In black & white
As an Indian one needs to be twice as good to stand out in the Western society. Chaand Chazelle has survived the odds and told her story in the Throw Of A Dice

Back in time

Chaand Chazelle is in Chandigarh for a television workshop at the Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University. Having been a graduate student at the same place, it a huge moment for her, "It's a matter of prestige and I am thankful to the department and Prof Pushpinder Syal for it," she says. It's her film's first international institutional premier as well. The film will be screened from three to five pm on Thursday.
fighting it out: Chaand Chazelle
Photo: Manoj Mahajan

An Indian mother in London with her two-year-old boy stands in the queue to get an ice-cream. The young boy pulls the hand of a two-year old blonde girl standing next to her asking her to play. Only to be snapped back at: My daughter does not play with Pakis or blacks.

Same boy, 11-year-old. Only Indian in his school in Surrey (just one black Jamaican boy to give him company) in all white school receives this from his history teacher: Good, you need not wash because dirt does not show on your skin.

A black gentleman pulls over his car on the road-side only to be splashed up and down by a white woman watering her lawn: This would bloody wash away bit of your black colour.

…these are three of the actual instances faced by Chaand Chazelle, writer, actor, broadcaster and producer. Having borne the burnt of being brown, and, a woman, she has raised her voice in Throw Of A Dice, which is a film co-written by Chaand and her son Vikram Sherma (the same two-year-old at the ice-cream queue).

"Someone has to do their bit," puts in Chaand. Moved at the footage of a real incident in which a black man was burnt alive by three whites in a phone booth, Chaand decided to write the story of the film ten years back. The distraught faces of the mother and the sister of the man, who was no more, was something she could not just brush aside. This Chandigarh woman, moved to England decades back, earning her living doing odd jobs, making the most of her linguistic skills (she can write Urdu, Gurmukhi and Devanagri). "They only give jobs that they cannot do themselves," she says bitterly.

To make this 90-minute-film, she has sold her house. "Many leave their house when they go, how many leave a movie that is an audio-visual documentation of their experiences," she asks nonchalantly. Her film has not been picked up for screening at major film festivals, right from Mumbai to London, but she is not bothered, "JK Rowling was turned down by 13 publishers."

And wherever her film is screened, it's got heartening response. It was Best Festival Film at Black International Film Festival, Birmingham, and got Audience Choice Award at Tongues On Fire's London Asian Film Festival.

Chaand has explored her creative side in short stories, plays and now this film, voicing issues of racism and sexism that she has experienced each single day of her life. Leave My hair Alone is a solo play in which her protagonist escapes the ritual of getting her long hair shaved as she becomes a young widow, only to see women being subjugated on her travel from country to country (foot-binding in China, female circumcision in Egypt). "Women are not treated as equals in almost all societies but nowhere is it as stark as in India," she observes. The solution offered by her is not that difficult either — women need to assert. As Chaand has all her life. Throw Of A Dice is her life, experienced by millions across the world.

Working without much money, Chaand has given her best shot. From making meals for the crew to putting everything she had into the film, she next aspires to take it to as many as people as possible.

[email protected]

Add that bling!
Festival season loses the zing if the bright clothes are not teamed with the latest accessories. Here are a few suggestions…
Jigyasa Kapoor Chimra

With everyone trying to look their traditional best this festival season, accessories have become very important and right from potli bags, brocade-lined clutches, totes, chunky jewellery to ethnic footwear with zari, gotta and tilla, everything is becoming a huge hit with people. We check out more.

Bag it

Clutches, totes and potli bags have been quite in vogue, but when it comes to the festival of lights, tradition takes over. Fancy clutches and potlis surely increase the glam factor! "One can do without a necklace, but a smart handbag is totally indispensable. One can choose from potli bags to designer-labelled rectangular clutches. Remember, a well-contrasted clutch does make a strong fashion statement and these days it's the brocade lines, sequin-embedded, zari-worked and bead-embedded clutches and potli bags that are popular. Bright reds to pearly whites, clutches and potli bags can be textured, sequined, jewelled and stone-encrusted. Also, they come in strong colours in plain leather," says Seema Sharma, from Impressions in Sector 19.

Best buy: Westside Mall, Pantaloons (Zirakpur), Drishti-17, Regal-17, Bittu Fashioners-19 and Bittu Bangle Store-22, all in Chandigarh, offer good variety in potli bags and ethnic clutches.

Just jewels

Diwali can never be without jewels and if you think kundan, tribal jewellery and tikkas are old-fashioned, think again! This forehead accessory (tikka) in kundan or swarovsky can complete your festive look. "Maang tikkas are in fashion, but one needs to watch out for the length and choose according to the face size," says Gurpreet Dhillon, a diamond merchant from Phase VII in Mohali. She adds, "Chunky earrings in traditional kundan and polki styles are also festive-wear. Diamonds are forever, but when it comes to festivals it's with precious stones like rubies, emerald and sapphire that it looks the best."

Silver and tribal jewellery are also popular. "Multiple chains with a singe chunky piece in the side is quite hot, so are vintage cuff-bangles, but it's the jewellery with an edge that is attracting the masses. Floral patterns, web-like structures and mingling of metals with gems is quite popular. Delicate, spidery, skeletal structures, coils and webs, also make for a fashion statement. Diamond-cut and silk finish is also in. And it's the yellow gold, white gold and rose gold that is the latest rage," says Savvy from Silver Haze.

Best buy: Westside has a wide a range of diamond, silver and art jewellery; Silver and Gold Haze too have an array of jewels to choose from.

Foot fun

The beauty of traditional attire is enhanced when it is teamed up with the right footwear. Remember to pick those stone-worked, zari-embedded and sequin-lined juttis, both flats and wedges. Churidaars or Patialas can be teamed up with graceful mojaris or juttis for a traditional look. Pumps never go out-of-fashion and keep their appeal alive with new designs and colours. Peep-toe pumps, those in vibrant shades and neutral flush are most adored. Then, of course, there are the evergreen T-strap sandals. You can also try a V-shaped pointed sandal. If wearing chappals, you can go for the small-heeled, crystal-work ones or shimmery with subtle work on the pipes.

Best buy: Chef-17, Mochi-17, Shoe Rack-11 and Metro 17, all in Chandigarh.

Warm offerings

Welcoming the winter, Woodland, an outdoor apparel and footwear brand, has launched its contemporary 'Woodland Autumn Winter Collection 12 - 13'.

Constant innovation for the collection has taken place, be it variety of jackets — sleeveless, reversible, detachable, seam-sealed, water repellent, biker, windshield, and lightweight or warm sweatshirts, hoodies or T-shirts.

The Autumn Winter Collection 12-13 is the innovative jacket-windcheater for all seasons, warm jacket for the winter as well as a combination of both. The outer shell of the jacket is a stand-alone windcheater that is seam sealed, waterproof and windproof. Speaking at a special media preview of the 'Woodland Autumn Winter Collection 2012'.

Harkirat Singh, managing director, Woodland Worldwide, said, "Woodland has always been an outdoor brand and thus, all the offerings as well as product enhancements have been focusing around outdoor lifestyle. We have been working hard to offer the best to the outdoor loving people and our new innovative products speak for itself. The new Autumn Winter Collection 12-13 is a step forward with new innovative multi-functional products that will enhance the outdoor experience. "Starting this season, we are launching a special series of sweatshirts have been designed with new looks and cuts that would encourage the youth for a 'Green Enviornment'. ProPlanet is our CSR initiative that ensures that we along with our fans take care of the environment.

The 'Woodland Autumn Winter Collection 12-13' comprises of an exhaustive yet differentiating range of sweatshirts made out of thermally insulated and structured fleece. Careful selection of vibrant colours like white, ecru, mélange, grey, carrot, siege green, turquoise, pink, navy, red, olive, brown, indigo, black and so on adds to the look.

Carrying forward a legacy…
Manpriya Singh

The mishap is unsaid but it still pervades the silence of the ‘pirated’ audio release of the movie Power Cut. The ‘handpicked pirates’ handed over the fake CDs to those present at the function, everything true-blue Jaspal Bhatti style.

A week after the tragedy, Savita Bhatti and Jasraj Bhatti are the perfect picture of strength and ready to take forward the thought process left behind by the comedy king. “Jaspal Bhatti was totally against piracy. If he stood up for common man’s right, he also stood up for artists rights.” She adds, “The title Power Cut literally symbolized a life-long disconnect in our lives.”

The event, that was originally supposed to happen at Jalandhar, finally took place in the city. Puts in Jasraj, “He discussed this idea first and foremost with me. Piracy is such a profitable industry that before anybody else does it, we might as well do it and make some money.” He adds, “For the old fashioned music lovers, who still believe in originality, the original CDs will be available from Monday onwards.”

Among the songs by Mika, Sunidhi Chauhan, Lehmber Hussainpuri and Master Saleem, those by Saleem border on the sad and touching genre. He shares, “When Jaspal Bhatti sir made me listen to the songs, I couldn’t stop laughing, thinking how will sad songs fit into a comedy film but I’m so glad I got an opportunity to work with him. Ever since, I was a nobody I’ve wanted to work with him.” Meanwhile, there are songs playing in the background, some are powerful and touching while the title song, Power Cut, is foot-tapping with lyrics dotted with trademark Jaspal Bhatti sarcasm. She requests, “Please listen to the songs and have a cup of tea before leaving. I have to answer Jaspal Bhatti, he’d be really angry with me, otherwise.” While son Jasraj, assures of ‘actually trying best to take forward his legacy and going forward with all the ideas that his father had’.

Life can be summed up in three words, “it goes on.”

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star track
SOS for Son of Sardar

Son of Sardar will clash with Jab Tak Hai Jaan this Divali. We have a clear idea about who will be the winner and probably you do as well. Till then we just compare the qualities of the two movies —

Cast: Jab Tak Hai Jaan reunites Shah Rukh Khan with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi co-star Anushka Sharma. It pairs him with the stunning Katrina Kaif for the first time and people are looking forward to seeing them together on screen as lovers. Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor and Anupam Kher have supporting roles. SOS stars Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Dutt in the main roles.

Music: JTHJ brings together Yash CHopra, Gulzar and AR Rahman together as a team for the first time and people are already loving the theme, Jiya re, Ishq Shava, and Saans. SOS has commercial, run-of-the-mill songs with Sonakshi Sinha doing cheap steps and Ajay doing some buffoonery. The music is by Himesh Reshammiya.

Director: Yash Chopra continues to be a legend and nothing can be said about him that has not already been said. SOS is directed by one-film-old Ashwni Dhir. Not a good idea to go up against a stalwart's posthumous release.

Buzz: JTHJ is going to have a grand premiere with all of Yash Chopra's heroines walking the red carpet. Chopra had also announced his retirement and the biggest pull of the movie was its cast and director. No one makes love stories quite like Yash Chopra. SOS has been in the news for Ajay Devgn trying to pull down JTHJ and Sonakshi doing silly things on the sets. It looks like another mindless wannabe 100 crore blockbuster.

Story: SOS is a remake of South Indian film Maryada Ramanna which is a copy of an American silent movie. JTHJ's story has really intrigued people. SRK plays an army officer, he falls in love with Katrina Kaif's character. Anushka Sharma plays a documentary filmmaker who narrates the film and is doing a feature with SRK's character.

So which one will you watch this Diwali?

Salman to Kick SRK’s Express

Ajay Devgn (L)
Fighting mode: Ajay Devgn (L).

Jab Tak Hai Jaan is at loggerheads with Son of Sardar and clash with each other on Divali day. Ajay Devgn is miffed with YRF and Shah Rukh Khan for eating into his planned pie for SOS. Salman Khan is on Ajay Devgn's side and has even done a song in the movie.

Khan has devised a strategy to get even with SRK if SOS' collections make Ajay Devgn unhappy. A source says, "Salman Khan loves his friends. He is on Ajay's side obviously and has been promoting SOS through social media.

So, if SOS' collections are not good, he is going to use all his connections in the industry to release Kick next Divali to clash with Rohit Shetty's Chennai Express starring SRK and Deepika Padukone. Salman Khan And he will make sure his movie does better than SRK's.

"The source continues, "But in this whole fight no one understands a few things. JTHJ will have its audience. The chances have increased because it is Yash Chopra's last film and he is no more. So Ajay should let the fight go. And why doesn't Salman understand that JTHJ is also Katrina Kaif's film and she is his special friend too. Moreover, Ajay and Rohit Shetty are best buddies." We just hope these boys grow up. If SOS flops, then people might think twice before making mindless movies!

helping hand: Salman Khan

Priyanka to play Mary Kom?

Priyanka Chopra(L) and Mary Kom Speculations are rife that Priyanka Chopra is all set to play Olympic bronze medalist women boxer Mary Kom in her biopic. But Chopra cleared the air. 'I've never had any discussions for the part of Mary Kom. It would be a great part for any actress to play, it's speculation for now," she said. Produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Play act: Priyanka Chopra(L) and Mary Kom

Romantic bonding Sameera Reddy with Rana Dagubbati

Sameera Reddy has been bonding with Rana Dagubbati because they did an item song together. He gives her fitness tips and she gives him fashion tips. They were also romantically linked.

Good Chemistry: Sameera Reddy with Rana Dagubbati

Sameera’s rich cousin

Did you know that Sameera Reddy is Siddharth Mallya's cousin? We didn't know. She has fancy connections! She can hang out with him and not care about link-ups!


Tigmanshu Dhulia's film with Saif Ali Khan is titled Bullet Raja and it is a masala action film. Other titles considered for the film were Jai Ram Ji Ki and Revolver Rani.

chatter box
Millennium milestone

Rashmi Desai
Comeback trail: Rashmi Desai

Uttaran, Colors flagship drama series has crossed 1000 episodes. The show that went on air in December 2008 has captivated millions of viewers across the world. Uttaran started out with the portrayal of the ups and downs between two friends that created a phenomenal craze and unmatched loyalty on Indian television. The show, being one of Colors top rated properties has introduced affable and relatable characters like Ichcha, Tapasya, Veer, Jogi Thakur, Nani, Damini, Rathore, Mukta that are household names today. Now, as it enters a new phase, audiences can rejoice as their favourite character Tapasya makes a grand comeback. With this re-entry, Uttaran is set to scale new heights as it revisits its original concept albeit with a difference as Rashmi Desai returned in a new avatar in the 1000th episode.

Speaking about crossing the 1000 episode milestone, Tina Dutta aka Ichcha says, "Uttaran brought out the versatility in me as an actor. I started out as a college girl falling in love, getting married, then a widow and finally the role of a mother. I was even blessed to play the role of the grown up daughter as Meethi. I have pretty much completed a full circle with this show and today, I believe I have lived all the shades of life through it."

Rashmi Desai who plays Tapasya says, “Though I took a break from the show, I was compelled to come back and face new challenges both in terms of acting and as my character will in the show. Today, people know me more as Tapasya rather than as Rashmi and that I think is the biggest compliment to an actor. This show has changed my life as it brought in lots of luck with success both personally and professionally. It will always be closest to my heart. It is a big achievement when people know you by the character and Uttaran has made that happen."

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: It is important that you use your time in a worthwhile manner. Pointless arguments and debates would only waste your time, therefore, do not engage in them. The future looks bright and hopeful. Tarot message: Try to avoid serious discussions with loved ones. Lucky colour: Peacock-blue. Lucky number: 61

TAURUS: Some long overdue tasks will be completed. Socially, you will be quite occupied, meeting new people and catching up with old friends. So much hectic activity can make you impatient. Tarot message: Seek advice, but don't feel you have to stick to it. Lucky colour: Lotus-pink. Lucky number: 65

GEMINI: Many of you may not be feeling energetic and upbeat today. Spending some time on your own will enable you to recharge your batteries and focus on the tasks at hand. At work, women will have to take on extra responsibilities. Tarot message: A shopping spree upset your budget. Lucky colour: Crimson. Lucky number: 40

CANCER: This may be a demanding day for many of you, since family and friends will not be welcoming towards new relationships that you have formed lately. Tarot message: Make the best of a bad situation by being polite. Lucky colour: Pale-yellow. Lucky number: 32

LEO: Decision-making and strategising should be done today, since it is a time when you will be quite practical. You will be active and motivated to take on pending tasks. This will be a day where you will accomplish a lot at work. Tarot message: Spend time on fitness routines. Lucky colour: Ebony. Lucky number: 63

VIRGO: Since the past few days, you have been coming up with productive ideas; now is the time when most of them can be put into practice. As far as relationships go, you may have to help someone out of a dire situation. Tarot message: Renew the energy in your relationship. Lucky colour: Deep-red. Lucky number: 44

LIBRA: You will be able to achieve much more in lesser time and this will increase your productivity and confidence. There may be social gatherings and celebrations to attend, which will put you in the limelight. Tarot message: Adopt a diplomatic approach. Lucky colour: Forest-green. Lucky number: 51

SCORPIO: Family matters will be fairly uneventful and some of you will have to help out a younger sibling or relative. Stick to the budget. Those planning to start a new business should seek the guidance of family. Tarot message: Beware of making rash moves. Lucky colour: Purple. Lucky number: 46

SAGITTARIUS: Being a part of an exhibition, conference, meeting, etc, will be vital for your growth and success. This is a day where travel will hold a lot of significance, personally as well as professionally. Tarot message: Keep an eye on new and exciting opportunities. Lucky colour: Saffron. Lucky number: 55

CAPRICORN: Today, many of you will spend time in exploring and broadening your spiritual and philosophical dimensions. Relationships will become stronger and enable you to grow and advance. Tarot message: Do try to be charming in all situations. Lucky colour: Peach. Lucky number: 39

AQUARIUS: Efforts of the past will bear fruit and bring rewards. Finances will gain from speculation and investments. There will be changes in several aspects of your life, which will be beneficial in the future. Tarot message: Stop thinking about yourself; see what you can do for others. Lucky colour: Mauve. Lucky number: 26

PISCES: Today, you will be dealing with pending tasks and official procedures. You will be mentally and physically agile, and be able to accomplish quite a lot - quickly and easily. In relationships and financial dealings, trust your instincts. Tarot message: Take life as it comes. Lucky colour: Orange. Lucky number: 64

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is November 8...

Charm and a sense of humour will take you places. Pleasant relations with neighbours make life fun. If there has been trouble in the past, build some bridges. You are no doubt going to be busier than usual this month. Why not increase contacts or improve relationships with brothers, sisters, cousins and in-laws? Some of your best social opportunities are right in your immediate environment.

You're in the limelight, so it's time to shine. Get out and about. See and be seen. Even if you'd rather stay in the background, there's a public forum for you to express your ideas or share your knowledge as well as skills. Communication is boosted, but be sure to comply with official regulations. Try to stay grounded. Again, pay attention to your dreams and hunches.

The number 8 of Scorpio zodiac makes you most powerful and emotionally intense.

Mood: Overall good.

Compatible signs: Libra, Scorpio.

Lucky colours: Indigo, Lavender.

Lucky days: Friday and Saturday.

Lucky numbers: 5, 9, 14, 49, 50

You share your birthday with Usha Uthup (November 8, 1947), who has sung in 15 Indian languages. She started singing in a small nightclub in Chennai called as Nine Gem when she was just 20. Uthup sang several songs in the 1970s and 1980s for music directors RD Burman and Bappi Lahiri. She also appears as a judge in several TV shows. Her number 8 is very strong and works well for her voice.

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