Young crusaders
Sahil Anand, Sumit Suri and Preet Kamal, in Chandigarh to promote Babloo Happy Hai, are all a bundle of energy. They sure are looking forward to happier times in the future…
Ashima Batish

New Year's first month reinforced the belief that you need to have connections in Bollywood to be a part of the industry. While Sunil Darshan launched his son Shiv Darshan, Shekhar Suman re-launched Adhyayan Suman…merit matters, but that only comes under the scanner once you are introduced. In this scenario, when there comes a film like Babloo Happy Hai, with all new faces that don't have any connections to boast of in their résumé, you wonder if the rules are being re-written! Sahil Anand, Sumit Suri and Preet Kamal, who were in Chandigarh to promote their film on Tuesday, talk about the industry and how it's a battle not even half won yet.

Diligent student
Sahil Anand

He is lucky to have started his career with Student Of The Year, post his Roadies outing. In-between the two, he took auditions one after the other; he doesn't remember the count now. "The industry welcomes talent and appreciates hardwork, but you need have a lot of patience. Results don't come immediately, as is the case with kids of stars."

Sahil sums up his experience of working with Karan Johar, who introduced him first, as rewarding. "This film is the result of having worked with him, otherwise to get a lead role was a distant dream." Now that people know him as an actor, he wants to do films that promise a script and not just a budget; he wants audiences to appreciate him and not be rated by critics. "I am disillusioned with critics. In Mumbai, the most popular ones also don't rate the films fairly. For example, a youth-oriented film that released two weeks back was given four stars whereas it was one of the worst films in recent times."

Coming to his role in the film, something he feels youngsters will be able to relate to, Sahil plays a character who is confused about love. Besides he is also working on his other two films —Bang Bang Bangkok and Love Day. "I have to give my best to every film because I know there is nobody to re-launch me," he signs off.

Big boost
Sumit Suri

Two films old, Sumit Suri is expecting that Babloo Happy Hai will give a much-needed boost to his career. His earlier Bollywood outings, Warning and What the Fish, failed to create a buzz at the box-office. The real hope, something he feels will lift his career graph, lies with Surkhab, a film that has already won critical acclaim and award for the Best Foreign Film at the London International Film Festival. "I am playing an ambitious boy, whose life changes after he migrates to Toronto." Film festivals, he thinks, are the appropriate way to introduce people to different cinema. He quotes the examples of BA Pass, Lunchbox and Miss Lovely, which hit the screens via international festivals and appealed to the audience. "Festival outings add to the credibility of the film and even to that of the actors, who are a part of it." Sumit has worked before as an assistant director and is happy to have switched the role.

Wise words
Preet Kamal

Before enrolling herself for an acting course in Mumbai, Preet Kamal finished her MBA in UK, a decision she says was wise. "I have dreams of becoming a successful actor, but at the same time I know the reality that heroines have a short shelf life. Even for that, an actress should have a successful run for ten years." That's wise indeed!

On a musical note
Jazzy B, a voice to reckon with in the Punjabi music world, rues the decline of the album culture...
Amarjot Kaur
Jazzy B
BEAT IT: Jazzy B

Most musicians take a while to find favour with the masses. On the other hand, there are a few who click instantly by the plain virtue of their talent. Jazzy B falls in the latter category. Being one of the most celebrated Punjabi singers, he is now exploring different facets of creativity but not at the cost of his intrinsic style. As he ventures into Punjabi cinema as an actor, we catch up with him to find more.

You have sung the title track of the movie Shaadi Ke Side Effects. How did that come your way?

Well, this offer caught me unaware and it was only when Pritam, the music director of the film, rang me up that I knew that he wanted me to sing the title track. He wanted to have a Punjabi feel to the song. It is a very peppy one; it borders on the eccentricities of being a bachelor and then getting married.

Punjabi music is getting really popular in Bollywood. What do you have to say about that?

I think it is great that Bollywood is recognising Punjabi music and artistes. It gives us a huge set of audience because Bollywood is watched as well as loved by a majority of people across India, Pakistan and abroad. It adds to our popularity.

The album culture has now been replaced by online world. What do you feel about it?

It’s a shame to see the album culture fade away. We would record as many as eight songs for an album, but now there are no companies that do that because it does not pay off the production cost. Also, it takes me as much as Rs 20-25 lakh to make one song; so the album culture was better.

Are you now venturing into Punjabi movies?

I am actually shooting for a film called Rambo Ranjha, which has been directed by Manmeet Singh. It is an out-an-out action film and I am acting with Garry Sandhu. So in the film, I am the Rambo while Garry is the Ranjha (laughs)!

What’s next in store for you?

I will be coming up with a single titled Singhan di Gaddi very soon. I am also working on an album.

In the act
Keeya Khanna sees a bright future for Punjabi movies. She hopes to grow with each role she essays…
Jasmine Singh
Keeya Khanna
fun times: Keeya Khanna

A sheer stroke of luck brought Keeya Khanna from Mumbai, where she was doing theatre, to Punjabi films. Now that she is here, this beauty wants to try her luck a little more. “I want the industry to know that I have arrived and hopefully can change certain things,” she says. Keeya, with three films in her kitty, is indeed quite upbeat about the future.

The story goes back to the days of theatre. “I was doing a play, Mitro Marjaani, when a director noticed me. This is how things started rolling,” adds Keeya, currently shooting for Punjabiyan da king opposite Navraj Hans. When in Punjab do like the Punjabis do — which means eat! “I have been doing that a lot, but since I am an actress I have to take care of my diet.”

Keeya has fed herself on the Punjabi movies diet; the last one she watched was Jatt & Juliet and she’s glad to have landed here at the right time. “I always feel that anything in the developing phase is good because it allows you to grow as well, which is why I feel it is good to be in Punjabi cinema right now,” she adds.

If she knows quite a bit about the industry, we bet she is also aware of the kind of roles cut out for actresses in Punjabi movies. “I can’t comment on anyone; whatever roles I have done till date have been very substantial and important to the story. I have been lucky again,” she says with a puckish grin.

If you thought diction is a problem here, Keeya can amaze you by interacting in pure desi Punjabi. “My grandmother was a sardarni; I can speak good Punjabi.”

Living outside the suitcase, shooting in Punjab, Keeya is having all the fun. “How lucky,” she laughs.

Try, try again
Singer Ritu Pathak of Jalebi Bai fame had her share of ups and downs. But all’s well that ends well…
Manpriya Singh

More than a shot at things, it takes a thought on things to survive through the intense emotion of rejection and a long phase of struggle. Just a couple of feelings singer Ritu Pathak lived with for a long time.

“I auditioned, got the selection letter but somehow never made it to the final episodes of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa,” she says. Just out with her song Gandi Baat, she looks back at a journey that started at the age of four from a small town of Madhya Pradesh. How much ever prepared, a break into the world of Bollywood playback singing needs a lot of things in place! It needs hard work, money, contacts and a Godfather.

Indian Idol 2 happened and not without its fair share of struggle. “I auditioned for the show in 2007. Before that I wasn’t even aware of it, because at home we didn’t get the channel broadcasting the show…Once aware, I would go to somebody’s place to watch it.”

Auditions at Lucknow translated into a national platform, which didn’t last for long. “I was eliminated during earlier rounds itself… At the time, it felt like a huge set back. My platform itself was taken away from me.” Now with songs like Jalebi Bai, Papa Jag Jayega, Race 2 title track, Jyun Duriyan from Players, sitting pretty in her resume, she recalls of what it takes to survive.

Finally after a long phase spent shuttling between hometown and Mumbai, “things started to change when I finally got a call from one of the judges of reality show I participated in on SAB TV…I started by struggling for numbers of music directors.”

Among the current crop, there are some favourites too but these are few and far between. “I quite like Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal. They both have their own style.” She adds, “I love all the songs by Adele and Lata Mangeshkar is my idol. In fact I learnt singing only listening to her songs.”

An industry dictated by the music director and the script, there’s very little leeway to show your raw talent or evolve your own style. “I’d like to cut an album someday because only an album gives you complete creative liberty to depict your true singing.” A couple of things overlap with every singer’s wish list. “Like everybody else, I want to work with AR Rahman.”

Fashion Funda
A shade under
Pale blue and pale yellow with white accents will be the colours for prêt and couture
Ashima Batish

She is someone who has seen the industry evolve in the last 20 years. So, when Niki Mahajan rates the industry, she has her facts in place. As for making the fashion forecast, she suggests subtlety should be demanded and provided.

What’s in

There is a definite shift in embroidery. It's now more delicate and light. In fact, stones and heavy embellishments have made way for thread embroideries, strictly in cotton threads. While a lot of designers might claim that Anarkalis are out, but they still are the quintessential ethnic couture wear and will rule in the coming season as well, with subtle changes. The pleats will begin from the shoulder, accentuating slender figures and creating illusion of height.

What's out

Polyester nets are out and so is polyester lace. Cotton lace will still be in. People have developed a liking for organic fabrics or anything that has the Indian tag attached to it. Thus, we will see people giving up georgettes and taking to khadi instead.

Colour count

Neons are powdered down to paler shades. Pale blue, pale yellow, blush, grey with white accents will be the colours for prêt and couture. Later in the year, orange will make a comeback again.

Party couture

Nothing looks better than a well-draped saree at any occasion. Pick a solid colour and one is good for a party.

Leading in design

I admire works of Bibhu Mohapatra. He is one of the most successful designers of present times. From a small town in Orissa to New York, he has come far.

Dressed to the nines

Classical dancer Geeta Chandran is one of the most well-dressed celebrities. From the glamour world, Deepika Padukone takes away the trophy of the best dressed. She knows what to pick for different occasions and does justice to whatever she wears.

On the Indian fashion industry

The market has become a very difficult place, where you not only need to have your design sensibilities in place, but also your marketing skills. You have to follow the market diktat to do well in the Indian market but unfortunately, there is nobody to guide the young designers.

Doc Talk
C for yourself
Dr Vikas Sharma

The right concentration of vitamin C can do wonders to your skin

Did you take or apply your vitamin rich supplement today?

The skin research has proven that the antioxidant properties of vitamins contribute to the prevention and treatment of skin and photo-ageing. Although many face creams contain vitamins, known as antioxidants, very few are actually effective in preventing or reversing the skin damage.

To find the right supplement, one needs to check the percentage and type of vitamins included in the products as numerous topical formulations contain very low concentrations of antioxidants that are not well absorbed by the skin.

Why vitamin C?

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for adults is about 90mg per day but some people are so seduced by the idea that Vitamin C supplements help protect them against skin and hair disorders that they happily pop one, two or even more a day - and feel guilty if they forget to do so. The oral supplementation with vitamin C is not very effective at increasing skin concentrations of vitamin C because its absorption is limited by active transport mechanisms in the gut. In addition an overdose of Vitamin C can cause numerous gastrointestinal disorders. In fact, applying vitamin C in form of serum to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion.

Glowing result

What does the application of vitamin C cream or serum do?

  • Acts as an antioxidant: The process of oxidation damages the skin cells. Vitamin C serums are rich in anti-oxidants that repair and renew the cells and give the skin a healthier look.
  • Helps improve collagen: Collagen binds the cells of our body. Vitamin C serum stimulates the synthesis of collagen in the skin which gives a tighter, firmer and less sagged feel. It is a good first-step solution to treat the onset of skin ageing and sagging.
  • Restores and regenerates: Vitamin C attacks the free radicals in the body and does some hardcore damage repair. If you have any acne scars left from your previous breakout, you'll find them fading with regular application.
  • Protects from the sun damage: Getting overexposed to the sun can cause hyper-pigmentation and sun spotting. A vitamin C serum will counteract the harmful effect of the sun. But it is important to note that a vitamin C serum cannot replace your sunscreen. A sunscreen provides the much needed SPF protection by shielding the outer layer of the skin while the vitamin C serum acts as a sun barrier from within the skin.

When starting out with a vitamin C cream, it's a good idea to gradually increase usage by starting off with the cream that has a lower vitamin C concentration. You can start with a vitamin C serum that has a 10 per cent concentration, and as your skin gets used to it, you can increase to 15-20 per cent range.

How to apply

After you've chosen a vitamin C serum, it is important that you use it right. Correct method of application will definitely increase the effectiveness.

  • Dampen your face with water and start by applying the serum to your face and neck.
  • Let it dry for some time and then apply a moisturizer, if possible use one with a sunscreen in it. It is important that you use the serum before moisturizing and not after. This is because the serum is easily absorbed into the skin, while moisturizers work on the surface. If you use the moisturizer first, your skin will not be able to absorb the vitamin C serum.
  • Vitamin C serums are oil free preparations that are perfect for balancing oily skin by exfoliating naturally. Because of its exfoliating properties, it is a good idea to follow up a vitamin C serum application with a fragrance-free moisturize.

(Dr Sharma is a Chandigarh-based dermatologist)

Punjabi Tadka
When dream comes true
Jasmine Singh

Every passing day brings him closer to his dream, a dream that he had seen with his open eyes. Punjabi singer-actor Jassi Gill knew just one thing--not to give up on his dream. The hard work, patience and perseverance paid and now the singer is belting one hit after another. With Lancer, Pyar Mera, this youngster, who carries his heart on his sleeve, is climbing the popularity chart. He also makes his Pollywood debut with Mr And Mrs 420, which he says is going to be a full-on entertainment. It is not difficult to get Jassi started, and the singer sure knows his answers well!

I am a singer actor

I would always want to be known as a singer first. That is my first love. Acting came later in the scheme of things.

If I could collaborate

Amrinder Gill and Feroze Khan are the two singers I would like to collaborate with. Both have an interesting style that will only add volumes to my singing.

The practice session

I would be honest, I don't get time to practice. So, whatever practice I do is with my live shows. One show after the other keeps vocal chords in action.

The best show

I did a live show at Toronto last year. I have never seen such a huge gathering in my entire life. It was indeed the best show of my life!

The first few days in January last year were the happiest.

Embarrassing moment

I only remember good things. All the same, if for some reason I don't perform well, I don't feel that great and that very night I am sleepless!

Fitness calling

I do a lot of running, as and when I can. I don't get time to hit the gym. Running is something I make sure I do keep up with.

Five minutes before getting on the stage...

I remember God, and ask him to keep a watch on me.

The actors I would love to work with…

Undoubtedly Aamir Khan! I like his acting and how he functions, a film or two in a year. Ideally, I would like to do the same, be selective and good with my films.

Success mantra

There is no substitute to hard work. When I dreamt of being a singer, I didn't know if that was possible. I only knew that I would work hard for it. So, today I know there is no replacement for hard work. It always pays.

My happiest moment

When my song Lancer did amazingly well!

Master Chef
Viva Mexicana!
Kandla Nijhowne

Mexican food has a spiciness which we can instantly fall in love with. It has heat from chillies which we seldom see in most cuisines and our favourite cumin (jeera) for aroma and zing. It simplifies cooking Mexican food if you prepare a taco-mix at home and keep it handy at all times. It can be packed into a jar and pushed into a fridge shelf for as long as one year. Later, it can turn out excellent casseroles, burritos, tacos and enchiladas. Dried onion flakes and garlic powder are easily available in our supermarkets. If paprika is difficult to obtain, use a little degi mirch for the deep red colour. I shall follow up with some quick and easy Mexican fare in my forthcoming columns ! If the taco mix lies ready, waiting in the wings, the processing of any Mexican dish is a wink!

Homemade Texan taco mix

  • 2 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes
  • ¾ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1½ tsp salt


Mix all the ingredients together and store in a clean dry jar.

Quick Mexican salad

  • 1 cup soaked, cooked kabuli chana
  • ½ cup steamed corn
  • ¼ cup chopped spring onion
  • ½ cup diced tomato
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dhaniya
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ -1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp taco mix
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper


Toss together all the ingredients. Do not add too much salt at the beginning. The taco mix already has a fair amount. Chill and serve.

(Nijhowne is a Chandigarh-based culinary expert)

For your eyes only India's largest online retailer of fashionable and stylish eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses, has embarked on an offline journey with a newly-opened store in Chandigarh.

This will also mark the brand's franchise presence in this region for the first time. The store will enable customers to access products using the innovative 'click and mortar' model by to bring personalised, one-to-one service to those interested in experiencing the brand first hand. The new store in Chandigarh is located at Sector - 38 C. In addition to this, has four outlets in Delhi and will expand to more cities soon. — TNS

Skin deep

Lotus Herbals has launched its first exclusive brand outlet in Chandigarh. The first outlet opened its doors on the ground floor of the Elante Mall.

At this outlet, Lotus Herbals offers a complete range of cutting-edge products for the skin, hair, body and make-up that are 100 per cent vegetarian and absolutely free of animal products. The innovative display of the skin care range, sun care range, white glow range and make-up range gives the consumer, first-hand experience of the entire range of products offered by the brand. — TNS

star track
Rahman attends Grammys

Two-time Grammy winner AR Rahman attended the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday evening.

The 48-year-old music composer shared a picture of him and tweeted: "And this was at my home in LA earlier today...on the way to the Grammys."

This year legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar received a posthumous nomination for his album The Living Room Sessions Part 2 in World Music category.

Tisca talks about showbiz

Acting Smart: Your Ticket to Showbiz by Tisca Chopra was launched at India Non-Fiction Festival last weekend by Imtiaz Ali.

The session was peppered with wit, humour and many interesting anecdotes. “I remember it was my second day in Mumbai and I got a chance to meet Anupam Kher. He asked me “Can you sleep easily?” a little surprised and wary I asked him, “Alone or with someone?” he looked at me and said “No no, can you just sleep anywhere anytime?” I said “Yes, I can sleep standing also,” he said “Good then, you can become an actor,” said Tisca. The book is a guide for all those who want to become actors.

Fiery rapid fire

Emraan Hashmi has clearly had the best rapid fire round on all four seasons of Koffee with Karan. He won the hamper. He said that his worst on-screen kiss was with Mallika Sherawat and best with Jacqueline Fernandez. Honestly speaking, we still can't stop giggling at Emraan's comments.

Roadside party

Ritesh Sidhwani threw an impromptu bash for Deepika Padukone post her Filmfare win which was attended by Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Ranveer Singh and others. They ate at a roadside food stall.

Pulkit has a mentor

Pulkit Samrat considers Salman Khan as his mentor and he says that Khan keeps a tab on him and his career. He is very caring and concerned about Pulkit. Samrat is a part of Jai Ho and is also part of O Teri!

Travel with Big B

Amitabh Bachchan recently shot for a promotional ad in Ahmedabad as a part of the Khushboo Gujarat Ki ad campaign to promote tourism in the state.

Making family proud

Vidya Balan has been honoured with a Padma Bhushan and she dedicates it to her family. The actress has done exceptional work in Hindi films.

Wedding gets in the way

Neil Nitin Mukesh's film Ishqeria which is a romantic comedy starring him and Richa Chaddha has been delayed due to the director's wedding. The actor does not have any other movie on the anvil.

Gang of girls

Newcomer Saumik Sen has directed Juhi Chawla and Madhuri Dixit in the upcoming and long-awaited Gulaab Gang. He talks about why he chose to make the movie.

Madhuri vs Juhi

In most action films, the most powerful roles are essayed by men while the women play the girlfriend or the wife. Here it is the reverse—here it is Madhuri Dixit versus Juhi Chawla. And the men play brother and father! Somebody said that I am the male Zoya Akhtar because she made the male-oriented Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which is a huge compliment.

Success story

It is a story about two successful women: one (played by Juhi Chawla) is a politician and the other (played by Madhuri Dixit) runs a self-help ashram of weavers. This is not Mrityudand or an uprising against men. It is not an art film; it is a clutter-breaking project.

Battle of power

No, they don’t have a hand-to-hand combat. There is no Uma Thurman vs Daryl Hannah sword-fight (a la Kill Bill). It is a battle of power. Action to me is just an extension of dance. I didn’t want body doubles for any action sequence. I had met other actresses who didn’t want to do action sequences but fortunately my choices proved right.

Alia nervous about Highway

Alia Bhatt talks about being nervous about Highway and the people she worked with on the movie.

Fingers crossed

I, being one-film-old, my film will not get good opening or a good weekend. If it's a good film and audience can relate to it, its honesty and sincerity, they will watch it. But if they cannot see that, it will flop. Today a good film does well regardless of its genre.

Changing scenario

Films like Shahid, BA Pass got a lot of appreciation. Things are changing now, people are accepting good cinema. The word of mouth publicity plays an important role today for non-commercial films. It takes time for such (non-massy) films to do is a gamble.

No confidence

I am not confident at all. My confidence level is zero. I think it will be for every film. It is probably more for Highway because it is a different kind of film. I am scared.

During the making of the film, which was a little stressful, I did not feel like giving up. I was wondering, “How am I still doing it?” I was proud of myself. I really pushed myself a lot, physically and emotionally.

Knowing Imtiaz

He is a very pure soul. Whether it is his intensity, dedication or passion towards his work, everything is there. He is what he is, there is no fuss or anything fake. That is what I love about him.

Unusual pairing

The unusual pairing of Randeep and I was intentionally done. Randeep is a buddy and it was fun working with him on such a unique film.

chatter box
In two minds

While Ajaz Khan has been approached for Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi, he is in two minds about accepting it. He doesn't want the audiences to get the same Bigg Boss 7 déjà vu as Gauahar Khan too is part of the show. Earlier, Kushal Tandon too was in but due to his shoulder injury he won't be doing the show.

Second innings

Aamir Khan's chat show Sataymev Jayate will be back on the TV screens soon. The second season will air on March 2. In a new, recently released promo the channel announced the same. The show that touched upon many burning issues will this time highlight people who think about the country, says the tagline of the show.

It’s party time

Reality TV star Kendall Jenner is reportedly planning to take rumoured boyfriend Harry Styles on a romantic holiday to celebrate his 20th birthday. Jenner, 18, allegedly wants to treat the One Direction star, who will turn 20 on February 1, to a birthday surprise.

"Kendall's dad has a beautiful cliff-top holiday home in Big Sur, California, and she has asked if she and Harry can use the mansion for a private break together. "She wants them to have some time alone where they can relax and enjoy each other's company. Harry already has everything he wants, so she decided to organise something special they can always remember," a source said.

Jenner, who is said to be dating the Little Things singer for around two months, is also helping his close friend Nick Grimshaw organise a birthday party in London. "Kendall is in charge of organising the party, alongside Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw. She wanted the party to be in London so that Harry's friends and family could all be there. The rest of One Direction and a whole host of other celebs will be on the guest list," the source added. PTI

The end is near

Detective thriller, Star Plus' Arjun will now end its run on television. Star Plus now plans to air all their shows, six times a week once, once Nach Baliye Season 6 ends. Apparently, Arjun's team hasn't got a notice about it going off-air.

Blast from the past

Rishina Kandhari, who was last seen in Khelti Hai Zindagi Aakh Micholi, is all set to enter Uttaran. According to the ongoing track, the story will go in a flashback where Rathore (Gaurav Chopra) will be with his first wife Malvika (Rishina Kandhari). Rishina says, "I am playing Gaurav Chopra's first wife from the past. I would be seen as Malvika. It's surely a good feeling to be a part of a popular show like Uttaran"

Good motives

Keith Sequeira will be the new entry in Shashi-Sumeet Production's popular show Diya Aur Baati Hum on Star Plus. He will be seen in the role of Roy, who motivates Sandhya (Deepika Singh) during her training at the police academy. Keith's role is modelled on SRK's in Chak De India.

Show time for Sunil

Finally the timing of Sunil Grover's show has been locked. The comedy show called Mad in India will replace Nach Baliye Season 6 when it ends this weekend. The format of the show will be like Saturday Night Live, with many comedians and actors.

Cool & collected

Pretty and talented Mansi Salve, who has quit her hit show Pyaar Ka Dard, is feeling a bit sad. The actress talks about her fitness regimen and style statement.

How are you feeling about leaving Pyaar Ka Dard?

I don't know what's going to happen. As an actor, it is great to play the role of Avantika but I want to do more. Sometimes it's no one's fault, but things do not go well; there is no ill feeling between the Rajshris and me.

On the show, your clothes became a style statement. Who do you give the credit to?

The credit goes to designer Ritu Deora, my stylist Kriti Bapna and jewellery designer Mansi Manoj. They all helped me get the look together. On television when the look of an actor has to be changed, there are many approvals needed. But on this show, I was given the freedom to choose, change patterns and even cut my hair if needed.

What else keeps you busy?

Right now my books and workouts! My six-year-old daughter too keeps me busy, as does taking care of the house. In fact, when I have a day off I am more tired than on days when I shoot.

Are there any films in the offing - Hindi or Marathi?

Nothing as of now; I am waiting for a good opportunity.

So what's next?

I am going to take it easy. Sometimes you need time to think and plan what you want to do. Actors need time off, especially on TV, as we don't have the luxury of taking time off. — HRM

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is January 29...

Taking care of your health is essential this time. It is a very good year for those engaged in their own business. Control your moody nature. Spending money on entertainment will bring losses. You will be able to manage people and situations without any problem.

Positive colours: White, Sky Blue, Pink. Select days: Sunday, Monday. Favourable numbers: 1,4,2,7.

Gems recommended: Pearl, Opal.

Charity on birthday: Donate green fodder to cows; copper utensils to the needy or at any religious place today.

You share your birthday with Meera Vasudevan (January 29,1982, Chennai), who made her debut in Bollywood with Rules: Pyar Ka Superhit Formula, a sweet and satirical movie about love and heartbreak, which also starred model turned actor Milind Soman.

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: Sacrifices made today can put you in a far better place for the future. A real estate transaction should not be started. Sudden travel can disturb certain plans. A long awaited issue finally gets settled. Tarot message: Judge your finances better. Lucky colour: Black. Magic number: 60.

TAURUS: The Moon reveals that you can stretch your relationship a bit too far. Speak your mind to your beloved to clear a misunderstanding. Property deals get concluded. Tarot message: Don't be too certain about obtaining a clearance. Lucky colour: Ebony. Magic number: 42.

GEMINI: It is a day to forget worries at work. Talk to superiors and see what they can offer. Uncooperative family members will throw a spanner in your life. Sportsmen can feel restless. Tarot message: Take things slowly and listen to your inner voice. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 62.

CANCER: Today you will be in an enthusiastic frame of mind. Matters connected with the state or government agency will go smoothly. Loss through speculation is on the cards. Tarot message: Change the status quo both at work and relationships. Lucky colour: Silver Grey. Magic number: 29. 

LEO: Trying to get some time for your own self can be the hardest thing today. Relax and be a little more tolerant. You will be in a mood to find fault with people who are dear to you; curb this habit. Tarot message: Follow your instincts. Lucky colour: Purple. Magic number: 30.

VIRGO: Teamwork is the keynote of the day. Home life will be pleasant. Older people can drum up certain problem. Check your car before you set out for a long journey. Tarot message: Draw on inner energies and move ahead. Lucky colour: Rust. Magic number: 64.

LIBRA: Life is not always a bed of roses. Relatives will be sensitive and difficult to get along with. Do not get involved in any land deal. Emotions have to be controlled. Tarot message: Any confrontation needs to be managed with care. Lucky colour: Blue. Magic number: 59.

SCORPIO: Let a project take its time. You will be happy in the company of friends. Find moderate pleasures. Handle property matters carefully. Some of you will be suffering from financial insecurity. Tarot message: It is important to enjoy your dreams. Lucky colour: Crimson. Magic number: 41.

SAGITTARIUS: Relax; there is no work pressure at all. Friends will be easy going and willing to fall in love with your plans. Property matters are highlighted. A romantic alliance is likely to blossom by the evening. Tarot message: Do not let anyone take advantage of you. Lucky colour: Burgundy. Magic number: 46.

CAPRICORN: It is a good day to get things done by people in power. You will get an opportunity to become a member of an important club. Family affairs run along smoothly. Guard against mischievous interference. Tarot message: Be determined. Lucky colour: Forest-green. Magic number: 25.

AQUARIUS: Love relations will be bubbling with excitement. Making a spontaneous trip can fill the need for variety. Businessmen: expect help from clients and loan from bank. Tarot message: Win the war with honesty. Lucky colour: Cream. Magic number: 27.

PISCES: Tendencies for manipulation or revenge should be controlled and contained. Believe in your own worth. It is the right day for investment in property. Tarot message: Trust your heart and intuition rather than confusing yourself. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic number: 43.

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