On the beat
While shaking a leg might be easy, making others dance to your tunes is certainly not. Chandigarh-based DJs share how they do it…
Jasmine Singh

From behind that smart looking space touched up with jazzy graffiti and some nice looking gadgets spread on a shelf, one can see nice faces, with huge ear phones attached to their ears. Often, they raise their arm and declare - let’s get the party rolling. They scratch, they play with the console, raising the sound, lowering it suddenly - deejays sure make the crowd go wild.

The things on the console have changed with time, so has the scratching and mixing. What has not changed though are the cheers that arise more than often when a deejay makes your steps go up and down! Chandigarh-based deejays pull up some interesting ‘scratches’ from their career.

(Clockwise) DJ Vishal, Saurav, Harsh and Dj Varnika
(Clockwise) DJ Vishal, Saurav, Harsh and Dj Varnika 

Long innings
Sameer Sandhu

He doesn’t club his hair together with gel. No loops hanging from ears and no showy tattoos, DJ Sameer plays anything and everything that the crowd likes. “It is an instinct that I have developed with time, I can see the crowd and know how they are going to react,” he shares.

So far: I have been playing for almost ten years now; I trained from DJ Vishal. This is something I always wanted to do and I treated it as seriously as any other profession.

First take: I first played at a place called Ghettos, which is now called Peddlers.

My genre: I can play anything; I think people have developed a fine taste in music. Personally, I like to play Tech House and Progressive or even drum, base and even dub step.

Notes from city: The crowd in Chandigarh has grown, they like all kinds of music; they actually know how to enjoy music.

Gadgets & me: The gadgets definitely have become more hi-tech. I use laptop, soundcard, notation launch pad, Behringer BCR 2000 and a couple of more things depending on the mood of the crowd.

Gigs & more: I am also a part of the band called 3 The People, so as a group and individually I have played at many places like the Surajkund Fair, Delhi, Youth festival and two famous clubs in Melbourne.

Small steps
DJ Varnika

She started calling herself a DJ when she was five years old! Little did Varnika realise then that this prefix would become a career for her. “Nearly four years back when the music festival scene in India picked up and people started referring to deejays as artists, I realised that this is what I wanted to do,” she says.

So far: I have rented some deejay equipment and am practicing. I have been a resident with Girl In The Cafe for almost one-and-a-half year; currently I freelance.

Here comes the girl: I have received a mixed response from the crowd. When they see a girl deejay they look excited and want to hear what I am going to play.

My genre: I play progressive, electro; dub step, drum and base.

Gigs & more: I played at a warehouse, which was organised by a friend of mine. The other memorable gig would be the opening for Humble The Poet at S lounge.

Experienced hand
Dj Vishal

Vishal has been into deejaying since 1996; among the first few who used to spin on cassettes. The scene has totally changed now. For Vishal, however, music was always the same - without any language. He runs a studio by the name of Studio 91 and does a lot of private gigs.

So far: I did start deejaying with Aerrizona unofficially, but on pay rolls I started with Hot Millions. My guru was Tony, African-American, and I used to play all around Punjab. It was fun always.

My genre: Hip hop and Punjabi, these are most difficult genres to mix.

Crowd calling: Earlier people used to pretend about knowing a particular genre of music, like electro or dub step, but now they don’t pretend. The crowd knows what they want.

Gigs & more: For the last three years I have been playing in England for The Festival Of Lights, which is an amazing thing.

Head on
Dj Saurav

It been almost two years and Saurav is enjoying every bit of his work; he understands the crowd and then moves accordingly. “Sometimes I make them sway to my kind of music as well,” he laughs.

So far: I was a resident with Route 04 in Delhi and from the last two years I am with 10 Downing Street.

What the crowd wants: They still like Punjabi music, if you mix it with something they like that as well.

My genre: I like electro and tech house.

Right track
Dj Harsh

This is precisely what he wanted to do, DJ Harsh got down to learning deejaying after passing his class tenth. He has been playing professionally since 2000.

So far: I started of with Hide Out, thereafter I was a resident with Blue Blazer and right now I am with F- Bar.

My style: electronic dance music.


Focused eye
Post critically acclaimed Nabar, director Rajeev Sharma is out to make more meaningful Punjabi films
Gurvinder Singh

Rajeev Sharma Having won many accolades and the National Award for his film Nabar, director Rajeev Sharma is all set to replicate his success in future. Currently he is working on a movie based on 1984 riots. It is titled 47 to 84, and based around the disruption caused by Partition and 1984 riots.

“All of us know that justice was not done and I have tried to highlight the same," shares Rajeev.

Why is he working on a movie that is based around the 1984 riots? “Apart from the importance of the issue, there are probably a few other factors that prompted me to take up this issue. The audience is no longer amused with the comedies that are being offered. As many as forty movies were released in the past one year or so and most of them have floundered at the box-office. Only a couple of films have done business. As opposed to this, the movie Sadda Haq has been a grand success, reiterating the fact that people are interested in watching serious and meaningful cinema,” he says.

After watching Nabar, the producer of the film Babli Singh approached him for another movie and Rajiv is also doing a film with Jimmy Shergill. The talented director says he would be back to making his kind of films soon. “I am keen on doing films with a socio-political background. I am also writing scripts of a couple of movies. One of these is 'Naxalite Naar' and the other one is titled Rakaan. The latter is the story of four girls and four key issues are being addressed through their stories - drug abuse, honour killing, ‘84 riots and farmer suicides.”


Rock on
Pakistani singer Falak Shabir is happy living his dream
Jasmine Singh

Falak Shabir He likes to a balanced approach, 50 per cent music and 50 per cent style and attitude… Pakistani singer Falak Shabir who is in Chandigarh to promote his album Judah by T- Series would rather make trends than follow any blindly.

“It is kind of difficult to sum my 12 years of struggle in few words, I will try through,” he tries to smile preparing for the task ahead. And this is how Falak’s story goes. “I used to sing in school and college; I didn’t have enough money to release my own album. I worked as a salesman for few years, collected money and then took out my track Rog that became an instant hit. I found this as a nice and glamourous profession and decided to stick to it,” he says literally in one breath.

His popularity made T Series approach him to sing in Bollywood movies. Then came about I Me Aur Main, Mera Mann Nautanki Sala and I Love NY Judai. “The three songs came back to back in a month making me pretty popular,” he winks.

Falak nods his head to the fact that Bollywood music industry has a fascination for Pakistani singers. He tries to explain it as well. “I feel each Pakistani singer whether it is Aatif Aslam or Arif Lohar have their own style. We have a more pop style, which is probably why we click well. Almost all Punjabi singers sound similar, only when we hear Mohit Chauhan or Sonu Nigam, we hear something different.”

Falak has a four years contract with T Series, and he hopes this means a rocking time ahead.


Alia Bhatt unplugged

Alia Bhatt is all set for her second release, Highway and is currently promoting it at the prestigious Berlinale. Before she leaves for Berlin, in a freewheeling chat, she speaks about movies, her mentor, her father and much more.

On Karan Johar

Karan is the first person I will call up and tell him about the offer that I have got because he is my mentor. I have a contract for three films with Dharma Productions and I am there for the next five years. So I feel he (Karan) is the person I can fall back on when I need any advice on films or anything.

Dear daddy

He (Mahesh Bhatt) is not involved in decisions I make in professional life but he talks to me. He knows what I am doing. He keeps a track of what I am doing because he is interested in it (films). He knows where I am shooting or promoting films and he is protective in a subtle way.

Words of wisdom

He does advise me on certain things. He asks me to keep my head on my shoulders. He says that nothing fails more than success. So when you get success then what is next, then you start feeling you have arrived and that's when you fail.

Sister Shaheen

Shaheen is somebody I talk to about everything. If I have to take advice then I will take it from her as she does not get pleased easily. She is very particular... She is my toughest audience. Even my father feels convinced with her choice.

No spoilt brat this

I never bought designer clothes. The first designer clothes that I bought were from my own money. I was always on pocket money. My father did try to spoil me but he could not as my mother would never let him do that. We were protected and pampered. I was okay in school but I was bad in science. 

Too busy to promote 

Ram Kapoor has an important role in Ekta Kapoor's Shaadi Ke Side Effects but he has not promoted the film at all as he is too busy with his serial Bade Achhe Lagte Hai and his movie Humshakals. Now, the makers will incorporate an episode with Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan on the show.

The missing link 
Susanne Khan was missing from her sister Simone Arora's birthday bash held last week at a suburban hot-spot, which had several family members and Bollywood fold in attendance. We wonder why.

Lisa Haydon A role made to order 
Model Lisa Haydon made director Vikas Bahl re-write her role in Queen. He thereafter, modelled the free-spirited and uninhibited character on her. Lisa speaks Hindi and a little bit of French and Spanish in the movie.

Of delay and disappointment
Actor Abhay Deol is disheartened that his film Rock the Shaadi is not getting released, but hopes it hits the silver screen someday. Rock the Shaadi, which was touted to be India's first zombie comedy film, is directed by Navdeep Singh and stars Abhay Deol and Genelia in the lead roles.—PTI

A date with dolphins
Sonal Chauhan, who was last seen in 3G, is in Dubai shooting for a South Indian film. On her day off, she went to a resort and swam with dolphins. She had a great time.

Some tips and tricks
Dipannita Sharma was doing a look test for an upcoming film and had to go through seven changes, including make-up and hair, in just four hours. Her modelling and fashion show experience came in handy at the time.

A special screening
The screening of Gunday was attended by the likes of Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Varun Dhawan and his girlfriend Natasha Dalal. They liked the movie. Deepika particularly said that it was an entertaining film and praised the lead actors' performances.

New cousin on the block
AR Rahman will compose for Imtiaz Ali's brother Arif's directorial debut, to be produced by Saif Ali Khan. It will be a romantic comedy and is likely to star Armaan Jain (Kareena Kapoor Khan's cousin).

Natural choice
Manpriya Singh

It's the beauty of nature well captured. The sheer magic of green and brown strokes takes over, time comes to a standstill and the only things that flow are perhaps streams and waterfalls. An exhibition of water colour paintings — The Song of Nature, draws from all the possible elements of nature. For Ashwani Verma, the artist, it's a wholesome endeavour. "Art is anyway about soaking in the inspiration from the eyes, taking it to the heart and reflecting it through your hands in your canvas," he shares while going through each of his fifty one works exhibited. "I travel to Parmour and several other parts of Himachal to paint and while the smaller canvas are on the spot endeavours, the larger works have been worked upon and completed in my studio," shares the artist from Urmar Tanda, Hoshiarpur.

The two years of work captures the fields, farms, foggy mornings and windswept grasslands. "Nature is difficult to cover and all the more in water colours. The hues keep changing from mornings to evenings…It's while capturing nature that one learns to appreciate the finer nuances of shades and hues," shares the National Award winner. He adds, "While attempting any work in water colour, I ensure that ideally it is completed while the sheet is damp…As for any whites in the work, I never use the colour white. It is the white canvas left untouched that results in the desired effect."

One odd painting reflects on the power of the ordinary like the beauty of a makeshift kitchen and utensils lying there. "This exhibition is dedicated to the artist MS Randhawa and since he was a nature lover, most of the works are on nature and very few figurative." There are human forms and silhouettes lending mystery in some of the works and landscapes. There are rocks and mountains, pebbles and hills, lakes, bridge, birds…The snow-clad Chaurasi Temple, brings in the intensity of winters the power of white. The browns used for woods and huts at times lends a barren element and at times a mysterious one. There are electricity lines and pathways. There can never be enough of flowing rivers, streams and water falls. Most of the works paint the rocky terrain complete with water bodies. Nature, after all, is all about entirety.

On till February 20 at Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi


stress buster
Go easy
Renee Singh

Stress can be cumulative and insidious. The best way to avoid it is learning to anticipate it. We can do this by learning to pinpoint events that regularly cause stress. It is only when we are aware of this, we can work effectively towards dealing with it.

Recognising stressful times

In order to make successful changes you need to recognise your own patterns of behaviour. Familiarise yourself with the times of the year when you are the busiest and keep a record of the problems you faced and how you dealt with them. Try and obtain a feedback from your colleagues. Don't make your stress management activity just another stressful act. Try and find some simple and effective ways to combat the stress in your lives.

Relaxing your body can also help in relaxing your mind. When you are physically more relaxed your thinking becomes less distracted and your creativity can blossom easily. The physical relaxation tool is used by many people as a quick and easy way to relax.

Signs of stress

When you feel stressed you carry stress in your body in the forum of tense shoulders, knots in stomach and shallow breathing. Most often than not, people are not aware that they are carrying stress in their bodies. You might be feeling physical discomfort but you do not connect it to your emotions.

Body scan meditation

Body scan mentally is a practice you can perform daily or even several times a day and it helps you to identify what you are feeling and where you are feeling it. Learn to release the stress from your body and mind.

This meditation is a quick and easy way to alleviate stress.

1. Sit in a comfortable place and fully relax your body. Allow your breathing to slow down and start breathing from your belly instead of your chest.

2.Starting from your head. Notice any tension you are feeling as you practice your body scan meditation. Do you feel tightness somewhere? Do you have any pain or a feeling of concentrated 'energy' around a certain area?

3.Sit with yourself for a minute in a quiet place and notice what you are feeling.

4.If you notice any uncomfortable sensations focus on them. Breathe into them and notice what happens. Most people experience that the feeling becomes intense at first and as they continue their body scan meditation and keep their focus the feeling recedes.

5.Keep your awareness on that focus for a while just staying in the present.

6.Give yourself a little massage in that area.

Move to your neck and repeat the same body scan steps, notice any tightness pain or pressure. Breathe into the area you notice and stay with the feeling.

Gently massage your neck and feel the energy relax.

7.Repeat the body scan method in each area of your body moving from head to toe. Notice how you feel where you are holding your stress and what are the sensations you are experiencing.

Four steps





All these things help you to release the tension in the body now and be more aware of it in the future so you can release it there too.

How it works

1.You can practice body scan meditation any time of the day when you feel stressed as many times as you want.

2.If you are pressed for time do the body scan meditation by just sitting, concentrating and noticing any part of the body where you are carrying stress. This becomes easy once you are regular with it.

3.The body scan meditation promotes stress relaxation through body awareness. Being aware of your body shields you from the effects of chronic stress. The heat rate and breathing slows down, BP normalises and sweat less.

4.The adrenal glands produce less cortisol, mind ages slower, immune system improves and it becomes easier to give up life damaging habits.

5.Research in effects of meditation is aining credibility in the medical field. Learning and practicing is worth in terms of the befits it provides.

(Singh is a Chandigarh based psychotherapist)

Have a heart!

India Book of Records has released Heart Mafia, a book that has exposed medical corruption in India. The author of the book Dr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, chief editor of India Book of Records, in the chapter Ab Tak Chappan, has named a few top Indian cardiologists who boast themselves to be the champions of these obsolete but highly profit making procedures that is bypass surgery and angioplasty. 

India Book of Records wants to educate the public about obsolete surgeries which are a favourite among cardiologists because they are profit giving and further that every patient must take the route of natural bypass which is not only the safest but also doesn't cost a dime. — TNS 

A step forward

The House of Gobind- a restaurant was today formally opened in Mohali. The House of Gobind brings dairy , restaurant and bakery under one roof. It offers true Punjabi hospitality stemmed from traditions passed down the generations that are defined by heritage of values and beliefs.

The story of Gobind is rather a heartening tale of hope and perseverance. Second in generation, Sukhwant Singh Malhi narrates,"Three decades ago, the journey of Gobind Dairy and Sweets began. As we look back at those days, memories of operating from a small town (Raipur Raiyan) brings a smile to our face." Although initial days were full of struggle and hardships, the Malhi family was determined to proving their worth. "Within a few months, we gained enough confidence to venture out onto our own. In 1987, we leased out the first retail shop in Sector 7, Chandigarh. And within a short span of time we converted that rented shop into a company asset." The second major breakthrough took place in 1992 which marked the beginning of a new era for them. In 2014, with Amandeep and Pawandeep, owners Gobind Dairy & Sweets has taken a quantum leap forward with the launch of its flagship store "The House of Gobind".

Giving all credit to their loyal customers, the duo Amandeep and Pawandeep Singh Malhi states, "A few years into the business have taught us that a flourishing business is an art of building relationships, one that goes beyond money-for-services to create emotional connections." One glance at the menu and you will agree with Amandeep. The menu offers it all from customized mini meals to wraps and salads of the day, from sundaes to smoothies and protein shakes, from tandoori to special thalis, it has all.

Shopping fiesta

Crafts Bazaar 2014 on at Exhibition Ground -34 (opposite Gurudawara Sahib) Chandigarh is being organised by North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation Limited with a view to promote the sale of products of entire North Eastern Region - Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Shikkim through this Crafts Bazar .

Traditional and colourful North-Eastern handlooms including Assam Muga silk saree, mulberry silk saree, endi (eri) chaddar, Naga shawls, Gamocha, Laishingphee are here. And a variety of knick knacks made from bamboo. There is furniture and plenty of household items on display.

The programme is aimed at promotional activities whereby the craftsmen are able to sell their products, exchange their new thoughts and innovative ideas through display of their products and active participation in this Crafts Bazaar.

On till February 23 — TNS

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is February 17...

Travel and romance are on the cards in 2014. Saturn will put you to the test, so be shrewd and precise. Don't rush into things and stay calm at all times. You can look forward to relaxation and spend some quality time with your partner. Together, you will make plans for your future. You may also fall in love with someone from a foreign country or at least while visiting one. Jupiter brings many opportunities, almost to the point of exaggeration so expect a jackpot of potential suitors. If you're already romantically hooked up, Jupiter will help take your commitment beyond the current plateau. It's all about expansion and adventure in 2014.

Positive colours: Black, chocolate, aqua and dark violet

Select days: Sunday, Tuesday

Favourable numbers: 1, 4 and 9

Gems recommended: Blue sapphire, diamond and Aquamarine.

Charity on birthday: Donate white clothes, uniforms, or white edible items to eligible needy or in a religious place today.

Sadha Sadha (Sadhaaf Syed Mohammed February 17, 1984, Ratnagiri) has acted in various Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada movies. Her movie, Anniyan was blockbuster in Tamil Nadu and was also dubbed into Hindi film called Aparichit. She also won the Film Fare award for best new comer in 2002 for the film Jeyam.


chatter box
The drama continues…

After the leap in Madhubala, there have been many changes. While Drasti Dhami plays the role of Madhu, Madhubala's daughter, Gunjan Utreja is now the lead in the show and he will play the role of Abhay Kapoor. Soon, we will see Deepshikha Nagpal, Kishwar Merchantt and Fenil Umrigar entering the show to play Abhay Kapoor's (Gunjan Utreja) family.

Role call
Sonali Bendre, who will be seen as a narrator in the up and coming celebrity reality show, Missoion Sane, is glad to be associated with the project. The show will feature many celebrities, who will come together to help the common people. She is glad for the role as earlier she judged television shows.

Up for a new show
Mrunal Thakur of Arjun and Yeh Khamoshiyaan fame has now signed Ekta Kapoor's new show, Kumkum Bhagya. The show stars Sriti Jha and Shabbir Ahluwalia and will have Mrunal as the third lead. It will go on air in March. 

Nausheen to quit?
Nausheen Ali Sardar was happy to be part of fantasy show Hatim on Life OK. However, now she is angry with the makers. Buzz is that she was promised a meatier role but she hasn't been seen on the show much. 

Astro Turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: "The Prince of Pentacles" infuses financial stability. You will find appreciation and applause for your culinary talent. Delays can be expected today. A happy surprise awaits you. Love stars twinkle.

Tarot message: Time will heal all pains and wounds.

Lucky colour: Cherry red

Magic number: 43

TAURUS: "The Knight of Cups" makes you emotional in personal relationship and graceful on social occasions. You are likely to find an ideal partner today. A guest may visit you in the evening.

Tarot message: Lack of persistence can be disastrous in business matters. 

Lucky colour: White. 

Magic number: 47

GEMINI: Do not get sucked into overtime. Plan some fun and relaxation with friends and loved ones and leave the stress behind. "The Magus" brings change and travel. 

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

Lucky colour: Turquoise

Magic number: 44

CANCER: "Ace of Swords" pulls you in opposite direction when making a decision. A yearning for overseas travel and adventure could encourage a career of your choice. Be focused. 

Tarot message: Keep your eyes on the future as you do so.

Lucky colour: Fiery red

Magic number: 28

LEO: Some very interesting and unusual people come into your sphere of business and give you ideas on how to go about financial matters. Loved ones may not fully understand your daily needs.

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

Lucky colour: Lotus pink

Magic number: 33

VIRGO: "The Prince of Cups" brings you to your hopes and desires that you mask with a calm surface. You are good at getting people to express their opinions.

Tarot message: Be positive; you can make things happen out of the most unlikely circumstances.

Lucky colour: Peacock blue

Magic number: 36

LIBRA: "The Lovers" facilitate you to be open and inspired by new ideas. A surprise phone call could put you back in touch with a friend, who you have not seen for a long time. Not a good day for starting up joint ventures. 

Tarot message: Do not be in the rush to spend extravagantly. 

Lucky colour: Silver grey. 

Magic number: 54

SCORPIO: "The Priestess" infuses promise and commitment in a personal relationship. Bring up the sensitive issues, which will encourage people to open up and discuss.

Tarot message: Spend time meeting experienced people.

Lucky colour: Crimson

Magic number: 37

SAGITTARIUS: "The prince of Wands" comes riding with a promise of power and energy. Lots of secrets and undercover scenarios can make for an interesting day. This is a pleasantly sociable day.

Tarot message: Be positive and remain calm. 

Lucky colour: Brown

Magic number: 56

CAPRICORN: "The Fool" infuses you with courage. If a family member is not cooperating, refrain from arguing or trying to persuade him or her. You find ways to express your creativity and emotion. Tarot message: Don't try to end all the deadlocks at one go.

Lucky colour: Ebony

Magic number: 25

AQUARIUS: "Ten of pentacles" bode extremely well for relationship and romance. Today, you will be able to enjoy interacting with people. Your ability to communicate effectively will help you to enhance your reputation.

Tarot message: Be positive.

Lucky colour: Deep red

Magic number: 28

PISCES: The karmic "Wheel of fortune" turns in your favour. Do not put up with a headache or a neck-pain and visit a doctor before it gets worse. Trust your institution. Beware of strangers in the evening. 

Tarot message: Capitalise on your strength and do not trust others. 

Lucky colour: Forest green

Magic number: 32

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