Page 1

Vol. 1 No. 15  Pages 32  ` 7  2–8 December 2011

{Inside} Know Your Councillors (KYC)


our time Councillor Suresh Kumar (Ward 19) speaks on the issues in his area, the impediments and possible solutions ...Pg 9

(Don’t) Go To Jail


ails have been the subject of innumerable books and films. We take a look at life inside Bhondsi District Jail. ...Pg 9

Ass’ Life


eet animal lovers Bob and Jean Harrison who have made it their mission to ensure a better life for the beasts of burden. ...Pg 10

Vaastu Basics


aastu Shastra is about construction of buildings, dwellings of all types. Know how the application of this Vedic art can bring harmony to your environs. ...Pg 11

Regular Features Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Food Prices ...Pg 8 Sector Watch ...Pg 12 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 19

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

Great Expectations Mega Infrastructure Projects for Millenium City { Abhishek Behl / FG }


hile the naysayers are quick to write off the Millennium City due to crumbling infrastructure, what they do not realise is that this City of Guru Dronacharya is indeed blessed by the Gods themselves. NOIDA, the only city capable of eclipsing Gurgaon in the National Capital Region, will need much more than the Formula 1 race track to grab the numero uno position. No doubt the infrastructure and other civic facilities in Gurgaon are challenged today; but a slew of projects under the revolutionary Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), and some other stand-alone Projects planned by the state government, are likely to give a major fillip to the economy and infrastructure – of not only the Millennium City, but the entire NCR. The Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), being undertaken by the DMIC Development Corporation (DMICDC), Manesar-Bawal Investment Region (MBIR), the KMP-Expressway, the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) project, the Northern and Southern Peripheral

Roads, the Exhibition cum Convention Centre (ECC) at Panchgaon Chowk near Manesar, the integrated Mu l ti - m od al Logistics Hub (IMLH) near Rewari – are all going to change the destiny of this city; and put Gurgaon further in a league of its own. A senior HSIIDC official says that if every thing goes according to the plans, then the idea of Greater Gurgaon – that has been in the mind of planners – will come to fruition. “Gurgaon’s restless energy is being channelled with an element of planning that was hitherto lacking. The


scale and scope of Projects being undertaken by DMICDC and HSIIDC is vast; and most of these have gone beyond the planning stage,” he said. The Dedicated Freight Corridor between Delhi and Mumbai, being developed by DMICDC, covering a length of about 1500 kilometres, can prove to be the game-changer for Gurgaon, and Haryana. The DMIC sub-region in Haryana covers an area of 29,632 sq km, accounting for 66.4

per cent of the area of the State. To tap the opportunities thrown open by this corridor, an area of 150 to 200 kilometres is being developed under the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), on both sides of the Dedicated Freight Corridor. A Special Purpose Vehicle was incorporated by the Government of India—called Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC)—in January 2008,

Contd on p 26-27 

Demolition Debut Maninder Dabas

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


aryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Gurgaon, has always been seen as a pale shadow of its sanctum sanctorum in Panchkula/Chandigarh; nothing moves without the Capital’s blessings. And that takes forever. The new Administrator, Dr. Demolition drive at Genpact Chowk Praveen Kumar, is therefore either twice blessed; or proach – leading from the front, has a complete mind of his moving at a fast pace; and his own. In a few weeks, he has idiosyncrasies, have been on made HUDA a force to reckon full display. The demolition with. He has taken the tough drive against encroachers has route – in every way. His ap- raised hopes of a revamp of

this millennium city. “Gurgaon is the honoured city of Dronacharya and Eklavya. HUDA is committed to give it what it deserves the mosthonour and respect; to make it a perfect city to live in. People might bless me or curse me – with adjectives like change agent, messiah, despot or autocrat; but I am committed to change this city to a level of perfection. To do this, we sometimes have to be merciless. We don’t want to throw somebody out of his or her home; but they must Contd on p 8 

AG’s bath ‘n’ kitchen Now n Open i on Gurga


Appliances Available

Modular Kitchen & Wardrobes with high class fittings (Hettich, Haffle, Grass, Kaff) All kinds of appliances (Microwave, Oven, Dishwasher, Sink, Hob, Chimney) Email: Website:

Email: Website: A-21, Ground Floor, OMAXE City Centre, Sohna Road, Gurgaon PH. 0124-4102257, 9312255121 252-C, Sant Nagar, Main Road, Opp. Church, New Delhi-65 PH. 91-11-26223530, 9810078263


2–8 December 2011

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–15  2–8 December 2011


Coming Up



live performance by Sukhmani Malik and Hari Singh. While Sukhmani Malik is a trained Hindustani classical vocalist, Hari Singh is an audio engineer. The duo is famous for presenting a blend of folk music, fused with ambient electronica.

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi


Hindustani Slide Guitar Recital Date: December 6 Time: 7:30 pm

Shilpy Arora Designers:

Manoj Raikwar


Virender Kumar Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Syed Mohd Komail Sunil Yadav

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

Stand Up Comedy

Costa Laughaccino @ Costa Coffee, Cross Point Mall, Opposite Galleria Market, DLF Phase IV Date: December 3 Time: 8 pm


Photography Consultant: Jitendra Sharma

laughter show featuring leading stand-up comedians like Sanjay Rajoura, Rajneesh Kapoor, and Gursimran Khamba.

Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur



Durgadatt Pandey

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

Glorious Beginning @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: December 9 Time: 11 am to 7 pm

Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93


100,000 @ BMW Showroom, DelhiGurgaon Border, NH 8, Sec 17 Date: Till Dec 5 Time: 11 am to 7 pm


painting exhibition displaying the work of well known artists—Aanchal Wazir, Tuttu M Tomy, Amar Sultan, Anand Panchal and others. The artworks are priced at one hundred thousand each.

Hari and Sukhmani performance @ Ummami, Golf Course Road, Sector 43 Date: December 3 Time: 7 pm

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

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


1 year subscription ` 364

Special offer price ` 200 Savings No. of issues

` 164 52

To get Friday Gurgaon* at your doorstep, email us at or SMS FGYES to 8447355801 *circulated only in Gurgaon


business-to-business discussion forum, for real estate professionals. Over 300 real estate professionals—from across 30 cities—will attend the event. For registration and details, call Neha Singh— 09654 9654 84 or Anmol Aggarwal— 09654 9654 83


SPIC MACAY Heritage Series @ Delhi Public School, Sushant Lok Date: December 5 Time: 10.30 am


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

REMAX @ Hotel Crowne Plaza, Sector 29 Date: December 5 Time: 9 am



Cover price

Hindustani slide guitar recital (a technique of playing the guitar; the term slide refers to the motion of the slide against the guitar strings), by Rihtom Sarkar – accompanied by Dr. Nageshwar Lal Karn on tabla.

Discussion Forum

Purulia Chhau dance performance by Chinnibas Mahato. The performance is a part of SPIC MACAY Heritage Series. The aim of the series is to promote classical music and dance, folk forms, crafts, theatre, and workshops, among the young generation.


painting exhibition displaying the work of some budding artists of Gurgaon—Darshi, Dimple, Parul, Rashmee, Poonam, Reetika and Renu.

Exhibition-cum-sale Just Vinay @ Exhibition Room, Laburnam, Sushant Lok Date: December 3 Time: 10:30 am to 7:30 pm


n exhibition-cum-sale of winter wear collection—jackets, evening wear, lounge & leisure wear, by Vinay Tuli.


The City Of Nawabs, And Their Fabric Affair


hikankari is to Lucknow what Coal is to New Castle. Besides, drool worthy Tunde kebab, another specialty of Lucknow is the world renowned Chikan embroidery. It definitely melts the hearts of many women across the globe – as easily as butter melts over scrumptious food delights available at every street corner of the Nawabi city! A synonym to Lucknow today, the tradition of Chikankari is a part of the Lucknowi lifestyle; and also a big source of

Lucknow’s livelihood – through its creation and trade. It is an embroidery that adorns, cherishes and loves the muslin fabric; and has a strong inherent aesthetic beauty – rendering a novel charm to not just one, but an array of fabrics. The term 'Chikankari' takes it origin from a Persian word Chikan – meaning muslin cloth wrought with the use of needlework. Ironically, the tradition of Chikankari is not related to Persia. Nawabs and Masabdars were great admirers of this art, and were in love with its intricacy and charm. Persian being the court language, the embroidery derived its name thus. Started in the courts of the Nawabs of Awadh, today this royal form of threadwork is donned on inter-

national runways – making India proud and global on the craft, tradition and textile front. There are different types of stitches used in Chikankari. The artisans follow a defined set of application for these stitches. These stitches vary from fabric to fabric – darn stitch is done on rough cotton fabrics, to fill angular designs; and satin stitching is carried out on tender and soft fabrics like silk, muslin, or linen. Some even require embroidery from the wrong side. All stitches have a unique purpose – and no one stitch can replace the other. The famous stitches of Chikankari are Taipchi, Pechni, Pashni, Bakhiya (Ulti and Sidhi Bakhiya), Appliqué, Gitti, Janjira, Murri, Fanda and Jaali. Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.

L ifestyle

2–8 December 2011

Watch Out for Hrithik Dirty Picture?


ith his charisma and athletic physique, Hrithik Roshan oozes style and confidence, and mesmerises men and women across the generations. Which is why he has been chosen as the new brand ambassador of Rado. “Hrithik is someone who truly matches the Rado DNA; as he is determined to achieve perfection–and fully embodies the Rado Unlimited Spirit,” says Matthias Breschan, CEO of Rado; while introducing the ambassador at The Oberoi Hotel. Actor Lisa Ray is also a brand ambassador for the renowned Swiss watch brand.


he cast of The Dirty Picture is leaving no stone unturned, to promote their forthcoming venture. Team Dirty Picture aka Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan, and Tusshar Kapoor landed up in Gurgaon–to meet the cine goers, and visit some interesting places, as part of promotions. Flaunting her new seductive style, Vidya Balan performed in front of a houseful audience– at iifa Buzz Cafe, Kingdom of Dreams.

 BRAND BOOST: Rado's new brand ambassador Hrithik Roshan and Patric Zingg, Vice-President, Marketing, Rado show off their D-star watches

 SEDUCTIVE MOVES: Actors Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan rock the stage at iifa Buzz Cafe, Kingdom of Dreams

Canada Dreams IIFA


pectacular, magnificent and spellbinding... better than Vegas and even Disneyland,” says Christy Clark, the Premier of British Columbia, Canada, about the Kingdom of Dreams. She was here to extend the invite as a host for the IIFA 2013 awards. She, along with prominent Canadian dignitaries–Deputy Minister Dana Hayden, Assistant Deputy Minister Shom Sen, India and others– savoured Indian delicacies from the different state pavilions. The delegates explored an elaborate boulevard of Indian culture, arts, crafts and cuisine.

EXPLORING INDIA: The Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark smiles for the camera



2–8 December 2011


Authentic Oak

FOOD Aalok Wadhwa


e are an international bistro,” says Chef Tara Chand of The Oak Tree. This restaurant is owned by the same group that runs the chain of stores, Needs, in Gurgaon. And it serves various meats from its grill; pizzas from its wood fired stone oven, Mediterranean; and lately, Oriental cuisine. As I enter the restaurant, the live grill and the open seating look both exciting and inviting. In case you are thinking this place serves only the carnivores, think again. Their menu is well-balanced, and their star vegetarian dishes include the Everything platter (Rs. 895). The platter has eight beautiful dips, two salads, Thai spring rolls, falafel, mushrooms, and assorted breads and vegetables en papillote (Rs. 395)—a French method of cooking in which the food is baked in a folded pouch of paper. The first dish on the table is the mustard grilled chicken with garden vegetables (Rs. 495); which is perfectly marinated, seasoned and cooked. The chicken is tender on the inside, and crisp on the outside. The seasoning of thyme, mustard and lemon provides a flavourful balance to the gentle taste of the chicken. The veg spinachi pizza (Rs. 395) is a great result of what cooking the dish in a stone-oven-firedwith-oak-wood can do, to the texture and the taste of a pizza. The toppings of asparagus, mushrooms, mozzarella and cheddar complement the crust well. I decide to try the newly introduced Thai menu, and order the lamb massaman curry (Rs 395); a southern Thai dish that is

Indian Muslim in origin. This is a complicated dish, and requires a lot of whole spices – in addition to the traditional Thai spices. The dish I am presented, however, is lacking in the zing of the whole spices; and has a rich creamy curry that is too heavy on the palate, and masks the taste of the dish.

This is a bit of a disappointment after two wonderful dishes. The restaurant is back to its elements with the dessert. Tiramisu (Rs. 295) literally means ‘pick me up’; and that is what this dish does. I feel a thrill when a beautiful plate of savoiardi (an Italian cylindrical

The Oak Tree C 002, Ground Floor, Super Mart-1, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon Phone: 0124 4225341,  0124 4225342, +91 9818097090 Cuisine: European Timing: Lunch: 11:30 am – 12 midnight



One Song (Long Exposé) Wonder

A Yearning For India Manjula Narayan

true involvement. The India stories seem like they’re describing a world preserved in 1970s amber. In the uth Prawer Jhabvala’s latunfamiliarly-familiar country of these est collection of short stories stories, bureaucrats resign to protest A Lovesong for India; Tales from their innocence, East and West and the taint of is, as the words corruption can on the jacket say, cast transgressors “as culturally rich, out of polite multi-layered and society. It is a subtle as its wellplace that no travelled author”. longer exists. The Born to German characters will Jewish parents, also be familiar the author married to readers of an Indian architect, Jhabvala’s novels. CSH Jhabvala, The sari clad and moved to India American, keen to in the 1950s. She learn the esoteric lived here for 24 ways of India; and years. It was durDiana, the English ing this time that wife of an Indian she wrote some of bureaucrat— her best books, inrecall earlier cluding the Booker A Lovesong for India protagonists. Award-winning Author: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala The stories in the Heat and Dust; other sections PUBLISHER: Hachette India and the excellent examine family A Backward Place. PRICE: Rs 495 politics, yearning, Both are notable infatuation, for how she used ambition and revenge—and are set her perspective as outsider-insider, in, among others, the glamourous to draw a picture of India. worlds of Hollywood or Fifth Avenue. A Lovesong for India; Tales from These are worlds that Jhabvala grew East and West is a collection divided familiar with, during the decades that into three sections: “India”, “Mostly she spent writing for Merchant Ivory Arts and Entertainment”, and “The Productions. Jhabvala’s writing is Last Decades”; and that same deep always interesting, quietly funny, and knowledge of the milieu comes apt to make you face sudden truths through. However, there is less about Indian society. u of the immediacy that comes with


biscuit)—dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone, with a base of sponge cake accompanied by a shot of espresso—arrives on the table. The freshness of the mascarpone beautifully pairs with the bitterness of the coffee, and the softness of the sponge cake. It is a yum moment indeed. The Oak Tree deserves praise for delivering on truly authentic tastes, without trying to Indianise them. A meal here is likely to make you want to ‘tie a yellow ribbon round this (new) Oak Tree’. u

Vijaya Kumar

Board has certified this movie to be viewed only by Adults. Of course, other reasons could have also prompted the censors to do this – especially nother father-son duo has joined the family to prevent students from asking their teachers to team (after Yash and Aditya Chopra, and shed a piece of their clothing, for every correct the Sippys) in the field of Bollywood direction. answer provided. At that tender age, they Debutant Rohit Dhawan, son of the king of might have even started a protest, asking the slapstick comedy, David Dhawan, has entered authorities to get them teachers like Chitrangada the scene with the release of Desi Boyz. Singh (who plays Akshay's love interest). The boy is different. Desi Boyz has no Deepika Padukone, who plays John element of 'cheap humour'. It also has minimal Abraham's love interest, continues her tryst with amount of female body display, normally flops; and Anupam Kher as considered necessary her Dad, makes no impact. for a movie based in the Omi Vaidya of 3 Idiots UK. However, it makes fame is getting typecast up with liberal exposures as a clumsy guy with a of the torsos of the two pronunciation disability— heroes, Akshay Kumar and does little to infuse and John Abraham. For life. The redeeming feature those turned on by the about Desi Boyz is Akshay sight of bulging biceps Kumar. He can, even in the and gleaming muscle most inane of scripts and contours, Desi Boyz offers stories, make an impactful a treat. It is this aspect performance—particularly of their personality that if there is a comic slant makes them employable, to his role. Tempering the when recession causes role with an understated a redundancy in their performance seems to regular jobs. The concept be his hallmark; whether of hunks securing the role is that of a doting alternative employment parent, a loving friend, or a as male escorts, is being failed lover. tried out for the first The title track is bound time in Indian cinema. DESI BOYZ to be a hit, just as the track Despite these escorts Directed by: Rohit Dhawan Desi Girl was a hit in John positioning themselves CAST: Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Abraham's Dostana; but as unique(providing Deepika Padukone, Chitrangada Singh you may be better off heareverything except sex!)— ing this song outside the to get the censors give it a GENRE: Comedy movie theatre... u Universal Rating (U)—the


2–8 December 2011

Savouring Success


here is some good news for Pankaj Bhadouria’s fans, who followed her every recipe with breathless anticipation on STAR Plus. Bhadouria, the proud winner of MasterChef India Season 1, turns author with the launch of her first cook book – at the Landmark bookstore in DLF Grand Mall. With over 70 sumptuous recipes, Bhadouria’s cookbook—MasterChef India Cookbook—has a delectable mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, from across the world. Previously a teacher from Lucknow, Bhadouria shot to fame after she won MasterChef Season 1.


WHAT’S COOKING?: Pankaj Bhadouria poses with her first cook book – MasterChef India Cookbook

Fusion Time & Tide


looding the city with tides of soulful music, legendary fusion band, Indian Ocean, stormed the Striker pub at Golf Course Road – on Thursday. Crafting meaty rhythms, and blending them with soulful beats, the band showed exactly why they are one of the country’s bestloved fusion bands. It was truly a treat for the city’s music lovers.


J Dhol Band rocked the stage with a three-hour performance at the Buzz bar, DT City Centre, on Friday. The acclaimed band lived up to its reputation, with a memorable mix of some of their classic hits. The ardent audience clapped and danced. Another band— Jugalbandi, that is famous for playing live remix, also performed at the event.

DHOL DHAMAKA: Dhol Masters and DJ Sumit Sethi

L ifestyle


The Beat of the Dhol


2–8 December 2011


An Art Village In The Making { Srimati Lal }


ynamic new towns emerge staunchly as their predecessors exhaust themselves to breaking-point, and become jaded. The new Millennial Metropolis of Gurgaon, stretching above and beyond the crowded capital of New Delhi, exemplifies this established socio-cultural phenomenon. For any kind of new movement to develop, new spaces, new energies, and new patrons are required. As an art critic who has covered New Delhi’s events over two decades, I am happy to observe that Gurgaon is displaying the potential to emerge— within a few years— as India’s new Global Art Village – not a small accomplishment, in cultural terms. The past week has seen some talented artists showcased in Gurgaon. There were three interesting new international cultural venues. Aralias, hosted ‘Renge Art’, showcasing paintings and art-treasures by internationally-located, sophisticated artists and designers. Aside from painting, the Show included a fine new jewellery line by the Swedish-Oriya designer, Mon Sharma; impressively-stylish lifestyle and decor items by Versha’s ‘The Yellow Door’; and funky new couture by Masaba. The event at the Quill And Canvas art- and book-store, at South Point Mall, featured a new NRI photographer from Los Angeles, Kabeer Lal; being exhibited along with the bestseller novelist

There are evidence of a global cultural village in the making. With several active galleries, as well as artists, now choosing to reside in Gurgaon— which offers vaster spaces and more natural light than crowded Delhi— one should rightly expect and hope that Gurgaon will soon become a cultural hub that nurtures leading new artists. This will need some sophisticated contemporary art-awareness, imagination, initiative and discipline. From the aesthetic and critical point of view, I would give full marks to certain young painters displayed at the Renge Art show at Aralias. The canvasses of Ramesh Gortala- from a traditional artisan’s family of Andhra Pradesh; of young Vikas Bhardwaj- from Haryana, who trained at the Chandigarh Art College; and of Asit Sarkarfrom Bengal, stood out in particular. They have talent and technical skill. ‘Renge Art’ is the initiative of Gopa Kumar, who was trained in painting at the Delhi College of Art in the 1980s. Gopa admits that she “has the wherewithal to promote talented artists,” and she is hence admirably intent on creating an ‘Art Initiative’ soon in Sector 42- one that would actively harbour and nurture all art-related activity. The plan is that this future Gurgaon artspace will have a permanent exhibition-area, studios for invited ‘artists in residence’- to create new bodies of work; and other such organised facilities. Renge has already nurtured

S Kingson painting

many talented young artistssuch as Kingson Swargariya, Vikas Bhardwaj, Shambhu Kumar, Diana Mohapatra, and Sanjay Sharma. Such independent initiatives, along with governmental support, must increasingly happen, as this will change the face of the new India. The ‘Renge Art’ show showcased scores of impressive artworks, including some formidable new painters and designers with international skills, Many contemporary art-forms, aside from painting— including artefacts, photographs, furniture, decor, jewellery, couture, and lifestyle-design items— were

displayed at this ‘fusion-exhibition’ or ‘Art Fair’. This a good concept, if discernment and discipline is curatorially applied. But the quality of all the work displayed must be of a very high standard. At the Renge show, perhaps there was too wide a range of items on display. In future, more curatorial focus and specialised art genres must be applied. Regardless however, this was a worthy and lively exhibition-attempt in the context of Gurgaon. Perhaps the finest painting on display was Ramesh Gortala’s intricate Kalamkari-inspired 60” x 36” Mixed-media on canvas

are also to be noted by connoisseurs. At age 27. this skilled Haryanvi artist has received 5 national awards, as well as the Elisabeth Greenshield Foundation Grant from Canada in 2009; which has helped him to go forward. Asit Sarkar from Bengal displayed some charmingly romantic canvasses, inspired by the Bengal School. And the selftaught painters Premila Singh of Johannesburg, and Shabnam Oberoi, have shown courage in boldly displaying their soulful humanist images. Premila Singh, a feisty and accomplished lady, is a business woman dealing in exports of ferrous and other metals. Painting, however, is Premila’s passion, She boldly depicts the myriad faces of Africa, in a blazing Fauvist palette. She spoke of her dismay at how the evils of racism: impacting local African painters even today. The ICCR, Delhi has displayed 34 of her African paintings this April; they are now being circulated all over India. This is yet another example of excellent In-

Vikas Bhardwaj and his composition

Premila Singh’s (inset) canvas

Ashwin Sanghi (also a Harvard MBA) essaying a provocative book-read from his Chanakya’s Chant. While the contents of this rather Machiavellian novel may not be everyone’s cuppa coffee, the social concept of a Gallery cum Bookstore deserves commendation. Quill and Canvas has two outlets in Gurgaon. And then, the plush DLF Golf Club pleasantly displayed the psychedelic canvasses of Zaw Win Pe, a well-known landscapepainter from Myanmar- in an example of politically-correct ‘artistic diplomacy’. Art has many uses; and exhibitions can function as socio-poltical change. Now, this act of artistic grace, with India displaying the shy Myanmar artist Zaw’s idyllic mindscapes, serves a positive diplomatic purpose.

Shabnam Oberoi’s artwork

Kabeer Lal (inset) and his artwork

Myanmar artist Zaw Win Pe (inset) and his creativity

painting Hanuman; employing the ancient Andhra ink-on-cloth mythological-narrative painting tradition, on a contemporised canvas. Teeming with fine miniature drawings, masterfullyembedded within a majestically reclining Hanuman form, this unique painting is a noteworthy work of Indian art. Priced at under one lakh, such art should definitely be acquired and patronised by the discerning. Vikas Bhardwaj’s vast, finely-crafted surrealist canvasses— depicting children with wings and seated in meditative postures, as well as some startling self-portraits—

dian cultural diplomacy. Shabnam Oberoi’s black and white paintings— of a naive intensity,— despite being still at a developmental stage, are like an earnest diary portraying her soulful dismay at the plight of the girl-child; at the tangle of traffic snarls, and unlimited urban angst. More power, then, to Gurgaon as a ‘Greater Greenwich Village’ of the future!—In the coming weeks, I will feature several gifted artists residing in Gurgaon; continuing this cultural adventure and unfolding the drama of global aesthetics. .... u Writer is an Artist & Curator

L ifestyle

2–8 December 2011


THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.00 am, 11.15 am, 12.50 pm, 3.40 pm, 5.00 pm, 6.30 pm, 7.45 pm, 9.20 pm, 10.35 pm I Am Singh Time: 12.50 pm, 8.10 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time: 10.20 am, 3.20 pm, 5.45 pm, 10.40 pm Rockstar (U/A) Time: 2.00 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase-I The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.00 am, 11.25 am, 2.15 pm, 5.05 pm,7.55 pm, 9.20 pm, 10.45 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time: 11.00 am, 2.55 pm, 11.05 pm Rockstar (U/A) Time: 1.00 pm Puss in Boots (3D) (U) Time: 1.20 pm, 5.15 pm I Am Singh (U/A) Time: 3.55 pm, 6.20 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) (U) Time: 6.50 pm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1(A) Time: 8.50 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase-I Ph: 0124-39895050, 9818545645 Website: DT City Centre: DLF Phase-II The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.05 am, 11.00 am, 1.50 pm, 3.15 pm, 4.40 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.20 pm, 11.15 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time: 12.15 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.45 pm I Am Singh (U/A) Time: 112.50 pm, 8.50 pm Puss in Boots (3D) (U/A) Time: 10.40 am, 4.35 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 2.35 pm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1(A) Time: 6.10 pm Rockstar (U/A) Time: 6.00 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DLF Phase II, Opp. Beverly Park, M.G Road Ph: 9810421611 Website: DT Star Mall: Sector 30 The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.00 am, 11.25 am, 2.15 pm, 3.40 pm, 5.05 pm, 6.30 pm, 7.55 pm, 10.45 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time: 12.50 pm, 9.20 pm Address: DT Cinemas, DLF Star Mall Ph: 9650599777 2nd Floor, Opposite 32nd Milestone, Sec-30, NH 8 Website: PVR: Ambience Premiere The Dirty Picture (A)

THE WEEK THAT WAS ♦ Demolition of encroachments, by HUDA, continues - at DLF Phase III, Sector 39, Sikanderpur fish market, Sector 44-45... Fines also, for water wastage. ♦ HUDA Administrator is meeting various local bodies; promises to utilize local talent pool. ♦ MDI hosts Gurgaon Renewal Mission Project. Students are working alongwith the Administration, HIPA, TERI, and IRRAD - on Civic Projects for Gurgaon. Town & Country Planning puts private builders on notice, for inadequate infrastucture and maintenance in their areas - for roads, parks, sanitation.  ♦ There has been a spate of police transfers, after the new Police Commissioner has taken charge. ♦ Sreedharan inspects Rapid Metro Project; expresses satisfaction. The Rapid Metro Project is working on a water harvesting scheme. ♦ Birds arrive in numbers at the

Time: 10.00 am, 11.30 am, 1.00 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.00 pm, 5.30 pm, 7.00 pm, 8.30 pm, 10.00 pm, 11.30 pm Desi Boyz Time: 10.10 am, 12.35 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.55 pm Puss in Boots (3D) Time: 10.30 am, 2.45 pm, 7.00 pm, 11.15 pm I Am Singh (U/A) Time: 1.30 pm, 10.55 pm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Time: 11.00 am, 4.00 pm, 8.30 pm Happy Feet 2 (3D) Time: 12.30 pm Rockstar Time: 3.00 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 4.45 pm, 9.00 pm The Ides of March Time: 6.30 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: PVR: Ambience Gold The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.45 am, 12.00 noon, 1.45 pm, 3.00 pm, 4.45 pm, 7.45 pm, 8.00 pm, 10.45 pm, 10.55 pm Puss in Boots (3D) Time: 10.00 am, 6.00 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Ph: 0124-4665543 PVR MGF: MGF Mall The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.00 am, 10.45 am, 1.00 pm, 1.45 pm, 3.15 pm, 4.00 pm, 4.45 pm, 5.30 pm, 6.15 pm, 7.00 pm, 7.45 pm, 8.30 pm, 9.15 pm, 10.00 pm, 10.45 pm, 11.30 pm Puss in Boots (3D) Time: 10.05 am, 12 noon, 1.55 pm, 6.00 pm, 7.55 pm, 9.50 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time: 10.35 am, 12.55 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 3.50 pm, 11.45 pm Land Gold Women Time: 2.30 pm Bejawada (Telegu) Time: 11.30 am Address: 3rd floor, mgf Mall, mg Road Ph: 0124-4530000 Website: PVR Europa: MGF Mall I Am Singh (U/A) Time: 12.20 pm, 5.05 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time: 4.00 pm, 6.20 pm, 8.40 pm, 10.55 pm Rockstar Time: 10.00 am, 1.00 pm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1(A) Time: 10.00 am, 2.45 pm, 7.30 pm, 11.45 pm The Ides of March Time: 9.50 pm Address: 3rd floor, mgf Mall, mg Road Ph: 0124-4530000 Website:

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. ♦ Shelterless and homeless people will also get Ration Cards, on the spot - so as to avail benefits of various govt. schemes (including pensions or allowances). 183 families have been identified in the District, as homeless.Effective Teacher Education Institutes planned by the Centre, in 50 university departments nationally - in some IIMs (for MBA in Education Management); in lead institutions like IISC, TIFR, Homi Bhabha Centre (for Science and Mathematics Education). ♦ Gurgaon hosts the 6th. Annual CtrlSKarmaveer Puraskaar Awards, for Social Justice and Citizen Action. ♦ Power supply, distribution may be outsourced, by DHBVN. ♦ Citibank fraud case - speedy trial begins; bail plea of accused denied. ♦ ATM of Axis Bank robbed, early morning, on Railway Road. Guard arrested. ♦ Women trainees lodge police complaint against KPO manager. ♦ Local snatchings on the rise. ♦ Hookah Bars have been banned, for serving tobacco molasses

BAKERY SHOPS IN GURGAON Bakers Mart Address: E-18, Supermart -II, DLF Phase IV; Ph: 0124 404 3777

Captains Table Address: 96, Sector 14 Market, Ph: 0124 408 0159

Mocha Address: Plot No. 1000, DLF Phase IV; Ph: 0124 257 3761

Bakers Oven Address: 140-141, Sec - 31, 32 a Main Huda Market; and Shop 9, G.f Vyapar Kendra, Sushant Lok I; Ph: 09810812576,09899383428

Cilantro Address: ‪443, Trident Hilton Hotel, Udyog Vihar Phase V; Ph: ‪0124 245 0505

MoMo 2 Go - Courtyard By Marriott Address: Courtyard by Marriott, Sushant Lok Phase I; Ph: 0124 4888444, 0124-4888245

Bakers' Port Address: A-100, Supermart, DLF City IV; Ph: 0124 4100550

City Heart Address: S.C.F 92, Sec 14; Ph: 0124-2313500

Bakers St Address: Food Union, Level 3, Ambience Mall; Ph: 09311520719 Balaji Bakers & confectionery Address: 47/28, Jyoti Park, Near Ashirwad Marriage Lawn; Ph: 0124 309 4675 Barista Lavazza Address: Food Court, DLF Mega Mall, MG Road; Ph: 0124 4058675 Belgique Chocolates Address: Shop No. 131, Super Mart 1, DLF Phase IV; Ph: 9899300855 Bharat Bakery Address: Near Main Post Office Chowk, Sec 14; Ph: 0124-4068761, 0124-2328761, 2336761 Big Gulp Address: Shop No. 03, Food Union, 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall; Ph: 0124 4665526 Binge Address: C4, Qutab Plaza, DLF Phase I; Ph: 011 49422222 (Ext:430) Bisque Address: ‪133-134, Central Arcade, Phase II, Dlf, DLF; Ph: 0124 410 7428 ‬‎ Breadtalk Address: Spencers Retail, MGF mega City Mall, MG road; Ph: 0124 4295773 Cafe Deja Brew Address: Atrium, Iris Tech Park, Sohna Road; Ph: 0124 4005328 Cafe Devilicious & Bakers Address: Shop Number 1, First Floor, B-Block Market, South City-II, Sohna Rd; Ph: 0124 4109451 Cafe Mamma Mia Address: 32nd Milestone, NH 8, Sector 15; Ph: 0124 4870432 

PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 1.55 pm, 3.50 pm, 4.50 pm, 7.45 pm, 9.40 pm, 10.40 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time: 12.55 pm, 6.45 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124-4048100 Website:


Cafe Sound Of Music Address: Ist Floor, Regent Square, Gurgaon-Mehrauli Road, DLF Phase II; Ph: 0124 280 4072 Cake Castle Address: SCF 27, Sector 14, Old Delhi Road; Ph: 0124 4081981 Cakes Island Address: 18, Park View City, Sohna Road; Ph: 09999030323

containing nicotine. ♦ A one day Industrial Motivation Campaign for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) was organized by the MSME Development Institute, Karnal, alongwith Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI). ♦ The Director of the MSME Institute stated that civic work (like roads, sewerage, affluents) in MSME industrial areas are subsidized by the Central Govt. (70% subsidy, upto Rs 10 crore maximum value); and local units should take this up wherever required. Under the Cluster Development Programme, the entrepreneurs (in a group of 20) can open common testing/laboratory centres - and get 90% subsidy, for upto Rs 15 crores investment maximum. There are subsidies to clusters also for consultancy (for Lean Manufacturing, new product design), for installing machinery to lower energy consumption, for certification of products. Financial help is also given for holding/attending conferences and trade fairs/exhibitions (domestic and international), ISO certification, BEE rating, bar coding.

Citrus Café Address: 287 Millenium City Center, Sector 21; Ph: 0124 4160303

Cloud 9 Address: ‪Shop No 1, Huda Market, DLF Phase I, Sector 17; Ph: 098 11 373524‬ Club 18 Address: Vipul Agora Mall, M G Road; Ph: 098 99 915395 Cookie Man Address: Shop No. 79, Ambience Mall; Ph: 0124 4665563 Craze Coffee Shop Address: ‪448, N K Tower, Vanijya Nikunk, DLF Phase V, Udyog Vihar; Ph: ‪0124 401 1555 ‬ Daily Treats - The Westin Address: No. 1, Sector 29, MG Road; Ph: 0124 4977777 Desserts by Design Address: Sohna Road, Adjacent to JMD Galleria; Ph: 9818130574 Flip Bistro Address: Ground Floor, DLF Galleria Market, (Opposite City Club), DLF Phase IV; Ph: 0124 4200303 Fortune Deli Address: Fortune Select Excalibur, Sohna Road, Sector 49; Ph: 0124 3988444  Gopala Fresh Produce Private Limited Address: D 85, Shopping Mall, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase I; Ph: 0124 405 6505 ‬‎ Grand Plaza Address: Shop No. 6, Central Plaza Mall, Main Golf Course Road, Sector 53; Ph: 0124 4008151  Harish Bakers and Confectioners Pvt Ltd Address: Old Railway Road, Near Jay Cinema; Ph: 0124 230 7488 Hot Breads & Co Address: ‪133-134, DLF Phase II; Ph: ‪0124 235 4894 Le Marche Address: G-104, DLF Phase IV; Ph: 0124 280 6019 LOAFERS Address: SCO-65, Sector 56; Ph: 0124 4063333 Marcus Confectionery Address: ‪A-Block, Sector 49; Ph: ‪098 10 701274‬ Meli Melo Address: Kirpa House, S-27/9, DLF Phase III; Ph: 0124 4040690

Mrs Kaurs Address: D.S 99, Sector 31, Mrs Santosh Yadav Road; Ph: 012 44030808 My Pie Address: 1st Floor, Ninex Mart, Sohna Road; Ph: 0124 4081546, +91 9717866228 New Town Cafe Address: Park Plaza Hotel, B Block, Sushant Lok I; Ph: 0124 415 0000 Passionate About Baking Address: Urban Estate, Sector 7; Ph: 098 10 208298 Patisserie Petunia Address: C-132, The Shopping Mall, Arjun Marg; Ph: ‪0124 410 5758 ‬‎ Raj Baker's & Confectionery Address: Old Railway Road, Shivpuri; Ph: 0124 232 8737 Rohit Bakery Address: Shop No 60, DLF Phase I, Sector 10a; Ph: 0124 4140529 Samrat Bakery Address: K-2/3 4, Dlf Phase II, Dakshin Marg Next To Uma Sanjivaniho; Ph: 0124 238 8793 Sapra Pastry Treat Address: B 132, Supermart 1 DLF Phase IV; Ph: 0124 410 8569 ‬‎ Sugar and Spice Address: Galleria Shopping Complex, DLF Phase IV; Ph: 0124 2806131 Super Bakery Address: Sg 29-30, Galleria Market, DLF Phase IV; Ph: ‪0124 405 5570 Sweet Obsession Address: D - 143, The Shopping Mall, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase I; Ph: 0124 406 1615 The Oberoi Patisserie & Delicatessen Address: The Oberoi, 443, Udyog Vihar, DLF Phase V; Ph: 0124 24512345 The Pastry Hut Address: S-73, Palam Vyapar Kendra, Palam Vihar; Ph: 0124 4071217, 0124 4075072 Truffles Address: LG-28, Sushant Arcade, Sushant Lok I, Near Marriott Courtyard Hotel; Ph: 0122 6459933 Tushar Baker & Confectioners Address: 11, Shopping Complex, DLF Phase I, Sector 21; Ph: ‪098 18 841278

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


2–8 December 2011

C ivic/Social

Demolition Debut  Contd from p 1 leave what doesn’t belong to them. It is vital to burst this nexus of encroachment, so that the city doesn’t further slump on the civic front. We also need land to further build infrastructure. Gurgaon has a total land area of 207 sq km; and of this 500 to 600 acres of land has been encroached. Some cases are being fought in court. Poor people thrown out of these areas are really not at fault; and they should be assimilated into the fabric of mainstream society – into the township. HUDA is committed to this cause as well. Yes, we should not have allowed this; but now this indiscipline will not be tolerated. As of now, there is nothing on the plate; but in future, we can build a township on PPP model ;– in which some of the apartments would be given to the economi-

ing the court. He is doing it to please the various RWAs of the city; in order to cement the damaged image of HUDA among their residents,” said Mir Singh. However, many have words of praise. “He looks like a man of deeds, and not of mere words. There used to be a long queue of hawkers in the market in the evenings; which used a create a mess here. Now there are none. We are happy with this antiencroachment drive,” said Ramavatar, the owner of a sweet shop in Sector-14 market. “This is a great thing done by HUDA. Look at the space now; and the environment is also very peaceful,” said Saradh Kumar, who works in a bank operating in the Sector-14 market. The city’s various Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) have also praised this bold step taken by HUDA; it has reignited their confidence in HUDA. “We had lost hope for any revamp of this city. The new Administrator seems to have taken the city by



lor of the Ward no-29. Kanhai Village in Sector-45, where the demolition drive has caused much disruption. “The land here was acquired by HUDA in 1993. Some people didn’t surrender land to HUDA, even after taking money- and the regular change of governments at the state level ensured that no hard action was taken by the authorities. So people had built houses on those pieces of land; and were earning good rent. The sudden demolition has hit them. As far as HUDA’s new Administrator is concerned, he seems to be a man who will deal with an iron hand. I think he will do something good for this city,” said the Councillor.

The slapgate saga

HUDA administrator Dr Praveen Kumar slapped a peon recently, for taking bribes from visitors. Praveen Kumar had to explain his stand. “I slapped him because I wanted to make him understand that this is the first stage – and if he learns, he can get away, without facing any serious consequences. I could have suspended him or sent him to jail; but I don’t want to snatch his livelihood (job) from him. He has his family. I hope he will embrace the right path now,” explained Kumar.

The reason for hitting himself

During the demolition drive at Sikanderpur, HUDA administrator Praveen Kumar hit himself with his own shoes. This highly obnoxious yet comic incident made Praveen Kumar a household name overnight. “Actually, we all were busy negotiating with the people, and nobody was allowing us to demolish a single brick. Of course we had around 200 armed policemen, along with our demolition squad- to maintain peace during the process. Then suddenly I got a call that people have also gathered arms, and there is a strong possibility of confrontation. The Police advised that we can either demolish by force or step back. In order to avoid any blood shed, I preferred to hit myself with my own shoes; so that the people could understand my concern for them, and for the city.”

No respite in Future


cally weaker sections,” said Dr. Praveen Kumar.

rious problem for traffic movement,” said YS Gupta, Joint Commissioner, MCG. Deputy Mayor, Parminder Kataria, too praised the initiatives taken by HUDA. “HUDA has indeed done a remarkable job, and they should get credit for it. However, MCG too has initiated its drive, and I think it will be as effective as HUDA.” MCG Councillors too praised Praveen Kumar. “Of course, it is good news. Bad governance is the reason for the encroachment of land anywhere; now it seems that the government has woken up. This new Administrator also has the right backing. However, he needs to make sure that the re-encroachment of the land doesn’t take place,” said Nisha Singh, the Council-

Plight and pleasure of the masses

Be it Sikanderpur, Sector-14, Sector-45, Genpact Chowk, “I had been living here for the last 5 years, and these shanties have been a part for the last twenty years. Suddenly, in just a day, everything has been wiped out; and now we have nowhere to go. I have eight kids; and now we all sleep under the open sky in this chill. I think there is no place for the poor in Gurgaon,” said Anokhelal, a migrant from UP’s Bareilly district. He lost his shanty in the anti-encroachment drive carried out at Genpact Chowk by HUDA. There are 200 such families in this area. In Sikanderpur also the demolition has taken place on a large scale; the shops on the main road were bulldozed. “This new Administrator is an autocrat. It seems that he doesn’t believe in the rule of law. Our shops have been bulldozed despite a stay from the High Court. This drive has caused a huge loss to businessmen like us. This market has been functioning for the last 30 years; this man has come and mercilessly crumbled our livelihood into a heap of dust,” said Sanjay Singhal, the owner of Fortune Bath &Interior Pvt Ltd. The presence of a stay order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court was later confirmed by Mir Singh, an advocate and the owner of some shops. “We had stay orders from the High Court; but this new Administrator doesn’t believe in respect-


storm; and his deeds— almost on arrival— have made us feel that he can make a difference. Not only the demolition drive; one can see work being done on the roads as well,” said Col (retd) Ratan Singh, Chairman, JAFRA.

When MCG followed HUDA!

Did the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) follow HUDA’s footsteps, to demolish the encroachment in Nathupur Village within its area? Our drive is also going on for the last ten days; yet the media is not focusing there. Yes, HUDA is doing a fine job; but we too are taking on encroachers. Nathupur is just one place; we have plans for more such drives. Even today we have demolished twenty shops in Fazilpur Jharsa Village, which were creating a se-

“HUDA will not spare any illegal holding of land in the city. All the encroachments will be removed very soon; we have now issued a warning to various encroachment sites in Sector-39 ,” said Praveen Kumar. MCG too seems to be in a similar mood. “We are committed to carry out demolition drives against the encroachments. MCG Commissioner Sudhir Rajpal is committed to this,”said Gupta.

Case filed against Administrator

A case has been filed against the HUDA administrator, for violating the stay orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. “We have filed a case of contempt of court against the HUDA Administrator ; the hearing is on 21 December, 2011. I hope he will get a lesson from court, on how to abide by the rule of law,” informed Mir Singh. u

Food Take

As of November 30, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

Palam Vihar

Sector 54

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23


Reliance Fresh


10 – 15


5 – 10













16 – 18






18 – 20















50 – 80

100 – 150

80 – 120

100 – 160

80 – 100

80 – 100

90 – 140

120 – 150






































150 – 160

140 – 150

160 – 170







2–8 December 2011

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

Suresh Kumar


n old woman totters up to Suresh Kumar, and quavers, “There’s the truck again near my place. They keep blocking the way.” The Councillor for Ward 19 Suresh Kumar sighs, and asks a help to sort out the issue. How has it been, being the Municipal Councillor for Ward 19 all these months? “My boy, it’s the fourth time I’ve stood for election from this area. The first time was when I campaigned for the post of Councillor, way back in 1995. Since then, I’ve stood for elections four times; and the people have affirmed their confidence in me as many times,” he guffaws. How different has it been, being a Councillor for the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) now; and being the Councillor for the earlier Municipal Council? “Not very much. Things are needed, I get them done. I’m the oldest in experience, from all

Know Your Councillor

The Wise Councillor the Councillors,” Suresh says. What are the needs of his Ward? “Water supply and sewerage,” comes the pat reply. Why not roads? “Because ignoring the first two will lead to any road caving in, however good it may be. If there is good storm-water drainage, the roads will remain safe. Say I got the roads made. Then, they will have to be dug up again, to have the water lines and drainage system put in. That is a total waste of public’s money. I was not elected four times in a row to make mistakes like that,” he says vehemently. “Do you know, the engineers were going to re-lay the main road. I forced them to stop, because of what I mentioned just now. Can any other Councillor match that?”

Ward No. 19:

Heera Nagar, Laxmi Garden, Om Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Shivaji Nagar

Velvet Fist Of The City { Hritvick Sen / FG }


hat do you even want from us? There is nothing but bad news, whenever reporters come,” comments Deputy Superintendent Rajkumar Hooda, of Bhondsi District Jail. Located beyond Badshahpur, in Bhondsi, the Jail is four kilometres off the main Sohna road. As one goes past the barricade, one is reminded of a modest holiday resort – the area is spick-andspan clean! There is no litter anywhere – as one drives up to the parking, and then ahead to the courtyard of the Jail. A lush quadrangle of greenery is the highlight of the area; which is surrounded by red brick buildings. The image of the resort is only marred by a number of serious-looking jail-guards, who are armed with .303 Lee Enfield rifles. Also, a resort will normally not have an 18-foot high smooth concrete wall, along the inner perimeter. As a police official comments, “We’re not concerned with people trying to get in. It is the other way round for us.” To the right of the entry road is a waiting area for the prisoners’ visitors and relatives. People carrying bags of cut carrots and fruits await their turn, while sitting on simple concrete benches. A blue colour prisoner transport trundles up; and manacled detainees march up to the gate. They are frisked, and herded inside the prison. Inside, there is a constant hum of activity, as jack-booted guards walk around efficiently. “This Jail was built to hold 2,412 inmates. At the moment, we have somewhere around 1,800 prisoners,” says Shahid Hussain, the second Deputy Superintendent of the Jail. “The Superintendent of this Jail, Harinder Singh, is very

C ivic/Social

particular about cleanliness and the efficiency that you see around. And you have to consider that he manages the jails in Faridabad and Palwal as well.” Giving details, an official says, “The Jail segregates prisoners on the basis of their history-sheets. For example, the hardened criminals (murderers, rapists, dacoits) are kept separately; the people who have been jailed for minor offences are kept away from them. It is not always possible to stick to this rule, but we do try to enforce it. This is done so as not to influence the ‘naïve’ inmates. ‘Sangati ka asar padhta hai’.” What constitutes a regular day in the District Jail? “We fol-

Is Govt Parking This Expensive? The man in charge of parking levied Rs. 20 as vehicle parking charges. For parking your vehicle in a muddy field, the charge beats that taken by most of Gurgaon’s malls for parking.

low a rule of sunrise-to-sunset. The day starts at five in the morning. We give them breakfast, and then let them into the yard – to walk around and exercise. At three in the afternoon, there is a shift in the guards; and we have lunch. So the prisoners are brought back into their cells. After the lunch break, the prisoners are let out again until sunset; when they have their five ‘o clock meal. The Jail provides them two meals, morning and evening, along with tea. The prisoners are encouraged to follow the sunrise-to-sunset routine,” says the official. What about the prisoners’ nutrition? “We give them 250 ml of milk everyday, not including the tea. The meals are varied each day, and we change the dal. For the evening meal, we give the prisoners a seasonal vegetable dish.” What about security? “Earlier, the Jail was situated near Sohna Chowk, close to the Nehru Stadium. That was right in the heart of the city. This prison came into operation eight years ago. As a rule, jails should be as far from civilisation as possible. We have CCTV coverage of the Jail (it was upgraded sometime ago). The Jail has guards all around, and we have the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) right next to us – an entire force of armoured police. Plus, we also have a women’s battalion nearby.” What would be an emergency response time? “In seconds,” comes the reply of the officer.

Social Reformation, Anyone?

Kiran Bedi spearheaded the movement of educating and reforming criminals, inside a penitentiary. Are there any social activities for the reformation of prisoners here? “Well, a little. We have workshops, for providing the inmates with vocational skills. ” u


He goes on to say, “Another issue I’m picking up is that there has been very little done for building Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) units. This is not just for my Ward, but for the whole city. How long can we ignore the problem of water paucity? I have overseen construction of three RWHs in my Ward.” What about the status of community centres and parks in the Ward? “Except for a few sectors, there are no community centres in my Ward. I’ve petitioned for a water boosting station and a community centre, on an empty tract of land near Rajiv Chowk. That will prove beneficial not only for my Ward, but for everyone. But as always, there are individuals who are trying to grab the land for altogether different purposes.” “As for parks,” Suresh says, “There is an acute need for sensitivity from the people’s side. We can build parks, community centres and RWHs. But if people don’t start caring for public utilities, all of our efforts will be in vain.” u

Gurugram For KBC { Alka Gurha } n the fifth season of the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), the producers stumbled upon a winning formula. The strategy to feature underdogs from small towns, and to subtly play their tumultuous struggles, paid rich dividends. Both the producers and the participants were in a win-win situation. Tears of the ‘havenots’ became wholesome entertainment for the ‘haves’. In the forthcoming season of KBC, if the approach is again to feature less fortunate contestants from small towns and villages it is improbable

residents are not millionaires; and struggle with the daily issues of loan repayments, school admissions, layoffs and spiralling rents. Also, the city slickers do not derive vicarious pleasure from the pain of their less fortunate brethren. So what is it that has urban residents cheering, when a small town guy hits the jackpot? Maybe, it is the hope; that ‘if he can do it, so can we’. Another channel tried to counter KBC by promoting catfights of struggling wannabes; but the gambit failed to garner interest. The introduction of a controversial swami and a porn star in the reality

that a Gurgaon resident will reach the coveted ‘hot-seat’. Gurgaon is considered to be a part of ‘splurging India’, and not ‘struggling India’. Allegedly, Gurgaon residents are an affluent lot, who are busy hopping from one mall to another – in luxury sedans and branded clothes. I am not sure whether life imitates art or the other way round; but we all love the ‘rags to riches story’ – the story of the underdog overcoming odds, and winning. With some clever packaging, the formula has been milked by several script writers in the past. Slumdog Millionare, Lagaan, Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar or Taare Zameen Par – all had viewers pining for the underdog. What is it that has the city dwellers glued to such sob stories? The truth is that most city

TV show, Big Boss, were futile attempts at recreating spectacular ratings. In fact, in this season, fake altercations and verbal abuses did not resonate with the viewer at all. The winning formula seems to be drama, and the tears of the less fortunate; coupled with their story of hope. But not without Mr. Bachchan. All credit to him, and his charisma, for bringing humility and genuine bonhomie back on the reality shows. Since tears of the rich have no audience, and Gurgaonites are assumed to be affluent city dwellers, what should they do – to feature on KBC? Perhaps it would be a good idea to say that they come from Sikanderpur, Badshahpur, or Sukhrali. Who would know that these erstwhile sleepy villages are now home to millionaires? u


10 { Irene Gupta }


t was while sitting in Muscat that Ananda Mukherjee decided, that when he returned to India, he would like to live in Gurgaon. Not that he knew the city well. What was it about the Millennium City that attracted this Bengali man from Uttarpara, near Kolkata? “To some extent it was my job prospects. But also, it was the global class of service and facilities on offer, in healthcare,” confides the 33 year old engineer. “When I was in Muscat, the Arabs used to go to Gurgaon for treatment. It is from them that I learnt of Medanta Medicity; and the good hospitals and quality healthcare that are available here. And I decided that if I got a chance, I would like to be in Gurgaon,” he explains. For Ananda and his wife Sulakshana, good healthcare facilities are of utmost importance, because of their three-year-old son, Soham. Says Sulakshana, “My son remains unwell a lot. So I always wanted someplace where there were good doctors and hospitals. And I am very happy to say that the doctors here are good. They don’t rush the patients, but give them good time.” However, it is not just concern for little Soham’s health that is likely to keep the Mukherjees here; but also his schooling and future. “There are very good schools here. The teaching style is also very good. I have siblings

2–8 December 2011

In Ananda Gaon

HAPPY WITH THE CHANGE: Ananda, with wife Sulakshana, and son Soham

dusty village. It is now flashy – with high-rises and malls,” laughs Ananda; who was born in Delhi, but moved to West Bengal in the early eighties. He is however not enamoured with the noveau riche culture of the city. Neither is his wife. “The people here have money, but some don’t know how to behave with a lady. They can be so boorish and crude,” says Sulakshana. She recounts how one day, while walking down the road—“in the

in Bangalore and Mumbai, with school-going children – the schools there are not as good,” says Sulkshana. “Schools here have big play grounds – something that’s becoming a rarity in most metros. Then there is horse riding, and many other extra-curricular activities,” she adds. So, overall, how does the city score, now that they have been here for a year? “The idea that I had of Gurgaon was that of a

Time To Re-Assess { Manjula Narayan }


to reach the shelter in good time; when the van breaks down under the weight of its load. “Oh, this happens quite often,” says Jean matter-of-factly, as Bob unloads the van and prepares to fix the flat tyre. When you eventually get to the shelter—comprising two wellventilated structures, with spacious stalls located on 35 acres of grassland—you are greeted by two workers, Sonu and Raju; and a small resident pack of rescued dogs; who respond enthusiastically to Enid Blytonesque UDIT KULSHRESTHA

ou follow Bob and Jean Harrison’s Maruti van cum animal ambulance, as it makes its daily trip to the Asswin donkey shelter at Kerki Majra – on the rural outskirts of Gurgaon. Along the way, the British couple—who are in their late sixties, and have lived in India since 1994— stop to stack the vehicle with sacks of animal feed, shredded jowar and vegetables. Things look like they’re going smoothly, and you expect

C ivic/Social

Bob and Jean Harrison feed Fred, a rescued donkey

names like Ginger and Snowy. Next, Sid comes up and nibbles at your trousers. “Oh, our Sid likes the ladies to pay attention,” says Bob. Sid is a lovely little blue-grey donkey; with such an adorable face, that you just have to pat his head and murmur endearments in his long ears. The plot of land has been given by the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation. Inside, the shelter’s 61 donkeys and mules nibble at the grass, flick their tails at the flies, and bray happily to each other. There also are four horses. The shelter of the Asswin Project for Donkeys and other Animals in India, is the closest thing to quadruped heaven; in a country where animals are usually worked to death, and treated merely as beasts of burden. Earlier generations perhaps had a more humane approach to the animals in their care. Bob shakes the bran and jowar into feeding troughs, occasionally throwing in a juicy radish as a treat. “Rudyard Kipling’s father, John Lockwood Kipling, wrote

middle of the day”—she fell victim to an eve-teaser. “My son was there with me, and yet this man tried to grab me! It was so scary,” she says. Like most young people, they are happy with the lifestyle the city offers. “When we moved to India, I thought I would miss the Muscat malls. But I really don’t miss them. I think the malls here, especially Ambience Mall, are pretty international in standard,” says Sulakshana. Beast and Man in India: A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals in Their Relations with the People, about the country’s working animals; where he mentioned that donkeys were used by washermen and potters to transport loads,” he says. Life as a dhobi’s donkey was probably idyllic, in comparison to the horrors of Gurgaon’s building sites – where donkeys are widely employed. Indeed, sparkling Gurgaon— with its fancy malls and blazing towers, that house the offices of major corporations—was built off the backs of these humble animals. Donkeys labour at the sites, at the brick kilns, and in the stone quarries of nearby Chhattarpur; carrying loads far in excess of the 35 kgs mandated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960. In a country where human life itself is so devalued, it isn’t surprising to learn that donkeys are beaten mercilessly, and made to work endless hours. This despite suppurating sores on their bodies, and even broken legs. The labour often results in them dying of a broken back. Almost all the rescued donkeys at the shelter hobble. One, regally named Edwina, was abandoned after her hoof was torn off; others bear scars; and a

Jean Harrison tends to a wounded donkey’s ear

The mention of Ambience perks up Ananda. “Yes, that place also has some very good restaurants.” Claiming to be a “foodie, like most good Bengalis”, he says that they have been enjoying the varied cuisines that the city offers. The variety of cuisines that malls offer, under one roof, has been of great help. “My clients are mostly Arabs, and they really don’t like Indian food much. So I take them to Ambience. They get good Continental, Middle Eastern or Italian food there,” he explains. Talking of being good Bengalis naturally led to a discussion of the city’s Durga Puja celebrations. “That was a revelation. We really enjoyed it here. The atmosphere was very homely. We did not for a moment feel we are outsiders,” gushed Sulakshana. Her husband seconds her, “I had thought we will go to Delhi for the Pujas. But I am glad we did not.” Like the quintessential Bengali, the Mukherjees, who live in Sector 31, are also very fond of travelling, and checking out new sights and sounds. “Every opportunity we get, we go out of town – because we like to see new places. I have already seen many in my career moves,” says Ananda. Does that mean they are likely to move out of Gurgaon soon? “Well, I hope not. I have moved so much; now I would like to stay in one place. Things are good here.” u few have ripped ears. A white mare called Lily—who was once the star at numerous weddings—has a hip that juts out; from being made to dance on her hind legs. “You just have to place a finger on the backs of some donkeys, for them to collapse. The nerves have been so worn down by overloading,” says Bob. A former employee of the British High Commission, Bob officially set up the Asswin Project in July 2006. The project, which currently runs on about Rs. 70,000 a month, is financed almost entirely from Bob’s pension; and a few donations mostly from the UK. Indian donors are few and far between. Perhaps it’s because donkeys are inextricably connected with labour, and with rituals of humiliation. Until recently, offenders were garlanded with chappals and paraded on donkeys. Calling someone a ‘gadha’ is virtually an abuse. Most Indians consider the donkey ridiculous, and entirely overlook its loyal and hardworking nature. So, while there are many who are eager to protect cows, traditionally considered holy, there are few protectors of donkeys. Whatever the roots of the Indian distaste for donkeys, it is a shame that we ill-treat this animal, which continues to play such a crucial (and of course, unrecognised) role in India’s growth. Bob’s sole fear is that there will be no one to carry on the Asswin Project’s good work after they are gone. “We hope we can find someone who can take over, so we can retire again,” he says as you leave. For the sake of the hardworking donkeys of Gurgaon, you do hope someone as capable, upright, and committed as the Harrisons turns up – soon. u Number: 9810164214

2–8 December 2011

C ivic/Social


Vedic Vaastu in Millennium Environs { V K Gaur }

located properly. A faulty SE construction leads to quarrels, disputes and labour unrest.


aastu Shastra is the Vedic art of scientifically constructing buildings, to ensure a harmonious balance between man and nature. Application of vaastu brings all round happiness, health, wealth, prosperity, and the well-being of progeny. Vaastu Shastra is linked to Pancha Mahabhootas, the five basic elements of the universe, in which we all live. They are


South West SW(Nairuttya). Nairuty or Putna is the main deity of SW direction. It is the astrological direction of Rahu. The element here is earth. This direction should be high and heavy. No wells, water tanks, septic tanks etc. should be located here. This direction gives the capability to fight odds; and develop endurance, an analytical approach and will power. The owner/head of of the organisation, and director formulating policies, should retain SW sector.

Prithvi – the Earth; Akash – Sky; Vayu – Wind; Agni – Fire; Jal – Water.


Vedic literature magnifies fine details of Vaastu Shastra. It has many sources. There are 18* exponents of Vaastu Shastra. Vedic literature underscores the importance of building construction for individuals, collective dwelling, housing a religious congregation, and for commercial purpose. Vaastu has been described in detail in several scriptures. Prominent among them are: Atharved, Yajurved, Narad Puran, Bhrigu

Laughing St


Look out for the Sign! Outside a musical instrument shop: Guitar, for sale... strings attached. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In a hospital waiting room: Smoking helps you lose weight ... One lung at a time! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In a bar: “Those of you who are drinking to forget, please pay in advance.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In a restaurant: All drinking water in this establishment has been personally passed by The Manager ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On a beauty parlor window: Don’t whistle at the girl going out from here. She may be your grandmother. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Outside a barber shop: We need your heads to run our business. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Outside a tailor shop: “Ladies may have a fit upstairs.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At the dry cleaners: “We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Outside a store window: “Why go elsewhere and be cheated when you can come here?”

Sanhita,BramhaVaivart Puran, Agni Puran, Matsya Puran, Garud Puran, Vishwakarma Vaastu Shastra, Mandan Sutradhar, Samarangan Sutradhar, Brahat Sanhita Mahabharat etc. Vaastu Shastra draws several analogies from astrology. Without astrology and astronomy, it is incomplete. Ancient sages drew knowledge from Vedic sources, and propounded several principles for constructing buildings—with due consideration of Panch Mahabhoot, gravitational force, magnetic attraction; and the impact of Sun, Moon, Earth and other planets, on life and nature on Earth. The principles of Vaastu aim at creating balance and harmony among men, nature and buildings—to ensure peace, prosperity, longevity, success and happiness. It is an art as also a science, developed over thousands of years of the experience and knowledge of our sages.They exorted us to worship and respect the lords of eight Dishaen ( directions), so as to reap their blessings.

Vaastu Shastra considers the following directions:


North (Uttar) Its presiding deity is Kuber, the lord of wealth and prosperity. Astrologically Mercury rules North. An open North promotes finances.

North is most important for any kind of trade/business.


East(Poorva) East belongs to Lord Indra, and the direction of sun rise. It is the direction of family and progeny. East area must be left open, for the long life of the head of family/organisation. East promotes name, fame and success. Head of HR/Personnel should be located in the East.


West (Pashchim) Its Vaastu lord is Varun, and astrologically the direction is ruled by Saturn. This direction brings success, glory and rise of fortune in business/career.


South(Dakshin) Yama is the lord of south direction. This side also can bring success, happiness and peace, if construction is done as per Vaastu principles.


North East NE(Eashanya). It is the zone of water, and lord Shiva is the deity.No construction on this direction, except a bore well/ well, is desirable.Rooms in this direction must be clean and free of clutter. If this direction is energised, it leads to growth, brightens image, and brings prosperity.


South East-SE(Agneya) The deity of the fire zone is Agni. Astrologically this direction is ruled by Venus. Agni is the symbol of energy and heat. Pantry/canteen/ kitchen are best placed here. This sector translates energy into work force, if

North West NW(Vayavya). This zone is for wind or Vayu. Vayu is the principal deity. Vayu and Moon move fast, and don’t stay static. This sector makes relationship, friends as well as enemies. It also represents the growth of business partners, and business in far-off lands, and communications. How do you feel when you are in the meadows, an orchard, valley of flowers or lush green surroundings? A pleasant environment bears testimony to Nature’s influence. You need healthy environments that make you feel fresh, invigorated, cheerful, relaxed, and at ease. The suitability of land, size, shape and dimensions of plot, building, entry-exit doors, direction of stairs, height of roof, interior decoration, size and location of doors and windows, kitchen, sitting room, working place, guest room, place of worship, location of water tank, site for heavy stores, type of timber used, furniture design, kitchen and terrace garden, type of floral plants, trees in and around court yard and perimetre wall construction – are all important constituents of Vaastu Shastra. The environment and surroundings, location of high rise buildings, tall trees, rising contours, rocks, mountains, rivers, ponds, power stations, high tension lines, and roads around a building create an impact on the life of people. In the forthcoming articles, these aspects will be discussed. u (Drishta Vedic Astrology, Gurgaon)

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Website: E-mail: Sector 39/310, Gurgaon-122001 INDIA


2–8 December 2011

C ivic/Social

{Sector 9}

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

Well Planned Poorly Maintained MANINDER DABAS

What’s good

1. A good 100 bed ESIC hospital 2. Two good schools 3. Good water supply 4. Good electricity supply 5. Not so bad roads

What’s not so good

1. One of the largest parks in Gurgaon, lying uncared 2. The whole area stinks, because of the STP! 3. Poor condition of parks 4. No garbage collection Sector-9 and 9 (A) are victims of excessive infrastructure left unattended. These two sectors have everything in abundance, but the negligence of the authorities in maintaining the infrastructure has led to wastage. “You name it, we have it. These two sectors have everything needed for a suitable life inside the city; but the lack of responsibility from HUDA is the main reason behind the poor state of infrastructure here. There are so many parks here, but none of them are properly maintained. Likewise, other facilities are also left unattended. Residents have requested the authorities on numerous occassions, but they seldom pay attention to our concerns,” said Dhani Ram

CATTLE CLASS: The current state of a premier park

Maintenance Woes

{ Alka Gurha }


MODERN HEALTHCARE: The state-of-the-art ESIC Hospital

Yadav, former President of the Resident Welfare Association; who shifted to sector-9 (A) in 2004. “We have one of the biggest botanical gardens of the city in our sector, but it is not at all taken care of. You can see buffaloes grazing in it. I don’t know why the authorities are not managing such a huge asset,” said Diwaker Verma, a resident, who lives adjacent to the botanical garden. Residents of these sectors have been raising these issues for quite a while now, but nothing has been done. “Look at the broken side walls of this park; and most of parks are worst than this. We can manage the parks from inside, but at least this cemented boundary wall should be taken care of by HUDA,” said Mukesh Kumar, another resident. However, there are still elements that make these two sectors superior to other sectors of old Gurgaon. An ESIC hospital, with a hundred bed capacity, is one such facility. It has

state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure. “This hospital is certainly a boon for the residents. It is not that big, but it is far better than any small dispensary, or some other government hospital in the city,” said Satpal Singh, a patient at the hospital. A satisfactory water supply is another facility that gives these sectors an edge over others. “We have one big water tank here in our sector, and the whole area gets water from here. As far as water supply is concerned, it is satisfactory,” added Yadav. A major irritant—in fact a negative—is the all pervading stink because of the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) of HUDA. A treatment plant is the cause for a stink! “This is HUDA’s plant and it is the main reason behind this unbearable smell in the area. It impacts the whole area , and I don’t think, we can get any respite from it. The residents close to this plant are desperate, as their family members fall ill at regular intervals,” rued Yadav. u

ase of maintenance, and a feeling of security, are the two main attractions of living in an apartment complex. When professionals living in these complexes travel out for work, the security of their family is not a concern. The fact that plumbers, electricians and carpenters are easily accessible, under the auspices of the service provider, adds to the comfort level. With apartments now becoming even more modern and high-tech, the cost of maintaining essential services like housekeeping, security and power-backup have spiralled. Maintenance of gardens, elevators and common areas requires professional experts. Since maintenance is a sizeable business, cheating and granting favors for personal gain, at the cost of the stakeholders, has become rampant. The builders say that maintenance for them is not a profitable business opportunity; but is a service to their customers. However, it is far from the truth. Consider also the fact that builders try to create common facilities like diesel gen-sets, water/sewage treatment etc. for several of their contiguous properties, citing gains from larger volumes. But they surreptitiously intend to create revenue streams for themselves—for the long term. It also adds complexity to the conundrum of cost-sharing by the users; that the builders use to their advantage. Builders should simply maintain the complex on a no profit-no-loss basis, till the time the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) take over. But the fact is that the

transition between the builder and the RWA is often acrimonious. This effects not only the quality of maintenance of the facilities, but also leads to litigation. With a battery of lawyers supporting the builder in drafting sale agreements at the time of sale, the builder always has an upper hand. Residents of a condominium on Sohna Road are embroiled in such a battle. The Builder decided to increase the maintenance costs from Rs 1.80/Sq ft. to Rs 2.33/sq ft.—with retrospective effect; and sent a hefty bill along with arrears. The Resident Welfare Forum, however, advised residents to refrain from paying the increased amount, as details were not available. The confused resident, who is the main stakeholder, continues to be the effected party. The residents of another facility on M.G. Road have also been at the receiving end of this phenomenon; due to a prolonged legal battle between the builder and the RWAs. This has led to non-utilization of facilities—like the in-house club, shops and school facilities— since their construction in the mid-nineties. What a waste! Is this just the greed of builders, a part of their Business Plan, or mismanagement by some RWA’s who may be interested in personal monetary gain? What should the hapless residents do? The maintenance cost depends on the super area of the apartment, and the facilities available within the complex. Calculation of super area should not be subjective for each complex. Payable maintenance bills should depend on actual incurred maintenance costs, as audited by a Chartered Accountant, acceptable to both the builder and the RWA. u

2–8 December 2011

C ivic/Social Maninder Dabas

Selfless For Self

SENIOR SAMARITAN: Sneh Lata Hooda with her students, in her make-shift school, on the roadside

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


hilanthropy – a virtue possessed by golden souls, is the oldest and perhaps the dearest asset ever held by humanity. Over the centuries, humanity has discarded this virtue – if not fully, then marginally indeed. Some say it is a thin thread that separates humanity from animosity. Gurgaon is often called a city of the new rich, and the generation next, of India; yet it also has the poor in


hough it’s late evening by the time you meet Ruchita Gour at her home in Hamilton Court, you have a sense that the spotlessly clean apartment— with the sheer curtains screening a balcony full of potted plants­ — is filled with light. Among the tasteful knickknacks scattered on the living room table, is a faux stained glass tissue holder crafted by Ruchita herself. A graduate of the JJ School of Art in Mumbai, she also paints—as the easel in the dining room indicates—apart from channelling her creativity into running the popular Pikniks at Galleria Market. While the eatery, named after Ruchita’s daughters Priyanka (10) and Nikita (17), is just four years old, the family has been living in Gurgaon for about 15 years now. “When we first went on our scooter to see the house that we’d booked in Sushant Lok, there was nothing after Mehrauli Road. Sushant Lok itself was a bed of sarson ke khet (mustard fields)!” she reminisces; adding that at the time, acquaintances were shocked that they were buying property in the back of beyond. Ruchita and her husband Prashant, however, were captivated by the beauty and tranquillity of turn-of-the-century Gurgaon. The cry of peacocks filled the air, and a general sense of calm prevailed. “We used to go for long walks with our dachschund Jojo; and the villagers would look at him—wondering what sort of creature he was!” she laughs. She

especially misses the fresh vegetables she used to buy from the village folk. Needless to add, all those villagers have since sold their land and moved away, into the bourgeoning ranks of the nouveau riche. Then, since homes were few and far between, children’s play dates had to be elaborately planned; but that, Ruchita says, was not really a hassle, as traffic was so minimal that she could move fearlessly around Gurgaon on a flimsy Sunny moped. It’s not something she would even contemplate doing now. “The roads have become totally unsafe. One of my uncles went for a morning walk, and never came back. He was the victim of a hit and run,” she says. In a sense, Ruchita believes all of Gurgaon has become a victim of speed—a consequence of its rapid transformation, and its rush to be a centre of growth and dynamism. “Things started changing around 2001, the year my younger daughter was born. The mustard fields disappeared; things began vanishing before our eyes. More people started coming in, traffic increased outside our gate, and our dog was once hit by a speeding scooter,” she says. However, she concedes that the growth had its good points too. “Earlier, we had to go to Delhi or to Sadar Bazar for everything,” she says, recounting a frightening drive back from the capital with her elder daughter, then aged two. “It was 7.30 pm, and pitch dark, because there were no lights on the road. It was raining heavily too. I felt like I was driving through

the leftovers of Bharat, which has embraced the garb of India,” added Hooda. Hooda spoke of her work. “ I have around 100 kids now. Apart from this place, I go to DLF Phase-II to educate kids. The number of students constantly fluctuates; because these people are a mobile population, and they leave as soon as they finish their job. Most of the people don’t send their kids, because they want them to work and earn money; but I make them understand the value of education – that it can change the course of their life in future. I provide the children books, biscuits to eat, and clothing.” Asked about the support from people, the administration, other organisations and family, she said, “Yes, there are some good Samaritans in this city. People do stop their cars here on the road, and offer me money. But I don’t want money from people. I do this for my satisfaction. However, I note their names and addresses, so that I can contact them when needed. As far as support from the administration is concerned, they are useless and unwilling to provide any assistance. In fact, this new demolition drive by HUDA has further rubbed salt on the wounds of the poor. Once I called the DC and told him about the children forced to work in a dhaba. I requested him to save these kids; but he refused to buy the argument of any child labourer in the city.” Coming to the family, she becomes a bit emotional, “My husband doesn’t really appreciate this work I am doing. My kids have nothing to do with it, and it doesn’t matter to them. So, I don’t have support from family. It is my pension that helps me keeping my peace. Other organisations have also approached me and offered me help – on condition of my becoming a part of their organisation; but I don’t need that. I don’t know for how many years I can continue this service to humanity; but as long as my health allows me, I will devote my time to this cause,” signed off Hooda. u


Of Peacocks and Pikniks { Manjula Narayan }

so,” says the lady. She instructs this poor, and capable, future generation, on a footpath of a road – yes, some are good at studies too. Hooda took retirement in 1999, after serving the Delhi Administration for years. “I spend all my pension on these underprivileged kids, and their educational needs. I believe that education is the best gift one can give to anybody. It is an ornament in prosperity, and a refuge in adversity. And these kids need it more than any body else; because they are

abundance. They have been ignored for decades by the State; they have never been seen by the rich. It is left to the city’s many NGOs to work with the poor, with limited means at their disposal. Sneh Lata Hooda aka Gaurav Maa – a 70-year-old lady who teaches the kids of the people living in ghettos, practices this love for mankind everyday. “I have been teaching these children for the past 7-8 years. I am not rich, and barely manage to meet their demands; yet I do this because I get a lot of satisfaction in doing


HAPPY TIMES: The Gour family at their Hamilton Court residence

some nowhere land, and kept wondering what I’d do if I had a sudden puncture or breakdown. Thankfully, nothing happened,” she says, sounding relieved even after all these years! The rapid pace of change that was transforming Gurgaon from a sleepy outpost of the capital to a thriving exurb, also brought with it many unpleasant things. “The city started filling up with lots of people, and there was construction everywhere. There were frequent power cuts, and summers became unbearable. The sound of birds was drowned out by the sound of generators and traffic; leisure living was taken over by gyms and fitness centres—and security too became a big issue,” she says. Another uncle’s home was burgled twice; which prompted him to sell his property, and move to a gated complex. The family then realised that thefts and robberies were becoming a common occurrence, and put up a huge grill

around their home. This was obviously not enough; as, eventually, it was their concern for security that pushed the Gours to move to an apartment, within a well maintained condominium complex. Though Ruchita has now made her peace with modern Gurgaon, and understands that the success of Pikniks too is a result of the city’s hustle and bustle, she still occasionally yearns for the vanished simplicity and silence. “Now, people are always running against time. That peaceful scenic beauty has been lost in our whole so-called development,” she says. But flashes of that old beauty still manage to appear. “I miss seeing peacocks, and hearing their cries. But sometimes, very early in the morning—before the cars take over the roads—I can still hear temple bells, and the sound of peacocks crying in the distance. They are still out there somewhere,” she says wistfully as she walks you out. u


2–8 December 2011


Union Trouble

ndia is today a Union of States. A Union of the United States of India. There was little shared history between our States; even less a concept of a country; much less that of an Indian Republic. Yet, we have been able to unite and maintain an Indian Union; despite differences in language, food, dress, custom. We have even assimilated religion well.



And then there’s another Union – the European Union (EU). Not really the Union of the United States of Europe; that union still in the making. It started off as Europe. In geography, it is still referred so. EU was to be a counter (copy would not do) to the US; and an attempt to restore erstwhile European leadership and currency – enjoyed, over millennia, by Greeks, Romans, the French, Germans, and of course, the British. However, since each of these countries was by now a “developed” and proud nation, the Union was to be more symbolic. A wish, not a deed. And indeed that was how it was set up. Basically, a Union with a common currency – well, almost; and allowing movement of capital, goods, services, and men. However, as with all symbolism, it is good until a time of harsh reality – when tough decisions, choices and sacrifices need to be made. It is difficult enough to manage the Union in normal times; it has become extremely difficult now - when times are tough, and jobs hard to come by. In all democratic countries – which is what most of Europe surely is - a leadership (alongwith parliament) makes the choices, takes the decisions. On paper, the EU has a Parliament, a Council, a Commission, a Central Bank, a Court of Justice. But, not unlike the UN (for the World), these bodies have few, if any, teeth. EU members (countries) run supreme on all strategic matters. (Nations too are seldom united in the UN – that body seems mainly to serve the elite Security Council members. Sometimes maybe just one – when the United Nations bats for the United States).

Road Safety Warriors

hey work hours just like we do. And like us, they take the same traffic-choked city roads. But we reach our homes and sigh in relief; while they stop and don the caps of Gurgaon’s voluntary Road Safety Officers (RSOs). Speaking to Friday Gurgaon, RSO Neeraj Diwan says, “I’ve been working for the Gurgaon Police since March this year.” How has been his experience of managing unruly motorists? “There have been days when I feel nothing can improve this city’s traffic. The next day, I’m back working the beat,” he laughs. With him, RSO Mohit Sharma chuckles, “I work in the hosiery business. And the time I get away from my work, I devote to managing traffic. I give around 15 hours a week to this endeavour.” There are six traffic RSOs, and they assist the traffic police in the management of the city’s traffic. They hold regular meetings with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Bharti Arora; where they discuss traffic strategies to make commuting easier. The volunteers have access to video cameras—to record traffic flow—and hold sessions in the Traffic Police headquarters, on how to encourage commuters to follow traffic rules. The RSOs already have captured eight months’


worth of traffic videos. “I give almost five days a week for the Gurgaon police. And we’ve made a difference. The traffic at IFFCO Chowk, along the National Highway-8, is considerably better. Earlier, the stoppage used to be around three minutes. Now, we’ve managed to reduce the jams, and the stoppage time has almost halved,” says Diwan. “We’ve worked at Shankar Chowk, Shyam Chowk, Udyog Vihar, and Mahavir Chowk— among other places. We’re accompanied by police teams, who challan the erring drivers. At one time, we had set up mobile checkpoints all over the city. Would you believe, we challaned a record 78 people in one night alone?,” says Mohit. DCP Bharti Arora says, “These volunteers are doing a commendable job; and deserve praise for the selfless work they’re doing for the city.” The Police needs more such volunteers, because the number of traffic policemen in the city (300 approx.) is not sufficient. A volunteer does not have to be highly educated; the only thing he or she should imbibe well is sufficient knowledge of traffic rules. u To volunteer, contact:0124-2321333.

EU, Europe, is headed for a mess. (Un)fortunately, it is too big to fail. (Afterall, it is bigger than the large banks and financial institutions that were recently considered too big to fail, and bailed out). So who will bail EU out? Who will bell this cat? The US has enough on its own plate. One answer could be that the EU Big 2 or 3 step in – and take their pound of flesh. They would want Security Council status in the EU – to be the more equal amongst equals. If the Northerners do not agree, the time may be ripe for setting up a West Europe Trading Company; by a nation(s) from the East (and we don’t mean East Europe). The lesson for us. Even a common parliament, armed force, or currency is not a guarantee for a Union. Everyone needs to feel equal as a citizen. And every citizen needs to feel equally for the country – not just for himself, and his family. We need to introspect. Yoga taught our forbears to centre on the mind and soul. Our current economic good times, and the pervasiveness of the Web, have now centred us on bodily needs; and on a screen. We are already seeing a rising India and a noninclusive Bharat. Is it any different from UK/Germany/France versus the rest of EU? Bharat states and areas cannot opt out; cannot fend for themselves (and they also are too many to fail). They can spoil the India party; upset the applecart. We need to take care of them - soon. If not, it could lead to a body drain this time (the brain drain has since reversed). The rest of the ageing world needs young bodies. And where would this body drain preferably go? Why of course to the born-again, ageing European states of the erstwhile EU. Decades ago we gave them our brains; and now we will our bodies.



ust read the articles on your website and felt like (I) just increased the Brain Vitamin G” in a very short span of time. The articles related to GDC, White Collar City, were mind boggling and the skills shown by people in past-time were truly an

Einstein’s Quote. (But) in all the venture started by your group of printing articles, which are hardly found or publicized any where, is truly remarkable. Mukul Goyal Please send your letters to:

Famous Quotes Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes. Oscar Wilde

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Albert Einstein

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. Abraham Lincoln

No man can have society upon his own terms. If he seeks it, he must serve it too Ralph Waldo Emerson

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Kid Corner

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

TV aerial straightens. One less can on floor. Drawer smaller. Pocket an apron. Lampshade loses dots. Man gains shirtsleeve button. 7. TV leg shorter. 8. Flower in vase. 9. Lampshade gains plug. 10. Man loses cigarette.


Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

Spot The Difference

2–8 December 2011


16 Ryan International Bags 2nd Position In Karate Championship

K id Corner

2–8 December 2011

Painting Happy School Red


2–8 December 2011

Artistic Strokes

K id Corner

Drawing Them In

s a part of employee volunteering programme, Aviva India hit upon a novel idea – of painting the walls of Happy School in DLF Phase I. The employees sketched and painted animals, flowers and the rainbow – on the walls. The eye-catching display made the school premises more vibrant. The smiling faces of the students and teachers said it all.

Title: RAINY SEASON S. Vaishnavi, Class: I-C, Salwan Public School


he students of Ryan International School, Sec-40, bagged second position at the 17th Delhi State Inter School Karate Championship 2011. The students seized 11 gold, six silver, and four bronze medals. With the power packed performance, the kindergarten and primary students of Ryan International emerged as winners, defeating senior participants from renowned schools like D.P.S (Vasant Kunj), D.P.S (Faridabad), Modern School (R.J.J.M.S), Amity International School (Noida), among others. Naman Kathuria of Montessori III, Arushi Gupta of Class I; Kartik Singh, Kulwant Tuteja, Charanpreet Kaur of Class II; Arshia Kapoor of Class III; Sharmishtha, Adhiraj Singh and Manik Sharma of Class IV, and Aryan Sharma and Bhuvan Sharma of Class V won gold medals- bringing laurels to their school.

Blue Bells Receives Excellence Award


t was indeed a proud moment for Blue Bells Model School, Sector 4, when the coveted “Excellence Performance Award 2010- 2011” was conferred by Vineet Joshi, Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education. The School received the honour for its creative and innovative implementation of Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) methodology. The honour was received by Somya Gulati, Academic Coordinator of Blue Bells Group of Schools, Principal N. Bhatti, Senior Wing In-charge of Blue Bells Model School Anjali Nagpal, and Senior Wing In-charge of Blue Bells Public School Arpita Acharya. The cultural bonanza organised by the heritage club of the school—“Dharohar” was highly appreciated by the audience.

Title: NATURE Alice Tobias, Class: IV-A, Shalom Hills Intl School

One Nation Reading Together


agia school celebrated One Nation Reading Together (ONRT)on November 25- an annual event in which school students across India spend 30 minutes on the designated days reading for fun, and doing other activities. Around 60 students took part in a story telling session, and also read out a pledge. The students were very excited about the multi-colour sling bags which were given to them by sponsor Scholastic India. Scholastic will also donate 100 books to the school. The aim of the event was to inculcate reading habits among youngsters, and provide access to books to under-privileged children.

DPS bids farewell to German students


cultural evening was organised by DPS, Sec 45, to bid farewell to the team of thirteen German students and their escorts- Thomas Preisendanz, Principal of Gymnasium Bei St Michael, and his wife Gundula Preisendanz. Their one month stay in India was packed with fun, excitement and a true learning of Indian culture and customs. The German students had a glimpse of India's fast growing industrial growth through visits to factories and IT companies. Students attended regular school classes— both curricular and co-curricular— to experience the Indian education system. The function commenced with the children singing the national anthems of both countries. Mr Preisendanz said that the visit to India was a dream come true, because of his childhood fascination with the Taj Mahal. The event ended with a dazzling fashion show, showcasing Indian outfits, a melodious medley of German songs, and peppy Bollywood songs.

Title: VILLAGE Ayush Khandelwal, Class: VI-A, DPS, Sushant Lok

Title: ZOO Divya Sahithi, Class: III-B, DAV Public School

Title: my home Rinku Sharma

Title: CITY Sujit Dash, Class: II

Fun-filled Fiesta by Ryan Group

R Heritage Run



ore than 600 children from leading schools of the city assembled in Leisure Valley Park to participate in the Heritage Run on Saturday last. Organised by the Gurgaon Chapter of INTACH, the run was flagged-off by HUDA Administrator Dr. Praveen Kumar, who participated in the 2.5 km run with the students. An army band was also in attendance at the occasion. The run was sponsored by DLF Ltd, Balmer Lawrie & Co, Geodis Overseas, Coca-Cola India, and Fortis Healthcare.

yan Group of Schools organised “Fun Fiesta”. All eminent play schools of Gurgaon participated in the kids’ carnival. Tiny tots presented a song; and participated in various competitions -ranging from solo dance competition, colouring and drawing contest, to fun races, and a baby fashion show. Parents too walked the ramp. The event ended with a prize distribution ceremony, and a vote of thanks.

Title: BLUE SKY Aishwarya Bajpai, Class: IV-A, The Shri Ram School

Title: MONSOON IN GURGAON Rishika Arora, Class: IV-A, Shalom Hills Intl School

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


2–8 December 2011

K id Corner

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





Š 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

2–8 December 2011

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


hat would you call a universally present vitaminlike substance, that is essential in creating energy in every cell of the body? Ubiquinone – as the word ‘ubiquitous’ – means “found everywhere”. In 1957, Ubiquinone , more commonly called ‘CoEnzyme Q10’ (CoQ10, pronounced as ‘ko-cueten’), or ‘ Helper Molecules’, was first identified. It is a fat-soluble substance, that enhances the action of an enzyme. An enzyme is a protein that functions as a catalyst, to accelerate a chemical reaction in the body. CoQ10 also has very important antioxidant properties. These ‘Helper Molecules’ are critical in converting energy—from carbohydrates and fats—into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ATP, in turn, gives muscles the reserve energy, and helps biochemical processes – enabling the body to function correctly. CoQ10 is found in natural foods, and can normally be synthesised in the “mitochondria”– the tiny energy-producing organelles in each cell. The highest concentrations are found in energy–demanding organs like the heart, brain and muscle systems. Some researchers quoted in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 2000; 15(2):63-68, consider CoQ10 “to be one of the two most important essential nutrients (the other being ascorbic acid). CoQ10 supplementation appears to be the only way for the elderly to obtain the major proportion of the 0.5 gram/day they need”. According to the researchers, failure to supplement—by the aged, ill or stressed—can have tragic consequences, in the form of irreversible damage to the brain and other organs. CoQ10 supplements may play an important role in the prevention and/or treatment of most heart-related conditions, breast

W ellness

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

“Helper Molecules”


in treating these conditions. CoQ10 supplementation is considered safe; as it has no known toxicity or side effects. The average requirement for adults is 30-200 mg /day. However, it can take as much as one pound of sardines, or two and half pounds of peanuts, to get 30 mg. Balancing a diet of particular foods provides the body with the means to synthesise and produce the essential CoQ10.

Tip of the week

CoQ10 is fat-soluble, so it is best taken with a meal containing fat – so that the body can absorb it. Also, taking CoQ10 at night may help with the body’s ability to use it. Eating vegetable sources of CoQ10 (fresh, raw and unprocessed) preserves more of the coenzyme. Approximately 14-32 per cent of CoQ10 is lost during frying. Steaming, light cooking or boiling is much more preferable. Alternately, a fresh salad of raw vegetables (spinach) – with broccoli added to the mix, and sprinkled with wheat germ – is a powerhouse of CoQ10. Important: CoQ10 supplementation should never replace conventional medication. Because of the potential interactions with medications ( eg. blood thinning agents, chemotherapy), dietary supplements like CoQ10 should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider. CoQ10 functions as an enzyme co-factor, for energy-creating reactions inside the mitochondria

cancer, diabetes, HIV+/AIDS, infertility, muscular dystrophy, periodontal problems with the gums, and stomach ulcers. With age(post 35), chronic stress, hypertension or the use of certain commonly prescribed drugs, CoQ10 levels in the body can get severely depleted. Especially so in patients who have been prescribed steroids, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, oral dia-

betics or drugs for cholesterol control and heart disease. Several clinical studies suggest that CoQ10 may lower blood pressure, help manage blood sugar in diabetic patients, and help prevent heart damage caused by certain chemotherapy drugs. Beta blockers are a class of prescription drugs that have widely been used in the treatment of high blood

pressure. Supplementation with CoQ10 has been shown to dramatically reduce many of the adverse side-effects associated with these drugs. Similarly, when patients are prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, many healthcare practitioners routinely supplement them with CoQ10. Several studies are underway to assess the role and contribution of CoQ10 better,

Nature’s wonder foods of the week :

Natural foods with the highest CoQ10 levels are organ-meats (eg. heart, kidney and liver), and oily fish(eg. sardines, mackerel, salmon). Poultry, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products are moderate sources. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

The Humble Guava Haryanvi Made Easy

{ Alka Gurha }


n times of inflation, when eating fruit and enjoying its benefit can mainly be experienced by the affluent, news that the humble guava is packed with anti-oxidants comes as a boon. The relatively expensive apples, and exclusive strawberries, have been toppled by the modest guava. Recent studies have shown that guava contains several carotenoids and polyphenols - the major classes of antioxidant pigments—besides being rich in dietary fibre, vitamins A and C, folic acid and several minerals. Guava is a tropical fruit, belonging to the ‘Myrtaceae’ family, and cultivated mainly in Asian countries. It may come as a surprise that guavas are not native to India. They came to our country through the Portuguese, in the sixteenth century. They grow even in poor soil conditions, like in parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Today Allahabad, and its surrounding area, has the maximum number of guava orchards. Guava is quite similar in shape to a pear, and has a rind that is green in color; that changes to yellow, when it be-

comes over-ripe. Inside the rind—which is normally consumed along with the fruit and not peeled—there is flesh, that is either white or pinkish/reddish in color.

Health Benefits


Guavas are low in calories and fat, but contain several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds—that play a pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-ageing, weightloss etc. Fresh guava is a rich source of potassium, and contains more potassium than banana per 100 g of fruit weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, that help in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Guava is an excellent source of vitamin C, and

2 3

provides more than three times the DRI (Daily-Recommended Intake). The outer thick rind contains exceptionally higher levels of Vitamin C. A regular consumption of Vitamin C helps the body to increase resistance against several infectious diseases, such as common cold. Studies suggest that lycopene, in pink guavas, prevents skin damage from UV rays; and offers protection from prostate cancer. Guava also is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin E, Vitamin K; and minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Guava is a good source of soluble dietary fiber (5.4 g per 100 g of fruit, about 14% of DRA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane – by decreasing exposure time to toxins, as well as binds with cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. u




Get a taste of the local lingo 1. Is there a cinema theatre nearby? Dhore sik koi hall hai? 2. How much are the tickets for?

Ticket kitnek ka hai?

3. I don’t want front row seats Manne pehli line aali seat

na chahiye Aali - aa(as in aaja, come in Hindi)+ li (liya, Took in Hindi) 4. What time will the show end?

Phillum kitneek baje khatam hogi?

5. Where can I get snacks? Chaat papde kit sik milengi ? 6. Can you show me to my seat? Manne meri seat dikha de ga?


2–8 December 2011

Pastimes Prakhar Pandey

Galleria, A Pastime

THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: The fountain is a popular hot-spot for the old and young, alike

{ Shirin Mann / FG }


s we sat sun bathing by the large blue fountain area, sipping on cappuccino and munching on a kathi roll, how blessed we felt. There is still a ‘real’ market place amidst all the (enclosed) malls that cover the city. Restoring the old market feel, in modern settings – without the trappings of a mall, the DLF Galleria Market in DLF Phase IV, is the hot-spot for many Gurgaonites. As we parked our car (now a solved problem, with large empty spaces in front of the shopping complex being turned into paid parking), we quickly grabbed our snacks; and walked briskly towards the fountain to find a spot facing the sun. These days it can get quite difficult to

find a place. With the oncoming winter season bringing in the chills, the sun can really add sweetness to your shopping and eating spree. And we got lucky. Not for long though – the sitting area bordering the fountain, and the circular benches centered between the stores and stalls soon filled in with visitors. This setting is definitely not what any of the posh malls in the city can offer. The cool breeze, the open air sitting experience, the multi-shopping stores, and the various eateries—with serene instrumental music playing in the background— make Galleria what it is. This one stop, all-purpose market place, is a perfect shopping hub. It is most convenient for several people working and living in the commercial and

residential buildings that surround this central area. With posh housings like Laburnum, Sushant Lok and a host of condominiums at a walking distance, Galleria accommodates quite a mixed crowd. You can see them all – from expats and uptown residents shopping at Marks & Spencers, The Body Shop, Tarine; to the college students, young corporate employees at the Lazeez Kathi Corner and the Fresh Juice Bar. Built on two levels, the DLF Galleria Market has three banks, six ATMs; and multiple pharmacies, clinics, in-home stores, salons, sports corners, departmental shops, electronics, boutiques, jewellers, toys and apparels, books and music, opticians, bakeries, multi-cuisine restaurants, a butchery;

Gurgaon Musings { Alka Gurha }


decade ago, we had come to Gurgaon, in search of a dwelling —and were invariably struck by the majestic high rise apartments; so unlike the matchbox DDA flats. The wide roads, sparse population, fresh air and an office next to home was, well…utopia. As I rewind, the ingrained images in my mind flow past. It was early October, and the crispness in the air held the promise of a cold winter. The first stop for our house-hunting spree was Heritage City on the MG road—nestling in the very lap of nature. While the husband was negotiating with the broker, I waited on a bench, next to the perfectly manicured lawn. It was a lazy Sunday morning, and the silence was interrupted by the trills and cries of dulcet birds.

A flock of rare ‘yellow footed green pigeons’ waddled near the sprinkler on the verdant green expanse, pecking and shuffling their iridescent wings. Fresh after the monsoons, the renewed foliage—rejoicing in the morning rays of the sun—had cast a spell. When the husband returned and said, “The deal is not working out”, I was shattered. A year later, in 2002, we revisited the same complex and realised our dream. Gurgaon those days was a fledgling city— open, serene and green. Two wheelers, autos and rickshaws were a rare sight; and in the absence of mall mania, the MG Road was a breeze. It took three years of maddening urbanisation for Gurgaon to transform from a tranquil township to an urban mess. By the end of 2005, the Metropolitan Mall and the DT City Centre had become hot spots, and it became

get-together centre. In a city as cosmopolitan as Gurgaon, where people from all over the country as well as from outside, have made base, the community centre attracts thousands of people during festival season. Whether its Holi, Diwali, Dandiya, Karva Chauth or Christmas, the Galleria Market holds various exhibitions, melas and competitions – where people from in and around Gurgaon come and participate. Kavya Singh, resident of Regency Park 1 says, “During Diwali I had a lights and gifts stall at the Galleria Market. The Market is absolutely buzzing till the late hours during festival season; and gives small entrepreneurs an opportunity to come and showcase their stuff. It’s great to see how many people turn up; and the energy is super high. Sometimes there are musical performances by various groups, or even just by the citizens – who sit around the fountain and perform. It’s definitely a much better scene than the malls.” As it struck 3 o’ clock in the afternoon, the fountain that lay silent, now began to sprinkle; inviting even more on-lookers and shoppers. And a slow breeze sure ensured we were sprinkled. Just then a small kid went running towards the fountain, and put out his hand to touch the water. Sure Galleria does not have the huge swings and play slides that malls provide for children

impossible to enter MG Road on weekends. On one such weekend, a friend, feeling the onset of a heart attack, was unable to drive out of the complex—owing to the traffic mayhem. Thankfully, the pain was a false alarm. A decade later, Gurgaon is enveloped in a dust haze. Today, when I stand next to the DT City Centre, I feel a stab of pity. The Metro Station resembles Ajmeri Gate railway station; replete with hawkers, beggars and vendors. The famous ‘mall mile’ is crumbling like a cookie. Yes, I am obsessed with nostalgia, and obsessive nostalgia is imprisoning; but it breaks my heart to witness a squandered opportunity. Yes, Malls, Metros and Medanta have arrived —but so have mayhem, madness and muck. Unfortunately we can’t rewind the clock, can we? u

TIME TO PASS: Shoppers relaxing in Galleria Market

and several more shops. Looking for mouth-watering brownies – Rebecca’s makes your wish come true; some fancy crockery – nothing is better that Tarine; your grocery shopping – vive Le Marche. It is a neat and clean space, with no litter destroying the beauty of the red and gold tiled flooring. Pamel Khara, resident of Palm Springs says, ‘Thank God for Galleria; imagine going to a mall for a phone recharge, or just picking up a sub from Subway. Galleria saves you all that three stop security check, and the underground parking trouble. And besides that, I am sick and tired of going to the malls. I’d prefer going to an open shopping place like Galleria, than going to any of these malls.” Besides the shopping and the eateries, the Galleria Market is the perfect all-community

to play; but just the spray of water falling on the sides of the fountain kept the child busy and happy for a while. On the right hand side of our bench, we couldn’t help but overhear a couple talk. The man proposed, “Do you want to go inside and sit for a coffee”; to which the lady replied. “No, can we just get something to eat or drink, and sit somewhere here outside – it’s such a nice evening.” We agreed. Situated in the very heart of ‘new Gurgaon’, this market is definitely a fresh breath from the clogged malls; offering a perfect, open-air shopping option. We sat for a couple of hours, while the sun went down. We watched the kids run around; someone reading a book; another working on a laptop; and a couple enjoying a date by the fountain. The DLF Galleria Market makes for a perfect, happening hangout – time well passed. u

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C E L E B R AT E !


2–8 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

2–8 December 2011

T ime Pass 23


Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution 7. Every snowman has the same number of buttons on its face as on its body.

Ipso facto The Born Loser

Two Wise Men


Baby Blues

The Better Half

24 { Shilpy Arora / FG } A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves-strong, powerful, beautiful-and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence – Pam Brown Darshan Singh Gahallot will surely agree. Every morning, as the Head of the Sports Department of Scottish High School, he takes the students for horse riding.“You need to have the right emotional equation with horses to have a pleasant riding experience,” says Darshan Singh. “Horse riding is my passion. I know the day will be fantastic if I ride in the morning,” says Chanakya Shirin, a student of class 10- who has been riding horses since he was seven. Such is his passion for horse riding that, even during the exams, he continues with his practice. Horse riding has a lot of therapeutic qualities; it helps raise self-esteem, and boosts confidence.The interesting thing about horse riding is that your instrument is not inanimate like a bat, ball or racket. A horse is a highly intelligent and sociable creature.

Fairer Sex leads the way

Contrary to popular perception that horse riding is an entirely manly affair, girls have proved to be better riders than boys. What sets apart the best rider from the good, is the rider’s relationship with the horse. “Sometimes, even physically weak girls perform well – because of their connect with the animal. I think women have the right emotional content; and in this sport you need strong mental bonding with the horse,” says Surendra, the Coach of the horse riding team in Pathways World School. For Samira Kesyi, a student of Grade 5, horse riding is “addictive”. Samira was into gymnastics, before she took to horse riding two years ago. Now, she de-

2–8 December 2011


Riding a Cock Horse

votes most of her time to this newfound interest

Fear factor

Horse riding has no room for any fear, and determination is a much-needed virtue in this sport. Explains Samira , “Last year I fell off the horse, and had minor injuries- but I am not scared at all. Once you build up that relationship with the horse, it is all fine.” Darshan Singh, in fact, believes that falling off the horse and getting back on it builds mental strength and teaches important life lessons. “When a child falls off a horse, and after few days gets back on it , it helps the child overcome the fear,” he says. For those scared of horse riding, come meet some prenursery students of Scottish High School, who eagerly wait every morning for a chance to

take a ride. Avni Chopra, Ranvijay Saini, and Hridhaai are the little ones who have brought accolades to the school.

Safe lessons

Riders are first taught to understand the horse (and how to communicate) and start with a simple walk. The second lesson is the trot; and then the canter. Also, horses are trained before being sent to the schools. “Getting trained horses is our prime requirement; as we can’t compromise safety in such a dangerous sport,” informs Shalini Nambiar, Director of American Excelsior, another school that provides horse riding in its sports curriculum.


As there is no horse riding competition in Gurgaon,the young riders here look forward to the Delhi Horse Show; which


is held every year at the Army Equestrian Centre, Delhi Cantonment, in March and April. Apart from highly competitive activities- such as dressage and show jumping, there are also fun activities like fancy dress competition for horses. Grade 3 student of Scottish High School, Lakshay Yadav, proudly shows off his gold medal- won during the Delhi Horse Show last year. “Schools from all over the country participate in the Delhi Horse Show. Not only does this show encourage youngsters, it also promotes this sport in the country,” says Coach Surendra.

Still a long way to go

The sport however has hit a hurdle, as there are not many schools in the city that have infrastructure and staff to provide horse riding lessons. Also, many schools have withdrawn it from

the sports curriculum, due to the safety issues. As the Director of Lancers International School Lakshita says, “Initially, horse riding was in our curriculum, but we stopped that due to some security concerns. We also tried sending students to some academies to learn horse riding, but even that didn’t work out. We found that the academies lack a professional set up.” For many, however, the benefits of horse riding go beyond the sport. It not only helps kids co-ordinate their limbs and mind to do different things, it is also recommended as therapy for special children. Says Surendra, “In other countries, horses provide therapy to special children-it is called hippotherapy. If you spend some time with the horses, you will realise there is more to this sport than just riding.” u

Riding A Steel Horse


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Great Expectations

Integrated Multi-modal Logistics Hub (IMLH)

 Contd from p 1 Friday Gurgaon takes a detailed look at the various projects that promise to change the face of the Millennium City. Some of the projects are part of the DMIC, and some are stand-alone; but when these parts will combine, they will add formidable muscle to Gurgaon’s industrial, civic and social infrastructure – and ensure that this city becomes a global benchmark. DMIC Project: An Overview

DMIC is being developed by Government of India, in collaboration with the Japanese government, along the alignment of the Dedicated Freight Corridor between Delhi and Mumbai. The anticipated investment in the area, along the entire corridor, is close to US 90 billion dollars. As result of the projects undertaken under this ambitious scheme, Haryana’s industrial output is likely to increase by 377 per cent, over the next 30 years; and value of output is to grow by 15 times during the period, opine leading consultants. The Investment Regions and Areas being developed under the DMIC in Haryana include: Manesar Bawal Investment Region (MBIR), Faridabad Palwal Industrial Area, Kundli Sonipat Investment Region, Rewari-Hissar Industrial Area,

Early Bird Projects under DMIC in Haryana:

Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (ECC) Manesar; Integrated Multi-model Logistics Hub near Rewari; Mass Rapid Rail Transit System (MRTS) between Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal

Priority Projects:

Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) pressway, Cargo Airport in NCR.


Projects in MBIR:

Fresh Water Storage & Transmission, Integrated Passenger Hub at Pachgaon, Education cum Health Hub, Affordable Low Cost Housing.

Manesar-Bawal Investment Region (MBIR)

MBIR in south-western Haryana would be within 50-kilometres of Rewari-Dadri

The KMP expressway is a major infrastructure project, that can transform the urban scenario of Delhi and Gurgaon. The major challenge being faced by these two cities is a fast growing population, and migrants from other states – that form a major section of the populace. Along with this major influx, there is the emergence of a large middle class – both the cities have witnessed massive increase in vehicles. Delhi has around 50 lakh vehicles; and every day 2 lakh vehicles pass through the Sirhaul Toll Plaza in Gurgaon.

KMP Expressway features:

The 135.6 km long KMP Expressway is a prestigious greenfield Build Operate Transfer (BOT) project, with an estimated cost of Rs. 1,915 crores. Conceived as the 2nd Outer Ring Road to the National Capital Territory (NCT), it connects four of India’s busiest National Highways viz. NH-1 near Kundli (Sonepat), NH-10 near Bahadurgarh, NH-8 at Manesar (Gurgaon) and NH-2 near Palwal (Faridabad). The Expressway will act as a Delhi bypass, for traffic coming from north of Delhi on NH1, and going to the south of Delhi on NH2.

Unique Features

The Expressway crosses 4 key National Highways (NH-1, NH-10,

S pecial

2–8 December 2011

alignment with the Dedicated Freight Corridor. This region would be in close proximity to the National Highway 8; and the Golden Quadrilateral Corridor between Delhi and Mumbai. An Automobile Investment Region is also being planned in Manesar-Rewari-Bawal, spread over 800 sq km.

MBIR Advantages:

MBIR is very well connected by road, rail and air; and also has good urban infrastructure. It is close to NCR, especially Gurgaon – which has an establised base in IT/TES and auto sector.

Proposed Components:

MBIR proposes to host Export-Oriented Units (EOUs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs). It will have an IT/ITES/ Biotech Hub, that will offer an opportunity to domestic and international companies to set up base here. Knowledge Hub/Skill Development Centre: A knowledge hub and skill upgradation centre would be set in the MBIR, to support the industry in the area. Integrated Multi-model Logistics Hub (IMLH) with Inland Container depot (ICD). Integrated Township: MBIR has the provision of an integrated township—with residential, institutional, commercial, and leisure/recreation facilities. Feeder Road Links: MBIR region has proposed adequate feeder road linkages, connecting this region with the freight corridor and the hinterland. They include: the connectivity to NH-8, Golden Quadrilateral Corridor, augmentation of NH-71 link to four-lane dual carriageway, development of requisite grade separators/flyovers/interchanges and underpasses along the National Highways/State Highways and access roads – for uninterrupted freight and passenger movement in the region.

Feeder Rail Links: The proposed rail links will connect the Rewari-Delhi Railway Line and the Dedicated Freight Corridor (Rewari-Dadri stretch), with exclusive sidings. It also involves a regional MRTS, between Delhi-Manesar and Neemrana; and development of MRTS between Gurgaon/Manesar and Faridabad. MBIR is the first Investment Region in Haryana, and a sub-region of DMIC. The delineated area is 802 square kilometres; of which 402 square kilometres will be taken up for development in Phase I. The objective is to generate direct employment for 0. 56 million people; and indirect employment for 1.12 million.

Manesar Smart City

The Manesar Smart city is planned to be a community, with a sustainable development model – using integrated, low carbon products and services. This will be the first smart community and ecofriendly township in the vicinity of Gurgaon. MoUs have been signed with Japanese companies like Toshiba, Tokyo Gas, NEC and Advance, for a pilot initiative at IMT Manesar. Cargo Airport in NCR: A 2,770 acre site has been identified in the NCR, and an application has been filed with the Ministry of Civil Aviation. ACTUAL STATUS: The Union Government has decided to release Rs. 3,000 crore for the core and infrastructure projects—like roads, buildings, power connections, sewerage and water—to develop the MBIR, under the DMIC. It is also likely that the Haryana government will call for bids to construct the Exhibition and Convention Centre and Integrated Multi-model Logistics Hub, under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

The Integrated Multi-modal Logistics hub at Rewari will be developed by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis. The first such logistic park will come up outside Rewari city; and it will be at a crucial point connecting major areas. HSIIDC has entered into a contract with DFCCIL, to develop this project. An amount of Rs. 900 crore is expected to be invested by the private operator, to develop facilities and infrastructure. This Logistics Hub will have integrated logistics facilities, mechanised handling of goods, and intelligent inventory system – that aim to reduce the cost of operations. It will have rail sidings with sheds, Inland Container Depots (ICDs) of large size, warehouses, office buildings and processing units for exporters. Industry Speak: P.C. Sharma, President and CEO, TCI Express, one of the leading transport and logistics companies in the country, says that the DMIC corridor and logistics hub will benefit the transport sector immensely. “Private and government clusters will form, and industry wide upgradation of services can happen if a multimodal logistics comes up”, he says; adding that planning should done keeping in mind that truck drivers are part of society. Giriraj Sharma, a manager in a leading Jaipur based trucking company, says that there are at least 6,000 large trucks entering Gurgaon every month. “If the parking and security issues are taken care by the hub ,then it will be successful”, he says. Entertainment and education should also be considered for the drivers, says the industry. Current Status: A senior DFCCIL official, on the condition of anonymity, informed Friday Gurgaon that the project is still in a survey stage, and it would take some time for it to mature. “The DFCCIL will only provide rail connectivity to the logistics hub; the rest of the work and development will be taken up by the private partner”, he revealed; adding that HSIIDC will have to provide land for the hub. Dinesh Chauhan, STP, HSIIDC, says that the job of his organisation is to scout for land, and acquire it for the development of the project. Around 1,000 acres of land will be needed for this project alone; but HSIIDC is planning to acquire 3,700 acres – to ensure that future needs are taken care of, informs Chauhan. “Residence for transporters, parking space, warehouses, hotels, and institutional areas, will be developed in the area”, he says. A highly placed source in the department, however, revealed that the process of acquiring land has slowed down in this area – as farmers are demanding more compensation. The State Government and its agencies have also adopted a wait-and-watch approach, due to the proposed changes in the Land Acquisition Bill.

Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway NH-8, & NH-2), 7 State Highways, 4 major district roads, 104 village and panchayat roads, 4 railway lines and 18 irrigation canals, distributaries and other seasonal streams. There are around 64 villages in a 500 metre vicinity of the Expressway. A total of 220 major structures, including 10 Toll Plazas, will be erected on the Expressway. The Expressway will have 27 Major Flyovers (over state roads, district roads and railway lines), and 21 Minor Flyovers (over cross drainage). It will also have 03 Grade Separators with 02 Four Cloverleafs at chainage (NH-01) & 82+684 (NH-08), and 01 Double Trumpet Interchange 34+985, (NH10). It also includes special features like 31 Cattle Crossings, 33 Agricultural Vehicular Underpasses, 47 Underpasses and 61 Pedestrian Crossings. Sufficient precautions have been taken to maintain the natural drainage of surrounding areas. Unique tolling technology: The unique closed loop system of tolling will ensure that a commuter would be charged only for the distance traveled on the Expressway. There would be about 10 entry and exit points through which the tolling would be controlled.

Expected number of vehicles using KMP

As per the latest traffic study, it is expected that the 2012-end traffic on the Expressway would be 170,000 vehicles per day.


Vehicles coming in from the northern states of India on NH 1, and wanting to go to Rajasthan, Gujarat etc., can get on the Expressway at Kundli, and take the NH 8 at Manesar. Those desiring to go to Central and South India can enter the NH2 at Palwal. In both cases, long distance vehicles do not need to come inside Delhi. Global corridor along the KMP Expressway - The Haryana govern-

ment plans to develop a global corridor along the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway in the State, for sector-specific parks and sub-cities – to ensure that economic activities are developed in a systematic manner. The 135-km long KMP Expressway— also known as the Western Peripheral Expressway—passes through six districts of Haryana; namely, Sonepat, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Gurgaon, Mewat and Palwal. KMPE can act as a catalyst

What is the current status of KMP Expressway. How many kilometres have been built, and when will the first phase from Manesar to Palwal be completed? KMP spokesperson: The 53 KM priority stretch between Manesar and Palwal will open in the next 2 to 3 months. Q What are the obstacles being faced by the company, in completing this phase in due time? When is the next deadline for this stretch? KMP spokesperson: The opening of the priority stretch between Manesar and Palwal has been delayed because of some extraneous constraints, and some pending clearances – which are IOCL pipeline clearances at KM117, Masjid area clearance at KM102, a court case for disputed land at KM 97, two areas affected with land acquisition issues, and stoppage of mining activities in Haryana – which is forcing us to procure aggregates from Rajasthan. (Due to this shortage of aggregates, not only DSC, but the entire construction industry in the region has been affected – as the resources are limited, but the demand is very high). Most of these issues are now being resolved. Q What measures does the company think should be taken by the government, to enable speeding up of the work on this crucial project? KMP spokesperson: If the pending clearances are given, and constraints taken care of in regard to the issues mentioned above, the stretch between Manesar and Palwal will be made trafficable in the next 2- 3 months.

for development, and attract private participation in the development of the region. A number of cluster cities integrated under one umbrella will provide the overall spatial form of the urban corridor. These include Education City (5,000 acres), Sampla(Check name) Township (8,401acres), Cyber City (470 acres), Bio-Sciences City(1,359 acres), Medi City (935 acres.), Fashion City (544 acres), Entertainment City (346 acres), World Trade City (650 acres), Jahangirpur-Badli Township (14,226 acres), Dry Port City (1,779 acres), Leather City (691 acres), Leisure City (1,853 acres). ACTUAL STATUS: Although KMP is a high-profile project, DSC Limited (the company that is building this project) will have to undertake work on a war-footing, to start even the first phase from Manesar to Palwal (53 KM) soon. Only 12 kilometres of the first phase has been completed; and after missing four deadlines (November 2009, November 2010, August 2011, November 2011), the next deadline is February 2012. Friday Gurgaon asked DSC about the construction of the project. While the company spokesperson said that the project is facing constraints due to problems in land acquisiton and delayed approvals from the government, he promised that the first stretch will start functioning in the next couple of months. (See accompanying Box)

2–8 December 2011

Great Expectations  Contd from p 1 to create a global infrastructure and enabling environment. A report by consultants says that the value of output in the DMIC sub-region of Haryana will grow by 15 times, over the next 30 years. The Millennium City is already ahead of other areas in this sub-region; and will be the biggest beneficiary, along with the neighbouring district of Rewari. In the first phase, that concludes in December 2012, Manesar-Bawal areas will be developed as an Investment Region called Manesar-Bawal Investment Region (MBIR). It will include self-sustained industrial townships, with worldclass infrastructure, served by multi-modal connectivity – for freight movement/logistic hubs, domestic-international air connectivity, reliable power, social infrastructure and a global business environment. Apart from this, the Haryana government has identified a few stand-alone Projects, as model initiatives to capitalise on the existing initiatives under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. These projects include:  Regional MRTS between Gu r g a o n - M ane s a r-Bawal, with a feeder service to enhance connectivity between Delhi and the up-coming manufacturing areas.  A Logistics Hub at IMT Manesar  An Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre

GREATER GURGAON Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) 1,483 km, from Dadri (UP) to J.N. Port (Mumbai) Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)

Joint Project with Japan $ 90billion investment On both sides of DFC 29,632 sq. km. within Haryana (66.4% of State) HSIIDC as partner (with 4% stake)

Manesar Bawal Industrial Corridor (MBIC)

Part of DMIC 802 Rs., 3,000 crore investment committed by the Central Govt. Mainly Gurgaon & Rewari Districts Integrated Multi-modal Logisitcs Hub (IMLH) at Bawal – including an Internal Container Depot (ICD)

Integrated Multi-modal Logistics Hub (IMLH)

near Bawal and Rewari Rs. 900 crore investment 1,000 acres needed (plan to acquire 3,700 acres – for expansion)

Exhibition & Convention Centre (ECC)

At Pachgaon, near Manesar 253 acres Rs. 2,600 investment

Kundli Manesar Palwal Expressway (KMP E)

135.6 km Rs 1,915 crore investment Connects NH1,NH2,NH 8,NH10 Global Corridor of cluster cities First phase – Manesar Palwal, 53km, will be operational in 2012 Expected 170,000 vehicles per day

Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS)

Connect Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal Feeder service to Rewari, from Dharuhera

Reliance SEZ

Off Gurgaon and Manesar 25,000 acres Promise of 100,000 jobs

Cargo Airport

Proposed within NCR 2,770 acres

HSIIDC to acquire 29,000 acres, excluding Reliance SEZ.

Exhibition-Cum-Convention Centre (ECC) The prestigious ECC, being set up by HSIIDC at Panchgaon Chowk near Manesar, will be worldclass. It will comprise of exhibition halls, auditoriums, conference halls, high quality hotels; and even a helipad. ECC project will be located at an important junction that connects the KMP-Expressway and NH-8, at Panchgaon. It will be spread over 253 acres; and in the first phase an area of 153 acres will be developed. HSIIDC is planning to invite international bids for the convention centre, once the go-ahead is given by the State Government. The project cost has been estimated around Rs. 2,600 crores; and a detailed project report was recently submitted to the HSIIDC. HSIIDC and DMICDC will be the joint owners of the project, that is expected to generate 40,000 jobs. To support the transport needs of this huge project, there are plans to develop an Integrated Multi-modal Passenger Hub. Water supply to the project will be made available from Manesar, through the main line.

Reliance SEZ L

aunched jointly by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and the Haryana government, the Reliance Haryana Special Economic Zone (RHSEZ) is yet to take off – even after six years of its inception in 2005. Global economic recession, administrative bottlenecks, and lack of political will are cited as reasons for the slowing down of this Project. Reliance Haryana SEZ is a joint venture between RIL and HSIIDC, the industrial development arm of the Haryana government, which holds 10 per cent stake in the project. Insiders reveal that the primary reason for the delay is RIL’s inability to buy land directly from the farmers. Out of the proposed 25,000 acres, Reliance Ventures Limited had to buy 17,500 acres directly - but rising prices and unwilling farmers, who want higher compensation, have made this task very difficult. Launched in 2005, the Reliance Haryana Special Economic Zone was a path breaking project, and was slated to be the largest SEZ

Current Status: Dinesh Chauhan, Senior Town Planner (STP), HSIIDC, Infrastructure Planning Cell, Gurgaon, says that the process of land acquisition for the ECC has reached the final stage; and the award has been announced. He said that HSIIDC is keen to urgently take this project to conclusion; but admitted that problems in land acquisition have been stalling crucial infrastructure projects in the area. Chauhan says that the ECC will provide an alternative to Pragati Maidan in Delhi; and offer worldclass facilities to companies from India and abroad. “People will be able to come to ECC—both from north and South India—without having to enter Delhi; as it is located at a crucial junction of NH-8 and KMP”, says Chauhan. He adds that the proposed land acquisition bill has also slowed down the launch, execution and completion of new projects. A highly placed official also informed that a crucial part of the land near Panchgaon Chowk is under litigation; and that could delay this project.

in India. Everything associated with the Project was planned on a mammoth scale; with Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani claiming that this project would generate 100, 000 jobs. As part of the Phase 1 of the project, HSIIDC transferred 1,395 acres of prime land near NH8 in Gurgaon to Reliance SEZ. Apart from this contribution made by HSIIDC, Reliance was supposed to buy land from the farmers in the open market; and the company offered Rs. 22 lakh per acre which initially met with a good response. The State has now raised the rate of compensation for the land acquisition; and the mode of payment now includes a provision for annuity – making it costlier for Reliance SEZ to purchase land. Under such circumstances, the company has also been forced to change its strategy. It is now planning to develop smaller SEZs in the area, rather than a single large unit. It has also roped in partners like ILF&S, and brought in Japanese majors like Mitsui and Panasonic, to give fresh lease of life to this project. However, under the present circumstances, when the rush to set up SEZs in the country has

S pecial 27

 New Passenger Rail Links: Palwal–Rewari via Bhiwadi, Farukhnagar, Jhajjar The Reliance Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and a couple of other SEZs, will also play an important part in the transformation of Gurgaon. HSIIDC officials say that the growth in the next few years will put this region on the global business map; and it would be much ahead of its competitors. In addition, the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP)Expressway, the Northern Peripheral Road and the Southern Peripheral Road, will add more muscle to Gurgaon’s periphery. HSIIDC is the nodal agency for DMIC projects, and it has equity to the tune of 4 per cent in DMICDC. An MoU was signed between the two organisations on October 4, 2008. After a detailed study and analysis, an area encompassing Manesar and Bawal, parts of which fall in Gurgaon and Rewari districts, emerged as the most suitable for development as an Investment Region. This area has been christened the Manesar-Bawal Investment Region (MBIR). Based on an extensive list of 15 parameters, the consultants have zeroed in on an area surrounding the Jatusana and Kanina blocks, for the Greenfield Township. It will have a projected population of about 4 million. A high-level meeting, on February 3, 2010 decided that this township would be a brown-field project; and it will take into account the approved masterplans of Rewari, Bawal and Dharuhera. Augumentation of Water Supply: Making adequate water available is crucial to the success of MBIR. For this purpose, DMICDC and HSIIDC plan to tap the excess water flows available in the Yamuna at the Tajewalla barrage (Hathnikund), during the monsoon period. The Haryana government has also suggested that Jawahar Lal Nehru Canal could be considered as a major source of conveyance of water from Tajewala to the MBIR; and to make use of Masani Barrage for pondage, and increase in storage capacity – by going deeper and raising embankments. Exhibition cum Convention Centre (ECC): After a study of eight sites for the proposed Exhibition cum Convention Centre, the site that has been found most appropriate is at Pachgaon Chowk. The ECC centre will provide worldclass

been tapering, it remains to be seen whether Reliance—even with its financial and political muscle—manages to complete this project. Current Status: A senior official of Reliance Industries Limited, preferring anonymity, said that there have been administrative bottlenecks that have slowed down the work on this project. He asserted that the company was fully committed to the SEZ, and had recently developed internal roads in a large part of the Project area. “We can not dig tube-wells, and it is very difficult to get water otherwise. Where will water come from, for this large project? RIL is anxious to increase the pace of work, but some sanctions have to come from the government”, he said; while adding that no large investment on this Project was planned soon. A senior HSIIDC official, meanwhile, revealed that a major portion of land that falls on the frontal side of the SEZ is mired in a court dispute. A case has been filed, and 150 acres of land is under dispute. This could well cause a long delay for this project. This Project is not going to be completed in a hurry.

facilities for holding trade fairs and conventions, and aims to substitute the Pragati Maidan in Delhi. Integrated Multi-modal Logistics Hub (IMLH): Another early bird project is the Integrated Multi-Modal Logistics Hub, that will be will be set by M/s Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL). The project will be set up in villages Ludahana, Pithanwas, Garhi and Bolni – along the Rewari to Kot Quasim road. Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) between GurgaonManesar-Bawal: The plan for the MRTS is that its alignment could take off from the state boundary near Dwarka, and follow the Northern and Southern Peripheral Roads being built under the proposed GurgaonManesar Urban Complex, to form a ring around Gurgaon city. It will thereafter move along IMT Manesar, upto the Orbital Rail Corridor, and onto the Panchgaon Chowk – and run along the National Highway Number 8 beyond that point, till its terminus at Bawal (on a dedicated right of way of 30 metres). A less capital intensive and affordable rail transit system is also being planned for the industrial workers. HSIIDC, which is the nodal agency for the development of industry and infrastructure in the State, has said that it would be spending Rs. 2,100 crores for undertaking development works and the acquisition of land in 2011-12. A process to acquire 29,000 acres for various projects has been initiated, officials said. CURRENT STATUS: A team of senior railway officials is likely to visit Gurgaon and Rewari this week, to carry out a survey for the proposed Dedicated Freight Corridor. The railway officials will conduct the survey, and take in objections for development and planning of the corridor. The Gurgaon Administration has said that the land for the project has yet to be acquired. It is good to see Plans, for 30 years hence. We also know where Gurgaon stands today – a great plus on Commerce, Industry and jobs; a big minus on Civic Infrastructure. 2011 deadlines have passed; 2012 seem probable. Gurgaon 2021/2025 Master Plans are under implementation. Greater Gurgaon is on its make history as the suburb of a suburb. u



he pre-feasibility survey of Delhi-Alwar Rail Transport has been completed, and it envisages 19 stations (ISBT Kashmere Gate, New Delhi Railway Station, Sarai Kale Khan, INA, Dhaula Kuan, Mahipalpur, Cyber City, IFFCO Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Manesar, Panchgaon, Dhaurhera, BTK, MBIR, Rewari, Bawal, SNB, Kherthal and Alwar). ISBT and Alwar will be terminals; and the highspeed rail network will cover 180-kilometres in Haryana and Rajasthan. It will be completed in four phases ( Phase 1- 2016, Phase II- 2021, Phase III- 2031, Phase IV2041); and only air-conditioned trains will run on this track. Each train will have a capacity of 226 persons. It will run at 6 minutes intervals, and stop at each station for 30 seconds. The speed on elevated tracks will be 160 KMPH; while the speed on underground track will be 100 KMPH.

28 T

he first Chinese cars built in Europe started rolling off the conveyor belt this year, when Great Wall Motor Co Ltd built a plant in Bulgaria – together with Litex Motors. The Voleex C10 was the first vehicle off the assembly line of the plant – near the town of Lovech – last week, with tests of the production facilities and installations set to continue for the rest of the year. The launch is set for the beginning of 2012. The Hover H5 sports utility vehicle and Steed pickup would also be built at Lovech. All are expected to receive a “Made in the EU” label, and would be available for export to each of the other 26 EU countries, at a competitive price – without the imposition of tariffs or duties. Ambitious Chinese automakers are exhibiting this week at the Guangzhou Auto Show in their home market, and are already displaying confidence that they can compete against their larger international competitors. So far, most Chinese car exports involve cheap cars destined for Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East or Africa. However, now the companies also have the US and Western European markets firmly in view. The new Great Wall factory has a pro-

duction capacity of 50,000 cars per year; which are destined for the whole of Europe. The disastrous fate of Chinese carmaker Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd, which had entered into a partnership with BMW AG, was not expected to be repeated. The Brilliance Galena failed the EuroNCAP crash test in 2007; while the smaller Splendor model subsequently received zero out of a possible five points in the highly respected German ADAC crash test. Car expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer said he believes Chinese carmakers are “still weak today”; but warns against European companies underestimating their ability to make progress. “Great Wall, Chery, Geely, Foton and the others will learn to walk very quickly,” he said. Chinese companies such as the Lifan Group and Chery Automobile Co Ltd have enjoyed growth rates of 150 per cent in Russia, the director of the Centre for Automotive Research said. According to Dudenhoeffer, the strategy is to build up market share in emerging markets, before tackling the more difficult industrialized countries – such as the United States and Germany. The takeover of Swedish carmaker AB Volvo by Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd has revealed that company as one of the more aggressive players, Dudenhoeffer said. Chinese companies can also obtain

Marijan Murat

The Dragon Drives Into Europe { Andreas Landwehr / Guangzhou, China / DPA }

NEW CAR GAME: Chinese carmakers are still producing cars with very derivative designs, such as this GE limousine – which bears more than a passing resemblance to a Rolls-Royce.

valuable technological expertise, by buying struggling European carmakers. There has been some resistance to the Chinese advance. US firm General Motors Co., blocked the sale of Swedish carmaker Saab AB to a Chinese company. Indeed, General Motors intends not to renew its licences for Saab spare parts, to prevent any of its technology falling into Chinese hands. No one wants to speculate as to when a truly competitive export battle from China would begin. The Chinese automobile market is still the largest in the world, despite slower economic growth; meaning Chinese companies currently enjoy greater opportunities at home than in the more stagnant markets abroad. “I think they will turn their attention

Roland Weihrauch

My Beetle And I The name comes from the car’s registration plate: RE-X65. The car originated in the town of Recklinghausen – and is in its “unrestored original condition”. It used to belong to an elderly woman, who lived in Zinselmeyer’s neighbourhood. One day he spoke to her at a gas station: “If you ever decide to get rid of your car then tell me about it,” he told her. A year later he got a call. “I can remember how the car emerged from the garage, on a wonderful sunny day. The car had not fully come out – but I already knew I had to have her.” Zinselmeyer THREE’S COMPANY: Martin Zinselmeyer and his friend Juergen Siebers (l), went on a test drive with the in Zinselmeyer’s 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, along the Rhine River owner, and agreed to pay 4,000 marks for it. At one stage Siebers owned { Christoph Driessen / Berlin / DPA } side of the River Rhine is the region’s industrial heartland; two Beetles – one from 1963 and hen Martin Zinselmeyer but on Orsoy’s side it’s still the other from 1968; but when he became a father he had to speaks about his Beetle, pastoral countryside. Zinselmeyer’s 1967 Fontana sell them both. he doesn’t discuss “That was awful. It was horsepower or fuel consumption; grey Beetle is parked outside the but rather feelings and smells. cafe. A spectacle of shiny metal- like removing an organ He recalls detecting the warm lic paint, and sparkling chrome. from my body without using glow of an engine as a child; and Sitting beside Zinselmeyer is his anaesthetic.” For years he looking at the sky through the friend, and former college mate, had to make do with building rear window, when his mother Juergen Siebers - also known a collection of 50 Beetlevisited his grandmother in as Kaefer Juergen; German for related books, and gathering memorabilia. Beetle Juergen. the countryside. Since that time, he’s been Both men are on their annual He can describe how the car’s imitation leather upholstery felt nostalgia trip, travelling a route regarded in his circle of Beetle as a walking on hot sunny days; and how his that was recommended in the enthusiasts legs stuck to it. He’s also quick defunct motoring magazine, encyclopaedia. But what use is to romanticize about what it was Gute Fahrt, in the 1960s. Along all that knowledge when you like to open the car door, and the way they’re staying in hotels don’t have your own Beetle? Last year Siebers bought be hit by the smell of faux leather that existed at the time of the his own vehicle: A 1964 ruby – and the horse hair stuffing in article’s publication. “Unfortunately, every time red model with a sun roof. “I the seating. Only a fan of the Volkswagen we stop off, we’re confronted couldn’t resist having one. Beetle can talk about a car with the fact that the room rates I was experiencing a lot of of about 2.50 deutschmarks have stress at work, felt a bit down; like Zinselmeyer. and I needed something to Zinselmeyer, 45, is sitting in gone up a bit.” Zinselmeyer does not talk re-energize myself.” a cafe in the town of Orsoy in Just what is so special western Germany. On the other about his Beetle, but about Rexi.


G lobal

2–8 December 2011

elsewhere one day, but not so soon,” said Volkswagen AG’s boss in China, KarlThomas Neumann. “I would estimate between five and 10 years. They still need more time.” Dudenhoeffer, meanwhile, said he was convinced it would be impossible to stop the Chinese. “It will happen step by step,” he said. Exports, and the presence of Chinese factories in Europe, mean Chinese cars would be clearly visible on the streets of Eastern Europe by 2015. “The position of the Koreans—namely Hyundai and Kia—is where Geely, Great Wall or Chery will be in 15 years at the latest,” Dudenhoeffer said. “In other words, the Volkswagens of this world need to take the Chinese very, very seriously.” u

about the car? Zinselmeyer explains: “You have to have driven a Beetle ... to know. You have to have rubbed a sponge over its contours. You cannot avoid feeling in awe of the car’s design.” For Siebers, his love of the Beetle is connected with his longing for a time that is now past. The Beetle symbolizes “honest technology” for him. “Other manufacturers kept bringing out new models every year; that looked fresh on the outside, but had the old technology under the hood. With the Beetle it’s the opposite; Its exterior remained the same, but what was inside was continually modernized.” Fans of the Beetle often describe the car as a member of the family – who just happens to live in the garage. Whenever Rexi is not feeling good, Zinselmeyer also feels down. “For a while the engine was not working properly, and that nearly drove me crazy. A car like a Beetle must run like a sewing

machine. You can’t live with anything else; but that’s the way it was for a while.” The Rhine and Moselle river regions are the two most popular areas where Zinselmeyer and Siebers go on their annual outings. Sometimes they take along an old dictaphone, to record impressions and car noises. They also need to bring a lead supplement for the fuel; something they’re allowed to do as their Beetle is officially a classic car. This year the two men are travelling around the lower Rhine region. Zinselmeyer sits behind the wheel, and sinks into the upholstery as if he was in his armchair at home. Siebers is in the passenger seat, and opens his copy of Gute Fahrt from April 1960 – with its travel report from the lower Rhine. The distinctive sound of the Beetle’s motor strikes up, and the car disappears into the Rhineland countryside. u

G lobal 29

Following Amundsen, A 100 Years After

POLAR EXPLORER: A bust of Roald Amundsen stands prominently in the tiny Norwegian settlement of Ny-Ålesund – the most northerly place in the world – that is now home to research teams

{ Juan Garff / Buenos Aires / DPA }


he number of people to reach the South Pole on foot, is likely to double in the coming weeks; almost 20 expeditions are on their way, to mark the 100th anniversary of Roald Amundsen’s trip to the earth’s southernmost point. Several Norwegian expeditions want to emulate their compatriot Amundsen (1872-1928). A team from the Scandinavian country’s Polar Institute is trying to follow Amundsen’s every step; along the tough route over the Axel Heiberg glacier. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg intends to cover the last 20 kilometres of the way on skis; to mark the anniversary of Amundsen’s feat on December 14 – although heavy snow storms may yet thwart such plans.

“Many wonder whether we will reach our goal on December 14. We do too,” the team led by Polar Institute director Jan-Gunnar Winther wrote in its blog on Tuesday. The team includes, among others, crosscountry skiing legend Vegard Ulvang – the winner of three Olympic gold medals. Thin air at the top of the glacier is bound to make the going slow. And even halfway to the South Pole, the four Norwegians were running 133 kilometres behind Amundsen’s expedition in 1911. Things have not really got that much easier over the decades. Contemporary expeditioners are on skis, and they have the disadvantage of having to drag their pulks themselves: the dogs that Amundsen took with him are no longer allowed in Antarctica – due to strict regulations for the

protection of the environment. A second Norwegian expedition is en route, also without the dogs – but otherwise pretty much in line with Amundsen’s original equipment. Its leader, Asle Johansen has already crossed Greenland in 1988; exactly 100 years after Fridtjof Nansen, in the original vein of the explorer and Nobel Prize laureate. British expeditioners tragically lost the race to the South Pole 100 years ago – when Robert Falcon Scott not only reached his destination after Amundsen, but also died along with his companions on the way back. This time around the Brits are approaching the South Pole on the two available routes. A team of soldiers has split up into two expeditions: Lieutenant Colonel Henry Worsley is following Amundsen’s route, while Warrant Officer Mark Langridge is

taking Scott’s. The Scott-route group initially pulled ahead;but it is now those following on Amundsen’s footsteps that have a slight lead. Most expeditions in Antarctica start from the Union Glacier Camp, run by the private US firm Antartic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). It can hold up to 80 people at any one time. Explorers fly there from the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas, on a Russian-made Ilyushin IL76 plane. It was one such plane that took Australians James Castrission, 29, and Justin Jones, 28, to the white continent, with the goal of becoming the youngest people to reach the South Pole – and the first to get there and back on skis, without any outside support. And yet the two Australians found unexpected competition on the plane: Norwegian

Dorothee Junckers

2–8 December 2011

Aleksander Gamme, 35, planned a similar expedition alone. Britain’s Felicity Aston is waiting at Union Glacier forfavourable weather, to fly to her starting point of choice, Leverett glacier. From there, she wants to make the lone trek on her skis to the South Pole, and then to Hercules Bay – a total of 1,700 kilometres, which would set a new record for a woman. Aston, 33, is taking music and audiobooks with her, and she is dragging along a pulk with a tent and provisions – that grant her the 4,000 calories she will need per day. But skiing is not the only means to get to the South Pole. On Sunday, 26 athletes from the United States, Japan, Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Russia and Britain are to fly to the USrun Amundsen-Scott Station, to take part in a 50-kilometre ultra-marathon at around 30 degrees below zero Celsius. Sebastian Armanault, who earlier this year ran the 250-kilometre race through the Sahara desert, estimates that he can run in Antarctica for about seven hours. For all these explorers, however, some things have indeed changed – compared to the days of Amundsen and Scott; they are all required to carry GPS devices – so they can be rescued if needed. The Spaniard Carles Gel needed rescuing after only 30 kilometres, due to the blisters on his feet. His companion Albert Bosch pressed on alone, in an effort that usually requires one year of physical and psychological training u

Fear Of Heavy Metal: Dental Amalgam { Nicola Menke / Berlin / DPA }


Kai Remmer

ercury is the most toxic non-radioactive substance known to man - just two grams are lethal. Though essentially a hazardous material, it can be found in many people’s mouths; because about 50 per cent of dental amalgam fillings consist of elemental mercury. The heavy metal is extremely toxic only in a dissolved state, however – and not when it is hardened and alloyed with other metals in a tooth filling. Various studies, including the recent German FILL WITH CARE: About 50 per cent of dental Amalgam Trial by Munich amalgam fillings consist of elemental mercury Technical University’s Centre for Naturopathic Research, sibly, however, is very imhave shown that people with portant, because mercury is dental amalgam fillings have, on particularly dangerous as a average, four times more mer- vapour - released when dental cury in their blood – than people fillings were placed or drilled without them. out. There is agreement that the Opinions on the health conse- danger of mercury poisoning is quences of these higher mercu- greatest when the amalgam is ry levels are divided; with some being put into or taken out of the experts seeing a clear risk of mouth. The potential risks of poisoning and – others regard- long-term contact with mercury ing the risk as slight. in tooth fillings are far lower. “As with any foreign sub“As soon as the filling has stance remaining in the human hardened, there is no longer body for a long time, unwanted any free mercury,” said Dietmar side effects can, of course, oc- Oesterreich, vice president of cur,” said Reiner Zaijtschek, a the German Dental Association. national executive board mem- Attrition (over time) does not ber of the Free Association of release any mercury from the German Dentists. But, the im- metal alloy. pact of dental amalgam fillings Critics of amalgam have a was small, he added. “No study different view. “The fillings conhas proven a definite link be- stantly release small doses of tween them and chronic health mercury. Some of it is deposited problems,” said Zaijtschek. in the body – for example, in conHandling amalgam respon- nective tissue and organs,” said

Claudia Hesse of the Berlin-based Society of Holistic Dentistry. She said mercury was released not only by attrition; but that acids could free mercury ions from fillings, which then get into the digestive tract via saliva – and are spread around the body through the bloodstream. “Mercury vapour is what’s most dangerous. It’s released mainly during the consumption of hot foods and drinks,” Hesse explained. She said the vapour is inhaled through the nose and mouth, enters the bloodstream, and could penetrate all bodily tissues – and even the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from toxins. According to Peter Jennrich, a member of the academic advisory council of the German Medical Society for Clinical Metal Toxicology, mercury often causes neurological symptoms—such as restlessness and fatigue—as well as headaches and gastrointestinal complaints. “What is more, poisoning by the heavy metal can be a cofactor in almost all chronic illnesses,” he said. A standard medical examination frequently cannot determine whether mercury poisoning has occurred; and if so, to what degree. “Neither a normal blood analysis nor a urine sample shows everything,” Jennrich said. Because the toxin builds up in tissues and organs, only a special provocation test can detect it. This is done by administer-

ing a chelating agent, an organic compound able to bind metal ions – which are subsequently secreted by the body. The degree of poisoning is then measurable in the urine. The prescribed therapy depends on how much mercury

is found to be in the body, and could entail removal of the dental amalgam fillings – or a heavy metal detoxification. The latter is used in cases of acute mercury poisoning; and is most effective when chelating agents are used. u


2–8 December 2011

G lobal

Lyon’s Remarkable Festival Of Lights O

Fabian Charaffi

nce a year, the French city of Lyon undergoes a giddying transformation, as countless beams of light flicker across the city; bathing its buildings in a tapestry of luminous colours. The scenery seems to whirl around like a carousel, as the visual trickery produces strange effects: theatre appears to be devouring its audience; while, close by, the giant head of a woman pours forth from a fountain. These are no hallucinations brought on by delirium, or scenes from a bizarre 3D animation film. The event is the Fete des Lumieres, an extraordinary festival of lights in the historic capital of western France. From December 8-11 the metropolis on the river

Rhone celebrates itself with a superlative light show driven by the latest technology. The illuminations have their origin in a thanksgiving celebration, to mark the end of a severe plague epidemic more than 150 years ago. The candles of yore have give way to an interactive spectacle – which, quite literally, puts most conventional light shows to shade. Every year there are around pulsating 70 audio-visual installations to admire during the four days of activities, during which the city is the focal point for lighting wizards and event specialists. The traditional Lyon illuminations go back even further into history. After the Black Death laid waste to the population in 1643, the people of Lyon staged an annual pilgrimage, in honour of the Virgin Mary.

Jean-Pierre David

{ Sabine Glaubitz / Lyon, France / DPA }

MAGICAL MOMENT: With a riot of colour, the Lyon illuminations bring the facade of the city’s St. Nizier Church (one of the most beautiful religious buildings on the Presqu’île), vividly to life

Saying Goodbye To A Pet { Sophia Weimer / DPA }


utsize boxes of tissues are on the tables, soft music sets the sombre mood, and a book on the topic of whether we will see our domestic pets in the afterlife is on show. A Berlin company called Portaleum provides animal lovers with a complete package for bidding farewell to their beloved pets. “We collect the animals, offer our mourning rooms, cremate the animals and discuss with their owners how best to dispose of their remains,” says Eberhard Leis, one of Portaleum’s staff of four. There have long been animal cemeteries, and the number is on the rise. In Germany it has risen from 25 to 120 in just eight years. Between 25 and 50 mourning owners arrive every week at Portaleum, which opened in February. The Portaleum team has cremated pets ranging from budgies to Great Danes in its ovens. The most exotic was an iguana measuring more than a

metre in length. “We provide the opportunity to grieve,” Leis says. And the owners vary just as much as the pets, according to Leis. He recalls a real “hard man” covered in tattoos and riddled with piercings, who brought in his small rat. “He shed bitter tears.” A look at the crematorium’s website shows how emotionally loaded the theme is. A thank you message from a customer reads: “We were able to find a place in Portaleum for our dwarf rabbit Charly where we could lay him to rest in a way consistent with our feelings.” Most pet owners decide to take the ashes of their favourite animals home in an urn, but they can also be buried beneath a rose bearing a nameplate in the crematorium’s garden. A diamond made of the pressed ash is the most exclusive way of commemorating a loved animal. Thus far just two customers have opted for this method, which costs from around 4,000 dollars upwards. Leis believes that pets often

become established members of the family, and for this reason their owners do not stint on money and effort when it comes to providing an appropriate last resting place. Other animal cemeteries are experiencing a similar rise in demand. “Owners don’t allow their deceased animals to be taken by the vets, because they’ve heard about what happens to them there. They’re shredded, boiled and turned into wallpaper glue,” says Ralf Hendrichs of the association of animal funeral parlours. But Christian Laiblin, a vet at Berlin’s Free University, denies this. She says the dead animals are cremated and the ashes disposed of, not used as feed additive, as some believe. And Marcel Derichs, a spokesman for a waste disposal company, says that this would in any case be illegal. There are precise European Union rules on these matters, and the companies are regularly inspected. The bodies are cut up and then burnt, he says. u

VISUAL SLEIGHT: ‘Illuminated Algae’, a striking installation at the Terrasses de la Guillotière in Lyon

Every September 8, they visited the chapel dedicated to her at Notre-Dame-deFourviere; where they sacrificed candles and gold sovereigns. Some 200 years later, a statue of Mary was about to be inaugurated, when the river Saone, which flows through Lyon, burst its banks and threatened the city. Festivities planned for the following year had to be called off after a storm; and the bad weather continued until December 8, which was unexpectedly clear and bright. Lyon folk were so grateful for the change in the weather, that they lit candles to produce a festive glow, and paraded with lanterns and oil lamps. Hundreds of the bright signal lights can still seen in windows to this day. Since that fateful day, Lyon has become a byword for fantastic lighting e ffects, which enhance the city’s

handsome buildings. One of the most spectacular projections is the one that brings new life to the more than 1,000-year-old facade of the Church of Saint Nizier. Even the landmark Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere, which towers above the roofs, takes on a dazzling new identity when the light show comes to town; bringing up to four million visitors in its wake. The digital effects are not only breathtaking but ecologically sound. Lyon has been a pioneer for years in the prudent use of green electricity. Amid the state-of-the-art technology, Lyon’s mayor Gerard Collomb is also keen to highlight the fairytale character of the event. Ten years ago he pledged to endow the city with “a magical moment of poetry.” It’s a promise which he has been able to keep. u

‘Hanuman’ by Ramesh Gortala


2–8 December 2011

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Friday Gurgaon  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaper

Friday Gurgaon  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaper