Page 1

9–15 December 2011

Vol. 1 No. 16  Pages 32  ` 7

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

P P5

{Inside} Art presents a tete á tete with Krishen Khanna ...Pg 6

Know Your Councillor features Councillor Gaje Singh Kablana (Ward 5) ...Pg 10

Outsourced @ Home: A look at outsourced cooks and tiffin services, in the city ...Pg 13

A peep into life in the BPO world ...Pg 25

rosperity has always been plundered since the inception of mankind. Earlier, those plunderers targeted cities; in the modern world, they target citizens. The enemy then was without; the enemy now is within. It started with the robbing of the rich. Today, all citizens of a growing and prosperous city like Gurgaon have become easy targets for the goons. These rogue elements are plagued with greed – one of the deadliest of the cardinal sins. A most basic need of a citizen is security – for oneself, one’s family, and one’s property; at all times. Of late, there is a disturbing trend discernible. Citizens are being robbed, quite literally, in broad daylight. This year, 81 chain snatching incidents have taken place here – the highest in Haryana. And these are just official, reported figures.

Contd on p 8 

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

Citizen Attack

Beware – Do Not Be An Easy Picking


02

9–15 December 2011

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–16  9–15 December 2011

Editor:

Coming Up

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Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

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Prakhar Pandey

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Music

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play based on the autobiography of Binodini Dasi – Aamar Kathaa (My Life). Born to prostitution, Binodini Dasi started her career as a courtesan; and at twelve, she played her first serious drama role in Calcutta's National Theatre in 1874.

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MP: The Heart of Spiritual Delight

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anchi – a one of a kind city in the heart of India, which stands witness to the genesis, flowering and decay of Buddhist art and architecture – covering the entire range of Indian Buddhism. Originally commissioned by the Great emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC, the 'Great Stupa' at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India. With a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the

Buddha, as its nucleus, it has four profusely carved ornamental gateways and a balustrade encircling the whole structure. Each Gateway symbolizes a sense of passing from one state to another, from one world to another, from the known to the unknown, from

light to darkness. Gates open not only upon the mysterious, but have a dynamic psychological quality, for they not only indicate a threshold but invite us to cross it. It is an invitation to a voyage into the beyond. Among

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the four elaborate and richly carved Gateways or Toranas, the Southern Gateway reveals the birth of Gautam, in a series of dramatically rich carvings – and also events from Ashoka's life as a Buddhist. The Northern Gateway is crowned by a wheel of law, illustrating the miracles associated with Buddha, as told in the Jataka tales. The Eastern Gateway, depicts Buddha renouncing worldly life to seek

enlightenment.The inner face of the right pillar portrays the dream of Maya, the mother of Buddha. The Western Gateway, with its architraves supported by pot-bellied dwarves, has some of the most interesting scenes, depicting the seven incarnations of the Buddha four represented by trees and three by stupas. The rear face of one of the pillars also shows Buddha undergoing the temptation of Mara, while demons flee and angels cheer his resistance. A visit to this archeological magic land promises true enchantment, fascination and spiritual delight! Available at Culture Gully, Kingdom of Dreams.


04

9–15 December 2011

reviews

FOOD Aalok Wadhwa

A

Rock, Steak and Sizzle Miss Chamko’s Tales! BOOK

s I enter the Sector 29 market, I am struck by its likeness to a giant stadium with a giant car park placed at the play area, and many restaurants—big some comfort. While it may be anatomically and small—forming the stands. One such impossible to bite into this mammoth creation, recently opened restaurant in this playI do succeed in getting my first bite in – the ground of gastronomy has a mouthful of a traditional messy way. The bite is all that a good name, BriX Street Bar & Rock Café. burger should be—a mouthful of The interiors are what one would expect meaty madness. in a pub – exposed bricks (hence the name), Next, the fajita de pollo (Rs. 475) is a Texa predominantly brown colour palette, postMex dish. It hasprecisely plated grilled strips of ers and photos of various rock luminaries, chicken, on a bed of roasted onions and bell a big bar proudly displaying a collection of peppers; and is served with flour tortillas, green bestselling foreign liquor, draught beer tap, rice, sour cream, and pico de gallo (chopped tosome lounge sofas, some high stools and matoes, onions and chillies). Under-seasoned, some low chairs the dish tastes (neither of which like it is bored are particularly with its existence. comfortable), And this is a dish and the usual that is supposed dim lighting. to sizzle... When I ask Things perk Chef Deepak up again with the what I should dessert. BriX sigorder, he nature chocolate strongly recomfondue (Rs. 245) mends the hamis an experiburgers, steaks ence designed to BriX Street Bar & Rock Café and sizzlers. overindulge. The Ground Floor, SCO No. 30, Sector 29, Gurgaon The tradifondue, placed in Phone: 01244262929,01244252929,9958066274 solitary splendour tional hamburger (Rs. 425) is Cuisine: American pretty huge. As it has to be, on a plate pretfor the buns to accommodate tily inscribed with Timing: 12 noon – 12 midnight a 250 gram tenderloin patty, the restaurant’s mayonnaise, cheese, tomato name in chocoslice and leaf lettuce – topped with gherkin. late sauce, is deceptively harmless looking. As The bun is fresh, the patty well-seasoned – the spoon digs in, out comes lava of molten and hand-made as it should be. The chocolate – and the bowl of vanilla ice-cream dish looks good. I am soon to realise that is placed conveniently, to provide the right balthis restaurant is very good at presentation ance to the gooey goodness. of food. BriX is a welcome new addition to the The hamburger has never laid any claims Gurgaon night life. The food is designed to to being a gourmet dish, and this one is very go well with a good pint of beer, while chilling much at peace with itself, providing wholeout with friends. u

Manjula Narayan

the author draws for us a picture of the Parsi pianist in his waning years; intertwining his portrait with a flashback est known as the star of alternato his students and clients past. Other tive Hindi films of the 1980s—like stories are similarly nuanced. “Thulli” Ek Baar Phir, Chashme Buddoor, takes us into the world of a prostitute Kamla and Mirch Masala—Deepti from Kamathipura, Naval is also a writer, a Mumbai’s notorious women’s rights activist, a red light district; photographer, a painter, while “The Mad and a patron of a trust Tibetan” (the for the education of the story whose title girl child. Her debut doubles up as the novel The Mad Tibetan: book’s title too) is Stories From Then and set in Ladakh, a Now, was recently replace that Naval leased to much acclaim; frequently visits. and with much support The first person from veterans within the narrative here Hindi film industry. draws on her own The collection, recollections of a whose cover features man she met in an oil painting of Leh the Himalayas. executed by the author, Quite naturally, for took a year-and-asomeone interested half to produce; and The Mad Tibetan: Stories in the mediums is apparently based from then and now of cinema, on incidents Naval photography and Author: Deepti Naval has been noting down painting, Naval’s through the years. PUBLISHER: Amaryllis writing is visual The notes—some of PRICE: Rs 395 – and is able to which date back to create a character her early days as an with a few deft strokes. For the Hindi actor—provided her the kernel for the film buff, it is the autobiographical D, interesting plots of the 11 stories in the set in the early 1980s—immediately anthology. In the first story, “The Piano after Naval became famous as Miss Tuner”, Naval lays bare the hapless Chamko of Chashme Buddoor—that world of Feroze Batliboi, struck by proves to be the real gem in this book. Parkinson’s – a disease that makes This isn’t an unforgettable it increasingly difficult for him to play collection of stories; but it’s definitely a the piano, and relegates him to being surprisingly good one. u just a piano tuner. Quietly and gently,

B

BOOK

Non Stop Tully Alka Gurha

Samaj Party (in the Khurja district of Uttar Pradesh) as he delves into the diverse caste hierarchy prevalent in hrough the unbiased eyes of an the State. Given his encyclopaedic astute observer, solutions to the knowledge about India, and a unresolved and intractable problems discerning eye, Tully tackles varied facing India become tenable. Drawtopics – from Ramayana to Baba ing from his thirty years of reporting Ram Dev; and from NREGA scheme experience, and travel across the to environmental country, Mark Tully issues. Towards has to come up with the end, there is a his new book, ‘Non remarkable chapter Stop India’. In many on the history of ways, ‘Non Stop the Tatas – as the India’ is a sequel to author talks about his ‘No Full Stops ‘Entrepreneurship in India’ (1991); and Unleashed’ in ‘India in Slow Momodern India. tion’ (2003). Each chapter is The book a complex essay. It comprises ten could very well have chapters, which are become didactic and compact essays tedious; but Tully chronicling complex makes it interesting challenges facing – sprinkling the India. In the first NON STOP INDIA topics with engaging chapter, the author anecdotes from his Author: Mark Tully travels deep inside experiences. Jharkhand, to the PUBLISHER: Penguin The only Naxalite stronghold; PRICE: Rs 499 ‘complaint’ is and narrates Genre: Non-Fiction that it is, in many his exploration ways, a repeat experience, in the of his previous books – and gives jungles – with the help of a local an impression that very little has journalist Harivansh. (The latter is changed in India. Also, the approach now the editor of Prabhat Khabar). towards each subject is very The author’s nuanced approach is considered and measured. A more apparent, as he acknowledges the investigative approach may have disparities that fuel the insurgency made the narration more interesting. and disenchantment of the Maoists. At the end, however, you get vintage In the second chapter, aptly titled non-stop Tully – with no presumptions ‘Caste Overturned’, Tully investigates or prejudice. u the phenomenal rise of the Bahujan

T

CINEMA

A Clear Screenplay Vijaya Kumar

heard in Bollywood. There are imperfections in some aspects of the storyline. Milan Luthria, the director (son of kta Kapoor’s newest production, The Dirty the famous director of yesteryears, Raj Khosla), Picture, is anything but dirty; in fact, it turns who wonderfully created the magic of the out to be a clean presentation of the hideous Bombay smuggling dons of the nineties in travails of a well-endowed (physically) ordinary Once Upon a Time in Mumbai – recreates the girl – who dreams of becoming big in the tinsel garish settings of the Tamil film world of the world. The sordid behind-the-scenes details in eighties, to the last detail. The song sung by the lives of showbiz personalities, was first atBappi Lahiri adds tempted by Madto the mood of hur Bhandarkar in the eighties. Chandni Bar; and The character he followed it with sketching is similar exposiuniformly sharp. tions of the fashBe it the character ion and corporate of the ageing (but world (in Fashion forever youthful and Corporate, on the screen) respectively). hero, played But these with panache focused more on by the thespian the negatives. Naseeruddin Shah; The Dirty or the gossip-loving Picture, on the film journalist other hand, is played by Anju more a tale of the Mahendru; or the protagonist – Silk, The Dirty Picture idealist director and her journey; Directed by: Milan Luthria played by Emraan rather than an indictment on CAST: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah Hashmi (who the values of the tinsel world. happily takes a dig Nowhere does the movie make Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor at himself often any lofty statements about the GENRE: Drama playing the role of good and bad of the acts that the serial “kisser”, happen. Nor does it make any in one of his lines). Of course, the sharpest value judgments. That precisely is the reason character (drawn from the life of the siren of why this movie stands out, as one of the wellthe southern screen, Silk Smitha) is the one so crafted movies in recent times. The person brilliantly portrayed by Vidya Balan. Whether it is who must get the maximum accolades for in the display of her naiveté or this is Rajat Arora, who has written the her ample body features, she breathes life into screenplay; and also peppered it with her character with ease – and without an some of the most powerful and ounce of vulgarity. u humorous dialogues that one has

E


9–15 December 2011

Honouring Real Heroes

I

t was a celebration of real tasks performed by real heroes. The prestigious CtrlS Karmaveer Puraskaar (Award) ceremony was held at The Shri Ram School Auditorium on Saturday. Gurgaon- based professionals, Sanjay Bhargava, and Dr. Chiro Mitra were awarded with the Promoting Citizen Action award, and Professional Citizen awards, respectively. Other awardees included Gul Panag, Madhu Trehan, Arzell Papazell Nelson, Dr. Kalyan Banerjee, Nila Madhab Panda, Vijendra Shekhawat, amongst others.

L ifestyle

05

An Evening for Jazz Lovers

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azz lovers in the city thronged to BAHI to enjoy the performance of well-known Swedish guitarist and composer Peter Tegner, who enthralled the audience with his own compositions - a rich blend of jazz, folklore and Nordic beats. Peter is the producer of the muchacclaimed Goodnight Sun Music Festival. He has been touring India to find inspiration for his new compositions.

Awardees receiving the CtrlS Karamveer Puraskaar

Of Chantings Past

R

enowned author Ashwin Sanghi released a special book on ancient Indian politics – Chanakya’s Chant at a function held at Quill and Canvas on Saturday. Speaking on the relevance of the book in today’s world, Ashwin said that India’s present and future are deeply rooted in its past. “The emerging generations of Indians will need to fall back upon their history, culture and mythology to keep themselves rooted.” Chanakya’s Chant is the second novel written by Ashwin. His first novel “The Rozabal Line” was a bestseller.

Moser Anniversary

I

t was a perfect poolside party. While some guests were seen chit-chatting, others grooved to the music played by rock fusion maestros - Indian Ocean. The party was hosted by M Moser Associates to celebrate its 30th anniversary, at The Westin Hotel. The Founder and Chairman Moira Moser was also present on the occasion.

A Cross Fit Regime

T

he Head Coach of CrossFit, Austin Malleolo, flew in to Gurgaon for the launch of the Reebok|CrossFit gym at the DT Mega Mall. He invited local instructors and journos to do a set of push-ups along with him. This is the first Reebok|CrossFit Gym in India. Reebok has a global network of more than 2,700 CrossFit gyms in 57 countries. The gym seems to be going great guns, with various activities being organised for its members – to break the monotony, and motivate them to workout better.


06

9–15 December 2011

A Studio Tete~A~Tete With Krishen Khanna 

JIT KUMAR

{ Srimati Lal }

K

rishen Khanna: There is no dialectic or direct communication any more, in much of the art being hyped today, Its artists are pretenders. Srimati Lal: Would you say that today’s ‘trendy art’— or should I say, ‘Pretendy Art’—has become more like an Advertisement? KK: Yes, completely! It’s an artificial projection – and also a ‘production’; as opposed to the solitary activity that we understood Fine Art to be. Art isn’t meant to be a production involving hundreds of faceless people... it’s one individual’s unique, personal statement of truth. Artificialised images of India are now being deliberately ‘manufactured’ and ‘projected’ via clever ‘gallery-productions’ or ‘art-advertisements’; for which ‘trendy artists’ need artificially-large spaces—like industrial warehouses—to ‘manufacture’ their ‘productions’. There’s something very wrong with all this. It’s actually a deliberate infiltration of imposed western notions, which are totally destroying the personal element in contemporary Indian art. SL: Beauty, too, seems to have become an unfashionable word in such stagy art-‘productions’. As has Poetry. But aren’t beauty, poetry and truth essentials for great art? KK: Of course they are absolutely necessary for good art! But all this is being destroyed in today’s art milieu. We must be aware of this ... and seriously concerned. Krishen Khanna, 86, is one of the surviving pillars of Indian contemporary art. A core-member of the influential Progressive Artists’ Group founded by Souza in the 1940’s, this jovial and affable Punjabi corporatebanker turned-painter, remains observant and articulate. Khanna has been living in a contemporary red brick bungalow in Gurgaon’s DLF Phase I for the past ten years. He was awarded the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1962, was an artistin-residence in Washington until 1964, and has been a key decision-maker for the Lalit Kala Akademi, Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, and the National Gallery of Modern Art. Khanna was awarded the Padma Shri in 1996. He sold his first painting to Dr. Homi Bhabha, for the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, in the 1950s in Bombay; and has stuck to painting ever since – giving up his banking career. Asked why he moved to Gurgaon, Khanna candidly states: “Because I was literally forced out of Delhi! I was perfectly happy living in my simple, bohemian Mathura Road studio-digs – as were so many of my great artist friends,

Lifestyle

from Gaitonde and Ram Kumar to Husain. That is how it should be, and we all loved it. But then the rents became unaffordable. Raza, who is almost 90 now— 3 years older than me—is however, happily back in India, living in Delhi at last, after six decades spent painting in Paris.” I ask the artist how he likes Gurgaon --- whether he can relate to it. “Frankly, no. There are no sophisticated cultural groups in Gurgaon. I lead a reclusive existence here. Actually I never really felt I ‘belonged’ anywhere after the Partition, to be honest. I was born in Lyallpur, Pakistan, in 1925; and I   studied Art at Lahore’s Mayo School. That felt like home to me.”  I discern a wistful shadow of pain and bewilderment in the senior artist’s gaze.  Khanna first moved to Simla after the Partition. As a bachelor, he took up a job with Grindlay’s Bank for practical reasons, despite the fact that he had actually studied Fine Art in Lahore.  However, Art and creative expression remained his secret passions; and was in regular touch with emerging art circles. After a few sessions at Bombay’s Progressive Artists meetings, Souza—impressed by Khanna’s articulation and sophistication—invited him to join the Progressives. These pioneer-artists believed in actually painting their inner truths as solitary acts upon their canvas; with no viamedia to interrupt, influence or intrude-upon their visions. Souza, Ram Kumar, Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Raza, Padamsee, Husain – all had different styles, and vastly-differing personalities. And yet they also had a clear vision that bound them. They adhered to a unified urban Indian credo: thus creating a major aesthetic movement. And they lived simply, completely immersed in their art for most of their lives.  Such an intellectual art-

Bandwallah Series

movement is unfortunately lacking in the Indian art world of today. Now, younger artists, too often in a hurry to make an ‘international name’ and fast money, and exposure, are quickly producing clever—at times shockinglysensationalised—installations, and gimmicky imagery. At face value, these may look ‘cuttingedge’ and ‘cool’; but upon closer inspection, they lack integrity, insight, painterly skill, and an authentic Indian-urban style – which was the leitmotif of the Progressive pioneers. Khanna’s paintings, which are in major international collections, depict an everyday Indian life that he knows well, has observed silently, and relates to. His imagery has been described as “a prism through which figures can be faintly discerned, as if in memory, or in remote areas of childhood, with thick impasto surfaces making a subtle gestural impact.” Khanna’s paintings blend the abstract and the figurative in a manner at times playful, at times misty, sometimes hazy. He has depicted displaced, frenetic figures that he observed with dismay during the Partition; people spending their days on Indian pavements; figures reading newspapers and sharing soulful  shairi while  sipping

Kaun Jaye Dilli Ki Galiyan Chhor Kar

chai; India’s  trucks and dusty vehicles rattling along; urban literary subjects; and Christian themes of the Crucifixion. One of Khanna’s most recent paintings (of 2011), titled  Kaun Jaye Dilli Ki Galiyan Chhor Kar, is named after an Urdu poem by Zauk. It depicts a quaint group of Indian men (in Indian clothes) sipping hot chai,  huddled together   sans all airs, around a creaky, dhaba-table. It seems to be inspired by that adage of considerable wisdom: “small is beautiful.” A much larger horizontal canvas of 2008, called Descent of Christ From the Cross, seems to invoke Krishen’s late colleague Souza’s heartrending visual inspirations. And a vertical painting done in 1999 depicts a misty, lovelorn young swain, looking soulfully at his sepia-toned Indian Juliet. Called A Suitable Boy, this canvas  was inspired by Vikram Seth’s novel of that name. Many might not know that Krishen Khanna is also a poet, with Literature as his second love. He was a friend to many Indo-Anglian literary pioneers in the cosmopolitan salons of Bombay and Calcutta; and he still participates in poetry-readings. The largest canvas displayed in Khanna’s studio living-room

is one of his well-known Bandwallah series, depicting a group of Bandwallahs in red uniforms and caps, sipping matkas  of chai  at a dusty roadside dhaba. This is done in hot blazing Indian yellows, desi  reds, and terracotta tones. The painting delineates an interesting dramatic contrast between stiffly-starched neo-colonial band-uniforms, and the tattered garments of the dhaba-boys. “Why the theme of Bandwallahs,” I ask. Khanna explains, “Twenty years ago, when I painted in a studio at Garhi in East of Kailash every day, I stepped out on the street one afternoon to see this very colourful troupe of Bandwallahs totally blocking the road. They stopped me from moving on that galli – and yet, they also broke me out of my monochromatic palette that I had been using for several years. Their images lingered long in my mind. That is the artistic impact of India.  I also did a series of Indians reading newspapers intently, on the roadsides, after Gandhi was assassinated. That is another image that stays on in my mind.” When I ask Khanna about his favourite colour-palette, he says, “Indian yellow is a great colour. It has a very large range and scope. It can also be transparent. Indian red, too, appeals to me.” I ask the painter what themes he has been painting most recently. “All sorts of people engaged in reading newspapers ... this image interests me greatly. I still paint Bandwallahs, but no more Christian subjects. I don’t retain obvious ‘outlines,’ but the forms are retained... I don’t let a sketch ‘stop’, so to speak.  Times and dates are less important to me now.” Don’t you paint beautiful women, I ask, seeing a notable absence of this vital painterly subject in the works in Khanna’s studio. “Of course I love beautiful women! And have painted them too... but no, not of late.” On the way out, at the gate of his Gurgaon home, I see Krishen Khanna’s nameplate calligraphed in a slanting, hazy script. I ask him if that is actually his own signature. The artist gently moves his finger across his name, carving a slim rivulet of thick dust. “No – it’s just Gurgaon dust!” he says... and laughs, rather sardonically.  I am reminded of what John Keats, the Romantic Poet, wrote as his own epitaph: “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.” Krishen Khanna’s tangential and oblique figurations in paintbox colours—often reminiscent of the work of a small boy with his first drawing-book, happily playing hookey from school— also seem to invoke the Biblical saying: “Dust unto dust”.  And yet, as Khanna points out quietly, when the subject of physical   mortality is raised in our discourse – “An artist or a poet never dies. All work that is created by the hand and from the heart lives on forever.” u The writer is an Artist & Curator


L ifestyle

9–15 December 2011

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Ladies V/s Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time:10 am, 11.30am, 12.45 pm, 2.10 pm, 3.30 pm, 4.50 pm, 6.15 pm, 7.30 pm, 9 pm, 10.15 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: www. bigcinemas.com The Dirty Picture (A) Time:11am, 1.45 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.15 pm, 10 pm PVR: Ambience Premier LADIES V/S RICKY BAHL (U/A) Time:10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.30 pm Hum Dono Rangeen Time:1 pm, 6 pm, 7.55 pm, 10.55 pm Machine Gun Preacher Time:10 am, 9.10 pm Lanka Time: 2.30 pm, 3.30 pm, 8.30 pm, 11.20 pm New Year's Eve Time:10.30 am The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (A) Time: 6.50 pm, 10.55 pm The Burma Conspiracy (Largo Winch 2) Time:12.20 pm, 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, 10 pm The Dirty Picture (A) Time:10 am Rock Star (U/A) Time: 2.35 pm, 5.35 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time:10 am Puss in Boots 3D Time: 12.30 pm

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 4.40 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Gold Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time: 11.15 am, 2.15 pm, 5.15 pm, 8.15 pm, 11.15 pm

The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.45 am, 1.45 pm, 4.45 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.45 pm PVR MGF: MGF Mall Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl(U/A) Time: 10 am, 11.30 am, 1 pm, 2.30 pm, 4 pm, 5.30 pm, 7 pm, 8.30 pm, 10 pm, 11.30 pm Osthe (Tamil) Time: 10 am, 6 pm

New Year's Eve Time: 10 am, 2.30 pm, 6.40 pm, 11.20 pm The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (3D) Time: 12.20 pm w Time: 4.50 pm The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (A) Time: 9pm The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.30 pm Machine Gun Preacher Time:1 pm, 3.30 pm, 9 pm, 11.30 pm PVR Europa: MGF Mall Ye Stupid Pyar Time:10 am, 4.25 pm The Burma Conspiracy (Largo Winch 2) Time:12.05pm, 9.20 pm Lanka Time: 2.15 pm, 11.30 pm Panjaa (Telugu) Time: 6.30 pm, The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 5.45 pm, 8. 45 pm, 11.45 pm Desi Boyz (A) Time:10.05 am, 3.25 pm Rock Star (U/A) Time: 12.25 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com

DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time: 10:00 am, 11:25 am, 12:50 pm, 02:15 pm, 05:05 pm, 07:55 pm, 09:20 pm, 10:45 pm The Dirty Picture (A) Time: 12:05 pm, 04:00 pm, 08:20 pm, 11:00 pm Puss in Boots (3D) (U) - English Time: 02:45 pm The Adventures Of Tintin (3D) (U) - English Time: 04:15 pm Desi Boyz (A) - Hindi Time: 07:05 pm Address: 3rd Floor, DT Mega Mall, DLF Phase I Ph: o124-39895050, 9818545645 Website: http://dt-cinemas.com DT City Centre: DLF Phase II The Dirty Picture (A) - Hindi Time: 10:10 am. 12:50 pm, 05:35 pm, 08:15 pm, 10:55 pm Desi Boyz (A) – Hindi Time: 10:25 am, 06:15 pm Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time: 10:30 am, 12:45 pm, 01:20 pm, 03:35 pm, 04:10 pm, 07:00 pm, 08:30 pm, 09:50 pm, 11:20 pm

DT Star Mall: Sector 20 Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:00 am, 11:25 am, 02:15 pm, 03:40 pm, 05:05 pm, 07:55 pm, 10:45 pm The Dirty Picture (A) – Hindi Time: 12:50 pm, 06:30 pm, 09:20 pm

PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Ladies V/S Ricky Bahl (U/A) Time: 11 am, 1.55 pm, 4.50 pm, 7.45 pm, 10.40 pm The Dirty Picture (A) Time:10.30 am, 1.25 pm, 4.20 pm, 7.15 pm, 10.10 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road; Ph: 0124- 4048100 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com

THE WEEK THAT WAS

naire DGSCL.

♦ Demolition of houses near Air Force Ammunition Depot stayed by Supreme Court.

♦ Sirhol Toll Plaza agitation for shutting the toll plaza, gets serious - dharna at site; many organizations lend support; a panel formed, for taking it to conclusion.

♦ Demolition of encroachments, by HUDA and MCG, continues.

♦ New crematorium to come up in DLF Phase III.

♦ HUDA Administrator holds open darbar at Sec 56 - takes up about 100 pending grievances. ♦ The Haryana Health Minister, Rao Narender Singh, announced that any family can donate eyes of a deceased member, by dialling 102; 102 is normally for referral transport service, for ambulance service (provided free for accident victims, and for delivery needs of pregnant women). ♦ NHAI notice to toll concession-

PRE–SCHOOLS IN GURGAON Ajanta's Little Noddies Address: Plot No. 1, Sector - 31; Ph: +91-124-2381823 +91-124-2381824;Website:www .ajantapublicschool.org Angels Day Care Centre Address: 904, Mother Dairy Sector 15-II; Ph: 9953117748, 0124-403084 Baby's Day Out Address: M-13/9, DLF Phase-II; Ph: 0124-2357018; Website: Blossoms Address: Block-C, Opp. Marriott Hotel, Sushant Lok – I; Ph: 0124-2572121/22, 9990622100, 9990622400, 9911332200; Website: http:// blossomsschool.net Blue Bells Preparatory School Address: Urban Estate, Sector 4; Ph: 0120 4217217; Website: www.bluebells.org Budding Blooms Preparatory SchooL Address: 718/4, Urban Estate, Sar; Ph: 0124 4076719 Children’s Paradise Preparatory School Address: New colony, Sec 7; Ph: 9910668198; Website: www. childrensparadisepreschool.com Eureka Preschool & Daycare Address: Eureka Campus, C2 block, Palam Vihar Ph: 0124 4238423; Website: www.eurekapreschool.com Eurokids Address: Site No 1, Dlf Phase IV; Ph: 0124 4051240 Website: www.eurokidsindia.com Eurokids Play School Address: Opp C-1/560, C1 Palam Vihar; Ph: 0124 4203169; Website: www.eurokidsindia.com Eurokids DLF-II Address: Q-5, DLF-II; Ph: 18002095656; Website: www.eurokidsindia.com Eurokids Egmont International Play School Address: C-12/2, DLF Phase I; Ph: 0124-4051240 Good Shepherd Preparatory School Address: 484/10, Krishna Colony, Opptt. Taneja Hospital, Main Geeta Bhawan Road, New Colony; Ph: 0124-4072647 Website: http://www. goodshepherdprepschool.com Green Wood Kindergarten Address: Sector 10 A; Ph: 0124 4140250, 4140251; Website: www. greenwoodgurgaon.com Happy Faces Address: 4603, DLF Phase IV; Ph: 01243256114, 9818514980 Website: www.happyfacescreche. com

The Adventures Of Tintin (3D) (U) - English Time: 03:30 pm Website: http://dt-cinemas.com

♦ DHBVN proposes increase in meter charges. ♦ New traffic signals coming up, that will operate intelligently - by monitoring traffic, and changing accordingly.

07

Head Start School Address: 14/3, Old DelhiGurgaon Road; Ph: 0124-2360463 Holy Heart Preparatory School Address: South City I, Near Unitech House Ph: 0124-3217700; Website; www. holyheart.in Ida Pre-School Address: S-3117, DLF City, Phase III, Near Neelkanth Hospital; Ph: 01244221660; Website: http://www. idapreschool.com IDiscoveri XSEED Preschool Sector 46 Nursery School Site, Near Plot No. 1393 Near Nirvana South City and Mutant Sector 46; Phone: +91 9818208833/ +91 9212804500; Website: www. xseedpreschool.com Intellitots Early Learning Centre Address: 4101 DLF Phase IV, Near Vipul Square(Naivaidyam); Ph: 0124 – 4223860, 9990800892; Website:http://intellitots.in MapleBear Preschool Address: Site 2, Behind Tower 8, Ansal Sushant Estate, Near Ardee City, Sec 52; Ph: 0124-4238477; Website: www. maplebear.ca/ Kara 4 Kids Address: H 35/21, GurgaonFaridabad School, DLF City I; Ph: 0124-4255272, 9818493238 Kidzee Wonderful Little Hearts Address: GH-4212, Near Richmond Park, DLF City Phase IV; Ph: 01244049894, 4049889; Website: www.kidzee.com Kinder Valley International School Address: GH-4211, Next to H.No. 4912, DLF Phase IV; Ph: 0124-4048812; Website: www kindervalley.in Little Joyz Address: Opposite House no 108, Sector 23; Ph: 0124-2360814, 9811712602\ Lord Jesus Preparatory School Address: 38, Vijay Park Ph: 0124-2307725, 4077462 Website: http://www. lordjesuspublicschool.com/ Medhaam Address: C Block, South City I; Ph: 9654122900 Website: http://www.medhaam. com/ Mother’s Pride Address: Sec 5 – HUDA Nursery Plot No. 3, Sec 5; Ph: 7838654185 Sec 52 – Sushant Estate, Near Ardee City, Sec 52;

Cluster (VIUC) announced, to boost the state's vegetable production and marketing of produce through farmer groups.

Ph: 7838654247 DLF Phase IV – 4103 & 4104, Near Galleria Market, DLF Phase IV; Ph: 7838654231 Noddy Play School Address: G 11/11, Near Silver Oak Appartments, DLF Phase I ; Ph: 0124-4054935 Ole Kids Early Learning Centre Address: Plot 1101, Lane H-35, H Block, DLF Phase I Ph: 0124-4255272; Website: www.olekids.in Planet Kids Address: E-153, Sushant Lok I, Opp. Paras Hospital; Ph; 0124-4232537, 9555474263 Pumpkin House Address: Sushant Lok – A Block, Sushant Lok, DLF Phase I; Ph: 0124-4045179-80 Sohna Road: P-Blpock, Uppal Southend (In front of Eldeco Mansion), Sohna Road; Ph: 0124-4252517/18 Website: http:// pumpkinhouseplayschool.com Sswings Pre-School Address: W 10, DLF Phase III, Near Ambience Mall, NH 8; Ph: 9810440475; Website: www. sswings.in Tailor Bird Playgroup and Day Care Address: 167-P, Jal Vayu Vihar, Sec 56; Ph: 9212903303 Website: www.tailorbird.in The Banyan Tree IB World School Address: Plot 70, DLF Golf Course Road, Sec 53 Ph: 0124-4559390 Website: www.banyantree.ws The Sixth Element Address: B Block, Adjacent B Block Garden, Near Signature Tower, South City I Ph: 0124-4086466 Website: www.sixthelement.net Tiny Blossoms Preparatory School Address: 504/9, Shivpuri, DLF Phase I; Ph:9899516191 Tiny Pearls Preparatory school Address: 442-B/9, Near St Micheal Sr Sector School, Shivpuri; Ph: 0124 2309751 Tullip Child Care and Preparatory School Address: A 100, Kendriya Vihar, Sec 56; Ph: 0124-2573374 Vishesh Kids Address: Suncity, Sec 54; Ph: 0124-2385753; Website: www.visheshkids.com World of Wonder Address: C 1/2924, Sushant Lok; Ph: 0124-6517744

Police ................................................ 100 Fire Station ....................................... 101

♦ Extortion threat of Rs 20 lakhs from a ghee trader; shots fired. No arrest yet; traders meet Police Commissioner.

Railway Enquiry ................................... ............ 139

♦ A KPO manager accused of sexual abuse.

Children Helpline............................................. 1098

♦ A cable operator threatened by a Councillor.

Ambulance......................................... 102 Women Helpline.............................................. 1091 Senior Citizens Helpline.................................. 1291 LPG Helpline........................................ 011-155233 Weather Helpline............................... 18001801717

♦ In the ATM robbery case, 2 are jailed.

Car Breakdown Helpline................... 011-43676767

♦ HUDA City Centre roundabout reduced in size, for better traffic flow and parking of autos.

♦ In the Citibank case, bail pleas are rejected - for Shiv Raj Puri and his father.

DMRC Helpline..................................... 011-155370

♦ Sadar Bazar may become vehicle free zone.

♦ A rickshaw puller is killed by a car, near IFFCO Chowk.

♦ Vegetable Initiative for Urban

♦ Dumper kills 3.

Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway Helpline.............................. 0124-4787828/817/853 Disaster Management Helpline....................... 1077 Municipal Corporation (MCG)............ 18001801817 Ambulance Service for Animals........................................... 9873302580


08

9–15 December 2011

 Contd from p 1 “With the arrival of prosperity, these things do follow. We know this is of great concern to the residents of the city, especially women. We are trying to provide the best possible security. We are seeing some improvement. Last year, we had 89 chain-snatching incidents; this year is 81. I am not saying that we have done a great job, but we are committed to providing security to the people. We are capable enough, and we have made plans to nab these snatchers,” said Dr. Rao Abhay Singh, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon West. The numbers reported by the police are probably not more than onethird of the actual incidents of snatching; because most of the people don’t go to the police for various reasons. “Gurgaon is at the top in chain-snatching, as compared to the other districts of Haryana. We keep a record of every big and small crime that takes place in every district. Last year in Gurgaon district alone, 145 snatching (including chain snatching) incidents had taken place; and this year till now, the number has already reached 147. I think the rising prosperity is the main reason behind such incidents; and women and children are always easy prey. Faridabad, another industrial cousin of Gurgaon, is in the second position,” said Layak Ram Dabas, Assistant Director General of Police (ADGP), State Crime and Record Bureau (SCRB), Karnal. Who are the people behind this type of crime, why do they do it, and how is our police going to curb this problem? Who are these chain snatchers? “Chain-snatchers can

be

C ivic/Social

Citizen Attack Who are the people behind this type of crime, why do they do it, and how is our police going to curb this problem? anybody. Whosoever needs easy and quick money can do this crime, because Gurgaon has all the allure in abundance – like malls, shopping arcades, clubs etc. It is not confined to the professional criminals only. Nowadays, young boys from good families are also into this type of crime, to meet their rising demand for money,” said Jagdish Prasad, Station House Officer, (SHO) of Sector-29 Police Station – which looks after one of the most crowded and snatching prone areas of Gurgaon (MG Road). Chain snatching has been talked and written about at length for the past few months; but the incidents are not decreasing. The police too is aware of this. People often speculate that this crime is done by the locals of Gurgaon; who make people living in new Gurgaon their target. The police refuse to buy this theory. “To blame locals alone for this type of crime would be a harsh conclusion. It can be anybody. Yes, we have captured locals for chain-snatching; but we have also witnessed young and very rich new Gurgaon boys doing such shameful things. Snatchers usually come on bikes, snatch the chain, and sneak out so fast into their hideouts

that the police sometimes doesn’t get a single clue,” said Inderjeet Singh, SHO, Sadar Police Station. Why they do it? “Easy money, of course, is the main reason behind all the incidents of chain snatching. No chain now is less than 15 grams in weight; and with the soaring price of gold, these chain snatchers get a handful of money in just one snatching. Some citizens too are responsible for these crimes, because they buy these stolen chains, to get gold at a cheap price. Here in DLF Phase I, some incidents have taken place in the past few months. However, we try to be always alert, as are the people living here. They now call us whenever they sniff anything suspicious. This sort of co-operation is indeed a big assistance for the police,” said Veer Singh, SHO, DLF Phase-I Police Station. “Drug addiction is a key reason behind the increasing number of chain-snatching incidents. For example, last year we caught two brothers from a good family of new Gurgaon. They were drug addicts, and would snatch chains to meet their demand for drugs. Both were arrested, and later sent to jail for seven years,” said Prasad.

The Deputy Commissioner, P.C. Meena, has been very busy. While demolitions have been more under focus, he has personally tackled several issues at the local civic level. As a DC, he has always regularly interacted with local citizens. He has now focused more on surprise checks, and a fairly thorough review of documents and procedure. He has followed up with strict action, including lodging of FIRs. It has not only served to keep everyone on their toes, but also benefitted the city and state financially. A sample for the week. Taking action to save an expected 1900 acres, belonging to Sohna Municipal Committee, from going into the hands of land mafia; FIRs have been lodged against 2 Naib Tehsildars, for fraudulent transactions in 1999, 2000. Filing of an FIR against one Rakesh of Arjun Nagar - for attaching a fake/forged signature NOC, for plot registration. Warnings and chargesheets to some Patwaris, Kanoongos, Readers, Tehsildars, Naib Tehsildars - at the Gurgaon Tehsil Office.  Written to the HUDA and MCG authorities to erect notice boards on the disputed or under litigation lands in their jurisdiction, so that prospective buyers come to know that the land where plots were being offered to them was in dispute, and they can be saved from being defrauded. Asking for GPAs registered in MP, UP, if they involve property in Gurgaon - to prevent illegal colonization. Invoking Sec 144 of Cr PC, for stopping the

PRAKHAR PANDEY

DC At Work

misuse of red beacon - which is rampant; there is misuse at toll plaza also. Low fines being no deterrent, booking as a criminal act should ensure compliance. Monitoring of the on-going Socio-Economic Census. This time it is a paperless survey - using tablet computers; the MCG area has 2,353 blocks; and there are 1,242 blocks outside. Invoked Section 144 Cr PC under which he has directed all the retailers and sub-retailers of mobile companies in the district that no mobile connection or SIM card be issued without ascertaining valid and authenticated identity of the subscriber. Announcement of a 7 route plan for city bus service. All citizens have been invited to give suggestions personally, or through e-mail. Fixing of auto rickshaw fares, for autos running on contract carriage basis. Fare will be Rs. 20 for first 2 km; and Rs 6.50 per km thereafter; extra charges for night (11pm to 5am), waiting, and luggage. Excess charge complaints can be made to PCRs, 100, or 9999980810; 9999981808. u

Is floating population the reason? “Floating population is indeed one of the reasons behind the increase in chain-snatching incidents. Lakhs of people daily come here for jobs or other purposes. Some of them are these snatchers too. They don’t have any records in our register, and that is what that makes them feel easy about committing such a crime. People who come here from nearby towns of Delhi— like Ghitorini, Chattarpur etc.— commit crime here, and move back fast to their home towns,” said Prasad. Gurgaon has a lot of population living in slums also, and these people too indulge in instances of loot. “Gurgaon has lot of people living in slums, and their income is not enough to take care of their families; because living in Gurgaon is costly. So, they commit these snatchings and other burglaries,” informed Prasad. Women – an easy prey Women are the most vulnerable target, even in broad day-light. They invariably wear a gold ornament, or carry a purse/ bag; and they are normally the easier prey. Most crimes take place in the evenings, when women come out for walks or for some shopping in the local markets. These snatchers always remain ready and move fast, even before the victim can shout for help,” said Sanjeev Balhara, a Sub Inspector at Sector-10 Police Station. Mass perception The police often claim that they provide a safe environment to live in, but the masses— especially women—are very apprehensive about leaving their houses alone; even in broad day light. “We remain scared while walking out of our houses, even for short distances. Nowadays, you can find these snatchers anywhere. Though our locality is comparatively safer, because police vigils are frequent here, I have heard of many chainsnatching incidents in the city. I avoid going out alone anywhere, after sunset,” said Sunita Yadav, a woman in her early thirties living in Sector-46. “I don’t go alone outside my house. Even for the evening walk to the nearby park, I either take my husband or my sisterin-law along. It is very unsafe to go outside, especially near the market place, because these areas are extremely prone to these incidents,” said Rekha Kataria, a young lady living in Sector-7. DLF Phase I, despite having enough security guards, is a snatching prone area; and its Councillor Rama Rani Rathi didn’t think even once before accepting the fact. “It is one of the posh areas of the city, yet it is very vulnerable to incidents like chain-snatching. Despite having so many security guards, and a

police station inside the locality, these incidents take place; and that too in good number. Security establishments of the city should take some immediate and conclusive steps to mitigate this problem,” said Rathi. What are the police doing? “We have made our plans to nab these snatchers. We can’t have police presence at every corner of the city; and neither can we guard every citizen personally; but yes, we are trying our best to minimise such incidents, and to give the city a peaceful environment to live in, “ said Dr. Singh. “This job of nabbing the snatchers is indeed very challenging. My Police Station covers a huge area, including a much populated MG Road. Lakhs of people come here daily in the malls; and amidst such a huge footfall, it is very hard to identify the culprit. We can help people by increasing the number of police vigils in these crowded areas. The vicinity of these areas is also very helpful to the snatchers; many times we have tried to chase them down, but most of the time they manage to escape to the nearby crowded villages like Chakkarpur. And once they are gone, it is very hard to track them down. They commit the snatching on bikes, so that they can leave the place very fast,” said Prasad. He, however, denied the increase in numbers of snatching incidents. “This year in my area 11 chain-snatching incidents have taken place; which is far less in comparison to the last year (17). We are working hard to eradicate this problem, and to put the culprits behind bars.” The police have also started an initiative to minimise snatching incidents. Inderjeet Singh threw some light on it. “Most day-time incidents take place when ladies go to fetch their children from school. During the afternoon, there are hardly any people around the schools; and so this has become a favourable condition for the snatchers. Having observed this, we have now started to put PCR vans at each school in the afternoon. Such steps will surely yield good results.” Snatching prone areas While snatching has been a problem with the whole city, there are certain areas that the city Police think are more prone (to snatching). “Snatching can happen anywhere, but in the past one year, a few areas of the city have faced more instances than other parts. Sector-4, Sector-5, Sector-7, New Colony, MG Road, DLF Phase-I, Sushant Lok Phase-I are those impacted areas,” informed Prasad. While the police at least seems aware and vigilant, we the citizens need to take special care. This problem is not going away in a hurry. It impacts our women, physically and mentally. We need to report such cases. The numbers with the police are a fraction of the actual crimes committed. Yes, these are crimes – serious crimes. If you have not been impacted, be more aware, and take precautions. We all need to try and stop this menace now, in co-operation with the police. The majority of criminals who are not getting caught—are getting away—may only get bolder. Snatchings may not be limited to chains alone tomorrow... u


9–15 December 2011

C ivic/Social

JITENDRA SHARMA

Do Kamra Zameen

KNOWLEDGE HUB: Children attend a Hindi class at Sugam

{ Irene Gupta }

A

s you enter Gurgaon from the Mehrauli side, a series of billboards (hung on the electric poles) announce an NGO named Sugam. And every time, the sceptic in me has questioned the motives of an NGO that puts up billboards. I knew that I had to go and check out for myself. To my surprise, I find that Sugam operates from two rooms, on the first floor of Pt. Mange Ram Pradhan Market, in Moti Vihar – opposite South City-1. Sugam in Gurgaon is only 5 months old. “We have only just started. We are paying out of our pockets to run the place. The donations are mostly in kind – notebooks, pens and pencils, sweaters; or things for arts and craft,” explains Vice President Saritha Chittal. In that case, why spend money on billboards? Chittal, I hoped, was going to be thrown by my question; but replied rather calmly, “It was a donation made by one of the members, who runs a printing press. The members contribute in whatever way they can. We hoped to let people know we are there, and it has paid great dividends. People have come forward to help us, and join us.” Still not wholly convinced, I decide to meet the beneficiaries. “Beneficiaries?” asks member Monika Walia, clearly offended by my terminology. “Why should they be the

beneficiaries alone? We too are benefitting from their company. Look at the satisfaction and the joy we are getting out of teaching them. Not everything can be judged on the basis of money,” she admonishes; leading the way to where the children are studying. As I step out to the narrow balcony, a swarm of “good morning Ma’am” greets me. Sitting in the veranda are about 30 odd children, notebooks in hand. They are a mixed group. While some of the children are neat and clean, others are dishevelled and a little untidy; some quiet and sombre, while a few grin from ear to ear. But the children have one thing in common – their eyes are bright and alert. As I decide to pose my questions, young boy of about 12 jumps up. “My name is Kartik, I want to be police.” How, I ask? He looks me straight in the eye and answers, with even more confidence, “Mehnat!” I look around

at the response these kids give,” says a beaming Chittal. She points out to Dolly, a little girl barely 8-9 years old. She stands up, holding in her arms a year old infant. “Her parents wanted her to stay home, and look after her one year old sister; but she wanted to come here. So we told her parents to send the younger one as well. That would not have been possible if she were in a regular school,” Chittal explains in Hindi; as little Dolly smiles in acknowledgement. Sugam Gurgaon, though totally independent as far as donations and funds go, is the Gurgaon chapter of Sugam Dwarka. The centre already boasts of 150 beneficiaries and a 100 members. The beneficiaries, both women and children, are a mixed crowd of locals and migrants- who work in Gurgaon as housemaids, cooks, and labourers. They are mostly residents of Village Silokhra, adjoining Moti Vihar. “We were a group of similar

SEW MUCH TO LEARN: Women at a tailoring class

to see if there are any takers for young Kartik’s viewpoint. Most of the children appear convinced, as they nod their heads in affirmation. “The most wonderful thing here is the enthusiasm, and the willingness to learn. Mainstream children are not half as interested; but look

thinking people. It was Monika Sharma (the President) and Ritu (one of our counsellors), who put it together as a group,” says Chittal; explaining how Sugam Gurgaon came to be. “Monika was with Sugam Dwarka; so she had a background, and knew how to set up an NGO.

09

We have put together our individual experiences and skills. It started as a hobby, but in a few months only it has taken over our lives; and we are all very happy at the way it’s shaping up,” she adds further. Why set up a new NGO rather than joining an existing one? Chittal claims that while there are a number of NGOs in Gurgaon in a similar field, there are not many who go beyond teaching them the basics. “Literacy alone will not help. They have to learn to become selfreliant; otherwise they will go back to where they came from.” Chittal is an educationist, and designs the curriculum for Sugam. Though English is the major attraction, children also learn mathematics and accounting from a retired engineer; and also take handicrafts classes. The women are taught tailoring. Walia shows me samples of greeting cards, candle stands and lamps that their children have made. “We had sold these before Diwali, giving the children confidence in their earning capability”. An interesting aspect of Sugam is the activity classes that they manage to hold, even in the confines of the two rooms. There is story-telling and taekwondo for the children; and yoga for the women. “These women are so stressed; their family life is not the happiest. They work really hard to make ends meet. So Yoga helps them to de-stress and gain control of their lives,” says Chittal, on seeing my quizzical look. Teaching soft skills is another aspect that is distinctive at Sugam. To this end, the NGO not only has classes in spoken English, but also teaches etiquette and manners. “Some of the corporates have come forward as part of their social responsibility. We tell them, why don’t you train our children on how to approach an interview, or etiquette at the work place, or what is expected of them when they go to work,” says Walia. She calls out two young ladies, Sangeeta and Kavita Kumari; who stand with quiet dignity as they are introduced. Both girls study in a government school, and yet come here for English and accounts tutorials; and also to learn how to conduct themselves. They have set clear goals for themselves; one wants to be an airhostess, the other an engineer. However, not everyone is thrilled being here. Says 13-yearold Mehdi Hassan: “Gaon mein behtar tha. Mere class ke ladke unche class mein padhte hain, aur main class 3 mein hi hun.” His brother, however, is quick to correct him. “Wahan English to nahin seekhte hain?” Mehdi does agree. “It’s amazing how smart these kids are. They understand the value of money. When we wanted to buy brown paper to make covers for their notebooks, they advised us not to waste the money; but spend it on something worthier. They used newspaper to make the covers,”discloses Chittal. As I depart, Walia asks, “Why don’t you join us ma’am?” I smile, but remain non-committal. My doubts have been allayed. More than that, I know that if I were to join an NGO, it could well be Sugam. u


10

9–15 December 2011

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

Gaje Singh Kablana

G

aje Singh Kablana, the Councillor of Ward No. 5 is beaming, and so are his supporters. Numbers are swelling constantly at his office near Palam Vihar Extension, on Wednesday afternoon. Celebrations are starting. Dressed in a pristine white kurta pyjama, Kablana is ecstatic as he informs people about the Supreme Court decision delivered that day – staying the demolition of structures in the 900 metres disputed area around the Air Force Ammunition Depot. This territory falls within his Ward. Kablana is fighting the court case on behalf of the affected people residing in the disputed land. He has just returned from the Supreme Court with the good news. A major part of Ward no. 5 falls in the disputed area – and includes Sheetla Colony, Sheetla Enclave Phase 1,2,3; Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Ashok Vihar Extension-B, Dharm Colony and nearby areas. Kablana asserts that the government will be forced to provide justice to the people living in these areas; as they have invested hard earned money to buy land here. “Not even a single brick will be demolished as humanity is on our side,” says Kablana. He is unhappy with the way the MCG and the administration are functioning in the city. No one wants to work for the people, says the Councillor. Kablana informs that a Supreme Court Bench, comprising Justice Jain and Justice Dave, has given a stay order on all the decisions given by the Haryana High Court – pertaining to the disputed land around the ammunition depot. “The Court has issued notices to all the stake

C ivic/Social

Know Your Councillor

Supreme Justice Councillor Petition Upheld holders—including the defence authorities—to find a reasonable solution to the problem. This could either be shifting of the depot, or denotifying the area – as it is inhuman to play with the lives of lakhs of people,” says Kablana, much to the happiness of his supporters. The government of Haryana has been clearly instructed that all constructions till December

Ammunition Depot, Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Carterpuri Village, Caterpuri, Palam Vihar Extn, Sector 23A, Sheetla Colony also fall in the disputed area,” he alleges. In addition to the problems related to the disputed area, Kablana says that officials have stopped issuing power connections to house owners, and that is creating a lot of problems. “Where will people go in the darkness? The roads are in a bad condition, the sewage and sanitation system is absent in this Ward, and we are left with no time. We are expending our energies just fighting for justice,” he says. Kablana is one of the rare MCG Councillors who has passed an MA course, and also holds an MBA degree. His seventeen year stint in the Air Force,

he says, is helping him in the social and political work; as he is very organised and disciplined. “My family is very happy and supportive of the work I am doing for the society. I have two sons and a daughter. Though they want me to spend more time with them, they like it when people come to me and appreciate the work we do,” he says; referring to the throng of supporters who are now planning for the next parliamentary elections.

Time Line of Ammunition Depot Land Dispute

1

The land for the ammunition depot was acquired in 1948, under the Work of Defence

So Near, Yet Cut Off { Maninder Dabas / FG } What’s good

1. Proximity to NH-8 2. Two good schools

What’s not so good

Sometimes proximity to better things doesn’t help. Sector-10 is situated at a stone’s throw from the National Highway-8 – the lifeline that holds the past as well as the future of Gurgaon together. That hasn’t helped this sector to flourish, as expected. “We came here after my husband’s retirement from the Armed Forces in 2004. We were told that this Sector is the future of Gurgaon, and a lot of new malls and other centres of attraction would come up. Its proximity to NH-8 made us believe the agents, and we bought this piece of land here. But since 2004, not a single

3 4

7

{Sector 10}

1. Huge empty hospital 2. Roads 3. No public transport (not even autos) 4. Long power cuts 5. Highly vulnerable area to anti-social elements

2

5 6

Ward No. 5

7, 2011 will remain as they are, in the 900 metre disputed area; and no demolitions should take place. He also asked the people to refrain from building anything further. Kablana informs that he has been fighting the case against the government single-handedly; and now the 900-metre Sangharsh Samiti has joined hands with him to fight against this injustice. “Our contention is that the Haryana High Court has issued double orders in the same case, and this is wrong. Secondly, why is the High Court silent on the demolition of HUDA colonies and the Maruti factory, that

Act-1903, which imposes restriction on construction in a 900-metre area surrounding the depot. In 1971, Sector 14 and 17 were developed, and are allegedly in the prohibited area. HUDA claims that these sectors were developed by the erstwhile Estate Department. In 1974, Maruti was also given land to set up a factory, and a part of this land allegedly falls in the prohibited area. In 1988, Sanjay Gram colony took shape, again allegedly within the same area. A court case was also filed by a resident in the same year, against the construction activity taking place in a prohibited zone. In 1992, development started in Rajiv Nagar, again allegedly within the 900-metres. In 1990s, Ashok Vihar Phase 3, Sheetla Colony, Dharm Colony started developing, again allegedly in the prohibited zone. In 1991, Justice Ashok Bhan gave directions that the government should first demolish the Maruti factory, and parts of HUDA sectors, before embarking upon demolition of the residential dwellings of the weaker sections of the society in the prohibited zone. In 2008, RWA of Sector 17, Gurgaon filed a case based on these violations of the Defence Act. It requested the court to direct the government to ensure that illegal constructions in prohibited area are removed. Public Interest Petition filed by Satish Sharma, a social activist of Gurgaon. Another Common Interest Petition filed by local politician and Ward no. 5 Councillor Gaje Singh Kablana, in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, for. Kablana approaches Supreme Court. On December 7, 2011 the Supreme Court stays all decisions of the Haryana High Court. Stays demolition till further orders. u

thing has changed; it is as barren as it was when we came,” said Shammi Ahlawat, the former RWA President of Sector-10. The Sector has plenty of infrastructure – either unused, or left unattended by the authorities. “We have everything, ranging from roads to a very big hospital; but all of them are in a shambles. HUDA has spent crores to build a hospital here, and even two years after its completion, it has not been taken over by the health department,” informed Ahlawat. He is not the only one who has had a bitter experience; most of the residents are regretting their decision of opting for this place. “It is near the highway, but it

8 9

10

is away from the main city. We have no transport; even autos don’t come here. On rare occasions when they do, they take twice the normal fare,” rued Rajvir Singh, who shifted here in 2007 from Rajasthan. However, the Sector is not bereft of positive news. “This Sector has two good schools. And if the empty hospital building becomes functional, this can be a good place to live in. But as of now, that doesn’t seem to be happening,” said Sakshi Malik, a middle-aged woman sitting outside her house. Back to headache. “The HUDA staff, after sweeping the streets and collecting garbage, dump it in the nearby vacant plots. It lies there for weeks, which creates a lot of problems for residents,” said Manoj Gupta, who lives near such a plot. This Sector has no market, and people have to go all the way to Sector-7 for basic purchases. “When we shifted here, we were told that a huge HUDA market will be coming up; but till now nothing has come up,” rued Ahlawat. “Apart from all other infrastructural problems, the Sector is also prone to anti-social elements. A large number of the plots are still vacant, and the anti-social elements use these for consuming liquor in the evenings. It is quite unsafe for women to go out after sunset. However, there is a police station in the Sector, and constant vigils are made by them, even at night,” said Ahlawat. u


9–15 December 2011

C ivic/Social

11

Click For Civic { Hritvick Sen / FG }

cities’ offerings in the dust. The website offers oodles of relevant informationfrom Census data, to birth and death records, to sanin Gurgaon, you can get almost everything online. tation monitoring. From food to clothes, to even cars. But how many Good The site requires a simple log-in to access the data, of us have tried to book an online civic complaint- ♦ Vast array of services such that the neighbourhood road has broken; or that the as filing grievances, getting and the registration process is easy-to-use. The MCG birth/death certificates, site scores high on interactivity. The site features a garbage has not been collected four days in a row? marriage registration, no- full-fledged blog, where citizens can air their views In a city where the majority of people know their way with a mouse, and are aware of their civic prob- dues certificate, applying for on anything under the sun. Although the site suffers from niggling problemslems, it becomes imperative for the city’s adminis- Census survey, filing house tration (namely the Municipal Corporation, the Po- tax, applying for permission such as some pages not loading or some outdated infor erecting a mobile tower, formation (much like the Gurgaon Police website)- it lice, and HUDA) to be available online. can be overlooked in the face of the staggering numWhat are the citizens’ requirements, and what filing RTI applications, etc. ber of available services. does a civic website need to have? The first service ♦ Information facilities Fahim Akhtar, the official responsible for the that a civic website should perform is to give the ♦ Public discussion forum MCG’s website, says, “We’ve made one of the most names and contact details of the relevant officials in comprehensive municipal websites in the country, the administration. Then comes information of all Not-So-Good types that the public can conveniently access online. ♦ Page difficulties such as link and we even have some e-services that are not available in other cities as of now.” And finally, are the online services and facilities of- failures Going on, Akhtar says, “We have a fool-proof fered by the administration, that save one the bother system of grievance redressal. For example, if your and time (and money) of going in person. neighbourhood does not have a road, or repairs are needed, you can put in a complaint on our website. The site makes sure that you get a Gurgaon Police unique number for your complaint, and the latter is simultaneously (http://gurgaon.haryanapolice.gov.in/ ) The city police site is a basic, no-frills affair- with the contact sent to the Junior Engineer responsible, and to me. When the complaint is resolved, the action is put up on the website if helpful, a picdetails of the main officers on the main window. The good part about this website is that almost everything that ture is put up and the complainant notified. If the work has not been a citizen would need from the police can be accessed within a click done or mismanaged, the complainant can send us a picture confirmor two. Whether the issue at hand is filing a complaint with the ing this, and the official is pulled up.” “Our real-time monitoring of sanitation is someCommissioner, or checking the status of a passport/ arms licence application, it can be done from the thing we’re proud of. Anyone can track how their comfort and safety of your home. The site offers a neighbourhood is being cleaned. There is absolutely simple and easy-to-use interface, which is vital for real-time data being streamed from the website, of Good Good what the sanitation staff are doing. The vehicles are ♦ Facilities and Services senior citizens. ♦ Facebook The site is a pointer to the ‘100’ helpline number, geo-tagged, so that their location can be pinpointed ♦ Contact details of officers says the Commissioner of Police KK Sindhu. He at a click. If a citizen proves that cleanliness work and police stations across Not-So-Good ♦ No serious attempt to says, “People should call 100, if they need any as- is not being done, the contractor will not be paid, the city provide on-time services to sistance from the police.” The website basically pro- and in fact, a penalty will be imposed. All the citi- ♦ Status information on FIRs, vides the numbers to call, and from there a police zen has to do is to take a picture, and upload it to applications, etc the public the website,” he says. “Another feature of the sani- ♦ Very active Facebook person best takes it up, he feels. What is sorely missed on the website is a page tation monitoring is the automated logging of the presence (Traffic Police) to give voice to the people. There is no discussion forum, or an area sanitation work being done. A majority of the cenwhere citizens can come together (digitally speaking), and talk about tres have been equipped with biometric scanners. If Not-So-Good the workers don’t punch in, they don’t get paid. If ♦ Updation: The Site still notes the security issues they’re facing. Besides the website, what has become a hit is the Gurgaon Traffic there are less than the required number of workers SS Deswal as Commissioner Police’s Facebook page. A collaboration between the Gurgaon Traffic for an area, the contractor won’t get paid. And all of Police police and Indiabulls, the site has atleast 200 visitors at any time, and this is automated.” ♦ No public forum “You can apply for a death certificate or a birth has garnered the Traffic Police nearly 5,000 ‘likes’ for its efforts. A traffic police official says, “We offer the public the chance to monitor certificate online, get your marriage registered the roads, and keep them safe. If they find anyone breaking the rules from the comfort of your home, and pretty much do everything that of the road, all they have to do is click a picture, and upload it onto earlier had to be done by standing in a line at the Corporation headour Facebook page. Even if it is a policeman who’s flouting the rules, quarters,” Akhtar says. we’ll book him.” In the traffic police’s office, the computer operator logs on the HUDA Facebook complaints religiously. A mini-site in itself, it provides al- (http://gurgaon.nic.in/huda.htm) most as much information as the official website. In terms of informaOf all the government departments, Gurgaon’s HUDA has probtion and facilities, the site again lists the designation, office landline ably forgotten to create a website. The State developer has devoted number, mobile number and the email address of traffic and police half a page to the city’s netizens on the above-mentioned link. The officials. There are also pages where you can find how much you can site has a total of three links- one being a PowerPoint presentation of be fined under what section (if you’re unlucky enough to be caught!) HUDA’s Gurgaon activities. On road-related matters, the Traffic Police has also a page dedicated Now, due to the new Administrator Dr Praveen Kumar’s initiative, to its 87 Traffic Points, where it has delineated what Haryana Urban the department has a Facebook presence. The FB profile states that Development Authority (HUDA), Haryana State Industrial and Infra- it is inspired by what the Gurgaon Traffic police has done, and is not structure Development (HSIIDC) and Munica government site of grievance redressal. Adipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) can do to ministrator Dr Kumar had said, “We want to improve the flow of traffic (in terms of action reach out to the people, and this is just one on traffic lights, barriers, round-abouts, obof several steps.” HUDA’s Chief Accounts Ofstructions, potholes, etc). ficer Radhey Shyam Goel reaffirms, “We want the people to reach out to us.” Recently, the administration had declared that the land reMunicipal Corporation cords would soon be computerised, and put of Gurgaon up on the website. (www.mcg.gov.in) The Department of Town and Country In terms of services and facilities providPlanning (TCP) has no website for Gurgaon. ed, the website of MCG certainly takes the The only mention in the website comes in cake. With a dedicated staff, the website ofthe ‘Contact Us’ page, where the landline fers a host of services which can leave other numbers of the department are published. A department official comments, “We have no intimation of a website dedicated to Gurgaon. As of now the Haryana website suffices. Any information needed from the department can be obtained from the Chief Town Planner in Chandigarh.” u

I

HUDA Website

MCG Website

Gurgaon Police Website


12

9–15 December 2011

C ivic/Social

Bollywood Fare

JIT Kumar

Kerala, Goa, Stray Dogs, Restaurant, Vaastu, Shots in the Dark...

FERNANDES’ PRIDE: Cres and Chris take in the sun outside their restaurant, Bernardo’s

{ Manjula Narayan }

W

hen you meet Cres and Chris Fernandes at Bernardo’s—their quaint Goan restaurant at Supermart 1—they seem like any other couple in their sixties, who’ve built a successful life together. It’s only when you get into a conversation with them over slices of delicious early Christmas cake and bits of pie, that you learn of their very eventful 18 years in Gurgaon. “We moved to Palam Vihar from Delhi in 1994, and lived in a pretty house there,” says Cres - whose full name is Cres-

centia, and who is originally from Kerala. “At that time, MG Road was kachcha; I remember gypsies used to sit there and sell chicken!,” Cres exclaims. “When we were scouting for land to build our home, we used to ride to Gurgaon on our Java motorbike; there were mustard fields on both sides of the road – all the way from Delhi to Palam Vihar,” she says. Cres’ Goan husband, whose full name is Chrysologus, recounts how the couple settled in Palam Vihar. They set up a pickle factory that employed women from a local self-help

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. My house has been robbed Mahre ghar main chori ho gi 2. Which is the nearest Police Station? Sabte dhorre kunsa thanna hai? 3. How do I file an FIR? Rapot kyunkar likhwaun?

4. Which officer can I talk to? Kaunse saab te baat karun?

group; watched their two children—Carmen and Colin— grow; and adopted 22 stray dogs. Back in the 1990s, the slaughter of street dogs, under instructions of RWAs, was rampant; and the Fernandes family soon became active in programmes to protect the animals. Meanwhile, their pickle business—they stuck to traditional Goan recipes—was off to a roaring start; with the 4C’s brand flying off the shelves at outlets in Delhi, and orders pouring in even from faraway Japan. Life was good. Slowly, however, the business began sputtering. “The pickles sold very well, but somehow nothing much was being saved,” says Chris. “Partly because all our money was going to the dogs, literally,” laughs Cres, who had worked with the UNICEF before they set up the factory. “Actually, we had never run a business before, and making pickles is a very labour-intensive job, that requires a lot of investment in raw material,” she adds more soberly. Chris, a marketing man—who had worked with companies like Philips— believes the factory building, which was located on an old graveyard and abutted a temple, suffered from bad Vaastu; Whatever the reason, the factory was eventually shut down. The couple came to believe that even

their pretty home, which was at a T-point, suffered from bad Vaastu; and in 2002, they moved to their current home, a farm house in the Chandnagar Dhani area of Farrukhnagar. “Now, there’s a spacious fourlane road going all the way to Rohtak, where the CM lives; but when we went there, there was nothing in Farrukhnagar,” says Chris. Both electricity and water supply were erratic. Slowly, the couple—the children had by now left to pursue their careers in Delhi—converted their barren acre of land into a verdant patch, using only organic fertilizers and pesticides. Part of the farm has been set aside for the animal shelter, Bernardo’s— named after Chris’s father—that houses the army of 35 dogs that

the Fernandeses have rescued off city roads. The couple also launched their next venture, the Bernardo’s Restaurant, that serves authentic Goan cuisine. An immediate hit when it opened in Delhi, the restaurant continues to be popular with loyal diners - who sometimes make the trip to its current location in Gurgaon, just to savour its vindaloos and balchaos. Again, life seemed to be coasting along for the couple. However, the land boom had struck Gurgaon, and everywhere farmers were selling their ancestral plots to builders. The Fernandes’ well-tended plot too caught the eye of unscrupulous land grabbers; and one night, when the couple was driving home through the fields, their vehicle was waylaid. The three shots that were fired at Chris and Cres rather miraculously missed their mark, as they drove for their lives. Later, the henchmen of local land sharks made more attempts to intimidate the Fernandeses, but were eventually discouraged by the couple’s own connections within the police force - connections they had made, surprisingly, while helping out stray dogs in distress! Perhaps there is karma after all! “So many things have happened to us, but I’ve realised that often the situation sorts itself out,” says Cres cheerfully. Indeed, the government has since declared that even plans for the development of the area will not be considered until at least 2021 – an announcement that had the immediate effect of discouraging all land grabbing. Bankruptcy, bad vaastu, shots fired in the dark – Cres and Chris have faced all that in Gurgaon. But as you browse through numerous albums of the farm, and watch the couple bustling about Bernardo’s, preparing for the evening rush, you are left with no doubt that the Fernandeses have found their little paradise. u

PARADISE FOUND: The quaintly decorated restaurant

Food Take

As of December 07, 2011 All Prices in Rs/kg.

Area/ vegetables

Palam Vihar

Sector 54

South City 1

DLF City Phase 5

Sadar Bazar

Sector 23

Safal

Reliance Fresh

Potatoes

10

10

5

10

5

10

6.90

12

Onions

20

15

12

15

10

12

15.90

12

Tomatoes

10

14

10

15

12

12

11.90

14

Cucumbers

20

28

20

25

18

18

25

20

Apples

80-120

100-140

100-120

80-120

80-100

80-100

99

99-125

Methi

15

15

15

20

10

16

15

5

Green Peas

24

30

25

25

25

30

21

24

Cauliflower

10

12

10

12

7

10

12

5

Mushroom

15

25

20

25

25

20

35

25

(old/new)

5. When will you get back to me?

Manne bera kad do ge?

6. Take my contact details Mere pata thikana likh lo 7. Have you found the robber? Chor pakkad liya ke nahin?


9–15 December 2011

C ivic/Social

13

Outsourced @ Home PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Manjula Narayan } Family 1: Mr and Mrs Kumar and their two children live in a gated community in Gurgaon. Mr Kumar works in a swanky office of a multinational in DLF Phase 3, while Mrs Kumar commutes to her job at a leading media house in Delhi. Both children study in a premier school in Gurgaon. Mrs Kumar is too exhausted—after managing her job and most of the household chores—to whip up nutritious meals for the family. Mr Kumar, a modern Indian man, has deigned to help out with some routine jobs – but the cooking? Their saviour – the lady who comes in to cook hot meals for the family. Family 2: T, D and H are young professionals who work in the call centre of a big technology firm. On a typical day, breakfast and lunch are at the office canteen. Dinner was problematic until T saw a notice advertising a tiffin ser-

a plot of land too – with the money she has earned as a professional cook. “In all the homes where I work, both the man and the woman go out to work; so it’s difficult for them to manage on their own. In some homes, I even do the weekly vegetable shopping,” she says. She adds that while some people call her to instruct her on what to cook on a particular day, others leave

that she is highly regarded in the seven households where she works. “When I first came to Gurgaon many years ago, I spent two years cleaning homes. I didn’t like doing that, and decided to concentrate on cooking – since I am very good at it,” she says. Her husband is also a cook, and works in households in Chakkarpur. Successful services are those that fulfill a deeply-felt need, and Gurgaon’s band of itinerant cooks are definitely doing

HOT DELIVERY: Tiffin service boys pose with food trays

DOMESTIC PROFESSIONAL: Malti Mondal cooking for a Gurgaon family

vice. Since then, the trio have been having a full meal – comprising four rotis, rice, daal, bhaji and pickle. As life in emerging India’s hubs becomes frenetic, and as more women join the workforce, households are innovating to ensure that family members get the nutritious meals they deserve. After all pet ka sawaal hai! This has led to the bourgeoning of a number of tiffin services, and also to the emergence of a new class of domestic professional – the outsourced cook—who, typically, provides her/his services to multiple families within a single complex or area. On a normal day, 35-year-old Malti Mondal—originally from Nadia in West Bengal—cooks meals for nine households, in the Belvedere Park compound in DLF Phase 3. “I enjoy my work. I’ve been a cook ever since I came to Gurgaon 11 years ago,” she says. She has managed to pay for the marriages of two of her three daughters, and bought

the menu entirely to her. Tiffin services that cater mostly to singletons and young professionals aren’t as flexible. “We deliver lunch to both individuals and offices,” says Manisha D, proprietor of the tiffin service Hot Affair, that has about 400 regular customers. “Normally, our individual clients are students and single people,” she says. Their tiffin comprises rotis, dal, rice and sabzi; and is delivered to locations in Udyog Vihar, DLF and Sushant Lok. As befitting a spanking new development like Gurgaon, many local businesses – like the VCE Tiffin Service, which delivers food in “hygienic microwave-compatible polypropylene trays hermetically sealed to ensure cleanliness” – have slick websites and Facebook pages, that are frequently updated. However, being web-savvy isn’t part of the repertoire of 30-year-old Savitri Ray, originally from Kolkata. Her excellent cooking skills ensure

that. “Having a person cooking for us has helped enormously, as we now have the time to enjoy our mornings and also to experience varied fare,” says lawyer Indira Unninayar. Her busy life— shuttling between courts and filing Public Interest Litigations—left her utterly timestarved. Malti Mondal does all the cooking at her home. “My husband and I have chosen professions that are demanding. Now, cooking for me has changed from a daily chore. to a more pleasurable experience – to be enjoyed at

leisure,” she says. She avers that it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved; what with Malti having upgraded herself to the status of a chef, and consequently also earning more. “It is nice to welcome the day with her spicy masala chai,” Unninayar says. As more women move out of traditional nurturing roles to take on responsibilities as earning partners, they will pave the way for specialist services. The outsourced cook, on whom multiple families depend, is just one of them. Likewise, as the num-

ber of ‘chummeries’— comprising young office workers who’ve moved to the city— increases, the demand for tiffin services too will increase. Already, a cursory Google search reveals that listings for tiffin services in Gurgaon run into 15 pages! As urban India evolves, more niche services and specialised professional groups will emerge – to help modern households effectively tackle the chores that were once the domain of the lady of the house. And, allow her to enjoy a better quality of life. Strike one for Women’s Lib! u

Some Things Have Changed...

{ Alka Gurha }

T

he name plate next to the huge oak door of an apartment reads, ‘Sharmas’. The main door of the adjacent apartment displays the first names of both the husband and the wife. The marble name plate in my ancestral residence has the names of my father, uncle and brother engraved on it; even though it is only my mother who lives there. I recall that when my father’s colleagues came home, he introduced my mother as, “Meet my Mrs,” or “Meet my wife.” He would refrain from taking her first name, even though she was a good five years younger than him. It was a matter of propriety, a courtesy – and not a deliberate attempt at obscuring her identity. The idea was to give respect. And I doubt if my mother took offence. Today, however, urban couples prefer to take and call-out first names, irrespective of the ages. This Saturday, while strolling in our complex park, I noticed my neighbour playing with his children. He had pitched a small play tent for his daughter, and was fooling around with his son. When asked about his wife he said proud-

ly, “She has gone to the spa to pamper herself. Saturdays are off for her.” A decade earlier he would have been labelled a ‘wimp’; not only by men but even women. Today, he displays proud pleasure in admitting that he shares a more equitable relationship with his spouse. Did you see how two women contestants on the reality show ‘Master Chef India’—one from Gurgaon and another from Shimla—matter-offactly announced their ‘single mother’ status? I am sure they were viewed with awe, and not a snigger. Celebrities like Sushmita Sen did set this trend; but when ordinary folk take it in their stride, and society is accepting of it, the change is here to stay. And it is most welcome. And some things will take longer... While in urban Gurgaon women have shed the patriarchal burden, in rural Gurgaon they are still struggling to find their rightful place under the sun. My maid, who lives in nearby Badshahpur, faces ridicule because she recently gave birth to a baby girl. “Didi, hamare yahan ladki hona bura mana jaata hai.” Much as I wanted to convince her that, ‘times have changed’ it appeared that I was talking to a wall. u


14

9–15 December 2011

Comment

Getting Soft G

urgaon bewilders. In residence, commerce, industry, infrastructure...and people. The potential commercial hub of North India, it is already in some facilities better than Mumbai India’s premier commercial city. However, it is in the soft areas – of civic sense, culture, care – that Gurgaon is seen to lack.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Is it due to Gurgaonites being well satisfied on the “basics” of life – Maslow khush hua and therefore able and willing to look outside immediate family ? Is it the influence of a composite cosmopolitan culture ? Is it just due to an opportunity in a smaller city – versus that in a monster state like Delhi ? Or is it a new DNA – the majority influence of young educated India in a young city ?

Yet there is hope – real hope. And that comes from the make up of the city. It is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in India, after Mumbai. With a unique mix of ages and occupations; and with that, different beliefs, values, and attitudes. Somehow, a culture is developing – across age, occupation, and domicile.

Youngsters growing up in this atmosphere could be fairly confused. They can easily fall prey to the party hard routine early in life. They would be the second Gurgaon generation – and would find it difficult to get rid of the silver spoon feeding. Hopefully their parents would have, by word and deed, kept the flame of caring alive.

Most prominent is the Youth Brigade. The young want to enjoy; but beyond just eating out or entertaining themselves and family. New hobbies are the new pastime. They also are caring. Not just in terms of financial charity; but with a wish to do something more direct - to participate in social responsibility. They live by the slogan - work hard, earn hard (currency), party hard – and care soft (It’s The Software Stupid – after all, Gurgaon is also an IT / BPO city).

There is definitely a genuine feeling of care in cosmopolitan Gurgaon residents. It does get drowned out by poor civic sense displayed on the road, and in public. Sometimes from the same person(s). That is the puzzle called India. However, if the caring is nurtured, and encouraged, Gurgaon can be the microcosm for the Indian cities of tomorrow. We have featured 14 NGOs/social service people and organisations, over the last about 3 months. And will continue to do so in all issues – there are hundreds of them in our city. There is no common physical thread – but the passion to do something for society, for the under-privileged, for living beings. They live the motto : Apne liye jiye to kya jiye….

And then there is the Senior Brigade. This brigade does have many ex-armed forces people within it. These elderly have an urge to make a difference; to not just fade away. Many have made it a mission to keep the state and builders honest – to ensure that they deliver as promised, to their citizens and customers. The Seniors zealously write, ask for information, meet, cajole, go to court – relentlessly. They believe they will triumph. They will not accept defeat; they will not be bribed.

From individuals, to societies, they are clearly making a difference – every single day. Let us spare a moment, spare a thought – every day – for these valiant people. Then pitch in, in whatever way we can – to encourage, to support... to do.

What has contributed to this evolving culture?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

O

n the article ‘Kiddie Carnival’-I wish I was there Nidhi Bajan

O

n the article ‘Shutterbugs On the Move’ – Hi, I want to post some pictures which I take when I go on tour. Could you tell me how (to) do it easily? Rajesh Ranjan

O

n the editorial piece ‘It’s The Message, Not The Messenger’ - ‘Well said. I hope this nation of petty indulgers get some gyan from this piece. Prasoon n the article ‘Here to stay’ - Well done Babitaji and Upendraji. Well every one has a dream of having their own (house)... I do agree that Noida is better than Gurgaon in every front like connectivity, electricity, and transport, but Gurgaon is not that bad I suppose. S.K. Nair

O

(A South Delhi Resident)

Please send your letters to:

letter@arapmedia.com

Famous Quotes Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Sir Winston Churchill

Cultivate the habit of early rising. It is unwise to keep the head long on a level with the feet. Henry David Thoreau

The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good. Bertrand Russell

Follow your inclinations with due regard to the policeman round the corner. W. Somerset Maugham

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. George Bernard Shaw


Spot The Difference

9–15 December 2011

Kid Corner

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. Fridge handle vanishes. 2. Kettle spout changes. 3. Jar label changes. 4. Plant leaf missing. 5. Lampshade loses dots. 6. Black shoes. 7. Jar on top of fridge. 8. Mouse in doorway. 9. Spoon handle longer.

Solutions

Sudoku Kids

Kids Brainticklers

10. Door handle higher.

15


16

2–8 December 2011

K id Corner

K id Corner

2–8 December 2011

Heritage at DPS

Parinirvana At Blue Bells

A

month-long Heritage series of SPIC MACAY (Gurgaon Chapter) came to an end, with the unique and power-packed Purulia Chhau dance performance by Chinibas Mahoto at DPS Sushant Lok. Purrila Chaus is a tribal martial dance of India; the dance numbers are based on episodes from the Mahabharata and Purana. The synchronised athletic agility of leaps and twirls by the masked dancers enthralled the students. With a view to promote folk dance forms among the youth, SPIC MACAY’s heritage series is proved to be a true cultural feast.

S

chools are now picking interesting themes to make their annual days a success. Blue Bells Model School, Sec 4, chose ‘Parinirvana’. The programme began with the lighting of the lamp by Mr. Suresh Pachouri, Chairman, Research & Co –ordination Deptt. AICC and the Guest of honor Mr. R. N. Nayak, Chairman & Managing Director, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, accompanied by management members of the school. The students performed a variety of thematic colourful dances and skits. The orchestra consisted of 76 students on sitar, guitar and bell sets; and, along with chanting mantras, mesmerised those present with Enchante’ – The Mystic Melody, which reverberated in the vicinity.

Culture Day at CCA

C

CA School celebrated its annual day on a grand scale in the school’s premises on Saturday. The spectacular ceremony was interspersed with various scintillating dance and music performances. But the evening’s major attraction was a cultural show put up by students from all the wings. A western style dance performance also added colour to the evening. The guests of honour were renowned industrialist Yogesh Munjal, MD of Munjal Showa Ltd. and Lt. Gen. A.C. Soneja, AVSM, VSM.

American Excelsior tours Agra

T

he happiest memories most of us have of our school years are of the occasional excursion. American Excelsior School organised a trip to Agra for its students. Besides fun and sight seeing, the trip empowered children with values of independence, responsibility and teamwork. “It is important to give opportunity to the young students, where they get to prove their maturity and responsibility,” said Director of American Excelsior, Shalini Nambiar.

17

A PS celebra tes Annual Day

A

merican Public Sc hool (APS), celebrated its an nual day on Saturday. Looking resplendent in th e ethnic costumes , students perform ed various dance fo rms, skits, and stage-plays – an d enthralled the guests. Padmas hree Dr. Shyam Singh Shashi, ch ief guest, lauded the school manag ement and staff fo r their developmen t of the institution in the last one ye of various emotion ar. The highlight s – Veer, Shringa of the day was th ar, Haasya, Vibh Adbhut – through e portrayal atsya, Bhayanak creative tableaus, , Rudra, Shaant, contemporary da Lalita Trehan, Di Ka runa and nc e, rector of America classical dance, n Public School recitation, ballet, parents in enrichin also shared her skits. g their children’s keen insights on development. the role of

Pa t

A

g o l o c E to

y

group of seven students from Pathways World School drove to a secluded patch of the forest in the Aravallis, to meet ecologist Pradip Krishen – a renowned photographer and environmentalist. To better understand the biodiversity, which is also one of their subjects, the school had invited Pradip Krishen. He took the students to the Magarbani area, and discussed about flora and fauna there.

Sitar Classical at Suncity

at the Crease s r a t S n TooP

h ways

S

PIC MACAY (Gurgaon Chapter) organised a sitar recital by Pandit Prateek Chaudhuri at Suncity School. He began the programme with an explanation of the genre, and a gentle reminder to the young audience of the place of Indian classical music in the world. He also threw light on the subject of the raagas, and how they are associated with different times of the day, or with seasons.The nimble fingers of the artists brought forth rich tones and melodious phrases, that resonated in the auditorium. The artists held their audience captive for over an hour. The programme ended with a question and answer session. The artists were felicitated by the Principal, Mrs. Rupa Chakravarty.

opular cartoon characters Ben 10, Tom and Jerry, and Scooby Doo played at Ajanta Public School on Sunday, as a part of Cartoon Network’s promotional event—Toon Cricket—in association with Cadbury. The event brought alive the fun and excitement of this virtual cricket game. Kids were entertained throughout the event, with special character appearances, stage performances, and games. 2011 is the eighth successful year of Toon Cricket in India.

Literary Flourish

Artistic Strokes

Something Beautiful Beautiful Faces should never wear The look of scorn or selfish care Beautiful eyes should always show The kindly thoughts that dwell below Beautiful hands will not do The work that is not earnest or true Beautiful feet with gladness Go, on helpful errands to and fro. Beautiful shoulders should always bear Someone's head heavy with exertion. Beautiful souls are those that shine We call them divine. Arpitt Bhatnagar VI C, Blue Bells Model 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 contributions@fridaygurgaon.com

Title: House in a Lake Arnav Gupta , Class IV, DPS, Sector 45


16

2–8 December 2011

K id Corner

K id Corner

2–8 December 2011

Heritage at DPS

Parinirvana At Blue Bells

A

month-long Heritage series of SPIC MACAY (Gurgaon Chapter) came to an end, with the unique and power-packed Purulia Chhau dance performance by Chinibas Mahoto at DPS Sushant Lok. Purrila Chaus is a tribal martial dance of India; the dance numbers are based on episodes from the Mahabharata and Purana. The synchronised athletic agility of leaps and twirls by the masked dancers enthralled the students. With a view to promote folk dance forms among the youth, SPIC MACAY’s heritage series is proved to be a true cultural feast.

S

chools are now picking interesting themes to make their annual days a success. Blue Bells Model School, Sec 4, chose ‘Parinirvana’. The programme began with the lighting of the lamp by Mr. Suresh Pachouri, Chairman, Research & Co –ordination Deptt. AICC and the Guest of honor Mr. R. N. Nayak, Chairman & Managing Director, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, accompanied by management members of the school. The students performed a variety of thematic colourful dances and skits. The orchestra consisted of 76 students on sitar, guitar and bell sets; and, along with chanting mantras, mesmerised those present with Enchante’ – The Mystic Melody, which reverberated in the vicinity.

Culture Day at CCA

C

CA School celebrated its annual day on a grand scale in the school’s premises on Saturday. The spectacular ceremony was interspersed with various scintillating dance and music performances. But the evening’s major attraction was a cultural show put up by students from all the wings. A western style dance performance also added colour to the evening. The guests of honour were renowned industrialist Yogesh Munjal, MD of Munjal Showa Ltd. and Lt. Gen. A.C. Soneja, AVSM, VSM.

American Excelsior tours Agra

T

he happiest memories most of us have of our school years are of the occasional excursion. American Excelsior School organised a trip to Agra for its students. Besides fun and sight seeing, the trip empowered children with values of independence, responsibility and teamwork. “It is important to give opportunity to the young students, where they get to prove their maturity and responsibility,” said Director of American Excelsior, Shalini Nambiar.

17

A PS celebra tes Annual Day

A

merican Public Sc hool (APS), celebrated its an nual day on Saturday. Looking resplendent in th e ethnic costumes , students perform ed various dance fo rms, skits, and stage-plays – an d enthralled the guests. Padmas hree Dr. Shyam Singh Shashi, ch ief guest, lauded the school manag ement and staff fo r their developmen t of the institution in the last one ye of various emotion ar. The highlight s – Veer, Shringa of the day was th ar, Haasya, Vibh Adbhut – through e portrayal atsya, Bhayanak creative tableaus, , Rudra, Shaant, contemporary da Lalita Trehan, Di Ka runa and nc e, rector of America classical dance, n Public School recitation, ballet, parents in enrichin also shared her skits. g their children’s keen insights on development. the role of

Pa t

A

g o l o c E to

y

group of seven students from Pathways World School drove to a secluded patch of the forest in the Aravallis, to meet ecologist Pradip Krishen – a renowned photographer and environmentalist. To better understand the biodiversity, which is also one of their subjects, the school had invited Pradip Krishen. He took the students to the Magarbani area, and discussed about flora and fauna there.

Sitar Classical at Suncity

at the Crease s r a t S n TooP

h ways

S

PIC MACAY (Gurgaon Chapter) organised a sitar recital by Pandit Prateek Chaudhuri at Suncity School. He began the programme with an explanation of the genre, and a gentle reminder to the young audience of the place of Indian classical music in the world. He also threw light on the subject of the raagas, and how they are associated with different times of the day, or with seasons.The nimble fingers of the artists brought forth rich tones and melodious phrases, that resonated in the auditorium. The artists held their audience captive for over an hour. The programme ended with a question and answer session. The artists were felicitated by the Principal, Mrs. Rupa Chakravarty.

opular cartoon characters Ben 10, Tom and Jerry, and Scooby Doo played at Ajanta Public School on Sunday, as a part of Cartoon Network’s promotional event—Toon Cricket—in association with Cadbury. The event brought alive the fun and excitement of this virtual cricket game. Kids were entertained throughout the event, with special character appearances, stage performances, and games. 2011 is the eighth successful year of Toon Cricket in India.

Literary Flourish

Artistic Strokes

Something Beautiful Beautiful Faces should never wear The look of scorn or selfish care Beautiful eyes should always show The kindly thoughts that dwell below Beautiful hands will not do The work that is not earnest or true Beautiful feet with gladness Go, on helpful errands to and fro. Beautiful shoulders should always bear Someone's head heavy with exertion. Beautiful souls are those that shine We call them divine. Arpitt Bhatnagar VI C, Blue Bells Model 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 contributions@fridaygurgaon.com

Title: House in a Lake Arnav Gupta , Class IV, DPS, Sector 45


18

9–15 December 2011

K id Corner

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

1

3

2

4

Š 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved


9–15 December 2011

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

I

19

Well Over Par DLF Golf And Country Club

The beautiful, colonial style Club House—exteriors of which support several wooden windows and balconies; and interiors tastefully decorated with beautiful colonial furniture and large pictures of ace golfers—is designed by the popular architect Hafeez Contractor. But what is most attractive about the Clubhouse is the open air seating, called the sun deck. It overlooks the lake, with ducks swimming free; and the course, witnessing members busy in their game. Whether its coffee, brunch or a party, this place is sure to take your friends’ breath away. Ajay Parmar, member of the DLF Golf and Country Club says, “My wife threw a birthday lunch for me out here in the sun deck last December, and all our friends absolutely loved it. You can’t get this anywhere else in Gurgaon. Even when I am done with my game of golf, we come here and chill – over lime soda or coffee. It’s absolute luxury.” The Club House offers a multicuisine restaurant, with balcony seating also, where your can enjoy your buffet or a’ la carte, soaking in the sun or feeling the cool breeze - depending on the season. The Club House also has the Eagle’s Nest, the bar, with a pool table. On the right of the Club House is the Club’s sports complex,

PRAKHAR PANDEY

n the heart of Gurgaon, between a hundred high rises, clogged roads with traffic jams, and crowded residential societies is ensconced the DLF Golf and Country Club – in 142 acres of manicured field, five mini lakes, water streams, and thousands of trees guarded by the stunning Aravalis. It is quite a retreat! Just off one of the busiest roads of Gurgaon, the Golf Course Road, lies the entrance to India’s premier world class designer golf course – taking you away from the crowded reality of Gurgaon, to a serene and beautiful area. As you go through large gates, the spacious driveway to the course—along green trimmed hedges, centre lined palms, and the strict security checks—provides for a grand entry. Rated as the best golf course in the sub-continent at the Asian Golf Monthly Award ceremony held in Singapore in 2007, and in China in 2008, the DLF Golf Course has held some of the best International Golf events like DLF Masters, Hero Women’s Indian Open, Avantha Masters, and hosted ace golfers from all over the globe. The members are not mere spectators. This 18-hole Champions course, developed according to the standards of the United States Golf Association, is also enjoyed by the golf club members throughout the week; and the weekends definitely see a bigger participation. Priyanka Sharma, DLF Marketing, explaining its exclusivity factor says, “The permanent membership has been closed now, and we provide membership on renewal basis; and only to people who own DLF properties or are tenants there. For Indian residents, the membership is 1 lac rupees per year, that can be renewed after a year; and for NRI’s it is available for five years.” For the membership of the club, the applicant must provide details of profession, lifestyle, golf experience (or a lease agreement in case of a tenant), on the basis of which the membership may be granted. Busy during the day, or escaping that tan? The DLF Golf and Country Club provides the perfect solution – Night Golf. This is the only golf course is India that provides an 18 hole flood lit course, brightened by 195 poles lighting across the greens, where you can spot the who’s who of the NCR. The night facility is available from April to December, on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

P astimes

GRAND ENTRY: The DLF Golf and Country Club is a golfers’ paradise

that offers various facilities like a swimming pool for all age groups, a well equipped fitness centre, tennis facility, squash courts and horse riding. So while you are busy putting with your friends, don’t worry about the kids; they sure have enough options to keep them occupied for over a few hours. And if your child is an aspiring golfer or

an amateur, the DLF Golf and Country Club provides a stateof-the-art flood-lit, dual level driving rage, and golf academy where your kids can follow your foot steps. Kumar Karun, member of the DLF Golf and Country Club says, “I have recently taken the membership of this club, and am loving it. I enjoy my golf session

and my lunch here, almost twice a week; and now with the winter coming in, one can bask outdoors. Besides golf, I also use the gym, and it is fantastic.” The beautiful vast green spread, the soothing lakes, the Aravalis watching over, and often enough peacocks strolling at the far end, make this place an ideal retreat for its members. u

Laughing St

ck

A woman went to the Doctor and said “When I looked in the mirror this morning, I saw my hair was frizzy, my skin wrinkly, my eyes bloodshot – what is wrong with me?”. The Doctor replied “Well, the good news is that your eyesight is fine”. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A dog thinks: My owners feed me, love me, provide me with a nice house, and take good care of me... They must be gods! A cat thinks: My owners feed me, love me, provide me with a nice house and take good care of me... I must be a goddess! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Man to Lawyer: What is your fees? Lawyer: Rs. 5,000 for 3 questions. Man: Isn’t it too high? Lawyer: Yes, it is. What is your third question? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Man called the labour room of the hospital to know about his pregnant wife. By mistake, he dialled the number of a cricket stadium. Man: How’s it going? Reply: Fine, four are already out. The last one on a duck. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A drunk man points towards the sky and asks another drunk: Is it the sun or the moon? Second Drunk: I can’t say, because I am also new in town.


20

9–15 December 2011

Pastimes

Jyotish - The Light of God

{ V.K. Gaur }

H

indu astrology is one of the six body parts of the Vedas (Vedang). It is called Jyotish (jyoti+ish) – the light of God. Vedic Jyotish has three main branches : 1) Siddhant (Astronomy); 2) Samhita (Mundane Astrology) 3) Hora (Predictive Astrology). Siddhanta: It deals with the mathematical aspect of astrology and its application. There are five important treatises on Siddhanta astrology: Surya Siddhanta Paulish Siddhanta Romak Siddhanta Vashishta Siddhanta Paitamaha Siddhanta Samhita: This sub-branch has a wide spectrum. It covers the predicting of important events related to countries – such as war, earthquake, political events, astro meteorology, economic affairs, electional astrology, Vaastu matters (relating to construction of dwellings, temples), animals, vehicles etc. Hora: It is part of the day and night circle. Hora has several sub branches: Hora/Jatak Shashtra (Natal Astrology/Horoscopy): Predictions are made from the study of the horoscope of an individual. Muhurt Astrology: It deals with predicting the most beneficial time to launch an activity/ operation – to derive maximum advantage in daily life. Swar Shashtra (Phonetical Astrology): This branch deals with predictions based on name and sound. Prashna Kundali (Horary Astrology): Predictions are based on interpretation of a

horoscope drawn from Ishtkal – the time and place a question is answered. Anka Jyotish (Numerology): It is a sub-branch, based on predictions made from numbers. Nadi Astrology: An ancient treatise, providing detailed descriptions for individuals. Tahjik Shashtra (Varshphal): An annual prediction based on the date of birth. A horoscope is drawn on the basis of birth details and solar returns. Jaimini Sutras: It is a nonconventional method of timing of events, based on theories propounded by Acharya Jaimini – the famous Indian astrologer. Nashta Jatak (Lost Horoscopy): It is an art of tracing/reconstructing lost horoscopes. Streejatak( Astrology for female): It is a special branch of astrology for female natives. Bhrigu Jyotish: Propounded by Maharshi Bhrigu . He drew horoscopes for all (so claim Bhrigu Shashtris).They ran into countless numbers. Some horoscopes are still available across the country.

The horoscope, if found (in the collection of retrieved patris/ horoscopes), spells out the past, present and the future of the native. The earliest Hindu astrology originates from the Vedas. It is the scientific study and application of language of heavenly bodies. With the help of astronomy and mathematics, heavenly bodies are mapped in the form of a horoscope. Variation in their dispositions determines the variations in the events on Earth. Vedic Astrologists knew that in the Universe nothing is static; therefore our astronomy and astrology considered the earth as the centre, and all other heavenly bodies as moving around it. Indian astronomy is geo-centric. Heliocentric astronomy considers the Sun as the centre. Indian astronomy acknowledges that the Earth is the centre of the solar system. But it also appreciates that the Sun, the Solar system and stars are all moving. Therefore Indian astronomy considers Dhruv (Polar star) as the point of relative fixity, in the galaxy of stars.

English Vedic name equivalent

Lord

Degrees

Mesh

Mars

0-30

Aries

Vrish Taurus Venus 0-60 Mithun Gemini Mercury 60-90 Kark Cancer Moon 90-120 Simha Leo Sun 120-150 Kanya Virgo Mercury 150-180 Tula Libra Venus 180-210 Vrishchika Scorpio Mars 210-240 Dhanu Saggitarius Jupiter 240-270 Makar Capricorn Saturn 270-300 Kumbh Aquarius Saturn 300-330 Meen Pisces Jupiter 330-360

Indian astronomers defined an imaginary arc/belt, 18 degrees in width, running around the Earth, in an East to West direction. The groups of stars, appearing fixed, are studded along this imaginary arc/belt. 27 such groups of stars are identified in Vedic astrology. They are called Nakshatras. The imaginary belt is

The 27 Nakshatras 1. Asvini 2. Bharani 3. Krittika 4. Rohini 5. Mrigsira 6. Ardra 7. Punarvasu 8. Pushya 9. Ashlesha 10. Magha 11. P. Phalguni 12. U. Phalguni 13. Hasta 14. Chitra 15. Swati 16. Vishakha 17. Anuradha 18. Jyestha 19. Moola 20. Purvashdha 21. Uttaradhdha 22. Shravana 23. Dhanishtha 24. Shatbhisha 25. Poorv Bhadrapad 26. Uttara bhadrapad 27. Revati

called the Zodiac. The Zodiac forms a reference point for fixing the position of any planet or star in the sky. Since it encircles the Earth, it comprises 360 degrees. So, 27 Nakshatras, placed evenly, have a span of 13’20’arc each. Krishna Yajur Veda, called the Vedanga Jyotisha, is the earliest formal Indian astrology. This document discusses the Nakshatras – the distant stars used in Hindu astrology. After confirming Ishtakal (exact time of event), the position of the Nakshatras and its value is worked out. Some astrologers also coin a 28th Nakshatra-Abhijit. In contrast to Nakshatras, there are moving heavenly bodies – called Planets or Grahas. They move along the Zodiac, from West to East. They are called Grahas, because they appear to get hold of one Nakshatra. Vedic Astrology considers 9 Grahas. They are: 1. Surya (Sun) 2. Chandrama (Moon) 3. Mangal (Mars) 4. Buddha (Mercury) 5. Guru/Brahaspati (Jupiter) 6. Shukra (Venus) 7. Shani (Saturn) 8. Rahu 9. Ketu The first 7 are Planets. Rahu and Ketu are mathematical points on the Zodiac. Other known planets do not form a part of Vedic Astrology. The path of the Sun, along the Zodiac, is known as ecliptic.The ecliptic passes through the centre of the Zodiac, at an inclined angle of 23’28 to the plane of the Equator. The Zodiac is divided into 12 equal parts, each measuring 30 degrees of the arc. Such a division is called a Rashi. A Rashi consists of two and a quarter Nakshatras. A particular group is taken as the starting point of the Zodiac. The Planets have been allotted the ownership of Rashis. Rahu and Ketu are not assigned specific Rashis. Sun and Moon have one Rashi each; whereas other planets have two Rashis each. (see box under Lord) A horoscope contains 12 houses. Rashis are fixed from Ishtkal. It is most unlikely that two persons will have a similar horoscope. The birth Nakshatra, Rashi, Graha, Yog, and their combinations are evaluated based on their strength, the House they occupy, and the mutual influence of other planets. These aspects will be discussed in subsequent write-ups. u (Drishta Vedic Astrology, Gurgaon)

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P astimes 21

9–15 December 2011

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Good Ole Bazaar In Mall City { Shirin Mann / FG }

T

he DLF Phase I Shopping Mall, better known as the Arjun Marg Market, is a one-stop market for all your shopping needs. No, do not confuse it with one of the massive enclosed multi-brand malls that Gurgaon exhibits; this shopping mall is more of an open-air bazaar. Set up in 1984, the red brick building today has 140 shops – eateries, cafes, confectionery stores, book store, several tailors and garment stores, electronics and gadgets stores, restaurants, banks and ATMs; and fresh fruits, flowers and fresh vegetable vendors. At first glance, the market has a worn out look – but just go right in. The Market is a hit as it has some of the best sweet shops and bakeries in town. Are you looking for some different cakes

and chocolates for those special occasions? Sweet Nothings and Angels in My Kitchen will definitely catch your eye – with their birthday, Diwali, Christmas and New Year specials. And if you are looking for something more traditional, the Sweets Corner, with its mouth watering barfi, gulab jamun and jalebi will definitely make you want to return. Mirna Singh, Architect and a regular at the Market says, “Sweet Nothings has the best cakes and cup cakes in town. I order all birthday, anniversary or any other celebration cakes from here. The best is hard to pick, because they are all so good; but a cake that everyone will like is the chocolate truffle. And I am really looking forward to the Christmas goodies. Sometimes even my friends in Delhi ask me to bring cupcakes from here.” The market also houses some fabulous restaurants – Colonel

Kebabz, a popular food chain of Delhi, is known to have the best kebabs and Rogan Josh, and is quite a crowd puller. Bagel Cafe, run by a Dutch woman, serves a delectable variety of Bagel sandwiches, milk shakes and desserts, and is a hit amongst the youngsters. Do try their smoked chicken with sour cream on a multigrain bagel. You will not stop at one! The Sameer Qureshi Mutton and Chicken Corner is popular, specially with youngsters. They relish munching on their rolls, sitting on open air benches and enjoying the winter chill. The Corner resembles the open food corners in Saket New Delhi. It is open till late hours. The market also has several garment shops. Some have tailors stitching suits and coats, while others sell jackets and other pieces of clothing – most of which seem like a copy of some

designer brand. As we walk past one of the stalls selling jackets, the shopkeeper approaches us. “Madam, Adidas, Nike, Reebok all brands available, only for Rs 500. I also have a special Ralph Lauren jacket for you, only Rs 800.” And with a bit of bargaining you could easily reduce the price by about 30%. Now that’s affordable! With winter setting in, we saw quite a crowd heading for these stalls. Even though this is an open bazaar, safety and security is not an issue. This shopping mall of DLF Phase I too has surveillance cameras at all four corners of the market. And several private security guards also keep watch. “The market has 8 security guards from Eli Security, on a 24 hour watch. Along with tightened security, we have also removed corridor encroachments, to make it easier for the shoppers to walk

around and shop,” says MK Big, Secretary of Arjun Marg Shopkeepers Association. However, like most of other Gurgaon malls, parking is an issue here. It is not only a problem for shoppers, but also for local residents as well – as visitors many a times park their cars in front of private property. The good thing, however, is that there is parking available for the physically challenged visitor. If you avoid the evening rush hours, or park a distance away and walk, this market is the perfect, convenient hang out – offering something for everybody. Says MK Big, “Our motto is availability and affordability. And that’s what makes Arjun Marg Market such a favourite place for Gurgaonites. We are also planning water coolers, so that next year our visitors can enjoy summer shopping as well.” u

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be the change you want to see


22

9–15 December 2011

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

O

ver 40,000 and counting… this is the number of phytonutrients (nutrients derived from plants) that are under classification. There can be no better evidence of Nature’s abundance! The role of phytonutrients is to protect plants from disease and injury. They form a part of the plant’s immune system. Phytochemicals (a variety of compounds produced by plants) are present in virtually all fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans and peas), and grains that we eat – so it is quite easy to include them in our diet. The old saying ‘Eat a colourful meal!’ or ‘Eat your veggies’ is hitting home now. Since ancient times, man has experimented with the healing properties of plant-substances. Some drugs in common use today were originally extracted from plants. Phytochemicals can act as powerful antioxidants in the body. They help prevent cell damage, enhance immune response, prevent cancer cell replication, and decrease cholesterol levels. Some of the more commonly known phytochemicals include beta carotene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), folic acid, and vitamin E. The phenols, or polyphenols have received much attention in scientific literature. They include : • the anthocyanidins, which give blueberries and grapes their dark blue and purple colour • the catechins, found in tea and wine, responsible for the bitter taste as well as the attractive colour • Flavonoids, the reddish pigments, found in red grape skins and citrus fruits • Isoflavones, found in flax, rye, peanuts, lentils, soy and other legumes, may help protect against hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast cancer. The other groupings of phytochemicals are: • Terpenes, a term used to describe carotenoids, some of

W ellness

Have You Taken Your ‘Phytos’ Today? which are precursors to vitamin A. They account for the yellow, orange and red pigments in carrots and tomatoes • Limonoids, which are found in citrus fruits; characterised by the ‘fresh’ smell • Coumarins, the natural blood thinners found in parsley, licorice and citrus fruits • Glucosinolates and indoles, from brassica vegetables like broccoli, are organo-sulfur compounds with strong detoxifying actions in the body; as are allylic sulfides from garlic and onions • Organic acids, which include some powerful antioxidants, like ferulic acid, which is found in whole grains.

Tip of the week

Taking a tip from the rich and colorful palette of Nature, each meal can be choreographed to be a veritable ‘delight involving all our senses’. Consuming foods across all the colours in the rainbow – can add zest to any meal. Of course, phytonutrients are not only about colour. There are those that have a strong aroma, like the glucosinolates—found in broccoli, cauliflower and horseradish—which protect us by helping break down potentially harmful substances. Most fragrant plant foods like herbs, spices and teas are rich in phytonutrients.

Nature’s wonder foods of the week:

Almost all plant foods con-

broccoli, and sweet corn. Flavanols - Proanthocyanidins (antiinflammatory and antioxidant capabilities; may contribute to maintenance of heart health and urinary tract health, help stabilize collagen and promote circulation and oxygenation of the blood): Teas (especially green), cocoa, chocolate, apples, red grapes, berries, cranberries, and red wine.

tain health-promoting phytochemicals. Important sources for various groups are: Carotenoids (important as Pro Vitamin A; and to promote growth and development, and immune system health): Carrots, pumpkin, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cantaloupe, broccoli, mangoes, apricots, and red peppers. Beta-cryptyzanthin can be found in mango, papaya, oranges, tangerines, carrots, red peppers, and pumpkins. Lycopene (powerful antioxidant; may help protect against prostate cancer): Tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, persimmon. Lutein (found in the retina; absorbs blue light to protect eyes against oxidative damage): Kale, spinach, collard greens, peas, squashes, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts,

Flavanones(strengthen cellular antioxidant defenses): Citrus fruits and juices. Flavonols( strengthen antioxidant defenses, can reduce risk of various cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes): Yellow onions, leeks, kale, broccoli, teas, apples, and berries. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, turnip and watercress, contain glucosinolates( sulphur containing compounds). Cruciferous veggies protect against cancer because they are high in fiber – which helps eliminate toxins. Additionally, these are full of cancer-fighting flavonoids, carotenoids, chlorophyll, potassium, selenium and vitamin C. Chlorophyll: A pigment found in green plants and algae, that helps protect against cancer by binding with carcinogens, before they are absorbed in the gut. Abundant in foods like spinach, parsley, watercress, arugula, and

green beans. Curcumin: Found in turmeric, curry and spices. It is a fatsoluble yellow pigment, that has been used for centuries. Research has shown that curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and can increase glutathione (another antioxidant) in cells. It may also prove useful to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. As curcumin is an anticoagulant, people on blood thinning drugs like Coumadin should talk to their doctors about drug interactions. Lignans: Lignans are a major class of phytoestrogens found mainly in seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower) and nuts, as well as in legumes, fruits and vegetables. Lignan consumption has been consistently associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and may help reduce risk of certain cancers. Soy isoflavones (phytoestrogens) are a type of flavonoid that can mimic the effects of estrogen. Tofu, miso, soybeans, tempeh and soymilk are the best food sources of isoflavones. A phytonutrient, resveratrol, found in red wine, has cancer-fighting properties. Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant that acts synergistically with vitamin C - to enhance the effect of both. It also prevents the formation of blood clots, and promotes the formation of new dendrites in the brain. Bioflavonoids, also called Anthocynandins (can strengthen cellular antioxidant defences; may help preserve brain function): blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, plum, red cabbage, red onion, black currants, and red and purple grapes. The antioxidant properties of these anthocyanidins (blue green pigments) are now being investigated by healthcare researchers. (For education purposes only; consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions.) u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition)

Pill Out Your Cold

{ Irene Gupta }

W

DURGADATT PANDEY

ith the onset of winter, red noses will be on the rise. The dipping of mercury will not only lower temperatures, but bring on the ‘common cold’ as well. The common cold, as the name suggests, is perhaps the most universal of all infections. Though people of all age groups contract the cold, children are especially prone. However, not every cold needs to be treated; since the body’s immune system is capable of responding to the cold. Says Homeopath Dr. Maganjot Kaur, BHMS, South City-I, “Cold is a self-limiting disease. The body’s immune system is able to fight the disease. Treat a cold only if the symptoms are significantly troubling; and if the condition lingers.”

Cold is an upper-respiratory infection, and generally starts with a tickle in the throat, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. But if the cold worsens, it results in sore throat, loss of appetite, slight fever, and cough. The cough could be dry, and a nasal discharge may or may not accompany it. A common cold usually runs itself out in 5 to 7 days; if it persists, it is a cause for concern. “It could be indicative of possible complications like bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis. Cold is also a common trigger for asthma, and could lead to ear-infection in children,” cautions the doctor. Another cause for alarm is self-medication. Self-medication is not recommended,” says Dr. Kaur, “as symptoms change.” Also, in homeopathy, medicine has to be tailored to the patient’s background. “Many a time people confuse allergies with cold. In case a patient has recurring cold, it is not necessary that they have contracted a new cold – it just could be that they have a weak immune sys-

tem.” Dr. Kaur gives some examples. “Say, for instance, someone is sneezing all the time; it is not a cold, but allergic rhinitis. Most people would confuse this with a cold. The same is the case with hyperactive airway disease,” says Dr. Kaur. It may not be easy to prevent a cold. However, there are some guidelines that one could keep in mind, when tackling a cold; that also boost the immune system:Drink a lot of water; get adequate rest; avoid extreme weather conditions; do not keep going in and out of air conditioned rooms – the same holds true when using heaters; maintain good oral hygiene and regularly rinse the mouth; ensure aeration of the rooms; take steam inhalation; and avoid artificially coloured food items. Colds often respond well to homeopathic remedies. This is a tremendous advantage over modern medicine, which has no cure for the common cold. Aconitum Napelus—commonly known as Aconite—is a great medicine to treat all ail-

ments that start, after an exposure to cold air. It should be taken during the first stage of a cold; a few doses can completely cure. Calcarea Carb is a remedy for infants or children who experience frequent colds. The symptoms include a sore throat, with swelling of the tonsils and lymph nodes; a yellowish nasal discharge; and rattling respiration due to loose mucus in the throat and chest. Ferrum Phosphoricum is often taken to prevent a cold. It is very similar to Aconite, and may be used when the onset is less sudden and violent; and when there is no anxiety and restlessness. Pulsatilla is often prescribed when the cold is ripe – the patient has thick yellow discharge, and a stuffy nose. Also, the patient feels worse at night, and worse from fatty foods; he/she prefers to be outdoors, and may have nose bleeds. Belladonna is advised if there is a high fever and a headache, at the first stage of a cold. u It is best to consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions


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24

9–15 December 2011

S ports Features

Field includes winners of three of the last four Indian Open winners – Phatlum Pornanong (Thailand) 2008/2009; and Laura Davies (England) 2010. Field includes winner of the first ever Ladies European Tour event in India, Indian Masters in Bangalore in 2001Gwladys Nocera (Sweden) Players representing 26 countries Caroline Hedwall (Sweden) has won three titles this year, second only to World no.1 Yani Tseng’s four (including the British Open), on LET 2011.

European Order of Merit List (Also called Henderson Money List)

Hero Women’s Indian Open 2011

Who Will Swing It? { Shirin Mann / FG }

T

he fifth edition of Hero Women’s Indian Open tees off, at one of the best courses in the country – the DLF Golf and Country Club. The Opening witnessed some of the best women golfers – like Laura Davies, a seven time European Order of Merit Winner; Sophie Gustafson of Sweden, a four time winner of the Money List; the talented rookie Caroline Hedwall, a three time winner of this season; and the lively Christina Kim of the United States of America. Christina Kim is all smiles and says, “The caddy of the winner of last year’s event, is my caddy this year; so I hope he brings me that luck.” 108 leading women golfers from 26 countries will be seen competing for the huge cash prize of $300,000, and the shining silver trophy. The Tournament opens on Friday the 9th, and concludes on Sunday, 11th December, 2011. The legendary Laura Davies, one of the best women golfers, will be the first to tee-off. She won the event last year, in spite of her golf bag arriving only hours before she teed off. She beautifully won the event without any practice, in a four-way play-off. The fifth edition will also witness South African Lee-Ann Pace, the 2010 Money List winner, and Phatlum Pornanong of Thailand, a two-time Indian Open winner. Rubbing shoulders with the world class golfers, the Indian Challenge will be led by Sharmila Nicollet, the present topper on the domestic Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour. The Indian challenge will also include Smriti Mehra, who

helped construct and popularise women’s golf in India, Nalini Singh (Siwach), Neha Tripathi and Saaniya Sharma, among others. Sharmila Nicollete wants to bounce back from her previous slips, and has a plan in place. “I have been practicing a lot, and I have to be consistent in scoring. This is one of my favourite courses in the country, and I am confident of doing well.

There has been a major change in my putting practices; and I have also been working on my swing. I have to trust what I have learnt, and just go out and do that.” Nalini Singh says, “I don’t make plans, and so I don’t have any plan. I am just going to go out there and give it my best.” Other prominent names in the list include the recent Sanya Ladies Open champion, Australian Frances Bondad;

C

alendar for the 2012 Formula One season, approved on Wednesday by the World Motor Sport Council of the ruling body FIA.

 March 18 Australia Melbourne  March 25 Malaysia Sepang  April 15 China Shanghai  April 22 Bahrain Sakhir  May 13 Spain Barcelona  May 27 Monaco Monte Carlo  June 10 Canada Montreal

Countries represented at the 5th Hero Women’s Indian Open

Australia, Austria, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Slovak, Scotland, S Africa, Sweden, Thailand, US and Wales. the Lacoste Ladies Open de France champion Felicity Johnson; the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf winner, Jade Schaffer of France; the Lalla Meryem Cup winner Zuzana Kamasova; and Ashleigh Simon, winner at the Portugal Ladies Open. Also seen on Indian greens after a span of four years will be Becky Brewerton and Trish Johnson, along with Gwladys Nocera from France, who won the LET’s EMAAR-MGF Indian Ladies Masters in Bangalore in 2007. Established as one of the best attended events in Asia, the Hero Women’s Indian Open is a co-sanctioned event between the Ladies European Tour, the Ladies Asian Golf Tour, and the Women’s Golf Association of India. As a penultimate event on the LET’s 2011 schedule, the Hero Women’s Indian Open 2011 will be a critical event in deciding the players’ final Henderson Money List rankings – a week before the LET’S season-ending tournament, the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in the U.A.E. u

The 2012 Formula One Calendar { Berlin / dpa }

Field includes LET Order of Merit winners since 2006 – Lee-Ann Pace (2010); Sophie Gustafson (2009); Gwladys Nocera (2008); Sophie Gustafson (2007); and Laura Davies (2006). Six players in the current field have between them won the LET OOM 15 times since 1985. 13 of the last 21 winners of LET Order of Merit (OOM) since 1990 are in the 2011 Hero Women’s Indian Open field. Laura Davies, record holder of most LET OOM titles-4. Lee-Ann Pace, reigning LET OOM winner, from 2010.

 June 24 Europe Valencia  July 8 Britain Silverstone  July 22 Germany Hockenheim  July 29 Hungary Budapest  September 2 Belgium Spa-Francorchamps  September 9 Italy Monza  September 23 Singapore  October 7 Japan Suzuka  October 14 South Korea Yeongam  October 28 India New Delhi  November 4 Abu Dhabi  November 18 United States Austin  November 25 Brazil Sao Paulo


PRAKHAR PANDEY

9–15 December 2011

The BPO Story

Eyes Wide Open

B usiness

wearing one colour a day, pizzas for exceptional performance, or just a ‘hey-ho’ for a colleague’s birthday; but we do make it a point to cheer up the employees. And I’ll say that other industries and corporate offices have picked it up from the BPO industry.” Pooja says, “My immediate boss is a wonderful person. He often calls his team over to his house on the weekends, and it serves as a wonderful time-off for us.”

friends into BPO and non-BPO, I’d have to say that it is an even divide,” says Pooja Oberoi, a Quality Analyst. “My husband works in the travel industry, and we have friends from both the professions.” Plus, this profession allows for greater interactivity and thus, the employees have ‘friendship that extends beyond the headset’, as they put it. Her husband says, “We’re comfortable in our routine. We know when the other will be free for family duties, and work accordingly. Couples now have to work to make ends meet and enjoy life - and I like the fact that my wife is an independent woman who can hold her own in this world.”

How Does it Feel

Payel says, “Even if I had a choice, I won’t join any other industry. I’ve worked long and hard for this, and I think of our workers and myself as nothing less than brand ambassadors for the BPO industry.” Parthasarthi Roychoudhury, an Operations Manager, says, “Before this, I was a medical representative. When I joined

Bag O’ Fun

BPO industry is a place where you have fun and camaraderie, along with work and money. There are plenty of jokes and jibes alright,

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

I

t’s been there, done that... but the dust has not yet settled – after more than a decade. The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) life of India has seen a meteoric rise, a slump – and then cheated its predicted ‘death’ to settle into a lucrative groove. The country’s youth have a new-age avenue to earn their livelihood, and an early entry opportunity into the two-BHK, two-car life. But how has this new style of livelihood changed the working youth, and those around them? How is a day (or night) in the life of a BPO employee different from a 9-to-5er?

Reasons for joining: then... and now

“Earlier, the youth joined the BPOs in search of fast, easy money. They discovered soon that the job was just as labourintensive as any other profession, albeit better-paying,” says Bhupender Singh, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Intelenet Serco. This explains the industry’s massive attrition rate; both when it was the flavour of the day, and when there was talk of of its slow death. To start with, “there was the pressure of ‘false accents’, and a slow worldwide acceptance of a new industry – the outsourcing of business processes. When the clients realised that their clients and customers would be better off with a more efficient service (never mind the accents), the false ‘overtones’ went out the window. There are no illusions about this industry now, and it has a steady workforce,” Singh says. There are still crowds of people joining in. but they clearly know what working in the industry entails. Garima Jaraut, who works as a Customer Care Executive (CCE), says, “I joined the BPO industry a year and a half ago. As of now, I’m working flexi-shifts, which allows me to pursue my graduation. I have time to spare during my college hours, and I want to gain some work experience in this time.” Intelenet- Serco’s Associate Vice-President (Communications) Shomendra Moitra says, “The people who join the BPO industry today are smart, savvy, and know what they want. Our company has tailored worktimings for different people; and

Great Place to Work (GPTW) has rated us as India’s best companies to work for.” Payel Gupta, who works as a process trainer, says, “I completed my graduation, and joined a BPO around seven-eight years ago. It’s been a long journey, and now I want to stay in this industry. It suits me, pays me well, and I like my work hours and the environment.”

Hours: Working / Not Working

How do the employees manage their time with friends— and

over twice or thrice. My father has been ill for a little while, and my company allowed me to take some extra leave,” says Payel. Atul says, “I don’t lose out on time with my family, and neither with my friends. I have fun on my weekends with my buddies, relax and do everything a ‘normal time’ person does. Why should it be any different, just because we don’t work the ‘normal hours’”? In any industry, it is a fact that one’s peers and friends often end up in similar professions. “If I had to divide my

Up Close, And Personal... “It’s like a set of scales. You get something, you give back something,” Atul Kumar Sharma says, “We get two days off. The first week-end usually goes in sleeping, to recharge the body. And we have to report in on Monday evening, which means that what people have on Saturday, we have to make do with Monday. That sucks, I guess,” he comments. What change in priorities has he seen in the youngsters joining the BPOs now, compared to when he joined the industry? “There’s change, certainly. When we joined the BPO industry, we knew it as a source of easy money, nothing else. The avenue was fresh, and so were we. My priorities changed over time as I worked here, and I realise that I have a chance to make my future here. Now, the youngsters are more aware. They know the workings of the industry, they conduct surveys within their friends and families before making the jump. They are much more prepared than we were, I’d say,” Atul comments. When it comes to marriage, would he prefer a partner from the same or a similar industry? “I’d say that the name of the game is adjustment. People here would prefer a partner who can understand their work and timings; but two people in absolutely different shifts would spell disaster. I feel as long as there’s understanding between two people, shifts and work don’t matter all that much,” he smiles. more importantly, family— with ‘reverse work timings’? “Once you get used to it, it’s not so much of a chore, as a part of your life,” says Atul Kumar Sharma. He has been working in this industry for four years, and is a Senior Quality Analyst. Besides that, “I work out for an hour in my neighbourhood gym, and then train others for three hours. When you learn how to allocate time, you don’t lose out on any activity that people in other fields do.” It’s not like people are forever stuck in night-shifts. There is a rotation of shifts; so that no one feels left out completely, opine employees. “I don’t feel that I lose out on time with my family. They live in Lucknow, and I take leave to visit them. In an year, I usually go

says Pooja. As she recounts smilingly, “When I was in my last trimester, I went to ask my boss for maternity leave. My (male) colleague sitting there commented that he should also have been entitled for leave, as he supported his wife when she delivered. At that point, the boss said ‘I don’t have a problem with the leave, as long as you undergo the labour pains’.” Anand Kumar Sinha, an Assistant Manager, says, “This industry has given me the only moment when I truly felt like shouting with joy. I had worked long and hard for my promotion, and I finally got it after two years. in 2008. I can’t forget the moment when my superior handed me the envelope containing the promotion letter. At that time, I felt like I’d achieved something in life.”

the BPO industry, a small-town guy like me was agape at the work culture. The people, the way they worked, it was an entirely new world for me. Gradually, I became a part of this industry; and now, I can’t think of a profession besides this. It’s been nearly a decade for me in the BPO field; it’s been good for me, and I do feel that I’ve made the right choice in my life.” The new crop of people working in the BPO industry are aware of what the industry demands of them, and what they can expect from it in return. They are not under any illusions of fast money and a faster life. They’re focussed, forthright, and fun. As Bhupender Singh succinctly puts it, “It’s like working factory hours in a very white collar job. It’s tough, pays well and is enjoyable.” Whether it is someone joining fresh out of college, or someone putting on the headset for the millionth time, it’s ‘eyes wide open’ – the industry never sleeps. u

Time Out

“We make it a point to enliven the work atmosphere from time to time,” says a BPO team leader in Genpact. “It can be my team

Realty Rates

25

(in Rs. as of December 7, 2011)

DLF Phase 1 2 BHK Apartment 7,000/ sq ft

3 BHK Apartment 8,600/ sq ft

4 BHK Apartment 9,000/ sq ft

2 BHK House 11,500/ sq ft

3 BHK House 12,500/ sq ft

4 BHK House 16,500/ sq ft

2 BHK Apartment 7,500/ sq ft

3 BHK Apartment 8,100/ sq ft

4 BHK Apartment 10,000/ sq ft

3 BHK House 18,000/ sq ft

4 BHK House 18,000/ sq ft

5 BHK House 16-17,000/ sq ft

Residential Plots 40,000/ sq ft

DLF Phase 2 Residential Plots 19-20,000/ sq ft


26

9–15 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


9–15 December 2011

T ime Pass

27

Zits

Andy Capp

Daddy’s Home Solution RH, CW and AY. The sum of the places the letters occupy in the alphabet invariably equals 26.

Ipso facto The Born Loser

Two Wise Men

Tiger

Baby Blues

The Better Half


28

9–15 December 2011

New Euro Cruises What crisis? { Fred Friedrich / Hamburg / DPA }

E

urope is heading for a golden age - at least when it comes to vacationing on the high seas. Eight new waterborne hotels will be setting out to sea next year. The class of 2012 promises to be an interesting one, not least because two legendary vessels will be making a comeback. The “Berlin” had sailed across German households’ TV sets between 1986 and 1998, as the setting for the popular Traumschiff (dream ship) television series. Now, for the Munich travel group FTI, the Berlin will be plying the Mediterranean Sea. The 139-metrelong ship can accommodate up to 456 pa sengers. What was previously known as the “Columbus” for the Hapag-Lloyd cruise line will be operating as the “Hamburg” for the Plantours company. Aboard the 144-metre-long vessel, the 400 passengers will be able to enjoy their buffet dinners in a garden of palm trees. During tours of the Antarctic region,

LUXURY REDEFINED: The 315 metre-long ‘Celebrity Reflection’

passengers can embark on expeditions using special inflatable boats. Filling the gap in the HapagLloyd lineup will be the 180-metre-long “Columbus 2,” on which 11 different categories of cabins can accommodate up to 698 passengers. Almost all

the cabins are on the outside, and two-thirds of these are outfitted with a teak woodfloored balcony. Evoking the glamour of the past cruise ship eras is the “Disney Fantasy,” an Art Decostyled vessel measuring nearly 340 metres. Mickey Mouse and

Co. are naturally to be seen everywhere, among others, in the new dinner show called “Animator’s Palate” and in the Aladdin musical. Upwards of 4,000 passengers can travel on Disney Fantasy. Clearly smaller is the 238-metre-long “Riviera” of the Oceania Cruises line, carrying 1,258 passengers. It is the sister vessel of the “Marina.” Whether one’s food preferences run to American, Italian, French, Asian or International, the Riviera’s nine restaurants promise to suit every taste. At the Costa cruise line, two premieres are planned. First, the 290-metre-long “Costa Fascinosa” carrying 3,800 passengers will become the largest Italian-flag cruise ship. In addition, the Italians are investing some 90 million euros (120 million dollars) in renovating the “Costa Romantica.” The ship will have 789 cabins - 111 more than before - and a capacity for up to 1,800 passengers. Re-christened as the “Costa neoRomantica,” the ship will be sailing to the Canary Islands. Meanwhile, the cruise company Aida announced a world premiere for the christening of its 252-metre-long “Aidamar” ship. The ninth vessel in Aida’s fleet will be launched alongside its sister ships “Aidaluna,”

G lobal “Aidabulu,” and “Aidasol” at the 823rd Hamburg Harbour Festival on May 12, 2012. On the new ship, up to 2,174 passengers can wine and dine in the seven restaurants and 12 bars. “La Divina” - the goddess - is what they called screen legend Sophia Loren in Italy. And Sophia Loren herself will preside over the christening of the MSC Divina of the MSC cruise company in Marseilles next May 26. At 333 metres and with a capacity of 4,363 passengers, the La Divina is larger than its predecessors. The stern area of the vessel has been redesigned with an Infinity pool. In the 306-metre-long “Carnival Breeze,” the cabin design combines European style with a bit of tropical flair. Up to 3,646 passengers can pass the time in an aqua park with a corkscrew waterslide or the SportSquare outdoor fitness and adventure area; while quenching their thirst in the “Thirsty Frog” bar – with beer from the ship’s own brewery. Larger, wider and higher - this is the slogan of the 315-metre-long “Celebrity Reflection” that can carry some 3,030 passengers. The number 5 of the quintet of vessels of the Solstice company has one deck more than its predecessors, and offers, among other features, 34 AquaClass suites. u

Young People Leaving Russia To “Escape Putin” { Benedikt von Imhoff and Ulf Mauder / Moscow / DPA }

R

ussian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s expected return to the presidency horrifies 27-year-old Alexei. “When that happens, I will emigrate,” the computer specialist says. Many young Russians feel the same way. With parliamentary elections just concluded, anger and doubts about the leadership are rife. Observers even speak of an “escape from Putin.” “We are being lied to, from A to Z,” gripes 32-year-old Oksana – who, like many others, did not want her real name published. Oksana has a lot of worries – unfair elections, lack of opportunity, high inflation, corruption, rising food prices, and sinking salaries. Above all, it is the fear of being governed for even longer, by the power team of Putin and current Kremlin boss Dmitry Med-

vedev – without hope of change. This is pushing educated young people to leave Russia. Medvedev is the leading candidate for his and Putin’s United Russia Party in the parliamentary elections; while Putin is seeking the Presidency in the March presidential election. Meaning – the two would switch jobs. In an October survey by the Levada opinion research centre, 22 per cent of those questioned said they wanted to emigrate twice as many as at the end of the Soviet Union. About 1.5 million of Russia’s 140 million people have left the country in recent years, experts estimate. Emigration is now seen as a serious problem, and the government is taking countermeasures. The danger of a braindrain is well recognized, said Andrei Nikitin, head of the Moscow Agency for Strategic Initiatives. The agency is tasked with handling educated people, who have doubts about the Russian

system, Nikitin told dpa and other media. “Extra structures must be created, so that the young and interested people with unique perspectives can carry out their ideas and proposals,” Putin himself said recently; commenting on the role of the Agency he created. Medvedev took the same line, and promised greater modernization: “The problem is that we have to create the conditions to work in the homeland.” Nikitin said Russia is trying to entice emigrants back home, with programmes such as a rebate on training costs for civil servants. One of the State’s model projects is the new Skolkovo Innovation and Technology Centre near Moscow, where Russia’s best minds are meant to move modernization forward. But many scientists would rather try their luck abroad. The loss of scientists is

having a noticeable impact on research, the newspaper Kommersant said. Biologists, mathematicians and physicists complain about poor social conditions, oversized bureaucracy, and the opaque allocation of research money in a corrupt scientific community. “Those who have the chance to work abroad, just leave the country,” biologist Ilya Kolmanovsky

told Kommersant. “I do not want my child to grow up in this country,” says Alexander, from Moscow. But the 37-yr-old does not have the money to emigrate; so he withdraws into his family life. Over the weekend, he heads for the family’s little dacha, or second home, in the countryside. It’s not the permanent escape he’s hoping for; put perhaps it’s the next best thing. u


9–15 December 2011

Spain { Sara Barderas / Madrid / DPA }

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ocated in the upper-class Recoletos neighbourhood, in premises measuring more than 1,000 square metres, The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is doing well ... in Spain. It is “already making a profit, in less than a year’s time,” says Liu Gang, ICBC general director for Spain. The subsidiary employs 16 Chinese, and only two Spaniards; in a reflection of what many Spaniards see as the inward character of the country’s Chinese community. “They like dealing with people who share their culture and language,” a Spanish employee says at the Madrid office of ICBC.

SERVING THE CHINESE: A branch of Chinese Banking Giant ICBC, in Spain

The bank’s only Spanish subsidiary was opened in January, to serve Chinese living in Spain. They form one of the country’s fastest-growing immigrant communities. It is yet another example of the impact Chinese emigration is having on Spain. The country’s more than 160,000 Chinese constitute the country’s 10th-biggest immigrant community. While the country’s deep economic crisis is driving immigrants from Latin America or Morocco back home, the Chinese community had grown by 5 per cent (early 2011), compared to a year earlier. Spain’s economic stagnation, and 21.5-per-cent unemployment, do not deter Chinese entrepreneurs, who seem to be present all over the country.

The Dragon Leap Which Madrid resident, for instance, does not know a Chinese restaurant nearby? Who does not depend on their local Chinese food shop on evenings or weekends, when other establishments are closed? Who has not shopped at Chinese all-purpose bazaars, which seem to offer anything for just one euro (1.33 dollars)? Nearly 35,000 Chinese had their own business in July, according to the Spanish Entrepreneurs’ Federation ATA. No other immigrant group in Spain includes such a large proportion of entrepreneurs. “They have resources and means to launch their own businesses. They have more financial facilities than other communities,” ATA representative Guillermo Guerrero says. Chinese immigrants in Spain sent 252 million euros (335 million dollars) to their country of origin in 2010, according to remesas.org, a group analysing such financial movements. That made China the ninth-biggest destination of funds sent, by migrants living in Spain. Such figures show that the Chinese move a lot of money, despite their reputation of working hard and earning little. “Chinese shopkeepers are very happy that we came here,” says one of the Chinese employees at the ICBC Madrid office. Unlike immigrants from other regions, Chinese often do not seek jobs with Spanish companies, but come to establish their own firms. Chinese companies frequently employ other Chinese, sell Chinese products, and place their savings in Chinese banks. The Chinese are also known to lend each other money free of interest, instead of taking bank loans. Are the Chinese integrating into Spanish society? There are two ways of looking at it, says university professor Gladys Nieto, an expert on Chinese presence in Spain. “If we talk about administrative and labour integration, it can be considered full and successful,” she says. But as to the extent to which Chinese interact with Spaniards, “it is possible that relations are only limited to superficial contacts,” she adds. u

Peru { Fiorella Palmieri / Lima / DPA } Friendly, smiling, hard-working: such is the stereotype for “el chinito de la esquina,” the Chinese man on the corner. The country has a very large, wellestablished community of Chinese descent, which has developed over more than 150 years and now has over 1 million people, better known locally as “tusanes.” At the San Joi Lau, a restaurant in Lima’s Chinatown, Luis Yong keeps a watchful eye on everything. He perfectly fits the stereotype of the “chinito de la esquina,” and yet he stopped being one a long time ago. Yong is a doctor and the former director of an important hospital in Lima as well as the owner of two prosperous “chifas,” restaurants that serve a popular fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine. In 2008, he had dinner with Chinese President Hu Jintao when Hu visited Peru for a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. “How might we surprise the president?” wondered Yong, who is also an experienced chef and who designed the menu for the meal. Yong opted for Chi Jau Kuy, confident that Hu would never have tried that. “People in China eat anything that moves, but there is no ‘cuy’ (guinea pig) there,” he recalls in an interview with dpa. The fusion of Guinea pig and what is otherwise known as Chi Jau Kay, a chifa dish that is usually made with chicken, was the star of the dinner. “The president loved it,” says Yong.

TASTE OF CHINA: A Chifa ( Chinese restaurant), in Peru

Influential members of the tusan community, including then-minister of education Jose Antonio Chang, were at the meal. For Yong, it was a chance to show off the contributions that the Chinese community has made to Peru. “In 1999 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of Chinese immigration to Peru. The tusan is now a figure that is respected by the Chinese because he is the descendant of a successful migrant. We rose from the bottom and we stand out in every field of professional life, culture, the economy,” says Yong, who is also the director of culture at the Peruvian-Chinese Association. “Twenty per cent of Peru’s doctors have Chinese surnames, there is not one schoolchild who does not have a ‘chinito’ classmate,” he adds. Research shows that Peru has the oldest Chinese community in Latin America, with over 1 million people of Chinese descent. Food provides the best example of Chinese-Peruvian integration, with “chifas” all across the country that

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ithin just a few years, the Chinese community in Argentina has become entwined with supermarkets. Around 10,000 such stores across the South American country have replaced traditional corner stores. Today, grocery shopping amounts to going “al chino”: to the Chinese store. An estimated 20 new Chinese supermarkets open in Argentina every month. Most of these stores are in Buenos Aires and its suburbs, but they have a presence in cities all across the country. These supermarkets have beaten the competition from small corner stores, and are increasingly tough rivals for large supermarket chains. Their secret lies in group purchases of goods, in cash, which lead to significant discounts that they can then pass on to their customers. But there is a darker picture. Sources close to the Chinese community told dpa that, when the large wave of Chinese immigrants started arriving in Argentina in the 1990s, some compatriots offered them protection, in exchange for large sums of money to be paid in dollars. At the time the Argentine peso was pegged to the dollar, with 1 peso being worth 1 dollar. Devaluation started in early 2002, however, and 1 dollar is now worth more than 4 pesos. Suddenly the protection was unaffordable; but failure to pay resulted in threats. At store entrances, one can see various characters in Mandarin, that represent the gangs that grant protection to each shop. Those gangs, some of which are by now “mixed” and have Argentine members, are reportedly also linked to financial organizations that lend money to businessmen

arriving in the country. However, silence rules, and few will speak up on the issue in public. Business associations that bring together Chinese store owners are cautious, while Argentine security forces have requested the assistance of their Chinese colleagues. But reports of violence are rife, and incidences of violence are sometimes deadly. Beyond that, customers have to accept some challenges, while shopping at the Chinese stores. Store owners generally do not accept traditional credit or debit cards, and they recently created their own means of payment – the yellow Red Economia card. Chinese store owners generally speak very little Spanish - barely enough to get customers what they need, and accept payment for it. But their facilities often hold vegetable stores that they sublet to Bolivian or Peruvian immigrants, and butchers’ stores that are generally managed by Argentines. There are currently around 80,000 Chinese citizens living in Argentina, according to the Chinese Embassy in Buenos Aires. Other sources put the figure at 120,000, while Argentine migration authorities granted some 24,650 residency permits to Chinese citizens from 2004 through 2010. Most of these Chinese come from Fujian province, with a traditionally trade-oriented population, and a history of migration. Many of the early immigrants arrived in the South American country in search of Argentine documents, that would make it easier for them to move to other destinations, like the United States. However, some opted to stay, and found their niche in Argentine society. Longer-settled migrants help families that have just arrived in the country. New families start out with basic tasks, and gradually get together enough money to open up their own supermarket. But China’s presence in Argentina is not limited to supermarkets. In Buenos Aires, there is a Chinatown, the “Barrio Chino,” with temples, stores and restaurants specifically catering for the Chinese community. And, in recent years, Chinese capital has made a mark in sectors of the Argentine economy – from agriculture to oil and finance. The powerful Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is set to gain footing in Argentina, by buying a portion of shares in the local subsidiary of the South African Standard Bank. Moreover, a Chinese firm signed a deal with the Argentine Patagonian province of Rio Negro, to finance irrigation systems for some 300,000 hectares; which are set to be used to produce foodstuffs for export to China. u

cater for rich and poor alike. They serve food any time of day, with classics like chaufa rice (fried rice), sauteed noodles, wonton soup and fried wonton. When it comes to beverages, a popular Peruvian soft drink and more recently “chicha morada” (made with purple maize) have replaced the jasmine tea that traditionally accompanied chifa meals. The integration of Chinese immigrants in Peru started with the first wave, who arrived in the South American country from 1849-74 to replace Africans who stopped working on coastal plantations after the abolition of slavery. The Chinese were the new form of cheap labour. Those Chinese immigrants were active in agriculture, railway construction and the collection of “guano,” the excrement of marine birds. Guano was exported as a precious natural fertilizer at the time, but its extraction claimed many lives. Early Chinese immigrants demanded only a daily portion of rice, which was brought in from Spain. In fact, rice only became a staple in the Peruvian diet under the influence of the country’s Chinese. The first friendship treaty between China and Peru dates back to 1875. It brought improvements in the living and working conditions of immigrants, and it also allowed for the arrival of a

second wave of migrants in the early 20th century. That was when Yong’s grandparents arrived from the Guangdong province of China to work in a northern Peruvian estate. Although they were illiterate in both Chinese and Spanish, they had a flair for business, and years later they were able to move to northern Lima and open a store. Luis Yong remains a hard-working man who will not rest even on Sundays. He only stops to celebrate Chinese New Year with a family banquet. Family efforts paid off. This businessman could give his two daughters a comfortable life: they went to a prestigious Peruvian-Chinese school and they both graduated from private universities, before finding professional success and working in the family business. A follower of the teachings of Lao Tse and Confucius, Yong says he will keep working to strengthen Peru’s Chinese community. “We stand on two pillars: the thousands-of-years-old Chinese and Peruvian cultures. If we bring them together, that makes us richer. If we separate them, it makes us poorer. It is a permanent integration process,” Yong says. u

CATERING TO THE COMMUNITY: A Chinese supermarket in Buenos Aires’ Chinatown

Argentina { Cecilia Caminos / Buenos Aires / DPA }

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2–8 December 2011

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{ Christian Reiling / Buenos Aires / DPA }

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lastic surgery is booming among Latin American women; and it is not rare for some of them to pay with their lives, for their blind search for better looks. “Did you see Lau last night? I didn’t know that she had an operation!” “Sure, it was a couple of months ago. I find them a bit too big...” Lau, a common acquaintance, is in her twenties, and has had a breast enlargement surgery. Such a gossipy dialogue is hardly rare in Buenos Aires. In Colombia or Venezuela also, boob jobs are hardly a big deal. There, as in Argentina, some girls ask their generous parents for perfect breasts as a birthday present, when they turn 15. For young Latin American

girls, turning 15 is a sort of passage into adulthood: the girl becomes a woman. The fact that a 15-year-old girl still has plenty of growing to do, does not stop some parents from splashing out on the controversial present. Throughout Latin America, there is little stigma attached to plastic surgery. From Brazil to Venezuela, the artificial embellishment of one’s body is widely accepted. And there are plenty of options. In Cali, Colombia, well-known for its salsa music, the woman with the most beautiful backside is chosen in an yearly pageant. Models with tiny waists and also oversize bottoms show off on a catwalks, and it is virtually impossible to participate without the help of a plastic surgeon. In another Colombian city, Medellin, three women died a few months ago in their search for the body of their dreams, according to the daily

Pack Your Own Travelling Pharmacy

Julian Stratenschulte

Fatal Search For Beauty The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, pays a lot of attention to appearance

El Colombiano. Colombian authorities, like their Argentine counterparts, often warn against illegal plastic surgery. But even those who go to prestigious surgeons run the risk of damage to their health – in an effort to satisfy their vanity. In 2009, the longing for perfect curves claimed a celebrity victim in Argentina. Solange Magnano, Miss Argentina 1994, died

during surgery, as she sought to harden her backside. She suffered from pulmonary embolism during operation. The case briefly fuelled debate around plastic surgery in the country. But the daily Clarin continues to report that an increasing number of women seek ‘to one-up nature’ through butt lifts. From gold thread. to fat from other parts of the patient’s body, anything goes – in the search for the desired results. For every 50 breast enlargement procedures, there are only two instances of surgery below the waistline, Clarin reports, citing the Argentine Society of Plastic Surgery (SACPER). And this is when the number of operations on patients’ backsides has increased by 100 per cent since 2006! Even Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is no stranger to plastic surgery. In 2008, she underwent a neck

New Mothers Should Slowly Resume Exercising { Cologne / DPA }

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{ Berlin / DPA }

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inter is often the time for long trips abroad, to exotic destinations, where medicines are sometimes difficult to come by. The German association of pharmacists recommends packing a basic medical kit. “The contents depend on the holiday destination and the nature of the trip,” Ursula Sellerberg says. “Backpackers taking an adventure trip need different medicines to families going on an all-inclusive seaside holiday with the children.” However, certain medicines are an essential part of all travelling pharmacies – including fever suppressants, painkillers, anti-nausea medication, and something for diarrhoea. Sun protection, disinfectant and dressings for wounds also belong in the kit. Those travelling to malarial areas should thoroughly research whether a prophylaxis is needed; and if so, which. A doctor should be consulted to prescribe the correct anti-malarial prophylaxis. The travelling medical kit should be packed in the hand luggage, as hold luggage can go astray. “Those on long-term medication should take more than they require, and divide it

between their hand luggage and the bag that goes into the hold,” Sellerberg advises. The accompanying information leaflets to the medication should always be included, in case of emergency. Patients packing strong painkillers or similar medications should get a doctor’s certificate, to prevent difficulties when going through customs. Travellers flying east or west through several time zones should attempt to change their sleeping patterns ahead of the journey, to reduce jet lag and speed up adjustment. This means that those flying westward should go to bed later on the days leading up to the trip; while those travelling in the other direction should do the reverse. By using the daylight hours appropriately after arrival at their destination, travellers can also get their body clock to adjust more quickly - going out into the daylight during the late afternoon in the west, and in the early morning in the east. Women taking oral contraceptives may have to adjust the time that they take the pill. Whether this is necessary or not depends on the type of pill, and on whether they are travelling west or east. u

lift. At 58, she wears plenty of make-up, and obviously gives her appearance a lot of thought. Other Argentine women of the president’s age hardly lag behind. Many women aged 40-60 choose plastic surgery. They mostly do so to give their lips a new look; but some even want to rejuvenate their vaginas. Indeed, the search for a better body is never-ending for many Latin American women. Some wear contact lenses to appear blue- or green-eyed. While this entails virtually no health risk, the issue of laser surgery, to change eye colour, is being increasingly discussed. Clarin’s online women’s magazine, Entremujeres.com, quotes several critics; and it wonders whether there is a limit in the search for ideal beauty. For now, one thing is clear: the options for embellishment do appear to know no boundaries. u

ew mothers can begin moderate exercise for their abdominal and back muscles four to six weeks after giving birth – (if their doctor and midwife approve), according to Ingo Froboese, a professor at the Health Centre of the German Sport University in Cologne. “Mothers shouldn’t overdo it shortly after birth, though. Walks can be a good, healthy way to get started,” Froboese said, noting that women should give their body time to recuperate from pregnancy and labour. “So don’t go from naught to sixty right away,” he said. Ten minutes of light stretching exercises for the abdomen and back every other day are enough to start with. Froboese said the muscles should sting slightly after the exercises, an indication of the right intensity. Pilates and yoga, in particular,

are good ways to get weakened pelvic floor muscles back into shape, and prevent longterm problems. “After two or three months, workouts are OK; for example at a fitness club,” Froboese said. “Deep knee bends or machine exercises, like leg presses, are especially good.” Froboese also advised new mothers to boost their metabolism with everyday activities. “Go a lot of places on foot instead of by car, and climb the stairs instead of using the lift,” he said, pointing out that just 20 to 30 minutes of daily postpartum exercise were sufficient to get back into shape.

Moderate endurance training is also possible with a baby in tow. “Grab the child and pram and take a brisk, 30-minute walk outdoors. It will do both you and your baby good,” Froboese remarked. The level of activity can be raised after about two months with exercise forms such as Nordic walking, swimming and cycling. “After a Caesarean section you should be very careful, however,” Froboese warned. The wound must be completely healed before major exercise is taken up. “This period normally lasts from four to six weeks, during which exercise is taboo,” he said. If the woman’s doctor and midwife give the green light, she can do light stretching exercises that can help the wound to heal - by moderately stimulating the tissue. In particular, the exercises aid the alignment of the fibre structure in connective tissue. u


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9–15 December 2011

G -scape DURGADATT PANDEY

Friday Gurgaon, December 9-15, 2011  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaper

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