On a clean slate 
After the physically draining and gastronomically overwhelming season of festivities, you need a detox regime for your peace of mind and body 

If the days of frantic shopping and binging, coupled with customary socialising has left you drained, a detox is what you need! On a guilt trip for overindulging, there are chances that one ends up taking steps that further put the body and mind under strain. That makes 'what you must not do' gain significance over 'what to do'.

Here a quick low-down on how you can chart your way to a healthy, happy you till Christmas and New Year are ready to knock you down once all over again!

What not to do

If the sumptuous sweetmeats, fried savouries and delectable food with pizza, burger liberally thrown in have played havoc with your diet plan, skipping meals and turning away from all that you like would further be detrimental for your health. Start with plenty of water, lukewarm would be better. Sip through the day as oily food and alcohol strip body of its hydration which is a must for it to function well. Next, yes, the gifting business might have filled your home with loads of clutter, start to de-clutter only once you have rested enough. If you have disrupted your sleep cycle, time to go back to routine. Sleeping late isn't the best option here, warns Sapna Manchanda, Chandigarh- based psychotherapist. "Rather wake up early, enjoying your morning cup of tea or coffee before chores of the personal and professional nature overwhelm you. Your first cuppa it in the company of nature would boost your mood. Rather, take an afternoon siesta and sleep early."

What to do

Two basics here are what most experts agree on-nourish the body and get some light exercise. To make up for the extra load you have put on your digestive system, cut back on sugar, aerated drinks and fried stuff. Dietician Pooja Gupta recommends small, frequent meals. "Pick up the seasonal fruits for they are rich on fibre and are natural sweeteners." Keep meals light. "Add up light soups and sautéed vegetables rather than typical heavy khana." Go slim on cereals, replacing rotis with light daals, paneer, sabji, all three cooked with minimum oil and masalas. "Boiled with bit of seasoning would suffice," offers Pooja.

Walk a mile

We are blessed to be in Chandigarh with gardens nearby whichever sector you live; it's time to make most of it. "Walking not gets your body some exercise but does good to one's state of mind too. Try walking alone, not thinking too much. Try enjoying every moment, every step observing the view surroundings offer. Breathe in nature, breathe out stress," suggests Sapna. If you practice yoga, even better for it helps as much the body as the mind. Though Diwali was mid-week, the weekend is here. Get together with your friends or take kids along for a friendly football match. If home is where your heart is, aerobics together could be another option. Sapna strongly recommends a short picnic in nearby hills or even your community park, "Take a natural food basket, filled with raw fruits and vegetable. It sure would boost your mood and metabolism both."

Aren't we aiming at that?


Boost your immunity

Post festive season also puts one under the threat to catching a bug, naturopath Betty Nangia helps us with a quick detox recipe: Make chutney with tomato, a small karela (peels and seeds inclusive), onion, garlic, coriander leaves and cucumber. Spice it with black salt, cumin, black pepper and a pinch of cinnamon. "Not only it cuts the fat but also an all natural immunity booster," assures Betty. Carrots, yoghurt, spinach and broccoli are other easily available immunity boosters.

Wheel of fortune
In his latest hit single Truck, singer-actor Ravinder Grewal dons a desi avatar
Jasmine Singh

He likes to sit by the flowing river, but moving along the current is something that he wouldn't do in the first go. For singer- actor Ravinder Grewal, trend is something any individual can create. This clearly means he doesn't follow the popular tide blindly. When most of the singer-actors these days are going the jazzy way, this singer comes up with a blend of desi and modern in his latest single Truck Ravinder Grewal.

The single is already creating waves with his fans who pretty much like him in his desi truckwala avatar and of course the comic Ravinder. The track Sade kehra chalde truck is conceptualised and directed Atharv Baluja, the director who has been working with Ravinder for a long time and also brought the singer's comic side out in his debut film Aavain Raula Pai Gaya.

Since he is creating his own ripples, 'if not waves' as Ravinder puts it, is there any risk involved in doing things 'his way'?

"Punjabi film and music industry is a vast arena and there is space for everyone. So, each one has a choice to sing what they want to and the end result lies with the audience. I believe in something that I am completely convinced about, whether or not it matches the trend or goes with the current," the singer philosophises it.

Ravinder ensures all his tracks are different in look and sound new as well. However, there is one common factor in all his numbers.

"Lyrics is what makes or breaks a song and then comes the execution of the concept. I am not against the experimentation of music or the video, it should gel, it should click and make sense," he shares adding another main point. "It should be neat and enjoyable. From youngsters to elders everyone should sway with the song. That is possible only if the lyrics are catchy and easy on ears."

With most singers already realising the pluses behind releasing single tracks rather than working on an album, Ravinder wants to look at it objectively. "Single tracks only help a singer to formulate a collection of songs within months, almost the same time an album would take. Single tracks also allow a singer to know whether his style is being liked or not and then of course it keeps him or her in circulation."

For Ravinder, who believes in taking the spiritual path when he has to make decisions, competition is word coined to enhance performance. "If you are good then you are good, and your work will speak about it." Making an external effort doesn't figure in his scheme of things. "Giving my best does," says he clearly. Coming to the video of his recent track, Truck, Ravinder gives the credit to the director, Atharv Baluja, who he thinks understands his song and the theme like the back of his hand, the lyricvist Jarnail Malhi and music director DJ Flow. Adds Atharv, who has shot the video near Leh, "This is one of the few Punjabi songs that has been shot in Leh. We hired a truck, painted it in bright colours and used it in the song. The song was later converted in a cartoon book. I have tried to give it a light look." For Ravinder and Atharv it is the coordination in a team that accentuates the song. "I understand him and he understands me," laughs Ravinder, "So, half the work is done, the rest is shooting and preparing the final print."

Ravinder is planning to do another film with Atharv. "The script is ready, we have to finalise a couple of things. And before this, I still have some videos to do," shares Ravinder. Who says moving against the tide can't be fun..!


the ‘in’ side
Go the Zen way
Render the aura of your home serene with a Japanese decor

In today's hectic life, one wants a calm and serene environment at home to come back and unwind. The easiest way to do this is by simplifying our interiors. People looking to simplify their homes should look towards Japanese décor. With a strong focus on clean lines and negative space, Asian-inspired interiors are as calm as it gets.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve this look; Keep it serene: According to the Buddhist principle of Zen, to which many Japanese people subscribe, a calm environment is essential when trying to achieve enlightenment. Elements of serenity often come from nature. Japanese culture is saturated in a love and respect for nature. The best way to maintain a strong connection with the natural world is to bring nature indoors. Try to incorporate a stone wall in your master bathroom shower or add floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors to let light from the outside stream in. Even if you can't make huge changes to the space, a few small houseplants can liven up any living space. Add a lot of bamboo, palms, orchids and bonsais to get the right look.

Add a focal point: Keep in mind that a focal point does not have to refer to just one element. Sometimes it can refer to a collection of elements that define the room's purpose. Think about grouping two pieces of furniture to create a seating area in your living room or keeping your dining table as a focus in the dining room. Once you have your focal point, arrangement is the key. Japanese interiors are all about symmetry and balance. Focus on creating mirror images when putting your furniture and accessories in place.

Minimalistic furniture: In Japanese décor you will find the furniture to be very simple and minimalistic. You will never find overstuffed sofas or ornate furniture. Furniture must have straight lines and as far as possible, should be made of natural materials. Make sure you choose furniture that is low.

Wood and Bamboo: One of the best ways to harmonise with nature is to add natural wooden elements to your home. Try bringing natural wooden elements into your home by adding a bamboo floor or a wooden screen. You will love the serene, calming effect that clean-lined wood elements can add to your home.

Add a Shoji: An authentic Japanese screen is called a Shoji, and it is an essential design element in Japanese homes. It is usually made of fine translucent paper held inside a wooden frame. However, modern versions of these screens can be found and are usually made of glass panels inside a wooden grid. Another key element of these screens is that, unlike doors, they do not block the natural light and views of nature. Replacing a large expanse of wall with a glass-paneled sliding door could be a great way to incorporate this style into your own home.

Colour code: Black and white colours are commonly used as the neutral base of a room, but bamboo can also be considered a neutral since it is so popular in Japanese homes. When it comes time to pick secondary colours, all you have to do is look out the window. Japanese interiors take inspiration from nature. You'll want to focus on rich browns, leafy greens and stone grays. When choosing shades, pick a muted tone over one that is especially bold. In Japanese culture, red is associated with life, energy, and vitality, so you will often see red hues incorporated throughout a design scheme. Choose red as your accent colour and use it to draw attention to the design elements you love most.

Texture and contrast: Adding texture keeps the room from getting too dull and boring. Look for items that will bring a lot of texture to the space and make them as contrasting as possible. For example, woven mats on top of highly polished wooden floors or arranging small pebbles inside of a glass vases on your coffee table.

The entry: The Japanese entry is called a genkan. This is the area that greets visitors and also the place where shoes are immediately taken off, and usually replaced with indoor slippers. Entrances must always be uncluttered and full of natural light. Heavy draperies are also a big no-no. All they do is block the natural light. Try keeping your windows clear of any obstruction, but if this is not possible, then opt for a simple bamboo shade or sheer, curtain panels.

Quiet space: Try diving deep into the peaceful Japanese culture by creating a truly serene space in your home that is meant for mediating, having tea or doing yoga. Find a quiet place in your own home to lay out a floor cushion for meditating or just sitting and relaxing. Don't forget to add a water feature, so its trickle will drown away all distracting noises.

Paint the room in calming greens or browns, add some live greenery, play some calming music and you will have your very own Zen hideaway. If there isn't any room available to create this hideaway, you can design a Zen garden in your backyard and get the meditating space you need.

(Sukhmani is a Chandigarh-based interior and landscape designer)

first-day-first show
Only a bit of happiness

A still from Happy new year Directed by Farah Khan and produced by Gauri Khan, under the banner of Red Chillies Entertainment, Happy New Year is a Bollywood action-comedy-drama film. The film features an ensemble cast, which includes Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah, Sonu Sood and Jackie Shroff.

Predictable story

This film, like any other Farah Khan, film is a typical masala movie and only entertains in parts.

Puneet Singh, student

Nothing great

I did not like the film very much. It's all right, but the script fails to engage the audience. Also, I did not like the concept and story of the film.

Jaspal Singh, student

Half-baked affair

I did not like the film at all. Neither does it have a good story line nor is it entertaining.

Amanbir Singh, student

(As told to Amarjot Kaur)

Classical notes
Musician Pt Arvind Sharma from the Gwalior Gharana opines that the media has commercialised music 
Amarjot Kaur

Pandit Arvind Sharma Pandit Arvind Sharma, who has served as the head of the music department at the Panjab University, is a true representative of the Gwalior Gharana. As he prepares to perform at the 37th Chandigarh Sangeet Sammelan at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan on Friday, we catch up with him for his views on contemporary music and more. "You see, change is life," begins Pt Sharma. "I do not think classical music has lost its sheen, but it certainly has been overshadowed by the popular music, which I refer to as the junk," he adds.

Pt Sharma, who has been awarded with the Haryana Kala Vibhuti Samman by Sanskar Bharti, rues that the media has commercialised music and made a commodity for those who are making money out it. "With media giving people many options to be entertained, the quality of content, especially that of music, has suffered largely," he shares. However, he applauds the efforts of channels like DD Bharti and Doordarshan, which, he says, are still trying to keep the traditional music alive.

He also praises the current students of music. "I have noticed that those who come to study music at the University are quite eager to learn and put in the effort required to study classical music," he says. He also justifies the likes of those who prefer to listen to classical music. "Classical music is like classic literature and those who listen to classical music with a studied ear truly appreciate it," he smiles.

While talking of fusion music that is served at latforms like Coke Studio, Balcony TV, and Nescafe Basement, Pt Sharma highlights the significance of learning the grammar of classical and Western music in order to fuse the two. "Fusion is a heavy task and it requires much more that one thinks or else the music sounds like a mix of half-baked notes, almost jarring to the ears. I really like what Niladri Kumar of Kolkata does. That's good fusion music," he says. His opinion of Bollywood music remains candid, "New songs are like an SMS and a lesson in slang English; easy and unstructured. I like the compositions by AR Rahman and the songs that came till the 80s."

Pt Sharma, who has already penned a book on the music of Punjab, shares that he is now working on his second book. "I will soon be releasing my second book titled Sangeet Udharak Pt Vishnu Digambar Palusar."


green thumb
Not a bed of roses
satish narula

It is festival time now, but the celebrations for the gardeners extend till spring when the garden is at its best. However, the best of results are not achieved easily. One has to work for it and the planning has to be perfect. Small things make a big difference. Now when you are making beds to transplant new seedlings, be sure you have added proper nutrition. Add two small baskets of well-rotten farmyard manure in a bed of two feet by ten feet dimensions. Also add to the soil one kilo of di-ammonium phosphate in the same bed. Mix all the ingredients well, pour water and leave the bed for about a week.

At the time of transplanting winter seedlings, it is very important to make the level like a table-top. Even a slightest gradient will wash away nutrients and the bed will never be uniform. While procuring the seedlings, get some extra plants and place these in the same bed on one side. These plants will also grow with other seedlings and be of the same age as well as size when some of these will be shifted to fill gaps. When the seedlings are planted, the bed should be watered with a gentle stream through a hosepipe. When a fast stream pipe is kept in the bed, the soil gets washed and there appears a pit. Usually, some of the seedlings also get uprooted or loosened in soil. The growth of such seedlings is impaired and they are weak. In case the flow of water in the hosepipe is fast, either keep it away from the bed allowing water to flow into the bed or put a brick in front of it to break the pressure. You can also tie a cloth at the opening to make the stream gentle.

While planning or purchasing the seedlings, you must know what you are buying. You can make combinations for similarity or contrast and ask for a particular size of a particular species when fully grown. Do the planting according to the size, making two or three tiers in the same bed.

(Narula is a Chandigarh-based horticulturist and landscapist)

star track
Sharman super excited with nani

Sharman Joshi and Rekha in Super Nani Sharman Joshi's last two films, Gang Of Ghosts and War Chhod Na Yaar, might not have worked at the box-office but the actor is quite excited about his latest film. He is a part of Rekha's upcoming film Super Nani, and he's really looking forward to it. It will release on October 31. He tells us more.

Masala with message

Super Nani is an adaption of a Gujarati play to which Induji (director Indra Kumar) had bought the rights many years ago. I readily agreed to be in the film. The film is a family drama yet it is edgy and novel. The film is progressive in its thinking and at the same time, retains certain Indian traditional values. The film is quite different from the play. Theatre has its own limitations in terms of the canvas. With films, you can adapt something and take it to another level. The soul remains the same but Induji has brought in a lot of changes. Super Nani is narrated in Indra Kumar style, so it's an entertaining masala and a paisa vasool film.

No sex comedies

I won't be comfortable doing sex comedies. It's not my zone. I know Indra Kumar is known for sex comedies but I can't do sex comedies because I get uncomfortable. I enjoy watching sex comedies like Induji's Grand Masti and others, but I can't do it as an actor. I am scared to do them because personally I am very boring.

Acting with Rekha

It was a wonderful experience to work with Rekhaji. The discipline that she follows in taking care of herself is so evident. At this age she looks breathtakingly gorgeous. She is the ultimate diva. I really enjoyed working with her. She is very easy to work with. I was in love with her as a young boy. I loved her in films like Khoobsurat, Muqaddar Ka Sikander and many others.

Family angle

Randhirji and Rekhaji had done a lot of films together in the past and it was a delight to work with these legends. Randhir Kapoor and I are kind of related to each other but it's a far off relationship. He would often joke on the sets in his loud voice, 'Aree yeh toh mera rishtedar hai (He is my relative).' He was a live wire on the sets. He kept the mood jovial and happy. It was a treat to watch the camaraderie between Randhirji and Rekhaji.

No complaints

My recent films didn't do well but that's all part of the game. I don't have any complaints. I can't expect every film to do well. I feel sad and dejected, but you have to get moving. My last two films (Gang of Ghosts and War Chhod Na Yaar) were failures. I think I learnt a lot more from the failures than the success of Ferrari Ki Saawari.

Renee looks brand new!

Chicago actress Renee Zellweger was unrecognisable at a recent appearance at an event and she says she loves her new look.

The 45-year-old actress has shot down plastic surgery rumours and said her happy life is the reason behind her different look.

"I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows," she said.

"People don't know me in my 40s. People don't know me as healthy for a while. Perhaps I look different. Who doesn't as they get older?! Ha. But I am different. I'm happy," she added.

More relaxing activities and happy relationship with her boyfriend Doyle Bramhall apparently contributed to her new look.

"My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy. For a long time I wasn't doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn't allow for taking care of myself.

"Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion. I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things," Zellweger added. — PTI

Anushka’s second production

Anushka Sharma's NH10 is yet to release but she and her brother Karnesh are ready to shoot another film next year. It will be a road trip shot abroad and will be directed by Navdeep Singh again. She is one of the youngest actresses to turn producer.

Bed rest for Bhansali’s cast

The shooting of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani has been stalled because Priyanka Chopra has an eye infection and Ranveer Singh has torn a ligament. Both are resting. Shooting will resume after Diwali.

Working holiday for Shahid

Shahid Kapoor is away from home this Diwali as he is shooting for Vikas Bahl's upcoming film Shandaar outside Mumbai. He celebrated the festival on the sets with father Pankaj Kapur and sister Sana. They are shooting for the film.

A glittering affair 
Court, Chauranga and Killa bag top honours at 16th Mumbai Film Festival

Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao Painting a whole new world of cinema, creativity and master classes, the 16th Mumbai Film Festival organised by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) traversed from screens straight to the cine goers' hearts.

The festival saw exemplary success and drew to a close with assurance to return next year with more glitz and glamour. The award ceremony was sponsored by Star India.

The closing night sparkled in the presence of celebrities such as Madhuri Dixit, Vaani Kapoor, Esha Gupta, Parineeti Chopra and Anushka Sharma joined by business world stalwarts, including Ajay Bijli, Chairman PVR, Gayatri Yadav, CMO, Star India, among others and the coveted members of the Jury.

The day saw the best of world cinema being screened across the two venues (PVR Andheri and Cinemax Versova), including Broken Hill Blues, 71, Macondo , Theeb , Coming Home, Nymphomaniac Volume I and II, Jack, I Am Not Him, Pride, Black Coal, Thin Ice, Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Goodbye to Language — 3D and Farewell among others.

Special gesture 
Screening of PK for Sanjay Dutt

Actor Aamir Khan who Thursday unveiled the teaser of his upcoming movie PK said he was planning a special screening of the film for fellow actor Sanjay Dutt who is currently in jail.

Sanjay Dutt has a prominent role in PK.

Asked if the team was planning to hold a special screening for Sanjay Dutt, Aamir Khan said: "I was talking about this with Raj Kumar Hirani... we have this thing in mind. We are planning to have a special screening for Sanjay but depending on the permission. We will try our best."

On the tussle over release dates, Aamir Khan said: "I think we all actors, Salman (Khan), Hrithik (Roshan), Ajay (Devgn) don't release our films on the same date. We want each and every film to do well."

Directed by Raj Kumar Hirani, PK features Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma and Sushant Singh Rajput among others. Anushka said her look would be very different in the film. "I am excited about this film and I have a new look in the film. I have been getting lots of compliments for the new hairstyle. People are liking it."

Aamir Khan also said content was the backbone of his new film. "Content is the backbone of PK. But with this film, we have worked a lot on our posters." — IANS

36 years and counting

Filmmaker Subhash Ghai, whose film production company, Mukta Arts behind hits like Ram Lakhan, Karz, Khalnayak, Taal, celebrated its 36th anniversary on Friday.

Named after the 69-year-old director-producer's wife Mukta Rahane, the company has produced 41 Bollywood films till date.

"36th anniversary today of Mukta Arts. Produced 41 films with 15 films directed by me... still going still strong. My gratitude to all in Mukta," Ghai posted on twitter.

"Mukta arts produced its first film Karz in 1978 and produced many big blockbusters in the next 30 years out of which many are being remade in 2015," he added. Ghai also revealed that the muhurat shot of all of the films take place on this date (October 24). — PTI

New pair

Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif will star in a futuristic love story produced by Excel Entertainment and directed by newbie Nitya Mehra. Aamir Khan had turned down the movie due to financial reasons. The shooting begins next year.

Action time

Ajay Devgn and Prabhu Dheva-starrer Action Jackson, which features Sonakshi Sinha, Yaami Gautam and newcomer Manasvi Mamgai, will release on December 5.

Competition for Baby

Akshay Kumar-starrer Baby will release on the same day as Vishesh Films' Khamoshiyan starring Ali Fazal and bunch of newcomers on January 26, 2015. Both films are as different as chalk and cheese. 

chatter box
On top of the world

The contestants at the Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva Universe 2014 Noyonita Lodh from Bengaluru has been crowned Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva Universe 2014. She was announced as the winner of the prestigious title by former Miss Universe Lara Dutta. The 21-year-old pretty model was crowned with the Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva Universe pageant at the grand finale recently.

She bagged the title after beating 14 finalists across India. Noyonita, who was educated from Bengaluru's Frank Anthony Public School and St Joseph's College of Commerce, strongly believes in women empowerment. The Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva Universe pageant finale event was anchored by former beauty queen-turned-Bollywood actress Lara Dutta, and was judged by a panel of elite personalities from different walks of life, including Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, actress Esha Gupta and ace designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil, who had designed outfits for the models on the final day.

A heroic search

A still from Baal Veer The makers of television show Baal Veer are now on a campaign to find children who reflect the personality traits of Baal Veer — the cosmic superhero.

As part of Main Bhi Baalveer, the title character will travel across the country and meet fans from different regions. Kids who have done a good deed can nominate themselves (they need to describe the good deed in a storyline format) or someone from their side for the award.

The channel will honour and encourage brave children through this initiative. To do a good deed, one needs strength and courage to see it through. Bravery and courage could come in any form — standing for or against something, reaching out or helping the elderly and helpless in situations of physical distress, correcting or keeping in check citizens who are misbehaving or not following certain rules.

Dev Joshi, who plays Baal Veer on the show, says, "It's a wonderful experience connecting with children who idolise Baal Veer. I am glad that it encourages them to do the right thing and be an ideal citizen of the country. With this initiative, I am sure we will get to meet brave children who will be rewarded for their acts of bravado." Candidates can send entries by registering on www.sabtv.com.

Baal Veer airs from Monday to Friday at 8 pm on SAB TV.

Workout in a saree!

Rishina Kandhari, who plays Malvika in Uttaran, is one fitness freak. She is into gymming, gymnastics, jogging and swimming. However, she has hectic shoot schedules and can't indulge in all these activities regularly. So, she carries dumbbells on the set. She says, "Sometimes I miss my gym due to busy schedule of my shoot, so to be on the safer side I carry dumbbells to the set. So whenever I get time, I work-out on the set".

So, how difficult is it? She says, "It's not difficult doing dumbbells in a saree; when Rani Laxmi Bai can fight a battle in a sari can't I do dumbbells! I can't be changing clothes, as one can be called for a shot anytime depending upon the sequence. Actor Manav Gohil, who was my co-star in the show Aank Micholi, used to work-out with me on the set." Despite having a daughter, she maintains such a fitness regimen! "My husband is in love with my curves," she quips. "I work, I cook and I workout and I even flaunt my body when required; I believe in a balanced life. Time management is the most important part of my life,” she adds.

Second innings

A stiil from Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki TV show Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki, which featured Shraddha Arya and Sudeep Sahir, is all set to return with a new season after a gap of two years. According to the buzz, the makers have approached Sridevi for the latest season.

Big screen for Pravesh

Actor Pravesh Rana, who hosts reality show Emotional Atyachar, made his Bollywood debut with Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns last year. He has now signed his second film and it's the sequel of Tanu Weds Manu. He is currently in Lucknow shooting for the film.

Astro turf
P. Khurrana

ARIES: Relax with your mate in the evening; it's just the antidote for the trials and 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: The day will be exciting. Conquer your fear and take a chance. You will be worried about certain family issues and need to take out time to sort things out. Tarot message: Outline your goals ahead of time. Lucky colour: Red. Magic number: 28.

GEMINI: 'The Queen of Pentacles' blesses you with the finest of quiet and subtle qualities today. Things happen quickly and you need to take sharp 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 good news on the cards. You will be in a relaxed and happy mood. If you need to take any personal decisions, go with your gut feeling. Be wary of making purchases from unknown websites. 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. Spending time with family will bring about a sense of peace and well-being. Tarot message: Beware of depleting your energy or resources on others. Lucky colour: Green. Magic number: 46.

VIRGO: "The Magician" conjures up some travel and business opportunities. Partnership, business problems, past disappointments - all need your attention today. Stop waiting for the right time to attend to them. Tarot message: Trust your heart and intuition. Lucky colour: Sky-blue. Magic number: 54.

LIBRA: It is a fine time to make a public speech or presentation. Business deals are on the boil, but still inconclusive. If you need a high pay package, speak to your boss. Tarot message: Avoid frictions with business partners. Lucky colour: Brown. Magic number: 62.

SCORPIO: It looks like a very busy day ahead, but any partying and indulgence of previous evenings will be catching up with you. Your chances of success are better today than ever before. Tarot message: Be firm and stand your ground. Lucky colour: Pink. Magic number: 59.

SAGITTARIUS: The Prince of Wands rides in his flaming chariot of gold to instigate dynamic changes at work. Don't trust unreliable friends or relatives. Travelling will yield valuable information. Tarot message: Do not fall for rash promises. Lucky colour: Purple. Magic number: 52.

CAPRICORN: Today mixing with friends can be 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 with your mate or partner. Tarot message: Consolidate your gains. Lucky colour: Grey. Magic number: 58.

AQUARIUS: Passionate emotions are likely to accompany your actions and you might be more impulsive than usual. New ideas and ventures provide scope for expansion. Tarot message: Lack of confidence or caution can leave you in losses. Lucky colour: Rust. Magic number: 45.

PISCES: 'The Hanged Man' helps you move into a new and better situation. Spirituality beckons and you are inclined to finding 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.

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is October 25...

Your birth on the 25th modifies your life path by giving you some special interest in technical, scientific or other complex, and often hard to understand, subjects. You can become something of a perfectionist and a stickler for details. Your thinking is logical and intuitive; rational and responsible. Your feelings can run deep, but you are not very likely to let them show. This birthday makes you a more private person, more introspective and perhaps more inflexible. In friendships you are very cautious and reserved. You are probably inventive, and given to unique approaches and solutions. Keep your patience as your continuous efforts, coupled with common sense and understanding, will guarantee your success. Opportunities to show your skills will be available to you.

Positive colors: White, Cream, Yellow.

Select days: Monday, Sunday.

Favourable numbers: 2, 7.

Gems recommended: Pearl, Diamond.

Charity on birthday: Gift a gold item to your sister.

You share your birthday with Navneet Nishan (October 25, 1965), who is best known for her role as Tara in the soap opera by the same name. According to her stars, Navneet has more scope in writing and direction.

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