On a high pitch
Ashima Batish

The kings are back in their territory and raring to go. A day before the Indian Premier League match at Mohali, King's XI Punjab players David Miller, Cheteshwar Pujara and Manan Vohra are relaxed as they interact with their enthusiastic fans…

We unnecessarily undermine ourselves, only to be reminded by a jail warden like security personnel that we can be a real threat…this time to the Kings XI Punjab team cricketers! So we are ordered to leave, as he shouts, "Get out." As we jostle to interview David Miller, Cheteshwar Pujara and Manan Vohra. Journalists don't take it kindly and a bit of aggression sets things in order, interviews are arranged, pictures are clicked and the jail warden…oops the security personnel…goes into hiding. Meanwhile, cricketers share interesting tidbits about their life off the field.

Front foot
Cheteshwar Pujara

Whatever changes has been made to his wardrobe, it is done by his wife of one year, who Cheteshwar says keeps a track of the latest trends. "I only concentrate on cricket; she buys clothes, accessories and even gadgets for me." His style is casual but that doesn't mean it is boring. "As a part of the glamour industry, it's important to look good, wear what is in fashion." He takes pride in sharing that he is socially active. He updates his status every second day on Twitter and is planning to graduate to Instagram. He hails from Gujarat, but interestingly refuses to make any political statement. All that is shared is, "I was the brand ambassador of Gujarat State Elections and my job was to motivate people to go out and vote. In the last elections, only 48 per cent people cast their vote, this time the turn-out was 60 per cent."

Nice shot
Manan Vohra

Lights, camera and action at twenty can mean a lot. It can make it difficult for one to handle glamour, bear the weight of being a celebrity…but Manan is enjoying all the attention. The young cricketer from Chandigarh, when not playing IPL, plays domestic cricket. "There is no time for anything else. The competition is intense and I can't take success for granted." As for whose game he admires, it is Virat Kohli. You can spot a similarity between the two - their hairstyles. "Virat Kohli is the most stylish Indian cricketer," says Manan, who never refuses to pose with his fans for a picture.

That's a six
David Miller

For more than half-an-hour, he hid himself behind the clothes counter! It's the chaos he hates and prefers to sit back in the little space he finds, till someone gives him a guarantee that he is safe. But once he comes out and gets talking, you realise he isn't that difficult as a subject. He gets started with how much he loves Indian food - butter chicken and garlic naan being his favourites. His dessert platter comprises only toffees. "I carry a packet of them every time." Preity Zinta might be the co-owner of the team, but he doesn't know anything about Bollywood and has no plans to be a part of the Indian glamour industry. "On my wish-list, besides scoring a lot of runs for my team is having a perfume brand for women in my name." Miller sure has an interesting agenda!


Eat, drink…watch
Manpriya Singh

With IPL frenzy reaching the City Beautiful, restaurants and bars are all geared up to dish out the best. The enthusiasm is high and the platter sure is full

Food talk: The chef at The Taj has loads to offer

It has taken seven seasons of the Indian Premier League to make the boys in red and white mark their dominance in a sea of multi-coloured uniforms and even more colourful crowds. For this once, the cheering fans also got reasons to celebrate. As the King's XI Punjab team returns home, the city seems to be all geared up for catch-up on the sport called cricket and entertainment called IPL, in the right spirit.

Three cheers JW Marriott

How about an odd chance of bumping into the team members themselves? JW Marriott hosts the Kings XI Punjab team and also welcomes the fans who want a pie of the IPL frenzy. Shares executive chef Pallav Singhal, all set to host the team, "Apart from the fact that there will be screens at the bar, we have a special beverage package. There is a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to choose from. For Rs 999, one can choose from four types of beverages and for Rs 1,099, one can choose from a total of four plus one beverages, all unlimited." He adds, "In the café, there are wraps and rolls available, where you can choose from Indian, Western, Continental and Dessert rolls. That is food on the go, which doesn't hamper while you enjoy the game."

Food bonanza The Taj

They have been among the first to proudly announce IPL Bonanza Food Festival. At The Taj, Chandigarh, choose from a list full of burgers and a combination of drinks named after the IPL players. Think Max and Miller, Kohli Punch, for a name for your drinks.

Grand offer The Blue Blazer

They believe in engaging fans and cricketers alike and how! Shares Komal, from The Blue Blazer, "We have always had a lot of interesting promotions, especially during IPL, to engage the guests. In the past few seasons, when IPL matches were played in Mohali, seeing the teams chilling at The Blue Blazer was a regular event." As for this time, the lounge has a special 27X5 feet screen to watch the game and IPL bucket for beer, on which there is 1 plus 1 offer.

Be cool Red Mango

Cricket has hardly ever been associated with ice-cream, but nevertheless sport has always been about health. Taking a remotely connected cue, Red Mango, the frozen yoghurt brand has launched a pro-biotic yoghurt based menu especially for the IPL. Watch the IPL matches on the screen at the outlet as you dip into flavours like Mixed Berry and Tropical Mango. Their IPL menu also claims to offer some delectable fresh fruit smoothies.

Spicy treat Underdoggs Sports Bar & Grill

With their 30 plus fully HD screens, they claim to be the city's best spot to catch up on the game. Underdoggs Sports Bar & Grill launches all-day happy hours any day the team Kings XI Punjab takes to the field. The place also introduces Potato Frenzy Menu (to pair with the match-day action) that includes Garlic Chili Fries, Spicy Keema Potato, Chili Cheese Fries, Spicy Aloo Chaat and Baked Potato Skins.

Bowl out DLF City Centre Mall (only on May 21)

There are other ways of trying your luck than the lazy betting, which in spirit is nothing more than a toss. DLF City Centre Mall announces a unique initiative titled Bowl Out, an opportunity where the fans get to showcase their bowling prowess. Select lucky fans get to bowl at the cricketers from Rajasthan Royals (read Shane Watson, Abhishek Nayar and Ajinkya Rahane) and stand a chance to win up to Rs 50,000 on getting them out.


The show begins…
Amarjot Kaur

Famous wedding planner Rahul S announces its launch in Chandigarh with a live show by renowned mentalist and entertainer Lior Suchard

Like the venom, that holds the secret to its antidote, the answer to every question lies in the very existence of that question. With the Chandigarh folks fuming over the city's inadequacy to offer any entertainment, except the gang wars over issues like "why did you stare at me like that" outside some fancy club, there emerged a need for constructive entertainment and drama, which can be enjoyed with family.

With the advent of Rahul S Entertainment, Sector 16, the much-frazzled city audience cribbing over, 'O! Chandigarh is a dead city', gets a one-stop solution to wedding planning and meaningful entertainment events.

The event and wedding planning company, that is essentially a Mumbai-based company is owned by Rahul Sardana, while Parminder Singh of Nimantran Banquets, Zirakpur has partnered with him.

Having started his career with television and reality shows, Rahul has over 1,000 musical shows, 300 international shows, seven entertainment television series and 12 award ceremonies, including Sunburn Goa (2012), Swedish House Mafia concert (2013), France Harare in the USA, Acromania in Mangolia and The Backlight Theatre from the Czechoslovakia to his credit.

"Though the potential is there, but because of utter lack of professional 360 degree service providers the people who crave for such events are unable to fulfil their aspirations," said Rahul when asked about venturing into the northern market. Rahul holds a firm opinion that the Punjabis have a huge financial reserve and potential that remains unutilised due to the absence of resources. The man behind organising Mukesh Ambani's niece's wedding at Chennai and Mittal's daughter's wedding at South Africa, Rahul shares that the company aims to offer one-stop wedding solutions, including food and beverages, design, clothes, photography and filming.

"Our first footprint in this region will be a live show by world renowned mentalist and entertainer Lior Suchard, who is an expert at supernatural entertainment, including mind reading," said Rahul. The ticketed show is slated to be held on June 14 at 7.30pm in Park Plaza, Zirakpur. "Our aim is to offer to the Punjab audience a little drift from the regular Punjabi concerts. The idea is to be different," Rahul adds.

The events will be customised as per the needs of the customers and depending on their budgets. "We have tied up directly with the best of the art directors like Omung Kumar for concept decoration, best designers like Manish Arora and Neeta Lulla, and hair styling consultants like Ambika Pillai. So there are no middlemen and no middlemen margins, which makes for an effective cost-cutting," says Parminder.

So, if you are the kind who is up for some constructive entertainment, like marriages or live shows, depending upon your preferences, wear your jogging shoes on and reach for Rahul S.


Green thumb
Natural progression
Satish Narula

While gardening one should follow ones instinct and scientific guidelines

We apprised you with some of the fads and myths that fail a gardener. Gardening is one subject that is very easy and a gardener has to follow instincts and learning acumen to be successful.

The gardeners, the malis are mostly uneducated in gardening and follow whatever they have learnt from their elders. You have to employ them as you don't have any other option. However, use your common sense and do not follow their unethical practices. I have seen gardeners adding salt to soil in lemon trees. Why is it being done is not known to the mali but they advise so. Nothing could be more damaging than this to the plant. Adding salt to soil increases its concentration and it could prove fatal.

Now, when the monsoon hits the region, malis normally make mounds around fruit trees to give these the 'support' against storms and also the 'water coming directly in contact with main stem'. Such mounds are in no way a match to the storms and cause more damage than good. The loose soil conserves moisture that remains in continuous touch with the main stem causing rotting. Furthermore, the lose soil acts as a good breeding place for insects and disease spores.

There is another kind of severe damage caused to plants where the malis expose the roots 'to give food, water and sun'. Another explanation given for this kind of practice is that this is done to remove netting (jalla) in the soil. This is normally done in case of roses and most of the fruit trees. This is very dangerous and it drastically cuts short the plant life. This netting is nothing but the hair like feeder roots of the plant that you are definitely bound to damage while exposing roots as these are confined to upper soil layers. The roots do not need sunlight and are photonegative. So there is no need to expose them.

Besides drawing pleasure in growing fruit and vegetables in ones own garden, it is good from safety point of view as most of these are normally heavily laced with chemicals when they reach market from farmer fields. But if you also have to ripen your home garden produce with artificial means then it defeats the purpose. The impression is that the fruits like mango, chiku, papaya etc. have to be artificially ripened by the addition of calcium carbide. It is not so. You can ripen these simply by wrapping the fruit in paper and putting these in air tight cartons. These could be sealed by use of any tape. Putting an already ripened fruit of any kind in the carton will enhance the process of ripening. It does not take more than three to four days to ripen fruit by such organic method.

(Narula is a Chandigarh-based senior horticulturist and landscapist)

Get physical
Run towards health
Vishal Thukral

Sprint training is challenging. Better heart and lung health, improved metabolism, improved stamina and the ideal body composition are just a few of the reasons to practice sprint training. A 10-mile jog or a walk on super inclined treadmill or in a neighborhood garden may not help to attain fit, strong and athletic body which sprint training might help to achieve. Short and fast bursts of running have been proven to be more effective than hour-long jogs. Here are few tips on how to improve sprinting technique.

Warming up

Include drills like high knee walking with sprint arm action at the spot for three to five minutes to work the upper and lower limbs. Warm up jogging for three to five minutes or long leg swinging and a slow jog around 200 to 300 mt two to three sets to be followed by dynamic stretches which includes rotating the torso, lunges etc.

Posture perfect

Good posture is important for all runners, especially sprinters. Always remain upright while running or sprinting. Avoid leaning forward as most of the sprinters like to do to increase the speed otherwise it will increase risk of injury. When sprinting keep spine straight and head up above shoulders to look straight ahead.

Sprint on treadmill

Running for a high speed for one minute then dropping it for a minute is really great interval workout but it's not a sprint. Sprint for at least 30 seconds, or as long as you can, then walk to recover fully before starting again. Be sure to fully recover, since each repetition should be as close to full speed as possible which one can control. You'll likely find that you can sprint for a lot longer in your first few sprint intervals, not towards the end, just getting past 10 seconds will be quite a feat. That's fine. That means muscles are quickly fatiguing and that the workout is working (set of 15 sprints for minimum 30 seconds each).

Cool down

Just as warm up ideally prepares from inactivity to a high level of workout, the purpose of cooling down is to bring the body back to resting state as efficiently as possible. Sometimes the easiest exercises are almost the most effective like walking. As the muscles have a greater chance of locking up after the above session and walking prevents the muscles from locking up. Second cool down exercise i.e. calf raise down is also simple. Find a platform, such as stair step, and stand on it with the balls of feet. Make sure not to lose the balance or hold onto something secure with hands. Breathe properly, which means to exhale while lowering heels down toward the ground. Permit toes to raise themselves naturally (10 to 20 reps).

Summer diet tip

Water is the best option to quench thirst. With high humidity levels, sweat will not evaporate quickly. This is why it is necessary to hydrate and drink water. Increase water intake.

(Thukral is a Chandigarh-based aerobics fitness trainer)

Fit ‘n’ fine
Gurvinder Singh

In Ludhiana, model-actress Mahek Chahal, who traces her roots to Punjab, says one should make a stepping stone of each stumbling block in life

Her perfect waistline and high cheek bones more than convey that she follows a strict exercise regimen; model-turned actress Mahek Chahal sure loves to work-out. Each day is different for her, with kickboxing, swimming, running and yoga being a part of her rigorous schedule. In Ludhiana on Monday, Mahek is every bit enchanting and intriguing at the same time.

More than a decade into the industry, she has modelled, done music videos and worked in Bollywood, Punjabi and Tamil film industries. Born in Oslo, coming to Mumbai was a cultural shock for her. "From the quiet, disciplined and organised city with a small population to so many people and fast pace of the life in Mumbai was quite a sea-change. Today after so many years, I love the pace and the diversity of Mumbai," she shares.

Mahek had to learn Hindi after coming to India. "Punjab has been close to my heart; I used to come here every year with my family," she says. Starting with modelling back in Norway, she found a lot more opportunities in Mumbai though.

In the city for the launch of Ludhiana centre of INIFD Academy of Interiors, Mahek10 says she loves the world of design as her mother is an interior designer. "She has her own clothing label in Norway, which she has plans to expand in Europe," says Mahek.

Talking about her journey in life, she says success is not possible without failure and one should make a stepping stone out of each setback. "Being a Punjabi, I do not give up easily," she smiles.

Mahek is deeply inspired by her parents, who made it big in Norway despite the hurdles of language and culture. She is currently doing two movies and a television reality show Life Mein Ek Baar.


Making peace with past
Divya Dutta

Ever since I lost my dad when I was a child, I have lived with a fear all my life. I have this fear of losing people I get attached to. It has its plus and minuses though. Plus is that I cherish each moment I spent with anyone—friends, family or relationships. Absorbing each moment. And I genuinely care for everyone because I do get attached very soon. Even to a moment! A situation would affect me much more than it would a normal person.

Yes, I became very sensitive. I was the favourite child in the entire family because I was the most affectionate. I felt like making moments special for whoever I met because I didn't know if I'd meet the same person in the same situation again. The frivolity of time scared me. But yes, it brought a lot of love my way...people genuinely loved me because I loved them back.

I did like to spend that extra time with the elders holding their hand. Not for them but for me, to absorb that beautiful bond of that moment because I wouldn't know if we would get the time and opportunity to do that again...and the peace it gave me... and a happiness. As if I was collecting these pearls in my bag of life. The memories of some beautiful moments spent with some lovely people. Even today as an actor if I see warmth and love, I hold on to that moment. In Florida, out of so many fans shouting my name, I saw this young girl who was so excited that she cried. She just wanted to hold my hand. The security guards advised me not to but I broke their line around me and held that girl's hand. The sheer joy on that girl's face I brought back with me…an addition to my pearls of life...

My friends tell me sometimes, 'don't be so emotional gal'. It helps me as an actor though. As it comes straight from the heart. But yes, I need to leave a companion of my childhood. This fear! I don't have to change myself as a person, I can love everyone the way I do, but without this dear friend of mine. Yes, life is frivolous. You do not know what will happen tomorrow. But then why think about something you do not know. Enjoy holding that hand you love holding but just enjoy! Not with a fear that it might not be there tomorrow. I've started walking that path. Running on my track. So, uncanny like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, where Milkha looked back at his past and lost the race but went on befriending the past and walking hand in hand with his childhood and became a winner.

Yeah I am not going look back…just on my track hand in hand with my new friend…the faith in life and the joy it's frivolity offers…

(Dutta is a Bollywood actress)

star track
A film for the brave
Citylights is not a film for the faint hearted: Mahesh Bhatt

The successful team of Fox Star Studios and Vishesh Films is now back with a path-breaking movie experience with Citylights this May. Citylights brings back the National Award winning duo Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao, after their earlier venture Shahid wowed the audiences and critics alike. It bagged all major film awards for the year 2013.

Rajkummar Rao is paired opposite actress Patralekha who will be making her debut with this film. Citylights is based on the life of a trader in Rajasthan who comes to the City of Mumbai with his wife and daughter in hope of a better life. The challenges they face, their encounter with a big city and how they rise to meet those challenges nurtured by the power of their love is what Citylights is all about.

The story revolves around Rajkummar's character who dreams of an improved life for his family. But soon his dreams come crashing down as he finds the City of Lights casting a dark shadow threatening to swallow the love of his life--his wife and his child. How far must he go then to protect his family sets the tone of this emotional love story against the backdrop of a thriller.

About the film, producer Mahesh Bhatt said, "Citylights is not a film for the faint hearted. It's a film for the brave and for those who are sick of everyday mush... it's a film that's brutally honest and stares at you in the face. It is a moving love story that begins in a village and peaks in a city."

The film is an official remake of the international award winning film Metro Manila that has received critical acclaim and won many awards internationally. Citylights releases on May 30.

Don’t jump to conclusions: Ranveer

Ranveer Singh's condom ad has become the talk of the town and he is regularly seen hanging out with his co-star Deepika Padukone. He talks about both.

Deepika Padukone

Deepika is a lovely, warm and kind person. In fact, she is one of the most wonderful people I know. We grew close during Ram Leela. I'm happy with her rise to stardom and feel honoured to be collaborating with her again in another marquee film, Bajirao Mastani. Yes, she's a close friend of mine. We go out, I enjoy her company. But I don't think one should have such narrow-minded and judgmental attitude towards two young people hanging out together. They shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Condom brand

I've used that brand all my life which is why I have become its brand ambassador. One day while on a promotional tour of Ram Leela, I found myself wondering why nobody endorsed condoms. Today, we are not cagey about sex; it's no longer taboo. I decided to use my celeb status to work towards sexual well-being. I was involved with the creative process since the director, Karan Kapadia, is my best friend. And it feels good that the commercial has been tagged as a path breaking step. It was only launched online and its success opened my eyes to the potential of the social media. It's the future.

Facebook page

Yes, I have launched my official Facebook page. It will take up a lot of time and energy but it's worth it. It's a great way to connect with my fans and have a presence on the worldwide web.

What’s in a bikini?

There is no dearth of bikini donning beauties in Bollywood. So much so that you will see a bikini babe almost in every second film these days. Nevertheless, the excitement associated with it will never ever dim. Promos will only beam the girl in a bikini emerging seductively out of water.

In the latest film Xpose too, there are two sex sirens strutting around and looking picture perfect. Model Sonali Raut who has done a Zeenat Aman by donning a wet see-through sari. And then there is Zoya Afroz, a former Miss India, who can be seen running on the beach in a hot two-piece bikini.

But the girl herself is absolutely cool about having worn one in her debut film.

"I am a Miss India and have worn a bikini on stage with 24 other girls and walked in front of 500 people. I don't think it's a big deal to wear a bikini in today's day and age," says Zoya.

Zoya's character in the movie is modelled on Parveen Babi. Talking about the late actress and her role, Zoya says, "Instances have been taken from Parveen Babi's life. But I am not copying her. I have been very original. I have just tried to act the way I would have done had I been in that era.”

Sonam goes ethnic

Bollywood diva Sonam Kapoor brought some desi glamour on the Cannes red carpet by donning an elegant Anamika Khanna couture net sari dress and kundan jewellery in her second outing.

After turning heads in a vintage black Elie Saab couture gown in her first outing on May 18, the 28-year-old actress kept her fashionista tag intact in the salmon pink outfit.

Sonam accessorised the look with a huge neck piece, designed by her mother Sunita Kapoor and open hair. She completed the look in Jimmy Choo shoes and Ferragamo clutch.

The Raanjhanaa star, who is representing L'Oreal Paris, again switched to a different Elie Saab Couture gown later in the evening for the Chopard backstage party at 67th Cannes Film Festival.

Sonam's third change for the festival saw her in a red Ellie Saab gown for a photo shoot.

The actress debuted at Cannes in 2011 and turned heads for her fashion sense. — PTI

Singer in making

The buzz is that Alia Bhatt has been offered an opportunity to cut her own single by a known recording label. Alia made her singing debut with song Sooha Saha in film Highway.

Four timing!

Shahid Kapoor is turning out to be a big Casanova! Currently, he has been linked with Sonakshi Sinha, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Shraddha Kapoor whom he has a soft corner for, apparently. And then there is also his friend Meenal whom he hangs out with all the time.

Huma’s crush

Huma Qureshi has a big crush on Saif Ali Khan. She admires his style, the movies he has acted in and the movies he has produced and his excellent acting in everything along with his versatility.

Wrap up

The shooting of Happy New Year is nearly complete. Here is a picture from the final schedule of Happy New Year with Boman Irani, Shah Rukh Khan, Vivaan Shah, and Sonu Sood.

Quite entertaining

Take a look at the first poster of It's Entertainment starring Akshay Kumar and Tamannah Bhatia and directed by Sajid-Farhad.

Kangna turns down Rs 3 crore

Rumour has it that actress Kangna Ranaut was offered Rs 3 crore to perform at a wedding but she turned it down.

Bonding over brand

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who is currently attending the Cannes Film Festival, bonded well with Eva Longoria, Frieda Pinto, and Natasha Poly at a photo call. They are all L'Oreal brand ambassadors.

Astro turf
P Khurrana

ARIES: You will win over one enemy or adversary today. Family life is charged with tension. Financially, the first half of the day is rather expensive. Keep cool and maintain a low profile.

Tarot message: Follow the path you have chosen.

Lucky colour: Mauve.

Magic number: 49.

TAURUS: Those who are spiritually inclined or want to stay calm will search for solitude. Love life will pass through a rough phase. Businessmen will have a tricky day.

Tarot message: Be positive and think carefully before taking action. Lucky colour: Turquoise.

Magic number: 42.

GEMINI: Your card 'The Universe' favours good progress in your profession and business. Be wary of a situation where it will be easy to make a mistake in haste.

Tarot message: Do not let anyone take advantage of you.

Lucky colour: Green.

Magic number: 25.

CANCER: Your card 'The Moon' reveals a romantic interest. Fortune can smile on you from the least expected sources. Don't rely on luck alone.

Tarot message: Don't be too certain about obtaining a clearance.

Lucky colour: Purple.

Magic number: 38.

LEO: An unexpected bonus can appear in your paycheck. Dress for success to make a great impression on employers. Enjoy being noticed and acknowledged.

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

Lucky colour: Yellow.

Magic number: 29.

VIRGO: Fresh strategies are likely, but initially they will be somewhat hit-and-miss as you iron the bugs. Household task can be done in record time. Speculation will be most unwise.

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

Lucky colour: Orange.

Magic number: 60.

LIBRA: You will be popular today. Boring routine jobs can be made more bearable through teamwork. A level of stress may be building, especially if you face financial issues.

Tarot message: Focus on better to mitigate the bitter.

Lucky colour: Black.

Magic number: 59.

SCORPIO: Get cracking early. What you need now is energy. You must push yourself harder. Be careful with money.

This is not the right day for writing official letters.

Tarot message: Plan your life better to avoid delays.

Lucky colour: Mauve.

Magic number: 47.

SAGITTARIUS: Caring conversations and heart-to-heart talks flow easily. This is a good day for both buying and selling property.

Tarot message: Unfinished business will unleash new problems.

Lucky colour: Grey.

Magic number: 39.

CAPRICORN: Senior bureaucrats should focus on secret files and documents. Those married will enjoy the evening. Do not carry heavy cash.

Tarot message: You need to cultivate understanding and humility.

Lucky colour: Ebony.

Magic number: 63.

AQUARIUS: Difference of opinion within the family can reach a boiling point. A stubborn response on your part won't help. Do not compromise on financial issues. Tarot message: If you want to travel overseas, don't waste money by financing your trip.

Lucky colour: Saffron.

Magic number: 27.

PISCES: If you are not okay about a relationship, finance or career issues, take positive action rather than stewing about it. Those employed will have to work overtime.

Tarot message: Try to accomplish long-term tasks.

Lucky colour: Camel.

Magic number: 40.

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is May 21...

Most part of the year 2014 will be spent in travelling for seminars or business deals. Some of you can go on educational or business tours. The changes to your home life will undoubtedly cause you stresses and strains. Your health is not going to be compromised because 2014 is the year when you will focus your energy on exploring deeply spiritual resources to aid healing and restore your equilibrium. You will be true to yourself and this will give you the strength to become well again, after all the trauma in your personal life.

Best period for travel: January 25 to July 15.

Best period for family matters: June 15 to September 30.

Best period for new ventures: June 21 to August 18.

Positive colours: Golden, Red, Brown, Cream, White.

Select days: Sunday, Monday.

Favourable numbers: 1, 4, 2, 7.

Gems recommended: Yellow Sapphire, Red Coral, Ruby.

Charity on birthday: Donate green fodder to cows.

You share your birthday with Aditya Chopra (May 21, 1971, Mumbai), the elder son of the late filmmaker Yash Chopra He recently married actress Rani Mukherji in a private ceremony in Italy. His stars predict a good time ahead.

Chatter box
Back with a bang

It's good news for all the fans of the gorgeous Aaskha Garodia aka Dheer Bai Bhatiyani, as she will re-enter Sony TV's historical saga Bharat Ka Veer Putra — Maharana Pratap. Aaskha will be back after a gap of almost three months. Udai Singh had punished Dheerbai for unknowingly informing Rao Surtan about his Army's plans. As a punishment she had to live like a widow in prison.

But now the story will be taking a new turn where Udai Singh will be seen regretting his decision and ordering her release. A birdie from the sets informed that Aaskha has already started shooting and will be seen on air in the coming days. We hope to see her back really soon too!

The suspense grows

Lapataganj - Ek Baar Phir is a lively TV series that shows daily life happenings in a small village and the funny happenings amongst the different families that reside in it. Rohitash Gaud plays the character of Mukundilal Sughandhilal Gupta, an upright government clerk with a refined set of moral values. Mukundi is an intelligent person and is always helpful towards his neighbours and other village folk.

In the ongoing track, a fake godman comes to Lapataganj and proclaims that the Hanuman statue in the village is of historical importance and a temple needs to be built around it. The real agenda of the fake godman is to oust Mukundi from Lapataganj. The atmosphere on the sets and on the show was pretty gloomy with mixed feelings on whether or not Mukundi will really leave since the character is inseparable and synonymous with Lapataganj.

Rohitash said, "According to the recent track, a fake godman tries to oust me from Lapataganj and almost succeeds in his dastardly endeavour. During the shoot, I was sitting along with a few other co-stars and they were discussing how different Lapataganj would be without Mukundi's presence. Some of them said Mukundi is the backbone of Lapataganj, as the character is upright and idealistic in his thoughts as well as actions. I was elated when my co-actors shared their thoughts about the role that I play in Lapataganj. "

Proud Roadie!

Nikhil Sachdeva, the winner of Roadies XI hosted by popular VJ Rannvijay Singh and Raghav, has definitely earned his place in the current season after a rejection in auditions for Roadies X.

The Guinness Book record-holder, tattoo artist Nikhil Sachdeva, after receiving flak from the judges Rannvijay and Raghav for being overweight during the auditions of Roadies X, only came back fitter to impress the judges during the Roadies XI Delhi auditions. He later won the title.

How did it feel to be a winner?

I feel on top of the world right now, like a king of the jungle. But I am still holding my ground and would try that fame doesn't get to my head. I want to make something useful out of this win. I am thankful to God and my loved ones.

How was the experience on the show?

It was the best experience of my life so far. The journey was the best part; travelling 300 kilometers from one city to another every third day was fun. Rest was not easy. It was a reality show indeed and the crew made sure that we feel that thrill. Everything was real, cuts and bruises were real; all the injuries were real. It taught me the real meaning of core strength, sharing the same ring with world known boxer Vijender Singh and taking his punches were real too. Mental pressure of losing it and going home gave me sleepless nights, but surrender is not in my nature.

Was it tough with co-contestants?

The experience was exhilarating. Co-contestants were too much fun. I adore Rannvijay; he has encouraged and motivated me throughout the show. The crew is absolutely amazing. I used to get this adrenaline rush every time we had to perform a task.

Who do you credit your success to?

I have won millions of hearts, that's for sure. MTV Roadies XI winner is a glorious title. The Roadies XI tagline says ‘Ride for Respect'; for me that was most important — winning with respect. The kind of response I am getting from the world is overwhelming. I never thought I'll inspire so many people.

What's next for you?

Let's see. Just need to put the right amount of efforts. Just dare to dream and take your chances. — HRM

Going on air

Zee TV will soon launch a new channel called Zindagi —Jodey Dilon Ko. It will be a sister channel that will air shows only for a month. The shows will be cross-border stories, including Pakistani shows.

Return to the screen

Hiten Tejwani's wife, Gauri, who had quit acting post her pregnancy and was focusing on her twins, will now in all likelihood return to acting. She will act after a four-year break for Ekta Kapoor's upcoming show, where she might play a widowed mother.

Troubled waters

Roopal Tyagi, aka Gunjan in Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, feels it was tough for her to work with ex-boyfriend Ankit Gera after their break-up. She had apparently confronted Ankit's ex Adaa Khan and later broke up. She claims to have moved on.

All for love

Shakti Arora, who played roles in Pavitra Rishta and Tere Liye, has been signed on for Ekta Kapoor's next show Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi on Colors. He will play lead in this love story. Apparently based on a Bengali novel, Ekta has twisted it to suit a Gujarati background.

Coming soon
Art & strategy

Master minds: Peter Fischli & David Weiss
Master minds: Peter Fischli & David Weiss

Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi is organizing a lecture by Dr Linus von Castelmur, the Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan. The lecture is titled 'On the tipping point. Balance and precariousness as artistic strategy. Thoughts on the works of Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss'.

The lecture will take place on May 22 at 6.30 pm at the auditorium, Government Museum and Art Gallery-10.

Peter Fischli, born in Zurich in 1952, and David Weiss, born in Zurich in 1946, have been collaborating since 1979 as an artist duo. Their work has been executed in a variety of media, including sculpture, film, photography and books. A retrospective of their work was held at the Tate Modern, London, in 2006, and travelled to the Kunsthaus Zurich and the Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

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