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16–22 December 2011

Vol. 1 No. 17  Pages 32  ` 7

{Inside} Art

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picture is worth a thousand words. We explore contemporary Indian photography, through the works of four lensmen, currently on exhibit in the city ...Pg 6

Know Your Gurgaon ontinuing our effort to acquaint you with the city, we take you to the very popular Sector 14 Market, to check out what makes this Delhi style market so popular ...Pg 11

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Meet Your MLA n interview with Rao Dharampal, MLA, Badshahpur, focuses on and ways to improve the city ...Pg 13

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Know Your Councillor e catch up with Mahesh Dayma, Councillor Ward No. 32 to get his take on the problems that beset his constituency ...Pg 13

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Management Institutes here has been a mushrooming of B-Schools in the city. MDI clearly stands out ...Pg 23

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Vaastu aving introduced Vaastu, we now provide Vedic tips for selecting a site ...Pg 20

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Regular Features Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 9 Food Prices ...Pg 13 Realty Rates ...Pg 24

Female Foeticide Silent Cries In The Womb They satisfy their soul by saying, “I’ll get her a brother.”

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

fact the worst when it comes to female foeticide, and the male-female ratio. Gurgaon, the most ‘advanced’ District of the State, carries on this notorious legacy – and ranks among the worst districts.

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he other day, my friend asked me a simple question. ‘When did you last feel completely secure?’ I dramatically answered – ‘definitely in my mother’s womb.’ That answer, unfortunately, is not universal. Definitely not in India. Yes, in many parts of our country, girls are silenced; even before they set their first foot outside their hallowed first home – their mother’s womb. Fanatical patriarchy has dominated the Indian social contours for long. It has helped breed this heinous and inhuman crime of female foeticide. It stains our identity as the first civilised race. Even in these modern times, this shameful and inhuman ‘tradition’ is practised – only now mostly behind the curtains. India is one of those few countries where the gap between male and female numbers is wide – and further widening in many places. Haryana, a State that takes pride in calling itself one of the fastest developing states of the country, is in

Past transgressions and present status

At present, India has 940 females per 1,000 males. It is a marginal improvement over 2001, when the ratio was 933 females per 1,000 males. Of grave concern is the child sex ratio (0-6 years), which has in fact reduced – from 927, to 914 (from 2001 to 2011). It was 976 in 1961. Our patriarchal customs and beliefs have made our society short-sighted, if not blind. Haryana, a state that was ranked the worst in 2001, with a sex ratio of 861, has made some improvement – with 877 females per 1,000 males now. It is the best figure the State has acquired since 1901. However, it still bears the title of being the state with the worst sex ratio, closely followed by Punjab (893) and Uttar Pradesh (908).

DURGADATT PANDEY

Contd on p 8 

Towards A Road Sense { Hritvick Sen/FG }

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harti Arora, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) for the city of Gurgaon, says it as plain as possible, “We’ll always be short of manpower. Yes, we have more inspectors on the road now – but we will always need, and want, public support.” As this year draws to a close, the DCP talks about the achievements of the city’s traffic police, what they are working on, and in

JIT KUMAR

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RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

what ways they are attempting to shepherd Gurgaon’s flock (read commuters). “What the city expects is a perfect traffic situation. That can’t be done by just imposing heavy fines, and strict policing. We want the citizens to come forward and adopt good commuting. They should say that ‘We’re proud to follow traffic rules’. Only then can the city’s chaotic jams have a semblance of civility,” she comments.

Contd on p 9 


02

16–22 December 2011

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–16  16–22 December 2011

Editor:

Coming Up

EXHIBITION  THEATRE  MUSIC  ART  DANCE works by Navtej Singh Johar & Ken Furudate, Rajyashree Ramamurthi & Desmond Roberts, Parimal Phadke & Dhanya Pilo, Surjit Nongmeikapam & Frederic Lombard, Preethi Athreya & Yashaswini, Rakesh MPS & Asim Waqif, and Sonia Khurana.

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents: Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann Sr. Photographer:

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Exhibition

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Voluptuary Tastes @Nature Morte, The Oberoi, Udyog Vihar Date: Dec 8 to Dec 20 Time: 11 am to 9 pm (No Entry Fee)

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Dance

Kuchipudi Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector-44 Date: Dec 23 Time: 7.30 pm

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Music

Celebrating Christmas @ Epicentre Auditorium, Apparel House, Sector-44 Date: Dec 17 Time: 7.30 pm (Entry is free. No passes are required. Seats are available on first come first served basis.)

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he Lorraine Music Academy & the Gurgaon Community is hosting a concert, "A Musical Evening Celebrating Christmas". Children, teens and adults from across Gurgaon will be singing popular carols. Guest musicians include Virendra Patil (India), Sanjeeb Sircar (India) and Gil Zohar (Israel).

Theatre

experience that counters the effects of globalisation; through a series of their works, that will be constructed and installed at the venue. Participating artists include Jaishri Abichandani, Rina Banerjee, Anita Dube, Pooja Iranna, among others. The show is curated by Rakhee Balaram.

The Comedy and the Tragedy(English/70 Mins) @Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector-44 Date: Dec 16 Time: 7.30 pm

Kuchipudi dance recital by Sarvani Yadavalli. The dancer is a disciple of Sobha Naidu, Vedantam Radheyshyam, Smt & Sri Nagajothy, and Rajaram.

Tickets: Rs. 350, Rs. 250 and Rs. 150, available at the venue (Suitable for 18 years & above)

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solo performance by Neil Titley, known to play Oscar Wilde in numerous productions. Set in Paris, just after Oscar's release from the Reading Jail, the play finds the great playwright reflecting somewhat cynically on his life, career and Victorian England.

Screen Dance

The Yellow Line Project @Devi Art Foundation, Sirpur House, Plot 39, Sector 44 Date: Dec 17 Time: 7 pm (Entry Free)

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he Yellow Line Project, an initiative of The Gati Dance Forum, has invited leading choreographers and media artists to make and present 7 original dance films, based on the city of Delhi. The evening will include

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beautiful selection of jewellery by William Ehrlich; furnishings by Gunjan Gupta; paintings by Ajay Desai, David Sequeira, M Pravat and Mona Rai; ceramics by Ray Meeker and Vineet Kacker; and photographs by Jeffrey Schiff.

Art

@Art Alive Gallery 120, Sector 44 Date: Dec 17 (Preview) Time: 11 am to 7 pm (Sunday closed)

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multi-media show titled 'Fragility', this exhibition will have artists creating an

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he pride of Assam, 'Muga Silk' (Muga Paat), is not only a unique silk product from Assam, but also a symbol of rich Assamese culture, and part of traditional attire of the region. The” golden” silk is one of the many natures' gifts to Assam. It is superior in every respect to the normal white silk available all over the world. This silk is much more durable. And interestingly it's

brightness improves with every wash, while the normal silk has to be very carefully washed.

The Gold of Assam!

Apart from normal dressings, it is used in other furnishing and decoration stuff too. Muga clothes are so durable that they can be used for decades, and thus are also one of the costliest fabrics in the world. Muga is produced from the cocoon of 'Antheraea Assamensis', which breeds only in Assam. Muga worm('Muga Polu' in Assamese) also has the same lifecycle as a silkworm,ie. egg, caterpillar, pupa and moth. The caterpillars that hatch out are about 2mm long, grow rapidly, eat voraciously and end up about 30 mm long – after four to five weeks. During this time, they change skin four times. Man interferes with this

life cycle at the cocoon stage, to obtain the silk, a continuous filament of commercial importance, used in weaving silk- the dream fabric. These silk worms yield a beautiful golden thread, which is much sought after for its colour and sheen. It's the artistic creativity and inherent talent of the weavers in various corners of Assam that adds beauty and glamour to the natural golden glow of Muga. The muga dress are usually very rich in color and have an embroidery of flowers, trees, leaves, and bihu related structures – making the dress even more spectacular and unique. Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.


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04

16–22 December 2011

reviews FOOD

To Beijing via Bangkok Aalok Wadhwa

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hose who have been to the Omaxe Mall (Sohna Road), would probably agree that it is an awkwardly designed mall – with more nooks and corners than any other mall in Gurgaon. Tucked into one such nook on the ground floor is a restaurant called Thainese. No prizes for guessing the cuisine served here – yes, it is Thai and Chinese. And the restaurant breathes the word cozy. When I ask its proprietor Sahir Dhingra how authentic the food here is, his tactful reply is that it is “as authentic as the Indian palate allows it to be”. Things get off to a fine start. The tom yum prawn soup (Rs. 130), a Thai hot and sour soup, is a universally loved dish. It is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with generous use of Thainese Shop No. 8, Ground Floor, C-Block, Omaxe Gurgaon Mall, Sohna Road, Gurgaon Phone: 0124 4215600, 0124 4215601, 0124 4215602 Cuisine: Thai, Chinese Timing: 12 noon – 11 pm

fragrant herbs. The basic broth is made of stock, and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and crushed chili peppers. The soup I am served has all of these tongue-tingling flavours, and a wonderful texture. And the shrimp in it are a tasty bonus. The dry chilly chicken (Rs. 180) is authentic Indian Chinese cuisine, and—I must say—most enjoyable. The chilly powder, black pepper powder, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato puree, ginger, garlic, and salt come together – to create an excitingly familiar buzz. This is where the road to Thailand starts meandering. The much recommended chicken Thai red curry (Rs. 240) is disappointing; with a sludgy yellow texture and tough undercooked chicken. Pad Thai (Rs. 150) is Thailand’s national food, and a street food classic. It is listed at number five on the World’s 50 most delicious food items (readers’ poll – conducted by CNN Go in 2011). Here it tastes insipid, as it is missing the mandatory red chilly, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts and coriander. The restaurant thankfully is back on terra firma with its Sino-Indian offering – starting with the quintessence of Indian Chinese food, Veg Hakka noodles (Rs. 120). Originating from the Hakka community, settled in the province of Fujian in China, the Hakka cuisine is mostly simple; with natural ingredients and very little or no seasoning – contrary to what is served in Indian restaurants as “Hakka”. Though traditionally flat rice noodles, the Indo-Chinese version of Hakka noodles are made from Durum flour. So, like chicken Manchurian, Hakka noodles is an original made-in-India dish. The dish I am served is a respectable Hindustani Hakka noodles. The accompanying fish in black bean sauce (Rs. 280) is a competent dish. The sole fish is flaky and tender, and the gravy has the umami flavour of black beans – giving it a piquant taste. Overall, Thainese is a friendly neighbourhood joint that stands out for its simple, non-pretentious Indian Chinese food. It is a good eating-out option, with value-for-money prices. u

BOOK

The Third Eye Alka Gurha

recluse; he built a cocoon around himself. The book also chronicles the support of his family. The entire Bindra family bhinav Bindra’s autobiography is a shared a passion for shooting, and captivating saga of his “obsessive supported the prodigy at every step of his journey to the Olympic gold medal”. strenuous journey. The book encompasses 21 chapters; It is endearing when Bindra’s shooting with an articulate preface by Rohit buddies—Anjali Bhagwat and Mansher Brijnath, the famous sports journalist. Singh—pay tribute to his shooting Brijnath is currently with ‘The Strait prowess and dedication. Times’ (in Singapore), Bindra makes a special and has co-written this mention of Gagan tome of patience and Narang, to dispel doubts perseverance. of his alleged rivalry with The book is a sincere the fellow shooter. The attempt to provide a book also has some glimpse of the shooting amazing pictures, that world; its pains and encompass Bindra’s pleasures. When you glorious shooting career. are shooting a target Bindra has restrained where the bulls eye is himself from getting 0.5mm wide, there are embroiled in any bound to be heartaches controversy – despite and failures. The initial his differences with the chapters take you National Rifle Association through the pain of of India. defeat and despair,that The book is Bindra felt, after he lost in lengthy, becomes a Athens, 2004. The book little repetitive, and tells you that ‘shooting’, proceeds at a languorous as a sport, is all about A shot at history pace. That said, this passion and obsession. Author: Abhinav Bindra autobiography is a must And it was this obsession PUBLISHER: Harper Sport read for all sport lovers that took the 13-year-old PRICE: Rs 399 who aspire to tread Bindra to the pinnacle Abhinav Bindra’s path to of success. The journey Genre: Sport/Auto biography golden glory. u however, made him a

A

BOOK

A Unique Anthology Manjula Narayan

also one that is humanist in the truest sense. For readers of Indian English fiction, perhaps bored of erhaps someone should do the pre-occupations of the urban VS Naipaul a favour and send middle class set explored in book him a copy of Her Piece of Sky after book, Her Piece of Sky brings — an anthology of contemporary some relief. It presents a world Hindi stories by women writers, that’s at once familiar and alien. translated into English, and A range of themes emerge: The released by Zubaan. The Nobel sexual longing, of laureate who had, Pratyaksha’s The earlier this year, upset Hunt, where food and women writers—by sex are intertwined; suggesting that their the exploration writing emerged from of hypocrisy and a narrow perspective quiet cruelty within of the world, and one families, in The that was immediately Other One; and the recognisable as callousness of the female—would be world, that tramples unnerved by the on the dispossessed, variety of voices in this Her Piece of Sky in Jagdamba Babu anthology. Some of is Coming to the those voices—like the PUBLISHER: Zubaan Book Village. Contributors one in veteran writer PRICE: Rs 295 include Mridula Mannu Bhandari’s The Garg, Rajee Seth, Cremation Ground, Chandrakanta, Mamta Kalia and that examines the concept of Chitra Mudgal—who are well eternal love—speak not just for known outside Hindi literature women, but for humankind. Others, also;and younger writers like like army wife Alpana Mishra’s Manisha Kulshreshtha and Homeless in the Cantonment, are Vandana Rag. very definitely written from a female Languages often form their own perspective. The collection’s title, a inner courtyards, and efforts like reference to Rajee Seth’s story His this one are essential. They allow Piece of Sky, and to the sky that readers unfamiliar with a certain stretches over everyone—man, language to explore its literature, woman, rich, poor—also moves and be enriched by its insights and beyond sexual identity. So while experiences. A rewarding read. u being a feminist anthology, this is

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Vijaya Kumar

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went to watch Ladies vs Ricky Bahl because it had much of Band Baaja Baraat in it: the same production house (Yash Raj films), lead artistes (Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma), director (Maneesh Sharma), music directors (Salim Suleiman), lyrics writer (Amitabh Bhattacharyya), and dialogue writer (Habib Faisal). And since this combo had made Band Baaja Baraat such an energy laden product, I was sure that Ladies vs Ricky Bahl would be paisa vasool. The best part of the movie is the first half hour; it moves at a very brisk pace. Despite shades of unrealism and sketchy attention to detail in the conning mechanism, the episodes involving the debutante Parineeti Chopra (a cousin of Priyanka Chopra), are outstanding – for the tongue-in-cheek humour, the dialogues, and the loveable characterisation of Parineeti, (who despite being conned by Ranveer, is still besotted by him). Both Parineeti and Ranveer display such spontaneity that one overlooks the flaws. However, after that, the pace slows down, and it largely relies on Habib Faisal’s interventions to sustain interest – and he does provide a few gems! The one that I liked best is where the corporate exec claims that she is from IIT and IIM, and promptly gets conned. That should prompt a course in “real world training” in these institutions of repute! Anushka Sharma has created a unique position as a spontaneous, vivacious gutsy girl; and it appears as though her roles are written to capitalise on this. In this movie, her charm is extended, by her shots in a bikini! Ranveer, too, has ample skin

CINEMA

Only Half Done

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl Directed by: Maneesh Sharma CAST: Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Parineeti Chopra GENRE: Comedy, romance exposure – though it distracts from his role as a conman. In a few scenes, I even felt that he was doing a modeling assignment. However, his acting prowess is on display for most of the movie. The pair of Ranveer and Anushka seems to click effortlessly. The songs though seem to intrude. There is also no number, or choreographic act, to even remotely match the effervescence of the Aivayin number of Band Baaja Baraat. As a result, this repeat combo offering is a case of well begun, but only half done. I con you not. u


16–22 December 2011

L ifestyle

05

Vroom Vroom Awards

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utton, Vettel and Webber. F1 aficionados in the city were seen racing to the Kingdom of Dreams, to watch the official crowning of their heroes at the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Awards Gala. The Awards have been held outside of Monaco for the first time ever. A Zangoora extravaganza added razzledazzle to the evening.

Parikrama Attitude

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e don’t need no...education – Pink Floyd. It was an evening of attitude – no less, with Delhi band Parikrama rocking the crowd at the Attitude Alive Bar & Lounge, at Supermart 1.

She Ain’t No Rookie

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nyone who watched Caroline Hedwall putt at the DLF Golf & Country Club would not believe this was the Swedish player’s first professional season. The 22-year-old won herself US $ 45,000 (Euro 33,750) in prize money, as she claimed the Hero Women’s Indian Open. This is her fourth title on the Ladies European Tour in her Rookie Year, and her maiden appearance in India.

Whatacombo!

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ix coffee with comedy? Viola! You have stirred up a Laughachino! That’s what Costa Coffee, did when they organised a stand up comedy show at their Cafe (next to Galleria). Comedians of all hues had the crowd rolling – with their digs at everything under the sun. From Sardars to sex, all was game.

Living it up

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irector Shiva Kumar of the Mosaica American School with guests Sanjay Manchanda of India Today, and Ranjan of Apple Communications.

Kapil Paaji at Golden Greens

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nstead of cricket-wicket its golf-sholf for Kapil Dev now. The cricketer, who has taken up golf after retiring from cricket in 1994, was here at the Golden Greens. The cricketer, who appeared to be the key attraction, played a full round of golf at the TAKE Solutions World Corporate Golf Challenge.


06

16–22 December 2011

Lifestyle

Title: MEN AT WORK, Photographer: Ajay Rajgarhia

Photo-Capture Our Zeitgeist

{ Srimati Lal }

RAM RAHMAN

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cholars have long maintained that every era bears a unique spirit and character – an aura. The interesting technical term for such an ‘essence’ is the zeitgeist: the spirit of the age. Some eminent writers have asserted that only Artists and Philosophers can ever truly ‘capture’ a zeitgeist; and that the true essence of any era can only be understood when it is over. This is where the tremendous power of the photograph literally ‘enters the picture’. As “a picture is worth a thousand words”, the visual entrapment of fleeting moments, panoramas and portraits quickly holds-together the truth about eras – like no other medium can. A single photographic image can convey— within a few seconds—what a novel or a film may take hours to portray. Almost since the inception of the 19thC daguerreotype, the ‘Photograph as Document’ has been formidably-rivalled by the ‘Photograph as Art Form’. If we look at the very first photo ever taken, a now-legendary urban panorama called ‘Boulevard du Temple, Paris, Spring 1838’ – a misty Paris street-scene painstakingly captured by the Parisian artist and chemist Louis Daguerre – its artistry is what first strikes us. Masterfully composed, ‘Boulevard’ is an image-document that is more ‘painterly’ than literal. (Interestingly, since this 19th-C photo’s

KARAN KHANNA Karan Khanna’s works depict lotuses on pools, enhanced by Photoshop effects

exposure-time was more than ten minutes, the moving traffic on the street does not even appear in it.) Now, almost 200 years later, we are fortunate to be living in the ‘Fun Age of Photoshop’, when even a plebian digitalcamera image can be heightened to impressively-artistic levels. However, the ‘three Cs’—the essentials of Composition, Clarity and Character—will always remain the crux of a good photograph. Without these basics applied by the human intellect and hand, all technical wizardry fails. It’s about time India developed a stronger foundation for the appreciation of ‘Photograph as Art Form’. Eibrahim Alkazi’s Photographic Museum in Greater Kailash is a good example of a contemporary centre in the capital. Here in Gurgaon, we have an exhibition of Four Stalwarts of Indian Photography – at the Quill & Canvas Gallery, at 122 South Point Mall. The lensmen on display here are Ram Rahman, Amit Pasricha, Ajay Rajgarhia

Ram Rahman is documenting ‘people’s art’ on our streets, and in advertising and public statements

and Karan Khanna. I would describe this as an interesting atmospheric show. The exhibition is curated by Ajay Rajgarhia, who set up the photographic site <www. wonderwall.co.in> in 2007. In his forties, Ajay is quite a newcomer to this scene. Speaking to me about his curatorial intent in this show, Ajay said: “As the Curator I have tried to show works that are accurate representations of each photographer, as I believe some viewers may be seeing their photos for the first time... Ram Rahman is documenting ‘people’s art’ on our streets, and in advertising and public statements. Amit Pasricha has shot extensively across India on the subject of Faith; recently releasing a book called Sacred India. His works in this show are taken from the book. Karan Khanna’s works depict lotuses on pools, enhanced by Photoshop effects.  My work here is centred around human beings – people in their known environments, doing whatever they always do.” Although there is no specific skein tying these four photographers’ works together as a genre—aside from their documentation of Indian reality—a pleasant presentation of visual variety makes this exhibition worth a look. One should not, however, hunt here for any radical brilliance – or for any cutting-edge photographic development. What struck me as an intriguing detail is that three of the lensmen have eminent

parents, who are already well-known in the cultural arena. Amit is the son of veteran Delhi lensman Avinash Pasricha; Ram is the son of the famous (late) danseuse Indrani Rahman, and the distinguished (late) architect Habib Rahman; Karan is the son of stalwart Progressives’ painter Krishen Khanna. Only Ajay comes from a different background. Ram’s imagery is notably witty and spontaneous; and at its best can be quite radical – with an admirable commitment to the timeless power of the black-andwhite image. Western terminology would

AJAY RAJGARHIA As the Curator I have tried to show works that are accurate representations of each photographer

describe his work as ‘campy’. Amit’s work is, in a sense, a continuation of his gifted father’s ‘traditional cultural documentation’. Amit’s applications of ‘lengthened panoramic images’, that bring together more than 2 or 3 separate photos, are fairly skilful; but these cannot exactly be described as a new photographic development. Ajay’s work contains some wistful poetic nuances; he is at his best when he employs ‘detailing,’ concentrating on unusual detail that lends a sense of abstraction to his images. Karan’s very loudlycoloured Photoshop-enhanced works look rather like commercial, touristy or advertising images. But, as the adage goes, “there’s no accounting for tastes”! There is something for almost every taste here. Photographs by relatively-young lensmen can often be

a more affordable option, than original paintings, for walls. Plus, they have the advantage of looking trendy, ‘cool’ and ‘happening’. There’s enough here to browse, and take one’s pick. I asked Ram what spurred him on to click his irreverent, witty images in all their multilayered, chiaroscuro intricacy. “My eye is drawn to the spontaneous ‘People’s Art’ that one can see on all the streets in India. We have an uncanny ability to assemble and collage religion, politics and advertising – in an amazingly casual manner. My cameraeye is drawn to this theatrical drama, because it reflects our socio-political culture. Photography can transform the found image into something with humour and pathos; that can maybe illumine, and also be emotionally moving.” Karan Khanna conveyed the following thoughts to me: “My lotuses are an everexpanding series. The lotus is associated with sensibilities of the serene, calm and pure. In direct contrast, my photos are quite strong and vibrant in their treatment. They create a dichotomy in a viewer’s mind, since what they are viewing is not what they would expect... thereby opening the mind to some questions.” One would, however, expect a lot more gutsy visual experimentation in future photographic displays. This exhibition, despite serving a cultural purpose, falls into a rather conventional visual mode. From an art critic’s viewpoint, my two personal selections from this show are Ram’s engrossing Capital Studios – where a simple yet clever employment of multifarious photoswithin-photos speaks for itself; and Ajay’s panoramic Men At Work, depicting a myriad of miniature labour-

AMIT PASRICHA Amit Pasricha has shot extensively across India on the subject of Faith; recently releasing a book called Sacred India

Title: Capital Studios, Photographer: Ram Rahman

ers at work against a wall. As an aside, interesting is the absence of the Femme Muse. What’s the matter, mates? Are there no beautiful women any more? Or have women just become more intimidating and hard to handle? Hopefully, Indian male photographers will soon learn how to handle their Eternal Muse as a new evolved woman; and gutsy lenswomen will also learn to dramatically use MEN as their aesthetic muses. There is an untapped visual area here, where future experimentation can evolve a new stylistic language – and best capture the emerging sociological drama of our own urban Indian zeitgeist. u The writer is an Artist & Curator


L ifestyle

16–22 December 2011

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol Time: 11.30 am, 1.10 pm, 2.15 pm, 5 pm, 6.30 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.30 pm Ladies V/s Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time:10.30am, 1.35, 3.45, 9.20pm The Dirty Picture (A) Time:10.45 am, 4.20 pm, 7.10 pm, 10 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: www.bigcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Premier Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Time: 10 am, 11.55 am, 12.45 pm, 2.40 pm, 3.30 pm, 5.25 pm, 6.15 pm, 8.10 pm, 9pm, 10.55 pm, 11.45 pm Pappu Can't Dance Sala Time: 10 am, 3.10 pm, 8.20 pm Jo Hum Chahein Time: 12.30 pm, 5.40 pm, 10.50pm With Love Delhi Time: 10 am New Year's Eve Time: 9 pm Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl Time: 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.30 pm

The Dirty Picture Time: 10.30 am, 3 pm, 6 pm, 11.20 pm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Time: 12.40 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn (3D) Time: 10.30 am Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Gold Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Time: 11 am, 1.45 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.15 pm, 10 pm Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time: 11 am, 5 pm, 10.55 pm

The Dirty Picture Time: 2 pm, 8 p PVR MGF: MGF Mall Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Time: 10 am, 11.30 am, 12.45 pm, 2.15 pm, 3.30 pm, 5 pm, 6.15 pm, 7.45 pm, 9 pm, 10.30 pm, 11.45 pm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Time: 2.10 pm Puss in Boots (3D) (U) – English Time: 10 am Panjaa (Telugu) Time: 6.50 pm Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time: 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, 5.30 pm, 7 pm, 8.30 pm, 10 pm, 11.30 pm Desi Boyz Time: 2.30 pm New Year's Eve Time: 4.30 pm Osthe (Tamil) Time: 9.40 pm Rock Star (U/A) Time: 11.30 am The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn (3D) Time:12 pm

DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (U/A) - English Time: 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, 12:40pm, 2:40 pm, 3:20 pm, 5:20 pm Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl (U/A) Hindi Time: 10:10 am, 3:30 pm, 8:50 pm, 10:50 pm Puss in Boots (3D) (U) - English Time: 10:25 am The Dirty Picture (A) - Hindi Time: 12:50 pm, 6:10 pm, 8:10 pm, 11:30 pm DT City Centre: DLF Phase II Mission Impossible: Ghost

Protocol (U/A) - English Time: 10:05 am, 11:30 am, 12:40 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:45 pm, 5:50 pm The Dirty Picture (A) - Hindi Time: 10:20 am, 3:30 pm, 8:15 pm Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time: 2:05 pm, 8:00 pm, 10:40 pm The Adventures Of Tintin (3D) (U) - English Time: 6:10 pm PVR Europa: MGF Mall Jo Hum Chahein Time:10 am, 3.10 pm, 8.20 pm Pappu Can't Dance Sala Time: 12.40 pm, 5.50 pm, 10.55 pm The Dirty Picture Time: 11 am, 1.55 pm, 4.50 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.40 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com

DT Star Mall: Sector 20 Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (U/A) – English Time: 10:00 am, 12:35 pm, 3:10 pm, 5:45 pm, 8:20 pm, 10:55 pm The Dirty Picture (A) – Hindi Time: 10:05 am, 12:40 pm, 5:50 pm, 11:00 pm Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl (U/A) – Hindi Time: 3:15 pm, 8:25 pm Website: http://dt-cinemas.com

PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Time: 10 am, 3.10 pm, 5.50 pm, 10.55 pm Pappu Can't Dance Sala Time: 12.40 pm, 8.30 pm Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time: 10.30 am, 1.25 pm, 7.15 pm, 10.10 pm The Dirty Picture (A) Time:4.20 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4048100 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ The DC, P.C. Meena has helped restore 165 acres of panchayat land to Nainwal Gram Panchayat, that was fraudulently converted (allegedly in 2004 end) by the then revenue officials - to benefit private shareholders and land grabbers. The land, near Manesar, has been transferred to the panchayat - it is worth hundreds of crores today. ♦ Rs. 21 crore MCG budget approved, for development (primarily for roads, sewers, water). ♦ MCG claims that 82% of complaints stand redressed - 6,275 out of 7,624 - mainly sanitation, streetlights, and sewage). ♦ Demolition drives by HUDA and MCG continue Sadar Bazaar, New Palam Vihar, Sector 10A, Sector 37, Sikandarpur commercial complex. However, a demolition in Sector 45 was not carried out. ♦ District Town & Country Planning seals illegal

guesthouses, in Essel Tower. Unauthorized colonies will be regularized across Haryana, from January 1. ♦ E-Salary System will be started in Gurgaon district from January 1, 2012, for preparing and submitting of pay bills of all employees of govt. offices online. It is already in use in Chandigarh. ♦ Ice Skating Rink, iSkate, opens in city - 6th. floor, Ambience mall. ♦ Rapid Metro of DLF formally approved.  3rd. phase of Metro will have a link from IFFCO Chowk to Dwarka - MOU will be signed soon. ♦ The two one-way roads designated in August, will now be 2 way - from 9pm to 6am ♦ Auto drivers have threatened a strike; they are not happy with the interim rates set by the DC. Final rates await approval from Chandigarh. ♦ Haryana govt. sets up transport co. - Haryana Mass Rapid Transport Corporation. ♦ Police protection provided to a runaway couple from Rajasthan.

07

SCHOOLS IN GURGAON (A-M) A V R Public School Address: Rajiv Nagar, Old Delhi Road, Opposite Air Force Officers Mess, Rajiv Nagar; Ph: 01242325416 Aarsha Public School Address: 15/1 Sheetla Clny Sec-5 Rd; Ph: 0124-2306052 Ajanta Public School Address: Sector-3; Ph: 0124-2381823 Alpine Convent School Address: Sec.-56, Behind Jalvayu Towers, Sec.-38, Next to Medicity Hospital, Sec.- 15, Behind govt. Girls college; Ph: 2575188, 2306064, 4237100, 4237102, 4237103 Amazon International School Address: Plot No-4 Sec 56; Ph: 9811611315 American Excelsior Public School Address: Director Shalini Nambiar. Add: C-2 Block,Sushant Lok, Ph-I; Ph: 0124-4049342, 343 Amity International School Address: Sector 46, Power Grid Complex; Tel: 91-124-2385110, 2385112. Sector – 10, Urban Estate; Ph: 124-4688688 (MAIL) Ascent Public School Address: Phase Iv Chander Lok Dlf; Ph: 0124-2386287 Basant Valley Public School Address: Garhi Harsaroop; Ph: 0124-2376549 Blue Bells Model School Address: Sector – 4; Ph: 91-124-4698888 CCA Address: Sector - 4, Urban Estate; Ph: 0124 -2330098, 2331264, 4078033 Chiranjiv Bharti School Address: I-BLOCK PALAM VIHAR, Ph: 0124-4398600, 0124-4398615, 0124-3296998, 3250458, 0124 - 2325416 D.A.V. Sr. Sec. School Address: Sector 14; Ph: 0124-2324070 Dev Samaj Vidya Niketan Address: New Colony, Ph: 0124 2300220 Dev Samaj Vidya Niketan Address: New Colony; Ph: 0124-300220 Dharume High Public School Address: Basai Road E Super Pharma; Ph: 01242321102 DPS Sec-45 Address: Site No. I, Sector-45 Urban Estate; Ph: 0124-4125800-801; aditi.misra@ gmail.com Drona High School Address: Basai Road Ravi Nagar; Ph: 0124-2329902

Dronacharya Public School Address: Plot 1, Sector 4; Ph: 0124-2307274 Euro International School Address: Euro International School, Sector 45, Near Green Wood City, Sector-45; Ph: 0124-2764903, 2767002; eurogurgaon@yahoo. co.in (MAIL) G D Goenka World School Address: GD Goenka Education City, Sohna Gurgaon Road; Ph: 124-3315900 G P S International School Address: Plot No. 5, Sushant Lok II,Sector-55; Phone : 0124-4373426, 0124-4373427 G P S International School Address: Plot-5 Sector-55 Sushant Lok-I; Ph: 0124 - 2396341 Golden High School Address: 1 Main Road Opp Huda Garden Idc; Ph: 0124-2324761 Golden Jubilee Air Force School Address: Sec-14 Delhi Rd; Ph: 0124-2330991 Good Shepherd School Address: 484/10, Krishna Colony, Opptt. Taneja Hospital, Main Geeta Bhawan Road, New Colony; Ph: 0124 – 4072647 Green Land Public School Address: Surya Vihar, Block-A, Opp. Sec-4; Ph: 0124-2310512 Gurugram Public School Address: Plot No. 5, Sushant Lok II, Sector-55; Ph: 0124-4373426, 0124-4373427 Gyan Devi Public School Senior Secondary Address: Sector 17; Ph: 0124-2342120 Gyan Devi Public School Sr. Secondary Address: Sector – 10 and Sec-17; Ph: 0124-2212221. 2212340 Happy Model Senior Secondary School Address: 1372 Sheetal Matadi Colony Gal Holy Heart School Address: Mr. DHARAM BIR GANDHI, South-city, Ph-I,Near Unitech house; 86R, New Colony; Ph: 124-3217700 IILM World School Address: Plot No 70, Dlf City-i, Sector 53; Ph: 09871389840 Indira Gandhi Public School Address: H No 617, Bhim Nagar; Ph: 0124-2326976 Indus World School Address: Site No.- 4109, Near Galleria, DLF-4 Middle School Campus: Plot no. 61/21, Near Tulip- Violet Apartments, Sector 70; Ph: 0124-4217266, 4217269

♦ Diarrhoea outbreak at Prempuri; some cholera cases now ♦ Gurgaon couple killed in helicopter crash, near Las Vegas, USA - Lovish Bhanot and Anupama Bhola. ♦ Father kills 6-year-old son; attacks wife; tries to commit suicide ♦ Mastermind and 2 others in ghee trader shooting held. ♦ Maid kidnaps a small girl child; caught within a few hours ♦ 24 new gates proposed for Sirhol Toll Plaza. Meanwhile, Toll Plaza agitation continues; forremoval of the toll plaza. Politicians now also in the fray. ♦ After a stay on demolitions by the Supreme Court, residents near Air Force Ammunition Depot want basic amenities restored; and in fact are proposing the Depot now shifts out. ♦ Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal area declared an Auto Hub. ♦ A factory fire at an auto co. in IMT Manesar rages for 5 hours.

Jiwan Jyoti Senior Secondery Public School Address: Sector-4; Ph: 0124-2331480 K G Sr Sec School Address: Palam Gurgaon Rd Dundhera Nr Hanuman Mandir; Ph: 0124-2365126 K N K Public School Address: Sec 7 Extn; Ph: 0124-2300115 K.R.Mangalam World School Address: E- Block, South City I; Ph: 9540052727 Kamla International Public School Address: 1614 Part II Sec 15; N H-08,J-Block Nirvana South City II; Ph: 0124-6467613. Karnal Public School Address: Pataudi Rd; Ph: 0124-2371030 Kendriya Vidyalaya AFS Gurgaon Address: Kendriya Vidyalaya No-1, Air Force Station Sector-14, Old Delhi-GurgaonRoad; Ph: 01242309304, 0124-2300444 Lancers International School Address: DLF, Phase V, Sector-53; Ph: 0124 4171900/ 4261900/ 4263900 Lions Public School Address: Sector 10 A; Ph: 0124 237 0020, 0124 2371 526 Lord Jesus Public School Address: Vijay Park B/H Laxmi Bazar; Ph: 0124-2315832 Lotus Valley International School Address: M-Block, South CityII, Nirvana Country, Sector-50 (Behind North Close); Ph: 9899561340 Lt Atul Katarya Memorial School Address: Lt Atul Katarya Marg Opp Crpf Camp; Ph: 0124-2312580 Maharishi Vidya Mandir Public School Address: Chandu Sultanpur, Lake Road; Ph: 124-6378545 Manav Rachna School Address: Sector 15 – Block-C, Mayfield Gardens, Sector – 51; Ph: 0124-4985100, 95600-63999 Address. Block – F, Greenwood City, Sector 46; Ph: 124-4638600, 95600-63888, 97111-70160 Marigold High School Address: 369/16 Hans Enclave Jaipur Road National Highway-8 ; Ph: 0124-2306369 Marumal High School Address: Sector 4 Near Lal Water Tank; Ph: 0124-2306469 Meenakshi Public School Address:Sector -10A; Ph: 0124-2372229

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


08

16–22 December 2011

C ivic/Social

Female Foeticide: Silent Cries In The Womb  Contd from p 1 Gurgaon has travelled a long distance economically in the last one decade – and today is the most advanced and rich district of the state. Yet, it seems that the prosperity has had no impact on the fate of female children. A decade ago, Gurgaon had 850 females per 1,000 males; and now, after 10 years and a sea change in its fortunes, it stands still – with a mere improvement of 3 (to 853). It has fared among the poorest in Haryana, in terms of change in 10 years! Among Haryana’s 21 districts, the best female ratio numbers have been achieved by the backward districts of Mewat (906) and Fatehabad (903); while the industrialised districts of Sonipat (851) and Gurgaon (853) figure at the bottom – with Jhajjar being the worst 774 (two of its villagesBehrana and Dhimana – have female ratio numbers of 378 and 444 respectively.)

3. Fear of their family honour 4. Lack of safety for girls (excerpts taken from a survey conducted by the National Institute of Public Co-operation and Child Development).

The Repercussions

The scarcity of the ‘fairer sex’ has hit Haryana hard, and there are almost four lakh eligible bachelors in the State – roaming for a bride. Because Haryana’s social and marital laws are also very rigid, boys and girls from the same gotra are eloping, resulting in another heinous crime – ‘honour killing.’ The crimes against women have also increased significantly. In desperation, some men from the State are travelling all the way to Kerala or Assam to get brides.

The PCPNDT Act

The Pre-Conception and PreNatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act came in 1994, to eradicate the menace of female

The Vice President of Haryana Council for Child Welfare, Smt. Asha Hooda, recently in Gurgaon exhorted the college girls to be determined and not think of themselves as weak. They should not accept female foeticide in their family, or in their neighbourhood. She asked the girls to feel so morally strong and confident on leaving the college, that when they enter into wedded life, they have the courage to say no to female foeticide. In fact, they should not only give birth to a girl child, but also provide her full education; so that their daughter can stand with pride, and say that she is a woman who is confident and self-reliant. Smt. Hooda said she was proud to be a woman. Smt. Hooda was concerned with the skewed sex ratio of the State, and said that the Chief Minister wants Haryana to be the number one state in the country; but the skewed sex ratio was a stigma on the State. She asked the girls to not accept any literature that terms a woman as weak and fragile; because a woman is no less than a man in mental capacity and intelligence. It is also not the physically strong who rule the world. Smt. Hooda said that it is ironic in the country where yajnas were not performed in the absence of women, now a law for Domestic Violence against Women had to be passed in Parliament, to protect women. “When the Bill was passed, people had greeted me; but I kept thinking whether it was a thing to feel happy about, or be ashamed of,” she said. For this lowering of the status of women, Smt. Hooda held responsible not the men alone, but also the women folk. She reminded the girls about their power and strength, saying that Swami Vivekanand had once exhorted, “give me 5,000 educated women and the country will achieve freedom”.

The Reasons

‘Chora mare nirbhag ka, chori mare bhaagyawaan ki’ (An unfortunate man’s boy dies, a lucky man’s girl dies/a boy’s death is a misfortune; a girl’s death a blessing?!) This proverb summarises the feeling of many in Haryana, to whom the birth of a girl child is considered nothing less than a curse from the gods. There are various reasons prevailing in the State, as to why only sons are considered worthy. Some of them are: 1. He is the support, and the provider in old age 2. He carries on the family name 3. He performs the last rites 4. He brings in dowry 5. Wealth remains in the family

Reasons for not wanting a girl

1. Payment of dowry as girl’s parents 2. Investing in girls is a waste, with no returns

foeticide. However, it was initially applicable to people who would come for sex detection of their unborn child. Later, when foeticide incidents didn’t reduce, it was modified in 2003 to target the medical profession – the ‘supply side’ of the practice of sex selection. Ineffective implementation of the Act has been the biggest failing, of this campaign against sex determination.

Literacy/Urbanisation

Illiteracy has often been designated as the prime reason behind this menace of female foeticide. But, at ground level, illiteracy doesn’t feature as a cause. In Haryana, the districts having the maximum literacy have the worst sex ratio. According to the provisional Census report released in April 2011, Gurgaon district has the highest literacy rate (84.44 per cent) in the State. But, it’s struggle to strike

the male-female equilibrium continues. There are currently 853 females per 1,000 males. Interestingly, the district with the lowest literacy rate (56.14 per cent), Mewat, has recorded the highest sex ratio of 906 females per 1,000 males in the State. Panchkula follows Gurgaon on the literacy scale, with a figure of 83.44 per cent, followed by Faridabad with 83.04 per cent. At 77.64 per cent, Gurgaon also has the highest female literacy rate, followed by 77.48 per cent in Panchkula and 76.64 per cent in Ambala. The records show that the lowest female literacy rate is in Mewat, at 37.58 per cent. The highest literacy gender gap, of 35.40 per cent, has also been recorded in Mewat. Yet, Mewat outperforms Gurgaon in the sex ratio. Therefore, literacy, or even female literacy, does not seem to be a prime reason for poor sex ratio. Even urbanisation seems to have a negative link with the female sex ratio! Urban sex ratios (1926) are lower than Rural sex ratios (1947). Education and civic sense obviously does not include Gender Sense.

Measures taken

Various measures have been taken by governments, both at the Centre and the State, to curb female foeticide. But over the years, even after herculean efforts, female foeticide has been an inconvenient and ugly

Some facts

India Sex ratio: 940 females per 1,000 males A decade ago (in 2001): 933 females per 1,000 males Haryana sex ratio: 877 females per 1,000 males (best since 1901) A decade ago (in 2001): 861 females per 1,000 males Gurgaon sex ratio: 853 females per 1,000 males A decade ago (in 2001): 850 females per 1,000 males Haryana sex ratio since 1901: Females per 1000 males

Year

867 835 844 844 869 871 868 867 870 865 861 877

1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011

(Though the State of Haryana was created on Nov 1, 1966, the sex ratio figures of earlier Census include the districts of erstwhile Punjab, now part of Haryana.) Best state: Kerala (1,084 females per 1,000 males)

The Social Initiatives

“There are various social initiatives taken by the government to thwart female foeticide in the state. Ladli and Balika Samridhi Yojna are two of the main initiatives taken by the State,” said Virender Singh Saini, the District Welfare officer (DWO), Gurgaon. Ladli: According to this scheme, any girl born after August 20, 2005 in Haryana, will get Rs 5,000 per year as financial assistance for a time period of five years – irrespective of her/her family’s caste, creed, religion, financial status, and number of sons. Parents of the girl should be Haryana residents, or at least one of them should have a Haryana domicile. Balika Samridhi Yojna (BSY): The scheme of Balika Samridhi Yojna was launched by the Government of India w.e.f. 15-8-97, with the following objectives:1. To change negative family and community attitudes towards the girl child at birth, and towards her mother. 2. To improve enrolment and retention of girl children in schools. 3. To raise the age for marriage of girls. 4. To assist the girl to undertake income generating activities. Components: 1. A post birth grant amount of Rs. 500/-. 2. When the girl child—born on or after 15-08-1997, and covered under BSY—starts attending school, she will become entitled to an annual scholarship as under, for each successfully completed year of schooling:Class I-III IV V VI-VII VIII IX-X

Amount of Annual Scholarship Rs. 300/- per annum for each class Rs. 500/- per annum Rs. 600/- per annum Rs. 700/- per annum for each class Rs. 800/- per annum Rs. 1,000/- per annum for each class

truth of Haryana. “Look, it doesn’t matter how hard one tries to stop female foeticide. It will not stop until people understand the worth of a girl child. We are trying our best to stop it by using different means; but let me tell you, it is still happening on a large scale,” said a senior-level official in the Health Department. “We are keeping tabs on all the ultrasound centres in the city, and we have issued strict guidelines to them. We keep records of the people coming for ultrasound – especially those who already have one or two girls, because it is they who often try to determine the sex of the foetus,” added the official. Female foeticide can’t be erased by these preventive measures taken by the State. The people’s mindset needs to change and they must accept the benefits of a girl child. “Yes, the preventive measures are useful, but not for the cure of the problem. People need to understand that nowadays girls are as capable as boys, in almost every field. To educate people, we have a group Saakshar Mahila Samuh (SMS) that conducts education programmes – like street plays in villages, plays in youth festivals of the different colleges, etc. The SMS group has 234 members in Gurgaon district. Our team of Asha Bahus, associated with different Public Health Centres (PHCs) of the districts, are also doing their bit. They educate the mothers in the villages to not go for the sex determination; and our PHCs ensure safe deliveries in villages and other

remote areas,” informed the official. “An advisory committee meeting takes place every two months, in which the Deputy Commissioner (DC), District Public Relation Officer (DPRO), and the major officials of the health department take part; and discuss about the problems as well as the plans to sort out all these problems,” informed another official.

The Coded Way

While the government is trying its level best to stop sex detection (that leads to female foeticide), people have come up with new ways to commit the crime. “Yes, sex detection is going on, and that too on a large scale. Now these people use ‘codes’ to communicate the sex of the foetus. For example, Monday and Friday is the code for Male and Female; some use ‘Jai Shri Krishna’ and ‘Jai Vaishno Mata’, etc. It is very difficult to nab such planning and practices,” informed another senior official.

The business side

According to UNICEF, foetal sex determination and sex selective abortion by unethical medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry (US$ 244 million). Social discrimination against women, a practice entrenched in Indian society, has been spurred on by technological developments – that today allow mobile sex selection clinics to drive into almost any village or neighbourhood, unchecked. u


16–22 December 2011

C ivic/Social

Towards A Road Sense Carrot-And-Stick Policy

The methodology of the traffic police has certainly worked this year, as facts and figures support them. “Our ‘Joy Of Giving’ week was an outstanding success,” she says. Giving more details, Arora says, “We rewarded good commuters on-the-spot, with goodie bags and commendations; and some of the better drivers got dinners at seven-star hotels, and trips to the Kingdom of Dreams.” On the other hand, the traffic police sent 270 people to jail, for drunken driving. Giving more examples on how police cracked down on offenders and traffic violators, she said, “The state of Haryana gave out around 9,000 drunken driving challans in 2009. This year, the city of Gurgaon itself has handed out 13,389 challans for drunken driving.” And it has certainly reaped dividends for the traffic police. “When we launched the anti-drunken driving campaign, we used to post police on the Sirhol Toll Plaza, with alco-meters. I remember that earlier almost every fifth driver was found drunk. Now, only one in 500 drivers is found drunk behind the wheel.” And that’s improvement by anyone’s standard!

Achievements For The Year

What has gone well for the Traffic Police this year? Arora starts, “First off, we have reduced the accidents this year. We have already started to actively ensure lane driving – between the toll plazas. Then, the

is breaking new ground,” she says. “We have also challaned 101 vehicles, for illegal use of red beacons.” How about educating the children and the youth, about the need to follow traffic rules? “Our new Road Traffic Knowledge Centre is proving to be a big help, in our initiative to educate the masses. Everyone who comes in to pay a challan, has to undergo a 1 ½ hour session in the Knowledge Centre, to learn about better driving. Besides that, we go to the schools in the city to teach the children about the advantage of following traffic rules. And we’ve found that they do already know a lot about traffic rules; like Class V students knowing about wearing a seat-belt, helmet, traffic signs and so on. We make them promise that they’ll ensure their parents obey traffic rules, for everyone’s safety.” Arora says that recently over 150 traffic constables have taken first-aid training from Apollo Hospital. “In the case of road accidents, usually the police on the scene can administer first-aid. If they do it properly, they can save commuters from serious injury, and even death.” “Finally, we are making Sadar Bazar a no-vehicle zone. The traffic police department had asked the MCG to provide for parking space, so that people can leave their vehicles and walk,” she says.

87 Points of Improvement

A while ago, the traffic police had came up with a list of points

What’s The Traffic Police Been Up To This Year Offence

Challans

2010 2011

Drunken driving

6,491

13,389

629

1,991

Under-age Driving Overspeeding

11,792 22,017

No Licence

13,501

20,009

9,025

8,598

Running Red-lights enforcement of one-way driving in HUDA City Centre and Galleria Market has resulted in lesser chaos and jams in these areas. We had to face opposition at first, but the results are there to see.” If the commuters have to drive a little extra for the greater good, it should be taken in the right spirit, she says. “The campaign against drunken driving has been successful. 7 people were even jailed – we are serious.” Then, “Our online presence on Facebook has opened us to the public, and we have regular feedback about our activities.” Also, people post photos of errant drivers on the Traffic Police Facebook page. “Our Third-Eye project got immediate results – as traffic violators are aware that if they’re breaking rules, some traffic police may take a photo of them doing so. Plus, our pilot project of ‘e-challans’

to improve the city’s traffic condition. The list included items such as construction of flyovers, foot over-bridges, traffic lights, signages, footpaths, bus shelters, slip roads; removal of encroachments, repair of broken roads, and the like. The list demarcated the work between the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC), and DS Constructions Ltd (DSC). What’s the status of the list, and how much work has been done? “Well, there have certainly been some improvements lately. I’m happy to say that MCG and HUDA have taken action. The removal of several encroachments by MCG and HUDA is indeed most welcome. There is little progress with DSC/ NHAI,”

JIT KUMAR

 Contd from p 1

09

may be at a lower level – that too for physical jobs like raids. Otherwise, I don’t see any difference,” Arora smiles. “Rather, I believe that women can be as good, and even better, as lawadministrators. Recently, a college principal called me to say that one of her college students has become a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). She reminded me that I had gone there for a speech once, and that the girl took inspiration and sat for the exams. It is a reminder that any girl can do anything, if she wants to.”

What is e-challaning?

Arora states. “Work needs to be done on Z-Chowk, HUDA City Centre Chowk, Bakhtawar Chowk, Mor Chowk, among others – to improve the traffic situation. The raised platform being constructed on Bakhtawar Chowk will stop drivers from speeding across. That is a model that can be used for other chowks.” What about improvement on Sohna Road? Will it become another traffic nightmare like MG Road? “We’ve already told the concerned authorities about street-lights and new intersections. Yes, there is currently no action on the ground,” she says. Comparing the traffic police to something like fire-fighters, she says, “We’re only called when the people are facing acute traffic problems. We should be involved at the planning stage – e.g. for parking areas, bus stops, new sectors...” Arora has asked for the current planned/ approved parking sites in Gurgaon; she is yet to get the lists.

Toll Woes

Is there no solution to the daily traffic jams at the Sirhol toll plaza? “We’re sending a team of traffic policemen to inspect the area, and draw a ‘red line’. In case the toll traffic goes beyond the red line, the concessionaire will have to grant free passage, to ease the traffic. We’ve also told DSC Ltd to increase the number of toll booths and operators. We are constantly in dialogue, and in fact need to be forceful,” she answers. Regarding tag lane usage by cash customers, Arora believes DSC can ask for NHAI approval to penalise wrong doers – but only choose not to. Either way the concessionaire makes money.

Applauding City’s Traffic Volunteers

“I’m proud to say that the traffic police has around 60 active traffic volunteers, with group leads,” Bharti Arora says. These volunteers, called Road Safety Officers (RSOs), help the traffic police in managing the city’s burgeoning traffic. “Some of them help in enforcement (alco-meters), some in managing traffic (like at IFFCO Chowk), some in engineering (we have a road engineer who helps us in designing roundabouts and traffic solutions), and some in traffic education. They’re a part of the force, to help maintain the city’s traffic flow. They are doing an admi-

rable job!”

Traffic Police Challenges

“People,” comes the pat reply. “Some commuters refuse to accept traffic citations, even when they know they’re wrong. They try to call our seniors, complain, and even hit the traffic police when trying to avoid a challan,” she says calmly. “Recently, I received a call from a person saying that a guard was trying to hand that person an undeserved challan. I had to remind the person forcefully that there is a difference between a guard and a traffic police constable. Yesterday, a youth tried to run over a traffic constable, in his attempt to avoid a challan. My men face that and worse on a daily basis,” she recalls grimly.

Being A Woman In A Man’s Profession

“Personally, I have had no problem. I have been a District SP, and SP Railways, at the time of the Samjhauta Express blast. I was part of the Special Investigation Team. The only bias

For the uninformed, e-challaning is a new system of handing out traffic fines. DCP Bharti Arora says, “We’ve handed out around 10 hand-held devices to our constables.” What do they do? “When a driver is caught breaking the rules, the policeman enters the vehicle number in the hand-held device. The device pulls up all previous challans incurred by the driver, and increases the present fine accordingly. It will make habitual offenders very wary.”

‘I Swear On the Gita...’

A panel of doctors of a citybased hospital are helping out the traffic police on their mission, to keep the streets safe. They tag along with the police teams, and help them nab traffic violators. While the police are filling out the challan form, the doctors have the traffic violator swear – upon the Gita, and other holy books – that they will not break traffic rules. Unique indeed. With a good 2011 behind them, Arora and her traffic police are ready to usher in a holistic traffic movement in 2012. Watch this space. u

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. Where is the nearest bank? Dhorre sik bank kaunn sa hai? 2. I want to open an account Manne apna khatta khulwana hai 3. How do I get a new cheque book? Nayi cheque book kyunkar milegi? 4. I want to withdraw cash Main paise likadwana chahun 5. When does the bank close? Bank ko dhane sik bandh hoga? 6. Is it a bank holiday today? Ke aaj bank ki chhutti hai re?


10

C ivic/Social PRAKHAR PANDEY

16–22 December 2011

House Of Hope

to society. Many stay on because they want to give back, and know what can be achieved. They take on a leadership role and maybe set up a new centre – just like I took charge here.” According to Kumar, Ayo from Manipur was Asha Bhawan’s first beneficiary. After he was ‘clean’, Ayo went on to start Guwahati; and then established Dimapur, Imphal and Nepal centres. “As for Mongolia, folks there heard of us. They got in touch, and came here for training. Today, two of our people have gone there to help them run the centre,” says a beaming Kumar, who was Asha Bhawan’s second inmate. Today, he is married to Angelica, a Mexican woman who came to volunteer for a few months, and stayed on. How do they manage financially? “Asha Bhawan does not charge, there are no fees,” says Feroz. That is of great help to the inmates. “We also do not take government funds, because then we will become dependent. We sell farm products, clothes, and calendars. We sell chicken and vegetables, like Chinese radish, that normally other farmers do not grow. Everybody has to work, unless they are very ill. We also collect donations when our volunteers go knocking on doors,” elaborates Kumar. Another aspect that sets Asha Bhawan apart is “no use of substitutes”, to deal with withdrawal symptoms. “Unlike oth-

‘CLEAN’ AND HAPPY: Inmates sitting on their bunker beds

{ Irene Gupta }

“D

um maro dum, mit jaye gham…”. Think of drugs and you think a sexy Zeenat Aman swaying to Rahul Dev Burman’s music; such was the impact of Dev Anand’s yesteryears film. However, what Anand’s film did not tell us was what would happen to a Zeenat Aman if she continued with her addiction. Is there any ‘life’ left after addiction? How does one get rid of addiction? Can one really get out? It is to find answers to these questions that I head for Asha Bhawan. Tucked away in the dusty by-lanes of Kadipur Industrial Area, Asha Bhawan looks a very ordinary single-storey structure. Inside, is a ‘house of hope’. “Yehi mere log hain, jinhone mujhe bachaya, nayi asha di. Main inhe chodke kahin nahin jaunga,” says 47-year-old Raj Kumar. From his looks he comes across as a hardened man; yet tears well up as he talks about his life and what the Bhawan means to him. An only son, Raj started taking drugs when still at school. “I came here when I was about to die. My people did not want me. Even when I was going to the Government de-tox centre, my mother said, ‘yeh jaate jaate mar jaye to achha hoga’.” Raj, who claims to have taken every kind of drug, has been here at the Bhawan for the last five years. Today he is cured, and is helping other addicts. A 37-year-old Manipuri woman, Zaute, has no plans to leave either. “I intend staying here. I know if I stay here, I will

remain clean – and my children will be well-looked after. There is hope here.” Drugs started as fun for this portly mother of two, who married a co-inmate, but soon divorced. “Both of us were nashe baaj. How can a marriage work?” she asks, disgust (at her own self) all too evident. Narayan Das of Guwahati, started doing drugs at the age of 12. When the young boy’s mother walked out on his alcoholic father, to marry another man, Narayan took to the streets. He earned a living scavenging bottles. Before he knew it, he was doing drugs. Today, two years on, not only is he cured, but the faith that Asha Bhawan has given him has emboldened him to return to Guwahati – to enrol his father in the programme. Many lives have been turned around says Director Yogesh Kumar, while introducing me to Feroz, an inmate from Kolkata. Born Mohammed Feroz Ansari, he is the son of a government senior engineer. Even in the City of Joy, procuring drugs was easy. “Drugs were available everywhere. I got into party politics and took drugs, sold drugs, traded in drugs. Then, I came with a friend to Delhi; stayed near Jama Masjid, and slept on roadside charpoys.” In February 2006, when Feroz was totally wasted, given up by his “charsi friends”, an outreach programme rescued him and eventually sent him to Gurgaon. The 38-year-old has lost contact with his family, but hopes that one day he will return – to

REJUVENATING SPORTS: Recreation is an important part of the day

FARMING TIME: Inmates tending to a vegetable patch

start a rehab centre. “It is not just drug addicts; Asha Bhawan deals with victims of all kinds of substance abuse,” says Christopher Bernard Court, in fluent English. He was all of 18 when he came to Delhi in 1986, to train as a steward. “But the alcohol at the hotel (a 5 star) got the better of me,” says Christopher. He was brought to Asha Bhawan, stayed for 10 months, cleaned up, and went back to work as an HIV Councillor. But he had to return, because he could not stay away from alcohol. “I realised that I was back to my old habits. I was once again hurting everyone. The only place where I could get cleaned up was Asha Bhawan. So I returned.” Started by Australian Keith Bergmeir in 1999, this Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) opened its first ‘Caring Community’ for male heroin addicts and alcoholics. Today, its family also includes female addicts and their children; and, in recent years, abandoned children of parents who have died or have gone back to addiction. A number of street children have also entered Asha Bhawan’s community. Also, the organisation is no longer limited to the NCR; it is now in 13 cities, and has stretched even beyond India’s borders – to Nepal and Mongolia. How did that happen? “It’s simple,” says Kumar, “When a patient recovers and is stable, he is given a choice of staying with us or going back

er detoxification centres, we do not allow any substitute. Even prescribed medicines for physical ailments are administered only according to doctors’ instructions,” stresses Kumar. “We do not allow drugs, alcohol or tobacco. We do not get any salary. We get some pocket money to buy our toiletries. If money is given, then it may be used to buy drugs.” Since most who gain shelter here are broken—physically, mentally and spiritually—the organisation’s 18-month programme focuses on all-round rehabilitation. At the physical level, the stress is on healthy food, sleep, sports and recreation; and also physical work, to keep them busy. “We feel drug abuse not only produces physical addiction, but leaves emotional and spiritual wounds as well. Faith in God helps heal addiction,” says Kumar. To develop a positive personality, inmates take part in group therapy – where experiences are shared; while for intellectual growth they are given creative exercises – including reading, learning songs, and participating in group dramas. Their self-esteem is raised, when they are accepted into a loving family-community environment. Monitors—who are mostly ex-addicts—zealously supervise, counsel, encourage and provide all the support that an addict needs. Says Kumar, “We show them it’s possible to lead a clean healthy life once again; that all is not lost.” u


16–22 December 2011

C ivic/Social

11

A Part Of Delhi In Gurgaon PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

kameez and stoles, with Rajasthani block prints; as also stylish silver jewellery. hose of you who have lived in Delhi Also, check out the hip Studio 14 bouwould agree – Gurgaon’s Sector 14 tique, that will never disappoint you – market resembles the Greater Kai- with the in-house suits, sarees and blouse lash M Block market, or even the South collection (they also take orders to suit your style and taste). We also discovered Extension market. The experience of walking around the block is similar; as is Laxmi Matching Centre, that provides the lack of adequate parking space. How- you running cloth material and a tailor, ever, rickshaws and autos are available in in case you want to explore the designer within yourself! abundance. After a few bags of affordable, but On offer is everything—food and drink, gift stores, banks, garment stores—all at beautiful shopping, and also some winone place, and at affordable prices; dow shopping, it is time for lunch. There and that too in the heart of Gurgaon. is a choice of many eateries – Dominos, You will be quite impressed with the Choco Diva, Captain’s Table bakplanning of the complex. There are ery and restaurant, Om Sweets and Snacks. A normal lamps in front of each first choice is the very shop, clearly displaypopular Om Sweets. ing the shop’s name and The gol guppa, tikki number, with directional and chane bhature arrows – making it very Suggestions are delicious – and accessible and easy for les tab ge ♦ For fruits and ve you can enjoy them a first-time shopper. You the in ng mi co try shopping, inside the restaurant, will see some of Gurs les it’s afternoon, when o or while standing out gaon’s best women’s ethals n ca u yo d an – crowded in the sun(just in winnic clothing stores—like bargain. anar ter, of course!). The Sukriti clothing and d an i am us ma sh ♦ Try fre er. mithai is a perfect end Ibadat store—offering rn co ice juice at Madan Ju to the meal – and there beautiful kurtis, salwaar ble Ta s in’ pta Ca to in ♦ Walk ies are just too many opstr pa d an for fresh cookies tions. Sanjay Yadav, a gift shop owner, and a regular at Om Sweets, says, “This is my favourite place to eat out in the city. I bring my family here at least once a week for a meal; or sometimes in the evening for chaat. All of us love the papri chaat and the chane bhature here. And the service is fast, which is great. During the festive season – like for Diwali, Dussehra and Navratras – they have some specials, which are a big hit. For Navratras, they have a special six dish thali, which is my wife’s favourite.” If you have eaten to your heart’s content, and need to burn a few calories, don’t worry! Just carry on the stroll down the strip, that has several other shops and stalls. Do stop at those selling women’s knick-knacks – like colourful hair bands, clips, pretty combs, warm skull caps, gloves, cosmetics. Something like

T

a hairband, that may cost you about Rs. 100 in the malls, sells here for Rs. 10 – and is available in all shapes and designs! A fresh reminder of the similarity with the GK market in New Delhi. It is a perfect stop to help fill up your dressing table. A few stores down the lane is Vatika Gift Gallery, a one-stop-shop for household items – like crockery, display glass pieces, heaters and blowers – all currently at 10% off. Yogeshwar Bhardwaj, the shop owner, says, “For everything in my shop, to my old customers as well as the new ones, I give 10% off – sometimes even 15%; even on the new oil heaters. I have people come to me from all over Gurgaon.

They know that they won’t get these prices in the malls or other markets.” With the winters definitely settling in, that oil heater might not be such a bad idea. With all major banks and ATMs, confectionery stores, a pet clinic, pharmacies, opticians, salons, butcher shop, Spencers, Mother Dairy, book shops, and a post office among others, the Sector 14 market is the perfect reason to dodge the malls, and save yourself the extra expense as well. Here you can get everything at one place, at one time. Come with a bunch of friends or family, and this place can definitely make your day a fun and exciting one. u

So What Are Your Plans? { Alka Gurha }

G

oing for an exotic vacation with the tag line - explore the unexplored? Or planning to buy a luxury sedan, and/or diamonds, this holiday season? If you are, good luck. This article is not for you. You dear, are going to get your adrenalin surge anyways. Yes folks, this is for those slogging in stressful jobs, travelling hours for work, changing soiled diapers, mourning the slump of the share market, meeting deadlines – and yet smiling at the grumpy boss, or simply getting bored at home. Do not lose heart. For me, the endless media blitzkrieg before the holiday season invariably pushes some wrong buttons. It appears as if everything is going for a song. Discounts, offers, deals, sale announcement…..If nothing else, free gifts are assured with every purchase. Pick up the newspaper and glance at the supplements. They suddenly become meatier, anticipating that you are ready to splurge. Okay so it’s the job of the seller to flaunt his products; but you, dear, surely can resist. The real estate segment screams, ‘Happiness begins with a new home. Elevate to a new lifestyle. Usher in the New Year, and say hello to the good life.’ Surreptitiously implying that you are leading a boring life, chained and holed

in your dingy dwellings! Next, the advertisements lure you to stretch your legs beyond the proverbial ‘chaadar’. The magazine supplements beckon, ‘Be in the heart of celebration, and buy the new diamond collection’. If that fails to entice you, then the trick is to offer free gold coins. Most coins are gold plated coins worth a few hundred rupees. What else do you expect with gold prices reaching a zenith? As if on cue, friends start enquiring about your New Year plans. And unless you are welcoming the New Year in far off Bahamas, masquerading in a farm house party or paying through your nose for a five star extravaganza, you are doomed. You are simply not welcoming the New Year with open arms. Is life worth living only if you have deep pockets? Let us give a damn to the media mayhem and peer pressure that is stoking the fires. Show them your thumb! This holiday season follow your heart. Invite your friend’s home for a party, and have a blast. Accompany your parents for a crazy movie, and relish street food. Plan a weekend getaway. Enjoy a close dance as the soft music plays in the background, or simply cook dinner together and relish a candle light dinner. Celebrations are about fun, food, friends and family. u


12

16–22 December 2011

C ivic/Social

{ Manjula Narayan }

I

t seems Manipur leaps into the nation’s consciousness only on very special occasions. Like when a bomb goes off – as it did earlier this month, just ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit; or when Anna Hazare said he intends to visit Irom Sharmila, who has been fasting—for the repeal of the AFSPA—for more than a decade now. The Manipuris, meanwhile, are making their way into the Indian mainstream. A fair number of Manipuris now live in the NCR. 30-year-old Kevin Paochinthan Simte, is one of those, and has chosen to make Gurgaon his home. “I came here in 2002,” he says. But things didn’t go according to plan. The job was at an executive’s home. He had to sleep on the living room floor, and the lady of the house wouldn’t permit him to turn on the fan even in the height of summer. “I didn’t sleep properly for months, and felt bad about being treated like a domestic servant – so I decided to leave,” he said. A cousin talked him out of returning to Manipur (where employment is still scarce). Soon he was assisting her in her flower-selling business. Now, he works at a store that sells jewellery and showpieces, at the Galleria Market. Kevin is part of the small but very visible population of Manipuris in Gurgaon –who man counters at shopping centres, are receptionists at clinics, and guide diners to the best seats at restaurants. “There are people from different tribes here. There are Nagas, Kuki, Paite, Hmar, Mizos and Simtes, among others,” reveals Kevin, as he watches music videos of Manipuri pop singer Mami

Far From Home Varte in his immaculately maintained single-room home in Chakkarpur village. Each tribe has its own organisation, and though all the Manipuris have strong bonds—formed mainly at church and prayer meetings— they don’t have a single representative body. “I know that there are 1,200 people from the Simte tribe in Delhi and Gurgaon, because I’m a member of the Simte Youth Organisation (SYO); but I couldn’t tell you how many Manipuris there are here,” says Kevin. He adds that most live in Chakkarpur, Sun City and Sikandarpur, where rents are low. His friend Thomas Maram (28)—who lives down the street

with his wife Rose, and two small children George and Phillip—is an ex-serviceman from the Assam Rifles. He opted for voluntary discharge, and tried his hand at a series of jobs – including a stint at a detective agency in Hyderabad. Now the Captain at the K2 Korean restaurant in Plaza Mall, Thomas gives you a glimpse of how tough life is, in the insurgency-ridden State. “Due to the ongoing blockade there, petrol costs Rs. 140 per litre, and a single gas cylinder costs Rs. 1,000,” he says. And though his father was with the BSF, the family had its share of trouble. There are about 20 Marams living in Gurgaon today. While violent ethnic strife isn’t a feature of life in the Mil-

lennium City, both Kevin and Thomas have experienced discrimination. “The people here don’t know that we are Manipuris. They think we are Nepali, and look down upon us,” says Kevin. He adds that North Eastern girls bear the brunt, as they are mistaken for women from Nepal – who are unfortunately associated with the flesh trade. “Our girls also dress fashionably. It’s part of our culture. Nobody notices it at home, but here everyone looks,” says Thomas. He recounts how he had to intervene to protect a Manipuri girl who was being sexually harassed by her landlord. “The man had a daughter the same age, but still he kept

Still Settling In – 10 Years On

{ Irene Gupta }

“W

e moved to Gurgaon because my parents-in-law were staying here. I wanted Meenu to be happy!” explains Pradeep Saxena, his face a study in seriousness – even as his laughing eyes give the game away. His words, of course, have the expected impact. Meenakshi, his wife, spins around to charge him with “Jhoothe! (Liar)”! You would think Pradeep and Meenakshi were some young lovebirds. The Saxenas have been happily married for a good 21 years now.

I should have known that Pradeep has quite a sense of humour; for when I had called him to fix a time for the interview, his answer was, “Oh good, I will let Meenu know. She will have to get her appointment at the beauty parlour!” “We moved here because we got possession of our own flat. We were renting in Delhi,” Meenu explains, after the laughter had subsided. The Saxenas live in Kendriya Vihar in Sector 56. A government employee, Pradeep opted for voluntary retirement in 2009. Today the couple run a travel, and car rental, business. So, was Pradeep simply pulling a fast

one about her parents being in Gurgaon? “Not entirely,” Meenakshi grudgingly accepts, “My parents are here; but we did not move to Gurgaon because of them,” stresses Meenakshi. Why opt for Gurgaon, when the scheme was available for both Delhi or Noida? “I am telling you, whatever I do is for my wife,” jumps in Pradeep, with an impish grin now. “You see, Meenakshi was working as an interior designer for the Ansals, and we were in Patparganj. So the commute from trans-Yamuna to Gurgaon was very difficult for her.” “I was an interior designer with the Ansals; my projects were Sushant Lok and the Clubs and the offices,” clarifies Meenakshi. An interior designer? No wonder the apartment was so aesthetically pleasing. “Was the business not one of the reasons you opted for Gurgaon?” It is Meenakshi’s turn to get even. “Well, yes. When we got the flat, Gurgaon was just coming up. All the BPOs were coming in. We thought we would get good business here,” concedes Pradeep, albeit a little sheepishly. So when and how did an interior decorator become a car rental agent? “I had to give up my job because my ma-in-law was unable to handle both the kids. I thought it was best I stay home – not that I wouldn’t design, given an offer!” explains Meenakshi. “The business started in collaboration with a friend, who was already in a related business,” informs Pradeep. “Since

troubling her. He even said he wouldn’t charge her rent if she gave in!” says Thomas. The exasperated girl finally moved out. 24-year-old Leena Ching Suan Vung, who works at a toy store, prefers not to notice the negatives. “We have to live. It is difficult here, but it is also nice,” says the soft-spoken Kuki girl from Churachandpur. She perks up when she talks about attending services at the Free Church in Jantar Mantar; and prayer meetings held every Tuesday by the Gurgaon Prayer Cell. “Each tribe speaks a different dialect. The pastor might deliver the message in Simte or Zhou; but we all understand it, and each other too,” she says. Far from home, and living amidst an alien culture, it would seem the Manipuris here prefer to forget the tribal differences that have made life insufferable in their native state. “Actually, all the North Easterners try to stick together here. Recently, when a young Naga man died in Sikandarpur, people from all over the NCR came to give their condolences to his family, and left money for his wife and child,” says Kevin. And with the relaxation of the old taboos and more interaction with each other, there are more mixed marriages happening too. Kevin, Thomas and Leena speak with affection of their homes in Churachandpur and Senapati, and of their close bonds with fellow tribesmen; but all of them seem to believe that their future lies in this city of gleaming towers – that now attracts people not only from every state in the Indian Union, but from beyond its borders too. u

Meenu was home, we decided that she should manage it for us. I joined the business only after I quit service.” Their company, Trio Travels, is doing reasonably well; having bagged the Yahoo contract, informs Pradeep. After about 10 years here, has Gurgaon been the right move then? “In a sense yes,” says Pradeep. “Our business has grown. The value of our property has escalated, much more than those in Noida or Faridabad. But for me Delhi is Delhi. Out here, it is just new money – people who have sold their land to the builders...”, he trails off. “The locals can be very feudal. There are men near our office who make it very obvious to me that I am not welcome. Women should stay home – it’s written on their faces,” adds Meenakshi, picking up the thread. “Even in our school, local students can be pretty rude,” pips in Sweta, Pradeep’s 15-year-old daughter. She is a student of Gurugram Public School. Pradeep adds that some locals make it evident to them that they are outsiders. Even the Police had the same attitude. “If you had a problem with the locals, the police would not support you. They would even refuse to lodge an FIR. But things are improving.” Why not sell and return to Delhi then? After all, that is the city that both husband and wife can call their own. “When I was growing up, we lived in government colonies. In Kendriya Vihar, it is the same good feeling – because this is a colony of government servants too,” says Pradeep, “But then you never know what the future holds… kal kisne dekha?” u


16–22 December 2011

S

itting in his drawing room in a white kurta and bandhgala, Badshahpur’s Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Rao Dharampal says, “Everyone has to play by the rules. There is a system, and it has been made to be followed.” What is his take on the need of a Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA)? He pauses, and says, “There have been talks of a city-based body instead of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). It may very well serve the purpose. But again, HUDA is doing its work, and there is no reason to stop it.” If there has to be any major work done in the city, invariably it has to vetted by an official in Chandigarh. Should the City not have a little more freedom in using its own money for development? “There is already enough provision for doing development work. As I said, there is a system, and people and officials have to play by the rules,” he says; continuing, “If I recall correctly, the Municipal Commissioner can authorise work upto Rs. 50 lakh, and the Corporation

Politically Correct Words of Advise to Councillors upto Rs. 1 crore. The system provides enough ‘freedom’ for the officials to perform development work. That is, if they want to.” Many of the Councillors say that their work is hampered by the fund restrictions, and that they have to personally get even a small development passed. “Why do they feel that way? See it this way. Their Ward gave them 1,000-1,500 votes to make them Councillors. People in my constituency gave me well over 2.5 lakh votes. Even then I don’t have powers to do what they want. I have to get everything passed, too. When I can accept that, why are they finding it so hard?” It has been said that the present Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) was constituted to assuage the people’s demand for a GDA. Would he give that theory any credence? “Not at all. It is a law that any town or city whose

Know Your Councillor

HUDA, MCG Can Work Together { Hritvick Sen / FG } Mahesh Dayma

S

itting in his plush office in Sector 55, Ward 32 Councillor, Mahesh Dayma says, “My social career started in 2005, when I was made a member of the Panchayat Parishad. The only difference is, that now I’m a Councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon. I still receive around 50-60 people a day.” As a Councillor for Ward 32, what has he done for this Ward? “My main agenda is sanitation and cleanliness. My Ward is acutely affected by waterlogging, because of poor and non-existent drainage system in some areas. And because of that, the roads get cracked and develop potholes. That’s the reason road repairs don’t last long. My people want a clean, liveable sector, and I’m determined to give them just that. Since I’ve been elected Councillor, I’ve

Achievements Sanitation: Cleanliness work in Sector 56, Ward as a whole Roads: Work done in Sector 55, 56, Extended Golf Course Road Sewerage: Resolved Sector 56, nearby colonies’ problem of past three years, by connecting sewer line with main line Greenery: Two plantation drives since elected Councillor; central verge on roads Open Durbar, Ward Inspection with HUDA Administrator conducted recently

Ward No. 32 DLF Phase-V, Ghata, Ghata Village, Gwal Pahari Village, New Gwal Pahari Village, Pahari Area, Pahari Area, Gwal Pahari, Sector 42, Sector 52-A, Sector 53, Sector 54, Sector 55, Sector 56, Sector 58, Sector 61, Suncity, Sushant Lok Phase-II

Joining Hands Dayma says, “It has often been said that MCG and HUDA cannot work together, and their people are at loggerheads. It may have been true in the past, but no longer. HUDA Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar came to Sector-56 for a surprise earlymorning inspection, and we conducted a complete tour – seeing the problems of the people. Plus, the open durbar conducted recently by Dr. Kumar, along with me, cleared over 100 pending issues on the spot. That is a first, by anyone. I want to say that, if willing, HUDA and MCG can work together, to make a difference to the city.”

has nothing to do with this talk.” How would he rate the performance of the MCG over the past few months? “They are new, and they don’t know the working of the system. All I can comment is, that the will to work can overcome any limitation. If you don’t have a budget big enough for a project, do it on clogs up the drains, and creates problems. I’m proud to say that I’ve been able to achieve significant progress in this area. The residents of Sector 55, Sector 56 and nearby colonies had been troubled with sewerage problems for over three years. The root of this problem was that the subsidiary sewer lines were not connected to the main line. With the much-appreciated assistance of the present Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar, I’ve got the sewer lines connected. By the next monsoon, there should be no case of overflowing sewer water.” He continues, “I’ve taken out two plantation drives since I’ve been elected Councillor, and the central verge of the roads in my Sector have been significantly covered. I’ve made sure that there has been patching of the broken roads in Sectors 55 and 56 – along with the Extended Golf Course Road (which forms a part of the Southern Peripheral Road).” We also have a nasty infesta-

tion of monkeys in Gwal Pahari and Ghata areas. The problem is, they are beginning to attack the people. There have been so many complaints about monkeys biting people, entering homes and generally creating a nuisance in the colonies,” he sighs. Pulling back, he says, “Let us look at the larger picture. If we have to create what is touted as the Millennium City, certain basic issues have to taken care of. We have connectivity, but the roads are comparable to dirttracks in most parts of the city. Then, people must get a decent supply of water. Storm drainage is a must. A clean, workable city is needed, if Gurgaon wants to live up to its name and fame. And all this is not new. Everyone knows this,” he says, “The lack of accountability has proved to be a bane for the city. My job is a 24hour occupation. The people living in my Ward are very aware, and not hesitant in raising their voice to highlight civic problems. But they also acknowledge when I achieve results for them. For me, that’s all I want.” u

Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Rao Dharampal population passes the 10 lakh mark , should have a Municipal Corporation. The city of Gurgaon had a Municipal Committee; and then as the population grew, the Corporation was formed. The story is the same with other cities such as Faridabad, Rohtak, Ambala and Hissar. The foundation of the Corporation

made sure that the contractors for the municipal areas deliver what they promise. Residents from the builder areas come to me for cases of poor sanitation and cleanliness, and I take it up with the concerned builder and its maintenance agency. Along with sanitation and cleanliness comes the issue of sewerage. There is so much garbage lying around. My Ward has no dearth of private builder areas (DLF, Ansal, etc), and HUDA sectors. Since no one party is answerable, there is chaos in terms of waste-management and disposal.” When asked about the mounds of dumped garbage right in front of the Sector-56 market, he says, “Exactly my point. People are in the habit of just dumping plastic garbage. It

13

a piece-meal basis. Clean up the City first. Everything can be done if you start working,” says Dharampal. “I admit that the City’s infrastructure is not what it needs. When officials say that the City saw a commercial and industrial boom which they didn’t expect, I agree with them. Geographically, Gurgaon is positioned enviably. The closeness to the National Capital and the airport will always rule in its favour. For example, a road that was built to bear a load of 10 tonnes will obviously crack and cave when a 100-tonne tractor trailer moves on it. The officials are working on it, and it will be done.” Gurgaon and NOIDA have similarities in the way they developed, and their proximity to New Delhi. So why has NOIDA left Gurgaon behind in terms of infrastructure development? “I agree that NOIDA has certainly seen great steps in development. I believe that the State has played an important role in planning and providing the structural backbone of the city, and it now shows itself. Here, we have a different set of factors, which need to be dealt with in a different way.” u

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ FG Bureau }

C ivic/Social

Food Take

As of December 14, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

Palam Vihar

Sector 54

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potatoes

10

10

5

10

6

8

5.90

5

Onions

15

14

12

16

8

15

13.90

13

Tomatoes

16

15

8

10-20

12

12

11.90

10

Cucumbers

24

22

20

28

18

20

20

20

Apples

80-120

100-140

100

100-150

100

100-120

79

109-140

Methi

20

12

15

24

10

10

13.90

5

Green Peas

25

18

15

28

16

20

14.90

15

Cauliflower

6

10

8

12

8

8

8.90

9

Mushroom

20

25

20

25

20

25

25

25

(old/new)


14

16–22 December 2011

Time to Wake UPA

U

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

PA II thought that it had got it all right at the last hustings– populist programs, economic growth, vote banks. There was no need to think any more. No need to listen, either. And then came the scams. Followed by the Anna storm. It first led to a standstill, with nothing moving; and then recently to a rash of moves - a series of ill-timed and ill-prepared policy decisions. Even politically. UPA II has moved from hubris to Annaitis. Has Anna seeped so much into the cabinet?

we were 1:5, and now we are 1:8, with the renminbi)! So let us stop talking of Chinese companies getting state support etc. The forex rate has given us a big edge over China. Imagine if it had happened the other way round…. Our industry is also fairly pampered. When times are good, we milk it – and we want no government interference. When times are bad, we want excise and tax fillips and benefits; we want bailouts. How would we ever handle issues outside of our comfort zone, outside of India?

In times of challenge, it is important to step back, ponder, review afresh – and then act. The long period of inaction would have been justified if indeed it was time taken to think afresh, and act. Instead, there has been no rethink at all. UPA II has chosen to sidestep the key issue of corruption, and to react on a personal basis – to deflect corruption with economic announcements; and to target Anna and members of his team.

The one worthwhile option, for exports, is Contract Manufacturing, for all the big guys globally. Good for employment, for investment – but offers very low value addition. It is akin to the body-shopping that IT/BPO started with. We can then hope to upgrade to more value add, over time. A weak rupee is clearly beneficial here. In sum, regarding exports, either we have had our hands full with domestic demand (though that is only true for this last decade); or we just do not have the mindset and competence of a global player. Either way, the RBI, and the government, should not be overly concerned with the rupee needing to be cheap. In fact, imports (oil, raw material, technology) should be more of a priority.

Much has been said on the latter, and picture abhi baki hai. Let us take the 2 important economic announcements – that, if implemented effectively, have the potential to significantly impact our nation for decades: the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), and the (majority) FDI in multi-brand Retail. Agriculture has been ignored for long - the second coming would be a miracle. We have been taken up with Services. Services are sexy. The physical environment is cool, unlike a factory. IT appeals to the young; and offers more opportunity to the fair sex. However, Services are fickle on location, and relatively low on investment and employment. There is much debate on the Services-led decade being one of jobless growth. Which is why we need a solid industrial base. A multi trilliondollar economy we may well be – but we are very far from being an industrialized nation. Taking industry for granted is perilous. Ask Calcutta, Bombay, and Delhi. Nothing really can take its place – in terms of investment, taxes, employment - impact. Enter the NMP. After years of planning, what do we get? A solution called NIMZs (National Investment and Manufacturing Zones). Yes, in times of fast food, we have SEZs, followed by NIMZs. It’s called the Zoning effect - like the City effect for Cyber services (except that the web world anyway operates in special cities within cities). It’s so much easier to deal with a Zone, than the entire country. A decade plus of SEZs has not made us any wiser. We still have negligible global scale and quality manufacturing – in any sector. There is little on the horizon also. We also have precious little happening in R&D. The NIMZs will not even flatter, let alone deceive. Where will the new thrust start from? Why will it start? From exports? In the background of a dead Europe, a US on oxygen, and a dragon on fire ?! Even with the rupee at its weakest, our exports languish. There are no big breakthroughs; no new opportunity or thrust taken. This is also when we now have a 50% advantage in forex rates over China (yes, just 3 years ago

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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n the article ‘Municipal Corporation Still Awaiting transfers of sectors’ Lots of efforts done by MCG (in) getting birth/death certificates, licenses, marriage registration Otherwise 25 (years) of life goes in queues to get this work done in our govt. system Thanks to MCG and Sudhir Rajpal Kittu n the article ‘Stage Set For Landmark Clash’ -If DLF gets away with this blatant violation, you can be sure somebody along the way has

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Comment

had money paid in plenty. India is becoming a disgusting playground for rich violators of the law who laugh in the publics face, when it tries to protest or ask for justice. But as you have seen all over the world, you can get away with this for some time; until public protest rises up in fury and just smashes you down. I think DLF management will probably get their public response one day, and it will certainly be violent. Sadly. Toni Siddiqui n the painting ‘My Green Dream Gurgaon’ - Very good drawing. Continue to draw pictures Pramod Vitkar n the article ‘Dog Days in the Millennium City’ - Nice

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article. Thanx for creating this awareness Neelam n the article ‘Dog Days in the Millennium City’ - There is only one and one Millennium City in India - that is Cuttack in Odissa - Others were mere villages (that were) later developed (in)to a city. The word Cuttack (katak) itself means Town or City in Sanskrit. S Nanda n the review of The Mad Tibetan:Stories from then and now - Thanks for the book review! Deepti Naval

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Please send your letters to:

letters@fridaygurgaon.com

And so, it is going to be primarily a domestic story. But we cannot do this alone – definitely not infrastructure. We also need the technology, and processes, and products, of the ‘developed’ world. We do not have that competence; and it will take decades for it to develop. The most robust bet is to welcome massive FDI. With the promise of special benefits, more even than what we are willing to give SEZs and NIMZs. Between the US and EU countries (not to forget Canada, Australia, Japan), many will come. They have no demand growth at home; and probably none for years ahead. Business is, in its simplest form, a matter of supply and demand. The key question is : what should be the priority for FDI? We can kill two birds with one stone. We can provide an impetus to agriculture, and usher in the second green revolution through industry. It would be politically very correct too. Our future lies in the Agro Processing Industry, in all forms. We will prove competent too. We may start at the bottom, but will move quickly up the food chain. Our biggest supply bottlenecks are also agro based – the cause of much of the inflation angst today. The potential benefit to crores of farmers, and to end consumers, is so high, that traders can be persuaded. They can also be made part of a unique Indian solution. Just like the Land Acquisition Bill is now looking at unique ways to compensate farmers; after listening to them – willingly, or under threat. FDI in multi-brand retail would just be a cog on this wheel of fortune (it is incomprehensible how UPA II allowed this initiative to be derailed). It is time we stopped tinkering (with zones, with isolated policy announcements), accepted some harsh realities (corruption, export performance), and acted on opportunities holistically – playing to our competence. Otherwise, our demographic dividend will just be that – an annual decreasing dividend benefit, from a country where growth has faltered. There would be no avenue to invest and re-invest that dividend in.

Famous Quotes We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle

Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world. Lily Tomlin

We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong. Bill Vaughan

The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” Bertrand Russell

“Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.” George Burns

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Napoleon Bonaparte


Kid Corner

15

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. Cushion pattern missing. 2. More paint on floor. 3. Letter ‘W’ changes 4. Handbag bigger. 5. Picture hangs from centre. 6. Lampshade loses stripe. 7. Doorhandle appears. 8. Bird in distance. 9. Child’s drawinq changes. 10. Safety pin on floor.

Solutions

Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

Spot The Difference

16–22 December 2011


16

16–22 December 2011

Literary Flourish

Five Whole Numbers Hidden in the O

nce upon a time, there were two friends, Mathics and Harmonics. Mathics loved mathematics. Harmonics loved music. One day, during summer holidays, Mathics decided that he and Harmonics would visit Mathics’s grandfather’ house. Mathics’ grandfather had died many years ago, but they had heard of his famous house, and its mysterious locker, which no one knew how to open. The house was right up there in the hills beyond Simla. The two boys decided to go by train. They went from New Delhi to Kalka; and then again from Kalka, took another train to the hills beyond. They were both tired when they reached the house. They opened the jammed door with great difficulty. Upon entering, Mathics realized with shock that all of the things belonging to his grandfather were on the floor. “Someone was here before us,” Mathics shouted. Mathics knew, a thief must have been looking for something. But he did not know what was the thief looking for? Harmonics thought of the locker and both rushed to check that. “Grandfather had said that there was lot of treasure kept in the locker,” Mathics told his friend. “Thank God it seems safe, but how to open it ?” So Mathics and Harmonics searched the room for possible clues. After sometime, Mathics remembered that before dying, his grandfather had told his father, “After my death, I will keep something behind the bookshelf.” Mathics looked for that secret thing and found an old letter. It was a letter from his grandfather which read-’Dear grandson, look up in the chimney’. Both the friends helped each other climb up the chimney. Mathics knocked at every brick on the way up. Then he noticed one brick sounded different from the others. Mathics pulled out the brick.”Wow”, he exclaimed! There was a book hidden in the bricks! On the cover was a big beautiful blue symbol. “It’s the “pi” from my maths book,” exclaimed Mathics. All the pages were old and nearly torn. He saw a crumpled bookmark in the book. He opened the page which had the bookmark. There were large numerals, written in the centre. Harmonics read with the help of his torch – 1,10,20,30 and 35. Mathics thought, ‘what was so special about these numbers that grandfather wanted to show me’? And what was the pi on the cover for? Mathics thought for a while, then came up with an idea. “There must be some connection between pi and the numbers. Papa had told me that pi is a magic number. It does not end or repeat its digits”. Mathics and Harmonics went to the computer room. Mathics typed on Google “ value of pi’’. As soon as he pressed ”Enter”, he saw lots of numbers in front of Pi. The entire screen was filled with the numbers from the decimal form of Pi! And the most exciting thing was when Mathics scrolled down the numbers, they did not stop! Mathics wondered if there are any secrets hidden in this strange Pi. He decided to check if the numbers in grandfather’s book were linked to Pi. He carefully noted down the 1st 10th, 20th 30th and 35th numbers in the decimal form of pi. The numbers were, 3, 3, 4, 7 and 8. Then Harmonics exclaimed “Are these the secret numbers nobody ever knew?” They rushed to the locker in the grandfather’s bedroom. They tried the numbers combination on the old lock. Suddenly, to their delight, the door of the locker opened with a long creaking sound. The number code had worked! A few gold coins fell out. And there were many more inside. They could not believe their luck. They had discovered the famous treasure of their grandfather. There was a letter carefully kept inside…. It read, “May this treasure never end, like the wonderful world of pi ”! They were so excited with their discovery. Harmonics and Mathics spent their vacation admiring their treasure, which was hidden for so many years in the digits of the mysterious Pi.

Eshaan Soni, Class 3, Shikshantar

Passion ‘n’ Play At Lotus L

otus Valley International School celebrated its first Sports Day - Passion ‘n’ Play. The event, hosted by the Principal, Mrs. Anita Malhotra, was declared open by the Chief Guest, Mr. Ajay Maken, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Delhi. The event included dances, equestrian display, taek-wondo, skating, along with athletic and field events. Children from Tamana school—a school for children with special needs—were the special guests of the day, and presented a dance performance. Other guests included Dr. Shayama Chona, the patron of the School, and Mr. Madan Lal, the former Indian Cricketer.

Blue Bells Ka Kalam At Science Exhibition

B

lue Bells Model School, Sector 4, participated in the National Science Exhibition held at Model School, Rohtak, Haryana. The school presented three models – Alcosys working Model, Stem Cells, Myasthenia Gravis. ‘Alcosys working Model’ made by Titiksha Vashisht and Isha Jindal won the Third position trophy. The Chief Guest Shri A.P.J Abdul Kalam, former President of India, appreciated the students for their outstanding model, and distributed the awards. Mr. Ashish Gulati, Vice Chairman of the School and Mrs. N. Bhatti, Principal, congratulated the students for bringing laurels to their alma mater.

Sylvan Hunt

Artistic Strokes

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he Sylvan Trails School organized a “Treasure Hunt” at its campus. The theme of the day was ‘King Lion’s Jungle’. The youngsters had a field day, trying to fill their treasure baskets, scouring for the treasures in the sand pit and the bushes. The children were rewarded on completing the hunt.

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

K id Corner

Title: Flower Scenery Riddhi Uppal, Class II F, Ryan International School, Sector-40, Gurgaon

eachers of Ryan International School, Sector 40 – Ms. Peeya Sharma (School Head) and Ms. Nisha Sharma (Art Teacher) were honoured with International Awards. This award was presented for their guidance and encouragement – for providing the students with a platform to express themselves in the form of Art. The award ceremony ‘Avantika’, was graced by Smt. Asha Hooda, Chairperson, Balvikas Parishad.

Art Award at Ryan


16â&#x20AC;&#x201C;22 December 2011

Kid Corner

Kid Toons

17


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16â&#x20AC;&#x201C;22 December 2011

K id Corner

Jataka Tales of Brains Versus Brawn - The heroes of these tales value their friends, their families and their honour. They are brave and selfless. Though each one of them is a bird they are almost always exceptionally wise, at times cunning, and often blessed with a sense of humour.

1

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Š 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved


16–22 December 2011

19

Off The Beaten Café

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

A

JIT KUMAR

fter a long, stressful day at work or at college, a cup of your favourite beverage, and a quick bite, is all you need to re- charge yourself. Friday Gurgaon takes a tour of the city, in search of some new, fun, attractive and different cafe’s that cut edge from the regular branded cafes.

P astimes

The Joint Cafe

The new buzz on the block, this character-filled cafe welcomes you in to a cozy setting. Spread before you are comfortable, coloured cane chairs; table tops covered by the owners’ travel pictures; low hanging lamps; and walls adorning frames of Jim Morrison, Bob Marley, The Simpsons, Lost, Linkin Park, abstract inspirations... (they are also for sale). But what stands out in these fun, alive interiors is the front wall on the first floor (separating the kitchen and the seating), as well as the book rack – both made of old railway wood (now where did they find that!). The cafe serves up a lip-smacking food and beverage selection – lasagne, pastas and a variety of sandwiches; along with rich, creamy shakes and iced tea. Adding to the excitement is the weekly menu. Soon there will be Sunday cakes on offer. Sunil Mamotra, co-owner with Jatin Chhikra, says, “Despite being from Chandigarh, we still picked Gurgaon as our base for the cafe. People here are more spontaneous, and are open to new concepts – even more than in Chandigarh. We just opened a month and a half back, and I see some repeat customers; and we have also got great feedback on the food. We have open jam nights; so if a group of friends or some customers want to jam, they are free to bring in their instruments and perform.” If you haven’t checked it out, its a must visit! Where: SF 100 ( just above Subway), Galleria Market, DLF Phase 4. Definitely order the iced tea, and check out the break fast menu!

Sonya Bakery and Cafe

large breads and bakes section, and Korean delicacies – Cake Formage, Amkho Bread, Cream Rolls, Nunetine and Bam Manju. The cafe also offers some authentic Korean beverages ‑ supposedly with great health benefits. It’s popular and unique Green Tea is a latte made of (sweet flavoured) green tea and hot milk. You can also ask for it with cold milk and ice ‑ which is equally delightful. Another unique and popular beverage is the Sweet Potato drink ‑ recommended as an anti-aging drink, and for improving body weakness. Other authentic Korean drinks on offer are Ginseng Tea and Red Bean Bingsoo. Reeti Sachdeva, a regular says, “My favourite at Sonya Cafe is the Cheese Cake. It’s not too creamy and is light. Just perfect. I mean you can eat the whole thing, and it doesn’t make your tummy uneasy. My sister loves the Apple Pie. If you com-

bine these with a cup of cappuccino, or the Ginseng Tea, it makes for a perfect evening.” If you live within 5kms range of the bakery, you can ask for home delivery ‑ for a minimum order of Rs 300. (0124 40066324) Where: Shop No B-18, Nirvana Courtyard, Nirvana Country Don’t miss out on the Amkho Bread!

Cafe Ji Ji

A wide-spaced, brightly-lit cafe ‑ with attractive caricatures, sketches and drawings adorning the walls; and bright orange, paper lamps hanging off the ceiling - ­this 51 seat cafe opened two and a half months back. It is already quite a crowd puller. With chefs tossing food in an open kitchen, and the specials listed on chalk boards, the cafe serves delicious lunch specials. For a quick break, try the famous Doppio coffee, with a cake (from the many on dis-

play) or taste the Amchi Mumbai, a Mumbai style sandwich; or the Sloppy Joe Burger. Satisfy your sweet temptation with a slice of Blueberry cheesecake or chocolate truffle. Kanad Kashyap, owner of Ji Ji says, “We are also going to have a Christmas feast, which will include turkey and steaks, and plum cake. There will be an evening party, which will also involve exchange of gifts. To entertain our guests, there will be a Santa Claus; and lots of other offerings to make the evening exciting and fun.” The beautiful paintings on display, are also for sale. Where: SCO 5-6-7, Sector 15, Part 2 The sea food main is a must for fishy fan!.

Flip Bistro

‘Delicious food handmade with fresh ingredients in our kitchen everyday’. A tag PRAKHAR PANDEY

This Korean bakery is operational for about nine months, and is run by Sonya Kim.There is an intense display of a variety of bakery items, all made by the owner. They have cakes and pastries - swiss rolls, cream rolls, cheese cakes, chocolate truffle; a

SOAK IT IN: Spacious and artistic Ji Ji Cafe is a crowd puller

HEARTY FOOD: Live station at Flip Bistro

NEW BUZZ: Character-filled ambience at The Joint Cafe

line that it delivers well on. You will surely agree, after you have tried its wood-fired pizza, or handmade flat bread sandwiches. Popular among the expats as well as the local youngsters, Flip Bistro opens as early as 8.00 am. The breakfast menu is a hearty choice of fresh baked breads, home style eggs, a variety of waffles and pancakes, along with fresh juice, tea or coffee. There is an elaborate beverage menu of fresh fruit juices and yogurt smoothies. Our pick would be the Beri Beri smoothie and the banana strawberry smoothie. If you wish for something lighter pick the orange watermelon grape juice - or the pineapple pomegranate, for those who like it extra sweet. Pallavi Chopra, a regular at Flip Bistro says, “They have the best cappuccino and woodfired pizza. I love watching the live station, where they make fresh dough, and then flip it in. I have also tried the breakfast; and the grilled chicken and cheese sandwich is awesome. I recommend that to all my friends.” Where: Ground Floor, Galleria Market (opp City Club), DLF Phase 4. Also at Building 10C DLF Cyber City, Phase 2; and Peach Tree Sushant Lok 1 Their brownie with vanilla ice cream is the perfect dessert. Whether it’s a special date, or just a regular evening out with friends, these cafes provide great food and drink, ambience and service. These new trend cafes definitely cut edge, and provide a great option to the branded ones. u


20

16–22 December 2011

{ V.K. Gaur }

V

edic literature provides extensive detail on suitable land required for construction of residential, commercial, industrial and religious buildings. Bhavishya Puran, Agni Puran, Matsya Puran, Bramha Vaivart Puran and Narad Puran provide illustrative directions for selection of land for various buildings for proposed township, fort, religious establishment or isolated dwelling. Vedic instructions are based on class and caste composition. They prescribe separate specifications for rulers, ministers, priests, warriors, courtiers, traders and the commoners. Agni Puran (chapter 106) portrays methodology to establish a township. It recommends entrance facing East. (There should be well laid out market places with wide roads. Entrance should be wide enough to facilitate entry of elephants. There should be 1,

Vedic Vaastu Selection Of Land(I) 4. Shape of land Plot of land sloping towards North, NE(Ishan) and East direction gives success, prosperity and affluence. Slope and depression in other directions proves harmful(Narad Puran, Poorvbhag, Dwiteeya Paad. The plot of land where a building is proposed must first be tested, by digging a pit of the length, width and depth of one Aratni – of the person who wants to own the plot of land and construct a building (measuring from the elbow joint to the tip of the smallest finger). Then refill the pit with the dug out material. Construction on the plot brings affluence if the pit is filled,

Selection Of Land Land in question must be examined from the following angles: ♦ Orientation ♦ Quality of soil ♦ Shape and size of land ♦ Elevation level of land ♦ Slope of land ♦ Approaches and roads ♦ Surroundings – high rise buildings, depressions, hills, mounds, rivers, nullah, slope for flow of water ♦ Religious monuments located nearby ♦ Forest, tall trees, vegetation etc ♦ Location of grave yard/cremation ground ♦ Location of ruler/highly influential personality in close proximity ♦ Foul smell, inflammable gas, oil pipeline and stores of explosive material ♦ Noise, high volume sound ♦ Turbulent activities in neighborhood.

2 or 3 main gates. It also recommends residence direction for people according to occupation. Bhavishya Puran (Madhyam Parva, Pratham Bhag) contains details of land suitable for construction of buildings, orchards and religious places. Vedic sources recommend that dwelling must be built on plots of land that are oriented towards cardinal directions i.e. North, East, South or West. This brings perimeter walls of the plot parallel to the magnetic axis of the earth. Minor variation may be accepted if other factors are favorable. The capacity of the building to with stand hazards of tremors, cyclone, incessant rain, floods etc. depends on the quality of soil. 1. Smell 2. Colour 3. Moisture (Ras)

It is essential to understand directions and their rulers/lords East(Poorva) is ruled by Indra, the king/ruler of the Devatas. West(Pashchim) is ruled by Varun, the lord of rains/water. North(Uttar) is ruled by Kuber, the lord of wealth and finance. South(Dakshin) is ruled by Yam, the lord of death. South East(Agneya) is ruled by Agni, the lord of fire. North East( Ishan) is ruled by Shiva, the lord of well-being and wisdom. North West (Vayavya) is ruled by Vaayu, the lord of air. South West (Nairut) is ruled by Nairut, the demon.

Blowin’ In The Wind { Manjula Narayan }

A

head of me the land stretches out vast and flat. The unusual grey-white mud underfoot is as smooth as a playing field. As I step into the harness and tighten it around my chest and legs, I notice the Aravallis rising, like a blue wall, in the distance. Around us—a mixed group of urban Indians and foreigners brought together by Escape Delhi, a company that organises imaginative trips outside of the city—a noisy gaggle of villagers has congregated. There are numerous children; there are old men in straggly beards; there are pre-pubescent girls – burdened with snot-nosed younger siblings; there is the occasional loner who just gawks at the women; and there are lots of young men atop tractors and on shiny motorbikes. The villagers, clearly, don’t have much to occupy them on this fine Sunday afternoon. Our group, in-

Pastimes

tent on riding the wind, is the exciting paisa-vasool show of the weekend! Indeed, though the village of Chhapra in Sohna is only about two hours away from modern Gurgaon, it seems to live in the middle ages – even in terms of entertainment options. It wouldn’t have been surprising to learn that the men driving the tractors were charging the locals for the show. These thoughts course through my mind as I prepare to run after the jeep, to which I am tethered, until my parasail lifts up. Suddenly, my phone rings. It’s my mother.

I dare not tell her what I’m up to. The knowledge would most definitely cause her to lapse into the stress-induced asthmatic fit of the year. “Oh, I’m just out for a walk,” I lie. “I’ll call you back as soon as I’m done,” I say; as I watch one of

my group members run a few steps and then take off – his parasail rising above him like a beautiful silken mushroom. I stand there gazing up at him, and wonder about PierreMarcel Lemoigne (who developed the first parasail canopy back in 1961), and about how it was another 20 years before the world discovered the incredible joy of soaring through the air – while being umbilically attached to a moving vehicle.

and some dug out soil is left over. Or fill the pit with water in the evening, and examine it the next morning. If some water is left over, it is an excellent piece of land. If only mud is found it is an average land. (Narad Puran PoorvBhagDwiteeya Paad) Skeleton or bones of elephant and horse found on the Vaastu plot are considered auspicious, and promote well-being. Remnants/skeletons of other animals and human beings, if found buried in the plot, prove inauspicious. Water in the East, West, North and North East of a camp (colony) is considered good. Water reservoir, water fall, well, river in other directions are considered inauspicious. (Brahmavaivart Puran – Shri Krishna Janm khand) Two more tests are prescribed in Vedic literature. Dig a pit equal in length, width and depth. Mud plaster the pit with cow dung, and light a four directional earthen lamp after sun set. Watch the last wick go off. When we test a plot of land for suitability with a four directional lamp, watch the last wicks go off. If the wick of East or North direction is the last to go off, the land is acceptable. These directions give growth, strength and happiness. A wick, if burning for a longer time, symbolizes strength of the direction. South and West should not be stronger than East and North. For another test, stand in the middle of the plot of land, close your eyes and breathe deeply. If after five deep inhalations you feel good, and receive positive feelings, it is a good plot. It is not necessary that a plot of land will be simultaneously suitable both for living and commercial activities. u (Drishta Vedic Astrology, Gurgaon)

Not to be confused with paragliding—that requires enthusiasts to enroll for courses and earn a license—parasailing is a fun activity, that requires nothing but common sense and a slight instinct for s e l f - p re s e r vat i o n . The person attached to the parasail is towed by a boat or a vehicle (in this case a jeep), and carried into the air by the wind. Unlike paragliding, which requires instruction, practice and skill, a parasailer only needs to relax and enjoy himself/herself; and, of course, ensure that he/ she doesn’t do anything stupid in mid-air – like getting his/ her hands entangled in the harness strings. It doesn’t seem particularly frightening, though a few minuscule butterflies do flutter in my tummy when my turn approaches. Thankfully, I have no time to ponder about my nervousness. The instructor, a fast talking energetic man in Raybans, yells at the spellbound audience to step back, revs the jeep engine - and we’re off. I’ve barely run a

(To be Continued Next Week)

few steps when I find myself treading air, and just like that – I’m airborne. It’s quiet up there — 50 feet in the air — and I can hear myself think. It feels almost like an out-of-body experience. Far below me, the villagers are reduced to little pawns, and the instructor looks like he’s driving a dinky jeep. In the distance, mustard fields stretch out like a thick yellow carpet. It feels like I am being carried through the air by a giant bird, the Roc of Sinbad the sailor. It’s blissful. But all too soon the jeep halts, and the descent begins. I stiffen my legs and feel wildly exhilarated, as I glide onto the ground like a giant butterfly. So overjoyed am I that I whip out my cell phone and call my mother. “I just parasailed for the first time,” I inform her. “Phew, good thing I visited the temple this morning,” she responds with a laugh. The one big takeaway from my parasailing adventure: I should always present my mother with a fait accompli! The answers are always blown’ in the wind... u Email: info@escapedelhi.com 


W ellness 21

16–22 December 2011

Healthy Or Un-Healthy? { Alka Gurha }

P

otatoes, along with coffee and chocolate, are a food item that leaves the consumer confused. Is it healthy or is it not? Different studies come up with different results. Though potatoes are painted as villains for dieters, a new study reveals that the staple food is not that bad after all. Potatoes were blamed for increasing weight, by the low carb diet proponents – because of their high starch content. Potatoes are inherently low in fat; but preparing them with high calorie foods raises the caloric value of the dish. Raw, baked or boiled potatoes can help people on weight loss diets, because of the high complex carbohydrates in potatoes – which fill us up long before they make us fat. It is only when we add fat to them—in the form of butter, cheese or cream—that we turn them into a fattening

food. One medium plain potato has about 150 calories; so we have to keep that in mind while watching our weight. Potatoes contain a cocktail of nutrients – including Vitamin C, potassium, and some fibre. Most of the fibre and potassium are in the potato skin; and the

bulk of the Vitamin C is in the flesh closest to the skin. Baking potatoes is the best way to get the most nutrients. Soaking potatoes in water for long is not advisable, as it depletes them of the water content. Potatoes, like white bread, are avoided for their high Glycemic Index (GI) – because foods with high GI are absorbed quickly by the body, triggering a spike in blood sugar. But a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that a small amount of potato, with a meal of vegetables and sprouts, is low on the GI.

Why French Fries are the Villain

Besides having extra fat added to them, potatoes that are fried as chips or French fries may contain acrylamide. This is a toxic substance, that forms in starchy foods when they are processed or cooked at high temperatures. Acrylamide has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals; but we don't know exactly what levels of acrylamide exposures are dangerous for humans. Frying and baking at high temperatures, for a long time, result in the highest levels of

acrylamide. But a study by researchers at University of Otago found that when we eat these carbohydrates as part of a meal of meat and vegetables, the effects are barely felt. Fried potatoes, coupled with decreased physical activity, can however lead to weight gain – which could trigger Type 2 diabetes. Potatoes can thus be an important staple food; but a balanced diet should include other vegetables and whole grain foods. u (Facts from FAO’s nutrition and consumer protection division.)

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be the change you want to see


22

16–22 December 2011

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

O

ptimal health is the art of combining food from various seasonal sources – across food groups and in differing nutrient densities. Can one draw exactly the same set of nutrients from either animal- or plant-based diets? Or is one of them a smarter way to optimal health? On comparing animal- and plantbased foods, per 500 calories of energy, the following important differences can be noted:

Animal-based Plant-based Fat Beta-carotene Dietary fibre Vitamin C Folate Vitamin E Iron Magnesium Calcium Cholesterol Protein

36 g 17 mcg Negligible 4 mg 19 mcg 0.5 mg 2 mg 51 mg 252 mg 137 mg 34 g

4g 29919 mcg 31 gm 293 mg 1168 mcg 11 mg 20 mg 548 mg 545 mg 33 g

Source: ‘The China Study’ – T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell In different parts of the world, when populations known for ‘long and healthy life’ were studied, it was found that plantbased diets formed an important component of dietary habits. Subsequently, numerous studies have shown plant foods to have dramatically more antioxidants, fibre and minerals. Animal foods, on the other hand, have more cholesterol and saturated fats. Dietary fibre is found exclusively in plant-based foods. Even though fibre passes through undigested, it is vital for the optimal health of the digestive tract – especially the colon (large bowel). Fibre is essential to absorb water from the body into the intestines. In the absence of fibre, constipation related diseases occur – cancer, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis and varicose veins, amongst others. Important additional considerations are that fibre is more effective in satisfying hunger—by engendering a feeling of satisfaction— thus minimising the unwitting risk of over-consumption of calories. While it is true that animal

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

The Plant Kingdom A Natural Advantage

foods have higher protein, and Vitamins A, D and B12, the question is whether these can as well be obtained from plant sources. Proteins can indeed be sourced from legumes, lentils and pulses. Our bodies can get sufficient Vitamin A from beta-carotene in yellow and orange colored fruits and vegetables. Cholesterol, needed by our body as a precursor to the production of hormones, is eminently available within the body’s own resources. Only Vitamin B12 may require selective supplementation, in some cases. Similarly, in countries deficient in sunshine ( eg. long winters in the northern hemisphere) Vitamin D supplementation should be considered.

It’s All In The Feet { Irene Gupta }

I

n an age when stress is said to cause 70 per cent of our physical ailments, therapies that help us de-stress are much in demand. Reflexology is a popular healing technique. According to Gurgaon based reflexologist Indira Misra, this gentle massage therapy promotes self-healing, by encouraging a deep sense of relaxation – essential to good health. It motivates the healing process by stimulating the nervous system. Misra says that several reasons make reflexology particularly attractive. It is, for instance, safe and has no side effects. “It cannot therefore harm or trigger an imbalance within the body. Because of this, reflexology is beneficial to people of all ages – including infants. Besides, this is a non-invasive holistic treatment, and it works the whole body.” Each session addresses several imbalances and problems simultaneously, leading to better systemic balance and health. Quoting famous reflexologists Kevin and Barbara Kunz, Misra says that “re-

Tip of the week

1. Eating sprouted legumes and seeds regularly (live food) encourages healthy bowel activity. 2. Eating fermented foods ( sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, chutneys, kefir, yoghurt) increases the nutritive value of foods due to improved bio-availability. It can enhance the absorption of protein and minerals, particularly calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, phosphorous and copper. Lactic acid bacteria can synthesise the vitamins – folic acid, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B12 – even when they are not provided in the diet. Further, the lactic acid produced by these bacteria lowers the pH of the intestine slightly, creating an environment

flexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands, utilising specific thumb, finger and hand techniques – without the use of oil, cream or lotion. The process is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands; with a premise that such work affects a physical change in the body.” In other words, reflexologists believe that each part of our feet and hands is associated with a specific organ in our body. Stimulating nerves on specific areas of the feet and hands helps improve circulation, nerve supply and lymphatic flow – allowing the body to function much better. Misra, who has been professionally practicing for the last 10 years, says that applying pressure to the feet has proved remarkably effective in dealing with many medical conditions – including spondylitis, sciatica, pain in shoulders, arms and legs; besides hypertension, hormonal problems, urinary disorders, and also respiratory and gynaecological problems. Initially a sceptic, she became a believer after seeing how the therapy had improved her son’s digestive system, and her own rheumatoid arthritis. “My son used to suffer from chronic digestive problems. After reflexology, his problems almost became nil. For me, I would get

W ellness more hospitable to good bacteria. 3. Cabbage Salad Recipe: Low-heat coconut oil. Add mustard seeds and turmeric, and lightly sauté. Add shredded cabbage, salt and pepper, and stir-fry. Add a few tablespoons of water, and cover… let cabbage steam.

Nature’s Wonder Foods of the week : Foods containing watersoluble dietary fibre

Amongst the risks associated with consumption of animal foods, high cholesterol (especially LDL-the ‘bad’ cholesterol) is one. A natural way to control cholesterol would be through appropriate selection of food. Food such as barley, beans, brown rice, fruits, glucomannan, guar gum, and oats are high in fibre. Of these, oat bran and brown rice are best for lowering cholesterol. Other convenient sources of supplementing dietary fibre are flaxseed and psyllium (isabgol) husk. As fibres tend to absorb some of the minerals, sometimes it is a good idea to compensate mineral intake through supplements. Additionally, the following cholesterol-lowering foods can also be included in the diet: almonds, apples, bananas, carrots, dried beans, garlic, grapefruit, oats, olive oil, strawberries, cold-water fish, salmon and walnuts. Importantly, all sources of saturated fats and cholesterol in the diet should be controlled. All hydrogenated fats (eg. margarine) should be eliminated. Consumption of cakes, candy, carbonated drinks, coffee/tea, pies, processed foods, refined carbohydrates or white bread should be avoided. As far as possible, we should prefer unrefined, cold or expeller-pressed oils eg. olive, sesame seed, soy, safflower and flaxseed oils. Olive is best for salads; and for high heat cooking, sesame or coconut oil can be considered. Of course, in addition, getting regular and moderate exercise is important. As is avoiding stress and sustained tension. Sunlight, or rather the lack of it, has been shown to have adverse effects on cholesterol levels. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions.) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

rheumatoid arthritis attacks, and I could barely move; now thanks to reflexology, I am off pain killers,” claims Misra. She, however, maintains that reflexology is a complement to standard medical care. “Please do not construe it as medical advice. It should not be a replacement to medical help. In case of injury or infection please see a doctor.” Lamenting that patients turn to reflexology when “all else fails”, Misra says that reflexology is not just a first rate therapy, but is an excellent form of prevention and diagnosis as well. “If only people turned to reflexology at the early stages of a problem, it could help stem the ailment (prevent aggravation),” she says. The ancient art of reflexology can be traced to 2300 BC in Egypt, where it held a place of honour alongside other medical practices. Current day reflexology owes its origins to Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American ENT specialist, whose work laid the foundation. Based on his pioneering efforts, Eunice Ingham, a physiotherapist, mapped reflex areas on the feet that correspond to every organ and gland in the body. Indira Misra conducts sessions at her home in Sushant Lok Phase 1, Gurgaon. She can be contacted at misraindira51@ gmail.com u


16–22 December 2011

B usiness

23

Mastering Business Avenues { Abhishek Behl / FG }

W

hile developing a wealthcreating mindset, and shaping of future leaders, should be the goal of business schools, the uncontrolled proliferation of MBA institutes across the country—including Gurgaon—has led to most of them being seen as just MBA placement agencies. Most of the students pursuing MBA see this course as a passport to a high paying job; irrespective of whether they have an interest in a corporate sector career (leave alone the specific role, function or company). While there are many students spending enormous amounts of money in these MBA schools, the paucity of faculty, half-baked curricula that has been mostly copied from other schools, and low investment on knowledge resources such as a library and online journals has led to very poor quality of education and skill enhancement. This situation has to change; many people do not even know what an MBA course entails, says Dr. C.P Shrimali, Director, Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, one of the top MBA schools in the country. “An MBA course should help you develop skills for creating wealth, and adding value to industry and society. It is about developing mastery in our understanding of business, its functions, and the environment in which it operates.” At MDI, the students have to undergo a very rigourous course during their two years stint. Shrimali says “MDI mein padhai nahi, ragdai hoti hai. The students do not sleep more than four hours, as they have to prepare for presentations, lectures, industry interactions, research reports.” Similar rigour is how-

B-Schools In G-City

Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon

Dr. C.P Shrimali, Director (MDI)

PRAKHAR PANDEY

ever missing in other business schools in Gurgaon, admits a professor at one of the leading private institutions. Dr. Shrimali says that it is important that the curriculum should be relevant to the industry. With increasing globalisation, the courses taught at business schools should be global in their approach. One of the business heads at a posh MBA institution in the city, who preferred anonymity, says that most of the students come on the basis of reference—so the institute does not need any publicity or advertisement. “We get average students, and our USP is to add value. This institute has strong tie-up with corporates,

Recipe for a top Business School To be a top business school there must be a perfect balance of Curriculum, Faculty, and Learning Infrastructure, says Dr. C.P Shrimali, Director MDI Gurgaon. Dr. Shrimali, who is a specialist in change management and turnaround strategy, says that the curriculum at MDI is developed after interacting with top corporates in the country. “We discuss the needs of the industry, and teach our students what is needed. Secondly, the curriculum delivery is also important, and for that MDI has a large faculty base”, says Shrimali. Having a global mindset is crucial as global courses are taught, he says, adding that faculty at MDI has global exposure in education and research. Also, one teacher does not take more than five or six courses, and they have time and resources for research. The MDI head says that his institute has 70 faculty members, and he is recruiting 30 more, to ensure that the quality remains the best. Learning process and infrastructure is another key element of a good business school. MDI offers a number of practice courses, 12 to 13 live projects, an incubation centre, and learning by doing during the internship programmes, to ensure that the skills of students are honed to perfection. The institute also has a world class library, claims Shrimali with pride, and says that it is one of the best in the country. “Our students get access to the best

books and online journals, and this helps them in research and being up-to-date with information. A library is the heart of a business school”, he says, adding that local business schools must improve these facilities. Prof Shrimali says that students organise events, alumni meets, placements; they mobilise resources, and are part of 40 committees where they participate in various roles. “All this helps them in learning management”, he says. MDI also has a very strong connect with the industry, and the local business schools can do the same easily. Shrimali reveals that around 100 CMDs visit MDI every year. They deliver lectures under the Business Thought Leadership; whereas functional heads deliver lectures under the Synapse series. International linkage is another aspect that MDI takes pride in. The school has an AMBA accreditation, as a result of which students from Europe and Asia come here under the Student Exchange Programme. A group of Pakistani students left MDI this week, after completing their term here. Last, but not the least, Shrimali says that the faculty, management and students of a business school must be very disciplined. He exhorts local business schools to do likewise. “We are not flexible with disciplinary issues, and this has helped us a lot”, asserts the management expert.

Professor Vinod Kalia, Management Expert and Faculty at MDI

and the curriculum is designed as per industry requirements”, he says. Most of the private business schools, despite having a proper public relations set-up, want to control the information they are giving out. Even basics. Quite surprising in this open information world. The lack of transparency, and tight control, in private business schools, is in total contrast to what happens at MDI, a government funded institution. The faculty at MDI is given ample time and resources to indulge in

research; they are encouraged to buy books for the library; and they can consult with private companies to earn money— apart from the salary they get from the institute. They are also free to interact, and discuss issues, with the media. What a positive though surprising environment—as government institutions are normally accused of being secretive and bureaucratic. Coming to the academic side, Professor Vinod Kalia, a distinguished management expert and faculty at MDI, says that having a good faculty is paramount; and developing a good brand is very important to attract top faculty. “Gurgaon is the corporate hub of the country, and top industry executives and functional heads can also be invited for interaction with students. This will help the students gain a practical industry perspective”, he says. Not only this, the management gurus also want the lower ranked business schools to customise their curriculum. It is important to teach what the industry wants, rather than teach theory that has become out of date, says Shrimali. In today’s world, it is also important that students are taught soft skills. “It is important for the students to learn how to interact with people; how to express their viewpoint, and comprehend others”, says Prof Kalia. Students also need to introspect. They should take up functions and careers where they have an interest, rather than just taking the easily available or most popular choice. In this changing world, where slowdowns are now recurring, just getting an MBA does not ensure success— or even a job. Contd on p 24 


24

B usiness

16–22 December 2011

PRAKHAR PANDEY

From Gurgaon with Love

Jinne L’hore Nahi Takya, O Jamya Nahi { Abhishek Behl / FG }

T

hey had come from Pakistan, with a lot of apprehensions and misgivings about India. But a three months stay in Gurgaon proved otherwise — for Ammad Aziz, Omair Shabbir, and Sabahuddin Sulaiman. Students of the prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences, popularly known as LUMS, the trio had come to MDI Gurgaon on a student exchange programme. LUMS is also the alma mater of the current Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. Ammad, the most vocal of the three, says that when they had left Lahore, they were very scared—because of the bad vibes between the two countries. “But when we reached here, we realised that there was no difference between the two countries. We are the same people, with the same land and culture”, says Aziz, who was particularly impressed by the Delhi-La-

hore Bus service. The motorcyle escort given to this bus particularly impressed the trio, who also forged a friendship with one of the helpers on board. “Amar Singh was our first friends in India. He is a great guy, and we appreciate his friendship”, says Omair, who is from Toba Tek Singh. Speaking Punjabi, and taller than the others, Omair says that his forefathers migrated from India; and whenever people from India visit them, they are treated as ‘Biradari’. “The people in Pakistan watch Indian movies and television shows, and there is no hostility at the ground level. If people-topeople interaction is improved, then peace can certainly dawn”, he says. The Pakistani students are also impressed by the diversity that India has, and particularly at the MDI Gurgaon. “We were pleasantly surprised by the different cultures and regional variations in India. This

Ammad Aziz, Omair Shabbir, and Sabahuddin Sulaiman – students of the Lahore University of Management Sciences, popularly known as LUMS. The trio had come to MDI Gurgaon on a student exchange programme.

diversity certainly adds to the charm of a nation”, they say. They are surprised by the open sale and consumption of liqour in Gurgaon, and ask whether this happens every where in India. They are also inquisitive about consumption of liquor by the Muslims in India, and whether there are taboos or not. When asked about their experience at MDI, they describe it as exceptional. “MDI teachers are among the best, and the manner in which they teach is brilliant. Prof Atmanand, and Prof Vinod Kalia were brilliant in the class, and the manner in which they take up

case studies is exceptional”, says Aziz. The trio even invited Prof Kalia for a short term course, to be taught at LUMS. The students at MDI, they say, are confident, and have good communication skills; but they consider their own counterparts in LUMS to be more hardworking and bright. “Pakistani students are more hardworking”, asserts Aziz. The trio also regret not being able to visit Delhi and nearby Indian cities, as their visa does not allow free movement. But they were happy with the Indian Consulate for efficiently processing their visa applications; and they had to pay

Mastering Business Avenues  Contd from p 23 Gurgaon MBA schools think global, act local

The emergence of Gurgaon as a hub of IT, software and industry has led to a large demand for engineers, MBAs and graduates. It is to fulfill this demand that a parallel education industry is developing here—that includes engineering colleges, MBA schools, and other vocational institutes. Most of these function in the private domain. A number of private business schools in Gurgaon are backed by corporate houses, while some are promoted by individuals. Most of the students pursuing MBA in these schools come from outside the State, as well as other districts of Haryana. The number of local students is surprisingly low. It also indicates that the well-heeled Located on the dusty Dhanwapur road in Old Gurgaon,Gurugram Business School hs a vision to become a national centre of excellence. It has industry integrated courses, as students are sent to learn on the job during the course, says the institute. The Skylark Business School in Palam Vihar Extension is also trying to provide quality business education to students. The school concentrates on providing onthe-job training to students, so that they are ready for the industry when the course concludes, says Anumeha, one of the senior faculty members. Most of the students here are from outside Gurgaon, and they come here because of the enormous job opportunities that this city offers, she says. The average annual salary that the Skylark students got last year was around Rs. 2.4 lakhs – much less than the top schools, but the school is hoping to

in Gurgaon prefer B-Schools in Delhi and other destinations. Sanjay Kumar, Director ITM Business School says that he wants his institute to become a storehouse of knowledge and solutions for small and medium enterprises, that run in the thousands in Gurgaon. “A business school must become a point of contact for local business. I am trying to forge relationships with local industry chapters, so that we can offer our expertise to help them manage business issues”, says Kumar. He has worked at the highest level, with top companies, in India and abroad. Kumar laments that there is no local business forum in Gurgaon, where people can discuss issues, and communicate with each other easily. Small companies in this city need help and guidance from business schools improve in the coming years. Infinity Business School in Gurgaon is a Citibank investee institution, that aims to coach MBA students through mentoring, and special courses in business and finance. The focus here is more on making students industry ready and get them jobs. Like Infinity, JK Padampat Singhania Business School in Gurgaon aims to transform the students, and help them realise their potential. Director Raghubir Singh says that the emphasis is on developing critical thinking in students. “A very high Industry interface is maintained, by inviting middle and top level managers every week. The communication skills are honed by experts, by practice and video recording, and giving feedback”, he says. Students every year are taken to distant and exciting locations for out-door management games, under the guidance of skilled trainers.

but, they do not know where to go, says Kumar; and promises that ITM will change this situation. The changing business environment not only needs knowledgeable management graduates, but also those who are more grounded and humane. Gurgaon based School of Inspired Learning (SOIL) founded by Anil Sachdev is one school that is trying to develop managers who are more aware, spiritual, and want to run business as a humane enterprise – rather than being just a system. “The mission of SOIL is to nurture Character, through the practice of our core cultural values,” said Anil Sachdev, in a recent interview with Friday Gurgaon. He said that SOIL aims to Build Competence by focusing on whole systems thinking, a fresh and future ready curriculum, teaching methods and spaces that deploy multiple intelligences,

just Rs 15 as fees. “We want both the countries to open up trade and business. The Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status Pakistan has bestowed on India will prove to be a game changer”, says Omair. He reminisces of pre-independence days, when the people had united to push the British out of India. India and Pakistan, if they work together, can become a formidable force, they aver. They will certainly take the message of love and affection to their country. They even invite us to Lahore and challenge us, “Sir Jinne L’hore nahi takya, o jamya nahi” (One who has not seen Lahore, was never born”!). u

one-to-one mentoring by seasoned leaders, and live Projects. SOIL has the backing of top corporates in the country, and finds it easier to get good faculty, have industry interaction, and ensure good placements, informed Sachdev. Private MBA schools in Gurgaon, despite having a clear perspective, are also constrained to be highly profitable and therefore quickly embrace the placement mindset, says a teacher of one of the private schools. “We must make the kids aware that: ours are not top business schools, they are not top students, and we are mediocre teachers”, he admits. He also laments that the good students don’t opt for teaching, as it is not a very paying proposition. Most of the private schools in Gurgaon seem to have very good infrastructure, glass buildings, and air-conditioned classes; but going by the average salary their students get, its clear that they have miles to go before they become attractive for the corporate world. u

Realty Rates

(in Rs. as of December 14, 2011)

Residential – Sector-3 2 BHK Aptt 3500/ sq ft

3 BHK Aptt 3300/ sq ft

2 BHK Houses 3500/ sq ft Residential – Sector-4

2 BHK House 5200/ sq ft

3 BHK House 4300/ sq ft

4 BHK Aptt 4000/ sq ft

Plots 2500/ sq ft

Sector-5 3 BHK Aptt 3600/ sq ft

Residential Plots 2600/ sq ft

Residential rate in New Palam Vihar 2 BHK Aptt 3200/ sq ft

3 BHK Aptt 3500/ sq ft

3 BHK Houses 3600/ sq ft

Residential Plots 3100/ sq ft


16–22 December 2011

HERO WOMEN’S INDIAN OPEN

Hedwall Wins Championship

{ FG Bureau }

T

he Hero Women’s Indian Open held at the DLF Golf and Country Club came to an end with Caroline Hedwall winning the title, by firing a final round 69. Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum (70) settled for second place; and Welsh golfer Becky Morgan finished third at eightunder 208. Sharmila Nicolett maintained her current position as India’s top professional by scoring 68 to finish tied-22nd at one-over 217. Amateur Gauri Monga (75-72-74) at 221 stayed

at her overnight tied 37th place; while Neha Tripathi (72-77-74) was tied 49th at 223; and amateur Vani Kapoor (74-75-76) was tied 57th at 225. Sharmila, who went through some tense moments, said, “Last year I was 24th and this year it is 22nd. It would have been nice to be in top-10, which was my goal. The only place I can fault myself in is, that I chickened out towards the end, as I wanted to maintain the four-under score-line.” The prizes were given away by Mr. Pawan Munjal, Managing Director, Hero MotoCorp. u

Junior Tennis Talent Hunt { FG Bureau }

A

national-level Talent Tennis Championship, for under 16 and under 18 Boys and Girls category, was held in Gurgaon. The 4Fresh Scholarship Cup National Talent Series, as the event was called, will be awarding scholarships to junior tennis players. The Championship was held at the Ryder Sports Academy (December 10-16th). Part of a talent series of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), over 250 children participated in this event. The aim of this event was to encourage the junior players to improve their ranking in the All India Tennis circuit. “It was a small endeavour to get young talent under one platform. Children travelled all across India to participate in this event. I am proud to have been a part of it,” said Raj Hazarika, Tournament Director, Ryder Sports Academy. u

B usiness

25


26

16â&#x20AC;&#x201C;22 December 2011

The Barn

T ime Pass Love is...

The Grizzwells

Arctic Circle

9 to 5

Animal Crackers

Dogs of C-Kennel

Pearls Before Swine

Star Fun


16–22 December 2011

T ime Pass

Zits

Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home

Solution Tower 5.

Ipso facto The Born Loser

Two Wise Men

Tiger The Better Half

Baby Blues

27


28 { Manuela Imre / New York / DPA }

T

he New York art world is in uproar after it became known that the FBI was investigating the authenticity of 16 works by such famous names as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko. What started out at the end of November, with the closing of the renowned Knoedler and Company Gallery, is now mutating into one of the largest art forgery scandals ever. The gallery, with a 165year history, announced its closure on November 30, putting the highly respected New York art scene in a state of shock. Two days later, London-based Belgian hedge fund manager Pierre Lagrange brought a lawsuit before a New York court, against the gallery and its former president, Ann Freedman. He alleges that the Jackson Pollock named Untitled 1950, that he bought from Knoedler in 2007 for 17 million dollars, is a forgery. Auctioneers Christie’s and Sotheby’s had rejected the work by the US painter, and Lagrange demanded an investigation. According to The New York Times,

16–22 December 2011

Huge Forgery Scandal Shakes New York Art Scene tests showed that two of the paint colours used had been created only after Pollock’s death in 1956. Worse was to come. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating no less than 16 works by modern masters for their authenticity, according to the newspaper. Should suspicions of forgery be confirmed, one of the biggest art scandals of all time will break over the US metropolis. At the centre of the furore are the Knoedler Gallery itself, the widely respected art expert Freedman and a Mexican-born art dealer, Glafira Rosales. The little-known art dealer from Long Island said she had gained exclusive access to an unidentified collector’s stock of abstract expressionist work, ostensibly accumulated directly from the artists in the 1950s, The New York Times reported. The

THE KNOEDLER AND COMPANY GALLERY

Ex-Chief Of MF Global: “I Simply Do Not Know Where The Money Is”

{ Frank Fuhrig / Washington / DPA }

J

on Corzine, the former US senator who headed bankrupt investment firm MF Global, told Congress on Thursday that he could not explain the estimated 1.2 billion dollars believed to be missing from clients accounts. “I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date,” he told a US House of Representatives committee investigating the firm’s collapse. Corzine, a former senior partner at investment bank Goldman Sachs, won a US Senate seat in 2000 and was elected New Jersey governor in 2005. After losing his re-election bid in 2009, he returned to Wall Street in 2010 as chief executive at MF Global. After Corzine steered the company’s own investments heavily into investments linked to the relatively high-interest bonds issued by eurozone gov-

ernments in Belgium, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal, investors, clients and rating agencies lost confidence in MF Global’s stability. The company filed for bankruptcy protection on October 31, and within days reports emerged that hundreds of mil-

lions of dollars in client money was missing. “I was stunned when I was told ... that MF Global could not account for many hundreds of millions of dollars of client money,” Corzine said. The court-appointed trustee managing MF Global’s liquidation told Congress that the missing money could exceed 1.2 billion dollars. Normally, the company’s own investments would have been kept separate from customer accounts. Corzine resigned from the company on November 3. He mentioned the “losses and hardships that customers, employees and investors have suffered” due to MF Global’s bankruptcy. “Their plight weighs on my mind every day - every hour,” Corzine said. “And, as the Chief Executive Officer of MF Global at the time of its bankruptcy, I apologize to all those affected.” u

mystery collector was said to be a Mexican sugar trader who insisted on anonymity. Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Motherwell are mentioned - names guaranteed to draw the attention of art lovers, and possibly to awe them into not asking too many questions. The New York Times said doubts had been circulating for

G lobal some time, and that there had been isolated legal proceedings. New York art experts, in particular Freedman and Julian Weissmann, who traded in Motherwell works in the name of Knoedler, had been at the centre of several probes, the paper said. The probes were not as wideranging as the current investigation. Some of them were settled by agreement, as in the case of a charge in relation to a Motherwell brought by the Dedalus Foundation. Lawyers representing Freedman and Weissmann declined to comment, when asked by dpa to provide details. But Rosales’ legal representative Anastasios Sarikas said his client had been the “victim” of a confused situation. The galleries themselves were responsible for investigating art works, but they had been only too happy to deliver, he said, describing Rosales as a scapegoat. She had “never intentionally or knowingly sold artwork she knew to be forged,” he told The New York Times. Sarikas refused to reveal the identity of the mysterious collector who had channelled the works to his client. Amid the confusion, the reasons for the abrupt closing of the Knoedler Gallery remain unclear. Gallery spokeswoman Kat Blomquist told dpa the move had been a “business decision,” rather than in anticipation of a major scandal. “It has nothing to do with Mr Lagrange or the forgery allegations,” she said, explaining that the decision had been under consideration for a long time. u


16–22 December 2011

G lobal 29

Al-Qaeda Struggles To Adjust To A World Without Bin Laden

{ Ramadan Al-Fatash / Cairo / DPA }

2

011 has been a painful year for al-Qaeda, with the terrorist network losing two key leaders within the space of five months. On May 2, its founder, Osama bin Laden, was killed in a US strike on his hideout in Pakistan. On September 30, Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born radical Islamist cleric, seen as a spiritual leader of alQaeda, was killed in Yemen in an airstrike – that US President Barack Obama said was a “major blow” to the terrorist network’s most active operational affiliate. The question of who will lead the group was answered when Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian-born surgeon, was named by al-Qaeda in June to succeed bin Laden. But the larger question is whether al-Qaeda can remain relevant, and whether alZawahiri has the profile to hold the group together. That job has been complicated by another highlight of 2011, the Arab Spring protests. These took off with little, if any, backing from al-Qaeda, which had for years tried to overturn some of the governments that have since fallen.

Al-Zawahiri, 60, has since been at pains to capitalize on the popular revolts. “Al-Qaeda supports the revolutions, and hopes it will establish true Islam,” alZawahiri said in a video released on September 13. But to many, it looked like the Arab Spring had passed al-Qaeda by, raising more questions about its future. Al-Zawahiri is often described as al-Qaeda’s ideologue-inchief. For the past few years, he has been the group’s main spokesman, issuing dozens of audio and video statements since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “The popular revolutions are a form of defeat for the United States, just as the 9/11 attacks and its ... lack of success in Afghanistan and Iraq were also defeats,” he added. But al-Zawahiri’s recent messages are seen as a public relations offensive to raise the profile of al-Qaeda, dented by both bin Laden’s killing ,and sweeping changes in the Arab world. “The claim that al-Qaeda is a global organization is a big lie propagated by the United States, to promote its interests across the world,” said Mahmoud Khalaf, an Egyptian

strategic expert. According to him, bin Laden and his comrades were “enchanted by the imaginary superhuman powers” bestowed upon them by the US and the Western media. “Al-Qaeda has liked this image and sought to propagandize it via the internet,” Khalaf told dpa. He believes that the offshoots of al-Qaeda around the world operate according to their own agendas. “They have no links among themselves. Turmoil and woes in their

tent” of the treaty would be finalized “in the next 15 days,” with the final text expected by March. Eurozone leaders are hoping the deal will restore the confidence of markets and ratings agencies in ailing eurozone economies. Standard & Poor’s ratings agency has threatened to downgrade the debt of 15

F

rench President Nicolas Sarkozy, in an interview published Monday, said last week’s European Union summit had resulted in “two Europes,” but that the EU still “needs” Britain. “There are clearly two Europes now,” Sarkozy said. “One that wants more solidarity between its members and more regulation. And another that is attached to the sole logic of the single market.” The split occurred Friday af-

ter British Prime Minister David Cameron vetoed proposals for a new EU treaty imposing stricter budget discipline on member states, with greater powers of oversight for Brussels. Cameron said he had failed to obtain adequate safeguards for Britain’s financial services industry, leading to his refusal to endorse it. The EU’s 26 other leaders decided to forge ahead with an inter-governmental treaty based on Germany’s and France’s proposals for closer economic integration. Sarkozy said the “legal con-

out of 17 eurozone countries, including France. Sarkozy downplayed the consequences of France possibly losing its AAA rating in the coming days, saying it would be “one more difficulty,” but “not insurmountable.” He also made reassuring noises about Britain’s place in the EU, which has been called into question by some - in Britain and the rest of Europe - following Britain’s “no” to the treaty. “We need Britain,” he said, adding the single market would be “greatly impoverished” without the EU’s thirdbiggest economy.

While Sarkozy promoted the deal, his chief rival for president in next year’s elections said he would renegotiate the treaty if he was elected. Francois Hollande, the candidate of the opposition Socialist Party, whom opinion polls show leading the presidential race, told RTL radio he would “renegotiate this agreement to put in what is missing today.” That included commitments on the intervention of the European Central Bank, and on the mutualization of eurozone members debt through the issuance of eurobonds. “And finally, there has to be growth,” he added. u

Ayman al-Zawahiri

Sarkozy Sees “Two Europes,” But Says EU Still “Needs Britain”

{ Clare Byrne / Paris / DPA }

own surroundings are what makes them tick, not alQaeda’s ideology or orders,” he said. With bin Laden already a matter of the past, the US sees victory over al-Qaeda on the horizon. “In delivering justice to Osama bin Laden and many other alQaeda leaders, we are closer than ever to defeating al-Qaeda and its murderous networks,” Obama said on October 7, the 10th anniversary of the start of the US-led war in Afghanistan. This is a wishful thinking,

according to Elias Farhat, a retired Lebanese army officer. “Bin Laden was killed after his ideology had taken root in many areas of the Arab and Muslim worlds,” he said. “True, the assassination of bin Laden was a major blow to the morale of al-Qaeda and its affiliates. However, it has not uprooted al-Qaeda, which has become a global organization that has inspired several fundamentalist groups,” Farhat wrote in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anbaa. “It is not an individualized organization, but a symbol of an ideology.” In Farhat’s opinion, the decentralization of al-Qaeda is a bonus for the organization. “Al-Qaeda is like McDonald’s franchise outlets. They serve the same meals worldwide and share the same publicity. But the management of each restaurant is totally independent.” In the case of al-Qaeda, he argued, decentralization allows a high degree of flexibility for the affiliates to operate according to the circumstances in they countries where they are based. “The post-bin Laden alQaeda is likely to seek to restore its global stature by carrying out major operations.”u


30

16–22 December 2011

Brighter, Bigger, Wider:

Interior Design Using Glass

G lobal

Facebook And Angry Birds Top List Of 2011 Iphone Apps { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

D

on’t mess with the Angry Birds. The addictive smartphone game was the most popular paid app of the year for the iPhone and iPad, Apple announced Thursday. It was only beaten as the top free iPhone app by Facebook, Pandora Radio and the Scrabble-like game Words With Friends, according to Apple’s annual list of bestsellers from its iTunes store. British singer Adele dominated the music scene with the top song on iTunes, Rolling in the Deep; as well as the top album, 21. The most-downloaded book was the biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs, while the most popular film was the Facebook saga The Social Network. u

AFI Names Year’s Ten Top Films { Gian-Philip Andreas / Munich / DPA }

O

pen plan apartments are generally considered to be the domain of well-heeled bohemians, who live in converted lofts, penthouses and futuristically designed villas. But the trend towards living in spaces with fewer doors and walls is also becoming a more familiar sight – in standard apartment buildings and terraced houses. It’s no longer unknown for a bathroom to be combined with a bedroom – into a single space; or for the kitchen to open directly onto the dining room. “Today, people are thinking more in terms of living in connected spaces rather than in single rooms,” says Munich-based architect Stephan Maria Lang. Lang believes glass is the simplest method to attain an open living area. He uses glass not only as a window to the outside world, but also as a form of furnishing – as a stair, as a floorwindow or as a sliding door. Glass was first used to divide up space in offices and businesses. Only later did it find a wider use in homes. “It’s mostly used to allow light to enter the interior from the building’s facade. Sometimes it’s used to allow light to pass from room to room,”

says Johannes Berschneider, an interior designer. Glass can also play a role in energy-saving ,such as by using a skylight to allow natural light into a walkin wardrobe. Glass partitions are gaining in popularity. “What people often want today is more flexible use of space,” says Berschneider. If you want a clear view from the dining table, through the kitchen, and into your living room, then glass is the best why to get it. On the other hand, a glass partition can instantly give an open plan area a more private atmosphere. But how can transparent glass generate an intimate and private feeling? “You can make the surface of glass translucent or matt by sand-blasting it, or using acid,” says Jochen Groenegraes from Germany’s Bundesverband Flachglas – an umbrella organisation that represents the glass manufacturing and retail sector in the country. Translucent glass has given architects more scope for design. “Glass gets really interesting when it’s used in an artistic way,” says Lang. That arty look can be achieved by using especially clear Optiwhite glass or reflective glass, which is often used in spa areas to mirror water. Translucent glass for home use does not need to be exclu-

sively matt or enamelled, but can also be printed with photographs and patterns. Varnished glass can be used as a floor covering or as an alternative to tiling on walls. When using glass on floors and walls, safety aspects begin to play a major role. “You must use safety glass in the home,” advises Groenegraes. Only use laminated safety glass in flooring, or as an overhead window. Laminated glass consists of two layers of glass, bonded together by a middle layer of plastic resin, to prevent it from shattering. For other uses in the home, tempered glass will usually provide an adequate standard of safety. If safety is your top consideration then you can rest assured that glass can find a place in the home. But even the experts think glass is not suitable for every application. “Glass is not a material that a person will feel most comfortable in,” says Berschneider. “Glass steps always feel smooth and I hate it when a ceramic coffee cup clatters on a glass table surface.” Berschneider’s recommendation is to avoid constructing a cold palace of crystal, and to focus on specific elements such as a glass kitchen storage unit or a dividing wall. u

Twitter Debuts New Design { Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

M

icroblogging site Twitter unveiled a redesign of its website Thursday, designed to ease participation in the popular social network. The new format will be rolled out to users around the world by the end of the year, with the aim of broadening the site’s appeal – both for experienced users and those who may be deterred by often-used symbols such as “#” and “@”.

The rejigged format also makes it easier to embed and view photos within tweets. “We’ve simplified the design to make it easier than ever to follow what you care about, connect with others, and discover something new,” Twitter said in a statement. The company says the new design will maintain the look and feel of Twitter over all platforms, and will use several tabs to navigate around the site:

Home, Connect, Discover, Me, and Tweet. “As other services tack feature after feature after feature on top of each other, we’re going to go in an entirely different direction – and offer simplicity in a world of complexity,” Twitter chief Dick Costolo said. “This new Twitter is really a foundation for us.” Twitter claims that over 100 million people actively use the service. The privatelyowned company is valued at over 8 billion dollars. u

{ Andy Goldberg / Los Angeles / DPA }

T

he American Film Institute announced its top ten movies of the year Monday in a move that could give an early indication of the Oscar nominations. Included in the AFI list were two Brad Pitt movies, Moneyball and Terrence Malick’s Field of Dreams, as well as the George Clooney comedy The Descendants. Also making the list were Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and Steven Spielberg’s WarHorse. Another film expected to be in the Oscar running also made the list: David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Civil rights drama The Help, Clint Easdtwood’s political saga J Edgar and the raucous comedy Bridesmaid rounded out the top ten. The AFI choices are often regarded as useful Oscar predictors, with nine of last year’s top ten going on to earn Oscar nominations for best movie. The AFI also bestowed special awards to The Artist and the Harry Potter series.u

Coca-Cola Moves Secret Formula For First Time In 86 Years { DPA / Washington }

T

he top secret formula of popular beverage Coca Cola is no longer in its old vault. It’s in a brand new vault, in a museum, part of a promotion for the 125th anniversary of the drink. The change in setting on Thursday was the first time the US beverage company had moved its formula in nearly nine decades. The move, from a bank vault to its new Vault of the Secret Formula exhibit (which opened Thursday at the World of CocaCola Museum in Atlanta), means the chamber containing the formula can—for the first time—be seen by the public. “By sharing this secret formula experience with our consumers, we celebrate both the rich history of the brand’s beginnings and the moments of refreshment and happiness to come for future generations,” said Coca-Cola Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent. “This is yet another way we are recognizing and thanking everyone around the world, who has made the Coca-Cola brand what it is today.” u


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32

16–22 December 2011

G -scape

JOHN HALL, CIVIL LINES

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Friday Gurgaon, December 16-22, 2011  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaper

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