Lend him your ears
Patiala Gharana exponent Ustad Hamid Ali Khan hails classical fusion music and platforms like Coke Studio and Nescafe Basement for their endeavour to acquaint the Gen Next with classical music
Amarjot Kaur

As one of the finest exponents of Patiala Gharana, Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, who is based in Pakistan, credits the legacy of his family tradition and classical music, which he considers are the fundamental essence of his very existence.

On his seventh visit to India to perform at the Government College for Girls, Sector 14, Panchkula, he first extends gratitude to the North-Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala for inviting him over to India while he stirs up a conversation that elaborates on classical music and its significance. "This is the second time that I am performing in India," he begins while sharing that the first time that he performed in India was in 1979 in New Delhi, in the presence of Indira Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Manoj Kumar, Mehdi Hassan, Dilip Kumar, and other accomplished dignitaries of the country.

"I was only 12 at that time when I performed with my brother, Amanat Ali Khan and Indira Gandhi said that we reminded her of Ram and Lakshman," he says, while reminiscing the event.

Today, Hamid Ali Khan is not just the torchbearer of traditional classical music, but has also been awarded with the Pride of Performance Award and Sitara-i-Imtiaz Award by the Government of Pakistan.

"Ours is the only family that has three Pride of Performance Awards and two Sitara-i-Imtiaz Awards, which speaks volumes about our musical calibre," he shares. While he modestly accepts the honours by the government, he takes sheer pride in the knowledge of his art that defines his merit. "I am the third generation of musicians in my family and my great great grandfather, General Ali Baksh Khan was the musician at the maharaja's court," he says. As he makes a mention of his ancestors, including Bade Fateh Ali Khan, who have etched a tradition of music in his family and have passed the baton of talent in the form of legacy from generation to generation, he holds classical music as the epitome of tradition and talent. "I would not consider a singer as a singer if they are not trained in classical music," says he while highlighting the significance of training.

"I learnt music from my father, Ustad Akhtar Hussein Khan, who trained me and my brothers, Bade Fateh Ali Khan and Amanat Ali Khan in music. However, it pains me when I see the young generation trying to make it to the music industry without any knowledge of classical music," says Hamid Ali, who trained his sons, Nayab Ali Khan, Walli Hamid Ali Khan and Inam Ali Khan, members of the band, Ragaboyz in Patiala Gharana of classical music.

"I have nothing against pop or rock music, but I believe that in order to sustain in the music industry, one must have the knowledge of the traditional and classical. "I admire Rafi saab, Lata ji, Kishore Kumar, Udit Narayan, Hans Raj Hans, and other musicians from India, but the matter of fact remains that they are all trained in classical music," he says.

While talking of classical fusion music and platforms like Coke Studio and Nescafe Basement, Hamid Ali praises their endeavour to acquaint the young generation with classical music, and admires the initiatives of starting up music schools in both India and Pakistan, though his heart remains set in the traditional guru-shishya and Ustad-Shagird ways of teaching. "If not good musicians, I believe music schools will at least create good listeners. However, the ritualistic ways of teaching had the charm of its own kind. One had to make efforts to make a room in Ustad's heart, so that he was compelled to give the knowledge," he smiles.

Ustad Hamid Ali Khan has performed across the globe, including the Royal Albert Hall in London and has also composed songs for several Pakistani Films, including Mainu Tere Jiya Sohna Hor Labda Na, Kaleje Mein Jo Lag Jati, Guzar gaya Jo Zamana, and Udaas Logo Se Pyaar Karna. Just when Hamid Ali wishes us Khuda Hafiz, he signs of on a beautiful note that dissolves all boundaries and barriers… "An artist or a fankaar is not confined by any boundary. He belongs to the entire world by the virtue of his talent," he signs off.


Lust for Life
Gurvinder Singh

His unassuming nature is almost disarming. He sits cross-legged on the sofa in the lobby of Hyatt Regency Ludhiana, wearing a T-shirt and shorts and talks of his latest collection, Bleeding Lust, which is a part of Kingfisher Ultra Punjab Style Tour.

We peep into the mind of designer Jattinn Kochhar and see the kaleidoscope of casual candour, organized yet easy-going meticulous mind, his way of simplifying complexities and realizations he draws from life.

His prowess, creativity ravishes the ramp, but the man living amidst lights, camera, models and his creations connects with his work and his life on a spiritual plane. When inspiration strikes, it is time for him to get cracking. The eureka moment usually comes in the middle of the night and that night is night-no-longer for the designer. He is at it all night, drawing and documenting everything.

"I document it before it's gone. And I get so excited about it, I work on it all night and my team starts working on it the next morning," he says. He designs for all body-types. But he makes clothes that are aspirational and inspirational. He calls his signature designer clothes as "simple, practical, fuss-free."

But that has everything to do with his life. He likes to keep things organised. Even on visits, people often ask me whether I have used the room at all. I like everything in place. The space I occupy reflects who I am," he says.

He also keeps his health organised. After a light breakfast, he takes his lunch at 12.30 no matter where he is, what he is doing, and the dinner doesn't go beyond 7.30 pm. He exercises regularly. "It is important to tune in to your body and listen to it." Almost everyone abuses their body till 30, but it starts abusing you if not taken care of," he says.

He has never saved in life since the time he started working as a teenager. He spends his time and money on travelling. "I travelled to 28 countries. The knowledge I gain by travelling cannot be gained by any amount of money I earn and save," he says. 

When music is religion
A bunch of youngsters in the city are out to promote EDM music through the project Electronizm
Manpriya Singh

MUSICAL NOTE: (L-R) DJ RDG, DJ Sky3y, DJ Last Hope, DJ Gary Vronski Photo: Manoj Mahajan It is music largely unconstrained by words and the kind where each beat is left to the interpretation and imagination of the listener. EDM, a staple of any dance-based environment, has garnered a fan base hardcore enough to perceive the genre nothing less than religion! That explains the myriad initiatives to turn listeners into converts. "We thought of starting with a project through which we could promote EDM music in Chandigarh. While the music scene has evolved, there is still scope for growth. Given the percentage of youngsters we have, it should be much more popular," shares Saurabh Aggarwal, the brain behind the project Electronizm.

"It is a venture through which we have tied up with various institutions and venues to promote EDM gigs." For instance, 107.8 FM Desh Bhagat Radio, where the music will be played starting at nine on every Saturday night.

Bringing the music to listeners will be the trio of DJ RDG, DJ Sky3y and DJ Gary Vronski. "We all love this music and that is why we are out to promote it," shares DJ RDG, who has been playing in the city for the past decade and whose music influences include the likes of DJ Paul Thomas, Mark Knight and DJ Jerome Isma-Ae. He adds, "The problem with crowds here is that after a couple of drinks they want to listen to only their kind of music. We want them to be much more receptive to this genre."

It's a 'been here, heard, explored and did not get hooked onto' scene with the genre. The love for a particular kind of music can only be inherited, but hardly ever cultivated. Moving on, a live gig starting at Ten Downing Street, Hotel Altius on the first Sunday of August, which is Friendship Day, awaits. Shares Saurabh, 'This is just the first venue; we will be moving onto other clubs and lounges in Chandigarh and several other open air concerts. We also have a tie-up with celebrity DJ artists, with two of the confirmed names being DJ Kash Trivedi and DJ Static. DJ Gary Vronski, shares a couple of observations on the city, "I first came here in 2009 and think that the people here still need more awareness. I have been into music for a long time now and have played at a couple of places in Hong Kong." Chips in Saurabh, "He is the one who literally eats and breathes music. He lives in his music studio."


first-day-first show
Of battles & blood


Directed by Brett Ratner, Hercules is an action adventure film that stars Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt and Ian McShane. The story of the film revolves around the life of Hercules a tormented soul who walked the earth neither as a man nor or as God. He was the powerful son of God King Zeus. He received nothing, but suffering all his life. After the severe loss of his family, he turns his back on the Gods and finds solace in fighting bloody battles. Over the years, he warmed to the company of six similar souls, their only bond being their love for fighting and presence of death.

These men and women never question where they go to fight or why or whom; just how much they will be paid! Now the King of Thrace has hired these mercenaries to train his men to become the greatest army of all time. It is time for this bunch of lost souls to finally have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen, when they must train an army to become ruthless and blood-thirsty.

Quite engaging

Dwayne Johnson is rocking in the loincloth and he delivers exactly what any reasonable person reading that description of Hercules might expect. I am anyway a great fan of Greek Mythology and though this film pulls a leaf from Homer's version of the mythology, it is interesting and engaging.
— Karandeep Singh, student

Gripping tale

I really love the film. It is gripping till the end. The action sequences are realistic and fit well into one's imagination of those times, especially the character of Hercules. I think Dwayne has done justice to his role.
— Nimarta Kaur, student

Good story

It's a very interesting film. I love the way Dwayne Johnson has acted in the film. Also, I love the storyline.
— Rashmeet Kaur, private bank employee

22 Jump Street

An action comedy film, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, 22 Jump Street features Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Based on the 1987 television series by the same name by Stephen J. Cannell and Patrick Hasburgh, the film follows two police officers who are forced to relive high school when they are assigned to go undercover as high school students to prevent the outbreak of a new synthetic drug and arrest its supplier.

Nostalgic take

It brings back the '80s nostalgia and offers the rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprising twists. I like the film very much!
— Jagriti Lamba, student

Well done

I love the film. It's so funny and interesting too. I would advise everyone to watch the film.
— Anu Sharma, student

(As told to Amarjot Kaur)

punjabi scope
Don’t take a panga!
Jasmine Singh

Paisa Pyar N Panga, this week's Punjabi film, justifies every bit of its title. First, you spend your paisa (money) to watch the film with the thought of falling in pyar (love) with it, and once through the film, it will create a panga (problem) since you have to answer the question — who suggested you to watch this film!

Directed by Virender Singh and written by the Ranjeev Verma, the film has either been inspired or creatively plucked here and there from the Hindi film Love key Liye Kuch Bhi Kareyga, directed by E Nivas. Despite this, the director couldn't do much justice. Filmmakers do get inspired, but like we have heard in schools all the time — nakal ke liye bhi akal chahiye! Given this, the director still has done whatever little he could do. Surprisingly, some of the dialogues of the film are pretty hilarious — read only 'some'.

The film has of course an ensemble cast with the Punjabi hunk, Gavie Chahal, Veer Vashisht, Karan Sekhon, who makes his debut with the film, Mukul Dev, Khusboo Grewal, Flora Saini and Richa. Yet another thing that the film has done is that it has dared to go ahead without the usually famous battery of comic actors.

The humour, whatever little, that you find comes only from the actors. Actor Gavie Chahal has returned to Punjabi film after Pinkey Mogey Wali. Gavie is a versatile actor and in the film we get to see the comic side of him as well. The good-looking actor is watchable in the film. Karan Sekhon is quite a surprise element. He bares all, his abs and comedy skills. The actor definitely holds potential.

Veer Vashisht, seen in the Punjabi film Burrah, has come a long way as an actor. A slight chiselling here and there is all he needs. Khushboo Grewal is a pleasure to watch, but given her character there is nothing much she could do. Mukul Dev whips up some comic moments, which are terribly painful to bear! Otherwise, there can be no better villain than him in the industry. Flora Saini is another beautiful face on Punjabi screen — only a pretty face and that's it!

The film has a collection of songs, the first one actually appears the minute you have rested your back, the second follows soon for reasons best known to the director. The others come falling by, the reasons also best known to the director! The kidnapping episode is dragged way to long, something the editor could take note of.

No wonder paisa and pyar creates a panga!


The natural click

Snowcapped mountains, clouds over the hills, animals lazing around in the meadows and more…are what 22 students of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur, have put up for display at Punjab Kala Bhawan-16.

The students took a three-day camp with T Narayan and Sanjay Sharma, both known photographers, at Hatu Peak near Narkanada. Beautiful landscape made it a preferred choice for the mentors; children loved their photography mixed with adventure. "We learnt the nuances of photography and also went trekking," share the excited bunch of students at the exhibition that was inaugurated by filmmaker Raj Kumar Gupta. Their mentors share, "The students worked with non-professional cameras and yet could achieve this."


In the service of art
Manpriya Singh

FINE STROKES: Alka Kalra Art that stays restricted to galleries is only exhibits. Unless it leaves the public spaces and moves onto people's homes, it is only a slice of history. While there is no need to go on an overdrive recreating master prints, one must find ways to make art a way of life. "I have been painting from home since 2006; it is only recently that I decided to move onto commercial space with twin objectives.

One was to ensure that there is a place to acquire affordable art and second is to provide a platform to people who would like to train in art," shares Alka Kalra, at the launch of her art studio-cum-training centre AK Studio at Mohali on Thursday. "What makes this art studio stand apart is that everything here is hand-painted, right from dress ensembles, pottery to artifacts." With several knick knacks, pots, miniature paintings, pen stands et al, there is an intention to bride the gap between the exclusive and affordable.

The characteristic Dhaba Series finds space all over the studio — from a vendor frying samosas to the beauty of pans and kettles. There are ubiquitous landscapes and several other. "A couple of landscapes are from my travels to Sikkim and other places by the sea. In one of the pictures taken by the beach, I have tried to depict the serenity of water."

There's a fabric section trying to promote the concept of art that one can wear. "In the fabric section, one can find hand-painted duppatas on Krishna series, with Rajasthani touch, on African tribal art and on flora and fauna. They are priced as reasonably as between Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500, so that whosoever walks in should end up buying something."

While it is an absolute no to replication of any of the classics or well-known works by renowned artists, customization is welcome. "We can always custom-make paintings and landscapes. If somebody comes to us saying that they would like something like a farm scene for a certain size of wall that can always be done." 

star track
Shraddha injures herself

Shraddha Kapoor Shraddha Kapoor is preparing for her next film which is ABCD 2. The actress is training hard for this film in which she plays a dancer.

Shraddha has intensive practice sessions as she has to master various dance styles for this film. While learning an extremely difficult move, Shraddha injured herself.

A source informs, "She has been working towards the split for a couple of days and even before had done a warm up. However, it's a strenuous move and she landed up injuring herself. Shraddha got a muscle pull and was in a lot of pain. She was immediately taken care of and is currently undergoing physiotherapy sessions."

"She has been advised to take rest for a week at least. Shraddha has been working out and undergoing extensive training. She was dejected as she had to forgo her training for such a long period. She has a mapped fitness plan and has been trying to follow it to the tee but this recovery is important. However, even while resting Shraddha has decided to make most of her time. She has been watching dance videos of different forms and trying to understand the knack," adds the source. Her role in ABCD2 is very different from what she has done before. It's a very challenging role and she is getting a chance to learn a lot. She has been giving her 100 per cent to it. Shraddha is keen to get back on her feet as soon as possible so that she can get going with her training.

Shraddha says, "I guess it was a result of over enthusiasm which led to a partial muscle tear. I guess I have to be a lot more careful while rehearsing because it is very important to understand your body and how much you can push it. But I love dancing so much that I'm praying this injury heals quickly."

I guess it was a result of over enthusiasm which led to a partial muscle tear. I guess I have to be a lot more careful while rehearsing because it is very important to understand your body and how much you can push it. But I love dancing so much that I'm praying this injury heals quickly.
— Shraddha Kapoor

Entertaining formula

Fun loving: Johnny Lever Often called King of Comedy, veteran comedian Johnny Lever has acted in more than 400 films. Now the 46-year-old actor-comedian will be next seen in Akshay Kumar-starrer Entertainment. We catch up with him to talk about the film, his role and more...

Tell us about your role...

I play a lawyer who is supposed to protect dog's rights after his owner passes away. His owner has willed his entire property to the dog. I am the in-charge of everything, so everybody needs to come to me. It is a bit serious as well as comical. For me, it was a totally different experience shooting with a dog for the first time. The character is different from what I have done earlier.

How was it shooting with a dog?

It was scary as well as thrilling. I am not used to being around a dog and in the film I'm very fond of dogs. So, I was scared that somehow I don't offend the dog or step on his tail by mistake. But luckily for me, everything went fine.

Is the dog hero of this film?

Definitely. He is no ordinary dog. Everything depended on him while we were shooting. If he wasn't in the mood, we wouldn't shoot and we had to wait. He even had an AC van to himself. So, you can imagine how we treated him on the sets.

You have done so many movies with Akshay Kumar. How is he as a person?

He is a gentleman and very disciplined. He still sleeps by 10 pm and gets up by 5 am. He doesn't drink or smoke. He is very strict about health regime. Being around him makes you admire that dedication.

Your daughter is also into comedy.

Yes, her name is Jamie. She recently started with Comedy Circus and I keep hearing good things about her. Some people even told me that she has overtaken me. It feels nice to hear such things. She is gifted.

Do you feel that the industry has changed?

The only thing permanent in life is change. And if one doesn't change with time then it becomes difficult to survive. But there is a limit to how much one can change. There are certain things that we have learnt from our seniors and those things will never change.

What's next?

I finished shooting for a couple of films which will release soon. I am currently in talks for some roles. I've cut down on films. I've done so much work in the past that now I want to do less but good work.

Hrithik upset over alimony report

Hrithik Roshan Actor Hrithik Roshan has rubbished rumours that his estranged wife Sussanne Roshan has allegedly demanded Rs 400 crore alimony from him. The 40-year-old actor said such "fabricated" stories were "demeaning".

"Fabricated news articles. Demeaning my loved ones. Testing my patience," the Krrish 3 star posted on twitter.

Hrithik and Sussanne, who had called off their marriage in December 2013, filed for divorce in a family court earlier this year. The couple has two children Hrehaan and Hridhaan.

House hunting

Sussanne Khan Sussanne Khan, who is currently renting an apartment in suburban Mumbai, is now looking for a new apartment in another area as she wants an established society. Meanwhile, she has decided to switch to her maiden name which is Khan. Rumour has it that she is even considering moving abroad sometime next year.

Neil’s vanity

Neil Nitin Mukesh got his ears pierced for his grey role in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. He likes the balis, so wears them all the time now.

Two timing

Interestingly actor Tiger Shroff will be seen in two films opposite Shraddha Kapoor. The first will be Sajid Nadiadwala's next and the second is Ekta Kapoor's upcoming production.

Emotional ties

Kangna Ranaut says she is emotionally involved with someone but not physically involved with him yet. She is in a great and happy space.

Family production

Kajol's last film was We Re Family and she will make her comeback with a woman-centric film produced by hubby Ajay Devgn and directed by Ram Madhvani.

A kick goes haywire

Akshay Kumar decided to flaunt his martial arts on the sets of a reality show but his kick injured host Manish Paul. It was an unintentionally funny incident.

chatter box
Tales of heroism
While TV stars remain heroes in their shows, do they exhibit the same bravery in real life? Here are a few of your beloved TV celebrities, sharing their heroic moments

To the rescue: Ruslaan Mumtaz

I was stuck in a traffic jam in Lokhandwala market and I saw a drunken man attacking two women with bricks. They were shouting for help and the only one close enough to stop him was me, but I was in my car, driving. However, I couldn't see him continue his assault on them. So, I hopped out of my car and pushed the drunkard on the road. Believe me, I had to gather a bit of courage to do that. He actually started attacking my car with a brick, but I was satisfied that at least the women were safe. They quickly thanked me and walked away. And I too sat back in the car and moved on. I don't know what was it that helped me find the courage to do such a thing, but it was probably the thought that if it was my mother who was being attacked, I would have definitely expected someone to help if I wasn't around.

Honesty pays: Bakhtiyaar Irani

During our final exams in college, our professor caught me and my batch mate cheating, as the supervisor saw him exchanging a supplement. We were called to the principal's office after submitting our papers. The principal informed my batch mate that he would have to repeat the whole year, as he was caught red-handed. My batch mate tried begging and explaining to the principal that he wasn't the one who was cheating, but his efforts were in vain. He then approached me with teary eyes and said he just couldn't afford to repeat the year as he was flying to the UK for his MBA and that his parents had already paid Rs 4 lakh as his admission fee. I realised that it was cruel of me to blame him for the cheating, when in reality it was me who tried cheating and had asked for his supplement. I finally gathered some courage, walked into the principal's office and told him the real story. He found my bold deed of confessing quite pleasing and decided to let both of us go with a warning.

Water saviour: Sumeet Raghavan

When I was a 12-year-old kid, two of my friends and I had been to the Pransukhlal Mafatlal Hindu Swimming Bath near Churni road for an afternoon swim. One day, I saw an elderly man, in his 70s, going up and down at the deeper end of the pool trying to wave his hand. I deduced that he was probably drowning. Unfortunately, there were hardly any people around; the lifeguard too had gone for his break. My friends and I got out of the pool and ran towards him, one of my friends instantly jumped in the pool and tried dragging the old man out, but he was a little too heavy for a 12-year-old. I looked around and saw a few floaters kept in one corner. I immediately grabbed those and threw them in the pool and as planned, the old man held onto them as we pulled him out. It turned out that the poor old man's back had cramped, which immobilised him. All this literally happened within a matter of 30-40 seconds. At the end of it all, we were very proud of ourselves.

No nonsense: Rajesh Kumar

Once I was in Delhi and after my shoot at night, we were driving towards our hotel and my driver casually overtook a biker. After a few minutes, we realised that the biker was chasing us and he raced ahead of our car and stopped his bike. As a result, my driver too had to hit the brakes. The biker got down, dashed towards my driver and started slapping and abusing him. I saw this and got out of the car to stop that man. As soon as he looked at me trying to hold him back, he retrieved himself, fell on my feet and started saying, "Bhaiya mujhe maaf kar do, galti ho gayi. Agar mujhe patta hota ki yeh aap ki car hai toh main aisa kabhi nahi karta." He went ahead and gave my driver Rs 500 and was walking away when I called out to him and made sure that I put some sense into him. At the end, he genuinely apologised to my driver and realised that what he did wasn't right at all and confessed that he had had a bad day. At the end of it, I felt a sense of satisfaction.

Raj Babbar to make TV debut with Shubhangi

Television seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, as many big screen actors have been making their debuts on the small screen. Now, it's veteran actor Raj Babbar's turn to make his debut on the small screen with Vipul Shah's next show. Our source informs us that the story is about a middle class Punjabi family, in which Raj Babbar and Shubhangi Latkar will be seen playing Ranvijay's parents. The story will show the conflicts between a father and a son and how a mother plays the bridge. While Ranvijay was last seen on Roadies on television, Shubhangi is currently doing Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se. She is also playing Kareena Kapoor's mother in Singham Returns.

Gutthi in Bigg Boss?

After Palak became a participant in Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa, it seems actors of Comedy Nights With Kapil are being borrowed by the channel for their other hit shows. Buzz is that Sunil Grover, who now is back in CNWK, has been approached for Bigg Boss 8.

All praise for Kapil!

Amitabh Bachchan is busy with KBC's next season and helping him with that is comedian Kapil Sharma. Bachchan revealed that via his post saying, "So episodes over; it's rehearsals for the Surat show with some incomparable people like Kapil Sharma." Kapil will be part of the opening episode.

Karan helps out Divyanka

It is common for actors to be harassed by either the paparazzi, an anonymous fan or just about anyone. And this is not only outside their house or at public places, now they have started harassing stars on the sets!

Recently on the sets of Star Plus' show Ye Hai Mohabbatein, Divyanka, who essays the role of Ishita, played true to her character and decided to ignore an anonymous man who misbehaved with her. She excused him as he smelt of alcohol. But when her onscreen partner Raman aka Karan found out, he decided to take the matter in his hands and teach the drunken man a lesson. Karan went up to the man and bashed him up till others intervened; ultimately they handed him over to the police. When asked, Divyanka shared, "I am not a violent person and as the man was drunk, I decided to ignore. But when Karan stood up for me, I felt good. "

Karan added, "I can't tolerate such ill-mannered people, especially when someone misbehaves with a woman." 

Astro Turf
p Khurrana

ARIES: Your card "Two of Cups" suggests that romance will be on your mind. Independent efforts are unlikely to bring spectacular gains. You might have to cancel a proposed trip to avoid friction tonight. Tarot message: Act righteously and do your duties on time. Lucky colour: Pink Magic number: 57

TAURUS: Spiritual values surface. Taxation matters will be adjourned. Check the behavior of your spouse secretly. The personal and professional areas of your life might be at odds. Tarot message: Leave things open-ended for best results. Lucky colour: Golden Magic number: 65

GEMINI: Social activities accelerate. Co-workers are helpful. Professionals: your clientele increases. A love relationship is revitalised. Pursuing romance into the realms of commitment makes for joyous celebrations. Tarot message: Take things slow. Lucky colour: Red Magic number: 30

CANCER: Your card "The King" brings joyous news. Share your interests with your family members. Legal matters come to the fore. A good day for purchasing a vehicle. Tarot message: Try to get rid of negative feelings through love. Lucky colour: Crimson Magic number: 33

LEO: Check your e-mails and appointments before setting out this morning and you won't miss anything important. Chances are you will get a message mixed up and have to redo something at some stage or other. Tarot message: Do not stray from your course. Lucky colour: White Magic number: 61

VIRGO: Bring routine matters up to date. You need to be alert and responsive. An Aquarian figures prominently. Evening time is good for purchasing ornaments. Read a good book at bed time. Tarot message: Don't be too certain about obtaining clearance. Lucky colour: Mauve Magic number: 44

LIBRA: Focus on spirituality and meditation. You may find that a journey undertaken now is subject to delays. Avoid social gatherings in the evening. Students: enjoy in the campus. Tarot message: Win the war  with honesty. Lucky colour: Saffron Magic number: 29

SCORPIO: Work and domestic duties follow a familiar pattern today. You will find it difficult to reach an agreement with the loved ones. Family members will be quick-tempered and too willing to criticise you. Tarot message: Delays are the only obstacle. Lucky colour: Green. Magic number: 63

SAGITTARIUS: Employment affairs may be somewhat unsettled, especially in the morning. Factory owners: you will not be able to get co-operation from labour. Tarot message: Leave the past in the past. Lucky colour: Yellow Magic number: 52

CAPRICORN: Mental work will be stimulating today. Be a little cautious about whom you get involved with. Women: beware of strangers. Early memories can surface, arousing nasty emotions. Tarot message: Handle others carefully. Lucky colour: Purple Magic number: 36

AQUARIUS: Business matters will not proceed smoothly, as you may have hoped. Attempt to improve your health will be successful. Tension builds and tempers can fray. An irritating co-worker can push you to your limits. Tarot message: Don't give up your freedom. Lucky colour: Orange Magic number: 40

PISCES: It would be wise to keep work and domestic matters distinctly separate. Students: time spent on studying will not go waste. Useful day for tackling household repairs. Girls: be at your charming best. Tarot message: You are on the right track. Lucky colour: Peach. Magic number: 26

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is August 2

Number two is the mediator and peace-lover. It indicates the desire for harmony. It is a gentle, considerate, and sensitive vibration. Ruled by the moon, you will be diplomatic, warm, peaceful and sensitive. If expressed negatively: too dependent, manipulative and passive-aggressive. A superior is resentful towards you, but you are unsure why. Don't take this personally; it's due to his or her personal problems. You'll be surprisingly nice and this will attract the attention of a very introverted person, who will be interested in you. You would continue to have a very high level of activity in love life despite the pressures and preoccupation. Love and relationships will also remain busy and very fulfilling. If married, you also might have involvements outside and you also need to keep your relationships steady with the spouse.

Positive colours: White, sky blue, pink and light grey
Select days: Sunday and Monday
Favourable numbers: 1, 4, 2 and 7
Gems recommended: Pearl, Opel and White Sapphire
Charity on birthday: Donate blue washing soap, detergent, utensils, to the needy.

You share your birthday with Sam Worthington (Samuel Worthington), who was born on August 2, 1976, in Perth, Australia. He appeared in lead role in the movie Somersault and it earned him the Australian Film Institute's Best Lead Actor Award. He was also in a prime role in the remake of Macbeth.

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