Friday, August 22, 2008

Punjab women getting into the world of glamour

Gone are the days when women in Punjab were simply sitting at home and looking after the family. They had always been known as looking after their health as well as their beauty, which distinguished them from other women of the country. They have made it big in various fields and gracefully topped the world of glamour. One after the other, Punjab has offered several women in the arena of fashion. They now serve as a role model for other women, who too wish to take some initiative to enhance their beauty. The beauty is very much in keeping with the latest trends. As for now it's that of coloured hair and the women of Punjab are very much a part of this fad.

"Punjab, in our opinion, is one of the most buoyant markets, when it comes to beauty products, when it comes to lifestyle oriented products. As you have people who are really very beautiful and want to enhance their beauty further. You have people who have disposable income and people having the intent to spend that money. It's a very important market for us. It's a fast growing market. In terms of per capita consumption of cosmetics, it's one of the highest in the country," said Vismey Sharma, director of beauty saloon chain.

Many believe that this sudden interest in beauty enhancement methods has a lot to do with the ongoing trend, which demands that a woman should look at her best, always. With the affect, Beauty awareness is growing in both rural and urban Punjab. To cater for the Punjabi girl's desire to look beautiful, parlours have mushroomed in smaller cities and even villages of Punjab. " The biggest benefit is that earlier the women (of rural Punjab) had to go to some big city like Chandigarh, but now it's (saloon) nearby and hence, saves a lot of money. One doesn't have to go to any other city every time," said Neena, from rural Punjab. All said and done, Punjab's women are out to be number one!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Corridor to Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara could be another Indo-Pak CBM

Indian External Affairs Minister said that the building of a tarred corridor between the Dera Baba Nanak in India and the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan Narowal District, could serve as a possible confidence building measure between the two countries. Indian Minsiter was visiting Dera Baba Nanak at the invitation of Punjab Chief Minister to assess the feasibility of the corridor to facilitate pilgrims.

Indian Minister said it was necessarily to create a good relationship with Pakistan, as "We have already opened two routes with Pakistan and are ready to open more routes so that more people come and know each other, and remove existing misunderstandings."

The minister announced that the Indian Government would send a group of experts to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of the much in demand corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur Sahib. He said the team would submit a report to the government, following which the matter would be discussed with Pakistan. If Islamabad agreed to proposed project, it would be immediately implemented, he added. Mukherjee visit to the border was welcomed by various Sikh organizations.

Once the corridor was in place, Sikh devotees could enjoy a hassle-free sikh pilgrimage, instead of taking the circuitous journey via Wagah, Lahore and Narowal. The region would also experience heightened economic and sikh tourism activity as a result. Sikh pilgrims have been demanding a safe passage to the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib from Dera Baba Nanak for years.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bidar Nanak Jheera Gurudwara, a beacon for devotees

Gurudwara Nanak Jhira Bidar is emerging as an important spiritual tourism destination. The Nanak Jhira Gurudwara here attracts hundreds of tourists every day. Every day thousand of devotees from across the country visit this gurudwara. Devotees believe that the first Sikh Guru visited Bidar on his way to Sri Lanka in March 1512. "Then, Bidar was a dry place with no source of drinking water. People were forced to use brackish water. The Guru moved a stone under his feet and an eternal spring of fresh water gushed out. The spring flows even today. People believe it has magical powers and cures diseases," says Amar Singh Ragi, the gurudwara manager.

Sahib Singh, one of the `Panch Pyares' of Sikhism, was born in Bidar. That is why it attracts devotees from far and wide, he says. The gurudwara trust runs a hospital and a free canteen for tourists.

`Nishan Sahib,' the flag of Sikhism, which is treated as a symbol of the gurus, enjoys a special place during the celebrations of Guru Nanak Jayanti. Every year, hundreds of flags are brought from various gurudwaras in the country. Devotees from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh walk along with the Nishan Sahib and take turns to carry it to Bidar. The faithful start reading sacred texts on the eve of Kartik Purnima. The chanting of songs and couplets goes on till 2.30 a.m., when firecrackers are burst to celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak. People take a dip at Amrit Kund, a small artificial pond in front of the gurudwara. They join in the singing of bhajans. Next day, they take out a procession in town.

"Bidar has come to be known as the Amritsar of the South and has become a compulsory stopover for Sikh tourists," says Bidar-based businessmen and gurudwara volunteer Manpreet Singh Khanuja. "It draws not only Sikhs living in different parts of the country, but also people of other faiths. The State Government needs to promote Bidar as an important tourist destination and provide more facilities," Mr. Khanuja said.

Bhagat Singh stands tall in Parliament

A statue of Bhagat Singh was unveiled at Parliament House, in New Delhi. Bhagat Singh made a grand reentry into the Indian Parliament this morning. Almost 80 years after he dropped the bomb in the Central Assembly Hall to “make the deaf hear,” the martyr came home to a warm and well-deserved welcome.

Heartening it was to see that he looked tall and turbaned, and every inch himself. The visit was, however, different from his last when, on April 8, 1929, he stormed Parliament to accomplish a revolutionary mission. At that time, he was sporting a hat to conceal his identity.

But today when President Pratibha Patil unveiled Bhagat Singh’s statue in courtyard number 5, his appearance was in consistence with his cultural identity. The turban and the smile were both in place.

“This, for us, is a historic moment that marks grand repetition of history after 80 years when Bhagat Singh first entered Parliament. We would have loved to see this day arrive earlier than 61 years of freedom. But that does not take away from it the happiness we feel.” said Kiranjit Singh, son of Bhagat’s brother Kultar Singh.

Also present were martyr’s nephews Abhay Sandhu and Zorawar Singh and his niece Verinder Sandhu, who has recently chronicled Bhagat’s life in her book, “Yugdrishta Bhagat Singh aur unke Mrityunjaya Purkhe.” “This day is precious for the nation,” Verinder told The Tribune, especially thanking sports minister M.S. Gill for the installation of the statue.

Ram Sutar, the creator of 18-foot bronze statue of Bhagat Singh, the sculptor behind the gigantic Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament complex and the Ranjit Singh statue in Amritsar’s Ram Bagh, Sutar could afford to let art do the talking. He was happy that his new creation would now share space with Indira Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose.

Interesting also is the fact that Bhagat’s statue is one among the only four to be donated by the Lok Sabha Secretariat; the other three being of Rabindra Nath Tagore, Vivekananda, and Aurbindo Ghosh.

Sikh news by Sikhtourism