Business of showing off
Wedding exhibitions once were the hunting ground for a would-be-bride. But with too many such exhibitions mushrooming, brides are now spoilt for a choice! And are the designers happy with their cut of clients?
Manpriya Singh

The super successful ones are celebrating their tenth editions…A decade ago sheer announcement of wedding exhibitions made everyone sit up, take note and run to mark their presence. Half a decade later only the number of participating names got us excited.

All this while, the labels, small or big, kept joining the bandwagon to cash in on the bridezillas chasing exclusive trousseaus. Rather than the number of stalls at each exhibition, lately it has been the number of exhibitions itself that calls for some thought.

Is the more always the merrier? While the weekend affairs keep the brides amused all year round and organisers cash happy, are they a good deal for the designers? Chandigarh-based Karishma Ahuja, from the label Kimz, and a regular at the local exhibitions, wasn't looking at recovering costs when she chose to exhibit at Bridal Asia in Delhi. "I paid Rs 90,000 last year for a stall to exhibit my clothes there. Just the experience itself was amazing.

Only high-end serious shoppers are known to frequent the event. They were praising our collections and I got a lot of clients from Delhi and Gurgaon. These things matter more than immediate sales." Reaching out to an average footfall of two to three thousand visitors takes precedence over taking orders. She adds, "Selling anywhere between 70 to 80 pieces of bridal wear is considered good in the business. But that is often not the case. Even the city-based exhibitions never cost less than Rs 40 to 50,000 for a stall." Opines city-based Ashima Kaushal, from the label, Rang, who retails out of Mumbai and Chandigarh, "Most labels participate primarily to network and find good future clients.

My clothes are anyway above the range of about Rs 15,000, so I never look at immediate sales." She adds, "I exhibit at Jalsa that happens in Delhi and Mumbai. Since I take two stalls at prime locations, it costs anything between Rs1.5 to 2 lakh. Last year, the response to my collection in Chandigarh was phenomenal. I had 100 clients walking in and out of my office. Lately, the buyer sentiment has been a little low though."

Never mind the fact that most people throng exhibitions to get ideas, take replicas or just window shop. Anything but never to buy. "There was a time when people would immediately pick up anything they liked. Now that we have so many of these exhibitions, they also believe in taking their time before picking up certain design," shares Akita from Bless Couture. She adds, "It generates revenues but it definitely helps make more clients."

Innovative minds

Wedding Asia, Vanity Fair, Dream Weddings, Trends Unlimited, Bridal Asia, The Posh Bazaar, Luxury Weddings; the ever growing list has made the organisers to look for USP. Nods Maninder Singh Sethi, the brains behind Wedding Asia, the bi-annual event held in Ludhiana, "We are in our ninth year now. What sets Wedding Asia apart from dozen of its kind wedding exhibitions is the fact that it is a destination for serious wedding shoppers. We are never dominated by casual or semi-formals." He adds, "We personally screen the participating labels and there are as many as 15 to 18 premium jewelers, including over 85 wedding exhibitors.

Destination Punjab

The city stays firmly put on the desired list of designers, courtesy buyer sentiment and purchasing power. Laughs Ashima, "They do follow trends and like larger than life clothes." Shares Karishma of her experience of having exhibited in Ludhiana and Jalandhar as well, "People in Ludhiana have maximum purchasing power. Hardly anybody there thinks twice before spending. If they like something, they'll pick it up irrespective of the price."

The buyers don't mind having a place to window shop every weekend and as for the designers, they are more than happy to be distributing visiting cards rather than emptying their racks.

When the ball is in fans’ court
Fans at DT Mall got an opportunity to bowl to Rajasthan Royals
Manpriya Singh

Shane Watson takes a shot It doesn't take long for the crowd to gather or even to disperse. It doesn't even take long for fanatics to emerge out of fans. What takes a little bit of nudging perhaps is to pull fans out of spectators and display their talent.

A promotional opportunity for a select few from among a handful of people at DT Mall ensured that the fans got an opportunity to bowl to Rajasthan Royals. Kingfisher Bowl Out event ensured the trio comprising Shane Watson, Abhishek Nayar and Ajinkya Rahane went around Chandigarh, at least a handful of malls to experience the joy of losing from an unthreatening youngster.

Here they came, all set and readied beforehand, adorning the promotional shirts, to clean bowl the guys they had adored on television. The idea of playing bowling to the international cricketing stars sounded surreal. Some nervous, others a tad intimidated. And the trio was every inch a sport and all too ready to be out. It wasn't until an engineering student does it to Shane Watson. The last one to bowl, the only lady in the group, wanted a picture, as for us, just a few answers. The Indian Premier league as much as being appreciated for its entertainment value has been criticised for its entertainment value. "I would say it certainly has a lot of entertainment value… That's also because of the fact the people really enjoy watching cricket."

Most of the questions are smilingly answered by Shane Watson and if put to the other two are answered with a "same answer." Nevertheless, while the opinions match, thankfully interests don't. With a major chunk of the sport being taken care of, "books and music and table tennis, it is for Ajinkya Rahane." With an international cricketing career spanning a decade, India must be like second home by now for Shane Watson, who likes, "the good food here and especially paneer tikka." He adds, "I have been playing in India for the last ten years, so I'm quite well versed with food here and the people are always encouraging."

Very soon will be a team off with the leading team on their home turf, how confident are they of winning? "We are obviously confident but more than anything we are taking one step at a time as far as the premier league is concerned," he signs off.

It'll be a while before they announce the winner but as of now the volley of bouncers and security are more than ready to whisk the sports stars away.

Positively negative
Chocolate boy Vatsal Sheth is happy to play an anti-hero in Ek hasina Thi
Gurvinder Singh

Face off: Vatsal Sheth Photo: Himanshu Mahajan
Face off: Vatsal Sheth Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

With brown eyes and pinkish complexion, he makes for a perfect chocolate boy image. Vatsal Sheth indeed looks boyish and cool. But he wants to break this image and in an instant, his sweet smile turns crooked, and the innocent gaze turns sadistic, as he steps into the shoes of a bad-man.

Vatsal is doing a television series Ek Hasina Thi on Star Plus and is in Ludhiana to promote it, which he feels is necessary even for a television series.

Vatsal never intended to be an actor. "I was a student of mathematics and computer science. Someone close to me suggested that I should audition for a role. I went ahead and was selected. That was for the television series called Just Mohabbat," he says. In fact, television in those days was refreshing, with youth-oriented serials like Just Mohabbat, Banegi Apni Baat, Campus, but it later changed to the saas-bahu sagas series. "This is the reason, I took a sabbatical from television," he says. "But this series I am now doing is different," he says.

In the series, he plays an anti-hero. "As no protagonist has attempted such a role earlier on Indian television, I felt that there was empty space for an anti-hero and I decided to do this role," he says.

“Ek Hasina Thi is a tight plot with fast-paced story. So it doesn't get stretched out and boring”, he says.

"And this is the role of a stylish hero, who thinks in malignant way," he says. Just like Shah Rukh Khan in Baazigar, Darr and Anjaam was cool and drew admiration despite being villainous, this character has the charisma and cool-quotient. "It has already been three weeks since the series has started, and I have got a great response from audience. They never thought I could do a negative role as well," says the actor.

He has to work six days a week for this series, so this doesn't leave much time for movies. “In fact, I was offered a bigger role in Jai Ho, but could only do a cameo, because of the tight schedule of this series.” He feels popularity wise, there isn't much difference between television and movies anymore, as television has a far bigger audience. “Series like Anil Kapoor starrer '24' got a good response,” he says.

In Bollywood, he admires Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn, not only for their acting prowess, but how they are as persons..

Emotional outburst
TheatrAmaYur's French play Plume, a dig on red-tapism, tells a common man’s tale
Ashima Batish

Whatever rolls out of theatre group, TheatrAmaYur, is strictly in French. The scripts aren't translated into English or Hindi to cater to the masses. Yet, when the group staged its play Plume at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, last month, the performance won a standing ovation from the crowd.

"There was an audience who understood French and there were also those who translated the play into emotions and feelings, and you don't require a dictionary to make sense out of them," says Alok Pathak, an actor and a student of French Department of JNU, who along with his team of 12 members, is in Chandigarh to present Plume.

Based on texts from Henri Michaux, a Belgiam poet, Plume is a story of a young boy, who takes up a fight against the injustice meted out to him. "It's story easy to relate to. Even when told in French, people can understand it because it touches issues common to our lives and it highlights problems we all have faced," Anushree Goyal, another actor of the group says. A lot of hand gestures are made to make the play interactive.

"What we enacted last year was also in French, but the inspiration came from the tragic Delhi gang rape case. Plume on the other hand has a humourous streak but people go back inspired to fight the system. It doesn't stop at only entertaining audience," this time the director of the play, Julie David takes the lead to explain how her experiences of dealing with red tapism in India was one of the reasons to produce the play. "It is in bits and parts a reflection of my experiences too. He is weak, pathetic, extremely vulnerable in the beginning, but it ends on a positive note, where Plume emerges as the winner," she continues. While the play underlines issues in the real, bad world, it also has a fictional element of the end of the world to it.

The group next plans to take the play to Alliance Francaise in Kathmandu. "Where it will be as relevant as it is in India," comes from another member. And the language will remain the same, French, with hand gestures and body language doing the needful; also music will be different to denote a range of emotions. "That is all it needs to understand human stories," Julie sums it up.

Rhythm & reason
DJ Rafcy, who has played at the weddings of Bollywood A-listers like Saif-Kareena, Shilpa-Raj and Imran-Avantika, says the page 3 crowd is rather well-behaved

Rusuf Alphonso was dreaming to be an Army officer during his growing up years in Goa, but destiny had something else in store. Filling in for a DJ, who didn't show up at a friend's party, back in 1995, put Rafsy on a new track. Two decades on, he enjoys an enviable position with claims to have played at weddings of Bollywood A-listers - Saif -Kareena, Shilpa-Raj and Imran-Avantika.

In Chandigarh to be part of Lavanya 2014, Institute of Interior & fashion Technology's IIAFT, Mohali's annual fashion show, DJ Rafcy (Rusuf) is a happy man. "Deejaying is a lucrative career now. Earlier we had to struggle to get the best music to people, but today technology has streamlined things like never before," says Rafsy who played in Netherlands and Singapore lately and is looking at five city tour of the US later this year.

While he wouldn't comment as who made the most beautiful Bollywood bride or wedding that rocked, he certainly enjoys hobnobbing with Page 3 people. "Playing at a regular event, a DJ is inundated with so many requests that by the end of it his rhythm is long lost. But at Page 3 parties, you can keep on your track, party-goers are better behaved!"

He will be belting out the background score for Lavanya at The Altius Hotel, Chandigarh on May 23. Top three on his play list currently are - Sajna aa bhi ja (his own remix with Shibani Kashyap), Chaar Botal Vodka and London Thumakda!

The star attraction

TVS Motor Company has launched its all-new commuter motorcycle, TVS StaR City+ which is an ideal combination of modern styling, superior engine performance and class leading comfort. This motorcycle, which comes with a host of first-time features, builds on the legacy of the TVS StaR brand, which has more than 4.5 million customers across the country.

Derived from the 'Ecothrust' engine of TVS Phoenix, the 109.7cc power mill of TVS StaR City+ provides an ideal combination of smooth performance, power and fuel economy. This engine delivers better pickup and acceleration and is high in durability.

New urban styling and vibrant new graphics add to the visual appeal of TVS StaR City+. Elegant honeycomb textured side panel grills add finesse to the styling of the motorcycle while streamlining air flow. A stylish crown visor and trendy rear view mirrors add flamboyance to the motorcycle. A premium stainless steel muffler complements the bike's silver shock absorbers and its sporty aluminum grab rail. Black alloy wheels, three dimension emblems and stylish flashy tail lamp add flair to the motorcycle. The overall chiseled and muscular 'flow motion styling' gives the TVS StaR City+ a distinct road presence.

Ravindra Chauhan, regional sales manager-North says, "TVS Motor Company has added several first time features in this motorcycle. The comprehensive digital dashboard has an analogue speedometer and an advanced digital information display. It also houses a service indicator which intimates the rider when the bike is due for service and an econometer which guides the rider to maximize fuel economy. A digital fuel gauge displays precise fuel level indication while a digital odometer conveys the exact number of kilometers covered." — TNS

Make peace with your past

Noted psychoanalyst Brain Weiss has long been credited with making past life regression (PLR) popular as a way to unravel and understand the mysteries of life and human mind. Increasingly used as a therapeutic technique, PLR has a steady following in India too now.

The therapy is based on 'the theory of reincarnation' and 'the theory of karma'. It is a process through which a person can access his past life memories and emotions.

"These emotions affect our present situation, behaviour and relations. Once we access these memories, we can process or heal them. These memories could either belong to the present life or a past life," says PLR therapist Santosh Joshi. — TNS

Joshi will be holding a two-day workshop on PLR from May 24 at PHD House -31

Get physical
Run towards health
Good posture is important for all runners, especially sprinters
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. 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 drink water.

(Thukral is an aerobics fitness trainer)

green thumb
Natural progression
While gardening one should follow one’s instinct and scientific guidelines
Satish Narula

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)

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. 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 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…

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! 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.

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

(Dutta is a Bollywood actress)

Team effort

Sometimes when a director and actor meet, it's like a match made in movie heaven. Many known directors collaborate repeatedly with an actor who simply shares a similar vision, understands their method or can deliver a hit at the box-office. We take a look at some of the actors and directors who are collaborating again

Rohit Shetty with Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor Khan: Rohit Shetty's films and blockbusters from Singham to Golmaal 3 have all starred Ajay Devgn (except Chennai Express) and Kareena Kapoor Khan has been part of two Golmaal films. The trio is collaborating on Singham 2 later this year. After this film who knows we might even get a Singham 3!

Imtiaz Ali with Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone: Imtiaz Ali usually does not repeat his actors. He has worked with Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar and Deepika Padukone in Love Aaj Kal and now he will work with both of them in Tamasha. We are definitely looking forward to this one.

Vishal Bhardwaj and Shahid Kapoor: Let's face it! Post Kaminey, neither Shahid Kapoor nor Vishal Bhardwaj had a hit film for a long time. Kaminey won them critical and commercial success. They have completed shooting for Haider and will even work on Maha Kaminey. We wonder if it will be worth all the hype!

Kabir Khan and Katrina Kaif: Kabir Khan's first film was Kabul Express and that did not do much for him. He worked with Katrina Kaif in New York and on Ek Tha Tiger and both films did exceedingly well. Their next film together is Phantom which also stars Saif Ali Khan. The film is about post-26/11 attacks in Mumbai and global terrorism.

Mohit Suri and Shraddha Kapoor: Aashiqui 2 was a super hit and surpassed everyone's expectations. It remade the careers of Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur. Mohit Suri is directing his leading lady again in Ek Villain. We won't be surprised if he signs her for another film!

Aishwarya opts for Cavalli again!

Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan opted for a white fishtail Roberto Cavalli gown for her second red carpet appearance at the Cannes film festival. The former Miss World teamed up her silvery white gown with diamond jewellery and soft loose curls framing her face. Her make-up had a hint of blue and heavily lined eyes.

The beaded number featured a plunging neckline, shimmery tassels and a diamond pattern. The silhouette echoed her earlier outfit, which was dual toned golden gown. The 40-year-old actress, whose red carpet choices at Cannes have often garnered mixed response, made a glamorous first appearance by flaunting her new thin figure at the red carpet a day earlier in a golden fishtail Cavalli gown which she teamed up with red lips. Aishwarya has been a regular at Cannes thanks to her stint as the L'Oreal Paris brand ambassador. It is her 13th festival appearance. Other Indian celebrities who graced this year's red carpet at Cannes were Sonam Kapoor, Freida Pinto, Uday Chopra and Mallika Sherawat. — PTI

Kunal’s beach act makes wife insecure

Actor Kunal Thakur, who was recently seen in Himesh Reshamiya starrer Xpose, had his introductory scene with the film's heroine Zoya Afroz in a bikini in the beach. Talking about the scene Kunal tells, "There were no inhibitions in doing that because as an actor what we all do is to act in front of camera.

While doing this scene I had faced a different issue which was my health. I was running a temperature and had a bad body ache. We were shooting from morning 9 to 12 in the beach and the heat was too much. I was on medication."

He adds, "This scene was difficult as I had to lift Zoya and go round and round with her. I clearly remember we had taken at least 100 rounds. As I was not well and Zoya being quite tall, I had to be very cautious while lifting her. Though many friends of mine tease me about the scene, I want to tell them that what look glamorous involves a lot of hardwork."

Kunal's wife is also an actress - Namrata Ramsay. She is currently doing daily soap Baani and was little uncomfortable about the scene though. Kunal says, "Its been a year since we got married. Being an actress she understands this but she is also my wife so she was a little jealous as she told me I should not share a picture of me and Zoya in any of my social networking forum. I find that absolutely normal. After all, she is my wife." He ends with a smile.

Thank you, Sajid Sir!

Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon who will be seen making their debut in Sajid Nadiadwala's Heropanti couldn't have asked for a better launch pad. The duo is extremely thankful to their producer Sajid Nadiadwala for this dream launch.

Sajid Nadiadwala has essentially worked with all A list stars like Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ranbir Kapoor. It is for the first time Sajid Nadiadwala has launched newcomers under his banner. Launching newcomers is a huge responsibility and Sajid has managed to shoulder it with sheer excellence.

Sajid had launched a stunning marketing campaign which has become a strong talking point among people in the industry. The film has garnered buzz and Sajid has personally looked into the detailing of the campaign. By giving Tiger and Kriti the biggest launch, Sajid has done something which till now was the domain of Dharma and YRF.

Tiger Shroff says, "There was a specific moment when I realised that this launch has been mighty effective. When I had gone to Varanasi to promote the film it was witnessing the frenzy of elections and in the middle of all this some sadhus came to me at Tulsi Ghat and not only did they recognise me but they wished me luck for the film's release. I was very surprised at this as I would not expect these sadhus who are not the regular film audience to know about a guy whose first film is yet to be released. I consider myself a nobody as of now and it's Sajid sir's efforts and belief in me that has taken me this far. Frankly I don't think anyone else could have given me a platform as good as this." Kriti Sanon says, "Heropanti is surely a special launch. Everyday I have people calling me to say how good the film is looking and how there is a big buzz around it. Sajid Sir is launching newcomers for the first time and he has done it in some style." Heropanti releases on May 23.


Kriti Sanon & Tiger Shroff in Heropanti Heropanti

Producer: Sajid Nadiadwala, UTV Motion Pictures

Director: Sabbir Khan

Tiger Shroff is gearing up for a high-profile launch by Sajid Nadiadwala in the forthcoming Heropanti, a coming of age love story of two young protagonists with conflicting personalities, releasing this Friday.

The film has 21 new actors. It introduces Kriti Sanon and also stars Vikram Singh and Sandeepa Dhar. Vikram, who was last seen in Vishesh Films' Ya Rab, plays a loud rowdy Harayanvi jat character. Get ready to watch dashing Tiger Shroff in this romantic action movie.


Producers: Sunil Lulla, Sunanda Murali Manohar

Director: Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin

South superstar Rajnikanth-starrer magnum opus Kochadaiiyaan touted as India's answer to Hollywood blockbuster Avatar. The film stars Rajnikanth, Deepika Padukone, Jackie Shroff and Sarath Kumar supports the lead stars. Kochadaiiyaan is set to blaze a trail globally in cutting-edge photo-realistic performance technology. The film has music by AR Rahman and is directed by Rajnikanth's daughter Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin.

Xmen Days of Future Past

Producer: Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Huch Parker

Director: Bryan Singer

The 23-year-old Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role of shape-lifting mutant Mystique in X-Men Days of Future Past.

The Ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods. The film also stars Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, Michael Fassbender, Halle Herry, Shawn Ashmore. — Dharam Pal


Girl on the go

Gulki Joshi Gulki Joshi is back on television and this time as Meher in Nadaan Parinde. She proved her mettle in Phir Subah Hogi and is excited about her new project. She talks about the role and much more.

Why did you choose to do this show?

The show chose me instead. When the makers approached me in October, I wasn't sure about shifting to Chandigarh. I turned down the offer but later they spoke to me again in December and then I felt I was destined for the role. I heard the story and here I am.

How are you enjoying the role?

My character of Meher is of a chirpy, confident and vulnerable girl. The story revolves around Meher, Purab, Bebe and Sameer with Meher being the central link. She gets affected by everything that any character does. I am loving the role since there are some big changes in store for her.

How is it shooting in Chandigarh?

It was tough in the beginning as I was home sick. It is difficult to manage away from home for longer durations but now we are all settled as a family. But it is getting really hot here.

What kept you busy post Phir Subah Hogi?

Nothing much, I was on a break. I did all the things I couldn't do while being on the show. I went to my home town, vacationed in Goa, learnt driving and cooking. Basically, I had a great time as I made the most of my off time.

Usually television actors look at films as their next step.

I am not a planner that way. I go wherever fate takes me. Like I couldn't have thought that I would shift to Chandigarh. What ever I do, I do it with conviction and give my 100 percent.

On the go: Drashti Dhami Testing new ground

Drashti Dhami is working hard. She claims that she hasn't taken a break this year and now has taken up the job of hosting the dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Ja. She says she's nervous as it's her first time and moreover her co-host Ranvir Shorey is known for his quick wit.

On the go: Drashti Dhami

Never say die

After losing the election, Rakhi Sawant now seems to have made some plans. She has quit her party and wants to help BJP for the betterment of society. Also she plans to auction or sell all her outfits made for elections in green colour.

Playing with fire

Sandhya Rathi in Diya Aur Baati Hum will once again show her courage in an episode where she saves people from a fire. Actor Deepika Singh performed the stunt of shooting in a fire-lit room. The makers wanted to get a body double but she relented.

A still from Uttaran Survival instinct

After speculations of Uttaran going off air, now comes the news that the makers have asked the cast members to take a pay cut. The show was supposed to end in March but now will be shifted to 10.30pm.

A still from Uttaran

When Anup, Smita left town…

Anup Soni and Smita Bansal, who have been with Balika Vadhu for over five years now, have quit the show.

They felt their character's graph wasn't moving ahead and so they decided to leave the show. They will not be replaced as their characters will be shown as leaving town. Hopefully it won’t look abrupt.

Paparazzi at its best

Arjun Rampal lost his cool after a photographer chased his car after the screening of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Hrithik Roshan's ex wife Sussanne was in the back seat of the car while Rampal's wife Mehr Jessia was in the front.

One woman army

Priyanka Chopra will come on-board as the co-producer of Madhur Bhandarkar's Madamji. Priyanka will shoot for Madamji after she completes Dil Dhadakne Do.

When age is not just a number

Randeep Hooda is well into his 30s. He is single. He was at a five-star hotel and recently turned down a romantic tryst with a woman because she was just 21 years old! He will not get involved with anyone below 25!

In love with work

Ranveer Singh may be close to Deepika Padukone but he has declared that he is single and he is romancing his work, which is the best blessing he could have ever received!

Keeping tabs on Jacqueline

Jacqueline Fernandez went to Poland to shoot for Kick and she will be back in the country for Karan Anshuman's Bangistan later this year, which will be shot in Krakow and Warsaw.

P Khurrana

ARIES: Relax with your partner in the evening; it's just the antidote for the tensions of the day. Someone you are attracted to at work feels the same way. It is for you to make the first move. Tarot message: Take limited risks while speculating. Lucky colour: Crimson. Magic number: 55.

TAURUS: Conquer your fears. You may be worried and concerned about certain family issues. There could be delays with certain business ventures or personal projects. Tarot message: Outline your goals ahead of time then make a plan for achieving them. Lucky colour: Deep red. Magic number: 28.

GEMINI: 'The Queen of Pentacles' blesses you with the finest qualities today. Things happen quickly and you need to take quick decisions. Children will be a source of joy. Tarot message: Don't accept situations you dislike. Lucky colour: Yellow. Magic number: 34.

CANCER: There is a good news on the cards. You will be in a relaxed and happy mood. If you need to make any personal decisions, go with your gut feeling. Be wary of Internet purchase from unknown website. Tarot message: A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Lucky colour: Orange. Magic number: 36.

LEO: The wisdom of "The Hermit" inspires you to make new beginnings and move in a creative direction. Gains from the past investments are likely. A casual conversation can lead to romantic times. Tarot message: Beware of depleting your energy or resources on others. Lucky colour: Forest green. Magic number: 46.

VIRGO: Partnership, business problems and past disappointments need your attention today. Stop waiting for the right time to attend to them. You will hear from someone who you lost touch with. Tarot message: Trust your heart and intuition. Lucky colour: Sky blue. Magic number: 54.

LIBRA: A fine time to make a public speech or presentation. Business deals are still inconclusive. If you need high pay? Speak to your boss. Work will progress satisfactorily. By evening you can be in an irritable mood. Tarot message: Avoid friction with business partners. Lucky colour: Brown. Magic number: 62.

SCORPIO: It looks like a very busy day ahead. An important task to maintain a sound relationship seems difficult. Your chances of success are better today than ever before. Don't depend on others to do your important work. Tarot message: Be firm and stand your ground. Lucky colour: Pink. Magic number: 59.

SAGITTARIUS: Don't trust unreliable friends or relatives. Traveling will yield valuable information. Try breathing exercises for relaxation and try some oil to sharpen your memory and relax your mind. Tarot message: Don't fall for rash promises. Lucky colour: Purple. Magic number: 52.

CAPRICORN: Today mixing with friends could be a tricky business. If you don't want to be alone, choose a companion who is least likely to irritate you. Don't get involved in petty arguments. Tarot message: Consolidate your gains instead of throwing security to the winds. Lucky colour: Grey. Magic number: 58.

AQUARIUS: You might be more impulsive than usual. You will have a better chance of getting through odd jobs connected with home and family affairs. New ideas provide scope for expansion. Tarot message: Lack of confidence or lack of caution can leave you in losses. Lucky colour: Rust. Magic number: 45.

PISCES: "The Hanged Man" helps you to move into a new and better situation. Spirituality beckons, and you are inclined to try and find out more about it. You struggle to keep your temper in check today. Tarot message: Focus on your dream project. Lucky colour: White. Magic number: 56

Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is May 23...

You are ruled by Mercury, number 5 and your sun sign is Gemini. The main characters of this sign are its dualism and its contradictory nature. People under this sign are quiet, fascinating, clever and active, but sometimes they are pessimistic. Sometimes their extreme versatility can be somehow negative. Number five is the number of the senses. It also represents the power as we have five fingers on each hand. It expresses openness to new experiences, the desire for freedom and adventure. Five symbolises intelligence, willingness, geniality and individuality. You always feel the need for change. You tire easily from static situations, favouring circumstances and people who can make you feel new.

Communication, travel and learning become major areas of interest. Watch how your travel schedule is suddenly jam-packed from July onward. You thrive when you're exploring new places, so this should feel like a welcome gift from the universe. Plus, your legendary curiosity reaches new heights as you're suddenly struck with the strong desire to dabble in as many new areas of interest as possible. Just don't spread your busy little self so thin that you lose sight of your top priorities! 2014 is a strong year for building and expanding, as well as for learning and connecting.

Positive colours: Green, turquoise, sea green and rose.

Select days: Wednesday & Friday

Favourable numbers: 5 and 6

Gems recommended: Emerald & ruby

Charity on birthday: Donate white sweets or grapes.

You share your birthday with Jagmeet Singh Brar (May 23, 1958, Muktsar) who is politician, lawyer, writer and poet and belongs to the Indian National Congress. He was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha in 1992 and to the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999 representing the constituency of Faridkot in Punjab. He remained a permanent member of the All India Congress Committee until June 2013. His career will flourish not in 2014 but after 2020.)

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