Foreign touch
For most NRIs Bollywood mirrors fashion. So what are the parameters designers keep in mind while designing for their NRI clientele?
Ashima Batish

Fashion fabric: Rupam Grewal (centre) with her clients
Fashion fabric: Rupam Grewal (centre) with her clients

Subtle note: (L-R) A creation by Salim Asgarally, a design by Jyotsna Tiwari
Subtle note: (L-R) A creation by Salim Asgarally, a design by Jyotsna Tiwari

There is a reason why Falguni and Shane Peacock are opening a store in New York, why Jai Parvesh travel across the US holding fashion and trunk shows, why Kanika Saluja shuttles so often between India and the West or why city based fashion designer duo, Suneet-Puneet, is flooded with orders from abroad during this season.

They reap the benefits of having a huge NRI market, which has changed the fortunes of many Indian fashion designers. And what they create for NRIs differ from what they make for their Indian clientele, at times in terms of bling, embroideries, silhouettes and even colours. "The difference is the result of cultural influence of the country they reside in, even if it is an Asian dominated region," says Salim Asgarally, who has at least 30 per cent of NRI customers.

He follows a procedure before he finalises a design for a client based out of India. "The first bit of information about what they are looking for comes from their side. I then mail them a few samples, from which we take forward the designing process."

Instead of following the fashion weeks and ramp shows, NRIs apparently are influenced by what they see on TV and films. "For them, Bollywood mirrors fashion, as that is what they have an easy access to. But once the samples are exchanged, they open up to experimenting with fashion," Salim adds.

If Salim follows the unsaid protocol in Mumbai, Suneet-Puneet duo does it from here in Chandigarh. "Before they fix their plans to visit India in August and September, we send them a blueprint of what we have in store," Puneet says, while adding that NRIs order for a combination clothes. It can be purely traditional design, like a phulkari suit or ethnic wear like a saree with minimal work. Rupam Grewal, who recently launched her label, Jaamawar Minx, in Chandigarh, however, differs, "Because NRIs don't get to wear embellished and embroidered clothes on a daily basis, they prefer to go full-fledged with stones and works when the occasion demands." Her client from the UK, Kuldeep Kent, flies to India before the wedding season to pick up a few, "Not that fashion designers don't outsource their designs abroad, but what you get in India in terms of pure fabrics, silk, crepe, brocade or georgettes makes it worth shopping here."

While some NRIs pick creations for the love of traditional works, some pick what is suitable for an occasion. Informs Jyotsna Tiwari, who enjoys a huge NRI clientele from the UK, US and the Gulf, "Indians in the West host weddings in the daytime, which means they go in for pastels with lighter embroidery. But when they come to India to attend a wedding, they love to go for traditional works and bright colours." One of her creations that was an instant hit is a peplum top lehanga in silver grey and orange colour.

With fashion weeks uploaded on YouTube and popular social networking websites, Indian fashion has become far more accessible to the NRIs. Niki Mahajan, who makes her presence felt in Chicago, LA, New York…., through retail tie-ups, opines that her clients abroad are as much aware of the fashion scene in India as her local buyers. "Style is paramount to them. They don't go for quintessential lehenga and even want restrained embroidery." Niki's work is craft oriented. From interpretation of traditional weave of Bengal to a modern twist to Gujarat's embroidery, she feels NRIs are open to it all, provided fashion is in sync with experimentation.

No pun intended
Actor-singer Sippy Gill, who is currently working for Punjabi film Rangroot, would rather explore serious topics than stick to tried and tested comedy
Jasmine Singh

Sippy Gill (in white) with co-actors
Action time: Sippy Gill (in white) with co-actors; (below) the actor during a shoot for Rangroot.

The actor during a shoot for Rangroot

He cannot sit still--that's what his whats app status usually says. And he makes sure that he justifies his own status. Actor-singer Sippy Gill is a workaholic from the word go. Give him plenty, and he still longs for more.

Having finished the first schedule of the much-talked about Punjabi film Rangroot, directed by Mandeep Benipal of Sadda Haq fame, Sippy is one of the few actors of the industry who wouldn't want to be a part of cinema that is comedy centric. "Even when comedy rules the roost in Punjabi films, I made a conscious effort to make my debut in Putt Jattan De that was a drama with no gags," he shares. Meaningful cinema is what he wants to do. "There are so many subjects and themes that we can explore, why only comedy? Also, tell me about one comedy film that has gained enormously at the box office."

Sippy sports a serious look on his face, something he says he doesn't make up. He laughs, showing us he can always do better. "To an extent yes, the look that I carry makes it easy to slip into non-comic roles. Rest the directors can answer why they cast me in roles like this." adds Sippy, who prepared real tough for the upcoming film, Rangroot. "This is a film that is based on the training and life of new recruits." Rangroot is being shot at the Maharja Ranjit Singh Academy, Phillaur. "This is for the first time that a movie is being shot there. We would have the 'real' police instructors training us," he shares.

This singer-actor never thought of becoming a cop, the film however makes him look at the policemen with more respect. "The kind of strict routine that the new recruits have to go through is unbelievable. We would be trained in a similar way."

Offers are pouring in for Sippy but he is not interested in doing comedy films. This also means going against the tide. "Where will the tide lead me is what is important to see. No matter what, I will opt for a different route." While on his different path, Sippy does a few old things, which are close to his heart, like music. "I am releasing a single Just Friends in another 15 days, I can never be far from music, and this is my first love." Releasing a single is again something of a trend now! "I wouldn't know about it, music is something I love, and for me it is important to be around it," adds the actor.

Gold digger!
Television series Oh My Gold sees the return of actress Jennifer Kotwal as TLC’s golden girl

Jennifer Kotwal Jennifer Kotwal loves being herself in real and reel life. Her latest show Oh My Gold lets her do exactly that and more! This model-turned-actress not only gets to travel to three of India's most beautiful cities—Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru— but also shop to her heart's content…and shop for gold, a metal that most women are obsessed about.

TLC's latest golden girl, Jennifer couldn't help but indulge in the 'jewellery paradise' shopping spree gilded in gold and studded with every precious gem she ever dreamt of.

"The show has been fun. It has been awesome visiting the three cities and meeting their avant-garde geniuses who are doing unimaginably creative things in the world of jewellery," says Jennifer, a Parsi from Mumbai who bonded with other cultures and the role jewellery plays on occasions like wedding.

The show that its host describes as 'sweet, simple and beautiful' brings you home traditional, quintessentially region-specific ornaments as well. "There are many ways to wear a piece of jewellery and doing that was incredible fun," says the actor who made it big in her high school with show Just Mohabbat.

She enjoyed different styles of jewellery in different parts of India, "It was difficult to miss the diverse preferences people have for gold in different regions. People in North love the flashy stuff, they wear gold as if everyday is their birthday. South Indians value gold but like it simple and traditional," says Jennifer.

This Mumbai girl doesn't wear gold in fast- paced metro life but loves to dress up for festive occasions. "The show has the perfect timing. With the wedding season in, and so many invites at my doorstep, I am all set to carry some gold."

Oh My Gold makes Jennifer come back to telly after a long time. "I can't do regular TV stuff anymore. I will be so misfit in mythological serials anyhow," reasons the girl who followed Bollywood and then South Indian films.

Her current choice of work - "The shows that let me be," says Jennifer who would rather go to work and have fun than feeling lost in a strange plot. "It's amazing to work with TLC. They are absolutely professional and we are a great team," says Jennifer who is looking forward to another show preferably a food-related one!

About movies, she is all set to shoot for another film in January and that will put her foodie self step back and get into aggressive training.

Oh My Gold will dazzle the viewers from December 12 every day at 9 pm on TLC.

When glamour meets culture

A sense of fashion and the need to be trendy have struck all age groups and now we can spot even children donning designer wear. Our trendsetter, young Divya Ratra, a student of commerce is all for the trendy cultured looks.

Your sense of style…

A person who carefully chooses her bags and shoes denotes style to me. Also those who can carry off one-piece dresses with aplomb really are to be appreciated!

The latest addition to your treasure of clothing or accessories…

A black Aldo bag.

Brand crazy or street pick-ups?

Mostly brands but a mix of both will do.

Your style icon?

Deepika Pandukone, for she can carry off any dress.

And the worst-dressed celebrity?

Vidya Balan it would be.

Which look would you prefer-sporty, chic or glamourous?

Glamorous suits me.

One fashion trend that goes beyond your comprehension...

Piercing at odd places really irks me.

Your take on accessories…

Bracelets and chains are fine but not too many.

Who is your favourite designer?

Manish Malhotra is my all-time favourite designer.

What gives you a high on the confidence level?

A compliment or two from a genuine source when I am dressed right is a confidence booster.

— As told to Poonam Bindra

Gearing up for the global taste

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA) have come together for the first time to organise North India's biggest culinary extravaganza--CII International Chef Meet from December 5 at Parade Ground, Sector 17, Chandigarh.

The meet is being organised as part of CII Tourism Fest 2013 - an International Fest, hosted by Chandigarh Tourism (UT, Chandigarh Administration) and aimed to promote tourism, travel and hospitality sector as also establish a roadmap for inclusive and seamless tourism in the region and across the globe.

Themed as Celebrating the Taste, the International Chef meet will also have a culinary exhibition and food festival, where the residents of Tricity will get a chance to tickle their tastebuds with numerous regional, national and international cuisines.

With over 30 world-renowned chefs coming together, this will undoubtedly be the largest gathering of food and beverage industry professionals - executive chefs, F&B managers, academicians and technocrats. Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA), Indian Culinary Forum (ICF) and World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) are supporting the meet.

The meet promises to showcase world-class cuisines and international cooking styles. For the first time ever, the residents of the city will get to see State of Art Electrolux Kitchen Theatre, where 80 professional and enthusiast cooks will be competing in a live culinary competition to strike a perfect balance in their recipes with various ingredients. The meet also features an exclusive WACS Chefs Lounge to socially engage the specially invited decision makers and leading chefs.

Big names from chef and food industry like - Chef Manjit Gill, chief executive corporate chef of ITC Ltd, Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, TV anchor, restaurant brand owner and consultant, author, Surjan Singh Jolly, executive chef JW Marriott, Kandla Nijhowne, ex-Master Chef India contestant, Chef Vijaya Baskaran, executive chef at Le Meridien, Bengaluru, Chef Arvind Saraswat, director, food production, Taj Group of Hotels, Chef Gissur Gudmundsson, president of World Association of Chefs Societies, Chef Thomas A Gugler from Saudi Arab and many more will be participating in the event.

The winners of the various competitions as well as the international jury panel members and other celebrity chefs will be honoured at the Grand Award Ceremony on December 7, the concluding day at Hotel Shivalik View. — TNS

Par Excellence
Get a good grip
Jesse Grewal

A good grip should keep the club face square at impact, allow the hinging and unhinging of the wrists and the correct 'release' of the club. All these are controlled by the correct placement of the hands, the type of grip used and the grip pressure.

While the placement of the hands is a fundamental and should not have too much variance from the ideal position which is a two knuckle left hand grip (for right handed golfers), the type of grip used and the grip pressure is left to preference of the golfer.

There are three types of grips - the 10 finger or baseball grip, the overlap and the interlock. In the early days the 10 finger grip was used with the right hand placed well below the left hand with a gap between the two. This promoted the work of the right hand to supply the power as the clothing worn by the golfers at that time was a jacket and tie and this certainly would inhibit the turning of the body to supply power. As golf became a popular sport the jacket and tie became redundant and this change allowed a more athletic action of the body which was the advent of the modern golf swing. To restrict the excessive action of the right hand (which caused the hook) the hands were brought closer together and the little finger of the right hand overlapped the index finger of the left hand. This was later popularised by Vardon who put the little finger of the right hand in the gap between the index and middle finger of the left hand. Many years later golfers with small hands and fingers began interlocking the little finger of the right hand through the index and middle fingers of the left hand.

If a golfer, especially a junior or a lady, has weak shots which tend to go to the right they should try the 10 finger grip as it promotes the action of the right hand and increases the power and the speed of the release. For most golfers with long fingers or large hands, the overlap would be the best suited grip. If golfers with long fingers start with the interlock grip the club tends to come into the palm of the right hand and not in the fingers due to the effort in trying to get the webbing of each hand to touch the other.

The grip pressure should be adequate as to not lose control of the club through the swing. It is also important to be able to maintain the same pressure at all positions during the swing. Too light a grip pressure can lead to a clanging or vibrating sound of the club at impact, a loss of distance, inconsistent impact and direction with a tendency to hook the ball for golfers with a high swing speed. Too tight a grip inhibits the release of the club and can lead to a slice and loss of distance too.

(Grewal has coached several national champions and professionals apart from being coach of the Indian golf team for the Eisenhower Cup (World Cup) in 2008. He is currently the Director of National Golf Academy of India and CGA Hero Honda Golf Academy. If you have any queries get in touch with him at

Weight watch
Beat it!
Renupreet Kaur

Menopause refers to the time of cessation of a woman's reproductive ability. At menopause, many women experience weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. Contributors to weight gain at menopause include declining estrogens levels, age-related loss of muscle tissue and lifestyle factors such as diet and lack of exercise.

As we get aged, our muscles decrease and our metabolism gets slowed down. At the same time, hormonal changes can trigger hunger, depression, and poor sleep. These changes can contribute to weight gain around the time of menopause.

Body changes

When women go through menopause, they lose estrogens, causing their shapes to change - usually a loss of hip and thigh weight. And they start to gain more in the middle. Estrogens favour fat deposition in the lower body, and when you lose this hormone, fat is more likely to be deposited in the midsection (much like men). Other physical changes associated with menopause may include: skin changes, such as dryness and hair loss. These changes may affect a woman's body image and self-esteem.

Weight management

The key factor for weight management after menopause is to take phytoestrogen-rich diet. Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that act like the hormone oestrogen. The phytoestrogen rich diet can:

  • Reduce hot flushes
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Protect bones from osteoporosis
  • Help maintain good skin condition

Foods that are high in phytoestrogens include flax seed, soy beans, tofu, soy yoghurt, sesame seed, flax bread, soy milk, hummus, garlic, multigrain bread, almonds, green bean, peanuts, dried dates, mung bean sprouts as well as olive oil.

You should:

  • Include hormone-balancing phytoestrogens in your diet.
  • Eat more omega 3 fatty acids
  • Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables.
  • Opt for refined carbohydrates to unrefined ones
  • Make sure you drink enough fluids
  • Increase your intake of fibre, nuts, legumes and seeds
  • Go for low fat dairy products
  • Go for soya products such as soy milk and tofu
  • Take fish such as salmon and sardines
  • Have wholegrain cereals and oat porridge

You should avoid:

  • Eliminate foods containing chemicals from your diet
  • Avoid or reduce your intake of caffeine
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol
  • Avoid refined sugar
  • Reduce intake of saturated fat

In addition to above, engage in regular and sustained aerobic exercise. This will give your metabolism a boost. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Build and maintain your muscle mass with strength training such as weight training or weight-bearing exercise like walking. (See your doctor before starting a new exercise program). Exercise also helps offset bone loss that can come with menopause. A combination of exercise and a healthy, calorie-controlled diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is the answer to thwarting menopausal weight gain.

Last but not the least is that always avoid crash diets. Because a crash diet involves severely reducing the amount you eat over a short time. Your body responds to this reduced energy supply by using muscle tissue as fuel. Muscles use up a lot of kilojoules, so if you lose muscle tissue, you have further reduced your body's ability to burn kilojoules. This means you are likely to put on more weight when you start eating normally again.

(Renupreet is a diet therapist and obesity expert)

Master Chef
Saucy seduction!
Kandla Nijhowne

When I'm saddled with leftover bits of cake, I'm always inclined to give it a facelift. I like to serve them with a sauce, maybe some nuts and chopped seasonal fruit. I know a scoop of ice cream marries well with cake but that itself is ordinary fare, married to mediocre imagination. Since fruit and nuts are usually around in your kitchen, the next thing you need is a sauce or two to dress things up. Dredge the cake in a sugar syrup or juice, scatter some nuts or fruit on it, then top it with a sauce to match.

Here again, a "squeezy" bottle of chocolate or caramel sauce is a lazy-man's way out. Off-the-shelf products are invariably heavily sugared and coloured, relying on glucose to give them gooey thickness. Once you've mastered a few basic sauces, they are great on ice cream and pancakes too. Try home Made. You will know the difference at the first lick !

Easy chocolate sauce

  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups grain sugar
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 50 gm dark or milk chocolate (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1½ tbsp butter


  • In a heavy based pan, mix together the cocoa powder and sugar till there are no lumps of the former.
  • Add water to form a paste, then heat the mixture on low heat, stirring frequently.
  • When the sugar has dissolved completely, raise the heat and simmer for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, cool, and add chopped chocolate if using, and stir well to dissolve.
  • Stir in the vanilla and the butter. (the chocolate gives richness and makes a thicker sauce. The butter adds taste and a gloss)
  • Transfer to a clean jar and refrigerate.

Caramel velvet sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cream
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • Use a heavy pan. Add sugar and set it up on a medium flame.
  • Twirl the pan around, encouraging the sugar grains to melt. Do not use a spoon or ladle.
  • When the sugar has turned into an amber liquid, quickly turn off the heat.
  • Add cream, butter, salt and vanilla, stirring well.
  • Re-heat to form an even mixture, then boil steadily for 4-5 minutes. (Remember, the sauce will become thicker when it cools)
  • Remove from heat, cool and pour into a jar.

Note: In the absence of glucose, these sauces will be slightly runny. But they will be more flavourful.

(Nijhowne is a Chandigarh-based culinary expert)

Second innings

After completing the shoot of the first season of TV series 24, Anil Kapoor is set to soon start with the second season. The aim is to create a better product, says the actor-producer.

"The second season will start very soon. We will work even harder and will try to create an even better product," the 56-year-old said at the success party of the show.

He believes the best thing about 24 is that the work of all actors has been applauded.

"It has been good, I have never been appreciated this much. People have liked the show. The best thing is that everyone has been appreciated.

"Sometimes in films only you (one actor) are appreciated and people say the film ran because of you. But in this show everyone has done really well," he added.

24 is an adaptation of the hit American TV series by the same name. The show is based on a 24-hour format where one season spans over 24 episodes chronicling 24 hours. Anil plays the head of Anti-Terrorist Unit, Jai Singh Rathod. — IANS

Violence is not cool

"Where are the soft, slightly unsure men with doubt and longing in their hearts?" asks filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, who feels men are not portrayed appropriately in Indian cinema.

Mishra, known for directing movies like Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Chameli and Yeh Saali Zindagi, took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express his views on Indian cinema's portrayal of men.

"Indian cinema can reflect on violence in society, but they need to also reflect that many films show violent men as cool. Of course, strong roles should be written for women, but what kind of male morons are we portraying in our cinema?" Mishra tweeted on Sunday.

"What is happening to the portrayal of men in our cinema? Where are the soft, slightly unsure men with doubt and longing in their hearts?"

Talking about actresses, he pointed out that more emphasis is on their beauty than talent.

"What kind of women are we portraying in our cinema? Advertisements for the fashion and cosmetic industry," wrote Mishra. "Where do we look for the Bollywood heroine mostly? Not in drama schools, theatre groups or in auditions but in beauty pageants."

"40 per cent of Indian cinema is soft porn. The other 40 pure corn! Thank god for the twenty per cent," he added. — IANS

Launch pad

Suneel Darshan is all set to launch his Son Shiv Darshan in Karle Pyar Karle. The successful filmmaker is all ready to produce a film again after a long time. This time, he is making a romantic comedy with his son as the lead.

Suneel Darshan, who gave hits like Ek Rishtaa starring Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar and Andaaz starring Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra, is back from a six year sabbatical to give his young son Shiv a grand entry into Bollywood.

Shiv Darshan is all set to face the camera in his father's new rom-com, Karle Pyaar Karle. The young actor, studied in acting and dancing schools in New York.

Femina Miss India Earth 2011, Hasleen Kaur plays the main lead opposite Shiv Darshan in the film. Rajesh Pandey is directing the film written by Suneel Darshan.

No big fat wedding!

Actress Aditi Rao Hydari prefers an intimate marriage ceremony over a big fat wedding. Seen in films like RockStar, London Paris New York and Yeh Saali Zindagi, she said: "I love intimate ceremonies where all the loved ones come together and have fun."

"I have seen some of my friends getting married and they had the worst time at their own wedding. But when it is intimate, it is fun and the bride and the groom enjoy the most. That's what I would want," she added.

Aditi was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week.

Is she in a relationship?

"No, no I am very single," said the actress who was recently seen in Akshay Kumar starrer Boss.

She will soon be seen in Manish Jha's new untitled film. — IANS

Keep it original

Actor Tom Hanks is pleased with the way Disney handled his role in Saving Mr Banks. The 57-year-old actor said that he would not have played Walt Disney if the company had decided to 'sugar-coat' its founder.

"I think it's smart of them, it would have been easy for Disney to turn it into the 'Uncle Walt' version of it all — but I think if you're going to go back you've got to give it a little bit of teeth," he said.

The Oscar-winning actor explained that he enjoys taking on projects based on true stories for the "challenge of saying we are going to tell this story that actually happened and we're going to compress it to fit into a two-hour movie".

"Even though we're going to change things, we will still maintain some brand of authenticity to the story. I like not having to make up things if I don't have to," he added. — PTI

For languages’ sake

Using more than one language in a movie is not really a new thing. Blending two languages in one movie is now a regular fare in Bollywood. Hindi films are dubbed in various other languages to appeal to the local audiences in specific parts of the country. But the upcoming Dimple Kapadia starrer What The Fish has taken the importance of incorporating varied languages too literally.

To suit to the plot of the movie which unfolds the story of woman who leaves her house for the first time in her life and different people come to reside in her home, the movie will have characters speaking significantly in seven unique languages. As the movie progresses, the characters who come from different parts of India are revealed one after the other, each one of them playing an important role to take the movie forward. The languages used in the movie are Hindi, English, Punjabi, Haryanvi, Manipuri, Bhojpuri and Marwari.

Now the audiences can only wait and watch how these languages amalgamate and make for a rib tickling pot boiler! The film is set to release across India on December 13 and is directed by Gurmeet Singh.

Hands full

Actor Rahul Bose, known for playing myriad roles in his almost two decades of association with filmdom, is currently busy working in four films. "Doing four films now: Zoya Akhtar's next; Jeene Do, a soulful love story; a Bengali detective film and the sequel to Mr and Mrs Iyer," Rahul shared during an interactive session with his fans on micro-blogging site Twitter.

He is currently shooting in Kolkata for a month.

"For most actors, I imagine filming is a busy time. For me, compared to the rest of my life, it's the most peaceful," he added.

Rahul has earlier delivered noteworthy performances in films like Mr and Mrs Iyer, Chameli, 15 Park Avenue and The Japanese Wife.

Fast and Furious 7 is on

Paul Walker's death won't have an effect on the upcoming Fast and Furious 7 film, it has been revealed. According to a publication, Universal brass had held a meeting Sunday morning to discuss the fate of the film and the team behind the action film is facing a delay in the production after the 40-year-old actor's untimely death.

Walker, along with the rest of the cast and crew of Fast 7 were supposed to return to Atlanta on Sunday to continue filming the big-budget film, which features extensive car racing. Director James Wan and Universal executives have held a conference call to discuss the state of the film.

Walker had died in a single-car accident while he was attending a charity event for his organistation Reach Out Worldwide. — ANI


An ideal husband

Picture perfect: Romit Raj with his family Actor Romit Raj, who plays a lawyer in Adalat is a hardcore romantic in real life and recently celebrated his wife's birthday. He surprised her with a lavish luxurious stay at five-star hotel for two days.

Picture perfect: Romit Raj with his family

He says, "In an industry where everyone is breaking up, my marriage is going very strong. Tina is god sent to me. She is my soulmate. I gifted her ten DVD's of romantic films, including five films of her favourite star Shah Rukh Khan (DDLJ, Om Shanti Om, Swadesh, Kuuch Kuuch Hota Hai and Devdas)." He further adds, "Tina is a working girl. In today's time I feel every woman should work, given a choice. It just gives them an extra edge and they are more aware of things around. I feel today's generation wants to balance work and home. My wife is more educated than me. She has done her MBA and she loves working, I am all in support of her and her happiness means a lot to me. A woman feels complete when a man supports her.”

Luck at networking site

Saurav Singh Gurjar Actor Saurav Singh Gurjar, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, is playing the powerful Bheem in Siddharth Kumar Tewary's Mahabharat. Interestingly, the casting team had found him on a social-networking site. Saurav informs, "The casting team from Swastik Productions spotted me on a social networking platform and asked me to come for an audition. I was stunned because I am a very shy guy and had no clue how to handle cameras or even my lines. I was on the verge of saying no when one of my friends insisted that I should try this at least once. I should not regret later on. So I made up my mind and went for the audition. And by the grace of god I was selected as Bheem. Thanks to my physique, I got selected for this role. Now I am nervous that whether I will be able to pull this character or not."

Saurav also had workshops with actor Rajit Kapoor. He recalls, "I remember the first day with him when he was explaining to me certain things and I was blank because his lecture was in English and I am not comfortable with the language. In Mumbai I still face a lot of problem in communication when it comes to speaking English.

Shama gets in shape

Body basics: Shama Sikander Actor Shama Sikander, whom we see in Balveer, has been keeping a low profile of late. She has been putting in a lot of effort, including practicing yoga, kick boxing and spinning. Shama says, "I have always been inclined towards a fit and toned body. More so since I am in the entertainment industry where looking good is an essential part. I am always cautious.

Body basics: Shama Sikander

Shama is currently doing spinning, running, power yoga, kick-boxing and cardio. "It's been two months now that I am following this exercise regime. I get bored while following a diet. Personally I feel that one should have an exciting exercise plan so you are always ready to do it." Shama has always got praises for her sexy and lean look. "I also believe one has to be happy from inside to feel fit and fine." In her next project, Shama will also be seen doing lots of stuff which required her to be in shape.

Mona sizzles in pink

Actress Mona Singh along with Femina Miss India winner Vanya Mishra took to the ramp in specially designed ensemble made out of special fabric depicting myriad colours with perfect representation in geometric and ornamental patterns of home collection of the launch of the brand Tangerine Home Couture, a boutique designer brand of home accessories from the house of Indian Home Variations, at the Femina Festive Showcase 2013.

The showcase had a display of four major collections on some of unconventional themes like Turq Tango, Indigo Bay, Midnight Rouge and the Fete collection. While Turq Tango gave a sprightly mix of ice lolly orange and luscious blue palettes rejuvenated spirits.

A step ahead

TV and film producer Ekta Kapoor has said Ragini MMS 2 will be much scarier than its prequel.

"The sequel promises to be the sexiest and scariest movie to date," she said. The film's release has been fixed for March 21 to complete VFX related work. It was first postponed from this year to January 2014.

"We need substantial time to bring quality visual effects to the big screen," Ekta said. Ragini MMS was a sleeper hit of 2011. — PTI

Spider scare

Actress Jennifer Lawrence was left in tears when she saw some spiders while shooting for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Lawrence, 23, says she is an arachnophobic.

"Everybody told me there were no spiders, so when I saw three, I started crying. Jungles are not easy when you're afraid of everything," said Lawrence.

"I think I am a legitimate alcoholic. No, what's it called? An arachnophobia," she added. — IANS

Business with pleasure

Shaheer Sheikh, who shot for Mahabharat in Jaipur, enjoyed it a lot. He even got some spare time to roam around in the city. Having entered the show as fierce warrior Arjun, Shaheer had to work hard on his look and diction and even wait a whole year for the show.

No negativity please!

Mihika Verma is excited to be back on TV. She will be seen in Balaji Telefilms new show Ye Hai Mohabbatein on Star Plus as Karan Patel's wife who leaves him for his boss. Though she's done vampish roles earlier, she hopes people don't judge this role as negative.

P Khurrana

ARIES: Ask yourself if it is time to give up for good. Heartaches of the past are forgotten as you get a new lease of life at work. You can expect visitors or a communication from overseas to be positive and helpful. Tarot message: Use your instinct to get into the top circle of power. Lucky colour: White Lucky number: 35

TAURUS: TAURUS: Close associates will turn to you for help and helping them will increase your goodwill. This is a good time to start a self- improvement project. You will be articulate. Tarot message: No time to rest, action is needed. Lucky colour: Orange Lucky number: 48

GEMINI: A residence or office is redecorated to infuse fresh energy. Try and study all the aspects of the situation before making any commitments. Accidental benefits are indicated. Tarot message: Take new challenges in your stride and deal with them sensibly. Lucky colour: Peach Lucky number: 51

CANCER: Be clear and precise in your interaction with colleagues as this will enable you to save time and get things done faster. Friends or family members may be depending on you for emotional support. Tarot message: You must share responsibility with others. Lucky colour: Ebony Lucky number: 55

LEO: Prioritise playtime and personal time. Planetary energies draw your attention to family and home base. A surprise is in store for you. Share market and speculations should be avoided today. Tarot message: Extend your circle of friends. Lucky colour: Crimson Lucky number: 60

VIRGO: Your life is busy and tiring. It's best to go beyond the ego and ask for help, support and clarity when needed. You may be required to travel some distance in order to complete a pending matter. Tarot message: You concentrate on projects only with reliable outcome. Lucky colour: Saffron. Lucky number: 30

LIBRA: You must thoroughly study the matters before signing any contract today. Unexpected distraction will keep the work lagging. Try not to lose your confidence. You are inferior to none. Tarot message: Win the war with honesty, not by distorting facts. Lucky colour: Pink Lucky number: 27

SCORPIO: Today will be a great day for sports persons. You will win more games or matches. Family gathering at your house will bring bliss. You manage business affairs with skill and capability to achieve financial stability. Tarot message: Don't be dismissive of any advice. Lucky colour: Orange Lucky number: 61

SAGITTARIUS: A journey for business or for pilgrimage is on the cards. Mental flexibility is a good idea for you. It may be an effort for you to comply but it is worth it. Tarot message: Be practical and do not let trivial problems daunt you. Lucky colour: Maroon Lucky number: 25

CAPRICORN: You are on the edge of something grand. Even if you are a bit frightened at the magnitude of what's ahead, keep wiggling your toes. Your family life might be affected due to this. Tarot message: You need to cultivate understanding and humility. Lucky colour: Golden brown Lucky number: 33

AQUARIUS: Remember, a stagnant mind breeds monsters in the backwaters of one's imagination. Make a firm resolve to let go and roll with the flow. Take a trip and connect with interesting and new people. Tarot message: Be grateful for the gains coming your way. Lucky colour: Pale yellow. Lucky number: 42

PISCES: The more you give, the more everyone will think of you as a wonderful person. Remember, a healthy attitude will take you farther than overstated confidence. Your feelings have deepened. Tarot message: Balance in all aspects is recommended. Lucky colour: Silver grey. Lucky number: 63

Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is December 3...

It will be a successful year at work. Your popularity gets a big boost in 2014 and you can ride the wave for longer than you had expected. A great deal may be expected or required of you, especially with Cancer, Scorpio, Capricorn, Sagittarius or Gemini pals. Influenced by number 3 and Jupiter, a significant alliance would welcome you this year. Selective speculation would be rewarding, therefore do not squander away your hard-earned money. The months of January, March, April and October will be memorable.

Positive colours: Cream, sea green, purple and mauve.

Select days: Thursday, Friday and Tuesday

Favourable numbers: 3,6,9.

Gems recommended: Green Emerald, Turmali.

Charity on birthday: You may donate oranges , green vegetables to needy or to any religious place/langar today.

You share your birthday with Konkona Sen Sharma gained attention with the English film Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002), directed by her mother, and received the National Film Award for Best Actress. Her appearance in the film Page 3 got her wider recognition .The combination of numbers 3 and 5 assures her success in 2015.

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