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Heritage calls

It made headlines a few months ago because of a battle for control. Now the Jama Masjid is the subject of a coffee table book titled Jama Masjid ' Call of the Soul, that attempts to capture the history and architecture of this celebrated monument. Its author .L. Batra, who has been a superintending engineer with the Archaeological Survey of India, had worked on the monument during his term at the ASI.

'Jama Masjid has always amazed me for its elegance and timeless beauty. The book is an endeavour to present the most impressive mosque of the Mughal Dynasty in all its magnificence,' said Batra. The book was launched in Delhi recently by noted scriptwriter, lyricist and poet, Javed Akhtar, his actress-wife Shabana Azmi and vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, Mushirul Hasan.

The book, published by Niyogi Offset, illustrates the glory of one of the world's finest mosques. It portrays Jama Masjid as a testimony of living Islam in the Indian environment and is a pictorial treasury with numerous photographs.

There are details in the book about the monument and its builder Shah Jahan, the great patron of architecture, who attempted to carry on the tradition of Emperor Akbar's mosque at Fatehpur Sikri. The majestic gateways, parapets and minarets, all combine to enhance the austere dignity of the mosque. The decorative arches trace their origin to Muslim architecture while the balcony has a touch of Hindu architecture. Each dome, minaret and pinnacle has been crafted with care, and the minars contribute significantly to the mosque's grandeur and beauty. Whilst drawings and charts are sure to interest engineers, the photographs in the book are aimed at the general reader

Racy rules

The launch of the latest from Gillette India ' the Gillette Mach3 Turbo Champion was, to say the least, red-hot, with plenty of black and white thrown in for good measure. In keeping with the new product, the theme revolved around motorsport and was all about getting revved up and racy.

Capturing the feel was designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil who showcased a collection called 'The Spirit of a Motorsport Champion'. The line was high on the sporty look and was shown off by some of the hottest names in the ramp realm like Jesse Randhawa, Carol Gracias, Sonalika Sahay, Upen Patel and Shayan Munshi. The models set the ramp on fire in combinations of red and white and of course, chequered black and white.

The collection, said Nikhil, was inspired by a man's love for motorsport and his obsession with speed. So naturally there were zippered jackets that sat snug on the waist, cheeky hot pants and collared dresses designed in ultra-soft leather. And in order to reflect a sense of speed, the designers incorporated surface textures like running stitch lines that criss-crossed the outfits.

The show ended with designer Nikhil uncorking a bottle of champagne and spraying its contents on the audience in time-honoured racetrack style.

The all-new Gillette Mach3 Turbo Champion has been launched at a special introductory price of Rs 199 as against the maximum retail price of Rs 295.

Wedding wows

Calling all prospective brides and grooms looking to tie the knot some time soon. Wouldn't it be nice to get all your pre-nuptial shopping done under one roof ' a sort of wedding supermarket' That's what the Delhi-based Aerens Group is hoping to establish in about a few months from now. Aerens is the group that has launched the Gold Souk, the country's first jewellery mall earlier this year in Gurgaon.

A fashion show was held to mark the announcement and also to give the audience a sneak peek at what will be on offer at the Wedding Souk. Aerens says the Souk will be the ultimate shopping destination for weddings, festivals, special occasions and even casual shopping for the bride, groom and their families. It will have retail outlets with national and international brands for wedding garments, accessories, footwear, consumer durables and furniture. Spread over one acre with a covered area of 100,000 sq ft, the Souk will have over 100 shops.

Wedding card printers, pandits, mehendi artists, caterers, florists, bands, decorators, travel agents, beauticians, wedding planners, information services for banquet and event management firms ' you name it, the Wedding Souk is hoping to get them all. It also hopes to get top jewellers from the country and abroad. The Wedding Souk will be completed by August 2005 and will be inaugurated by Diwali 2005.

Photograph of Shantanu-Nikhil fashion show by Rupinder Sharma.

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