Dressed in decorum
Fashion for these women in government circles is all about keeping it simple yet chic
Jasmine Singh

Bat an eyelid and there is one thing that would have certainly changed — fashion. The glitter is in, then it walks out of the scene giving way to bold electric colours, and then we suddenly we find ourselves draped in satin and velvet!

Bat an eyelid and see how hairstyles, accessories and shoes move back and forth with style. But when this same fashion slips into the cubicles of government offices, it slows down like the speed of running water that decreases near the banks. Fashion neatly slows down here and decides to change its course once a while. This is where it brings us, the dress code of women in power at the government offices. We don’t expect revelations in style, but whatever we do is neat and simple. Here attire is looked at as a project of common sense rather than fashion sense. We check out.

Decent dressing

Senu Duggal, Additional Director, Public Relations Department, Punjab

For Senu Duggal simple churidaars, salwar kameez and saris are a dress code. “I wear cotton or georgette saris, and Fab India kind of churidaars and salwar kameez. I don’t wear anything that is too loud whether in colours or cuts. There is no going overboard. A pearl necklace or silver bangles or studs in the ears,” shares Senu, who poses in a kaaftan and churidaar. 

Elegant touch

Prerna Puri, Secretary Information Technology, UT

Fashion brings a whole new addition to the wardrobe, but when you look at office-wear, the options are always limited. Prerna Puri sticks to her suits and saris. “I wear suits which are smart, decent and elegant. I prefer pastelcolours,” she says smiling at the idea of wearing accessories. “I do that whenever I have time — minimalist and classy. I am little particular about the hand bag.” 

Comfort factor

Dr Jasjeet Kaur, Joint Director, Behaviour Change Communication, NRHM, Haryana

Dr Jasjeet wears her cotton, silk and tussar churidaars and suits. “These are comfortable, elegant and easy to carry. Pastels for summer and anything bright for winter,” adds Dr Jasjeet. She also doesn’t mind wearing trousers and denims one-odd time on leaner days. 

Traditional cuts

Garima Singh, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax

Garima Singh takes a traditional pick from her closet —churidaar and salwar kameez. “I like churidaars, which are comfortable and decent. I guess younger officers like to experiment more with it,” says Garima, who likes to stick to her traditional attire. add



Simple take

Poonam Nara, Additional Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Haryana

Meetings are a big part of office working, any minute and any time, which calls for proper dressing. Poonam Nara sticks to a no make-up look in the office. Hair neatly pulled back, she comes to the workplace in her pastel and soft-coloured churidaars. “Red is not the colour for the office. Other than this, any colour that is decent and not flashy fits the bill here,” she says. Formal trousers can be a part of the office dressing, but I would rather wear traditional suits.


Shake a leg!
Amelie Gataloca Pontailler from France, who is in Chandigarh to conduct a salsa workshop, says it is a social form of dancing in which partying is a must… 

Manpriya Singh

It doesn’t matter whether you like jazz or jive, waltz or salsa; if you don’t like the drums, you’ll like the violin, if not the piano, then definitely the guitar! Sooner or later, the music takes over. “I don’t think there is a single person on this earth who can listen to salsa music without the desire to move their feet,” Amelie Gataloca Pontailler, 34, from France, discovers the biggest plus of the dance form and flips it across like a challenge. She adds, “I discovered dancing through salsa when I was 21.”

In Chandigarh to conduct a salsa workshop, she promises more than just the moves. “I’ll be teaching them body movement; how to dance with the music rather than on the music, and also men on how to be good leaders and women on how to be good followers.” There are only a couple of things you need to get right to be able to swing with your partner. “Be self-confident; be comfortable with your body and even shy people can do it because you don’t have to be very close to your partner.”

Incredible India

She’s been here as many as five times before, is going to stay for a good two months, has plans to travel Down South, see the West Coast et al because experiencing India doesn’t happen in a day. She laughs, “I was at Hardwar and Rishikesh yesterday. We came by bus to the city while travelling with local Indian population. They were staring at us,” she says.

As for the Bollywood School of Dancing, “It’s very much like Belly dancing. I like the fact that there are a lot of facial expressions involved, so you can act while you dance.” That’s not it. “I also feel there is an art involved to being a woman in India. Like the ornaments, the jewellery, the coloured dots on the forehead.” As for salsa, that purely remains a passion. “I teach French and that’s my profession, but I do that because it brings me money.”

Salsa at its best

Never mind the limitations and the fact that no couple does a Salsa at a wedding or a party, the form is picking its threads up in the Chandigarh circuit. “It’s certainly not as big as in cities like Bangalore where there’s even a salsa festival, but it has followers,” shares Varun Rana, of Varun Dance Studio. He adds, “We have been travelling throughout and meeting the salsa community from around the world. Before this we’ve already had workshops by salsa instructors from Columbia, Hong Kong and San Francisco.” After each day of the workshop, a party follows. He adds, “It’s a social form of dancing, you have to have a party because that’s the only way you can practice this form.”

(From August 31 to September 2 at Body Zone—9)

(manpriya@tribunemail.com )

The final touch
Poonam Bindra

The state-of-the-art Swiss-style finishing school - ISOE (International School of Etiquette) has added another feather in the cap of Ludhianvis. It is the only premier academy of its kind in Punjab that has an affiliation with The Etiquette School of Manhattan, US. The School offers courses for all age groups starting from five years up to fifty years; the modules have been set by the Academy of New York, with the certification holding international value.

And behind the venture is a certified trainer Roopa Pahwa, who has introduced the culture of finishing schools to Ludhiana. "People from this region travel worldwide and many cannot manage things abroad; I would like them to hone their skills further," she says. Adds Priya Nagrath, head of the Centre, "ISOE aims at putting theoretical modules into effective practice and develop the personal creativity of students by including knowledge on multicultural issues. The focus is on efficient learning by using teaching aids like hands-on activities, role plays, audio-video presentations and work-sheets for review at home."

Mostly people hold the view that finishing schools are for girls, but Roopa believes that men also take the course in huge numbers. And she keeps on updating herself by staying in constant touch with the head office in Manhattan. "The courses for children of age five onwards include lessons on how to converse confidently, be good listeners and inculcate proper table etiquettes. The course for image enhancement is for the younger generation where emphasis will be on communication and presentation skills. For the brides-to-be there are lessons on the right make-up, skin and hair-care, and on international cuisines like Mexican, Thai, Lebanese etc. Similarly, for the grooms there are courses on how to conduct themselves in public as well as personal affairs. Emotional management is going to be our forte too," Roopa informs about the course.

In order to upgrade its standards, this finishing school has joined hands with Lancome - a premier cosmetic brand from France - to conduct a workshop at its premises recently. The workshop included a day make-up session, party make-up tips and an interactive session where all participants discussed skin-care in detail. 

A delight to watch 
Contemporary Delight, a group exhibition at Punjab Kala Bhawan, brings forth a variety of subjects in fresh hues
Vasudha Gupta

They say if you are an expert, you can look into the deepest corners of an artist’s soul just by looking at his or her work. A look at Rozy Varinder Kaur’s Inner Delights and you learn the story of her personal growth as a woman. An artist and the curator of the ongoing group exhibition at Punjab Kala Bhawan-16, titled Contemporary Delight, Rozy talks about her love for art.

“It’s not always essential to represent a woman figuratively,” she says. Her painting, with two prominent colours blue and red, talks of relationships and human bonding. “It can be interpreted as the relation of a woman with her husband or her daughter, who has several other relations in the background,” she smiles.

It was only after completing her graduation from the Government College Art, she went on to complete her master’s from Rajasthan University. Her attempt to maintain a fine balance between work and life introduced her to the concept of organising exhibitions. Her first show, Mirage, held in Jaipur was an instant hit. Bringing 20 different artists from Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Uttrakhand and West Bengal, she is certain that a collection of artists bring together a variety to the exhibition. “One of artists, Aniruddha Pundkar has already sold all his work and arranged for some fresh creations,” she says.

On another wall, there is a collection of kites in different hues. Ragini Sinha, a well-established name in the art circles of Gurgaon joins in. “See, everyone has a desire to fly away and do something unimaginable, Udaan is a reflection of that,” she says. Completing her bachelors in fine arts from Bihar, she initially started with the bold patterns of a bull-based theme, moving on to mushrooms as an inspiration. Her next was on tribal art and eventually interweaved elements from spirituality.

“My attachment with spirituality reflected in my work and moved on to capturing freedom through kites,” she smiles. She is currently putting together her works for a solo exhibition.

(On at Punjab Kala Bhawan till September 2) 

Sizzling beauty from across the border
The Bhatts have decided to launch another star with Murder 3

After raising the temperature with Sunny Leone for their erotic thriller Jism 3 in Sri Lanka, Randeep Hooda is now shooting with another temptress on the beaches of South Africa for Murder 3 being directed by Mukesh Bhatt’s son Vishesh.

But, who is the mysterious babe adorning Hooda’s hyper-libidinous screen persona? The Bhatts have kept the new Murder mademoiselle’s identity under wraps. Even when the girl left for shooting with Randeep and the crew, no one had a clue about her identity.

After much questioning, one was introduced to the new Murder girl, Sara Loren, a bombshell from Pakistan who is a known model and actress across the border. Before one could get disturbing visions of another Meera or Veena Malik making her way into Bollywood, one decided to do some probing.

And guess what? Sara Loren turned out to be none other than popular Pakistani actress Mona Lizza who made her Indian debut two years ago in Pooja Bhatt’s Kajra Re and later vanished unceremoniously. The ambitious girl has now changed her name and forwarding address. She has been re-christened Sara Loren after, ahem ahem, the Italian actress Sophia Loren (no less!) and is now a resident of Mumbai.

While everyone in the Bhatt camp is tight-lipped about the re-invention of the Pakistani sizzler, the ever-candid Mukesh Bhatt blurted out, "Yes, we’ve got Sara Loren opposite Randeep shooting at this very minute in South Africa for Murder 3. At Vishesh Films we believe in not just making movies but also destinies. We believe Sara has the potential to take over from where Mallika and Jacqueline left off in Murder and Murder 2."

According to someone close to the project, "Sara is absolutely uninhibited before the camera. Mona, that’s what we all call her still, is destined to take the sex quotient in our cinema to a new climax."

Bhatt thinks Randeep and Sara would burn up the screen when the film releases. “Their chemistry has to be seen to be believed. I left the choice of the heroine completely to my son Vishesh who makes his directorial debut in Murder 2.”

Fortunately he has a mind of his own which he uses judiciously. The first shock he gave me was when I read his script. It was unlike anything our banner or for that matter, anything tried by Hindi cinema before,” he reveals.

Nothing sweet at all

Priyanka Chopra who is presently busy promoting her latest film Barfi is irked with reports that she has upset fans of legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

According to the report in a daily, Priyanka Chopra, in an attempt to gain more mileage has gone out of the way and drawn similarities between her curly-hairstyle in Barfi with that of Sachin's. This did not go down well with Sachin's fans who were offended. Cricket enthusiasts drubbed the look and even said it was a funny attempt to gain attention.

However, PC has discussed these reports on Twitter and vented her anger on the media saying: "It’s ridiculous how the media just makes up stories and people have opinions about it! There is no such statement I made!"

Confessions of a woman

Television and Bollywood actress Rukhsar Rehman believes in looking healthy, feeling good, exercising, and eating right. She says a woman should look feminine and not bony or skinny. She works hard to stay feminine and in shape and is happy the way she is.

Magic of the wild west 

Prometheus star Michael Fassbender is in talks to star alongside Natalie Portman in western Jane Got A Gun.

The 35-year-old actor, who has become one of the most in-demand names in Hollywood in recent years, is set to star in the Lynne Ramsey-directed film, which has a script by Brian Duffield, reported a website.

The film tells the story of a woman, played by Portman, whose husband is betrayed and shot by his own gang and while lying injured, she decided to take action against the criminals.

In order to do so, she recruits a former lover, to be played by Fassbender, to help defend her home. The film is set to begin shooting in early 2013. Fassbender, who is based in London, is currently shooting Ridley Scott's The Counselor"alongside Brad Pitt. —PTI 

Meet the real Bips

Bipasha Basu comes across as a bold, feisty, outgoing and brave personality. But she is not like that at all. She is a homely and grounded person with phobias and flaws. She gets candid with her fear files.

Fright nights

I have many phobias such as fear of the dark. I sleep with lights on. I get scared of kids shouting and trying to shock me.

Tough to drive

I have done several action scenes in movies like Players and Race but I cannot drive in real life. I can convince you I can drive because I am an actor and there are tricks film-makers use! So driving bikes and cars is just for the screen and I am so happy and grateful I have a driver.

Mischievous gal

I am a mischief maker on the sets with my cast and crew. That is why I get along with so many people. I am no diva. I create a lot of masti on the sets whether in India or abroad. I cannot sit idle and I believe work ought to be fun. If we are working together for months, everyone should get along.

Hatching horrors

I am the only mainstream actress who has done many horror films. So I feel proud to have contributed to the genre. Supernatural films are mysterious, arresting, and dramatic. I was also one of the forerunners of bold cinema as we know it today. Even my debut film Ajnabee was a complex and grey character. — HRM

Up, up and above




Esha Gupta is gorgeous, sexy, and she has a career that is taking off in the right direction. She has been carrying a Tiger's Eye talisman for protection ever since she joined the industry. Her make-up people also apply a black dot behind her ear when she looks extra nice.

Motherly attention

Total Recall star Kate Beckinsale says her daughter does not care that she stars in movies and would rather talk to her friends on the internet. The 39-year-old actress, who has 13-year-old daughter Lily with ex-partner Michael Sheen, said that her teenage child is not bothered by her exploits in Hollywood, reported a website. Being motherly does not come difficult to Beckinsale, who is now married to director Len Wiseman, and she enjoys baking.—PTI 

Back to the basics

Raveena Tandon plays a high society lady who picks up toyboys in her upcoming film. So she actually wore a burkha and visited suburban joints where women actually do that to observe them and prepare for the role.

Fan following

Nargis Fakhri has created a buzz. She has a stalker fan who waits outside her apartment for just a glimpse of her. She has not lodged a police complaint till now but gave him a picture and an autograph. The girl has a different take to all this!

chatter box
Foreign touch 

After completing eight glorious season of Beg Borrow Steal, Bindass brings to its viewers a brand new season with an international twist. The previous seasons of Beg Borrow Steal explored the nook and corner of India. This season the show goes international. This season's host Aaliyah is exploring Thailand, doing tasks that are more strenuous and tiresome. Aaliyah will be performing certain tasks and activities where she will have to engage with the locals, who will help her in her journey. She will be seen moving in the floating market, Chinese Temple and villages as she kick starts her journey completely clueless of the consequences!

Daddy again 

After playing Jogi Thakur on Uttaran, Ayub Khan has signed to play Aamna Shariff's father in Sony's new show Honge Judaa Na Hum produced by Shri Adhikari Brothers. He plays a rich businessman.


Role call 

Bold and bindass Narayani Shastri has no qualms about playing on screen mother or putting on weight for it. Instead, she looks at every role as a challenge. Here, she talks about love, life and work.

Did you put on weight for the show?

No, after my last show I took a break as nothing substantial was coming my way. I put on some extra pounds while I was holidaying. When I was asked to play the role of a mother in Phir Subah Hogi, I said yes to it because I knew I would do justice to it. Tomorrow, if I get a role where I need to be slim, I would lose the extra kilos.

Are you worried about being typecast in the role of a mother?

I am not insecure. I will chose roles that come my way and not what people think I should do. I chose this role because I had a strong character to portray.

Many popular faces have returned on TV recently like Varun Badola.

Life is a circle, I am glad to see many established actors return to television. In my case, I was offered shows but I didn't want to take up just about anything. I was happy waiting for the right kind of role.

We heard you are dating someone. Is marriage on the cards?

Yes, I am dating a London- based guy Tony who has been in India for a while now and runs an advertisement agency. But, there are no marriage plans as of now.

Your name is still linked with your ex Gaurav Chopra?

Well, it was long time ago and everyone knows we are good friends now.

Are you planning to work in movies?

I have recently shot a movie for a friend. I am interested in doing films not because movies are better than TV but for cinema will help me explore my acting skills. At the end of the day, it is the role that attracts me.

A bold step 

This Sunday Star Plus' Lakhon Mein Ek brings to its viewers another inspiring story that changed the life of a daughter-in-law who resides in Thane. Most women who are victims of domestic violence either remain silent or end their lives due to lack of support from the in-laws. Coming Sunday, viewers will see a father-in-law, a Gandhian, support his daughter-in-law. He goes against his own family and puts his son behind the bars. National award winning actor director Anant Mahadevan, who has directed this episode said, "I was thinking of returning to television and what better way than directing a powerful story on Lakhon Mein Ek. When I was told about the story I was sure that I would like to do this since domestic violence and racial discrimination are affecting so many women. It was great working on such a strong storyline and such brilliant actors." Catch Lakhon Mein Ek Every Sunday at 11 am only on Star Plus.

Rain, rain come again  

Arjun Bijlani shot for a short film Red Umbrella for the telefilm series on Star Plus' Teri Meri Love Stories. The entire shoot was done outdoors while it rained like crazy. It created a lot of problems, but soon everyone on the sets was enjoying the rain. 

Atro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: The temptation to help out a friend with a financial loan should be discussed with your partner first. Today you can become conscious of your projected fears. Tarot message: Be articulate to prevent people from coming to their own conclusions.

Lucky colour: Yellow.

Magic number: 32

TAURUS: Do not allow yourself to be talked into an erratic move. It is the right time to purchase something that adds to the value to your house. Avoid eating out. Working toward your goals may seem a little harder than usual.

Tarot message: Don't ignore advice from youngsters. Lucky colour: Sea-green. Magic number: 52

GEMINI: Do not try to hurry jobs that require meticulous handling. Arguments may arise with your mate or partner. Daydreaming could inspire creative ideas and you might become quite inventive on the job. Tarot message: Use your instinct to get into the top circle of power. Lucky colour: Red.

Magic number: 64

CANCER: You draw The Emperor so the day promises all comforts. Spare time for family and children. It should be much easier for you to meet challenges. Stay tuned in to the work at hand and you will be that much wiser. Tarot message: Set the unpleasant set of events into motion. Lucky colour: Turquoise. Magic number: 53

LEO: An irritating co-worker can push you to your limits. Practice deep breathing to maintain composure and avoid a confrontation. A desire to retreat to the comfort of your own home could be overwhelming.

Tarot message: You must learn to accept responsibility. Lucky colour: Crimson. Magic number: 40

VIRGO: The card The Moon indicates an emotional set-back. Stick to what you know and understand. Money problem will still prevail. Children: enjoy with your friends. Legal suits turn in your favour. Tarot message: Your determination to succeed will pay dividends. Lucky colour: Orange.

Magic number: 61

LIBRA: At work, a colleague steers you towards a new direction. Financial rewards may get delayed. A small celebration at home is likely. Professionals: you need a break. Take some fresh fruit and flowers to cheer up a patient. Tarot message: Work could pose certain minor difficulties. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 26

SCORPIO: Get cracking early. What you need now is energy. You must push yourself harder. Be careful with money. This is not the right day for writing official letters. Women shoppers may spend heavily. Tarot message: Plan your life to avoid the in-built delays that come your way. Lucky colour: Mauve. Magic number: 47

SAGITTARIUS: Your card The Nine of Cups reveals inner strength and enthusiasm. Arguments may arise with your spouse or partner over money. Love life is exciting. Tarot message: Don't forsake a new learning opportunity because of pride.

Lucky colour: Rainbow pastels.

Magic number: 65

CAPRICORN: Your card Page of Pentacles promises a progressive day. Health problems can be satisfactorily attended to. Personal plans are likely to progress. Be straight and above board when dealing with employment affairs. Tarot message: Emphasise on spiritual needs. Lucky colour: Saffron. Magic number: 50

AQUARIUS: Business is likely between you and your associates. Long term benefits can be gained. You feel you need time to understand the changes that are taking place in your psyche. Tarot message: Balance in all aspects is recommended.

Lucky colour: Ebony.

Magic number: 62

PISCES: Entrepreneurs will go through an anxious period. The married or those in love will find the day exciting. Students: success in competitive sports is assured. A lot of energy will be expended on communication today. Tarot message: Do not divest assets. Lucky colour: Aqua blue.

Magic number: 45

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