On a path less trodden
Daljit Ami’s tenth short film Seva not only underlines the significance of preserving heritage, but also salutes the contribution of those devoted to the onerous task of conserving it
Nonika Singh

The image of SRK prancing in the mustard fields of Punjab might have been immortalised in cinema… Daljit Ami, a man of rural roots, knows too well it’s nearly impossible and impractical to do so in real life. In fact, back in time he realised that the Punjab depicted in Bollywood and Pollywood is far removed from the actual reality.

So to bring out the real Punjab and its people Ami turned a filmmaker. Making films shorn of commercial razzmatazz, he focuses on flesh and blood people engaged in varying pursuits that have a larger import. Today he is ready with his tenth short film Seva that underlines the significance of heritage and brings alive men and women who are at its service. He says, “Be it literature or cinema it’s about time we turned our attention to non-fiction. Till we do so we will not be able to evolve a sensitive society.”

Heritage, the civilizational connect in particular, he asserts can make us better human beings. Alas, he rues it remains an absolutely neglected domain that simply doesn’t exist on the radar of people. That’s why he chose the popular medium of films to bring it into focus. Of course, as he brings together five different persons devoted to the cause of heritage he even links it up with the damage that has been played out on the world stage. In Punjab he gives full marks to the Punjab Digital Library, which he feels is doing both stellar and pioneering work. He gushes, “Imagine till date they have digitised 7.5 million pages.” In times to come, he observes, it would become an institution to reckon with and perhaps an independent subject of his next film.

In his lexicon of filmmaking, audience does not comprise bumbling idiots but intelligent, thinking beings who don’t have to be spoon-fed. Drawing them into his creative maze he wants viewers to decode on their own. No wonder he doesn’t offer any linear narrative in his films. Nor does he stick to the oft beaten path.

So when the entire country was harping over the plight of debt-ridden farmers, he made a film on landless labourers who he observes are born in debt and named his film so. In Not Every Time he talked of a movement in Barnala district that raised a voice against sexual crimes that few urbanites had heard of. On urbanites, especially residents of City Beautiful, he is candid. He quips, “Short film festivals that happen in Chandigarh have nothing to do with the region.” Even otherwise he feels Chandigarhites identify with New Delhi and New York.

Indeed, making the kind of films he does is no cakewalk. Even more difficult is marketing these films. Yet moving against all odds his films have found receptive viewers.

Kar Seva on the green crusader Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal has been viewed by millions of people as it has been screened across the length and breadth of villages across Punjab. With the latest Seva he hopes to target schools and colleges.

One day he might move to larger-than-life cinema but his subjects would still be drawn from contemporary non-fiction and mirror everyday concerns of the common man. Picking up threads from the hidden pages of history right now he is planning to make an ambitious film on the Singapore mutiny in which 41 Punjabis lost their lives.

Love for cinema might have rubbed on to him perchance when as a college student he shared a room with the National Award winning director Rajeev Sharma. Today it’s a passion that finds sustenance in his ability to sail alone, more often than not, against the tide.


Young & Bold
Pakistani model-turned-actor Mathira, who is set for an item number in Punjabi movie Young Malang, believes the two countries are culturally very similar…
Manpriya Singh

The entertainment industry never really tires of controversies. It doesn’t really matter how much is already going on, there is always space for one more rumour and some scope for one more storm. The latest to be to be kicking it up, Pakistani model-turned-actor Mathira, brings an understandable feeling of déjà vu and a comparison with Veena Malik with the same country and similar antecedents. Post a nude photo-shoot back home perhaps, she has nothing to hide! “You can ask me any question, except for personal questions,” she affirms, politely, right before the start of the interaction, while in Chandigarh for an item number in Punjabi movie Young Malang.

Just when the one hour delay starts appearing a little unfruitful, there’s a justification, “I shot for the song till 5.30 in the morning, then went back to the hotel and have come straight for the press conference.”

A foray with an item number puts things in the league of controversial identities if not the item queens. It’s been a while of handling the glare and attention. “It doesn’t really matter to me because I do not cross that much of the border. It’s all about which facet of my personality the media highlights. No one can stop the press…there are twenty people who hate you, there are also ten people who like you.”

Back home, it is endorsements, photo-shoots and ‘even charity for cancer patients’ while across the border ‘this is my first item number’. There may be some ‘fluency issues with the language’ but not with the place. She adds, “Punjab is a very sweet place and so is India. I feel we are all the same; we speak similar language and even culturally we are very similar.” As for the item number, as of now, there may be nothing much to divulge save for, “It’s a very lovely item number. We haven’t crossed the line with it and at the same time, it’s a good track, very peppy.” Bollywood may or may not be happening, currently, “she’ll only talk about the film in question.”

Producer’s take

The latest import from the neighbouring country hops onto the bandwagon of item songs and films; only this time starting with Punjabi cinema! Explains Rahulinder Singh Sidhu, the producer, “Songs and dance has always been our format; I feel a song is a good break from the story. And an item song is a good thing if it fits into the script and doesn’t cross the line.” There may have been some apprehensions before ignoring the controversial antecedents, but it was well taken care of. “There was some hesitation initially but it was the team’s decision.The casting was done in Mumbai and they selected the best person who fit the job,” he assures.


Game for it?
Game4u at the Elante Mall, Chandigarh, opens up the virtual world for you... 
Amarjot Kaur

If you are a gaming buff, its time you wear your jogging shoes and head to the Elante Mall as Game4u brings a huge variety of gaming hardware, software and digital services to Chandigarh. Also, you have all the more reasons to drop in at the new store as it has a series of exciting new offers (valid till May 5) for those who walk into their store.

Jayont R. Sharma, chairman and CEO, Milestone Interactive Group, says, “Punjab is an extremely important market for us as the people here are very tech savvy, in tune with international trends and open to new ways of entertainment. Though ours is not a gaming café, we offer a wide range of gaming products, including PC games, play stations and X-box. Also, we offer a multiple interactive demo unit.”

As he continues to explain his endeavour that focuses primarily on enhancing the gaming experience, he adds, “We started off as an online brand for games in 2009 and have come a long way since then. Besides launching three stores in Mumbai, we have a number of stores across Gurgaon, Ludhiana and Jalandhar. I think what gives us an edge over other gaming stores is the fact that we take pre-orders for games that are yet to be released.”

So, now if you fancy a game that will be out in the market in a few months, you can place your order at the store. Not only does the store aim to maintain the good clientele by offering memberships, it also facilitates the exchange of old games for new. “You see, we give our loyal customers some special incentives and they can become our ‘elite members’. Besides, if you have an old game, which is of no use to you, you can always come down to the store and exchange it for a new one!” he says.

Slice of Italy

Italia! The very word itself is a synonym for heavenly cuisine. Recognised across the globe and all cultural divides, Italian food is associated with rich, red sauces, aromatic herbs and creamy, melt-in-your-mouth desserts. Outside of Italy, spaghetti bolognaises and pizza reign supreme as staples in most people’s go-to menu items however, the Italian cuisine is greatly varied, an amazing adventure and so much more than pasta and pizza.

So, gear up to indulge in some gastronomic delights as JW Marriott Chandigarh invites the guests to tantalise their taste buds with an extensive and truly mouthwatering swell of Ligurian cuisine, as the Liguria Food Festival begins today at the award winning Italian Restaurant, Oregano Restaurant & Bar.

Food has been especially prepared by Chef Antonello, who has recipes that are generations old, with some recipes even being long-held family secrets. You can be sure of eating food that is bursting with nutrition as the Ligurian food is rich in flavour and freshness and draws on a heritage steeped in legends of the sea and highland farming.

Chef and his team have put their spin on the traditional taste from Liguria in the menu with a concoction of Farm and Fisherman ambience. Certain specialties which will be available are a selection of cheeses, including Focaccia al formaggio, Acciughe sotto sale which are the salted Anchovies, Gnocchi al pesto (Potatoes dumpling with pesto sauce), a popular meat dish, “Cima alla Genovese”, a veal roll stuffed with a mixture of eggs and vegetables, served as a cold cut.

The festival will run from the 25th April to 11th of May. The extensive Ligurian menu and a la carte dinner menu will be available every night between 7.30pm to 11.30pm.

it’s rocking
Shake a leg!

Well, he needs no introduction; for his previous song was associated with the widely imitated horse-riding dance and confess it you have tried the Gangnam style while you were drunk at the club or in your bedroom! For those who like it crazy, would have tried to pull it off in their bathrooms too! So, by now if you haven’t guessed, Psy has come up with an all-new electro-pop song, Gentleman, and guess what, it is already topping the charts! Now here’s what the Chandigarh folks have to say about the song and while you take a quick read, don’t forget to rock!

Beat attack

Well, I was wondering where Psy disappeared after the Gangnam style, but with Gentleman, I feel that he is back with a bang! Also, I love the beats of the song. There is something so electrifying about it. When I heard it, I was wondering how he manages to bring about so much variation in a genre that’s essentially pop, but this one sure is music to the ears!

Karan Arora, businessman

Rock & roll

Psy has this very wacky sense of humour, which is much apparent in his videos. For instance, the Gangnam style would not have gained much acclaim had it not been for the crazy dance steps. With Gentleman, the video resounds with the same feel that there was to his previous song and I love it. Its wacky, funny and it definitely makes me want to dance.

Kavita Sehgal, student

Recreating magic

I think that Psy has tried to recreate the style that he originally attempted to do while coming up with the Gangnam style, but I’m not complaining. I think that he is doing what he does best and only sticking to it. Moreover, in his new song, he has tried to use more English words, which makes it a bit more understandable. I like the song.

Amol Goel, businessman — As told to Amarjot Kaur

Happy viewing

India's first Matrimonial channel Shagun TV be 
soon at your home. It will bring in a rich mix 
from across India, which features pre-nuptial and post-nuptial programmes, issues, relevant information etc. The channel will feature shows related to wedding, astrology, relationships, shopping such as Toh Baat Pakki, Gold n Beautiful, Janam Janam ka saath, Kundali Bole etc.

It is a 24-hour channel that will be distributed through all DTH and digital network. Along with the channel, Shagun's matrimonial website is also being launched. The website 'www.shagunindia.com' is a one-stop destination to find your perfect life partner and plan your wedding as well. Other than choosing your perfect mate, you can also shop everything related to your wedding. This is a perfect opportunity and platform for all those brides- and-grooms-to-be to not just have a dream wedding but to get their nuptial oaths aired on a national TV channel!

The channel has been conceptualized, conceived and promoted by Anuranjan Jha. "I conceived this idea eight years back and am working on it, now we are ready with India's first matrimonial channel. The shows are very unique and exciting, whether it's astrology, shopping or honeymoon travel planning," he says. — TNS

star track
Long lost holidays
B-town skips the summer break
For once, you have an advantage over Bollywood stars. While you will be planning summer holidays with your family members, the stars of Bollywood will be working very hard on shooting their movies or promoting them. Here is looking at the busy schedules of a few stars

Deepika Padukone: She has four back-to-back releases with Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express, Kochidayyaan and Raam Leela. All the films are spread over the next six months. She has been working like a crazy and is absolutely dedicated. The last time she took a break was while she was promoting Race 2 in Dubai and she partied with Ranveer Singh and his friends.

Breaking news

Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan: The begum is busy shooting for Satyagraha in Bhopal and Gori Tere Pyar Mein in Bangalore, Mumbai and Goa. She will also start shooting for KJo's production, starring her and Emraan Hashmi. Meanwhile, Saif is busy with the promotions and post-production work of Go Goa Gone, which releases in two weeks. He is also shuttling between Lucknow and Kolkata for Bullet Raja. They try and meet in between schedules. They took a short break, and went to Maldives, a few months ago but their next holiday is likely to be Gstaad in December.

Entertainment tax Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan 

Down but not out

Ranveer Singh: Nothing keeps the energetic actor down, not even injuries and he injures himself quite frequently. He is neck-deep into shooting Raam Leela with Deepika Padukone.

He is also busy shooting Gunday in Kolkata. Promotions for Lootera will keep him busy along with preparations for YRF's Kill Dil.


Hrithik Roshan: The shooting of Krrish 3 wrapped up a few days ago and he is completely into the post-production work of the movie. He is also supervising the trailers of the film. Post this; he begins preparing and shooting for Bang Bang with Katrina Kaif in Kashmir.

He will also be travelling to Europe for the same so there is no vacation in sight for him.

Work some, play some

Ranbir Kapoor: He has been chilling with his rumoured girlfriend Katrina Kaif lately and the last time he took a break was during New Year's when he walked hand-in-hand with Katrina Kaif in New York. He is busy with Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and is in the middle of shooting Besharam. His other commitments include reading scripts, green-lighting projects, charity football, endorsement events and spending quality time with Katrina.

Loud and clear

Actress Kate Hudson has said that she and partner Matt Bellamy will definitely marry someday but are in no rush to walk down the aisle.

The Muse singer and Hudson have dated each other since the spring of 2010. However, they announced their engagement only a year later, reported a publication.

"Eventually, yes. I look forward to it... We'll both figure it out. We've both been very busy, but it will happen," she said.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist actress, who raises a son with Bellamy, described the tot as a gem. "He is talking up a storm. I'll ask, 'What do you want for breakfast, honey?' He says, 'Bolognese'," she joked. — PTI

The number game

Shah Rukh Khan believes in numerology and feels '40' and '555' are his lucky numbers.

He, his family and his staff members have these numbers in their official mobile numbers and he even has them in his personal email ID. He is in touch with a reputed numerologist and even studies the science of numbers in his office at night.

Awesome threesome

There are three actresses in Bollywood who get along and party together and they are none other than Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. The trio partied in Ranbir Kapoor's room during an awards event in Canada and even went (minus Priyanka Chopra) to Shah Rukh's room to say hello to SRK and Gauri.

Work in progress

The Amazing Spider-Man star Emma Stone is reportedly in talks for the leading role in Woody Allen's untitled film.

The 24-year-old actress has recently completed Blue Jasmine with Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin, reported a publication. Stone is currently busy with, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed dark comedy, Birdman, and Cameron Crowe's untitled project. Stone will reprise the character of Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The film is a sequel to the 2012 film, The Amazing Spider-Man. The film is slated for a release on May 2. — PTI

Look who’s back

Mallika Sherawat is back in India and is doing a television show simply because it will pay her well and she is a single girl who maintains her own lifestyle and pays her own bills. She says that contrary to the popular belief, she has not relocated to the US but goes there to work, to shop and to socialise.

Art and technology

Priyanka Chopra's look, for the Mary Kom biopic, will mostly be created using VFX in the post-production stage of the film instead of using prosthetics. The work will be done by Red Chillies VFX. The director Omung Kumar decided against the use of prosthetics because they may not last during the acting sequences. The North-Eastern look for her will be created using VFX.

Turn for the better

Adah Sharma Adah Sharma finally has a decent role. She will be seen in Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap's joint production, which stars Parineeti Chopra and Siddharth Malhotra. She has already begun shooting for the film in Mumbai. This role was supposed to be under wraps but she was spotted shooting for the same with the other cast members.

Role call: Adah Sharma

chatter box
Big screen for Anuj

Anuj Saxena is the new talk of the town. He scorched the TV screens as the flambouyant 'Abhay Kapoor' in KKusum. Now, he is set to make his Bollywood debut with the award-winning director Sachin Gupta's film Paranthe Wali Gali. The movie named after the famous Delhi Street will showcase the colourful heritage of the area.

However, the bigger buzz is that even before this movie releases, Anuj has also bagged a leading role in Sanjay Sharma's Black Currency' alongside Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Besides being an actor, Anuj is also an industrialist, producer and financer. His entertainment company, Anuj Saxena Entertainment Pvt Ltd, will provide a platform to the young talent to carve a niche in the highly competitive world of showbiz.

As of now, he is all set to kickoff Miss India Worldwide 2013 in India, followed by Mr India Platinum later in the year.

Dance and Drama

With many names being speculated for new season of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, now buzz is that Karan Kundra might enter the show through a wild card entry. Karan, who is currently shooting for Vikram Bhatt's movie, might be able to take some time out for the show.

High design

FOX Traveller will soon be launching a fashion-related travel show called Style & The City (SATC) featuring top Indian designers like Rocky S, Rina Dhaka and Ashish Soni. They will travel to different parts of India to take inspiration from the city for the outfits they create. The show will feature celebrities and socialites like Dia Mirza, Priya Sachdeva, Jacky Bhagnani, among others. It will premiere on May 15, 2013 at 10 pm and will air every Wednesday and Thursday.

Ticket to Bollywood

You must remember him from his admirable role in the famous television shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kumkum and Krishna Arjun on Star Plus. And now, Hussain Kuwajerwala is all set to debut in a Bollywood movie Shree.

Why did you choose Shree for your debut?

I love the story. It is a thriller about a guy who tries to get something he can't have and feels trapped.

You haven't been seen in any serial, why?

I was busy doing Zangoora, a Broadway play. I wanted something different and this dance musical play came as a challenge. The play will soon complete 1,000 shows.

Are films the natural course for actors?

I guess. When you have been a part of TV shows for a while, you aspire to do more; films are the answer.

You also came back to TV while hosting Indian Idol. Why?

I love hosting and have done numerous shows but Indian Idol is very close to my heart. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

What are you planning next?

I am looking at a couple of projects. Let's see what's in store.

All set to dance

If dance interests you already, get ready to be blown-off. After the huge success of Nach Baliye, Star Plus is all set to launch India's Dancing Superstar (IDS). And what's unique about the show is that the new format is with no barrier of age, dance form or style.

While showcasing various styles, be it Bollywood, hip-hop, contemporary, ballroom,the contestants can perform as individuals, pairs or in groups - the participants will be performing some of the most innovative and entertaining styles through their acts.

The judges include Bolywood star Ritesh Deshmukh along with the two renowned choreographers Geeta Kapur and Ashley Lobo. "The show is in sync with this ideology to propagate the new within the old and we want it to be India's biggest dance celebration," says Nachiket Pantavaidya, general manager, Star Plus. Catch India's Dancing Superstar from April 27 on Star Plus only on weekends from 9 pm onwards.

A nervous judge

We have seen Govinda as a guest celebrity on numerous reality shows and have watched the participants go crazy for him, but now we will see him judging the reality show Indian Model Hunt 2013. It is a show with lots of masala, music, entertainment and of course, the talented contestants from all over the country. It also marks the debut of Govinda as a judge on the small screen. Govinda says, "I get nervous when I have to judge. There is so much talent around."

Replacing Salman?

The latest buzz on the small screen is that this year Shah Rukh Khan might replace Salman Khan as the host on Big Boss, a reality TV show. While Salman has been hosting the show for three seasons in a row, his next movie Mental and his health needs his time.

Murder & mystery

National Geographic Channel brings a new show titled Cold Blood, which will showcase the most brutal murder scenes from around the world with evidence, clues, blood splatter, a certain aura of mystery and a lot of confusion! Cold Blood promises to take viewers back to the murder site and decipher the evidence piece by piece. So, put on your thinking hats and investigate some astounding murder cases with this brand new series every night at 10 pm Tuesday. 

new releases
Aashiqui 2

On Trail: A still from Cold Blood Producer: Mukesh Bhatt
Director: Mohit Suri
Cast: Shradha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapoor

This Friday, the viewers can expect an impressive sequel of Rahul Roy-Anu Agarwal- starrer musical hit of the 90's Aashiqui. The sequel Aashiqui 2 is a Vishesh Films presentation and stars the brown-eyed beauty Shradha Kapoor. She steps into the statuesque Anu Agarwal's stilettos in the sequel. The buzz is that Aashiqui 2 is not a remake. It is set in a different time zone and the story has no resemblance to Aashiqui. The one thing similar is the intensity of love that the two lead characters have for each other.

Aashiqui 2 is an out-and-out romantic film directed by renowned Mohit Suri. Aditya Roy Kapoor is paired opposite Shradha Kapoor. Sandeep Nath, Irshad Kamil and Sanjay Mansoon have penned the lyrics while Mithoon, Jeet Ganguli and Ankit Tiwari have composed the music. — Dharam Pal

Iron Man 3

Producer: Kevin Feige
Director: Shane Black

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Badge, Ben Kingsley.

This is the third installment of American super-hero action movie Iron Man, who faces his enemy called Mandarian. Iron Man's damsel in distress Pepper Potts will be seen rescuing her boss and beau for a change. Iron Man 3 is being touted as a fast-paced action movie. 

Astro Turf
p Khurrana

ARIES: Your cards "Two of Cups" suggests that romance will be much on your mind. Independent efforts are unlikely to bring spectacular gains. Ensure that you will still have creative and satisfying things to do. Tarot message: Act righteously. Lucky colour: Pink. Magic number: 57

TAURUS: Spiritual values surface. A matter related to tax will get postponed. The personal and professional areas of your life will be at odds. Stop compromising on your values. Tarot message: Leave things open-ended for best results. Lucky colour: Golden. Magic number: 65

GEMINI: Social activities accelerate. Co-workers are helpful. A love relationship is revitalised. Pursuing your romance into the realms of commitment makes for joyous celebrations. Tarot message: You need to take things slowly. Lucky colour: Red. Magic number: 30

CANCER: Your card "The King" brings joyous news. Share your interests with your family members. You need a break from hectic schedule. Enjoy the unique flavour of your relationships. Tarot message: Be optimistic. Lucky colour: Crimson. Magic number: 33

LEO: Double-check everything before heading out this morning. Help out a friend in need. Your care and interest will make all the differences in their decisions and peace of mind. Tarot message: Do not swing away from the course you have charted so far. Lucky colour: White. Magic number: 61

VIRGO: Complete all the pending work today. You need to be alert and responsive. Group efforts and projects will inspire you as well as introduce you to interesting friends. Tarot message: Don't be too certain about obtaining a clearance. Lucky colour: Mauve. Magic number: 44

LIBRA: Focus on spirituality and meditation. Any plan for a journey is likely to be delayed. Avoid social gathering in the evening. Keep a check on your health. Love life is exciting. Tarot message: Win the war with honesty. Lucky colour: Saffron. Magic number: 29

SCORPIO: Work and domestic duty follows a familiar pattern today. You will find it difficult to reach to an agreement with loved ones. Family members will be short-tempered. Tarot message: Delays are the only obstacle in your way to success. Lucky colour: Green. Magic number: 63

SAGITTARIUS: Employment affairs will be unsettling. Home and family issues will be most enjoyable. This is the time of increased communication or travel with loved ones. Tarot message: Leave the past and move ahead. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic number: 52

CAPRICORN: Today, be a little cautious about who you get involved with. Old memories will bring spiteful emotions. A new romance will bring satisfactory changes in your life. Tarot message: Handle financial matters with caution. Lucky colour: Purple. Magic number: 36

AQUARIUS: Business matters will not proceed smoothly. Attempts to improve your health will be successful. An irritating co-worker will push you to your limits. Maintain your composure and avoid a confrontation. Tarot message: Don't give up your rights. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic number: 40

PISCES: It will be wise to keep work and domestic matters separate. It's a useful day to handle household repairs. Keeping a strong check on you finances will help you in the future. Tarot message: You are on the right track. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 26

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