Bride & bravado
Manpriya Singh

Gone are the days of the coy bride. The new-age girls have an attitude to boast of, which is more than evident in the photo-shoots…

The blushing bride is a bit of a misnomer. Bridezilla sounds more like it! When today's brats turn brides, there's likely to be a little shuffling. So the random guests take a backseat and the bride steps forward, with her head held high and the chin strictly up. Wedding photography gradually makes way for photo-shoots - a wedding album where the bride is neither shy nor coy. Rather she is winking at the guests, posing with the friends, giving thumbs up and having fun!

"Times have changed, so the wedding photography has automatically changed with it. Increasingly, brides are much more involved with their weddings. They have a lot of say and take a lot more interest in planning their weddings. So that attitude invariably reflects in the albums and in the photo-shoots as well," Arjun Kartha, Delhi-based wedding photographer, who has captured several weddings in Chandigarh, validates and remarks on some of the changes. He adds, "All the brides I've worked with are new-age brides, so that attitude reflects in the frames."

Confidence matters

Finally, the brides have realised that what stays forever are the memories and the photographs. No longer are they interested in being photographed with guests they don't care much for. It's about friends and fun; more than anything, it's about them! "The brides have also realised that it's more about them than anybody else," Ritika Singh, professional photographer, recalls a wedding "where this bride from Solan was winking and posing with her friends, doing a 'yo-man' pose." She adds, "They know what they want. There are brides who want certain kind of photo-shoots. For the rest we give picture ideas according to their personality."

Close circle

Wedding photography in itself provides a platform for a million frames. There's so much to click, capture and freeze. The rush, the revelry, the bonhomie, the camaraderie and not to forget, the chaos that inevitably ensues in any Indian wedding! Add to it the bride and the groom that are neither uncomfortable with each other nor camera shy. Remarks Kaveri Ghai, freelance photographer, "Most of the weddings these days are love marriages or where the groom and the bride know each other fairly well. In fact, they know each others friends as well. It naturally reflects in the photographs." She adds, "The bitter-sweet moments double up and most of the couples have even had a pre-bridal shoot." That explains the sudden disappearance of stereotypical frames where the bride is looking down or is introverted all the time."

Worthy excursion

When a party meets a wedding, steps in the destination wedding! Everyone's away and wants to have fun. Shares Tanu Sood, owner, Roshan Studios, "Everything seems to have changed, right from the reception to the way the marriages are held. Destination weddings are more like a party because people want the element of fun in their weddings.' She recalls a wedding where a Punjabi bride tied the knot with a South- Indian guy.

"Earlier the photographers would repeatedly say in a wedding, 'Please smile'. That word 'please smile' has gone." That's because the bride and the guests are already jumping and laughing their way to glory. A wedding shoot is all about having fun with the camera and letting it shine through. — Photographs by Arjun Kartha

The sensible lines
Jasmine Singh

Punjabi singer Guru, who is from Gurdaspur, says he puts in a lot of sense into his songs as well as the lyrics…

He selects his words carefully; the same attribute he applies to his songs, each word falling in line in a symmetrical order, pleasant to the ears and eyes as well. Punjabi singer Guru puts in a lot of sense into his songs.

Guru got this small name from the rapper Bohemia, who would shorten Gursharanjot Singh Randhawa to 'Guru' on the stage. "This is my stage name now and this is how people know me," adds the young singer who comes from Gurdaspur.

This one doesn't call himself inspired into singing by someone! "I am a born singer," he keeps the answer short, but makes sure it has an impact. Guru is now riding high with the release of his solo album Page One under his own record label Page 1. "I started writing songs when I was in third grade and started singing when I was seven. I moved to Delhi, did my MBA simultaneously while performing at college festivals." A trip down to UK made him come up with his first track Same Girl, a Punjabi R&B track that was co-written and in collaboration with UK's R&B sensation Arjun. The album created a rage and achieved over 2 lakh views online within a month, making it the most sought-after track. Then came Shadd Gayi and the singer was the talk of the town. For someone who sums up his existence in one word — music, this is nothing short of meditation, entertainment…just about everything. "I don't restrain myself to a genre - R & B, bhangra, club music; every beat, every note carries a thrill. His recent album Page One is a compilation of ten songs that has Pop, Bhangra, R&B, Club & World music.

Guru has penned, sung and composed the entire album. Releasing albums seems to be the in-thing for Punjabi singers or for singer-actors turning back to their first passion —music. Guru has no qualms in admitting that there is no money in releasing an album. "No matter how many songs a singer is releasing the tracks are finally downloaded, which affects the album business," shares Guru, the singer who is getting enough offers to sing in Punjabi movies. He smiles, thinks for a second before coming up with this. "I am an entertainer, a singer; I wouldn't want to be type-casted. But let's see." Maybe he is thinking about acting, a scenario common in Punjab. He bursts out laughing, "I am a singer."

High on talent

Mita Vashisht, in Chandigarh, says life comes to an end after the mid-thirties for women in the Indian glamour industry

She spent long years in the City Beautiful. Cycling around with her gang, watching English movies at KC theatre and hanging out at newly opened Hot Millions…Mita Vashisht remembers Chandigarh of the late seventies.

"I have lived in Chandigarh before and after 1984. What fun it was before…we would go all over Punjab for youth festivals. And then, there was a sudden end to all that. Life started limping back, but it was never the same for us," says Mita, in Chandigarh, on Wednesday.

"Growing up in Chandigarh was leisurely. It was considered bad manners to buy your children a car. But I see, it's not the same anymore," says Mita who couldn't help but take a walk in Leisure Garden on a sunny afternoon. "Chandigarh was a city straight out of imagination; you had everything you could ask for. We loved sailing at the Sukhna Lake," she recollects.

Much of what she's got she credits to Chandigarh, "There was no hurry to grow up. One could take time imbibing, considering what to make of life."

She wanted to act in theatre, which took her to the National School of Drama, New Delhi. She followed theatre, television and films that won her appreciation, lots.

While theatre remains close to her heart, she has cameos in some upcoming films including Kaanchi and Rahasya; there is little that comes her way. "Sadly when it comes to the Indian glamour industry, life kind of comes to an end after the mid-thirties for women. Younger women were playing older roles even when I entered the industry and that's true even today." She gets offers for television on a regular basis, goes to auditions and somehow doesn't make it. "They want me little plumper or have a softer face, probably, I don't know."

What keeps her gainfully occupied is theatre though. Lal Ded, based on the life and poetry of the iconic woman mystic and poet of Kashmir, is a solo by her and has been invited at various prestigious platforms. She stumbled on it while trying to find expression for the part of her that was angry and felt rejected. As an actor looking for a script to perform, Mita spent almost a year with the work of as many as 15 women poets. She narrowed it down to four and finally Lal Ded was what she wanted to do. "She is one poet who rejects labels, is not pro-women or anti-men; she just is," says Mita.

Along with her solo, Mita is getting a rave response for her documentary on Lal Ded too that's called She of the Four Names. While both revolve around the same figure, they are very different. "Kashmir is much more than what we associate with the state today. Most of the ancient sages and knowledge comes from there."

She is happy that her batch-mate at NSD Irrfan Khan, and two year's junior Tigmanshu Dhulia, have earned a good name in Bollywood. "I am happy that Irrfan has broken the mould of conventional Bollywood hero. Though Salman Khan will be Salman Khan, there are those who want to be 'just' actors," says Mita, who points out that that men in their forties still have a say but not women.

Mita is in Chandigarh to sort out some financial, legal matters, "One needs to deals with the uglier side of life too; I consider it a riyaaz to understanding life, to be a better artiste."

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: Today love and travel figure prominently. You can put yourself in line for a promotion or salary increase. Strong feelings can overwhelm you and distort your sense of perspective. Tarot message: Don't reveal your plan of action to anyone. 
Lucky colour: Pink.

Magic number: 63

TAURUS: Make more of an effort to attain and maintain harmony. Communication on the job can assume greater importance. But be careful not to get caught up in red tape.

Tarot message: Don't do anything at the cost of health.

Lucky colour: Blue.

Magic number: 59

GEMINI: New people whom you meet will be rather exciting. Remember your resolutions about diet and nutrition. Take it easy this morning.

Tarot message: Make compromises outside and come to terms within yourself.

Lucky colour: Purple.

Magic number: 36

CANCER: Love life is sparklingly beautiful. Enjoy the pleasurable vibes and plan a relaxing day. Get into your hobbies or a favourite sport for mental and physical stimulation. Avoid any impulse to gamble. Tarot message: Do not expect too much from others.

Lucky colour: White.

Magic number: 50

LEO: A piece of good news arriving by mail or phone will cheer you up. Household affairs continue smoothly. Biz folk: Do not invest your money in hastily concluded deals.

Tarot message: Lack of confidence or caution can leave you in losses.

Lucky colour: Forest-green.

Magic number: 35

VIRGO: It is not a good day for shopping. There can be a small get-together at home. A promotion to a management position can trigger self-doubt. A level of anxiety can interfere with your sense of well-being.

Tarot message: Don't take hasty decisions. Lucky colour: Crimson.

Magic number: 33

LIBRA: Sportsmen: sincerity is the key to success. Club and group activities will occupy you. Your health will glow today. Speculate only if you are ready to lose money. Focus on hobbies.

Tarot message: Don't waste an opportunity by being rash.

Lucky colour: Saffron.

Magic number: 25

SCORPIO: Working women: take complete rest today. Students: bury your nose in books. Be logical in your thoughts. Housewives: financially you are feeling very secure.

Tarot message: Learn from past experience.

Lucky colour: Peach.

Magic number: 25

SAGITTARIUS: Push routine to one side. Your marital status figures prominently.

You can fall madly in love during travel or attendance at a conference. Drive carefully.

Tarot message: Be determined.

Lucky colour: Mauve.

Magic number: 31

CAPRICORN: It is an auspicious day for purchasing ornaments Hasty actions can lead to situations best avoided. Keep your wits about you and try to pause if agitated. Tarot message: Be articulate to prevent people from coming to their own conclusions.

Lucky colour: Yellow.

Magic number: 42

AQUARIUS: There will be good opportunities to show-off your artistic flair today. Loved ones will do what they can to help solve family financial problems. Savour the romantic glow of the morning.

Tarot message: Try to accomplish long-term tasks.

Lucky colour: Red.

Magic number: 52

PISCES: The card 'Six of Wands' emphasises on fun, frolic and accelerated social activities. Your effort will not go unnoticed by superiors. Talk with your lover about future plans and goals.

Tarot message: Do not swing away from the course you have charted so far. Lucky colour: Orange.

Magic number: 40

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is December 12...

You will be able to fulfill your aspirations and that will enhance happiness. Financial issues can end in your favour and fetch good gains. Relationship with your partner will be smooth and good. Health will be good for the whole year.

Don't expect too much from your family or friends. Giving appropriate time to your family will bring harmony in your life. A hasty decision can cause some problem. Think calmly before taking any decision. Unexpected travel for some proves hectic and stressful. You'll be given a new responsibility and complete it successfully.

Positive colours: Yellow, Cream, Sea-green, Purple, Red.

Select days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.

Favourable numbers: Series of 3.

Gems recommended: Yellow Sapphire, Ruby

Charity on birthday: Donate bananas, yellow ladoos and clothes to the needy or at any religious place.

You share your birthday with Rajinikanth (December 12, 1950, Bengaluru), an actor who is known for his mannerisms and stylised delivery of dialogue. He has also been bestowed with the Padma Bhushan. Rajinikanth has acted in more than 200 movies. Due to his malefic Saturn, he can face respiratory infection and gastrointestinal problems. But he has long life and will continue to entertain.

Fashion funda
Floral tribute
Ashima Batish

Fine cut: Models showcase the creations of Chandrani Singh Fllora.

Ever since the first collection she presented at the WLIFW in 2009, Chandrani Singh Fllora made sure that her creations spelt comfort. After all these years, she has carved a niche for herself in the fashion industry.

Making the fashion forecast for this season, she again emphasises on comfort factor and wearability.

What's in

This is the time to indulge in fashion that is forbidden for rest of the year. Take out long boots, fur and leather jackets and team them up with colourful floral leggings. If you aren't very experimental, match a monochromatic pullover with a colourful leggings and a scarf and you are done with the dressing up part. From flowing to straight, every silhouette is in fashion as long as you are able to carry it well. A classic yet safe bet would be a pencil skirt worn with boots and a fitted top paired with a bolero jacket. Also, go for laces and net, after all Indian winter isn't as harsh as the London winter, we can afford to include a bit of peek-a-boo material in our wardrobe.

What's out

While floral prints will still be popular this season, but not the ones with big flowers. Also cut out a bit on the volume of clothes.

Colour count

Blue, black and grey will as always be popular this season. Besides orange, yellow and red will find takers too. However, you must leave out summer shades like softer pink or pastels to be precise. What will make or mar your looks will be the way you will use colours. Like, team up black with brown or green and brown.

Dressed to the nines

I have never found Kareena Kapoor inappropriately dressed. And unlike the popular fashion icons of the industry, she doesn't even try too hard. Style comes naturally to her, for whatever she wears she looks like a million bucks. While style is important to her, that isn't the only factor that makes her popular. Even Chitrangada Singh is effortlessly fashionable.

Leading in style

I admire works by Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani. They know how to make a customer crave for their creations. Internationally, I am a huge fan of Chanel and Versace.

On Indian fashion industry

There is no denying the fact that we are doing very well for a 25-year-old industry. But to excel, we need financial support from the corporate sector. We need investors who are not just interested in sponsoring fashion weeks, but also individual fashion shows. That, along with creative innovation, will take the industry forward.

In my collection

There is a lot of flared stuff but with contained volume. Also, I have played a lot with net and laces. My collection also comprises jackets, palazzos, lace tops, maxi dresses.

Love thy animal
Divya Dutta

As I write this, my little pet, Sakhi, sleeps next to me, with her little paw on my arm, feeling secure…what innocence they have! All they seek is love and little babies.

And they are so clear about what they want, unlike us humans, who have been so conditioned to manipulations that we do not anymore understand the concept of pure unadulterated emotions. We doubt when someone is genuine. We question the motives. What does he want from me? Why is a certain person so good to me? We question intentions. We work around ways to get our work done from others. In all that we have left good old basic pure emotions far behind...the ones these animals have.

Yes, they have emotions. They seek love and care and in return give their love and loyalty. As simple as that.

We humans believe that if you want something done, you have to prove yourself stronger, more powerful then the rest for them to listen to you. We forget that love is the biggest tool. Many of you might just smirk and say really? And how do you survive with that ideology?

I switched on the TV and saw this gruesome visual of a baby elephant being hit with a stick by his owner...what did the poor baby do? I just wanted to get the man out of the TV and hit him badly. Hurting an innocent animal who cannot express, who cannot retaliate…all one could see was the elephant wreathing in pain. But what could I do? Just discuss how sad it is and forget about it?

I can't get the innocent animal out of my head. Yes, we stand up for animal rights, yes we have laws too. But what else can we do? Well…we should start with ourselves first. Build more compassion for these animals who only ask for love and care. When we see any kind of animals, our first instinct is to shoo them away. Not to talk of the harmless kinds. I learnt it while shooting in a jungle. The crew stayed at Baba Amte's ashram as there were no hotels around. Baba Amte's son took me around the ashram where I saw all the animals beautifully tamed and free. From a tiger to a python, they had saved. He made me go close to the majestic tiger but he could see I was scared. All he said was, "He's as scared of you as you are of him. You give him compassion and he will be your friend." Yes, that's all they need.

A friend of mine once called me and said, "A stray cat is rubbing against my feet and I think she's hurt and crying." He saw the wound too. I asked him to quickly get the cat some milk and apply an ointment. He was skeptical, but he did as he was told. The next day I could see his face beaming with joy. Unexplainable happiness of having saved a life. Yes, it's as simple as that. Just look around. There are so many such animals who need your help, love and attention. You help those who can't ask. Feed, adopt, save--whatever you can do. Save them from being tortured, beaten.....your helping hand could hold many such....with love and my little Sakhi who holds on to my hand...feeling belonged and secure. Let's give that feeling to a few more around us. That joy of providing for these innocent ones is priceless. Unparalleled. May we spread this joy.....bas itna sa khwaab hai...

(Dutta is a Bollywood actress)

Like a prayer

Dr Gopal Krishan brings out the significance of Sai Ram in his bhajans

Ekk Naam… Sai Raam is Dr Gopal Krishan's debut album. This 27-year-old is a multifaceted guy trained in homeopathy and law and keen on music.

Being trained in music from the age of four, Dr Krishan has been learning music from different gurus—Pt Yashpal, Vinod Sood and OP Gupta. Bhajan is a favourite genre and he loves bhajans by Anup Jalota, Hariharan and Yesudas.

His album Ekk Naam… Sai Raam has seven bhajans on Shirdi Sai Baba.

"I have been a devotee of Sai Ram and all these bhajans bring about significance of Sai Ram in our daily lives," says Dr Krishan. "Under Sai Baba's roof, Hindus, Muslims, Christians come together."

The lyrics for the album Ek Naam Hai Sai Raam Hai Anmol, Sai Raam Bolo, Shirdi Sai ke Darbaar, Jaagenge Hum Saari Raat, Jaana Hai Jaana Hai Humko Shirdi, Aisa Do Vardaan Sai and Aarti Mil ke Utaarohave been written by Pawan Sharma and directed by Vinod Sood. The bhajans are shot in Sai Temple-29.

The DVD released by Sarvan Productions is priced at Rs 100. But it's not monetary gains by the sale of the album but connecting with people. "Albums help one connect with people interested in a particular genre. And, that's what I am aiming at."

Dr Krishan has his fingers crossed, "If Ekk Naam… Sai Raam meets success, I want to cut more albums."

Chatter box
Served sizzling hot!

Food Food has had a 'sizzling' new makeover. And it's not just about the tagline. The Sanjeev Kapoor-promoted television channel has given a fresh tadka to its shows and hosts, including adding eleven new ones to the existing pack. He believes the channel has evolved from being Food Food- Khusiyon Ki Recipe to Food Food-India Ka Favourite TV channel and now Sizzling. Sanjeev Kapoor tells us more.

Was the tagline finalised after a lot of thinking?

Yes, it took 45 days of brainstorming for the in-house team and the audience to finalise the tagline. We have to be ahead of the curve and at the leading position at all times.

Why the term 'sizzling'?

Sizzling is a term that has personality; it can be related to food and is 'hot'. TV has a sense to it and today, the audience consumes television with a sense of sight and sound. When we started brainstorming, one thing that became clear was that the tagline had to be relevant to the senses. And 'sizzling' does that perfectly. 'Sizzling' is but a part of the series of changes the channel has undergone. Sizzling has the attitude. We wanted a personality to the tagline and 'sizzling' has it. The chefs as also the shows have all undergone a makeover. We have added more lifestyle shows, but the base is still food.

Will there be any new shows?

The channel has come up with new shows such as Sunny Side Up and Becoming, along with a couple of health shows. We will also be launching a new 'sizzling' show, starting January.

Has the name of your show also been changed?

Yes. So Sanjeev Kapoor's Kitchen is now renamed as Cook Smart. Likewise, other shows have undergone a change. Right from the sets to the chef's styling and the food, everything about the channel has changed along with the tagline.

What's this year looking like for Food Food?

Newer shows, more upscale positioning, better understanding of viewers and digital proliferation of content is our plan for 2014.

Agony uncle

Actor Manav Gohil, who is currently portraying the role of Anirudh Jaitely in Channel V India's The Buddy Project, is like an agony aunt to all the young actors on the sets. He says, "I'm their agony aunt, their buddy, their secret box, confidante; we have this amazing friendship going on between us. Our comfort levels are awesome. It's an amazing feeling."

Jaya on telly

Actress Jaya Bachchan is all to make her debut on the small screen with fiction show Vasundhara. Her husband Amitabh Bachchan says he is happy with her decision. The show, said to be based on a Gujarati novel, will trace the life of a single parent. To be produced by Endemol, it will be aired on Sony Entertainment Television.

Venting out

After a fight with him earlier this week, British actress-singer Sofia got evicted from the Bigg Boss house. Though she is surprised by her eviction, Sofia says that she is happy to be out of the show mainly because of her bad relations with Armaan Kohli. She has demanded strong punishment for him and even called him bad names. She says that she is angered enough to slap Armaan next time she meets him. Well Armaan, be careful!

Melody night

Actor Gautam Chaturvedi, who is best remembered as Gautam bhaiya from Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, recently organised a ghazal evening for a NGO called Snehasadan. Like every year, this year also singer Kanak Chaturvedi was the vocalist and she paid a tribute to Manna De and Shamshad Begum. Actors present on the occasion included Manasi Verma, Sachin Verma, Akshay Sethi, Aniruddh Dave, Harshali Zine, Rajeev Bhardwaj, Rishina Kandhari, Ankush Bali and Mitika Sharma.

Fan following

Actor Saurabh Raaj Jain, who is currently seen as Lord Krishna in Siddharth Kumar Tewary's Mahabharat, has some relly ardent fans. Saurabh says, "Once when we were in the interiors of Gujarat, people came in to see me yelling, "Humko insaan nahi bhagwaan se milna hai (we want to meet God)." I was shooting and had to request them to be patient to meet me."

Meet the game changers

Formulas work in Bollywood but there are some people who have followed their own rules and changed the game. From Deepika Padukone to Rohit Shetty, read on...

Priyanka Chopra
She is the only Bollywood actress who has taken singing seriously and has made an international career out of it with singles like In My City with Will I Am and Exotic with Pitbull. She has also featured in a Guess campaign, becoming its first Indian face and lending her voice to Planes, a Disney movie. We bet there's no stopping this girl.

Rohit Shetty
His movies are hardcore entertainers and a few people do it like he does. Chennai Express has become his biggest hit, grossing over Rs 200 crore. He has also got out of his comfort mould and worked with Shah Rukh Khan. Unlike his peers, he respects critics yet boldly goes forward with his over-the-top, massy films in which car chases and blow-ups are a must!

Deepika Padukone
The Rs 100-crore-club was the domain of the male heroes till Deepika Padukone made her entry. Race 2, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express, and Ram Leela were her four releases this year and each of them has grossed over Rs 100 crore! This achievement is unprecedented and Deepika is undoubtedly ruling Bollywood now.

Sushant Singh Rajput
It is not very often that television actors successfully make the progression to movies. Sushant has won rave reviews for his work in Kai Po Che and will sweep the male debut awards next year. Moreover, he had a completely different turn in Shuddh Desi Romance. He has become an YRF regular.

Vidya Balan
For a change, she will not win any award next year for her work in the lackluster Ghanchakkar. But, she is only 35 years old and was on the Jury of the Cannes Film Festival rubbing shoulders with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman and Ang Lee. Well, ups and downs are a part of life they say.

Way to Bollywood
The buxom woman in the item song Kaddu Katega from R...Rajkumar is Kannada film actress Ragini Dwivedi who wants to use the song as her stepping stone in Bollywood.

Shabina’s plan for Shraddha
Shabina Khan has asked Shraddha Kapoor to leave her movie with Akshay Kumar as Shraddha Kapoor will be very busy shooting for Hyder with Shahid Kapoor at the same time.

Arabic accent
Arabic singer Naya has sung the title track of Dhoom called Dhoom Machale in Arabic and the song can be found online. The first Dhoom had Tata Young rendering her version of the track which had become a huge hit.

Poonam goes fishy
Internet queen Poonam Pandey is inching towards Bollywood. It is now learnt from reliable sources that Poonam has been invited by the production house Viacom 18 to promote their new project What The Fish. While all the details of Poonam's very hush-hush deal with Viacom 18 are yet to emerge, it is learnt that Ms Pandey's "high-visibility factor" would be used to give the film a boost. Curiously this is the first time that a celebrity from outside a film project is being invited to create awareness for a film. We also hear that Poonam is all set to sign a film with Viacom 18.

Viral fever
Mallika Sherawat spends more time in Los Angeles than in Mumbai. She recently has a video that has gone viral in which she is giving an earful to an Indian journalist and commenting on women in Indian society. Something has to keep her in the news.

Luck by chance
R...Rajkumar has been written off by critics but the movie has collected Rs 27 crore over the weekend with its budget being Rs 60 crore. Due to lack of competition and the popularity of the songs, its future looks bright.

Tasty bites
Ranbir Kapoor has been paid Rs 12 crore for a commercial for a biscuit brand. The brand wanted him because of his star value and because he is such a big hit with children and has a child-like side to him.

Rickshaw puller
Abhishek Bachchan has learnt to ride a rickshaw for his stunts in Dhoom 3. Abhishek reprises his role as the cop in Dhoom 3 and Uday Chopra is his sidekick.

An image of The Villain

Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor who pair up for the first time in Balaji's The Villain, are looking spectacular together. We bring you the first official film picture of this new-age romantic duo that is sure to set hearts fluttering.

As much as Shraddha was comfortable riding a bike and plans to buy one herself in the near future, she would loudly say, Jai Mata Di, every time the director said 'action' for her to ride her bike alone.

The romantic thriller, currently under production in Goa, will be additionally shot in Mumbai and Bangkok, and release in mid-2014. It stars Riteish Deshmukh in a pivotal, never-seen-before role.

Directed by Mohit Suri, among the industry's most formidable directors, with three consecutive blockbusters to his credit— Raaz-2, Murder-2 and Aashiqui-2, The Villain is among the most keenly anticipated features of 2014.

In line with Suri's enviable track record of creating chart-busting music, the keenly awaited soundtrack of The Villain will boast of five evergreen melodies.

Justifying Ra.One

Shah Rukh Khan, who had gone all out to promote his superhero film Ra.One, explains why he made it.

"To have the wisdom to risk our security for a dream at least once in life. Once to say, I didn't just exist, I lived & honoured my heart," the 48-year-old actor tweeted.

"It's too far gone...too many years...the heat has melted itself away & gone cold. My last tweet was a heartfelt belief about Ra.One the film," he added.

"When you have game plans & tricks you reach the of the surface. When you do heartfelt you go down...down to the depths of your desires," he signed off.

A befitting feast
Gourmet 9 offers a creative culinary treat
Amarjot Kaur

More often than not, one craves for good food, to taste the exquisite. Something that breaks the monotony. As we enter Gourmet 9, we are greeted by the owner, Aditya Prabhu, who hails from the south of India. He starts with the new initiative of the restaurant, The Gourmet Feast.

"I am clearly not of the opinion that a menu of any restaurant must have similar dishes, there obviously needs to be a striking difference and that must reflect in the taste. Here, we take utmost care to serve everything fresh, even the sauces are prepared on the spot," he says.

While taking about the feast menu, which is divided into nine sections, Aditya says that while the a la carte feast menu includes as many as 18 starters, the main course is served as a buffet and that there are over 10 desserts to choose from.

The month-long fest begins on December 12.

Master Chef
Make chocolate less sinful
Manju Dewan

Aha, the goodness and flavour of the ever tempting chocolate! But what to do about the guilt that accompanies it? We have a solution for you. Why not combine it with the healthy yoghurt and a few nuts to give yourself a treat. It’s simple and easy to make.

Hazelnut chocolate muesli


  • 450gm yogurt
  • 50gms unsweetened muesli
  • 50gm hazelnut (finely chopped and toasted)
  • 50gm digestive biscuits (finely crushed)
  • 225gm dried apricots (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 100gms plain chocolate
  • 25gm butter
  • Chocolate, to garnish


Pour yogurt in a bowl. Add muesli, hazelnuts and biscuits. Add roughly chopped apricots and honey to the yogurt mixture. Blend until smooth. Mix together butter and plain chocolate and melt it over a double boiler. Keep aside. Pour 1 tbsp of the yogurt mixture into a tall sundae glass. Then pour 2 tsp of chocolate mixture, swirling the mixture on the sides of the glass. Repeat this process, finishing with a spoon of chocolate mixture. Allow it to chill. Garnish with chocolate and serve.

(Dewan is a Ludhiana-based culinary expert)

— As told to Poonam Bindra

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