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27 July-2 Aug 2012

Vol. 1 No. 49  Pages 24  ` 7

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02

Olympic Mascots Wenlock and Mandeville { Miriam Otterbeck and Michael Donhauser / London / DPA }

mascot at Atlanta, in 1996. At Sydney 2000, an unofficial mascot, Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat, all but upstaged the official creatures. Now it is Wenlock and Mandeville, through whom Olympic organizers aim to generate 15 million pounds (23.4 million dollars) in merchandising income. Wenlock - named after the village of Much Wenlock in Shropshire, where a multisport event first held in 1850 - was said to be one one of the inspirations for the founder of the Olympic movement, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Mandeville’s name is inspired by Stoke Mandeville, a village in the Aylesburgy Vale district, where a forerunner of the Paralympics—the Stoke Mandeville Games—was held for wheelchair and amputee athletes for the first time in 1948. u

Most Successful Athletes in Olympics Name, country

Years

Sport

Michael Phelps, United States

2004/2008

Swimming

14-0-2

Larisa Latynina, Soviet Union

1956-1964

Gymnastics

9-5-4

Paavo Nurmi, Finland

1920-1928

Athletics

9-3-0

Mark Spitz, United States

1968/1972

Swimming

9-1-1

Carl Lewis, United States

1984-1996

Athletics

9-1-0

Medals GSB

Birgit Fischer, Germany

1980-2004

Canoeing

8-4-0

Sawao Kato, Japan

1968-1976

Gymnastics

8-3-1     

Jenny Thompson, United States

1992-2004

Swimming

8-3-1

Matt Biondi, United States

1984-1992

Swimming

8-2-1

Ray C Ewry, United States

1900-1908

Athletics

8-0-0

Nikolai Andrianov, Soviet Union

1972-1980

Gymnastics

7-5-3

Boris Shakhlin, Soviet Union

1956-1964

Gymnastics

7-4-2

Vera Caslavska, Czechoslovakia

1960-1968

Gymnastics

7-4-0

Viktor Shukarin, Soviet Union

1952/1956

Gymnastics

7-3-1

Aladar Gerevich, Hungary

1932-1960

Fencing

7-1-2

Edoardo Mangiarotti, Italy

1936-1960

Fencing 

6-5-2

Hubert van Innis, Belgium

1900-1920

Archery

6-3-0

Akinori Nakayama, Japan

1968/1972

Gymnastics

6-2-2

Gert Fredriksson, Sweden

1948-1960

Canoeing

6-1-1

GymnasticS

6-0-4

Vitaly Sherbo, CIS/Belarus

Green Olympics { Anna Tomforde / London / DPA }

B

G

oodbye to cuddly Waldis and Mishas, and hello to Wenlock and Mandeville — Olympic mascots of the digital era.  According to their story, the two cyclopean figures for the London Games were created from the last drops of steel, when the final girder for the Olympic Stadium was cast. By mid-July, there were some 102,000 differently designed versions of them on their website. Of course they also have a presence on social networks Twitter and Facebook. “We wanted to capture the diversity of the UK, and played with the idea of a ‘melting pot,’” says their creator, British designer Grant Hunter. “Previous mascots were one-dimensional and old-fashioned.” Wenlock and Mandeville are certainly not the cuddly creatures that defined the beginning of Olympic mascotism. Waldi, the Bavarian dachshund, for the Munich 1972 Games, was the first official mascot, and apart from its plushy version, also marketed as sticker, poster, statuette, pin and fruit gum. Misha, the bear cub, was the mascot of the boycott-marred 1980 Games in Moscow, featuring prominently at the opening and closing ceremonies, and even making it into space. The first figures that appeared for the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, were Hakon and Kristin, two Norwegian children. Two years later, Izzy became the first computer-generated

S pecial

27 July-2 Aug 2012

1992/1996

ritain’s Olympic organizers believe they are on track to win a gold medal for their efforts to deliver the “greenest-ever” Olympic Games, in London, this summer. Recycled steel, abandoned gas pipes, timber walkways and lavatories flushed with water reclaimed from local sewers – are just some of the features that have guided their ambition to deliver “sustainable” Games. “This was a dumping ground for waste, some of it highly contaminated,” says John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), about London’s Olympic Park. In future, the Olympic area in Stratford, east London, would be a place where Londoners would come to “work and play.” “The venues, that will be seen in billions of homes across the world this summer, were completed on time, and firmly within our overall budget. They were built with long-term use and sustainability in mind,” says Armitt. In creating Europe’s largest new urban park, organizers claim to have set a bewildering set of records. They maintain that in creating a park the size of 357 football pitches, 98 per cent of materials were reclaimed from the demolition of 200 largely derelict buildings. More than 2 million tons of soil have been removed, cleaned and mostly reused, from the previously largely contaminated industrial site. No waste has gone to a landfill. The Olympic Stadium itself sits in a bowl from which 800,000 tons of soil have been excavated, minimizing construction materials. About 10,000 tons of steel were used for its construction—a tenth of the amount used in Beijing four years ago; and significantly less than for other Olympic stadiums, according to the organizers. A closer look at the Stadium’s circular white crown, reveals that it has been made of old gas pipes - rather than virgin steel. Two-thirds of the steel used in the Stadium’s roof is recycled. Solar panels have been installed on roofs, and visitors and participants are driven around in electrically-powered vehicles. Staff uniforms have been made from recycled polyester and officials wear trilby hats made from “responsibly sourced paper.” Strict green standards have even been applied to catering. All eggs are free range, and food has been “sustainably sourced.” The 6,000-capacity Velodrome, covered with a lightweight cable-net roof, has been hailed as “one of the greenest” London 2012 venues. Its track is made from “sustainablysourced” Siberian pine, and its external timber cladding allows natural ventilation. The Copper Box venue—earmarked for handball and fencing—is wrapped in 3,000 square metres of copper, with a highrecycled content of energy-saving features – natural light and rainwater harvesting. After the Games, it will become a 7,500-capacity multi-sports area for the local community. According to organizers, 300,000 wetland plants with 4,000 trees plus 15,000 square metres of lawn have been planted across the area of the new parkland surrounding the Olympic venues. When it’s all over, the park will be open to the public, and the Olympic village will be transformed into 3,000 individual flats - with only the kitchens waiting to be fitted. u


27 July-2 Aug 2012

Vol. 1 No. 49  Pages 24  ` 7

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014

The Girl Next Door?

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

{Inside}

Price Hi-Rises

T

ime to buckle up for an even higher price for our vegetables and fruits. We have asked for all the highs in our Millennium City. ...Pg 9

We Need to Care A Dam

W

e have presented you the grim picture in our issue of July 6. We can still take some local actions, learn from the past – as in setting up of check dams. The Administration is dithering. ...Pg 10

Papaya Bounty/ Certified Healthy

A

s part of our regular column, we gift you Wellness - with a healthy dose of papaya, and organic foods. ...Pg 17

Visual Introspections       

P

resenting a group of artworks, of some senior Indian stalwarts, mature artists, and emerging artists. The Works are in a wide variety of media – including sculptural stoneware. ...Pg 18

 

Plant Yourself In the Middle

P

lants are our most natural allies. We should have them around, at home and at office – for us to live and breathe well. ...Pg 20

Regular Features Cinema Listings ...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Food Take ...Pg 9

day in the City, at least three are committed by women.

S

ome of the City's most successful fraudsters are not well-built men, or those sporting suits – but everyday women. The latest to join the league is Akshita Attri, who is accused of cheating her employer, American Express, for Rs. 10.85 lakhs. An ex-air hostess, Attri got herself a job at American Express using fake documents, misused the credit card information of an ex-client, and splurged money on holidays with her two boyfriends. Akshita stole the British woman's credit card details to make online purchases. She travelled widely, always by air – and has spent time in Jaipur, Goa, Hyderabad, Tirupati, and Ooty. Everytime, the air fares were paid from the account of the British woman. In another shocking incident, the police arrested a woman who was allegedly involved in selling fake gold chains in old Gurgaon. It was revealed that this glamorous looking lady had been cheating residents for some time. She used to buy artificial chains from Karol Bagh, and get them coloured, to make them appear like gold. “She was an ex-

What drives them to this?

tremely beautiful and softspoken women. She claimed that she was selling a designer gold chain, at a throwaway price of Rs 3,000. After a hard bargain, I struck a deal for Rs. 2,500. However, two days later I realised it was fake,” says a victim. Crime in the City is no lon-

Sporty Boys { Hritvick Sen / FG }

F

or some, a car is a medium to get from Point A to Point B. You get in the car, sit in it for a bit, and get off when you have reached your destination. But for others, it is a largerthan-life presence, a vehicle whose flawless lines draw the bystanders’ attention, and which automatically gets its own space on the road. Of all the uber-cities in India, Gurgaon stands out also for it’s share of high-end, premium cars. For the average commuter here, seeing an Audi A6, a BMW 7 Series, or even a Bentley Silver

Spur, is just not that jaw-dropping any more. The number of High Net-worth (HNI) Individuals in this City has ensured that Gurgaon has an abundance of palatial mansions and prime penthouses – and of course, a plethora of four-wheeled beauties. Whether it is the corporate head going to office in his BMW X3, or the property dealer revving off in his Ford Endeavour, the soccer mom going off to a McDonald’s with a group of happy children in a swanky Audi sedan, the City has class. We are happy in the presence of high-end cars zipping about.

ger a male bastion. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), while women criminals are still in a minority, with just 5 per cent of them convicted for heinous crimes, involvement of women in crimes like robbery and online frauds is on a constant rise. Of the 10 cyber crimes reported every

“Gone are the days when women were driven to commit crime because they were oppressed by society. If we look at the recent cases, most of the female fraudsters make a handsome salary. However, the urge to live a luxurious life led them to commit such a crime. Many times, money is stolen to impress boyfriends/ friends, to buy a diamond necklace, or to acquire a foreign visa,” says a criminologist, Shyama Dutt. A senior police official seconds that, and says, “A lot of cases have come to light, where the motive was just to buy a new car, or spend holidays in Goa.” But Cloe, a German, who is carrying out her criminology project in the City, has a completely different view. She believes that Indian women, who have long been suppressed by the society, find it really thrilling to commit such crimes. “It gives you a feeling of authority – as if you have a strong control over something,” says Cloe. Contd on p 8 

JIT KUMAR

P5

From New Delhi’s rural cousin to a real estate haven, the City’s journey has left hundreds and thousands of locals laughing their way to the bank. Flush with money, and already having enough land and a house to boot, the next decision for these individuals is to get a car. Not just any Car, but the best that money can buy. There are innumerable stories of people walking in and buying an exotic car like they would a grocery item. A Skoda salesperson remembers, “The story is almost folk-lore here. Some years ago, this rustic Tau comes into the showroom, wiping the sweat off his brow with his white angocha. A salesman goes up to him, and the Tau asks him ‘Kaun si gaddi acchi hain, chhore?’. Slightly condescending in his

tone, the salesman told him to better go visit the Maruti showroom for more affordable cars. The Tau looks on unperturbed, and says that he needs to buy some cars as gifts for his daughter’s wedding.” Long story cut short, the Tau buys the entire stock of the showroom’s cars in a single afternoon. In cash. Such days are not repeated so frequently now, as the people have matured in their buying habits (much to the disappointment of car showroom owners). But the demand of high-end cars has only risen steadily over the years; and now, the average Joe on the street hardly bats an eyelid when a Mercedes SClass cruises by. Contd on p 19 


04

27 July-2 Aug 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014 VOL.–1 No.–49  27 July-2 Aug 2012

Editor:

WORKSHOP  NIGHTLIFE  EXHIBITION  MUSIC  ART  DANCE

Dance

Celebrating 36th Anniversary of Natya Tarangani @Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 3, Time: 7:30 pm

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Coming Up

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas

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

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Designers:

Virender Kumar

G

et rid of those mid-week blues with music. Groove the night away with DJs Aks and Prateek playing Rock & Retro music.

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

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Camp

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

Ankit Srivastava

Sr. Ad Sales Exec:

Bhagwat Kaushik

Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M Raghib Consulting Business Editor: Yogesh Sood 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

Photography

The Upside Down World of Philippe Ramette @ Alliance Française de Gurgaon, S-24/8, DLF Phase III Date: Until July 28 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Photography Exhibition of works by French sculptor and photographer Philippe Ramette. Ramette creates stunning images of landscapes, that he integrates in photographs in a remarkable way.

n Are you interested and concerned

about civic and social happenings and issues around you? n Are you motivated to do something positive for society? n Are you interested to also write, and express what you see, hear, feel? If yes, write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com, with a brief background of yourself, with contact number(s). 2–8 March 2012

Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24

`7

319

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39

For The Other Half

P3

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

{Inside}

It lives in two urgaon is a paradox. the Naunequal halves, whereinthe Great as tional Highway-8 acts Wall. The core Divide – like the Berlin the new subbut of the City is rotting; – with malls, gated urbs shine like stars and clubs setting colonies, golf courses never before seen a standard of life

T

he third in our astrology series – featuring Libra, Scorpio and Saggitarius.

...Pg 16

Tantric Art

W

e feature Shobha Broota, a 68year old ‘young’ and energetic artist.

...Pg 17

Master Recipe

Prakhar PaNdey

G

Astrology

in India. forces that It is this flux of extreme balance – the is threatening to unraveland helpful for a balance that is natural and for civiliwith; great cities to evolve attain glory. sations to develop and urban core, the Gurgaon’s rotting within the City, concretised villages hinterland that and the vast rural is under once comprised Guru-gram, – under and 210 Panchayats threat of being submerged Nagar, Manesar); Millennium a of the new identity that cover 291 villages. a week with in ‘New GurgaFriday Gurgaon spent City, with its capital Meena, checkthe role of the State on’.  It is here that Deputy Commissioner will is executed – ensure that the forces comes into play; to ing how the State’s that has known all the populace. of development touch in this historic area, since the Commissioner Gurgaon Deputy some form of governance of Being is the point man of Guru Dronacharya. power, P.C Meena, who in the Dis- time capital seat of the State Administration close to Delhi, the by Gurgaon is much has also been influenced trict, concurs that District the District and social developments The itself. City political more than the viz. Gurgaon the includes 3 sub-divisionsPataudi; 5 teh- taking place there. Contd on p 8  ,and (North and South) Pataudi, Farukh Sohna, sils (Gurgaon,

Please Visit Us At en Emergency Servicem www.fridaygurgaon.com Ask Your Newspaper Vendor For Friday Gurgaon. M

asterchef Top 5 Vijaylaxmi shares a Recipe exclusively for FG readers.

...Pg 18

little, for so long, with so We have done so much,do anything with nothing. to we are now qualified

Let’s Be Civil

P

avan Choudhary, Managing Director of Vygon, speaks on the need for residents to become responsible citizens. ...Pg 21

Regular Features Food Take

...Pg 6

Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 eek That Was

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

service worth its lmost every significant call-in. Whether it salt has a telephone information is food (or liquor) delivery, civic and reservations, services, bookings on cells... there is a line facilities, grievance call in. But when there which people can or a fire – there is an accident, a robbery that people dial is only one type of service Services. in a hurry. Emergency themselves count people Most haven’t had a fortunate that they for they had to ask which in situation who work in these help; but for the people people is helping distraught

A

100 – Police Emergency main Police

Line

Control Location: The Mini-SecretarRoom (PCR) in Gurgaon’s lines chirping, phone iat. Wireless sets staff they’re set down, ringing as soon as papers – the very rushing about with air hums with activity. who is the Inspector Rishipal, the Operations, says senior in-charge of given day, we receive seriously, “On any a 3,000 calls.” In between 2,500 to from which he can closed glass cubicle he manages the day-tosurvey all activity, PCR. “We have stateday operations of the equipment, and I can of-the-art servers and has one of the safely say that Gurgaon the country.” in st advanced PCRs

R

aja Radha Reddy’s Institute of Kuchipudi dance celebrates its 36th anniversary, with an evening of recital by its students. Contact: 9810059550, 2715100

Nightlife

Ehsaas Live and Jazz Night @ Visionnaire, Ground Floor, Paras Twin Towers (Tower B) Sectr 54, Golf Course Road Date: July 27 and July 29 Time: 8:00 pm onwards

Stand-up Comedy

Unladylike: The Pitfalls of Propriety @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: July 29

I

ndulge your sweet tooth at this Camp. Learn amazing facts about chocolates, and get to make two varieties of them. For Registration, Contact: 9871049045/9810666190

Hariyali Teej and Rakhi Bazaar

A

rtist Anju Kumar’s new collection, that is a blend of beautiful & exquisite pieces of artwork. The Collection includes urns, handcrafted art pieces, and vases – with colours ranging from rustic metallic copper to earthy gold.

@ The City Club, DLF Phase IV Date: July 28 & 29 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Camp

A Parent-Child Golf Camp @Karma Lakelands, Sector-53, Golf Course Road Date: July 29 Time: 8:00 am Tickets: Parent-Rs. 1,900; Child-Rs. 900

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

FG Invites Citizens

Magic Dust Collection @ Anmol Studio
C-55-A, South City 1 Date: Until July 31 Time: 11:00 am

A

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.

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.

Art

Chocolate Making Camp @ World of Kidz Activity Centre, D2/4, Exclusive Floors, DLF Phase V Date: July 28 & 29 Time: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Price: Rs. 1,500 (for 2 days)

Time: 7:30 pm Tickets: Rs. 500

N

ew York based comedienne Radhika Vaz performs a onewoman comedy show. Based on one woman’s perspective of life— from adolescence to maturity—the plot examines the universal truths of womanhood, in tandem with the age-old double standards and gender inequalities that are often foisted upon the female race as children. ‘Unladylike’ is an i ntelligent, raunchy, and hilarious joyride, through the minefield of femininity. Suitable for 18 years & above. Contact: 9810059550, 43663010

Art

Exhibition @Art Pilgrim, Crossroad Complex, Nathupur Road, DLF City Phase 1 Date: August 3 to 6 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

A

n Exhibition of the best works of art by amateur as well as experienced artists – students of Kavita Jaiswal’s art class.

L

earn the nuances of the game from USPGA Class ‘A’ Profes-

A

live performance by Ehsaas, a Delhi-based band on July 27. Jazz Night, featuring artists FrankyPiano, Joequim-saxophone, and Carrie-vocalist on July 29. For more information, contact: 8130794911.

Nightlife

Electronica Live Set @The [V] Spot Cafe & Bar, DLF City Phase IV
 Date: July 28 Time: 9:00 pm onwards

A

n Exhibition-cum-Sale, featuring a wide range of women wear, jewellery, rakhis, gifts and other items. The event is organised by Prime Events. For more information, contact: 8826601818 / 8826611818.

3rd GurgaonRunning and Living Town and Country Half Marathon sional ‘John D Volz’. The Camp offers techniques on grip, posture, alignment; and will also highlight the importance of geometry and ball flight laws in the game. Contact: 9560950008

Food

Hamburger Day Celebrations @The Palms – Town & Country Club, B Block, Sushant Lok, Phase I Date: July 28

D

ig into big, juicy American style burgers, and celebrate Hamburger Day with family and friends.

@ Navkriti Arcade, Off Golf Course Road, Sec 55 Date: August 5 Time: 5:30 am

A

A

n evening of grooving electronica music by Srijan Mahajan, the youngest member of the band Half Step Down.

Nightlife

Wednesday Night @ Xtreme Sports Bar, 9B, Ground Floor, DLF City Phase III Date: August 1 Time: 9:00 pm onwards

5 km and 10 km run, organised by Running and Living. For registration, check out: http://runningandliving.com/ GurgaonTownandCountry HalfMarathon/index.html.

If you are not getting FG copies regularly

Call - 9910518785


27 July-2 Aug 2012

Super Kool Promo

G

uests at iSkate were in for a surprise as they met Ritesh Deshmukh, Tusshar Kapoor, Neha Sharma, and Sarah Jane Dias, who visited the Mall to promote their upcoming movie “Kya Super Cool Hain Hum”. It is a comedy film directed by Sachin Yardi, and produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor. The film is a sequel to the 2005 surprise hit, Kyaa Kool Hai Hum, and is expected to release on July 27.

Makeover Marathon

R

enowned Model Noyonika Chatterjee participated in a Makeover Marathon organised by Shoppers Stop at the Spaze i-Techpark store. The model, along with a few customers, was treated to makeovers by professional make-up artists from cosmetic brands such as Lakme, Maybelline, Chambor, Revlon, and L’Oreal. Noyonika Chatterjee said, “Shoppers Stop has an astounding array of the best skincare & cosmetic brands. I’m happy to be part of the makeover marathon organised by Shoppers Stop.” Also, there were exciting contests for customers that gave them a chance to win hampers from an array of cosmetic brands.

Pitaara Bazaar

M

ore than 1,000 people visited an Exhibition-cum-Sale organised by Pitaara, a group of women entrepreneurs in the City. From handicrafts, fancy bags, colourful curtains, traditional wear to funky western dresses, Pitaara was truly a surprise for the shopaholics. “With the tremendous support from the members and followers of Pitaara, we have been able to put up such an amazing show,” said Shephali Kasliwal, Co-founder, Pitaara.

C eleb W atch

05

Lounge Party S

pace. Tonnes of it. That is the first impression a guest would get when he/she steps into the Earth Italian Lounge & Bar. The space has more to do with smart interior design. Owner of the Lounge, Tanu Bindra, who was an interior designer, revamped the place with a spunk of colour thrown in with its unique and rustic décor. She has kept the look and feel of the Lounge as open as possible. Ethnic chandeliers, giving a completely European feel, light the main dining area. Dark wood, cream upholstery, curtains made of burlap sack fabric, and hand painted white walls pervade the décor of the Lounge – from the main dining room to the private party area. The walls of the Restaurant are adorned with splashes of colour present in old Italian paintings. The Restaurant offers a wide and comfortable dining area, the Den – a perfect party area, and a Moroccanstyle lounge. Den, a separate area for private parties in the basement, is decorated with rustic Italian paintings, Buddha sculpture, and floating candles and diyas. With a dance floor and high-end infrastructure for music, Den is a perfect place to host private parties

and family get-togethers, of around 25 to 30 people. However, if one is looking for a warm and cozy place for a small gathering, a Moroccan-style lounge on the first floor will play the best host. Guests can also enjoy Egyptian belly dance in this Lounge, which is presented on special request only. Besides, the warm and friendly hostesses, and an Australian corporate chef, make the whole experience wonderful. Whether it’s a romantic date or a friends’ get-together, the Earth Lounge and Bar is a perfect venue for a happening evening.


06

27 July-2 Aug 2012

BOOK

FOOD

Southern Feast { Aalok Wadhwa }

Shuttle Queen

most exciting part of the meal is the Chettinaad Fish Curry (Rs. 185) – which is perfectly cooked pieces of singhara fish, in fiery peppery hot gravy. This goes beautifully with the soft aapams. It is an amazing dish, and is highly recommended. I am full by now, but just can’t resist ordering the intriguing Paneer Sichuan Dosa (Rs. 115) – a recipe that is unlikely to find favour with the purists. It is a triangular dosa with a distinctly red heart. I bite into it and realise I am onto an amazing taste adventure. While the interiors are not even remotely Sichuan, the dish is addictive. The paneer is soft; the red gravy is sweet, spicy and sour; and the raw onions and green chilly on the top provide crunch. The end result is some kind of a Chinese chaat

‘V

irundu’ means ‘feast’ in Tamil – when friends and relatives are invited during happy ceremonial occasions to share food. And a feast is exactly what I have in mind as I visit the stand-alone Virundu restaurant at Golf Course Road. It is situated in a road-side shack. I meet the owner Mohit Gupta, who has recently bought over this eatery from its earlier owners, after they decided to shift back to Chennai. He assures me that the food retains its original magic. The menu certainly looks promising, and I order a Chennai classic, the Adai Dosa (Rs. 80). Adai is considered to be the most nutritious among all dosas, as it has

Virundu Restaurant 1185, Golf Course Road, Near Technopolies, Sector 54, Gurgaon Phone: +91 9650130583, +91 9650130584, 0124 2578175 Timing: 11 am – 11 pm

the goodness of lentils along with rice. It is also notoriously difficult to make, and that is why most restaurants shy away from having it on their menu. Virundu does not pass the test on this – the taste is more of a chilla than a dosa. Next I try the Tiffin Thali (Rs. 130), which is a

smorgasbord sampler of idli, vada, mini-dosa, upma and rava kesari. What stand out here are the dosa and the subtly spiced sambhar and chutney. Things decidedly perk up with the mains. The Egg Aapam (Rs. 110) and the Chicken Aapam (Rs. 140) are both delicious; the accompanying kurma to the Malabar Paratha (Rs. 80) is pleasing. The

inside a dosa – with a plethora of textures. This should be tried. Virundu is not a fine-dining restaurant. The interiors are frayed, and the service is laidback. But then, here is an honest place that serves inexpensive yet tasty food. u

C eleb W atch

Apps Night

R eviews

{ Alka Gurha }

L

ike Sachin Tendulkar, she lets her game do the talking. Undoubtedly Saina Nehwal, India’s ace badminton player, is an epitome of dedication and modesty. No wonder she has achieved dizzying heights of sporting success. ‘Saina Nehwal: An Inspirational Biography’, by T.S. Sudhir, is compellingly written, and encompasses Saina’s humble upbringing, her training, and her progress as a badminton player. Since not much of this is in Saina Nehwal: An the public realm, the book is a revInspirational Biography elation of sorts. T. S. Sudhir has been tracking Saina’s matches and career Author: T. S. Sudhir since 2005. He says, “I have closely Publisher: Westland watched her practising for 12 hours Limited at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Price: Rs. 250 Academy in Hyderabad.” Genre: Biography The book presents the reader with interesting glimpses of Saina’s family ties, her gruelling practice routine, and her ride to success. Saina was introduced to professional badminton when she accidentally caught the eye of badminton coach P.S.S Nani Prasad Rao, while playing at the Lal Bahadur Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad. Not many would know that Saina’s parents, Usha Rani and Dr. Harvir Singh, played badminton together – and that Usha was considered a better player among close friends. The book chronicles interesting moments – like when Saina went from being a vegetarian to a non-vegetarian, in the course of a meal in China, only because Gopichand told her to. “We were in Hangzhou, it was the Chinese New Year’s Day, and no vegetarian fare was available. I took her to a restaurant and told her to eat fish and crab. Till then she had been a vegetarian all her life. I said she had to eat it. And to my surprise, she did. No questions asked. She couldn’t even open her mouth, but she ate,” reads an anecdote from Gopichand in the book. At a time when Olympics are around the corner, Saina Nehwal remains focused in her attempt to win the elusive gold for the country. After she recently clinched the Indonesian Open Title, millions of Indians are hoping to see her on the medal rostrum at the London Games. This biography came into being because Sudhir wanted to take Saina’s story to every child in our country – to show that there is sport and success beyond cricket. In order to reach out to the youth, Sudhir has kept the prose simple – yet lucid. “Anybody who picks up this book will be drawn into Saina’s inspirational story,” says Sudhir. Undoubtedly, Saina Nehwal: An Inspirational Biography’ is an intimate portrayal of a twenty-two year old shuttle queen, who remains an inspiration for sports enthusiasts.u

W

ith sumptuous food, refreshing drinks, and incredible applications, Nokia organised “Nokia Apptasting” to introduce and showcase its finest collection of mobile applications. The Event was hosted by Rajiv Makhni, technology guru, and Vikas Khanna, celebrity master chef – who together showcased and discussed some of the best mobile phone applications available on the market.

Summer Brew

M

usic lovers in the City grooved to rock music and enjoyed beer at a newly opened microbrewery. The guests were seen riding high, as DJs Ajit Sarathi, Ankit Verma, and Sameer, along with percussionist Dr Daniel, played progressive techno blended with rock music. Mr. India 2007, Viraf Patel, was also present.

A Principal Performance

P

rincipal of Lorraine Music Academy, Lorraine Fiona Aloysius, Principal of New Indian School, Dr. Gerry Rodricks and Principal of Jesus & Mary College, Delhi University, Dr. Sr. Melba Rodricks met their ex-students and current students, spanning three generations. The children surprised everyone with their confidence and enthusiasm, by presenting an impromptu music performance. While Nikita and Neal Srivastava made everyone laugh with their little skit, Adi and Vihaan Chaturvedi presented a

play. Neharika, Nainika and Nohar Mann puresentedan "Saving the Environment". Drummer Aadit Kapoor narrated a short story on "The Drummer Boy"; and Kiyoshi Yakeem, Tanushi Yakeem, Rehat Thussu, and Rabbani Thussu recited a poetry. Arjun Sahu and Ishaana Mohanty enlightened the audience with history and geography. Adya Uppal and Nayantara sang songs "Spoonful of sugar" and "Lovely", respectively. Dr. Gerry Rodricks taught the children a few funny dramatic lines and rhymes.


L istings

27 July-2 Aug 2012

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinema Kya Super Kool Hain Hum 10 AM, 12.35 PM, 3.10 PM, 5.45 PM, 8.20 PM, 11 PM The Dark Knight Rises 11.30 AM, 1.20 PM, 7.20 PM, 10.50 PM Cocktail 10.30 AM, 4.30 PM, 10.30 PM Carry On Jatta (Punjabi) 6.15 PM Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (3D) 9.45 AM, 2.35 PM, 4.25 PM, 9.00 PM PVR AMBIENCE – GURGAON Kya Super Kool Hain Hum 10:00 AM, 11:40 AM, 12:50 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:40 PM, 6:30 PM, 8:20 PM, 9:20 PM, 11:10 PM The Dark Knight Rises 10:30 AM, 1:45 PM, 5:00 PM, 8:15 PM, 11:30 PM Cocktail 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 10:55 PM Gangs Of Wasseypur 5:00 PM Bol Bachchan

♦ Sec 144 CrPC has been implemented in the whole area of IMT Manesar, and within a 2 km distance. No processions, gatherings of more than 5 persons, or carrying of weapons of offence of any sort will be allowed. Meanwhile Suzuki Maruti has announced a Lockout at its Manesar plant. A General Manager (HR) of Suzuki Maruti was beaten, and then left to be burnt alive, at the Manesar plant. The Gurgaon Police have arrested over a hundred workers, after their attack on supervisors and managers. Some police officials also received injuries. The Director General of Police, Haryana, Ranjeev Singh Dalal has taken direct charge of this case. Hundreds of policemen have been put on watch at and around the plant. Key Union functionaries, who allegedly instigated the workers, are still at large. Thousands of HMSI (Honda 2 wheeler company) workers observed Unity Day (the anniversary of a worker protest in 2005) on Wednesday, within the factory premises. Other company union members joined the meeting. ♦ It has been made mandatory for all houses of more than 100sq m covered area to have a rainwater harvesting system. Teams of officers have been formed, to grant permission, as well as ensure satisfactory functioning of systems installed. The Administration has extended the date for registration of boring agencies to August 11th (from July 10th earlier). Thereafter, unregistered boring or drilling machines will be considered illegal, and FIRs would be filed against the unregistered agencies. ♦ A team of District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), led by Chief Judicial Magistrate cum Secretary of DLSA Smt Narender

5:20 PM Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (3D) 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 9:55 PM PVR AMBIENCE GOLD CLASS GURGAON Kya Super Kool Hain Hum 10:55 AM, 1:45 PM, 4:35 PM, 7:25 PM, 10:15 PM Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (3D)

10:30 AM, 3:45 PM, 9:00 PM The Dark Knight Rises 12:30 PM, 5:45 PM, 10:55 PM PVR MGF Kya Super Kool Hain Hum 10:30 AM, 12:00 noon, 1:20 PM, 2:50 PM, 4:10 PM, 5:40 PM, 7:00 PM, 8:30 PM, 9:50 PM, 11:20 PM Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (3D) 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM 9:00 PM, 10:55 PM Cocktail 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM, 4:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 10:30 PM

THE WEEK THAT WAS Kaur, conducted inspection of 4 child shelter homes. Apart from inspecting records, they also talked to the children, as well as people living in the neighbourhood. The District Child Welfare Committee gives the clearance for such homes, and registers the inmates also. To date 11 shelter homes have been inspected – Arushi, Deepashram, Ujjawal Niketan, Old Age Home, Shanti Bhawan Niketan, Swadhar Grah, The Little Kingdom, Asha Bhawan homes (3), Udyan Care. ♦ The State Govt has decided to make Haryana a ‘Nirmal Pradesh’ by 2015 – as part of the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. - through a Total Sanitation Campaign. Financial Commissioner of Development and Panchayat Department P Raghvendra Rao announced this in Gurgaon, and asked the DCs to get surveys conducted, and ensure villages conform to the eligibility criteria for Nirmal Gram Purushkars. As part of the Scheme, toilets can be constructed in schools and anganwadis, and community sanitary complexes can be set up. An amount of Rs 10,000 will be provided for each toilet, as per criteria and conditions. ♦ The Administration has asked for expedited and stringent collection of samples of food products – to ensure adulteration is checked. Last month, of 23 samples, 7 were found not upto standards – including some well-known brands. 25 shopkeepers have been convicted in the last 2 years for selling adulterated food. ♦ It is mandatory for shopkeepers to have themselves registered, and obtain licences – to date 182 have registered, and 150 have got licences. ♦ Residents protest against installation of mobile cell towers near residences – alleging harmful health effects. There are almost

07

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The Dark Knight Rises 10:30 AM, 1:45 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:15 PM, 8:15 PM, 9:30 PM, 11:30 PM Carry On Jatta (Punjabi) 6.20 PM Spirit (Malayalam) 3:40 PM Harud (Urdu) 9:00 PM Jatt and Juliet (Punjabi) 1:00 PM Bol Bachchan 12:15 PM, 11:10 PM Gattu 10:20 PM Eega (Telugu) 10:20 AM Gangs Of Wasseypur 3:15 PM PVR SAHARA - GURGAON Kya Super Kool Hain Hum 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:50 PM, 4:40 PM, 7:30 PM, 10:20 PM Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (3D) Hindi 12:50 PM Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (3D) Cocktail 8:45 PM The Dark Knight Rises (Hindi) 2:50 PM, 10:45 Pm Cocktail 5:55 PM

Theft-Proof your Home & Office!

a thousand towers across Gurgaon half ‘unauthorized’. ♦ City Court acquits Jaggu Pehelwan in a murder case, as witness turns hostile. A military police soldier is held, after his wife, daughter and mother are found murdered. It seems he gave poison, before killing them. A live high voltage electric wire takes the life of 3 – 1 person hurt is booked. They were trying to hook to a normal wire, to ‘steal’ electricity. A married man, father of an infant child, hangs self. An MLAs bodyguards beat up an old govt. guesthouse undertaker. A businessman on a bike is looted of over a lakh, at gunpoint. 2 Cars are held up and stolen at gunpoint. Police stop the breakage and looting of a Union Bank ATM in time. ♦ CM inaugurates the Faridabad-Gurgaon 4 lane road. Another MCG meeting, held after months, ends with no real actions/decisions – despite HUDA Administrator also attending. Rs 90 crores is sanctioned for development work for 9 villages. Gutka and pan masala are to be banned in Haryana, from August 15th. ♦ A land pooling scheme has been proposed for Haryana, by the CM. Landowners would be given residential plots of 1000 sq yds, and commercial plots of 100 sq yds., for every acre of land given up. Clashes in Rewari Dist against the notice for acquisition of land for the over 3000-acre Bawal industrial and logistics belt. Farmers protest the timing and price, saying the CM promised to wait until the Land Acquisition Act was passed. Many vehicles set on fire; police had to resort to firing. Many farmers booked for violence.

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Haryanvi Made Easy

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a taste of the local lingo

1. When will you complete the work? Tu kaam kadh sik khatam karega? 2. You have to give it in 2 days.

Tanne do dina mein karna hai. 3. Boss won't give you extra time. Mhaara saab jaada tayem na de

tere tayin.

4. He could fire you. Wo tanne naukri te kadh dega. 5.You should work faster. Tanne teji te kaam karna chahiye. 6. Don't tell him I helped you. Uste mat kahiye ke manne tera

saath diya.


08

27 July-2 Aug 2012

The Girl Next Door?  Contd from p 3 Women are better burglars

Although there are no official records to prove it, Kartar Singh, a Delhiite, who fell prey to a women-run online scam, feels so. A gang, comprising a female and two male fraudsters, sent an e-mail to him saying that he had won Rs.1.6 crores in a lottery conducted by a reputed UK multinational firm. The gang also mentioned that Singh needs to deposit a certain amount, to avail the winning amount. Singh gave into the temptation, and deposited over five lakh rupees in the account given by the woman. When the gang demanded more money, Singh became suspicious, and filed a police case. After a few days, the gang was busted by the Gurgaon police. “She first sent me a friend request on a social networking site. After a few days, she insisted that I give my email ID to an online lottery company. We used to chat on a daily basis. That is how I developed a lot of trust. But, later, I realised she was a big fraud.” Like Singh, there are many who are an easy target for female fraudsters. A senior police official, who didn't wish to be named, puts forth a recent case of robbery, wherein

a gang targeted the victim with the help of a young woman. She befriend the victim first, and made sure he was in her ‘control'. On the pretext of going for a long drive, the lady took the victim to a lonely spot in Faridabad, while the other members of the gang followed. The car owner was later robbed by the gang.

Keeping Check on Cyber Crime

The government has woken up. For the first time, there was an introductory Cyber Security and Crime Detection training programme, for over 16 policemen in the City, in June. As of now, many people still find the services of private cyber detectives more useful. A victim of an online scam, Rohan, says, “I saw

A Virtual Dream? { Hritvick Sen / FG }

T

he two-month old declaration of the Gurgaon Police that citizens can file First Information Reports (FIRs) from the safety of their homes is yet to see the light of day. The Police Chief KK Sindhu, in a press conference in May, had said that the City’s Police Stations would be connected to the nationwide Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), and that people could then file FIRs through emails - and even text messages. But the bureaucratic red tape has once again proved the nemesis in a move beneficial to the common man. In September, the previous Joint Commissioner of Police, Alok Mittal, had said that the CCTNS system was being put in place in Ambala, Panchkula and Gurgaon at the same time; and that Haryana was the first of the Indian States to send the Request for Proposal (RFP) for selection of a System Integrator for the implementation, commissioning and maintenance of the CCTNS pro-

ject. Since then, Panchkula and Ambala have already installed the system. Most of the Station House Officers (SHOs) of the Police Stations across the City have no inkling or knowledge that such a system is to be put in at all. An SHO in the southern part of the City was completely mystified when he is asked the question. “I have no idea of such a thing. Jab hoga, tab dekha jayega,” he quips. The ‘modern’ Stations have been intimated about the new technology,

CCTNS is a virtual data-bank of crime, criminals and their biometric profiles. This database will be connected to databases of other agencies of the criminal justice system - like courts, jails, immigration and passport authorities. It would subsequently be extended to other national agencies through the NATGRID, so that crime can be fought more professionally. CCTNS would create a platform for sharing intelligence across the States. It would also create a platform at the State and Central levels, for sharing crime and criminal information. With CCTNS, police complaints can be registered through e-mail, SMS and E-Disha Centres (EDCs). Similarly, request for all types of police services, including passport verifications through the Internet, would also be accepted. Real-time status updates, using unique IDs assigned to service requests, would be provided; and escalation of complaints and grievances would be automated. The National Crime Records Bureaun (NCRB) is the nodal Agency for this Project.

an advertisement in the Times of India, offering money from working at home. So I filled an online registration form, and the company got back to me saying that I have to deposit Rs.10,000 as a membership fee. After I deposited the money in their account, they just disappeared. I lodged a complaint at the Sector 24 Police Station immediately, but the police never got back to me. Then I hired a private detective, an ethical hacker, who traced the gang in just three days.” Rohan came to know that the gang was allegedly run by a lady, Durba, in the City itself. While the Administration is still not well-equipped to handle the increasing number of cyber crime cases in the City, a Cyber Crime investigator of Gurgaon Police, says, “The authorities have set up a Cyber Crime Cell in Sector 51. It receives more than 10 cases a day. I am sure it will soon get the best infrastructure and expertise to trace online scams.” It seems attachment and commitment, which have been considered the most important characteristics of an Indian woman, are now more for money, than family – for an increasing number. Gender is no longer holding women back – in any profession. u but they don’t know by when. Some Police Stations don’t even recall a visit by the police’s technical team. However, Sector-29’s new SHO, Satender Singh, is optimistic about the Project. “Yes, we have been briefed about the new System. I don’t know exactly when it is going to happen, but it’s going to be done very soon,” he assures. The Police Commissioner had talked of a technical team was had been in place, to check out how and when this can happen., There has been no update. Gaurav, who works in DLF Phase-I, is justified in feeling sceptical about the whole set-up. “I haven’t seen a running desktop in my local Police Station, let alone an SHO using a laptop. And even so, would the local police officials accept the e-record of the FIR. What is someone deletes it, like so much junk mail?” Besides having a well-equipped CCTNS room, each thana is to have six computers and a 5 KVA back-up generator. Each SHO would have an individual laptop. Once the CCTNS system is up and running, all 270 Police Stations of Haryana, and 14,000 Stations across the country, will be connected to each other - sharing criminal data, FIRs, and reports in a real-time environment. The advantage of this System is enormous to the average Gurgaonite. Just sending an SMS or a short mail from your phone or laptop would ensure a permanent digital record of the crime/infraction within an instant of the incident happening. In the meanwhile, the citizens have to be content with going to their local thana, or calling 100 for help. u

C overStory Citizen Action { Odette Katrak }

M

ost Gurgaonites have probably had the misfortune of being caught in the flooded roads of the City during monsoons - in particular on Golf Course Road, where water rages like a river, and is 2 feet deep at some places. The stretch from Genpact till Sec 54 AIT roundabout is a nightmarish stretch. We were quite pleased to read recent reports from HUDA and MCG officials that all preparatory desilting work had been done, and problems would be less this year. Then came the first heavy rain of the season, one fine Friday. Twenty-four hours later, the puddles on the Golf Course Road had not subsided. So I decided to take a closer look this time, to understand what was causing the problem. If you too have wondered why this stretch resembles a river during the monsoon, you are about to find out the very simple answer. Here is what I discovered: Golf Course Road has plenty of very generous sized drains – something that was proudly listed as an achievement a year or two ago. However, while making the drains, it seems that they forgot a small but nevertheless important

aspect. There is no grill, grating or mesh at the end of these drains - with the result that they are chock-a-block with garbage (as the photograph alongside reveals). Embedded in the drain are plastic packets galore, pan and gutka wrappers, plastic mugs, bottles, even part of an easily recognizable pizza container - not to mention a jute bag, malba, mud and more rubbish. The visible end of many of the drains is no longer circular; with the mud that has flowed in, one sees less than half a semi-circle namely the upper portion. Of course we can’t blame the authorities alone, when it is also the poor civic sense of Gurgaon’s citizens that results in this litter, and the resultant flooding. Educating residents not to litter is a second step (and a continuing passion for me), but I hope the first step will be immediate action from the concerned department. Firstly, drains must be cleared of garbage; secondly, drains and surrounding road surfaces must be desilted; and finally grills have to fitted, to prevent the drains from getting clogged again. Of course, continuous monitoring thereafter is essential. Here is how every reader can play a role to prevent further flooding. Actively influence anyone you see littering – especially those who think nothing of rolling down the window of an air-conditioned car to toss out a packet of chips or an ice-cream cup - by requesting them, politely but firmly, not to litter. It may also be a maid or a driver who didn’t know better. Let us bring about a change in this don’t-care attitude of callous litterers – by making them realise that the very item they are tossing out may be the cause of the flooded road they may themselves have to navigate through a week later. That very same ice-cream cup, having been buffeted in the wind for a few days, will then flow like a boat down the flooded road, and get dragged into the sewer by the flow of the rainwater. There it will meet dozens of other such flotilla - and voila, more misery for Gurgaon in the form of flooded roads that do not clear easily. I do hope this example is a catalyst that helps bring immediate action in this area across Gurgaon. Maybe if these very simple steps are taken by both the authorities and the anti-litter brigade, all of us will see cleaner and puddle-free roads henceforth. Flooding nightmares, that still haunt us, will hopefully become a thing of the past. u The writer is a Soft-skills Trainer and Social-change activist.


C ivic/Social

27 July-2 Aug 2012

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

T

he other day I was taking my evening tea in a market of one of the posh areas of Gurgaon. The tea was soothing, as was the ambience of the market. People were buying stuff of daily use. But somehow, there was an alien silence - there was no buzz to the shopping. Suddenly, a white Audi stopped next to me, and a lady emerged, carrying an empty basket. She headed towards the vegetable vendor, while I feasted my eyes on the car. Suddenly, there was a cacophony, and I saw the lady yelling at the vendor-’Bhaiya Sona bech rahe ho kya!’. The vendor didn’t bow down, and retaliated harshly in his rustic bihari tone-’Madam barish nahi hua hai sab sabzi mehnga ho gya hai.’ The lady was shocked, and so was I – as the vendor charged Rs 58 for one kg of tomatoes. And not only tomato, all other vegetables too have seen a significant rise in prices recently. Vendors and whole sale vegetable traders are lamenting the betrayal of the monsoon for this unprecedented rise in prices. “Gurgaon on an average receives 4500-5000 quintals of vegetables daily; but in the last few days, the supply has reduced to 35004000 quintals – and that’s why there is this rise in prices. The fields are dry, and not only Gurgaon, but the whole of north India is facing this problem,” says a whole sale dealer in Sadar Mandi. In the month of June the same tomatoes were at Rs 20 per kg. This almost tripling of price has not only left people shocked, but has also burnt a deep hole in the pockets of middle class Gurgaonites. All other vegetables too have seen at least a doubling of price; the stable onion prices are the only respite for the people. For the first time in recent months, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has acknowledged that the whole of north India is on the verge of a drought. Why has Gurgaon seen such an unrealistic rise in the fruit and vegetable prices? And why is there so much concern? Gurgaon is believed to be the city of the rich, who don’t sweat at the sight of price tags. “It doesn’t matter whether somebody is wealthy or not. An inflated price always hurts. And in Gurgaon, now every vendor is selling vegetables as per his own whims. It’s quite tragic to see the items of necessity (fruits and vegetables) and luxury (meat) being sold at almost the same price,” says Shobha Malik, a Gurgaon resident.

Is monsoon the real culprit?

Are vendors exaggerating the monsoon story, in order to fill their own coffers? “The delay in the arrival of the monsoon is the actual reason for the rise in vegetable prices, because the whole of north India has received very less rain. The fields of Haryana, Punjab and western UP have been exhausted, and now vegetable are coming from other states like Maharastra, Gujarat and Karnataka. That’s the main reason behind the price

Price Hi-Rise

A vendor’s plight

Sanjay Kumar (name changed), a vegetable vendor near Galleria market, agrees that he sells vegetables at high prices. He justifies the mark-up. “Who will pay the police, who demand money on the way, while the vegetables are being brought from Sadar to here ? Then we have to grease the palms of local beat constables, for setting up our shop on the pavement. Municipal officials get their own cut. Sir, sab ko jo diya woh sabzi ke rate mein hi judega. (whatever I shell out has to be added to the price of the vegetables only)”, says Sanjay. Sanjay is not the only such vendor in the City – there are hundreds of vendors roaming the City. hike. Tomato has risen the maximum – and in Delhi it is being sold at the rate of Rs. 50-60 at the retail shops. However, you can still buy tomato at Rs 30 in the whole sale Mandi at Azadpur. Once the vegetable leaves from here for the retail shops, it is bound to see a price rise. Potato, which is a cold storage item, is also seeing a rise in price; from this you can easily imagine the state of other seasonal vegetables. I would like to give you another shocking fact. Today the maximum loading from Azadpur Mandi is for Punjab – our normal greenest and fertile belt,” says Suresh Kumar, a whole sale trader at Azadpur Mandi. In Gurgaon too, whether it is a retail shop owner or the whole sale trader in Sadar Mandi- all are blaming the poor rainfall for the price hike. “ Till last month we used to sell tomato at Rs 20 per kg, potato at Rs 15, brinjal at Rs 30, and cucumber at Rs. 25; but now, in July the absence of rain has affected the supply, and hence prices have soared. I believe, in the days to come, the prices will further go up. People often say that we are the perpetrators of this loot fest; but believe me, we too are not receiving enough supply,” says Satish Yadav, a whole sale trader at Sadar. And these prices are at the wholesale Sadar Mandi. By the time the vegetables reach most of us through the rental shops, the prices go up at least 50% more.

A hindered supply chain

Another reason for the steep price rise in Gurgaon is the hin-

dered, and often disturbed, supply chain. “Earlier the main sources for the vegetables in Gurgaon were the Gurgaon district, Jhajjar, and Rajasthan (Alwar district in particular); but now due to the lack of rainfall, these areas are exhausted, and the supply load has shifted to Delhi – and Azadpur Mandi in particular. Also, ironically, the occasional downpours have impacted supply. The jams at NH-8 often cause this delay,” says Jitender Kumar at Sector-46, Thursday mandi. “Most of the malls and other retail shops in the posh areas in ‘New’ Gurgaon buy vegetables from Sadar itself, and they then sell them at inflated prices. For example you can buy tomatoes here at about Rs 45 per kg.; while in posh mar-

kets and malls you will have to pay almost Rs. 60 for the same tomatoes,” says Ajay, another vendor at Sadar. Gurgaon, in comparison to other satellite towns like Noida and Ghaziabad, is seeing a price rise at a more brisk pace because both those cities have their own extremely fertile production areas. “Both Noida and Ghaziabad have a formidable supply chain, as the whole Yamuna basin is an excellent area for vegetable production. Gurgaon, on the other hand, has no such luxury. Now we are very dependent on Azadpur Mandi,” says added Suresh Kumar.

Fuel prices: another nail in the coffin

A constant increase in the fuel prices has also fuelled the vegetables prices. The onus of providing food items has come upon states like Maharastra, Gujarat and Karnataka. The supply from these adds to prices, as transport today is costly. I believe it’s at the retail shop where this price sees a real hike. Today the government has announced another increase of 70 paise to the already high petrol prices – and I believe this will cause another increase in vegetable prices,” says Mukesh Dahiya, an Aadti at Azadpur Mandi.

09

Veggie prices: A budget burner

Increasing prices of any product neither effect the State nor the people who are selling it; it’s the masses who always bear the cost. “My husband’s salary is about Rs. 35,000 per month – and till the last month we used to spend Rs 4000 per month on fruit and vegetables; but now, if we want buy the same amount of fruits and vegetables we will have to pay at least Rs. 6,000. This sudden spurt in vegetable prices has damaged our household budget. Apart from vegetables and fruits, we also have other things to spend on – like milk, wheat, rice, electricity bill, children’s school fee, transport, and other personal expenses. Now it has become very difficult to survive in such a low income,” says Kavita Verma, a house wife in Sector-46. Middle class people in Gurgaon have already set survival plans in motion. “Well, we can’t help it. Prices will increase, and we will have to buy food items in order to eat and live. So I believe all the people should make some reasonable sacrifices. I have decided to give-up some of my ‘luxury’. Earlier we used to cook sabzi twice a day, but now I have instructed my wife to make it once – and that too in the evening. In the daytime, daal would be sufficient from now on. We have also decided to decrease the intake of fruits; earlier we used to have fruits on a daily basis, but from now we will consume fruits on alternate days. I hope the prices will come down soon,” says Anil Sharma, a Sector-23 resident. This steep increase in the prices of food items has left the rich people shocked too. “Being financially stable doesn’t mean that we don’t care for the extra money we have to spend on vegetables, fruits and other items, which are now being sold at inflated prices. These vendors tell us about the non-availability of the food items because of the bad monsoon, and we don’t have any option but to believe them – but this doesn’t mean that our money grows on trees. We too are equally worried about this increase. The only difference between us and others is that we do not have to reduce our intake of most items,” says a middle aged lady in DLF Phase-I market. u

As of July 26, 2012 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Food Take Area/ vegetables

Safal

Sector 54

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23

Reliance Fresh

Potatoes (old/new)

18

15

16

18

12

17

18

Onions

16

13

16

14

15

12

16

Tomatoes

35

34

40

36

30

32

34

Cucumbers

30

32

40

30

30

28

32

Bitter Gourd

30

34

36

35

32

36

34

Brinjal

30

26

30

24

30

32

26

Ladies Finger

30

29

40

30

30

26

29

Mushroom

35

-40

-

-

-

35

35


10 { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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here was a time when the availability of water—both for drinking as well as navigation—used to decide the future of a city. Harappa and Mohenjodaro – the two great cities of the Indus Valley civilisation – were destroyed because their rivers changed course, and the pattern of monsoon also varied. Fatehpur Sikri met a similar fate, due to a depleted water table. In 2012, another ancient city, Gurugram (now Gurgaon), faces a crisis, from deep within its crust. Our water table is receding at such an alarming rate that there is talk of desertification – of a comparison with Fatehpur Sikri (also see our Cover Story of July 6-12). The survival of the Millennium City is at stake, and experts opine that unless Gurgaon learns from the past, it would be difficult to ensure availability of adequate water to the residents. This summer was just the trailer. The recent order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, banning the underground extraction of water for new construction, has come not a day too soon. There is an immediate need to introduce sustainable water management practices in the City – such as construction of check dams, revival of traditional ponds, building of rain harvesting structures, and water recycling, says Salahudin Saiphy, a Water Management expert with the Sehgal Foundation in Gurgaon. And participation of the community Is essential. Saiphy has been involved in the construction of check dams around Gurgaon – particularly in the villages of Mewat. Large buildings in Gurgaon, and condominiums, can build a harvesting system within a maximum cost of Rs. 10 to 15 lakhs – and the returns are immediate,” he says. For the City as a whole, he suggests building check dams in the Aravallis and their foothills, after doing a thorough survey of the topography. Unfortunately, most of the natural troughs in Gurgaon have been ‘covered’, and developed by builders. R.S Rathee, President of the Gurgaon Citizens Council (GCC), says that the government must get very serious about the water scarcity being faced by the residents of the City. “Rainwater Harvesting must be made compulsory, and check dams should be constructed by the government on priority. In Rajasthan, the check dams have considerably improved the water table – and this can happen here as well,” says Rathee. A vocal civil activist, Rathi has been very integral to the legal case that has led to the recent order of the High Court. While a majority in the City welcome the Court’s decision, experts opine that it will be difficult to monitor and control the misuse of borewells. “While the builder may give in writing that the borewell will only be used for drinking purpose, who will ensure that the water is not used for construction?” asks Saiphy. He points to the current poor monitoring system in the City – where we still do not know how many borewells exist. Rathee says that GCC have identified certain low lying areas in ‘New’ Gurgaon, where small check dams could be built. These include – V12, T2, S3 in DLF Phase 3, the new by-pass of MG Road, a patch of land on the road from Golf Course to Sector 42, Park Place, a nullah along Sun City, the bund in Ghata village, and Behrampur. There are also traditional village ponds in many villages in this area, that could be revived and turned into check dams, says Saiphy. “The best thing about the Aravallis is that these hills can act as a recharge zone very close to the City. In most other places the recharge zone is around 20 to 30 kilometres away – as in the case of

27 July-2 Aug 2012

C ivic/Social

We Need To Give A Dam

Delhi, whose major recharge zone is lakes in Gurgaon have been either encroached, or covered up by government Palla, near Bawana,” he says. If proper steps are taken, Saiphy says, agencies for development, says Singh. a large amount of water can be harvest- Some of the key water bodies in the Araed. The hills are highly fractured and vallis—such as Badkhal, Damdama and faulted – being part of the Delhi quartz- the Surajkund lakes—have fallen victim ite, that has a good recharge potential. to the incessant mining that these hills Check dams will ensure that the water is have witnessed, he adds. Neither the engineers nor the bustored for a certain period of time. reaucrats in Haryana are interested A Report by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries says that more in resolving this major problem, that than 70% of the check dam sites that it could one day prove to be the nemesis has helped in building in neighbouring of Gurgaon, says Singh. “There is still Alwar district were selected on the basis time to to take corrective measures, of the absorption capacity of land - for before it is too late”, he warns. While civil activists and Gurgaon resiunless the ground is rocky, water collected by check dams is liable to seep away. dents castigate the State, the government The check dams have facilitated agricul- says it is considering building check dams, and promoting rain ture in the districts, water harvesting. A as the total area unsenior government der cultivation has official says that 27 increased from 6,682 sites in the District acres to 13,529 acres, have been identisays the Report. fied for building Conserving wasmall check dams, ter through check and an amount of dams in the AravalRs. 20 crores would lis would not only be spent in develhelp in improving oping these. Howthe availability of ever, only a couple water, but also inof these sites have crease the green Additional DC K M Pandurang been identified in Gurgaon cover. This will further help in soaking the pollu- City, because the majority of the protion, and providing more oxygen to spective sites have been constructed the City – that is already suffering the on, and/or encroached. The Report also refers to the enpangs of unabated urbanisation, says Rajender Singh, Magsaysay Award croachment of a half-acre natural winner, popularly known as the Wa- pond in village Sikanderpur, enterman of India. Singh has been a pio- croachment of two 5 acre ponds in vilneer in rain water conservation, particu- lage Sarhol, two natural ponds in villarly in building check dams in the Alwar lage Wazirabad - now being converted district of Rajastan. More than 1000 into a dispensary, and the poor condivillages in the area are benefitting tion of Sukhrali pond in the heart of from the johads and check dams built the City. Both private parties and governby his organization, Tarun Bharat ment agencies have been equally responsible for destruction of this natural ecoSangh, since 1985. “I have been telling the Chief Min- system, admits an official. Additional Deputy Commissioner ister of Haryana that the old Yamuna canal system can be effectively used to K M Pandurang told Friday Gurgaon recharge the water table in Gurgaon, that they are trying to find out an inif the flood water during the monsoon tegrated solution for watershed manis diverted to this canal. But nothing agement, that will involve all the state has happened,” he says. A large num- agencies - including the irrigation, ber of traditional johads and seasonal forest, and rural development depart-

Check Dam Success in Mewat

In the foothills of the Aravallis, the Sehgal Foundation has helped in building a Check Dam in Rangala Rajpur village in Mewat District (which was a part of Gurgaon earlier). For many years, the rainwater used to flood the low-lying fields, and erode the top soil. For the rest of the year, the village would witness a shortage of water, as there was no storage tank or structure. A team from the Foundation analysed the topography of the village, and facilitated community involvement, to ensure a lowcost and people-led solution for rain water harvesting. It was decided that a 1.5 km

earthen dam should be constructed, to collect the run-off water. The villagers agreed to contribute 20 per cent of the cost of the dam, and also help in the construction of the structure. After the construction of this Dam, along with two more at strategic locations, a major part of the run-off was collected in the ponds. It not only helped in protecting 40 acres of standing crops, but also 50 acres of village land - which was fallow - could then be used for cultivation. The water level, since the construction of these dams, has been rising 3 to 4 metres per year, says Saiphy.

ments, along with HUDA and MCG. “A number of check dams are planned in the district, that will be funded by the central government. We have sent a proposal of Rs 16.7 crores to the centre, for approval under the Government of India Integrated Watershed Management Programme. We are also trying to revive the traditional water bodies in the City, including bunds that have been there since the time of the British”, says Pandurang - while referring to a bund in Nathupur Village. Atul Dev, head of INTACH, and the Rotary Club North West, points out that it is very difficult to find a suitable site in Gurgaon City where a check dam can be constructed. “I have built 40 such structures in neighbouring Alwar and Mewat. A survey by my team has revealed that nothing much can be done in terms of check dams here,” he asserts. Dev reveals that small check dams built in rural areas help almost 3 to 4 villages, and can be constructed for about Rs. 10 to 15 lakhs. “I have the funds, but can’t find a site in Gurgaon where I can build such a dam,” he rues. Saiphy, however, opines that check dams can still be built in areas very close to the foothills of the Aravallis - even in the hills. Strong brick and stone masonry structures must be used, as the hills have steep slopes here, he says. An innovative design developed by Sehgal Foundation can bring the cost down, he says. In Mewat, where the Sehgal Foundation has built a number of check dams, the average increase in the ground water level has been 3 to 4 meters per year. “The same can happen in Gurgaon, provided smart buildings and condominiums are developed. The rainwater should be used optimally, and extraction checked; this will build the water table,” says Saiphy. Use of sewage water, after recycling, is another proposal put forth by R.N Malik, former Chief Engineer, HSIIDC, the State industrial development body. Malik says that the sewage and waste water in Gurgaon should be treated at a primary level, and used for gardening and horticulture. “This water can also be used for agriculture  in villages around the City. This will also cut down extraction,” says Malik. This measure, however, is unlikely to take off, as Gurgaon has inadequate capacity for sewage treatment, and the HUDA Sewage Treament Plants are not functioning optimally, says a HUDA official. Most of the builders in Gurgaon have also failed to set up Sewage Treatment Plants in condominiums and commercial buildings, he adds. “Whatever has been built is an eyewash”, says Malik. He now wants the citizens to take the matter to Court, and ensure that the government and building authorities make it mandatory to conserve and recycle water. While Malik wants trated sewage water to be used, Dev refers to a proposal for revival of the Najafgarh Jheel - that has now virtually became a storm water drain, that also takes in sewage from both the Millennium City and the national capital, and delivers it to the Yamuna. “A detailed report on this Project was first submitted to the State government as well as Administrator HUDA, in 2006. A reminder as late as November 2011, along with an updated proposal, has been sent to Administrator HUDA, Gurgaon by INTACH. But nothing has happened”, he rues. Clearly, the writing is on the wall. Unless steps to conserve water and use it wisely are taken, Gurgaon will continue to stand at the edge of a precipice. The decisions made by various stakeholder now will decide whether this City becomes another Fatehpuri Sikri, or lives up to its illustrious history as a Gurugram – where learning is still the way of life. u


6. Woman in house raises hand 7. House loses brick 8. Cat appears on fence 9. Wheelbarrow wheel changes 10. Smoke from fire

1. Flower appears 2. Dress loses dot 3. Distant street lamp changes 4. Man gains belt 5. Wheelbarrow handle longer

Solutions Spot The Difference

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

Solution 04/20/11 Easter egg 4. There should be 3 eggs of every kind.

Kids Brainticklers

27 July-2 Aug 2012

Kid Corner

11


12

27 July-2 Aug 2012

K id Corner

Fast Draw

participated in a he students of Fastrack ducted by Kaisar drawing competition, con School premises. The Education Centre, in the s held me, ‘Environment’, wa competition, on the the y. A Da t en World Environm in connection with the nts. ipa rtic pa all to was given token of appreciation after nts de stu the all to ved Refreshments were ser the competition.

T

Bon Lancers

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he students of Lancer International School presented a beautiful performance of Bon-Odori, a traditional dance of Japan. The students presented their prowess of each move. The dance is a part of the Obon festival in Japan, which is celebrated to honour and appreciate ancestors and their sacrifices.

T

Eureka Dance

o showcase skills they had learnt in a month-long Summer Camp, the students of Eureka Preschool presented a dance performance for their teachers. The kids made paper crowna, and danced with the crowns on their heads. They presented a peppy rock and roll, which had the audience asking for more.

Kinder PO

Aussie Mangalam

ith an aim to teach kids the working of a Post Office, Kinder Valley International School took its students to a local post office. The children were taught about registered post, money orders, and speed post and how the general public uses these services. The students were also given a sneak peek into the functioning of the post office – wherein they were shown how the letters were stamped, sorted and arranged in different shelves for dispersal. The students then wrote letters, applied stamps, and posted the letters in a letter box.

R Mangalam World School organised a10 days Exchange Programme with Kinross Wolaroi School of Orange, NSW Australia. A team of 10 students, along with the Principal Mrs. Neetii C. Kaoshik and two teachers Ms. Asha Rustagi and Ms Pooja Mathur, went to Australia. The highlights of the Programme were a visit to the Parliament House, The High Commission of India, War Memorial, Australia Institute of Sports, and the National Museum. It was also a learning experience for the students, when they attended classes in Australian schools. Staying with Australian families gave an insight to their homes, lifestyle, family bonding – and of course their hospitality.

W

K

Reading Rachna

M

anav Rachna International School, Sec. 46, celebrated “Book Week”, an annual event, in collaboration with Scholastic. The aim of the Event was to inculcate a lifetime reading habit in the students by instigating their creativity through various activities. A week-long Exhibition was put up. Activities in the week included Meet Clifford, Book Cover Designing, Making of the Class Newspaper, Me the Author, Story Telling, and Creative Writing Workshops. Best book cover designs, newspapers, novels were awarded, and have become a part of the School’s library. The Event was a huge success.

Compiled by Shilpy Arora, email: shilpy.arora@fridaygurgaon.com


K id Corner

27 July-2 Aug 2012

13

True Creativity

A

s a part of a comprehensive plan to celebrate innovation, creativity and storytelling, The Truth Center for Creative Excellence conducted an Art and Craft Workshop – ‘Create and Innovate”. The Children explored creativity, visualisation and lateral ideation as powerful thinking techniques. These Workshops take students into a scholastic journey of imagination, creation, innovation, design thinking, storytelling – and lead them to find their true career paths. The photos are a glimpse of projects made by under 12 year old students, using scrap as material.

Ryan Parliament

R Organic Pathways

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forum for the promotion and awareness of Organic food, eSvasa, organised a Kids Organic Gardening Workshop at Pathways school. The highlight of the session was a tomato planting demonstration by eSvasa’s gardening enthusiast, Seema Mitra. The children learnt how to mix the soil, compost and coco peat, to pot the sapling, and also how to take care of baby plants.

yan International School, Sec-40, organised an Investiture Ceremony. The young Ryan Parliamentarians took an oath, administered by the School Head Peeya Sharma. Led by the newly elected President Ms. Lisa Kukreja, and Prime Minister Ms. Bhoomi Sati, the Student Council declared and vowed to abide by the rules and fulfill their duties, according to their respective portfolios. The Parliamentarians received their badges and scarves. The Ceremony was a celebration to mark the accomplishments of the outgoing Student Council during the session 2011-12 and to welcome the newly elected Cabinet. They thanked Founder Chairman Dr. Augustine F. Pinto and Managing Director Madam Grace Pinto. The Guest of Honour A.C.P. Poonam Dalal urged the students to continue working with zeal, dedication and determination, to lead our country as leaders of tomorrow.

Shalom Maths

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Ajanta Photoshop

he students of Class I and II of Shalom Hills International School participated in a Math Wizard activity. The aim of this activity was to encourage the children to discover the world of numbers and number concepts. Children of Class I played the fishing addition game on the computer, where they had to catch – as well as add – the number of fish caught. They also played an interactive game of addition. Children also played a train number game, where they had to arrange the numbers in a given sequence. The students of Class II did a place value activity, using place value cards from their text book. The children also took part in an interesting Math Quiz.

A

round 40 students, along with two teachers, of Ajanta Public School, visited the Panasonic showroom at ABW Towers, to attend a Photography Workshop. The students learnt about handling a camera, and other important techniques of photography. They also had an opportunity to know about the working of a 3D room, where they watched the movie, Avatar. Panasonic is the official sponsor for some of the scenes in the movie. The Workshop proved to be quite enriching.

Literary Flourish

The value of time 1. To know the value of one YearAsk a student who failed in the Annual Examination 2. To know the value of one MonthAsk a service man who has not got his salary. 3. To know the value of one WeekAsk an editor who has not published the daily edition. 4. To know the value of one HourAsk a person who has waiting for his friends for an hour. 5. To know the value of one MinuteAsk a passenger who has missed his Train. 6. To know the value of one SecondAsk a Sprinter who has come third in a Race. Muskan Rana, VI-A, Swiss Cottage School

Artistic Strokes

Saloni Dhingra, Grade V E, Delhi Public School Compiled by Shilpy Arora, email: shilpy.arora@fridaygurgaon.com

Kamanraj Singh, Grade I, GD Goenka world School

Taniya Jain, Grade V C, Delhi Public School

Krish, Grade V B, Delhi Public School


14 1

27 July-2 Aug 2012

K id Corner

A jester’s job was to entertain the king and his court with jokes and pranks - a job that Gopal performed to perfection. Not only did he keep the king of Krishnanagar in splits whenever he was tensed or bored, but he also helped him solve serious matters of state. Amar Chitra Katha tells you a story about Gopal, the famous court jester.

2

The Better Half

Star Fun

3

4

9 to 5

© 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

Animal Crackers

Tiger

Two Wise Men

Dogs of C-Kennel

– Atullya Purohit, V B, Blue Bells Model School


27 July-2 Aug 2012

I

s giving self-confidence to a poor child equal to giving him with a new life? If so, a NonGovernmental Organisation (an NGO) in Gurgaon is quietly doing exactly that. Meet the Rashtrahit Sewa Sangathan. It was started in 2006 by two ambitious youngsters, Sumit Arora and Saurabh Sachdeva, who wished to do good for society. Recalls Sumit, “We were, and are, two middle-class people, who have been fortunate to have a good education, strong family values, and a chance to make a mark in life. We weren’t exactly blessed with money in our school days (passed from a government school); but looking at the poor kids, we weren’t so badly-off either.” Saurabh is an advocate, and Sumit a software engineer in a dotcom. Both started in 2005, by teaching the poor slum children in Bhiwani Enclave. “A year later, when the group increased, B.D Pahuja, a family friend, suggested that we name our effort, and make it known. So, Rashtrahit Sewa Sangathan came into being,” says Sumit. BEFORE And with that, the spectrum of their efforts increased. Earlier, the NGO was into teaching the slum children; now, it has five schools, with about 400 children in attendance. “We have started to teach the children good hygiene, manners, good living, how to carry themselves – and most

A Hit Sewa

AFTER

importantly, their worth as individuals in today’s society,” he adds.

What’s So Different?

The main school is at Sukhrali. “We go beyond teaching,” says B.D Pahuja, the President of the NGO. “A few years

ago, these children were dirty, unwashed, and with nothing to do except a ‘job’ at a tea stall. When we approached the parents, they were horrified at losing an extra source of income. But logic prevailed, and slowly the slum people started to send their children to the school. Now, the children are neat and tidy, and are intelligent enough to know the value of education, health and hygiene.” RHSS arranges regular medical camps for the 400 slum children (they even had a child operated for a cleft lip), immunisation camps and yoga classes. But the biggest

A Life Well Living { Anita Jaswal }

A

couple is kind of like a recipe with two compatible ingredients. You mix them together and — wow! — interesting stuff can happen. Milk and chocolate syrup turn into yummy chocolate milk. That is Raseel and Arunkant for you. They are adorable, warm, the romance very much there, two different but perfectly suited for each other beings... But in the 70s, when intercaste  marriages were rare and always sensational, Raseel – a Sikh, and Arunkant – a Hindu, triggered a mini earthquake in upscale Greater Kailash. After nearly 40 years of wedded bliss, two children and two grandchildren, these two have certainly disproved the naysayers. Raseel, popularly called Honey Aunty by all, belonged to a progressive yet traditional Sikh family of North India; she grew up surrounded by love, values, culture and customs. After her graduation in English Honours from LSR, and B.Ed from Delhi University, she refused a scholarship for M.Ed, and joined Mother’s International as a Senior Faculty. Arunkant, after a Scholarship in the All National Science Talent in 1967, chose to pursue Masters in Physics; and all along was a devout follower

of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy. It was here at the Aurobindo Ashram that the two met; and they knew right away that they wanted to forge a bond beyond boundaries of religion, caste, creed and society. Amidst an uneasy truce between the families, the two began their married life; but it wasn’t long before Honey was accepted into the  friendly family fold. After 5 years with Mother’s International, and another 30 years with Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Honey became the founder Principal of Basava International in Dwarka. She put the School on its feet, and 5 years later, felt it was payback time. She felt she had lived enough for herself. “I wanted to make a difference, and make my time count. I knew I could not do everything – but I could do something! Something that was greater than me; – something that helped someone else be happy or suffer less. I knew my time was priceless, yet free. I cannot own it, but I can use it. And I was determined to make my time count!” Thus began her involvement in the DLF Phase 1 Gurudwara. Along with a like-minded group, she helps provide education to the underprivileged;and she is also working on livelihood

for the youth, healthcare in urban slums, women empowerment, and sensitisation of the privileged class. But her love for education is paramount. She is working with Stones2Milestones, an organisation involved in making a deep and positive impact in the way children learn. Like wife, like husband. Besides working as a Senior Executive in a European Company, Arunkant is into astrology, and the impact of planets on the physical and mental health—and overall lives—of people. He offers free counselling, and

15

accepted. The patron of the NGO, Anurag Bakshi, donated several sewing machines. The NGO has helped several widows and girls’ skill-sets, to fend for themselves. Dr. Ashok Taneja, the Senior Vice-President of IMA, Haryana gives the healer’s touch to the non-profit organisation. “We organise medical camps for the children and their parents. Over time, we have taught them how to maintain oral hygiene, given health-related advice, and undertaken immunisation activities. I have been a part of RHSS for the last three years, and it’s been a great experience.” Sumit concludes, “Even from our Bhawani Enclave days, we had a simple rule that said ‘Sarv Dharm Samman’. We have never looked at the race, caste or creed of the child who has come to us.” When you have the power to make a change for the good of the people, it must automatically become your moral responsibility to do so, he says. u

difference is the time that the NGO members spend with the disadvantaged children. Every festival and holiday, the members of the NGO make it a point to spend the day with the children. “We try to inculcate in them a sense of belonging, says a member. “All their life they have wanted for everything a normal child gets, and they begin to accept that they will always be second-class citizens. We assure them that everything in life is reachable, is attainable.” Sunita Girhotra, a member of the Advisory Board, has been with the organisation for a few years. “Every year, on the 25th of December, we take the children on a picnic. Last time, we went to Leisure Valley park. And not many people know that the Deputy Commissioner PC Meena accompanied us. He spent a whole day with the kids; it was a touching moment. He had lunch with the slum children, and they still remember the experience,” she recalls. Moving beyond the children, RHSS has now started imparting vocational training to the parents. Most of the women were managing the households in the slums in the afternoons. The NGO workers offered them a choice to learn stitching, and other activities – which the women willingly

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advice related to astrology, to young people looking for their soulmates. He is also a diehard environmentalist.And feels that every little bit we do today will help make a difference for generations to come. He cycles to the market and the Metro Station – ignoring the heat, the traffic, and his family’s displeasure. He is adamant. “My newly expanded waistline, and the new extortionate petrol prices provided the perfect opportunity to resurrect that long contemplated resolution to pedal whenever I can. Cycling is one of the simplest ways to keep fit, while simultaneously saving money and the environment. Once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be surprised how easy and quick it is to commute!” And both are animal lov-

JIT KUMAR

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

C ivic/S ocial

ers. They have adopted a few strays in their neighbourhood, and care for them as their own children. Her favourite is a three-legged mutt, lovingly named Chhoti. When asked “What’s the secret to your happy life?”, Honey ponders: “We can’t stop the clock, but we can keep our spirits young – with humour, gratitude, and creativity. My face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It’s beautiful.”  And Arunkant adds.”I’m amazed I’m happier than I’ve been at any time in my life...I have a wonderful wife, I’ve watched two amazing kids grow into two delightful adults ...I have 2 adorable grandkids... I have real, true, glorious friends...and I’ve been able to do real good things I care about. I wish the time hadn’t gone by so fast, though. And sometimes I wish I’d enjoyed it more on the way...” Till this June, when Arunkant lost his father, they were 4 generations under one roof... a family glued by love for each other. Even if there was an argument or squabble, it quickly sorted itself out; because, at the end of the day, there was and is a lot of care. She smiles, he laughs, As happy days pass. Been together so long, Little ever goes wrong. Months turn into years, More smiles than tears. Growing old side by side, Want none else beside. u


16 T

Beware

he workers’ attack (yes, that is what it was) at Maruti Suzuki is more than a wake up call. This is not just about industry. This is about Gurgaon. The State is closing its eyes to some ominous signals. The key decision makers, staying hundreds of miles away, see only one reality – realty, the price of real estate – that could soon look very unreal. Manesar was to be a Model Township – the future industrial face of Gurgaon. Typical to the State and City planning, civic issues (that even impacted industry) have been ignored. The industry there is already frustrated. And now, to top it all, there is labour trouble of a very different order.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

The comments from the local Panchayat heads were most telling : they alleged that more workers were coming now from Rohtak and Sonipat, under ‘political’ influence – and therefore the State is also taking away local jobs; they noted the delays by the police in taking action, for similar reasons – and wanted a CBI investigation; they asked the State govt. to stay away. We have seen brazenness; and now anger is building up. This summer, villagers and residents have taken to the streets, to protest water and power shortage; and to protest the forcible takeover of land. Inevitably, automobiles have been burnt, and roads closed off for hours. And in Bawal (Rewari), the upcoming Logistics Hub near NH 8, the mob even took women police constables hostage !? There is very little ‘normal’ crime in this City. There is more robbery on the streets, than in homes; jewellery is snatched, cars are taken at gunpoint, people are shot over an altercation recently a cigarette vendor was beaten to death over the price of a pack; and ordinary ‘gangsters’ have the arrogance to indulge in shoot-outs with the police. And the latest – workers have viciously attacked executives and managers, with auto parts available within a factory. In each case the State is surprised, is a mute

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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nsh, you have really made your parents proud. May you shine like this forever, and best of luck for your future endeavours. Mamta Mittal on the article Child Prodigy.

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request transport officials to extend the existing routes of all the city bus services which are terminating at the bus stand to railway station Gurgaon. It will act like a boom to the main city, as it will be connected to the rest of Gurgaon. Thickly populated area of Gurgaon will also benefit. Pulkit Saxena Sector 4, on the article Gurgaon City Bus Service

Comment

27 July-2 Aug 2012

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shall be obliged if you could help provide us by highlighting the following problem in your  popular weekly ‘Friday Gurgaon’. We  have a working office  at 115, Udyog Vihar, Phase I related to IT and Telecom . We have occupied this property since the last two years . There is an adjoining forging factory at  116   which manufactures railway goods and works round the clock. It has a hammer of 500 tons which runs day and night and produces excess noise and vibrations which are affecting our factory structure and working environment. We have protested this with HSIIDC in Gurgaon several times but they

did not help us . Several adjoining units long back took this case  to court but it's pending  as usual . Most of the adjoining units are IT units and face the problem of hammer vibrations. Last year one building at plot no 100, while under construction, collapsed. We are afraid that our building may also fall some day. There are about 70  people working under this building and their life is in danger. Perhaps  highlighting this in your news weekly some kind officer may take up the case and save a big disaster from happening. You are welcome to send  your team to verify the facts at our site. Ramesh Kumar Director, Raj Refueller & Fire safety Equipments Pvt Ltd

witness, seems to come and act late, and is then seemingly held hostage. It does not seem to learn, and only promises prompt action – which rarely happens. Just consider - it takes hours to just remove a stalled/accidented vehicle from even NH8; people easily block roads, and burn vehicles during every protest; and many snatchings and robberies at pistol-point are seldom reported/ noted, much less resolved. The BMW case lingers, for the flimsiest of reasons. And the Maruti Suzuki attack, in a closed environment, with 50 policemen around, shows how brazen it has become (while the Administration has termed it as a ‘scuffle between irate workers….followed by fire’). Maruti, as the founder industry and still numero uno of Gurgaon, needs to make a statement. It needs to hold very firm this time – or forever hold its peace. Those who viciously injured, maimed and killed need to all go – even in the hundreds, if it be so. The current Union should be derecognized. Re-hiring must happen locally, alongside. Further investments at Manesar, and a promise for Rohtak, also need to be rationally re-evaluated. Too many negotiations and settlements, that seemingly have not been conclusive, are not a good sign. Maruti Suzuki clearly needs to work better on this. This attack at Maruti Suzuki will make every industry owner - automobile and others - in the Gurgaon belt sit up. Nobody would be prepared to accept such a risk. Haryana could be the casualty. And neither the IT/BPO Services, nor the Real Estate play, can make up for Industry - esp. the Auto Industry. Whether the State Administration accepts it or not, Gurgaon is today not just another city or district HQ of Haryana. Maruti and Bawal are fair warning. Ps - This has happened at a time when the grand National Manufacturing Policy of National Industrial Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) across the country is hoping to see the light of day. u

FAMOUS QUOTES Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. H. G. Wells Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others. Robert Louis Stevenson The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Mahatma Gandhi When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free. Charles Evans Hughes History is the version of past

events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte To repeat what others have said, requires education; to challenge it, requires brains. Mary Pettibone Poole Some people have so much respect for their superiors they have none left for themselves. Peter McArthur To get back my youth I would do anything in the world - except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable. Oscar Wilde


27 July-2 Aug 2012

W elln e s s

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Tip of the week

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Papaya Bounty { Jaspal Bajwa }

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arly explorers to the Americas were struck by this bountiful fruit, which appears to have originated in a broad region extending from the Andes of South America to Southern Mexico. Christopher Columbus went as far as calling papaya “the fruit of the angels”. Today it is grown in virtually every tropical country of the world. Papaya (or “Papita’ in India,“Pawpaw” in Europe, “Fruta Bomba” in Cuba and “Papaye” in France) offers not only the luscious taste and sunlit colour of the tropics, but is a storehouse of antioxidant nutrients. Papaya contains many biologically active compounds. All parts of the papaya plant are rich in medicinally active enzymes. Our body produces digestive enzymes in the glands of the mouth, stomach, pancreas and small intestine. However, we can only synthesize a fraction of the necessary amino acids, and the body cannot store them. Thus, we need a daily intake of protein for an adequate supply of amino acids. Furthermore, people over the age of 50 secrete fewer digestive enzymes. This is where Papaya neatly steps in. Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes, including papain and chymopapain. The green (unripened fruit) is also used in several countries . In addition, the leaves and root of the plant are used in a variety of dishes. Ripe fresh fruits are eaten throughout the tropics for breakfast and dessert, and in fruit salads. They are also used exten-

When purchasing for immediate consumption, choose papayas that have reddish-orange skin and are slightly soft to the touch. Research suggests that as fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase. Ripe papayas should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within one or two days Papaya fruit that has patches of green and yellow color will take a few more days to ripen. It should be covered in a newspaper or brown paper bag and kept in a dark place to ripen. Papaya enzymes are commonly used as ingredients in meat tenderizer, because they help to soften and digest protein before it enters the digestive tract.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week : Carica papaya

sively in food processing. Unripe fruits are generally taken as a vegetable. In the Ayurvedic tradition, papaya is recommended to balance the constitutional types of Vatta and Pitta. It helps prevent constipation and aids digestion. Eating papaya by itself for two or three days is considered to have a highly beneficial tonic effect upon the stomach and intestines. In addition to benefitting gastro-intestinal secretions or enzyme deficiencies, papaya is also prescribed for infections of the pancreas, intestinal worms, skin diseases and the hardening of the liver. The antioxidant nutrients found in papaya are very good at reducing inflammation. In traditional Chinese medicine Papaya is considered one of the ‘cooling’ foods, and is prescribed for digestive diseases.The unripe green papaya is used for digestive complaints and stomachs. The ripe fruit is used for dysentery, urinary complaints and constipation. The papaya leaves are used for skin sores and inflammations.

Papaya is one of the top alkaline foods. Like mango and melons, papaya helps in colon cleansing and has a diuretic effect, which is beneficial for the kidneys. Papaya is loaded with phytonutrients such as carotenes and flavonoids . It is a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, the B vitamins, folate, Vitamin K, potassium and several other minerals . The high fibre content can help lower cholesterol levels. The juice of the raw papaya is useful in several skin disorders. It has been applied with beneficial results to swellings ,to prevent pus formation, or to ameliorate abnormal outgrowth of the skin – and other skin diseases. A paste of the papaya seeds is applied in skin diseases like ringworm. It should be noted , however, that papaya enzymes may increase the risk of bleeding. People with bleeding ulcers or other bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract should avoid papaya enzymes. u

Advantages

{ Alka Gurha }

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f you are interested in making the switch to organic food, don’t be fooled by foods that are labelled, ‘All Natural’; instead look for labels that read, ‘Organic’ or ‘Certified organic’. ‘Certified organic’ means that the food item was grown in compliance with organic standards, as set by the organic regulatory agencies. So what is organic food? Foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs—such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers—are termed Organic Foods. Organic foods are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, hormones or chemical food additives. Independent and large manufacturers are crowding store shelves with or-

For starters, organic foods are all natural and secure to eat. There is no need to worry about potentially harmful chemicals, additives, and pesticides. Organic foods also help the environment and ecosystem. Instead of using fungicides, herbicides, sewer-sludge, synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides to grow crops, and keep insects and diseases away, farmers use a variety of natural methods – such as traps, insect predators, barriers, and non-synthetic pesticides. Some conventional farmers use sewage sludge, harsh chemical pesticides, and ionizing radiation to grow their produce. They may also use hormones, to stimulate their animals to produce more milk or eggs than normal. The pesticides and fertilizers may leave residue on the produce, and the hormones and antibiotics may leach into the milk, meat and eggs. Organic farmers do not use any chemical means to process their products, so you are less likely to have res-

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Certified Healthy ganic products. In addition to organic produce such as milk and meat, you can also buy organic cereals, sauces – and even snack foods such as tortilla chips. As popular as organics have become, there is some debate about their use.

DIVINE LOOK

idue on your foods. Organic regulations also prevent the use of artificial sweeteners, chemical preservatives and other additives that are found in processed foods. Another advantage of organic foods is that you don’t have to worry about eating produce that has been genetically engineered.

Disadvantages

Because organic farmers do not use artificial means to produce their products, they tend to produce less. Organic farming is also more expensive than conventional farming – eg. the time and cost of using a chemical weed killer versus the manpower required to manually pull weeds and rotate crops. This combination of lower productivity with higher overhead makes organic products more expensive. However, you can’t put a price tag on good health. Since several expats and health conscious residents live in Gurgaon, many organic food outlets have mushroomed lately. Once found in health food stores, organic foods are now available in mainstream grocery stores like Spar, Needs, Easy Day, Big Bazaar, SRS outlets and Le Marche in Gurgaon. Apart from these, there is ‘Anukriti Natural Products’ in Sector 15, ‘Live Organic’ store in Super Mart I, and ‘Farm2Kitchen’ store – all stores offer a variety of organic products. u

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Visual Introspections

{ Srimati  Lal }

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he thread that binds the charming artworks on display at Gallery Alternatives’ current Group Show (on till 31 July) is a certain introspective, brooding intensity – that skilfully captures the aesthetic mind’s most subliminal nuances. Only the magic of Art can give form to such inward echoes, entrapping them eternally on canvas, paper, stoneware, or metal. It is to this Gurgaon gallery’s credit that a certain gentle tastefulness has always been maintained in its art-displays, thereby heightening the viewers’ sensitivity. While the present show under review does not contain any greatly-radical or experimental

Prabhakar Kolte – such as Niren Sengupta and Prabhakar Kolte – are subtly juxtaposed with many appealing works of mature artists like Narendra Pal Singh, Suman Choudhury, Manish Pushkale, as well as emerging artists Kunal and Rahul Kumar. The Works are in a wide variety of media — from oils, acrylics, mixed media, pen and inks, to sophisticated sculptural stoneware.  Niren Sengupta, who graduated from Kolkata’s prestigious Government College of Art, has also been the

Niren Sengupta artworks in the Uber-Contemporary  mode, the appeal of a more conventional tradition of painting and sculpture may be found here. This is a world where the simple impact of colour-application and ‘old-school’ figuration somehow still manages to hold one’s gaze – stimulating not just nostalgia, but relevant emotions as well. Art does not have to be loudly-chic, ‘ultra-cool’, or a ‘happening statement’ in order to capture one’s deepest attention.  In this Show, some fine works by senior Indian art-stalwarts

Principal of the Delhi College of Art, and has 32 years of teaching experience. His paintings are in the collections of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art, and the private collection of the Prime Minister of Japan. This is not surprising, as this thespian Bengali painter often embodies moments of intense Buddhist Meditation on his canvas --as in his oil painting ‘Refuge’. This heartwarmingly unpretentious painting – in transcendent

Narendra Pal Singh

hues of saffron, golden-yellow, red and sepia – portraying a gentle Buddhist monk holding a white dove within a tranquil Nirvana-mudra, evokes a sense of peace that our frenetic world is in dire need of. Prabhakar Kolte’s visual world is more urban and abstract.   Kolte, who studied at Mumbai’s JJ School of Art, has evolved his own uniquely-Indian manner of ‘ColourField painting,’ which brings alive the complexities of the Indian urban cityscape. His mixed-media Modernist works convey subtle hints of random Indian buildings, temples, scraps of fluttering stray cloth, and electrical wires – all running in brooding, silent zig-zags over his stark Indian-red colourfields on canvas. Some powerful Kolte canvasses of this important series are featured here. Narendra Pal Singh, originally from Bihar, has been painting quite prolifically for the past 3 decades. He has held solo exhibitions in Italy, Spain, Berlin, America, South Korea and India, and has also been an art-coordinator and a panelist in several fora. His painting in this show, entitled ‘Desire’ conveys romantic intensity, in peacock-blue hues that have an electric effect. There are traditional Tantric emblems in many of his works, where his textural experimentations create a certain immediate appeal. Tantra remains a timeless inspiration in Indian art. Kunal’s abstract blue seaand-skyscape, afloat with a strange open window, whispery clouds, and soothing lotus-leaves, is a charmingly modern take on conventional Tantric meditativeness. This Delhi-based artist who studied art in Chandigarh and Pune, has taken part in group shows in UK and Korea. Similarly, Manish Pushkale, from Bhopal expresses

Tantra and mysticism, albeit in darker shades, in his subtle geometric renditions such as ‘Chamatkar’. Manish took part in the ‘Raza Foundation’ show – celebrating our seniormost Tantric painter S H Raza’s 90th birthday at the Visual Arts Gallery at Habitat Centre – as well as in several other exhibitions held as tributes to Raza. He has had solo shows in Paris, Perth, and Palo Alto, and has been in group shows of Indian artists in New York, Munich, Berlin and Australia. As a contrast to pure painting, Rahul’s stoneware in the sculptural zone provides a different kind of tactile yet meditative experience. Rahul is a Fulbright Scholar, and has specialised in Ceramics, with an MFA from the Uni-

Manish Pushkale is evident in his penchant for the poetic. His mixed-media painting, where fragmentary ‘shreds’ of wistful human faces seem to peer out mysteriously from within crumpled masses of torn brown paper tacked up with pins, is a touching rendition of human angst. Suman’s ink drawings convey genuine pathos, which must have served him well as an Advertising Visualiser and Illustrator. Such graphic and linear skill is a specific talent that Bengal is reputed for, with its vast modern heritage in literary and illustrative drawing. Suman taught art at Nainital’s Sherwood School, from 1995-2003, and has also been an art teacher to the deaf and dumb. He has held very few solo shows; hence one hopes to see a larger body of Suman’s works in the future. As is evident, this is a group of artworks well worth

Suman Choudhury

Rahul Kumar

versity of Dallas, Texas. He has also studied Advanced Ceramics under the thespian pottery-master Daroz,in Delhi. Rahul has had  solo shows of his rippling, harmonious ceramic creations, in Mumbai and Delhi, as well as been in group shows in USA and India.  The Bengali artist Suman Chowdhury’s idealism and emotional clarity is evident in his well-executed pen and ink works in this Show. Suman utilises the human face and form with sensitivity and drama. This artist’s training at Santiniketan’s Kala Bhavan

Kunal pausing over, as it encompasses quite a wide range of artists — from those in their 60’s to those in their 30’s. Furthermore, this Show manages to embody India’s vast geographic range of artistic talents, from all our different zones, effectively puttogether within a small displayarea --- for which Gallery Alternatives must be commended.  u Artist, Writer and Curator


C over S tory

27 July-2 Aug 2012

Sporty Boys

In Haryana, and Gurgaon, the priority of a family is for a self-owned house, and then a car. Most of the flash-rich people want the most expensive four-wheeled toys, and that too the Sports Utility type. Over the years, though the desire to splurge has been tempered by experience. Virender Dagar is a text-book story of a common man getting rich through hard work and luck. “When I first made my foray into contracting, my car was a humble Fiat. It is still my most loved car. Then one thing led to another, and my school (Scottish High) was set up. Being educated from a government college, I wanted to work on something that would also give back to society. A school seemed the perfect choice; I already had the land. And since then, I have never looked back.” A busy man, Dagar spends most

SUV. It’s a big, strong off-roader, which can handle any number of potholes dotting the Haryana’s roadways. Just call me oldfashioned.” Even his son Arun Dagar prefers a massive white Mercedes M500 SUV. The sedans are for the rest of the family, he comments. Despite boom time having gone, the City’s upwardly-mobile crowd’s hankering for SUVs hasn’t been sated, by the looks of it. As a vehicle registration official puts it, every fifth car being registered is an SUV. Abhimanyu Mehta, the Marketing Manager of Grave Toyota on Sohna Road, attests to this fact happily. Toyota has an impressive line-up of SUVs in its stable – from the Fortuner (Rs 25 lakhs) to the heavy-weight Land Cruiser 200 (Rs 1.5 crores).

of his time zipping through the NCR. “I have to visit the Assembly (he is a former MLA), come to my School, go to a construction site – all in a day. And my family also has to travel around the City. So I have more cars for them,” he says. How many does he have right now? Dagar pauses for a second, “Nine.” What’s his favourite? “My Range Rover. It beats every other car in terms of comfort and security.” “Now that I have money to spend on my family, it doesn’t mean that my view on life, or my attitude, has changed,” Dagar says, “I have drivers for taking my family around, but I still prefer to drive myself.” Despite having sedans like a Jaguar XJL, Mercedes C-Class, and a BMW, why does he prefer an SUV? “The roads I have to take are more than capable of ripping the chassis off a car,” he laughs, “I like the feel of an

“Typically, a dealership gets a quota of cars every month from the manufacturing facility. The Fortuner is such a hit with the Gurgaon crowd that we have pre-sold several months worth of our quota,” he says. No car dealership like to turn down potential customers, but such is the demand. SUV sales in Gurgaon outstrip every other City that you can think of,” Mehta boasts. Atul Kumar, a Senior Marketing Executive in a real estate firm, Ramprastha, is happy because he didn’t have to wait that long for his Fortuner. A broad grin plastered across his youthful face, Atul says, “I have helped several of my friends and colleagues get SUVs of their choice. And now, it’s my turn.” He is the brand-new owner of a silver Fortuner. “In a city like Gurgaon, an SUV is the logical choice. The high seating, space to travel comfort-

{ Sarita Maheshwari Sharda }

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ably, and traction to take on muddy and slushy monsoon roads, are factors that make the sedans lose out. The fuel economy may definitely be low, but I don’t mind it when it means a safe and comfortable travel for me and my family.” The fairer sex, on the other hand, like curves on the cars as well. Winnie likes to pick up her knick-knacks at the Sector 15 Part-II market. She swears that the Market has everything a girl needs in fast food. And she is not get bothered by the stares people give her when she drives up in her cherry-red Mercedes S-Class with her gal pals. “It’s OK, I suppose. I like my Merc, and it is not a common sight. I am comfortable driving the car around my neighbourhood and short trips, but my chauffeur takes over otherwise,” she says, with a pout. What is her favourite car as of now? “Not that it is going to happen, but I’d be willing to sell one of my kidneys for a Maserati GranTurismo GTS,” she sighs wistfully. The car Winnie is talking about has a 4,000 cc engine, and does 0-100 kmph in less than four seconds. “I spent some time driving a Porsche Boxster in Sydney, but the Maserati just steals my heart,” she says. British luxury car brand Jaguar’s Gurgaon Marketing Manager Varun Kapoor speaks of the division of the ages in the choice of car. “Older clients prefer the bigger Range Rover line; while several 25 to 30-year-olds prefer the smaller SUV segment, or our Jaguar sedans. We are coming out with new variants in our sedans and SUVs, to attract the young, second generation of the wellheeled set,” he says. But SUV sales overpower sedans any day, he admits. One of the City’s known businessman and a philanthropist, Sharad Goel, has the choicest of cars. But his own trust remains in SUVs – and that too, a Prado. “I have nine cars – from an Innova to a BMW X5. But my preference will always be for the Prado. There is a feeling of solidity in the car, which I fail to find even

A Shoe-In

nce upon a time, there was a little and poor child, Cinderella – and then her life got better when the shoe fit right. Right footwear can stand one apart. Separate from the rest of the clothing, shoes are a visual endpoint, and receive a disproportiate amount of attention – and have a major role in making or breaking a look. So here is the footwear guide to choose it right! Never sacrifice proper fit and comfort - Know your foot type, and analyze your feet well, how broad is it? Is it wider than the usual? Are the toes longer? Always buy the as per your foot shape, even if this means a bit more of money, time and energy. While buying footwear, always try on both feet and lace/strap up properly. Be comfortable about walking, hopping or even running a little in them. Footwear should feel comfortable immediately; do not wait, thinking that the feet will slowly get used to them. It’s best to shop for footwear in the later part of the day, as most feet tend to swell during the day – and it is best to try on when your feet are at their largest. Invest in quality - Not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of bucks on their footwear; The winning strategy is to invest in footwear which are made of good material, so that your foot can breathe and footwear stay longer and need easy maintenance.

in a Jaguar or a Land Rover,” he says emphatically. As he admits, his stable of cars are there more because of need than passion. “All I need of a car is safety and security, which I get in a Toyota Prado. I have very little use for fancy instruments, performance statistics, and accessories – so a sports car is just not for me. I want a car which will get the job done without a murmur or complaint, and my SUV does that fine.” The last name in car accessories and mod-jobs in Gurgaon is an up-and-coming place in Udyog Vihar called AutoPsyche. Arush, who is one of the owners of the establishment, recalls how the car boom and their own love for cars, prompted them to this breakaway profession. “The

calling me an idiot. I ventured into real-estate, and didn’t find it to my liking. Then my friends and I suddenly hit upon the idea of opening our own beer-joint – and soon Striker happened. Now, I can look at everyone in the eye and say that I have made it,” he says candidly. “I still remember my first job, a salary of Rs 6,000 a month.” His first car was a Maruti 800, bought for him by his parents. A year ago, he bought his first high-end car, a BMW X5. “Till now, I had been driving a sedan. Now, I can afford to buy an expensive car, and I bought what I felt was the best in terms of safety for my family. We usually take week-end trips to Jaipur, to visit my parents, and I feel much safer in an SUV when I’m travelling with my wife and daughter. My kid loves the sun-roof, and sticks her head out,” he says. “My wife prefers the sedan, but I am discovering the fun of an SUV,” Ahlawat says. His check-list of

JIT KUMAR

 Contd from p 3

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car scene in Gurgaon is booming, and it always will. We have seen the people’s love for SUVs from the start. It’s in the soil, and the air – this love for big cars,” he jokes. “People here will continue to buy cars until they get that particular SUV which sates their desires. We outfit and customise so many SUVs that we have lost count. It is only recently that the younger set has started veering towards high-end sedans and sports cars. It is a small, growing segment. Our bread and butter still comes from SUVs.” One of the hottest watering holes in the City is Striker Bar and Pub. Part-owner Lalit Ahlawat is proud of his place, and of his BMW X5. “Striker was, and is, a big step for me. I am an MBA; and until 2005, a salaried-man. I quit my job with a wife and a baby in tow, even when everybody was

features when he was out carshopping was safety, safety and safety. “You read about accidents happening everyday,” he says. “I found out that my requirements of safety were best fulfilled by a BMW SUV, and I didn’t think over it a second more.” The years have gone by for Gurgaon, but some things have remained the same. One is the wealth, and the other is the love for an SUV. There are many accidents involving big, expensive SUVs, but that hasn’t deterred the jet-set from buying them in droves. Abhimanyu Mehta remarks, “SUVs remain the back-bone of luxury car sales. The trend may be shifting towards smaller SUVs – but that is still the same segment. As long as Gurgaon has its super rich and poor roads, SUVs will continue to rule the City roads.” u

Wear the right shoe for the occasion – This is the most common mistake when it comes to footwear.  Running shoes have a purpose – they protect your feet while running.  Steel toe work boots have a purpose – they protect your feet while working.  And wearing these shoes outside their prescribed function is fine, as long as they are still appropriate. However, many of us take this to an extreme; we have abandoned the middle ground between formal and ultra-casual. When selecting the right shoes to wear with an outfit, you should look for a pair that works with the colour and style of the outfit. You should also bear in mind the season, and the setting you plan on wearing your ensemble in; and how much walking you’ll actually have to do in them. Heel and comfort: Only wear shoes with a heel height you feel comfortable in. Three inch heels may look impressive; but if you are unable to walk around in them, that good impression is gone. Stick with shoes you feel comfortable and confident in, to make the most out of any look. Put a sock on it: Socks provide cushion to the feet and lend stability when you walk or run. Socks protect your feet against potential injuries, as they absorb the shock first. They also protect your foot’s skin against any yeast infections in your shoe. Yes, it is finally about both function and style. u The author is a certified Image Consultant.


20 { Bhavana Sharma }

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ost of us are positive to plants, and would love to have them in our balconies or outside in the garden. Live plants represent the  life force and are important elements to have in our environment. Having plants inside the house not only makes it more beautiful, but also helps in making the living space more fresh and lively. However, just keeping plants inside a house is not enough; it is important to take care of the plants regularly, so that they spread their fragrance, and make our house a relaxing, healthy and more beautiful place . Houseplants are good and beneficial, especially wooded houseplants and bamboos. In general, all kinds of plants emit a positive energy; and because they cleanse air, they contribute to the positive flow of chi throughout a house. Many plants can also be used to disguise harsh angles, or elements that would otherwise create a stagnant flow of energy - thus acting as “bad energy sinks”. So let’s take a look at the kinds of plants that can support a home; and specially those that have all the five elements according to the fengshui philosophy.

Advantages of keeping plants

To Improve the Air Quality

A potted plant at home removes various impurities present in the air. As per research, there should be a plant within every hundred square feet, to have non-polluted air. Some plants have a more beneficial effect nidoors. Chrysanthemum is the best indoor plant, as it removes the harmful pollutant benzene - which is present in paints, gasoline, rubber as well as plastic. If we want to maintain a fresh and non-polluted environment in our living space, there is no alternative to green potted plants.

To maintain humidity

Indoor plants are great moisture controllers. They prevent the weather inside from becoming too dry, which is especially beneficial during the winter months. The humidity is controlled by the plants, so that optimum moisture content in the indoor environment is maintained at all times. A dry environment not only makes our skin dry up, but also makes us susceptible to bouts of flu and cold. However, differences in humidity also affect the plants themselves, so it is important to keep noting whether the tips of the leaves are turning brown.

To Reduce Noise Pollution

Indoor plants help to absorb noise levels in our homes and offices. Since the

27 July-2 Aug 2012

Plant Yourself In The Middle traffic and noise pollution has increased now-a-days, plants are most beneficial for the homes close to the road. Keeping potted plants on the windows facing the road will help absorb noise. Plants make the environment noise free, and thus reduce the level of stress

To Uplift Our Mood

Indoor plants have a magical effect in improving the quality of our life in general, and in uplifting our mood. We will be able to keep the daily stress and anxiety at bay, while living in the company of green plants. Improvement in the performance of the staff is also found in workplaces where potted plants are kept.

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eople indulge in alcohol and drug use, and seek pleasure in late night parties, basically to seek a change in ‘sensation’. We look for a more compelling sensation, that will pull our attention away from what ails us. We want to be distracted. Thus, a very common habit for many people, when trouble or anxiety arises, is to eat excessively, drink recklessly or take to drugs. There is a long list of eminent persons who have lost their lives due to drug overdose. The list includes the noted American wrestler Brian Adams, the well known singer and actress Whitney Houston, the most agile martial artist Bruce Lee, and the melodious Michael Jackson. Very recently, Sage Stallone, known for his role in Rocky V, and son of Sylvester Stallone,

Don’t keep dead or dying plants

It seems obvious, but dead or dying plants emit negative energy, and should be discarded. This applies to cut flowers also. In general, flowers are good for the home - but declining bouquets should be discarded. After all, what’s the point in keeping a literal symbol of death hanging around?

Keep herbs in the home

The Chinese often burn herbs after an argument or other disruptive event to purify the home. Growing herbs is also beneficial. Lavender is a particularly powerful herb, as it is widely considered to promote relaxation and peace.

For Vaastu

Even the traditional art of home design in India maintains that planting of trees inside the house is good for health and peace of mind. Having a tulsi plant in the centre of the house is an old practice. Even the Chinese art of living, Feng Shui, considers the keeping of plants in the home environment a conducive practice - which keeps both our body and mind healthy and sound.

A Gardening Start

You can place pots, and install hanging garden pots, at the entrance of your home. Get the pots from a local potter, and paint them with traditional designs and colourful paints. Plants with attractive colourful flowers can be cultivated in small pots, and kept all over the home. Apart from just plants, you can also cultivate climbers and vines, to give your home a warm appearance. You can also choose an upright ceramic pot to hold the plant. Keep the plant healthy by watering it regularly, and keeping it clean.

Some Dos and Donts

Keep Plants in pairs

Begin decorating on one side, and move slowly across the room. Don’t think of the plants as separate from your furniture, but as an integral part of your living space. Pairs are considered beneficial also, so use pairings of plants to increase chi.

Avoid thorns

Thorny plants form a protective barrier, thus stopping the flow of chi. If you must, place them by a window, to discourage intruders. Don’t place thorny plants near the front door. Even some kinds of cactus plants should not be kept around the house, as they can bring in negative energy and disturb the aura of the household members .

Plants to increase Positivity around the Home Palms Dracaena. There are many species of dracaena - some of which form thick, wooded stalks. n  Peace lilies. Jade plants. These are sometimes called money plants. n Ficus species. There are many species of ficus, including rubber plants and the weeping fig. These are beneficial plants— in fact Buddha achieved enlightenment while sitting beneath a ficus tree. n  Hanging plants. Baskets are great for moving chi throughout a room, and near the ceiling. n 

Mind the entrance

Your front door is literally the beginning point to the journey of your home. It is where you welcome people, and where air circulates most freely. Place or hang fresh plants near the front entrance whenever possible.

Disguise harsh lines

Slopes ceilings, corners, and other sharp lines are considered negative energy enhancers, because they stop the flow of chi through a house. Use plants to disguise these architectural

Addiction Traps { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

features of your house, and enhance air flow between rooms, and through “dead” spaces.

lost his life due to drug overdose. And it is just not restricted to times of ‘failure’; even during moments of jubilation we are prone to do something rash, which can bring more trouble to ourselves, and to those around us. I recently visited Leprosy Mission Hospital in New Delhi, with a group of young medical students, who were doing a study on the “Impact of Leprosy on the Minds of Leprosy Patients and the Careers of M.leprae (the bacteria causing leprosy)”. During interaction with the lepers, we were made aware of some facts that were real eye openers. Lepers sometimes experience terrible itching; and there is nothing they can do to prevent it. The craving to be free from it is so powerful, that sometimes you may see a leper put his

n 

arm into a fire – because, for a short time, the sensation of having their flesh burnt away is actually less ‘painful’ than the itching. In order to –escape from one suffering, the leper inflicts something far more terrible upon himself, something which will cause him further suffering for many years to come. The image of the leper putting his arm into the fire applies to our lives also. We may not be lepers, but we are all afflicted in some way. In dealing with obstacles and provocations, we finally take resort to some craving, some itch. This itch may take us to a bottle of alcohol or drugs; and in the grip of this craving we may act in ways that may seriously burn us. We try to cut off the troubles – which is not possible. We cannot avoid the typhoons and tsunamis in our lives. While we cannot help responding, we do not have to let this response play havoc with our lives. An unrealistic attempt to extinguish obstacles, just like the leper trying to ex-

B on V ivant Bamboo. Any variety of bamboo is good - even Lucky Bamboo (which technically is Dracaena sanderiana, a shrubby plant native to west Africa) n

Best Indoor Plants for Purifying the Air The Lucky Bamboo is one of the most popular  fengshui   plants these days. Ever wondered why Lucky Bamboo is considered lucky, according to the masters of fengshui philosophy? It is said that it has some very peaceful and wise  energy, that could work wonders when kept around the home or the office. It also teaches the ultimate wisdom of how to be flexible and hollow (open) on the inside, so that the spirit can freely flow and heal one’s being. If you are lucky enough to have bamboo growing in your garden, you know how soothing - almost transcendental - the sound of it is. The same is true for bamboo windchimes, as well as the energy of bamboo floors. This little indoor bamboo plant is considered lucky because it combines all  the five elements  of feng shui, namely :n  WOOD- the Bamboo itself n  EARTH- the Rocks the plant grows in n  WATER- the Water the plant grows with n   FIRE- most pots usually have a red  ribbon tied to them n  METAL- the glass pots belong to the metal element. If Bamboo is planted in a pot other than glass (i.e. clay or ceramics) it will usually have either a metal coin, or a metal figurine with it. n  Palms- You will need tall palm plants to be kept around the office or at home. If you are living in a polluted city, make sure you wipe the Palm leaves every single day, for the plant to effectively convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. n  Areca Palm- Keep at least two sets outdoors, and rotate that set with the indoor one every three to four months. n  Snake Plant- Unlike most plants which release carbon-dioxide at night, the Snake Plant (also known as Mother-in-law’s Tongue) does the reverse - it converts CO2 into Oxygen at night. So you can safely keep it inside the bedroom. You need at least 6 to 8 waist height plants per person, to improve the indoor air quality to a healthy level. n  Money Plant- Other than releasing oxygen in the air, a money plant can also eliminate formaldehyde - that is commonly released by cigarette smoke and adhesives (used with wood furnishings) - from the air. Money Plant is therefore especially useful in office buildings, as they generally have a lot of wooden furniture. u Tarot Reader & Author tinguish the itch by burning his arm, does great damage. We think that the pleasure of eating, drinking and drug abuse will make us feel better; and, temporarily, like for the leper, it does. But it is no solution; and it not only has harmful side effects, but can be fatal. It is when we are in flight from troubles that we do ourselves the most serious psychological–and sometimes physical–injury. In life, we never know what is round the corner. We should try to be unmoved by what we meet on our journey. Importantly, the obstacles and failures cannot be substituted with any kind of indulgence. Whatever we encounter, we must meet it with the fullness of spirit. 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.


27 July-2 Aug 2012

N

ot everybody has a passport or a PAN card, or even a Voter ID card; but more than 76 per cent of India’s population has a phone. Recent figures from TRAI indicate that nearly 90 crore cell phones are keeping India buzzing in 2012. From the CEO of an MNC to a fruit seller, or a Bollywood film star to a beggar, they all come with their very own cell phone – and a unique ring tone. Be it for simple calling or texting, or for the more complicated access to internet via gprs, or downloading of an app, there is a phone for every reason. Gadgets like mobile phones, MP3 players and tablet PCs have wriggled their way into our lives. Such is their insidious charm that even those who curse technology very soon grow to love them. “My cell phone is my life and the iPod my saviour,” says 17-year-old Sharanya, when quizzed about the role of technology in her life. Most youngsters identify with her. Rahul, a second year college student, talks about how he may be able to manage a day without money or books, but cannot survive without his earphones. It seems as if hands these days come out holding a cell phone. Ritu, mother of a one-year-old baby, says “My little daughter loves to hold my cell phone. I am already stressing about what will happen when she grows up, since she can’t go an hour without the gadget!” Much like a dog reveals a lot about its master, the type of cell phone a person carries tells a lot about him/her. Rohan, an executive dressed in a crisp white shirt and black pants, sees a huge benefit in having a “cool” phone. “When I sit with my bosses, all of them pull out their phones and place them on the table. As soon as I put my iPhone there, they immediately notice it. They get really impressed when I search up a solution, or a piece of information, using an app on my phone. The phone has put me in an elite group.” Steve Jobs sure didn’t

Y oung A dult 21

The World Has Shrunk

promote Apple as much as Shreya, a 16-year-old, does. “I have an iPhone, an iTouch, an iPod and a MacBook – and I plan to buy the iPhone 5 as soon as it is launched.” It seems as if she loves everything that starts with “i”; and it doesn’t come as a surprise that she loves ‘i’ce cream – and her favourite fruit is apple! A completely different class of mobile phone users are the Blackberry bunch. They have so much faith in their devices that when an 18-year-old was asked which is the fastest way to communicate in times of a disaster, she confidently said BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). Ankita, her fingers busy BBM-ing her friends, says, “Ear-

youth

lier BB (Blackberry) was a complete business phone – ‘all work and no play’; but with a bit of marketing, advertising, and a little help from Barack Obama, it has acquired a new constituency of those who keep sending emails from midnight till 6 am – as well as youngsters who love chatting endlessly. Big brands aside, it is the Android society that comes in all shapes, sizes and clothes. Whether it is a youngster in a no-brand t-shirt bought off the sidewalk in Sarojini Nagar, or a chic woman dressed in designer wear, Android users are everywhere. Arjun, a college student gushes, “Android has an app for Everything, and it hugely popular among tech geeks.” Then there is Arpita, who is about to enter college. “I just wanted a phone that is cool, affordable and looks good. Android phones have all this, plus a touch screen.” What most youngsters agree upon is that Android phones are available in a wide price range, making them accessible even to those with a limited budget. Bulbul’s parents aren’t ready to buy her an expensive phone till she is in school. Yet, without a phone she feels the odd one out. Her peers strut around with earphones plugged into their ears, and keep messag-

speak

ing the whole time. Hence, her notion of a “simple” phone is telling. All she wants is a device which looks decent, if not great, and has a phone, messaging, internet, music, FM and a camera. Outside this universe of cool, brand-conscious youngsters are the millions of Indians who just cannot afford to spend over Rs. 5,000 (a month’s salary for many) on a phone. For them, the Chinese “iFones” and “Blackcherries” are the answer – slick rip-offs of their more famous counterparts. Apple-crazy Shreya once mistook her driver Raju’s “iFone” for her own iPhone. Manish, quite embarrassingly, recounts,

“My friends gifted me the Chinese iFone for my birthday, and I was thrilled about getting an iPhone. I couldn’t make out that it was a fake. A week later I went to the Apple office to complain about a fault, only to find out that it wasn’t a real Apple product.” What’s real is the feeling of connectedness that mobile phones bring into our lives. Whether it is for a student chatting late into the night with friends, or a construction labourer listening eagerly to the voice of his baby in a village far away – the mobile has made the world a smaller place.

Anjani Monga

I Took Out Time For Nature

Its serenity makes the sea look so blue, One cannot distinguish it from the sky's hue. The waves seem calm, almost tranquil, See how the beauty stretches across the hill. I sit to think, besides the tree, thinking of words to describe nature's bounty. But all thoughts wind up as one, "How phenomenal is gods creation". Later, the sun will go down, We would be flown into the hustle of our town. But Nature would still be selfless and kind, And welcome us whenever her thought strikes our mind. Vaishali Gauba

Gurgaon is an awesome city for the shopaholics. You will get any brand under the Sun. Apart from shopping, I like the spirit of youngsters who have been raising their voice for crime against women. Last week, I participated in a flash mob at Galleria to highlight the issue of women safety.

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22 { Jeff Abramowitz / Tel Aviv / DPA }

S

haul Ladani first knew that something was not right when he peered out of the the door of his room in the Munich Olympic village, and saw four uniformed guards talking to a dark-skinned man. The man was refusing their request to bring in medical aid. Minutes earlier, the Israeli race walker had been woken by a team-mate, who had told him that wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg “has been killed by Arabs or terrorists or something like that.” “I thought it was a joke, but it was too bad to be a joke,” Ladani, now 76, recalls. It was around 5.30 am, September 5, 1972, the 10th day of competition at the Olympic Games in Munich. Eight members of the Palestinian Black September Organization had scaled the 2 metre-high fence surrounding the Olympic Village, and made their way to the block at 31 Conollystrasse - where the male Israeli athletes, coaches and referees were housed.  As they tried to break into one of the rooms in Apartment number 1, wrestling referee Yosef Guttefruend, realizing what

The Munich Massacre was happening, braced his nearly 135 kg frame against the door. His action gave some of his room-mates time to flee, but the gunmen rounded up other Israeli athletes and coaches in Apartment 1. Moshe Weinberg had tried to resist, and was shot in the cheek. He was also forced to show the gunmen where the other members of the Israeli delegation were; and Israelis in Apartment 3 were also taken hostage. Weinberg tried to resist again, and was shot again. He died, as did weightlifter Yosef Romano, who also tried to fight. With Weinberg and Romano dead, the gunmen now had nine live hostages. For some reason, they had overlooked the Israelis in Apartment 2 - including Ladini - who were now fully aware of what was going on. It was the opening act of a drama which shook the world. When it was over, 21 hours later, 11 Israeli ath-

Pakistan’s Buddhist Past

{ Sajjad Malik / Islamabad / DPA }

W

hen Taliban militants were expelled from Pakistan’s north-western Swat region, many people thought it would be good for the area’s ancient Buddhist heritage – which has been under attack from the rebels. But new threats have emerged to the centuriesold sites, from illegal excavations by amateur archaeologists and criminal gangs – who compete to unearth relics worth millions of dollars abroad. “This is our history, because we were also Buddhist at that time. This is cultural heritage, and the future of a nation is based on cultural legacy,” says Abdul Azeem, Deputy Director of Pakistan’s Archaeological Department in Islamabad. Remnants of Buddhist art and culture can be found at dozens of sites in north-western Pakistan; which, in marked contrast to its tolerant past, is in the clutches of radical Islamic fundamentalism. The Taliban sought to wipe out traces of the Gandhara civilization, that existed 2,000 years

ago – when Buddhism flourished in the subcontinent. In Afghanistan, Islamists destroyed two giant Buddha carvings in 2001. The act was repeated in Pakistan in 2007, when militants blew up the face of a 1,500-year-old rock carving of Buddha in the Jahanabad area of Swat - bringing condemnation at home and from abroad.

The attack forced the authorities to move the rare archaeological treasures from Swat to Islamabad. They were returned this year to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, to be put back in the museum. The vandalism also hit the region’s once booming tourist industry. The 6-metre tall Buddha image was one of the main attractions for local and foreign visitors from China, South Ko-

Organized Crime { JT Nguyen / New York / DPA }

O

rganized criminals worldwide can amass up to 870 billion dollars a year - from activities such as drug trafficking, illegal arms trade, and the smuggling of migrants, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said. The Vienna-based agency, in a study made public to raise awareness and urge government to fight transnational

G lobal

27 July-2 Aug 2012

crime, said the figure is equal to 1.5 per cent of global domestic product, or 7 per cent of the world’s exports of merchandise. “Transnational organized crime reaches into every region, and every country across the world. Stopping this threat represents one of the international community’s greatest global challenges,” said UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov. The study found that organ-

letes and coaches - including Weinberg and Romano - five gunmen, and one German policeman were dead. The XX Olympiad of the modern era was compromised; some say the whole Olympic ideal was as well. And West Germany’s hopes of hosting a “Peace and Joy” Olympics lay in tatters. Bonn had hoped that the Munich Games would help remove the memory of a militaristic World War II Germany. Security in the Olympic village was minimal to nonexistent. “Everyone who had rea and Thailand – before the rebels took control of the area in 2007. Apart from the systematic destruction of monuments, the Taliban also stopped digging at sites in Swat, to keep the nonIslamic past buried. An army offensive in 2009 cleared out militants, and steps were taken to rehabilitate the damaged sites. The Jahanabad carving is being restored by an Italian team of archaeologists. But nothing has been done to check the illegal excavations that have restarted. Official apathy, corruption, and the mountainous terrain make it easy for small, clandestine digs. It is believed that local residents, and expert outside looters are involved in unauthorized excavations. Stolen artefacts are sold to various dealers, who send them to the southern port of Karachi. International dealers involved with smugglers then ship the rare relics to Europe, or the United Arab Emirates. The ouster of the Taliban may have saved the objects from religious vandalism, but it has also led to a rise in fortune seekers coming to find the rare objects. “Now everyone can go there unchecked,” says Nasir Khan of Taxila Museum. u ized crime groups net some 320 billion dollars from drug trafficking, 32 billion dollars from human trafficking, and possibly 7 billion dollars from smuggling of migrants. The trafficking in timber is worth 3.5 billion dollars a year in South-East Asia, while the illegal sale of ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts from Africa and Asia is worth 75 million dollars, UNODC said.    Organized criminals also make an estimated 250 billion dollars a year through counterfeiting. u

sports-looking clothes could enter the (Olympic) village,” Ladani remembers. “The buses which entered the village were not checked at all.” The gunmen demanded the release of 234 prisoners held in Israeli jails, and the release of two German radicals held in German prisons. Their demands were refused, and the drama dragged on as they extended their deadline. Eventually, the gunmen, realising their demands would not be met, demanded to be flown to a friendly country, which the Germans agreed to. The gunmen and their nine hostages were taken by helicopter to the Fuerstenfeldbruck airfield. The Germans had planned to ambush them there and rescue the hostages. It all went wrong. Afterwards, there was no small amount of criticism at the German rescue operation, which resulted in all the hostages being killed, as well as five gunmen – with three taken prisoner. It was poorly planned, and imple-

mented even worse. German authorities had underestimated the number of gunmen; and even when the real number became clear, this information was not relayed to the team at the airport. The snipers, who were supposed to take out the gunmen, were not professionals, were given the wrong rifles for the task, and were operating in poor light. Police operatives, posing as the crew of the Lufthansa aircraft, abandoned their posts after a vote among themselves, without informing their superiors. “The Germans made every horrible mistake that was possible, and then they invented a few more,” says journalist Aaron Klein, who wrote a book about the hostage crisis, and Israel’s wrathful response. Ladani agrees with that assessment. “If it had been an Israeli unit carrying out the rescue, the result wouldhave been different,” he says. “The whole planning and execution was very amateurish. They wanted happy, nice Games. We thought that probably they had just kept all the security people and gadgets hidden from sight. But they hadn’t prepared any security plan at all.” u

Pirate Attacks { John Grafilo / Kuala Lumpur / DPA }

T

he worldwide number of pirate attacks dropped in the first half of the year, due to the decline in the attacks by Somali pirates, said an international piracy monitoring group. The Kuala Lumpurbased International Maritime Bureau said the number of attacks from January to June dropped to 177 - from 266 for the same period in 2011. “Somali pirate attacks cover a vast area—­ from the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Gulf of Oman to the Arabian Sea and Somali Basin—threatening all shipping routes in the north-west Indian Ocean,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director

of the Bureau. The report attributed the decline in Somali piracy to the “pre-emptive and disruptive counter-piracy tactics by the international navies. The naval actions play an essential role in frustrating the pirates. There is no alternative to their continued presence,” Mukundan said. The report noted that as of June 30, Somali pirates were still holding 11 vessels and 218 crew – 44 of whom were being held ashore in unknown locations and conditions. However, the report noted an increase in pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, which rose to 32 in the first half of the year from 25 in 2011. u

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27 July-2 Aug 2012

Olympic Predictions  { Simon Cambers / London / DPA }

T

here is something about the Olympic Games that seems to bring out the inner Nostradamus in everyone. From  Sports  Illustrated  to USA Today to the Wall Street Journal, and among any number of university professors, prognostications abound about what may or may not happen. At a Games when every heat of every single event will be shown live by the BBC, the host broadcaster, there is more interest than ever over which country will top the medal table, and win the most gold medals. This time, there seems to be a split. There is a longstanding tradition of making predictions on the Olympics; and naturally, some are more reliable than others. For 2012, it seems, there is a vast difference of opinion on which nation will come out on top. In Beijing, the USA won the most overall medals - 110 to China’s 100 - but the host nation dominated the gold medal tally with 51 to 36. USA Today, which uses a model in partnership with Infostrada  Sports, projects that America will win 41 golds to China’s 34, with the overall medal count 94-88 in China’s favour. Sports  Illustrated, using its staff of experts to compile their choices, thinks that the USA and China will each win 42 gold medals, with the USA edging them out 99-97 in the overall medal count. The Wall Street Journal got in on the act, using a model based on probability,

interviews with experts, and the performances of athletes in recent national and international competitions. It predicts the USA to come out on top with 40 gold medals, to China’s 38; and 108 overall medals to China’s 92. “The US is going to resume its position in the gold medal count and the overall count,” said the Journal’s Matt Futterman recently. “We don’t predict gold, silver and bronze; we map out a series of probabilities for all the likely contenders, and we gauge what their percentage chances are of winning a gold medal – and any medal. “Then there are a number of

golds that are up in the air, and we divide them between the medal-winning countries.” The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, New Hampshire, believes that though the USA will win the overall medal count with 103 to 94, they will be beaten 48-35 by China in the gold medal count. The Tuck model uses a nation’s economic development, per capita income, population, prior Olympic success, and other factors, to determine its results. Professor Daniel Johnson, a Professor of Economics at Colorado College, predicts

Solar Impulse Flight { Clare Byrne / Paris / DPA }

T

he Swiss solar-powered airplane, Solar Impulse, took off Tuesday from the French city of Toulouse, on the final leg of its 6,000-kilometre, fuel-free intercontinental voyage. The dawn skies above Toulouse-Francazal Airport were clear, as pilot Bertrand Piccard lifted the aircraft into the air at

0301 GMT, and headed for home in Payerne, Switzerland. The plane, which was travelling at around 74 kilometres an hour, and at an altitude of just under 4,000 metres, was due to land in Payerne after 6 pm GMT. The flight was being broadcast live on the project’s website.       Since it took off from Payerne on May 24, the  Solar Impulse, which was developed by

that the USA will come out on top overall, with 103 medals to China’s 94; but that China will win 48 to 35 in the gold medal count. And Italian Luciano Barra, a former Olympic official, who is renowned for his predictions, believes China will win 100 medals to the USA’s 78, and that they would outstrip USA by 43 to 35 in the gold medals tally. Trying to predict sporting success is a minefield at the best of times but when it comes to individual results, it can be a recipe for disaster. Many of the predictions fail on closer examination. For example, until it corrected for its online edition,  Sports  Illustrated  predicted Germany’s Isabelle Werth would win the equestrian dressage, even though she is not even in the team. USA Today does not have Mark Cavendish - the bookmakers’ favourite – for cycling’s road race even in its top eight; and it predicts Asafa Powell to win the 100 metres ahead of Usain Bolt and Johan Blake. The same publication believes that Jeremy Wariner will win the men’s 400 metres title. Unfortunately he did not even make the USA team. As for Britain, almost all predictors believe the host nation will finish fourth; with the Tuck School of Business the most optimistic, saying they will win a post-war record of 62 medals – up from 47 in Beijing. The Tuck Model claims it was 95 percent accurate in Beijing. If it is equally on the button in London, then the locals will be the happiest of all. u Piccard and Andre Borschberg, has taken in Spain and Morocco on an eight-stage journey – which included a flight of 17 hours 20 minutes from Rabat to Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The plane’s giant wings, which measure 63 metres across – the same as an Airbus A340 – are covered with solar panels, that power four electric motors. Despite its huge wingspan, the plane is ultra-light, weighing in at only 1.6 tonnes - the weight of an average car. The aircraft was built to demonstrate that a solar-powered aircraft could fly both in the day and night. For Piccard and Borschberg, the plane has “gone beyond its mandate, and demonstrated the reliability of its technology, as well as its efficiency in terms of energy consumption.” The lessons learnt from the voyage will be applied to the construction of a new prototype that can circumnavigate the earth, they said. The tentative schedule for that trip is 2014. u

G lobal 23

Rare 1936 Mercedes Could Set New World Auction Record

{ Pebble Beach, California / DPA }

A

US auction house is hoping that a glamorous Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster will smash the record for a car sold under the hammer, when it comes up for sale at Pebble Beach in California on August 18. The luxury sports car, finished in black with red leather interior fittings, was bought new in 1936 by a family of Prussian aristocrats – and was later owned by high society hostess Baroness Gisela von Krieger. The Baroness enjoyed a privileged life for many years, and was named among the ten most fashionable women in the world. At the height of World War II the baroness had the 540K sent to Switzerland for safe keeping. She later moved to New York, and the car was shipped to America by luxury liner. As it turned out, Krieger hardly ever used the vehicle, and it slumbered in a garage for 40 years before she died. The current owner paid for it to be lavishly restored. According to the Gooding and Company auction house, the Krieger 540K is one of the most significant Mercedes models to have ever come up for sale. Before restoration, it had been parked in in a garage at Hampstead Inn in Greenwich. The lipstick-stained cigarette butts of the baroness were still in the ashtray, and such items as her driving maps and silk gloves were also in the car. The world record for a car sold at a public auction is held by the first-ever 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa, that Gooding sold last year for 16.39 million dollars. u

Monaco’s Albert Puts Up Vintage Car Auction { Clare Byrne / Paris / DPA }

P

rince Albert II of Monaco is putting 38 cars from his vintage collection up for auction this week, Artcurial auction house said Tuesday. The antique cars going under the hammer on Thursday include a 1956 Bentley S1 and a Panhard X19 from 1913. The oldest car in the auction is a Berliet type C2 from 1907, which comes with a guide price of 25,000-35,000 euros. For lower budgets, there are some smaller post-war models on offer, such as a Fiat 500. Albert’s collection of 142 cars was started by his father, Prince Rainier III.  The late Prince, who was married to Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, bought and restored some 100 cars over the course of three decades.  A photograph on the cover of the auction catalogue shows Rainier lovingly uncovering one of his gleaming prizes. Albert said in a statement that he wanted to renew the collection. Among his new acquisitions, he said, were a metallic blue Alpine Sunbeam, identical to the one driven by his mother in the 1955 Alfred Hitchcock classic, To Catch a Thief. u

75% Of The World Now Uses Mobile Phones { Todd Feathers / Washington / DPA }

T

he global address book for mobile phones has reached 6 billion contacts, and experts say the number of mobile subscriptions will soon pass the world population. According to a World Bank report, 75 per cent of the world’s population now has access to a mobile phone. The report estimates that by 2015, there will be 7.5 billion people in the world – and nearly 9 billion mobile subscriptions. The growth has been most rapid in developing countries. Mobile subscribers in developing countries made up 77 per cent of subscribers worldwide in 2010 – up from 29 per cent in 2000. As the population of mobile users becomes more diverse, so do the ways in which they use their phones. The report found that over 30 billion “apps,” or applications, for mobile phones were downloaded in 2011. u


24

MONSOON MAGIC

prakhar pandey

27 July-2 Aug 2012

G -scape


Friday Gurgaon, July 27-August 2, 2012