Grand start
You don’t need to visit Cannes to walk down the red carpet. More and more directors in Pollywood are holding gala premieres of their movies… 
Jasmine Singh

Whether you exist or not or better still, if you want to tell the world (here we specifically mean the entertainment industry), then all you need to do is doll-up a little bit, borrow a designer garment (buy one, this probability is two in a hundred) and walk down to the special screening, the premiere of any XYZ movie! And if you are seen there, god behold… you matter!

Bollywood premiers have always been a grand affair and the trend has now rubbed on to the ‘getting-grand’ Punjabi cinema. Red carpet premiers of Punjabi films are what we are looking at right now…flashy, stylish set up, celebrities from Bollywood, VIPs showing up, Punjabi cinema is definitely marching ahead.

The red spread

On an average, every second week sees a Punjabi movie premiere taking place in Chandigarh. Unlike earlier times, when the only time one would know about the Punjabi film release was on a Friday, now the flick becomes the talk of town because of the celebrities it manages to rope-in. Says Vineet Joshi, chairman Trivani Media Consultancy Services, which has organised more than a dozen red carpet premieres in the last three-four months. “The big change that I have seen is the shift in timing. Earlier, they would take place in the afternoon with not many people turning up now they happen in the evening with celebrities and VIPs turning up in big numbers,” shares Vineet, who has made sure that the premieres of Punjabi movies look as good as the Bollywood ones.

“We try something close to that. A red carpet is rolled out for celebrities and special guests. A separate gallery is made for the public to see and meet the stars. They get their pictures clicked and then move towards the auditorium to watch the movie.” Celebrities alone do not make for crowds-pullers; politicians, bureaucrats and important people from various fields are also invited to these premieres.

More the merrier

Producers, directors, actors, distributors; everyone wants a grand publicity of their films and what better way than walking with celebrities in tow. Actor Gurpreet Ghuggi sees this as an indication of the growth of Punjabi cinema. “I keep saying that Punjabi cinema is growing, now if we want to be seen on the global map, we should be proud of such red carpet premieres. In fact, there is a saying that one can make out the state in which the house is from its doorstep. Premieres are like a sneak peak into how the film will be; with all the celebrities and media coverage it is always good for the film.”

Gavie Chahal, actor who was seen in Pinky Mogey Wali, is all for premieres. “It is a ‘feel-good’ factor for the actors for sure. Other than this, a premiere is a way to market a film and invitees also pass on the word to others. It is also a way of showing the grandness of a film, and you know which producer gets impressed by it.” Recently on the premiere of Bikkar Bai Sentimental, the pawa (wooden leg of the bed used in the film) was the main attraction. In Mera Pind My Home, the actors drove to the venue on a tractor. Some red carpet arrangement!

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Different take

If there is someone who will give an honest take on the film, it is the director. Navaniat Singh is strictly against any kind of trials and premieres. “These are organised for friends and relatives, and we can never get an honest opinion about the film from these people.”

Inner bliss
Actor Sheeba, who has worked with the best in the industry, says with time priorities change but the ‘actor’ inside remains forever… 
Jasmine Singh

Accepting time as the biggest game-changer doesn’t come easy to one and all. It is a fact that no one can question or surpass, at the same time moving along with it requires that something extra… “Acceptability’, Sheeba, the pretty Sheeba completes the sentence.

“This definitely doesn’t come by reading or attending sessions, it just comes from within,” says the actress who shares what made her flow along with time. In Chandigarh, accompanying her husband Akashdeep, who is directing Santa Banta starring Vir Das and Boman Irani, Sheeba is not just a pretty face behind the camera now, she has more on hands than she ever has had.

Once an actor, always an actor; we couldn’t help mention looking at the volley of projects she has sunk her teeth into! “The beauty of a woman lies in her ability to multi-task and handle each sphere with perfection,” says this mother of two, who is doing a film, running a firm that specialises in beauty, looking after the production house along with her husband, hitting the gymnasium regularly and still finding time for her family!

It is the actor in every actor that refuses to fade or hide behind any amount of work. Sheeba has worked with the best of actors of her times — Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Mithun etc. “Acting in an actor is something that remains till the end, with time, however, priorities change. I have had a chance to work with the best of actors and directors, it was while acting that I met my husband and decided to devote my time to my family,” she says.

And acting…. “I am doing a good balancing act with family and acting. As far as strictly ‘acting’ goes, I see cinema at its best today. Besides, I am no longer in an age where I would want to wear skirts and run around trees. Now in this kind of cinema, I can see some roles for my age bracket as well,” Sheeba smiles.

Presently, Sheeba is all geared up for their production Santa Banta along with Viacom. “Viacom believed in our concept and Santa Banta is going to be one helluva film,” she adds. Another word that just drops by unannounced is TV, after all television is a big platform for old as well as new actors, and for those who want to make a comeback.

“My husband and I like to watch a lot of comedy shows, I am getting offers from television, but I would want to do something good. In fact, television is also in a phase where you can expect something different,” she adds.

This is called the flow of time, the acceptability of which has given Sheeba what she likes the most —inner bliss!

Looking through the glass
Amarjot Kaur

Passion, they say, is the fountainhead of creativity, but when talent thirsts for expression, it preys for innovation in the most unusual realms of creative mediums. At Art Portfolio, Chandigarh, Atul Bakshi talks about exploring a medium that quenched his thirst for both creativity and passion. He is perhaps the only glass sculptor in India and this is the first time that he visits the city.

“Art is not only about splashing one’s talent on canvas,” he begins, while making a very adept attempt at explaining his medium. “Art is about movement, which goes beyond canvas, and my passion for sculpting was kindled long back when I was a kid and my father would ask me to make moulds out of clay,” shares Atul, while adjusting the rim of his spectacles. He served in the merchant navy for over 23 years when he decided to pursue his interest. In 1988, he left the merchant navy to follow his heart’s calling, “I was always smitten by glass. Even as a kid, I would climb the walls to feel the stained glass panels. However, in this medium, I like experimenting with hot glass rather than blown glass probably because it gives more avenues to explore one’s talent,” he says.

He explains the technique involved in casting a glass sculpture, “One can only work with glass when it is at over 1,200 degrees centigrade and you only get 30 seconds once it is out of the furnace. I start with preparing a rough draft of the sculpture in my studio at Delhi and later take that to a rented factory where I get a chunk of 250 kilos of glass, which my crew and I first heat in a furnace and then mould it into a final sculpture. It is then left to cool in a kiln, which takes over a week sometimes.” Priced between Rs 85,000 to Rs 2 lakh, Atul’s sculptures reflect his perfect understanding of the medium that he works in—glass. “I use German colours to add the required tint to the glass, and also copper plates to make faces and then pour hot glass on them. Occasionally, I also work with ceramic glass fibre paper, which gives more scope for innovation,” he smiles. Atul’s glass sculptures derive inspiration from different elements of nature while they swing carelessly on the intuitive threads of psychedelic and meditative art.

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Far & wide

Atul Bakshi seeks inspiration from the works of Berlil Vallien, who is considered the father of casting glass. He was invited by the Nobel Society to display his glass sculptures at the Swedish ambassador’s residence along with Berlil Vallien and Kjell Engman in 2010. He has exhibited his works at Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, and at India Habitat Centre along with nine Swedish artists.

It’s time to act
Divya Dutta

Call her 'Nirbhaya' or gudiya; the names may change but the hell they go through has been the same - brutally raped and tortured. Be it a twenty-something, who was living her dreams of becoming a physiotherapist and looking after her parents or be it a five-year-old who probably hadn't even begun dreaming.... both have been scarred. Fortunately, this little baby has been saved unlike the young Nirbhaya.

What shocks me is that only a beast can do such a gruesome act. Only a devil could rape someone and torture her like this. I wonder whether such heartless souls even think what if such a thing was done to their own blood relations. I don't think they can feel at all!

I am seething with anger; the sheer helplessness of being in a democracy. My phone has been continuously ringing to get me into discussions and debates on the top news channels, but this time I don't feel like doing it! What will happen after a discussion? What has happened after the December protests till now? The accused have still not been punished; we are still waiting for proper laws!

For all those who accuse women of wearing provocative stuff and inviting rapes, how did a five- year-old do that? Or was she even capable of it? Those who are sick in their minds go defending those who commit such heinous crimes!!

Protests yet again and look at how the police is treating the public! An ACP has the audacity to slap a young girl in public rather than arrest her if he found her breaking the law.

What is the police doing? They are just scaring and bullying the common man rather than the criminals! Had there been fear of law in the people and the police had brought the guilty to book, the situation would have been different. We would restore our faith back in the government and the police. We have so much of angst inside us and are waiting for action; we stand united for a cause.

This time don't hide behind snail-paced laws and say let the law take its own course because by that time we will have another heinous crime on hand! Now is the time to set an example. Let justice prevail this time!

(Dutta is a Bollywood actor)

Women power

There's no better way to pay a tribute to the Bollywood legend, director Yash Chopra than a fashion show with a Bollywood tadka.

The Women Club Tuesday, while presenting a rhythmic show with music, dance and fashion, added this theme to the glam quotient at their annual event at Central Club, Sector 9, Chandigarh, on Tuesday.

The club was established in 1984. With over three hundred active participants belonging to the elite families of Chandigarh, the club is dedicated and committed to social causes like women empowerment, protection of the girl child, among many others.

This time around, the members collaborated with a few renowned models of the region to present a very colourful and sensational show that was a huge hit with the audience.

Their charming attires added to the artistic and cultural quotient of the event. — TNS

Master Chef
Kairi ka kamaal
Kandla Nijhowne

When the mangoes flood our markets, we grab them hungrily, only to discover that the golden hued fruit is far from ripe underneath the yellow skin. I finally resort to whipping up a mango shake out of the ones that let you down. The best deal is to "do" raw mango instead, for they can't let you down, can they ? In Andhra Pradesh they make a delicious "pulihora" to tantalise the tongue as well as satisfy the stomach. A pulihora is a rice dish with raw mango or tamarind added to give it a kick. You may sneak in vegetables too, and make this a well rounded meal. Dry red chillies introduce heat to the combination, and fried cashews though optional, add extra opulence !

Andhra style Pulihora

  • Raw rice 2 cups
  • Turmeric ½ tsp
  • Fresh curry leaves 12-14
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped or sliced ¾ cup


  • Shakkar 1 tsp
  • Channa daal 1 tbs
  • Urad daal 1 tbs
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp
  • Jeera 1 tsp
  • Dry red chillies 3-4
  • Green chillies 4-5
  • Chopped ginger 1½ tsp
  • Hing ¼ tsp
  • Roasted til, 1½ tbsp

powdered (optional)

  • Roasted peanuts ½ cup
  • Oil 3 tbsp
  • Fried cashews (optional) ½ cup


Split the green chilies lengthwise. Cook the rice, cool and sprinkle over it the haldi, salt, a tbsp of oil and few fresh curry leaves. Heat the remaining oil, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add dry red chilies, jeera, channa and urad daal and fry for a minute till light brown. Add the slit green chilies, ginger, hing and few curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Add the raw mango and shakkar and cook the mango till it is quite tender. You may add thinly sliced veggies at this stage, if you so desire. Remove from heat and mix into the seasoned rice. Adjust salt and sprinkle over the roasted sesame seeds powder and roasted peanuts. Combine well, top with fried cashews and serve with yogurt and pickle to make a complete Meal.

(Nijhowne is a Chandigarh-based culinary expert)

Health first

Piccadily square, Chandigarh, which has three state-of-the art screens, recently held Muscle Mania-2013, an event that focused on fitness and strength. The basic objective behind organising the programme was to promote health and fitness amid people of the Tricity.

In the event held at the Club Pulse Piccadily Gym on April 21, as many as 50 participants took part in Bench Press and Arm Wrestling contests. Mr Piccadily and Miss Piccadily were adjudged from among the top finalists in each category. — TNS

star track
So far, so good:
Shraddha Kapoor

Shraddha Kapoor made her debut in Teen Patti, followed it up with a sparkling performance in Luv Ka The End and will now be seen in Vishesh Films' Aashique 2. She talks about her family, love for dancing and more.

All in the family

My dad is a Punjabi and my mother is a Maharashtrian. I am closest to my mother and my parents spoil me rotten. My dad pampers me a lot. My house is going crazy right now because my film Aashique 2, and my brother Siddhant's debut in Shootout At Wadala, is happening within a week. I am also extremely close to my aunt (Tejaswini Kolhapure). I feel my aunt Padmini Kolhapure is a wonderful actress and she does not realise it. My mother does not age only and is the most beautiful woman I know. My parents call me their lucky charm.

Dancing shoes

I love dancing. I used to wear my mom's heels and my dad's clothes as a child and dance my heart out. I dance all around my room and the house. I would love to do a dance film one day. Dancing is fun and also therapeutic.

On her debut

I studied in Jamnabai Narsee School till standard 8 and then went to American School of Bombay. After that I went to Boston but I quit and came back because I wanted to act. My family supported that decision. I also felt like becoming an airhostess but my father did not want me to do that. The producer of Teen Patti, Ambika Hinduja, saw my pictures on Facebook and called me for an audition and that’s how I was cast in the movie. After that Luv Ka The End happened and now Aashique 2.

On relationships

I have not had any serious relationship in my life. I do not feel the need right now and I am quite busy with my career and modelling assignments. My father advised me to concentrate on my career and work hard and I am doing just that. I am only 24!

Fashion and style

Like any other young girl, I love dressing up and dolling up. I like comfortable clothes and I am quite moody. I love wearing bright and pop colours.

Shades of grey

Ameesha Patel Ameesha Patel plays a vamp, in Shortcut Romeo, opposite Neil Nitin Mukesh.  She plays the temptress wife of an industrialist who has an affair with Neil Nitin Mukesh's character.

Thereafter, follows a cat and mouse game between the two characters. Who will win? Find out in June when the film releases.

Ameesha Patel

Spilling the beans

Kunaal Roy Kapur has let out a secret about his popular sister-in-law Vidya Balan. He said that she is very homely and family-oriented but she cannot cook (not that every woman should know how to cook!).

He says that the family meets every weekend and they all talk about all aspects of their lives. He said that Vidya is a grounded person who puts family before anything else.

Best behaviour

Sonakshi Sinha is a favourite with her staff members. She remembers all their names and even makes sure they are fine and have eaten their meals on time. She has also become a favourite with unit members of all the films she works on as she genuinely cares for every crew member. That is sweet.

New kid on the block

Son of Tips honcho Kumar Taurani, Girish Kumar is all set to make his Bollywood debut, opposite Shruti Haasan. The film is directed by Prabhudeva and is releasing on 19th of July. The film also stars Sonu Sood and Jacqueline Fernandez. They will be seen in a special song titled Jaadu Ki Jhappi De De Tu Abhi. Now it will be interesting to see if Kumar’s son successfully forays into Bollywood or not.

Talk to the hand

Reese Witherspoon has cancelled two television appearances in the wake of her and husband Jim Toth's brief arrest for disorderly conduct and drunken driving.

The 37-year-old actress was supposed to be promoting her upcoming film Mud on television, said a publication.

Witherspoon and her Hollywood agent husband were briefly arrested in Atlanta.

Witherspoon has cancelled her scheduled appearance on NBC's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and ABC's Good Morning America.

She yesterday opted out of the Mud press junket in New York. Though the actress was present at the premiere of Mud at the Museum of Modern Art in New York recently. The film is set to release on April, 26. — PTI

Bad timing: Reese Witherspoon

Jamie Foxx turns a geek

Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx has got a geeky make-over for the new Spider Man film.

The 45-year-old actor plays a nerdy engineer Max Dillon in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 who gets struck by lightning 
while working on a power line and transforms in super villain Electro, reported a publication.

The actor was spotted on the sets of the film in New York hiding his looks.

Foxx was snapped on sets last week in glittery blue body paint. The film, directed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield as the web casting superhero, will release in 2014. —PTI

A suitable replacement

John Abraham has replaced Akshay Kumar in the sequel to Welcome, which will roll later this July.

Akshay has been replaced because of creative differences with Firoz Nadiadwala, the producer. John has been paid a whopping Rs 15 crore for the sequel titled Welcome Back. It is unlikely that Katrina Kaif will star in it.

Mutual admiration club

Saif Ali Khan has always been interested in politics and thrillers. He will be a part of Kabir Khan's next political thriller, produced by Sajid Nadiadwala.

The film will be shot all over the globe. The heroine is yet to be decided. Saif and Kabir have mutual admiration and respect for each other and their work.

chatter box
Making a debut on small screen

Ipshita Datta, Tanushree Datta's younger sister, is now joining the long list of actors who have star siblings. She will soon debut on TV with a new show, Ek Ghar Banaunga that will be telecast on Star Plus. Read on for more details.

Why did you choose to debut with a television show instead of films?

I was really keen on acting. I have done South-Indian films and several ads too, but this opportunity seemed good.

Your career was going well with South Indian films, then why didn't you stick around there?

I don't plan things in life. Moreover, South-Indian languages are too tough to learn. Nevertheless, I will keep doing films too.

Why did’nt you make your association with Tanushree known?

Though I have been living with her, I never thought of taking up acting as a career.

Slated for 6.30 pm, doesn't the slot, which can hardly be called the prime slot, worry you?

No. I am sure the channel has some plans. They must have done a thorough research. I am hoping the show will do well because the content is really good.

What can you tell us about your role in the show?

It's different, new but I cannot reveal the plot of the show right now. I auditioned for the role a month ago. -HRM

Keeping away from mangoes

With the advent of summers, the mango season is right around the corner. But Debina Bonnerjee, who is currently seen in Chidiyaghar, is keeping away from mangoes! Apparently, her husband, Gurmeet Choudhary, does not want her to put on weight, so she refrains from biting into the delicious Alfonzo. However, she hopes to eat some soon, but she promises that she will not go overboard!

Spreading cheer

Sanaya Irani Sanaya Irani, who plays the role of a bubbly girl in Chhanchhan, feels blessed to be making the audience smile. She feels that people do not want to watch sad shows and hopes that her show entertains the audience. Well, so far, so good.

all smiles: Sanaya Irani

And the drama unfolds… 

After Ichcha's (Tina Dutta) death, Uttaran, a show that is telecast on Colors, will witness a huge drama. In the upcoming episodes of the show, Rathod and Jogi Thakur will go to Aatishgadh, to look for Meethi and Vishnu will start falling for her.

Pavitra (Hetal Yadav) who plays Vishnu's aunt said, "You will have to wait and watch for the dramatic sequences soon!"

Astro Turf
p Khurrana

ARIES: Your spouse will suffer from a health condition. Finances will be strong. Deal with paper work that has been building up. It is time to slow down and recharge your physical and spiritual batteries. Tarot message: Involve yourself in new projects. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 52.

TAURUS: Matters concerning the government will be highlighted. Postpone work that requires concentration and physical efforts. You need to pay attention to your body's health needs. Tarot message: Let things run their course as of now. Lucky colour: Saffron. Magic number: 50

GEMINI: You are destined for better things than you think. An authoritative figure is on your side, so use their support to your advantage. You will have difficulty getting along with associates. Tarot message: Avoid the tendency to criticise or judge others. Lucky colour: Green. Magic number: 35

CANCER: A restless night will result in agitation. A love affair is going the strange way that will distance you from your partner. Anxiety will be at an all time high. Co-operation from lawyers is unlikely. Tarot message: Avoid nasty situations. Lucky colour: Mauve. Magic number: 27

LEO: You must not do anything to damage your reputation. It will be difficult to avoid conflict between home life and employment affairs. A change in jobs will cause tension. Tarot message: You are advised to focus on professional changes. Lucky colour: Black. Magic number: 32

VIRGO:Romance is your forte this morning. Minor problems will disappear. Love on the home front will renew your hopes and wishes. Keep your mind on the business at hand. Tarot message: Do not trust anybody with your finances. Lucky colour: Crimson. Magic number: 57

LIBRA: Confidence and good feelings are in abundance. Trust your own instincts. Don't listen to other people. Plans to merge a business will be successful. Be prudent with your finances. Tarot message: Do not leave things to chance. Lucky colour: White. Magic number: 39

SCORPIO: A bright start to the day. New contracts are likely to prove most valuable. Communicating with people at a distance will be extremely helpful. Clear thinking is necessary. Tarot message: Strive for perfection at work. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic number: 64

SAGITTARIUS: You will not be able to stick to a schedule. It would be best to do one thing at a time. Your harmonious nature is highlighted as you interact with friends, family and potential lovers. Tarot message: Take no chance. Lucky colour: Orange.

Magic number: 33

CAPRICORN: Do not project yourself too far into the future. You will have to be stricter with loved ones. The lesson for you is to have faith in your own intellectual ability and make your own choices based on your needs. Tarot message: Stay optimistic. Lucky colour: Blue. Magic number: 40

AQUARIUS: Today you will get money from unexpected source. Lovers are in a cheerful mood. Your ability to influence others is strong, but you need to be cooperative and willing to compromise. Tarot message: Be honest. Lucky colour: Green. Magic number: 31

PISCES: Control your temper in public meetings. Your workload will weigh you down. If you are one of those people who can't say no, you are about to learn. Your private life will be disturbed. Tarot message: Take one step at a time. Lucky colour: Golden. Magic number: 60

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