Love or lucre?
A recent court judgment might have once again brought the issue of financial stability in the matters of the heart, we wonder whether times of love have been overtaken by new mantra — show me the money, honey...

So now on if you want to marry your loved one, you must have your pockets full! At least in cases where the families are not supportive and the newly wed couple need to knock the court’s door for protection.

“A marriage should bring with it hope for financial stability, as only emotions are not sufficient for sustaining it,” says a recent judgment by Punjab & Haryana High Court. But do young couples in love give it a thought before they decide to run away from opposing parents, something that happens often in our region? We ask some youngsters.

“Compatibility, love and trust over money are the factors that score at least in my age group,” says Hitesh Kumar, 21-year-old law student. “How much a girl’s financial worth is would probably never occur to me or my parents when getting into a serious relationship, as much as her looks and nature. It might be opposite for a girl though as it’s her who goes to a new home,” adds Hitesh.

Love works on principles other than money in most teenage romances; when Tahira Kashyap met her hubby to be Ayushmann Khurrana in high school, she found in him an independent, caring and talented guy. “Ours was the pure love that started as attraction; by and by both of us were in love with the values we stood for in life,” says Tahira recalling that at that time they did not think if ever they’ll be able to buy a car or a house. “What I knew was that he wasn’t frivolous. I was attracted to the independent streak in him; he saw that independence and liked it in me too,” says the wife, who is grateful to god that his talent has been recognised and rewarded. Financial aspects must be shared between the boy and the girl, believes Tahira, “With all this talk of equal opportunities and equal society, I believe a wife should be able to take on the financial responsibilities in case the man wants to take it easy for a while,” says Tahira, who has continued to do her bit in theatre and writing along with bringing up the baby, as her husband is increasingly on shootings.

Sahil Sharma, pursuing engineering, would love his partner-to-be to take ‘half and half’ of what life offers. “Brought up by working parents, I don’t see how the man is still the breadwinner. Women I have seen around wouldn’t be happy just being looked after, but they also want to be on par in all aspects of life.”

Financial stability is important in a relationship, but what scores over it is educational qualification, believes Gurnoor Mehar, BBA third-year student. “I would believe that a relationship works better in case both the parties are more or less on the similar financial platform,” she says.

Checking out the financial viability is a real thing, says Tishaa Khosla. “All the romance that we see and show in the movies does fly out of the window after a while. In a real situation you need money to run a family,” says the girl who’s penning her third novel now. “I guess the stricture works well for women who are not earning,” she says.

Seconds Puneet Rikhy who had a love marriage recently, “It’s important for a couple to support themselves financially,” says Puneet, 21, who completed graduation after her wedding. While both the families on her side were supportive and her husband runs a successful business, for the girls who are not as fortunate as her the court’s indictment is good. “It keeps the girl protected in case of a problem,” says Puneet.

All in the moves
Nach Baliye 6 contestants Ripudaman Handa and Shivangi Verma follow their passions in life, whether it is dancing or any other sphere…
Manpriya Singh

He’s been constantly shuttling roles that stand as apart from each other as imagination can stretch; roles that pushed him from a gym straight into the kitchen and now over to the dance floor. Master Chef 3 winner Ripudaman Handa battled some with ease others with effort.

“Cooking is a passion, while dancing is difficult,” he briefs us even before we begin, while in Chandigarh for a meet and greet, as a part of the Star Plus Nach Baliye 6 contestants.

“I am into this reality show because of Shivangi Verma,” he maintains his stance and makes no pretenses. “I am a Punjabi so I can only do Bhangra; dance forms like hip hop and locking and popping, which are part of the reality shows, are very difficult for me.”

What awaits on the show are a few more romantic acts; then it’s back to second innings and his first love — cooking. “I want to do some more romantic performances and after that there will be no Bollywood, only cooking for me. I’m proud to be a good chef.”

As intense as the audience scrutiny is the training that goes behind a few minutes of performance. “We get up at eight in the morning, start training and continue till midnight.” What gets the duo going, with the grind, is each others company. “We’ve just landed in the city and since I’m from Punjab, it’s like homecoming only for me.” He adds, ‘This is Shivangi’s first time here. May be we’ll go to Sector 8 and then I’ll take her to Sector 17.”

Spring in step

Over to the lady of the moment, for whom, surprisingly, “dance is not a passion at all.” Shivangi Verma has her reasons and reciprocation in place. “It was a good platform to spend time together and so we thought why not.” She adds, “Dancing is not easy at all. It is really tough…but we always try to do something different. The stunts and acrobats that you see for two minutes on stage are actually rehearsed by us at least 500 to 600 times before the performance.” The interspersed gymnast and acrobat, at times, overweigh the hand and foot movements that dancing is believed to be. She shares, “I agree, sometimes it refuses to resemble a dance show and appears more like an acrobat. A lot of times, I wish it were pure dancing but if you’ve noticed, any form of dancing beyond two minutes gets very boring.”

To break the monotony of the performance, once in a while, there’s an element to lift the visual appeal of the art. A brush with the reality show will not take the reality factor out of their lives. “I am grateful for having such a humble partner who keeps me rooted. After the show, I’ll go back to my animation job.” As for the rumours, “I don’t know why they say whatever they say. Before we entered the show and even now, we have full parental support.”

Dream destination
Upcoming Punjabi movie Patiala Dreamz is about going back to one’s roots. Something the cast and crew is upbeat about…

A young NRI boy’s recurrent dream of a land he has not been to ever…finding the place, the visit, the outcome…this story was just waiting to be told! From finding the story to bringing it on to the screen, of course with some masala added, is the film Patiala Dreamz. Produced and written by Anmol Kapoor, a doctor in Canada, this film is based on a real incident. Just before its release on January 10, the cast and crew share their journey.

Strongly rooted

Sarwar Ahuja plays a flamboyant NRI much in love with big cars as well as hi-end bikes; he takes a trip to Patiala to know the reason behind his recurrent dreams. “There is romance, comedy, action and thrill in the film,” says Sarwar, who made it with Zee Cinestars Ki Khoj and has a number of films and soaps in his kitty.

With his roots in Amritsar, Sarwar was itching to be part a Punjabi film and Patiala Dreamz gave him that opportunity. Sarwar constantly shifts between the small screen and big. “While small screen is more about quantity, big screen gives one a chance to present quality,” says the actor who has already signed his next Punjabi flick. About the future of Punjabi films, he says, “As long as the content is good, the film will work well in any language.”

Shining girl

Patiala Dreamz is Madalsa Sharma’s debut in the Punjabi film industry. Already established in Southern cinema, Madalsa wanted a substantial role in her first film to showcase her talent. The actress is happy about how it has turned out. Punjabi is not what she’s fluent with, but certainly more comfortable than the other languages she has worked in — Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and German (The Girl with Indian Emerald). “The shooting was fun. The script is amazing, where everything is integral part of the plot; nothing is forced,” says Madalsa, who will soon be seen in a Hindi film and also Punjabi, while she continues working Down South.

Direct act

Abhishek Saxena debuts as a director with this film although he has been an associate director in many. He is anxious as the film is about to hit the marquee, “We have worked hard,” says the director who enjoyed shooting in Nabha, the place that’s central to film’s plot.

So get ready with the feedback for this director, Satwar Ahuja and Madalsa Sharma, who soon start shooting for their next Punjabi film Ziddi!

Sunny & starry
The Lalit takes inspiration from Le Corbusier’s architecture and carries forward the green philosophy
Manpriya Singh

Photo: Nitin Mittal The last year's 'in-house celebration' was more of a hushed whisper and perhaps, intended to announce rather than arrive. A year later, The Lalit, Chandigarh takes a louder and categorical step. The five-star hotel officially opens its door and promises a redefined hospitality experience. A quick tour of the property, at times, confirms to what's expected of its rating, at other times, it stretches the bar higher.

Of the 179 rooms and suites, clubbed into the deluxe room, club room, executive suite, luxury suit and the one The Lalit Legacy Suite, most are already operational, while the rest are expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of the quarter. Shares Harshita Singh, general manager, "What makes this property stand apart is that there is minimum usage of light during day time. The large spaces and windows ensure that it receives maximum sun light. We've used LED lights wherever possible and there are solar panels to further the green philosophy of the group."

While most of the rooms are in sync with what's expected of any five star properties, what makes experience slightly uplifting is the restricted forest area for a view from most of its rooms. The other side, which overlooks IT Park of the city, promises to be quite a view at night.

Of the five floors, the fifth level that houses the executive and luxury suites, club rooms, apart from the presidential suite, claims to heighten the experience of in-house residents. "Exclusive to the use of the guests of the fifth floor is the lounge that offers express check-in and check out, refreshments, 24 hour business service.

There is a fair dose of abstract art thrown in the corridors and some of the corners. "The art work and murals are more to do with all the properties of the group. What makes this property different from other ventures by the group is the fact that it comes inspired by Le Corbusier's architecture."

What deserves a special mention is the Rejuve—The Spa, that spreads over 11,000 sq ft and offers as many as eight treatment rooms, each with a private bathroom, steam, gym, salon and a yoga studio. Sounds promising enough.

Plan of action
Actress Gurdeep Kohli chooses everything with care and that includes the brand of drink she endorses

Photo: S Chandan Celebs who visit Chandigarh love to dress up like a Punjabi. This year's first, a known face on telly and now big screen, Gurdeep Kohli lived up to the dictum beautifully. Looking pretty in a bright anarkali, Gurdeep talked about Nutrimalt the brand she came to endorse and her long journey on telly.

Small is big

I have been fortunate to have received viewers' appreciation on small screen and now for Rowdy Rathore. What I have enjoyed most is playing Vedika in Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka. TV is not the same as earlier. The shows have bigger budgets now. I continue to be part of Best of Luck Nikki for this allows me to present a new side of performance to viewers and also Bachha Party, my food show.

Slow and steady

My decision to do small projects is a well thought out plan. Being a family person there's only as much that one can do. Now that I have a breather, I am able to make time for films. After Rowdy, I have plenty of offers but I am going slow and steady. There have been offers for Punjabi films too but I have yet to take a call.

Brand bargain

Endorsements are a specialised field. Companies invest in finding the right face for their brand for the maximum reach. New Year has started for me on a good note, getting a prestigious brand like Nutrimalt. I pick-up brands with care too. My show Best of Luck Nikki has made me popular with kids and that helps this brand. I am happy to be a part of Nutrimalt too.

Back in time

Every week we keep talking about new fashion trends, new ideas to mix and match clothes and rules to follow or break…but how about we talk about a style you can always adopt, no matter what—The Retro Style! Taking inspiration from the 60s, 109°F brings to you it's Retro collection for a fascinating fashionable look.

Featuring a feminine palette 109°F has also included a pair of flares in the collection paying tribute to this season's retro revival.

It's no surprise that the fashion trend at the top of everyone's minds right now is modern retro. Peppy prints and sustainable fabrics constructed into elegant style to create its exclusive collection. Retro Collection from 109°F provides modern silhouettes and mixture of fabric choices that make this black and white fashion season's greatest trend. From retro dresses and tunics to exotic blouses and tops to demure printed jumpsuits, Retro collection from 109°F has everything the fashion conscious would want to indulge in. — TNS

Deol’s doodles

Along with being the actor and producer for the film One by Two, Abhay Deol has also turned designer for it. He doodled a few people faces that will go on to becoming a t-shirt line around the release of One By Two. As his character is a person who feels that he is pakaoed in life and had also done a Pakaoed campaign.

As part of the campaign, Abhay Deol had doodled a few people faces. The marketing team felt it was a good idea to have this as a t-shirt line. These t-shirts will have the doodles made by Abhay Deol printed on them and they will be available in the markets for purchase.

The actor will next be seen in his upcoming film, One by Two, opposite his girlfriend Preeti Desai. The film is slated to release on January 31.

When contacted Abhay Deol, he said, "I wanted to get back to my designing days and so I have given a few doodles over to the marketing team and the t-shirts will be available soon in apparel stores."

Shruti undergoes surgery

Actress and Kamal Haasan’s daughter Shruti Haasan recently underwent an appendix operation in Mumbai. She is now recovering. Thanking her fans for the wishes, she wrote: ‘Hello tweeps, thank you for all your love and get well soon wishes! Appendix out and raring to go.

Albeit a bit slowly :)’ She was admitted to Jubilee Hills Apollo hospital in Mumbai after she complained of acute stomach pain on Sunday. She was promoting her forthcoming release Yevadu at its app launch when she complained of the pain. Despite shooting pain, she attended the app launch of the film. Soon after the event, she was taken to the hospital. Shruti is expected to get discharged by the end of this week.

On an optimistic note

Amitabh Bachchan, who is the goodwill ambassador for Polio UNICEF campaign, is proud that the country has rid itself of the virus. “FINALLY! India has been removed from endemic list re: Polio. By end of 2014, we shall be polio free country. A sense of pride.

As UN ambassador for POLIO, I feel congratulated on the eradication of the disease. Worked really very hard on it for years,” the 71-year-old actor tweeted.

He is focusing on gender equality. “As UN ambassador for Girl Child, I hope and pray we accomplish same results as Polio...rid nation of discrimination against women!” he added.

Warsi in the news

Arshad Warsi has two back-to-back releases this year. Dedh Ishqiya releases on January 10 and Mr Joe B Caarvalho was the first release of the year. He talks about movies, family, and more.

Sequel to Ishqiya

I continue playing Babban, who is as obnoxious as ever, uncouth and has absolutely no regards for age, gender or beauty. I guess one should not tamper with the original characterisation, especially when it’s a popular one. Again, the leading ladies in this film are mysterious, sensual and conniving while Nasser saab (Naseeruddin Shah) and I are foolishly in love.

Cast members

Madhuri Dixit is graceful, an absolute diva! What I like best about her is that she is calm and collected in every situation. A different place, environment or people don’t affect her. I have become great buddies with Naseer saab. We have completely demolished the age factor between us (laughs) and we are absolute pals.

Sizzling chemistry

There is an intimate scene with Huma (Qureshi) that is fabulously shot. Of course, like any wife, Maria (Goretti) does not like such scenes but she is coming to terms with it. For me, the significance of such a scene is important, it shouldn’t be just to titillate.

Production problems

I produced a film earlier. But one needs time and solid finances for production. It takes a lot to approach corporate houses for funding. When I get time and an exciting script, I will definitely do it. I don’t have the herd mentality and refrain from doing the routine fare. Right now, I am still struggling to make my mark and have a long way to go. If you can truly call someone successful, it’s got to be Salman Khan.

Family man

I am not into the party scene. I prefer staying at home. I keep busy with shoots and hardly meet the kids. So whenever I get an opportunity, I prefer to stay at home with my wife and kids.

Telly calling

Role call: Gauri Tonk Back on the tube after nine years, Gauri Tonk, who has given hits like Kahin Kisi Roz, is looking forward to more work and better projects. She talks to us about her current show and her husband's popularity.

Were you not happy with your character in Life OK's show Ek Boond Ishq?

A while ago my track had slowed down and there wasn't much happening in terms of character growth, so I spoke to the production team and they worked on it. I understand that in a daily soap there are many characters and it's impossible to give everyone of them an interesting storyline always. Moreover, in our show we have a talented bunch of actors so it's tough to keep all of them in the storyline.

How does it feel to play mother to an actor closer to your own age?

Well, it's tough. The actor is my age not closer. As an actor, it depends how well you play the character.

What do you think of TV serials today?

Earlier, when I was doing many serials, including Kahin Kisi Roz, one knew that a show would last for a year. But today things have changed. Now there is no such surety. The show might end in three months or less. The production value and range of stories too has increased.

Your husband Yash Tonk is doing a show on Doordarshan in the same time slot as your show. Is there any competition at home?

Not exactly; his show is on a national broadcasting channel and their TRP is unmatchable. Our show has got a good response and is doing fairly well. I am glad that Yash is enjoying himself. He is also doing a movie Jai Ho.

What about you? Are you interested in movies?

If I get good enough offers, I will surely do them. But no one has approached me yet. I am back with full force and here to work in every possible medium.


Play on

Vaquar Shaikh, aka Rashid Ahmed Khan of Zee TV's Qubool Hai, is enjoying himself as he is doing a play. He is part of a sex comedy play Scam Bam Thank You Mam. Now that he's doing this, he has realised that he can pull off comedy with aplomb!

Satyamev Jayate’s back

Satyamev Jayate: Season 2 will soon return to TV. This time Aamir Khan wants to have three breaks in the season and air the show for one month at a time only. While the show became a talking point during the last season two years ago, let's see how it is received this time.

War of words

Sara Khan is yet again in the middle of a controversy. The makers of her film Midsummer Midnight Mumbai alleged that she was unprofessional while shooting. Sara was shocked to hear the accusations and hit back saying her dates were wasted. She also alleged that she was unaware that the producer too had an important role in the film.

Kashmira’s eager

Kashmira Shah, who is gearing up for her wedding to long time boyfriend Krushna Abhishek, is keen to do more work than usual. She has been a reality TV star, done many item songs and a few movies, but never acted in a TV show. Now after she got a good response for her role as a cop in Shapath, she can't wait.

Madhuri fever!

Mohini Mohini Mohini… resonated on the sets of Comedy Circus ke Mahabali as the gorgeous Madhuri Dixit made an appearance on the show with her co-star Huma Qureshi to promote her upcoming film Dedh Ishqiya.

The episode was dedicated to the stunning actress as it was for the first time that the actress visited the set. All the judges and Madhuri herself praised Bharti when she imitated Madhuri's signature Uhu Uhu from the movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.

Close range: Kratika SengarWhat’s cooking?

It seems Kratika Sengar of Punar Vivah fame is not 'just' friends with Sushmita Sen's brother Rajeev Sen but very 'good' pals. Kratika and Rajeev have been friendly on Twitter, and not hidden their affection with hugs and kisses in their tweets. Is it all smoke and no fire?

Close range: Kratika Sengar

All’s not well

Rahul Dev, currently seen in Devon Ke Dev Mahadev, is unwell. He had to be hospitalised when he fell ill while shooting a maha-episode of the show. Doctors are suspecting dengue and the treatment is on.

Positive response

The new song of Gunday featuring Priyanka Chopra has been launched and the response has been positive. PC shares a great camaraderie with both Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor without being linked with either of them.

Their bonding shows on screen and hope Gundey proves to be an entertainer.

Box office record

Sholay 3D and Mr Joe B Carvalho have got a tepid response at the box office. Sholay 3D has collected only Rs 6 crore and the younger generation is not interested in seeing it, only the old fans are venturing out to see it.

Biggest film

Dhoom 3 has become the highest grossing film in the history of Indian cinema and has grossed over Rs 500 crore worldwide already and it is yet to open in some international territories.

Gangster connection

Kangana Ranaut received a text message from Gangster co-star Emraan Hashmi. They have kept in touch over the years and he sent a message appreciating and praising the promo of Queen and that he is looking forward to seeing it.

Nothing filmy

Kareena Kapoor Khan says that she and Saif have many friends who are not from the industry and that they do not like filmy parties. They like to meet new people who are not from films and have them over for dinner and conversation. They are still in touch with their old school friends.

P Khurrana

ARIES: The day will be quite busy, as you take of domestic chores. Once you are through, you will be able to lie back and take things easy. Money matters will not pose a huge concern and health will be good. Tarot message: Don't take financial decisions impulsively. Lucky colour: Navy blue. Lucky number: 32.

TAURUS: Interactions, travelling and intellectual pursuits will all be the best part of today. Many of you will travel for pleasure and explore interesting places. At home, a certain close relative can help you to make an important choice. Tarot message: Be true to yourself. Lucky colour: Orange. Lucky number: 44.

GEMINI: Many of you have been experiencing a profound, philosophical inclination for the past few days and today this feeling will motivating you to introspect. Take care of your stomach. Tarot message: Sound advice will put you on the right track. Lucky colour: Pink. Lucky number: 21.

CANCER: Things will move at a relatively slower pace today. You can use the time to relax and catch up with friends as well as family. In case of a windfall, do not spend it all, rather save it for a rainy day. Tarot message: Do not cover up your mistakes. Lucky colour: Black. Lucky number: 50.

LEO: This will be an active and positive day for professionals, especially women, who will have the stamina and enthusiasm to accomplish just about anything. The admiration that you receive will be motivating. Tarot message: Be diplomatic. Lucky colour: Red. Lucky number: 62.

VIRGO: Business people will need to work out the finer aspects of a partnership or contract while professionals need to display intelligence, tact and efficiency at work in order to create an impact. Tarot message: Don't get embroiled in long-term ventures. Lucky colour: Purple. Lucky number: 55.

LIBRA: This will be a day where you need to adopt an unconventional yet productive approach so as to accomplish the maximum. Professionally, you should be careful of whom to trust. Tarot message: Curb your expenses. Lucky colour: White. Lucky number: 27

SCORPIO: You will have to be strong and make the decision to save as well as invest. In relationships, do not get entangled in temporary, meaningless affairs. Socially, you can feel a little detached and lonely. Tarot message: Trust your inner feelings. Lucky colour: Silver-grey. Lucky number: 35.

SAGITTARIUS: At this time, you will be quite generous, optimistic, expressive, tactful, compassionate and creative. Help from a spiritual guide will be valuable. Gifts from friends can bring a smile to your face. Tarot message: Keeping a close eye on savings. Lucky colour: Golden. Lucky number: 65.

CAPRICORN: Taking care of an elder will give you great happiness. The day will be filled with romance, excitement and travel. At home, there will be warmth and affection in your relations. Tarot message: Finance and health needs care. Lucky colour: Green. Lucky number: 40.

AQUARIUS: In relationships don't become too controlling, since everyone needs his or her own space. Intelligent and perceptive, you will be able to identify and understand the real intentions behind the actions of others. Tarot message: Keep the secrets of people well-guarded. Lucky colour: Peach. Lucky number: 51.

PISCES: When faced with someone who is absolutely stubborn, don't waste your time in arguing with him or her since it will not yield any results. If holding a social get-together, take a close look at the guest list. Tarot message: Do not spend beyond your capacity. Lucky colour: Crimson. Lucky number: 29.

Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is January 9...

The year 2014 brings some unexpected developments in your life, which will steer you in a completely new direction. The focal points of your activities this year will be planning and clarity in communications. Matters of the heart will improve and harmony will be restored on this front due to efforts on your part. A friend of yours will play the role of a matchmaker and bring you close to a special someone who seems to promise a good future in terms of love and romance. You can have new sources of income and invest in property.

Positive colours: Golden, Red, White, Yellow and Cream.

Select days: Tuesday, Friday and Thursday.

Favourable numbers: 3, 6, 9.

Gems recommended: Red Coral, Yellow Sapphire.

Charity on Birthday: Donate yellow edible items to the needy or handicapped or at any religious place today.

You share your birthday with Farhan Akhtar (January 9, 1974, Mumbai), who is the son of renowned Indian poet Javed Akhtar and story-writer Honey Irani. His directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai (2001) won a National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. He will prove the best director in the times to come.

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