Page 1

11–17 May 2012

Vol. 1 No. 38  Pages 24  ` 7

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

The California Connection JIT KUMAR

within their peripheral walls. How did this life start? If we go a decade and a half back, we would find this trans NH-8 City, that we garrulously call ‘New Gurgaon’, almost non-existent; apart from a handful of habitations, there was nothing except the cattle grazing in the fields. But there was one township that was visible right from Sadar Bazar and MG Road. It was developed at a time when Sohna Road, which is now believed to be the future of Gurgaon, had nothing but a hamlet called Badshahpur. This 207 acre splendid township was named Malibu Towne. It might look a bit old and pale today, but it’s still one of the best gated townships in Gurgaon.

P3

{Inside}

Expert Speak - Director, NIUA ...Pg 10

Art - Stalwarts of Indian Modernism

...Pg 17

Decode your Dreams ...Pg 18

Papa (CJ) Stands Up ...Pg 19

House of Karma ...Pg 20

Haunted? ...Pg 23

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

H

ow would you define Gurgaon? Is it the uninterrupted chain of glitzy malls on MG Road; or the Metro Train ride that gives an illusion of being in Shangai; or the hundreds of sky-rises that give the sun a premature retirement from its daily duty? Or is it, as it simply should

be, about the people. It’s the people who not only make the cities, but also define them. And where and how do the people of Gurgaon live? Many live in the hundreds of gated colonies, that have become the identity of Gurgaon’s elite living. Some are gated townships, spread across hundreds of acres – with all the facilities available

Contd on p 8 

Residents Awake

I

t was a meeting with multiple RWA Heads, and Civic Activists – on basic issues of development and maintenance, in their colonies/complexes. There are some ominous, and some brave precedents. The ominous precedent is – Unfinished development work of Mayfield Gardens colony has been entrusted to HUDA – after the licence of the original private builders was revoked. The Colony lacks basic civic infrastructure – like water connection and an electricity substation; even registration of land, of individual owners, has been halted. The Interest Free Maintenance Security (IFMS) remains with the builders. The brave precedent is – World Spa RWA took the unprecedented decision to expel the (Builder) Maintenance Agency, and take direct charge of the complex. It is challenging; but there is clear determination to see it through – successfully. Contd on p 6 


02

11–17 May 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014 VOL.–1 No.–38  11–17 May 2012

Editor:

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

Nightlife

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl

Sufi band, Jazzba, will perform live at Cafe Delhi Heights. Band members are Ashish Chhabra (vocals and compositions), Waseem (lead guitarist), Mohit (drummer), Rajat (bass), Manish (keys), and Kamal (percussion).

D

J Rafsy will play some best classic rock songs. DJ Rafsy is known for his versatility in mixing different genres of music – which sets his gigs apart.

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Jit Kumar Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Designers:

Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Nightlife

@ Cafe Delhi Heights, Shop No. R-301, Third floor, National Highway 8 Date: May 12 Time: 9:30 pm

Sr. Circulation Execs.: Himanshu Vats Syed Mohd Komail Circulation Execs.:

A

@ Brix, SCO-30, Ground Floor, Leisure Valley, Sector 29 Date: May 12 Time: 9:30 pm

Atul Sobti

Correspondents:

Coming Up

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Head – Sales & Marketing:

Ankit Srivastava

Sr. Ad Sales Exec:

Bhagwat Kaushik

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails:

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com events@fridaygurgaon.com marketing@fridaygurgaon.com 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 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.

TO SUBSCRIBE

Art

A Summer Sojourn @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 12 and May 13 Time: 11 am to 7 pm

Pottery, Book Reading, Story Telling, Fun/ Puzzle time, Shloka recitation, Fire less Kitchen, Puppet Making, Film Shooting, Dance, Rack The

A

Sufi Music performance by Padamjeet Sehrawat, who has represented Haryana in the Ranji Trophy, and also been a cricket commentator. He has recently released his music album, India Hai Meri Jaan.

Workshop

Bring Out Your Best @ Learning Light House, DLF Phase I Date: May 15 Time: 11 am

A

Kids Workshop that will help bring out the hidden art, talent or skill in your children. Sanjeev Dutta’s Theatre Course will help the budding artists. Various workshops on personality development, splash pool, yoga, rain walk, pottery, puppet show, and multi media will also be conducted.

Brain, and many more. The preferred age group is four years to 13 years. For more details, call 9871049045/ 9810666190/ 9910154334; or write to: nupurgarg@worldofkidz.co.in.

Workshop

Sports Training Workshop @ Ryder’s Sports Academy, Ardee City, Gate No. 2, B Block, Sector 22 Date: May 17

Chef Vijaylaxmi TOP-4, MASTER CHEF INDIA-2

A

Sports Workshop on Tennis, Cricket, Basketball, and other sports and games. The Workshop will be held with the support of experienced coaches. The preffered age group is 3 to 14 years.

15% Discount for FG Subscribers

COOKING CLASSES

 Baking  Italian cuisine  Continental cuisine  Master Chef Kitchen’s selected recipes

` 364

Special offer price ` 200 Savings

` 164

No. of issues

52

To get Friday Gurgaon* at your doorstep, ask your newspaper vendor or email us at subscription@fridaygurgaon.com *circulated only in Gurgaon

Udaan @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: May 16 Time: 7:30 pm

A

rt Nouveau presents a Group Show of artworks by 20 artists – Ella Prakash, Dhiren Sasmal, Dilip Choudhary, Deepa Vedpathak, Jagannath Paul, Ramonkar, Biplab Biswas, and others. The Exhibition is curated by Ameeshi Tapuriah.

1 year subscription Cover price

Music

Nightlife Summer Camp

World Of Kidz Summer Camp @ D 2/4, DLF Phase V Date: May 14 Time: 9:30 am

W

orld of Kidz will organise activities like Art & Craft, Dance,

Bollywood Night with Dahek @ The Guvment, Bristol Hotel, MG Road Date: May 12 Time: 9 pm

E

njoy the live performance of Dahek, along with DJ Shubh and DJ Mayank. For more information, call 9911022213, 9810947273, or 9899944252.

Classes are scheduled only for the weekends

Limited Seats Only

Form a group (minimum 4 people), to learn cooking from Chef Vijaylaxmi. She will come to your house to conduct the classes of your choice. Call her now and invite her to your place.


11–17 May 2012

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03

Fatboy Slim Turns The Heat On

Department In The City T

he star cast of Ram Gopal Verma’s forthcoming movie, Department, was in Gurgaon for a promotional event at Leela Kempinski. The crowds were in for a treat as Sanju Baba, along with newcomer Nathalia Kaur, and Rana Daggubati, posed at leisure for the cameras. The film is scheduled to hit the screens on May 18th.

I

nternational music sensation Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, took center stage at the Leisure Valley park, and turned on the heat. He banged the place with numbers like Weapon of Choice, Praise You, The Rockafeller Skank, Right Here Right Now, and Champion Sound. The tempo of the Concert took off with some chill beats, followed by the crowds putting their hands up in the air to a rapid fire sound of bass. The crowd in the VIP lounge was seen climbing on the bar stools to get a better view of the artist, while throbbing crowds in the other section were seen dancing breathlessly. The technical support was effective, with 3D laser lighting, psychedelic visual effects, moving lights, and onstage fireworks.  When asked about his experience in the City, Fatboy Slim said, “It was a fantastic experience.  The setup was stellar. For the Indian fans, you have to know what exactly they’d like to hear, to draw them in. I’m glad there was ample support tonight.  I am looking forward to the next trip; till then keep it musical.” Hosted by Nikhil Chinapa and Rohit Barker, the event concluded with a party thrown by DJ Mash and Nucleya.  The event was presented by Kingfisher Livewire, and powered by Gitanjali, VH1, and MTV.

Shuttle Ride D

CP Traffic Bharti Arora flagged off a shuttle bus service named “DLF Shuttle Ride”, at the DLF City Club, DLF Phase V. Two CNG airconditioned buses will offer free of cost ride to the residents of the area. Head of infrastructure, DLF, Aakash Ohri was also present at the launch.

Art Talks

A

rt Alive Gallery recently hosted an interaction with eminent artist Manu Parekh, and curators Annapurna Garimella and S.Kalidas, to coincide with Manu’s ongoing exhibition “Faith”. It was a well-attended event by the who’s and who of the art world – including Kiran Nadar, Subodh Gupta, Anjali Sen, Bharati Kher, Kishore Singh, Manisha Parekh, Ina Puri, Ashish Nandy, Roobina Karode, Manjunath Kamath, Gigi Scaria, Veer Munshi, and Kishor Shinde, among others.

Fashion Fiesta @ Lemp

U

pcoming fashion designers from across the country came together at the Indian Fashion Council (IFC), held at the LEMP Brewpub & Kitchen. Sanna Chandna, one of the most promising fashion designers, showcased her “007 Bond” collection, with fashionable red and black gowns for women. Celebrity hair stylist Sylvie also graced the occasion. This was followed by some soul stirring numbers by Akhil Sachdev, of the Sufi band Nasha, and Salsa dance sequences by Ashley Lobo of The Danceworx; while DJ Barkha Kaul and Annie Benn enthralled the audience with foot tapping music through the night. Kitty Koo, Vice President, New York Film Academy, who is in India to formalise the setting up of her Academy’s Indian campus in Greater Noida, in association with AMR Infrastructures, was the guest of honour. The fashion show was an initiative of Mr. Kapil Agarwal, Managing Director, AMR Infrastructures Ltd., a diversified group with business interests in real estate, jewellery and artefacts, education, textiles, security systems, hospitality, entertainment and media. Compiled by: Shilpy Arora, email: shilpy.arora@fridaygurgaon.com


04 FOOD

CINEMA

Refreshing House

Not A Second Jannat

{ Aalok Wadhwa }

I

am at the deserted Welldone Tech Park Building, opposite the Fortune Hotel at Sohna Road, to try out the latest eatery. Frankly, I am a bit perplexed at the name. Is Cocoa House a chocolate shop, or is cocoa a predominant ingredient in its dishes? The reality is a café, that not only serves beautiful food, but is one of the few that is in tune with the nutritional demands of the twentyfirst century. The restaurant is airy – with high ceilings, and colourful seating. The food philosophy is simple, says the man in charge, Bawa Aditya Singh, “We serve multiple cuisines, and only those dishes that our chefs are very good at.” The servings are generous single portions, and the price reasonable. The menu is focused and promising, and I am intrigued enough to start with the aloe vera drink (Rs. 120). It does not taste like much, but does feel refreshing. I can feel my body ‘charged-up’, and nudging me to go ahead and indulge myself. I start with the French clear soup, chicken veloute (Rs. 80). It is a delicate and fragrant

soup, with a Thai touch of lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime. The dainty chicken meatballs are tender and moist. Next are the starters. Shish touk (Rs. 150) is perfectly seasoned and tasty. The mutton seekh (Rs. 199) is good – though a bit dry. The star starter is the vegetarian hara bhara kabab (Rs. 140), which is soft yet crispy, and simply melts in the mouth. The reason, as Chef Naval Sharma explains,

is their philosophy of keeping their food healthy and simple. They have substituted the potato with fresh cottage cheese, thus giving it an extra softness that is wonderful on the palate. The main course that I have chosen sounds easy to make, but is not. Poaching a fish requires sensitive and deft handling. The poached fish with rice (Rs. 290) that is served exceeds my expectations. A fillet of basa has been poached in a bouillon mix of honey, basil, mint, ginger, garlic and fresh red chillies, making for a symphony in the mouth. The dessert is a fresh icecream treat of fig and honey with mint (Rs. 100). It has a flavoury texture of the earthy tones of fig, the caramelized crunch of the honey, and the fresh zing of the mint. Cocoa House is a welcome addition to the excellent eateries of Gurgaon. The food they serve is light, healthy and full of tasty surprises; preceded by their unique ‘charge-up menu’ of healthy juices. Head there whenever your body and taste buds need pampering. u

Cocoa House 4, Ground Floor, Welldone Tech Park Building, Sector 48, Sohna Road, Gurgaon Phone: 9650070733 Cuisine: Multicuisine Timing: 11:00-01:00

hital Kakkar Mehra’s book, ‘Business Etiquette’, deserves to be read by all professionals in the corporate world. Shital Mehra has been writing a column for the Economic TimesCorporate Dossier. She is also one of India’s best-known corporate etiquette trainers. Now, with her book, she presents a comprehensive manual of the dos and don’ts of business etiquette. She shows us the art of creating a positive impression, through the ABC of good manners - Appearance, Behaviour, and Communication. She teaches how to dine with grace, mingle with ease, and conduct business keeping in mind racial, gender, and cultural diversities. The opportunities created by a fast-globalising world have led to executives jet-setting across the globe – wining and dining, negotiating, and networking for business. Indian executives, who are brand ambassadors of both their company and their country, too are making a mark on the global

I

have often wondered as to why film makers needlessly title an absolutely original creation as a sequel. Jannat 2 has no connection with Jannat, except that Emraan Hashmi plays the lead in both. And it might have been more relevant to title the new release as Mannat, since it appears that Emraan has taken a vow to exercise his lips in every film! Jannat 2 from the Mahesh Bhatt camp will be remembered, however, for several other reasons. It is tautly made, has a fairly glamorous Eesha Gupta succumbing to the amorous instincts of Emraan, good songs (though in misplaced situations), a superb and restrained performance by Randeep Hooda – as the cop out to avenge his wife's killing, and of course the very adroitly-filmed chase sequences. And yet, as a whole, Jannat 2 fails to get the audience to empathise. Empathy is a key factor, for the audience to feel strongly, and to feel satisfied at the end. Kunal Deshmukh, as the Director, certainly deserves kudos for the slickness; but he should have trimmed the movie by a half hour. Also, Emraan's character requires a far deeper etching, to make him and the movie more credible. The movie also has an abundance of profanity – which, though partially relevant, can be repulsive to many. Jannat 2 is therefore certainly not likely to bring Jannat to either the makers or the viewers; though it does take you half the way – which may not be bad, for a quick fix solution! u

FIRST

Master Recipe

Vijaylaxmi – Masterchef (Season 2): Top 4

Summer Dessert For Kids

Mind Your Manners { Alka Gurha }

Jannat 2 Directed by: Kunal Deshmukh CAST: Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta GENRE: Thriller

{ Vijaya Kumar }

FG

BOOK

S

R eviews

11–17 May 2012

stage; and increasingly find themselves in situations where their people skills can make all the difference. The book has some handy tips on: the first interview, handling a difficult boss, the power of words, networking, small talk, dressing for a cocktail dinner, drinking wine, sexual harassment at the office, remembering names, receiving compliments and thank you notes. Also, there are suggestions for holding chopsticks the right way, and selecting the right perfume for the right occasion. Technological advancements, and fairly inexpensive communication, have led to etiquette blunders related to email, teleconferencing, video conferencing, mobile, and twitter. They are discussed at length in this book. According to Mehra, “All books available on business etiquette are written by western etiquette experts. My experience as a trainer, and as a columnist, gave me unique insights into the relevant needs of the Indian professional.”

Ingredients

150g Sugar 4 tbsp Water 750g Summer berries (I used strawberries, blackberries and raspberries; but loganberries and blackberries are also great fruits for this) 6-7 Slices of thin White bread (crusts removed) 1 ½ pint Pudding bowl Whipped cream to serve

Method Business Etiquette: A guide for the Indian Professional Author: Shital Kakkar Mehra PUBLISHER: Harper Collins PRICE: Rs. 250 GENRE: Self-help ‘Business Etiquette’ is a comprehensive book to help the Indian professional handle situations with grace and finesse. It is indeed helpful in avoiding embarrassing slip-ups or awkward gestures; and sailing through the complexities of modern-day office life.u

 Wash and hull (the process of removing the green stem or calyx from the top of the berry) the selection of summer berries you have chosen.  In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and the water, and heat gently over a low heat, until it starts to bubble.  Add the summer berries to the saucepan with the sugar water, and stir gently. Cook the berries until they start to simmer and become soft, but still retain their shape. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Take the pudding bowl and shape and pack the sliced white bread around the inside and bottom of the bowl. You can cut the bread into any shape(s) you like, but ideally there should be no spaces left for the fruit to escape from, once it is lined.  Take your warm fruit, and gently spoon it into the bread-lined bowl, taking extra care not to break the fruits. When all the fruit has been transferred to the bowl, you will need to cut out a bread hat for your pudding (once the pudding has set, it will be turned upside down and the hat will become the base). Ensure that the bread is packed tightly together, and no holes are left. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours in a dry place.  Turn the pudding bowl upside down onto a clean plate, and gently shake the pudding out.  Serve the pudding with freshly whipped cream.


11–17 May 2012

C eleb W atch

05

See Saw in City

V City’s Manu Gandas Wins Toyota IGU

M

anu Gandas of DLF Golf and Country Club registered a victory at the first event of Toyota IGU (Indian Golf Union) Junior Tour 2012, held at the City’s Golden Greens Golf Resort. Manu registered his win with a total score of two over 290, defeating the second placed defending champion Honey Baisoya by a margin of one stroke. The Haryana Junior at Golden Greens was the first leg of Toyota IGU National Junior Tour, which is stretched from April to December in 2012 – with legs in Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Noida, Jaipur, and Mumbai, before culminating in Kolkata.

andy Mehra of SBJ hosted a play titled “See Saw” at the Gallery Mall. Based on real life experiences, the play is produced and directed by Bubbles Sabharwal. The evening saw celebrity Jas Arora, along with other guests, enjoying the play – along with some great wine and canapes. After the play, guests were also seen indulging in shopping at the Mall.

Ishaqzaade Skates

T

he star cast of the movie Ishaqzaade, including Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra, visited the City’s only ice skating rink, Iskate, at Ambience Mall.  The movie is a debut of Boney Kapoor’s son, Arjun Kapoor and Pareeniti, cousin of Priyanka Chopra. Pareeniti, who played an important role in the movie “Ladies vs. Ricky Behl”, said “Ishaqzaade is a complete package. It has action, drama, romance, and comedy.”  The stars were happy with the exuberant reception they received in the City. The young team was greeted by an equally young set of fans at the skating rink.


06 At the core is the issue of builders continuing in a colony or complex in perpetuity. HUDA obligingly issues part completion certificates, for the builder to start collecting funds from the buyers. And the licences are time and again, and obligingly, extended by the DTCP. Most of the builders have not built as promised; have handled operations poorly; continue to ‘own’ the Common Areas & Facilities’ (that have already been paid for by the residents); have not provided the amenities and facilities as planned, and approved by DTCP; continue to make changes in, and even sale of, common areas – and therefore make ‘illegal’ profit (since they no longer actually own these facilities, and anyway the rights to the sale funds should be with the RWA). The DTCP is supposed to check/verify status and compliance, before issuing Completion/Occupancy Certificates. It seems to operate in complete disregard of its role. There is little accountability. DLF is the best on a relative basis. They have a dedicated team, involve the residents, have a process, are accountable for service levels, and are not much more expensive than others. The masters are sitting in Chandigarh, one of the most planned and well-run cities – even today. Sadly they have not learnt enough to replicate even a part of it in Gurgaon. And what about us, the residents. Unfortunately, there is apathy in the general public. Most are happy living their secluded, convenient lives. However, a few good men are making/ will make a difference.

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

“T

he Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) of the City need a common platform to highlight their problems,” said Gautam Gulati, President of World Spa RWA. And Friday Gurgaon did exactly that when it convened a meeting of RWA Presidents, Maintenance Agency heads, and Citizen Activists. In a city like Gurgaon, where there are ten problems for every high-rise, the issues raised by affected residents are either not heard or trampled underfoot. They can be unfulfilled promises made by the builder, shoddy services and amenities, or maintenance issues. The residents are having to run around for what they have paid for – for their basic rights. RWA President Gautam Gulati played host to the meeting, that included: Ansal’s Oriental Villas, Sushant LokIII RWA Head Rajeshz Jain; Malibu Towne resident, and activist Raman Sharma; M2K White House RWA President Sanjay Singh (along with other RWA Heads of Mayfield properties - Sanjay Singh, Dharamveer Yadav, Tejram Yadav, Mr. Tandon); Gurgaon Citizen Council’s (GCC) Head, R.S Rathee; and DLF’s Head of Maintenance (Plotted areas) Baljeet Singh. The reason DLF residents are more satisfied than their counterparts in other builder colonies was exemplified by an overview given by Baljeet Singh, who oversees the maintenance of plotted colonies in DLF Phases I to IV. “We have a core administrative team, and a number of contractors who do the work. It is important to involve the residents,” said Baljeet Singh. "One team, however big, cannot handle the entire DLF’s maintenance. Each phase has been broken up into ‘blocks’, and four supervisors and a task force is assigned to each block. Above that is the Residents' Action Committee (RAC), and the overall Town Administration (TA). Each of the groups

C over Story

Residents Awake JIT KUMAR

 Contd from p 1

11–17 May 2012

meets on a regular basis to assign work and development projects on a priority basis. This creates a streamlined timetable of work to be done," Singh said, “The Task Force meetings happen once a month, and the RAC meetings happen bimonthly.”

that we have funds.” The non-provision of the Deed of Declaration, or the Completion Certificate, means that extraneous services and amenities (like the swimming pool) can’t be used, besides bigger concerns like ownership issues. “Earlier, we were charged Rs. 2.50 per square foot for maintenance charges. Now, we are charging the residents Rs. 2.30 per square foot,” he said. What are the RWA’s main concerns for now? “Maintain the internal infrastructure, for one. Then, we would like to have the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) ensure that the builder

Burning Issues Oriental Villas’ Maintenance Issues

Rajeshz Jain, President of the Ansal’s Oriental Villas’ Residential Welfare Association in Sushant LokIII, said that the developer’s maintenance agency is performing next to nothing. Further more, complaining to higher authorities in the agency has yielded no results for his association, or for the residents. Everything, right from the garden to the security watch, is in a bad shape. Despite charging a rate of Re. 1 per square yard, he said the maintenance agency (Rigoss) claims that nothing further can be done. DLF’s Baljeet Singh stated that DLF residents pay Rs. 2.50 per square yard. The root of the problem seems to be that the residents want improvements to the society before paying the raised charges; and the maintenance agency pleads otherwise. The advice was to start paying the raised maintenance fees, after the agency agrees in writing to agreed service levels and amenities. Baljeet added that the DLF maintenance agency’s extra services like Quick Response Team (QRT), which patrols the colonies, is a result of the residents and builder combining funds to provide a higher level of service.

World Spa - Running The Set-Up

Gautam Gulati said that, as of now, the RWA is running the maintenance of the condominiums, after evicting the builder’s maintenance agency. “Right now, we’re involved in catch-up,” he said. There are a million things to do, from getting the maintenance contracts for the lifts, to paying the salaries of the condominium staff. Till now, the builder has refused to release the Interest-Free Maintenance Security (IFMS) of the World Spa residents, which could have proved to be a good corpus to undertake some development, and take care of maintenance. “The initial two months haven’t proved to be easy,” he admitted candidly, “We have to outsource many of the services, and in-source what we can. The community has come to be extremely supportive, and have pooled for a ‘sinking fund’, so

be prepared for even unconventional solutions to resolve their situation.

Activist’s Course

R.S Rathee, civic activist and President of Gurgaon Citizen’s Council, said, “We have gone against the authorities on several issues regarding the City. For instance, we have asked for double layering of the green areas and the green belts of the City. HUDA has taken no notice of this. Also, there are several other projects we are working on as of now.” Rathee opined that the City’s situation was dire because the residents, builders, and the government kept pulling in different directions, instead of in unison. On his part, Raman Sharma said, “One of the issues I have been fighting for is the maintenance provided by the builders. No builder is providing a copy of their annual maintenance expenditure, which is in contravention of the Honourable Supreme Court’s edicts. Except for DLF, no builder is having a Service-Level Agreement with the residents.” Also, he has filed a case with the Lokayukta against HUDA, over the development of Sohna Road. “In 2004, HUDA said that it has completed the Sohna road project. When I raised this issue, it was proved that it was not the case.

Builder Codes All Most A Few One The King

BDC BPO BDO BRA BODT

Build Don’t Complete Build Partially Operate Build Don’t Operate Build Run Away Build Operate Don’t Transfer

completes what he had promised. Also, we need to have the occupancy certificates and the licences to run the World Spa. As of now, we only have a partial Deed of Declaration,” Gulati said.

Mayfield Mess - Who Should Take The Maintenance Reins?

The Mayfield Gardens project is fast turning into a mess, like Ardee City, feel the residents. Sanjay Singh, the RWA President of M2K White House, and a member of the Mayfield Federation of RWAs, said, “After our builder’s licence was cancelled, we went to the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) and asked for the completion of the colonies. There are several Mayfield colonies that are facing the same problems; and we formed a Federation, to jointly resolve the issues. Now, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has asked for a complete assessment of the properties, assets and the deficient development in the Mayfield properties, before taking up anything. Secondly, we want our IFMS returned by the builder. If they are no longer in the picture, they should hand over the money to us, for the proper maintenance of the colonies,” said Singh. DTCP has given HUDA the responsibility of building the deficient developmental infrastructure. However, DTCP needs to provide the funds – probably from the builder’s assets/ bank guarantees/ deposits. It was advised to the Mayfield contingent that although things have started to work in their favour, they should

In 2011, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) set an estimate of Rs. 48 crores for the development of this highway; and PWD(R&B) was to undertake the project. The cost has been raised to Rs. 78 crores, and I am again fighting this out in the Lokayukta’s court.”

City’s Ailments

 The new Sectors (58-115) coming up in Gurgaon are bigger than the current City. Has DTCP learnt anything from Gurgaon’s existing sectors, so that the same mistakes will not be made? The new sectors are going to be built by a multitude of private builders, while core amenities like water, power and sewage lines have to be provided by HUDA and other state bodies.  The spate of new builders entering the fray in the new sectors is also a cause of grave concern. Till now, the existing builders have created a world of trouble (ownership hassles, handover, maintenance problems) for the citizens and authorities alike. Is the DTCP, which is the legal watchdog over the builders, capable enough to handle 50+ small and medium builders in the new sectors – when it visibly can’t crack down on the few in the existing sectors? There is no accountability at DTCP, felt Rathee – which is the core problem for the current woes.  Consumer Activism – It has already been seen that the State Government is especially careful of keeeping the industrial heavyweights happy in Haryana. Gurgaon has become the proverbial golden goose for the State, much like Mumbai has been for Maharashtra. So, if no one is taking an interest in what’s happening, then the CEOs and industrial leaders of Gurgaon must come on a common platform, and demand the changes, opined Gautam Gulati. Only then will the State feel a need to bend its gaze to the problems of this City. u


11–17 May 2012

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Ishaqzaade Time: 10.00 am, 12.30 pm, 3.00 pm, 5.35 pm, 8.10 pm, 10.45 pm Jannat 2 Time: 11.30 am, 4.45 pm, 10.00 pm Dangerous Ishq 3D Time:11.00 am, 1.45 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.15 pm, 10.15 pm Vicky Donor Time: 2.15 pm, 7.30 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: www.bigcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Premier Ishaqzaade Time: 11.20 am, 12.30 pm, 2.10 pm, 3.15 pm, 6.00 pm, 7.40 pm, 8.45 pm, 10.20 pm, 11.30 pm Dangerous Ishq 3D Time: 11.15 am, 4.55 pm, 10.30 pm Jannat 2 Time: 10.35 am, 3.40 pm, 6.20 pm, 11.20 pm Dark Shadows Time: 10.30 am, 2.50 pm, 6.55 pm, 11.10 pm Hugo 3D Time: 5.00 pm The Forest (English Partly Hindi) Time: 5.10 pm The Avengers 3D Time: 2.00 pm, 7.30 pm The Raid: Redemption Time: 12.50 pm, 9.15 pm Vicky Donor Time: 10.05 am, 1.15 pm, 9.00 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com

PVR: Ambience Gold Ishaqzaade Time:10.30 am, 1.15 pm, 4.00 pm, 6.45 pm, 9.30 pm, 10.30 pm Dangerous Ishq 3D Time: 2.00 pm, 7.45 pm The Avengers 3D Time: 11.00 am, 4.45 pm PVR MGF: MGF Mall Ishaqzaade Time:10.00 am, 11.30 am, 12.45 pm, 2.15 pm, 3.30 pm, 5.00 pm, 6.15 pm, 7.45 pm, 9.00 pm, 10.30 pm, 11.45 pm Dangerous Ishq 3D Time:10.00 am, 3.30 pm, 9.00 pm Dark Shadows Time:1.00 pm, 5.50 pm, 10.55 pm Gabbar Singh (Telugu)

L istings

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Time: 12:40 pm, 06:00 pm, 11:20 pm Jannat 2 Time: 03:45 pm, 10:55 pm DT City Centre: DLF Phase II Ishaqzaade Time:10:00 am, 12:35 pm, 03:10 pm, 05:45 pm, 08:20 pm, 10:55 pm Vicky Donor Time: 11:05 am, 03:55 pm, 08:45 pm, 11:05 pm Dangerous Ishq 3D Time:12:45 pm, 06:00 pm, 11:15 pm The Avengers 3D Time: 10:05 am, 03:20 pm, 08:35 pm Jannat 2 Time: 01:25 pm, 06:15 pm Website: http://dt-cinemas.com DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Ishaqzaade (U/A) Time:10:15 am, 12:50 pm, 03:25 pm, 08:20 pm, 10:55 pm Jannat 2 Time:10:40 am, 03:40 pm Dangerous Ishq 3D Time:01:10 pm, 06:10 pm, 11:00 pm Vicky Donor Time:06:00 pm, 08:40 pm

Doctor on Call

Dr. Neelima Tripathi Time: 10.10 am, 8.10 pm The Avengers 3D Time:12.40 pm, 6.10 pm, 11.40 pm Vicky Donor Time:10.35 am, 3.40 pm, 8.45 pm Jannat 2 Time: 1.00 pm, 6.05 pm, 11.10 pm Taur Mitran Di (Punjabi) Time: 3.20 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Ishaqzaade Time:11.15 am, 2.00 pm, 4.45 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.15 pm Dangerous Ishq 3D Time: 10.30 am, 4.00 pm, 9.30 pm Jannat 2 Time: 1.15 pm, 6.45 pm DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Ishaqzaade Time:10:20 am, 12:55 pm, 03:30 pm, 06:05 pm, 08:40 pm, 11:15 pm Dangerous Ishq 3D Time:10:05 am, 03:25 pm, 08:45 pm Vicky Donor Time:11:05 am, 01:25 pm, 06:15 pm, 08:35 pm The Avengers 3D

Police .................................................................. .......100 Fire Station ................................................................ 101 Ambulance.................................................................. 102 White Express Auto.....................................0124-4811111 Gurgaon Traffic Police................................................... 1073 Railway Enquiry .................................................. ............139 Women Helpline............................................................ 1091 Children Helpline........................................................... 1098 Senior Citizens Helpline................................................ 1291 LPG Helpline...................................................... 011-155233 Weather Helpline........................................... 18001801717 Car Breakdown Helpline................................. 011-43676767 Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway Helpline............................................0124-4787828/817/853 DMRC Helpline................................................... 011-155370 Disaster Management Helpline..................................... 1077 Municipal Corporation (MCG) Helpline............ 18001801817 Ambulance Service for Animals......................... 9873302580

Sr. Consultant - Gynaecology & Obstetrics Mob.: +91-8860492111

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ Any one in District Gurgaon can now inform about the violation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT) Act – that is, about the detection of the sex of foetus through ultrasound machines, by a doctor or radiologist. Any citizen can call on number 102 (the ambulance service number). All pregnant women undergoing ultrasound would have to submit a photocopy of their ID proof at the ultrasound centre; and the radiologist will be held responsible to ask for it. Also, a radiologist can now only visit and conduct ultrasonography in a maximum of 2 clinics – that too within the same district. No ultrasound would be conducted without the recommendation of a Gynaecologist or Physician. An incentive of Rs 21,000 has been announced, for anyone providing information about any physician conducting sex-determination tests. ♦ IPS transfers in Haryana were announced. Gurgaon gets a new Joint Commissioner Police, DCP (West), DCP (Crime), DCP (HQ), and DCP (Udyog VIhar). ♦ An FIR has been lodged against SKM Refcon Pvt Ltd, a builder company that was selling plots in Sectors 78 and 79 illegally (under the name ‘Cambrian Island’), without obtaining licence from the Town & Country Planning department. Advertisements of a pre-launch were put on the Internet. ♦ DC Meena appeals to the public to check the legal status of a project and builder from the office of Director, Town & Country Planning, before booking a flat or plot. ♦ A demolition drive was resumed in Bhondsi-Naya Gaon area, to demolish some structures that had re-appeared. Apart from the structures, road networks, electricity poles and bore wells were also removed; these were being set up as part of an illegal colony. ♦ A 2-day Workshop was conducted on ‘Indian Consumers in the New Age: A forwardlooking Agenda to address the concerns of the common people’. CUTS International, in partnership with Citizens Awareness Group (CAG), organized the Workshop. Issues covered were: uncontrolled pricing in the pharmacy sector, consumer protection under the telecom sector, electricity regula-

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tory commission, standardization of goods, various avenues available to consumers for Grievance Redressal. Dr Jayshree Gupta, former Addl. Secy., Dept. of Consumer Affairs gave the inaugural address. ♦ At the monthly meeting of the District Grievances Committee, presided over by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Prahlad Singh Gillakhera, a total of 17 complaints were put up. They related to college fees, irregularities in Group Housing Societies, matters at an Ashram, protection of a village from spillover waste water from a drain, and the complaint of a woman of Village Budhera regarding her son who has been missing for the last 11 months. ♦ Violence during HUDA’s attempted demolition drive on Sohna Road. Subhash Chowk targeted by affected residents/establishments – traffic jam for hours. ♦ 2 killed as speeding BMW rams into an Indigo. Accused and owner still not arrested. ♦ Young mother of 2 jumps to death from a high rise. Wife of an industrialist. ♦ 28-year-old software engineer jumps from MG Road Metro station.

♦ Woman jumps to death from 6th floor. ♦ ASI commits suicide, using own service revolver. ♦ 2 die from inhaling poisonous gases. ♦ 5 minor girls allegedly raped by caretaker at an orphanage, Suparna ka angan – which is not a registered NGO. Accused sent to jail. The abused girls sent to another NGO. 19 children back in premises; most are not orphans. ♦ 3 more convicted in a 2008 dowry case – get 10 years imprisonment. ♦ Man fires at elder brother; later retracts and says only attacked with sharp weapon. ♦ Bhondsi Jail warden suspended, for providing mobiles to accused. Later discovered he was also supplying narcotics. ♦ A runaway couple (different castes) asks for protection. ♦ A gang of 4 auto thieves caught. ♦ A woman accounts officer is robbed of Rs 2.8 lacs that she had withdrawn from a bank. The incident happened in Sector 14, around noon. ♦ Water supply is affected, as the canal is breached in Jhajjar district. ♦ Many dwellings demolished in Sector 29, by HUDA.


08 Malibu Towne: An introduction

Malibu Towne has been conceived, promoted and developed by Sudarshan Kohli, in association with his partner K.S Dhingra, the Chairman of Rajdoot Berger paints. It was developed by keeping in mind the Americanstyle gated townships. Kohli, who had studied in California, came up with this idea of developing such a huge township in Gurgaon. Since its launch in 1994, it has been one of the most avant-garde and modern townships, and even now it’s believed to be among the best in the City. Malibu Towne has 1396 plots, 444 floors in each of the 148 bungalows, and 316 apartments in five condominium buildings. It also has 75 EWS apartments. According to the Plan submitted by the builder to DTCP at the time of obtaining the license, this Colony is designed and developed for the residence of 20,058 people at a maximum. As of now only 25 per cent of the total area is constructed, and the residents are about 5,000. “ ‘We are bringing California to India,’ that’s what I was told by the builder, when I came here to see the apartment in 2003. And indeed they were right, because the construction done in the apartment was superb; and it had almost all the modern facilities that are provided in the US. Although, at that point of time, these apartments were one and a half times more expensive than any other housing project in Gurgaon, I didn’t mind paying the extra money at all. Each flat has its garbage chute, as is there in the US. Even now most of the condominiums don’t have it, and one can see garbage bags in front of each door in the morning. The construction

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The California Connection JIT KUMAR

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11–17 May 2012

was superb, and the octagonstyled building really looked good. The electronic system is really effective, and we have had no breakdown. Overall, it’s still one of the best housing colonies. Yes, problems are there, but we need to negotiate those problems while sitting with the management,” says Swami Saran Sharma, the President, Malibu Condominiums Resident Welfare Association (MCRWA).

Why Sohna Road?

“Our builder Sudharshan Kohli had lived in the US, and had seen American-style gated colonies. He thought of establishing one such township in India; and nothing was better than Gurgaon. It was near to the

Nursery schools, 4 Primary Schools, one dispensary, one creche, one religious building, one Club, and one Higher Secondary School. However, the builder has not delivered on these. Subash Sharma explains the reason, “Till now there was not much occupancy in the township. This township was planned for 20,000 people, and till now we have just about 25 per cent of the occupancy (5,000 people). We have left spaces for all these facilities, and we would be constructing them as per the requirements of the residents.” Although his argument seems fair, another aspect of the township is bound to raise our eyebrows in surprise and scepticism. “This is a big scam. Not only this builder, but almost all the builders in Gurgaon, have kept the land for common facilities undeveloped; and later they have

airport, and—at that point of time—it was not crowded. The reason for picking Sohna Road was that the builder wanted to develop a self-contained city; and for that he needed a large piece of land – and more than anything else the solitude, which is the bedrock of gated townships. Both were available at Sohna road at that time,” says Wing Commander (retd) Subash Sharma, General Manager (GM) Malibu Estate Maintenance Pvt Ltd (MMPL), an Agency handling the maintenance work in Malibu Towne.

Residents’ views

“We have been living here since 2001, and to me it’s still one of the better places to live, in Gurgaon. It may not be a perfect place to live in, because the builder hasn’t kept the promises made at the time of purchase, but to me it’s still good. Here we have nice playgrounds for the kids, and open areas. However, Malibu Towne seriously lacks basic amenities like a Community Centre, and a school,” says Alka Dalal, the President of one of four RWAs of Malibu Towne. Malibu Towne has four RWAs – each separate for plots, floors, condominiums and EWS housings; and there is one Federation that brings all these separate RWAs under one roof. Dr. Vinod Kohli, another old resident, and the President of the RWA Federation, says, “I have been living here for quite a while now; and prior to this I have lived in London and other big cities of the West. So when I thought of settling down in India, I thought of having a house in a colony where I can have all the basic amenities – such as a market, school etc. within the contours of the township. That’s why I decided to settle here. I like this place as far as architecture is concerned; but the rest is in a shambles. The builder has disappeared; he neither comes here, nor does he bother to listen to our problems. He is behaving

like a property dealer; and to me he has lost interest in the problems of the people in this township. What they only want is to earn more money by levying unnecessary maintenance charges on the people; and when it comes to return the favour in the form of good service, they are nowhere to be seen. Our major concerns are security, and infrastructure – which mainly includes roads and electricity,” says Dr. Kohli.

Is it self-contained?

Any big gated township is believed to be a successful enterprise if it has all the basic amenities of life – such as schools, shopping complexes, health club etc. within the premises. According to the original Plan, Malibu Towne was to have 7

sold it by taking another license from the DTCP. This builder too has tried to do so; and both HUDA and DTCP have not objected. I would like to give an explanation. In the mid 90s, the price of land here was approximately Rs. 1,200 per sq.m, and now it’s above Rs. 80,000 per sq.m. Earlier, the builder had sold the township by showing vacant (soon to be developed) places for public utilities – which he never developed; and now they are trying to sell these vacant places at current prices, by obtaining another license from the DTCP! DTCP officials have given extensions to this builder – not once or twice, but at least ten times. Contd on p 9 


11–17 May 2012

The Super area is another bone of contention between the residents and the builder. There is no such term as Super area in any of the Apartment Acts in India; but according to this builder (and all others), it’s the common area in and outside one’s apartment. So, as per their own admission, by paying for Super area, a resident has already paid for the common areas; and therefore all residents combined already, own the Common Areas and Facilities,” says Raman Sharma, a resident and an RTI activist. He adds that prior to 2010, Malibu Towne had no water or sewage connection. Dr. Kohli also spoke about the drawback of the township candidly. “This area has a large number of bottlenecks and serious infrastructural issues. First, we have only an electricity connection of 11 KVA from Badshahpur, which is not enough for such a huge township. We have written to the DTCP, to instruct the builder to put up a 66 KVA sub-station within the township premises, in order to maintain an uninterrupted electricity supply. But the DTCP too doesn’t seem to listen to us; and now this builder is constructing a 33 KVA substation. After such a long time, we again have a part solution – hopefully. The Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) is another

major issue here. This township has four STPs, but only one of them is functioning properly; and there is a constant fear that the rest of the untreated sewage can choke the new sewage connection,” explains Dr. Kohli. However, Subash Ragav, the Assistant General Manager (AGM), refuses to buy all such allegations, “I don’t think there is any electricity problem here in Malibu Towne. At present we have an 11 KVA connection, which is working fine; and a 33 KVA sub-station is under construction – which I think would make this area totally self sufficient in terms of electricity. I don’t know why the residents are asking for a 66 KVA sub-station, because our requirement is not that much. Most of them have an argument that South City-II has a 66 KVA sub-station; but let me tell you that the area and occupancy of South City II is much higher as compared to Malibu Towne,” explains Raghav.

Maintenance charges

Maintenance charges have been a pan-Gurgaon issue, and the residents—of plotted houses or apartments—have reservations paying these to the builders or their maintenance agencies. The residents claim they are not getting the required services. And Malibu Towne is not an exception. “Whatever charges they are taking from us are excessive; because in the name of services they are not providing any-

{ Sujata Goenka }

G

urgaon boasts of high-rises and a trendy lifestyle. But there is no way I can ride my scooty, as I did in seven cities across Europe. The City sadly lacks in basic road development. Travelling in Gurgaon is a hurdle for any normal person. The traffic is chaotic, with no clear pathways available for pedestrians. It is impossible to walk on the pavements. One must get off onto the roads, and walk among the zigzagging traffic. If you do walk on the pavement, you are sure to encounter trees, garbage dustbins, and even poles. All this proves dangerous to a visually challenged person; and an obstacle race for the ones with limited mobility . The pathways are strewn with obstructions. We are all physically disabled, at some time in our lives. A child, a

09

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C overS tory

thing. You can see that none of the green belts are properly maintained. The Club is non-functional, and these dust-ridden roads seldom get swiped. These people are useless,” says Alok Kumar, a resident. However, Subash Sharma doesn’t buy this, and says that MMPL is taking the least possible maintenance charges. “You can see DLF or any other housing colony; almost all the builders are taking at least Rs. 2.50 per square yard as maintenance charges. Here in Malibu the maintenance charges are Rs. 1.35 per sq.ft, Rs. 1.75/1.50 per sq.yd, and Rs. 0.65 per sq.ft – for condominium apartments, residential plots (constructed/vacant), and floors (each floor) respectively,” he says.

Club: A major bone of contention

“When I started living here in 2003, I was told that the Club would be functional within a timespan of three-four months; but even after so many years, it’s non-functional, and residents don’t have a single common place where they can gather, sit and discuss,” says Swami Saran Sharma. The Club is the main bone of contention between the builder and the residents of Malibu Towne. Raman Sharma, a resident, accuses the management of using the Club for their own commercial purpose. According to him, as per the Apartment Act, the Club should not be used for any commercial purpose, since it’s a common facility given to the residents. “The builder gives this Club on rent, for marriage and other functions, to outside people – while the residents are not allowed to hold any function here. The builder has used it for their own personal gain, which is again a breach of the contract signed by the builder with the residents,” explains Sharma. Dr. Kohli too came out harshly on this subject. “The builder’s people have given it on rent to a private gym owner, and the swimming pool has also been given on rent. They are charging a hefty amount from all the residents; whereas, according to rules, the RWA should be in charge,” asserts Dr. Kohli. Subash Sharma, the GM, MMPL later explains, “Yes, the Club belongs to the residents, and they will get it within a timespan of threefour months. We have been

Not A Walk In The Park

person with a broken leg, a parent with a pram, an elderly person – are all disabled in one way or another. Those who remain healthy and able-bodied all their lives are few. As far as the built-up environment is concerned, it is important that it should be barrier-free, and adapted to fulfill the needs of all

people equally. As a matter of fact, the needs of the disabled coincide with the needs of the majority – as all people are at ease with them. As such, planning for the majority implies planning for people with varying abilities. Here are a few suggestions for our government civic agencies.  Obstructions like lamp-posts and dustbins should be placed outside the path of travel, wherever possible.  All obstructions in a pathway should be easy to detect; and if possible, should be placed along one continuous line.  Overhanging signs in accessible pathways should be mounted at a minimum clear height.  Overhanging vegetation should be clipped to a minimum clear height.

working hard to make the Club functional, and within the next few weeks we will order for the furniture. The management is quite serious in making this Club one of the best in the City; and we need some time to bring in a high level of amenities and services. The residents should have some patience,” he says.

Security: a big issue

Security is another major issue that has been haunting the residents for quite a while now. “Did any guard ask you anything while giving you entry to the township?” asks a frustrated Raman Sharma. “No, right? These guards are useless. Anybody can come here and do whatever he/she wants. I have been attacked twice within the township premises; and when I shouted there was no guard to be seen. Security here is pathetic, and the management is not at all bothered to solve this issue,” explains Raman Sharma. The residents are quite upset about it. “I chose an apartment housing because there would be an agile security web all the time; but here in Malibu, there is no such thing as security. Anyone can come upto my house without even a single query from the security guards. After a lot of pressure, the management has obliged. They will install a surveillance security system in the Apartments – such as thumb impression entrance for basement parking, and surveillance cameras in the common areas within the Apartment Complex,” explains Swami Saran Sharma. u

 Garbage bins attached to lampposts should not face the line of pedestrian flow, so as to minimise collisions; and should be painted in a contrasting colour, so that people with limited vision may easily identify them.  Of course, the paths need to have slopes at both ends, and of a gradient that a wheelchair user can navigate on his own. The paths should also be as smooth as possible. When implemented on Gurgaon roads, these actions will make walking safer for everyone – and not just for the challenged. These actions do not require ‘funds’. They need only a will for safety, and a better usage of space for pedestrians. They will make Guragon more accessible and user friendly, and truly a modern City – which we all can be even more proud of. u


10

Wise Counsel

PRAKHAR PANDEY

11–17 May 2012

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

T

he 74th Amendment of the Indian Constitution, that gave legal status to the urban local bodies, will have to be implemented in letter and spirit by the Haryana and other governments, if infrastructure and governance have to meet the challenges in the ever expanding cities that dot the urban landscape. The importance of having strong urban local bodies can be gauged from the fact that India has the second largest urban population globally; and by 2030 this country will have 68 cities with a million plus population, says Prof Chetan Vaidya, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). The challenge of unabated urban expansion in cities like Gurgaon, can be met only if the state governments are serious about decentralisation of power and decision making. “The Haryana government will have to ensure that MCG functions as it is meant to. It has to be given functions, functionaries and finances, in letter and spirit, so that it can play an active role in the development of Gurgaon,” asserts Vaidya. In his opinion, key challenges in urban areas like Gurgaon include: urbanisation-infrastructure gap, low capacity of the local government and administration, weak governance, and lack of serviced lands in common areas. “Gurgaon too has such issues, as there are multiple agencies, and there is

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a need to bring them together, to ensure that resources are spent wisely, and with a common objective,” he says. Another important issue that needs to be addressed by the Haryana government is the implementation of House Tax across the State – as it will enable it to get development funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). “Presently little under this scheme is available to Haryana, as implementation of House Tax is a pre-requisite,” says Vaidya. He cites another scheme, called the National Mission for Sustainable Habitat, that can be used by states to build capacities. The rapid demographic growth in and around India’s urban areas is changing the physical dimensions of the city—such as its size, shape, density, land uses, layout and building types— thus putting intense pressure on the existing infrastructure. Urban sustainability, in his view, is a function of increasing the densities, mixing the land use pattern, and containing the ‘urban sprawl’ – to achieve social and economic diversity.

ommissioner of Police K.K Sindhu has asked the employers of companies to depute only those drivers, for dropping the women employees from office to their homes during odd hours, whose verification has been done by the police. A delegation of NASSCOM had called on him. Mr. Sindhu said that instructions have already been issued to install CCTV cameras at the parking sites also, so that the activities of criminals can be recorded. Moreover, he said that as a safety measure, an ACP level officer is deputed on duty daily, for inspection of locations around pubs and liquor vends – from midnight onwards. Everyday some miscreants are picked up, and sent to the lock up. The NASSCOM delegation raised the issue of shortage of parking sites where IT and ITeS companies are located. The Police Commissioner asked them to prepare a plan highlighting the open spaces available, which can be used for parking of vehicles. The MCG Commmissioner, Mr. Sudhir Rajpal, suggested that if some roads can be made one way, the other portion of the road can be used for parking purpose. He said that after identifying the spaces for parking, tenders can be invited, and a uniform rate can be fixed by MCG or HUDA, depending on whom the road or open space belongs to. HUDA Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar also endorsed this suggestion. Mr. Sindhu also said that antecedents

Vaidya says that to manage the water and sewage issues in Gurgaon the government should set up a dedicated Division that can enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the MCG. “This Division can be formed within the government, and held accountable – as it will be paid a specific amount, in lieu of services that can be measured,” he says. This division can be privatised later on, if the stakeholders agree. “Solid waste disposal, public transport and water supply are three critical issues that can impact Gurgaon’s future," says Vaidya. NIUA did a study of city planning and urban governance in Rajkot, Gujarat, and Vaidya says that Gurgaon can learn a great deal from that city. In Gujarat the government has empowered the municipal bodies, and they decide on town planning, water supply and roads. These bodies are self-sufficient and the involvement of local people ensures that the quality of governance is good, he informs. For acquisition of land, and

C ivic/S ocial

its commercial and residential use, the municipal bodies use the Town Planning Scheme there. “In Delhi and Gurgaon, land is acquired first and developed later; but in Rajkot and other cities of Gujarat, land is developed through a process of public-private partnership, where every stakeholder is benefitted,” he says. Similarly, the planning process in Gurgaon, and across Haryana needs to adopt a more participatory approach instead of remaining a top-down phenomenon. The density of a city has been a crucial component of urban planning in most advanced countries. However, in India, density has either been ignored or discouraged. Vaidya opines that increase in average density in developing cities like Gurgaon would lead to more sustainable outcomes. The density of the City can be increased, and area around the Metro stations developed as Transit Oriented Development, to meet the urban challenges,” says Vaidya. Higher density also promotes low cost per household for infrastructure, more potential for water and waste recycling, and improved access to public transport. In addition to density, land use is also an equally important tool that can make a city sustainable, and ensure that the cost of land does not escalate stratospherically. In his opinion, the multiplicity of government regulations relating to land use have led to an artificial urban scarcity of land, with prices going up abnormally. Vaidya further says that the Master Plan approach to planning the future of cities, and deciding the land use, also needs to change. “The Master Plan approach lacks a mid-term perspective and flexibility, has little public participation, is weak in infor-

Police Update of servants, cooks and drivers, however close they may be to the family, should be got verified from the police. He said that the Gurgaon Police is considering to make its website interactive and more user friendly - so that anyone can post his or her useful suggestion on it, and the police can respond. Regarding liquor vends in green belts, Dr. Praveen Kumar said that as per the policy of the government, the liquor vends have been pushed back from the road side - where there is no greenery, or construction is to be taken up in the near future.

Road Safety & Decongestion

At an Administration meeting, the Police Commissioner handed over lists of the places identified for installation of new street lights, and the locations where the street lights need to be repaired. The locations for making zebra crossings were also discussed. Mr. Sindhu asked the NHAI and DS Construction Company to find a solution to the problem of traffic jams at the Toll Plaza - especially during peak hours.

Sector 15 road, Jalvayu Vihar to Sector 40 traffic light, Bakhtawar Chowk to Huda City Centre, Rajeev Chowk to Civil Lines Road, Sethi Chowk to Bhuteshwar Mandir Road, Sector 55/56 T-point to Village Ghata TPoint, Ghata to Faridabad Road Toll Plaza, Genpact traffic light to Faridabad T-Point, Bhagat Singh Chowk to Sector 4/5 Chowk, Sector 12 Chowk to Sheetla Mata Road, MDI Chowk to Atul Kataria Chowk are the locations where Gurgaon Police have demanded the erection of street lights. Mr. Sindhu suggested that at least 6 slip roads were needed to be constructed to ease crossings. The locations suggested are Sector 12 to Mata Mandir Road, Hanuman Mandir T-Point to Old Delhi Road, Mayfield Garden T-Point, Himgiri Chowk, Khandsa Chowk and Subhash Chowk. He also suggested to plug the unauthorised cuts on Sohna Road, Sector 55/56 and MG Road. He said that the size of some roundabouts can be reduced, or if possible removed, to facilitate a better flow of traffic. To name a few, he said that the sizes of Bristol Chowk, MDI Chowk, Atul Kataria Chowk, Sector 4/7 Chowk, Prakashpuri

mation, lacks specific investment projects, and has too much focus on spatial planning,” he asserts. Master Plans, he says, are also not linked to land policy and markets, fail to focus on market pressures, and suffer both weak implementation and monitoring. The biggest concern, he says, is the inability of the system to cope with the pace, manner and growth of Indian cities. Vaidya says it is important that city managers should have flexibility to prepare short terms plans, and ensure more meaningful participation of elected representatives and civil society. Another important issue, as per him, is the increasing socioeconomic gap in cities – with a large section of the population living ‘at the bottom’. Vaidya says that city planners need to engage the informal sector, and make them an equal stakeholder in the process. This can be done by recognising the property rights of this section, managing shared public spaces, and ensuring mixed land use. Vaidya further says that there is need to move towards the creation of more compact cities, as these will not only give better access to service and facilities, but ensure faster social and economic development. He also says that   sub-city level and neighbourhood planning needs to move towards ensuring easy access to education, health care, recreation, and retail shopping. Last, he says, that any form of development should be preceded by provision of infrastructure, as this allows greater control over the extent and intensity of development. The government of Haryana, and those responsible for development of this Millennium City, need to listen to such experts – and act accordingly. We may be the Millennium City, but on civic services, we have much to learn. u

Chowk Sector 4/5, Telephone Exchange Chowk, Palam Vihar, Subhash Chowk and Cyber Park Sector 39 Chowk can be curtailed. Mr. Sindhu pointed out that the speed breakers on Sohna-Palwal Road, and on the stretch between Bakhtawar Chowk to Cyber Park Sector 39 needed to be removed. The Police Commissioner asked for installation of traffic lights at 14 locations in the City, for better regulation of traffic; and said that the already erected lights should be functional round the clock. Mr. Sindhu also suggested a ban on entry of vehicles in the Sadar Bazar area, by closing the entry points and eliminating the parking sites. Mr. Sindhu directed the NHAI authorities to construct Lay Byes and Bus Stops on the National Highway, for the boarding and alighting of the passengers. He asked the Haryana State Road Development Corporation (HSRDC) authorities to construct a central verge on the Pataudi- Tauru State Highway, and also on the Gurgaon-Sultanpur Lake-Jhajjar Road, to prevent accidents. He said that a separate lane for auto rickshwas should be made, by using jersey barriers. The meeting was attended by the MCG Commissioner Sudhir Rajpal, Administrator HUDA Dr. Praveen Kumar, Joint Commissioner Police Anil Rao, DCP Traffic Bharti Arora, DCP East Maheshwar Dayal, DCP Head Quarter Praveen Kumar Mehta, along with officers of MCG and HUDA. u


6. Portrait lady has black dress 7. Lampshade leg missing 8. Pattern on vase changes 9. Man gains finger 10. Window in outside house smaller

1. Another flower on hat 2. Newspaper loses text 3. Bird outside 4. Hatbox stripe vanishes 5. Another flower pattern on sofa

Solutions Spot The Difference

Fill in the grid so that every row, column and coloured box contains ALL the numbers from 1 to 6. Bonus clue: which number should go in the circle: 1 or 4?

Solutions

Sudoku Kids

Spot The Difference

Kids Brainticklers

11–17 May 2012

Kid Corner

11


12

11–17 May 2012

K id Corner

Classical Treat @ DPS

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Bharatnatyam dance performance was held at DPS Sector 45, under the aegis of SPIC MACAY. The show commenced with the traditional lighting of the lamp by the legendary dancer Rama Vaidyanathan. This was followed by an extravaganza of Rama’s dances, that left the audience spellbound. The team of musicians, including K. Sivakumar (Nattuvangam), Sudha Raghuraman (vocalist), Arun Kumar (mridangam), and G. Raghuraman (flute), added to the magic of the soulstirring performance. The interactive session between the artist and the students proved immensely fruitful.

Celebrating Our Heritage

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ndia, one of the world’s oldest civilisations, gave to the world the concept of Zero, the serene sound
of Aum, Yoga, Ayurveda, and much more. In an attempt to make students aware
of this treasure, “Heritage Week” was celebrated at the Shiv Nadar School. The week long study into the rich
heritage culminated in enriching presentations by the students. The students of Class V
brought forth the triumph of good over evil through the epic, “The Ramayana”. The children sat in rapt
attention, as they saw Lord Rama battling it out to release Sita from the clutches of Ravana. The students
of Class IV demonstrated the age old practices of yoga, through asanas.
The agility and flexibility demonstrated by students was indeed remarkable. The programme ended with
a mesmerising music and dance performance – presented by the students of Class III – on Mother India.

Blue Bells Celebrates Sanskarshala

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he annual prize distribution of Sanskarshala, a value-based examination, was organised in Blue Bells Public School, Sector 10. The students of the School presented a well-synchronised programme, with a blend of shlokas, spiritual hymns, classical and folk dance forms of India. The Chief Guest was Dr. Parveen Kumar, HUDA Administrator. The achievers of the National Level competition were given trophies by Dr. Parveen Kumar and Mrs. Suman Gulati, Director, Blue Bells Group of Schools.

Pathwazians Make a Difference

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he students of Pathways Word School (PWS), Aravalli, started a Community Service programme, by working in six different villages in the vicinity of Pathways Aravalli. The Pathwazians provided drinking water; appointed a teacher and a watchman-cum-gardener, in the various village schools. The Schools covered were: Govt. Middle School, Aklimpur; Govt. Girl’s Primary School, Teekli; Govt. Middle School, Baans; Govt. Middle School, Raisheena; Govt. Middle School, Hariyahera; Gyan Shakti School; and Ansals Aravali Retreat. The students also constructed toilets in the schools, set up computer labs, constructed platforms around trees, and repaired the boundary walls. Every year, PWS conducts a week-long training programme, to teach good practices, scheme of work, lesson planning, and class management, to the village teachers.

Ryan Udaan

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yan International School, Sec 40 organised an Annual Prize Distribution Ceremony – “Udaan”, wherein the students of primary classes were awarded prizes for their performance in different fields. The categories were: “Ryan Scholar Award”, “Best All Rounder Award”, “Nightingale Award”, “Art Award”, “Avid Reader Award”, among others. The guests at the ceremony were Associate Dean of IILM, Jagdeep Chadha, Atanu Haldar of Pepsi Co., Dhamendra Kumar of Airtel Telecom Department, and Brand Strategist Sujit Pal.

CCA Runners Up at Cicero’s

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tudents of CCA School, Sector 4, participated in the prestigious Cicero's Challenge 2012. It is one of the foremost cultural festivals in India, that witnesses unparalleled participation from schools and colleges. The function was held at the premises of IIPM International Campus, Satbari, New Delhi, amidst much fanfare, and in the presence of a number of dignitaries. CCA School Dance Team participated in Razmatazz, which saw participation from 20 renowned schools from all over the country. The CCA School team consisted of 15 enthusiastic students, who danced to the theme – “Folk Fusion”. The CCA School team bagged the First Runner Up Position, and a cash award of Rs. 7,000. It was a keenly fought competition, and a well deserved win.


11–17 May 2012

K id Corner

13

Literary Flourish

19 Minutes I faltered and then sat still I woke up with a mission Police sirens echoing in the air I knew what I had to do With panic the school did fill I had all the preparation Now as an 18 year old As I knew revenge was due I sit in a dark jail Loaded with guns, a backpack My feet feel cold Shouldered its weight upon me But my mission didn’t fail Motive and reason, I didn’t lack If I look behind The psychological burden, I had to free I take pride in what I did 16 years of being tormented Only if they had been kind Bashed, flagged, ridiculed and bullied I wouldn’t need to get rid All these years I just resented But now for the weak I had to do a deed Being bound in jail I do not dote And with hopeless pain I lie All my life, being an outcast With teenage years causing a bigger rift As I stuff a sock down my throat It’s time for me to say goodbye My actions were to leave them aghast Hopefully someday, you too would feel Those who left me miffed As I reached the school corridor How my days were hell And the series of shooting, I did start This was the only way to deal I fired bullets with hatred to the core Unless I kept hiding in my shell And watched lives fall apart There are many others like me 19 minutes is what it took me Who face these jocks’ terror too To bring the world to a screeching halt I carry major hopes, someday Killing 10 and wounding 3 They would stop a few And now to the world I bid adieu. To start with, it was their fault At the end of my massacre Oorvi Mehta, Class X, The Heritage School

Help Your Child Communicate { Sarita Maheshwari Sharda }

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ommunication skills are vital – especially in this information age. In addition to words, messages are transferred by the tone and quality of voice, eye contact, physical closeness, visual cues, and overall body language. Communication skills can be developed or enhanced at any age – but the most suitable is childhood. Skills developed during this age last long. Effective communicators are happier, do better in school, and are more successful. Preparing your children for being leading communicators in the future is one of the responsibilities of parents – so don’t ignore it. With these tips, you can set a good example, and encourage your children to communicate well.

Thoughts

Just as you teach your children to organise their clothes and toys, ask them to organise their thoughts. This is the first and the most important lesson of developing effective communication

skills in kids. Pick any object, toy or topic and ask your children to speak five lines about it. Practice will make them perfect.

Open Ended Questions

Ask the type of questions where your children can respond by expressing their feelings and opinions, rather than just replying yes or no. See how they fumble and jumble!

Ask for your children’s opinion as what to wear for a dinner – to get them involved, and engaged in conversation.

and gives one a chance to experiment with newly learned words.

Reading and Writing

Children a little older than five understand play acting, and can be great actors. Switch roles with your children for a couple of hours, and see the magic of role-play. Role-plays and dramatics are excellent ways of developing communication skills in children. The best way is to let them experience a host of situations and feelings. Have them observe a lot of scenes, let them explore the characters.

While there are a number of ways to boost communication skills among children, the root of them all is ‘knowledge’, and the interpretation of words. Reading is a habit that is picked up at an early age. Expose your children to the wonders of reading. Read with them every-day. Reading increases ones vocabulary, helps in expression, and exposes one to various perspectives and opinions. Opinion formation is a crucial part of communication. Also, ask your children to write or make notes of the mundane things – like making ‘To Do Lists’. Writing helps in assembling ones thoughts,

Role - play

Attention and Interest

Keep a direct eye contact, and pay attention, when speaking and listening to your children. Yes, please be good listeners. u (Certified Image Consultant)

Artistic Strokes

Mini Bhatnagar, II-A, Swiss Cottage School

Rashi Yadav, II-B, Swiss Cottage School

Shlok, III, Ridge Valley School


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K id Corner

11–17 May 2012

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.

1

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3

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5

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© 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

Animal Crackers

Baby Blues

Two Wise Men

Dogs of C-Kennel

– Atullya Purohit, V B, Blue Bells Model School


11–17 May 2012

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Cooling Off { Jaspal Bajwa }

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ater is literally the fountain of life. Between 60 to 70 per cent of our bodies (about 40 litres) are composed of water. It is a crucial component of all the metabolic life-giving processes in our body. We depend on water to keep our cells and body systems running smoothly. It helps maintain the volume of blood, which in turn regulates our body temperature; and carries nutrients and energy to all the cells. It also helps lubricate joints and the moist tissues of ears, eyes and nose. In addition, water is critical for the removal of waste products from our cells, and for eliminating them from our body. The amount of fluid we need varies for each individual, as it depends on several factors – including age, gender, level of activity, and the ambient temperature. An average adult can calculate his/her individual fluid requirement using a simple equation. Multiply every kilo of body weight with 33 ml, and divide by 1000, to arrive at the total litres. This works out to 2-3 litres of total fluids every day – which corresponds to 8 – 13 cups of 230 ml (8 oz) fluids. The cooling power of water can be enhanced when it is savoured in its pristine natural condition, and not as an ‘acidic’ beverage – which is what most sodas and pop beverages are all about. No amount of added ice can change the fact. These beverages do not count towards the ‘re-fuelling’ and ‘rehydration’ that our body needs. What can, however, make a huge difference is if we have the water in combination with natural foods, herbs, fruits or spices – which are known for their intrinsic cooling properties.

Tip of the week

Given the importance of the subject, every effort should be made to choose the best possible source of drinking water. Heavily chlorinated tap water is certainly not the best. Many bottled waters are not much better. More often than not they are just processed waters, that use distillation, reverse osmosis, deionization or filtration – and may be completely devoid of essential minerals. To make matters worse, sometimes they are packed in dangerous plastics. Consuming this kind of water, over long periods, can leach out valuable body minerals, leading to serious health issues. The best water to drink is naturally clean, pure and full of naturally occurring minerals. This is usually mineral water from a natural spring or an artesian well linked to an underground source. It should have hardness levels

of 170 mg/l, and should contain at least 250 -300 parts per million (ppm) of dissolved solids – including minerals like magnesium, potassium, sodium, and trace elements. Purifiying devices remove everything from the water – not just harmful bacteria, but also all the beneficial minerals. When filtering tap water, it is advisable to rely on Absolute 1 micron filtration, as it removes particles that are larger than 1 micron in size, yet leaves most of the minerals intact. Ozonation, which is used by some of the bottled water brands to eliminate bacteria, does not change the mineral content of water.

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the week

Across the ages, traditional cooling beverages have been popular for their unique properties. “Cooling” in this case refers to the effect of the drink, and not its temperature! Barley is considered in Traditional Chinese Medicine to be nourishing, and a “cooling food” for the liver. Barley tea is a cooling drink and is very popular in Japan, Korea, and China. Barley water is almost similar to tea. Unroasted grains are used in the cooking process, and the grains are cooked till tender. Agave honey and lemon is added to the drink, along with fruit juices. Barley water is not just for countering the tropical heat in summer; it also reduces internal body heat, and can be an effective

fever remedy. In Ayurveda, the health benefits of barley also include a possible cure for diabetes. Cooling drinks like watermelon juice and rose sherbet are all-time favorites in many countries. Traditional Indian summer drinks come in two variants—milk-based and fruit-based. Here are some interesting examples to choose from:  Lassi: a cold yoghurt drink, popular in Central Asia and North India. Traditionally, this yoghurt comes with an inviting head of froth, produced by blending water, salt and spices. Lassi also comes in many other varieties, including sweet lassi and mango lassi.  Chhaas: is a yoghurt based dish/ drink. Masala Chhaas is the spiced version, that is served as an aperitif and digestive. While yoghurt is itself cooling , the cumin, coriander and mint add their own cooling power – along with benefits for cleansing the kidneys, bladder and the urinary tract.  Thandai: the name itself suggests it is a ‘cool’ one. It is made with chilled milk, saffron, and a paste made of almond, fennel and cardamom seeds.  Sambharam: is a refreshing yoghurt drink popular in South India.  Chrysanthemum Tea: is a popular cooling beverage in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Nimbu Pani: is the traditional lemonade, to which a spice blend like ‘jaljeera’ can be added – to boost its properties as a cooler, and a tangy appetizer.  Gajar ki Kanji: a unique tasting traditional fermented beverage made from black carrots, beets (and sometimes turnip), and spices.  Khus: in addition to its cooling properties, it also considered a blood purifier, as well as an effective agent for calming nerves.  Mango Panna: is a refreshing sweet-sour-spicy drink made with raw mangoes It is a perfect way to beat the summer heat.  Sattu: the traditional choice in Eastern India is better than any cold drink, since it is nutritious, and assimilated by the body easily. Originally it was made with powdered roasted chick peas; over time it has evolved to include other flours also. Last, but not least, is Tender Coconut Water… straight from a coconut. This all natural cooling beverage is the universal favourite – as the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA) in pregnancy in India Dr. Neelima Tripathi (MBBS, MS)

Prevalence of anaemia in India is among the highest in the world. WHO has estimated that IDA in India is about 65-75%. India contributes to about 80%of maternal deaths due to anaemia in South Asia. District level household survey has revealed that moderate and severe anaemia was high among educated and higher income group. Treatment: Iron supplementation ♦ Treatment of Cause of Anaemia (Viz : Malaria, Worm Infestation) ♦ Adjuvant treatment like proper diet.

W elln e s s (Delhi NCR)

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0124-4030030/31

STOP Your PAIN BEFORE IT STOPS YOU !

999-999-8934

A mixture of a pinch of pepper powder and a quarter tea spoon of common salt, prevents dental cavities, foul breath, bleeding from the gums, painful gums, and toothaches.

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Please Visit Us At www.fridaygurgaon.com Ask Your Newspaper Vendor For Friday Gurgaon.


16

11–17 May 2012

Comment

BJP – A Way Forward

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EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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hank you very much for Friday Gurgaon, a weekly newspaper catering to the millenium city. The newspaper (is) really coming up with some real issues of Gurgaonites and becoming popular. Deepak Verma, Lipi Patel

FAMOUS QUOTES The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time. Thomas Jefferson If you can’t turn yourself into a consumer, you probably shouldn’t be in the advertising business at all. Leo Burnett A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself. David Ogilvy The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. Eddie Robinson

t is disappointing that the BJP has relinquished its role as a main national party – as an effective opposition. Despite the Congress/UPA lack of performance (or even action), and the country being steeped in inflation, corruption, and deficits, the BJP has not been able to make any headway – let alone hay. It could have almost brought down the UPA on just inflation and prices alone; but it did not have the focus, or perhaps even the insight. In big UP, a onetime stronghold, BJP flattered to deceive. It seems to be happy in securing more debating points, than seats. BJP has in fact helped accentuate the TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor for the Congress. It is now seen more as just a temporary parking area for parties disaffected with the Congress. Meanwhile, the nation suffers. The BJP seems stuck at 2 levels. One, on leadership – with Advani stubbornly unwilling to move on. It is something that many at the BJP HQ/Centre (limelight) may find comfort in, and so silently promote - as they are not mass leaders. The mass leaders, the BJP CMs, stand ignored – despite strong performances They are either too powerful, or have no central ambition. Advani (alongwith the RSS) is in a way guilty of what the BJP accuses the Congress President/ High Command of – of impacting the independent operations and decision making of an executive team. If this does not change, 2014 will be a disaster. There will be a loud cry, and a clear need, for a more youthful mass candidate, against Rahul Gandhi (for whom the rules are anyway different, and who already believes he is one with the masses – never mind Bihar and UP). The second level/issue is more basic – actually strikes at the very foundation. The BJP is in denial over Hindutva. It wants to not deny, but dare not. It is because the mindsets are too narrow. Hindutva seems to mean only issues related to Ram, Krishna, Hanuman; and an anti-Muslim (appeasement) stance. There is nothing wrong in having a political party that believes that Hinduism is core to India; that a majority/core of Hinduism and Hindus - and the other Indian origin religions of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism – are a good bet for the stability of our plural society. The BJP would probably do well to follow this line. However, somewhere along the way, the emphasis, or the very basis, has shifted from celebrating Hinduism (‘pro-Hinduism’), to ‘anti-Muslim’. On this, the BJP needs a serious rethink. Not only has the overall voter emphasis shifted to economics (due to aspirations, from hearing and seeing it all), but also the youth will not buy this stance. It is also wrong. If the BJP were to move on the ‘pro-Hinduism’ line (not ‘anti-anyone’), it would need to do 2 things: First, appeal to, and act accordingly with, an All India audience - and not just the ‘cow belt’; Second, take up the challenge to set its (including Hinduism’s) house in order. This should also help reinforce the feeling of pride in being a Hindu, and/ or in Hinduism. The 2 points are clearly linked. Isn’t it ironic that a ‘Hindu’ party has precious little following in South India - in Tamil Nadu - in many ways the ‘home’ to ancient Hindu relics and rituals, and thought; an area less impacted by marauding armies. Where children are brought up on the Vedas and Upanishads; and Shiva and Vishnu are literal household names – alongside Rama. Here

Hinduism is understood in its entirety. There is less symbolism and tokenism. Any ‘Hindu’ party should have found good common cause here. Unfortunately, the promotion of Hindi as a national language played spoilsport in the South. North leaders (esp. from the ‘cow belt’) have thus always been looked at with suspicion. The BJP needs to enter the South strongly, by understanding the Hinduism of the South. Senior BJP leaders need to reach out; and local leaders (esp. from Tamil Nadu) need to be convinced of its new avatar. The common language will have to be English. In fact the East – say West Bengal – has a fairly similar background; and so offers a similar opportunity. And finally, the RSS has to be tackled. Perhaps convinced, to keep out, for the greater good. They also should not, and cannot, survive on an anti-Muslim basis. The pro-Hinduism platform should be wellsuited to them also. There is no harm in admitting their support – as long as it does not/will not impact executive decision-making. It is quite obvious that Hinduism needs introspection - especially for the youth; and therefore for its own future. Women too need to be co-opted better; and treated at par. The issue of ‘Harijans’ and untouchability has to be tackled sensitively, but purposefully. The religious heads need to be brought in, to be positive change agents. They should come from all over India. No one should feel threatened. Somewhere a few leaders will emerge, for the reformation. Every village should have a simple temple(s) that all residents can go to – for prayers, festivals, ceremonies - or just to contemplate. It should be locally funded, and maintained as a clean, hygienic area by the local pandit.A temple should be an abode to reach out to society, to be an integral part of it. The various Hindu ‘dhams’ and important temples should be given a facelift, and maintained by the local pandit body – from funds collectedly locally. A few special projects should be taken up centrally, and also funded accordingly – e.g. Haridwar. The city needs a clean up, and also a more organized way of conducting ceremonies. By getting involved in all the above, setting the Hinduism house in order, and engaging the various regions of India to this cause, the BJP would serve its own cause well – as well as that of the country. It has to be done with utmost humility. After all, it is also a matter of righting some ‘wrongs’. Setting its own house in order politically is also important. If the BJP ruled States can ‘show a difference’ in economics, and in the provision of necessities to the under-privileged, this can be trumpeted nationally. The Congress has been poor even in this area – there is non-performance even on home grounds. The BJP needs to look no further than Vajpayee. Even with a background of the Jan Sangh and the RSS, he ran a successful full term, with a minority government. He managed the coalition very well (it is a different matter that the Congress too has forgotten and forsaken Narasimha Rao, who also ran a successful full term as head of a minority government). The youth need to feel the change. All India needs to feel it too. Any worthwhile democracy needs to see clear political and social alternatives – to choose from. This is not about religion; it is about a view, and a way, of life. u


11–17 May 2012

A rt

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Stalwarts of Indian modernism { Srimati Lal }

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ne of the most enriching art exhibitions to savour this summer is the significant Group Show from GALLERY ALTERNATIVES’ Private Collection – comprising excellent artworks by 28 stalwarts of Indian Modernism. This show is a rare experience for those looking for an introduction to Indian Contemporary Art. A visual feast, this show provides a fine sampling of highquality artworks by leading Indian artists: Nandalal Bose, Sakti Burman, S.H Raza, Laxma Goud, Paresh Maity, Khemraj, Paramjit Singh, Yusuf Arakkal, Vaikuntam, Trupti Patel, and A. Ramachandran, among others.  What comes across very clearly from this discerning selection of sophisticated paintings, bronzes and ceramics is the sheer range and depth of our Contemporary Indian Art idiom. From the figurative to the abstract, from the folk-inspired to the experimental, from fullspectrum palettes to muted tones – every manner of artistic expression finds pride of place here. A leisurely viewing of this exquisite collection would act as an exemplary education for all those who wish to understand the exalted language of Indian Modernism. A wide variety of styles and media are on display. The ‘Indian Magic Realism’ of

Yusuf Arakkal – Oil on canvas

T Vaikuntam – Acrylic on canvas

Paramjit Singh – Red and green oil on canvas

Laxma Goud, Sakti Burman and Vaikuntam strike a high note in this visual orchestra. Ever faithful to the Indian ethos, with its unique and ancient nuances, these three painters showcase beautiful images of our intrinsic mythology and Indian daily life. Goud’s and Vaikuntam’s delicate yet dramatic portrayals of Indian women are specially noteworthy. Their vivid primary palettes, portraying the most traditional forms of Indian womanhood, do not deflect from their contemporaneity. Many of Laxma Goud’s fine etchings bear the panache of a Picasso or a Botticelli, in their dream-like delicacy. And the French-domiciled Sakti Burman’s ethereal Aquarelles on Paper, in pale gouaches of pinks and blues, transport one magically to the faraway realms of misty childhood imaginings. Another high point of the ALTERNATIVES collection is thespian landscapist Paramjit Singh’s beautiful works – both on canvas and paper. Singh’s red and green oil on canvas conveys the deep mystery of Indian forests and gardens. His charcoal and mixedmedia landscapes touch the most sublime levels of abstraction. Some of Paresh Maity’s

K Laxma Goud – Etching on paper

Trupti Patel - Breath that humanity forgot

Paresh Maity – ‘Evening’

Sakti Burman – Creativity

P. Khemraj – Mixed media on paper

best quizzical works are also part of this collection. His hazy, panoramic Bengal Seascape captures the attention; while his 2011 canvas, ‘Evening’, is rivetting in its vivid spectrum. Maity’s playful birds and fairytale-faces impart a sense of Bengali Modernism, that is vital to the Indian art-language. There is a wonderful mixed media on paper by the veteran Khemraj, and an invaluable work on paper by the pioneer Nandalal Bose. Such treasures are rarely to be seen on the gallery-circuit, being worthy of inclusion in Museum-displays.

All art students should hence be taken for a round of this worthy collection. Touching the pinnacle of Contemporaneity, Trupti Patel’s wonderful abstract works— ‘Breath That Humanity Forgot,’ and ‘Cascading Selves, Flowing Light’—executed in the rare and difficult form of burnt marks on paper, are truly remarkable visual achievements. These are profoundly sophisticated artworks, that transcend all genres. Similarly powerful in its Modernism is Yusuf Arakkal’s oil on canvas, depicting a solitary man on an urban street-corner; and Krishna Murari’s bronze sculpture. Other artworks worth mulling-over in this feast for the senses include those by A. Ramachandran; Kiran Mohindra’s unusual Slate work; classic paintings by Sukanta Das, Suman Chowdhury, Niren Sengupta, R.P Singh; Kosal Kumar’s Electroplate work; and Pankaj K. Manav’s Ceramic work.  The vast panoply of forms and media on display here make one proud to be a part of the Indian art scene. The lesson to be learnt from such a vibrant and well-selected Exhibition is simple – expectations from Indian artists must remain high. There can be no compromises in Fine Art. u Artist, Writer & Curator


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B on V ivant

11–17 May 2012

{ Bhavana Sharma }

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reams are part of our subconscious mind. If we keep a dream diary, and learn to decode our dreams, we can help ourselves resolve many issues. The guidance we receive from dreams is extremely pure; it comes directly to us from our subconscious and superconscious minds. There is no middleman involved – no therapist, professor or priest.

Decode Your Dreams

Advantages of Dream Analysis

Dreams provide us with information, so that we can make better decisions about our life. Our dream life is usually more attuned to our needs for growth and development, than we know—or are aware of—in our conscious waking state. Yes, our dreams wait for a quiet time, so that they can get our attention. We also get caught up in serious, deep issues, that take time to resolve. This is where we find what’s called a dream series—where various dream images repeat themselves—time and time again – as the story unfolds. Within the series, each dream takes you further another step, progressively leading you to your greater self.

So let’s take a look at what our dreams have to say:-

Dreams at a physical level may give you valuable information regarding the status of your body and health. These are usually pretty straightforward; they may tell you that you need more vitamins, or need to drink more water. Dreams at a mental level may give you guidance regarding the situations in your life. These dreams might give you guidance on family and personal relationships, or finances. The bigger picture is creativity. Many people receive music, lyrics, story lines, inventions and ideas for art, from their dreams. At a spiritual or soul level, dreams may give you spiritual guidance; and even perhaps communication with deceased friends and relatives.

Going Back to The Dreamscape

Let us decode a dream. A man is chasing a youth through the compartments inside a moving train. Along the way, the youth meets a college friend, his father – who is busy on his cell phone, and a small child – who is playing in the corridors of the moving train. The dream ends with the youth stroking a kitten. The dream specialist asks the youth to jot down what he felt when he woke up. Was it puzzlement, fear, lack of direction, or the need to make a connection? Using these interpretations as markers, the dream catcher’s interpretation of the dream was as follows: The train symbolised the journey of life. The fact that the youth revisited college friends meant that he missed companionship, and had gone to the past in search of it. His mental layer was a bit biased, as he had strong likes and dislikes; an inner child who wanted

to be pampered, and also a bit of sibling rivalry. Animals reflect one’s personality, and the way he defined the kitten is the way the youth perceived himself – as being intuitive, sensitive or clever.

Symbols - the language of dreams

Symbols are a purer form of communication than words. With symbols you don’t have to worry about the nuances of meaning. A horse is a horse is a horse. Examples of some fairly common symbols and images that relate to most people are: An automobile: Usually represents your physical body. Look to see what direction it is going in – forward or backward; uphill or downhill.  What is the condition? Is it clean and shiny, or rusty and dented;and how are the tyres? All of these are clues.  A house: Usually represents your

We Shall Overcome

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

A

few days back Manju talked to me about her life. In the past twenty five years, she has been detected with cancer three times – about once every eight years. Each time she has lost the affected part of her body; it had to be amputated. During her last tryst, she had a premonition that something wrong was again going to happen to her. She was right. Destiny had kept its time. While attending a marriage reception, Manju reported breathlessness, and was rushed to the nearby hospital. This time she was detected with a serious heart ailment, that necessitated immediate surgery. Physically she has gone weak; her bones are sticking out, and the physical strength has gone. At the time of her first surgery she was a young woman. She now has lost her hair and looks a wreck. She has endured twenty five years of psychological and physical trauma.The most difficult affliction to bear has been psychological and social, rather than physical. At times, the series of setbacks threw her into a state of depression. The black mood hung over her. But she also spoke of how her experience, working as an attendant in ‘langars’ (community eating) held in a temple every month, has taught her as much - in a different way - as her reading of religious scriptures. The learning has stood her in good stead,

in her war against cancer. She empathizes with the religious tradition of the temple, of distribution of alms and clothes to the poor, and responds to the simple human needs of the downtrodden with compassion. Each suffering has taught her something, has given her life that extra quality and depth. Eventually, her mental climate has changed, assisted by the consistent support and tolerance of people who love her. She is grateful that she had some religious and spiritual training, to prepare herself for eventualities of this kind. We can all learn a lesson from her; it is as profound as everything we learn from the famous gurumas and yogins around. Obstacles and suffering we will assuredly meet. The Almighty wants us to meet these well. When we experience obstacles and ailments, it can go either way with us. We may become bitter, depressed and alienated; or we may grow as people. Experience broadens us. Difficult experiences challenge us. We need to learn how to overcome; to not be defeated. Obstacles should wake us up. Enlightenment does not abolish them; it teaches us ways of surmounting them. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.

physical body as well. Is the roof in good condition? How about the foundation?  Also, with a house you can check if individual rooms are highlighted. The kitchen represents your diet, the bathroom your eliminations, and the bedroom your rest – or possibly romantic relationships. A boss or a supervisor: Usually represents your soul trying to get a message to you. Death dreams are associated with change and transition – the end of something. Birth dreams represent creativity – the birth of new beginnings in your life. What is important is the emotional content and components of the dream. How did you feel while it was unfolding? Were you happy, bored, frightened? This will indeed give you the correct clue as to what lies beneath your subconscious mind. It will help you to solve your problems – which perhaps may have disturbed you for years; or resolve a chronic health issue. A psychological study, based on dream analysis, enlightens us, shows us truths that would otherwise remain ignored – without the information found in the dream symbols. We can learn the symbolic dream language, and translate the meaning of our dreams – to reap the benefits offered by the wisdom from the dream messages. u Author, Tarot Card Reader

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Laughing St

ck

Tom was meeting a friend in a bar. As he went in, he noticed two pretty girls looking at him. 
“Nine,” he heard one whisper as he passed. 
Feeling pleased with himself, he went over to his buddy and told him a girl had just rated him a nine out of ten. 
“I don’t want to ruin it for you,” said the friend, “but when I walked in, they were speaking German.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sitting in a bar having drinks with a friend, Jack casually pointed to two old drunks sitting across the bar from them. He said, “That’s us in ten years.” 

His friend said, “That’s a mirror, you idiot!” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An angry wife was complaining about her husband spending all his free time in a bar, so one night he took her along with him. 
“What’ll you have?” he asked. 
“The same as you I suppose,” she replied. The husband ordered a couple of Jack Daniels shots, and downed one. His wife watched him, took a sip from her glass and immediately spit it out. 
“Yuck, that’s terrible!” she said. “I don’t know how you can drink this stuff!” 
“Well, there you go,” said the husband. “And you think I’m out enjoying myself every night!” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Learning that several of his employees were tanking up on no-trace vodka martinis during lunch hours, a wise company President issued the following memo: 

To All Employees -
If you must drink during lunch, please drink whiskey. It is much better for our customers to know you’re drunk, than to think you’re stupid.


B on V ivant

11–17 May 2012

Papa Stands Up Prakhar Pandey

with experience. Trust me, it is not easy at all. I did 250 shows to start with. You can experiment and try different jokes only when you have a lot of experience.

You seem to be in love with Gurgaon, as you perform more in Gurgaon than Delhi?

It depends on the organisers. I think both the audience and the organisers in this City are forthcoming. The audience is super cool, and Epicentre is very accommodating. They never say no to me. There are times when they have given me the venue just 30 minutes after another show. I always feel that if I don’t get a venue anywhere, it can be done at the Epicentre. For the City as a whole, I would say that Gurgaon has a “Let’s Do” attitude. The audience is fabulous, and takes the jokes in good spirit.

problem in the world. When I started performing in London, I used to keep a box, to get some donations. Today we run three schools at the India-Bangladesh border. It is an initiative to get children out of the menace of child labour, and prepare them for formal school.

You recently got married. Does your wife come along for your shows?

Yes, sometimes. But I don’t take her along if I know some gorgeous women are going to attend the show (smiles). u

Tell us something about your “One Child Initiative”.

I set up this charity some nine years ago. I think education is the answer to any

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

F

amous stand-up comedian Papa CJ, who has performed at sold out shows around the world, talks about his love for India, Comedy, and the Millennium City.

How have you been named as “Papa CJ”?

I was born in the Vatican City. Papa CJ is a literal translation of my real name in Latin. The word “Papa” comes from the Latin word “massivus” and the letters “CJ” come from the Latin word “genitalius”. It is customary to name the child after his/her distinct physical features, and my parents decided to give me a Latin Name! (Standing Up).

After doing MBA from Oxford University, what made you choose stand-up comedy?

After doing MBA, I was working in a company as a management consultant. Then one day I saw somebody doing stand-up comedy on a boat called Wibbley Wobbley, on the river Thames. I found it very exciting, as it is a job where you make people laugh. That was a turning point. I took a year off, and did my first show on the same boat.

Your shows were extremely popular in the UK. Why did you move to India?

When you fly to the UK, you are shown a map that has dots showing all important cities in the Kingdom. I have performed in almost all the major cities in the UK. But I am a Damn Desi person. I love India. There is so much going on everywhere. The quality of life you can have in India, you can’t have anywhere in the world.

Where do you get your

Quickly

If you were not a comedian, you would be? Unemployed. Any memorable experience in Gurgaon? Yes, a 60-year old aunty came to me after the show and said, “Beta, marry my daughter.” Any bad experiences? Never. Gurgaon is famous for? Fabulous audience. Your favourite nightclub in the City? Hahaha... I have never been to any nightclub in Gurgaon. Favourite hang out place in Gurgaon? Anywhere on the stage with a microphone. Media should... Write more about stand-up comedy, because it is a growing art form. The more support it will get from media, the more it wil become popular. Favourite comedian? Chris Rock, Russell Peters, and George Carlin.

content from?

For me, it is not a job. When I am on stage, I have fun. There is no script. I chat with my audience. Humour comes instantly, and those instant jokes are more interesting. I also feel that comedians look at things differently. For instance, comedians can throw in jokes on death. If somebody asks me how would you like to die, I would say I would like to die while having sex. Because when you die, your whole body becomes stiff. So while I die, my wife would say CJ is still standing up (laughs)!

What is your take on the racist comments in standup comedy?

Racism is when people discriminate on the basis of race. But in India, almost all communities are constantly making fun of each other. Here people take jokes in good spirit. Also, we comedians have a rule: “Jo samne hai use khush rakho (smiles)”.

Which comminuty in India, do you think, takes jokes in good spirit?

19

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Haryanvi Made Easy What a Haryanvi Thinks about other States J&K: Rola maachya reh se aade There is always fighting there.

Himachal & Uttarakhand: Nare pahaad se aade. Ghanna jadda se. There are many mountains. It is very cold.

Punjab: Mhaara saara paani khose rakhya se Our water has been snatched.

Rajasthan: Aapnae bhai se, bas garmi thodi batti se. Is our brother, but heat is a bit more.

Gujrat: Mota pissa se aade. There is lot of Money.

M.P & Chattisgarh: U.P. jissaye hoga. Must be like U.P.

I think every community does that. You have to be able to get some good and healthy humour. For stand-up comedy, you need to understand the physcology of your audience. You need to know if they are happy, if they are tired, or getting pissed off. On stage, you get to know it in just 3-4 seconds.

U.P., Bihar, Jharkhand & Bengal: Nare Bihari.

On a bad day when nobody is laughing at your jokes, what do you do?

Films are made there, Kolhapur is also near by.

Now there are very few bad days. In this profession you get feedback every 15 seconds. If the audience are not laughing at your jokes, you improvise. But if you have just 10 minutes of jokes in your kitty, how will you perform for a half an hour show? This perfection comes

Biharis

Seven N.E. States: Chinese, Nepali Maharashtra: Filam banya kare aade, kolhapur bhi aadey se. Goa: Mhara tau na jaan detta. My Uncle won't let me go.

Rest is: South aale. People from the South.


20

11–17 May 2012

{ V.K Gaur }

I

n Vedic Astrology (Mundane) a Horoscope is drawn with three basic factorsdate of birth, time of birth and place of birth. A Horoscope has 12 houses, in which 12 rashis are fixed – starting from Lagna; and  nine planets (grahas) are depicted. While each house shall have only one rashi, there can be more than one planet in a house. The 12 houses represent every aspect of the life of a Jatak(native). The houses are intertwined. The Tenth House is called the House of Karma, or Profession. Profession is most significant in one’s life. Some systems call it Meridian, the highest point. The value of the Tenth house must be determined from; 1. Janma Kundali, 2. Surya Kundali, and 3. Chandra Kundali. For determining the professional factor, one must study the planets in the Tenth house, the location and strength of Dashmesh (Lord of the Tenth house), the drishti of various planets on Dashmesh, Navansh (the 9th Harmonic chart that is a microscopic view of the 9th House) and yogas. If the Tenth house, or its Lord, is well placed in a horoscope, it gives results according to its strength, transit influence and operating periods. If it is weak by placement and strength, and afflicted by the malefic planets, then it gives obstruction, denial and delay in the above matters. A vocation comes to us because of one of the following factors:1. By birth/inheritance. We may have to follow family tradition or profession, irrespective of our like or dislike 2. By choice or liking. 3. Thrust upon by circumstances. However, several factors of the horoscope contribute to the profession/professions adopted by the Jatak (native). First, Second, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh houses jointly mould one’s profession. First house of horoscope – Lagna(Ascendant) represents personality, vitality, nature, appearance and decision-making. It also rules the head, brain, health, recognition and longevity. The house plays an important role in deciding the profession/job of Jatak. Second house is equally important, because it represents status in life, recognition, possession of precious stones and accumulated wealth. Fifth house represents intellect, inclination, higher studies, speculation. In modern times, education is crucial because the choice of a profession depends on the faculty of education and

The House Of Karma 1

Dashmesh in 2nd House

2

Pt Nehru

Dashmesh in 3rd House

professional studies. Ninth house represents future, fortune, settlement of life, distant travel. Tenth house represents profession, karma, character, international recognition. Eleventh house represents gains, income, friends, and fulfillment of desires. Profession, social status and honour are determined from the Lord of the Tenth house, because the house represents financial and social strength, and indicates the professional sphere of the Jatak. The house underscores relations with colleagues and authorities at the work place. A strong Tenth house or Lord of the Tenth house ensures congenial and harmonious environment in the work place, and the native receives support from the higher authorities (a weak Tenth house will produce the reverse results). It has an impact on the inclination of the person towards a particular sector of profession. It clearly indicates the favourable and unfavourable professions for the native. The Tenth house influences the support from government officials, and the top echelons of employers. It also creates a platform for recognition and rewards. It tells us precisely the supremacy of the position of the Jatak among the masses. The house reveals the affluence of the individual, and also gives us an idea about hidden treasure and possessions. People having a powerful Tenth house are known to have a persuading and influencing personality. It also reveals the inner self of the person-whether one is gentle or wicked. To some extent, it shows the popularity of the person in the social environment. Other points decided by the Tenth house of the Janma Kundali are honour, dignity, public esteem, name and fame, power, prestige, credit (for good work and conduct), success and status, rank and fame, respect and reputation, ambi-

3

4

Dashmesh in 2nd House

Dashmesh in 1st House

tion and authority, worldly activities, responsibilities, permanency (in service), promotion, advancement, appointment and profession. Placement of the Lord of the Tenth house is important. There is the impact from the placement of Rashis, and the effect of the Lord or Ruler of the Tenth house in various houses (first to twelfth).

Role of Rashis in the Tenth house Mesh- Jatak adopts several professions. Fame comes rarely. Vrash- Expenditure exceeds income. Savings are negligible. Jatak is religious. Mithun- Gains come from agriculture and land related occupation. Jatak earns more from business than service. Kark- Jatak is god-fearing, judicious, believes in fair play. Earns well from water related profession, and religious activities. Simha- Jatak is interested in hunting and political activities. Does not gain from property and land deals. Kanya- Jatak is self-respecting, hard working, but does not take service seriously. Succeeds in business, and reaches the top; if in service, by the end of the career. Tula- Earns equally well from business and service. Vrishchik- Performs well in service. Helps competent poor people. Participates in religious activities. Dhanu- Faces odds in service, but progresses well in business related to land, and tamsik goods like liquor, meat, nautanki, trade of non-vegetarian food items. Makar- Is equipped with numerous creative qualities, and emerges as a beacon of light at middle age. Is highly talented and successful in every venture he undertakes. Kumbh- Is a successful diplomat and politician. Expenditure exceeds income. Meen- Performs well in the field of wa-

B on V ivant ter related service like navy, underwater exploration; also has successful career in water product business – including fish, gems and precious stones.

Effect of Dashmesh in various houses In the First house Dashmesh placed in the First house is considered extremely auspicious. In the Second house This is an excellent placement for wealth and finance, as the Second house indicates the acquisition of money. Mrs. Indira Gandhi had Kark lagna. Her Dashmesh Mangal occupied the Second house. In the Third house This placement can promote dramatic and gallant activities in the area of profession, because the Third house rules valour. Pt. Nehru had Karka lagna. Dashmesh Mangal was placed in the Third house. In the Fourth house Whenever the rulers of angles combine or posit each other’s houses, it’s considered a good omen in Vedic astrology. In the Fifth house This combination is an excellent omen for the children of the person. Rabindranath Tagore had Dashmesh Brahaspati in the Fifth house. His lagna was Meen. In the Sixth house Such a combination creates an opportunity for the individual to pursue a career in law or judiciary, depending on the strength of the Tenth and Sixth Rulers. In the Seventh house With favorable influences on the Tenth Lord, the partner of the individual will shine, and achieve success after marriage. In the Eighth house The individual born with the Tenth ruler in the Eighth house is not destined to have an easy run in a profession. In the Ninth house Good results are predicted if the Dashmesh is located in the Ninth house. In the Tenth house High status in life, and fame, are to be expected if the Tenth ruler is placed in its own house. In the Eleventh house This placement ensures strong financial status, and helps amass wealth and property, and develop powerful and influential friendships – along business and career lines. In the Twelfth house There’s a strong connection between foreign countries and the profession of the individual, and he/she may spend time overseas, living there for a considerable time – particularly if the signs on the Twelfth house are fixed. u

Reality, Soaps And Social Dramas

{ Alka Gurha }

F

alling to its enticement, several Bollywood stars have descended on the small screen this season. Leading the pack is Madhuri Dixit, the dancing diva. Madhuri is going to make an appearance on TV with a tribute to yesteryear superstar heroines. Madhuri pays dance tributes to Meena Kumari, Sridevi and Mumtaz. The first dance number off the block is from Pakeezah – ‘Thade Rahiyo’. The movie was a defining moment for Meena Kumari. All these scintillating tributes to

the legends will be aired as promos for the forthcoming show, ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’, a dancebased reality show. Meanwhile Star World recently launched a new film review show titled ‘The Front Row with Anupama Chopra’, which airs on Fridays at 8.30 pm. The show promises to be a weekly guide into the world of entertainment – with fun, film reviews, sneak-peeks; and a whole new level of interaction and interviews with the biggest stars from Bollywood and Hollywood. The show has an impressive line-up of guest celebrities – like Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra. Anupama is married to filmmaker and director Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and is the sister of Bollywood director and screenwriter Tanuja Chandra.

Given her filmi connections, celebrity access is a piece of cake. Meanwhile two family dramas from the Balaji factory, ‘Kya hua tera vaada’ and ‘Bade achhe lagte hain’, continue to rule the roost on Sony. ‘Kya hua tera vaada’ reminds one of the erstwhile Hindi movie Biwi No. 1, where Karisma Kapoor packs off her kids and mother-in-law to go stay with the ‘other’ woman, Sushmita Sen. Currently, in the serial, the wronged wife is fighting the arrogant mistress, with all the ingredients of small screen melodrama. The first round goes to Mona Singh, who plays the aggrieved housewife. That said, Mauli Ganguli, who plays Anushka Sarkar (the mistress), manages to make her presence felt, despite the script and public sympathy being in

favour of Mona Singh. The serial also has Apara Mehta as the sensitive, concerned mother-in-law. who loves Mona like her own daughter – a complete contrast to the evil lady she played in Ekta’s earlier show, Kyunki… Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Apart from these, Zee TV is broadcasting a show called Afsar Bitiya, set in Darbhanga, Bihar. It is the story of Krishna Raj, played by Mitali Nag, who rises from modest beginnings to a successful career. Krishna dreams of becoming a Block Development Officer (BDO). However, her financial status makes it difficult for her to afford a decent education. Her father, Vidyapati Raj, and family have made sacrifices to ensure that Krishna receives the education necessary to achieve her goal.

The concept is path-breaking for small town viewers; but the only drawback is that the serial moves at a snail’s pace. Another serial on Zee called ‘Punar Vivah’, aimed to encourage re-marriage, is a story about two individuals, Aarti and Yash. Aarti is a divorcee with a son, Ansh. Yash is a widower with twin daughters, Payal and Palak. It has been 4 years since Aarti’s husband left her, and then divorced her. Yash’s wife, Arpita, has died 3 years ago. Aarti’s in-laws and Yash’s family want them to get re-married. The story is about how both the families, after deciding about the re-marriage, convince Aarti and Yash for the same (Punar Vivah). However, the show is a typical joint family saga, with bejewelled bahus tending the kitchen, and conceited mother-in-laws creating confusion. Sigh! So much for social churning... u


G lobal 21

11–17 May 2012

Golden Gate Goes Platinum

S

an Francisco’s landmark Golden Gate Bridge is undergoing a facelift for its 75th anniversary. For the first time since it opened in 1937, the entire 2,332-metre lengths of the two main wire strand cables - each nearly a metre thick - are getting a fresh coat of orange vermilion paint – officially known as International Orange. The job, which began last summer, will not be finished in time for the May 27 festivities, though. It will take a few more years. “It’s strenuous work, but we’re all very proud to be taking care of a world-famous icon,” says paint superintendent Dennis “Rocky” Dellarocca. The 58-year-old Californian has been doing the job for 28 years. “I dream in International Orange,” Rocky grins. The structure’s distinctive, bright colour - contrasting with the Pacific whitecaps and the steel-blue California sky - is not the only thing that makes the bridge—spanning the Golden Gate Strait between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay— one of the most beautiful and most photographed in the world. There is also its elegant art-deco styling. Each year, the Golden Gate Bridge attracts some 10 million visitors from all over the world. At an unhurried pace, it takes about 45 minutes to cover the 2,737 metres, from the San Francisco end to the green hills of Marin County in the north. Pedestrians share the threemetre-wide sidewalk, on the east side of the bridge, with joggers, roller skaters and cyclists. People prone to vertigo would do well to walk along the railing, which reaches to most people’s chests, and guards against

Della Huff

{ Barbara Munker / San Francisco / DPA }

pedestrians while vehicular traffic proceeds normally. The celebration will be held throughout the weekend along the waterfront from historic Fort Point at the foot of the bridge, to Pier 39 at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, six kilometres away. The Golden Gate Bridge has been a San Francisco Exhibitions, a landmark for decades. historic watercraft parade, and a music and dance festival higha 70-metre drop to the water. lighting the 1930s, are among the Those wishing to cross the activities planned. The festivibridge on a bicycle rented in ties will begin with yoga on San Francisco should beware: the bridge at sunrise on the strong gusts of wind can day before the anniversary, make the ride a wobbly and and conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on Sunarduous affair. After four years of construc- day evening. And the bridge’s 75th antion, at a cost of 35 million dollars, the Golden Gate Bridge of- niversary will leave a lastficially opened with a Pedestrian ing legacy. Construction of a Day, on May 27, 1937. Chief Engi- visitors pavilion. neer Joseph B. Strauss present- Also new are night tours ed the marvelling public with of the bridge, and a “green an architectural and aesthetic screen” photo booth where wonder. San Franciscans cel- visitors can be pictured as ebrated for an entire week; and though climbing the cables, the bridge has not had a quiet or on top of a tower, or with a crystal-clear image of the minute since. Its biggest test came on its bridge behind them. “That’s 50th anniversary, when an es- practical, particularly when it’s timated 300,000 people—far foggy, because you often can’t more than expected—surged see any of the real bridge then,” onto the roadway from both Currie says. Hundreds of thousands of ends, beginning at 6 am. The weight of the throng was so people are expected to take part great that the bridge’s arch in the jubilee, which falls on the flattened out. Quite a few peo- long Memorial Day weekend. Paint superintendent Delple got nervous, but the sturdy larocca has a piece of advice in structure held. “We’re doing things different- passing: “You’ve got to feel ly this time,” says bridge spokes- the bridge, how it lives and woman Mary Currie. “On its vibrates. Grab a jacket and 75th anniversary, the bridge walk across it,” he says. But won’t be the stage, but the the heavily trodden bridge backdrop.” On Sunday, May gets a well-deserved break on 27, the bridge will be closed to its birthday. u

Wedding Customs...And Honeymoon { Britta Schmeis / Berlin / DPA }

N

o matter how modern, egalitarian and individualistic a couple is, on their wedding day they most likely will fall back on customs – as couples have done for hundreds of years in every culture. The traditions are so ingrained that hardly a wedding can take place without them. Interestingly, they often are fundamentally similar across the world – and mostly symbolize similar things, such as happiness, fertility and wealth. To many people, a wedding wouldn’t be complete without things like the bridal bouquet, wedding cake and a flower girl. Practices that are somewhat rooted in superstition also must be part of the ceremony—such as the couple arriving separately— whether it’s held at a church, registry office or other location. Such rituals may seem antiquated, says theologian Angelika-Benedicta Hirsch of Berlin. But “a wedding is, and always has been, a rite of passage in all cultures – following similar structures and using simi-

lar symbols,” she says. These symbols represent one of the three phases of the wedding - separation, change, and the joining of the two - or they represent happiness, fertility and wealth. Additionally, customs make the day special. “Without these rites, a wedding wouldn’t be distinguishable from a summer festival, or a special birthday celebration,” says Berlin wedding planner Froonck Matthee. The following is an overview of common wedding customs: The bridal bouquet, carried by the bride in most weddings in the US and Europe, is her choice – and typically contains seasonal flowers. At US weddings, the bride stands with her back toward all the single female guests standing in a group, and throws the bouquet. The woman who catches it is, according to the custom, the next to be married. A garter worn by the bride on her thigh is a favourite in many European countries and the US. In France the bride stands in the middle of a circle of male wedding

guests, and pulls up her dress slowly while the men offer her money. If the garter is seen, it goes to the man who offers the highest amount of cash. In England and the US, the groom throws the garter to the male guests. “Sometimes the groom must first remove it from his bride’s leg with his teeth,” says Matthee. Money and gifts are important in every culture. In Turkey and Greece, gifts of money and gold are pinned or tacked onto the bride’s dress. In the US, some couples hold a dollar dance, in which the bride and groom dance with wedding guests – who first pay for the privilege. The veil is also a common part of a bride’s attire. When the groom lifts her veil during the ceremony, to some people it is a sign of the unmarried woman becoming married, says Hirsch. The veil, however, is also protection from the gazes of evil demons and other women, who could be dangerous to the bride on her wedding day. The flower girls and bridesmaids, who in US weddings

Idea For Gandhigiri

{ Michael Heitmann / Prague / DPA }

T

Near Prague Castle, a mustsee for the more conventional tour groups, Philip makes a halt in front of a two-storey townhouse, informing his charges in a stage whisper that a wellknown lobbyist lives there. One of the participants finds it amusing that this prime residential area is very close to a number of government ministries. “These homes are really situated strategically,” he says. Then the lobbyist himself, well known from newspaper and television reports, appears in a nearby park, taking his dog for a walk. Sourek, who came up with the idea, is certain he has hit upon a goldmine of his own. “The num-

ourists have long flocked to the Czech capital to see the Charles Bridge, the Golden Lane, and Prague Castle. Czech playwright and director Petr Sourek now aims to entertain them not so much with the glories of the past, but with the problems of the present – namely the stench of corruption. The grand apartment blocks of the professional lobbyists and corrupt politicians, as well as inflated tunnel projects, are on the route of “Corrupt Tour,” the Pragueborn director’s new company. The aim is to reveal the dark side of post-communist society. “We have invented corruption tourism,” Sourek says. A small group of curious tourists has gathered outside the Interior Ministry, perhaps the most closely guarded building in the picturesque capital. Tour guide Philip presents himself in eye-catching apparel—including brightly coloured ribbons and a widebrimmed hat—promising views ranging from “valuable monuments to non-existent company addresses.” Philip leads his group to what he refers to as “the largest goldmine” in the Czech Republic. The tourists find themselves looking down on a huge building site, where the Blanka Tunnel will finally exit. The tunnel, at 6.4 kilometres, is the longest tunnel within a European city. He notes caustically that where alchemists at the court of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II searched passionately and in vain for the secret to turn base metal to gold, the companies behind massive engineering projects have now succeeded. “Anyone taking this much trouble deserves a reward,” Philip says. The tunnel, and whether it makes any sense at all, have long been a theme in the Czech media – although it remains unclear precisely who has profited most from the cost overruns thus far.

ber of monuments to corruption is large,” he says. He is, however, covering his own back, targeting only those cases of corruption that have already received wide media coverage – to ensure he does not become the target of legal action. Those included on his tour have thus far taken it all with a smile, he says. A Czech participant says there is general anger in the country with the political class. “People are extremely disappointed with politicians in general,” she says. The country has a less than sparkling reputation internationally. However, some of the foreigners on the tour are convinced their countries could score even higher. “In Vienna, a tour of two-and-a-half hours would not be nearly long enough. We’ve got more,” an Austrian remarks sourly at the end of the trip. u

are usually dressed as ostentatiously as the bride, also are supposed to distract demons. In Austria, an undergarment worn inside-out is supposed to confuse the spirits. In Europe and the US the father of the bride often accompanies the bride down the aisle to the altar. “This ritual comes from ancient Greece, and actually should not fit into the current times,” says Hirsch. At that time, women had fewer rights, and were therefore given over to their husbands. In Turkey, an engagement ceremony is held at the bride-tobe’s house, at which the groom cuts through a red band tied around the bride’s waist, to seal the transformation to marriage, said Matthee. The tradition of cutting the cake together also has a meaning. “The one whose hand is over the other while holding the knife together is the one who will have more say in the mar-

riage,” says Friederike Mauritz, director of the federation of German wedding planners. The bridal couple usually are given an honourable place during the reception. In Russia, for example, the couple are carried through the gathering of guests on chairs, says Matthee. In Lebanon, guests holding candles stand in a circle around the couple, as they dance with one another. In many cultures wedding rituals include a blessing for children. In India, a child is placed on the couple’s lap as they are seated together. In Germany the flower girls, and the rice and grain thrown at the couple, stand for fertility. In England, the bride is supposed to drink honey wine for four weeks after the wedding. This is for fertility. And the word honeymoon - the English word for a journey the couple takes immediately after the wedding - derives from this tradition. u

Petr Sourek in Prague, with a poster for Corrupt Tour.


22 { Till Mundzeck / London/Washington / DPA }

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he upper atmosphere suddenly lit up like a Christmas tree under infra-red radiation at the beginning of March. A violent solar storm was to blame, spewing out a huge cloud of charged solar particles that swept past the earth at high speed. This solar storm heated up the upper atmosphere with a huge blast of energy of 26 billion kilowatt hours, according to NASA. This was sufficient energy to power the homes of a city like New York for two years. “This was the biggest dose of heat we’ve received from a solar storm since 2005,” says solar researcher Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Centre. “It was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet.” Luckily the effects were primarily spectacular polar lights; but these geomagnetic storms, generated by the interaction between the electrically-charged solar particles and the earth’s own magnetic field, could have more serious consequences. They are able to overload electricity supply networks and

11–17 May 2012

(Solar) Storm Warning cause breakdowns, cause communications and navigation satellites to fail, and endanger astronauts and people in aircraft. There have always been solar storms; but our increasingly technology-dependent civilisation is becoming more susceptible. There is evidence of damage caused by solar eruptions since the time electricity first began to be harnessed. An exceptionally powerful solar storm knocked out the newly introduced telegraph cables in early September 1859 – causing fires in telegraph stations, and also generating polar lights that were visible as far south as Rome and Havana. The effects today could be worse. A study by the British electricity and gas supplier, UK National Grid, indicated that an event of this kind could cut electrical supplies to certain regions for months. A solar storm in mid-March 1989 did in fact disrupt power supplies to millions of Canadians

World Food Scenario { Peter Mayer / Rome / DPA }

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lobal food prices fell by 1.4 per cent, from March to April – but seem to have stabilized at a “relatively high level,” the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. The Rome-based FAO said the fall registered by its Food Price Index was the first after three consecutive months of increases. “Although the index is significantly down from its record level of 235 points in April 2011, it is still well above the figures of under 200 which preceded the 2008 food crisis,” FAO  said in a statement. The index was published in FAO’s Food Outlook, a global market analysis which comes out twice a year. It noted that the prospects for the second half of this year, and into the next, indi-

cate generally improved supplies and continuing strong demand. The global food import bill in 2012 could decline to 1.24 trillion dollars, down slightly from last year’s record of 1.29 trillion dollars. The forecast for cereals production was for a modest expansion in 2012, to a new record of 2.371 billion tons – compared to 2.344 billion tons in 2011. However, within the cereals sector, wheat production in 2012 is anticipated to fall by 3.6 per cent compared to 2011, to 675 million tons – with the largest declines forecast for Ukraine, followed by Kazakhstan, China, Morocco and the European Union. Rice production is expected to grow 1.7 per cent in 2012 to 488 million tons, but slackening import demand and the return of India as a major exporter, are keeping prices down.

Journalist Killed Every 5 Days { Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl / Brussels/Paris / DPA }

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journalist has been killed every five days on average so far this year, the Reporters Without Borders (RWB) organization warned on Thursday, as countries around the world marked World Press Freedom Day. “Reporters Without Borders condemns the furious pace of physical attacks on news providers,” the group said in a statement. “With crackdowns on protest in Arab countries, and suppression of political opposition, criticism and reporting in other parts of the world, the first four months of 2012 were especially violent.” The trend continued on Thursday, with reports from Somalia that a radio journalist had been killed there. Although it scores far better on media rights, Europe must also remain vigilant on the issue, European Parliament President Martin Schulz warned. “Whilst advocating press freedom in our external actions, we must be intransigent in upholding the highest standards at home - always repudiating political control of the media sector, media monopolies and all forms of intimidation against journalists,” he said. u

for several hours, and cut contact with around 1,600 satellites. Since then, many electricity networks have improved their equipment; but preparations need to be made, not only for events similar to those in the past, but also for the extreme events that might arise only once in a thousand years. The first need is to assess the risks better. This would be possible with the aid of numerous historical records – although these are largely not yet available in electronic form. In addition, solar weath-

er forecasting needs to improve, Hapgood says. NASA’s “STEREO” solar satellites indicate that reliable warning of at least six hours, to an accuracy of one hour, is possible. US aviation authorities are currently calling for international standards for space weather briefings for aviation. Passenger flights may need to avoid severe solar storms under certain conditions, particularly on polar routes. Solar storms occur when the sun hurls large clouds of electrically charged particles into space, and these strike the earth. The solar cycle takes around 11 years to complete.

G lobal “We are currently emerging from a deep solar minimum,” says James Russell, a colleague of Mlynczak’s, at Hampton University. He predicts the cycle will rise in strength to a peak in 2013. In addition, the sun is in a big maximum phase, that has occurred 24 times over the past 9,300 years – and is currently approaching its end. This “solar climate change” does not necessarily mean a calmer period in space weather, as Luke Barnard of Reading University in Britain has deduced. The chance of isolated extreme space weather events in the next 40 years has risen by around a half, Barnard reported at a recent gathering of British astronomers. There is a precedent for this. The big solar storm of 1859 took place outside a large solar maximum. u

World rice production this year is expected to exceed demand for the eighth consecutive year. World sugar output in 20112012 is set to increase by close to 8 million tons, or 4.6 per cent, reaching nearly 173 million tons. For the second consecutive year, production is anticipated to surpass consumption, with a surplus expected of some 5.4 million tons, helping to rebuild relatively low stock levels. Driven exclusively by gains in poultry and pig meat production, global meat output is set to expand by nearly 2 per cent, to 302 million tons in 2012. It noted how most of the meat sector growth is likely to originate in developing countries. World milk production in 2012 is forecast to grow by 2.7 per cent, to 750 million tons – with Asia expected to account for most of the increase. The fish and fishery products sector is expected to grow by 2.1 per cent, to 157.3 million tons, FAO said. u

The Phantom Sounds Of Tinnitus { Carina Frey / Berlin / DPA }

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t can be a whistling, a clicking, a ringing or a hissing that no-one else hears – because it exists only in the person’s own ears. The phantom sounds are called tinnitus, and their cause is not entirely clear. There are various definitions of tinnitus. “We say it’s any noise in the ears that has no external source,” says Maria Kleinstaeuber, a psychologist at Mainz University. “Stress and a heavy workload alone don’t cause tinnitus,” remarks Wolfgang Delb, a professor. He says that long-term exposure to loud noise could lead to hearing loss, and subsequently to tinnitus. Inner ear inflammation, or exposure to a very loud bang, can

also trigger tinnitus, Kleinstaeuber says. As she explains it, inner ear damage prevents passage of a sufficient amount of electrical impulses from the ear to the brain. The brain then tries to “compensate”, by creating sounds itself – and these can become chronic. Delb notes that infusions used to be the standard treatment for acute tinnitus – the aim being to thin the blood, and hence improve circulation in the inner ear. “There’s no scientific proof that they help, however; although a good case can be made that they do,” he says. Someone afflicted with hearing loss, in addition to tinnitus, can get relief by using a hearing aid that blocks out background noises. This would make it eas-

ier to follow conversations. But the efficacy of a hearing aid for tinnitus alone has not been verified. Sound generators are also used to treat tinnitus. They produce white noise, aimed at masking it. There is no clear scientific proof of their efficacy either, points out Delb. The same can be said about acupuncture, hypnosis, ear-canal magnets, yoga, relaxation techniques, electromagnetic stimulation and oxygen therapy. In sum, for some people, the sounds go away by themselves in a few days. Other people have to live with them for decades. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help sufferers not to focus on the noises constantly, and scientists in Mainz have offered CBT online for the first time in Germany – with success. u


S pecial 23

11–17 May 2012

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

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Haunted employee, Sarthak, has a different story to tell. According to him, there is just one lady who stays in the room, and stands in front of the building at night – to ask for a lift. “One such incident caused a heart attack to a cab driver,” says Sarthak. The professional paranormal activities investigator, again, refutes this. He has recorded no paranormal activities in the area. He says, “You can’t lock a spirit in a room. All these stories are nothing but rumours.” It took 12 years to construct a tower

in Malibu Towne. The ghost reportedly has lived in the tower from the beginning. Apparently, during the first year of construction, two labourers jumped off the building – and a few people saw some ghostly faces on the walls. It was enough to scare both the construction workers, and authorities. So the tower was shut down for three years. But now, a few families live in the tower. “Not just the tower, but the whole of Malibu Towne is believed to be haunted,” says a lady, who has been living in the area for seven years. JIT KUMAR

elieve it or not. Gurgaon has its share of ‘haunted’ stories. Picture this. A lady lying in bed listens to the soft footfalls overhead. It is 3 o’clock in the morning. She is scared because she knows there is nobody upstairs. It is the story of Barkha, 38, who experiences paranormal activities almost regularly in her house in Palam Vihar. In 2005, Barkha’s husband got a job in Udyog Vihar, and they started looking for a house in Gurgaon. They had seen many apartments and villas. But nothing appealed to them, as they wanted a spacious house. Finally, they settled for a big independent house, in a quiet residential part of Palam Vihar. “This house is one of the most spacious in the area, and the price quoted by the dealer was affordable. So we bought the house.
 About a hundred metres behind the home, was a vast empty lot. We later realised it was an ancient graveyard. The first couple of months were peaceful. Then some paranormal activities started taking place, just enough to catch our attention. The pictures came crashing down from the walls, and vibrations were felt in the rooms.” Barkha says that these paranormal activities never caused any damage. “The spirit just wanted to let us know of its existence. The activities never stopped, but the moment we acknowledged the presence of the spirit, our fear gradually vanished.” However, a professional paranormal expert, who requested anonymity, says, “We test the area with special gadgets, such as KII meters, full spectrum camera, and infrared thermometers, used in the detection of spirits. There seems to be no evidence of such activities here.” Also, a couple who lives in the graveyard, claims that there is no spirit in the area. According to them, the graveyard has become a safe haven for drunken men, who spread such rumours to encroach the place. For years, the buildings of some large BPO companies were believed to be haunted. Many employees claim to have witnessed something or the other. Karan (name changed), an ex-employee says, “There is a locked room in the building, where many people have seen shadows, and heard people screaming. It is also believed that these are the spirits of people who were rejected in the interviews, and later committed suicide.” Another

“This ghost seems to be extremely friendly, as people claim its existence but are not scared of it at all,” laughs the paranormal activity expert. “My team investigated a similar case in Noida, where people used to see ghostly faces. We found out it was nothing more than the human brain’s tendency to develop a familiar image out of complex shapes. I am glad that my study helped debunk such myths.” An upcoming mall. No, we didn’t find any ghost shopping in here. It is the mall security department that has seen a ghost pulling up the shutters of shops, and going for a walk to the colony, in the middle of the night. As a guard puts it, “I don’t come close to this mall at night, because the ghosts who live in the mall throw stones at people, and scream to grab attention.” Recently, these ghosts have been held responsible for killing a man in a tower right behind the mall. The man, who supposedly went to the washroom around midnight, was found dead with an injury on his head. However, the Vice-President of the colony completely disagrees, and says, “I have never heard of any ghostly existence in the mall. I can assure you this mall is going to be a hit in the area. The mall is under construction, and will be operational in the next four to five months.” Security Supervisor Ramchandra also introduces us to a guard, Manoj, who stays in the mall overnight. “I spend the whole night in the mall, and have never seen any ghost here. There are no lights in the mall, that is why people are scared to visit it at night,” says Manoj. Stories about spirits and ghosts are nothing new in our country – every street and building resounds with such myths. There are only a few places in and around Gurgaon where the paranormal investigators have received positive indications. “The City has a well-educated population, that is open to counselling. Based on our investigations, we give them counselling; or if required, help communicate with the spirits. However, to carry out such investigations, we need to get permission from the authorities, police, and sometimes the ASI; that takes a very long time. May be, paperwork matters in the other world too,” smiles one of the investigators. u


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11–17 May 2012

G -scape JIT KUMAR & prakhar pandey

Night Golf At DLF Golf and Country Club

friday gurgaon 11-17 May, 2012  

friday gurgaon 11-17 May, 2012

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