Change of scene
Enough of comedies, Punjabi cinema is turning a new leaf with different genres
Jasmine Singh

Give it to the popularity of the Aam Aadmi Party, our country is gearing up to fight back. Punjabi cinema after rolling in dollops of laughter is deciding to turn to something some serious, something more relevant. They decide to fight back to with the announcement of the Punjabi movie, Fight Back. The cast of the film snuggled in their winter best and talked about the film and what they would want to fight against. As they wish everyone a Happy Lohri, they roll their story over.

Directed by Gurcharan Virk and produced by Dovinder Singh, the film brings back two actors Kartar Cheema and Harish Verma who are known to throw in a lot of intensity in their characters. The film also stars Bollywood actress Anjana Sukhani who made her debut with Punjabi Young Malang along with Harman Boparai, Sardar Sohi and Yograj Singh. The story and screenplay of the film is penned down by Pali Bhupinder Singh of film Stupid 7 fame. Here’s what they say…

Men in charge

After the critically acclaimed film Sikander, Kartar Cheema now fights back as Yodha in the film. “I could relate to the character completely, when I first heard it I could actually felt the goose bumps,” says Kartar who dedicatedly fights back in the gym. “Good health is a very good weapon, I make sure I don’t let it rust.”

On the other hand actor Harish Verma last seen in RSVP hits the screen with Fight Back. “I have always admired Pali Bhupinder’s work, he has written the script of the film, this is precisely one reason for taking up the film. It has a good star cast with Sardar Sohi, Yograj Singh, Kartar Cheema, so I am looking forward to a great fight.”

Together they will

Actor Yograj and Sardar Sohi who played a negative role in Patiala Dreamz want to fight back anything that corrupts the country. “The film is going to be a reflection of the testing times we are living in,” shares Yograj.

Call out

Gurcharan Virk, the director is known for his famous Airtel’s tagline Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai, Virk has been associated with the film industry since 1983 and has done 14 telefilms. “Fight back is a film which is a combination of mystery, action, drama and romance. Mystery is a genre that hasn’t been tried in Punjabi cinema before. We understand the current situation of Punjab, and this movie brings out the situation in a filmy manner,” adds Gurcharan Virk who has directed TV serials Vaapsi, Kachi Kandh and Doraha.

The cast of Fight Back Right entry

Harman Boparai and Amandeep make their debut in Punjabi films with Fight Back. “Punjabi cinema is experimenting with scripts, we are seeing all kinds of films finding place here, comedy, action and suspense. This is the right time to be here,” they add.

The cast of Fight Back

Game on...
Singer Hardy Sandhu opens his innings on the acting pitch with the upcoming film Yaaran Da Katchup
Jasmine Singh

Life has a tendency to take on the route where you had least expected it go. Hardevinder Sandhu or Hardy Sandhu as people know him, standing on the crease, hitting those sixes hadn’t imagined holding a mike and delivering some knock out numbers.

A twist of tale took this Ranji and under 19 cricket player off the field to a recoding studio. Making hearts flutter with his single Soch that has recieved a tremendous response in the market, Hardy Sandhu is all set to open his innings in the acting pitch. Performing at Gulab sweets, Panchkula for the Lohri, Hardy readies for his turn…

The singing ground

Due to some injury, I had to pull out from cricket, which was like my dream. It was then that friends and family suggested that I should try singing. But, I didn’t want to just take up the mike and start off. I got trained in singing before coming in the field professionally.

Soch so far

When I doing the track Soch I had a gut feel that it was going to click, I had no clue that I would be such a rage. The video of this track is almost like a small film.

Acting take one

I was impressed with the script of my upcoming movie Yaaran Da Katchup. It is a fun film, I would say it gives a touch of Bollywood and I am looking forward to it. From singing to acting is something that has become a natural progression now. I take my first film that is releasing in March as my learning experience that will prepare me for the game.

Master percussionist
Ustad Zakir Hussain goes by his father’s teaching — be student forever…
Minna Zutshi

Punjab is a very special place for the Punjab Gharana’s noted percussionist Ustad Zakir Hussain. It’s the place where music has been honoured, loved and nurtured and the future of music has been assured here, he says, while on a visit to Bhaini Sahib.

“When I come here, I’m paying homage to one of the greatest temples of art and music, which is Bhaini Sahib. It’s a matter of pride that this exists in the state where I belong to and where the music I learnt was born.”

He feels that to be in Punjab is to be at home. “The energy at home keeps you going. You absorb that flow of energy.”

The tabla maestro believes that music, in its organic form, is one of the most positive vibrations on the earth. He draws a parallel between music and nature: “Just as there’s something organically beautiful about a banyan tree spreading around, there’s a special beauty, power and energy in music in its organic form.”

On the future of tabla in music, he says, “Musical instruments are tied with the music of the time. Those that convey the music that’s heard (by the audience) are the prevalent instruments. Be it santoor or sarod recital or khayal gayaki, tabla happens to be the (musical) instrument of choice. So long as these music forms survive, tabla will be heard.”

Striking a philosophical note, the tabla maestro known for his impromptu improvisations and also for his innovative streak, says instruments have a spirit (soul) in them. The trick is to become connected with the spirit, to get the spirit accept you.

Though he credits his father with being a decisive influence on his music, he says many people have shaped and guided his musical journey. “My father is my guru. He provided me the tools to express myself in the world of art. How I utilize these tools has a lot to do with my ability to interact with others of his stature.”

A real world of fantasy
Disney Princess Academy organised an adventure for little girls as they dressed and behaved like their idols

Together time: A fan poses with Ariel
Together time: A fan poses with Ariel

Cindrella, Rapunzel, Ariel might have been princesses of the yore but they continue to live in the popular culture! The famous trio donned on Sunday at Elante Mall as Disney Princess Academy organised a little adventure for about 100 princess' fans. The little girls, along with their mums, got to role play like a princess dressed like one, make up on, some lessons in craft and also values.

The makeover for the divas got the girls dresses from the academy, helping with tiara making, some dancing and lessons in positive values like compassion, intelligence, kindness and grace that the princesses personify. What's more? They met their favourite princesses too, the characters that were specially flown in from Disneyland, Hong Kong.

Seven year old Yashaswini was elated, dressed in a pretty purple gown, tiara on top and goodie bags full. "My favourite princess is Rapunzel," shared the girl after an hour long session at the academy.

There were others, dressed as beautifully as their idols, posing pretty and winning attention of the crowded mall.

"Princesses are not just about being beautiful, dressing well and going about finding their prince charming, but also about well groomed ladies they make and values they uphold," says Seema, a mum who accompanied her six year old to the event.

The event Disney Princess Academy, in its second year, is scheduled for eight cities, with Chandigarh being one of them!

stress buster
Time to get organised!
Renee Singh

Now we are well into January 2014, the New Year is in full swing and a bevy of New Year resolutions is much on it's way. I always feel that if we do get something started at the beginning of the year we normally do try and live it. In America people have termed January as the National ''Get Organised'' month.

I think it's just the right start to the year. If we try and organise ourselves right in the first month, we can significantly reach stress relief in many ways all through the year.

We need to organise in our homes, work places and all kinds of frantic schedules we follow. We can cut on a various kinds of energy drains. Reserving our time for what really matters in our lives is very important and getting rid of the superfluous is vital. We must learn to take stock of our lives in January and then work towards making positive changes all through the year.

Leave unhealthy habits behind

Cut away some of the bad habits from your life. These could be things we tend to do when we are stressed. The problem with these habits is that they stress us even more than the initial stress we are trying to eliminate so it is only sensible to learn to avoid these.

Say no to tolerations

These are stressors in our daily lives that sap our energy but we can't identify them as we get so used to tolerating them and they become a part of our lives. In order that we may destress in our lives we must learn to eliminate these stressors.

Steps to eliminate tolerations:

  • It is important to identify your tolerations. Make a list of all the things that are bothersome and yet you are accepting them in your life because that is the only convenient way to deal with things. Habits and things that cause stress and drain your energy are called tolerations.
  • Ask your friends what are your main tolerations. Another person can show you better what you are dealing with than yourself. You may not realise your own stressors.
  • Think of the main categories of your life, work, home, family, wellness. Clutter, a coworker sapping your energy, people at home or work you disagree with, these are all factors that build up your stress levels.
  • Maintaining an ongoing list of these tolerations is important. Becoming aware of your tolerations is of course the first step in eliminating them. Keep a notebook and maintain a record of these. This list is a roadmap of where and how to start to take charge of your life. This will also help you to see how to reduce stress in your life.

Form a Plan

  • Assign a value to each toleration ranking from 1 to 10 depending on the level of frustration it causes you and the energy depletion it seems to create.
  • Use a similar scale to rank how you can eliminate the tolerations. For example a toleration that can be removed the fastest is no 1 on your scale and that what would require time goes towards 10 on the scale. So try dealing with the easier ones first.
  • You have to simplify life for yourself. Once you have created a list, eliminate the negatives one by one, that is the only way you will reach a nice, relaxed, stress free life.

Creating a life structure

Prioritizing the tolerations and systematically removing them is the best gift you can give yourself in the New Year. As the list of tolerations goes down you begin to feel more energy and less stress in your life. This is a positive move towards a healthy and stress free life.

(Singh is a Chandigarh based psychotherapist)

Nargis Fakhri talks about independence

Nargis Fakhri has been modelling and supporting herself since she was 15. She was recently seen in the acclaimed film Madras Cafe. She talks about her independence and more.

Power woman

I wish that when I was 20 years old, I knew how hot I was and how much power I had and still have. Women need to embrace their power.

Independent streak

I made it out of my neighbourhood and created an independent and financially stable life for myself and now I can take better care of my mother and sister.

On her own

I bought my own ticket to Australia. Travelling around and modelling all over the world has taught me much more than I would’ve learnt going to school or college. I have lived in several countries in Europe.

Positive vibes

I believe in the Universe. I believe that if you wake up happy and positive, then your day goes very well and it is the same with your week. If you wake up unhappy, your day and week will be bad too.

Living life

I live without any regrets. I am independent, I am a fun person, I am a foodie and I am constantly having new experiences, taking chances and learning new things. I like the life I have created for myself.

John Abraham makes space for Priya

John Abraham got married to his girlfriend Priya Runchal this New Year in Los Angeles. Now the buzz is that the Madras Cafe actor is getting ready for his wife’s arrival. Apparently, John’s house in Bandra is under renovation and it seems that he is decorating his new house for Priya. Priya Abraham is slated to move in with John in February.

For the past several days, workers have been spotted doing renovations at his place. He also dropped a hint on Twitter about his marital status a few weeks ago. We guess he will only talk about his marriage at a press conference.

Britney buying a USD 5,000 dog!

Pop star Britney Spears is reportedly planning to buy a USD 5,000 puppy. The 32-year-old Perfume hit maker, who has been dating David Lucado since last March, fell in love with the teacup Yorkie named Micro Diamond at Star Yorkie in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, reported a publication online.

"Britney and David were friendly. She was in a great mood and seemed happy playing with the puppies," the pet shop's owner said. "They left empty-handed, but I wouldn't be surprised if they come back for Diamond," he added. Spears, who has sons, Sean, eight and Jayden, seven, with her ex-husband Kevin Federline, is a well-known animal lover and has adopted a Yorkie and a Maltese from the same pet shop in the past. — PTI

While the beauty spoke of talent

Act apart: Maliaka Arora Khan Malaika Arora Khan is on the esteemed jury panel of FremantleMedia India's show, India's Got Talent. The show promises to showcase talent that will step away from the norms of conventional entertainment to etch the names of the winners in the pages of history and Malaika is confident that the audience will enjoy and love the new season of the show.

How does it feel like to be on this season of India's Got Talent?

I'm proud to be associated with India's Got Talent because of its legacy of bringing forth the most outstanding talent that puts India on the global map. The show has moved beyond the stage while venturing into different areas this time. The grit and determination involved in every act is what attracts me the most about this show.

Are there any acts that you enjoyed more than the others?

There are many such acts, but singing and dancing always puts a smile on my face. However, I remember the act in which women of almost all age groups came from Panvel and performed on drums, which swept me off my feet. The kind of energy that they brought to the stage was unbelievable.

What new thing will we get to see in this season?

There will be many things, but the best part is that we have new talent this season. While outside India, there are many facilities for acrobatics, synchronized swimming etc., in India we do not have that. Maybe someone gets inspired and help these guys make a better life.

What hidden talents of your co-judges have you found?

Many, but none that I can share (laughs). I have known them for years now and always have a great time being with them.

What is next for you?

I have my own fashion label, which is doing well and then I look into our production house. Other than that, being a mother is a full time job.


It’s a Century

The show, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon...Ek Baar Phir that is telecast on Star Plus completed 100 episodes successfully last week. The show, which is a sequel of Iss Paar Ko Kya Naam Doon went on air on in August last year after the huge demand and popularity.

It made a mark in the television industry by showing a marginal increase in the TVT numbers week after week in the time slot of 6 pm, where Star Plus would telecast repeat episodes. Thus, it has set a trend of making 6pm the new prime time for daily soaps. Sunjoy Waddhwa, of Sphereorigins productions says, "I am highly obliged by the great applause received from the audience for the show because of which we have successfully completed 100 episodes. Also, the TVT numbers have shown a marginal increase week after week which is a great boost for the show. I congratulate the entire team of the show for their effort and thank the audience for their immense support".

Its Showtime: Madhura Naik As the drama unfolds...

Produced by Shashi-Sumeet Productions', the show Tumhari Paakhi that is telecast on Life OK is about Anshuman (Iqbal Khan) and Paakhi's convoluted married life. Happy father, Anshuman, who after the death of his first wife falls in love with Tanya, but bride Paakhi (Shraddha Arya), botches things. With sparring on between the couple, Madhura Naik might enter the show as Tanya to shake things up.

Its Showtime: Madhura Naik

Anchoring it right

Kadambari Kadam, who is presently seen in the shows Teen Bahuraniyaan on Zee TV and Sanskaar-Darohar Apno Ki on Colors, will now be hosting a comedy show on ETV Marathi's Superfast Comedy Express. She replaced Amruta Khanvilkar in the show.

Back with a bang

Vikas Manaktala, who is now seen in Sony's new show, Main Na Bhoolungi, got back to acting after a long break. In the show, he essays the role of a loving and caring husband, but there is a mystery to his character. Vikas is glad to be playing multiple shades in the new show and he was earlier seen in the show, Left Right Left.

Background to forefront

Daisy Shah, who debuts in Jai Ho opposite superstar Salman Khan, was asked to tone up before the movie began. She was a background dancer in Bollywood and has worked in South Indian films. She loved working with Salman Khan.

Going great guns!

Dedh Ishqiya has got glowing reviews for all the performances and the bold and beautiful script and dialogues. Many reviewers claim that it is better than the first. The film marks the return of Madhuri Dixit on silver screen.

Screen partner: Deepika Padukone Who’s Deepika working with?

If the latest rumours are to be believed then Deepika Padukone might work, with Aamir Khan, in a film produced by Excel Entertainment. She wants to work with Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan.

Screen partner: Deepika Padukone

No item number this

Sonakshi Sinha has been asked to do a "special song, which is not an item number" with superstar Suriya Sivakumar in his upcoming Tamil thriller film. She has agreed to do it and the song will be shot in Mumbai.

Left with no choice

A picture of Ranbir Kapoor, while spending quality time with his family members Natasha Nanda, Rima Jain and Ritu Nanda in New York, is doing the rounds in media. Guess Katrina Kaif was, as reported, down with flu due to the freezing weather. Is that the reason she is missing from that snapshot?

When imitation scores over original

Actress Jacqueline Fernandez not only loves to pose but she has also got a sense of humour. She posted a funny picture of herself imitating Katrina Kaif from one of her advertisements and tweeted: “Presenting my latest mango commercial.. enjoy!”

P Khurrana

ARIES: “The Devil” suggests that your relationship can be shaken and stirred. A temptation to overindulge might not be good for your credit card. Tarot message: Don't forsake a new learning opportunity because of pride. Lucky colour: Turquoise Magic number: 56

TAURUS: Follow a good routine of exercise and diet to make sure that you're keeping up with health matters. Focus things that need to be done and stick to routines. Tarot message: Plan your life to avoid any delays. Lucky colour: Peach Magic number: 27

GEMINI: You could have accidents simply because you forget to look before you leap. Be careful with your financial situation. Students, concentrate on studies. Be logical in your thoughts. Tarot message: Work could pose minor difficulties, but don't worry. Lucky colour: Rainbow pastels Magic number: 30

CANCER: Flattery, charm and a willingness to be bold will bring success. An evening event could test your patience. Some last-minute changes may put you on the edge of your seat. Tarot message: Your determination to succeed will pay dividends. Lucky colour: Saffron Magic number: 50

LEO: You may meet someone special today. This is a great day for socialising. You could be invited to a lavish event that may make you feel conscious. Be warm to people. Tarot message: Learn to accept responsibility for self and others. Lucky colour: Silver grey Magic number: 44

VIRGO: "Ten of Pentacles" promises self-confidence, so trust your instincts today. Opportunities to socialise and mix with all and sundry will give you many choices. You have the capability to cope with every situation. Tarot message: Set the unpleasant set of events into motion. Lucky colour: Sea green Magic number: 35

LIBRA: Singles may attract someone new. An intimate connection with that special someone is worth pursuing, no matter how difficult it is. You will meet new people. Tarot message: Use your instinct to get into the top circle of power. Lucky colour: Deep red Magic number: 46

SCORPIO: A restless and irritable atmosphere could prvail in the morning. Avoid letting other’s bad mood ruin your day. Don't let an opportunity pass you by as there may be untold benefits awaiting you. Tarot message: Don't dismiss the advice from a youthful origin. Lucky colour: Pink Magic number: 25

SAGITTARIUS: Stick to your work and avoid venturing into a new territory because this is not a day for making decisions. An imminent journey can put you in emotional turmoil. Tarot message: Be articulate to prevent people from jumping to conclusions. Lucky colour: Yellow Magic number: 39

CAPRICORN: "The World" infuses enthusiasm. Do not over commit to yourself. Your loved ones may not be as enthusiastic about your busy plans as you are. Try to get your work in order. Don't fight with loved ones. Tarot message: Do not transact in uncertain matters. Lucky colour: Sky Blue Magic number: 48

AQUARIUS: Thoroughness will be your key to success. Try to avoid getting caught up in conversations that divert you from your course. Health needs attention. Tarot message: Balance in all aspects is recommended. Lucky colour: Peacock green Magic number: 63

PISCES: Conflict between your private and professional life can test your abilities. Strong views on politics or the environment might entice you to get up and speak at a public forum. Tarot message: Emphasise on spiritual needs. Lucky colour: Metallic grey Magic number: 28

Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is January 13...

You should take a brief break in June to set your priorities right. Remedial studies, neighbourhood activities, travels about town and brief communication, especially with siblings, are going to be the focus of your life this year. April brings intense situations your way, which may require you to revisit and rebuild certain foundations of professional and personal life. At this stage, opportune moments will present themselves for quite a few of you, where you will be able to grasp certain karmic lessons of intensity, control, and struggles for dominance. In June, expect the unexpected.

Positive colours: Dark blue, dark grey, all shades of blue shades and dark colours

Select days: Saturday

Favourable numbers: 2, 4 and 8

Gems recommended: Cats eye, tiger stone and fluorite

Charity on Birthday: You may donate milk or milk products to the needy or to any religious place today.

You share your birthday with Imran Khan (January 13, 1983, Madison, Wisconsin), who first appeared as a child artist in Aamir's film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak in 1988 and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander in 1992. He played the role of young Aamir Khan. His luck will shine in 2016.

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