeling of love and strong impulses come together in an exciting but frivolous mix. It would be pointless to attempt to force the pace. Social gathering may be rather dull. Meet up friends and release your tensions. Tarot message: Play your cards close to your chest. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic number: 40

SAGITTARIUS: An illness could mean having to take the day off work. Putting energy into your domestic life can give you the lift you need now. Afternoon hours are good for dealing with government agencies. Tarot message: Take no chances despite the assurance of people. Lucky colour: Blonde. Magic number: 61

CAPRICORN: Bring a breath of fresh air into your life by rearranging your environment. Go shopping for some interesting artwork to add ambience to a room. Tarot message: You need to be creative if you want to retain your grip over your business. Lucky colour: Chocolate brown. Magic number: 24

AQUARIUS: Make an early start today and get to work as soon as possible. Make every effort to further your ambitions. You should be able to ensure that your reputation is spread far and wide. Tarot message: A positive and caring attitude heals old wounds. Lucky colour: Citric blue. Magic number: 33

PISCES: You can find it too easy to get bogged down in the daily grind and caught up in your natural ambition to get ahead. There is little you can do to advance your own affairs. Tarot message: Remember the old saying, “Penny saved is penny earned”. Lucky colour: Lush green. Magic number: 62

The Year Ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is January 10...

This year is not about to end on a soft and a gentle note. With the influence of Saturn, cosmic forces are erratic, risky and restless. Accidental-prone behavior runs rampant under this influence. Designated drivers are a must, and proceeding into 2012 with awareness and necessary caution is strongly suggested.

You're ready to take the plunge. It's January and the timing is just right to erase the mistakes of the past and create the future you've always dreamt about.

If your partner isn't up to your homemaking standards, try to look at life from their perspective. Work on sharing happiness, rather than fighting for control. Stop finding faults with everyone you meet. If you're going to form lasting friendships, you must overlook their quirks. Remember you have some strange qualities that aren't especially easy to endure. Someone with your stubborn nature can be incredibly difficult to deal with, but your friends are willing to make the sacrifice. That's because, despite your hard head, you've got a heart of gold. Adopt a more open-minded attitude for the people you meet in the New Year.

You'll be happy to know that the stars are coming together to help January kick off 2012 with plenty of beneficial transits! Your confidence and personal energy will make you a popular friend. You'll manage yourself well and will set aside a small amount of money for rainy days. Sale or purchase of property will be facilitated. General health will be good. However, some may suffer from high blood pressure and stomach disorder. The systems of excretion and reproduction and the genitals will be more solicited. Your powerful personality can attract someone but may push him or her away if you are too opinionated. Avoid arguments and debates where you force a person to take sides.

Mood: Humble but eager. Compatible signs: Libra, Scorpio. Lucky colours: Flora white, dodger blue. Lucky days: Sunday and Monday. Lucky numbers: 10, 14, 34, 42, 50. Lucky flower: Bellflower

Hrithik Roshan (January 10, 1974, Mumbai) appeared in films as a six-year-old in the 1980s movie Aasha.  Kaho Naa Pyaaar Hai was his first release in 2001.

This was followed by Yaadein and Karan Johar's melodramatic Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. Besides acting, Roshan made his debut as a singer in Kites, and has sung Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Guzaarish. Hrithik’s date of birth has 5 as life path number that coincides with sum of 2012, ensuring a great success in this year.

Sudeep Sahir

Currently seen in Life Ok’s Main Laxmi Tere Angan Ki,  Sudeep Sahir launched his production company with his wife Anantika and colleague Ankush S.A.F.E productions. They will produce a show for Mahua Gujarati

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