Connect with us

City Lifestyle

Sunny day mocks at Shimla on Christmas 2014 – In Pictures




SHIMLA- So, tourists found no white Christmas in Shimla except some remains of previous snowfall in upper parts of Shimla like Kufari Narkanda etc. A sunny day mocked at Shimla ridge at the heart of the city. It was rather an odd day for the month of December. The mercury rose upto 10 degree during day, while nights are cold. There was not even the slightest hint at any chances that it gets white, and worse, Met Department predicts sunny, dry days on New Year as well.

However, that doesn’t mean the Shimla Ridge missed the crowd. Still, the day was a crowded one, and tourist did show up despite no snowfall.

One of HW members happen to spend some time on the Shimla Ridge and captured some photographs depicting activity of tourist crowd along with those who came to church to mark this year’s Christmas. We thought why not to share it with our readers and community members.


Meanwhile, we can use some commentary in between photographs.

For hoteliers, they might have missed a jackpot, but definitely, still they are doing quite well.

Tomorrow, the newspapers are going to cry of Christmas Eve of 1991, when it snowed heavy in Shimla. Then, there were some lucky years that ended on white note like 1995, 2000 and 2002. Actually, it’s true that snowfall doubles the dose of celebration, especially on Christmas and New Year.


Well, nobody is to be blamed but ourselves and poor governance of a Govt., completely corroded out of corruption. The climate change can’t be denied considering the shift in weather patterns. Nature did not do it, but mankind is forcing an ecological imbalance with mass axing of trees, vehicle air pollution, increasing piles of improperly disposed garbage.

It’s a bitter truth that Shimla did not prepare itself for rapid expansion of the city and increasing population. Trees are being axed illegally to aid private builders and businessmen.

Most likely, all of us are aware of recent massacre of 477 trees in Taradevi forests in Shimla. DLF luxury villa is almost at its completion, mocking at every green heart, Green Tribunal, and anyone who seek justice for illegal felling of trees which was manipulated to appear legal.

Then, our forest minister, Thakur Singh Bharmauri, is doing well to deplete forests in his home district Chamba along with other parts of the state. Of course, no one is going to get him to justice. It’s the subordinate, lower rank officials who would be sacrificed as scapegoats.


We had written to Shimla Traffic Police regarding the increasing air pollution due to unmaintained buses and cars racing rampantly on Shimla roads. No doubt, they did very well to acknowledge the complaint but ignored any action.


Our new SP, DW Negi, seems to be enjoying the weather of Shimla and privileges of his rank, carefree of any sense of duty. He found it more amusing and important to abuse and beat up protesting university students than worrying about deteriorating image of Shimla Police.


We suggest, we should try to conserve what remains of Shimla. Some of it could be recovered if we could rectify our environmentally destructive practices, and if the Govt. officials and ministers stop behaving like pimps for property dealers and builders. Trust us, Govt. isn’t going to bother until the public is happy being a foolish slave.

Photos: Tarun Sharma













Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

City Lifestyle

Self-taught local artist to exhibit ’17 Paintings’ oil painting works at Gaiety, Shimla



Shimla: For the art lovers and critics in Himachal Pradesh, a self-taught local artist will showcase his collection of oil paintings titled “17 Paintings” on a two-days exhibition at the historic Gaiety Theater, Shimla on December 9 and 10 from 11.00 AM to 6.00 PM.

Surya Ranjan Shandil (31), who hails from Solan district, works in Bengaluru as a computer programmer in the field of education technology. After his schooling from Shimla, he obtained a B.Tech Degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Himachal's cutlural paintings

Courtesy: Surya Ranjan Shandil

However, he did not ignore his love for the painting and continued it at evenings after college, work, on weekends, and Sundays.

Later, Ranjan realized he has a collection of his own. His first solo exhibition was held in November 2016 at the Gaiety Theater.

The appreciation he received at the first exhibition encouraged him to present his second collection of oil paintings that he painted during 2017.

He received his education upto Class 12 from Shimla’s St. Edwards and Dayanand Public School.

He is best known for his captivating genre paintings.

I started drawing at the age of 3-4 years. At that time, I used to sign the drawings with incorrect spellings of my name,

Ranjan told Himachal Watcher

His father, Dr R G Shandil, who is now retired, was a professor of mathematics at the H.P. University, Shimla. His mother Dr. Sandhya Shandil was a teacher at the St. Edward’s School, Shimla.

After graduating in 2010, I started with oil painting during the evenings and weekends. Gradually I built up a collection and in November 2016, I held my first solo exhibition of 29 oil paintings at gaiety,

he said.

local himachali painting artist

Ranjan’s paintings reflect people. The upcoming exhibition opens with simple themes like the joy of shopping, local festivities, celebration, dance and music. Most works painted on these themes are in the context of Himachal.

Surya Ranjan Shandil

Following these are mellow paintings ‘Seaside Nap’ and ‘Personal Sunrise’ – more subtle takes on human thought. The artist also takes a step towards satire in comically interesting works ‘Monkeys’ and ‘Chimpanzees’.

Slowly moving towards expressionism ‘Kayal’ takes the viewer to the realm of subjectless painting while in ‘Frenzy’ the artist dispenses with form.

Ending on a light hearted note, the paintings ‘Bonfire’ and ‘A Silent Conversation’ recreate the magic of Gabbar Singh and Rajesh Khanna on canvas.

About his love for painting, he said,

I believe art is a journey of constant improvisation.  

It would be his second solo exhibition. Earlier, he has participated and won prizes in several painting competitions throughout his schooling and B.Tech.


Continue Reading

City Lifestyle

Bollywood film-maker Onir conducting auditions in Shimla for his next film



Teenage Shimla girl actors

Shimla: Shimla-based production house ‘Secret Corridor Pictures’, run by award-winning filmmaker Siddharth Chauhan, is looking for new faces for Onir’s upcoming film “Kuch Bheege Alfaaz”. The film will be shot in Shimla.

Onir is a National award-winning director and producer. He needs a young girl in the age group of 14-18 from Shimla to cast in his film.

Onir has directed films like: My Brother Nikhil, Bas Ek Pal, Sorry Bhai, I AM, and Shab. His ‘Chauranga’ had won him multiple awards last year.

The Secret Corridor is looking after the casting & production process for this film. The production house is currently scrutinizing applications and organizing auditions.

In the first round of the auditions was conducted online and five finalists were selected out of over 50 applicants. These five candidates were invited for an interview with Onir on October 8, 2017.

The production house is also looking for actors in all age groups for other projects.

Onir’s films are known for the unique content that works as a trailblazer for the Indian film industry.

He is the man behind ‘My Brother Nikhil’ – the first Bollywood film that addressed the sensitive topic of homosexuality and AIDS.

His other film ‘I AM’ had won him the prestigious National Award & many other awards at various international film festivals.

The interested candidates can apply for auditions alongwith their pictures and other details. The candidates can either apply through e-mail at [email protected]” or through Facebook.

Continue Reading

City Lifestyle

Himachal gets a ‘War Museum’ at Dharamsala as reminder of martyrs



dharamsala war museum

Dharamsala – The ‘War Museum’ at Dharamsala was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. He also laid the foundation stone of the Freedom Fighters Memorial at Dari.

The War Museum, he said was a reminder of the sacrifices of the valiant soldiers of Himachal Pradesh, right from recipients of Victoria Cross to Parmveer Chakra. The Museum would offer a flashback to learn more about the Nations first Param Vir Chakra recipient, the highest gallantry awardee, Major Somnath Sharma to late Captain Bikram Batra, Saurabh Kalia, and others who laid their lives for the sake of the Nation.

Recalling the Kargil war, he said that 54 brave soldiers from the soil of Himachal had laid their lives. These sacrifices will find mention in this War Museum.

The Museum is spread over a total area of 2190 square meters and built at a cost of Rs. 9.85 crores. Outside the Museum, the statue of General Zorawar Singh and murals of heroic deeds are on display.

The inner Hall houses busts of Vir Chakra awardees, Jamedar Bhandan Ram and Jamedar Lala small description of their legend on the wall against a golden background.

The busts of Param Vir and Vir Chakras include those of Major Somnath Sharma, Major Dhan Singh Thapa, Captain Vikram Batra, Major Sudhir Walia, Hony. Captain Sanjay Kumar.

The Museum also houses photo gallery of all PVC recipients of the country besides the medals of various gallantry award recipients including Victoria Cross, Ashok Chakra, Vir Chakra etc.

war museum himachal

Photo: Divya Himachal

There is also a 5×2 foot Ashoka Pillar beside a Pakistan captured flag, regimental flags, Medium Machine Guns etc.

The State government has requested the Government of India for MIG-21 and display of other warfare machinery, said representatives of ‘State Martyrs Memorial Service and Development Society’.

The inauguration of the Museum was timed with the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the quit India movement also known as ‘August Kranti’.

Continue Reading