Designers’ den

Chhaya Mehrotra and Varija Bajaj, though different in many aspects, have one similarity — successful designs

The first element in the design of success is probably the desire to create. Two dramatically different designers Chhaya Mehrotra and Varija Bajaj stepped in together with designs on City Beautiful on Saturday. And they have two different success stories to narrate.

Destiny’s plan

Chhaya Mehrotra knew her calling as early as when she was 10. Born into one of the oldest textile-printing families of Benaras, she started experimenting with colours and fabrics early. A degree in Textile Design from NIFT and getting married into a family in that line ensured that she kept moving head. Years of hardwork culminated in her presenting her cocktail collection in The Crystal Heraut at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2012.

In Chandigarh for Grand Asia Wedding Week 2012, on at JW Marriott, with her collection, Chhaya shares what makes this special, “I have taken motifs from French military and infused them in luxurious silk-based fabrics to create cocktail wear.”

Dressed in one of her own designs from the theme, in her collection she has played with her signature palette of black, navy and pink shot with accents of peacock-green, purple and white. Saris are in big time and that’s what Chhaya has brought along with tunics and jackets. Her lush designs in silk-based fabrics have finely detailed crystals. “What I aspire to give Indian urban woman, who changes a range of jobs during a day, is colourful, textured, finely detailed and at the same time comfortable clothing,” says the designer.

Chance discovery

Those who blame circumstances for not having done well in life, Varija Bajaj is one person to look up to. Rising from a family where no woman ever worked and carving a niche of her own wasn’t an easy job. “I struggled and struggled a lot,” says Varija.

A philosophy graduate (Miranda House, Delhi University), Masters in Advertising (Xaviers Institute of Communications) and an MBA (University of Sheffield), she has made a career in a field where she has no training. “I guess I am too qualified to be a designer,” laughs Viraja.

Silver story

Fashion Able: Chhaya MehrotraExquisite tikkas and jhumar earrings in kundan, and pearls along with Patiala’s traditional pipal patti jewellery is what Sabina and Minty work on at Nayaab. In Chandigarh, with their pure silver-based collection, this duo aims to give every girl the chance to deck up in their favourite design. “With gold prices sky-rocketing, our collection is not only reasonably priced but lifelong at the same time,” they chorus. Check out their pretty designs in pearls and kundan with a dash of colourful stones.

Fashion Able: Chhaya Mehrotra

She started eight years back collaborating with designers while keeping the managerial part to self. But soon the going got tough, “I couldn’t make these trained designers change their stance, so I fired them all and started designing myself,” says Viraja.

Her signature style clicked with her clientele, which she calls colourful, young and fun-loving.

Where does she find inspiration from? “The trees and bushes around, the bathroom tiles or even drapes,” she admits. And when it comes to designers, she takes an eclectic mix from the top-of-the-line Indian designers. So it is embroidery from JJ Valaya, mix-and-match from Sabyasachi and Rohit Bal’s grandness that she tries to infuse in her ensembles. Vibrant ethnic gowns with duppatta in a mix of fabrics stand out in her collection (starts from Rs 35,000 onwards).

Cheers to sporty spirit
Vasudha Gupta

Academics have always been the prime concern of parents, but there are some who believe sports is equally important for the balanced growth of their children...

Asav’s training in both tennis and swimming began side-by-side and slowly he has shown some formidable results. He has eight gold medals and a silver medal in state-level swimming competitions in addition to the 15 singles titles in tennis.  Praveen Kumar with Asav (in green)
Initially, she would only go for three days, but now her interest has grown so much that we take her for personal coaching. We had thought she would lose the inclination to play, but today she practices for a minimum four hours. Tara Sidhu With Seerat (in blue)The time when India was primarily known for
Initially, she would only go for three days, but now her interest has grown so much that we take her for personal coaching. We had thought she would lose the inclination to play, but today she practices for a minimum four hours. Tara Sidhu With Seerat (in blue)
Photo: Pradeep Tewari

The time when India was primarily known for academic glory has not been long forgotten. Children moving out to foreign shores on full scholarships either to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School or the Harvard University are still common conversations among the ‘report-card friendly’ parents. But now, although gradually, more and more parents have started initiating their children into the world of bats, balls, rackets, golf clubs and swimming pools. So, have the Olympics made a difference...we find out.

“Mostly, it is the case of mental grooming of the child through sports,” feels Praveen Kumar, Conservator of Forests. Asav Kumar’s father, he understood the positive signals his son gave when he was put into a swimming pool at the age of four. Today, Asav has eight gold medals and a silver medal in state-level swimming competitions in addition to the 15 singles titles in tennis. “His training in both tennis and swimming began side-by-side and slowly he has shown some formidable results,” says Parveen. Asav is also excelling in studies, and Parveen has been able to find a correlation between education and sports. “This is one of the main reasons why more parents have started encouraging their children to take up sports. Education and sports go hand-in-hand.” Taking private as well as group coaching, Asav has managed to reach the quarterfinals in the under-12 category of tournaments organised by the All-India Tennis Association.

It was while watching her cousin that Seerat Sidhu started playing tennis. “Initially, she would only go for three days, but now her interest has grown so much that we take her for personal coaching. We had thought she would lose the inclination to play, but today she practices for a minimum four hours,” says her proud mother Tara Sidhu. Ranked among the best tennis player in the under-14, under-16 and under-18 categories, her parents try and take her for as many tournaments as possible.

Another school of thought suggests that sports take a back-seat when one begins work. After all how many can become a Sachin Tendulkar, who is not in a high-flying corporate job but a genius cricketer? “The amount of time a child devotes to sports reduces once the corporate culture begins,” opines Prem Nath Bhandari, Anil Bhandari’s father. Anil has been playing football since Class III and is currently studying in the University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University.

The probability of students resorting to sports for only admission purposes is also pretty high. Nikki Bajwa, mother of Aanchal Bajwa, a national-level athlete, swimmer and Wushu player, says her daughter has been into sports since the early years of her schooling. Nikki has always encouraged Aanchal equally for sports, academics and co-curricular activities. “She was just ten-years-old when she was selected to represent the state in Wushu sub-junior nationals, which were to be held in Hyderabad. Being so young, she was a little apprehensive about it, but I knew motivation from my side is all that she needed. Since then, there has been no looking back for her.” Currently pursuing Bachelors in Engineering at the UIET, Panjab University, Aanchal makes it a point to spend as much time on the sports field as she can.

Let the sporty spirit prevail!

A brush with life
Vasudha Gupta

Manjunath Kamath, one of the most popular names in the art fraternity, shares experiences from his world…

Talking art: Manjunath Kamath

It’s not rare to find the Government Museum and Art Gallery-10, Chandigarh, brimming with people for a presentation of a renowned artist, but to have crowds pouring in half way through the session certainly points to the fact that the artist in question truly commands the respect. Manjunath Kamath, in Chandigarh for a slide and video presentation, the lover of fables and grandmother’s stories, introduces us to his world.

There is always a phase in life of an artist when he is unaware of what to do next; his first set of paintings titled Something Happened, created in 2006, talk about a similar phase. “It was then that I visited a museum and saw several miniature paintings. Bharma on a lotus is unimaginable, isn’t it?” he questions, throwing the audience into a thought-provoking mode. His affection for mythological images comes out clealy in his work.

Lined with short stories from his life, the artist takes us on a journey to the House of Frenandis. “I always thought that only the rich had flowers at the entrance of their house,” he says, as he shows us the painting followed by a recent flower-less entrance to the same house. His next, Marrige in May, shows a couple and he shares the story, “The weather is insignificant in South-Indian weddings. A groom in May will always wear a three-piece suit, with no socks.” The laughter follows, lightening up the mood a bit. A prominent aspect of Kamath’s work is cut-off images. “It is basically symbolic of something that’s coming next,” he says.

Night at Vasant Kunj, takes us back to his powerless nights. “I loved playing with torches,” he says. Several of his creations show domination of one colour and scattered images. “Under several cases, I start working on a thought, which changes during the painting,” he adds. Another creation, Shift, takes us through an interesting depiction of him moving houses. A stallion and a stack of several things on top, it is a clear reminder of the confusions that is common with the process of moving houses. Not sticking to any one medium, his careful use of embossing and digital art makes his artistic vocabulary appealing. Grandson and Grandfather shows the one prominent posture of his grandfather for pictures. Commenting on the visual handicaps Indian audiences suffer from, the artist will ensure his daughter makes her own stories from his works.

Just like an ordinary person, his affection for his second-hand car comes alive in his work Second-Hand Car Goes to Heaven. His sculptures are no different and evoke enough spells of laughter. “Have you ever seen sculptures on the road and in gardens,” he says, taking us through Pedestal for Bird shit. “Birds don’t care if he was a British Monarch or a President, for them it’s a toilet,” he says, leaving us in splits.

Mixed flavours
Sabia Talwar

PLAY ON: DJ Eve Carey

Music certainly knows no boundaries — DJ Eve Carey from UK came calling to Chandigarh on Saturday to play at The Blue Blazer, Sector-26, Chandigarh. DJ Eve has been coming to India since a few years now, but this was her very first visit to the city beautiful.

“I’ve been playing in Goa for a few months now and I love the party scene in India,” she says. We wonder how and when did she actually think of spinning the discs? “My passion for it started when I was seventeen and for a summer job I joined a recording studio in Birmingham. That is where I learnt the art of spinning the tables. And as I always loved music, I wanted to make it my career.”

DJ Eve’s music genre is House, Electro, Tech House and Progressive, but does everyone understand all this? “I guess nowadays people tend to know a lot about music and it’s not about the genre alone, but the passion. Even the Indian audiences are open to different kinds of music.” So when she’s is on the console she has a basic plan in mind, and then depending upon the crowd and ambience starts to mix and play. “I spend a lot of days looking out for different music and then put a lot of thought before mixing.”

Through YouTube and Facebook, one is sure reaching places one could never think of before. “These give you a platform for promotion and your reach increases.” For DJ Eve music is heaven and she wants to be the best. “It is not an easy job, but gradually it is gaining respect in its own terms.”

The ultimate satisfaction for the DJ is when the crowds go crazy and asks for more tracks. “I’ve been to countries like Russia, Dubai, China and many more; wherever I go there is something different to learn, which is so exciting.”

As for the future, she plans to collaborate with a DJ friend of hers to give the audience a touch of mixed flavours. “I haven’t really tried it, but would love to do it. I would also do Bollywood numbers sometime, but mixed with House.” Keep the party alive!

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: An unexpected guest may gatecrash on your hospitality. A romantic mood can colour even the toughest situation with a rosy hue. Tarot message: Plan your life to avoid the in-built delays, which come your way. Take care of your health today. Lucky colour: Coffee brown.

Magic number: 41

TAURUS: You draw the Ace of Pentacles; so you will begin the day with energy and confidence. People are drawn to you. New ventures that are launched have a better chance of being a success. Tarot message: Bury an old quarrel and be prepared to make a compromise. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic number: 33

GEMINI: This is a great day to get your ideas down on the paper and start planning your next project. Anything that can be carried out in secrecy has more chance to win. Tarot message: Be careful not to go in too many directions at the same time.

Lucky colour: Lemon.

Magic number: 39

CANCER: Romance and creativity are highlighted. Family matters can keep you busy in the evening. Misunderstanding must be guarded against. Your boss will be keeping an eye on your progress. Avoid changing jobs. Plod ahead slowly. Tarot message: Listen to your voice of wisdom. Lucky colour: Baby pink. Magic number: 27

LEO: The Queen of Swords puts the spotlight on your style, appearance and charm. Romance and passion are on the cards. Do not allow feelings of frustration to overtake you. Tarot message: Learn a lesson from past mistakes and get on with your life.

Lucky colour: Coral.

Magic number: 60

VIRGO: Your card Five of Swords reveals physical activity and pleasure. If you are in a sedentary job, playing a sport will add balance to your daily routine that will give you the life you crave. Tarot message: Think before you open your mouth to avoid misunderstandings. Lucky colour: Indigo. Magic number: 42

LIBRA: Make important calls write-up a proposal and do anything that requires a starting point. An Arian beloved may treat you like a doormat. If you are partying, watch what you eat. Tarot message: Fitness routines and healthy diets are prescribed for your well being. Lucky colour: Lime green. Magic number: 54

SCORPIO: Confusion over priorities can also cause havoc in the work-place. Not such a sensitive day for financial matters. Do not interfere. Loved ones will support ideas. Keep your mind off the past. Tarot message: Keep in mind that perseverance is the key to success. Lucky colour: Sky blue. Magic number: 63

SAGITTARIUS: A career switch can mean having to move out of state or overseas and upsetting the applecart at home. You may spend quite a lot of time on planning. Lose yourself in romance this evening. Tarot message: Beware of depleting your energy or resources on others. Lucky colour: Sea green. Magic number: 55

CAPRICORN: Stick to the beaten track today and look after yourself. At the end of the day you will be proud of what you have achieved and could be rewarded with a bonus. Long-term investments may mature. A Capricorian friend comes for help. Tarot message: Be honest to your desires. Lucky colour: Rust. Magic number: 38

AQUARIUS: A special romance in your life might seem aloof and hard to communicate with. Let them know you care respect their space. Health problem can be treated. There is a gap between you and your colleagues. Tarot message: Arrogance and pride will not be rewarded. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 40

PISCES: Your card The Devil boosts your enthusiasm and self-confidence. Take this time to expand your social circle, develop new talents or plan a vacation. You may be introduced to new people. Tarot message: Versatility and a quicksilver mind will bail you out of a tricky situation. Lucky colour: golden. Magic number: 28 

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is August 26...

If you act prudently, you'll have excellent occasions for a higher income. Finally, you will reap the fruits of your efforts. Don't worry if your loved one is annoying because he or she is simply doing it to attract your attention. Your life may seem perfect to your friends and family members- but you will be disturbed over some recent developments. Speculation will be hazardous- therefore all investments should be made carefully. Arguments with children will bring mental pressure. Do not strain yourself beyond a point because certain issues are best when not touched. Today, you will miss true love in your life. Watch out for individuals who might try to mislead you. There's room for improvement in deals, contracts and negotiations. Push back at least a little; asking for more than you want means you've then got room to look flexible. Then your job satisfaction and more tangible benefits are both favoured by the stars. You'll remove every adversary and beat competitors. Now is the time to dare and earn. You will be happy and there is possibility of getting the good news of doing exceptionally well in education or sports. Students will be able to prepare well for their competitive exams. Spending appears to be on the rise with larger purchases, several needs and travel/vehicles taking up the lion's share. Time and effort outlays also go on the rise. Concerts, community events, music and 'performances' may dominate the weekend.

Financial benefits will follow though later. Rewards will be yours if you put in the overtime required. Investment may bring good profits. Friends may require 'high maintenance', especially if you have been asked to help on domestic projects, serve in family functions or assist in community events. Networking can lead to huge profits.

If you wanted to but didn’t begin a diet, then you have another chance. Avoid those friends who love to eat, drink and be merry all the time. Also avoid fast food and junk food. Being strong and steady makes you desirable as long as you're not overly rigid in your relationship rules and expectations. Bending just

a little now doesn't mean that you're going to break.

Mood: Sound and Very Moody. Compatible signs: Virgo, Capricorn Lucky colours: Red, Maroon Lucky days: Saturday. Lucky numbers: 3, 9, 11, 16, 31

Neeru Bajwa Neeru Bajwa (August 26, Vancouver) was a runner-up in the Miss India Canada pageant. She started her career with two television series: Astitva Ek Prem Kahani, and Jeet besides a small role in another popular serial. Her films have included Dil Apna Punjabi, Assa Nu Maan Watna Da, Heer Raanjha with Harbhajan Mann, Main Solah Baras Ki, Munde UK De, and a romantic comedy in which she played the female lead.

Chatter box
Exploring India on four wheels

Two intrepid journalists, Justin Rowlatt and Anita Rani, have set off on a chaotic and gruelling road trip around India. They will discover how the country’s booming economy is affecting its people. As the Indian economy booms, the latest must-have accessory is the car. With increasingly affordable models in the market, and growing demand for cars as a status symbol and sign of social development, people’s lives are becoming intertwined with car ownership. Justin Rowlett and Anita Rani join the chaos of India’s roads on a madcap road trip across the country, to find out the truth behind the dream. Whether it’s breaking down by the side of the road, facing suicidal peacocks or tasting luxury in a Maharaja’s vintage Rolls Royce, this is a surprising look at a country on the move History TV18’s India on Four Wheels premiering on September 5.

Not too happy: Aishwarya SakhujaBeginning of the end

Aishwarya Sakhuja, aka Toasty of Saas Bina Sasural on Sony is sad that her show is coming to an end. It is ending as she couldn’t shoot due to her health issues and the channel didn’t want to replace her so they are ending it. Aishwarya looks back on Saas Bina Sasural as an unforgettable experience and doesn’t have any plans for future as of now.

Not too happy: Aishwarya Sakhuja

The new super-hero

TV’s new cop Arjun Rawate of Star Plus’ show Arjun, has been performing his own stunts for every episode. Jumping off container yards, car blasts and many other sensational stunts are impossible without a perfect stunt man. After creating magic in cinema with Akshay Kumar and many others, Gurbachchan Singh, who closely works with Nikhil Advani chose Arjun to recreate the thrill of cinema on television. Gurbachchan states, “Arjun is a show where I will experiment a lot. To add to it Shaleen is a brave boy and he loves to do all his stunts on his own. This makes my work even more challenging.”

Back on track

Moving on: Drashti DhamiDrashti Dhami, who returned to work after a break, can’t thank her fans enough. She feels the initial response for her show was great and it is all thanks to her fans waiting for her.  While she got married on screen in the show Madhubala, she says she is focused on work now.

Moving on: Drashti Dhami

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

This romantic film will always feature on the top of my list. The biggest reason is that I am a huge Shah Rukh Khan fan. His performance in this movie was simply brilliant and he looked so adorable. Raj was truly my dream guy after the movie released.

Movie magic

Amarpali Gupta Amrapali Gupta, famous for her recent role Neem Neem Shahad Shahad on Sahara One, talks about her list of all-time favourite movies. Check out which ones feature in her list.

Hit list: Amarpali Gupta


Nagina, again because Sridevi is my favourite actress. She is a powerhouse performer and has performed very well in the movie. I can watch Nagina repeatedly and never get bored of it.


Chandni is another Sridevi film that I just love and still continue watching it. Srideviji and Rishi Kapoor made such a cute pair. The songs of the movie too were fabulous and so romantic be it the title track or Mitwa.


I love this movie even though Shah Rukh played a negative role in it. I loved his performance more than the other actors. Shah Rukh was terrifying as Rahul but the way he wooed Juhi Chawla was so romantic. He rocked as Juhi’s obsessive lover.


Shabana Azmi carried the film Arth on her shoulders. It was her performance that made this movie extremely watchable.  Who can forget the song Tum Itna Jo Muskurahe Ho? — HRM

New kids on the block

Looking forward: Anjali Patil
Looking forward: Anjali Patil

We take a look at some newbies who are debuting this year. Here is what we think of them

Great expectations

With a Karan Johar film, her debut film is a dream one. And she seems to have it all: looks glamourous, has lost weight, worn a bikini, kissed both heroes, danced, sang, etc. She looks pretty and cute. Let us hope she lives up to expectations.

On a promising note

She has done a movie called Delhi In a Day which is a festival favourite. She has a prominent presence in Prakash Jha's Chakravyuh in which she plays a Naxalite. She looks very promising and talented because one does remember her from the promo of the ensemble cast film.

Just about average

He looks alright and his acting is mediocre. He is the better one of the two but does not hold much promise. He is David Dhawan's son and Siddharth Dhawan's brother.

Fingers crossed: Varun Dhawan

Hoping for a hit

He is a model who assisted Karan Johar and has returned from the UK. He has a bit of an accent. Girls are not going crazy about him and he doesn't seem to be a great actor either. We shall know better when the film releases.

Good show: Esha Gupta

As lucky as it gets

She is a dusky bombshell and probably the only actress in recent times to have three big releases in the same year of her debut film. Jannat 2 was a big hit, even Raaz 3 is pegged to do well. She is bold and adventurous. She has Raaz 3 and Chakravyuh to showcase her acting prowess, if she has any. Anyway, acting can be developed over the years.

Suit yourself
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

Designers experiment with intricate embroidery, colour blocking and layering for traditional salwar suits

Riot of colours, intricate embroideries, rich fabrics and asymmetrical lines re-define the traditional attire of salwar kameez and churidar pyjama. Finding favour with all age groups, this is one dress (if tailored well) that makes a woman look sensuous and traditional at the same time. Though Anarkali suits have been a huge hit, this season is all about a re-defined style in suits. And designers have showcased some brilliant collections at the recently concluded LFW, where we had designers like Shyamal and Bhumika with their intricate embroidery and colour-blocked heavy velvet pieces. On other hand we had ace designer Neeta Lulla with her shimmer pieces in earthy, ochre and brick-red colours.

“Ornate jackets are a big trend this season,” says Simple Kaur, from Simple Kaur in Sector 35. She adds, “Rich fabrics like velvet and silk are another trend to look out for.” And this style was well-showcased by Anamika Khanna and Anju Modi.

“There is quite a lot of moderation in silhouettes,” says Vipin Saini from Gorma Designs in Sector 19, Chandigarh. He adds, “Anarkali suits have long defined the trend and this season is about asymmetrical lines, varied lengths, flairs, straight cuts in a mish-mash of colours and fabrics that define opulence. As for colours, it is maroon, orange, purple blue, green, peach and hot pink that will rule the roost.” He adds, “Anarkalis are still there but in full flair (3 to 5 mts of flair) and the length has gone till the ankle. Another style that is going to pick is heavy, hand- embroidered Anarkali suits till knee length with plain lehangas. Brocade suits with patiala salwars are a ‘never-say-no’ trend.”

Re-defining the very style of Indian wear, layering has found place in suits as well. “We have layered suits this season. It’s just like a long-layered kurti with spaghetti and a jacket to go with it. Frills are a new thing in suits, so is the trend of asymmetry where we have shorter fronts and long backs in suits,” says Rajnish Jain from Meena Bazaar. For colours, it is vibrant hues like orange, golden yellow and green that will make the heads turn along with neon and earthy colours.

Lehenga suits are another variety to look out for if you want some style in your Indian wardrobe. “Anarkalis are still there though the silhouettes have changed for good, but nothing beats the traditional Patiala salwar and kameez. Gotta patti is another hot trend, so are the painted suits,” says designer and entrepreneur Rashmi Bindra. She adds, “Salwar kameez is unavoidable, it’s just that the salwar has been altered into a dhoti for a chic presentation and kurti has gone asymmetrical. Other than that, colour-blocking is a trend that’s making suits all the more trendy.”

Posture perfect
Vasudha Gupta

Parag Shastry, an ergonomic expert, gives tips on how to improve one’s work environment to remain healthy

Are you one of the million people who suffer from back pain? Have you been visiting the doctor for a stiff neck? Do your fingers sometimes go numb at night? If you answer yes to even one of the stated questions, check your workstation. You probably keep your feet under the chair when you work on your laptop or sit on a wallet brimming with expired cards and faded ATM slips. There was a time in the world when a work station was a huge notebook. Today this has shrunk to a small I-pad and will soon shrink further reducing your work space. This reduction in work space will surely make you look totally in sync with technology but spell doom for your body.

Parag A. Shastry, an ergonomic expert running an Ergonomic Cell with Godrej, speaks about the need for a correct posture. “Our initiative is basically to focus on increasing productivity by increasing comfort level in an office,” Parag says. Rejecting the age-old idea of sitting straight, increasing popular in schools, he moves to talk about the basic science. “Gravity. If you sit straight on a chair, there is no doubt that gravity will work, putting all the pressure on your lower spine, making it more fragile,” he adds. The right thing to do is to make use of the reclining chair and reducing the pressure. “People as young as 27 are being wheeled in for spine surgeries,” he says.

Armed with a postgraduate diploma in ergonomics from the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Parag refers to the most common mistakes a workstation has. “So many people store papers under their desk, leaving no space for feet. This causes maximum postural problems,” he adds.

Ergonomic tips

  • Never sit beyond one hour. Take health breaks.
  • If a person within a radius of 20 feet is speaking to you, walk those extra steps and speak to him.
  • Park you vehicle 300 meters away from the office for a forced brisk walk.
  • Avoid the fourth cup of coffee.
  • Don’t have water at desk. Walk to the cooler and drink a glass full than a sip.

From evaluating profile, jobs, people and their workstations, Parag is inclined in taking ergonomics to as many as he can. “When one goes to work, no one can replenish the lost energy. Ergonomics focuses on optimum utilisation of energy,” he says.

The company also takes initiatives to tie up with health officials in organisations and make them the change agents. “Believe us, a problem like stiff muscles may seem very small but once it escalates, there is no stopping it and it takes forever to die out,” says Parag. Not only this, regular follow ups are conducted by sending across a mail to those who undergo the programmes. “If two people out of ten follow our advice, we are satisfied,” he adds.

In sync with style

It’s not just one’s sense of style which makes one stand out in the crowd, but also one’s confidence. Deeptanshu Thukral, a pass out from INIFD and currently managing a retail chain, talks about the trends he follows—

Your sense of style is…

Anything bright and something that looks nice, perfectly in sync with the latest trends. At this moment my style statement is more about linen pants and subtle shirts.

Latest addition in your wardrobe...

Studded shirts with prints from major retail brands in Delhi.

Brand freak or street junkie?

Never been a street junkie. Always a dedicated brand freak.

Choose a look— sporty, glamorous or chic...

I am all for glamour. You will rarely find me in shorts and a casual T-shirt.

Your style icon would be…

I love the way Shah Rukh Khan dresses up. He is always at the top of the trend chart.

So who’s the worst dressed celebrity around?

I don’t follow anyone in fashion except for Shah Rukh Khan. Rest just need more research.

One fashion trend you just don't understand…

Punjab is still obsessed with slim fits pants. They need to be updated that now, its all about straight fits.

Your take on accessories…

These days, there is almost like a battle between men and women in accessories. Men today can pull off anything from unisex watches to the stash bags.

One thing that boosts your confidence

Knowledge about fashion. Being a stylist, it is good when people implement my suggestions.

Who would you like to be dressed up by?

Both Manish Malhorta and JJ Vallaya have an astounding sense of fashion. I would not mind either of them.

(As told to Vasudha Gupta)

If you think you fit in the profile, get in touch with us at We’ll sift the best from the rest.

Master Chef
Wholesome and hearty!
Kandla Nijhowne

The rains have brought with them a minor chill when a hot soup suddenly seems more welcome! They have also brought with them my college day memories from England when the urge for a 'daal' drove me to the kitchenette to muster up a lentil soup instead. This was an easier option because it married well with a dinner roll and a quick salad to complete the meal. Who wanted to bother with making chappatties? We grew up believing that “daals” belong exclusively to the Indian subcontinent with the rest of the meat-loving world having little to do with them. Little do we realize that lentils are quite frequently used in other countries, albeit combined with some meat proteins. This soup recipe is from

Turkey, using the pretty-pink ‘masoor' daal. Lemon juice and parsley or even mint are added flavours to give it another dimension.

Turkish-style lentil soup

1 cup pink masoor

4 cups vegetable stock

1 medium sized onion

1 large potato

1 tsp paprika

(or a dried red chilli, de-seeded)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lemon

1-2 tbsp chopped parsley or fresh dhaniya

Grated cheese for garnish (optional)


  • Wash and soak the masoor dal.
  • Mince the onion and finely chop the potato after peeling.
  • Place the washed and cleaned lentils in a heavy pot with the stock, potatoes, onions and dried chili.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Loosely place a lid on the pot leaving slightly ajar as to allow some evaporation.
  • Cook for 40-40 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place ¾ of the soup in the liquidizer and blend briefly.
  • Return blended soup to the pot with the reserved cup of soup. This gives you some interesting, coarse texture to the otherwise smooth puree.
  • Serve hot, garnished with parsley and a squirt of lemon juice.
  • Grated cheese can be scattered over the top of the steaming bowlful.

(Nijhowne is a Chandigarh-based culinary expert)

High Spirits
Elixir of life
Vineet Mishra

Blessed with the aroma of bay leaves and taste of sweet berry and lime, this is a must-try cocktail. Elixir of life indeed..!


  • 45 ml Absolut raspberry
  • 15 ml lime juice
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Superfine sugar
  • 15 ml sweet & sour


With a mortar and pestle grind the bay leaf with the sugar until the bay leaf is almost powdered. Place in a cocktail shaker with the white vodka, lime juice and sweet and sour. Shake with ice cubes and strain into an ice filled martini glass. Cocktail facts: Originally, the cocktail was considered a morning eye-opener. Some speculate that's how it got its name, a metaphor for a rooster (cock) heralding the light of day.

(Mishra is a Chandigarh-based cocktail jockey)

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