Bridge over troubled waters
Rashmi Anand, the saviour of women's rights, suffered a decade of domestic violence herself before she took to the pen

While the world stands shell-shocked over the MH 17 tragedy, it is time again to remember our brave heart, Neerja Bhanot — the youngest recipient of India's highest civilian award for bravery, the Ashoka Chakra. Neerja gave up her life trying to save the lives of hundreds of passengers on board a hijacked Pan Am aircraft in 1986. This year's recipient of The Neerja Bhanot Award is Rashmi Anand, who continues to work relentlessly on issues of gender and domestic violence.

Before Rashmi emerged as a saviour of women's rights, she herself suffered domestic abuse for 10 long years. But, she didn't come out of it alone; while emerging from the violence, she managed to give strength to hundreds of other sailing through similar high tides. Over the years, Rashmi has penned books, largely on spiritual poetry, which were a byproduct of her healing process. Rashmi also volunteered at the Crime Against Women Cell of Delhi Police at Nanakpura for four years and runs the Woman of the Elements Trust, which provides free legal aid to women victims of domestic violence, who are below the earning capacity of Rs 5,000 per month. Now, she also delivers lectures on the human spirit, courage and strength in schools, colleges and universities.

"It's just the beginning; there's so much more to do," says Rashmi, and adds, "My work so far has only been only that of putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. It gives me no great satisfaction to fight - to give free legal aid. The true and long-term answer to our problems is not the law; it is education. Only education can facilitate equality, opportunity and a better life for all our children. It is the insecurity and fears that lead to twisted minds; education is our only way out. This is the field that I wish to serve in."

It's not easy for her to open up about her own story. She, however, manages to remain stoic through it. Rashmi's story began on the first day of her typically-arranged marriage—that's when the domestic violence began and carried on for 10 long years. It was only when her nine-year-old daughter turned quiet and five-year-old son went completely speechless that she marched out to carve a better future for her kids and herself. With only little support from all quarters, Rashmi sold her jewellery to fend for her kids, fought legal battles during the day and turned to advertising, her bread and butter, during the night.

Twelve years on, her daughter is a St Stephen's College graduate and has co-authored a book with her; her son, undergoing open school, is a board topper in three subjects including psychology. "Most women hide behind the 'children's sake' excuse. The truth is, they are not bold enough to take charge of their lives," says Rashmi.

However, it's settlement over separation that Rashmie advocates. "Kids need both their mother and father to grow well." Even in her counselling sessions, she has restored many homes successfully.

Her books talk about her life—some sad, other happy and some spiritual sides of life. She wants to carry on writing and wishes a happy future for her children, "It might not have worked out for me, yet I know happy marriages exist and that's what I pray for my children."

For women passing through a strenuous phase, Rashmi suggests taking up settlement issue first, with the elders in picture. "Legal course should be the last option. Attain peace within yourself first. Women must work; being self-sufficient takes care of a lot of things."

Humble acceptance

On receiving the Neerja Bhanot Award, Rashmi Anand says, “I don't know whether I can put into words what I feel about receiving this award in the name of this beautiful, young soul who gave up her life for others. I am humbled at receiving this honour.”

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Star track
At the India Couture Week…

Ace designer Rohit Bal's romance with ivory was the highlight of his show at the India Couture Week. Models sporting traditional ensembles in the milky colour made the collection look subtle and soft. The designer showcased an out-and-out traditional, yet understated line.

The women mainly wore bandhgala anarkalis in ivory and gold. Bal, however, brought some colour in men's outfits by opting for hues of pink, red, yellow and blue in sherwanis and turbans. "This is my favourite colour and has always been and that is why the collection has ivory all over. I love it and hence used it for the kind of elegant look I wanted," the designer said.

Even though some male models sported outfits in different colours, the pale colour stood out in the designer's show. He displayed a monotone, subdued collection, giving the jewellery a chance to stand out, especially long hanging earrings.

The designer said he wanted the jewellery to be noticed as it was a very important part of his line.

When asked about the inspiration behind his no-bling line, he said, "It is simplicity of thought, philosophy and existence. I wanted understated elegance in my collection and I am really happy with the end result." Day three at the fashion week ended with his show last night, which was preceded by designers Monisha Jaising and Varun Bahl's line. Monisha put up her World Bride collection, displaying marriage of contemporary and traditional elements for a bridal look, whereas Varun's India Moderne saw the designer add a modern touch to the Indian wear, with kurtis worn with pants and a special focus on the net work. — PTI

Of new found love

Former Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole has allegedly told husband Jean-Bernard that he will never have to work again. The 31-year-old singer recently married her French boyfriend of three months in a secret ceremony, and later confirmed that she has officially taken on his surname, reported a publication.

Franck Twister, who is a business partner and close friend of Jean-Bernard, said, "They became inseparable, laughing and joking away like little children. She has a strong accent but he is fluent in English so they have no problem communicating. I could tell that he loved her from the way he acted around her. It was definitely love," he said. Twister went on to claim that the X Factor judge "doesn't want him to carry on working". "He may involved in restaurants and bars but he's never going to do a 9-5 job,” he added. — PTI

No touring for Adele

Oscar-winning singer Adele is not planning a world tour in 2015, according to a senior executive at her record label. Martin Mills, chief of Beggars Group, which owns Adele's record label XL, said that there was "no truth" in rumours that the singer would be returning to the live arena next year in support of her forthcoming third studio album. The 26-year-old singer recently teased that her new album will be titled 25, keeping in line with her previous records 19 and 21. A message on the World Music Awards' official Twitter feed had claimed that the award-winning star would take to the road next year in support of the new record. Adele's spokesperson refused to comment on the reports.

The singer has worked with Ryan Tedder for the new collection, with the OneRepublic front man saying "she is sounding even better than ever". It will be the first new material released by Adele since her James Bond theme Skyfall back in October 2012, which won her a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, a Brit Award and a Grammy Award. — PTI

A tell-all on Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga's former assistant Jennifer O'Neill has signed a deal to pen a tell-all book about the musician. O'Neill, who had sued the Poker Face hit maker for $ 393,000 in unpaid wages, is getting $ 1 million from Atria Books. The book will focus on her years with the hit maker, which were from 2009 to 2011, reported a publication.

In 2011, O'Neill sued Gaga for $393,000 in overtime back pay. O'Neill had revealed that she was required to share a bed with Gaga as the singer hated to sleep alone and that meant that she could be woken up in the middle of the night to change the DVD in the player. The suit was settled out of court in October 2013. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Gaga, on her part, called Neill "a hood rat" who was trying to get the money that she did not earn. — PTI

Meet Abhay Deol’s latest co-star

After a mega search for the leading lady opposite Abhay Deol in SNAFU, the makers have zeroed in on Puja Gupta. More than 50 fresh faces were auditioned over 20 days. Each member in the unit used their contacts and connections to contribute to the hunt. The director, Sethu Sriram really liked Puja for the role but had two more names in mind. He discussed the situation with Abhay and in a joint call, Puja Gupta got the highest votes. Puja essays the role of Aaniya, who shares the centerstage with Abhay, closing business deals for him. She is an ambitious corporate high-flyer who hails from a small town and moved to the city of dreams to pursue her career.

After winning the Miss India crown in 2007, Puja made her debut in Bollywood with F.A.L.T.U helmed by Remo D'Souza and most recently she was seen in the rom-com Go Goa Gone. Director Sriram said, "It's a relief that the hunt is over. This role is very critical to the storyline and the girl had to do much more than singing, dancing and looking good. After a lot of deliberations we have decided upon Puja.

Aaniya is an ambitious small town girl so we needed the vulnerability of a small towner along with high glam quotient who would be a head turner. I have auditioned a lot of promising fresh faces and a few upcoming names, some of them were brilliant but Puja fits the bill naturally. With all humility, I want to thank Abhay who helped me in streamlining the process."

The cast has started shooting for the film.

Watch out for Sid

Newbie Sidharth Malhotra is only three films old, yet he has emerged as one of the most successful actors among the new generation of Bollywood actors.

Born and brought up in Delhi, Sidharth came to Mumbai to become an actor. The young actor has no family in Bollywood or backing in the industry. He has made it big in the industry on his own. The actor has been versatile in his choice of roles, genres and production houses.

He says, "I am so happy that my hard work for Ek Villain has paid off. I did not expect to make it so far so soon and I am very grateful and happy for the team's success."

There is a lot of excitement for Sidharth's future projects and people are looking forward to watching more of him on the big screen. What can we say... we have our eyes on him!

Huma Qureshi in Mumbai Saga

Huma Qureshi has bagged the female lead role in Mumbai Saga opposite John Abraham. The movie is directed by Sanjay Gupta and John will play an underworld don in the film.

Island hopping

Ranbir Kapoor flew Katrina Kaif off to another island in France from Corsica for her 31st birthday and returned to their respective shooting locations on July 15.

Not again

John Abraham has aborted his home production project in which he was supposed to play naval officer KM Nanavati because he is doing Soni Razdan's film on the same topic.

Sallu still likes SRK

Salman Khan says that he likes Shah Rukh Khan even though they don't talk to each other or get along anymore. He can't stand people talking ill of SRK. They used to be best friends once upon a time.

Next step

Siddharth Anand's next film after Bang Bang will be a stylish action thriller with Akshay Kumar which the star will also co-produce.

Bang Bang gets ambitious

Bang Bang, the much awaited action entertainer of 2014, will release in three different languages, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, on October 2. The Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif starrer is being directed by Siddharth Anand. The film promises to be a mix of high voltage action with romance and the sizzling chemistry of the lead pair was clearly visible on the first poster of movie which was unveiled a few days back.

Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios, said, "Bang Bang is a true blue entertainer, and we are going to have the widest possible release for the film. We are releasing the film in Hindi, Tamil and Telegu. The buzz on the film is tremendous and we are going out to market and distribute the film day and date worldwide."

Sonakshi in the league

After Abhishek Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Honey Singh, actress Sonakshi Sinha is the latest Bollywood celebrity to own a team in the World Kabaddi League. The event kickstarts on August 9 in London and will be taken across three continents.

Ranveer rubs Zoya the wrong way

Apparently Zoya Akhtar is not very pleased with Ranveer Singh as he has been talking about his role in Dil Dhadakne Do. He recently briefed his character to media.

Just for kicks!

From working as a confidence booster to warding off unwanted layers of fat, kickboxing means different things to different people. Little wonder tricity fitness enthusiasts are lapping it up as the new 'it' thing!

Fitness is a way of life. And, catering to the fast-growing tribe of fitness freaks there are all kinds of workouts being dished out. One in particular is enjoying immense patronage from Chandigarh folks and it happens to be a favourite of celebrities like Chitrangada Singh, Bipasha Basu and Malaika Arora Khan. Even super fit Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty love this sport.

Kickboxing and its variants like cardio kickboxing are being offered in different gyms across tricity, and those who have tried it once, can't seem to have enough of it. Benefits, they claim, range from confidence boost, weight loss, battling diseases and more. Here's straight from the horse's mouth…

Mamta and Keerthana Saraf is the mother-daughter duo taking kickboxing classes for fitness and can't stop praising it, albeit for different reasons. Mamta tried everything from running to gymming to dancing to lose the thigh fat, but it just seemed to stay there forever. "Now, I have slim thighs and a fitter body," shares Mamata. Her 16-year-old daughter not only gained physical prowess through kickboxing but also confidence. A student of Carmel Convent, she opens up, "I was extremely meek and scared to walk down the road alone. Kickboxing gave me strength and courage and the will to pursue what I like," says Keerthana, who strongly the advises every woman in India to learn the sport, for it's hardly safe anywhere around.

Amandeep Singh, who runs Ablaze IAS Academy in Sector 36, stumbled upon kickboxing while trying out a dance class and just couldn't let it go. "It's so fresh, energetic and fun," says Amandeep, who has lost 15 kg in four months. "Regular exercise brought my thyroid problem under control too," says Amandeep.

"We do get queries for kickboxing from young clients," says Vikram Kapoor, fitness expert and general manager, Body Zone Fitness & SPA-9. "We offer cardio kickboxing and it adds the novelty factor to the fitness routine." Neraj Kumar, who runs Movers 'n' Shapers: The Body Workshop in Sector 10, himself tried various forms of exercise regimen till he ended up with kickboxing. "Kickboxing is an exercise that makes you use every muscles of your body. You can burn as many calories in 10 minutes as in 40 minutes of running," offers Neeraj, who is so popular with his class that they get together on weekends to play a sport like football for no one wants even the weekly off. Those who follow kickboxing for fitness belong to different age groups. While kids love punching and kicking naturally, teens find it hip and those above 40 prefer it as it there is little risk of injury if you are in competent hands.

"Why I like it is that it's not monotonous. It is a quick and effective workout and one can do it at home," says Aman Sharma, a corporate employee.

Well a fit body is the first step to happiness…add to it the fun factor… are you tempted?

Celeb choice

One of the secrets of super sculpted bodies of Victoria Secret models is kickboxing.

Celebs from across different fields-sports, modelling, Bollywood and Hollywood swear by its miraculous results. While Bipasha Basu is said to have confessed her love for the sport, other actresses like Jacqueline Fernandez, Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone too have reportedly added kickboxing to their fitness regime.

Actress Chitrangada Singh too has roped in an expert trainer for this high intensity workout. It's as popular among men, with Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty joining the league.

[email protected]

Vegan haven
Casa Bella Vista offers a host of vegetarian dishes that are a treat for the palate
Somya Abrol

Rummage incites ravage. Handpick any life instance. Try rummaging through pages of a book to find those lines that arouse unworthy emotions. Try rummaging through your fridge in the dim AM lights. Or try, if you fancy, finding a restaurant with no address, no boards and no invites, on a growling stomach — courtesy the old friend, grapevine.

After satiating you with a false sense of achievement, Casa Bella Vista — hidden in the crannies of Sector 10 (next to Bombay Chopsticks) - takes you to the Victorian era, with flower-patterned cushions, a tiny clay oven and white, made-to-look-raw walls adorned with plenty of art, and basically, a rhythmic, earthy chaos.

The menu compels you to set eyes on "Our food is an expression of love". In that setting, you don't mind being courted. But, before proceeding, we'd like to give a big thumbs-up to the restaurant for daring to serve an all-vegetarian fare in a city obsessed with the kukkar.

Although they offer some tempting starters such as Champinyones Al Ajillo (Spanish garlic mushrooms) and Hot Bruschetta, we decided to indulge in the main act right away, with White Mushroom Sauce Pasta (penne), Homemade Pesto Spaghetti, Green Ravioli and Farmhouse Pizza. The Mushroom Sauce Pasta beautifully marries the taste of the just-about thick white sauce with sautéed mushrooms and onions, while the penne is spot-on al dente. The Green Ravioli - pasta pockets with spinach and cream cheese - drowned in white cheese sauce and sprinkled with nutty walnuts was cooked to perfection. Chewy, green pasta with mushy, cheesy insides, with a consolation of 'eating healthy' - one of those rare ravioli plates that do not need additional seasoning. Though the restaurant does not serve alcohol, we would've loved a glass of fine vino at this point.

When something seems too good to be true, it most probably isn't! Just as conversation about Chandigarh food scene finally progressing sets course, the Homemade Pesto Spaghetti arrives. Now, we're not saying chefs in Chandigarh can't or shouldn't go wrong in their endeavours. They must, by all means. But, those chefs ought to lean on a staff that has the courtesy to accept their mistake. Casa Bella Vista is not the finest example of that tandem. On being informed about the desiccated spaghetti, the reply we get from the manager is, "I've had four orders since morning. None of them went wrong. Yours can't be either." So, after a lot of back and forth of "Ask the chef to have this spaghetti for lunch…" the manager agreed to civilly replace our spaghetti with the Pink Pasta, which again was a little too tangy to qualify as 'pink', but, we're not complaining.

The fact that they have a clay oven right next to you and the chef prepares your pizza in full view as you lust over the imagery of its final outcome was enough to cover up for the sardonic spaghetti incident. The pizza is loaded enough to solicit help from both your hands for each bite. The base is thin as wafer and crisp as, well, crispies. If you're planning to order the pizza alone, make sure you order an interesting drink like the Mint and Lemon Crush (Manali's Lemonana, revamped) or the Banana Honey Lassi before it - just to calm your nerves while the pizza takes 30-odd minutes in the making. Surprisingly though, the rest of their food service is fairly quick.

For the sweet tooth, you can choose from the Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Chocolate Coulant or the Apple Crumble. We, however, just needed the bed.

WiFi: Yes.

Alcohol: No.

Outdoor seating: Yes.

Meal for two: Rs 1,200 (approx)

Rating (0-5)

Ambience: 4.5
Value for money: 3.5

first-day-first show
A murky world

Hate Story 2

Directed by Vishal Pandya and produced by T-Series Films, Hate Story 2, is a Bollywood erotic thriller that stars Surveen Chawla, Jay Bhanushali and Sushant Singh in pivotal roles. It is the sequel to the 2012 hit Hate Story, starring Paoli Dam and Gulshan Devaiya. The film traces the journey of Surveen Chawla, who crosses all boundaries to take revenge on the murderers of her lover. The film delves into the murky world of Mumbai's dirty politics.

Not decent

I really don't understand the reason for unnecessary skin show in the film. Anyways, keeping that aside, I like the way the film has been narrated, especially the revenge angle that has been explored. However, I'll still maintain that this film is not a decent watch.

Ridhima Arora, freelance fashion designer


Written and directed by debutant Akshay Akkineni, the film Pizza is a supernatural thriller that features Akshay Oberoi, Parvathy Omanakuttan and Dipannita Sharma in the lead roles, while Arunoday Singh, Rajesh Sharma, Omkar Das Manikpuri and Sonali Sachdev play the supporting roles.

Something missing

I am really fond of horror flicks and this film is quite horrifying, but it manages to scare you only in bits. I did not like the end of the film, but there is still something missing, which fails to grip you.

Namrita Kaur, student

No shock value

It's a scary film and I like the way the horror elements are portrayed. The story line is not all that gripping.

Asmaira Sareen, student

Waste of time

I did not enjoy the movie at all. For an audience that is being served erotic sex scenes and vulgar language in the name of revenge story, I really think that the makers are underestimating us. It's a sheer waste of time.

Jannat Bhasin, student

One-time watch

I think the movie is all right in terms of story-telling and narration, but it's not the kind of film that I would want to watch with my family. It's a one-time watch and that too if you are not too busy.

Anuj Khanna, businessperson

Amit Sahni Ki List

Produced by Pyxis Pictures and directed by Ajay Bhuyan, Amit Sahni Ki List is an Indian romantic comedy film that stars Vir Das, Vega Tamotia, Kavi Shastri and Anindita Nayar in lead roles. The film traces the story of Amit Sahni (played by Vir Das), a young and quirky investment banker, who is searching for the woman of his dreams, correction — the woman of his list. After a painful break-up during his teenage days, Amit has noted down all the traits that he is looking for in the perfect woman or Miss Right and every time he goes out on a date, he secretly checks to see if his date matches to the list.

Funny film

I think it's a funny film but there is nothing more to it. Even though the concept of a man finding his Miss Perfect is quite outdated and done-to-death, I liked the way Vir Das pulled it off.

Vishal Bhatia, student

Nothing much

I didn't like the film much, but maybe that's because I was expecting too much. I like Vir Das' comedy, which spelled wit and humour, but there is nothing more to the film than that.

Rashmeet Kaur, home-maker

(As told to Amarjot Kaur)

Punjabi scope
Can’t Katchup at all!
Jasmine Singh

Yuppie…this is the first word that comes to mind after you've understood the basic storyline of the Punjabi film Yaaran Da Katchup! Three friends get together after seven years in Pattaya and a series of events follow. Once you get to know the storyline there is nothing more you will ever come to know, such as why is the director showing the roundabout of Chandigarh when the boys are supposed to dance around in Pattaya? And why did they cast the heroines when all they had to do was nothing?

Well, Yaaran Da Katchup is neither sweet and nor spicy! It is just bad-flavoured. Directed by Abhey Baiju Chabbra, the film boasts of an ensemble star cast comprising Hardy Sandhu, Varun Sharma (Chucha from Fukrey), Anil Juneja, Jaswinder Bhalla, BN Sharma, Rana Ranbir, Vijay Tandon, Ranjan Sehgal, Anita Hassanandani, Yuvika Chaudhary, Manreet Kaur, Kruti Popat and Shagun Jaswal. Uff…yes, so many people and no performance, bahut na insaafi hai!

The story written by Rubina can only be understood but it has nothing extraordinary, not even ordinary. In fact, it is a poor steal from the Hollywood film Grown Ups and Hindi films Masti, Dil Chahta Hai…there is so much happening on the screen and none looks like making sense. It is like the director left everyone loose…do whatever you want to! According to the story, the friends apparently meet at Pataya. Those of us who have been there can vouch for many other good things around than the Thai massage. The director, however, is only interested in a beach, few streets and a hotel (which if you are from Chandigarh, you'd know is our very own North Park). After the direction, it is the failure of the disjointed screenplay that thickens the mess in the film.

Down to the star cast — the first name that comes to mind is Chucha from Fukrey film, Varun Sharma. What went wrong with the actor who left us in splits in Fukrey? Neither his comic timing nor his acting matches one per cent of what we saw of him. Next up is the singer making his debut with the film Hardy Sandhu. A good face, nice voice and he can fill one more slot by working on his acting as well. As a first-timer, Hardy has made the effort. Anil Juneja is the other actor making his debut in Yaaran Da Katchup. Okay boy, we know you have muscles and all that…does that mean even on the slightest provocation you will tear apart your shirt? Nonetheless, a good try by Anil. Rest Jaswinder Bhalla and BN Sharma — the only advice one would give to them is sit in solitude for a while and see how you can improve the sick PJ's! Rana Ranbir, a class actor, much appreciated in Punjab 1984, has tried to do something different but thanks to the director, he has also failed. As for all the ladies Anita Hassanandani, Yuvika Chaudhary, Manreet Kaur…you are always welcome as long you chose to sing, dance and not ask for more! If by any means, you begin to enjoy the movie during the initial 20-25 minutes, after a while, you'd want to either single out every strand of your hair or break some records on Candy Crush!

Retail therapy
Gurvinder Singh

Actress Keeya Khanna is not finicky when it comes to shopping. She shops when she is happy and she shops when she is sad

Pink shirt top, floral jeans, a piece of golden jewellery gleaming around her neck and the irresistible pout, Keeya Khanna is all smiles as she pauses for the lensmen at inauguration of the showroom of Shopper's Stop.

Oh yes, she is completely at home as she loves fashion. "Fashion for me is about comfort and style. I don't really go by trends. And I love colour," says the actress. "In fact, my taste for fashion keeps changing," she adds after a pause.

She is a shopper herself, she admits. "When I am happy, I shop and when I am not, I shop," she smiles.

Born and brought up in Mumbai, she has been into theatre since young age. It was during her performance at Prithvi Theatre, the makers of Yaar Anmulle 2 noticed her and offered her a role in the movie.

Though she has hardly visited Punjab, being a Punjabi, she feels comfortable working in the Punjabi film industry, says the actor. "My heart beats for Punjab, I like coming to Punjab and working here," she says.

"My grandmother hails from Amritsar, so I picked up the language listening to her," she says. "But language is not an impediment for an actor, as an actor emotes through expressions and not necessary with the language," she adds.

While doing Yaar Anmulle 2, she bagged another Punjabi movie Marriage the Garrage and a Hindi movie titled Chal Bhaag. Another movie Punjabian Da King is due for release on September 5.

Coming from theatre background, she says apart from 'running around the trees' kind of roles, she wants to do some movies like Queen and Barfi!. "There has to be a balance between both kinds of roles, but an actor must step out of the comfort zone to do solid and different roles," she says.

"I think there should be more female-oriented films in Punjabi cinema as well," says the actress.

Talking about the stars of Punjabi film industry, she says, "Both Diljit Dosanjh and Gippy Grewal are doing well. While Gippy has versatility, Diljit is intense."

A firm believer in fitness, she is runs to keep fit. "I think everyone must take out at least one hour for their fitness," she says. She promises to be back to promote her new movie as she signs off.

Chatter box
Bonding over ice-cream

Rishina Kandhari, who is seen as a nurse in The Villain, and Roopal Tyagi, who plays Gunjan in Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ki, are apparently the best of friends. And, guess what? Both of them happen to have a weakness for ice-cream. Rishina Kandhari says, "Ice-cream is my weakness; I can have them at any given time of the day. If I have good company like Roopal's, then I end up eating even more!" Roopal Tyagi adds, "I am on a diet, but can't control my ice cream cravings. If I eat ice-cream, I end up dieting harder the next day. Chocolate is my all-time favourite flavour."

Farah’s favourite gets direct entry

Try, try till you succeed! This phrase is truly personified by Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega (EKLKBK) contestant Saurabh Chandra, who has been participating in the show since its inception. Saurabh, who has won many hearts through his comical dance performances, became the only contestant of this season to get direct entry into the finals.

Grateful to fans

Actor Sidharth Shukla is glad his role in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania received appreciation. The actor doesn't forget to thank the fans he has gained over the years due to his TV shows, including his ongoing show, Balika Vadhu.

Fed up of link-ups

Actress Kamya Punjabi is irritated about reading stories of her link-up in the media. She feels it's unfortunate when one is linked-up, as these stories affect people close to the person in question. Kamya was linked with Karan Patel and later businessman Ashish Sablavat.

Mouli’s set for the big screen

aMouli Ganguly will now be acting in a film. She has signed Ishq Malange, where she will play a cop. She will be seen with Rahul Bagga, who has earlier done Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana. Mouli was last seen in Sony TV's Kya Huaa Tera Vaada.

Akshay to host another show?

Akshay Kumar will soon be seen on TV again. After hosting Khatron Ke Khiladi and MasterChef, now the buzz is that he might judge and host a stunt-based dance reality show, Dare To Dance on Life OK. Talks are on with Akshay, while the makers plan to shoot the show in South Africa.

Negative role for Shweta

Shweta Tiwari will soon be seen in Baal Veer. She will play the negative role of Bhasm Pari in the show. Being a popular face, Shweta, who has done positive roles earlier, is excited about playing a different role.

Growing popularity

Gautam Gulati aka Vikram in Shashi Sumeet's popular show Diya Aur Baati Hum, on Star Plus, has been apparently approached for Big Boss Season 8. He was in the news for his film Coward going to the Cannes Film Festival. He too had gone for the festival and also his character is quite popular on the tube.

Astro turf
p Khurrana

ARIES: Be true to your ideals and don't sell yourself short for money or glamour. Monetary issues can dictate what you need to concentrate on.

Tarot message: Allow a sick situation to settle before starting again. Lucky colour: Olive.

Magic number: 58.

TAURUS: The simple things in life will bring you joy today. Do not take on too much, but enjoy working through your chores one by one. A health issue can be worrisome. Don't delay a diagnosis.

Tarot message: Trust your heart and intuition. Lucky colour: Green.

Magic number: 46.

GEMINI: It is a tough day; be alert, aware and dynamic. Postpone work that requires concentration and physical effort. Relationships can be minefield with all sorts of emotion surfacing.

Tarot message: Act for yourself and no one else. Lucky colour: White.

Magic number: 36.

CANCER: It is a satisfactory day for working mothers. You will have difficulty getting along with associates; a strong need to please can make you vulnerable to the expectations. Tarot message: Don't do anything at the cost of health. Lucky colour: Lavender.

Magic number: 55.

LEO: The outcome of a lawsuit can be postponed due to matters out of your hands, leaving you in limbo a bit longer. Do not hesitate to shop around for a better deal. Tarot message: Bury an old quarrel.

Lucky colour: Sea-green.

Magic number: 32.

VIRGO: If you don't expect the day to run smoothly, get yourself prepared. If you are travelling give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.

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

Lucky colour: Red.

Magic number: 45.

LIBRA: A friend can need your support and you will have to put off your engagement to help him or her through a period of heartache or anguish. Romance can be rather disturbing. No pain, no gain.

Tarot message: Do not leave things to chance. Lucky colour: Crimson.

Magic number: 25.

SCORPIO: Do not be concerned about your business deals. They probably won't be finalised right away. Should a friend ask you for a loan, be cautions.

Tarot message: Don't get embroiled in longterm ventures.

Lucky colour: Orange.

Magic number: 30.

SAGITTARIUS: Those around can lose you with their abstract, whimsical or vague ideas about important issues. Politicians or bureaucrats are in the limelight today. Tarot message: Follow your chosen path.

Lucky colour: White.

Magic number: 63.

CAPRICORN: Strange under-currents at home can give rise to all sorts of drama. The card "The Night Princess" predicts a fairly active morning for the children.

Tarot message: Handle your projects carefully.

Lucky colour: Pink.

Magic number: 27.

AQUARIUS: A neighbour has some gossip to divulge to you. Make sure you really want to hear secrets or rumours about someone. Health will be okay.

Tarot message: Watch your actions at work.

Lucky colour: Brown.

Magic number: 57.

PISCES: Do not fear bad luck. Steer well clear of business. This is a fortunate day for married lovers. Working women: take proper care of your child's health.

Tarot message: Don't let opposition scare you. Lucky colour: Lime-green. Magic number: 31.Magic number: 63

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is July 19...

You'll meet people who will stimulate your creative nature and desire to show others how lively you are. You'll be very extroverted in this period and others will find your happy-go-lucky ways contagious. You'll have no inhibitions in saying what you think. This '1' energy may diminish your ability and desire to handle details, preferring instead to paint with a broader brush.

You are sensitive, but your feelings stay somewhat repressed. You have a compelling manner that can be dominating in many situations. Spending money on luxuries will jeopardise your financial security. It's the year to conserve your resources, not squander them. Losses are likely if you invest without seeking proper astro-advice. You will have a hard time dealing with children. An increase in responsibility seems likely on the professional front. Your biggest asset is your sense of humour; try to use it to cure your illness. If travelling, make sure you carry all important documents. It is a golden time for you, especially with all your prep work done. Don't insist on doing things your way if the situation is too complex.

Positive colors: Golden, red, brown, cream, white, orange and purple

Select days: Sunday and Monday

Favourable numbers: 1, 4, 2, 7

Gems recommended: Yellow sapphire, red coral and ruby.

Charity on birthday: Donate white sweets or fruits to the needy, any school or religious place.

You share your birthday with Sindhu Tolani (July 19, 1983, Mumbai) has been a Fair & Lovely model as well as a successful actress. She has appeared in many Hindi and Telugu movies. Hindi cinema-goers will see her on the big screen in 2015.

Master Chef
Spilling the beans
Neelu Kaura

Sprouted beans are a very common ingredient in the food of most East Asians and Southeast Asians. The sprouted beans actually have greater nutritional value than the original moong beans. They also require a very short cooking time and in fact can be eaten raw. Here is a quick recipe of 'sprouted dahi wada', which requires no frying.

Sprouted dahi wada


1 bowl moongi saboot (sprouted)
100gm dahi
6-7 tbsp imli chutney
6-7 tbsp pudina green chutney
4 slices of bread
Milk as required
Salt to serve
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 finely chopped green chilly

Roast the sprouts and onion in a pan, add salt and green chillies. Take bread and dip it in milk, now fill the mixture in it and wrap it. Place this wrapped bread in dish and pour curd, imli chutney and pudina chutney and serve it.

(Kaura is a Ludhiana-based culinary expert)

(As told to Poonam Bindra)

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