Page 1

Vol. 1 No. 12  Pages 32  ` 7  11–17 November 2011

Park Your Ride

Only occurs on one day every 100 years

{Inside} Know Your Councillor


his week Councillors Yogender Singh Sarwan for Ward No. 7, and Sunita Kataria for Ward No. 14—both from Old Gurgaon—share the issues that they face. ...Pg 11

Build the Community


ommunity Centres were supposed to help promote the community feeling and our role as members of a society. The status is not encouraging. ...Pg 12

An Evening of Laughs


t’s heartening to note, that as we burn the midnight oil, we do not take ourselves too seriously. That there has been an increasing acceptance of this, was proved by the turnout at the stand-up comedy gig at the Epicentre recently. ...Pg 19

Catch the Coach


he ever-increasing throng of aspirants seeking to clear various entrance exams, has meant a flourishing industry in coaching centres. We meet some of the people behind these institutes ...Pg 22

Frisbee Frenzy


he city is constantly finding new avenues to entertain itself; new activities to engage in. Last week saw India’s first ever international Frisbee tournament. ...Pg 25

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }


n the not-so-far future, car selling will go thus: ‘Free parking for two months, with every model of XYZ’. Parking space, like land, is limited. Cars, like apartments, can be produced ad infinitum. Independent India rang with the slogan of ‘roti, kapda, aur makaan’. New Gurgaon’s credo is ‘Pizza, designer wear, condo... aur parking’. The problem of parking increases by the day, and the authorities remain clueless. There is no plan for action. Consider this: Last year, from January 1 to October 20, the traffic police issued 35,566 ‘No Parking challans’. For the same period this year, they have issued 63,316 of these challans. That’s a shade less than double in a year’s time. “And this figure is only going to get worse,” opines Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Bharti Arora. “If the concerned authorities do not act fast, the city is heading for total parking chaos.” The police can only ‘manage’ so much—and they



Friday sees a once-in-a-lifetime moment as date reads


RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

No Parking City

have more serious priorities. There are several hot spots, where haphazard parking leads to traffic snarls regularly. Some of them are—M.G. Road, Galleria Market, Sadar Bazaar, Udyog Vihar, Cyber Park, Arcade market... the list is as long as the roads (or what we call roads). Each of these spots has unauthorised parking. Part of the problem is also our unacceptable desire to save on Rs. 20, for authorised parking in a Mall. People park on the road, decreasing the commutable area. This is a scene common to all of Gurgaon’s commercial area. The Metro parking areas are even worse. The five Metro stations in Gurgaon together offer a parking space of 19,475 sq mtrs.—which is sufficient for 2,300 two-wheelers and 620 four-wheelers, says a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) official. That’s a total of 2,920 vehicles for the surface parking. The HUDA City Centre Metro Station has underground parking, but it has not been declared open. Quiz Metro officials,

Contd on p 8 

The Medical Vedanta – Dr. Trehan’s Way

{ Shirin Mann / FG }


When and how did the idea of Medanta—The Medicity conceptualise?

s we parked in front of the gates of Medanta-The Medicity— I came back to India in 1988, when the Escorts Heart Institute the large white hospital structure, polished and modern—the was ready. I had already helped build it while I was in America. I idea of interviewing one of the world’s leading Cardiologists, am a heart surgeon. The reason I built the Institute from scratch Dr. Naresh Trehan, (Chairman and MD, Medanta -The Medicity, was because there was no facility in India that could offer complete and Diplomate, American Board of Cardiothoracic care for the heart—including teaching and research. Surgery), overpowered every other thought. As we in the private sector, there were just hosExclusive Interview Especially reached the first floor, we were ushered in to his room; pitals where you could go and get an operation; and Dr. Naresh Trehan where he sat in blue surgeon clothes and a loosely then nothing else. It was just one of those stagnant arhanging face mask, explaining the problem and the eas. So when we opened the Escorts Heart Institute, solution, to the family of a patient. The wall was the whole standard of cardiac care went up; and we adorned with over 20 Certificates of Excellence in the helped many other people build heart institutes. This field of Cardiology, from several renowned institutions not only helped Delhi, but also North India, or India at of the world—New York University Medical Centre, large. Then in 2003, I felt we have come a long way, InNew York Health and Hospital Corporations, The dia’s come a long way. In 1988 there was nothing, and American Board of Surgery, University of Lucknow— in 2003 everything had moved forward—but we were and several more. still stuck in the old standard of 1988. And so came Chairman and MD Medanta-The Medicity, one of India’s largest Medanta- the Medicity. Medanta - The Medicity Super Specialty institutes, matching the highest end of healthcare worldwide—is the only institute that provides So how was Medicity new? Or how was Medicity the next step? clinical research, education and teaching—along with medical In the west, there are major universities, and their job is not care. Situated in the heart of this cosmopolitan city, Medanta has only to provide the highest end of medical care, but also to exset out to define a new benchmark. We got talking to the founder plore and be the fountainhead of all new therapies. I felt that if we of Medanta, Dr. Naresh Trehan, and found out what makes this blindly copy them, it may not be workable. If 50 million Americans Medicity tick, what lies in store for the patients...and more. cannot afford health care, there is little hope for billions of people Contd on p 6 

Regular Features Food Prices

...Pg 5 Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Laughing Stock ...Pg 10 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 11 Sector Watch ...Pg 13 Realty Rates ...Pg 24


11–17 November 2011

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–12  11–17 November 2011


Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up

THEATRE  ART  MUSIC  KIDS' CARNIVAL  EXHIBITION-CUM-SALE fabrics, home textiles, trimmings and apparels. The fair also gives an opportunity to Indian businesses to connect directly with Taiwanese companies. The exhibition is organised by the Taiwan Textile Federation and the Bureau of Foreign Trade.

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora


Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Syed Mohd Komail

Sunil Yadav

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Execs: Bhagwat Kaushik Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Illustrations:

Durgadatt Pandey

Photography Consultant: Jitendra Sharma Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur

Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana

Kids' Carnival

@ Elysium Gardens, C1-2801, Sushant Lok 1 (near Paras Hospital) Date: Nov 13 Time: 10 am to 5.30 pm


n annual event for kids, where they can participate in various competitions and workshops. Children aged between two to six years can take part in fancy dress competition, singing and dancing competitions. Seven to 12 year olds can also participate in a fashion show. The children can also learn pot painting, gardening, sand card making, painting, photography and baking—in special workshops. There will also be joy rides and a number of stalls, along with a raffle draw.


Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93

One @ Quill and Canvas, 122 South Point Mall, Golf Course Road Date: Till Dec 3 Time: 11 am to 7 pm



Gestures of Love @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector - 44 Date: Nov 17 to Nov 22 Time: 11 am to 8 pm


International Fusion @ Zorba the Buddha, MG Road, Ghitorni Date: Nov 13 Time: 7:30 pm

No. of issues


painting and sculpture exhibition, featuring more than 40 works of 16 artists, mostly from Baroda. The exhibition is presented by The Strand Art Room, that seeks to promote contemporary works of artists from India and abroad..

performance by the group AkashA from Malaysia, with Sivabalan S. Sundram on mridangam, Kumar Karthigesu on sitar, Vick Ramakrishnan on tabla, Jamie Wilson bin Abdullah on acoustic steel/nylon guitars, Greg Henderson on bass, Eric Li on piano, and Mohd Shah Nizam Bin Azis on various percussions. The performance is a part of Delhi International Arts Festival.


irected by Pankaj Singh, the play is based on Anthony Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning play—Sleuth. The popular mystery film Sleuth, of the 70s, is an adaptation of this play.


n exhibition-cum-sale of Taiwanese textile products, ranging from fibres and yarns, to

When ‘Thar’ comes Alive! F

airs and Festivals form a very important part of Rajasthani Culture. The Desert Jewel of India, Rajasthan, shimmers with exuberant vibrancy during the time of its colorful fairs and festivals. The desert glitters with the colours of joyous celebration and merriment. Experience the vibrancy of the Thar Desert

during the winter season, as the desert comes alive with the brilliant colours, music and laughter of the Desert Festival of Jaisalmer. Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the city dance and sing haunting ballads of valour, romance and tragedy. The fair has snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Over the Rajasthani Thali

` 364 ` 164 52

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Checkmate @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector - 44 Date: Nov 12 & Nov 13 Time: 7:30 pm Tickets: Rs 350, Rs 250 & Rs 150


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performance by Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, a Hindustani classical music vocalist of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. The event is organised by SPIC MACAY and sponsored by ICCR.


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n exhibition of photographic art by Kabeer Lal. His work largely includes abstracts, panoramic landscapes, street photography, and fine art nudes.

SPIC MACAY Heritage Series @ Management Development Institute, Mehrauli Road Sukhrali Date: Nov 15 Time: 11 am

Taiwan Textile Fair India 2011 @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector - 44 Date: Nov 11 Time: 10 am to 6 pm

Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana.

The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.



Dal Bati Churma

years, the desert dwellers in their solitude have woven a fascinating tapestry with threads of music and rhythm and the Desert Festival is a celebration of their heritage. The Jaisalmer Fort provides an ethereal backdrop to the Festival

celebrating the traditional performing arts and creative crafts of Rajasthan. Exquisitely embroidered skirts, handwoven shawls, rugs, carvings on wood and stone, camel decorations, embroidered leather bags, ethnic silver jewellery and terracotta are brought in from all over the desert state. These skilfully achieved crafts are objects d'art for the handicraft buffs. Evenings are meant for the main shows of music and dance, spectator numbers swell up each night and the grand finale, on the full moon night, takes place by silvery sand dunes. Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.


11–17 November 2011


The Black Magic Theatre

hat they call the black light theatre, I call the black magic,” said a spectator after watching the spectacular Black Light Theatre show at the Kingdom of Dreams. Black Light Theatre is a style of theatrical performance from Prague, characterised by the use of black box theatre and black UV lighting. The artistes put on fluorescent costumes to create intricate illusions. This unique technique, blended with dance, mime and acrobatics, creates a remarkable spectacle. “It is not only the technology that makes this show unique; it also involves a lot of interaction with the audience—which I am sure the Indian audience would love to experience,” said the creative director of the show, Anindita Menon.

A Classical Expo


elebrated Kathak exponent Shovana Narayan mesmerized the audience at the School of Inspired Learning (SOIL) with her powerful performance on Friday. The evening's dance was marked by intense eye expressions, as the maestro revealed various facets of the dance form. She was here as part of the Heritage Series organised by SPIC MACAY, in collaboration with ICCR.

Himalayan Blues


ans of blues music were treated to a rare performance by the Himalayan Blues band, at Attitude Alive on Saturday. The artists left the audience crying for more as they belted out some all time hits like, Steady Rollin' Daddy, All I Ever Wanted, and Back to Memphis. With an interesting blend of music and talent, the band made it a memorable evening for blues afficionados.


Rockstar Cast Rock Gurgaon

urgaonites who walked in to the MGF Metropolitan Mall on Wednesday were thrilled to find Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri and director Imtiaz Ali. The Rockstar cast were here to judge a rock show and promote their forthcoming movie, which will be in theatres on Friday. The stars along with their fans, had a gala time.

Mika at Ghungroos launch


he Ghungroos Kitchen Lounge Bar launch last Wednesday was off to a swinging start, with Punjabi pop singer Mika belting out some foot-tapping chart toppers. People took to the floor as the Jugni star sang hot favourites Mauja hi mauja and Dhinka Chika much to the crowd's delight. He mingled with the crowd, and obliged eager fans by posing with them for pictures. Spotted in the crowd were MP Manish Tiwari, businessman Puneet Gungwani, and Joe Bath of Master Chef Fame.


11–17 November 2011

reviews FOOD

The Happiness Café–Innately Italian Cafe Jiji SCO- 5,6,7 Sector 15, part-2, Huda Market, Gurgaon Phone: 0124 4085779 Cuisine: Italian, Continental Timing: 11am – 11pm

Aalok Wadhwa


iji means happiness in Italian,” says young Chef Anup—looking quite cheerful himself. Well, if Café Jiji has decided to create its own brand of joy, who are we to quibble? The interiors certainly do justice to the mood. Large, open, airy spaces, colourful murals, sleek furniture, and a well executed décor—all add to the energy of this restaurant.

the same reason. The dish is a dieter’s delight. The vinaigrette is light, and so is the salad. The follow-up pan roasted chicken with vegetables (Rs 295) has a nice red wine and fresh pepper­ based brown sauce; but the chicken itself is ordinary. The accompanying mashed potatoes however, are yummy—clearly showcasing the chef’s mastery over the technique. The thin crust pepperoni pizza (Rs 275) has too much

When asked what kind of cuisine is served, and his recommendations, the chef is very clear. “We serve Italian, with additions from all over Europe. You will like everything, especially our Pesto Risotto.” I decide to start with a Côte d’Azur classic, the Niçoise Salad (Rs 175). Probably in keeping with the Indian taste, the anchovies have been replaced by bell peppers; and bits of potato are presumably added for


The Affair


Picture Perfect

Alka Gurha

Manjula Narayan



manages to beat the bad guys he meets en route. The Affair encompasses a thriller, nly a gifted raconteur can as Reacher finds himself at a take the reader on a visucrime scene cover-up. A young ally arresting road journey of woman dies, and the evidence heroic exploits. Jim Grant, better known by his pen name Lee points to a soldier at a nearby military base camp. The local Child, is a British novelist, who weaves American thrillers. The sheriff, Elizabeth Deveraux, with a thirst for justice and an Affair is a novel of unrelentappetite for secrets, adds to the ing suspense, that could only suspense. While Reacher works come from the pen of this New to uncover the truth, York Times’ bestselling author. others try to bury it forever. The Affair comes after fifteen The conspiracy threatens to novels in the Reacher series; shatter his faith in his mission, but this saga for me was and turn him into a man to most captivating. be feared. For the record, Reacher, It is not only the adventures the author’s hero, is an ex-US of Reacher that captivate the Army military police major, reader, but also Child’s brilliant whose travel pursuits thrill as descriptions well as entice of small town the reader. The Affair America. The Imagine a hero GENRE: Fiction manner in which who doesn’t Author: Lee Child the writer has give a damn PUBLISHER: Bantam Press dedicated two about a stable PRICE: Rs 413 paragraphs to job, a permadescribe how to nent home, box someone’s or a steady nose, arrests the relationship. He reader. Words wears clothes come alive, for days; only jumping out of to throw them the book. Scenes off, before buyunfold like a ing cheap stuff thriller movie. again. With In Reacher’s meager posbrusque style, I sessions like would say, “Read an ATM card, a ‘em all.” Caution: passport and a You might get foldable toothhooked! u brush, Reacher

cheese, masking the taste of too little pepperoni. Now it is time to taste the much recommended Pesto Risotto (Rs 245). I am particularly keen to try this seemingly simple Italian rice preparation, because very few outside of Italy get its complexity right. A typical Risotto is made out of Arborio rice, which goes through four stages of cooking. Properly cooked risotto is rich and creamy, but still al dente (with some bite); and with separate grains. The traditional texture is all’onda (wavy, or flowing in waves). Some chefs tend to take a short-cut, by adding cream to get the texture right—something considered sacrilegious by an Italian. To my delight and relief, the pesto-infused risotto with herb oil, sticks to tradition, and manages to nail the texture without any added cream. It is aromatic, alluring and comforting; and delivers happiness in bucketfuls. I end the meal with authentically made crêpes, with a filling of chocolate (Rs. 105)—which masterfully deliver the taste of Provence. With its food, friendly service, and reasonable prices, Café Jiji promises and delivers happy times. What sets this restaurant apart is the talented chef—who can dish out some fine tasting food. u

abeer Lal’s photographs are meditative, sometimes surreal and always striking. Gaze at the seascapes that are part of his current show, One Nature/Mind/Soul, at the Quill and Canvas gallery, and you’ll find yourself slipping into a reverie. There’s a hypnotic quality about pictures— like Sunset 2—where gulls drift across the sky as oil rigs loom in the distance, looking like they’ve escaped from a Transformers set. Lal’s impressive seascapes series includes Storm, where a roiling sea rises to meet a sky on the verge of unburdening its ominous clouds. Soothing Heavens draws the viewer in, with its perfect frame that presents birds flitting about poles for fishing nets—as the water stretches out like a calm sheet into the horizon. Even the clouds seem lost in thought, as they hang suspended over a quiet world. His shots of deserted piers, that tower like Gothic sentinels, in pictures like No Further, Into the Night, Pier 2, Partners and Pier Pillars are more eerie. Pier Pillars, incidentally, is one of the most striking pictures in the show. It is shot from under the pier, so only the iron sheet enveloped wooden pillars of the structure are in focus. If you stare at this picture too long, you can almost hear the sound of the waves as they slosh against the metal. These pictures reveal an artist who is a keen observer; someone who isn’t interested in merely clicking pretty pictures, but in creating worlds within them. A photographer who has a business degree apart from qualifications in photography from the Santa Monica College in Los Angeles, Lal clearly loves the great outdoors—and his world of seascapes, piers and ageing industrial machinery, strangely enough, calls to mind the works of Hemingway.

While Lal’s black and whites and sepias are mesmeric, he also uses colour in startling ways. So peeling, rusting machinery gains a psychedelic aura in Bars, while Decay, which presents a close up of the nuts and bolts of what looks like a tank, speaks of the industrial decay of seaside towns. Bad Idea!, that focuses on flies buzzing about a light bulb, shot through with streaks of colour, and Liquid Light, featuring brilliant orange jelly fish soaring like parachutes into the blue—are almost frenetic in their energy. But it’s the quieter pieces—like the largely black and white Memory Lane, where a toy seller cycles down a misty road—that touch you. The only spot of colour here is on the plastic balls hanging at the back of the seller’s cycle; in a trick reminiscent of

Spielberg’s red spot in Schindler’s List. Clearly, Lal has a keen eye for nature, and his feeling for it emerges in such works as the wonderful Cloud Burst—with its biblical image of the sun’s rays bursting through the clouds, as a river winds its way down wooded mountains. There’s nothing glib or forced about Lal’s work—that encompasses the microcosm and the macrocosm with the same quietly observant eye. His photographs, with their breathtaking views, paradoxically set you off on a journey within yourself. It’s a journey you should definitely take.u Exhibition can be seen at Quill And Canvas Gallery, open till 3rd December 2011

L ife Style

11–17 November 2011


Festive Finish to NSM Gala { Harsimran Shergill / FG }


rophies filled up the stage, the last contestants battled it out for the top spot, while the rest of the participants anxiously waited for the final results. As the week-long 11th National Dance and Drama Festival, organised by the Nishtha Sanskritik Manch (NSM) drew to a close on November 4, the atmosphere at the Rotary Public School was one of palpable excitement.

Standing at a distance from the stage was dance teacher Vaishali Patil, who had accompanied the Jabalpur based Nrityanjali Khatak Kala Kendra - that had won the first prize in almost all the categories. “We have been lucky to win the first prize in both the solo and group categories for the past two years. Till now, almost all the acts that our children have performed, have won prizes. I am extremely proud and pleased with our performance

here at NSM,” said Patil, as she stood huddled together with her group. Finally, when the overall rankings were announced, the Film Academy Manipur walked off with the first place in the Classical folk dance category while Nrityanjali Khatak Kala Kendra stood first in the Sub Junior Category. In the Kathak dance category, it was the Naad Brahma Sangeet Santhan from Madhya Pradesh that won top honours in both junior and sen-

ior categories - Nandini Chauhan was first amongst the juniors, while Shreya Singhai was first in the Senior Category. A performance that drew great applause was the Manipuri folk dance, performed by the Lamjing Meira Artist Association from Imphal. Of the other performances, Aliva Ghosh from West Bengal enthralled the audience with her Odissi performance—that showcased Goddess Durga killing demon Mahishasur. Shumita Paul from Kolkata

said she was happy to perform in Haryana, and that the competition was tougher than last year. Paul added that her team comprised six participants, all from different parts of Kolkata. They have been participating in the event for more than eight years now, and have performed all over the country. “With participants from across the country, it was difficult to cope with the pressure, but things went off well because of our sufficient practice,” she concluded. u





Senior-Folk Dance

Neelima Gogoi



Sub-junior-Folk Dance

Bhakti Singwane

Nrityanjali Kathak Kala Kendra

Madhya Pradesh

Junior-Folk Dance

Ashwani Damle

Naad Brahma Sangeet Sansthan

Madhya Pradesh

Group-Folk Dance

Geeta Art Act & Nritya Association

Geeta Art Act & Nritya Association


Group- Classical Dance

Nrityanjali Kathak Kala Kendra

Nrityanjali Kathak Kala Kendra

Madhya Pradesh

Individual-Top Performer-Male

Shivalay Sharma

Third bell


Sukhiya Mar Gaya Bhookh Se

Individual-Top Performer-Female

Kamini Zakhmola

Tanvi Natya Sanstha



Best Director-Play

Rakesh Bamgarde

Mast Sanstha

Durg, Bhilai

Sava Ser Gehun

Best Play

Mast Sanstha

Durg, Bhilai

Sava Ser Gehun

Best Comedy-Play

Annapurna Theatre

Cuttack, Orissa

Bijli Giri

Come To 30,000 Sq Ft Of Consumer Goodies


{ Hritvick Sen / FG }


eople are flocking to the ‘Life And Style’ consumer exhibition at Leisure Valley, opposite RITES building. The exhibition has a variety of brands, under segments like consumer electronics, home appliances, jewellery, and apparel. The Exhibition, which is on from November 4-13, houses 150 stalls—with all renowned brands. In food and consumables, the Exhibition has stalls of Rajasthani cuisine, and of Blue Ginger. Also, there are jewellery stalls of local designers, and other jewellery houses. Arif Khan, who is responsible for organising this consumer exhibition, says, “We are getting 5,000 people on weekdays; and on Saturday and Sunday, we recorded over 10,000 visitors a day.” u

Name of Play

Tech Zombies { Alka Gurha }


he other day, my cousin was reprimanding her six-year-old for his illegible handwriting. Just then her elder daughter intervened, “Mom, why are you mad at him? By the time he grows up, no one will be writing. Teach him keyboarding instead.” How I wish we had the luxury of not writing. Remember all those calligraphy books that we had to complete during summer holidays, in order to perfect that faultless ‘g’? With calligraphy becoming redundant, soon orthography (the art of writing words with the proper letters according to standard usage) will become obsolete too. Yes, the famed Spelling Bee contests— which Indian students have won repeatedly— will become pointless. I mean, why do we need to memorise spellings? Spell check hai na? I remember my hoity-toity English teacher telling us to ‘write a letter to a friend inviting him for your birthday’. Why write a long letter that will pile up as unread? Text instead. Wish to talk to the world? Tweet. People are effortlessly conveying the most complex, convoluted and crazy ideas in one hundred and forty characters. The power of brevity is in. Verbosity is passé! And above all, we have Google, with all the answers; and Wikipedia, with all the informa-

tion—so why strain the grey cells? Modern technology has registered a tight slap on the face of rote learning. Thank God that children will not have to memorise ‘net sown area’, ‘net forest area under cover’ etc., for that dreaded Social Science exam. But wait. Like any other form of learning, computer dependent literacy has some pitfalls. Quietly and unobtrusively, we are shying away from jogging our grey cells, and are becoming tech slaves. Hidden amidst the tech wizardry is a booby trap that can turn us into lazy zombies. Listen to this newspaper report. Falling classroom standards and a shift towards creative learning have led to school children in UK believing that ‘Winston Churchill is an animated dog called Churchill; from a TV ad’. Other students even struggle to differentiate between France and Paris, said a former deputy head teacher. She claims that teaching basic knowledge, facts and figures is disappearing from class rooms as it is considered old-fashioned. While we love the short emails over long laborious letters, texts over phone calls, and tweets over messages, our memory centre might be slowly shrinking; making us ever more dependent on the bits and bytes. The old world had the walking stick for physical dependency (deficiency); the new world has another hand-held device - for mental....... u

Food Take Area/ vegetables Potatoes

As of November 09, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

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South City 1

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11–17 November 2011

The Medical Vedanta – Dr. Trehan’s Way around the world to take such medicine. So we need to come up with our solutions. I thought that we need to build our own institution, where from all local new therapies and new ideas can emerge. To accomplish that we needed three things; One, was infrastructure, that would support the idea of not only the best medical care, but also research and teaching. Second, the technology and instrumentation to do the research and development, and deliver the care that we want to give. And the third, is that we need to have the leading doctors in their fields—for treatment, teaching, as well as research.

We have some brilliant hospitals across the NCR. How does Medanta cut edge from the rest of the hospitals?

One is that we have the three essential ingredients—we do have the best physical plant—the infrastructure; we do have the best technology; and we also have the best doctors across all specialities. By combining the power of the three, we can deliver the highest end of care. There are also other good hospitals, and I am not saying that they can’t—but we can do it in a more integrated manner, as we have the top 20 leaders of medicine all together on one platform.

What is the Da Vinci Robot for minimal invasive surgery?

This is what we call the remote telemanipulations- in simple terms, call it robotic surgery. The one that we are using is the Da Vinci S which is the latest model. What we were looking for is to operate on a body without opening it; but it should be as precise, or even more precise, than when we open the body with our hands. The first robot that we brought to India was in 2002, for cardiac. In the mean time, many other specialties have started using it; and the latest is the four arm Da Vinci S. It has 4 arms, that manipulate instruments which are the size of a pencil. So you don’t open the body, you put 4 pencil-like instruments in the body, that make four little holes. You can actually see ten times magnification, 3D, real time picture of what’s inside. The beauty of it is that we humans have 5 wrist movements, and the robotic arms also have five wrist movements—so you can actually do everything. What it enables us to do is to perform procedures inside the body, without making big scars. So we have now have Urology (that’s prostate surgery), gynaecology, chest surgery, liver surgery, kidney surgery, thyroid and E.N.T surgeries are performed the robotic way.

What are your expansion plans?

Well, it’s going in the reverse direction now. Patients walk in and ask for the robotic surgery. It has been a transformation over the years.

Medanta is heavily booked on heart. How long does it take for a patient to meet Dr. Naresh Trehan, or get a surgery done?

We as a rule don’t like to make heart patients wait. So I make an effort everyday. I see about 50 to 60 patients a day, and conduct about 14 to 16 surgeries everyday.

The criteria for our faculty was that they must be experts and match up with the top in the world, in their field. Second, they should have reached that stage in their life where they were willing to give themselves up for their profession. And third, that they must have impeccable ethics. That is one of the things we take pride in—that we practice the highest end of ethics. It also helps keep the cost affordable.

Medanta provides the best services, and it is still affordable. So what’s the business plan?

Has Medanta broken-even yet? (laughs) We are doing fine.

Medanta is a Multi ‘Super’ Specialty Hospital. Everyone has heard of multi-specialty, but what do you mean by ‘super’?

These are gradations to try to express the quality of care that you can give. So ‘super’ specialty I would say is like, the other day there was a senior patient, who came to us and said that the other hospital had told him that the operation cannot be done; and asked me if it can be. I said, of course it can happen. So when things cannot be done anywhere else, there is still a very good chance that we will be able to do it. And many times it requires multiple specialties—if you have the masters of 3 or 4 specialties with you, then you can do a much better job in the most complicated cases. So in a super specialty like Harvard, Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic- if you can’t get cured anywhere else, then you go there. It is the same thing here; if you can’t get cured anywhere else, you come here and we’ll try to fix you. So that’s a ‘super’ specialty. Its the collective power of the Medanta team.

What do you think of the new crop of cardiologists or heart surgeons?

Do you think people are hesitant about robotic surgery?

What is the criteria for your faculty? How are they the best?

Yes, we have to be financially viable. So the whole idea, the model, is—yes, we do need, and have, the highest end of technology—which is quite expensive; but we also have a larger patient base to spread that expense over; and we also do not look for excessive margins / profits. Just enough to pay for yourself and to pay your investors. From day one my model has been that many people should be able to afford it. We don’t want to deny treatment to people. So we have kept our charges fairly minimal. We could charge Rs. 2 lakhs for a bypass surgery, but that according to me is immoral. Being a doctor, you are gifted; and then if you say that now I am going to extort money for this gift, I think it is immoral (in medicine).

are going to do, as you already know all the facts; you may change it if need be, but you are already aware of what’s next. If you plan well, your success rate will be much better.

Medanta is like a university. We have bought this land next to the hospital, where we are going to build a medical and a nursing school. Right now we have opened close to 650 beds; every month 50 beds will be added. And further, we will possibly make other institutes. So it’s all work in progress. We are heavily into research. We have Medanta Duke Research Institute, which will be inaugurated on the 15th of November, and is a major step forward. We are opening the Medanta Vattikutti Robotic Institute, which is going to be the main training center for robotics in this part of the world.


 Contd from p 1

Is it more expensive that the normal surgery?

Yes it costs about Rs. 50,000 more than the normal surgery; but you recover much faster. So you save that money on hospitalisation bills; less medicines are required. So overall it’s not that expensive.

Are there any other such facilities and technologies that are different and new, that other hospitals may not provide?

Yes. We have the Hybrid Operating Room —where we have the Cath Lab and the angiography in the operating room. So it’s combined. It’s a robotic Cath lab, that nobody has in this part of the world. The robotic Cath lab enables us to do multi-specialty procedures together. Then we have the Miyabi Brain Suite. This enables us to have an MRI study on the patient during surgery; and if some part of the tumor has remained, that may be hidden from the human eye, it can be detected through this procedure. This improves the accuracy by 30 per cent. Then we have the Sophisticated Radiation Therapy Department. This is a special machine, which helps us do special procedures for cancers, that other machines cannot. We have a big cancer institute. Like when you say super-specialty, so to be able to make a good cancer institute, you must have the best doctors for every kind of cancer—brain, head and neck, abdominal, chest. So any kind of cancer can be treated between the board of doctors.

What do you think of Fortis—coming up, by your side?

(With a smile) We welcome neighbours, no problem. Like we say, more the merrier.

What about patient care?

We have three priorities. First, the physical part—the patient should be safe and comfortable, and there must be a clean environment (that does not harbor bacteria). The design should be such that patients are not prone to injury. The quality of food should be good. There must be good housekeeping and other social services. All these must be streamlined. Second, the medical staff must be able to deliver the patient care that we aspire for, Third, is to look after the welfare of the families of the patients, because they are also under stress. For the families, we have night lounges. They are given towels, showers, recliner seats, blankets and other amenities.

How many patients from abroad?




About 15-20 per cent are foreigners.

You even had Anna Hazare here. How did he happen to opt for Medanta, all the way to Gurgaon?

He was under our care; and when he was going for the fast, he requested that we take care of him. He has been our patient for several months before the fast. So when we were requested, it’s our duty as doctors to take care of him.

What has been your most successful, or most crucial surgery?

For us in the heart field, every surgery is special. Because no two surgeries are the same. Like my guru had once said to me— ‘there is no simple surgery, there are only simple-minded surgeons’. So if you are not prepared, or don’t plan properly, you can’t produce that ultimate result. I teach my students that, before going in, make a plan in the first five minutes. Plan the nature of the operation you

The new generation are getting technologically more savvy, which is great. But the commitment to work tirelessly is not there. My team works tirelessly, and works around the clock. But the new doctors in other specialties, you often see them looking at their watch. Doctors should never look at their watch. Also, I see kids from upper middle class families don’t want to take up medicine as a profession, because they think it’s too hard. But I feel that superficial thinking is depriving them of a much deeper gratification. Life has a totally different meaning if you are a doctor. I have a lot of people telling me that your life is too hard, go take a holiday or play golf; but nothing else gives me more peace and gratification than my practice, and helping out the patients. I don’t recall a single moment when I have felt ‘oh yeh kya museebat aa gayi’. It’s a great thing to say at the age of 65, that for the last whatever number of years I have never felt the museebat. It’s pure pleasure at all times.

Is Medanta involved in any social or community work, or has any plan for it in the future?

We have, from very early years, (in 1992) started the community outreach programme. In that programme, we go to villages and hold camps. We have a cancer detection van—that offers mammography and other such facilities—that visits camps for tests, and they are all free of cost. Also, we take some on-the-spot decisions. Someone just came in and needed a scan, the cost of which is Rs.10,000; but he only had 5,000—we did it free. Also, the other day a child needed surgery, and the mother had only Rs.40,000—and I just asked her to come right in. Besides that, all BPL families are provided free of cost treatment. As time goes by, we will want to, and be able to, do more—as we stand stronger on our feet. And then we have special weeks that we do with the poor. Like we have a thanksgiving week, that we do with the Sadhu Vaswani Trust. But with children especially, we do a lot of community service. Like we just performed a surgery on a child from Salaam Balak Trust, for free.

So what’s next for Medanta’s research?

I live by the motto that if we are not better today that yesterday, than we have ruined 24 hours—so always look for what next is needed to be done. What is needed in India today is our own solutions. We have now established one of the finest institutions of modern medicine in the world. We know that modern medicine is very effective, most of the time. Its very effective, but very invasive in a way; and very expensive—even the Americans can’t afford it. So, in addition to providing the highest end of care, we need to create new medicine. The new medicine I believe will be a fusion of Ayurveda and modern medicine. So we’ll bring in herbal medicine, also go back to traditional Chinese medicine, as there are some gems in there. We have already started the work, and will be able to create the new therapies that will be as effective, more human friendly, and at half the cost. That’s the aim of Medanta. Since we must have taken up over 45 minutes of Dr. Trehan’s time (lunch time), his patients crowd his room immediately, for life-impacting discussions that are a part of his everyday routine. With a sense of security and pride, to have one of the best medical facilities of the world in our city, we exited the portals of this Multi ‘Super’ Specialty Hospital. u

11–17 November 2011


THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Rockstar Time: 10.15 am, 12.05 pm, 1.30 pm, 3.05 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.10 pm, 7.35 pm, 9.15 pm, 10.45 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 10.00 am, 2.55 pm, 5.00 pm, 9.10 pm Immortals (3D) Time: 9.45 pm, 7.05 pm, 11.15 pm Ra.One Time: 12.00 noon Address: 3rd Floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase-I Rockstar Time: 10.10 am, 11.45 am, 1.20 pm, 2.55 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.05 pm, 7.40 pm, 9.15 pm, 10.50 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 10.20 pm, 12.25 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.35 pm, 8.50pm

Immortals (3D) Time: 6.40 pm Ra.One (3D) Time: 10.55 pm Time: 11.10 am, 4.35 pm, 6.40 pm, 8.45 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase-I Ph: 0124-39895050, 9818545645 Website: DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Rockstar Time: 10.00 am, 11.30 am, 1.00 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.00 pm, 5.30 pm, 7.00 pm, 8.30 pm, 10.00 pm, 11.30 pm Address: DT Cinemas, DLF Star Mall Ph: 9650599777 2nd Floor, Opposite 32nd Milestone, Sec-30, NH 8 Website: DT City Centre: DLF Phase-II Rockstar (U/A) Time: 10.00 am, 10.40 am, 1.10 pm, 1.45 pm, 4.20 pm, 4.50 pm, 7.30 pm, 7.55 pm, 10.40 pm, 11.00 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 10.15 am, 12.20 pm, 2.25 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.35pm Immortals (3D) Time: 10.45 pm In Time Time: 8.40 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DLF Phase II, Opp. Beverly Park, M.G Road Ph: 9810421611

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ The Deputy Commissioner, P.C.

Website: PVR: Ambience Premiere Rockstar Time: 10.45 am, 11.30 am, 12.15 pm, 1.15 pm, 2.40 pm, 3.25 pm, 5.05 pm, 5.50 pm, 6.35 pm, 8.15 pm, 9.00 pm, 9.45 pm, 11.20 pm Ra.One (2D) (U) Time: 10.40 am, 3.50 pm In Time (English) (U/A) Time:10.05 am, 1.40 pm, 6.50 pm, 11.20 pm The Rum Dairy Time: 9.00 pm Dolphin Tale (3D) Time: 10.00 pm Immortals (3D) (English) (U/A) Time: 12.15 am, 4.45 pm, 9.15 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Ph: 0124-4665543 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 2.30 pm, 7.00 pm, 11.30 pm Website:

C ivic/Social


restaurants in SecTOR 29 Bikanervala

Park Balluchi

3-5, City Center, Near Leisure Valley Park; Ph: 0124 4337777; Timings: 10 AM to 11 PM Cuisine: North Indian, Street Food

Leisure Valley Park; Ph: 0124 2383548, 0124 2383481; Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight Cuisine: North Indian

BriX Street Bar & Rock Cafe

Pind Balluchi

Ground Floor, SCO No. 30; Ph: 0124 4252929, 0124 4262929; Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: Continental

Leisure Valley; Ph: 0124 2575700; Timings: 12 Noon to 3:15 PM, 6:30 PM to 11:15 PM; Cuisine: North Indian

Cafe G – Crowne Plaza

Pizza Hut

Hotel Crowne Plaza; Ph: 0124 4534000 Timings: 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11:30 PM Cuisine: Lebanese, Goan, Chinese

SCO 25, First Floor; Ph: 0124 4257751; Timings: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Italian

CaptTain's Grill

Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park, Leisure Valley; Ph: 0124 2574616; Timings: 7:30 AM to 11 AM, 4 PM to 10 PM; Cuisine: Cafe, Fast Food

Shop No 9, Near RITES Building; Ph: 9999973620/670; Timings: 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Mughlai Chin Chin

Roots – Cafe In The Park

Royal Darbar

PVR: Ambience Gold Rockstar Time: 10.00 am, 1.10 am, 4.20 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.00 pm, 10.40 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 1.00 pm, 3.15 pm, 5.30 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.15 pm Immortals (3D) (English) (U/A) Time: 10.45 am Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Ph: 0124-4665543

SCO 33, Ground Floor; Ph: 0124-4200888; Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: Chinese

Hotel Kshitij Royal, Leisure Valley Road, Ph: 0124 4339999; Timings: 12 Noon to 11 PM Cuisine: North Indian



Hotel Crowne Plaza, Ph: 0124 4534000; Timings: 11 AM to 11:30 PM Cuisine: North Indian, Continental

R-3, HUDA Market, Leisure Vally Park; Ph: 0124 6465550, 0124 6465551; Timings: 11 AM to 11:30 PM; Cuisine: North Indian, Mughlai, Sea Food


Sagar Ratna

SCO No. 35, Ground Floor; Ph: 0124 2711099; Timings: 11 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Fast Food, Italian

Plot No. 33 & 34, First Floor; Ph: 0124 4252121, 0124 4252122; Timings: 8:30 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: South Indian

PVR MGF: MGF Mall Rockstar Time: 10.00 am, 11.05 pm, 12.10 pm, 2.15 pm, 3.20 pm, 4.20 pm, 5.25 pm, 6.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 8.35 pm, 9.40 pm, 10.40 pm, 11.45 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 10.00 am, 12.15 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.45 pm, 7.00 pm, 9.15 pm, 11.30 pm Immortals (3D) (English) (U/A) Time: 10.15 am, 2.45 pm, 5.00 pm, 7.15 pm, 9.30 pm, 11.45 am Dolphin Tale (3D) Time: 12.30 pm Tower Heist (English) (U/A) Time: 10.05 am

Hotel Park Premier, 353-357, Sector 29; Ph: 0124 4604600 (Ext–2004); Timings: 7 AM to 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11:30 PM; Cuisine: Cafe, Indian, Chinese, Continental, Thai

against them. ♦ Haryana Lokayukta asks for last 20 years data of licences to private devel-

Meena, has stepped up the pressure.

opers, from the Town & Country Plan-

He has been visiting various centres,

ning department. This is in response

along with the District Task Force.

to various RTIs filed.

He has warned of stern measures

♦ Eid & Gurparab celebrated on

against encroachers, including demo-

November 7th & 10th respectively.

lition of their unauthorized construc-

♦ Shivraj Puri's (accused in Citibank

tion; and also stated that FIRs could

fraud) plea to transfer his case to CBI

be filed against erring officials.

is rejected by a city court.

On a surprise check of the

♦ Maruti union leaders who quit re-

Farukhnagar Tehsil office, he has

cently, are in the eye of the storm. They

suspended 2 staff, withdrawn

are being branded as rogues who sold

the powers of registration from 2

out. Issue seems far from settled.

tehsildars, and suspended licences of

♦ Constable kills self. Involvement of

3 stamp vendors.

Bilaspur SHO alleged.

He has also asked Town and

♦ Hayatpur Sarpanch murder — father

Country Planning and Municipal

of ex-sarpanch attacked. Local

officials not be pass building plans

public outraged.

Peppermint Hotels, 285-286, City Centre; Ph: 0124 4987000; Timings: 6 pm to 11 pm; Cuisine: North Indian, Continental, Italian, Thai, Chinese Gola Sizzlers SCO 39; Ph: 0124 2386168, 0124 2386127; Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: North Indian, Chinese Gung The Palace Plot No. 27-28, City Centre, Near Crowne Plaza Hotel; Ph: 0124 4383101; Timings: 11 AM to 3 PM, 6 PM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Korean SCO-30, Leisure Valley Road, Near Kingdom Of Dreams ; Ph: 0124 4303006, 0124 4303005; Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight Cuisine: Continental, Thai, North Indian, Chinese

PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Rockstar Time: 10.00 am, 11.40 am, 1.10 pm, 2.50 pm, 4.20 pm, 6.00 pm, 7.30 pm, 9.10 pm, 10.40 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124-4048100 Website:

to comply could mean direct action

Eat Etc.

Hops 'n' Brews

PVR Europa: MGF Mall Rockstar Time: 11.20 pm Oh! My Friend (Telegu) Time: 11.00 pm, 6.30 pm The Rum Dairy Time: 4.00 pm In Time (English) (U/A) Time: 1.40 pm, 9.00 pm 7 Aum Arivu (Tamil) Time: 1.05 am, 7.15 pm Ra.One Time: 10.00 am, 4.10 pm, 10.20 pm Address: 3rd floor, mgf Mall, mg Road Ph: 0124-4530000 Website:

of unauthorized colonies. Failure

Downtown Cafe

Skewers Hotel Optus Sarovar Premiere, 43-47, City Centre; Ph: 0124 4887777; Timings: 7 AM to 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Indian, Continental, Chinese Spaghetti Kitchen Plot No. 27 & 28, City Centre; Ph: 0124 4049720; Timings: 12 Noon to 11:30 PM Cuisine: Italian Spice Junction S-12, HUDA Market, Leisure Valley Park; Ph: 0124 4291122; Timings: 8 AM to 1 PM; Cuisine: North Indian, Chinese Swagath Plot No 16-17; Ph: 0124 4760600, 0124 47606001; Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: Chinese, North Indian, Sea Food, South Indian The Oriental Bloom SCO 39; Ph: 0124 4019616; Timings: 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese

La Cabana

Wildfire – Crowne Plaza

Opposite Kingdom Of Dreams, Leisure Valley; Ph: 0124 4284337; Timings: 12 Noon to 10:30 PM; Cuisine: North Indian

Hotel Crowne Plaza; Ph: 0124 4534000 (Ext-1027); Timings: 7 PM to 11:30 PM; Cuisine: Brazilian


Yo! China

SCO 36; Ph: 0124 66000666 Timings: 7 AM to 11 PM; Cuisine: Fast Food

First Floor, SCO 41; Ph: 0124 4241919 Timings: 12 Noon to 11 PM; Cuisine: Chinese


21 Gun Salute

Hotel Peppermint; Ph: 0124 4987000 (Ext-601); Timings: 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM; Cuisine: Oriental

SCO 35–36, First Floor; Ph: 0124 4898341, 0124 4898342; Timings: 12 Noon to 12 Midnight; Cuisine: North Indian, Mughlai

Mosaic Plot No. 360-362; Ph: 0124 4828061; Timings: 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM; Cuisine: India, Chinese, Continental, Thai

♦ 4 people on 2 motorcycles succumb, after ramming into a bulldozer, near Badshahpur. ♦ Dengue cases still not abating. ♦ Two day mass leave by Civil Hospital doctors, pressing for their demands, inconveniences many patients. ♦ 28 US University representatives of USIEF (US-India Educational Foundation) visited ITM University, Gurgaon on November 4. They presented and discussed the “Scope for Higher Education in the US”. ♦ Zonal Youth Festival kicks off at Government College, Sector 14. Asha Hooda, wife of CM, and vice president of Haryana Council for Child Welfare, addresses students on role and status of women, and urges women to fight against female foeticide (where Haryana fares very poorly).  ♦ 11th. National Dance and Drama Festival, hosted by NSM, concludes.

29th The Grill – Park Premier Hotel Park Premier, 353-357; Ph: 0124 4604600; Timings: 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM; Cuisine: Indian, Chinese, Continental

Police ................................................ 100 Fire Station ....................................... 101 Ambulance......................................... 102 Railway Enquiry ................................... ............ 139 Women Helpline.............................................. 1091 Children Helpline............................................. 1098 Senior Citizens Helpline.................................. 1291 LPG Helpline........................................ 011-155233 Weather Helpline............................... 18001801717 Car Breakdown Helpline................... 011-43676767 Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway Helpline.............................. 0124-4787828/817/853 DMRC Helpline..................................... 011-155370 Disaster Management Helpline....................... 1077 Municipal Corporation (MCG)............ 18001801817 Ambulance Service for Animals........................................... 9873302580


11–17 November 2011

 Contd from p 1 and they say it will be opened soon. Considering the fact that several thousand people travel to and from Gurgaon, the available parking does not even come halfway to fulfill Gurgaon’s need. We continue to underestimate and underplan. And the ‘overparking’ of these sites is in plain sight of anyone. The ticketcollector at the HUDA City Centre Metro Station is bewildered when he is asked how many cars are authorised to be parked there. “As many as they can be accommodated,” he says.

Mall mania

The malls have parking space; but even that falls short when faced with the onslaught of the hordes of shoppers—especially on weekends. “Every mall can accommodate an average of 300-400 cars. On a weekend, we have to put up the ‘parking full’ sign an hour after opening,” says a manager of a mall on MG Road. “We don’t encourage people to park on the slip-road, or the main road; but they do it anyway. What can we do? That is not our area, and we can’t possibly put guards to stop people from parking there. If their car gets towed, it’s their headache.” The malls on MG Road increase the parking rates on festive occasions; but still the rush continues. “Last Christmas, we had to raise our parking rates for cars to Rs. 100, as we had to give a bonus to our workers, to work on a holiday. In spite of that, there was no let-up in the number of vehicles,” the manager says.

Park Your Ride But WHERE?

Residential parking wars

It is to be seen to be believed. In DLF’s Phase V, the builder has allowed for wide avenues between the high-rises. But the reality is that, at night, there is hardly space to squeeze one car through. There are cars parked like sardines on either side of the road. “The reason is that every flat-owner has two to three cars. The builder allows for one parking slot per flat. Others cars have to be parked outside,” says a resident Riddhima. She has a Honda Civic, an Alto, and a Swift. So every night, the resident keeps his/her authorised parking slot empty, and ‘books’ a slot on the road outside the society, for the second or third car. “Otherwise, there is no way we can get a decent parking space for our other cars,” she says.

Official take

“We’re mulling the idea of multi-level parking, but I can’t confirm or deny anything at this point,” evades Yashpal Batra, the Senior Deputy Mayor. The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has been making all the proper noises about positive change, but precious little in

A Police Initiative In a memorandum to the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon, sent on May 16, the traffic police has provided a list of several possible parking sites in Gurgaon—that will allow the commuters a breather.

Possible multi-level parking sites 1. Kaman Sarai 2. Kamla Nehru Park 3. Cyber City 4. Udyog Vihar 5. Sector-29 6. Sector-14 7. Metro Stations 8. Government offices in the city

Facilities to be provided in parking sites

A (electronic) board outside the parking site, that should carry the following information:  Name of the parking contractor, and his telephone/ mobile number.  Telephone number of nearest Thana.  Parking capacity.  Number of occupied parking. slots, and the number available. There should also be:  CCTV coverage in the parking area.  Concretised floor.  Uniform, for parking attendants.

C ivic/Social

 Cleanliness to be maintained at all times.  Essential necessities like availability of drinking water, adequate lighting, toilets, etc.  Reduced fee and discounts for those parking regularly.  Parking charges for twowheelers should be Rs 5; and Rs 10 for four-wheelers.  There should also be rules and punitive action, to make sure the service provider is following the norms.  Regular checks by the department or the police.  If any service is not provided, or is lacking; the service provider should be penalised.  If any service provider is found charging more than the prescribed rates, a criminal case should be filed against him.

In case of theft

A case can be lodged under Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code. The vehicle owner can lodge a case against the service provider in the consumer court. NOTE: Parking facilities in the city do not guarantee your vehicle's safety under any circumstance. They just charge you for using that space. If a service provider is not following the rules, he can be stripped of the contract.

Thank God For Small Mercies List of parking sites: 1. Hanuman Temple 2. Sohna Chowk 3. Sethi Chowk 4. Higher Secondary School, Jaicompura 5. HUDA market (Sector 21, 22, 23, 29) 6. Market in Sector 55/56, South City-II 7. Cyber City DLF Phase-III 8. DLF Market, Phase-III 9. Arcade Market, DLF Phase-II 10. Market near Sikander village. 11. Guru Dronacharya Metro Station 12. Sikandarpur Metro Station 13. MG Road Metro Station 14. IFFCO Chowk Metro Station 15. HUDA City Centre Metro Station 16. Plaza Market, DLF Phase-I 17. Chakkarpur Market 18. Galleria Market, Sushant Lok 19. Super Mart market 20. Cyber Park, Sector-44 21. Medanta The Medicity 22. South City-II market 23. Vatika Tower, Sector 55/56 24. Alchemist Hospital, Sushant Lok Phase-II 25. Hewitt Tower, Sector-42 26. Central Plaza, Sector 55/56 27. Leisure Valley Park, Sector 29 28. Lemon Tree Hotel, Sector 29 29. ABW Tower, MG Road 30. Silokhera Village, Market

TOTAL: 33 Sites

Unauthorised parking sites: At least double of the official number, say HUDA officials

terms of clearing unauthorised parking sites (a job for its antiencroachment department), or creating new ones. Batra says, “We can only give new parking sites when HUDA hands over its commercial plots to us. When it does, we will hold an auction.” Why not a lottery system? “We have decided to go with the auction system, and the highest bidder will get the parking slot,” he says. “We’re looking into multilevel parking, and the city is being surveyed for ideal sites,” says a municipal official. Do the municipal authorities know that the traffic police has already prepared a list of places for ideal parking sites—among which are included sites for multi-level parking? (See Box) “I don’t know as such, but we’ll look into it.” DCP Bharti Arora says, “It’s not our job to select sites, or ensure who’s in charge of a parking site. We have written to the MCG and other concerned authorities several times, about correcting illegal parking sites; and if those officials are not taking note, it should be taken up with them.” To the traffic polices’ credit, the department has come up with an updated 84-point list, which points out areas that contribute to maximum traffic bottlenecks—and also proposed solutions. Apart from that, they have also compiled a collection of sites where parking sites should be made, and spots where multi-level parking is needed on an urgent basis.

People’s fault

A traffic policeman says, “It is also the people to blame. Why blame the builders, or the government, when you can use a little sense and park without obstructing traffic? In Sadar Bazaar, we carry out towing operations. Hardly hours later, the same space is occupied by another vehicle. If you park on the road, how can you not expect traffic jams? Why can’t the people park a little further from their place of work, and walk back? It will help their fellow commuters, and the city as a whole.” Most sensible people would agree with this advice. The current number of vehicles in Gurgaon is around six and a half lakhs. For a city this size, the

Free parking sites: Sector 4, 14, 15 markets DLF Phase-I market

Parking rates in various malls: DLF City Centre: Rs. 10/- for up to 30 minutes parking Rs. 30/- for parking up to 1 hr Increase in rate, as per time usage. MGF Metropolitan Mall: Rs. 20/- for 0-2 hours of parking Increase in rate, as per time usage. Ambience Mall Gurgaon Rs. 30/Sahara Mall - flat Rs. 30/DLF Grand Mall - flat Rs. 15/-. Weekend charges are Rs. 20/DLF Mega Mall - flat Rs. 20/- for weekdays. Weekend parking charges are flat Rs. 30/MGF Mega City Mall - flat Rs. 20/- weekdays and Rs. 30/- for weekends Raheja Mall - Free Omaxe Celebration - Rs 10 Omaxe Plaza: Rs 10 problem is that there has been too little planning, and too much selling. And whatever planning happens, there is no learning from the past. Why couldn’t the builders envision that when a person can buy a flat worth Rs 2 crore, he’ll also have the capacity of owning multiple cars? So why give him one parking slot? And then, if you’re planning to set up a market, why can’t you see at least 10 years into the future— and provide for a bigger parking space; or more underground basements for people to park? In some builder markets, it can be easily seen that there are more shops than parking slots. Where will the shop-owners park, and where will the shoppers park? This is a problem being faced by the Sarojini Nagar Market shopkeepers in Delhi, for years. The multi-level parking that has been sanctioned, can hold more than 800 cars—but it is not yet operational. And now, before the multi-level parking is operational, the authorities have started banning parking on the road! The parking crisis of Gurgaon is a Gordian knot. The harder you tug, the tighter it gets. The authorities, the builders, and the public need to wake up, and do their duty. It’s only a matter of civic sense. u

Sohna Road – The Lull Before The Storm The scene is better on Sohna Road, where there is ample parking space for all. Raheja Mall offers free surface parking, and so do a number of malls on this stretch. The reason for this largesse is simple. There is no crowd heading this way. Not just yet. SS Gupta, the General Manager of Ninex City Mart in Sohna Road, says, “We have the best space in terms of shopping and parking. If I were to quote a ballpark figure, this mall can accommodate 300 cars, and an equal number of bikes, in the two basements we have. I’m not including the surface parking at all.” And right now, the surface parking is free. The basement

parking is empty, save for a couple of dozen vehicles. Similar is the case of Celebration Mall and Omaxe Mall. They can accommodate around 300 cars, but the current capacity is less than a quarter. They charge a pittance (Rs 10) to park vehicles, compared to their MG Road brethren. The security guard at the Raheja Mall’s parking says, “The basement parking is hardly touched, since the surface parking is vacant half the time.” However, Gupta is confident when he says, “We have a daily occupancy of 170-odd cars.”


11–17 November 2011

C ivic/Social

... Miles Away From Home { Harsimran Shergill / FG }


itting in his guitar studio at his Ardee City apartment, Jimmy Thang says his life revolves around two things— his family and music. Making their way from a small town in Manipur to Shillong to New Delhi, the Thang family then moved to Gurgaon in 2004. “I am a freelance music artist,” is how Jimmy introduces himself; saying his work primarily revolves around music in all forms. Be it making jingles for radio channels, or playing the lead guitarist—with artists like Anamika and Shubra, and with rock bands. He also holds guitar classes. “We moved to Gurgaon primarily because my wife and I wanted some peace. When we moved to Gurgaon, we felt like we were living our dream. As a child, I remember reading Archie comics; where Betty, Veronica and Archie would go to malls. At that time, in Manipur, none of us could fathom what a mall in India would look like— and here we are today, living in a city full of malls. For us, it is like a childhood dream come true,” explains Jimmy. Nodding aggressively is Jimmy’s wife and childhood sweetheart, Daisy. Having

THREE IN TUNE: Jimmy Thang with his wife Daisy and son Jonathan. (Above) Performing at a gig

earlier worked with an airline, she decided to give up her job after the birth of their son, Jonathan—now three years old . “When we decided to move here from New Delhi, it was because we wanted to escape the hustle bustle of city life. We had lived in New Delhi, but wanted an escape from that kind of fast life. We were looking for something

that felt like home, yet was away from the city. Although Gurgaon has ceased to be that escape now, with the tremendous change over the years—it is still far better than living in Delhi,” says Daisy. The Thangs say that change primarily came when large open spaces around their home were converted to commercial spaces. However, this is not what Jimmy

Black Beauties

and his wife are concerned about. Conscious about his north-eastern origins he says, “Though our experience of living in the city, so far, has been positive, there are times when I feel intimidated because of my experience with the locals. For instance, while going to buy groceries next door, one normally sees a bunch of

locals who do not seem friendly. Most of these men would have sold a fraction of their land surrounding Gurgaon, for sums they would have never imagined ten years back. While it’s a positive thing that farmers are getting their dues, on the negative side, many young boys see this as a short-cut to success. And a reason to not have to work. I like to keep my presence low key, considering we are already regarded as outsiders here; but when it comes to my wife and child, there is a constant sense of insecurity,” says Jimmy. Even so, the Thang family say that after Manipur, Gurgoan has become home. So much so, Jimmy adds, “Since we decided to live in Gurgaon, I have convinced my siblings to move here too. Although my parents live in Manipur, we often meet up with my siblings for family get-togethers and parties. For occasions like Christmas, we all go back to Manipur – to celebrate with my parents and extended family.” For those who want to see Jimmy perform, you can catch him at Geoffrey’s, at Select City Walk or Turquoise Cottage, New Delhi. u

Laughing St


Santa: Today is a fine day. Annoyed Jeeto: Why do you keep saying, ‘Today is a fine day’ everyday? Santa: You had said once that, ‘One fine day, I’ll leave this house’. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jeeto sent Santa for shopping. She told him to get something that will make her look beautiful. He came back with 2 bottles of vodka for himself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Judge: Why were you arrested? Santa: For shopping early. Judge: That’s not a crime. Anyway, how early were you shopping?

HANGING ON FOR DEAR LIFE: Commuters cram into a shared auto

{ Alka Gurha }


n search of literary pursuit, if you ever wanted to grasp the tenets of social science, human psychology, and disaster management—without actually going to college—all you need is a ride on one of Gurgaon’s blazing black beauties. The shared auto-rickshaw is a gift from Italy. At the end of World War II—when most Italians lacked a mode of transport— Enrico Piaggio came up with the idea of a three wheeler; that is now the most economical means of public transportation in Gurgaon. To start with, flagging a shared auto on the road is an art in itself. One has to shed all inhibitions, disregard the traffic mavens, and stand in the middle of the road—for effective signalling. Patience,

perseverance and providence— all help in halting an auto, that promises to take you to the desired destination. The infernal agony of finding space in the already overloaded smoke-spewing monster, reminds you of the erstwhile ‘Fevicol’ advertisement. While the black beauty is an awesome metaphor for the popular adage, “Thoda adjust karo,” it is also an eclectic conglomeration of Indian diversity. A student from the north-east, a labourer from the east, a techie from the south, and a trader from the west—all coexist in harmony, revelling in this marvel of the Millennium City. The innards of the shared auto are a place to savour an assortment of aromas. Once settled, there is no reason to sniff disparagingly, as the


black beauty ferries flatulent jerks, tipsy travelers, decrepit dudes and stinking souls—with equal felicity. There is a clear gender bias. The ride can be a blessing for the male; with potholes providing despicable adrenalin surge. With the predator and the prey snugly crammed, the black beauty expedition is an inescapable nemesis for women. Even though the antiquated black beauties are synonymous with agony, they are the preferred mode of transport; for the very reason that they are economical. Perhaps the residents with deep pockets can afford to sneer at them. But, in the absence of an effective bus service, the much lampooned and condemned beauties are a lifeline for the daily commuters in Gurgaon. u

Santa: Before the shop opened. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Santa: Why are you crying, darling? Jeeto: I baked a cake and the dog ate it all up. Santa: Don’t worry, I will get you another dog. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Santa bought a car on loan from a bank. He did not pay the dues; the bank took away his car. Santa: If I knew this, I’d have taken a loan for my marriage also! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Santa in airplane going to Bombay .. While it’s landing he shouted: “Bombay ... Bombay” Air hostess said: “Be silent.” Santa: “Ok.. Ombay. Ombay” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Teacher: “What is common between Jesus, Krishna, Ram, Gandhi and Buddha?” Santa: “All are born on government holidays...!!

11–17 November 2011

C ivic/Social


Know Your Councillor

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

Yogender Singh Sarwan


ard no. 7 of Gurgaon Municipality is a paradox. It has the maximum number of gardens, but no greenery to speak about! The gardens in this Ward refer to colonies (Vishnu Garden, Mahalaxmi Garden, Ashok Garden, Swaroop Garden, Anand Garden) that are filled with working class people. It is they who man the factories in large parts of Gurgaon— particularly the Daulatabad Industrial Area, that also falls in Ward no 7. MCG Councillor Yogender Singh Sarwan describes his area as Samasyaon ka Pitara (a box full of problems). He alleges that since this ward is full of working classes, and people from weaker sections of society, the government and the municipality are least bothered about the living conditions here. “The people here neither have the money power nor voting

prakhar pandey

Full Of Gardens, Yet No Greenery influence, as majority of them are migrants. So they are forced to live in pitiable conditions,” he asserts. Illegal factories that have come up in every street, are making life more difficult, he says. “Power connections have been issued to these factories, and they also use water meant for public use,” he says. He adds that all this is happening in connivance with officials. Sarwan is also critical of the two large chemical factories in the area that are polluting the air and water, much to the chagrin of people. “The chemical factories here are destroying the eco-system—as pollutants are released into the air, and also pumped back into the ground”, says Sarwan, who won the MCG elections on a BJP ticket. These issues have been raised with the government, but nothing happens against powerful people, he rues. The shortage of drinking water is another problem faced by people in this ward, as water-tankers fail to meet the demand. “We have been crying for more tube-wells, but no action is being taken”, he says. There

Ward No. 7:

are around 40,000 Daultabad, people, who need water Daultabad Industrial Area, Rajendra for drinking and other Park, Surat Nagar Phase 1 purposes. Fights can be witnessed daily as people try to get water contractor. “How will this water from the tankers. While the MCG has promised reach homes”, he wonders, that water from the irrigation while questioning the sincerity canal will soon reach the area, of the MCG officials, as well as the Councillor alleges that the government. Roads in the ward are in a the work of laying pipelines has been stopped by the local shambles, and it seems that these have not been laid for the past several years. Sarwan agrees, and points to the main Bajghera Road, that has been left incomplete—from Leelo Halwai’s shop to Gaur Factory. “The road connecting the Daulatabad fly-over and this area is also in poor shape, and the authorities need to wake up. There is also a need for building reason behind my ward’s a foot over bridge near the railway station”, he asserts. poor state. ” Gurgaon village, including the colonies like Amanpura, Ashok Puri and Dayanand Colony, consists of a huge area; and it certainly needs better infrastructure. “These colonies like Amanpura, Ashokpuri have a huge migrant population and they have not been given proper facilities to live in. Some of the colonies are unauthorised, and that is the reason MCG neglects these people, and their demands for better infrastructure,” says Kataria. Taim Tey (T, as in time) + Em Corruption is an old nemesis of development; and this ward is no exception. “I requested them for 250 street lights in my village; and after a long debate a budget of Rs. 7.5 lakh was passed in the house. Dophare - Do+fir+ray But only 50 lights came to my village; rest of the money was swallowed by ‘middlemen’,” rues Kataria. “We made a lot of promises during the election; but now we are unable to fulfil even a Kad - (as in height in Hindi) single one, nor are we entitled to any budget or any power; and the authorities don’t listen to our problems. House meetings are nothing but a sad joke on the system. We don’t have any office to work from. We spend thousand of rupees from our own pocket; and what we get in return is just Rs. 1,500. Junior Engineers of the Corporation don’t listen to our demands for projects. Tadkain - Tad (rhymes with mud) This system is nothing but a façade of welfare,” Kataria + Kain (K+ayen) signs off. u

Gurgaon City Leaves The Village Behind prakhar pandey

The MCG Councillor also says medical and educational facilities need to be upgraded, as most of the people fall in the low income group. “We need government schools up to the middle level, and better medical facilities. Right now people have to avail private services that are expensive”, he says. The condition of sewerage, and the drainage system in this ward, is pathetic. Local residents have to cross pools of water during the monsoons; and despite repeated pleas, there has been no improvement. Interestingly, the sewerage pipes were installed in this area by local residents, after collecting money around 20 years back— but the MCG or authorities have not take any pains to upgrade the system. “During monsoons the water and sewage enter the houses, making life almost impossible”, claims Sarwan. He claims that there is no cleaning mechanism for drains, and the MCG contractors never work properly. Lack of streetlights and power poles is another bane for the residents. Sarwan says there are no streetlights in Mahalaxmi Garden, Ashok Garden, Anand Garden, Swaroop Garden, Surat Nagar Phase 1 and 2. Despite having numerous gardens there are no real parks in the ward; and the one small patch they do have is also under litigation, reveals Sarwan. He hopes that problems will be resolved in the coming days, but admits that being from an opposition party, it is difficult to get work done. u

Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo

1. What time is it? Ke taim ho raha hai?

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

Sunita Kataria


espite being in the core of the city of Gurgaon, in Gurgaon village—the oldest inhabited place of this Millennium City, Sunita Kataria bemoans the fact that her ward has been left neglected and undeveloped. Be it roads, sewage, electricity or any other basic need of the masses, this village has been kept deprived,” says the Councillor of Ward No 14. Kataria speaks of the hindrances she has been facing in changing the face of the area. “I have been trying to do development work in my ward; but we Councillors don’t have the required support form the MCG authorities. Since May this year, I have

Ward No. 14: Amanpura, Ashok Puri, Dayanand Colony, Gurgaon, Gurgaon Village, Sector 5

not been given a single paisa for any development project in the area. You can see broken roads, and the electricity poles with no street lights on them,” Kataria rues. Kataria lambasts the MCG authorities for their step-motherly attitude towards her Ward, “I have been the district head of Indian Nation Lok Dal (INLD) for the last 15 years; and our family doesn’t share a good relationship with the Congress minister here. This is one of the main reasons I have not been given any money to develop my Ward. MCG officials are only concerned about pleasing ministers. Party politics is the only

2. It’s two ‘o’ clock in the afternoon Dophare ke do baj re hai

3. When does the cinema hall open? Cinema hall kad khule ga? 4. When will you serve lunch? Roti kad de ga?

5. I want to leave early morning Tadkain jaldi jaana hai manne


11–17 November 2011

C ivic/Social JIT KUMAR

Need To Build Community { Hritvick Sen / FG }


hen Gurgaon was being set up, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) was assigned to develop the land, and build sectors to provide housing. The architects decided that each ‘sector’ of housing was also to have a community centre, wherein the people would have the space to socialise. An accompanying park would be appropriate, for providing children with a green, open space to play. Today, our community centres present a bittersweet picture. On the one hand, the city has some of the most vibrant community centres, alive and buzzing with cultural events. On the other, some of the community centres remain locked up, waiting for some ‘big’ event. They are falling to pieces—closed to the public and ignored by the administration. And in some places, there are no community centres at all. Some of the well-known community centres of the city are in the Sector-14, and the DLF Phase-I. The general secretary of the DLF City RWA, Sudhir Kapoor says, “We have an year-long schedule with cultural programmes, medical camps, Unique ID camps etc. And for festivals like Diwali, Dussehra and Durga Puja, we invite performers and host cultural events.” The DLF Phase I Community Centre has lawns for children, and also provides indoor games facilities. This centre is well over 15 years old. Over time, the facilities have become somewhat cramped. The auditorium can seat 200 people comfortably and has two green rooms. “We have two more community centres, at Phase II and Phase III. They were completed some six or seven months ago, and have been built keeping in mind the numbers we attract. Each of them has big lawns for children to play in, spacious rooms to hold parties, and large halls.” The Sector 14 Community Centre deserves special mention, as it is the oldest com-

GLEAMING EDIFICE: The Community Centre in DLF Phase II, K Block

munity centre (built in 1976, and inaugurated in 1983 by former Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal). “Our association was formed in 1978,” says Sector 14 Resident Welfare Association (RWA) President K.S. Yadav. “We host festivals, birthdays or even condolences, in our own spirit. Our centre can seat around 70 people, and we are always busy with events,” he says, gesturing around. In another room, a crowd is milling around, waiting for their Adhaar Card (UID) registration. General Secretary B.D. Pahuja, however, feels a need for change. “What you see here is exactly what was built in 1976. Nothing has been changed or upgraded; just maintained.” A delegation of the RWA has just met the Chief Minister of Haryana BS Hooda, and explained their need for a bigger, better community centre. “When this community centre was built, there was absolutely nothing except for houses. At that time, there were around 1,160 houses here, some occupied and some vacant. In total, there were around 1,000 people. Nobody imagined that Gurgaon would turn into a metropolis and there would be 20,000 people living here. Every time there’s a function, at least

FIRST OFF THE BLOCK: The Community Centre in Sector 14

CIVIC ACTIVITY: An UID camp in the Sector 14 Community Centre

Officials Say...

Clubs Ansals and Unitech do not have a community centre on the lines of HUDA. They have come up with their own versions called clubs. Over time, the clubs have been upgraded with air-conditioned halls, lawns, area for outdoor sports like badminton, tennis, swimming pools and the like, besides jazzed-up interiors and exteriors. A good example of this would be the Malibu Towne Club. For its residents, the club has a restaurant, a bar, cards room, largescreen TVs, a full-fledged gym and fitness centre, lawns for parties, and space for badminton, basketball and tennis. All this comes for a price, and the residents get a discount for membership. The story is the same for other builders. DLF has its upscale Country Club, and a new one in Phase V. The membership starts with Rs 1 Lac for its residents, and goes up if you include the spa and swimming facilities. Built like any uptown mall, the club boasts of outlets of designer brands, besides other amenities. Lawyer and activist Kittu Mathur says, “The concept of community centres by builders is just an eyewash. The DLF Group had planned to come up with a community/ recreational centre in DLF Phase IV. They built the DLF City Club over it, and in the space behind it, they allowed a school to be built.” The Change of Land Use (CLU) was contested, but “nothing came of it,” she says. “If any builder has to build a community centre, they turn it into a club of sorts, where they can charge a membership for facilities which should have been free; or included, anyway,” Mathur says.

community centres in Chauma Khera and Moula Hera villages. The file has been forwarded, and I am happy to say that Rs 98 lakh has been sanctioned. The land is available, and the work will begin shortly.” Sector 4 is one of the oldest sectors in the city of Gurgaon, and so is its community centre. “It is one of the venerable elders of the city,” says Mangat Ram, Ward 10 Councillor. “I have Cancon Enclave, Laxman Vihar Phase-I, Laxman Vihar Phase-II, and Sector 4 as my responsibility; and it’s sad that there is no community centre in my ward.” Naming two places that need a community centre, he says, “Both the phases of Laxman Vihar need community centres. I’ve filed the list of items necessary for my ward, and the community centres are right on top of the list. It is another matter that the authorities have other things to do. I have told them time and again that there is space available to build the community centres. And in case, there are problems, they can always acquire the land. There are empty tracts of land available; I assure you, land is not a problem.” In Ward 14, there are primarily MCG and abadi areas (Amanpura, Ashok Puri, Dayanand Colony, Gurgaon, Gurgaon Village, Sector 5). There is no community centre, says Councillor Sunita Kataria. “I have put in the application for two community centres, one at Gurgaon village, and the other at Dayanand Colony. Why is it that only HUDA sectors can have community centres? My people also socialise; they need space for conducting marriages and social events. Why can’t a family have a decent birthday party for their kid at the community centre? And it is a fact that despite putting in the application for the construction of community centres, nothing has been done. No money has been sanctioned, and no surveyor has come to map out the area,” she says.

SYLVAN SURROUNDS: The Community Centre in DLF Phase I, F Block

a thousand people participate. This leads to over-crowdingpeople have to gather outside the community centre, and there are parking problems,” Pahuja admits. “We have asked for a complete renovation of this community centre. We need to break it down, and build it afresh. What we need is one more storey, bigger rooms and an auditorium that can hold close to 1,000 people. Plus, if you have so many people, you also have to plan for appropriate parking. We have requested that the new community centre should be equipped with basement parking, as also a library and a conference room,” he says.

The Councillor for Sector 14 (Ward 17), Anoop Singh agrees, “These changes must be done. Even I have asked for the same.” The rest of Gurgaon paints a different picture. The community centre in Sector-23 is lying unused for the most time. It is withering away from neglect and apathy. It has been ‘locked’, awaiting a big event. Ravinder Yadav, the Councillor for Ward 2, says, “I have Sector 22 and Sector 23 in my ward. Actually, I have no knowledge of this as HUDA officials hardly share any information with us.” Further, he says, “In MCG areas, I have asked for two

A HUDA official says, “We have more pressing matters to attend to. When people are crying out for roads, sewerage, and decent water supply; I think they would forgive us if we put building community centres on the backburner.” Mayor Vimal Yadav says, “The matter of community centres is under process; as are so many civic necessities. These will happen, definitely.” Gurgaon has a plethora of people who have come in from all the corners of India. It is a classic melting pot of cultures and regions. A community centre is a place where all differences can dissolve, where strangers can come and become neighbours in the true sense of the term. There are functioning community centres, that are fulfilling their responsibility of bringing people together. Some of them are new (like DLF Phase II and III community centres), some of them need complete renovation (like Sector 14), and some of them need to be opened to the public. And many of them need to be built, in the first place (MCG/ HUDA areas). u

11–17 November 2011

C ivic/Social


prakhar pandey

{ Maninder Dabas / FG } What’s good

{Sector-5 & 6}

♦ Schools (four) ♦ Electricity ♦ Police Station

What’s not so good

♦ Main road not repaired, after the sewer being laid. ♦ No drainage inside the sector. ♦ Badly damaged inner roads. ♦ Huge land left unused. It has become home to many anti-social elements. ♦ Badly managed green lanes on the roadside. ♦ No parking in market. ♦ Badly managed community centre People often say that small areas are easily managed; but Gurgaon’s Sector-5 and 6 are an exception. Both the sectors are smaller, as compared to

Small Is Not Beautiful IN A SHAMBLES: The Community Centre of Sectors 5 & 6 is sorely missing a broom

other sectors developed by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA); but as far as management is concerned, these two sectors are in far worse condition. “These two sectors are totally neglected by HUDA. We have written to them regarding every problem the residents are facing—ranging from poor

URBAN JUNGLE: A breeding ground for disease, behind the police station

Harsimran Shergill


playground by the residents; but in the evening a lot of trucks come and halt here. Truck drivers misbehave with the residents, especially the ladies coming out for an evening walk. This becomes a very unsafe place in the evening. However, there is a police station at a stone’s throw, and we have complained to them in this regard; but nobody listens to our concerns,” said Nasa. Roads are one of the common items the city has been unanimously crying hoarse on; and these two sectors are certainly not an exception. “Sewage or roads, these two sectors are badly effected. There is no drainage inside the Sector, and hence the inner roads are on the brink of extinction. On the main road, a few months back, the HUDA people had laid sewers—which resulted in the damage of green cover on the sides of the road. Till now nothing has been done to restore

Maid in Gurgaon

{ Harsimran Shergill / FG } sha’s day begins at 4:30am, as she wakes up to start her walk, from her village Tigra to Sector 40—by foot. “It takes me 45 minutes,” she says matterof-factly; and as someone who has not only timed herself, but perfected the art of her morning walk. Except, that hers is not a walk of pleasure. Asha is a maid in Gurgaon, who travels daily, to clean and maintain homes that you and I live in. Friday Gurgaon looks into the life of a maid, who comes in and out of our lives, sometimes without ever being noticed. She seems sceptical, even hesitant at first. “Aap hum logon par story kyon kar rahe hain, hum tho bade log nahin hain? (Why are you doing a story on us. We are not big people) she questions; and then slowly begins to disclose her world to me. It is one that she’s guarded tightly till now—simply doing her work, and getting back home. “I’ve been living in Gurgaon for the last seven years. We moved from Agra in search of jobs; because the same work in Agra wouldn’t pay enough to sustain my family. So, my husband Mohan Lal and I—along with our three daughters—moved to Gurgaon,” she says, while going about her

drainage system to security issues—but nothing has been done,” says Lal Singh Yadav, the President of the Sector-5 and 6 Resident Welfare Association (RWA). Both the sectors have no dearth of infrastructure. Community centre, police station, and market— all have been provided by HUDA; but when it comes to maintenance of the infrastructure provided, HUDA falls drastically short. “This community centre is common for both the sectors, but nobody takes care of it. The HUDA sweeper seldom comes here to clean it, and The residents have to pay money for using it for any small gathering or function,” said Sanjay Nasa, the Vice President of Sector-5,6 RWA. Sector-5 has huge HUDA land lying vacant, and it is being used being used by truck drivers to park their vehicles during the evening halts. “This is disputed land of HUDA. It is used as a

WORKING IN HOPE: Asha aspires for a better future for her three daughters

daily household chores. Asha doesn’t know how old she is. Even when she talks of her children’s age, she talks in approximations. She seems to be in her mid-twenties. “My husband used to work as a construction worker for a local contractor here. During one of our visits to the village near Agra, he got electrocuted. He lost movement of his left hand,

and therefore cannot lift heavy objects. This is why I have to work in three homes, while he stays at home,” says Asha, a mother of three young children. Working from one home to another, Asha—unlike her name—says there’s little hope in her life. Earning Rs 7,000 per month, “I pay rent of Rs. 1,500, and Rs. 500 for electricity. In Rs. 5,000 I have to run my household,

and feed four people. I cannot take work in more homes, because once I’m done with work at around 2:30 pm, I have to go home; to bathe, and cook for my children and husband,” she says. The mother of three daughters, Usha (2), Sarita (6) and Meena (10), says she does not earn enough to send them to school. “Who doesn’t want

it,” said S.P. Nagrath, another resident of Sector-5. The market is another major issue in the Sector, because HUDA has provided only one small parking for the residents, “This market is small, and doesn’t have the stores to attract the residents. Further, HUDA has only given one small parking in the market. People are compelled to park their vehicles on the road,” says Ramesh Khattar, another resident. Nagrath pointed out a big headache of the residents—a huge deep hole left unattended by the authorities, in the backyard of the police station. “This place, overgrown with weeds, has been a source of great discomfort to the residents. During the monsoons, it becomes a breeding ground for all manner of disease causing organisms. HUDA officials have promised to fill this; but nothing has been done yet,” rues Nagrath. u their children to do well in life? Do you think I like the thought of having them work like me, in people’s homes? If I had the money, I would educate them, but it seems like their fate is sealed like mine. My parents didn’t have enough money to educate me; and as life may have it; my children are going to meet a similar fate,” she says with disappointment. Once Asha is back home in the afternoons, she rests for an hour; after which she’s back to work. “I clean, cook, wash utensils, clothes and do other household work that my employers ask me to do. Even an occasion like Diwali is not special for me. Sometimes, people get generous and give me money or sweets,” she says pointing to an half empty box of sweets. “The children will have a feast today, and that’s what our Diwali is like,” she says smiling. From making ends meet, to aspiring for a better tomorrow, Asha feels Gurgaon has given her children a little more than Agra did. For the moment, her biggest worry is inflation. She asks ,“Maybe if you write about the price rise, the vegetable prices might come down.” I thank her for her time, and wish her children a better tomorrow. u


11–17 November 2011


The Urban LMC

ost of the debate on poverty seems to focus on the rural poor—supposedly the vote bank. NREGA is trumpeted as the reason for the last election victory. It is a different matter that it seems to have become a millstone – a very heavy cost to bear.


However, there is perhaps a stronger case today for the urban poor. Not just the homeless, who are featured quite regularly but the LMC (the Lower Middle Class). The ones taking home Rs. 20 to 40 thousand per family (of 4 to 6) per month. And living in cities. Yes, they are poor today. In the last two years, inflation has ripped through their earnings. And fuel (petrol) price hikes, in times of inflation, have been cruel— downright incendiary. Apart from food and transport, this urban class also has to spend much more than their rural counterparts— on rent, education (with tuition), and health. They are single-minded in ensuring that their children are well educated, so that they (hopefully) lead far better lives. The New India opportunity has not knocked on their door. Their wages and salaries have just about moved with the times. They are mainly stuck in the same job. They do not possess the new skills—and also do not have an appetite for risk. Maybe karma, destiny is too ingrained. There is no government scheme for them. Those are mainly for particular castes and

Lights, Sounds, Colour –The Indian Way

{ FG Bureau }


t the DLF Phase-I Market on Diwali eve, a father drags his boy away from the pastry shop. “Absolutely not! We have more than enough sweets at home.” The boy wails, “But you also stopped me from buying any crackers; and I hate the sparklers you bought.” The exasperated father reasons, “Beta, it’s not proper, with the smoke and everything.


There have been visible efforts to lessen the smoky explosions this Diwali. There have been reports of children shunning crackers, and going for a more eco-friendly, ‘green’ festival. But why should we stop a tradition of fun, of festivity—of also being boys! Mind you, it’s good to be a ‘green warrior’, and cut down on pollution whenever and wherever you can. It’s admirable, and should be emulated. Go car-pool,

use electric stoves instead of LPG ones, buy a Reva instead of the Prado, and switch off the AC. Try to smoke less cigarettes, for that matter. Do that, and you’ll be making a significant change. Plant trees. Even better, make sure you take care of those trees, and water them. But why shrug off crackers in the name of pollution? It wasn’t such a problem when there were lesser cars, or fewer factories. Now, when everyone is polluting away merrily, the axe has to fall on history, and tradition. On fun. We are shying away from a 10-metre long string of crackers in the name of air and sound pollution; but can’t switch off our car AC at traffic lights. Or use a bus or the Metro to commute once a week. If we conserve through the year, we can blow crackers to kingdom come – for just that one night. Diwali is adhuri without the bags of sparklers, aloo bombs, cracker chatais, Catherine’s wheels, and hawais. Teaching a kid how to light a sparkler rekindles the child in everybody; and lighting a bomb reaffirms the man. And it’s not just Diwali. We are promoting ‘eco-friendly’ Holi celebrations. Because it’s just too much bother washing off

religions—even if you are rich; and have a primary rural focus. There is also no politician that seems to care for the LMC lot. The closest is perhaps Mamata in Kolkata. She has been there. The new wonders of city life—like malls and new entertainment options—while welcome, have come with a rider. Not only are they costlier than alternatives; they also build aspirations—which are difficult to satisfy. Yes, it is not just a neat divide between affluent India, and poor Bharat. We still have a class in between—the one in the middle—and the most vulnerable of them is in the Lower Middle. The new economy is hitting them the hardest Fortunately this urban class is more accessible and visible than the vast tracts of rural India. Direct benefits to them can be easily tracked. It is time to dedicate a scheme for them—maybe school fee and fuel vouchers. The ration shop (PDS) and the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) have clearly been of no help, or use, to them. Let us not fail them again. For good measure, it can be anointed the Rahul G. scheme. Some charity should begin at (or near) home. Let us also remember that the LMC do vote. In good number. And beware too—their children will not be as tolerant. u

the colour and the muck from our hair. So now, people have a sedate Holi, and a quiet Diwali. Quite Western, aren’t we? Prim and proper; and ‘developed’. It’s a different matter that we would tomorrow celebrate Guy Fawkes’ Night with crackers! The point is, being eco-friendly should have little to do with our celebrations. We have not created our history at a Friday night bar. So, why is it ‘fashionably’ taboo now to blow

up a few big crackers, or make an extra-strong concoction of rang and bhaang? If we really want to be green, we should probably take a good, hard look at what we do the rest of the year; instead of taking the colour, the light, the sound... and fun... away. The Western world has less of history and tradition. Don’t fritter ours away—that too in the Age of India. u

Oh Wow. Oh Wow. Oh Wow: Steve Jobs { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }


he sister of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs says he remained vibrant and engaged until just before his death; and that the last words he uttered were “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” Novelist Mona Simpson shared the same biological parents as Jobs, but unlike him was not given up at birth for adoption. She said that he called her from his deathbed a day before he died, and that she rushed to Los Angeles to be at his side. Simpson posted the eulogy she gave her brother in The New York Times, two weeks after her address at a private memorial service for the iconic tech visionary. She related how a lawyer for Jobs contacted her when she was 25, in 1985, to inform her that her long lost brother was rich and famous. During the next 27 years, she said Jobs impressed her as “an intensely emotional man” and “always with love at the core of his effort.” She said that he was able to speak to friends at Apple till the afternoon before his death, but then his breathing became laboured as though “he seemed to be climbing.” “Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.” “Steve’s final words were: Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” u

11–17 November 2011

Kid Corner


Keeping Haryanvi Culture Alive T

he students of Bagia School, South City II, put up scintillating performances during the annual fest of the Institute of Technology and Management (ITM). The various performances at the inauguration of the fest, brought alive the regional and folk culture of Haryana. The song titled ‘O Nandi ke beera’ was a hit with the audience. The students were given prizes at the end of the ceremony, and they were invited to participate in various contests and activities organised by the college.

From The Heartland T

he noted Pandwani folk singer, Teejan Bai performed in Lotus Valley School, under the auspices of the Society for the Promotion of Indian Culture & Music Among Youth (SPIC MACAY). The stage, beautifully decorated with floral rangoli and earthen diyas, was abuzz with the musical beats and rhythmic movements of Tejan Bai. The Chief Guest Dr. Kiran Seth, Founder of SPIC MACAY, lauded the school’s efforts to organise such festivals to promote folk dance and music. “It is the first time I am watching a performance like this. I couldn't understand a few words as Bai ji spoke in Bhojpuri, but I still enjoyed it a lot,” said Vashali Banerjee of class VII.

On The Right Track


olonel's Central Academy (CCA) School, Sector 4, held its Annual Athletic Meet at its sports complex, situated at Sadhrana village. The meet commenced with a warm welcome extended to the Chief Guest—Maj. Gen. Shiv Jaswal, AVSM, with a fanfare played by the school band. The school's sports captain briefed the audience about the achievements of CCA students. This was followed by various track and field events like 400m race for girls and boys of the middle and senior wing, 4x100m relay race for all categories, 1500m race for senior boys, high jump, long jump and races for class VI. The various events set the track and field on fire, and the voices of students cheering for their houses reverberated through out the grounds. A major draw of the day was the Football Fare, where the young students demonstrated their skills in football.

Draw Them In


he childrens’ imagination ra n wild; some ex pressed it with a free flo wing river, some w ith wild animals; while others painted their favourite cartoon charac ters - in a drawing com petition organised by the Swiss Cottage Scho ol for its pre-nursery se ction. The first prize was won by Pranjal, se cond by Mansha, and third by Tejaswini.

Greening Them Early E

mphasising the importance of environment conservation, students of Salwan Montessori School celebrated an environment week. Children came dressed in green coloured costumes, adorned with attractive badges having the ‘Save the Environment’ slogan. The children also

It's Mommy's Turn

r 40, had a real fun bal Montessori, Secto he tiny tots of Ryan Glo n and a sandwichup a rangoli competitio time, when they lined rs participated in the mo their mothers. The for n itio pet com g kin ma sts were amazed by zeal and zest. The gue the contest with great mothers. The event ing pat skills of the partici ry ina cul and c isti art the kids. The students ding and a prayer by the began with a Bible rea The Walking Tree. t, ski a performance and also presented a music vote of thanks. prize distribution and a The event ended with


participated in various activities like—planting saplings, making cards out of waste material, and making paper bags. At the end of the week, a presentation on the theme 'Save the Earth' was prepared by the little ones.

11–17 November 2011

K id Corner

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. One less flower. 2. Drainpipe on side of house. 3. Another bubble. 4. Sponge bigger. 5. Striped blouse. 6. Wheelbarrow altered. 7. Window curtain vanishes. 8. Dog gains tooth. 9. Tree loses branch. 10. Butterfly vanishes.


Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

Spot The Difference


11–17 November 2011

E­ ducate Children To Prevent Sexual Abuse { Alka Gurha }


hild abuse is a complex phenomenon, encompassing physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment of children. It is prevalent, but not talked about much. Many cases of offences, particularly sexual abuse—including incest, and molestation—go unreported. Worse still is the fact that most offenders are people known to the victims. Child abuse is more than bruises or bumps. The signs are subtler, and difficult to ascertain. Two incidents of students being allegedly molested and abused—within school premises—had rocked Gurgaon last year; and as a result, the police adopted a “zero-tolerance policy” against child abuse in schools. But what about the incidents that go unreported?

Role of mothers

As parents, especially mothers, it is imperative that your child shares a relationship wherein he/she feels free to confide in you—without inhibition, or fear of retribution. Mothers have to make sure that children are not left unsupervised, and in potentially dangerous situations. Manisha Sharma, a resident of DLF Phase-III, and a mother of two daughters, says that she shares a friendly relationship with her daughters. She teaches



Artistic Strokes

them to distinguish between proper and improper touch. She encourages them to confide in her, particularly if they feel uncomfortable with tight hugs, inappropriate touches, or even dirty looks.

Talk to the child

Often mothers avoid talking about sexual abuse; more so, when a relative is involved. The outcome is that the children quietly suffer the ordeal. There is a feeling of guilt in approaching topics related to sexual offence. This notion makes children believe that it is not right to talk about such issues; even if they are going through a traumatic experience in their lives. If your child is facing any kind of uncomfortable situation, it is imperative for mothers to avoid denial, to remain calm, and to not start interrogating the child. It is very important to let the child feel safe and secure. Reassure the child that he/she has done nothing wrong. Most schools these days have counsellors, who educate and encourage children to share their feelings. Children who are victims of sexual crimes at a tender age, grow up with complex personality disorders. The agony of silently bearing the abuse, and the guilt associated, leaves an indelible impression on their minds.

Hey kids, do you have a painting or a poem/short story that you want to see published on this page? Send in your contributions to

A Few Myths Myth 1: Sexual abuse is violent.

In fact sexual abuse could be inappropriate touching, embracing, or even vulgar gestures.

Myth 2: Bad people abuse children.

Not all abusers are bad, but they could be suffering from

Title: Long Drive Priya Khandelwal, Class V A, DPS Sushant Lok

mental conditions; or could have been abused as a child.

Myth 3: Abusers are strangers.

On the contrary, most child abusers are known, and could be family members or acquaintances.

Myth 4: Sexual abuse does not happen in

‘good families’.

A child could be sexually violated anywhere, and not necessarily in bad neighbourhoods. To see our kids bloom into confident young individuals, and not wilt under the guilt pangs of being sexually violated in any way, it is crucial that they share a friendly relationship with parents, especially mothers. u

Advertise in

213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93 Mobile: 9999919538 (Lokesh)


11–17 November 2011

K id Corner

In ancient India many teachers taught lessons to their students through stories, just as it is done today. In fact, a teacher called Pandit Vishnu Sharma wrote all the stories of the Panchatantra just to teach four young princes about kingship! Amar Chitra Katha tells you some of these stories that were written very long ago.





Š 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

11–17 November 2011



Laugh Riot


Four stand-up comics treat the city to an evening of laughs

FUNNY FOURSOME: (From L) Tanmay Bhatt, Rohan Joshi, Rajneesh Kapoor and Ashish Shakya

{ Manjula Narayan }


ou have been following the slow efflorescence of the stand-up comedy scene in Delhi and Mumbai, and have a dim idea that some of the people who made you laugh early on are now minor celebrities— courted by lifestyle journalists. Their Twitter follower counts rival those of film stars, and the Sunday papers now often feature their sly asides. The funny guys hold forth on television too; and London’s famous Comedy Store has now opened an outlet in Mumbai. Suddenly, it seems like the joker, the sly wit, the buffoon, has emerged from the sidelines of Bollywood—to take centre stage! So when you heard that the Epicentre was hosting an 80-minute show called Mumbai Meets Delhi, featuring some of the funniest fellows on the contemporary Indian scene including Ashish Shakya, Tanmay Bhat and Rohan Joshi from Mumbai, and Delhi’s own Rajneesh Kapoor—you are elated. All four are regulars at the Comedy Store at Palladium Mall in Mumbai, which is fast acquiring a reputation as the go-to destination for stand-up comedy in the country. And all of them are, strangely enough, writers—with the exception of Kapoor, who is a cartoonist. Rohan Joshi opens the show at the Epicentre. He is also a TV presenter, whose Twitter profile says he aspires to be a “Professional Beer Drinker”, and has “an irrational obsession with LOST and Tina Fey—and a completely rational fear of anyone who plays Farmville”. The quips come quick and

fast, and there are plenty of jokes about the loud character of Delhi’s men; their untrammelled libidos, and a hilarious sketch of being caught in a quiet New Zealand airport with a stereotypically loud Punjabi family. “The rest of the Kiwis began looking at me, wondering why this brown guy was so quiet. So I told them I was Pakistani,” he said to general laughter, and followed it with the priceless punch line “you only have to worry about me after we take off!” Tanmay Bhat—another “Tina Fey fan”—follows Joshi, with a brilliant set of his own—complete with hilariously sinuous body movements! Strange how all the Indian stand-up comics fancy Tina to bits; but there aren’t too many female comics—with the honourable exception of Niti Palta—who’ve broken into the scene. Of course, Tanmay has plenty of Mumbai-Delhi jokes too— who doesn’t; but his set is more trenchant in its criticism of issues like homophobia and Diwali sound pollution—without being preachy. He definitely has that special talent to present views that might not be wildly popular with the audi-

ence, and still get them to laugh uproariously. When homeboy Rajneesh Kapoor advances on the stage, he has a tough act to follow. But he follows with much aplomb; responding to the Delhi jokes with Mumbai jokes, but doing it all with his usual gentle touch. Kapoor, whose bio says he’s worked at everything—from being a corporate slave to a waiter at a Goa shack—is one of the few stand-ups who always presents a clean show (minus the vulgar double entendres, or four letter words). He has tirelessly worked at building the comedy scene in Gurgaon and Delhi. Naturally, the audience almost always responds affectionately, to his gentle cracks at their own hypocrisies. Finally, Ashish Shakya, humour columnist for the Hindustan Times and co-writer on CNN-IBN’s The Week That Wasn’t with Cyrus Broacha, took the stage. Shakya’s set is funny in parts, though the sexual innuendo can occasionally get tiresome. Sadly, the performance petered off a bit towards the end, when he began talking about the patent strangeness of some religious beliefs. That didn’t get too many laughs; not because everyone in the house was a staunch right-winger, but because the beliefs he was referring to were Christian. It was a set that would have gone down much better in Mumbai, which has a sizeable Catholic population—and therefore would know what the hell he was going on about! Still, Shakya did get plenty of laughs for the risqué segments. These stand-ups make the 80 minute sit through a breeze. And of course, laughter’s always good for the soul... u


11–17 November 2011

There Goes The Sun Vitamin D deficiency now a concern for Indian kids { Shirin Mann / FG }


or us Indians, one Vitamin that comes absolutely free of cost, and is available in abundance, is Vitamin D—thanks to that large orb in the sky! India is rich in the supply of Vitamin D, through ultra-violet radiation present in the rays of the sun. For centuries we have luxuriated in it. The new generation seems to be quite poor in treasuring it. Vitamin D deficiency, especially among infants and kids, is noted to be rapidly increasing—due to lack of exposure to the sun, and alterations in lifestyle. Apart from our developing world problems, we are adding an ailment that was earlier limited to the West. “The problems and disease related to Vitamin D deficiency have been increasing rapidly in the last few years. The cause for such deficiency lies in the lifestyle change of the kids—


like staying indoors (reduction of outdoor activity) due to the excessive time spent on video games, television, and computers. In Gurgaon, with many people living in apartments, the kids don’t have enough of an open, sun-exposed area—un-

like people living in plots or independent houses, where you may have lawns or verandas. Also, dietary changes have contributed. Kids these days eat a lot of junk-food or preserved food, which is low on nutrition. Now more kids between the age of 6 months to 2 years show manifestations of lack of Vitamin D,” informs Dr. Prabhat Maheshwari, Paediatrician, Artemis Hospital. Maybe our love for fairness is also stopping us from stepping out in the sun. The fair folk in the west of course want more of the sun than they can get. Vitamin D deficiency can cause serious problems—like skeletal deformation, rickets, and sometimes even seizures caused by hypocalcemia. Rickets, common among children


fascinating part of man’s history is the story of great migrations—evolving to adapt to the varied habitats and challenges. Every caravan brought with it the mystery of far-off lands. Amongst the many treasures each traveller carried from afar, were seeds—for consumption as food, as well as to experiment for planting, should the local climate and soil permit. One such is the pomegranate. This superfruit has evoked much global interest. For over 8,000 years, mankind has revered the magical, mystical pomegranate as ‘The Fruit of Life’. It was the symbol of fertility and rebirth, and was thus thought to bestow invincibility and power. In recent years, scientific research is tending to support the legendary status of the pomegranate. Scientists say the leathery-skinned fruit, with the sweet-tart juice, may help with heart disease, cancer, and problems associated with aging. It’s loaded with Antioxidants, Vitamins, Potassium, Folic acid and Iron. Beneath its tough but thin skin, each pomegranate holds hundreds of tiny seeds, encased in translucent ruby pulp. Bitter, inedible membranes hold the seeds.

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

A Superfruit Across The Ages and Pakistani cuisine; but also as a substitute for pomegranate syrup in Persian cuisine. These seeds are separated from the flesh, dried for 10–15 days, and used as an acidic agent for chutney and curry preparation. Ground Anardana can also be used, which results in a more uniform flavouring in dishes. Pomegranates have very high antioxidant activity, offering brain and memory protection. The ORAC (antioxidant capacity) of pomegranate juice

was measured at 2,860 units per 100 grams. This helps fight free radicals (molecules in your body that attack and damage DNA and cells, leading to disease). Antioxidants found in pomegranates and pomegranate juices prevent the conversion of cholesterol into plaques. Antioxidants found in fruits is called a polyphenol, with pomegranates having higher levels of polyphenols than red wine, blueberry juice and green tea. Recent findings confirm the benefits of pomegranate to help fight common colds and rhinovirus infections. The pomegranate has extensively been used as a source of traditional remedies for thou-

sands of years. Ayurveda differentiates between pomegranate varieties and employs them for different remedies. The rind of the fruit and the bark of the pomegranate tree are used as a traditional remedy against diarrhoea, dysentery and intestinal parasites. The seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart and throat, and classified as a bitter-astringent (pitta or fire) component under the Ayurvedic system; and considered a healthful counterbalance to a diet high in sweet-fatty (kapha or earth) components. The astringent qualities of the flower juice, rind and tree bark are considered valuable for a variety of purposes—such as stopping nose bleeds and gum bleeds, toning skin, (after blending with mustard oil) firming-up sagging breasts, and treating haemorrhoids. Pomegranate juice (of specific fruit strains) is also used as eye drops, as it is believed to slow the development of cataracts. Ayurveda differentiates between pomegranate varieties, and employs them for different remedies. A word of caution for those on prescription medicines. Pomegranate juice may interact with anti-coagulant drugs (blood thinners) taken to prevent blood clots, increasing their effect. Talk to your doctor before taking pomegranate juice, if you’re on the blood thinners; and do not consume the juice upto two weeks before a scheduled surgery. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions.) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

ALL IT TAKES: Potential donor getting a swab test done

{ Manjula Narayan }



“In some cases, where the deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium is present in expectant mothers, the deficiency can be severe in the infant. In such cases, the mother must take Vitamin D and calcium supplements, to keep such risks at bay. For the same reasons, nowadays gynaecologists have also started prescribing Vitamin D and calcium supplements for mothers-to-be” explains Dr. Maheshwari. The best source of Vitamin D is of course sunlight. Exposure to early morning sun rays, for just about 15 to 20 minutes, is enough to prevent deficiency. Some important food groups like milk, jack fruit, carrots, custard-apple (sita phal), tuna fish and eggs are also rich in Vitamin D; and must be included in one’s daily diet. “Unlike the West, where food is fortified with Vitamin D— such as their milk or juices— most of our food here is not; so we must take extra care of our diet, and exposure to sunlight. Let us stay enriched, with our exposure to the sun. The grass does sometime look greener on the other side. Let us be happy with what nature has given us— internally and externally. Let us start our day with Surya Namaskar—where we can see Him. u

Your Chance To Save A Life


Nature’s Wonder Foods of the week:

Pomegranates have an unusually high concentration of health-giving ingredients. They are high in Vitamins B & C and antioxidant Polyphenols, Natural Phytoestrogens, essential Amino Acids and other natural cancer-fighting compounds. Pomegranate juice provides about 16% of an adult’s daily Vitamin C requirement per 100 ml serving, and is a good source of Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Potassium and Polyphenols— such as Tannins and Flavonoids. Concentrated pomegranate juice improves lipid profiles in diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Wild pomegranate seeds are used as a spice known as Anardana—most notably in Indian

predominantly because of deficiency of Vitamin D, directly affects the bones, teeth and hair. The signs of deficiency can be seen as early as 6 months, in the form of delayed teething, bowing or curving of limbs, widening of the wrist, frontal bossing or skull enlargement; and in some cases, the ribs of the child are more prominent. “In cases of severe deficiency, the child can have a seizure, caused by Hypocalcemia— where the levels of calcium in the blood are very low. Calcium levels are maintained by Vitamin D. If Vitamin D is less, then the calcium level in our bodies is low too. Even if there is enough calcium, it does not deposit in the bones. As a result, the bones become thick and weak; and when the child begins to walk, the legs start curving inwards” says Dr. Maheshwari. Almost 20% of Dr. Maheshwari’s patients are kids being treated for deficiency of Vitamin D; the most being infants. While certain precautions can be taken, it is very important for parents to understand, notice and detect the signs at the initial stagesas in severe situations, surgical corrections may be needed— and do, not ensure a 100 per cent cure. Jit kumar

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


It’s the stuff of nightmares. It’s what happened to 32-yearold Amit Gupta, a young professional from New York. His website presents a stark picture of that initial moment and the frightening realization that followed: “I got a call from my doctor, who I’d gone to see the day before, because I’d been feeling worn out and was losing weight—and wasn’t sure why. He was brief: “Amit, you’ve got Acute Leukaemia. You need to enter treatment right away.” I was terrified. I packed a backpack full of clothes, went to the hospital as he’d instructed, and had transfusions through the night—to allow me to take a flight home at 7am the next day. I Googled acute leukaemia as I lay in my hospital bed, learning that if it hadn’t been caught, I’d have died within weeks. When his extended family in India learnt of Gupta’s predicament, they immediately got busy. “We have had no time to sit down and cry; we’ve been busy conducting camps, to get people to register themselves,” says Amit’s uncle’s sister-in-law, hypnotherapist and counsellor Reena Sharma, who lives in Gurgaon. Reena set up a stall at Galleria market, during the Diwali week. There, volunteers were being administered mouth swab tests. “We started registering people on Diwali day at the Ram Leela ground. Over 100 people

came forward in four hours,” says Sharma. “Though bone marrow matches are found within the same racial group, people within the same family aren’t automatically a match for each other. This is the case in Amit’s family too— his brother’s bone marrow isn’t a match for his. Finding a match is rare. In the US, there is a lot of awareness about bone marrow matching, so people register themselves as a matter of course. There isn’t enough awareness here yet,” says Sharma.

After chemo, the next step is a bone marrow transplant. South Asians are severely under represented in the bone marrow pool, and I need help. Many Indians are in the dark about the entire process, and continue to believethat the process involves the painful extraction of marrow from the spine; though it’s now based on extracting stem cells from a person’s blood. The slight discomfort of spending a day (only 3–4 hours, actually) in hospital, to facilitate this, is nothing compared to how much your contribution could mean. You could make a real difference; you could save a life. u If you want to be part of the stem cell registry to save Amit—the results will also be used to find a match for other South Asians suffering from similar conditions—contact Reena Sharma at: and 9811510003

11–17 November 2011

The Viral Defence

Sugar In Our Blood

{ Dr Arpan Gandhi }


A focus on diabetic retinopathy { Dr Anita Sethi }


very year on November 14, the WHO brings attention to the highly negative impact of diabetes on the global population—by observing World Diabetes Day. In India, which is now being arguably referred to as Diabetes capital of the world, the focus on the disease has sharpened; yet many of its side effects like impaired vision remain under-diagnosed and untreated. It is believed that up to 45 per cent of adults diagnosed with diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, and the majority of patients remain unaware of the fact. Diabetic retinopathy is the most severe eye ailment found in diabetic patients.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a kind of complication of diabetes, resulting from damage to blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). If untreated, it may even lead to blindness; but if diagnosed and treated promptly, blindness can be prevented in most cases.

Who is at risk?

All people, especially pregnant women, with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. The risk is highest if the person has poorly controlled blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or is a habitual smoker.

What are the symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

It is hard to spot symptoms in the early stages of the disease, as they often appear in the late stages—and that too without any warning signs. It is therefore not advisable to wait for the symptoms to ap-

W ellness

pear; a comprehensive eye test is a must for all diabetic patients, at least once a year. Later in the disease, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include  Spots floating in vision;Blurred vision; Dark streaks or a red film that blocks the vision; Poor night vision; Vision loss

If you have diabetes, what should you do?

Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is the key to prevent severe loss of vision. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for an annual dilated eye exam, even if there are no symptoms. Your ophthalmologist may ask for more frequent checkups, in case you are at an advanced stage of the disease. If pregnant, you may require additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy.

How do you prevent Diabetic Retinopathy?

 Monitor and control your blood sugar tightly. Keeping blood sugar levels close to normal slows progression of the disease, and reduces the need for laser treatments or surgery  Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control  Quit smoking, and stop consuming tobacco  Yearly dilated eye exams are absolutely essential, as early warning signs are typically absent. You can have the most severe forms of diabetic retinopathy, and still have no symptoms  Contact your ophthalmologist immediately if you notice sudden vision changes, or your vision becomes blurry, spotty or hazy. u Consultant, Dept. of Ophthalmology Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon

hildren develop on an average 2-3 viral respiratory tract infections each year, during this time of the yea Most often, viral respiratory tract infections spread when children’s hands come into contact with nasal secretions from an infected person. These secretions contain viruses. When the children touch their mouth, nose, or eyes, the viruses gain entry—and produce a new infection. For various reasons, nasal or respiratory secretions from children with viral respiratory tract infections, contain more viruses than those from infected adults. This increased output of viruses, along with typically lesser attention to hygiene, makes children more likely to spread their infection. The possibility of transmission is further enhanced when many children are gathered together, such as in child care centers and schools. Unlike what people think, other factors—such as getting wet, catching a chill, playing outside—do not cause colds; or increase one’s susceptibility to infection.

Symptoms and Complications

When viruses invade cells of the respiratory tract, they trigger inflammation, and production of mucus. This situation leads to nasal congestion, a runny nose, scratchy throat, and cough—which may last up to 14 days. Fever, with a temperature as high as 101 to 102° F (about 38.3 to 38.9° C), is common. The child’s temperature may even rise to 104° F (40° C). Other typical symptoms in children include decreased appetite, lethargy, and a general feeling of illness (malaise). Headaches and body aches develop, particularly with influenza. Infants and young children are usually not able to communicate their specific symptoms, and just appear cranky and uncomfortable.

Understand & Cope { Dr Rachna K Singh }

What is stress?

Stress is a complex, dynamic process of interaction between a person and his or her life. It is the way we react physically, mentally, and emotionally to the various conditions, changes, and demands of life.

Since newborns and young infants prefer to breathe through their nose, even moderate nasal congestion can create difficulty in breathing. Children breathe rapidly, and may develop a high-pitched noise, heard on breathing out (wheezing). Nasal congestion leads to feeding problems as well, because infants cannot breathe while suckling from the breast or bottle. Because infants are unable to spit out mucus that they cough up, they often gag and choke. The small airways of young children can be significantly narrowed by inflammation and mucus, making breathing difficult.


Generally, otherwise healthy children with mild upper respiratory tract symptoms do not need to see a doctor; unless they have trouble breathing, are not

drinking, or have a fever for more than a day or two. X-rays of the neck and chest may be taken in, children who have difficulty breathing, stridor, wheezing, or audible lung congestion. Blood tests and tests of respiratory secretions are helpful.

Prevention and Treatment

The best preventive measure is practicing good hygiene. An ill child, and the people in the household, should wash their hands frequently. In general, the more intimate physical contact (such as hugging, snuggling, or bed sharing) that takes place with an ill child, the greater the risk of spreading the infection to other family members. Parents must balance this risk with the need to comfort an ill child. Children should stay home from school or child care; until the fever is gone—and they feel well enough to attend. u Senior Consultant

What does stress do to me?

People react differently to stress. How you react depends on your strategies for coping with stress, your previous experience with stress, your genetic makeup, and your level of social support and how you view your social support. The greatest factor, however, is how you perceive stress and control its outcome. What is stressful to one person may not affect another.

What can I do about stress?

To deal with stress, you need to identify its sources in your life. You need to recognize how stress affects you, understand how to avoid harmful stress, and know how you can deal with it when it occurs. You also need to realize that some events are out of your control. You want to reduce the stress you feel and help eliminate the emotional, mental, and physical problems it may cause.

Stress can be

Acute (immediate) - it can be a one-time incident, that usually comes and goes quickly. Its effect on us can last from minutes to weeks. Examples include narrowly avoiding an automobile crash, or a violent incident with someone. In acute stress, the body responds to a perceived threat. Your body releases chemicals that increase your heart rate and breathing, and provide a burst of energy. This is known as the stress response or the fight-or-flight response. Chronic (long-term) - it can be caused by a continuing string of stressful incidences, or an ongoing situation. Examples include a difficult job environment, caring for someone with a chronic disease, or a state of loneliness. In chronic stress, the body’s response depends on the severity and duration of the stress, and how you respond. The cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the immune system may be affected. Chronic stress plays a role in many health problems, including coronary artery disease, diabetes, and asthma.


Coping strategies

Stress also may cause moodiness, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. It may lead to depression, relationship problems, and poor performance at work or school. Chronic stress also limits your ability to develop skills that are uniquely yours; it can hinder your ability to excel in a way that is unique to you. We experience stress in levels: Low levels may not be noticeable; slightly higher levels can be positive, and challenge us to act in creative and resourceful ways; and high levels can be harmful, worsening chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease. These changing levels occur regularly, as we pass through life cycle transitions—like graduating from high school and college, getting or changing a job, or getting married.

1. Take time for yourself. Like, relax and exercise. 2. Take time out for relationships. Sit and talk with family and friends. 3. Join an interest group centered on a hobby, sport, or social activity. 4. Simplify your life. Don’t try to do too much. Set goals you can achieve. 5. Don’t put things off and then have to struggle to catch up. 6. Share your burden. Just talking problems through will often resolve them. 7. Don’t roll all your troubles into one large, insoluble one. 8. Be willing to resolve disputes. Don’t hold onto anger. 9. Learn to say “no.” 10. Don’t worry about things you can’t control. u Lifestyle Management Expert, Artemis Health Institute


11–17 November 2011

B usiness


Institutes to guide you through entrance exams { Abhishek Behl / FG }


tudents in Gurgaon, aspiring to crack the IIT/JEE and top medical entrance exams, must shun their visits to malls, multiplexes; and give up on social networking for at least two years, if they want to walk through the hallowed portals of these institutions. This is the mantra espoused by some of the top coaching institutes in the Millennium City. Their mission is to turn the mere student mortals into gladiators of the ‘entrance’ arena. Ismail Sheik, Director, Narayana Institute, asserts that conceptually the students in Gurgaon are at par with the best and even better than those getting top ranks. “What the students here need is to work harder, apply themselves more into studies—and for two years forget about the outside world,” he says. In his home state Andhra Pradesh, Sheik says that most of the toppers achieve that position only due to the hard regimen they follow. “Think about nothing else but studies, and you will be among the top,” he says; of course with a little help from the institutes. Narayana Institute has been coaching in Gurgaon for the last five years. While some of the students here are very good, there are a large number who are just above average; and need to focus on studies, to achieve good ranks, says Sheik. “I think students are slowly understanding the importance of achieving good ranks in the entrance exams; the situation is changing,” he opines. His view is echoed by Keshav Singh, Centre Head, Pie Institute, who says that one of the basic reasons students are unable to do well is the vast difference in the syllabus between Class X and XI. “While Class Ten is a cakewalk for students—as the course is very easy—things change dramatically in XI and XII,” he says. He also wants the aspirants and parents to understand that good marks do not automatically mean great success in the future. He is also of the opinion that Gurgaon students have the ability, but must work harder, if they want to get into prestigious institutions. “In Delhi, the students are very self-motivated, and work very closely with the teachers to improve their understanding on various subjects,” he says. He adds that focused self-study will ensure success; and it would be wrong to think that just coaching can get them through these exams. To crack the IIT, and other engineering as well medical entrance exams, the aspirants need to have a good command over concepts and their applications. However, most of the schools concentrate on the Board syllabus, with a focus on scoring high marks. This also tends to motivate students towards ‘rattafication’ (rote method) of theories and concepts; rather than understanding the same, and learning to apply them practically. There is also a major gap

STUDY TIME: Students attend a class at Narayana Institute

and give admission to every one; so that they get a chance to crack the tests,” he says. He alludes to the fact that most of the coaching centres prefer to take only the best of the lot, to get better results. AskIITians, a Noida based startup in the coaching sector, has seen a steep growth; it leverages technology to impart entrance coaching to aspirants, using online and video conferencing technology. Saket Jain, Director of the Gurgaon centre, says that video conferencing is used by the Institute to connect with faculty that is taking classes at the Noida centre. “Any where in the country, the students can enrol with us, and get trained for the entrances through the video or online mode,” says Jain. He adds that top faculty has been recruited by his Company. Faculty is the most important lynchpin for any coaching centre, admits Singh, of Pie. His institute has suffered quite a bit due to a high level of turnover. “It is important to ensure that good teachers remain with you; and they are trained, motivated and paid at par with the best,” says Sheik. Here, the ability of a coaching

The Millennium Student


meeting with some of the IIT aspirants in Old DLF colony in Gurgaon makes it clear that students in the Millennium City—unlike their counterparts in Delhi, Kota and Andhra Pradesh—are yet to catch the seriousness syndrome. They are still playful, joyous and full of pep—even as they discuss the most difficult of problems to be solved in the next maths class. While the institutes want them to be very serious, it is perhaps in the nature and culture of the Millennium City that they will remain as they are—full of zest and life. “I know the exams are tough, and the JEE entrance is too difficult but we are preparing for them. I want to go to Michigan for higher studies; but yes, I wont give up my Facebook and outings to the mall,” asserts Amit. He says that he finishes his ‘quota of studies’, and then enjoys the rest of the time. It is perhaps the language of the Millennium City youngsters, that gives an impression of bravado; but a look beneath the surface reveals the other side. The students are committed and focused, but they also do not want to miss the good things in life. A student, who does not wish to be named, says that most of the teachers are from outside states, and do not understand the lingo of this city. “We want success, but on our terms,” he says. Ismail Sheik, Director, Narayana Institute, agrees with this, as he says students here have well-rounded personalities and good communication skills, that will help them later in life. But there are also some who toe the coaching centre line—like Manish, for the whom good things in life can come later. “The fees I have paid has been collected with difficulty, and I want to ensure that it is used well,” he says. He admits that students from well-to-do families come here mainly because of peer and family pressure. Keshav Singh, in charge of Pie Institute, opines that students from rural Gurgaon and other parts of the district, though weak in communication and conceptual skills, are more labourious. “Some of these students have made it to top colleges, just on diligence, and concentration on their goal,” he says.

in what school education offers, and what the entrance exams seek from aspirants. Schools Boards in India, particularly the CBSE, test the subject knowledge of the students, and question them within the scope of prescribed books and syllabus. Secondly, the level of questions is average, and the time given to students in Board exams is more than adequate. On both counts, entrance tests and AIEEE or IIT JEE exams are different. Sheik says that entrance exams, particularly IIT-JEE, test the objective knowledge of students—with different formats of questions, like multiple choice,

assumptions and reasoning, matrix matching. The questions in JEE are always new, have a high level of difficulty, and need sharp time management skills, he adds. This is where coaching institutes step in. “We prepare the students, by making them understand the concepts and applying them in different situations. The students are made to practice hard, and learn time management—as it is crucial for success,” says Singh. Another important aspect of the entrance coaching is to help the student avoid negative marking. In IITs, the students are given negative marks for ev-

KNOWLEDGE STREET: Old DLF Colony, Sector-14, the coaching hub

ery wrong answer—and this can seriously affect the results, says Anubha Suri, a Senior Manager at Aakash Institute. “We ensure that students learn the strategy to tackle the entrance exam. They are taught skills to handle the questions quickly,” she adds. Aakash Institute, Suri says, concentrates both on medical and engineering entrance exams. The faculty, like all other national level institutes, is recruited at the Head Office in Dwarka. They are trained there, and then deputed to other centres. “Our syllabus and mode of teaching is constantly upgraded and improved by the Head Office,” added another Counsellor at the Institute. She added that some of the students, who go off-track, are counselled and motivated to focus on the goal. Aakash also trains students of Class 8th, 9th and 10th. This is perhaps done to catch the students young, and ensure that they are trained for the rigours of the coming years. Manish Sehrawat, Director of Aakash Institute, claims that the Institute has had a hundred per cent success rate. But when prodded about IIT results, he admits that the Gurgaon Institute had just two IIT selections last year. Most of the students made it to other engineering colleges. “Most of the information is available online, you can get it from there,” he quips. The success rate is what separates the grain from the chaff, says Sheik. “We at Narayana concentrate on both average as well as meritorious students,

centre or parent organisation to withstand losses also comes into question. An institute like Narayana was able to pay its teachers in Gurgaon for five years—despite making losses; but the same is not likely to happen in case the center is run by a franchisee. “Most of the owners want to earn profit and make money. They are ready to cut corners, and hire teachers at lower salaries, if the institute does not start making profit from the first year itself,” says an industry observer, who has been in Gurgaon for the last several years. The students, he warns, must also enquire about the quality of teachers, and the past results before joining these institutes. They must also objectively assess themselves. “A wrong decision might prove wasteful,” he asserts. Vandana Mishra, a teacher, who earlier ran a coaching institute, says that every student does not need coaching; and it is only peer pressure that pushes them. “Coaching helps partly in bridging the difference in the patterns of Board and Entrance exams. They mainly help those who get above 90 per cent marks; for the rest of the students it is not very useful,” she says. Most of the coaching institute heads also agree that it is the difference in the pattern that is keeping them in business. “If the pattern of the Board exams and Entrance exams becomes the same, we will be out of business,” quips one of them. Is Kapil Sibal listening? u

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be the change you want to see


11–17 November 2011

B usiness

Build A Great Place To Work maninder dabas

prakhar pandey

‘SOIL’ organises Inspired Leadership Conference 2011

SOIL Founder Anil Sachdev

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


ssuring that Maruti Suzuki will not leave Haryana, Haryana Power Minister Captain Ajay Singh Yadav on Monday said that the company’s decision to set up a new plant in Gujarat was meant for capacity expansion—and did not in any way signal a shift. The Power Minister was speaking at the 15th annual general meeting of Gurgaon Udyog Association in the Millennium City. While admitting that the recent strike at Manesar could affect business sentiment, Captain Ajay Yadav also said that the Suzuki management had reiterated its faith in the State, and was also planning to set up a major facility in Rohtak. He also assured the local industry that the Government, particularly the power department, will ensure that adequate power is supplied to them. “The recent power shortage happened due to problems at some of our power plants, and also due to problems in acquiring coal from other states. The plants at Yamuna Nagar and Khedar were non-functional for some days, but now these are working and the situation is under control,” said the Power Minister. He reassured people about his government’s commitment to Gurgaon.

Building Leadership: SOIL students participating in a workshop at the Conference

Great Places To Work A recent survey by Great Place to Work Institute indicates that good organisations understand the importance of the 'people-service-profit' chain. They focus on recruiting the right people, and ensure that they are retained and groomed for higher goals, while keeping a clear focus on results and profits. Secondly, these organisations are fair in sharing the profits, as well as paying salaries. Unique and special benefits are created for employees and the feedback system is

very transparent. Thirdly, the managements deliver on promises, and are truthful when questions are asked. In addition, the politicking is less, and promotions and benefits are given to meritorious employees. Fourthly, the study says the great places to work in India have also helped their employees in creating a work-life balance. Employees look to have fun at the workplace, and enjoy their time- as most of it these days is spent at work, and while commuting.

Power to Industry Captain Ajay Yadav addresses Gurgaon Udyog Association maninder dabas


fter decades of relentless competition, and intense focus on the bottomline, corporate organisations—and the business schools that feed them—are beginning to talk about building more humane and endearing work-places. They seem to have realised that happy and humane organisations not only significantly boost the productivity of the employees, but also lead to flourishing businesses and richer communities. u

Haryana Power Minister Captain Ajay Singh Yadav receiving a bouquet

Appreciating the role played by the Millennium City, Yadav said, Gurgaon has emerged as the industrial hub of the state. “We are planning to take this development further as we are setting up a huge industrial area in Rozka Meo and Faridabad. The government also plans to set up a world class exhibition centre and logistic hub in Bawal-

and that would boost the industry here”, he informed. Earlier, Rao Dharampal, the Badshahpur MLA, also appreciated the role played by the industry, in the emergence of the city as a world class industrial and manufacturing destination. He also appreciated the work done by the Hooda Government, and said that problems faced by industrialists in Udyog Vihar

should be taken up on priority. “The Government must take up the matter of borewells with the High Court, and ensure that the industry does not face problems for essential things”, said Dharampal, referring to the acute water shortage being faced by the industry. Both the leaders also requested the industrialists to give jobs and employment to the local youth. The local youth must be given a chance they asserted. Gurgaon Udyog Association President, Praveen Yadav, spoke about the issues con-

Realty Rates

The Inspired Leadership Conference 2011 focussed on: What is Inspired Leadership? In what way are organisations today practicing Inspired Leadership? What does it take for a workplace to foster Inspired Leadership? What are opportunities and implications of expanding the reach of Inspired Leadership? How does Inspired leadership bring life to our communities? How can compassion add significant value towards inspiring people at workplaces? SOIL was founded in 2009 under the leadership of Anil Sachdev. The Institute believes in providing holistic education, that builds Inspired Leadership by enabling people to know who they are, recognize their purpose, and realise their full potential; to build organisations of consequence. cerning the local industrialists. He asked the power minister to resolve the shortage of power faced by industry, and also streamline the rate of peak power payments; the issue of better drainage and sewerage facilities was also laid before the minister. Yadav also demanded that the problem of parking faced by the industry should also be resolved, and multi-level parking be created in Udyog Vihar. In addition, he called for opening of a road from Phase 3 Udyog Vihar to NH8, that will ease traffic congestion; as well as shifting of the Kherki Daula Toll Plaza, so as to avoid double payment of toll. Several leading industrialists and other dignitaries present on the occasion were also felicitated. u (in Rs. as of November 9, 2011)

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11–17 November 2011

S ports 25

Off To A Flying Start

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }


hen Francois Ganneau started playing Ultimate Frisbee, seven years ago, both competitive frisbee and Francois were little known in India. It wasn’t until last year, when he arrived in India, that frisbee fans realised it can be a competitive sport. And last week, when Francois, with the support of a few frisbee enthusiasts, brought the first ever international frisbee tournament to India, fans saw the conflux of 12 national and international teams. Nearly 250 players, along with dozens of frisbee fans, witnessed their favourite game with bated breath. The tournament was held at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium. “Although there have been a couple of national tournaments of Frisbee in India, the country has never seen such a confluence of national and international players. The credit, of course, goes to Francois- who has taken Indian frisbee to the international level,” said Jaidip Patel, who brought a young team from Ahmedabad. Francois, however, gives credit to his whole team, for hosting this tournament. “It is a combined effort. The team of Delhi Ultimate, particularly my partners—Varun Chawla and Komal Mehra- are working hard to create awareness about the sport in India,” said Francois. Delhi Ultimate is an organisation that works closely with schools, college, and corporates, to organise workshops and tournaments in India.

FRISBEE FRENZY: 12 teams participated in India’s first ever International Ultimate Frisbee Tournament, held at Tau Devi Lal Stadium last week

Future of Frisbee

Francois, who is optimistic about the success of ultimate in India, said it is a low-cost game, and can be a huge success in India. “Ultimate requires only a disc and cones.” Besides, it can be played anywhere - on the field, on the beach, and even indoor. Chennai Heat Tournament is one of the famous frisbee tournaments that is held on the beach. Many people are also drawn to the sport because of its underlying principle —SOTG. “The rule of SOTG instils a unique sense of mutual respect among players; and also helps in personality building. It is evident from the number of corporates flocking to the sport of frisbee,” said Amar Peluri, a Gurgaon-based IT professional. Amar took up frisbee as a hobby - but turned into a serious player after his association with the Delhi Ultimate. If organisers are to be believed, there has been phenomenal increase in participation in India, from 10 players in 2005, to 1,000 players in 2011 in India. However, many feel there is still a long way to go; as getting sponsorship, and finding a stadium for the tournament, are still major hassles in India.

The way ahead

“The best way to promote the game of frisbee in India, is to bring it to the school level. Plus, more underprivileged children should be encouraged to play frisbee, as there is no shortage of sport talent in India,” said Francois; referring to the special workshop organised for underprivileged children before the final match. u

Time to set up the Ultimate Gurgaon Team

Off the field

Meanwhile you can join Delhi Ultimate every Saturday, at 4 pm in, the Hockey Ground of Siri Fort Sports Complex. A nominal entry fee of Rs.40 will be charged.

Each team played four matches on the first day of the tournament, and was given a ranking based on its gross performance. The top scorers—Spinergy and HCUK-The Ultimate Connection- made it to the finals. Despite that Spinergy scoring five crucial consecutive points, The Ultimate Connection snatched the game by scoring the last point. Revealing the secret of their success, the captain of the winning team, Manjari Chhaw, said “Our goal was to score the last point. We put on a tighter defense, and worked on shorter passes- that led us to win the match by 15-11.” When asked about the best players in her team, she said “It was an honour to play with Mathew and Abhishek, who helped the team with their intense running and perfect short passes.”

About Frisbee


Frisbee or Ultimate as many people call it is a blend of soccer, rugby and basketball. It is a seven-on-seven game played on a field, with end zones on both sides. The game starts with the throwing of the disc towards the opponent team. Upon catching the disc, the opponent player cannot move, and must pass it to a teammate within 10 seconds. Throwing the disc to the

opponent’s end zone is worth a point; and play is usually up to 13 or 15 points. However, unlike other sport, frisbee is played by both boys and girls- together. “I am amazed to see girls and boys playing together on the field. It is a rare sight in India. I think the game of frisbee will go in a long way to eliminate the gender discrimination in our society,” said Vaishali Bhargava, a spectator. Also, no referee or umpire is required to resolve the on-field disputes among players. Players have to play according to a personal code of ethics, referred to as Spirit of the Game (SOTG)- even in national and international competition. “It is not only the score of the team that decides the rank of a team, but also the spirit of sportsmanship. At the end of the game, players are ranked on their behaviour and attitude on the field. In fact, many tournaments give awards for the most spirited team, as voted for by other teams,” said Komal Mehra, member of Delhi Ultimate.


11–17 November 2011

The Barn

T ime Pass Love is...

The Grizzwells

Arctic Circle

9 to 5

Animal Crackers

Dogs of C-Kennel

Pearls Before Swine

Star Fun

11–17 November 2011

T ime Pass 27


Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home

Solution Tower 5.

Ipso facto The Born Loser

Two Wise Men


Baby Blues

The Better Half


11–17 November 2011

G lobal

Mascha Brichta

Coffee Connoisseurs Know The Right Roast

PERFECT BREW: How the beans have been roasted and ground, makes all the difference to the taste

{ Nina C. Zimmermann / Berlin / DPA }


lisabeth and Willy Andraschko operate a small coffee company in Berlin called 100 Percent Arabica. To people who are happy with any type of coffee, it might seem there is nothing special about the coffee they sell, but to coffee drinkers who care about the type of bean and how they are roasted and ground, the Andraschko’s cafe stands out as something other than ordinary. Soon after the dark-brown beans drop into the roasting drum with a whoosh, grayblue smoke begins rising from

{ Arne Meyer / Berlin / DPA }


is patients can’t describe their symptoms or even point to where it hurts; but Bernhard Furtner is able to understand. A plant doctor, Furtner can help a sick plant get better. However, like any doctor, he can’t save all of his patients. On a recent typical day in his office, a woman pushed in a wheelbarrow—holding a plant that was drooping and covered with brown spots. “This doesn’t look good,” said Furtner. He reached into the moist soil in the plastic bag that held the European spindle tree, pulled gently on the roots, and ran his hands through the shriveled leaves. His diagnosis: Water damage caused by too much rain. “The tree is dead,” Furtner said. “It drowned.” Furtner is the last hope for many hobby gardeners. The 40-year-old landscape architect pampers bushes, flowers and trees, and advises their worried owners when they need help— deciding whether to use fertilizer or pesticide, organic materials or chemicals. Often Furtner needs only to look at a diseased leaf in order to recognize a condition, and find a way to get rid of it. When there’s doubt, the sample is sent to a city plant protection office for analysis. Furtner’s office is in a garden centre near Berlin’s Olympic stadium. He also goes into the field, and even does house calls to solve bigger problems. He could be mistaken for an emergency doctor in his sweater and vest, white pants and medical brief-

the machine. Elisabeth Andraschko stands nearby and watches as a metal arm stirs the beans and cool air flows over them, to keep them from burning. A light coffee aroma wafts in the air. As its name implies, the coffee company in Berlin’s free-spirited Kreuzberg district processes and packages only arabica beans. Customers choose from a variety of blends, roasts and grinds. Willy Andraschko explains that Arabica and Robusta are the two main coffee beans used to make the overwhelming majority of the coffee consumed worldwide.

Because the Robusta plant is less sensitive, and grows in lower altitudes than the Arabica plants, its beans are less expensive. Large coffee manufacturers therefore harvest and process Robusta beans, which have an astringent, slightly bitter taste. Smaller coffee manufacturers like 100 per cent Arabica roast and package Arabica beans exclusively; which are considered better, but are more expensive. A kilogram of coffee at 100 per cent Arabica costs about 20 euro (26 dollars). The method of harvesting is also a factor in the price.

method,” said Rehorik. Generally, when coffee is too finely ground, it can taste strong, because the water comes in contact with the coffee for a longer time. When it’s too coarse, the water runs over the grounds too quickly, and the coffee tastes thin. Lastly, there’s the question of how the coffee is prepared by the consumer. The association says the most common way is still using a filter. Rehorik considers it the most expedient way to brew traditionally roasted coffees grown on plantations. Another method is a French press, which is a straight-sided pitcher that has a fitted plunger or press. Pour hot water over the coffee, wait about three minutes and use the plunger to push the coffee grounds down and filter them out of the drink. An espresso uses AROMA MAKER: The coffee roaster also rapidly machine cools the beans after roasting high pressure to push boiling water more acidic and aromatic the though finely ground coffee. As taste, said Heiko Rehorik, with the French press, the water general secretary of the German temperature plays an important coffee roasting guild. The darker role in ensuring a good taste. the coffee, the more strongly the The ideal temperature is roast aromas come out, he said. between 92 and 96 degrees The grind is important, Celsius. If the water is too hot, it because it impacts how the can burn the coffee grounds, and aroma passes over to the drink. make the coffee taste bitter, said “The type of grind is decisively Rehorik. If the water is not hot relevant to the taste, and should enough, unpleasant acidic tastes comply with the preparation can get into the cup. u A brochure produced by the German Coffee Association points out that picking machines used at large coffee farms can’t distinguish between ripe and unripe beans. Hand-picking is the only way to guarantee that only ripe beans are harvested; thereby guaranteeing quality. This is, however, more expensive, and ultimately makes the price higher. Roasting and grinding methods are other aspects of coffee making, that make a difference to the end result. The lighter the coffee, the

The Plant Doctor A green thumb on call for plant lovers

case. He and his two colleagues carry scissors, soil testers and a magnifying glass with them on their daily appointments. “We are heroes to many customers and that makes us feel good,” he said with a laugh. “After all we do rescue lives.” His team takes care of plants in hotels, cafes and offices; and he recently began offering his services to cemeteries. “Many of my customers simply don’t have the time to take

care of the plants properly,” said Furtner. Most of them are older people “because they simply are more likely to have a garden. People under 30 come to me less often.” There is no charge to get advice at the garden centre. House calls and garden service cost up to 550 euros (763 dollars) per year. Another worried customer appears at his office asking what is wrong with his plant. The el-

derly man shows Furtner a leaf from a climbing hydrangea. He runs his thumb over its surface. The tip of the leaf is brown. “This is what typical water damage looks like,” Furtner said. He reaches into a shelf and takes out a white pot. “Potassium-containing fertilizer. It makes the plant harder, ensuring that it can withstand frost. The cells become resilient.” The plant doctor concept came from Furtner’s boss, the owner of the garden centre, about 10 years ago. “People were always coming with pieces of their plants and asking for advice,” Furtner said. “We thought about how we could make it more professional.” Furtner, who did research on plant diseases in Sweden after completing his education, has developed a loyal customer base. He gets about five customers a day in the autumn. Springtime when people are preparing their gardens for the blooming season - is his busiest time of the year. Roses are a constant problem. “They are as good as sick all the time. They get every kind of fungus imaginable,” said Furtner. Rhododendrons also have to be treated often. A seldom-seen Hawaii palm stands on Furtner’s desk, near a copy of a book about plants. Furtner says he and his colleagues occasionally have to look things up. Only by first de-

termining the disease or pest can the doctor prescribe the correct remedy. He keeps medicine for bushes and flowers handy, while fertilizers and pesticides are on a shelf. His practice is also a pharmacy. Germany has more than 100 plant doctors, and Werner Ollig, director of a gardening academy in Rhineland-Pfalz, said it is an “absolute trend”—because the garden and people’s plants have become more important. “People want more nature and gardens than indoor living space. They have more longing for nature.” Furtner finds himself making increasingly more house calls. People often call him when their plants are already deathly ill. Customers consider a plant sick when it starts looking poorly; but there’s too little expert advice available at home stores. Most people water too much or overdo the fertilizer. They mean well, but this upsets the plant’s nutritional balance. In big cities plants are even more susceptible to diseases. Furtner said plants suffer because they are constantly under stress. When treating plants, Furtner takes care to use as little pesticide as possible. Chemical “culls” kill everything that flies, he said, adding that he favours an organic spray with plantbased active ingredients. In many cases he can’t get around using chemicals. If small insects will die if he uses a chemical on a plant, he feels some hesitation. He said, “It’s a trade off, but a plant is certainly more sympathetic than a leaf fungus.” u


G lobal

11–17 November 2011

One Mouse Click Puts Internet Video At Your Fingertips { Christof Kerkmann / Berlin / DPA } It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for Lady Gaga’s Pokerface or Monty Python’s Vikings. You can be looking for a film classic, a TV series, shaky homemade movies or professional documentation. You can find it all online. But there are some rules. First, you need to have a speedy internet connection, and some way to download and format them, if you want to keep the videos. But, with the right tools, this can all be done simply and legally. Firefox’s DownloadHelper is the most favoured and versatile tool for downloading video, partially because it’s so easy to use. The company reported in September that the tool had been installed more than 100 million times. Once it’s set up, a button appears in the browser’s menu bar, and “when DownloadHelper detects it can do something for you, the icon gets animated, and a menu allows you to download files by simply clicking an item,” the company’s website explains. A menu then allows users to pick which images and videos to download. Whereas some browser add-ons only support YouTube, DownloadHelper supports dozens, including DailyMotion, Vimeo and Clipfish, multiple TV channels and the site for the National Basketball Association. Right-clicking gives you an option to see a list of supported websites. The tool is especially useful with broadcasters who choose to—or are required to—remove video content

from their websites after a certain period of time. Downloading them on to your computer gives you access to them for longer. Mediathek View offers a similar service for Mac users. “These tools list the entire programming guide,” explains Volker Zota of German computer magazine c’t. With a single click, you get “something that works like a podcast manager,” he says. Your computer can master just about any format as soon as it is installed. To take the video files with you, you’ll have to convert them into the proper format for viewing. For example, your iPad won’t play flash files. “For watching videos when you’re on the move, you should just download the files directly as MP4s,” advises Zota. “That works on practically every device.” If that doesn’t work, there are dozens of free converter programmes online. You can pick your favourite for preparing files, whether you use a PC or Mac, or the XBox or Playstation 3 consoles. Video Downloadhelper also has conversion functions. For more complicated jobs, Zota recommends XMedia Recode. It provides a menu where users pick which device they have. The tool then converts files into the appropriate format. “You don’t have to think about the settings,” says Zota. There are 150 profiles from which to choose, including those for the Blackberry and Android smartphones. The FreeMake programme allows users to set resolution and video codecs

Bill Gates Explains Downside Of Being Super-Rich { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }


eing the world’s richest man is not as great as you might think. In fact it’s downright weird, according to Bill Gates, the Microsoft cofounder, who has consistently held that title with his fortune of more than 50 billion dollars. In a speech at the University of Washington, Gates gave advice to a questioner from Beijing, who confided in him that she had wanted to be the richest person in the world when she was growing up. “I didn’t start out with a dream of being super-rich,” Gates replied, according to a Seattle Times report. He recalled that after the Intel founders became billionaires, “I thought, ‘Wow, that must be strange.’ ... And so it is.” Gates said he never set out to make a fortune, but just followed his passion for

computers. “I think most people who have done well have just found something they’re nuts about doing. Then they figure out a system to hire their friends to do it with them,” he said. “If it’s an area of great impact, then sometimes you get financial independence.” But having many billions is not all great, he revealed. “ We a l t h above a certain level, really, it’s a responsibility that you’re going to have to either leave it to your children— which may or may not be good for them—or try to be smart about giving it away,” he said. “So I can understand about having millions of dollars, because there’s meaningful freedom that comes with that; but once you get much beyond that I have to tell you, it’s the same hamburger. ... But being ambitious is good. You just have to pick what you enjoy doing.” u

and save them. Commercial programmes like Nero 11 have similar functions. But is it all legal? Exchanges like Pirate Bay are seen as a destination for contraband, and negative headlines have put fear into just about everyone. But downloading items from YouTube and similar programmes is perfectly legal. Just follow a few rules and you’ll be safe. “I’m allowed to download anything from the internet, as long as the source isn’t obviously illegal, and distribution isn’t clearly against the law,” says Christian Solmecke, a lawyer in Germany. “Videos are sometimes deleted from YouTube; that’s a good sign that the other

videos there aren’t obviously illegal.” Solmecke recommends software that directly accesses YouTube, like DownloadHelper. There are websites that download online data, convert it immediately and spit out an MP3 file. But that can quickly put a person in a legal grey zone. “Since the people offering this earn money, sometimes through advertising, you’ve moved out of the realm of a private copy,” he says. Solmecke advises being generally cautious. And, obviously, it’s illegal to sneak around copyright protections for videos, just as it is for music CDs. u

Facebook CEO Goes Back To School { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }


acebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has gone back to Harvard—but has no plans to finally get the degree he missed when he left the elite college, to develop Facebook in 2004. Instead, the young billionaire was on a recruiting mission for new Facebook workers, and regaled some 200 undergraduates with his views on academic life and social networking – though not necessarily in that order. “We weren’t originally planning this as a business or anything,” said Zuckerberg, who originally developed the social networking site as a way for his fellow students to stay in touch. He also advised students to refrain from following in his footsteps and to complete their studies. “If I had a chance to do it again I would have gone to classes,” he said. Zuckerberg is also taking in other elite universities on

the two-day recruiting drive, including MIT and CarnegieMellon. “There are a lot of really smart people here,” he said at a press conference, explaining that “it’s a great time to come here”, since many students will soon be making decisions about where they want to work following graduation. Zuckerberg predicted that Facebook would continue to keep growing, doubling in size every year and having an even more transformative effect than it has until now. “The last five years on Facebook has been about getting people signed up and connected with their friends,” he said. “But I think that the next five or ten years will be about all these products and industries that need to be rethought, now that you have this space.” Zuckerberg also used his time on the East Coast for an interview, in which he revealed that he had turned to Apple founder Steve Jobs for advice on how to build his company.

“He was amazing ... I had a lot of questions for him on ... how to build a team around you, right, that’s focused on building as high quality and good things as you are. How to keep an organization focused ... It’s like we’re trying to do this thing in the world. And I don’t know, a lot of it I just think we connected on that level.” Zuckerberg said he regards companies like Apple and Amazon as allies, while Google was more of a competitor. “Google, I think, in some ways, is more competitive and certainly is trying to build their own little version of Facebook,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with Charlie Rose on public television. “But you know, when I look at Amazon and Apple, I see companies who are extremely aligned with us, right? And we have a lot of conversations with people at both companies, just trying to figure out ways that we can do more together; and there is just a lot of reception there.” u

Sales Of ‘Steve Jobs’ Spectacles Jump After Apple Founder Dies { Andrej Sokolow / Berlin / DPA }


ales of the type of expensive rimless designer spectacles worn by Steve Jobs jumped, after the Apple founder died October 5, the German manufacturer Lunor said Monday. Jobs began wearing the Lunor Classic Rund frameless

model about 14 years ago, after discovering it in New York and he kept buying replacements. The usual retail price, without any glass, is 265 euros in Europe and about 450 dollars in the United States. Lunor, based at Althengstett in south-western Germany, said it sold only 147 of the model in the whole of last year; but had

already sold 150 since the end of September and now had a waiting list of 131. Previously outshone by Lunor volume products, the allGerman model is now shown on the Lunor web portal as “The Glasses of Steve Jobs.” A spokesman said Lunor never had any contact with Jobs; who went to a US optician. u


11–17 November 2011

Zonal Youth Festival


Profile for Friday Gurgaon

Friday Gurgaon, November 11-17, 2011  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper

Friday Gurgaon, November 11-17, 2011  

Gurgaon's own weekly newspaper