It’s that time of the year when women dig out their bridal dresses, deck up and celebrate by singing songs — 
the festival of Teej
Showers of tradition
Jasmine Singh

Up there he is finally okay with the idea of bestowing some merciful showers of rain! So we have almost 'countable' pitter-patter this season. Whether or not we get to see more of rain-drops, married women, engaged and yet-to-be-engaged women are ready to celebrate the festival of Teej, even if the showers are less.

Of course, they can slip into their bridal dresses tucked away to be pulled out at the right moment, and they can indulge in the especially prepared kheer or maal purey. And who is stopping them from singing songs, touch the sky on swings and pray for the long innings of their married life? Have we just pulled out a picture perfect scene from a Bollywood movie or are women celebrating Teej in its soul and spirit?

Tell a tale

There is slight possibility that you would know about the reason behind celebrating Teej if you have had a chance to sit and interact with elderly women folk. According to the story, Teej commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati after she paid a penance of 100 years separation. The tradition goes on, in a modern avatar though. Says Senu Duggal, additional director, information and public relations, Punjab, "Women do know the importance of Teej and the legend behind it, it's only the style of celebration that has changed with time."

Instead of singing and swaying on the swings, we have deejays belting out foot-tapping numbers! As Senu adds, "Now even the men-folk participate in the celebrations." The modern touch doesn't take away the spirit of Teej. Colourful bangles and mehandi still form a major part of the celebrations. Deepshikha Sharma, a newly married banker from Mohali, is excited about going back to her parents in Moga and celebrating Teej with her friends. "When I was a kid, sometimes all my aunts would get together on Teej and put up a huge swing on the farm. They would spend the entire day singing and applying different designs of heena." Deepshikha is not ruling out the contemporary cut to Teej. "This is my first Teej, so my parents have thrown a big bash for me. It would be something like a marriage celebration with dhol, mehandi wala, and all kinds of delicacies to dive into," she smiles.

Deck up

Celebration without style is something we haven't heard of in North India. Something as foreign as Valentine's Day calls for sittings with designers, so a traditional festival like Teej is bound to offer some sparkle. At Jewels Sector-11, Chandigarh, Raman, the owner, is already attending to women buying all kinds of colourful glass bangles. "The market for the festival is not too commercial like other festivals, but it is still pretty much celebrated by married women. We have a huge rush to cater to, all kinds of bangles and jewellery is something they look out for."

Well, women don't need a reason to splurge, but for a festival like Teej you don't mind shelling out extra money. Chandigarh-based designers Vandana and Nisha Singh from Aamara Creations are running in time to complete their orders for Anarkali suits. "We have got orders from girls who are engaged more than the married women. We have been told that most of them will have their in-laws visiting them, so it is mandatory to 'look' good."

Sing a song

Dance and song, we are definitely not missing out on the integral part of Teej. If you are not clued into any of the songs, ask YouTube to help as it lists 566 Teej songs sung by known and unknown singers in various languages. Punjabi singer Jeet Jagjit recalls many Teej songs, "Even if traditions are garnished with modern stuff, they don't lose their importance." He winds up with a popular Teej number Teeyan Teej Diyan Bhadon De Muklave Teeyan Teej Diyan.

Rajasthani flavour

Rajasthan Parishad is organising a Teej festival on Sunday and inviting all the Rajasthanis residing in the city to come and celebrate the festival. The evening arrangement would be at the Rajasthan Bhawan, Sector 33, from 7:00 pm onwards and will include traditional Rajasthani folk dance performances and food. There will also be a dance and a fancy dress competition.

Going with the flow
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Sari, the very Indian outfit for women, has turned chic. And all credit goes to designers and celebrities who have been experimenting with the draping styles and blouses to go with this typical six yards of flowing fabric. More of an Indo-Western dress now, designers have been re-inventing sari as one of the sexiest outfit that suits all body types.

"Today sari is an extension of casual and semi-formal wear and it is definitely not limited to the social calendar of women which was meant for weddings. Over the past years, Bollywood has played a lot with sari drapes, embroideries and colours. And today it is an outfit for young girls, with innovative draping styles and chic blouses," says Rajneesh Jain from Meena Bazaar.

He adds, "Be it the bikini blouses, backless cholis, stitched saris, lehnga, saris or Cocktail version which Deepika Padukone wore in the film or what Priyanka Chopra wore for Desi Girl song, they all are targeted at the youth and, of course, the look is irresistible."

Though, undoubtedly the sari has always been a favourite silhouette for Indian women but having gone global, it is now surely the sexy new avatars which have been preferred by young women.

"Rekha was the pioneer in promoting pure silk and Kanjeevaram saris but taking sari to an another level are actors like Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma who have given it a boost by draping it in contemporary styles. Her latest advertisement of Scooty Pep also showcases sari in the contemporary style. And that's how the younger lot want to wear sari, simple but stunning," says Babi Grewal from Babi's in Sector 8. She adds, "The right draping styles can show the curves to perfection. And the most liked draping style is sari being tied low on the hips, the pallu pleated tightly and pinned high on the shoulder to flaunt the waist. Others include the lehnga and the sharara style."

For blouses she says, "Gone are the days of quarter sleeves and hook blouses. Today we have designs starting from full sleeves backless blouse to knotted, halter, noodle strap and many more to look out for."

A few months ago Kajol wore a sari-inspired gown for a magazine cover shot which many would love to have in their wardrobe. "Options are plenty, styles are exotic and designs are created keeping body shapes in mind," says Shewta Ahluwalia from Couture Carnival in Sector 8.

Spelling styles she says, "Mermaid cuts and plain chiffon saris are best for the pearl-shaped body. If you have broad shoulders, it is best to opt for wide necklines and short-sleeved blouses with midriff-revealing saris. If you are skinny go for tissue saris with low cut blouses or corsets. And since women are getting comfortable with saris, we have triple saris, lehenga sari, double tone, triple tone saris that have embroidery on the pleats."

In the end we can just say, when it comes to the six yards, innovation has become a key word!

Be it celebrities or ordinary women, the pressure of losing those extra pounds post pregnancy is a big challenge
Weighty issue
Ashima Batish

Hillary Duff
flab Point: Hillary Duff

The camera went click click click…captured some good shots, some bad. For a change the good ones didn't make news, so they were discarded. The bad ones made an erstwhile beauty queen look fat, err…ugly and were splashed in the newspapers.

What followed was a spurt of questions-"Why hasn't Aishwarya Rai lost an ounce post delivery? Will L'Oreal drop her as their brand ambassador?" And the worst was…"Is she expecting again?" Celebrities have to deal with the pressure of losing weight post pregnancy, some deal with it while some feel the pinch.

The trickle down effect is that even women who don't belong to the glam world are in a hurry to get back into shape. "But with celebrities, the pressure is hundred times more," says Mandira Bedi, who took just six months to get back into her lean shape. However, with her it was a bit different. "I regained shape because I wanted to. Nobody forced me, my only inspiration was my wardrobe, I wanted to fit back into my clothes," says the TV anchor. She says that it's important for a woman to understand the requirement of her body. "If your body demands some more rest to recuperate from a C-section, there is no point forcing yourself to hit the gym."

Aishwarya Rai
getting back : Aishwarya Rai

When people got tired of talking about the double-chinned-Aishwarya-Rai-episode, there popped up another celebrity case of Hillary Duff. The Hollywood actor is taking her baby weight easy and is apparently miffed about people asking her about the same. Leading ramp model Sonalika Sahay feels that it's highly unfair on the part of critics to blow such issues out of proportion and create unnecessary pressure. "Fat isn't ugly always. It's just another look. While some women naturally lose weight, some have to make extra effort, which can't be done immediately after the baby is born." A mother to a baby girl, she lost weight in flat three months. "I lost it naturally, but even if hadn't I wouldn't have tortured myself. There is no point in forcing yourself to work-out strenuously."

The television industry also gives women no respite after pregnancy. Daily soaps demand a lot of time from actors and replacing one is always a readymade solution to any problem. Actor Smita Bansal, who plays the role of Sumitra in 'Balika Vadhu' shares a very valid point, "If Aishwarya Rai wasn't spared, how can we be given the luxury of time to lose flab?" Though she didn't suffer from any pressure to get back into shape after her first kid, she has seen a lot of actors walking the extra mile to become screen-friendly once again.

That's how it has always been; actors-turned-mothers soon turn into homemakers, partially because they have to take care of the little one and the rest because chubby cheeks don't mean beautiful. Rohhit Verma, a fashion designer and socialite, gives the inside story, "If one has to make a re-entry, it's obligatory to have the right statistics, but looks matter the most in this industry. I think women should take it easy." She cites the example of Aditi Govitrikar, who has two kids, "and her waistline measures 28." At the same time, baby care shouldn't be used as an excuse to get complacent. Adds Sonalika, "Eight months are enough to get over the post-pregnancy blues. If a woman still doesn't feel the need to regain shape, she is just being lazy." Aishwarya Rai, of course, is aware of this. Cannes bore the witness to her weight loss, which gave rest to many a wagging tongue!

Don’t rush

Madhu Arora, acting chef dietician, RD, GMCH, says that it's a positive sign that women have become so conscious about their body, but at times they do go a little overboard. "Women come to take a diet chart just after a few days post delivery because they want to regain their old form. Any type of dieting is harmful at least six months after the baby is born." She adds that social pressure to look good should not be taken so seriously that it takes a toll on the health in the longer run. One should start exercising only after six months that too if the body allows.

A physician’s pen
Inder Roop Singh Ghuman believes one should live the passion of one’s life
Sabia Talwar

A physician by profession but a writer by passion, Inder Roop Singh Ghuman, who belongs to Doraha, Punjab, is all-excited about his first break as a writer for an upcoming Punjabi movie Saadi Wakhri Hai Shaan, for which he is also the lyricist.

Early start

I used to write short stories and poems since childhood, and have never stopped since then. After I completed my MBBS, I did a course in screenplay from Delhi. When I was offered Saadi Wakhri Hai Shaan, it was like a dream come true.

Lyrical thought

I'm one of the producers for this movie, the script-writer and also the lyricist. Our production house Vibgyor Creations approached Gurbir Grewal, the director of the movie, and had long discussions to understand his vision. I've written two romantic tracks, two folk songs; one for the youngsters and one is a lounge track.

Write approach

After I had settled in my profession as a physician, I thought of living my passion for writing as well. Punjabi cinema has grown by leaps and bounds, and it was the right time for me. Writing is one thing that is natural; however, one must learn the right way to go about writing a screenplay.

Long live Punjab

The title Saadi Wakhri Hai Shaan clearly suggests that the movie revolves around the glorious Punjabis who are spread across the globe. It is due for a worldwide release on October 12, 2012. The movie stars Sangram Singh, Mandy Takhar and Binnu Dhillon.

Future tense

I have a lot of respect for Punjabi cinema and every Punjabi should do their bit to make it grow. I will definitely pursue my passion along with my profession. Rest depends on how the future unfolds; I have a few offers that I will look into after this movie releases.

The ‘in’ side
Clean sweep

When you invest in a new carpet, you naturally want to maintain it so that it lasts you a good many years. Here are some preventive methods—

Vacuum your carpet regularly. Don’t hurry, take your time and go over each section a couple of times. Pay more attention to areas where people sit and keep their feet. * Go over these areas in a crisscross motion to make sure every bit of dust is dislodged.

Use a good quality pad under your carpet to prolong its life.

Move your heavy furniture occasionally to avoid pile crushing. Try to keep a cardboard or a ply board piece between the carpet and the feet of your furniture.

Protect your carpets from exposing them to long periods of sunlight.

Avoid using too much detergent or shampoo as the residue of these sticks and remains in the carpet.

Send your carpets for professional cleaning once a year.

Never use a hairdryer or an iron to fix a spill on your carpet.

To deal with the odour try this homemade freshener. Mix baking soda and corn starch in equal quantities and 10-15 drops of your favourite essential oil. Leave on the carpet for 10-15 minutes and vacuum thoroughly.

To raise depressions left in a carpet by heavy furniture, try steaming. Hold a steam iron close enough for steam to reach the carpet, but don't let the iron touch the fibers. Now perk up the fibers with the help of a brush. Spots and spills happen in every household. Make sure you deal with them immediately.

Here is how to remove a few common spills

Coffee: Blot the spill immediately. Mix 1 tsp each of mild detergent and white vinegar in a cup of warm water. Apply to spot and let dry. Vacuum when dry.

Chewing gum and candle wax: Harden it by applying an ice cube. Once hardened, it’s easy to pull off.

Chocolate: Immediately scrape the chocolate from the carpet. Mix 1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 cup warm water. Apply the solution to the spot. Rinse well. Vacuum gently.

Wine: When red wine is spilled on your carpet, dilute it with white wine, then clean the spot with cold water and cover with table salt. Wait for ten minutes, and then vacuum.

(Sukhmani is a Chandigarh-based interior decorator)

Tale of cocktails!
Vasudha Gupta

It is one thing that has inspired movies, gets people out of control and has the power to intoxicate. Cocktails rule the screen and bars alike! If you are one of those who totally fell for Tom Cruise’s charm in the movie or Deepika Padukone’s endless legs in the latest, most bars are known by the bar-tenders they have and how they play with drinks.

Keeping this concept in mind, Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition in association with Tulleeho organises an interactive seminar on global cocktail trends. Comprising three sessions, the seminar explores the history of cocktails. “The seminar is about giving information on innovation in the cocktail industry,” says Arvind Verma, senior faculty for food and beverage at the institute. Two-hundred students sit gripped to Rohan Jelkie’s session on the trends in the industry. “There are several bars, which are maintaining the legacy of being the best,” he says. Turning the drinks into an exotic sparkling Manhattan, he explains, “It is important to understand the basics of the bar-tending industry.” A faculty from the audience interrupts, “In the last twenty years of my association with the beverage industry, this has been one of the most exciting sessions.” “It totally depends upon the bartender to make the drink an experience for his people,” smiles Rohan. Talking about Whiskey Crusta, he says, “The way to make it memorable is to top it with Cointreau-flavoured foam.”

Three cheers to the world of cocktails!

Suit yourself

The saas bahu jodi, Dolly Bhardwaj and Sapna Bhardwaj of Manya The Designing Hub, is here with a unique collection of suits and western wear in the latest designs to make your weekend shopping memorable one.

This exhibiton at Hotel Aroma, Chandigarh displays a wide range of casual, bridal and western wears. The highlights of the collections is banarsi, chiffon, velvet and cotton dresses embodied with pearls, gotta patti and patch-work suits, kurtis and Patiala salwar. —TNS

(On till July 22)

star track
The star that shines bright

Salman Khan
Tiger Khan: Salman Khan

Bollywood star Salman Khan, who has been battling health issues and even underwent surgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia, a facial nerve disorder, says it is important for actors to forget such problems while shooting as the pain and discomfort can't be reflected on screen.

"In spite of all the nerve problems and the aneurism and the travelling and cold and the pain and all that stuff, eventually it's what you show on screen. You can't put subtitles saying - 'Here the actor was unwell' or 'here was a backache' or 'here the cold' led to pain or 'a headache happened'! You can't say all that," the 46-year-old said here.

"You have to give a shot and forget about all that for those 20 to 30 seconds. It is easy to put aside everything if you are interested in the film you are doing," he added.

Salman, who underwent surgery for a facial nerve disorder last year, was warned against rigorous physical action. But he underwent extensive Parkour training for a month to pull off the daredevil stunts in his forthcoming film Ek Tha Tiger.

In his two-decade-long career, Salman has got a lot of nicknames thanks to his films, and he is happy about it.

"I have a lot of names — Bodyguard, Dabangg, Wanted, Most Wanted, Veer and now Tiger. I'll get some other name in the next film," said Salman.

Ek Tha Tiger also stars Katrina Kaif and is slated for release on Aug 15. — IANS

Sarah unveils Mumbai's ‘super kool’ taxis
Attention grabber

Sarah-Jane Dias at the promotion drive
Publicity gimmick: Sarah-Jane Dias at the promotion drive

You can count on Balaji to innovate with every film!

Prior to the release of Ragini MMS, it was the back of Mumbai's auto-rickshaws that were branded with provocative messages about Ragini. Following this activity, a number of producers aped the idea for their films!

Days before the release of the keenly awaited adult comedy Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum, the producers have gone for Mumbai's taxis. The exteriors of a number of yellow-and-black cabs have been branded with the film's creatives.

The image used is the naughty one of Riteish and Tusshar holding beer bottles near their thighs. One of the film's sexy lead actresses and former Miss India, Sarah-Jane Dias unveiled the cabs, and posed for shutterbugs and the fans.

Mallika Sherawat's photo causes trouble in Antonio’s marriage
Dirty dancing

The picture of Mallika Sherawat dirty dancing with Antonio Banderas, the two seen grinding and getting up close and personal on billionaire Paul Allen's yacht during the Cannes film festival this year, have reportedly caused trouble in his marriage with Melanie Griffith. Sources reveal that while Melanie stayed at home in LA, Antonio was spotted with Mallika at coffee shops and clubs during the festival. The buzz got stronger after Griffith was seen shopping at a mall without her wedding ring.

The item code
Gamya Wijayadasa, Sri Lankan beauty talks of her Bollywood plans

Gamya Wijayadasa
Healthy living: Gamya Wijayadasa

Sri Lankan beauty Gamya Wijayadasa who is making her Bolly debut with Aalaap talks about her item number and more….

After Jacqueline Fernandez, it’s Miss Sri Lanka 2009 Gamya Wijayadasa who is all set to foray in Bollywood. She shares about dance, her Bollywood plans, and more…

You’ve a unique name. What does it mean?

It has a very interesting meaning. It means birth of something. My middle name is Prasadini so my entire name means birth of fame.

Tell us something about your first Bollywood film.

The item song happened by chance. Since my childhood, I’ve been interested in the craft of acting. But my family background is very academic so my parents didn’t encourage me. But they appreciate dancing so I learnt classical Sri Lankan dance form, jazz and contemporary dance forms during my childhood. So I thought that what could be better than starting with something you love to do.

Are you open to doing more item numbers?

Yes, I am. I love doing anything related to dance. Dance is very sacred to me.

Who do you admire the most in Bollywood and why?

There are many things. But I particularly admire Aishwarya Rai. I saw her on TV when she was crowned Miss World. Then later she arrived in Colombo. Watching her in person made me think that I should do it. It was a 360 degree moment for me. It was surreal.

According to you, who’s the most famous Bollywood celebrity in Sri Lanka?

Easily, it’s Shah Rukh Khan. Bollywood movies are quite popular in Sri Lanka and they love the kind of masala films he does. People have their own liking and everybody is fond of him in Sri Lanka.

Whose footsteps are you likely to follow?

It has to be Aishwarya Rai. She inspired me for Miss World and interestingly after a few years, I was on the same arena as hers in South Africa. There are so many qualities that we share apart from those in which all beauty queens are trained. We both are classically trained dancers.

Which actor/actress would you never go out with and why?

It has to be Jude Law. He’s handsome, intelligent, successful and everything. But he’s too much of a Casanova for me.

If I came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find?

Well, you will find nothing unhealthy. (Laughs) You will only find fresh and healthy food. I don’t even have soft drinks.

How many pairs of shoes you own?

They are too many. I’ve three wardrobes; one in India, one in Sri Lanka, and one in Melbourne.

What’s next?

I’m in talks about a Bollywood film. But it’s too early to make any announcement and I will wait for the producers to do so.

What upsets Tusshar…

Tusshar Kapoor
Shock value: Tusshar Kapoor

When a bad film doesn't work, it doesn't upset Tusshar Kapoor. But when a genuinely good film fails to get the right response at the box office the actor feels bad.

"If the film is genuinely bad, then I don't feel so bad. But if the film is good and a lot of issues were involved while making it or it is not been released well, then I feel bad. That leaves me depressed," said Tusshar in an interview.

One such project is his last film Chaar Din Ki Chandni, directed by Samir Karnik. It didn't get the expected response from the audiences, leaving Tusshar disappointed.

"I felt it was a good film, but didn't get its due share. Something happened between Samir and me because of the finances. I feel that also came in the way of success. However, everything is sorted out now," he added.

In a decade-old career, Tusshar, son of veteran actor Jeetendra, has seen many highs and lows, but he has no one to blame. He takes the onus himself.

"Sometimes we need to look into ourselves. That is very important. We always like to blame others, but we don't realise when we choose something wrong. Sometimes we end up signing the wrong films," he said.

Tusshar started his Bollywood career with 2001 film Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai and went on to do films like Kyaa Dil Ne Kaha, Jeena Sirf Mere Liye, the Golmaal series and Shor In The City.

Critics have also not been in favour of the 35-year-old actor on most occasions, but Tusshar is unfazed.

"Word of mouth is more important. If the film gets respect and if the critics give it good ratings, then it's even better. Sometimes they (critics) are also wrong.

"Out and out commercial films get good ratings and some interesting films don't get good ratings. At the end of the day, it's all just a view point," he said.

Tusshar is now gearing up for the release of Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum, which hits the theatres July 27. It is the sequel to 2005 film Kyaa Kool Hain Hum.

The actor, younger brother of film producer Ekta Kapoor, calls the new film an "alternate comedy". It is replete with double innuendos which could catch the fancy of audiences that appreciate adult humour.

"You can call it an alternate film. It is a comedy but with a different kind of humour. So this shock value is probably working to the advantage of the film. Some people tried to copy this formula, but they flopped," he said.

Directed by Sachin Yardi, Kyaa Super... also features Riteish Deshmukh, Neha Sharma and Sara Jane-Dias. — IANS

Maan on the move

Gurdas Maan
Tour time: Gurdas Maan

Amongst many aspirations that the legendary singer Gurdas Maan has had as a child, one was to become a singer. Four decades into the industry, the singer is going to US for a tour towards the end of this month where he will perform on some of his old and some of his new compositions.

“I can never sing my old songs. They come as a special demand from my fans. In fact, a lot of time I don’t get a chance to sing anything new because my listeners love all my old tracks a lot. But I have prepared a new album titled Roti and I will sing some of the new tracks of the album. It is very important that I give my listeners something new. It is my duty to do so, as soon those songs will also become old and they will make me sing them again and again,” smiles Maan.

Aiysha’s trilingual stint

Aiysha Saagar
Truly indian: Aiysha Saagar

In India, a nation teeming with 1.2 billion people, it’s easier to be absorbed and invisible than to emerge and stand out. What makes this singer tick is her passion for music.

Music is Aiysha’s driving force. She started singing as a six-year-old, through all her years at school and while she was earning her qualifications as an accountant and financial planner.

She has released music albums in India and Australia and has performed in over 300 concerts around the world.

Aiysha is set to release her new album Indian Girl along with five music videos of which four have been filmed on the Gold Coast in Australia.  This tri-lingual pop album features Hindi, Punjabi and English songs that have been created out of Aiysha’s collaboration with some of India’s most sought after music directors and DJs.  The album is due to be released in August 2012.

Bonding better

Rajesh Khanna's iconic bungalow Aashirwad will not be sold. Akshay Kumar is already working hard on making it a Rajesh Khanna museum because that was the superstar's wish. Kumar played a key role in bringing the estranged family together before his demise.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Time for action

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan might take on a Hollywood film. The thriller has already signed on TV actress Sarah Khan and singer Lucky Ali. Billy Zane of Titanic fame is part of the movie and Ash might join them when shooting begins in September. She is working hard to get fit for the movie.
Hollywood bound: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Lull in Bolly releases

There is no major Hindi release this week: Picture Abhi Baki Hai and Gattu. The biggest release in the last couple of months is the Dark Knight Rises and it will rule the box office for a couple of weeks as it is the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and there are no major Hindi films releasing in the next couple of weeks.

Ekta Kapoor Ekta spares none

Ekta Kapoor's Kya Super Kool Hai Hum is the most crude film you will see in a long time! They have spared no one and nothing. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is not happy with way they have spoofed his Devdas.
Spoof saga: Ekta Kapoor

Hrithik Roshan The bigger picture

An 80-feet-tall cutout of Hrithik Roshan has been placed outside Ramoji Rao Film Studios in Hyderabad and will be used in a colourful and lively item song in a movie with 200 dancers.

standing Tall : Hrithik RoshanKatrina Kaif

New hangout

Katrina Kaif's home in Bandra is under renovation so she is practically living at Yash Raj Studios where she is dubbing for Ek Tha Tiger and rehearsing action scenes for Dhoom 3.

Work time:
Katrina Kaif

chatter box
Chills and thrills

A still from Ghost Hunters
A still from Ghost Hunters

The monsoon has given another reason to stay in as the thrill gets darker on AXN.  Ghost Hunters is on its way to send chills down your spine with their latest season. The new 7th season of Ghost Hunters will scare the hell out of you! What is the newest that Jason and Grant witnesses by the night? From the last episode involving the investigation of the haunted New Hampshire Inn, and a revolutionary era fort in New York, Season 7 begins where TAPS is on the road to Alexandria La, where they investigate several locations, including a tavern and the Diamond Grill restaurant. Tune in to AXN to not miss what gets revealed at the spots in Alexandria. What is scarier than a horror show? A real-life ghost experience! Ghost Hunters features Jason and Grant – plumbers by day and ghost hunters by night – and their group of real-life paranormal researchers as they investigate a chilling range of bizarre occurrences that challenge even the most hard-boiled sceptics.

Candid conversation

Sakshi Tanwar
Winds of Change: Sakshi Tanwar

Sakshi Tanwar seen as Priya in Bade Achche Lagte Hain was recently in Dubai to shoot the post leap portions of the show. Here, she tells us what to expect and the entry of her new co-star Samir...

How happy are you with the leap?

The leap is the natural progression in the story. The initial story was that of two strangers who get married and discover love. Priya and Ram’s first chapter is over and this is the second chapter. Once again the two characters will meet in new circumstances and tackle the new equations. Characters will get a new dimension and with each new situation a new layer will be uncovered which will be fun for the audiences.

What do you think of Samir Kocchar entering the show?

It will be interesting to see the audiences’ reactions. He has his own charm, magic and fan following. The feedback I have got is that people have liked his entry.

Among many contenders Eijaz Khan was one who was considered. He was the first choice as per my knowledge. As for the rest it is not for me to say. It is for creative team and Ekta Kapoor to decide and I am sure they have looked at every aspect before deciding.  Ekta is not a person to compromise on casting. She must have found Samir the best choice. I am sure many people must have given the audition but what matters is Samir is in the show.

Did you know Samir from before?

No. I met him on the sets and it didn’t feel like I met him for the first time as he is chilled out and relaxed. Now we will have more scenes so I am sure the comfort-level will rise. Since the show began, it has been about you and Ram not only as characters but actors as well.

Now with Samir entering does it change things?

For me, not at all. I have been acting for 12 years now and as an actor it doesn’t make a difference if an addition is made or someone leaves the show. While you are working it is important that you get along with your co-star and I have been lucky that all my co-stars have been fabulous from Kahaani to now.

But you have a friendly equation with Ram?

Yes Ram is more fun as he is like that as a person. He creates a lot of fun around on the sets which keeps the mood light. There is a lot of banter which gels with our characters on screen too. — HRM

Proud moments

Shashi Sumeet Production has done it again. This time they have managed to get seven awards in Gold Awards Night. Their thought provoking number one show Punar Vivah on Zee TV got three awards. While Hemanth Prabhu received the ‘Best Director’ award, Shashi Sumeet Productions Pvt. Ltd. got the ‘Nayi Soch’ and lead pair Aarti and Yash bagged the ‘Jodi Award’. Shashi Sumeet Production’s number one show across channels Diya Aur Baati Hum on Star Plus received four awards. Sandhya, the character played by Deepika Singh got Best New Comer award, Bhabho played by Neelu Vyas received Best Actor in Supporting Role (Female) and Meenakshi portrayed by Kanika Maheshwari won Best Actor in Negative Role (Female).

Too many hosts?

Mona Singh and Manish Paul
crowd pullers: Mona Singh and Manish Paul

The biggest and brightest stars of Indian television will descend on the golden stage of the 5th Boroplus Gold Awards and these will be five of TV’s most well loved faces – Mona Singh, Ali Asgar, Karan Wahi, Manish Paul and Nisha Rawal! While the handsome hunk Karan Wahi will co-host the red carpet segment with the beautiful and graceful Nisha Jamwal. Karan and Nisha will be welcoming the who's who from the television industry as they all walk the Gold Carpet before getting the event underway.  Manish Paul is bound to keep the audiences glued to their seats along with the poised Mona Singh who has hosted various shows over the years. Ali Asgar too is expected to be in his element pulling up various gags on unsuspecting celebrities in the audience! We wonder what he has up his sleeve this time around?

Holy visit

Aman Verma recently went to Ajmer Dargah Shariff as he had heard about the place from his friends. The vibe at the Dargah and the visit apparently soothed his soul, he says. Aman, we hope that you also prayed for your game show Khul Ja Sim Sim coming up next month.

Ali Asgar Fun and food

Ali Asgar, who will soon host Star Plus’ upcoming show Funtakshari is enjoying the auditions. He is also enjoying the various cuisines of all cities that the show is auditioning in. We heard Ali enjoyed his meal in the capital city which he very fondly calls Dilwalon Ki Dilli. Well that’s called enjoying Delhi food at its best!

Meals on wheels:
Ali Asgar

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: The day can be somewhat tricky for relationships. Handle your finances carefully and don’t let them run out of control. This will also contribute in an important way to your sense of confidence and self-respect. Tarot message: Don’t do anything at the cost of your health. Lucky colour: Pomegranate red. Lucky number: 41

TAURUS: Some of you may need to help out at home and make yourself available for an elderly relative, friend or colleague. Spending time with your spouse would bring you closer to one another. Tarot message: Lack of persistence can be disastrous in business matters. Lucky colour: Cream. Lucky number: 53

GEMINI: The stress of work and relationships will catch up with you and you may have to stop expressing your emotions. Be careful and express yourself correctly. At work, you may have to work overtime. Tarot message: Don’t waste an opportunity by being rash or impulsive. Lucky colour: Sea green. Lucky number: 27

CANCER: Today you would be dominated by your past, especially, your relationships. Towards the end of the day, there may be some discussions about these topics and things may be resolved suitably. Watch what you eat today. Tarot message: Keep your eyes on the future as you do so. Lucky colour: White. Lucky number: 30

LEO: The assignments at work may be more interesting than usual. There may be ambiguity about certain projects which could lead to delays. Financially, go over all your records and ensure that everything is in order. Tarot message: Don’t do anything at the cost of health. Lucky colour: Aqua. Lucky number: 37

VIRGO: You would need to change the way you think, form opinions and react to situations. Health would not be a concern and as long as you take adequate care of your diet and exercise, things would be just fine. Tarot message: Time will heal all pains and wounds. Lucky colour: Turquoise. Lucky number: 32

LIBRA: Change would be the keyword for this day and you may have to be flexible and adaptive, especially at work. Work would be relatively trouble-free and things will flow smoothly. Tarot message: Be positive; you can make things happen out of the most unlikely circumstances. Lucky colour: Lotus pink. Lucky number: 26

SCORPIO: Relationships with loved ones would demand a lot out of you in today. So, you may have to work hard at balancing situations. At work, you would receive the appreciation of your co-workers but with a bit of jealousy. Tarot message: Do not be in a rush to spend extravagantly. Lucky colour: Purple. Lucky number: 43

SAGITTARIUS: Today you will connect with your inner self. Money matters would be stable, though expenditure may be a little high. Keep an open mind at work and appreciate the ideas and views of co-workers and colleagues. Tarot message: Spend time meeting experienced people. Lucky colour: Saffron. Lucky number: 57

CAPRICORN: Your confidence and energy will be on a high today and as a result, you would be able to shine brilliantly in everything that you do. By being expressive you will be able to influence people. Tarot message: Don’t try to end all deadlocks at one go. Lucky colour: Peach. Lucky number: 65

AQUARIUS: Most of you would be domineering, reckless and strong-willed at work and at home. Use your innate charm to win over people rather than brute force. Relaxation through co-curricular activities and travelling would help. Tarot message: Do not let trivial problems haunt you. Lucky colour: Orange. Lucky number: 50

PISCES: Though the beginning of the day may seem strenuous and emotionally exhausting, you will be able to learn a great deal from it. Certain financial commitments may have to be reviewed. Spend time with your family. Tarot message: Capitalise on your strength and do not trust others. Lucky colour: Black. Lucky number: 41

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is July 22...

Your birthday falls on Hariyali Teej of Shravan month, which assures happy married life in 2012-13 and all times to come also. Your willingness to help everyone will leave you tired. Be secretive about your future goals. Relations with your spouse may get strained due to your over involvement at office work, so divide time accordingly. Problems could arise at home- but avoid criticising your mate over small issues. You need to put your intelligence and influence to sort matters at work. Take care of your actions and words.

Financial limitations will give you cause for depression. Invest wisely. You need to spend some time with children and teach them good values. Let them know their responsibilities. A sudden romantic encounter is foreseen. If you run from a situation- it will follow you in the worst possible way. Your powers of analysis are a force to be reckoned with. Assess progress on current projects and take the ambient temperature with regard to new ones.

Stars are in a fantastic position so good news is on the cards. This will make you feel more positive and flexible towards others and your job. If born after 1970, there are new opportunities for earning on the horizon. You should surround yourself with enthusiastic and imaginative supporters.  You will feel the energy that grows around you once you get rid of the useless baggage.  Don’t let anyone dampen your enthusiasm. You can achieve your dreams if you reach for the stars.

Mood: Vulnerable most of the times. Compatible signs: Aries, Libra. Lucky colours: Pale turquoise, gold. Lucky days: Monday and Thursday. Lucky numbers: 5, 14, 19, 54, 100

Rakhi Vijiyan (July 22) is best known as Sweetie of Hum Paanch. Vijan is one of the few female television actresses who took comedy to a new level with her shows, Dekh Bhai Dekh and Hum Paanch. Rakhi was seen in Golmaal Returns, Money Hai Toh Honey Hai. She has also launched her own production house and is looking forward to producing some shows for television. Due to Rahu’s influence in her horoscope, her career graph is bumpy like her married life.

Master Chef
Mango pannacotta
Sumant Dadhwal

Cooking cream 500 ml
Sugar 100 gm
Gelatin 50 gm
Mangoes puree 30 ml
Mango scoops
Mint leaves

Soak gelatin in little water. Cook the cream on slow fire till it boils stirring continuously. Take off the fire add sugar and mix. Add gelatin, mango puree and mix. Let the mixture cool for some time. Pour the mix into small moulds. Place in fridge to set for 4 hrs. Dmould the dessert on plate decorate with mango scoops and mint sprigs. Garnish with chocolate cigar ,mango puree and strawberry puree

 (Dadhwal is an executive chef with Taj Chandigarh)

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