Saturday November 25, 2017

Urban Theka- Offering the vibrant tradition and culture rooted in Punjab

The store, ‘Urban Theka’ is an amalgamation of Punjab’s colourful, humorous and vibrant life

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Urban Theka, Chandigarh Source: Youtube

Chandigarh: This is one thing that Punjabis don’t mind wearing on their sleeves – ‘Punjabiat’. Even the younger generation of Punjabis, be it in India or abroad, are quite inclined to do so.

With the demand for traditional Punjabi things, which are packaged in tune with the times and latest demand, increasingly in the last few years, stores dealing with traditional items and even catchy Punjabi one-liners are creating business out of the demand.

In a leading mall in Chandigarh, where top brands vie with each other for maximum footfalls and selling trendy and latest stuff, a new store has taken up the challenge of offering the vibrant tradition and culture rooted in Punjab.

From the signboard at the entrance, which proudly proclaims ‘Theka Khushiyaan Da’ (Vend of happiness), the store, ‘Urban Theka’, is an amalgamation of Punjab’s colourful, humorous and vibrant life.

This ‘mini Punjab’ guarantees you a true and raw taste of Punjab. Located on the second floor in Elante Mall, this store can be spotted from a distance, thanks to its bright ambience, handmade figurines and ‘phulkaris’.

Related article: Punjab Grill: One stop for all Punjabi food cravings

“Our opening coincided with Baisakhi — Punjab’s colourful festival. The happiness surrounding Baisakhi goes well with the theme of ‘Urban Theka’,” I. P. Singh, an entrepreneur, who along with his wife, Sunny Thakral, has painstakingly put together the concept, told IANS.

The husband-wife duo say that the “idea is to merge Punjab’s age- old rural culture with its modernity”.

The trend was started over a decade ago by popular brand ‘1469’ which cashed on the demand for ‘anything Punjabi’. Its ‘Pure Punjabi’ brand of T-shirts have been a runaway hit among youth and even the older ones.

The ‘Urban Theka’ store reminds one of the Punjabi folklore and traditions with ladies weaving and embroidering dupattas in phulkaris, men and women doing the ‘bhangra’ and men with ‘dhols’, ‘chimtas’ and ‘sapps’ (traditional musical instruments).

“You get a feel of rural Punjab. One can see beautifully chiselled figurines of Punjabi women churning butter using ‘madhaani’ (traditional butter-making equipment), women using the ‘charkha’ and the like.

The store also takes you to the times of ‘Bhai Kanhaiya’, a Sikh sevadar who served water to the Mughal enemy forces injured in the war against the Sikh forces. Punjab’s history is highlighted through figurines and busts of personalities like ‘Mai Bhago’, ‘Banda Bahadur’, a life size statue of ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh’ and many more,” Singh said.

Other items in the store like ‘bantey’ (marbles), ‘gulli danda’ and ‘gulail’ are sure to take you down memory lane and revive childhood memories.

To catch the fancy of the youth, the store sells funky T-shirts with quirky text like “Dheet (stubborn) by Nature” and “Installing muscles – Bass Vekhi chall”. The price ranges from Rs.500 to Rs.1,500.

The outlet has been curated with accessories that incorporate a good, humorous style, so typical of Punjab, which makes it a “must own”.

Miniature trucks have an authentic look with mis-spelt one-liners like ‘Use Diaper at Night’ imitating the ones to be spotted on the highways. ‘Drink Responsibly – Dullann na Deyo’ (Don’t let it spill).

Pre-stitched parnas and turbans make it one of the only shops to be selling turbans in malls. Also, phulkari dupattas, artistically embroidered by women in the villages of Patiala, are displayed. The store directly deals with the craftsmen embroidering phulkaris and designing juttis, eliminating the middlemen.

“Urban Theka is not only displaying the culture of Punjab in a unique way but is also helping in reviving the diminishing art and craft in Punjab. It is quite a refreshing store,” Anuradha Kumar, a shopper who happened to cross the store and got attracted to have a “look in”.

The statement outside the trial room says ‘Try Maar Lai’. A car sticker ‘Caution – Peg Lagga’ for the back-screen. Coasters are no less: ‘Aao Bhaino Chugli Kariye’ (Come sisters, let’s gossip).

The brand ‘1469’ has been the pioneer in promoting traditional items, especially clothes and accessories, to the youth in a big way through its stores and online sales.

In Chandigarh’s Sector 17, the ‘1469’ store attracts many customers who want to wear their ‘Punjabiat’ on their sleeve, literally!

The store and some other shops like this sell traditional ware in Punjab and Haryana.

While these stores have been around for nearly a decade, earlier it was the Punjab government-run ‘Phulkari’ stores which sold traditional items – from Punjabi juttis to phulkari duppattas and suits.

With bright, colourful items being sold, there’s never a dull moment in ‘Urban Theka’, ‘1469’, ‘Phulkari’ or other places with traditional stuff for sure. (IANS)

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Heroin worth Rs. 100 crore seized by BSF in Punjab

22kg heroine was recovered during a combat between Pakistani smugglers and BSF troopers

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22kg heroin seized in Punjab
BSF recovers heroine worth Rs. 100 crores from Pakistani smugglers. Wikimedia Commons.

In a joint operation, Border Security Forces (BSF) troopers and the Punjab Police have recovered 22kg of heroin in Punjab’s Ferozepur sector following exchange of fire with Pakistani smugglers near the international border, a BSF officer said on Saturday.

The encounter took place late on Friday following a tip-off that smugglers were trying to send heroin consignment into India.

At least one Pakistani smuggler was injured in the exchange of fire as blood stains were found during search of the area on Saturday, BSF officer D.S. Rajpurohit said.

The BSF recovered a pistol and one Pakistani Sim card.

The BSF also arrested three Indian smugglers who were waiting close to the border fence to collect the heroin consignment.

The smugglers were trying to smuggle the heroin consignment using a plastic pipe across the border fence.

The heroin is worth nearly Rs 110 crore in the international market.

The Ferozepur border is around 275 km from here.

Punjab shares a 553-km-long barbed-wire fenced international border with Pakistan. (IANS)

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Indian Farmers reason behind Smog in Pakistan

Smog in Pakistan has affected the health of people but also caused road accidents.

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Indian Farmers causing smog in Pakistan
Indian Farmers causing smog in Pakistan. wikimedia commons
  • Pakistani officials have said that stubble burning by Indian farmers has caused a thick blanket of smog in Punjab province which led to smog in Pakistan as well.

The officials with Environment Protection Department of Punjab province told Xinhua news agency on Saturday night that the smog is causing various diseases and the provincial government is taking measures to control the situation.

The department’s minister Zakia Shah Nawaz Khan said that the smog engulfed the province for the last two weeks, and is feared to continue for the coming week.

She added that the smoke from the Indian farms moved at a velocity of 7 to 8 km per hour towards Punjab province.

Also Read: Restrictions on Freedom of Expression: Pakistani Journalists Struggle with Growing Threats from Government and Militants alike

Local experts said that the total Air Quality Index in the provincial capital of Lahore is 357 whereas the maximum limit should be around 100, adding that if the situation was not controlled, the level is feared to exceed 500 soon.

Syed Mubashir Hussain, an official of the environment department said that the provincial government has banned stubble burning across the province and violators were being arrested.

A total of 197 First Information Reports have been filed against violators and 65 people have been arrested due to stubble burning and solid waste burning.

Some 175 pollution-causing units have been stopped. About 15,718 smoke emitting vehicles have been confiscated, and a total of 43 lakh Pakistani rupees (about $43,000) fine has been imposed, Hussain told Xinhua.

Apart from this, brick kilns using substandard fuel and running their units without emission control devices like wet scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators and fly ash arrestors have also been closed, he added.

Smog in Pakistan has not only affected the health of people but also caused road accidents. According to local media reports, at least 18 people have been killed and 45 others injured in separate fog-related accidents across the province.

Air traffic was also affected due to smog-caused low visibility. Six domestic flights from various airports have been suspended due to smog in Pakistan, spokesperson of Pakistan International Airlines said in a statement.

The Met office said that smog will disappear after rains or heavy winds, but there was no possibility of any of it in the next 48 hours.( IANS)

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5 Events Of November Which Are Ideal For Family Vacations

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Events in November which will give you a vacation mood.
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood. Wikimedia.

As we approach the year’s end, Indians not just bid adieu to their summer outfits but also welcome the festival seasons. October and November are two months in India which are full of cultural events and festivals, which make these months, the ideal time for going on family vacations.

Below are the events of November 2017 which you will regret missing. They are worth the try for family vacations:

1.  Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

family vacations
Representational Image. The ghat of holy city Varanasi. 

Varanasi, the holiest city of India, celebrated Dev Deepavali on Kartik Poornima every year. The festival is celebrated with joy. The ghats of Varanasi are lit with beautiful diyas (earthen lamps). God is believed to have descended to the banks of Ganges, to take a holy dip. The festival will take place on November 3, 2017.

 2. Dharamsala International Film Festival

Filmmaker, cinema buffs or all those people interested in the art of films come together of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF). This film festival will witness filmmakers coming from different regions to show films on various issues- socially relevant, contemporary etc. DIFF will take place from November 2 to November 5. If you are a movie buff, then you should immediately pack your bags and seal a date for attending the festival.

3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

Family vacations
Representational Image. Camel Fair is celebrated in Pushkar. Pixabay

Pushkar Camel fair, a cattle fair, in Pushkar which truly defines the real meaning of culture. The Pushkar Camel Fair has been in tradition for a very long time. The fair attracts a huge crowd every year. One of the most ideal and happy places for family vacations. It will take place between 23rd October to 4th November.

Also Read: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In North East India

4. NH7 Weekender

The five seasons old Indian multi-city music festival has indeed garnered a lot of attention and love from the musically inclined youngsters across the country. It is a combination of national and international studies coming together. In Meghalaya, the event will take place from October 27 to October 28.

5. Guru Purab

family vacations
Sikhs celebrating Guru Purab. Wikimedia.

Guru Purab, one of the most important festivals for Sikhs. The golden temple celebrates it with a lot of joy. The celebration which Amritsar witnesses at this time are unbelievable. It will take place on November 2017. Golden temple is indeed one of the best places for family vacations.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  She can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.