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Vol. 1 No. 1  Pages 32  ` 7  26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Why FG

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urgaon is a city of about 20 lakh people. It is a happening city— whether for residence, commerce, or industry. New Gurgaon is developing as a global city. The profile is mainly of young people, educated, cosmopolitan (from across India), well to do, having young kids. Gurgoan is also home to many multi-national companies and expatriates. We deserve our own paper. Welcome therefore to Friday Gurgaon, a compact weekly newspaper for all citizens and residents of Gurgaon. It is our own newspaper, of and for Gurgaon— published from Gurgaon. A team of over 20 fresh and experienced employees has been set up— across editorial, desk, design, production, distribution and business. Friday Gurgaon is a 32-page quality weekly newspaper, using imported, superior newsprint—and offers an all-colour presentation. It is an excitingly visual paper, courtesy a team of photographers, and an illustrator. FG offers “Gurgaon 360” coverage. It is a family paper, for adults and children. It covers multiple areas of interest—lifestyle, civic, social, business & real estate, wellness, sport, and pastimes.We offer a special section for kids; as well as a unique global coverage. We feature local columnists, and will promote citizen journalists. A website will complement the print edition; and will offer multimedia and interactivity. Friday Gurgaon hopes to keep some fine traditions alive, by being credible and relevant. News, after all, is a public trust. We definitely would like to present both, or all, sides—as well as our corroboration. We will of course inform, analyse, interpret, investigate, educate, and guide—but equally importantly, we would like to build agendas, to add value, to urge action. We believe our readers want us to go beyond the headlines. We want that our readers should read... feel... ponder... act. Keeping in step with young, modern India, Friday Gurgaon would like to find answers, and be a part of the solution—not just throw up questions, and remain a part of the problem. We must build hope, not cynicism­—even, and especially when, confronted with negative news. There will be news, reviews, features, columns, syndications— across a variety of topics, and across Gurgaon 360. These would be informative, insightful, serious, funny—and very visual, very participative—especially when integrated with the on-line site. In sum, Friday Gurgaon would be credible, relevant, hopeful, adding value and urging action.

We’ve Come A Long Way, Gg

Prakhar Pandey

But We Have Miles to Go...

money sharma

{ FG Bureau }

H

aryana, a State that boasted of a paved road and electricity in every village, in the 1970s, seems to have gone backwards, in civic infrastructure. Today, its Millenium City, Gurgaon, has scarcely started on this journey. The roads here, in many sectors, are worse than those of Haryana of the 70s, or even those of most cities of India today. Most of what works consistently in Gurgaon, is courtesy private enterprise. The rest resides in the previous Millenia. The maximum impact zone, felt by all citizens and residents, every day is – On The Road. Be it Roads, Public Transport, Parking, Traffic, Side-

Prakhar Pandey

walks – their lack or excess causes severe distress in Gurgaon, day after day. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that this civic infrastructure misery is not due to a lack of funds – which is the case with most cities in India. The problem unfortunately seems to be a lack of willingness, a lack of sensitivity; a case of misplaced priorities. Or maybe it is just based on a simple assumption that, when you hurt bad enough, you will take care of it yourself – like many have done for electricity, water, transport, security…. The Administration needs a wake up call. Surely it is not waiting, like the neighbouring city, for an Anna moment ! u


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26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Editor:

Atul Sobti

News Editor:

P. J. Menezes

Coming Up

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Harsimran Shergill Indrani Thakurata Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Sr. Photographers: Money Sharma Prakhar Pandey Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi O. Bandyopadhyay Shilpy Arora

Designers:

Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Kamlesh Pastor Sushil Sharma

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Execs: Bhagwat Kaushik

Mohiddin A Khan

Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Illustrations:

Durgadatt Pandey

Photography Consultant: Jitendra Sharma

Art

Monsoon Sutra @ The Art Floor, DLF Phase I Date: Aug 6 – Aug 30 Time: 11 am – 7 pm

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group exhibition of paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures, by 14 artists from different parts of India. Showcasing the works of some prominent artists, like Ankush Safaya, Sahlu Bhucchar, Neeraj Mittra, Sanjeet Mahalik, Prashant Sarkar and Sudhakar Sethi, the exhibition depicts the passionate relationship between rain and romance.

F

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Manu Parekh, Ganesh Haloi, Prabhakar Kolte, Rameshwar Broota, Neeraj Goswami, Jayashree Chakravarty, Sujata Bajaj, Shahabuddin Ahmed, Manish Pushkale, Kishor Shinde, S. Harsha Vardhana, Deepak Tandon and Nantu Bihari. This exhibition looks at both the individual and collective evolution of image and narrative. The concepts of growth, transformation, and renewal, among others, are conveyed visually, by pairing images within congruent and incongruent environments.

ART

DANCE

MUSIC...

Caravaggio (Italian) @ Epicentre Date: Aug 31 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 130 mins

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aravaggio is an Italian film that is screened with English sub-titles. Directed by Angelo Longoni, the film talks about Michelangelo “Michele” Merisi,

Fuoco Su Di Me, Fire At My Heart @ Epicentre Date: Aug 26 Time: 7:30 pm Duration: 100 mins

uoco Su Di Me is an Italian film directed by Lamberto Lambertin, and stars Indian actress Sonali Kulkarni, Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, and Italian actor Massimiliano Varrese. The story of the film revolves around Eugenio, a young soldier of the Napoleonic army in 1815, who after spending years in France, returns home (Italy) to heal a severe wound received in battle. The film is screened in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Centre, and comes with English sub-titles.

FOOD

Cinema

Cinema

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orm and Formlessness features the modern and contemporary works of some of the renowned artists, like Akbar Padamsee, S.H Raza, Jehangir Sabavala,

Printed at Indian Express Pvt Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh – 201301

THEATRE

Form & Formlessness @ Art Alive Gallery Date: Aug 29 – Oct 31 Time: 11 am – 7 pm

Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93

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.

Art

Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur

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CINEMA

born into a humble family in the town of Caravaggio, from which the future artist would derive his professional moniker. Cursed with a violent temper, Michele becomes as well known for his brawling, as for his art, frequenting the seamier side of Rome, and using its prostitutes and thieves as models—even for his religious paintings. Eventually, his art creates a fervent group of admirers, while his personal life establishes an equally dedicated battery of enemies.

Food

Breakfast Offer @ All Bagels Café outlets Date: July 25 onwards Time: 8 am – 10:30 am

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ealising the importance of a wholesome breakfast, Bagel’s Café presents a custompriced breakfast with a wide array of scrumptious freshlyprepared breakfast foods. Bite into the Bagel Sandwich

with Gouda Cheese, or Bagel’s special – BLT bagel. Choose any Bagel for just Rs. 100 (excluding club bagels, goat cheese, caprese and salmon). You can have any pancake (from cheese, bacon, mushroom and cheese, hazelnut nutella, cinnamon and sugar, banana and chocolate and apple, cinnamon and sugar) for Rs. 125; and an egg (omelette, scrambled egg, fried egg, eggwhites-only diet option – with add-ons of your preference) for Rs. 150. Excluding hot chocolate and mocha, all hot drinks and juices are available for Rs. 50. So don’t miss out the fluffy omelette, with a toasted bagel!

Food

Monsoon Festival @ The Beer Factory Date: Till August 31 Time: 12 noon onwards

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njoy the best of grills and platters, and exotic flavoured hookahs. Happy hours are from 12 noon to 8 pm, throughout the week – on both IMFL and imported liquor. Savour the wide and exotic range of wines, cocktails and mocktails this monsoon.


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26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

reviews ART

CINEMA

Sensual Strokes

Dark Passions

Manjula Narayan

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Vijaya Kumar

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ot many are aware that Not a Love Story is not an unique movie title. Not many are aware that a documentary with the same title was made in Canada in 1981: the theme of that documentary was pornography. So hurting were the visuals that the documentary was banned in Ontario. US; the movie is supposed to have had a number of shocking scenes. Not a Love Story which was released this week in Indian cinemas has a few similarities with the Canadian movie: it has enough shock generating visuals and concepts to envelop the viewer in a dense cloud of The story had shocked thousands and Varma, to a disgust; it takes a liberal peep into the blouses and fair degree, manages to recreate the shocking aspects skirts and working of sick minds. of the crime. A theme like this, probing the working The purists and the faint-hearted will wonder, and of sick minds of people who therefore, consider it nothing short otherwise, portray a normal face, of blasphemy, if I were to say that Not a Love Story isn’t an easy one to handle. Ram Gopal Varma’s Not a Love DIRECTED BY: Ram Gopal Varma Not a Love Story may not Story is in fact, a well made movie! PRODUCED BY: Sunil Bohra have the content to be comEveryone knows that Ram Gopal pared to the brilliant depiction of Varma is an eccentricity laden perBates in Hitchcock’s Psycho or sonality, who would do anything to attract attention, Dr.Hannibal Lecter as portrayed by Anthony Hopkins whether it is rushing to the site of the terrorist attacks in The Silence Of The Lambs, but manages to stand in Mumbai to look at the suitability of location shootout amongst the ruins of the run-of-the-mill Boling or whether it be asking “Who is Anna Hazare” last lywood productions. week to a camera crew in the midst of promoting his Both the lead actors, Mahie Gill and Deepak Dobriyal new movie! That eccentricity which was behind his play their parts convincingly in a tale which would brilliant Satya, Company and Sarkar also was behind have been dismissed as unreal, but for it having his disasters like Rgv Ki Aag (a terrible remake of actually happened; Zakir Hussain as the inspector also Sholay) and now in Not a Love Story, we see Varma puts in an arresting performance. Sandeep Chowta’s stage a come-back of sorts. background music intrudes rather than adds to Most of Varma’s directorial efforts are based on the ambience and the hand held camera creates a real stories and Not a Love Story, despite all the nauseous feeling which stays with you long after you statements of its bearing no resemblance to real life characters, draws heavily from the sensational story of have walked out of the theatre. If only the second half had been as taut as the first Kannada actress Maria Susairaj who was recently in half and despite the topic of gore, I would have said the news for having been acquitted of the charge of a that it would be a movie not worth missing! u murder, in which she was involved.

FOOD

Pasta Perfect

BON APPETIT: One’s palate is happily tickled by the Rigatoni Pasta

Aalok Wadhwa

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serve traditional Italian food,” says Chef Tiziano Ranieri of Ristorante 56, “simple basic food that my mother taught me to cook.” And then this 57-year-old unassuming Neapolitan goes on to wow the palate with delightful flavours, textures and tastes. The high-ceiling, open spaces and the elegant simplicity of the restaurant complement the experience. At the start of this gastronomic journey is the complimentary amuse bouche, an olive pate with crispy bread. The pate is designed to tease, and it does that with panache. The slightly bitter taste of olive combines well with the tang of sun dried tomato, with the garlic adding that extra dimension. I ask the chef for his suggestions on what to eat. Justifiably proud of his menu, he suggests many dishes. I start with rigatoni alla siciliana con tonno olive, capperi e pomodoro (rigatoni pasta scented with tuna oil, anchovies, capers,

black olives in tomato sauce, Rs 495). The rigatoni, a tube-shaped pasta somewhat larger than penne, is a perfectly cooked pasta with layers of flavours. The tomatoey, garlicky initial burst progresses effortlessly to the briny flavours of the sea, leaving a happily tickled palate. The petti di pollo grigliati al limone con funghi e purea di patate (grilled chicken breast, with lemon sauce, and sautéed mushroom, Rs 395) has juicy fillets delicately grilled to keep them moist, perfectly accompanied with asparagus, mushrooms and peppers, with a gentle citrus undertone. Some of the chef’s other suggestions that I decide to save for another day are insalata caprese (slices of buffalo

Ristorante 56 Vatika Atrium(GF), Sector-53 Cuisine: Italian Timings: 11:45am – 2:30pm, 7:00pm – 11:30pm cost: Rs. 1200 for 2 (without alcohol)

and beast, and between nature and humankind. Take for instance, Visitors on the Wall that features two lizards and a woman with flowers alk into the Quill and Canvas gallery at South in her hair. The colours in this oil painting swirl Point mall, which is currently exhibiting the and seduce, they invite you to examine the work works of artist Vallery Puri, and you are transminutely, to look at the green and red blossoms, ported into a world of thoughtful doe eyed women to marvel at the visitors of the title, the red lizards, clutching blossoms that speak to the viewer of raw who stand transfixed against a swirling ochre fecundity and of the interconnectedness of the wall, and to stare at the black and white tiles on human and the natural worlds. the floor. It draws you in. At first sight, Puri’s canvases seem to be inspired And that’s the strength of Vallery Puri’s largely by a combination of the wild anarchy of Henri figurative work. It compels you to wonder about Rousseau, the energetic brush strokes of Vincent the connections between the people Van Gogh, and the symbolism of Frida Quill and Canvas in the paintings, to think about that Kahlo. They are all that but have other man with his arm around his woman secret sides to them too. They speak of SG-082, Galleria, DLF as they stare at a crescent moon. You bonds: bonds between partners, be4, Gurgaon, Haryana. wonder about that couple, you think tween mother and child, between man you might even ‘know’ them. In Naked, a woman looks at a tree outside her window as she sits on an exquisite bedspread, her nakedness covered by a diaphanous voile dupatta. The figure is at once sensual and beyond sensuality, knowing and innocent. Puri uses thick brushstrokes and scores her work with striations that give it texture and infuses even paintings like Asleep, which features the somnolent figures of a mother and a daughter, with a sense of life, of energy. It’s evident that Vallery Puri thinks deeply and without cynicism about relationships of every sort -- those shared with family and friends and with the macrocosm. So, while her work is infused with tenderness and hope, there is also a hint of mourning in paintings like Birds and Bunders in Banyan Branches for the rapidly degrading environment, for the loss of a natural world, the disappearance of a once pristine Eden. Puri’s achievement lies in that she succeeds in making the viewer think too. u NAKED: Capturing the essence of life

mozzarella and tomato in basil, flavored olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar dressing, Rs 295), garlic flavored grilled tiger prawns with ratatouille basket (Rs 725), saltimbocca chicken fillet and scamorza cheese from the grill, topped with parma ham and button mushrooms (Rs 465) and the assorted pizzas (Rs 355-455). I ask the chef about his experiences in India. He is delighted to see a growing acceptance of traditional, authentic Italian food. “But it breaks my heart when I see people sipping water with pasta,” he says, “A good glass of wine lifts up the taste and the experience of so much.” And so, to promote wines in his restaurant he has managed to put together an impressive yet reasonably priced wine cellar. It is now time for the dessert. The chef recommends a traditional

Chef Tiziano Ranieri

favourite cannoli alla siciliana con ricotta mascarpone e scaglie di cioccolato (pastry filled with ricotta, mascarpone, and chocolate bits, Rs 225). He asks me to abandon my fork and use my fingers to pick up the tube shaped pastry and bite into the yummy goodness. As the fresh ricotta laced with honey and speckled with chocolate bits oozes into the mouth, the feeling of bien-etre settles in. Ristorante 56 is clearly among the finest Italian restaurants in the NCR. It is highly recommended, especially given its reasonable pricing. u

Coming of Age MN

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t’s difficult to read Aatish Taseer’s work without thinking about his life, his parents and about India and Pakistan, the countries to which his parents belong, countries at once similar and yet different, like orphaned siblings growing up in different foster homes. Given what’s known about Taseer – his mother is journalist Tavleen Singh and his father is Salman Taseer, the former governor of Punjab in Pakistan who was assassinated earlier this year – it’s difficult not to read Noon as thinly veiled autobiography. But perhaps it is that dual quality that gives the book whose protagonist Rehaan Tabassum, like the author, is the product of a brief union between an Indian woman and a Pakistani man, it’s peculiar strength. Rehaan is at once capable of looking out and within, of understanding power structures and his own place GENRE: Fiction in the hierarchy - at the top of the pile Author: Aatish Taseer in India as an affluent English speaker who has ostensibly gone beyond Published by: Fourth Estate caste and ethnicity, and occupying a Price: Rs. 499 somewhat more indeterminate role in Pakistan because of his, in his half brother Isphandiyar’s words, ‘backdoor entry‘. Here, you meet Rehaan’s step father the tycoon Amit Sethia with his obsessive need to show up India’s erstwhile royals and his mother Udaya, the only character who’s tenderly drawn but ultimately unknowable – as if the author wanted to shield her from the reader’s voyeuristic impulses. You meet brutal policemen and a retinue of servants and you get a sense of the layered nature of Indian society where caste solidarity often determines a man’s fate. The sections set in Port bin Qasim or Karachi seem rawer. You grow familiar with Isphandiyar who too has a difficult relationship with their father Sahil Tabassum, a man who never really makes it to the pages in the flesh as it were but pervades them like the ‘negative space‘ Rehaan’s friend Zack talks about, and a cast of characters so real you wish you could google them. And finally there’s the brutal climax which the reader is only allowed to fully grasp through a postscript. Noon is a compelling book. One that leaves you thinking about family, nationhood, society and sexuality – questions that have always preoccupied humankind. u


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26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Lifestyle MONEY SHARMA

The perfect way to unwind at the city’s cultural hotspot { Harsimran Shergill / FG }

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will meet you yet again. How and where, I know not. Perhaps I will become a figment of your imagination; and maybe, spreading myself in a mysterious line on your canvas, I will keep gazing at you.” These are lines from Amrita – A Sublime Love Story, a play that recently captivated a packed house of theatre lovers at Epicentre. For an intellectually refreshing evening, laced with tasteful music, theatre, and art, head straight for Epicentre.

Sunday Brunch

The Sunday brunch at Epicentre’s Drift restaurant has a warm gathering of local residents. A lavish spread of Indian and Continental cuisine, with unlimited wine, costs Rs 666 per head. (Brunch without wine costs Rs 555).

Monday Blues

To get over your Monday blues, you might want to get yourself a ticket for a play. Epicentre has almost three to four plays showing every week. The auditorium is large, with a seating capacity for 323—and if you can ignore the creaking of seats,

{ Harsimran Shergill / Shirin Mann / FG }

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Musical Recitals

A Week at the Epicentre NOTHING ADRIFT: The multi-cuisine restaurant is a serene oasis in the middle of a bustling cultural hub

then prepare yourself for a surprise. One such play was Amrita Pritam’s story, which was narrated by an 81-year-old Bangalore-based director, MS Sathyu.

Live Wednesdays/ Ladies Night

On Wednesdays, ladies’ night gives one the perfect excuse to have a few (or many) cocktails, and cut loose with

LIKE IT LIVE: Toya and friends mesmerise the audience at Attitude Live

soothe your evenings. If you are a band, and are looking to perform, Attitude is open to have gigs for you. They welcome new talent, and may help you get sponsors too.

Trident Hotel

Santoor, Tabla and Sitar; you

Dr. Ashok Raina

Please Contact

9999919538

Moving on from live performances, one can also watch meaningful cinema at

There has been an upsurge in interest for live music performances

can have it the pure classical Indian way, or a fusion with western tunes. Trident Hotel’s Indian Classical Live performance, that can be enjoyed all through the week, along with dinner, is a hit not only with Trident’s regular customers, but also with foreigners and NRIs, that are a

AD on spot

For Advertising queries

Alternative Cinema

To put a wrap on the week, look out for enchanting musical evenings that take place ever so often. Recently, Epicentre had organised musical evenings in memory of Suraiya and Mohammed Rafi. In a talk on the life and times of Suraiya, scholar and writer Pran Nevile said that Suraiya was one of the last known actor-singer combinations in Indian Cinema. After the talk, singer Sushma Chauhan sang popular songs such as Tu Mera Chaand Main Teri Chaandni and Chaar Din Ki Chaandni. A similar musical evening had been organised in memory of Rafi as well. Epicentre has a wide range of activities one can get involved in. With brunches, theatre, music or art, there is variety, to cater to everybody’s tastes and senses. Pick a day, and choose your experience. u

Live it up with Music

Attitude

Toya and friends, a five member band from the North East, is the life of this live music restaurant—among the most popular hangouts. Attracting kids as well as adults, this band jams retro and alternative classic rock of the 50s and the 60s. Along with three guys playing their guitars and drums, the two girls there are lead vocalists of the band- with perfect voices to

Diniz. Manager of Delhi-based band Menwhopause, Satish Warier, says, “More and more live bands are performing in the city. I think the concept of live music is now more acceptable in Gurgaon.”

girlfriends. Similar to the concept of a media night (where media professionals assemble), Epicentre has a ‘ladies night,’ along with Live Wednesday. If soft music, along with a meal and conversation, fits your bill, then Drift mixes the ambience and music well. Bands that have performed at Drift include Riyaz Qadir, Sanjeet, The Country Crew, and Melvin

MONEY SHARMA

he last few years have seen many more people follow the path of music. The first glimpse of revival of the band culture came in the late 90s, with college festivals that saw bands like Parikrama, Indian Ocean and Them Clones take centre stage. The effect has trickled to the millennium city- alternative rock, jazz, rock n roll or Indian classical-you name the genre of music, and your city offers it live. A rising cult in Gurgaon, live music performance of all kinds has become popular among people of all age groups. We took a tour of Gurgaon to see what really ‘rocks’ this city.

Epicentre. A word of caution for all Hindi cinema fans — no masala Bollywood movies. “We also showcase films that have received popular awards at international film festivals. These include French, German, Russian and Spanish films,” says Kamini Kapur Singh, accounts head of Old World Hospitality, the company that manages operations of both India Habitat Centre, and Epicentre Gurgaon.

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part of the crowd enjoying this soulful music. Ramandeep Singh, Restaurant Manager, says, “ We get a lot of foreign customers, who come along with their business associates for dinners here. They are quite used to jazz and pop genre of music, but find Indian Classical music quite amusing – and even request for repeats. Our performers also play popular English tunes on Indian instruments, so that our foreign customers can relate to them, and can have a fun fusion evening.”

Drift

Can’t go through a whole week without a ‘lively’ break? This is the perfect place to re-energise yourself, mid-week, with live Wednesdays. Enjoy a variety of retro, rock, contemporary and popular music, along with a variety of mouth-watering cuisines, all month long.

How long can you sit in front of the television and watch movies. Live music is like a small concert, and the passion for such music is immense . And it’s great that Gurgaon has so many places that offer it live” says Tushar Mimani, student of structural engineering. Sumant Balakrishnan, guitarist of a local band called Barefaced Liar, agrees that Indians are opening up to hard rock (usually shunned for the lack of understanding ). Perhaps it’s the demand that has boosted the confidence of many such closeted musicians. Today artists are willing to experiment with dreams; one such experiment is the ‘Band Called Nine.’ Started by a former journalist and author, Neelesh Mishra, the band creates songs to reflect our aspirations and angst in a contemporary way. Mishra mixes the art of story telling along with music, in a new way. He says it’s not a regular music band. “We want to keep the audience hooked by both—our music and stories. From a college canteen to the doorstep of a forgotten homeland, our band captures the aspirations of small towns, dreams of the metropolis, the changing face of new India, and the values of old.” Satish Warier, Manager of Menwhopause, a Delhi-based band that regularly performs in the city, sums up “Musicians cannot be isolationists, therefore it is important to showcase your talent. A few years back, it was extremely difficult to even get an audition, let alone a gig. Today, times have changed. People are beginning to give musicians due credit.” u


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26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

C ivic/Social

ON THE ROAD—Voices The way the world grows—build the roads, and the jobs follow Gurgaon, India—build the jobs, and the roads follow. We are still waiting…  Rickety buses, incomprehensible rickshaw-wallahs, surly auto drivers, and a Metro rail that comes only to Gurgaon’s doorstep. This city has a vendetta against people who do not have their own transportation.

The high-rises, glass towers, and the malls gloss over the city’s foremost problem—the absence of a good transportation system. This affects our work and home life.

The fact is, Gurgaon has so been stamped with its nouveau riche image of fat pay packages and two-car parkings, that the administration forgot that there are people who need public transportation.

What the city needs is a good, reliable, and safe public transportation system. The miles of traffic congestion that the city witnesses everyday is proof that, vehicle or not, the commute-crisis is common to everybody. Potholed roads, traffic jams at peak hours, lack of proper parking and signage—take your pick.

PARKING

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nother bugbear for Gurgaon’s commuting public is the lack of parking space. Complemented by the rising trend of illegal parking stands, run by opportunistic individuals.

TRAFFIC

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On weekends, there is a veritable war for a parking slot on MG Road.

raffic chaos is one thing every Gurgaon commuter knows intimately. Every morning and every evening, a kilometrelong queue of cars and trucks clog up the Sirhol Toll Plaza.

MG ROAD

POLICE

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he MG Road in Gurgaon was supposed to be the city’s Connaught Place. Sadly, that turned out to be a rosy dream, as the administration slipped, fumbled and dropped the ball.

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o improve the traffic scene of the city, the department is using a four-pronged strategy. We are coming down hard on overspeeding, drunken driving, helmet-less commuting, and under-age driving. And we have got good results

Traffic jams, unplanned vehicle management system, undesignated slots for public transportation, and encroached sidewalks, are responsible for MG Road’s woes.

To ease the woes of the commuting public, the traffic police had recently come up with an 81-point agenda. The list included traffic ‘hot-spots’ at 81 points across the city, which needed the attention of the civic authorities.

MG Road also suffers from a lack of stands for public transportation—for auto-rickshaws, buses and cycle rickshaws. All of them come to a halt near the MG Road Metro station, where passengers get off and climb on.

AUTO

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take the share-auto everyday, and it is so crowded every time. We get the feeling that we’re cattle being herded.

SIDEWALKS

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ven the sidewalks, if any, are not safe for the pedestrians. The absence of sidewalks is certainly a factor in the rise of deaths and injuries.

It is unseemly for women to be stuffed into these share-autos. The absence of an autorickshaw rate-chart is a major pain for the city’s commuters.

PEOPLE

The lack of dedicated bus and auto-stands across the city also creates problems for commuters.

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esides a need for more traffic policemen, I think people need a well-developed ‘traffic-sense’. Jumping lanes and driving on the wrong side of the roads is just not done A good example of this would beat the T-point after IFFCO Chowk Metro station. To get on the MG Road, commuters jump the yellow jersey barriers put up by the traffic police, rather than go an extra 50 yards and make a proper U-turn.

Every time we have to take an auto, it’s a regular bargaining session. And nine times out of ten, the auto-wallah wins.

HERO HONDA CHOWK

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ero Honda Chowk is one of the city’s most frequented crossings. But ask any of the commuters passing through, and they say that using this thoroughfare is their last option.

MISCELLANEOUS

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here are the traffic lights? Plus, the autos park on the side of the roads, and stop wherever they want, to pick up and drop off passengers.

It’s so dangerous when you have to drive on roads filled with water, not knowing whether you are driving straight into a deep pothole filled with water. There have been so many incidents when cars have stalled, and motorcyclists thrown into mud and slush, because they couldn’t see the deep crevasse in the road. The road around the Hero Honda Chowk has an incline, which makes the rainwater settle and stagnate. The service roads are even worse.

CONCLUSION

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onstant travelling on bad, potholed and waterlogged roads has so changed the mindset of the people that it is is hard for them to accept that there can be anything good in store for them.

There were heavy-duty suction pumps installed at the crossing to drain the water away. But even after investing crores in it, there is no visible relief for the people, as the pumps don’t work.

The city has a new mayoralty, and they have the responsibility of making the dream of a peaceful commute real, for the people.

There is also the issue of safe passage of people who wish to cross the road. Since it is an important thoroughfare, vehicles often pass the area at high speed, on the roads leading to and from the Chowk. To make their way across, the people have dragged away the jersey barriers. There was word of foot-overbridges being built on both sides of the Hero Honda Chowk. Nothing has been done as usual. Every time we put in some order for building a structure or a stand, heavy vehicles, commuters and people trash it. Everything cannot take place at once. We’re aware of the problems faced by the people at Hero Honda Chowk, and are working on it.

NH-8

The entry to Gurgaon could not be better, in terms of the road quality. It could not be worse, in terms of jams at the toll plaza.


26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Transport Tragedy of the Millennium City

C ivic/Social

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Also, the Gurgaon railway station has a waiting room only for AC passengers. “The station does not have a waiting room for non-AC travellers, and we face a lot of problems while waiting at the platform,” said Bimla Devi, a 65-year-old woman. However, RK Meena, Superintendent, Railways, said that though the waiting room is for AC passengers, but even non-AC passengers can use the facility. “Constructiontis going on for another waiting room for all passengers,” he said. Train delays is another issue that commuters are livid about. “Trains here hardly come on time. We have to wait for hours. I usually take Kalindi Express from Rewari to Gurgaon, but I have to wait for at least one hour extra daily,” said a student of DSD College, Gurgaon. Railway authorities, on the other hand, remain unperturbed by these complaints. Justifying the delay, Meena said, “We are not responsible for the late arrivals of trains. Most of the trains come on time; only Kalindi and a few other express trains come late!”

Death-defying commutes worry officials

It is not just the passengers, even railway officials have their set of problems. “Travellers perched on top of trains is one of them, “ It is very dangerous

ALL AT SEA: Waterlogging at the bus terminal makes catching a bus a perilous affair

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uesday’s downpour and Wednesday’s auto strike left already harried commuters stranded at various points across the city. But, it is hardly surprising, as it is a regular affair for commuters in Gurgaon in the absence of a public transport system. When there is heavy downpour, auto drivers charge anything between Rs 200 and Rs 250 to cover a distance of 6 km, and it is the commuters who suffer. All thanks to an inefficient administration, public transport within Gurgaon is, in a word, terrible. Take this: buses are rarely seen on the roads, there is no fare system for autos and absence of bus stands only adds to the commuters’ woes. Even though the existing metro service has addressed the issue of inter-city transport from Delhi, the larger concern of intra-city transport is yet to be taken up. For residents, who stay in wellequipped apartments with 24 x 7 security, full power back up, gym, swimming pool, club house, and convenience store, the challenge begins when they step out of their homes.

Terminal Mess

When it rains, the only bus terminal of the city is a living hell: heaps of garbage float all around, pigs invade the place and many treat it as an open urinal. In such circumstances, it is impossible for commuters to wait at the bus stand. “Look at this place – pigs roaming here and there, stinking heaps of garbage, and people struggling to board buses with their pants rolled up till their knees. I don’t know what the Haryana Roadways authorities are doing, and the government too seems to have gone deaf,” said Suresh Sharma, a daily commuter. Glass-windows of the ticket counters are smashed, benches for passengers are in a similar condition and unhygienic

conditions prevail all over the terminal, including the waiting room, where stray animals can also be seen. It’s a bitter experience insideout. The road in front of the terminal is also in crumbling condition. If chaos and traffic congestion is an everyday affair here, adding to the woe is the worn out road and the huge trench that has developed lately. “This is an important road. Everyday so many buses enter and exit through this route. The road should be repaired as soon as possible,” said a commuter. Another passenger, while complaining about heavy water-logging at the tetrminal, said, “When a few hours of rain can do so much damage, imagine what happens when it rains heavily. The situation completely exposes the lack of preparedness on the part of the authorities.”

Anyone listening?

Passengers are not the only victims ; employees of the bus terminal complain of broken office furniture, and drivers of the DTC buses also face problems due to water logging and lack of sanitation facilities. “Look at the place where the drivers are made to sit; it is right next to the toilets and the place stinks, but we have to sit here. Water logging creates problems for CNG buses,” said Jagdish Tyagi, the traffic supervisor of the DTC, as he sits adjacent to the stinking toilets.

Railways off-track

The railway station is no exception either; water logged roads right in front of the railway station don’t make things easy for the commuter. Once inside the station, people have to wait for hours at the ticket and reservation counters, as there are only three counters, and that’s not enough to meet the demand. Passengers complain that, at times, the men at the counters take very long breaks. “The booking counter officials disap-

Renovation Relief

However, there is a ray of hope for both rail and bus passengers. “Now we have a budget of Rs 4.83 crore to renovate the bus terminal. The Public Works Department will be carrying out the renovation,” said Netrapal Khatri, the Chief Traffic Officer. Later, while speaking about the renovation process, he said, “The whole renovation drive will take place in two phases. This includes renovation of the sewage system, construction of public conveniences and the boundary walls.” He added that phase one would be completed by this year end. The Railway Station is also under renovation. “You can look around, renovation of the railway station is going on. We are shifting the ticket counters to the front of the building as well, and will repair the road soon,” said Meena.

Sanitation facilities

To improve hygiene standards, the railway administration has hired a private contractor for maintaining cleanliness inside the station. “I don’t think we have any sanitation issues here,” said Meena. While agreeing with Meena, a visitor at the station said, “The railway station is not bad at all as far as sanitation is concerned. I think the authorities are doing a good job.”

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Manindar Dabas / FG }

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WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE: Vehicles cutting through the flooded parking lot of the railway station

pear for hours together, and it gets very claustrophobic here for passengers who have been waiting for hours,” said Vikram Yadav, who travels daily from Rewari to Gurgaon. The authorities, however, refused to buy this theory of incompetence, “Our people leave the ticket counters for very brief periods. We always try our best to accommodate passengers’ concerns, but on an average, we book 80,000 tickets daily. So, you can imagine our workload, ” said RS Bhandari, Chief Booking Officer, Railway Station, Gurgaon.

when they travel on top of carriages, sitting cross-legged, only a few feet away from electric wires. We do tell them about safety issues, but nobody listens,” said Meena. Besides, ticketless travellers pose major concerns for officials. “There are many ticketless travellers. On a daily basis, we daily nab at least 10 of them. After getting caught, people give silly excuses to avoid challans, which is again a headache for us,” said Satya Prakash, the Head Ticket Checker of the railway station.

According to the private contractor, Praveen Kumar, there are eight men at the station, looking after sanitation. Taking cognizance of the unhygienic conditions prevailing at the bus terminal, the Haryana Roadways has also hired a private contractor to maintain cleanliness. “A private contractor has been given the responsibility of maintaining cleanliness. This includes the bus terminals of Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sohna. The Roadways will spend Rs 2.56 lakh every month,” said a source. u

Food Take Area/ vegetables

Sector 54

Palam Vihar

South City 1

DLF City

Sadar Bazar

Potato (old/ new)

Rs 10 / 22

Rs 14 / 25

Rs 7 / 18

Onion

24

25

18

15/20

15/20

Tomato

20

24 / 32

18

20

20

Sector 23

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Rs 13.90

Rs 11 / 16

20

Rs 20

23

20

Rs 26

22

Rs 10 / 20 Rs 10 / 20 Rs 10 / 16

Cucumber

25

24

18

30

25

20

Rs 14

24

Apples

120 / 130

100 / 140

150 / 160

140 / 160

110 / 120

80 / 100

89

115 / 150

Spinach

25

25

28

30

20

24

32

22

Papaya

25

25

25

25

25

25

24

26

Banana

50

40

40

30

40

40

27

28

Mutton

280 / 300

280 / 300

320

280 / 300

280

280

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Chicken

150 / 160

140 / 150

160 / 170

140

140

140

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C ivic/Social 10 God’s Special Children Find Haven in Deepashram 26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

{ Indrani Thakurta / FG }

prakhar pandey

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idden away in a dingy alley, it is hard to locate Deepashram. This place is a House of Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata; and more importantly, a home for physically and mentally challenged orphans. A world within a world, Deepashram was established on July 3, 1994, and shelters 49 handicapped boys and men ranging from 1035 years. What started as a small community in Sector-4 Gurgaon, is now registered with the Missionary Brothers Of Charity, and as a society with the Haryana government. ‘The House of light’, as the literal meaning goes, cares for those who are abandoned by the society. Greatly influenced by Mother Teresa, Brother Jan Timo, a German national, chose to do social work in Pernambuco, Brazil, rather than serve the military. After working in Brazilian slums for 15 months, he came to India. Now in charge of Deepashram, he talks affectionately about the children and what binds them. “These boys have nobody, and most of them are not self-sufficient. They need our help, love and care. We, the brothers and the working staff, are their family. These boys come from different states, backgrounds, cultures, and religions, yet they are all children of God. That’s where their similarity lies.” While some boys came from the Missionaries of Charity, others were brought in by the police, medical superintendents of hospitals, neighbours and NGOs. “Just three months back, we found an epileptic child right outside our gate. We had no clue where he came from, so we had to inform the police. After com-

This ‘House of Light’ provides shelter and support for physically and mentally challenged orphans

SPREADING HAPPINESS: Brother Timo shares a joke with some of the children, in the dining hall

pleting the necessary formalities, we took him in,” explains Brother Timo. The children here are taught to develop skills to make them less dependent. The centre works to rehabilitate and reintegrate those children with mild mental retardation, through education and training. However, many of the boys lack the percentage of mobility that allows autonomy; thus, they require constant care. One can see many children in the classroom, located just outside the chapel, painting and colouring with the help of the special educator. “We have categorised our children based on the severity of their problem. The youngsters who

Anand Ashram Another branch of the House of Blessed Mother Teresa, doing the same work as Deepashram Located at: Sohna Road Houses: 56 boys, out of which 7 are in wheelchairs Running for: Last 3 years Dormitories: 6 Care: 17 fathers and brothers looking after the boys

have severe mental retardation, are given constant care. The rest are given vocational training,” says Samson, special educator with Deepashram. Ahead of the classroom is the physiotherapy room. Nine-yearold Raju, who has just undergone a spinal correction due to sclerosis, shows off his athletic skills by running for us. “Quite a few of these kids had almost no mobility. But with regular physiotherapy, they now climb onto their beds, walk, and sometimes even run,” says Sandeep K Tomar, physiotherapist. With the efforts from the brothers and volunteers, Deepashram boasts of two success stories. “Two of our boys are

studying in a regular school. Cintu, physically challenged, is in the class VI, and Raju will appear for class X board exams. Our endeavour is to give them all the support for a healthy future,” says Brother Timo. “We thank the coordinators of A.I.S.P.O (Associazione Italiana per la Solidarieta tra i popoli), Sede L’ospedale San Rafaele di Milano for their collaboration with Deepashram. The Association has so far provided a three-wheeler, a tractor, an ambulance, and other equipment. At present, they are sponsoring the salary of two qualified physiotherapists. Some doctors have agreed to provide free treatment for our boys under medication for epilepsy.” When asked about the expectation they have from society, Brother Timo says, “Deepashram depends on contributions from collaborators and benefactors for the daily upkeep of the centre, and medical needs of the boys which include checkups, neurological screenings, psychological assessments, and physiotherapy. The daily medicines cost a lot and we would appreciate donations of any kind.” He adds, “More than monetary donations, we would appreciate if you could visit these kids and spend time with them.” He assures that even a smile from them can be rewarding. And we sure can vouch for that.

Contact Us

Deepashram Atul Katariya Marg PO box-74, Rajiv Nagar, Gurgaon Ph: 0124- 4089701

How You Can Help

Apart from monetary aid, you can sponsor a meal or medication for the children. u

This Sarkari School Shines Bright An English medium government school in Sushant Lok breaks the stereotype prakhar pandey

{ FG Bureau }

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he nation’s economic growth has fuelled new ambitions, and new expectations from schools to help achieve them. However, it is known that the condition of government schools is appalling. While many children are attending class, a vast number of them cannot read, write, or perform basic arithmetic. It is no different in Gurgaon. Even though the number of children in schools has increased, the quality of government schools has sunk to low levels. However, this city has an exception. Breaking the stereotype, this government school has a different tale to tell. Government Model Sanskriti School, in Sushant Lok-1, is not the usual government school in town. The spacious five acre school has well-maintained classrooms and laboratories. The one thing that perhaps sets apart this school from the rest, is the language of instruction. This is an English medium government school, and that is perhaps one of the reasons for its popularity. “This is a pilot project of the government of Haryana, according to which each district is supposed to have an English medium school,” says Surinder Kaur, Principal. Started in 2007, the school has two wings, (junior and senior), 30 teachers and 950 students to its credit. “I proudly announce that our school is the only one in the state to have 100% result in class X and

PARTICIPATION: Students practising their music lessons

XII for the past three years. This year, we got 93.8% success in the class XII exam,” says Kaur. “We have 65 students in class IX, and 62 in class X. The school offers science, commerce and humanities as subjects, with well equipped laboratories,” elaborates Kaur. “We also encourage all co-curricular activities, from sports to dance. Our cricket team participated at the state level. Girls regularly participate in hand-ball, in the state-organised competitions,” says Kaur. Lokesh Hans, a junior school student, won a gold medal in the state-level chess competition. Aashita Shukla, a class VII student, recently won the gold medal in karate. Though the school doesn’t provide for coaches to train these students, they encourage them to participate. “The number of students coming in for admissions is increasing each year, which is a great indicator of our success,” says Kaur. A government school imparts free education till class VIII. From class IX till class XII, a fee of Rs 60 and above is charged, depending on the stream chosen by the student. But in this school, since last year, Sushil Bharadwaj, the owner of Badwal Group, has taken responsibility of the fees for all the students. Though the parents don’t have to pay for their child’s education, the teachers sometimes charge a small sum for maintenance. “We haven’t been given a peon, a guard or a cleaner. So, we had to hire these people. And the parents are cooperating with us, ” says Kaur. The poor parents seem willing to stretch their resources to live their child’s dream.u


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C ivic/Social

prakhar pandey

Relocating to Gurgaon was not the preferred option for the Barmans; but now, they have settled in comfortably

26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

{ Indrani Thakurata / FG }

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arani Kanta Barman had no idea that, after finishing college, he would shift base to North India—that too to Gurgaon. A scientist at Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd., he had no plans to settle in any place other than his hometown. “I have my home in Assam, and I relocated solely for academic and professional reasons. My plans were to retire and go back home; but now, over time, I am contemplating to buy a place here,” says Tarani. A veterinary scientist who did his masters from Uttar Pradesh, Tarani came to Gurgaon in 2004. The Barman family resides in Palam Vihar. From the beginning, Tarani was drawn to the area because of its open spaces. “I like Palam Vihar more than  new Gurgaon, since it is quiet and spacious. New Gurgaon is all about malls, and it can be suffocating at times.” he adds, “I have no scheduled work timing; at times, I go out for work even late at night. My family’s safety is my primary concern, and this area is safe.”  Tarani got married in 2007, and brought his wife to the Millennium City. “I was in Guwahati before marriage. When I came to Gurgaon, transport was a huge

Guwahati to Gurgaon HERE FOR GOOD: The Barmans, in the city that is now their home away from home

problem. But over time, it has improved. We have cabs, autos, and the metro, to commute now,” says Reema, Tarani’s wife. Happy with the progress, she points out, “The city is developing at a remarkable speed. From transport to hospitals, basic amenities are getting better.” However, the Barmans are quick to point out that all that glitters is not gold. “Though Gurgaon may seem to be an attractive destination for most people, we pay a heavy price to stay here. Everything is

Fancy Tags { Alka Gurha }

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had a good laugh. Laughter from the abyss! No, I am not crazy. I just happened to read the status message of a Bangalore based friend. ‘On my way to Jaipur, I drove past Gurgaon last night. The skyline resembles Singapore.’ If you are a Gurgaon resident, chances are that you too, will find this amusing! Indeed, at night, while whizzing past the highway, Gurgaon is reminiscent of Singapore. However, the real picture emerges during daylight; a few hundred meters away from the national highway. Surprise! You have landed on the moon. Oh no! Suddenly you realise that it is not a crater but a swirling pothole. You will agree that the Gurgaon model of development is a random mix of bright sequins, stitched on a fabric that is decaying. If Ireo’s fifty storied complex is the height of urbanisation, then the depth of misery are the carefully crafted mounds of garbage on the roads. So when we can have Pod taxis before low floor buses, chances are that we might have a space station much before the sewer lines are laid. I am invariably struck by the contrast all around. Bang opposite the steel and chrome facades, stray dogs and pigs loiter on the road. A Mercedes zooms past a rickety cycle rickshaw. Insulated from the dust and grime, the sahib in the back seat punches away at his laptop, as his driver manoeuvres the car away from a rumbling tractor. It is amazing how the sleek sedans comfortably share space with black monsters over-loaded with people, threatening to fall off the potholed roads. No, it is not a fashion show. Behenjis turned babes, just as Gurgaon turned Singapore, dress in designer labels and strut in and out of malls. And next to the swanky malls, the debris of construction lies unattended. Unsurprisingly, hawkers have grabbed the footpath, and the new metro station is now a home to beggars. Surprising? No. Disappointing? Yes. Such fascinating contrasts are only to be seen and enjoyed in apna Gurgaon. The ‘Millennium City’ tag simply fails to stick – like the velcro of my old fancy sandals. u

very expensive, from stationery items to vegetables.” Reema left her teaching job to be a housewife, and now prefers to spend the days with her 3-year-old daughter, Dona. “I don’t get bored here. I drop Dona to school in the mornings; and in the evenings, I take her to the park. We also have pleasant neighbours whom we interact with.” She is quick to point out that her schedule is really what keeps her busy; not the options for activities in Gurgaon. “I be-

lieve that Gurgaon should have more recreational centres for kids.” Taking the conversation further, Tarani says, “Initially, malls used to attract me, but not anymore. Delhi has many entertainment options, and Gurgaon should develop a few too.” However, the Barmans swear by the cultural gatherings of their community in Gurgaon. “It is culturally vibrant. We celebrate Bihu in a big way. The Assamese community is growing. We also thoroughly enjoy

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo

1. Hello Ram Ram bhai 2. Nice to meet you Tere te milke badiya laagya

Badiya – soft d

3. I am sorry Mai ghanna sharminda hoon

Ghanna – ghost un na

4. Goodbye/See you Achcha bhai pher milain ge

Pher – ph as in Hindi phool (flower) Milain – mill lain

5. Do you speak Hindi? Hindi bolya karo aap? Bolya – bol lya 6. I need your help Mannai teri maddad ki jaroot hai Mannai – Mann neh (as in Hindi nehla)

Maddad – soft d

7. I lost my phone Mera phone khu gya Khu – kh as in Hindi pankh (wings) 8. I need a taxi/cab Manne taxi chaiye

the Durga Puja that is celebrated in many pockets of Gurgaon,” explains Barman. Apart from a few hiccups, life is smooth in Gurgaon for the Barmans. No wonder then, they are now planning to settle here for good. “My daughter is a Gurgaonite. God knows whether she will be able to adjust to Guwahati,” says Reema. She concludes, sipping her Assam tea, “We cannot help but appreciate the beautiful blending of cultures in this city.” u

Is Gurgaon AC-Dependent? { Hritvick Sen / FG }

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hat’s the fun of having a glorious monsoon evening outdoors, when Gurgaon’s people choose to stay inside temperature-controlled glass rooms? I freely admit that Gurgaon is a place where you can get blistering sunshine at discounted rates. And airconditioning in offices, apartments, cars (and even the office loo) is necessary to prevent mass-murder. That said, the Gurgaonite’s need for air-conditioning seems to be passing from the normal to the ridiculous. At this rate, newborns would be needing split air-conditioners, along with super-absorbent diapers. On a drenched breezy evening, I went out on my motorcycle to meet an old friend, who has settled in Gurgaon for the past decade. It was a refreshing evening, in every meaning of the word. At a red-light, a fellow commuter remarked that these were the days which made the summers worth their blaze. On reaching my friend’s apartment, the first sentence of the evening was about the excellent weather. As we settled in the living room, he closed the french windows and switched on the air-conditioner. Pretty soon, we went out for beer, and as soon as we sat in the car, he closed the windows and switched on the air-conditioner. When I asked him why he did that (instead of letting God’s air-conditioner do the work for free), he was dumbfounded. His refrain was, “Why would you not want the air-conditioner?” and looked at me as if I was having a mental fit. The average Akash of Gurgaon wakes up in an air-conditioned home. He gets ready and uses his air-conditioned car to travel to his air-conditioned office, where he spends his day. The process is reversed in the evening. The average Anjali of Gurgaon also wakes up in an air-conditioned home. If she’s working, it’s probably the same schedule as average Akash’s. If Anjali is a home-maker, she leaves her air-conditioned home to another air-conditioned house for a kitty party, or an air-conditioned mall, in an air-conditioned car. Pray tell me, what ‘summer heat’ are you complaining of ? u


26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Dr. Anjali Malik

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ccording to Ayurveda, a lifestyle based on harmony is a stress free lifestyle, which begins with an understanding of one’s constitution or Prakruti. Prakruti is the physical and psychological constitution of the individual, determined at the time of conception and birth. Our Prakruti or constitution is made from the five elements (space, air, fire, water, and earth), which manifest in each of us in a unique way to give us our physical and mental qualities. These five basic elements combine into three constitutions or Doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. The unique combination of the three doshas in each individual has a specific influence on our physical, mental, and emotional tendencies. Disturbance of this constitution/balance due to stress, strain, trauma, improper diet, seasonal and weather changes may lead to imbalance, and eventually to diseases. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our

Manage Stress Overload with Ayurveda Banish stress from your life using Ayurveda techniques health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas (tridoshas). There is no single approach that is right for everyone. So, Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha and live in harmony with their true self. Stress is a mind-body reaction, which occurs when we do not have the energy needed to deal with the situation at hand, and are overwhelmed by circumstances. Stress weakens our immune system, and allows the microorganisms to penetrate our defenses. From

Health & Vitality... Naturally! Jaspal Bajwa

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rban life can, and should be, associated with a better quality of life. Yet it is increasingly associated with early onset and rising incidence of chronic lifestyle disorders. The resultant loss of the capacity to enjoy life to the fullest, despite expensive medical interventions, is sad. But it does not have to be so. Let ustogether discover the simple steps we can take, to regain control over our lives. First we must learn to recognize ‘dis-ease’. It all starts innocently enough.Perhaps a few extra kilos around the waist. Or persistent pain and fatigue. Or a mild allergy. Endless cups of tea/coffee, or gallons of

sugary soft drinks, prove to be litttle more than temporary fixes. Stress-induced binge eating does not help either. Junk foods, sedentary lives and compromised sleep patterns all add up to a heady cocktail. Elevated BP (blood pressure) sets in, and the journey down ‘the slippery slope’ starts. It is left to the spin of the roulette wheel to assign chronic disorders like diabetes, cardio-vascular compromise, a stroke or cancer. The key question to ask, is whether this is a trap from which there is no escape? Or can we, through wise choices, in fact take control of our own well-being?

Wellness

Tip of the Week

The body’s own ability to heal itself should never be under-estimated. It can be activated by simple acts like hearty laughter, regular exercise, and walking. These activities release endorphins in our brain, which strengthen our immune system, and enhance a sense of well-being.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week

For centuries, ginger has been well known as an aid to digestion, and to help prevent ulcers. It has a tonic effect on cardiac health, and has important anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate arthritis. It is also benefecial for treating travel sickness and nausea, and for menstrual

common cold to heart diseases, it plays a key role in the onset of most illnesses. The realisation that stress is caused from within helps us to comprehend that as we have the ability to create the experience of stress, we also have the ability to create the experience of peace of mind. It is the gap between how our life actually is and how we would want it to be that makes our mind restless, disturbed, and strained. Stress over job security, relationship insecurity, financial worries, among other factors, has a long-term effect on our health. Stress can be short-term

(acute) or long-term (chronic). Acute Stress: Acute stress is the reaction to an immediate threat. Common acute stressors include: noise, crowding, isolation, hunger, infection etc. In most of the cases, once the threat has passed, levels of stress hormones return to normal levels. Chronic Stress: In today’s modern lifestyle, prolonged stressful situations are quite common, and that is when stress becomes chronic. Common chronic stressors include: highpressure jobs, long-term relationship problems, loneliness, and persistent financial worries. Stress can lead to a variety

of problems such as depression, infections due to low levels of immunity, stomach problems, diarrhoea, weight gain/ weight loss due to digestive and metabolic imbalance, high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, heart attack, and skin diseases such as eczema and acne. Panchkarma Therapy and Herbal Healthcare aid in maintaining the Tridoshas in our body. Specific therapies to manage stress are Abhyangam, Shiroabhyanga, Shirodhara and Shirovasti. Stress reducing herbs are called nervine tonics. These herbs include jatamamsi, shankha pushpi and medhya drugs; or medhya rasayanas such as ashwaganda, bala and amalaki that help in building the body’s resistance to stress, and increases endurance levels. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, Ayurveda helps people reduce stress, which leads to optimum health and peace of mind. u – Ayurvedic Consultant, Kalpanjali Health and Wellness Clinic

Gurgaon’s Own Weekly Newspaper Now on News-stands @ Rs. 7 only

cramps. Fresh ginger juice is an excellent detoxifying agent and cleanser for the body. Its warming and immune-boosting properties make it a reliable cold and flu treatment. Chewing of the root can ease sore throat- can also be added to tea. Ginger’s name is derived from Sanskrit word ‘singabera’ (like deer’s antlers). Over half of the world production comes from India. Ginger is a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B6. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions) u – Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

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be the change you want to see


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EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Press Forward

he wheel has come full circle…almost. The country cousin is now city smart. Gurgaon has done a Dhoni. As with men, so with cities. Bharat has morphed into India. Not quite, though. Gurgaon has yet to win global laurels. It has the base, the launching pad—and the potential. Yet it may flatter to deceive (as also Dhoni’s men). Cities have a half life of at least 50 years, and Gurgaon city has barely scratched adulthood. There are reasons to be proud, and hopeful. We have a vast and growing industrial and commercial establishment, including top multinationals—and therefore more than adequate employment potential; a wage and salary structure that is the envy of India, and a magnet for Bharat; proximity to the capital, to prime national and international airports, to Agra and Jaipur; excellent new, modern residential and commercial complexes, with all amenities; and a myriad of schools and hospitals. However, there are reasons also to be worried, and cynical. Some reasons stem from the happiness of today; others are lurking, and can be triggered by events or by actions of other Indian cities, or other countries. The earnings structure, and its related impact on local price lines, esp. of essentials, is a ticker (and not just economically); for multinationals, this is a warning bell, and could become a clanger once the Rupee breaches the 40 mark to the Dollar. Infrastructure sucks. Especially public transport and roads—and it impacts every citizen, every family member, every day—for hours. Sanitation is an afterthought. And water and electricity have been left to individual enterprise. Further, if we wish to call this our home, for generations, the city must cater to the generations—from births and newborns to the very old and deaths. From new colleges to new crematoriums. Finally, let us be very wary of crime—crime from aspirations becoming immediate wants. Not only from low income and status

Maha Gaon Sunam Sarkar

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hat started off as the abode of Guru Dronacharya, where he would teach the Princes of that time the skills of war, has now come full circle­—to where the Princes of today indulge in daily corporate warfare. The city that a leading business magazine rates as the best in India to ‘work and live in’, is clearly propelled to the top of the rankings by the corporate opportunities it offers, for it languishes at a lowly eleventh on the ‘life after work’ ranking. As per legend too, the only reason for visiting ‘Guru-gaon’ was to learn war-craft, and rub shoulders with the Kaurava and Pandava Princes – as their childhood enmities were developing into lifelong influences on the fate of a people. The intervening millennia, however, had no indication of the city’s impending return to the limelight. Hundreds of years went by, with life largely remaining unchanged in its bucolic bliss. Neighbouring Delhi saw the rise and fall of seven cities, major dynasties, succession battles and palace intrigues, even an imperial durbar to mark the shifting of a capital, with the establishment of a new city. But Gurgaon remained largely unchanged, until the scion of a modern political dynasty decided to establish a dream factory here. Even then it may have gone the way of so many other industrial towns that developed as satellites to Delhi, but for some rather fortunate developments. A booming capital city inevitably leads to a large influx of migrant workers, regardless of the hue of the collar. As pressure on housing increased in Delhi, and the state controlled development authority struggled to meet either quality or quantity needs, private developers started eyeing the vast swathes of farmlands in south of the city. A momentous decision by another descendant of the same political dynasty, to allow the private sector to

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develop housing across the border saw the floodgates open, however slowly, in the initial years. The momentum gathered with the need to decongest the central business districts of Connaught Place and Nehru Place, among others, which were bursting at the seams. This happy confluence of events saw the increasing pace of commercial and residential development, encouraging global and Indian companies to shift base, attracted by high quality office facilities and matching residential accommodation available for their staff. In true private sector spirit what was not available was arranged. No electricity? Generate enough back-up power to ensure 24/7 operations. No transport? Engage fleets of vehicles to ferry staff to and from work, again 24/7. The same can-do spirit applied to security, entertainment and food – and today Gurgaon has truly made a name for itself as a corporate centre, accounting for the highest share of taxes in the state of Haryana, and has the third highest per capita income in the country. Small wonder then that in the last decade the population of the city has doubled to over one and half million, as per the 2011 census. Amidst all the modern-day glitz of glass and chrome, the ghosts of the Pandavas and Kauravas probably wonder what happened to their childhood’s ashram. Their spirits must, however, be identifying with the many Mahabharats that continue to be fought here every day, whether between competing global sellers of sugary drinks or between home-grown developers of real estate, as they outdo each other in their quest for more land. Hopefully, with the launch of its own newspaper today, the city will have its own forum to document some of these daily epics, as also help in raising its ‘life after work’ ranking in the next survey. u

Bharatis, but all globally aspiring Indians. The excuses for lack of infrastructure stem from helplessness— from a cry that the city just sprung up, and caught everyone by surprise. What is of concern is that the excuse continues even today, for new areas within Gurgaon. This, at a time, when NOIDA, another Delhi suburb (ok, city) , of similar vintage, seems to have planned its infrastructure fairly well—and even spun off a Greater avatar. The melting pot that is Gurgaon is fascinating. And we will track it in all its variety and spunk. In word and deed; in image and sound (yes, we also have an on-line multimedia site www.fridaygurgaon. com ). We will cover Gurgaon 360, esp. its people. It has a good cosmopolitan mix; and a Delhi mix of an old and a new city. It is a Metro suburb, a part of the NCR, and a premier city of a State. Governed as much from within, as from a few hundred km away in Chandigarh. On a serious note, we would like to add value, to build agendas, to be a part of the solution. To not just call to attention, and be just a part of the problem; but follow up, cajole, and ensure action. We would like to present both or all sides. We would like to show the bad, but the good too (we believe the good outnumber the bad 4 to 1 !). There must always be hope; cynicism must not ever reign supreme. We would like to be credible—to be believed, to be respected—and thereby popular. We want you, dear reader, to read…feel…ponder…and act. We would like to bring your voice to the fore. There is power in all of us. The power of the silent majority booms every election. Let us harness that power to collectively light up Gurgaon. Let us not just be at the disposal of the State. Let us press forward. We, at Friday, have a passion to report a world to you—as seen from ground Gurgaon. To ...be the change that you want to see... u

Time for Accountability of All Abhay Jain

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he question—who is responsible for a certain sense of uncertainty and insecurity amongst the general masses—haunts every sensible citizen now-a-days. We love to hate politicians and curse them, as they can be easily rounded up and blamed for every problem the country is facing today. But the experience of Gurgaon strongly establishes that not only politicians, but bureaucrats, commercial establishments, media—and above all, the general masses, are equally responsible for the present status. It is no secret that the Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh—both from the Congress—do not share a great rapport. That is why they politically do not promote, approve and support each other on planning, and schemes for the betterment of Gurgaon. Rao Inderjit Singh has proposed the setting up of the Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA) for the last five years; Mr Hooda keeps postponing Rao’s idea, and claims that the GDA would serve no concrete purpose. This not only hampers the formation of the GDA, but affects over-all development of the city. Though the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has a vast area under its jurisdiction, most of the times its Commissioner seems to be powerless, as many rules and bylaws for the its governance are still not framed or approved, even after three years of its formation. The well known, most powerful seat of Deputy Commissioner now has a very limited jurisdiction of revenue matters only. The HUDA administrator has no area to supervise, as all existing HUDA sectors and private colonies fall under the Municipal areas;  but despite that, he has to manage the areas and sectors, as they had been developed by HUDA. All these officers have a number of issues that  are being managed and looked after by more than one authority, thereby creating confusion amongst them.

Bureaucrats are equally accountable for the present imbroglio. As far as commercial establishments are concerned, they have their own ways to justify their stands and demands. For example, a leading sweet out-let at Mehrauli Road has no provision/ space for parking of vehicles coming to their establishment. Dozens of vehicles are found parked on the road, creating a jam like situation on the main road, especially at peak hour. The shop keeper has the plea that it is the duty of the administration to ensure the parking. Gurgaon is dotted with many such commercial establishments that have come up at the ‘wrong places’. In another case of showing irresponsibility towards the society, out of about 150 banks, 60 petrol pumps, 300 cyber cafes, etc, just a few have followed the district administration’s order for installing CCTV in their premises,  as the cameras would not provide any financial gain to them. The media is equally guilty. Take their coverage of  major incidents, like the current Anna Hazare movement. The media, both electronic and print, highlight it such as to depict that they are the only reformers left in society, who can mend the ways of every institution or person. They even make mountains out of mole hills, and boastfully make news of what may be no news at all. Fair, balanced and matured reporting is the demand of the times. And the last, but most important, the public—we do not want to take the responsibility, and contribute our share towards society. Whenever there is a need for some sacrifice or some work to be done, most of us like to pass it on to our neighbours. The majority of us have never volunteered to help the civil administration, to help achieve social goals, like ensuring polio drops to each child; or help police combat anti-social elements. Each and every citizen of the country must understand that it is their duty and responsibility to contribute their share, and ensure that they shun personal interest. Only then would India lead the world in the 21th century. u


26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Kid Corner

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Grand Designs Patriotic Fervour

{ Indrani Thakurta / FG }

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Paint Your Heart Out

Art came alive in a powerful way through evocative paintings made by the students of Sankalp School, Sushant Lok. The school organised a painting competition in which Sanaa and Santona of class IV, and Anjali and Afroz of class III won the first and second prizes.

Debate on Corruption

Students from six schools across Gurgaon participated in an inter-debate competition held at CCA School. The topic was – Is Corruption becoming the face of present day India? The winning team was from CCA, followed by SDAV and Lion’s Public School.

okesh has his goals set really high. This nine-year-old wants to be a Grand Master, and he is confident that he won’t settle for anything less. Sudhir, Lokesh’s father, can’t imagine that a simple move to de-addict his couch potato son, would change his son’s life. “I bought a chess set last year, hoping to involve him in other activities, instead of wasting time in front of the television.” Sudhir, an ardent follower of chess himself, played

Towards a Green Gurgaon

Students of class IX and X of DPS Gurgaon (Sec 45), along with their teachers distributed saplings to the commuters at the Toll Plaza on NH8. The initiative was a part of the Green Eco Drive – Vriksha, which was organised in collaboration with the National Association for the Blind.

Janmashtmi Celebration

Students dressed up like Radha, Krishna, Gopiyan and Sudama for a Janamashtami event, that was celebrated at Good Shepherd School. Students and their parents participated in matki fodo competition and got Bansuris as gifts. The students were also given information about Krishna’s life and his thoughts.

Everything Happens for a Reason

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nce upon a time there lived a dog. His name was Bruno. Bruno didn’t like the way he looked because he was brown. One day, Bruno said to his mother, “Mother, mother, I am so brown. I want to be white”. Mother told Bruno that some dogs are white and some are brown. “But why am I not white?”, asked Bruno. “That is because God made you brown and that is the gift of God”, said the mother. Bruno said,”God is very powerful. He can do anything. So he can definitely change the colour of my fur from brown to white”. His mother replied that God was inside his heart and went to work. That night when Bruno was sleeping, God came in his dream and told him,”I am your God, Bruno.” Bruno asked him, “Dear God, why have you not made me white?” To this God replied,”I didn’t make you white so that when you fall in the mud, you will not get dirty. A white dog’s fur will get spoilt. You will

and taught his son the nuances of the game. Soon, Lokesh started to defeat his father at the game. “I saw that my son was picking up really fast, and he developed an interest towards the game. To further enhance his skills, I enrolled him in the Chess Academy in Sector-31. Though the academy has closed down now, my son’s achievements grew in leaps and bounds,” says Sudhir. In March last year, he stood first in a competition held by the Brain Game Academy, Model Town. In the month of April, 2010, Lokesh stood third in the under-nine Haryana Chess Association State competition. A little after this match, he bounced back with a gold medal in the under-9, Haryana Chess competition. He also competed

R PAND EY

The students of Govt. Model Sanskriti School, Sushant Lok celebrated Independence Day with great enthusiasm. The highlights of the event were music performances by Vandana Parihar of Class VIII and Shalini Mishra of Class X.

PRAKHA

Chess started off as an alternative, to getting Lokesh away from the TV set—and turned out to be the youngster’s passion

with the senior players in the Senior State Championship held in Sirsa, and secured sixth position this year. Lokesh is now preparing for the under-13 championship, to be held soon. At a tender age of nine, this youngster has defeated many with his moves. “I am there to give him full support, to help him realise his dream. I want my son to be the first Grand Master from Haryana.” u

Lokesh’s Diary Favourite Sport: Chess His Ideal: Vishwanathan Anand Favourite Movie: Sholay Favourite Hero: Salman Khan Favourite Dish: Bhindi Ki Sabji Girlfriend: What?

Drawing & Painting Competition

always remain beautiful, while a white dog will get dirty.” When Bruno woke up, he realised that God does everything for a good reason. u Vanya Duggal, Class II C, Suncity World School Sec-54

Title: Janmashtami Greetings Poonam, Class II, Sankalp School, Sushant Lok. 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 contributions@fridaygurgaon.com


Kids Brainticklers

Solutions

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Sudoku Kids

16 26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

K id Corner


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26 Aug–1 Sep 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.

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26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

The Business of Gurgaon Atul Sobti

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urgaon has come good, where others, with better credentials, have not. Given its location, it could have at best aspired for the status of a shiny suburb of a big city – albeit the Capital, in this case. Big city suburbs across India started well, but soon fell—or stagnated— Faridabad and Ghaziabad, near Delhi; Howrah, Hooghly, and 24 Parganas near Kolkata; Thane and Vashi near Mumbai; Hosur, near Bangalore. Gurgaon has not only come good as a suburb, but has more than held its own, even versus the Capital. And not only as an independent city; but, as importantly, as a commercial and industrial hub. A status that Delhi has slowly lost out on. Today, Gurgaon can aspire to emulate, and hopefully do one better than, a city like New Jersey—the defining suburb of New York. A role that Navi Mumbai was perhaps set up for—and by good fortune may now get to fulfill, with the sanction of the new international airport in that area. Gurgaon owes a lot to Sanjay Gandhi and Maruti Suzuki. Automobiles is a vast industry in terms of investment, employment, and the supply chain (from component suppliers to dealerships). Hero Honda and DLF followed shortly thereafter. These were the big pioneers. And they have not just stayed the course, but expanded rapidly. That is what a product industry brings to a city and its citizens. The service industry, though clearly beneficial in other ways, is not as vast in all the elements, and can move off at short notice. Gurgoan also owes a lot to geography—being on the right side of Delhi, in terms of at least the proximity to the international airport. Multinational executives and companies just feel better; as do of course the locals. All of this is why Gurgaon scores highly over other similar cities in India, and even the world. It is a heady mix of a modern residence, a global office, and a multi-product factory—all at an arm’s throw from the seat of national government. So when trouble does come, due to inherent or external impacts, Gurgaon should weather the shock. Unless it comes as a triple whammy! Sure, Gurgaon is susceptible to some shocks—high priced manpower; high cost residences and offices; poor infrastructure. The residence and office are not hard to replicate, in India, or globally. Proximity to an international airport is no longer an exclusive reserve. Greater NOIDA, Chandigarh, new Bangalore, Hyderabad suburbs and soon Navi Mumbai—all are potential good alternatives. There may even be a surprise in the form of, say, Nagpur. Internationally, the clock will start ticking loudly, once the Rupee strengthens and crosses `40 to the dollar. Multinationals have no geographic loyalties, almost by definition. And the rate/ cost/price in dollars is all that counts. It is therefore in our interest to act, and also influence the state government to: Strengthen local industry, in terms of their comfort to invest further. The Udyog Vihars need to listen carefully to their customers, and keep them delighted. Encourage new entrants in and around Manesar. Ensure there is no speculative build up of prices and rentals of residential, office, and industrial land and premises. A crash seems probable, and would be very serious. Keep local wages, salaries, and prices in check – benchmark and constantly review versus Delhi, and the rest of India. We already are losing this race, by running in a different lane. Maintain a high level of basic infrastructure facilities and services—esp. relating to roads, water, power, sanitation, and safety. Lobby hard for trains (incl. Shatabdi and Rajdhani) stopping, and even starting, at a new Gurgaon station. Lobby even harder for the International Airport remaining where it is only; and within a decade, moving towards Manesar. Let us not take the success of Gurgaon for granted. The triple whammy is possible—everything is after all linked, in this webbed world. u

Seasoned Enterprise { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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hat started as a hobby for the newly wed housewife, who migrated from Patna to Gurgaon in the early nineties, has turned out to be an entrepreneurial success story. With sheer persistence and hardwork, Alaknanda Kumar has managed to set up a large scale factory in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, employing more than 60 people, and annually produces 600 tonnes of pickles and squashes each. Inspired by her industrialist father, Kumar says she always wanted to set up her own business­ —and to be in control

of things. But her marriage and shift to Gurgaon, from Patna, at a young age, made it a difficult proposition. “There were plenty of ideas, and a lot of time at hand. So I started making pickles, and distributed these to my friends and relatives”, she says. And this decision to pursue her hobby changed the course of her life. Buoyed by the positive feedback and constant demand for her lip-smacking achars, Alaknanda decided to turn professional. In 1997, she set up a unit—Kumar Agro Food Products, to make pickles, near the Old Gurgaon Railway

India Remains No. 1 Outsourcing Choice The BPO industry in India is likely to retain leadership in the future, despite the changes it is witnessing { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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hen Harpreet Sharma joined the BPO industry in 2002, she was recruited as a customer care executive in an inbound voice based call centre. However, her profile in the last nine years has changed, and Sharma now works as a Workforce Analyst for Convergys, a leading BPO company – performing a task that is complex and complicated. She is not alone. There are thousands of people working in the outsourcing industry, who have seen their profiles changing, as the Indian outsourcing industry matured, and got out of the call centre syndrome. The Indian outsourcing story began with voice-based callcentres, but this sector has witnessed a paradigm shift in the last 10 years. Ashish Bajaj, an outsourcing industry professional, running his own company, points out that more domain specific functions are now being outsourced to India. Some Indian BPOs are engaged in cutting-edge work, such as insurance underwriting, risk analysis of loans, and decision on disbursements. Ashish Garg, Director, Recruitment, Convergys India, one of the largest BPOs in the country, opines that outsourcing companies need to look beyond cost benefits, and look at the value that the Indian talent brings to the job market. With the initial attraction of quick money slowly fading among the youth in NCR, the BPOs are finding it difficult to attract the metropolitan crowd. Consequently, they now have to hire candidates from tier 2 and 3 cities, and some of station. “My parents have been my inspiration- they groomed me as a business person”, says Kumar, who was taught the nitty-gritties by her father, an industrialist in Patna. It was also drilled into her that being a girl is not a handicap, and she could achieve anything in life, if she had faith in her goals. That this initial training has had a positive impact is visible from the fact that she manages a team of more than 60 people ably. “My husband has always stood by me in my initiatives, and now he has joined me in managing the company”, she says, adding that his support has been quite critical in her success. However, the journey was not very smooth and there were initial hiccups that are faced by all of us, she says. As a budding entre-

Ashish Garg, Director, Recruitment, Convergys, India expounds on the evolution and growth of the BPO industry, and why Gurgaon still attracts the crème of this business, in an email interview with Friday Gurgaon.

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What kind of work are the BPOs presently taking up in Gurgaon? The staples for the BPO industry in India have been technology, banking, financial services, insurance and telecom. Healthcare and retail are likely to take a greater share of the pie as the processes mature.

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What are recruiters looking for? Apart from work-related skills, call centres also test for emotional quotient, work quotient ie. familiarity with computers and basic applica-

tions, good spoken English, confident attitude and a willingness for night shifts.

Q A

How will salary hikes impact the BPO sector in Gurgaon/India? We are seeing double-digit salary increases in the telecom, FMCG, BPO and consulting sectors. This trend will continue until companies realise that they are paying too much for jobs that could be done at a lower cost, in a different city, for the same quality.

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Is Gurgaon still a major attraction for BPOs and why? Gurgaon remains a favorite destination for the big names to set up office. Convergys has three centres in Gurgaon. We are currently focusing on utilising each of these centres to capacity.u

the companies have even set up base there. This move to smaller cities is also helping to cut attrition rates, a major bane of the entire BPO sector. A recent ASSOCHAM survey revealed that this industry faces 65 per cent attrition, particularly at the middle and low level. A lack of employable talent, coupled with competition from countries such as Phillipines, Malaysia, Mexico and China, is worrying the entire industry; but here again, experts opine that Indian ingenuity will help in staving off the challenge. BPOs in Phillipines are primarily a voice-based industry,

and many of the Indian companies have already set up shop there. In addition, the BPO sector has also started to leverage the huge outsourcing opportunity that India has to offer. So, now instead of looking only to US and Europe, Indian firms are increasingly looking within the country to get business. Despite the alarming situation, the BPO sector has attained a critical mass that will ensure that India remains the number one outsourcing destination for years to come. The only important thing is to sense the changes, and take pro-active measures. u

preneur, the major problems faced by her included the usual red tape and the scepticism of the babus, who thought that a young girl could never be a successful businessperson. It was difficult to get appointments, but somehow she managed to get a foothold through sheer persistence. In her entrepreneurial journey, Kumar says that there have been many high points, but setting up a large scale factory in 2007, and getting a licence from the same man who had given her

the small scale licence in 1997, was a high point. “KM Nath, who is a senior official in the Ministry of Food Processing gave me the large scale licence in 2007, and appreciated me a lot for having come this far”, says Kumar, who had receieved her initial licence from him in 1997. Her company Kumar Agro Foods Private Limited, exports the ‘Royal Choice’ brand to several European and Middle East countries, and also sells in the National Capital Region. The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of her company is to ensure that the quality of pickles and squashes is top class. “Jo aap khud nahi kha sakte, woh kisi ko mat khilaiye”, she says. The company has set up its own pulveriser for masalas, and a PET manufacturing unit for bottles, to ensure the ingredients that go in making and storing the pickles are of the highest quality. Being honest to the product is the core of the business, Kumar is quick to emphasise. Being a resident of the Millennium City, which has been a happy hunting ground for her, Alaknanda Kumar says,   “I am proud to be a Gurgaonite.” u

SPICE IT UP: Alaknanda with her vast range

Prakhar pandey

A penchant for pickles turned to profit

Business


R eal Estate 22 Expansion Plans for Gurgaon 26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

HUDA has plans to expand Gurgaon along the peripheral roads, but North and South are quite poles apart prakhar pandey

• 18 km long road, connecting Dwarka with Gurgaon, via Bijwasan, New Palam Vihar and Garhi Harsaru. • 210 metres wide, with 30 metres of green strip, as well as two service lanes on either side. • Major developers: Emaar MGF (Sec 107, 102, 103, 99, 82, 84), Sobha Developers (Babupur and Bajghera), Puri Construction (village Chauma near Palam Vihar), BPTP (Sec 99, 102, 104, 113 and other sectors), Raheja (village Pawla), Uppal Housing (99), Mahindra Lifespaces (110A), Bestech (Sec 81, 82, 92) and Vatika (Sec 82 and 83). • Commercial belt: Sec 105, 106, 109, 110, 110A, 111, 112, 113 • Public utilities: Sec 100 and 101 • Commercial usage: Sec 114 and 88 • Institutions: Sec 115 • Property rates are between Rs 3,000 and 4,000 per sq feet

Southern Peripheral Road • The SPR will extend from Badshahpur Chowk, and reach NH-8, and it would be 75 metres wide, with service lanes on either side. The Golf Course Extension road will connect Badshahpur Chowk to Golf Course Road, and will be a part of the Southern Peripheral Road. • The major projects coming up on this road are Ansal Essencia, M3M Golf Estate, Emaar MGF, IREO Floors, Emaar Palms, Pioneer Park and IREO Victory Valley. • This road connects SPR to Faridabad, Sohna, New Delhi, and other developed parts of Gurgaon. • Rates are high, as properties fetch anything from Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 per square feet. • The sectors coming up on this road are 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67 and 67A

projects is still to gain traction. The pace of work on a number of ongoing projects in this area is slow, as builders are first pressing for better infrastructure in these new sectors. Another problem is the acquisition of land, as almost a 4 km area is yet to be acquired, because of litigation. A writ petition filed by New Palam Vihar residents, against the eviction orders issued by HUDA, has also proved to be a major road block. Moreover, a part of the NPR is also supposed to be developed by the New Delhi government­­– but the acquisition of land is yet to start in

Realty Rates Palam Vihar Block

Northern Peripheral Road

prospective buyers are people presently living in rented accommodation in Gurgaon, who either want ready-to-movein properties, or those which will be delivered in two or three years, as is the case here. Despite having everything going for it, a major drawback for the Golf Course Extension road is the skyrocketing prices, and development of mostly highend properties, that only suit the budget of the affluent. The going rate in the area is already Rs 6,000 to 8,000 per square feet, depending on the location and quality. In comparison, the NPR currently looks like a country cousin, with non-existent infrastructure, and large towers being built amidst green fields and kuccha roads. The road is being built in patches, as litigation has stalled the acquisition of land in some stretches. The key positives here, however, are better connectivity with Delhi in future, proximity to the international airport, lower property rates, and presence of institutional and commercial sectors. Besides, six to seven million square feet area is likely to be developed as office space in the commercial corridor. Sanjay Sharma of Qubrex predicts a time period of 10 to 12 years for the NPR to come up, and wants investors to be careful while buying property. Caution, it seems, is the byword for prospective buyers on the Dwarka Expressway, as construction in most of the

the National Capital Region, cautions an insider. Advising the buyers to take a long-term view, real estate analyst Vikas Rikhiye says, “People must understand that this road map is for 2021, so all the facilities will come only in the later part of the decade”, adding that high expectations will hurt investors. Rikhiye also suggests people review the track record of builders before investing, as the majority of projects are likely to end up being delayed. Despite these hiccups, real estate observers say that there is still hope. A number of politicians and builders have taken large tracts of land along this road. “When politicians arrive, it means the government is serious towards the development in the area”, says a consultant. Both Golf Course Extension road and the NPR have many possibilities, and promise to take Gurgaon to the next level of growth – the only difference lies in the time horizon. While the former is expected to deliver the goods in the next three to four years, the NPR may take another decade to become the future economic and financial hub of Gurgaon — provided the urban development bodies and the government get their act together. u

(in Rs 000s as of Aug 25, 2011)

Block A 85-90/ sq yd

Block B 85-90/ sq yd

Block C 85-90/ sq yd

Block D 75-80/ sq yd

Block E 85-90/ sq yd

Block F 75-80/ sq yd

Block G 80-85/ sq yd

Block H 80-85/ sq yd

Block I 75-80/ sq yd

Block J 85-95/ sq yd

Block K 85-95/ sq yd

Ansal Plaza 14-15/ sq ft

HUDA Sec 21

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he expansion of Gurgaon, along the northern and southern peripheries has offered a new hope to home buyers — many of whom were considering moving towards Manesar, Alwar and Bhiwadi, due to high costs in the Millennium City. To manage the economic and demographic growth in Gurgaon, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has carved 58 new sectors, a number of these along the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR), connecting Badshahpur Chowk to NH8 near Kherki Doula; as well as the Dwarka Expressway (also called Northern Peripheral Road, NPR). As per the Master Plan, 14,390 hectares land have been reserved for residential use, whereas 5,441 hectares have been reserved for industry, 4570 for SEZs, and 1404 hectares for commercial usage.

Grabbing the opportunity, a number of developers have already announced projects along both the roads. Real estate analysts say the Golf Course Extension road, which is a part of the SPR, will be the major growth corridor in the short term. Proximity to New Gurgaon, good connectivity with New Delhi and Faridabad, metro rail in the near future, and presence of many schools, hospitals and shopping malls nearby, are some factors that favour this area. Ajay Midha, MRICS, Director of Ray White Gurgaon, an international consultancy, says that Golf Course Extension road already has the ecosystem needed for the development of a sub-city. “This road is close to developed Gurgaon, and most of the buyers want to live here, especially those who are working in IT/ITes and corporate majors based in Gurgaon”, he adds. Also, most

500 sq yard 40/ sq yd

HUDA Sec 22

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

BOOM TIME: Southern Peripheral Road, near the Badshahpur Chowk

342 Sq yard 65-70/ sq yd

HUDA Sec 23

NEW FRONTIER: The Northern Peripheral Road at Garhi Harsaru

500 sq yard 60-65/ sq yd

342 sq yard 60-80/ sq yd

160 sq yard 80/ sq yd

Huda Market Booths

342 sq yard 55/ sq yd 263 sq yard 65-70/ sq yd

263 sq yard 60/ sq yd 160 sq yard 75/ sq yd

Gurgaon One Apartments 8.5-9/ sq ft

263 sq yard 70-80/ sq yd

204 sq yard 75-80/ sq yd

Shops in HUDA market: Rs 90L+

90 sq yd shop 125 sq yd shop 9x18 ft: 1.25 cr. 3.25 cr. 6.5 cr.


Pastimes 24 Fun Things to do in Gurgaon 26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Paintball to Pitch and Putt, there is an option for everyone PRAKHAR PANDEY

onwards for a game of an hour for two people, and Rs 1000 for a 30 minutes game, per person} (If you play over an hour at the virtual screen, expect a complimentary treat—a free drink, snacks or a discounted meal).

Feel the Need for Speed

Ever wanted to know what it feel likes to be Michael Schumacher, racing in low cars? Gurgaon offers you the fun and speedy experience of go-karting, where you and your friends can race each other on racing tracks. “I go there at least twice a month, and it’s a great activity for me and my friends, ” said Sohail Gill, a student and an outdoor activity lover. ExcitEment Galore: The entertainment factor at Fun City is a big pull amongst visitors

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

Paintball Adventure

It’s an extremely popular sport, that brings you as close as you can get to a combat action, while being tons of fun at the same time. The players are generally divided into two teams. Players are supposed to eliminate the opponents by marking them, using paintball marker. If the player or his equipment is marked with paint, he/she is eliminated. The paintball game can last from a few seconds to some hours, depending upon the objective of the game. A great activity for four or more people. Even if you are less than four, don’t worry. You can go and join the teams that are already playing. It may be a great opportunity to make new friends.

Situated in an idyllic and tranquil location, the amusement spot offers some excellent rides such as: caterpillar, baby train, western train, turn about, flying bob, break dance, coin operated rides, pagal kishti, mono cycles, merry-go-round, super trouper, flying dish, water merry-go-round, jet plane, etc. The water park is open in the summer, and gives you a chance to beat the heat—on those smooth slides, cool sprays, and the artificial rain hut. But if you are too lazy to run around, and are looking to just ‘chill out’, the inviting mist pool would be a great idea. Where: Apno Ghar Amusement Park, Shikopur Village, DLF City-1 (Ph-0124 2371281) When: All week, 11 am to 9 pm Price: Rs. 500 per person

Get Pampered in a Spa

A hectic modern lifestyle poses many challenges, but spa therapies help individuals balance their physical, mental and spiritual energies. Gurgaon offers great

Where: Blue Terra Spa, 5th Floor, Super Mart 1, DLF IV (0124 4253971) When: All week, 10:30 am to 8:00 pm Price: Rs. 1200 onwards. (Abhyangam is another great spa offering; it is an anti-ageing spa therapy. Among the international offerings, Balinese is popular.)

Pitch and Putt

It’s hot, and not really a perfect day for an outdoor game of golf. So, go for indoor golf with virtual simulator screens. India’s first, and the world’s largest, indoor golf lounge, situated in your city, offers an unprecedented all-weather golf experience, where you can play your 18-holes hitting at the large virtual screens. Also available is an indoor mini golf range, where your kids can putt a hole. Where: Golf Workx, Ambience Mall Gurgaon When: Daily, 11 am to 11 pm Price: Varies with the number of people and the hours. {Rs. 750

Virtually real: The putting green awaits you all year round

Price: Rs. 180 per person for one game (six rounds) (32nd Milestone also offers rifle shooting, bull ride, bungee trampoline, cricket and four lane bowling; special deals for all games available)

It’s a Kid’s World

This is a delightful outlet, especially for kids, offering wide ranges of entertainment and fun n frolic. It offers many video games, bumping cars etc. Each PRAKHAR PANDEY

Where: Paintball Co., DLF Mega Mall (0124 41162157, +91 9971200530) When: Daily, 12 noon to 9 pm Price: Rs. 100 entry fee per person; Rs. 160 for 25 balls, and Rs. 300 for 50 balls ( per person) (Great deals available for groups)

Chill Out at Water Park

Ayurvedic and international spas at affordable prices. Deepak Sherawat, spa manager, Blue Terra Spa says, “Our spas provide great Ayurvedic therapies for your body and mind wellness. Shirodhara is very popular. It is the continuous pouring of oil on the middle of the forehead. This therapy reduces stress, increases concentration, and releases negative energy.”

‘Strike’ the ‘Burner’

Experience the American 10pin bowling with your family, friends or even strangers, and swing your day through the alley, with one of the most entertaining group sport. With the pins lined up 60 feet from you, grip the ball from under, and focus on the right or the left of the centre pin for a strike. Or, while the kids try to strike the pins, you can refresh yourself with a drink at the bar, or even get a tattoo from the tattoo parlour. If you are lucky, you might even bump into Bollywood stars like we did. We had met Shahrukh Khan and the cast and crew of West is West and Shaitan.

Where: Funcity, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon When: Daily, 10 am to 11 pm Price: Recharge your card for a minimum of Rs. 200 (Collect your token tickets and exchange them for a surprise gift at the counter)

PRAKHAR PANDEY

H

ave you watched all the latest movies, shopped to your heart’s content, and dined at your favourite restaurant? If, yes, then what do you do next? Try something new. Here are 10 fun-dos for you to do on weekends, or when you have loads of free time. Explore Gurgaon the way we did, and try out these fun activities.

Where: Blu-O, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon (24 lanes; biggest bowling alley in India) When: Daily, 11 am to 11 pm Prices: Varies from morning hours to evening hours; Rs. 99 to Rs. 200 for 20 shots per person (Great corporate deals available; kids can also relax at the ‘xbox lounge’, which is updated with the latest games)

Where: 32nd Milestone, NH-8, Sector 15 When: Daily, 12 noon to midnight

gaming counter has a caretaker for supervision, so you have nothing to worry about. While the kids are climbing up slides and taking rides, you can shake a leg at the dancing blocks, or brush up on your basketball skills. Anita Desai, mother of a sixyear-old, says, “My son says this is his most favourite place in the world and he has made so many new friends here. Even parents can have fun; like me and my son often play a game of air hockey together.”

Explore the Suburbs

Though Gurgaon is an example of the perfect blend of state-of-the art workspaces, modern residential complexes, and glitzy malls, one can get bored, and want a break. Take a walk through the Aravalli Biodiversity Park and be refreshed. It doesn’t stop here. Surrounded by the Aravalli mountains, the Damdama Lake is the perfect place for a weekend getaway; as also are the Pataudi Palace; the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, the famous bird watching spot where different species of birds come from as far as Siberia; and the famous shrine of Sheetala Devi Temple. And, you can do this all by yourself, or by getting yourself booked for a package tour. Where: Your city’s suburbs When: Anytime you please, or for an organised tour, get details at www.touristplacesinindia. com/gurgaon/tour-packages. html Price: May vary as per your choice of tour

COMBATIVE: Paintball involves two opposing teams seeking to eliminate each others’ players

Go ahead and explore our fun-dos, and make your holidays adventurous and exciting. u


Sport

26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

25

MONEY SHARMA

Shuttling between Woe & Apathy Lack of facilities leave city badminton enthusiasts rueful { FG Bureau }

W

CATCH ’EM YOUNG: Budding cricketers practise near the Chaudhary Surender Singh Cricket Pavilion

Cricket Set for a Good Innings { Maninder Dabas / FG }

Identifying Young Talent

“Every year, from April to September, we organise trial matches for all age groups. On the basis of these matches, we select teams for the Under-13, Under-16, Under-19 and Under-22 categories. The HCA organises matches between all the districts of Haryana, to select the best

Gurgaon’s Cricketers Pataudi Trophy Sachin Rana (captain) Prateek Pawar Ankit Rawat Jaideep Ajay Chauhan Jayant Yadav Anuj Kataria Poonish Mehta Manish Rana Bharat Dureja Abhishek Batra Manoj Shiva Yadav Kuran Verma Ravi Under–22 (Winners) Jayant Yadav (captain) Monoj Poonish Mehta Anuj Kataria Lokesh Lohiya Abhishek Batra Manish Rana Ajay Chauhan Abhimanyu Yadav Bharat Dureja Mahesh Prasad Jerry Stephen Dhruv Pandey Swapandeep Goldy Rao Anil Dyama

Under–19 (Winners) Bharat Dureja (captain) Mahesh Prasad Manish Rana Jay Yadav Harsh Saharan Vikrant Chopra Shiva Yadav Pranay Tiwari Bhanu Pratap Mohit Kataria Gaurav Dhankar Gaurav Kaushik Nitin Verma Ajay Yadav Bharat Bhushan Jasbir Tehlan Abhinav Ashu Under–16 (Runner up) Mohit Kataria (captain) Bhanu Pratap Sahil Bhardwaj Keshav Tanwar Himanshu Sagar Vijyant Sahu Vijay Tanwar Rishabh Sharma Ravinder Yadav Hitesh Yadav Sumit Mohit Malik Vaibhav Yadav Tarkit Panwar

11 players for the Ranji trophy team, too,” said Taneja. “Besides these matches, the GDCA also organises the Patuadi trophy, which has no age limitation, and that too helps in selecting players for the Ranji trophy,” Taneja added. About selection at the junior level, he said, “Since it is a well-known fact that young talent can be found in schools, and cricket academies, we also organise matches between them to pick the best 11 players to represent the district.”

While stating that badminton here is at the mercy of schools and colleges, Jatrana said, “We are grateful to Mr DR Yadav, who is the principal of Dronacharya Government College (DGC), for allowing us to use the college badminton court for practice.” Besides DGC, Heritage School, Suncity School and Uni-world City too allow the GDBA to use their badminton courts. The only place where the HSIDC has a court of its own is in IMT Manesar; but that too is not available for the commoners, as it is allotted to the industrial and corporate houses functioning there.

No Tales of Success

“At the district level, we play in all age groups, but the last time we won was in the year 2008, when Youvan MONEY SHARMA

W

hen it comes to cricket, Haryana has produced some superstars in the Indian cricket team. Kapil Dev stands out. “Gurgaon’s cricket took a huge turn in 1987, at the Nehru Stadium, when the district hosted its first ever Ranji trophy match—played between the host state and Himachal Pradesh. Haryana emerged as the winning team, and since then, Gurgaon is having a good innings as far as domestic cricket is concerned,” said OP Taneja, Vice President of Haryana Cricket Association (HCA), and General Secretary

of Gurgaon District Cricket Association (GDCA). Speaking on the district’s achievement in the domestic circuit, Taneja said, “Gurgaon is the best among all the other districts of Haryana. To identify and groom young talent, we regularly organise tournaments.”

ith its towering structures and galloping economy, Gurgaon is often portrayed as a symbol of a rising new India. Yet the city misses out on many counts, such as promoting games like badminton. It finds few takers among the Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (HSIIDC) officials. And this is not because there are no badminton enthusiasts here. Lack of proper infrastructure for players, including the absence of a coach, is one of the reasons the city lags behind. Moreover, the Haryana Badminton Association (HBA) is not willing to pay more than Rs 3,000 for hiring a coach, to train the youngsters. Interestingly, this happens at a time when one of India’s best known bad-

Schools, Colleges Pitch in

International Ambitions

Though in recent times there has been no single representative from Gurgaon in the national cricket team, Taneja has a different take on the matter. “Forget Gurgaon, even Haryana in recent years has given only two international players —Joginder Sharma and Amit Mishra—but that does not mean we don’t have talent. In the Haryana Ranji team, seven players are from Gurgaon. They are Sachin Rana, Dhruv Singh, Ankit Rawat, Rahul Dhawan, Mukul Dagar, Prateek Pawar and Jayant Yadav.” And, there is a star cricketer too. Sachin Rana, the right hand batsman and right arm medium fast pacer, played the IPL 2011 season for the team Sahara Pune Warriors.

Grounds in Gurgaon

While acknowledging the fact that earlier, there was only the Nehru Stadium, but now they have the Tau Devilal Stadium, and the Tata Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) grounds, where they organised matches, Taneja lamented the fact that there isn’t even one stadium with state-of-the-art facilities.

Breaking Conventions

“Since 1971, Haryana has been participating in the Ranji trophy, and during those days out of 11 players, eight would be from Chandigarh. So, it was the Chandigarh team playing for Haryana, but Gurgaon has now broken the tradition, as seven players are from here in our current Ranji team,” said Taneja. u

In the absence of a coach, players train themselves in badminton tactics and techniques

minton players, and arguably, the most promising female badminton player, Saina Nehwal, is from the state.

Dabas, who played in the Under-10 category, won the first prize for the district,” added Jatrana.

Far Removed from Reality

A Price that the City Pays

Small wonder then that the General Secretary of the Gurgaon District Badminton Association (GDBA) is critical of the sorry state of affairs and blames it on the officials. “We had written many letters to the HBA, but they did nothing to improve the facilities. In fact, the association offered us a paltry sum of Rs 3,000 per month for hiring a coach, for training the new crop of youngsters,” said Surender Jatrana, General Secretary, GDBA. Jatrana added, “The HBA seems to be living in another world. Otherwise, they’d have never dared to make such an offer.” The state of Haryana has four badminton coaches, but none of them are for the city’s young players. Besides the absence of a regular coach, the city has no facilities for badminton beginners. “We do not even have a single court of our own here,” said Jatrana.

“We spend around Rs 4,000 per month for buying shuttlecocks and rackets. GDBA has no contribution as far as the game’s equipment are concerned,” said Rohit, a 17-yearold boy, who practises regularly at DGC. However, Panchkula and Sonepat have two badminton academies. “Both the academies in Panchkula and Sonepat have facilities, ranging from hostels to coaches. That is why the districts are successful,” said Jatrana.

Government Apathy

“The government had plans to build an indoor badminton court in Tau Devilal stadium. Rs 20 crore was allotted to Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), but nothing has been done as of now,” said Jatrana. HUDA officials remained unavailable for comment, despite our repeated efforts. u


26

26 Aug–1 Sep 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


26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

T ime Pass 27

Zits

Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home

Ipso facto

The Born Loser

Two Wise Men

Tiger

Baby Blues

The Better Half


28

G lobal

26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Mobile Wallet to Who is Behind the Replace Credit Cards World’s Most Used Reference Tool? G

Companies are in a race to replace cards and cash with a mobile-payment platform { Andy Goldberg, San Francisco/ DPA}

For thousands, it’s labour of love and not money

o on, rip up those credit cards, and while you’re at it, give away your cash as well. That’s what a group of leading financial and technology companies want you to believe about their new-fangled digital purchasing methods, in which you will just wave your smart phone near a terminal and find the funds automatically docked from your account, and transferred to the seller’s. Credit counsellors are likely to have nightmares about a technology that will make it even easier for people to buy stuff without seeming to pay for it. But, that won’t stop some of the largest companies in the world from pursuing a frictionless payments system that’s even easier for consumers than the arduous task of swiping a credit card. It also gives merchants a new tool PAY VIA PHONE: A PayPass scanner for marketing, loyalty and at a shop that eliminates the need for management. cash and credit cards Google recently unveiled its mobile payments platform system,” said Dorsey. in New York. The “wave and Rick Oglesby, a senior anapay” system will utilise so-called lyst at financial services reNear Field Communications search firm Aite Group, also (NFC) technology, built in to fancies PayPal to make a splash the company’s latest smartin the space, since it already has phone, that will allow the millions of users signed up to device to talk to terminals its mobile wallet system. “The installed in shops. It will debut pressure’s really on to get to the at first in the high tech hubs market fast, and PayPal will be of New York City and San there by the end of the year,” Francisco, according to The Oglesby said. New York Times. With all these competing sysApple is also working on an tems, it’s impossible to predict NFC system for its iPhones, who will emerge as top dog. But while credit card giant Visa, and the issue is – merchants are unall the other major US mobile likely to adopt any technology phone operators, are also until consumers have the means expected to launch their own to use it, and vice versa. mobile wallets soon. All the players currently It’s not only the established have pieces of the puzzle but giants who are eyeing a market none have the entire picture, that could be worth as much as says Oglesby. u Google

THE MAN BEHIND IT ALL: Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia

{ Ofira Koopmans, Haifa / DPA }

W

e’ve all read it. Even sceptics refer to it. Its devout followers swear by it. But who writes Wikipedia? Well, 35-year-old Jan Ainali for one. The Information Technology consultant, with an engineering degree from Karlstad University, spends almost all his spare time, “about four hours on weekdays and on weekends more,” editing the online encyclopedia’s Swedish version. He wrote entries on his university town in central Sweden,

Despite critics calling Wikipedia unreliable and messy, because anyone can edit the articles, it is read by about 400 million a month. and, as a former break-dancer, on the style’s national championships. Along with many others, he fits the average profile of a single male, in his 30s or so, who without getting paid, got caught up in the passion of sharing knowledge and writing about subjects he cares about. An “active” contributor is defined as anyone who carries out at least five edits a month, “which can be anything from placing a full stop where it’s missing, correcting a typo, or writing a full paragraph,” says Marek Kosniowski, 42, who is a

married father of two, but does not quite fit the mould. Currently, there are about 90,000 around the globe. About 650 of them, from 56 countries, gathered in Haifa this month, for this year’s Wikimania, the contributors’ conference. A headhunter from Britain, Kosniowski wrote much of the English Wikipedia’s article on Pope John Paul II. As a practicing Roman Catholic of Polish descent, he met him four times. “It’s not perfect yet, but it gets about 3,000 hits a day.” Dutch national Huib Laurens, 24, spends about four hours a day writing about World War II military graveyards in Holland. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the hugely popular free encyclopedia has since its creation in 2001 mushroomed to 19 million articles in 282 languages. Despite critics calling it unreliable and messy, because anyone can edit the articles, it is read by about 400 million a month. But with volunteers being the main resource for Wikipedia, Executive Director Sue Gardner says that Wikipedia is “struggling” with participation and editors’ retention. Few women take part. A target has been set to double the number of female contributors to 25 per cent by 2015. Which is why she urged the usage of a new tool called “Wikilove” that female contributors can click on to express appreciation. Founder Jimmy Wales says that the technical difficulty of working on entries scared away many, including women.

Then there is the problem of accuracy, although enthusiasts swear it takes an average two minutes for a wrong fact to be detected and corrected. In a T-shirt that states: “Wikipedia, it’s not perfect, but it’s fantastic,” Swedish Ainali sums it up: “It’s a hobby. Because I’m not getting paid, I can do it whenever I want, and however I want.” u

$245 billion by 2014, according to a prediction by market research firm Gartner. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has rolled out his vision for the mobile wallet, a payments ecosystem that will eliminate cash registers and credit card terminals. “We’re transforming everyday transactions between buyers and sellers into something special. But cash registers and credit card terminals are relics of an expensive, complicated, and impersonal commercial transaction


30

G lobal

26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

Not too Late to Learn Music Learning a musical instrument has several positive side effects too { Aliki Nassoufis, Hamburg / DPA }

L

earning to play a musical instrument is often a part of childhood, but older people can learn as well. Research shows, this not only helps their mental fitness, but also helps in keeping their spirits up. “Learning is possible anytime in life, even learning to play a musical instrument,” said Professor Hans Hermann Wickel, who is a specialist in teaching music to older people. Learning a musical instrument has several positive side effects, he says. People who play horns or other wind instruments can do their health, primarily their respiratory system, a lot of good, because they learn special breathing techniques. “The psychological aspect is

gan and cembalo are good for older people,” said Professor Eckart Altenmueller of the Institute for Music Physiology and Music Medicine in Hanover. These instruments are played sitting in a comfortable position. But, the violin is difficult than other instruments. “The left underarm must turn out of position and that is not easy for everyone,” said Altenmueller. Taking up a wind instrument such as the oboe or trumpet, is not advised because blowing hard can be dangerous as it builds up pressure in the head. The trombone and flute are better, said Altenmueller, who learned to play a flute at 50. It takes more than an hour of practice a week to learn an instrument. “Older people should practice five or six times a week DPA

Mac Flirts with iPad Testing Mac OS X Lion { Christoph Dernbach, Berlin / DPA }

E

AGE NO BAR: Research shows that learning to play an instrument can help older people maintain their mental fitness and physical dexterity

also important,” said Wickel. It has a special significance when they play together with other people, not just alone. Previous experience can be an advantage, said Josef Holzhauser, deputy leader of a Berlin music school. People who have already learnt music can read notes and easily keep time. Piano, saxophone or violin – learn the one that suits best. “For the most part keyboard instruments such as piano, or-

for about half an hour each time. This also helps to build motor skills,” said Holzhauser. Movements that come easily to kids are harder for older people to acquire. Though older people might work hard on their musical instrument, they should not expect miracles. Also, selecting the right teacher is important as the teacher can orientate himself/ herself to the students and not demand too much of them. u

xperienced Macintosh users are already used to it—every two years Apple updates its Mac OS X operating system. However, whereas the Mac OS X Snow Leopard in 2009 was really just a maintenance update without any spectacular changes, the company has taken a big step forward with Mac OS X Lion. Apple based their new system on some of the ideas from the successful iOS mobile system from the iPad. Similarly to the iPad, Mac users can now navigate their way around with a series of gestures. Apple took a new approach starting straight away with the installation of the system onto a Mac with the previous OS Snow Leopard. The new Lion system can be purchased for just under 24 Euro (US $34) in the Mac App Store. Apple allows installation onto as many Macs as desired in one household. Those who do not have a broadband internet connection to comfortably download the 3.6 GB file can purchase a USB stick featuring the Lion OS from Apple for 59 Euro. A second major change is clear shortly after the installation, as Apple has switched the scrolling direction. Until now, window contents are shifted up by pulling the scroll bar in a downward motion or pulling the scrolling wheel towards your hand. It is just the opposite with Lion—similar to the logic used with the iPad. But you get used to the new logical movements quickly. Users, who also work with a

Windows PC, and do not want to continually re-think their actions between the two systems, can change the settings in Lion to work in the manner they are used to. Apple assumes that the mouse will play an ever decreasing role in navigating through documents and operating the entire system. Instead, users use multitouch gestures and stroke with their fingers the MacBook’s touch pad or the Magic Trackpad for desktop Macs. Other gestures, such as the one to start a program selection, can be taught easily with a short

Apple assumes that the mouse will play an ever decreasing role in navigating through documents and operating the entire system. video tutorial. Owners of an iPad will recognise the new system function, LaunchPad, which helps quicken access to installed programs. Until now, Mac users could add a selection of their most-used applications into the Dock at the bottom of the screen and start it with just a click of their mouse. The rest of the programs though had to be started in the programs folder or called up using the Spotlight search function. With just a click of the LaunchPad symbol in the Dock, Lion fades out all operating programs and shows a screen-filling overview of all the

applications currently open. This display looks like the App overview on the iPad and can be sorted just like on the Apple tablet. Those who install a lot of programs on the Mac can easily lose their overview if they don’t consequently clean house. Such users are better served by searching through Spotlight. If you want to have a bird’s eye perspective on all open windows and applications on the Mac then you can call up the Mission Control function. A row of miniature symbols appear along the top of the screen, showing the Dashboard (a page with programs like a calculator or weather forecast), the desktop and all opened programs. Directly below that are all opened windows on the desktop, grouped together according to application. The new Mac system is also based on the iPad’s successful handling of files. Until now, Mac users had to save items themselves and determine where they should be saved. Once software is customised to Lion, all changes to a document are automatically saved every five minutes without the user having to do anything. The system saves only the changes to the document instead of creating extra copies. Similarly to the Time Machine back-up system, users can browse the various versions of a document and if necessary restore or recall them. If you would like to use a document as a template you can create a copy of the original with the function Duplicate. u

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26 Aug–1 Sep 2011

illustration: durga datt pandey

32

G -scape

Friday Gurgaon  

Inaugural Issue - Gurgaon's Own weekly Newspaper

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