Page 1

17–23 February 2012

Vol. 1 No. 26  Pages 24  ` 7

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

The College Trinity P5

{Inside}

Essential Services

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Expert Speak

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e bring you the views of Naseem Ahamad, a retired IAS officer of the Haryana cadre. He is currently the Administrator of the Haryana Waqf Board, and has also served as Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University for 5 years. ...Pg 9

Know Your Rashi

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tarting this week, we bring you an expert view on your specific rashi/ birth sign. ...Pg 16

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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s most of the State agencies in Gurgaon—HUDA, MCG, the local administration—have been found wanting for years now, it seems that government has become the byword for dysfunction in the Millennium City. However, there are some City institutions that are not only doing their job well, but have become the fulcrum of Higher Education in South Haryana. The three government colleges in Gurgaon – viz Government College, Sector 14; Dronacharya Government PG College; and Government PG College   in Sector 9, cater to over 20,000 students, both in the regular and distance education mode. These students not only come from the catchment areas of Gurgaon, but also from other parts of Haryana – as well

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Chef Master Vijaylaxmi

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G First brings you our very own MasterChef Season 2 top 5 contestant, Vijaylaxmi - sharing the ingredients of her success, her life, and her future. ...Pg 17

Regular Features Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 7 Food Take ...Pg 8 Laughing Stock ...Pg 18

as the country. The fees here is comparatively less than, and the quality of education is almost at par with, the best that government institutes are able to offer anywhere. While these colleges are performing a sterling service to the City and the society, they are also crumbling under the pressure of ever increas-

ing numbers, lack of building infrastructure, shortage of staff, and centralisation around the university system. In the case of these three colleges, the bureaucratic sloth and too much dependence on the Maharishi Dayanand University—to which these colleges are affiliated—has become unproductive.

Government College, Sector 14

The Government College in Sector-14 was inaugurated by none other than Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, in 1959. This college started with thirteen girl students, who used to study and stay here only – as the area around the institution was a jungle. The road in front of the college, presently known as MG Road, was originally part of the Delhi-Jaipur Highway. It has helped this college prosper, and become one of the largest, and—as per the Principal— one of the best higher education institutes in North India. The college is located in an area of 31.6 acres, housing 19 teaching departments in the Science, Arts and Commerce faculties, a Central Library, Contd on p 19 

A Cut In The Aravalis

Crystal Power n expert offers her advice on spiritual healing through crystals. Crystals aid in healing, and ensuring balance. ...Pg 16

PRAKHAR PANDEY/JIT KUMAR

he DC, PC Meena has announced an updated list of 36 Essential Services, that would be provided by the State, in a time bound manner. Officers responsible for delivery, and for monitoring/receiving complaints, for each, have also been shared. ...Pg 9

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

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fter several hurdles, limitations and objections, the much-awaited GurgaonFaridabad road (about 25 km)— connecting from the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR)—is finally in place. Expecting a 1 hour journey from Sohna Road, we are done in 25 minutes; on this newly built road. Faridabad, that today might sound a bit ‘backward’, as compared to the cosmopolitan modern city of Gurgaon, was built in the 1970s. Common to Gurgaon though, industry was the pioneer – Maruti in Gurgaon, and Escorts in Faridabad. The Nandas bought land and began to set up industries, that soon brought housing societies and businesses to the area – keeping in mind its close proximity to the Capital. Faridabad aspired to be what Gurgaon today is. Contd on p 23 

Gurgaon - Faridabad Highway


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17–23 February 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–26  17–23 February 2012

Editor:

DANCE  WORKSHOP  TALENT HUNT  MUSIC  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE

Nightlife

Atul Sobti

Tribute to Grunge @ Pub Nirvaan, MGF Mega City Mall, MG Road Date: Feb 17 Time: 7:30 pm

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Coming Up

Hritvick Sen Maninder Dabas Shirin Mann

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora

Designers:

Manoj Raikwar Virender Kumar

Circulation Head:

Prem Gupta

Circulation Execs.:

Syed Mohd Komail Sunil Yadav

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njoy the performance of famous band Hundred Octane, at newly opened Pub Nirvaan.

Shivratri Celebration

@ Mukhya Sthaan, Sector 10-A, Pataudi Road Date: Feb 20 Time: 5:30 am

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elebrate the festival of Shivratri, and perform the ritual worship of Lord Shiva at Mukhya Sthaan.

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

Ankit Srivastava

@ Leisure Valley, Sector 29

Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Exec:

Date: Feb 26

Time: 8 am

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apid MetroRail Gurgaon invites you to help promote healthy and happy lifestyle through the simple, but joyful way of walking. The walk is open to people of all age groups. There is no registration or entry fee.

Bhagwat Kaushik

Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93 Emails:

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com circulation@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com events@fridaygurgaon.com marketing@fridaygurgaon.com

Theatre

Arms & The Man @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec 44 Date: Feb 19 Time: 7:30pm

Dharmadhikari, H.R Das, Jayesh Sachdev, Laxman Aelay, Maya Burman, MSC Satya Sai, Nagesh Goud, Nishant Dange, P.R Narvekar, Prokash Karmakar, Sanatan Dinda, Shipra Bhattacharya, Shuvaprasanna Shyamal Mukherjee, Subrata Das, Subrata Gangopadhyay, Sukanta Das, Sunil Padwal, and Thota Vaikuntam. The event will be followed by a wine and cheese ceremony.

Book Launch

The Orange Hangover @ Reliance TimeOut, 127, 1st Floor, Ambience Mall, NH 8

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fiction novel by Rahul Saini. The novel is based on the values and ambitions of a boy.

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irected by Naseeruddin Shah, the play is about George Bernard Shaw’s victorious coup against the classically hyped notions of war and love; intentionally set against the backdrop of the 19th century Serbo-Bulgarian war.

Music 1 year subscription Cover price

` 364

Special offer price ` 200 Savings

` 164

No. of issues

52

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

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dissi and Kathak dance performance by RaniJain, disciple of Ram Kumar, Panchanan Bhuina and Istita Behrooa.

2nd Cervical Cancer Awareness and Immunization Camp @ Rendezvous, J-18, Near Shikshantar School, South City I Date: Feb 18 Time: 10:30 am Participation Fee: Rs. 250 Vaccine Charge: Rs. 2,000 (optional)

Workshop

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

TO SUBSCRIBE

Odissi and Kathak Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec 44 Date: Feb 20 Time: 7:30pm


Health Camp

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

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

Dance

Geeton Bhari Shaam @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sec 44 Date: Feb 17 Time: 7:30pm

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musical evening by Deepak, Madhumita, and many more, in collboration with Privileged Children Education Society – Sankalp.

Art

Articulate, A Conversation with Art @ The Westin, MG Road Date: Feb 24 Time: 6 pm

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nauguration of
an art exhibition –“Articulate, A Conversation With Art” – by renowned artists, Ajay De, Anita Tanwar, Arvind Kolapkar, Bratin Khan, Devidas

Bird-Watching Expedition @ Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Gurgaon-Farukh Nagar Road Date:Feb 19 Time: 9 am Charges: Rs. 650 (excluding food cost)


Art

A Fine Balance @ Bagel’s Cafe, D 140, Arjun Marg, DLF Phase I Date: Till Feb 29 Time: 8 am to 10 pm

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photography exhibition by Rajesh Ramakrishnan. The pictures are captured through the panoramic and hemispherical fish-eye lens.

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s the birds flock to the city from across the world – Siberia, Europe, Afghanistan – during winters, the workshop is a good chance to catch a glimpse of the birds before they fly back.
An eminent wildlife expert will lead you through the 2.5 hrs tramp. The Workshop is organised by the Get Alive group. For registration, write to getalivegurgaon@gmail.com or SMS on 9953160132.

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he programme will commence with a short talk by eminent Gynaecologist Dr. Rekha Thakur, and a question and answer round to get a better insight into the subject. This will be followed by the administration of vaccines to the individuals – which is optional. Also, physiotherapist Dr. Deepika Pahwa will talk about women’s health after 30, common posture related ailments, and the role of physiotherapy to cure the same. The camp is presented by Rendezvous, in association with Wellstar Diagnostics Clinic. Pre-registration is mandatory. To register, call 8860649685.


17–23 February 2012

Rabbi on.. The Sufi way

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ver 550 guests gathered at Striker to attend the concert of Rabbi Shergill. He drove the audience crazy with his chart topper song of 2005, “Bulla Ki Jaana”; and then played one of his best compositions – “Tere Bin”, which left the audience speechless.

Winter Masquerade

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scintillating fashion show put up by the Lotus Valley School saw tiny tots matching the movements with that of a well-trained ballet dancer, and showcasing the maturity of seasoned cat-walkers. The event included ramp walk and dances set to foot tapping music. The Chief Guest, Mrs Kiran Choudhary, Minister of Public Health Engineering, Excise and Taxation, said “This is an innovative event that serves as a great platform for the youth of the country to come forward, and aware of the pressing environmental issues”.

Crooning Glory

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azzling diva Mansi Scott mesmerized the audience with her scintillating voice at the Kingdom of Dreams. She crooned romantic numbers that heightened the romance on the Valentine’s day. Popular numbers belted by Mansi enthused the couples to sway on the dance floor. Adding a dose of fun to the Valentine’s celebrations was a special workshop, by the DC Crew of dancers, for the couples.


04 FOOD

restaurant has chicken sausage wrapped with bacon, and marinated in a honey and mustard dressing. There is something addictive about this combination. Saltimbocca literally means ‘hop-in-the-mouth’. On the chef’s recommendation, I try the pizza verdue (Rs. 320) next. Incidentally, pizza used to be a dish of the poor; it was sold on the street, and was not considered a kitchen recipe for a long time. Originally, the idea for pizza came from a pita, or flatbread, which was placed with various toppings. Eventually they placed tomato sauce on the pitas, and created the Italian pizza. The traditional pizza had oregano, virgin olive oil, tomato sauce and basil. My pizza verdue is topped with cheese, bell peppers, mushrooms and zucchini – along with the traditional ingredients. With a crisp, thin crust, and all the veggies on top, it makes for a light bite – albeit a bit dry on the palate. It is time for my main course. I order the pete do pollo al venezia (Rs. 375), which translates to roasted chicken breasts served in a red wine sauce. Though the sauce does not taste of red wine, it does taste good. The chicken breast is very tender and succulent, and pairs well with the piquant sauce. For any Italian, very much like us Indians, the meal is incomplete without the dolci. So, I order the classic tiramisu (Rs. 185). It arrives looking pretty on the plate. The taste is competent, like that of a good creamy pastry, but not ‘authentic’. Italiano’s business has grown in sync with Gurgaon. I look forward to their becoming the madein-Gurgaon local food chain soon. u

The Italian Connection { Aalok Wadhwa }

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taliano is the oldest Italian restaurant in Gurgaon. It set up base at Nathupur in 2004, and recently opened another branch at Omaxe Mall on Sohna Road. The prep for their new branch is done from the base kitchen at Nathupur, to maintain consistency in quality. “We focus on authentic food and fresh ingredients,” says Chef Animesh Khare. Italiano’s clientele is primarily corporate, keeping the restaurant pretty busy. The décor inside has a Mediterranean feel to it, with ample natural lighting. I look at their detailed menu, and am excited to find saltimbocca (Rs. 245) – a popular starter in southern Europe. This dish is made of veal, lined with prosciutto and sage, and then marinated in wine. The re-engineered version in this

Italiano NR 27, Nathupur, DLF – 3 and SF-5, 2nd floor, Omaxe Gurgaon Mall, Gurgaon Phone: 0124 4061895 Cuisine: Italian Timing: 12 Noon to 11 PM

BOOK

{ Manjula Narayan }

Reviews

17–23 February 2012

THEATER

A Tale Well Told

{ Manjula Narayan }

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ou have never attended a Dastangoi (a compound of the Persian words Dastan and goi – which means to tell a Dastan or story) performance. Of course, you have heard much about the form, and about the successful efforts of Mahmood Farooqui and his stage partner, Danish Husain—who later joined him—to revive it. You have heard that it was a performing art that had enjoyed the patronage of the Mughals; and had fallen out of favour as the written word overtook the spoken one, sometime in the early 20th century. You have read too that its last great practitioner, Mir Baqar Ali, had died in 1928; and that the form had almost been forgotten. You have heard all of that – but no dry notes on the history, style and significance of the Dastangoi revival have prepared you for the sheer exuberance of an actual performance. And how deftly Farooqui and Husain weave stories to hold an audience in thrall. There are many tales within tales in Dastan-e-Chouboli – the story of the beautiful (but, of course) Princess Chouboli, who has vowed to marry only that man who can make her speak four times in a single night. Numerous princes have attempted the task; and having failed, been confined to the dungeons where they grind fodder for horses. How the hand of the princess is won, then, forms the core of the play. Now, unlike conventional plays executed on a proscenium stage – with props, music, lights, attendant sound, and a cast of characters – Dastangoi relies entirely on the wit, storytelling ability, energy and charisma of the two dastangos. They are dressed in spotless whites, and seated on a ‘diwan’ on stage. In a world full of entertainment options, where spectacle

Essential Kabir

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ssential Kabir, a book of translations of the work of the great weaver poet, and symbol of India’s syncretic heart, is quite simply astounding. The informative introduction recounts the legends that surround the Bhakti poet, while also expounding the ways in which “Kabir’s songs have been communicated even in relatively recent times.” This reader had entirely forgotten that even Kipling had composed a song in Kabir’s name, for the Sec-

Essential Kabir Author: Arvind Krishna Mehrotra PUBLISHER: Hachette India PRICE: Rs. 399 ond Jungle Book. Of such serendipitous pleasures is this slim pocket sized volume filled. Kabir’s (c. 1440–1518) poetry stands out for its strong individual voice, that attacks organised religion—both Hindu and Muslim—and speaks of a personal god. The passionate tone of his poetry, and its earthy character, could possibly account for its enduring popularity. Ar-

vind Krishna Mehrotra, who has authored four books of poetry, edited anthologies, and translated a volume of Prakrit love poetry, is rightly acknowledged as one of India’s best poets. When you read his translations of Kabir, printed side by side— in this volume—with the original Hindi text, you know why. Mehrotra doesn’t merely translate; he contemporises and makes Kabir relevant for a generation that has almost forgotten the beautiful ferocity of the poet’s work. Its irreverence coexists with its religiosity, and it’s utter honesty: “Listen carefully/Neither the Vedas/Nor the Quran/Will teach you this:/Put the bit in its mouth, /the saddle on its back, /Your foot in the stirrup, /And ride your wild runaway mind/All the way to heaven.” One of the great pleasures of this translation is how it doesn’t stick to the literal. This is especially evident in KG 85, where Mehrotra’s Kabir addresses dreadlocked Rastas and Faber poets, while the original addresses “jaata dhari’ and “kabita pade”. Kabir never knew any Rastas or poets published by Faber, but the reader immediately recognises that his passionate message would be as relevant to them as it has been to the north Indian tradition for five hundred years. u

often trumps content, Dastangoi seems like a return to an earlier, more romantic time – when content was king. Its vibrancy comes from how the duo—here of Farooqui and Husain—have made it contemporary. Even a medieval tale from Rajasthan, featuring princesses who don’t speak, proud Rajput Thakurs who insist on shooting arrows through their wives’ nose rings, clever women who outwit their menfolk every time, and multiple stories within stories, seems fresh and relevant. Social comment, sly wit, even an occasional doffing of the topi to popular Hindi cinema through an unexpected turn of phrase or accent, make the story of Chouboli an absolute delight. It presents, with a light touch, the eternal themes of love, sexual yearning, politics within relationships, and the unceasing battle between the sexes. They make Dastan-eChouboli thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening at the same time – a rare combination that will ensure audiences keep returning for more. What does the future hold for the form? “Along with creating new Dastangos, we also need to create new Dastans. Potentially, there is no limit to the subjects on which a Dastan can be created,” Farooqui says in his blog (http://dastangoi.blogspot. in/). “One could create a Dastan about anything – global terrorism, water shortages, partition of India, 1857; it all depends on the ingenuity of the teller ... But we have to go a long way before we can recreate the magic at several levels, and tell a thousand new stories – and retell old stories anew,” he adds. Judging by the growing appreciation for the form, Farooqui and Husain’s efforts to nurture fresh talent, and the effectiveness with which they tell a Rajasthani tale, it would seem like it’s just a matter of time before they do manage to achieve that goal. u

CINEMA

Jab It Doesn’t Meet { Vijaya Kumar }

the spunky urbanized girl. But here she is cloaked in Western traditions. Karan Johar’s production of EMAET K MAIN AUR EK TU (EMAET) beis directed well by Shakun Batra, but longs to the genre of movies that are despite Kareena porbuilt around female traying her role reallead artistes who are istically, it becomes feisty, spunky and difficult for the audilucky (they meet the ence to empathise correct man in the with her character. end). However, their So, even the reasonbox office fortunes ably short (by Bolare not as lucky; lywood standards) since by their very movie appears a little structure, these movstretched at times. ies are normally tarThe movie does geted at a very narhave some good row urban multiplex EK MAIN AUR EK TU tongue-in-cheek dialogues, audience. The exception Directed by: Shakun Batra honest performances by is where the female lead’s CAST: Imran Khan, Kareena the rest of the star cast, character is cloaked in the and an over-all pleasing typical Indian middle class Kapoor texture. The story ends in milieu. Two such movies GENRE: Romantic Comedy an off-beat fashion, and of recent origin, that were thankfully is devoid of melodrama. One outstanding successes, were Jab We Met only wishes that the story was a little more and Band Baaja Baraat. believable, the songs a little more humEMAET has the right premise, lays the mable, and the characters more close to correct foundation, and has Kareena Kadesi urban types. u poor once again excelling in her role as

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17–23 February 2012

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Rock Dash

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he atmosphere was absolutely electrifying at Rockman’s Nightclub, as revellers decided to unwind after a hectic week. DJ Dash Berlin came all the way from Netherlands, to pump up the party meter in the City. The occasion was the re-launch of Rockman’s Nightclub, hosted by Entrepreneur C S Agarwal. The glitterati who attended the event were DJ Rummy Sharma and Rishabh, designer Taniya Khanuja, and choreographer Liza Verma.

Geetu’s Brownie Notes

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amous singer and songwriter Geetu Hinduja enthralled the audience at Bahi with her velvet voice and soulful renditions. Geetu, who has formed her band “Geetu & The Brown Folk” at the age of 50 years, is known for a unique combination of folk, alternative, and blues music with real life themes.

Alive Art

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ressed in trousers, jacket, and sharp shoes, Anita Dube put up a unique show at the Art Alive gallery. She walked into the gallery with a steel bowl in her hand, and welcomed the guests with her soulful touch, gleaming eyes, and mesmerising smile. It was a well attended event by the who’s who of the art world, including Vivan Sundaram, Geeta Kapur, Kapil Chopra, Jiten Thukral, Sumir Tagra, Ina Puri, Peter Nagy, Mithu Sen, Pooja Iranna, Veer Munshi among others.

No Stop To Shoppers

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he new Shoppers Stop store was inaugurated by the stunning model Aanchal Kumar at Spaze i-Techpark, Sohna Road. “This second store of Shoppers Stop in Gurgaon is a wonderful addition to the already fashion-conscious city,” said Aanchal. The store is a one stop shop for various national and international brands like US Polo, NYC, Paris Hilton, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Versace. Hugo Boss, Elizabeth Arden, Calvin Klien, and many more. If you want any event/party to be featured on FG Celeb Watch, call 9899443477 or write to events@fridaygurgaon.com


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17–23 February 2012

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{ Srimati Lal }

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he ‘Gurgaon Art Festival’, held at Epicentre recently, displayed a range of work by thirty upcoming and senior Indian artists and sculptors. It was arranged by C’est la Vie Gallery of Sector 50. In a rather mixed selection, varying from novice art-initiates to some quietly-skilful painters, the works of Chandrasekhar, Laxminarayan Rana, Prabir Bagchi, Sanjeev Mandal, Anupama and Rajat were specially worth pausing over. Chandrasekhar’s lovely, vibrant, yet ethereal oil painting ‘Nature III’  may be described as a form of ‘Indian Art-Nouveau’ – with its swirling Toulouse-Lautrec and Rossettilike flowing lines depicting the triumvirate of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva; and a dark goddess mysteriously afloat in a lotus-pond. Both its vibrant Indian palette and its lines, subtly-reminiscent of Ajanta and Ellora, indicate the painter’s natural skills. This gifted upcoming painter should develop a larger body of work: he is a government employee holding a degree from the Delhi College of Art.

Gurgaon Art Festival organised by C’est la Vie Gallery in Epicentre

jit kumar

Chandrasekhar, Nature III Oil on canvas Watercolour by Sanjeev Mandal

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Ganesha Reclining by Prabir Bagchi

t a recent Gurgaon exhibition held at Pinnacle Towers, I was amazed to see the intricate, delicate and colourful Origami sculptures made by a blind artist from Pune, 27-year old Chandan Mokashi. She has possessed an inner artist’s eye right from the age of three, when her relatives recall how she would methodically tear paper-fragments from magazines, to create detailed papersculptures – by folding them inventively. Chandan knew exactly what she was creating, by feeling it. Chandan’s aunt Jyotsna Mokashi, a self-taught painter who lives in Gurgaon, wanted to encourage her niece’s artistic determination. While Chandan exhibited 20 of her Origamisculptures and conversationpieces, Jyotsna exhibited 20 of her canvas paintings alongside, in a varied palette. Chandan’s visiting-card is embellished with a small rainbow, with the heading ‘Creative Art With Paper’. Her Origami-inspired sculptures have a totemic look and feel – depicting owls, animals and birds with piercing gazes. Each sculpture is painstakingly constructed by her from hundreds of individual little ‘units’ of luminous silky paper; strung together by hand, to make detailed little bird and animal forms, gleaming in all the colours of the spectrum. Chandan Mokashi with her Paper Chandan can ‘see’ and Sculptures

‘identify’ all kinds of materials via her heightened sense of touch. When I guided her hands over my own handbag, that was made of a collage of suede, leather and velvet squares, she identified what these materials were. Chandan’s aunt Jyotsna too is following her inner artistic instincts. After studying painting techniques from the Pune artist Bharat Rawal, Jyotsna exhibited her paintings at the Lalit Kala National Art exhibition in 2003, and later on at Gurgaon’s Epicentre. Her abstract oil paintings express a feeling of Tantric meditativeness, with their multi-hued geometric and linear panels. Her interesting black and white acrylic works embody shimmering intricate circular and spiral forms. Her recent visits to international art museums, such as the MOMA in Washington, imbued in her a wish to create ‘attractive, unusual, non-figurative art’. She had previously painted glass panels and murals in Pune, with abstract designs evolved from her own imagination. Her colourful canvasses seem to zoomin on molecular, cellular and geomorphic natural forms, re-creating them in painterly juxtapositions with a collage-like effect. Her inspirations are the pure line as well as the churning Jyotsna Mokashi with her creativity energies of volcanoes.

Prabir Bagchi, a senior Kolkata artist, presents a charming and playful reclining Ganesha, in graphic tones of beige, black and white – with spots of bright orange highlighting the elephant-god’s teeka, and an orange fruit held langorously in his hand. Bagchi’s drawing skill is evident in his detailed and decorative rendering of this favourite divinity. Two other Kolkata artists in this collection showcased the delicacy of the Bengal watercolour tradition. Sanjeev Mandal’s elegant Tree Series,  in a classic Santiniketan mode, have retained Bengal’s quintessential pastoral-narrative tradition; it is heartening to see that this graphic designer has not diluted his art with commercial overtones. And Rajat’s accomplished gouache landscapes exude a similar freshness. Camellia’s totemic red and yellow mixed-media Durga conveyed a positive Shakti –  as did the strong bronze semi-figurative sculptures by Anupama and Laxminarayan Rana, that were whimsically placed in the centre of the exhibition. More varied group exhibitions like these will be welcome, to enrich Gurgaon’s art-viewers’; but a little more focus and concentration is required in the selection of artworks. u Artist, Writer, & Curator


17–23 February 2012

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Time: 11.15am, 1.30 pm, 3.45 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.15 pm, 10.30pm Agneepath Time: 2.05pm Ghost Rider : Spirit of Vengeance Time: 10.05am, 12.05 pm, 5.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 9.30pm Ekk Deewana Tha Time: 10.20am, 1.15 pm, 4.10 pm, 7.05 pm, 10.00 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, PalamVihar Website: www.bigcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Premier EKK DEEWANA THA( THE DIRECTORS CUT ) Time: 10.00 am, 1.00 pm, 4.00 pm, 7.00 pm, 10.00pm SAFE HOUSE Time: 10.00 am, 7.00 pm, 11.10 pm A GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY Time: 5.10 pm QUESTION MARK Time: 9.15 pm GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE (3D) Time: 12.40 pm, 2.50 pm, 5.00 pm, 7.10 pm, 9.20 pm, 11.30 pm THE WOMAN IN BLACK Time: 10.00 am, 12 noon, 5.15 pm, 7.15 pm, 9.15 pm, 11.15 pm JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND 3D Time: 10.30 am WAR HORSE Time: 12.15 pm THE DESCENDANTS Time: 3.00 pm EK MAIN AUR EKK TU Time: 10.00 am, 12.25 pm, 2.50 pm, 5.15 pm, 7.40 pm, 10.05 pm AGNEEPATH Time: 2.00 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Gold EKK DEEWANA THA( THE DIRECTORS CUT ) Time: 11.00 am, 2.00 pm, 5.00 pm, 8.00 pm, 10.55 pm GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF

L istings

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VENGEANCE (3D) Time: 10.30 am, 3.30 pm, 6.00 pm, 10.55 pm EK MAIN AUR EKK TU Time: 1.00 pm, 8.30 pm

PVR MGF: MGF Mall EKK DEEWANA THA Time: 10.00 am, 1.20 pm, 3.00 pm, 4.40 pm, 6.20 pm, 8.00 pm, 11.20 pm GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE (3D) Time: 10.10 am, 12.20 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.40 pm, 6.50 pm, 9.00 pm, 11.10 pm THE WOMAN IN BLACK Time: 11.00 am, 1.00 pm, 3.00 pm, 7.10 pm, 9.10 pm, 11.10 pm EK MAIN AUR EKK TU Time: 12 noon, 4.40 pm, 9.20 pm SAFE HOUSE Time: 2.20 pm, 7.00 pm, 11.40 pm JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND 3D Time: 10.05 am THE DESCENDANTS Time: 5.00 pm AGNEEPATH Time: 11.40 am, 9.40 pm PVR Europa: MGF Mall POOLA RANGADU (TELUGU) Time: 10.10 am A GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY Time: 1.10 pm NIPPU (TELUGU) Time: 3.00 pm QUESTION MARK Time: 6.00 pm MUPPOZHUDHUM UN KARPANAIGAL (TAMIL) Time: 7.55 pm WAR HORSE Time: 10.50 pm EK MAIN AUR EKK TU Time: 10.50 am, 1.10 pm, 3.30 pm, 5.50 pm, 8.10 pm, 10.30 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall EKK DEEWANA THA Time: 10.30 am, 12.20 pm, 5.30 pm, 10.40 pm GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE (3D) Time: 1.30 pm, 3.45 pm, 8.20 pm, 10.30 pm EK MAIN AUR EKK TU Time: 10.00 am, 3.10 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.20 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4048100

Website: www.pvrcinemas.com DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (3D) (A) – English Time: 10:00 am, 11:55 am, 01:50 pm, 03:45 pm, 07:35 pm, 11:25 pm Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (U/A) – Hindi Time: 11:00 am, 03:55 pm, 08:50 pm, 10:55 pm Ekk Deewana Tha (U/A) – Hindi Time: 11:05 am, 01:15 pm, 06:10 pm, 08:15 pm, 11:05 pm Agneepath (U/A) – Hindi Time: 1.45 pm, 4.55 pm A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (A) – English Time: 05:40 pm, 09:30 pm DT City Centre: DLF Phase II Ekk Deewana Tha (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:30 am, 03:25 pm, 08:20 pm, 11:05 pm A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (A) – English Time: 10:40 am, 03:45 pm Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (3D) (A) – English Time: 10:45 am, 12:45 pm, 02:45 pm, 04:45 pm, 06:45 pm, 08:45 pm, 10:45 pm Agneepath (U/A) – Hindi Time: 12.35 pm, 5.40 pm Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (U/A) – Hindi Time: 01:10 pm, 06:05 pm, 08:50 pm, 11:00 pm DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Ekk Deewana Tha (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:10 am, 01:05 pm, 06:00 pm, 10:55 pm Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10:50 am, 03:45 pm, 08:40 pm Agneepath (U/A) – Hindi Time: 10.50 pm Website: http://dt-cinemas.com

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. Meet me tomorrow at 1 pm Kal manne ek baje mileye 2. We will have lunch together Hum saath me roti kha lengey 3. Then we can go to the market Pher hum bazaar ne ghooman

chaalengey

4. I have to be back home by 5 pm Manne ghar ne paanch baje

tayin jaana hai

5. I have to meet my aunt Manne apne taayi tey milna hai

THE WEEKTHAT WAS ♦ The Haryana CM, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has launched a State Urban Health Mission, to provide comprehensive health services in the urban areas, through Urban Health Centres – particularly targeting the slum areas. This is urgently needed, in view of the rapid urbanization of Haryana. Also, under the Indira Bal Swasthya Yojna (IBSY), now free treatment would be provided to all children. ♦ The Haryana Governor, Jagannath Paharia, visited Gurgaon as a Chief Guest of the annual function of 2 schools – the Ardee School in Sector 52, and the Alpine School in Sector 38. He exhorted students to be good citizens, and laid thrust on the imparting of moral education. He felt that able and educationally sound private parties should adopt some of the government schools. The Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kuldeep Sharma, while addressing the gathering at the 10th Annual Conference of Gurgaon Progressive Schools Council (GPSC) and CBSE Sahodaya School Complexes, Gurgaon Chapter, asked the schools to also teach the less privileged children – and make them a part of India’s growth. About 25 CBSE affiliated schools of Gurgaon are members of this Council – which was formed in 2000, for promoting a social, educational, and cultural scenario here. Haryana Minister for Excise & Taxation and Public Health Engineering, Kiran Chowdhary, while participating in an annual function of Lotus Valley International School in Sector 50, made a strong statement against the land grabbing mafia (with specific reference to a case in Sohna involving land belonging to her ministry). ♦ A comprehensive plan of Rs 437 crores has been prepared by the State government, for improving the power infrastructure in Gurgaon. 12 new power sub-stations will be set up, besides upgrading 6 existing ones. Of the 12 new, work on 4 is nearing completion. The new sub-stations also include 2 to be set up by private players (in DLF Phase V, and at Ambience Project Sector 24). From a capacity of 550 KV today, the total capacity would improve to 2292 KV. ♦ NSG Manesar holds an International Conference on terrorism. ♦ NCR Planning Board draws up a funding plan for 3 Regional rapid Transit Systems – Delhi-GurgaonAlwar; Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut; DelhiSonipat-Panipat. ♦ The HUDA Administrator has directed HUDA Engineers (of all ranks) to ensure clean-up operations in areas allocated to them – based on 56 key roads of Gurgaon. He also distributed garbage

bags to them. ♦ The Punjab & Haryana High Court issues a notice to the State govt., regarding about 300 acres land allotted to a private builder. 400 plus buildings targeted in an MCG demolition list. The MCG puts off the demolition of a building in New Colony, after getting an assurance that required action would be taken by the owners themselves. A relative of the Senior Deputy Mayor is a part owner. The DC, PC Meena has now ordered a ban on construction within 100m of the boundary of Air Force Station Rajokri. (This follows similar orders for restricted zones, around the Ammunition Depot, and Air Force Station at Arjangarh). ♦ DHBVN has decided to install the Overhead Fault Passage Indication System, for better location of faults in electricity supply lines, and for earlier restoration of supply. The Fault Passage Indicators (FPIs) help reduce the down time, and improve the resto-

ration period, from 4 to 8 hours to one hour. ♦ The DC, PC Meena reiterated the total ban on manufacture, distribution, stocking, recycling, selling, or using of carry bags made of plastic – with penalties for retailers, vendors, and even individuals. ♦ A local Minister is summoned over a case of bogus votes, filed by the opposition. A cab driver is apprehended, for the murder of Cincy Sebastian, a software engineer who had been knifed to death. A stray dog kills a 2-year-old child of a labourer. A youth is killed on the highway near Sohna, over a bottle of water – in sight of policemen. 3 policemen have been suspended. Parking outside Medanta hospital has been made free. 3 sisters are caught shop-lifting. IT executive duped – sells car against Rs 20,000 and a fake draft.


08

C ivic/Social

17–23 February 2012

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

JIT KUMAR

A Reality Play “I always had it in my mind that I’d start my own NGO when I turned 50; and I did. We started off with eye transplantation. The number was four at first, and then swelled to 400,” Dr. Bhargava smiles, her eyes crinkling. She continues, “I was the President (elected) of the Lioness Club before this, and we had done a lot of good work.” Why the name Shakuntalam? “I named my effort after my mother Shakuntala,” she says simply. How does her NGO function? “We have 10 volunteers as of now. I have a strict policy that only those people should join who are totally dedicated to this effort. Our organisation is small, tightly-knit, and the volunteers work as one.” “The school in Chakkarpur provides basic education to children of migrant workers, and those who cannot afford to pay for their child’s education. For those children who wish to study further, we have a different set of plans. We get them enrolled in Gurgaon’s schools, after making sure that they are up to speed in the class they would be studying in.” How many students have moved on higher with the help from Shakuntalam? Quite a few, Dr. Bhargava smiles. “As of now, we have one in a BA programme, threefour kids ready to give their Board exams, and a couple in Class VIII.” “For our vocational programme for

I

n Gurgaon’s glittering strip of gold (aka MG Road), one only has to take the lane on the side of Sahara Mall, to see the grimy reality of the city – in village Chakkarpur. Winding down the dingy one-car lanes, we come to a small house, in which 20-odd children are lustily singing a nursery rhyme. On the far wall of the fastidiously clean area is a flex board, proudly naming the effort as ‘Shakuntalam’ – an NGO started by Dr. Nalini Bhargava. Shakuntalam has been working to educate underprivileged children for eight years now. Asha Mohindru, who is a member of Shakuntalam, says, “I’ve been with the project for a long time now.” She makes sure the children sing the nursery rhymes properly and correctly. On the other side of the room Santoshi, a young teacher, herds the children into the yard for some fun and games. “It’s been a year now for me, and a very satisfactory experience,” she chuckles, shooing the beaming children into a circle. We catch up with Dr. Bhargava at her Palam Vihar home. Why did she feel the need to do social work, and launch an NGO? “When you have everything, then why shouldn’t you ensure others have it as well?” Besides their primary thrust on education, the NGO also provides vocational training for poor women.

Shakuntalam NGO started by Dr. Nalini Bhargava

poor women, we give them training in sewing, stitching, making jams and pickles, and so on. That programme is carried out in my house itself,” she says. “More often than not, we buy what they produce, and spread it among our friends and families.” She settled in Gurgaon back in 1986, after moving from Indore. “The streak of social work, of doing something good, was always in me,” she says. What about educating the children’s parents? “We certainly take that up,” she says, nodding vigorously. “We make the children understand the virtue of cleanliness and hygiene, and ask

them to make their parents follow the same. It works every time. And besides that, we have arranged for regular visits of doctors, for regular check-ups and vaccination of these children.” In a small corner of the city, away from the flash and fizz that characterises Gurgaon, this organisation continues to educate and uplift impoverished families. “Down the line, I have this dream to adopt or create a small gurukul of my own,” Dr. Bhargava says, “For now, Shakuntalam is the seed.” u

{Sector 15 Part-1}

Civic Realities – Slow Progress PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

T

he residents of Sector 15, Part I—that falls in the heart of Gurgaon—are unhappy with the decision of the Administration to set up a CNG gas filling station in the Sector. Residents of the area say that this area is already congested, and has too much traffic. Ramesh is broken, and the facilities are not in Vasishta, Secretary of the RWA, says, good shape, complains the RWA. After “The RWA will petition the court – as this the new HUDA Administrator came, the decision will create traffic issues, lead to Agency has got active; but it remains to cutting of 50 trees, and a playground in be seen whether it continues to work for the area will be wasted.” the betterment of the City, or slips into This Sector is sandwiched between inertia after some time, opines Vasishta. the Jharsa Bund on one side, and A road from the National Highway 8 to Kirti Nagar—an MCG colony—on the the Rose Garden has not been completed, other; as a result the approach is a bit despite several reminders. “This road constrained. Vasishta says that the roads needs to be built so that the area is not in the Sector are in pitiable condition, used as a thoroughfare by outsiders,” says and need immediate repair. “The roads, Vasishta. He adds that another wall near streetlights, and sanitation system the sump-well has been left unfinished needs a lot of sprucing up. The HUDA by the Horticulture Department, much officials are supportive, but the private to the chagrin of the residents. The contractors—many of whom have fountain in the Rose Garden has not been been allotted the job—are reluctant to functional since ages. work sincerely,” he says. R.S Raghav, President of Several rain water the RWA, told Friday Gurgaon, harvesting structures that “We have repeatedly told were built earlier are not the officials to get strict functioning, says Vasishta. with the contractors, but He is an agriculturist by to no avail. The streetlights profession, and has been have not been fixed, as the actively involved with the contractor is lax; and there Association. is no supervision over the The condition of the sanitation workers here.” Community Centre is also Ramesh Vasistha, Despite being one of the not good. The furniture Secretary, RWA posh addresses of the city,

the inefficiency of the civic agencies has made it very difficult for the residents to live comfortably. Kamala Chowdhary, a retired government official and former President of the RWA, says that the civic staff does not understand its responsibilities. There is total lack of interest among the officials to deliver results; most of the staff is not even present in the offices on time. “There is general indiscipline that needs to be tackled,” she says. However, the people also need to show

Food Take

more commitment and responsibility toward the City, and the Sector they are living in. “We must be responsible citizens, fulfill our duties and then demand the same sincerity from the government officials, says Chowdhary, who has almost assumed the role of social activist, after her retirement. She is also critical of residents who waste water and other resources, and have put private gensets on the roads. “The people must act as good citizens,” asserts Chowdhary. The need of the hour is a publicprivate participation among the residents and the government agencies – as is being done in case of parks and several other facilities. “The State cannot perform every job; wherever it feels inadequate, it should involve the people and the private sector,” she says. u

As of February 16, 2012 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 (old/new)

12

10

7

10

6

8

7.90

6

Onions

14

12

12

14

8/10

10

9

9.90

Tomatoes

20

15

12

20

10

15

13

14.90

Cucumbers

24

22

24

28

18

32

28

21.90

Spinach

24

18

14

20

14

20

14

15

Radish

12

8

6

12

5

10

6

2/piece

Carrot

24

20

20

24

20

30

19

19.90

Peas

24

22

18

24

18

32

21

21.90

Mushroom

30

25

20

22

20

25

30

24


17–23 February 2012

PRAKHAR PANDEY

Secretariat, Ahamad, in chaste Urdu, tells us, “All plans, estimates and schemes have failed against the huge increase in numbers across the country – including Gurgaon. The Millennium City, which till ten years ago was a suburb of Delhi, has turned out to be a mega-city on its own. Managing

Time-Bound Delivery - 36 Essential Services Service Days

Ration Cards

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)

Issue of New Ration Card Issue of Ration Card on receipt of Surrender Certificate Issue of Duplicate Ration Card Inclusion of family member name in Ration Card Deletion of family member name in Ration Card Change of address with same Jurisdiction Change of address including change of FPS

Certificates

8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15)

Issue of Surrender Certificate Issue of SC Certificate Issue of BC Certificate Issue of OBC Certificate Issue of Resident/Domicile Certificate Issue of Tapriwas/Vimukt Jaati Certificate Issue of Income Certificate Issue of Rural Area Certificate

Sub-Registrar

16) Registration of Property/Land

Land Records

17) Sanction of Mutation of Land 18) Providing copies of Land Records

Transport Regulatory 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25) 26) 27) 28)

Issuance of Learner’s Driving Licence Issuance of Permanent Driving Licence Renewal of Driving Licence Issuance of Duplicate Driving Licence Endorsement of New Class in Driving Licence Issuance of Conductor Licence Registration of New Vehicles Transfer of Ownership Issuance of NOC Issuance of Duplicate ROC

Power Electricity Connections

29) Release of New Electricity Connection 30) Release of Temporary Electricity Connection 31) Enhancement of Electricity Load

Public Health Engineering

32) Providing New Water Connection 33) Providing of Sewerage Connection

Birth & Death

34) Issuance of Birth Certification (after registration) 35) Issuance of Death Certifiacte

Building Plans

36) Approval of Building Plans As announced by DC, P.C Meena.

09

Time To Change Administrative Set-up

{ Abhishek Behl / FG } The maladministration and the failure of governance in India is often ascribed to an unseen and unfathomable organism called ‘the system’. System failure has become an easy excuse to let things be – offering no hope of improvement. This mindset of blaming the system, however, must change, if India has to become a truly developed country – with growth and prosperity reaching all classes of people, says Naseem Ahamad, a retired IAS officer. Ahamad, was in the top echelons of bureaucracy in Haryana. He was also the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for five long years; and currently serves as the Administrator of the Haryana Waqf Board. “It is very easy to point out gaps and holes. But the need is to dispassionately see what the challenges are to the government, in the present scenario. In every sphere of government work the number of stakeholders has increased exponentially. Increasing urbanisation has also put pressure on services,” he says; but admits that there are problems in execution as well. Sitting in his office near the Mini-

C ivic/S ocial

15 7 7 7 7 3 3 1 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 1 15 5 5 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 30 30 30 12 12 3 3 25

such a large city is beyond the scope of the current administrative set-up.” To bring about sanity in the system, there is need to focus on PublicPrivate Partnerships (PPP) in civic affairs; so that citizens can take control of activities like maintenance of parks, sanitation, streetlights and related civic issues. “The private sector in Gurgaon is quite evolved, and its services can also be used to forge alliances – and find novel solutions for civic problems,” asserts Ahamad. He however thinks that the current system of outsourcing the services to private operators, as is being done by HUDA and MCG, is not a solution to the problem. “The basic problem arises from the fact that there is no

during his stint in the IAS. The government must also define the role of elected political representatives of the people, so that they can make a meaningful contribution to the society. Ahamad also wants that the menace of corruption be checked, as it makes the system an imbecile and non-functional. “I bought by first scooter in 1977, when I was the Deputy Commissioner of Narnaul. I bought my first car when I was Principal Secretary to Chaudhary Devi Lal, the Chief Minister of Haryana in 1987,” says Ahamad. He wants the current set of administrators to concentrate on bringing development to the people. There has been a lot of personal development, and people have become prosperous in the country, including Haryana – but the emphasis on infrastructure development and social development is lacking here, he laments. “Improved living standards do not have any connection with infrastructure and economic development as a whole,” he asserts; adding that govern-

Naseem Ahamad started his career as a teacher of Law at AMU in 1969. He joined the UP Civil (Judicial) Services in 1970, and was posted as Judicial Magistrate First Class in Aligarh. He joined the IAS in 1972 and was allotted the Haryana Cadre. He served as Joint Secretary, Fertiliser in the Government of India, and was also the MD of KRIBHCO. He served as Vice Chancellor of AMU for 5 years, from 2002-2007 – and retired from the IAS in October, 2007. He is currently serving as Administrator of Haryana Waqf Board. clear demarcation yet, as which sectors belong to HUDA, and what is the domain of MCG. This causes many problems, as neither the staff nor the people know who is accountable for what area,” he says. Poor supervision and monitoring of services is also the bane of HUDA and MCG – as these two agencies, after giving out contracts, do not effectively review if the work is being done well or not. “There is a Commissioner for every district in the State, who sits in Chandigarh – but oversees the working of the administration in his area. This experiment seems to have failed to bring the desired result. The government should look into the issue and set up a new system if it is not delivering the goods,” asserts Ahamad. He has worked with most of the Haryana politicians

ment agencies will have to come together and plan, despite limited resources. Making a specific reference to Gurgaon, he says that if officials of line-departments are senior than the Deputy Commissioner of the District, then it would lead to co-ordination problems. “I think this situation needs to be thought out and corrected. I also think that an umbrella organisation, on the lines of the Noida Development Authority, should be created in Gurgaon – to oversee the development in the city,” adds Ahamad. Cautious as every bureaucrat is, Ahamad however warns that this Authority should not in any way disregard the offices of the elected representatives – who might get a feeling that they are being ignored by the bureaucratic set up. u


10

Comment

17–23 February 2012

With A Song In Our Heart With Valentine’s behind us, let us take a moment, and feel for whom our heart beats, all year : A person after our own heart Who has his/her heart in the right place Has a heart of gold And is our heart and soul. Whom we can pour our heart out to Whom we have lost our heart to Who is the throbbing in our heart And who warms the cockles of our heart. When did we last :

EDITORIAL

Speak from the heart Have a heart to heart chat Put our heart in it …. to our heart’s desire Feel from the bottom of our heart Express heartfelt gratitude Laugh heartily Feel our heartbeat Feel a stirring of our heart Feel a heavy heart Cry our heart out Set someone’s heart at rest.

Atul Sobti

In our heart of hearts…..in just a heartbeat We know….the heart knows best. Let us step out, with a song in our heart ! And I…will always love you…. Cross my heart and hope to die…. Rest In Peace, Whitney.

Yes We Can { Odette Katrak } ‘Yes we can’ unfortunately is what the cynical majority in Gurgaon believes will never work here, as one system after another descends into chaos; be it power, roads, water, sewage – quite simply, basic infrastructure. ‘Yes we can’ is thankfully the hope of that tiny minority which dares to think differently. And moving beyond hope, demonstrates the courage to act. It is encouraging that the media coverage in Gurgaon is shifting stance from its woebegone road-tohell reporting, to a far more positive approach. We now see attempts to chalk out and influence solutions; and publications like ‘Friday Gurgaon’ stand out for this constructive reporting. This makes me want to believe once again that yes, indeed, we can – Gurgaon can rise out of the mess it is in. Most citizens are too caught up in their personal and official priorities to worry about much else. But then one fine day, the sad state of affairs finally catches up – as it did with me. So I indulged in armchair criticizing – and I believed that in doing so, I was being an active citizen. Then just a few years ago, it hit me. I could channel all that negative energy into positive suggestions; I could move out of the pit of complaining and rise to visible action. And that was the beginning of a new chapter for me. Opportunities have been plenty. Almost a year back, a new traffic signal was installed at a nearby roundabout, where till then traffic flowed smoothly. The signal timing

was not tuned to the flow of traffic. We had three days of traffic jams, with peak hours a nightmare. I emailed the traffic police from a general mail id, with my feedback. I was amazed to get a reply the same day. From the very next day, the signal was disabled, and things were back to normal. Try it yourself, it works! Yes indeed, you and I can make a difference in small ways such as these. Traffic chaos prevailed outside my children’s school, due to unruly, selfish drivers; and sadly, also unruly, selfish parents. A few ‘yes-wecan’ parents joined hands to come up with solutions, including daily traffic duty in sizzling 44° temperatures. It did make a difference. Positive attitude, positive ideas, positive action, positive impact. It is as simple as that. The new Administrator of HUDA has shaken things up quite a bit. He means business. Let us acknowledge his good intent, to shake up a sleeping system – and make people accountable. I do hope that every head of key departments in Gurgaon shares with the public a mail id, inviting residents to write in with their problems, and commiting to address these in a timebound period. If the action taken on such mails/calls is as swift as the response of the traffic department to my feedback; and if the potholes on our road start disappearing - thanks to the flurry of mails from citizens who realise they can help improve the city they live in – then we will be able to proudly say, ‘Yes, Gurgaon can’. u The writer is a soft-skills trainer and social change activist

OBCs in Haryana 76 castes get 27% OBC reservation, of which : 71 castes get 16% reservation. 5 castes (Ahir or Yadav, Gujjar, Lodh or Lodha or Lodhi, Saini or Shakya, and Meo) get 11% reservation. In Class I and Class II services, only 10% reservation is admissible to these castes.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR r Kumar is a classic example of the amazing capacity of human D spirit to create wonders and move mountains Obviously behind his compassionate persona is a pious and inspired soul. May God grant him success in his endeavors

Jitendra Kaushal on the article’ ‘Agar Saare Afsar Aise Hon To...’

Artistic Strokes really encourages my daughter, and all her friends get The to see FG issue. Dr. Gandhi Please send your letters to: letters@fridaygurgaon.com

FAMOUS QUOTES An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. Mahatma Gandhi My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition. Indira Gandhi I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. Mother Teresa

It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come. Dalai Lama It is only too easy to make suggestions and later try to escape the consequences of what we say. Jawaharlal Nehru I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. Rabindranath Tagore


Spot The Difference

Kids Brainticklers

17–23 February 2012

Sudoku Kids

Solutions

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. One more baby book 2. Suit button missing 3. Block ‘A’ changes to “C” 4. Baby in picture opens mouth 5. Bow tie changes to tie. 6. Striped lampshade 7. Spider in doorway. 8. Rattle vanishes 9. Book on floor 10. Man’s shoes black.

Kid Corner

11


12

17–23 February 2012

K id Corner

Dholakpur at Indus World School

I

ndus World School, a Career Launcher Educate venture, was abuzz with activity, as the school premises were transformed into Dholakpur – the village of cartoon character ‘Chhota Bheem’. The quaint little thatched huts of Dholakpur attracted many children, who spent the day with the team of ‘Chhota Bheem’ programme, that is telecasted on Pogo TV. “As cartoons provide wings to children’s imagination, we decided to bring alive their favourite cartoon character, his village, and everyone associated with it. I hope it is going to be a memorable experience for the little ones to interact with ‘Chhota Bheem’ outside their TV screens,” said Mrs Uma Ramachandran, Principal, Indus World School.

Aashirwaad Ceremony at CCA A

Ryan Nature Walk

solemn Aashirwaad Ceremony was held at CCA School, to wish luck to the batch of Class XII. The programme commenced with a diya lighting ceremony, followed by a floral tribute to Goddess Saraswati. The highlight of the day was the movie “Down The Memory Lane”, that showed how the students grew wiser with each passing day. Teachers gave their invaluable tips, in the form of verses, and inspiring Urdu couplets. The students were given class photographs and good luck cards at the end of the ceremony.

T

iny tots of Ryan Montessori School were taken for a nature walk to the nearby park. The children enjoyed moving around the park, admiring the plants, birds, flowers, and bees. The children were inquisitive about what they saw in the park. After coming back, the children made a cutout of a tree, and the teachers explained the importance of trees to them.

Team India A

group of 40 students from Jammu & Kashmir visited Scottish High, to take part in a cricket match. It was a rare opportunity for these kids, as the spirit of cricket ruled the day. It was amazing to see how young lads had perfected their techniques as all rounders. The aim of the match was to develop communal harmony and integration. Mr. Lalit Kumar, the Secretary of the National Foundation of Communal Harmony, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India and Mr Bashir Vani, Executive Director, Rehabilitation Program, J&K were also present on the ocassion.

Recycling A Sport T

o promote cycling as a sport among children, TI Cycles organised the cycle marathon – BSA Hercules Cyclo Xcitement 2011-12 – at Meenakshi Public School, Sector 10-A. More than 15 schools from Gurgaon participated in the marathon. The aim was to keep Gurgaon green, and promote the use of cycling as an alternate means of transportation. The marathon included slow cycling, fast cycling, and hurdle race. The winner won a BSA Hercules Bicycle. All participating schools were given a sapling, as a green gesture.

MRIS Global Citizens T

hree students of Manav Rachna International School, Sec. 46 – Chris S. Veronicka, Arub Imam, and Emaad Muzaffer – along with a teacher Ms. Surabhi Joshi, attended the British Council Young Global Citizens Summit, held at Bhubaneswar, in partnership with Sai International School. The residential camp was inaugurated by Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa. Various workshops, like The Big Dance, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, 100 Words Play, Royal Shakespeare Company, Fine Arts, Youth Leadership, Social Action Plan, Forum Theatre, Youth Music Voices, Communication and Presentation Skills and BBC Theme Assemblies, were organised to hone the leadership qualities of the students. Guest lectures by Murlidhar Bhandare, Honourable Governer of Orissa and Mr. Subrato Bagchi, Co-Founder Mind Tree inspired the children to reach out and be a part of a global community.


17–23 February 2012

OLF Cricket Champs

Literary Flourish

Examination Exams, Exams, Exams, In French we call ‘Examen’. Study like a scientist, Pass like a scholar! Science, Maths, English, SST, And the most important Hindi! Our teachers make us study, And we put knowledge into our minds. For the first time in my life, I am giving such exams! So, all my dear friends, All the best for your exams!!!

K id Corner

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ur Lady of Fatima (OLF) school bagged the coveted 4th Manav Rachna Under 14 Cricket Challenge Cup 2012, held at Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46. Fifteen renowned schools from Gurgaon and Faridabad participated in this tournament, and competed for the championship. The final match was played between DPS 45 and Our Lady Fatima School. The tournament was a great experience, as it has provided a platform to budding cricketers to showcase their talent, and hone their skills. The trophy was handed over to the winning team by Sarkar Talwar, Director Sports-MREI.

Tanya Garg, Grade VI G, Delhi Public School, Sector 45

Fragile Art

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rt Alive Gallery saw a conglomeration of creativity – a group of children busy with the brushes and crayons, during a painting workshop organised by the Gallery. Curator of the exhibition Fragility, Rakhee Balaram, guided the children about the fragile things. Focusing on the fragile materials like paper and feathers, the kids made some beautiful paintings.

Helper’s Day at Shalom Hills T

o honour the people who make our lives comfortable and easy going, the tiny tots of Shalom Hills International School dressed up as their favourite helpers. The children were told about the tireless efforts put in by sweepers, watchmen, fire workers, and many more.

Name: Rishika, CLASS I, The Banyan Tree World School

Name: Saloni Dhingra, CLASS V E, Delhi Public School, Sec 45

NAB’s Sports Vision

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tudents of GurgaonMewat branch of the National Association for the Blind (NAB) – Deepak Kumar and Dheeraj Kumar – bagged one Gold medal and two Silver medals in sports competition, respectively – in a sports competition organised by NAB in Mumbai. While Deepak won the Gold in the three-legged race, Dheeraj won one Silver in swimming, and one in the long jump. NAB has been working for the welfare of blind children in Gurgaon for the last 22 years.

Name: Aveesha Gandhi, CLASS III A, The Shri Ram School – Aravalli


14

K id Corner

17–23 February 2012

Friends are our most valuable possession – that is the lesson these Jataka tales impart. The wise, like Nigrodha Kumar, cherish their companions. Pottik’s selfless loyalty is rewarded by unexpected riches. On the other hand, for the selfish ingrate Shakha there awaits only a shameful loneliness. Rich or poor, ugly or handsome, powerful or helpless, a friend is one whom you can trust. And for this luxury, you should repay your friend with respect and honour.

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The Better Half

Star Fun

9 to 5

© 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

Animal Crackers

Baby Blues

Two Wise Men

Dogs of C-Kennel

– Atullya Purohit, V B, Blue Bells Model School


W ellness

17–23 February 2012

Let The Child Out { Surekha Waldia }

I

t’s a fact; we are leading a very stressful life. But why? We have all the luxuries at the press of a finger tip; but still we are unable to laugh as a child does – or smile like a baby. We find it weird to laugh aloud alone; we sometimes hold onto our smiles. In fact, we have even stopped acknowledging the fact that we are really stressed out. We spend so much time in a stressed state, that we believe being stressed is being normal. Instead of enjoying the luxuries acquired, we are worried about how to acquire the next level. We love to worry about things that are not in our control; or create situations we know will cause stress. It is our thoughts that cause stress. We need to give ourselves a flexible state of mind; learn how to detach from unrealistic expectations, and go with the flow. A flexible mindset empowers us to deal with problems more effectively, as we are not working against a preconceived notion of how things “should be”. A simple method to keep stress away from our hectic life is to just re-learn to take pleasure from the small and big things in life that we seem to ignore. The seasons, for instance. Just imagine how children enjoy the splitter splatter of rain drops, and then play with their paper boats in that puddle of water – followed by sunny days in the park. Let the child

Join us now!

within you also enjoy, and stare in amazement at one of nature’s pleasures. With a few minor changes in our perspective, our stress levels reduce drastically, and raise our sense of well-being and balance. The next step is to examine external circumstances, and see if small adjustments will support the new and more balanced mindset. We need to develop some kind of relaxing activity or schedule, that will help us maintain the balance, in our daily lives. One such simple activity is to connect art with nature. It helps express our creative side, and helps us get in touch with our inner feelings. As kids, we all loved sculpting something (with play-dough), painting something (with fingers), or drawing (with crayons and other materials); and at the same time enjoyed the flowers bloom in the changing seasons,

and ran after the butterflies or the bumble bees. So why not bring that joy back in our lives? Art will take our mind off what is stressing us, at least for a few minutes. The flow of thoughts that will engage our mind while we are drawing/painting, will bring us to a near-meditative state. This ‘flow’ is also experienced when we are gardening. It’s a known fact that lush green plants are one of the best stress busters, and create a harmonious indoor haven. Plants breathe out oxygen, encouraging vitality in our body and home. So create your own pot, and add a lush green plant that will always make you happy and chirpy – and give you back the confidence that your creative side is still alive and kicking.

To cure a headache, make a paste of dried coriander seeds and water, and apply to the forehead

Pot A Plant

 Take a plain terracotta or fully baked pot, and paint it both inside and outside with a neutral colour distemper. Painting it inside will block the pores, giving the pot extra life. Paint it and leave it for a day, before you start with your art work.  The next step is to have your brush, and poster colours – and you are now ready to unleash your creativity.  Once your pot is done, let it dry for a couple of minutes. In the meanwhile do choose your plant. It can be an indoors or outdoors variety – depending where you want your creative pot to be.  While potting the plant, please do remember to block the drain hole at the bottom of the pot – with a flat stone (to stop the mud from flowing away with the water).

 Make a nice mix of soil and organic compost/vermicompost. Now carefully transfer the plant from the existing pot or black polybag, without loosening the soil from the root ball. Add the soil mix you have made, to your pot. Leave at least 2 inches from the top; else, while watering, the excess soil will also drain out. u Author is a researcher. You can follow her on http://www.facebook.com /groups/potsluck/

Vivafit 07838358788, 0124-4268-086 242, Second Floor, DTMega Mall, DLF Phase I, Gurgaon - 122001, www.vivafit.in

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

E

very season spreads its own magic. With spring, we always associate a bounce in the step … an expectation in the air. As the chill of the winter slowly recedes, each day brings a sense of renewal … a new beginning. The warmth of the sun makes the fields green and fresh. Flowers blossom into riots of colour, and the fresh breeze uplifts everyone’s morale. In India, Basant Panchmi is celebrated in the last few days of January or early February. ‘Basant’ means spring, and ‘Panchmi’ means the fifth day of the waxing moon. The festival is also known as ‘Saraswati Panchmi’ – as it is traditional to pray to Saraswati, the goddess of Knowledge. This festival is especially important for artists,

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Tulsi – The Queen Of Herbs musicians and students. At this festive time of the year, it is natural to be reminded of holy basil, known to us as tulsi. It has been cherished for its health promoting and medicinal value for thousands of years. In ancient Ayurveda scriptures, tulsi holds a very special status – as “The Queen of Herbs”. It is described as a protector of life, that accompanies us from birth till death.

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The unique chemistry of tulsi (holy basil) is highly complex. It contains hundreds of beneficial compounds. Working together, these compounds possess strong antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, adaptogenic and immune-enhancing properties, that promote general health and support the body’s natural defense against stress and disease. The essential oils in the leaves of tulsi, that contribute to the fragrance and refreshing flavor of Tulsi Tea, are a particularly rich source of valuable phyto-chemicals. Although originally from India, ocimum basilicum (sweet basil) is best known as a culinary herb that is prominently featured in Italian cuisine; and also plays a major role in Asian cuisines. In general, it is added fresh, at the last moment – as cooking quickly destroys the flavor. The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator; or for a longer period in the freezer – after being blanched quickly in boiling water. Ocimum sanctum (holy basil) has been used extensively for its medicinal values, by a num-

ber of cultures. Chinese medicine uses holy basil for stomach spasms, kidney conditions, to promote blood circulation, and to treat snake and insect bites. According to Ayurvedic tradition, tulsi – the “incomparable one” – is one of the best herbs to prepare the heart and mind for spiritual practices, resolve colds and flu, treat various skin conditions, and reduce fever. Research suggests that holy basil may be hepatoprotective (liver protecting).

Tip of the week

During the spring season, it is a good to maximize the use of green vegetables, and to consume light meals that are easyto-digest. Late nights, and heatproducing foods, are best avoided. Early morning lukewarm water is recommended. Before each meal, 1 teaspoon of tulsi juice, mixed with 1 teaspoon of ginger juice, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of honey, can form a refreshing appetizer.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Tulsi

Tulsi has been revered as a healing balm for body, mind and

Only for Ladies Fitness Place

spirit. It bolsters immunity, and is a known adaptogen - a substance that invigorates, balances and strengthens our body’s systems – so that it is able to relieve stress, promote resilience & enhance stamina. Drinking tulsi extract daily soothes the nervous system, and helps to relieve day-to-day stress. Tulsi is a good germicidal and disinfectant, that protects us from all types of viral and bacterial infections. It is a good source of Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Zinc and Iron and Chlorophyll. The anti-oxidants present in tulsi help in balancing different processes in our body. Tulsi helps to remove the toxins present in blood, and purifies it. Tulsi leaf tea can help in controlling blood pressure. Eugenol, an anti oxidant present in tulsi, can help in reducing blood cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels. Components like Camphene, Eugenol and Cineole, in its essential oils, make tulsi very effective in ameliorating nearly all types of respiratory disorders – including bronchitis. Although tulsi has generally been recognised as a very safe healing herb, anyone suffering from diabetes should exercise caution. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions


16 { v.k Gaur }

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ach of the 12 signs of the zodiac have a specific appearance, and a habitat. Their impact on a jatak (person) born in the concerned lagna rashi are shown in italics. Mesh (Aries) – This Rashi looks like a ram, and is located at the head of Kaal Purusha. It circulates among goats and sheep, and the region holding wealth and precious stones. It moves over pastoral lands, lakes and mountains. It lives in hidden places. It is red-colored, giant sized, and more powerful during the night. Mesh Jatakas ( people born under Mesh) are active, impulsive, spontaneous and headstrong – often self-centered. Mesh (Aries) are always fearless and brave, almost to a point of foolishness; but they never carry malice. They are emotional and passionate; active, fiery, high-spirited, energetic, athletic, charismatic, courageous, optimistic, and friendly. Born leaders, Mesh make their actions and presence felt. They do not compromise on their goals.They are masculine, cruel and fiery. When a Mesh sets out to accomplish something, he will literally ‘ram’ his way to success. Mesh are lively participants in the everyday activity of life. However, it is also the Mesh who often fails to finish things, when details demand rapt attention. They allow their enthusiasm to exceed their actual ability. Invariably romantics at heart, they will profess undying love for their beloved - a promise they are most likely to keep. Ideal life partners for them are most likely to be other Mesh (Aries), Simha (Leo), Dhanu (Aquarius), or Vrishchika (Scorpio).

B on V ivant

17–23 February 2012

Know Your Rashi Vrishabh (Taurus) – This Rashi is like a bull, and represents the face and throat of the Kaal Purusha. It resides in the summits of mountains, cowsheds, and other places of animal habitats and agricultural lands. It has white colour, long gait, four legs; and is more energetic during the night. Vrishabh Rashi is all about rewards. Unlike Mesh, who plunges headlong into the challenge of the game, Vrishabh Rashi loves to reap the rewards. Jatakas of Vrishabh Rashi don’t start out with the intention of getting stuck. They simply want to get things done; and it

Mesh (Aries)

Vrishabh (Taurus)

is that steady, dogged endurance that earns them the nickname ‘stubborn’. They are most practical and reliable; they happily touch the finish line and reap the rewards. Vrishabh jatakas prefer to take each day as it comes, and work toward their ultimate goal. Their strength is in their stability, loyalty and firm determination. They are down to earth, realistic, have a no-nonsense approach, say what they mean, have a very strong sense of values, are often artistic – and sometimes very musical. They own the best—be it wine, food, clothes, conveyance—even if it means having only one. Slow, steadfast and stub-

{ Bhavana Sharma }

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verything in nature consists of life-force energy vibrating at different frequencies. At the physical level, life-force energy ultimately becomes matter; at the spiritual level, this energy becomes consciousness – expressed as courage, joy and compassion. The spiritual healing qualities are what we can seek in crystals. They have been used for millennia, to heal and ensure balance. We too can benefit, by dedicating and programming the crystals to bring the desired effect in our daily lives.

born, they wade through challenges in life gently; making sure that they do things that will make others happy. A Vrishabh Jataka’s mind is closed to new ideas; and there is a certain unwillingness to change. They are determined, and do not buckle under pressure and adversity. They are patient, dependable, loyal, caring, shy and reserved. Vrishabh Jatakas are peaceful, calm and quiet; but once annoyed, they will run into a rage, and turn ferocious and unstoppable. Outspoken and expressive, they don’t modulate their expression. They avoid risky ventures, and like to live comfortably. Ruled by Shukra Graha (Venus),

Mithun (Gemini)

a Vrishabh seeks the sensual pleasures, and is a true admirer of beauty. Often they will make little or no effort to change the situation around them. They make good business persons – they make money and preserve it well; they make good financiers and bankers. Some Jatakas are likely to be in music, where they excel. They are family-oriented, and enjoy spending time with loved ones, especially children. They can be romantic, attentive, tender, and affectionate. Vrishabh will find an ideal match in fellow Vrishabh Jatakas, and Kanya (Virgo); and marriage with Kumbha (Aquarius) could also prove successful.

Crystal Power

Know your Crystals

Quartz: Known as the master stone—because of the way it amplifies the subtle energy—it is used for several healing processes. It can be found in different shades – like clear, pink brown, yellow and purple. There are also quartz clusters, geodes, pointers and wands – each serving a different spiritual purpose. Clear quartz pyramids can be kept in the children’s room to enhance study luck. Quartz crystals can be programmed with your intentions; and can also be kept anywhere around the house or office, to remove negative vibrations. Pearl: This crystal has affinities with the heart chakra and the solar plexus (the chakra located above the navel and below the sternum). The energies of this crystal are receptive; and pearls are worn to spread loving vibrations, and for inner strength. Black pearls are worn to bring luck; pink pearls to manifest an easy and comfortable life; and yellow pearls to bring wealth, and promote intelligence. Wearing pearl rings and a necklace framed in silver will make you feel protected and nurtured. Amethyst: This crystal has affinities with the crown chakra. Placed beneath the pillow, it can drive off insomnia and nightmares. It has no negative effects, and is known as a Spiritual stone. Hold the amethyst in your left hand, and let its soothing vibrations sink into you; it calms your unnatural fears, guilt, and addiction; and curbs overindulgence and emotional storms. A pyramid of amethyst crystal, placed in the northwest of the house, will remove hurdles. Rose Quartz: Having affinities with the heart

chakra, this crystal relates to the emotional, mental, etheric and spiritual energy forces. Carrying a rose quartz will build self-confidence and self acceptance; and heighten the awareness of beauty around you – dissolving gloom and despondency. It opens your heart, so that you become receptive; and invokes self- trust and self-worth in relationships. Lighting a pink candle and placing a rose quartz crystal near it is excellent for calming emotional distress, and healing relationships. Smoky Quartz: This has spiritual affinities with the root chakra, the solar plexus and the lower abdomen. It stabilises the emotions, and encourages you to experience new things – thereby developing an attitude of self-acceptance in the learning process. Its grounding energies have a wonderful effect on those who have scattered energies, and need to feel more focused in life. Wearing a triangular smoky quartz—framed in silver—around the neck, will be beneficial. Jade: This has affinities with the heart chakra, solar plexus and the third eye. Wearing a jade crystal regularly can bring in focused calm and balance, for those who are oversensitive. It is also helpful in mental work, and promoting clear judgement. A cluster of raw jade crystals placed in a glass bowl containing white silver dust, will reduce negative impact on health; and increase the

Mithun (Gemini) – This Rashi holds the Veena and Gada (mace), and represents the hands and shoulders of Kaal Purusha. A man and woman, bearing a trumpet and a harp, represent the sign of Mithun. The places of dance, music, art galleries, artists, and entertainment are enveloped in its lap. It is green in colour. The third sign in the Rashichakra, Mithun Rashi is not able to hold secrets – because of indulgence in endless talking. Ruled by the Planet Budh (Mercury), Mithuna exhibits mercurial energy. They are quick-thinking, quick-witted, and fast on their feet. Their curiosity and cleverness make them popular. A Mithun is charming, congenial, and loves to share his secrets with friends. Mithun Jataks are bright, quick-witted, and occupy centre-stage in any social congregation.They are rational and positive thinkers. At work, they are termed as deep and transparent thinkers. Their greatest strength lies in their ability to communicate effectively, and think clearly. They can be moody—and at times whimsical—but have their hearts in the right place. They are fun-loving, beaming with life, full of ideas, adorable, inconsistent, capricious, superficial – they have abundant contradictions. They may pose as ‘know-alls’; but they also do have the ability to master some skills. They have a cheerful face; but exhibit visible signs of anxiety, tension or unhappiness. A Mithuni is generally adventurous and fun loving; but his fickle mind, flirting and uncaring attitude breaks many hearts. Mithun never stray if the family life is satisfying. Tula (Libra), Kumbh (Aquarius), fellow Mithun, and Mesh are best suited as life partners for Mithun Jataks.u (In the article, he is used for he/she) To be continued

flow of finance. Agate: This crystal can cleanse and stabilise the aura, by removing any kind of negative energy. It can connect you better with the root chakra. It is most noted for balancing the yin and yang; as well as for protection, courage, and calming effects. Wearing blue lace agate can treat skin infections. A pentagram, drawn with black salt and a cluster of moss agate crystals set in its centre, will dispel all negative energies. Carnelian: This orange crystal can be carried by the timid and the shy, to bolster courage. Worn around the neck as a pendant, it is excellent for bringing in business prosperity – and stabilising the financial situation. With its cheerful vitality, orange carnelian can help you look at the brighter side of life, and boost your enthusiasm. A circle of eleven orange candles, anointed with cedar oil, and lit along with two carnelian crystals, can help with decision-making and intuition. Black Obsidian: It is a grounding and centering crystal, that can be used or carried for removing negativity from one’s aura. Self-control is also induced by use of this stone. Its spiritual forces will take you deep into your sub-conscious mind, and curb imbalances and destructive tendencies. Hanging a pouch of three black obsidian crystals in the room will lead to balance in life. Citrine: Carrying the power of the sun, this crystal is exceedingly beneficial. It does not need cleaning, and can be worn for long periods – as it energises all levels of life. Yellow citrine activates the crown chakra, and opens intuition. Worn as a bracelet or pendant, it can help overcome phobias, fears and depression. A cluster of citrine crystals, hung or placed in the centre of the house, will improve family discord and promote harmony. Aquamarine: An excellent crystal for aiding meditation, and calming the mind. Spiritually, it sharpens intuition, and aids clairvoyance. It can be worn for curing sore throats, and thyroid problems. Holding an aquamarine crystal in your hand will bring you peace, joy and happiness. u Tarot Card Reader bhavanasharma89@yahoo.com


B on V ivant

17–23 February 2012

FG

Chef Master Vijaylaxmi

FIRST

{ Shilpy Arora/ FG }

Q

Tell us about your journey – from a cook, to the top five contenders of MasterChef Season 2. Yes, I started my career as a cook at a diplomat’s house. But after four years, I moved to a real estate company, because I was looking for some better paying options. I spent 10 years with that company, but my love for cooking didn’t die. When my daughter watched MasterChef Season 1, she insisted that I give it a shot. In fact, it is my 7 year old daughter who inspired me to participate in MasterChef. Nearly 3,500 people appeared for the audition in the Delhi/NCR

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region. Out of them, 50 were selected in the first round, and then two in the second round. Devika and I, were the two who made it to the second round. So I went to Mumbai, where I had to compete with top 100 contenders from all over the country. I was one of the lucky contestants to reach the top 10 and then finally the top 5.

Q A

What would you attribute your success to? I have a lot of experience. Yes, theoretically I am not very well-versed, but my practical knowledge has actually paid off. I have experimented a lot with food, and practised over the years. Also, I am thankful to my father-in-law, who taught me some basic rules of cooking. As my parents belong to South India, and I am born and brought up in Delhi, I already had the knowledge of the cuisine of both the regions. My father-in-law helped me brush up my culinary skills.

Q

Now, after coming back from MasterChef, would you like to go back to Delhi, or stay in Gurgaon? I have been living in Gurgaon for the last three years. Gurgaon is a nice place, but a little expensive. However, I have no plans to go back to Delhi; because in Master Chef I was referred to as “Gurgaon’s Vijaylaxmi”.

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I am thinking of starting a business in this city only. Later, I can go for expansion – that might cover Delhi.

JIT KUMAR

Chef Vijaylaxmi, a resident of Gurgaon who made it to the top 5 of MasterChef Season 2, shares the ingredients of her success with Friday Gurgaon. Excerpts from the interview:

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Q A

How is it different, cooking at home and cooking at MasterChef? Totally different. Thankfully, there is no MasterChef watch here (laughs). At home, if anything goes wrong, you have time to fix it. But in the MasterChef, even if you go slightly wrong, you are gone forever.

Q A

How was your experience with the judges, contestants and Akshay Kumar? Akshay came in the last episode only. I found him very supportive during the tasks. For contestants, I would say, some of them are my good friends, especially Shazia ji. This was the first time that I faced the camera, and got an

opportunity to perform on such a big platform. I thank MasterChef for the platform, as well as the wonderful people I met during the show.

Q A

Your focus has always been on Indian food. Why? No, I would not say my focus has been on Indian food only. In fact, during MasterChef, I took up Indian cuisine to the international level. India is famous for spices, but most of the people don’t know how to use spices well. They just put everything in together, that sometimes kills the original taste of the food. Every spice has its own taste and relevance. For example, in Rajasthan, my dish – Gatte ki Canapés – was very much appreciated by the judges – and I got extra votes for it. All the ingredients were Indian, but the concept was international. I am also famous for marshmallows, made of saunf and kevda essence, that give them an Indian flavour. Through this approach, I want to show the world that Indian spices and herbs are the best; and we can also match international standards.

Q A

You are a mother of a 7 year old. What cooking tip would you give to all the mothers? I would recommend healthy food for children. If you can’t spend much time in the kitchen

in the morning, keep some stuff ready in the refrigerator. For example, I keep bread dough and some ingredients like cheese, sliced tomato, orange sauce, and sautéed vegetables ready. I simply mix them with bread dough in the morning, and bake them for my daughter’s tiffin. This way one can make quick, healthy, and colourful dishes for the children. Besides, I put a lot of herbs in the dishes. The best way to put herbs in the food is to put them in the dough. Also, presentation of food is very important. Remember, children love to play with food. So give them different types of sauce to dip in. Make sauce with fresh vegetables and herbs at home.

– where you get almost everything. For my cooking classes, I got everything from the INA market. I never compromise on the quality of ingredients in my cooking. For example, I always buy the best yeast for bread, and extra virgin olive oil for cooking.

Q A

Do you think formal education is required to become a chef? See, it is your experience that counts; and it is practice that makes you perfect. I couldn’t even complete my graduation. But my experience and practice made me quite perfect. Therefore, for me formal education has little to do when it comes to cooking.

Q A

Can you share your breakfast to dinner menu? I give my daughter milk and muffin/cake at breakfast. Sambar Idli makes a good breakfast in the summers. For her tiffin, I prefer pastas and bread rolls. Dinner, usually, comprises of dal, chawal, and sabji. I also give her different types of salads.

Q A

As a single parent, how difficult is it for you to manage both profession and home? Thankfully, I have got very helpful in-laws. In fact, during MasterChef, when I was in Mumbai, they took good care of my daughter. My relationship with my husband didn’t work out; but I am glad that even after divorce, my in-laws are so supportive.

Q A

What is your favourite restaurant in Gurgaon? And where do you buy grocery from? Honestly speaking, I don’t go to any restaurant. First, I am a very simple person, and not aware of the big names. Second, I don’t need to go to restaurants, as I cook everything at home. I buy vegetables and other grocery items from the nearby market of Vyapar Kendra. My main shopping centre is INA though

Q

What are your future plans? During MasterChef, you said it is your dream to open a coffee shop. Can we expect anything of this sort in Gurgaon? A real estate company has shown interest in my idea. They want me to open a coffee shop in Sector 45, Gurgaon. Later, we can think of a chain structure. I am good at baking, so the concept of coffee shop goes well with my name. People may find my coffee shop a little expensive, but I promise to offer good, healthy, and chemical-free stuff. Also, I am planning to start a marshmallows business, as I got a lot of compliments for my marshmallows during MasterChef. I can supply them in different flavours, to all the top supermarkets in the City. u

A

FG Invites Citizens Are you interested and concerned about civic and social happenings and issues around you?

Are you motivated to do something positive for society?

Are you interested to also write, and express what you see, hear, feel?

If yes, write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com, with a brief background of yourself, with contact number(s).

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


18

17–23 February 2012

Singh, the former Chief Minister of Haryana, is one of those personalities. Apart from him, Mahinder Singh Bedi, and K.C Poswal, who was a Minister in the Haryana government, became members of this Club. The City’s Deputy Commissioner and other notable officers would come here on a daily basis, to play badminton during the thirties and forties. At present, the membership of this Club has been restricted to 45 only,” says Rajkumar Jain, one of the oldest members. He has been a regular member for the last 60 years. “Clubs were never a place PRAKHAR PANDEY

Royal Nostalgia

B on V ivant

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

C

lub culture has been Gurgaon’s forte for quite a while now, and the credit goes to the socio-economic metamorphosis that Gurgaon has undergone in the last two decades. However, only a handful, and that too only the old, know that Gurgaon is home to the oldest club in the region.

A Club that is now gasping for breath. “This is the oldest Club, not only of the city, but of the whole region. Today, Gurgaon has many clubs, but this one belongs to a different era – when Gurgaon was but a small deserted town. It was established by the Englishmen in 1930. Some of the most acclaimed personalities of the State have been members of this Club. Rao Birender

Image Q&A { Sarita Maheshwari Sharda }

Q A

How should one dress for a pear-shaped body? A person having a pearshaped body should keep the following points in mind, while choosing clothes: Focus attention upward. Pear-shaped women should focus attention on the upper half of their body, by choosing slim, fitted tops, button-down shirts and cardigans. Attention towards the face. Shirts and dresses with embellished necklines naturally draw the eye upward toward the face – the slimmest part of a pear-shaped body. Layer it up. Layering garments can balance a pearshaped body, by adding visual interest to the top half of the body. The second layer should be long and firm, as compared to the first layer – so that it can cover the thighs and hips.

Q A

Go for an A. A-line dresses and tops emphasise the upper body, while ‘slimming’ the wider hips. Wide is good. Keep the hems of pants, skirts and dresses wide, to visually balance a pearshaped body. Pointy-toed shoes, with wide-hemmed pants, will elongate your legs. Try to avoid low-waist and tapered trousers. Get a little structure. Structured pants are a great fit, especially those that skim the hips and thighs. Avoid heavy detail garments like cargo pants, funky pockets, embroidery.

What points should be kept in mind while printing a business card? A Business Card should be professionally designed. It is not a piece of paper listing your contact information; but a branding tool for you and your company. Keep the following points in mind while printing and presenting them:  Standard size of card is 3.5 in. by 2 in.  Preferably printed with black ink on white card – it will remain fine for years  Of course, colourful cards are more popular now. There are also cards on CD; plastic, wood and metal business cards; folded business cards; and cards with photos on them.  With continuous innovation and advanced printing technologies, it is now possible to have ‘unique’ cards. The range of layout templates and stock designs makes it easy for anybody to design their own cards.  Give people a reason to hold on to your card. Print something unique on the back of it--a calendar, a list of your services, important measurements, or anything relevant to your industry.

Q A

Which types of brushes are suitable for make-up? Make-up brushes are available in two types of material - Natural and Synthetic. Natural brushes are better for dry products – like blush and eye shadow. Synthetic brushes are best suited for cream or liquid products—like concealer or foundation—because they soak up less.

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How should I avoid cuts while shaving (for women)? Make sure you exfoliate before the shave. While shaving, use warm water and a sharp blade – don’t apply too much pressure on your skin.

Q

When drinking a cup of tea, where should I keep the saucer (during a business and social meal)? When at a buffet hold the tea saucer in the lap with the left hand, while holding the tea cup with the right. When at a table, place the saucer on the table .When not drinking from the tea cup, place it back onto the saucer – and hold it with the left hand. Only hold the saucer, with the tea cup, when at a standing reception.

A

Q A

Where should I place my napkin, when briefly excusing myself during a meal? Place the napkin on your chair, as it is not appropriate to place a soiled napkin on the table. u (Certified Image Consultant)

for the masses. Today, however, all the clubs of the city are open to all. The only thing required is money. In earlier days, things were different, and money didn’t play that big a role. This Club patronized the lawyers and class one officers of the City. In the thirties, the fee was Rs. 25 per month for every individual,” added Jain. The Club is situated in the heart of old Gurgaon, in Civil Lines, in the middle of other buildings built by the English. “This land was given to the Club on a non-profit basis, in 1930, on a lease of 90 years. At present, this piece of land, with these two rooms, comes under the Zila Parishad. They have never

offered any helping hand for the development or the well being of this property. We members are taking care of it `from our own pockets,” said Rao Sripal, another veteran member of the Club. The few members have come here for their regular round of card games. “This place has become a second home to all of us, and we have spent quality time of our lives here, while knowing each other. Now all the members of this Club are like a family, and we support each other even in the slightest of difficulty,” added Rao. Even the greatest of the legacies have surrendered to the will of time in the absence of an heir; and this club too is getting closer to the inevitable, with each passing day. “In today’s modern life nobody has time, and we old people here are perhaps the last gathering this Club will see. The new crop of humanity, including our children and grandchildren, are not interested in coming and sitting here. The sanctity and class of this place will die with us, and that’s a very unfortunate truth,” added Rao. Bhoop Singh, another senior member, while distributing the cards, tried to refresh old memories, “Now there is nothing left; time has destroyed everything. Earlier there used to be a badminton court here, where the members used to play in the evenings. A tennis court was also there; but in the absence of the administration’s care, everything has succumbed to time – and now there is nothing left to adore.” The English era has long gone, and this club is no more on the throne of glory. It has somehow survived in oblivion. Some say that this is a golden age for Gurgaon; but for us and this Club, the golden days are long past,” said an emotional Bhoop Singh. They then requested us to spare them, so that they may enjoy each other’s august company to the fullest. u

Laughing St

ck

Here are some signs and notices written in English that were discovered throughout the world. In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable. In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. Daily. In a Bangkok dry cleaner’s: Drop your trousers here for best results. In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency: Take one of our horse-driven city tours - we guarantee no miscarriages. In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar. In a Budapest zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty. In the office of a Roman doctor: Specialist in women and other diseases.


17–23 February 2012

 Contd from p 1 Sports Ground. Computer Centre, Health Centre, Girls’ Hostels, and a Canteen. This college presently caters to 5340 girls in the regular mode, and 3000 girls in the distance education mode. Principal Dr. Ashok Diwakar, who runs this institution with great enthusiasm, says that his College offers 27 courses in Arts, Science, Commerce and Computer Science subjects. “We have students from six States, apart from local students who have enrolled in various courses, as our quality is very good and the fees is very reasonable,” he says. To give an impetus to girls’ education, this College has three hostels, with a capacity of 600. “We maintain tight discipline, and ensure that the girls live and study in a quality environment, so that they can carve themselves a better future,” says Diwakar. No doubt the facility is a major hit, as families from rural

Dr. Ashok Diwakar, Principal, Govt. Girls College areas and outside the State want their wards to remain in the safe environs of the College. A visit to Ganga, Kaveri and Narmada—the three hostels—makes it clear that the hostels in this college are well functional. This is also the first college of Haryana that was approved by AICTE, to run the MCA course. “The MCA course, along with B.Com, Bio Tech and B.Sc, are the hottest courses in this College. The fee we charge is quite nominal, but the quality is phenomenal,” claims

C ivic/Social

The College Trinity the Principal. The College has a state-ofthe-art Bio-technology Lab, and it also has a tie-up with the National Brain Research Centre in Gurgaon, for conducting research and studies. Diwakar also states that the College is the hub of cultural activities, as the girls every year organise a Youth Festival, a fashion show, and an entrepreneurship camp – and several similar activities are carried out during the course of the year. There is also an emphasis on personality development; and for that purpose a Language Lab, with the support of the higher education department, has been set up. To help the girls from the weaker sections of the society, the College, as per the government rules, recommends them for scholarship. “Rs. 1,000 is paid to SC/BC girls per month, along with payment for books as stationery by the government. We have also started a free bus service from Sohna,” says the Principal. Despite the much acclaimed resource crunch, the College has been able to get sanctions for new class rooms, a new auditorium, and the renovation of the seminar hall, says H.S Yadav, a senior faculty member, with a broad smile on his face. The College also has a regular Placement Cell, that invites a number of Gurgaon-based companies for recruitment, from the campus itself. “Last year a number of companies had come here to recruit students,” he says. Ruby, a student of the College told Friday Gurgaon that there was a positive environment in the College, and the facilities were good, with an emphasis on academics. However, since the number of students was large there was pressure on teachers, as well as infrastructure. “More colleges for girls are needed in Gurgaon; and more so in Sohna, and adjoining

areas,” she says. Seconding her opinion is Varsha, who comes from Sohna daily. The need for more colleges has become acute, as more students from Delhi and the National Capital Region are taking admissions here. “The merit list is too high for many of us in Delhi – so we have come here,” admits a student. The students here are also happy, as the Principal is very accessible, and makes it a point to meet the students at any time of the day. Outside his office is written, on a board ‘Principal Se Milne ka Samay—Kisi bhi Samay”. ‘Hot’ Courses: B Com, B Sc, Bio-tech Courses Offered: BA, B.Sc, B.Sc (Bio-Tech), B.Sc (Home Science), MA (Music), MA (Geography), MA (English), M.Com, M.Sc (Computer Science), MCA

Dronacharya Government PG College

Located in the heart of the City, this College has the highest number of pupils on its rolls. There are almost 5,700 students in the regular classes; and 6,400 students in the distance education mode that this college offers.The college is bubbling with activity as we enter the premises at around 11 am. There are hundreds of students sitting in the large lawns, enjoying the sun and discussing myriad things in life – including the class work perhaps. However, what is surprising is that amidst this hustle and bustle, many teachers can be seen taking classes in the open. Whether they want to take advantage of the good weather outside, or there is a shortage of classrooms, is a moot question. Sitting in his office at the Commerce Department building, Principal D.R Yadav told Friday Gurgaon that Dronacharya College was earlier known as SD College; and it was taken over by the Haryana government in 1980. “This college is one of the largest educational institutions in the State. We offer courses in Arts, Commerce and Science streams, and provide all the facilities to the students at a very nominal fees,” says Yadav. Most of the students who

come to this college come from rural areas such as Tauru, Sohna, Firozpur Zirka, Nuh, Mahendragarh – and even from as far as Narnaul. A large majority is from the weaker sections of society. “To ensure that their communication and language skills are improved, we have set up a Language Lab, a Computer Lab and an EduSat facility. We are also building more classrooms for the students,” says Yadav; who admits that there is a shortage of building infrastructure. The College also has a shortage of staff, as it has only 80 regular teachers – versus a sanctioned strength of 138. “We have guest teachers as well as visiting faculty, to augment the teaching resources. But we would like more teachers to be posted here, as the number of students is huge,” he says. It also takes a long time to complete the recruitment process. Subash Sapra, Head of the Commerce Department, however, is categorical in saying that the staff strength is totally inadequate, and it is next to impossible to deliver quality education in such circumstances. “There should be at least 15 teachers in the Commerce Department; but what I have is four and a half teachers! One of the teachers in my department has to go to a Government college in neighbouring Hailey Mandi to take classes,” asserts Sapra. He clearly wants authorities in the higher education department to take action. Sapra is also critical of the Maharishi Dayanand University, to which the College is affiliated; particularly because the students in the distance education mode fail to get their study material in time – and for the nonavailability of syllabus. “MDU is also not holding the papers on time, and this causes problems to the students,” says Sapra. His views are seconded

19

by a group of teachers, who do not wish to be identified. The faculty is also not happy with the imposition of the semester system, as they feel the time is not yet ripe for it. “The entire burden of holding the exams has fallen on colleges; and this is proving to be a major debacle,” they allege. Many of the students in the College are also not happy with the semester system; or the evaluation system. A student of B.Com Final, even alleges that the college authorities are ensuring that students are forced to reappear in the exams, so that the institution can earn more fees! “The roll numbers do not reach on time, as MDU is not functioning properly. Form submission and processing has been privatised, and this is causing major problems to the students,” he says. Milan, a student of MA Political Science, who has done her graduation from a premier Delhi College, opines that while the quality of education here is good, the students are lack-

D.R Yadav, Principal, Dronacharya Govt PG College ing in communication and language skills. “Teachers are good, but the infrastructure needs to be upgraded fast,” she avers. She complains that drinking water is not available in the college – and the canteen facility is in a shambles. The students also allege that some of the teachers are not serious, and do not take classes – as they are preoccupied with their own work. It is clear that there is a need for better monitoring and evaluation of the teaching staff – to bring more rigour to the academics. The students however appreciate the discipline that Contd on p 20 


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17–23 February 2012

The College Trinity  Contd from p 19 has been reinforced in the college since the last one year, when the present Principal took over. “There used to be regular stabbings in College, but these have stopped now,” said Gautam Bhardwaj, while sitting in the college canteen that has few chairs. All the stakeholders admit that there is a need for a couple of more higher education institutions in Gurgaon; but the government does not seem interested in this argument, they aver. “We want a University in South Haryana, but no one listens,” rues a teacher. ‘Hot’ Courses: B Com, B Sc, BA Economics

Government PG College, Sector 9

This College is the latest addition to the Higher Education system in the Millennium City. It was set up in 2002-03, and currently is home to 2,348 students who are admitted to various graduate and post-graduate courses in Arts, Commerce and Computers. This College also offers a post graduate diploma in Mass

Communications. Principal Raghuvendra Singh told Friday Gurgaon that students from rural areas as far as Pataudi and Sohna come to this college. “We are performing well, and the College was recently included in the list of College of Excellence. Our students are doing well academically, as well as in extra-curricular activities,” he says. To enter this College, the general category students need minimum 75 per cent marks, says Singh. “In the recently held Youth Festival, two items from this College were judged winners; whereas another came second. Likewise, the students topped in the Science Exhibition held recently,” he informs. The focus is not only to improve the academic skills, but also the communication and language skills – so that students are able to perform well professionally. The infrastructure in the College is improving fast. Eight new class rooms are being constructed here, and the College has got an amphi-theatre recently, says Singh. The work on a Con-

Interview with Joint Director, Higher Education, Haryana S.P Singh, Joint Director, Higher Education, Haryana is of the opinion that despite massive increase in budgetary outlays, the higher education system, not only in the State but across the country, is stressed due to ever increasing numbers. “This is despite the fact that the enrolment of youth in colleges is around 15 to 16 per cent – while ideally it should be 25 per cent,” says Singh. He admits that there is paucity of staff and buildings in some of the colleges, but reiterates the resolve of his Department to drastically improve the quality of higher education. Every year, around ten colleges are being added in the State; and services like Edusat and Language Labs are being established, along with computer courses, to ensure that students are equipped with ference Room has also started. Some of the students, on the condition of anonymity, said that there is need to augment the staff, and bring in more stringent evaluation of teachers. “The teachers are not updated, neither is the syllabus; and when we compete with our peers from Delhi and other states, we are left wanting,” they assert.

Thumbs Up For India Manufacturing { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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espite the infrastructure bottlenecks, bureaucratic sloth and inertia in the political system, the India growth story still has a large number of followers at home and abroad. They are ready to bet on the future of this country, as they believe it has amazing potential. Alban Bernier, Managing Director, South Asia, Donaldson India Filters System Pvt Limited – a US company that has set up a major base at Manesar – believes that India has just started to realise the immense potential it has – in terms of amazing human resources, great engineering skills, and creativity among the workers. It also has a huge domestic market, and a young population that is ready to explore and conquer the world. However, Bernier says that India will have to demonstrate its resolve to come good on infrastructure, introduce reforms—including those related to labour—and reduce red tape, if it has to meet competition from abroad. The young CEO, who is only 38 years old, says that the greatest opportunity in India lies in the rural areas, as they have untapped potential for growth – both in terms of farm mechanisation, and consumer demand. “India has 75 per cent of its population in rural areas, and this is where the growth will come from,” says Bernier, whose company is a major supplier to the tractor manufacturers in the country. Nowhere in the world, says Bernier, has he seen such a vast and talented reservoir of engineers, who are ready to come

up with innovative solutions. “Apart from IT, India has amazing manufacturing ability; and this needs to be utilised and projected properly. The engineering skills are top class,” he asserts. He appreciates the dedication of workers, including the labour. He however is amazed at the demands of the workforce. “Indian workers want very fast growth, compensation, and promotions; and this puts the company in a complicated situation. At Donaldson we try to match the aspirations of workers by offering them competitive packages,” he says. The lack of synergy between the goals of a company, and those of the individual, is perhaps the reason that there

B usiness

is unrest among labour and staff, believes Bernier. The regular labour standoffs happening in Gurgaon, he says, are quite unnerving – as there are a large number of auto manufacturing units to which Donaldson is a major filter supplier. “It is nice to be among the auto-majors, but any strike anywhere puts us in a dicey situation. There is need for more labour reforms, and better industry-labour relations, as it will boost the confidence of investors,” he asserts. Bernier also wants India to learn from China, as far as building of infrastructure and project execution is concerned. “I have stayed there for two years, and found that once a decision about a project is made, it is executed within the stipulated time. Roads, drains, power connections are built at utmost speed, and with top quality,” he says. India must focus on the execution part, and on simplifying the contract system, upgrade project monitoring, and ensure that planning is done properly – so that there are no bottlenecks later on. The condition of roads, drainage system, and traffic management is very bad in Gurgaon and Manesar; and it becomes very difficult for workers, particularly in the monsoons. “The government must find a solution, otherwise the industry might decide to move to other states,” he says. Despite the infrastructure lows, Bernier is satisfied with the business environment in Haryana. He however wants the State to simplify rules and regulations. “I think the central government should implement the Goods and Services Tax as early

communication and technical skills, to make them employable. Singh says that the government is also promoting partnership with private operators; and for that purpose, the Private Universities Act has also been passed by the government. The infrastructure and related facilities are also being upgraded at a fast pace, he says. When asked about the evaluation and monitoring of the teaching staff and faculty, Singh revealed that a proposal is under consideration, whereby feedback from students will be taken to assess the teachers. “The teachers will get promotions and higher grades only when they get positive evaluation,” he says. Surprise inspections in various colleges are also being conducted regularly. Most of the teachers also admitted that there is a need to upgrade the syllabus in a timely manner. The teachers also said that there was need to reform the university system, and streamline its functioning as well – so that there are no delays in exams, evaluation and results. ‘Hot’ Courses: B.COM, BBA, B.Sc u

as possible, as it will streamline the commercial taxes,” asserts Bernier. He also wants the RBI to make remittances abroad easier. Personally, he says, he wants the Indian companies to concentrate on serving the domestic market in a major way, as there is huge demand. He finds the Indian customers very discerning, and eager to check new technologies. “The Indian customer is very money savvy, and wants the best at

very competitive prices. We have to keep this in mind,” says Bernier. He also appreciates the different colours of India, and the diversity of its people – he finds them very curious and creative. “Every part of India is different, as it offers new tastes and cultures. Mumbai is electric, Goa is beautiful, Udaipur is heritage, and Chandi Chowk is out of world. I like it here,” he concludes with a big smile. u

Honeywell Comes To The Beehive

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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dding another feather to its cap, technology major Honeywell inaugurated a state of the art Technology Centre in Gurgaon, expanding the research and development capabilities in key areas. The facility in Gurgaon was inaugurated on February 14, by Union Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, who expressed his appreciation for the state-of-theart technology at the centre, and the complexity of the installations. “I am told the facility holds miniaturised refinery units, which I will be touring. I appreciate the vision that has driven Honeywell to invest in such a world class facility here in Gurgaon. Honeywell India Technology Centre in Gurgaon is one of the largest such facilities outside India, and features pilot plants for developing and demonstrating refining and petrochemical process technology. The company has invested 34 million US dollars in the facility. “This new facility will allow Honeywell to put its vast resources to work in collaboration with some of the brightest engineering minds in India,”

said Rajeev Gautam, President and CEO of Honeywell’s UOP. Gautam further added that this facility will bring the development of key technologies closer to the customers in the region, and complement the company’s other technology centres around the world. “Honeywell is an industry leader when it comes to investing in research and development,” said Marc Turowicz, Managing Director of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, India. “This Centre adds to India’s growing strength as a global knowledge hub, allowing some of the best engineering minds to produce breakthrough technologies, to be used in India and beyond,” he added. The Centre will initially employ 40 researchers, with the total expected to grow to 170 in the next 5 years, the Company said. Prominent among those present on the occasion included Jim Bjold, President, Honeywell, India; Dr. Ian Shankland, Chief Technology Officer of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies and senior functionaries of the State government. u


17–23 February 2012

G lobal 21

Hiking Across The World’s Largest Glacier Dirk Averesch

{ Dirk Averesch / Riederalp, Switzerland / DPA }

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ime was when superstitious Valais folk were frightened of provoking the immense Aletsch Glacier – which they feared might overwhelm their homes and livelihoods. Nowadays it acts as a magnet for ski vacationers. Waiting outside the station on the Riederalp (1,925 metres), on this particular fine morning, is Edelbert Kummer – a man who knows this breathtaking area like the back of his hand. He has brought along an ample number of snow-shoes and sticks for the occasion; the first snow hike of the season through the protected forest. "Just call me Ed," the bearded guide tells his charges, just before they set off. "The good thing is that there are no tracks in the snow whatsoever – it's all pure and undriven." This sounds promising; and what is more, the whole area is a world cultural heritage region. The Aletsch glacier is the largest in the Alps, and a major part of the JungfrauAletsch-Bietschhorn UNESCO World Heritage site. The huge river of ice stretches for 23 kilometres, towards the mighty peaks of Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau. However, experts say it is shrinking by between 30 and 75 metres annually. At the toe of the glacier lies

{ Julia Kirchner / Berlin / DPA }

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t was hot and dry in the dimly lit room. The radiators were humming, and hot air wafted from several fan heaters. Blue yoga mats lay on the floor in rows of two. If you closed your eyes, you could imagine being in a desert. In reality, it was an exercise room at Sun Yoga in Berlin – which claims to be the first and largest hot yoga studio in the German capital. At temperatures as high as 40 degrees centigrade, beginners may gasp when they first enter the room. Hot yoga is nonetheless suitable for them, too. Thanks to the heat, the workouts are even gentler on joints and muscles, than many other kinds of exercise. Hot yoga is basically suitable for almost anyone. People with high blood pressure, or an acute inflammation, should be careful, however; and the latter condition could be aggravated, warned Uschi Moriabadi, head of the Relaxation and Group Training Department. “But low blood pressure, too, can easily fall in the heat,” she said. “This is why you should watch yourself during the workout.” The sweat-inducing environment has many benefits, though, as it greatly reduces the risk of injury. “Connective and muscle tissue become softer and more elastic, and it is much easier to move than in a cold room.” While other forms of exercise—such as jogging or swimming—engage just parts of the body, a hot yoga course

ICE TREK: Tour leader Ed takes his hiking party across the alpine nature reserve, above the Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland.

native larch forest, home to some of Europe's most aged trees – including the Arven stone pines, some of which are reckoned to be 700 to 800 years old. The species has been protected since 1933. The trees are heavilyladen with snow. The landscape here is not only untouched, but overpoweringly beautiful. It is a gently rolling field, with undulations like marshmallows. With every step, the snowshoe crunches underfoot; and on the downward slopes the hikers start to slither and slip, before tumbling down the hill. The 73-year-old guide shows how the descent should be properly performed, either in a controlled slide on an outstretched knee, or by first

Hot Yoga

works out “100 per cent of your body – from bones to skin, from head to toes, to every gland and organ of the body,” writes the Indian yoga gura Bikram Choudhury in his book “Bikram Yoga;” now regarded as a standard work. He developed a set of exercises consisting of 26 asanas, or poses, and two pranayamas, or breathing exercises. Every hot yoga session is structured according to the same principle. It begins with a breathing exercise, performed while standing, that is aimed at stretching the lungs to their full capacity. “Fix your gaze on a single point in the mirror, and pay attention to yourself only,” Clemens, the yoga instructor in the Sun Yoga exercise room, told the class. By that time, the pupils’ faces were flushed, and beads of sweat trick-

chopping little steps in the ice with the aid of a pick. With each step, the walkers sink into the newly fallen snow, sapping their strength. In a hollow protected from the wind by a rock face, Ed decides to give the group a breather. From the depths of his rucksack he produces a thermos flask, and uses its pump action to pour mulled wine into paper cups. Judging by the chunks of ice dangling from Ed's beard, it is time for some hot liquid refreshment. Ed leads hiking groups five times a week, and is fighting fit. "It lets you get away from it all; and you rarely come across any other guests," he said. There is more action on the 70 kilometres of winter trails; led from their armpits. Every week, Sun Yoga sees about 1,000 pupils, who want to limber tense backs, necks or shoulders. The sessions have a mental as well as a physical aspect, of course. Like all forms of yoga, hot yoga is meant to quiet the mind and ease relaxation. “The set of exercises is simply very effective - you get the greatest possible benefits from 90 minutes,” said proprietor Christoph Mamat. “This is particularly important for people in the city, who don’t have much time.” A person loses up to two litres of fluid during a hot yoga session, so it is necessary to bring along a large bottle of water. Plenty of fluids should also be consumed before a workout. Beginners notice positive changes after just two sessions, said Moriabadi; adding that it was important to practice yoga regularly. “Someone who practices yoga regularly falls asleep more easily at night, she said, because “breathing becomes slower and deeper, and you unwind more quickly.” Hot yoga is not pure exertion from start to finish. When half of the session is over, it is time for the shavasana, or corpse pose. As the pupil lies motionless on his or her back, all the tension is supposed to leave the body, and the blood flow normalizes. The session ends with this pose, too. The only sound in the room, then, apart from some deep breaths, is the crackling of plastic water bottles – that have little fluid left in them. u

and above all, in and around the 104 kilometres of pistes in the Aletsch arena. The hike continues along the medial moraines. These consist of rock debris pushed down along the sides of the separate streams, and are at least 11,000 years old. A plateau offers a commanding view into the Rhone Valley, the pyramidal Weisshorn mountain, and the celebrated Matterhorn. Once the Riederfurka—at 2,065 metres between Riederalp and the glacier—is reached, the lion's share of the four-hour hike is over; and the historic Villa Cassel comes into view. The impressive former hotel was erected in Victorian style in 1901, and counts British statesman Winston Churchill among its

illustrious guests. Locals recall that he was so disturbed by the incessant jingle of cowbells, that cowherds were given money by owner Ernest Cassel to stuff the bells with hay. The building serves today as the headquarters of the Pro Natura Centre Aletsch, which provides information and study courses about the local flora and fauna. By the time the descent to the Riederalp has been completed, night is falling. The route is lined with Valais-style wooden chalets, with their gingerbread walls, and a thick crust of snow—like sugary icing —on top. The oldest dates back to 1606, and goes by the name of Nagulschbalmu. It has been turned into a museum. u

Sports Myth Busters

{ Cologne / DPA }

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port and keeping fit are activities that are riddled with myth; and many of them are misleading, in the view of Ingo Froboese, a health professor at a sports college. 1) For example, there is the idea that anyone who perspires freely cannot be fit – a myth that Froboese disposes of. “Sportsmen and women do have a better thermal regulator. Their muscles and cells can cope with more, and thus actually give off more sweat when working out,” he says. Perspiration is thus a sign of fitness. 2) A second myth is that people who sweat a lot should drink more. This one is also false. “Our bodies are able to process just 0.8 litres an hour. Too much liquid merely washes minerals out of the system, and ‘drowning’ can even result,” Froboese says. 3) A mixture of apple juice and mineral water is sometimes said to be the best drink. This one does not impress Froboese either. “Apple juice contains a lot of sugar, and the body needs at least two hours to burn up the carbohydrates.” Water with lemon juice or ginger is better in his view. 4) That magnesium prevents muscular cramp is another widespread idea. Here Froboese points to a study that showed that athletes had to take between 400 and 600 milligrams to feel any effect. “The problem is that, that level will certainly lead to diarrhoea.” 5) Playing sport damages the back. This one is simply false. “Movement promotes the circulation, and thus strengthens the discs in the spine,” Froboese says. Lack of movement results in the fibrous outer skin of the disc becoming porous and prone to cracking. 6) A frequently heard piece of advice is to exercise the back muscles to counter back pain. “It’s much more important to strengthen the abdominal muscles. They are composed of three layers. The upper layer, that lends the appearance of the ‘washboard stomach’, does not have to bear much of a load. The lower layers are much more important,” Froboese says. 7) Froboese is sceptical of the advice to stretch before exercising, to prevent muscular injury. “Stretching is great as a warm-up. But it doesn’t help to prevent torn muscles, that can be caused by any form of exercise.” Stretching after exercising is also a good idea, he says. 8) Another myth: osteoarthritis sufferers should avoid movement. This one is utter nonsense. “Movement is particularly important in cases of arthritis,” the professor says. Cartilage also needs to be moved in much the same way as the discs in the spine. u


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Fairy Tales Fare Best C

hildren’s films are not what they once were. They are no longer addressed just to younger viewers. Rather, they seek to be equally pleasing to adults. After a couple of highly successful experiments in 2011, this year will bring plenty of dusted-off children’s tales – including not one, but two, versions of the classic Snow White story. The detonator for this trend was Tim Burton, who earned

into the animated features for children genre; by including action and entertainment, without sacrificing the pedagogic side of teaching the importance of values – such as friends and family. The year 2000 saw the arrival of “Shrek”. This flick turned the concept of movies for children on its head; it appealed to all ages. The movie was the brainchild of the animation department of Dreamworks – a studio created in 1994, when Steven Spielberg forged an alliance with Jeffrey Katzenberg, formerly with Disney. Practically unknown at the time, Katzenberg is considered today one of the most visionary minds in film. Dreamworks later came up with the engaging “Kung Fu Panda” series, whose third part is to be released this year. These movies present a radically changed role of women; and this continues with the movpicture alliance / Geisler-Fotopress

NEW VERSION: Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman, in the thriller, Little Red Riding Hood.

{ Maria Luz Climent Mascarell / Madrid / DPA }

more than one billion dollars with “Alice in Wonderland” (2010) – earning a spot among the top 10 box office movies of all time. It was then that Hollywood rediscovered children’s tales; and produced, with far less success, “Little Red Riding Hood” for adults – as an action thriller, with a sensual Amanda Seyfried in the lead. The movie industry had already begun to lean toward a new approach to children’s movies in the 1990s. Two animated features for kids broke moulds, FAIRY TALE: Snow White with friends, in the classic 1939 Disney film.

UNIVERSAL APPEAL: The movie Shrek was a commercial success.

Ipad 3 To Be Announced In March: Report

{ Andy Goldberg / San Francisco / DPA }

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G lobal

17–23 February 2012

pple is to launch a new model of its genre defining iPad tablet computer in March, according to a report Thursday in the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D blog. The posting said that Apple will announce the new device in the first week of March, at an event to be held in San Francisco. There was no indication of when the new device would go on sale. The iPad 3 will be similar in appearance to Apple’s current tablet computer. The big difference will be a much faster chip, improved graphics processing, and a 2048×1536 Retina Display. Apple is hoping the new device will help it preserve its dominance of the tablet computer market, in the face of growing competition from multiple devices running Google’s Android operating system. Tablet computers running Microsoft’s Windows 8 software are also expected to present a major challenge, when they hit the market late in the year. Apple sold 15.4 million iPads in the recent holiday quarter; compared to 10.5 million Android tablets sold in the same period, by a plethora of manufacturers such as Samsung, Amazon and Asus, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. u

and became modern classics: “Toy Story” and “Shrek”. The first, “Toy Story” (1995), had entirely computer-generated animation, and a sharp screenplay. Everybody, even the most hardened movie critics, loved it. Pixar kept up the successful formula with such cinematic pearls as “Looking for Nemo”, “Ratatouille”, “Wall E”; and the recent “Up”. These films injected new life

ies planned for release this year – starting with Snow White. The honeyed Snow White character that everybody is familiar with, will disappear when Kristen Stewart (“Twilight”) dons armour and wields a sword – as the heroine of “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Inspired by the aesthetics of “The Lord of the Rings”, this project is planned as a trilogy – with Charlize Theron in the

role of stepmother. A rival film “The Brothers Grimm: Snow White”, starring Lily Collins, (daughter of singer Phil Collins) will be the opposite. Set to hit screens earlier, in March, this film caters to a family audience. Julia Roberts will play the evil queen. Neither of these movies are animated, as the intention is to adapt fiction stories, and come up with flesh and blood characters. Joe Roth, who produced Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, is backing “Snow White and the Huntsman”; and is also financing a new “B”. With James Franco and Mila Kunis, it remains to be seen whether the latest adaptation of Lyman Frank Baum’s story will be as enduring as the 1939 musical, that had child star Judy Garland. Walt Disney is also dusting off another classic tale: Cinderella. They have hired screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, author of the screenplay for “The Devil Wears Prada”, to come up with a new take on the story – about the damsel who loses her glass slipper after a magical evening dancing with the prince. Mark Romanek (“Never Let Me Go”) has been suggested as possibly directing this film. There is competition: Universal is also exploring a new version of Cinderella, to be directed by French director Bruno Aveillan. While those projects are being developed, cinema lovers will this year get to enjoy the release of “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”, with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the two siblings lost in the woods; and also a new “Jack and the Beanstalk”, called “Jack the Giant Killer”, shot by Bryan Singer. According to WorldwideBoxoffice.com, of the 25 biggest blockbusters of all times, 24 contain fantasy and superheroes – elements indispensable in children’s stories. Hollywood is seeking to capitalize on that yet again; with offerings that appeal to viewers of all ages. u


17–23 February 2012

C ivic/Social 23 PRAKHAR PANDEY

A Cut In The Aravalis  Contd from p 1 About 20 years ago, with the modernisation, or the ‘corporatisation’of Gurgaon, traffic picked up between the two cities. Several businessmen living in Gurgaon have their industries in Faridabad – still a manufacturing hub. This has brought an urgent need for convenient navigation and seamless connectivity between the two important cities of South Haryana. Good connectivity will also provide a very convenient and speedy route to Agra, from Gurgaon. We started from Sohna Road at noon, and soon hit the SPR. The 75 meter wide SPR will help reduce the problem of congestion and traffic jams of some of the busiest areas of Gurgaon – like the Mehrauli Gurgaon (MG) Road, and the IFFCO Chowk intersection. Of course, it will be a toll road soon. We faced limited traffic, and the road is also wide enough. It is a beautiful drive, with the Aravali belt on either side of the road. However, with no street lights, it can be dangerous for the night commuters. As we drove through a great stretch of road, that has cut short the travel time of a commuter to half, we realised that the road —and the various residential structures sprouting on either side— has come up at the cost of wildlife, forest, and a perfect area for birds. The Aravali range of mountains, being one of the oldest ranges of the world, was cut through to build the road; with large areas on either side sanctioned for private mining. As we passed through several dhabas that had come up on the side of the road, causing all the litter that flew around due to the wind, we stopped by a large hole that had been dug. It has killed a huge part of the forest for mining purposes. This was a prime leopard region, where there were hare, porcupines, antelopes, monitor lizards, all kinds of birds and several other forms of wildlife; but they are now scarce.

The construction of the wide roads and mining spots limits the mobility of the animals; and offers poor conditions for the animals to live and breed. The disappearing watering holes are like the final nail in the coffin. As we drove ahead along the neat roads – at some spots the side of the road still under construction to make it wider (4 lane) – we could see the local forest drying up. In construction of the road, several local trees, perfect for wild life breeding, and beneficial for the environment—like the Pilkhan, Bisthendu, Dhak, Kher and Neem among others—were cut down and replaced by ‘foreign’ Kabuli Kikar. The latter is unsuited for wild life, as well as for survival of the local flora and fauna. Thankfully, some parts of the Aravalis still bloom with the local flora. And this was not all. Three kilometers short of Faridabad, we saw some birds – a fleet of eagles. About a hundred eagles flew in circles, over a large dump of garbage, that was disposed off in the middle of the forest. While several projects and initiatives have been taken up by the people as well as the government, to preserve the wild life and forests of India, such a state at one of the most beautiful and oldest mountain ranges, surrounding the NCR, must become an area of immediate concern. The repository of the flora and fauna of the Aravalis not only keeps the dust away, and keeps the edge of the desert on one side—forbidding it from entering the city—but the beautiful mountain range also absorbs the rain during the monsoons, and releases it in the sub-soil. Today, with heavy congestion and uncontrolled traffic, the need for constructing convenient roads for the commuters is definitely needed; but the cost that we are paying—by cutting down the real forest, and instead building a concrete jungle—can cause serious harm to the environment, and to our future. u


WINTER MASQUERADE 2012 – LOTUS VALLEY SCHOOL

24 17–23 February 2012

G -scape

JIT KUMAR

Friday Gurgaon, February 17-23, 2012  

Gurgaon's Own Weekly Newspaper

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