Course of action
Acting schools and courses in the region are a dime-a-dozen, but how many have actually churned out stars? We find out more
Manpriya Singh

on the big screen: When it comes to celebrated artistes from Chandigarh, Kirron Kher(L) is probably the first name that comes to the mind, while Mahie Gill(R) comes second. 

For anyone aspiring to break into a career circling the arc lights, there was always a Department of Indian Theatre. Slowly and steadily, acting schools offering fast forward crash courses started tripping in, but how many bonafide stars from Chandigarh can we count? And we are not talking about the ones basking in the glory of fifteen minutes of fame or the products of reality television.

Kirron Kher is probably the first name that comes to mind while Mahie Gill comes a distant second. Then there’s Mita Vashisht, best known for the supporting roles and well-recalled only when seen.

Lack of illustrious names notwithstanding, there is no dearth of courses and institutes. “We have three batches in a year of our regular diploma of three months duration each. That’s the only acting course available, but for it we receive hundreds of applications,” shares Teena Saini, HR administrator, Actor Prepares. She adds, “The maximum number of students that we take in any batch are twenty and the maximum batches are only three.” There’s enough talent doing the rounds in the city!

Says Gurpreet Dhindsa, pass-out from the Department of Indian Theatre, “Ninety per cent of the students who enrol for such courses are doing it either out of curiosity or as a hobby. And those who do make a name for themselves are mostly the ones behind the screens, into editing, set direction etc.” Shares Kamaljeet Kaur, counsellor, MAD Arts, “We have a diploma of four months in the field of acting in which we take fifteen to twenty students. Most of our students have already shifted base to Mumbai and are doing well for themselves.” She adds, “The alumni have made a mark but in various fields other than acting, like like animation, editing, photography et al.”

As far as acting is concerned, there’s certainly a dearth of celebrated people. How many of them have actually names and faces that can be easily recalled? Nevertheless, options are constantly being added upon — workshops, classes and crash courses. Recently, New York Film Academy in collaboration with Yellow Submarine Films conducted hands-on intensive film-making and acting workshops with the intent to polish the acting skills of the youth. “Chandigarh happens to be the focus of film talent in Bollywood. Since this is the first time that we held the workshop, there wasn’t a better place than Delhi to ensure that we have all the talent from Punjab,” said Suniti Ghoshal, Director of the Yellow Submarine Films and alumni of the NYFA. Adds Teena Saini, “Apart from the diploma, there are numerous workshops that we organise. ”

Opines Geetika Marriya, former theatre faculty, Delhi University, “There was a proposal to have a film city in Chandigarh. I also feel that with more film shoots in the city, the scene is going to change. We are already witnessing so many production houses, theatre groups and even backstage crew is on the rise. Give it some more time and we’ll have actors exclusively from the city, some names to reckon with.”

Says Gurpreet Dhindsa, “When it comes to reality television, hardly any channel misses out on holding auditions in Chandigarh. We’ll have that scenario extended to commercial cinema as well.” When that happens only time will tell; meanwhile we have the acting schools and the raw infrastructure in place! 

90-minute thrill
Chandigarh-lad Sandeep Kapoor who has directed a song for Nabh Kumar’s forthcoming film Nabbbeyy, talks about his passion for filmmaking
Sabia Talwar

Sandeep Kapoor during a song shoot of Nabbbeyy
Sandeep Kapoor during a song shoot of Nabbbeyy

Whatever happens…happens for good; this definitely stands true in the case of Sandeep Kapoor, Chandigarh-based director who is also a part of the corporate world.

How did the journey in film-making begin? “I met ace director Nabh Kumar while travelling in a train three years ago. He recognised my passion for film-making and wrote a script for my documentary Therefore I Win, which was based on the right to education.”

Last year, Sandeep completed a film-making course from the New York Film Academy in Mumbai. “Basically, I’m from a commerce background but I always wanted to be a part of the media industry. I did not want to regret later in life that I did not value my passion, so I started assisting Nabh Kumar.” As of now, Sandeep is assisting Nabh Kumar in direction, story and screenplay for a Bollywood movie titled Nabbbeyy.

Nabbbeyy is a story that revolves around two terrorists who plan six serial blasts in a single day in Mumbai and there is a team of ninety police officers who have to either arrest or gun them down in ninety minutes.

We wonder how the story was conceptualised. “Nabbbeyy is all about terrorism and it talks of peace. The thought of making this movie came after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in which six terrorists and a police force of nearly 40,000 were engaged in a battle of three-to-four days,” says Nabh Kumar, the director of the movie.

He has taken upon himself the task of educating the youth about the scourge of terrorism, which has become a global concern.

Nabh Kumar has learnt film-making under Rajshri productions and got a chance to contribute in movies like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Maine Pyar Kiya and Chot. Also Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain was his own directorial venture. “A person should make movies on whatever is going inside him. My forte lies is making family, romantic and thriller movies,” opines Nabh Kumar.

Nabbbeyy also has a song Ab Na Honge Apni Dharti Par Phir Ye Khoon Ke Dhabbey; Dil Mein Bas Ye Vachan Liye, Hum Badhe Hi Poore Nabbbeyy, which has been shot on the campus of Indo Global Colleges at Abhipur, near Chandigarh, where students also actively participated.

“I got the opportunity to direct this song and auditioned a few bands from Chandigarh as well as Ambala before selecting a band, Street Jammers, from Ambala. They composed the music for this energising song.” Nabbbeyy is expected to release around August 15 this year.

What else is in the pipeline for Sandeep and Nabh Kumar? “Our next movie revolves around the life of people in Chandigarh and the title of the movie is The Right Turn,” they echo. What is the reason behind Nabh Kumar often selecting talent from Chandigarh? “I started coming to Chandigarh five years back and learnt that it is a very youth-oriented city; it has raw and untapped potential.” So, young guns are you ready?

Tribute to a bard
Artistes Vijay Sardeshmukh and Mukhtiar Ali have their own special way of singing the teachings of saint Kabir
Jasmine Singh
 Mukhtiar Ali@@
Mukhtiar Ali

Each one of them is living the spiritual saint Kabir in their own way — if classical singer Vijay Sardeshmukh, disciple of the late genius Pandit Kumar Gandharva, finds him in the soothing notes of taanpura, Rajasthani folk singer Mukhtiar Ali, who represents the 26th generation of semi-nomadic, humble Marasi community’s lives, makes him come alive in his dholak.

In Chandigarh to perform at the Kabir Festival — Suno Bhai Sadho — organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi at the Tagore Theatre, the two artists have seen a metamophosis inside and around them when singing in praise of Kabir. This, however, isn’t possible if you don’t live ‘him’ in one aspect or the other. Their discovery through the dohaas is what they share!

Finding Kabir

Both the artistes, Vijay Sardeshmukh (VS) and Mukhtiar Ali (MA), find Kabir in their singing; to them this is the highest form of meditation.

VS: This is meditation for me; in harmony with space and surroundings. I don’t have to concentrate or sing bhajans for singing; it comes from the inside and translates into music.

MA: To sing Kabir, I should live Kabir some way or the other. It is not possible to bring alive the magic of the Sufi singer, if I was to read it from a book and recite it.

Walking along

Singing praises of Sufi saints is definitely the highest form of meditation, but these artistes have taken Kabir along with them in their respective lives.

VS: I have been singing classical music for almost 50 years and his teachings have touched me in more ways than one. I think about him every time I sing for him.

MA: Kabir is purely magical. I also sing various Sufi saints like Baba Bulle Shah, Baba Farid and each one of them have left me under a spell.

Modern Kabir

In an age where even Sufi music is not away from electronic instruments, these two are nowhere close to commercial.

VS: I sing Kabir the way I have learnt and felt it. I don’t think I need extra frills to make audiences understand his.

MA: Who says Kabir’s teachings need to be tweaked or digitalized in music? The very fact that the festival is being organised on him says that he is accepted in the modern set up as well.

Step up

Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s son Pax was spotted showing his dance moves on the street.

The eight-year-old boy was taking a stroll along the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana with his famous mother and two of his sisters, seven-year-old Zahara and three-year-old Vivienne, when he was spotted breaking into a dance.

All four at the time stepped out to grab some snacks from a local grocery store. Pax, who wore a black shirt and a pair of jeans, was seen making various animated gestures as he led the way.

Walking behind him was his mother Jolie, who held her daughters on each side.

All of them were in town to support Pitt and his Saturday gala that raised money for his Make It Right foundation. The charity event itself was co-hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and was made merry with the performances of Rihanna, Sheryl Crow and Kanye West. — PTI 

Putting–Drills for controlling speed

To get the putt to drop in the hole, the ball has to be hit with the correct speed. On side hill putts, the speed is even more important as the line would depend on the speed. If we hit a firm putt we would require less break and on a dying putt there would be much more break. To improve your speed control try some of these drills.

While practicing putting to a hole we can get the ball into the hole with variable speeds on a flat green.

A firm and a dying putt would both fall into the hole. Practice without a hole to get repeatable speed. A well stroked putt should roll 14 to 18 inches past the hole. Place a tee 18 inches past a coin or a marker (picture 1). Make putts from 10 feet using the coin/marker as a hole. Make sure that the ball rolls over the coin and up to the tee. Practice with this method to build a repeatable stroke.

To vary the speed one needs to vary the length of the back swing. Place a marker on the green and place tee’s 3-4 inches apart behind the marker on a straight line. This would give you a reference mark for your backswing (picture 2). Make the first putt with the back swing going up to the first tee. Make the subsequent putts taking the back swing longer using the next tee as a reference. The ball would go a little further each time with approximately the same gap between different putts. If the first putt went

5 feet the next would be 10 feet and you would get this 5 feet gap between all of them. A pendulum stroke with the shoulders and arms would give the correct speed. If the small muscles in the arms and hands are used the stroke will not be repeatable.

Place an iron on the green just in front of the hole with the shaft lying completely touching the green (picture 3). Make putts to the hole over this shaft. If you hit the ball with the right speed the ball will roll over the shaft into the hole. If it is hit too softly the ball will not cross the shaft and if hit too hard it will fly over the hole.

(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

Play-full moments
Jasmine Singh

Stylish and yet desi, that’s how Punjabi singer and actor Gippy Grewal likes to be known. Though his youth-oriented songs like Hathiyaar have struck the right chord with the youth, he is equally popular with the kids and older generation. Having stepped into acting with Mel Kara De Rabba, Gippy now balances his new-found acting talent and his first love singing perfectly well. Up, close and personal with the singer, who wants to learn guitar one day.

Oh, I loved this song…

I like all my songs, but my all-time favourite is Sada Halaat Nahin Rehndey. This is one song I invariably sing on all occasions. Young and old have liked this number.

If only I hadn’t sung this…

Mitti Vich Phul Ugdey is one number that I sang many years ago. Somehow, I have never liked this number. No matter how many times I listen to it, I can’t seem to be taking a liking to it.

Why didn’t I sing them…

Most of Surjit Bindarakhia’s numbers are my favourite. I wish I had sung them. I wouldn’t have sung them better than him, nevertheless, I wish I had a chance to sing those lyrics.

Other than singing

Nothing, only singing and singing. I go out with friends and family, you can see this as passion or my need.

Instrumental instrument…

I don’t play instruments, given a chance and time and a tutor, I would like to learn guitar. I like how the rock singers bang their head.

Has to be live

Undoubtedly, I like to perform live than recording in a studio. For a singer it is the instant reaction from the audiences that makes the difference, and on live shows this is exactly what we get to see.

My favourite destination

Australia. I have enjoyed performing in Australia. I guess most of best performances have happened in Australia.

Style bhai

I am a bit of both desi and contemporary. I come from Punjab, so I carry that bit and I have stayed in Canada for pretty long, which is also visible in my styling.

Hand-some tip

People who find it difficult to rein in their aggression and yell at others even for silly mistakes can benefit by simply using the wrong hand in daily life and thereby practice self control, suggests a study.

According to Thomas Denson of the University of New South Wales, right handers should get into the habit of using a computer mouse, stirring a cup of coffee or opening a door with their left hand and left-handers should do the opposite. Training yourself to use the wrong hand seems to act as practice for other kinds of self control, such as being polite. Just two weeks of the exercises reduce the tendency to act on impulse, he says.

“Using the mouse, stirring your coffee, opening doors. This requires people to practice self control because their habitual tendency is to use their dominant hands,” he said.

In studies, Denson asked people to try to use their non-dominant hand for two weeks to keep a lid on their aggression much better. So if they are right handed, they are told to use their left hand “for pretty much anything that is safe to do”. Denson, said it is only self control that keeps us from punching queue jumpers or murdering conniving colleagues.


Something brewing
Books and Brew opens its second outlet. Writer Khushwant Singh and his subject Fauja Singh talk about books and more
Vasudha Gupta

When one walks into this place, a feeling of youthfulness seeps in. From leaves and art decorating the walls to the light music that plays in the background, this is the perfect place for coffee, conversations and books. After reviewing the great response, Books and Brew opens its second chain Sector 16.

The concept is simple, to make the place accessible to youngsters, who generally throng the market area. From handmade jute bags made by Chooti Si Aasha to an elaborate library, the place has more to offer than just frills and fancies. “We will soon be holding an art exhibition by famous photographer Raul Lornie,” says Vishal Bhasin, the man behind the café. Not only books, the place also offers an interesting ambience for those who just want to spend sometime by themselves. The ladders take you in a kind of a set up, where you can huddle with your laptop or books,” he adds.

As we settle with the iced tea, Khushwant Singh, author of the famed book Turbaned Tornado, joins us with his burger. Currently working on his fourth book, a fictional account of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, he describes his unhappiness for the diminishing reading culture in India. “Several people feel that reading is a waste of time,” he says. Considering how several entertainment options are stepping forward, he holds them responsible. “Reading should be a component of growing up, like nutrition,” he adds.

On the success story of Turbaned Tornado, an elaborate account of Fauja Singh, he says, “It is very important to capture success stories, which do not revolve around money, but inspire. Coming from a business background, writing was more of a chance encounter. “After 9/11, there was a lot of talk about crimes against Sikhs. Considering the increase in the number of crimes in foreign shores, there was a sense of haste, which grew in me,” he says. This led to his first Sikhs Unlimited followed by Mending Souls. As he greets a few enthusiasts in the city, a frail Fauja Singh picks up his bread and refuses to bite into the honey cauliflower and packs to go back to his village.

stress buster
Let the music play…
Renee singh

“Put on the music let’s dance through the night.” Ah! Were those not blissful days, no cares in the world and stress a word unheard of. Music has always been a great stress reliever and to be able to spare time to choose, buy and listen to good music is one of the greatest favours we can do to ourselves.

Music is a great healer. It is a significant mood changer and reliever of stress working on various levels at the same time.

Many experts have suggested that it is the rhythm of the music or the beat that has a calming effect on us although we are not always conscious of it. Even as babies in our mother’s womb we are probably influenced and soothed by our mother’s heartbeat. Perhaps as we grow we respond to soothing music associating it with the safe relaxing and protective environment provided by our mother.

We cannot say that there is a single type of music good for everyone and helpful for stress reduction. We each one of us as individuals resonates with different types of music according to our temperament. Research has shown that music has a profound effect on the mind and the body.

Music therapy

A whole new concept of healthcare has been created around the benefits of music as it helps to ward off depression and ease muscle tension. Music affects the mind and body in many powerful ways:

l Music changes brain wave activity, it can also bring in lasting benefits to your state of mind.

l Music counters the effects of chronic stress and thereby promotes not only relaxation but also health.

l It brings about a positive state of mind and helps to keep stress and anxiety at bay.

l Since the mind is stress free listening to beautiful melodies the creative juices flow freely.

l Music maintains a level of relaxation in us and helps facilitate a healthy level of thought.

l Many doctors recommend music therapists as regular healers in pain management.

Sound bath

Take a 20 minute Sound Bath to wash away stress. Put on some relaxing music, lie down on a couch and let the sound waves wash over you. Choose music with a slow rhythm, slower than a natural heartbeat of 72 beats per minute.

Focus on your breathing and allow the music to just flow through you. Listen to your old favourites, it always encourages a pleasant feeling. Listening to the sounds of nature reduces stress also the sounds of the ocean and birds chirping in the forest can be a great de stressor. A nice walk with lovely music on your walkman is a sure shot stress buster.

The best and greatest benefit of music as a stress reliever is that you can fit it into your daily routine and derive stress relieving benefits from it. You can use it while you conduct your daily activities so that it really doesn’t take time away from your busy schedule. It increases the enjoyment of whatever you are doing.

Wake yourself up with your favourite music and start your day feeling great. Listening to music creates positive energy and a sense of peace or play your favourite music in the car it relieves some of the tension of the commute and gives you a pleasant drive.

Now just go to the music store, buy yourself some good music and enjoy the wonderful benefits you can derive from it. Stress will run miles and you will enhance the quality of joy in your everyday life.

(Singh is a Chandigarh based psychotherapist)

Shopping time

Falah Handicrafts Society is organising Gandhi Shilap Bazaar-2012 at Exhibition Ground Sector-34. Sher Singh Chauhan, assistant director, Rewari of Ministry of Textiles, says that the reason to organise this exhibition is to bring household, food and other items under one roof.

The exhibition with some 150  stalls has handicrafts from different Indian states— terracotta crockery from Haryana, carpets and crockery from UP and Jharkhand, silver filigree from Orissa, embroidery and handlooms from Srinagar, Jaipuri and Jodhpuri jutti and bamboo furniture from Assam.  Apart from this special care has been taken to entertain the visiting children. In addition to this, visitors will find different types of food counters from different parts of India in this exhibition. So they can enjoy tastes of Rajsthani and Panjabi foods, while shopping.


star track
Engagement announced

New couple: Hale Berry and Olivier Martinez

French actor Olivier Martinez has confirmed he is engaged to Hollywood superstar Halle Berry. Martinez, 46, is said to have popped the question over the Christmas holidays after the actress was seen sporting a large diamond ring on her wedding finger, but both remained silent on the marriage speculation, reported a publication.

However, Martinez has now confirmed they are planning to wed. “Yes, of course it’s true!,” he said.

Contrary to reports the actress had a Gurhan-designed ring, Berry’s emerald engagement bling was actually designed by Robert Mazlo of Paris, whom Martinez called “a real artist” who has been making jewellery for “kings and queens for many centuries.” The Oscar-winning actress, 45, co-starred with Martinez in the 2010 film Dark Tide. They soon became an item off-screen.

Berry has been married twice before, to baseball player David Justice in the early 1990s, and to singer Eric Benet in the early 2000s and has daughter Nahla, who turns four this month, with Gabriel Aubrey. — PTI

The art of giving

Hollywood stars Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie have topped the most charitable mothers in Hollywood list by a leading magazine.

Editors of Parents magazine shortlisted 10 celebrity mothers who have used their fame to make a difference and both Bullock and Jolie have made it to the number one spot, reported a website.

Bullock, who adopted baby Louis in New Orleans in 2010, was honoured for her disaster relief efforts in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Jolie, a mother of six, was applauded for her tireless efforts as a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

Actress Jennifer Garner, who recently welcomed her third child, was feted for her work to promote literacy; Madonna was selected for her educational push in her adopted daughter’s native Malawi.Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson-Pete received nods for raising awareness about autism.

Others who also received awards were singer Gwen Stefani, models Gisele Bundchen and Christy Turlington. —PTI

The super mom

hectic time: Madonna

Pop diva Madonna says she feels her “head is going to explode” from the stress of being a single mother of four children ever since she divorced film-maker Guy Ritchie.

The 53-year-old singer married Ritchie in an exclusive ceremony in Scotland in 2000 and filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences, which was finalised in December 2008, a publication reported.

“I’m not going to lie — it’s hard work having four kids and doing all the work I do.

“Everybody has something to say about the way I live my life. At the end of the day I’m doing my best. If people don’t like it, then that’s really their problem. Sometimes I cope with it very well, sometimes it’s a struggle,” she said.

The star has used her experiences as a lone parent as an inspiration for some of the tracks on her forthcoming album, MDNA.

“It’s about the life of a single mother. It’s a challenge juggling everything — multi-tasking is my middle name. I try to express that.” — PTI

Dennis confirms divorce reports

Parting ways: Dennis Quaid

Hollywood superstar Dennis Quaid has confirmed reports that his wife has filed for divorce, insisting he hopes for privacy as they work towards a “satisfactory settlement”.

Kimberly Buffington-Quaid had filed legal documents on March 9 to end their eight-year marriage and was seeking spousal support, a share of the actor’s assets, and the cost of her lawyer’s fees, a publication reported.

“We can confirm that Kimberley Quaid has filed for divorce. Contrary to what has been reported, a satisfactory settlement is being worked out for both parties. We will not be providing any further information on this private matter,” a statement from Dennis reads. A temporary order has been put in place giving the two joint custody of their four-year-old twins. This marks the end of the 57-year-old star’s third marriage, he was previously wed to Meg Ryan and actress P J Soles. — PTI

Akki takes a break from comedy

Action-packed: Akshay Kumar

Post the release of comic caper Housefull 2, actor Akshay Kumar says he will be taking a break from comedy to concentrate on action films and serious cinema.

In the Capital to shoot for Neeraj Pandey’s multi-starrer Special Chabbis, the 44-year-old, who began his film journey with action films like Khiladi, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladiand Mohra, said he was dying to do action for the past seven years.

“There was too much of comedy from my end. Even I got bored of them. For the past seven years, I was craving for a serious and full-fledged action film but I was loaded with comedy.”

“Action is something with which I have started my career and it gave me the platform to become a star. I enjoy doing them and now for sometime I will stick to this particular genre.” “After Housefull 2, my next two releases, Joker and Once Upon a time in Mumbai 2 are hard core action movies. I am happy that the action man is back,” Akshay said in an interview.

In the past few years, Akshay has been seen in numerous comedy films like Welcome, Singh Is Kinng, Housefull and “Tees Maar Khan”. —PTI

Stork’s visit

Parents to be: Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra

Entrepreneur Raj Kundra today said his pregnant actress wife Shilpa Shetty is doing well, and already wishing for another baby.

“She is seven months pregnant now. She is doing very well, glowing and charming and looking forward to this next phase of our lives. The baby is expected to come in May-end,” Kundra said in an interview. Shilpa is expecting her first child. The 36-year-old actress confirmed the news of her pregnancy in December 2011.

The Bollywood beauty married Kundra in 2009.


Emma loves New York 

Relaxation mantra: Emma Stone

The Amazing Spider-Man star Emma Stone says a walk by the river in New York is her way of relaxation. The 23-year-old actress said that she loves visiting her native New York and taking a walk by the river is something she enjoys the most, reported a website.

“After a long time in Los Angeles, it’s great to be back in New York City.

I love the seasons. I’ve been on lots of walks by the river, it really relaxes,” said Stone.

The actress is believed to be dating British hunk Andrew Garfield, her co-star in the upcoming Spider-man reboot. — PTI

Thrilling success

Rising star: Vidya Balan

Bowled over by Vidya Balan’s brilliant performance in Kahaani, film-maker Anurag Kashyap says that the national award winning actress is emerging as the successor of superstar Aamir Khan.

“Vidya is slowly emerging to be a true successor of Aamir, a great career is defined by choices one makes and courage to see it through,” tweeted Anurag, who has given hits like Black Friday and Dev D. Aamir, over the years, has made significant contributions to Hindi cinema in the form of Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par and 3 Idiots. Kahaani, produced and directed by Sujoy Ghosh and starring Vidya, Parambrata Chattopadhayay and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in prominent roles, unfolds a nail-biting suspense at the end. “Kahaani is how a thriller should be shot, the ending is debatable but what an effort,” said Anurag. —PTI

Dressing up Vidya

A tight budget, a difficult theme and a curvy actress to dress! Stylist Niharika Khan worked with all odds in The Dirty Picture, but says her struggle to make Silk, played by Vidya Balan, look more silky than vulgar in the hit movie has paid rich dividends in the form of a National Award. “I must admit that the feeling was overwhelming and it has not sunk in yet,” Niharika said in an interview.

“I would have liked to receive the National Award but I didn’t think it would happen so soon in my career and definitely not for this film... now I have to do better and that leaves me very little scope for errors and misjudgements,” said the designer, who is just five years in Bollywood. Niharika was named best costume designer with Neeta Lulla at the 59th National Awards.

If Vidya set a benchmark with her dare-bare act in Milan Luthria’s directorial venture, Niharika too raised the bar by enhancing the curvy actress’ sensuous retro look with her designs - which proves right her theory that fashion should suit the body.

“Designing for Vidya was refreshing. As a designer I always suggest that women need to be proud and happy for what they are and not for what they are not. And the acceptance of a full-figured woman in the days of size zero only further consolidates my belief that design and fashion are made to suit the body,” she said.

“The movie had a script which was woman-oriented and a strong brief to support it. Yes, there were challenges within the period as the movie was a blend of south India for a north Indian audience. Also, there was a constrained budget to do work within, but things finally paid off,” said Niharika, who is married to actor Ayub Khan.

It was 2007’s period film Khoya Khoya Chand that marked her entry into the showbiz and in the short time since then she has done interesting films like musical Rock On!!, romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat and adult comedy Delhi Belly.

Thanks to the eclectic mix of projects, she has made a mark for herself with her quirky yet chic fashion sense and having styled some of the leading actors. —IANS

chatter box
Staying fit

Being a VJ and an actor, Ayushmann Khurrana is required to keep in shape. Khurrana who is making his Bollywood debut with Vicky Donor shares his fitness tips with us…

Health wise: Ayushmann Khurrana
Health wise: Ayushmann Khurrana

Eating everything

I live out of suitcase! I host events these days so I travel quite frequently and it becomes really difficult for me to stick to a routine. For the past few months, I had been extremely busy with Vicky Donor. However, I’m blessed with good metabolism ,which allows me to eat everything.


I run for 7-8 kilometers daily. I’ve never tried yoga but I have heard many good things about it. I work out five days a week for no longer than one and half hour. I am also into heavy-weight lifting but I do light-weight exercises and cardio to keep my body in shape.

Know your body

I know my body well. It’s important to understand which exercise suits you and your body type. Don’t overdo it.

For a cause

Life OK’s Saubhagyavati Bhava shows the dilemma of women who experience domestic violence through the tale of Jhanvi, a newly wed middle-class housewife. Her spouse Viraj suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) and the character is shocking.

To sell the point across small-screen as well and to lessen the pain of women suffering this torture on a daily basis, the channel has tied up with Breakthrough’s Bell Bajao project. The 360-degree campaign supports men to be catalysts in lowering cases of domestic violence.

As part of this tie-up, Life Ok and Bell Bajao will together host ‘awareness camps’ to teach people about domestic violence and its affect on society. The channel will also prepare people from different backgrounds and communities to put across understanding, share ideas and to reshape individuals. The initiative is to send the message across seven districts in Uttar Pradesh and five districts in Delhi and Karnataka.

Mona’s new love

Hush Hush: Mona Singh

Actor Mona Singh, who is seen in Kyaa Hua Tera Vaada, is in love but she is not talking about it.

She is seeing newbie actor Vidyut Jamwal, who played a villain in John Abraham’s movie Force. Vidyut went on record to acknowledge their love. Mona chooses to be mum about it.

She was earlier involved with TV actor Karan and didn’t admit to that either.

She claims that she doesn’t like spilling beans on her personal life though there are numerous reports about the same in the media.

Going strong

CID, India’s longest running television series, celebrates 15 glorious years. To celebrate the success of its super hit show CID celebrating 15th year of blockbuster success this year, Sony has lined up a series of initiatives.

super sleuths: The cast of CID

The celebration will start with the roll out of the specially composed CID anthem, a brand new campaign, a new logo and slogan 15 Saal Se ……Soch Ke Aage, Jurm Ke Peeche. Followed by a thematic festival series, Veerta series – a series dedicated to common man’s acts of bravery, which will kick-off on March 16 and finally CID Veerta Awards – the third edition of successful CID Gallantry Awards.

Speaking on the occasion B P Singh, producer and director, Fireworks Productions and creator of CID said, “Last year a journalist asked me, ‘Has making murder stories and thinking about murder all the time since so many years affected you psychologically? Passion for making a good successful show for 15 years for many could be mistaken for some mental problem’. I hope they don’t ask the same question from our artists who have been with us since the last 14 years and have spent one third of their lives on the sets of CID. We are blessed to be associated with such great actors, great writers and writer directors like Shriram Raghavan( Ek Hasina Thi, Agent Vinod), Rajat Arora( Dirty Picture) and Sridhar Raghavan (Khaki, Dum Maaro Dum). 

Real to reel

Though he has veered towards Punjabi films, Karan Kundra of Kitni Mohabbat Hai fame, will be seen hosting a show on Channel V called Gumraah- the end of innocence. The show is produced by Balaji Telefilms and is based on teenage crime and real juvenile crime incidents. The team will showcase many real life incidents in dramatic recreations. The first documentary will revolve around Delhi Public School. The show is expected to be launched on March 4.

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: Today is the day for excitement and extraordinary happenings. You may be worried and concerned about certain family issues and need to make time to sort things out. Tarot message: Outline your goals ahead of time then make plans to achieve them. Lucky colour: Deep red. Magic number: 28

TAURUS: ‘The Queen of Pentacles’ blesses you with the finest of quiet and subtle qualities today. Things happen quickly and you need to take sharp decisions. Work out in the privacy of your own home or indulge in a session of yoga. Tarot message: Don’t accept situations you dislike. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic number: 34

GEMINI: There is some good news on the cards. You will be in a relaxed and happy mood. If you need to make any personal decisions, go with your gut feel. Romance will lead to happy moments. Tarot message: A bird in hand is worth more than two in the bush. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic number: 36

CANCER: The wisdom of The Hermit inspires you to make new beginnings and move in a creative direction. Spending time with family will bring about a sense of peace. Tarot message: Beware of depleting your energy or resources on others. Lucky colour: Forest green. Magic number: 46

LEO: The Magician conjures up some travel and business opportunities. Business problems, past disappointments - all need your attention today. Stop waiting for the right time to attend to them. Tarot message: Trust your heart and intuition rather than confusing yourself. Lucky colour: Sky blue. Magic number: 54

VIRGO: You are articulate and others are ready to tune in to what you are offering. A fine time to make a public speech. By evening you can be in an irritable mood and will be prone to losing your temper with friends and family. Tarot message: Avoid frictions with business partners. Lucky colour: Brown. Magic number: 62

LIBRA: It looks like a very busy day ahead but any partying and indulgence of previous evenings could be catching up with you. An important task to maintain a sound relationship seems difficult. Take yogic help to relax and overcome anxiety. Tarot message: Be firm and stand your ground. Lucky colour: Pink. Magic number: 59

SCORPIO: The Prince of Wands rides in his flaming chariot of gold to instigate dynamic changes at work. Don’t trust unreliable friends or relatives. You should take some advice from the people who see you as their ideal. Tarot message: Remember never to fall for rash promises.Lucky colour: Purple. Magic number: 52

SAGITTARIUS: Today mixing with friends could be a tricky business. If you don’t want to be alone, choose a companion who is least likely to irritate you. Don’t get involved in petty arguments. Organise the documents that you might be needing. Tarot message: Consolidate your gains. Lucky colour: Grey. Magic number: 58

CAPRICORN: Passionate emotions are likely to accompany your actions and you might be more impulsive than usual. You will have a better chance of getting through odd jobs connected with home and family affairs. Tarot message: Lack of confidence can leave you in losses. Lucky colour: Rust. Magic number: 45

AQUARIUS: The Hanged Man helps you to move into new and better situation. Spirituality beckons, and you are inclined to try out more about it. You struggle to keep your temper in check today. This is an appropriate time to buy a car. Tarot message: Focus on your dream project. Lucky colour: White. Magic number: 56.

PISCES: This is a fine day to plan for future business expansion. Relax with your mate in the evening; it’s just the antidote for the trials and tensions of the day. Someone you are attracted to at work feels the same way. Tarot message: Take limited risks while speculating. Lucky colour: Crimson. Magic number: 55

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is March 13...

Cooperation and collaboration both seem to favour you. Expect truckload of work as return for the team spirit that you have cultivated. Expect to receive new business offers, you will enjoy a great deal at your workplace. Support from colleagues as well as romantic overtures may turn this into a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Indications are that it is also an energetic year. The\ period in the second half of the year will be better for financial dealings, though partnership and joint ventures should be completely avoided. You need to guard against dualism. Spend more time getting yourself in shape and sharpening your skills. New opportunities are soon to come. Compatible signs: Capricorn, Aquarius. Lucky colours: Burly Wood, Cadet Blue

Lucky days: Monday and Wednesday.

Lucky numbers: 3, 18, 19, 23, 90

Lucky gem: Gomed or Cat’s Eye.

Lucky Flower: White Rose.

Suggestion on Birthday: Donate oranges or orange coloured laddoos to poor.

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