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3–9 February 2012

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319

Vol. 1 No. 24  Pages 24  ` 7

An International Art~Bonanza

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{Inside}

Expert Speak

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G meets Kamala Chowdhary, the first woman to enter the Provincial Civil Service from Haryana. Besides recalling her early years in the Indian bureaucracy, Kamala also shares her views about bureaucracy and civic issues in Gurgaon. ...Pg 9

JIT KUMAR

{ Srimati Lal }

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phenomenal range of global art-treasures was on view from 26 to 29 January, at the recent INDIA ART FAIR. This art-event was the fourth edition of what was previously known as INDIA ART SUMMIT, founded in 2008. As one of the world’s most-attended Art Fairs, the Delhi fair has always attracted people in droves. This year’s fair saw an attendance of almost 2 lakhs, at a new state-of-the-art

venue, Okhla’s NSIC grounds. To add to the glam-quotient, word swiftly went around that several international galleries and artists had landed in private jets – just for the Art Fair! Direct interaction with many of the world’s high-profile galleries and famous artists was a treat.   It’s a matter of pride for India that the fair saw new international art-partners – establishing the INDIA ART FAIR as part of the network of contemporary art-fairs in the world. From

The Building Effect

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his week we bring you Vaastu in Building construction. ...Pg 16

Herve Perdriolle  of Paris to Yukihito  Tabata of Tokyo, from Aicon Gallery New York to  Frida ProNeha Kripal, ject Gallery organiser India Berlin, from  InArt Fair digo Blue Singapore to Red Bud Gallery of Houston, Texas – everyone was right there, basking in a well-organised and meticulous environment. The highgrade Art-booths, Cafes, Video

Fun in the Sun

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e explore open-air joints, where one can enjoy that perfect cozy winter afternoon. They also provide exotic cuisine, and glorious views of the Millennium City. ...Pg 18

Colour Therapy

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s with adults, colours therapy works for children too. Choose the right colours, and listen to your child, to increase his/her productivity, and energy level. ...Pg 18

Business Talk

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tête-à-tête with Country Head of Fidelity International (Offshore Operations), Nitin Seth, who speaks on offshoring, the promise of Gurgaon and India, and leadership. ...Pg 20

Regular Features Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 The Week That Was ...Pg 7 Learn Haryanvi ...Pg 7 Laughing Stock ...Pg 19

lounges, an Art-Bookstore, wide walkways accessing hundreds of art-treasures to view, and an open-air amphitheatre, were well worth a visit. Tabata, Red Bud, Perdriolle, and Jannis Markopoulos of Berlin – all expressed great pleasure and enthusiasm on experiencing the Fair; and viewing the beauty of Indian aesthetics. Tabata further mentioned a specific interest in Indian textiles, aside from fine art. Contd on p 17 

Ab Pataudi Door Nahin

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }

G

urgaon’s rise has no parallel in contemporary Indian history, and arguably in the world’s – yet these highrises that have become souvenirs of its inexorable rise are only confined to the contours of the ‘new’ City. For many, Gurgaon means much more than that. Yes, Gurgaon is not merely ‘new’ Gurgaon, or even a City with a radius of 15 km; it is also a District that holds the key for the development of the State. Unfortunately, the development outside the gold-clad peripheries of the City has been disappointing. Gurgaon District has five Tehsils: Gurgaon, Sohna, Manesar, Farukh Nagar and Pataudi. Even Gurgaon Tehsil has not been bestowed with the fruits of the ‘new’ Gurgaon glory. Only Manesar, to some extent, could manage to stand on its feet; yet its stand would Contd on p 6 


02 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 VOL.–1 No.–24  3–9 February 2012

Editor:

ART  WORKSHOP  TALENT HUNT  CONFERENCE  BOOK LAUNCH  NIGHTLIFE

Nightlife

Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

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

Live Performance by Rabbi Shergill @ Striker, First Floor, Global Foyer, Golf Course Road, Sector 53 Date: February 9 Time: 8 pm Entry Ticket: Rs. 1,000

Ankit Srivastava

Ad Sales Manager: Lokesh Bharadwaj Sr. Ad Sales Execs: Bhagwat Kaushik Design Consultant: Qazi M Raghib Illustrations:

Durgadatt Pandey

Business Consultant: Sanjay Bahadur Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9091/92/93

E

njoy the live performance of well known Punjabi singer Rabbi Shergill, who is credited with giving birth to a new genre of music that blends rock, Punjabi, and Sufi music with ‘baani’ style melody.

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

Playfulness in Dance @ Zorba the Buddha 7, Tropical Drive, MG Road Ghitorni Date: February 4 Time: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

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dance workshop taken by Sina Nikolaus, a trained dancer and teacher from the Palucca University, Dresden.

Photo-Memory Methods @ Intellitots Learning 4101, DLF Phase IV, Near Vipul Square Date: February 5 Time: 10:30 am Fee: Rs. 4,000

Karaoke Night @ PowerPlay Sports Bar, Upper Ground Floor, JMD Regent Arcade, MG Road Date: February 3 Time: 8 pm njoy the latest pop, hip hop, and rock numbers belted out by KJs Manish and Ankush.

Nightlife

Electronic High @ Rockman’s Nightclub, Level 4, Ambience Mall, National Highway 8 Date: February 4 Time: 9 pm

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

Book Launch

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J Jayant and DJ NYK promise a heavy dose of electronica. Pioneer, US has recently chosen DJ NYK as their brand ambassador and official DJ for India.

The Reluctant Detective @ Quill and Canvas, 122, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, DLF Phase V Date: February 4 Time: 6:30 pm

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he book is a detective novel by Kiran Manral. It tells how a housewife becomes a murder investigator.

Special offer price ` 200 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

Conference

Internet Retail Expo 2012 @ Epicentre Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: February 3 Time: 10 am onwards

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` 364 ` 164

n exhibition-cum-sale of leather hand bags, designer wear, jewellery, handicrafts, shoes, and home décor items. For more details, call 8826601818.

conference featuring power sessions, learning workshops, and latest technologies, in the area of Internet retail. Over 25 key industry people will address the gathering.

1 year subscription

Savings

rtist Manju Sinha showcases her work of hand-painted porcelain and crafted glass mosiac. Manju has held several solo exhibitions in London, New York, Mumbai, and Delhi. Her exquisite pieces include vases, lamps, and wall murals. For more information, visit: www.manjusinha.com.

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6th Surajkund Crafts Mela offers a lot of fun, entertainment, and shopping options. More than 400 craftsmen will display and demonstrate their finest craft works. Dance troupes from across India will also perform. Assam is the theme state of the year. Here is the schedule of the events:

Exhibition-cum-sale

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Cover price

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@ Surajkund Faridabad Date: February 1 to 15 Time: 9:30 am to 7 pm

workshop on memory methods for children aged 7 years and above. The objective of the workshop is to help kids remember words, numbers, names, faces, notes, and subjects. The workshop is organised by RackTheBrain. For registration, send an email at rackthebrain@ gmail.com.

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.

TO SUBSCRIBE

An Art Apart @ Epicentre Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: February 10 to 12 Time: 11 am to 8 pm

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Winter Flea Market @ ILD Trade Centre, Sector 47, Opposite Bikanervala Sweets, Sohna Road Date: Feb 10, 11 & 12 Time: 12 noon to 9 pm

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.

Surajkund Mela

Art

Nightlife

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Emails:

Workshop

Kids Workshop

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

Coming Up

3–9 February 2012

Talent Hunt Workshop

Living the Wisdom of Yoga @ B1 A/4, B Block, DLF Phase I Date: February 9, 10 & 11 Time: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Registration Fee: Rs. 9,500

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three-day yoga workshop, that will be taken by Saraswathi Vasudevan and Sundar Ganesh. Lunch and tea will be served by the organiser – Special Yogis, that works to promote yoga among adults and specially-abled children. For registration, call 9871822225.

Open Mic Jamboree @ Italiano NR-27, Nathupur, DLF Phase – III Date: February 10 Time: 8:30 pm

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talent hunt for upcoming musicians. Musicians can bring in their latest compositions in any genre, or just strum the chord of their favourite song. Each act will get 15 minutes to perform. For bands, the line-up should not exceed four members. For registration, call 9818468319.

Date

Day

Cultural Programme

1st Feb, 2012

Wednesday

Cultural performance by Assam

2nd Feb, 2012

Thursday

Medley by Foreign Cultural troupes of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan & Congo

3rd Feb, 2012

Friday

Fashion Show on Khadi

4th Feb, 2012

Saturday

Odissi Dance by Ms. Alpana Nayak, and Cultural performance by Assam

5th Feb, 2012

Sunday

Fusion of traditional and western/ contemporary dance and music by Dinesh Yadav, NSD

6th Feb, 2012

Monday

Haryana Evening by Cultural Affairs Department, Haryana

7th Feb, 2012

Tuesday

Hasya Kavi Samelan by Dinesh Raghuvanshi

8th Feb, 2012

Wednesday

Blend of Fusion Kathak by Ms. Anu Sinha

9th Feb, 2012

Thursday

Punjab Evening by Cultural affairs Department, Haryana

10th Feb, 2012

Friday

Qawali by Niami Bandhu

11th Feb, 2012

Saturday

Play-Nayan Nachaaiya by Sh. Bansi Kaul & Sh. Fareed Bazmi

12th Feb, 2012

Sunday

Band & Rock by Padamjeet Sehrawat

13th Feb, 2012

Monday

Cultural Performance by Assam States

14th Feb, 2012

Tuesday

Azaadi the Band

15th Feb, 2012

Wednesday

Closing Ceremony

MEGA EVENTS NEAR HOTEL RAJHANS 7th Feb

Tuesday

Medley of Foreign Cultural Troupes of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan,Kyrgyzstan & Congo

8th FEb.

Wednesday

Ability Unlimited Performance by differently abled artiste

9th Feb.

Thursday

A performance by Kingdom of Dreams

10th Feb.

Friday

Ghazals by Ms. Peenaz Masani

11th Feb.

Saturday

Fashion Show by Ms. Shaina N.C. Special focus on Assam


3–9 February 2012

C eleb W atch

Celebrating 100 Years Of Jana Gana Mana

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(At a Republic Day Event, organised by LAMP Foundation and Lorraine Music Academy)

Bienvenue en Inde Stephane!

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ormer pro-boxer no. 1 European challenger and French actor Stephane Ferrara was spotted at Kingdom of Dreams recently. Currently directing films in France, Stephane is visiting India with his wife, Dominique Cantien.

In Dada’s Footsteps

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t was like taking a trip down memory lane, for all those who came to attend the launch of the music album by Abhay Goyle at the Reliance Time Out, Ambience Mall. As he belted out 24 instrumental songs of Kishore Kumar, the musical evening saw guests swaying to the lovely melodies. Abhay, a 16-year-old resident of Gurgaon, is named as the youngest piano player, by “Limca Book of Records”. His album “Magical Journey – Hits of Kishore Kumar” is expected to be a big hit of 2012.

Feroz ‘Arjun’ Khan Shares Gyan

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eroz Khan, who played the famous character of Arjun in Mahabharata, shared his views on education with the students of Rao Bhimraj Educational Society. Addressing the large gathering of students and teachers, Feroz said, “I firmly believe that the teachings of Bhagvat Gita are still relevant. It is crucial for the young generation to realise the importance of Lord Krishna's teaching.” He also shared secrets of his success with the students.


04

The Italian Kitchen

FOOD { Gunjan Prasad } id you know that tomatoes, that are so now so ingrained in Italian cuisine, were at one time planted as curios and ornaments – and not seen in a delectable light. In fact the fruit was considered poisonous and inedible. It was only in the 17th century that adventurous Florentines began to eat green tomatoes; and a century later, the Nepolitans popularised the cooking of ripened red tomatoes. And the rest, as they say, is history. Most Italians are passionate about this ruddy fruit – and Bill Marchetti, the chef, is no different.  “The red, luscious fruit that is laden with pulp and taste, and is called a tomato, grows only in Italy. Everywhere else, it is something else,” he laughs. Tomatoes, like a lot of other ingredients at Spaghetti Kitchen, are imported – to maintain consistency and quality. “Italian food is all about ingredients. The cuisine has humble, peasantry roots. It has evolved from periods of shortages – when the ingenuity and inventiveness of a cook was tested, by having to use whatever little ingredients were available. Even today the emphasis is not so much on elaborate presentation, a la the French nouritture, as it is on good quality ingredients that are appropriately used.  Ask him about the reason for the popularity of Italian food the world over, and Marchetti gives credit to its versatility. “Italian cuisine is just not one cuisine. If you go down South, to say Sicily, desserts are very sweet, and there is a huge Arab influence that still exists today. If you go way up North, desserts are non-existent, or not very sweet at all – which is the influence of the French and the Austrians. The hotter South uses olive oil; while butter and cream is more commonly used in the

BOOK

A Tale Well Told { Manjula Narayan }

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few pages into Kunal Basu’s new book The Yellow Emperor’s Cure, and you marvel at the effort the author has put into understanding an alien culture. As also his deft characterisation, and his insight into human motivations. That admiration increases as you come across passages like the one describing a syphilitic patient, the protagonist Antonio Maria’s father: A field of roses blinded him as he ripped open his father’s tunic, the red rash that covered the body from head to knee, sparing no part except the eyes. In places the buds had dried out into ugly scabs, like leopards spots, chaffed and shrivelled. Hideous lumps flattened the balls of his feet and his palms, joined

The Yellow Emperor’s Cure Author: Kunal Basu PUBLISHER: Picador PRICE: Rs. 499 Genre: Historical Fiction

JIT KUMAR

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Reviews

3–9 February 2012

Spaghetti Kitchen Plot No. 27 & 28, City Centre, Sector 29, Gurgaon Phone: 0124-4049720 Cuisine: Italian Timing: 12 pm to 11pm

North. Tomatoes are more of a southern ingredient, as they thrive in the warm climate. Southern flavours are richer, stronger which more emphasis on sauces; while northern flavours are more subtle. Quality is the only common thread. And thus, each country adopts the style of Italian cooking that is closest to their palettes,” explains the Chef. 

“Food varies from one village to another, and there is an old Italian proverb: Never marry a girl from a village more than 10 miles away – as you’ll always be arguing about food!” he smiles. Italian food, for Marchetti, is a wonderful cornucopia of smells and tastes – that he has efficiently captured in Spaghetti Kitchen’s menu. While this cosy, informal restaurant is neither a tratorria

(“too casual”) nor a fine-dining eatery (“too formal”), it is fast becoming a firm favourite with people from all walks of life – for its honest home-style cooking.  Old favourites and new creations jostle for attention – each dish seducing the taste-buds in turn, as you scroll through the menu. We started with the soup of the day, Capuccino of Four Mushroom soup (Rs 260) – a frothy concoction that had a hearty consistency, and was brimming with flavour – owing to an extra portion of porcini mushrooms. A generous portion of Provencale Rocket Leaf Salad (Rs. 375), topped with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, olives and broccoli—with a delicate balsamic dressing—and we were ready for the main course. Pizza Pesto Parmigiano (Rs. 495), a whole-wheat thin crust ‘cracker’ pizza with pesto and parmesan, is becoming increasingly popular with healthy eaters. Pesto, promises the chef, will taste a “hundred times better” in the coming months – as the basil he imported from Italy, and planted in a friend’s farm on the hills, starts to flourish.   The next course was Fregolla con Calamaretti (Rs. 550), fregola with calamari, in tomato and red chilli sauce. Similar to Israel’s couscous, fregola is a type of pasta from Sardinia. When cooked, it takes on a creamy consistency. Combined with a perfectly cooked calamari in a tangy sauce, the dish teased the taste buds into sublime submission. Gnocchi is not one of my favourites, but Marchetti’s Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce (Rs. 510) and nutmeg, won me over.  The winner for me was Veal Piccatini al Limone (Rs. 525) – baby veal escallops with lemon risotto and sautéed garlic spinach. The veal was lightly seared, and brilliantly contrasted with a tart and shiny demi-glace brown sauce. Lightly flavoured lemongarlic risotto and buttered spinach made interesting accompaniments.  There was nothing low-cal about the meal, and healthy eating was far from my mind. A wicked Tiramisu (Rs. 350), with just the right amount of Marsala, was a perfect finish to an indulgent afternoon.u

CINEMA his neck to his chin and sent a ripple across the chest.” It’s the sort of paragraph that makes your scalp prickle; but it’s also the sort of paragraph that makes you read on – for by now you have come to empathise with Antonio Maria, the young Portuguese doctor at the centre of this historical novel. It is set in the late 19th century, when syphilis was an incurable disease. And eventually, it’s the sort of paragraph that makes readers wonder how the writer managed to balance all that research with firm characterisation; and how he still managed to tell a fine story – that takes in the quest for knowledge, erotic love, and war in one full swoop. “I’m a storyteller, and I would go with research only as far as the story dictates,” Basu has been quoted as saying. A Professor of Marketing at Oxford University, he was inspired to write the novel while he was wandering through a museum of Chinese medicine in Beijing. It is clear that Basu has the rare talent to create worlds – a hallmark of the truly talented novelist. This is a gripping work, the tale of a young man in search of an elusive cure within an alien system – set against the backdrop of the Boxer Rebellion. Not to be missed. u

{ Vijaya Kumar }

The Path Of Fire

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plot based on the theme of righteousness and revenge is good fodder – for originals, remakes, sequels of originals and sequels of remakes. The success of the script writer depends on the suitable tweaking of the original, to suit changing audience tastes and expectations, social mores – and most importantly, the actors. Karan Johar’s production AGNEEPATH, directed by debutante Karan Malhotra, has done just that; and scores handsomely in the process. The original AGNEEPATH of 1990 based itself on the poem of the same name by the Late Harivansh Rai Bachchan. It dealt with the theme of righteousness, and how one needs to tread on the path of fire to seek justice (path is perhaps the only word that connotes the same meaning in both English and Hindi – although pronounced differently); the aspect of revenge is incidental. In the new avatar, the movie focuses primarily on avenging the wrongs done; the topic of righteousness takes a back seat. One would think it impossible for anyone else to replicate the emotions of a revenge seek-

AGNEEPATH Directed by: Karan Malhotra CAST: Hritick Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Priyanka Chopra, Rishi Kapoor GENRE: Action, Drama er as well as Amitabh Bachchan, in the original Award winning performance. But this is where the new writers and Karan Malhotra have succeeded, by tailoring the role to Hritik Roshan’s strengths – both muscular and otherwise. Vijay Deenanath Chauhan of 1990 was soaked in anger; the pathos was almost hidden. In the 2012 version, the anger is hidden; the angst is what cloaks the character. Hritick Roshan is able to convey the deep pathos with his eyes. And since he does not have a rich voice, the writers have given him very few words to speak; allowing the actor to show his acting

prowess amply in dramatic situations – and his ample muscles in the action sequences. The new version also introduces us to a character Rauf Lala, played outstandingly by Rishi Kapoor – who delivers his best ever performance to date. Sanjay Dutt as the menacing Kancha, and the gori complexioned Priyanka Chopra playing the role of Kaali (reminds one of her role in KAMINEY), are adequate. Finally, it is impossible to overlook the aggressive and vigorous movements performed by Katrina Kaif in the Laavni number, Chikni Chameli! Thanks to the Censor Board (because of a scene in the dance item of Chikni Chameli), we get to see the by-line “Cigarette Smoking is injurious to Health”; but if we had more custodians of “moral culture”, we might have also had this by-line: Watching such dance movements can generate excessive body heat! The movie, however, does suffer from excessive melodrama, as we had in the seventies (example, son making dying statements on the lap of the mother). The movie is very, very long; and there is too much Ghajini style gore. u


3–9 February 2012

C eleb W atch

05

Shriya Sparkles at Shuddhi

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opular South Indian actor Shriya Saran unveiled the new collection of Shuddhi Jewels, Gitanjali Group in the Gold Souk Mall. Excited about her forthcoming Bollywood release, Shriya said, “Gali Gali Mein Chor Hai deals with the burning issue of corruption, and it is the USP of the film.”

Bally Ki Balle Balle

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he live performance of Punjabi sensation Bally Sagoo at Zygo gave Gurgaonites a reason to party hard, and groove on the floor. Fans turned up in huge numbers, and Bally's chartbusters – Aaja Nach Lai, Gur Naalon Ishq Mitha – and hip hop beats made the crowd roar. When asked about his experience in the city, Bally said, “Gurgaon has become an absolute party place. I party here quite often with my family and friends.”

Cooking for a Cause I

t was not an ordinary fundraiser, as it brought together five Heads of Mission, five CEOs and stunning Parvathy Omanakuttan, to cook a gourmet meal at the Crown Plaza hotel to help save the lives of eight underprivileged children, suffering with cancer, Thalassemia, and cardiac disorders. “My heart lies in giving less fortunate children a chance to live. I have, therefore, offered my time to these children,” said Parvathy Omanakuttan, Goodwill Ambassador of Genesis Foundation. H. E. Ernesto Alvarez –Ambassador, Argentina, Mr. Stewart Beck – High Commissioner, Canada, Mr. Donald Lu - Deputy Chief of Mission, USA, H. E. Jorge Ayers Roza de Oliveira –Ambassador, Portugal, H. E. Freddy SvaneAmbassador, Denmark, Rajeev Bakshi – VP & Managing Director, Metro Cash & Carry, P Balaji, Managing Director, Sony Ericsson, Siraj Chaudhry, Country Head, Cargill India, Amrit Kiran Singh- VP & Asia Director, Brown-Forman Worldwide Ltd, and Rajeev Vaidya – President South Asia, DuPont India graced the event as celebrity chefs. The event was part of Genesis Foundation’s ongoing endeavour to increasingly save more children from dreaded diseases.

R-day Musical L

orraine Music Academy and LAMP Foundation hosted a musical event on the occasion of Republic Day. The highlight of the evening was a unique Western and Indian fusion, wherein the Western classical pieces—played on the piano, guitar and drums—were accompanied by the sounds of the Harmonium, Morchang, Algoja, Khurtal, Dhol, Dholak, Bhapang, Kamaicha and Majira. The director of Gurgaon's first radio station – Samudayik Radio Station 107.8 MHz FM – Aarti Jaiman was one of the Guests of Honour.


06

3–9 February 2012

C ivic/S ocial PRAKHAR PANDEY

Ab Pataudi Door Nahin  Contd from p 1 be overly brief, as its advancement had been shackled to Industrial Model Township (IMT) only. No other Tehsil has been granted an opportunity to prove its worth. It’s not that they are infertile, or have feet of clay – it is the unwillingness of the State that has facilitated this disparity – till now. But there are stirrings. Pataudi, a Tehsil with a golden armour of glorious history, seems to be on the radar now. Plans are afoot.

Pataudi: A Potential Identified

Pataudi is a historical town situated on the southern-western side of the Gurgaon District – with a distance of 29 km from the Millennium City. Earlier, it was considered to be a pastoral hinterland – only good for agriculture. However, now Pataudi has been trusted as a future bowl of development. The 2025 Gurgaon Manesar Urban Complex (GMUC) Master Plan provides a glimpse of Pataudi’s opportunity and potential. Pataudi is fortunately situated in proximity to two big highways—NH-8, Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway—and along the huge DMIC (Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor) Project. Gurgaon’s fate took a golden turn with the inception of NH-8; and the GMUC Master Plan, along with the KMP Expressway, may do something similar to Pataudi. Pataudi will surround, and be integral with, the country’s most advanced industrial-cum-residential corridor. Even now, it has a few worthy projects – built and in the pipeline. Hey include Logistics parks, Special Economic Zones (Reliance, Raheja), and six residential sectors planned by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), under the Pataudi-Hailey Mandi Draft Development Plan 2031 – enough to testify to Pataudi’s importance in the coming decade.

Administrative Structure

Pataudi was a non-salute princely State, ruled by the Nawabs. It comprised 53 sq miles, with 52 villages under its jurisdiction. On 1st April 1948, it acceded to the Union of India. Gurgaon District today has three Sub-Divisions, five Tehsils and four Blocks. “As a Sub-Division, Tehsil and Block, Pataudi comprises 72 villages, with 71 Panchayats. Gurgaon City has dissolved Panchayats from its villages, and now a Muncipal Corporation is there. But here the Panchayat system is still alive, and it is working very well. Almost all the villages are connected with metalled roads, and the supply of electricity has improved in the last five years. Panchayats in Pataudi Tehsil are working very efficiently to give their villages a modern outlook,” said Virender Singh Yadav, Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO). “Pataudi town has a separate Municipal Committee for over a decade now. In 2001, the population was around 16 thousand and now it has crossed the 25 thousand mark. We take care of the sanitation and other needs of the town. Outside this town, the Block committee is responsible for all the development,” said an official. Pataudi town also has a government dispensary, run by the Health Department, Gurgaon District.

Social And Occupational Structure

As far as social life is concerned, Pataudi is home to various castes. Ahirs, Jats, and Rajputs are the dominant castes here. Males constitute

Pataudi-Hailey Mandi Key Features of the Draft Development Plan 2031 ► Residential Sectors: Six ► Population at present: 25,000 (only Pataudi town) ► By 2031: 1.83 lac (both Hailey Mandi and Pataudi) ► Area of Pataudi Town: 245 hectares ► By 2031: Urbanisation of 1915 hectares ► Distance from Gurgaon: 29 km ► Distance from Rewari: 25 km ► Distance from Farukh Nagar: 18 km ► Distance from KMP Expressway: 12 km ► Distance from NH-8: 8 km 53 per cent of the population. Pataudi Tehsil has 76 Primary Level government schools, and 15 Middle Level government schools. The area has some big and bright public schools of the District. Starex International, Binola and Raman Munjal Public School, Sidhrawali feature at the top, in that list. Pataudi has an average literacy rate of 57 per cent – lower than the national average of 59.5 per cent; male literacy is 65 per cent, and female literacy is 48 per cent. “Here in Pataudi, the main occupation is agriculture – a large section of population earn their livelihood from it. The main crops are Wheat, Mustard and Maize. Some people have also started growing vegetables now-a-days,” said Virender Yadav. Inside Pataudi town, there is a significant population of Muslims – and the town is home to many old and new mosques. A different mode of irrigation is also one of the key factors that attracts the people. “We don’t have a canal system of irrigation here, as is there in the rest of Haryana. Here, due to excessive sand in the soil, canal irrigation is not possible; hence we use sprinklers to irrigate our crops,” said Raghunath Yadav, a farmer.

History The town was founded in the reign of Jalal-ud-Din Khilji, by a Mewati Chieftain, Pata – who named it Pataudi. During Aurangzeb’s reign, it was made a Pargana, and was attached to Rewari. In 1806, it was granted as Jagir to Faiz Talab Khan. The Palace of the Nawab of Pataudi was built in 1934. Pataudi was from then a non-salute princely State, ruled by the Nawabs. On April 1st, 1948, it acceded into the Union of India. After the demise of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi aka Pataudi Junior, his son and Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan has been bestowed with the unofficial title of the tenth Nawab of Pataudi.

A Home To Different Beliefs

India is a secular state, and Pataudi defines secularism in the true sense. “In this town, Muslims and Hindus have been living side-by-side for centuries; and even in the worst of times, peace here was never disturbed. During the time of partition, our Nawab decided to go with the Indian Union – and we fully supported him. Hindus here have stood by us during every problem,” said Shamsher Khan, an old man. Hindus concur, “Here we don’t have a communal problem. Muslims come to our homes, and we go to theirs. They even bring Kawar on Shivaratri every time. And we too allow them entry to our temples without any problem,” said Ashok Kumar, the head priest at the famous Icchapuri Shiva temple.

A Tourist Destination

Cricket and Bollywood are the biggest source of entertainment in India; and Patuadi has produced legendary icons in both these fields. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, who embraced his heavenly abode recently was the captain of the Indian Cricket team. His son Saif Ali Khan, who is the current Nawab of Pataudi (unoffi-

cial), is one of the leading actors of Bollywood. Apart from the members of the royal family and their Palace—which has now been turned into a hotel—there are other sources of attraction. A seven hundred year old Icchapuri Shiv temple is one of the prime attractions of the area. “Lakhs of people come here on Shivaratri; not only from all corners of the country, but even people from European countries like France also come here – for the darshan of Lord Shiva. This is the place where the original Shiva lingam was found almost seven hundred years ago. This place is named as Icchapuri, because it is a belief that no devotee goes empty-handed from here,” said Ashok Kumar. Myths are often blamed for corrupting people’s power to reason and think; but here the people do believe staunchly in the divine blessings of Lord Shiva. “I have been coming here for quite a while now; and believe me, there is no myth attached to this Shiv lingam. It is very much original. Whatever I have wished for till now has come true; and I believe that myth is nothing but a fancied reality,” said Kishan Singh, a school principal in the nearby village. Pataudi’s Ramlila is famous in all the surrounding areas, as is the Pilli Kothi.

The Development

Development is what turns villages into towns, and towns into great cities. Till now, Pataudi had been left as a pariah, in terms of industrial and commercial development – as it was widely believed that this hinterland in the southern-western corner of Gurgaon District is only good for agriculture. But with the Master Plan 2025 and DMIC, Pataudi has been seen as a potential city of the future. “Pataudi is a very good bet in the long run; and it is going to be the future Gurgaon after another 20 years. You can already see large logistics parks coming up there, and in large numbers. And the arrival of HUDA sectors, under the Pataudi-Hailey Mandi Draft Development Plan 2031, the potential has become quite certain. The strategic location (Master Plan, DMIC Highways) is also another factor. The proximity to NH-8 and KMP, and the railway line from Delhi, further makes it a future destination,” said a real estate analyst. HUDA too is quite optimistic about the future of the town, and the surrounding area. “The under-construction HUDA sectors are nothing short of certification, that this area is going to be one of the prime ones in Southern Haryana in the coming decades,” said a senior HUDA official in Gurgaon. The construction work of HUDA Sector-1 is already in motion, and people of the area too are quite optimistic about the rise of the area. “ This development will surely bring a great fortune to us. Two decades back, Gurgaon was nothing; and now people there have become rich. I hope our lands too will draw us great wealth and prosperity, and our area too will become like Gurgaon,” said Satish Yadav, a farmer having land next to the construction site of HUDA Sector-1. Apart from the sectors, there have been other development plans announced by the State recently. An Industrial Training Institute (ITI) will be set up in Pataudi by the State; the expansion of Gurgaon-Pataudi-Rewari road will be expanded to 78 metres; the Pataudi-Farukh Nagar road has also been proposed to be relaid in the near future. And keeping the health infrastructure demand of the town and the surrounding area in mind, the State has sanctioned a 50 bed hospital in the town – in the near future. u


3–9 February 2012

CINEMA

THIS WEEK Big Cinemas: Ansal Plaza Agneepath Time: 10.45 am, 11.45 am, 2.15 pm, 3.15 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.00 pm, 6.45 pm, 9.30 pm, 10.15 pm Gali Gali Chor Hai Time: 11.15 am, 1.50 pm, 7.55 pm, 10.30 pm Address: 3rd floor, Ansal Plaza, G Block, Palam Vihar Website: www.bigcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Premier Agneepath Time: 10.30 am, 11.20 am, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm, 2.50 pm, 4.30 pm, 6.20 pm, 8.00 pm, 9.50 pm, 11.30 pm Gali Gali Chor Hai Time: 10.30 am, 5.30 pm, 8.00 pm, 10.30 pm Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D) Time: 10.10 am, 2.30 pm, 6.50 pm, 11.10 pm The Descendants Time: 10.00 am, 6.50 pm Man On A Ledge Time: 12.15 pm, 4.50 pm, 9.05 pm Oscar Film Festival Time: 10.55 pm J. Edgar Time: 2.15 pm Chronicle Time: 12.20 pm, 4.40 pm, 9 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR: Ambience Gold Agneepath Time: 12.10 am, 3.40 pm, 7.10 pm, 10.40 pm Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D)

Time: 11.30 am, 3.50 pm, 8.10 pm Chronicle Time: 1.40 pm, 6.00 pm, 10.20 pm

PVR MGF: MGF Mall Agneepath Time: 10.30 am, 11.20 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm, 2.50 pm, 4.30 pm, 5.30 pm, 6.20 pm, 8.00 pm, 9.00 pm, 9.50 pm, 11.30 pm Chronicle Time: 10.10 am, 12 noon, 3.50 pm, 7.40 pm, 11.30 pm Man on a Ledge Time: 1.50 am, 5.40 pm, 9.30 pm Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D) Time: 10.10 am, 12.20 pm, 2.30 pm, 4.40 pm, 6.50 pm, 9.00 pm, 11.10 pm Confident Casanovva (Malayalam) Time: 10.00 am PVR Europa: MGF Mall Agneepath Time: 12.10 am, 3.40 pm Gali Gali Chor Hai Time: 10.30 am, 1.00 pm, 3.30 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.30 pm, 10.55 pm Staying Alive Time: 11.30 pm The Descendants Time: 7.10 pm Love You To Death Time: 10.05 am, 9.25 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road Ph: 0124- 4530000 Website: www.pvrcinemas.com PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Agneepath Time: 10.30 am, 2.00 pm, 5.30 pm, 9.00 pm, 10.35 pm Gali Gali Chor Hai Time: 12 noon, 6.15 pm Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D) Time: 10.05 am, 2.25 pm, 4.20 pm, 8.40 pm Address: Sahara Mall, MG

L istings

07

Road Ph: 01244048100 Website: www.pvrcinemas. com

DT Mega Mall: DLF Phase I Agneepath Time: 10:00 am, 1:15 pm, 3.00 pm, 4.40 pm, 7.55 pm, 11.10 pm Gali Gali Chor Hai Time: 10.10 am, 12.35 pm, 6.15 pm, 8.40 pm, 11.05 pm Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D) Time: 11:05 am, 1:00 pm, 4.45 pm, 8.55 pm Chronicle Time: 2.55 pm The Descendants Time: 6.40 pm, 10.50 pm DT City Centre: DLF Phase II Agneepath Time: 10:00 am, 1:15 pm, 4.30 pm, 05:20 pm, 7.45 pm, 9.00 pm Gali Gali Chor Hai Time: 10.05 am, 12.30 pm, 2.55 pm, 8.35 pm, 11.00 pm Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D) Time: 10:00 am, 1:35 pm, 3.30 pm, 7.05 pm, 9.00 pm Chronicle Time: 11.55 am, 5.25 pm, 10.55 pm DT Star Mall: Sector 30 Agneepath Time: 10:15 am, 1:25 pm, 04:35 pm, 7:45 pm, 10.55 pm Gali Gali Chor Hai Time: 10.45 am, 1.10 pm, 3.35 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.25 pm, 10.55 pm Website: http://dt-cinemas.com

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I need to order some things from the shop Manne dukan te samaan

mangana hai

2. Do you deliver at home? Ke tu ghar ney bhej dega? 3. Do you charge extra for home delivery? Ghar ne bhej ne ke rapye lega? 4. How long will you take to reach? Kitni der laage gi? 5. Make sure nothing breaks

Kuch bhi tootna nai chahiye

THE WEEKTHAT WAS ♦ On the occasion of Republic Day, the Chief Guest, Haryana Minister for Co-operatives and Housing Satpal Sangwan said that Haryana provided good facilities to the wards and dependents of freedom fighters and ex-servicemen. There has recently been a substantial increase in the honorarium given to gallantry award winners – from Rs 2.5 lakhs to Rs 10 lakhs. Defence Colonies were being developed by HUDA in 9 Districts. The pension given to freedom fighters has also been raised, from Rs 11,000 to Rs 15,000 per month. He presented cheques of Rs 18 lacs to 12 sportspersons of the District, who won medals at the 34th National Games, at Ranchi. And a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to the Panchayat of Village Bhora Kalan, for the best sex ratio in the District. Various tableaux, cultural programmes, and march pasts were judged, and ranked. ♦ The Additional Director General of Police (CID), Haryana Sh Surjeet Singh Deswal was conferred the Presidents Police Medal on Republic Day. He was till recently the Police Commissioner, Gurgaon - he left on October 31, 2011. ♦ The satellite imagery of District Gurgaon is being prepared, and is expected to be completed by this March. The available land records would then be assimilated with this. Going forward, it would help in establishing land ownership, encroachments, green patches, etc. ♦ The Administration has increased the prize money (from Rs 21,000 to Rs 51,000), for those who help in catching culprits involved in female foeticide.

Police .................................................... .......100 Fire Station .................................................. 101 Ambulance.................................................... 102 Gurgaon Traffic Police................................................ 1073 Railway Enquiry ............................................... ............139 Women Helpline......................................................... 1091 Children Helpline........................................................ 1098 Senior Citizens Helpline............................................. 1291 LPG Helpline................................................... 011-155233 Weather Helpline........................................ 18001801717 Car Breakdown Helpline.............................. 011-43676767 Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway Helpline.........................................0124-4787828/817/853 DMRC Helpline................................................ 011-155370 Disaster Management Helpline.................................. 1077 Municipal Corporation (MCG)....................... 18001801817 Ambulance Service for Animals...................... 9873302580


08

JIT KUMAR

3–9 February 2012

Healthy Trust

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

A

s we sat at the office of Thakar Datta Charitable Trust in Sector 4 Gurgaon, a mother and her 11-year-old son walked in and complained to Dr. Sumeeta Grover. “My son has had his throat as well as nose operation, because the doctors told us that it is very important – his nose was always blocked, and throat swollen up. When I initially did not agree, they said that we are torturing our child. It has been two years now, and I am here for the same problems for which we had his operation done. Right now his nose is blocked, and throat is hurting too. I want to try homoeopathic therapy now.” On checking Aashish (11 year old, student of DAV School), Dr. Sumeeta Grover wrote him a to-do and not-to-do list, altering his eating habits, and giving him homoeopathic medicine – for a nominal fee of Rs. 20. In the span of 15 minutes,

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

A

lean and wiry young man, Sundar Bhadana, leans back in his chair and says, “The state and the city’s youth have so much sporting potential, but there’s no attention being given to their nurturing.” Bhadana’s NGO, Yuva Ekta Mission (YEM), tries to fill the gap – by encouraging youth to take up the traditional Indian sport of kabaddi. “I see the young of my village, and of surrounding areas, just while away their time. You know, ‘an empty mind is a devil’s playground’. I wanted to teach them something that would combine team spirit and hard work – and be a healthy pastime,” he says. The national sport is cricket – why kabaddi, then? He states, “I don’t see how kabaddi is any less rewarding as a sport than cricket or lawn tennis. It has always been around as a truly Indian sporting

at least 10 patients of varied age groups—one about 80 years, for chest pain; one newly married, for a pus boil under her arm; another young boy for congestion; and several others for varied infections and problems—walked in and took their prescription and medication. The Trust was started in 1990, by L.D Guliani, in a 2 room area, with only 2 dispensers – in the Arya Samaj Mandir, Sector 4 Gurgaon. After tireless work by Guliani and S.B Khush for the community, the Trust was awarded a 200 square yard area by the government, at a nominal price – behind the Arya Samaj Mandir, in the year 1998. Named after Guliani’s father Thakar Datta, the Trust has since added more branches – and offers Homoeopathic, Allopathic, Dental, Eye and Physiotherapy services. At present, the President’s chair is held by Dr. Sumeeta Grover, MD Homeopathy, who has also been working with the

trust since the year 1994. Having studied in Nehru Homeopathy Medical College New Delhi, Dr. Grover works with 3 non-profit organisations—The Spastic Society of Gurgaon, The Thalasemic Society of Gurgaon and the Thakar Datta Charitable Trust, Gurgaon— and visits them daily. Dr. Grover says “People who have faith is Homeopathy don’t even try any other form of medicine. I have

C ivic/Social

patients coming to me for over 10 years. There are also several patients that have tried Allopathy, and have returned to Homeopathy. Whether it is congestion, arthritis or boils, Homeopathy can cure all.” Just when Dr. Grover was talking to us, a young 22-year-old boy walked in. Dr. Grover had been treating him since he was 6 years old, and he keeps coming back for every little or big problem. “Yes we have tried Allopathy, but nothing works like Homeopathy does,” says the shy boy, confidently. Apart from holding 5 medical camps - 3 wellness camps, for the betterment and upliftment of the weak, and 2 camps for Cardiology (one with Medanta and the other with Dr. Rajinder Guliani, MD Cardiology from the United States of America), the Trust in the last year has seen 10,446 Homeopathy patients, 751 Allopathy patients, and 756 Physiotherapy patients. Apart from an average of 80 patients that walk in everyday, the camps are held for ECO, ECG, Blood Sugar testing, BP check, and consultation. They are free of cost, and cater to between 40 to 100 patients, from 9am to 4pm. Santosh Sahni, Physiotherapist says, “We mostly have senior citizens come to us for physiotherapy. We treat cervical, lumbar spondylitis, arthritis, joint pains, tennis elbow.” Dr. Sumeeta Grover, Homeopath and President of the Charitable Trust, visits the slum areas in and around Gurgaon, and educates the people on anaemia, sanitation and cleanliness, and hygiene. The kids of these area are also educated about the diseases, and their prevention. “My father told me that if you want to become a doctor, you have to serve the needy – you have to give

Sporting Spirit

event. And my aim is not to create top sportsmen, but worthy individuals.” Bhadana says that although YEM has been around for more than two years, he only got it registered a year ago. “It was more of a passion for me. When people came to me and sug-

gested that I get it properly registered, I realised that what I was doing was actually making a difference to the lives of the youth around me. Trust me, it’s a very humbling experience,” he admits. As of now, Bhadana’s YEM has more than 1,500 members.

Over two years, Bhadana has organised dozens of kabaddi events. “You should see the atmosphere. It becomes a sort of a mini-mela. When people hear of a kabaddi event, they flock in numbers to see it. There are thousands of people all day long, seeing teams of nearby villages face off. We don’t charge any fees from the sportsmen/ players. On the other hand, we take care of their every need, during the course of the event. The cash prizes, trophies and other costs are funded by me, or by the donations I get from my friends and well-wishers.” Raj Singh, one of his friends and a member of the YEM, says, “We love him for what he has done for the underprivileged youth of the villages. Ask anybody in Maruti Kunj about Sundar Bhadana. From a toddler to an old man, everyone knows Sundar. He’s been

back to society. Unfortunately, medicine has become more of a business for doctors,” says Dr. Grover. Some of the serious diseases treated by Dr. Grover are fibroids, leucorrhoea, and PID for females; and adenoids, bronchitis for children, among others. The dispensary currently has 2 Homeopathic doctors, 2 Allopathic doctors, 1 Physiotherapist, 1 Dentist, 1 Eye specialist, 3 Dispensers, and 1 care-taker. The OPD charges for the consultation, as well as the medication, is Rs. 20’ and for Allopathy, it is only Rs. 10. But for BPL families the services are free of cost. Dr. G.L Kharbanda, Visiting Homeopath with Thakar Datta Charitable Trust says, ‘Homeopathy has no side effects. And it is most beneficial for children. Homeopathy can be given to a child on the very first day of his/her birth. I see at least 25 to 30 patients daily, and treat problems like arthritis, hair fall, alopecia, bronchitis.” Having dedicated her future to the service of non-profit organisations, Dr. Sumeeta Grover concludes, “Serving the needy is what I want to do for the rest of my life. You feel a satisfaction and completion in doing so. Earlier my father was, and now my husband and my two daughters are, my strength and support. I would also like to send a message to the people of Gurgaon (and Haryana), that daughters are a gift of God and very important – and we must do everything to reduce the mortality rate, and save the girl child.” u

For monetary donation, you can reach out to the Trust at Thakar Datta Charitable Trust, Sector 4, behind Arya Samaj Mandir, Gurgaon, or call at +91 9811601497. The trust is also in need of visiting doctors from any speciality.

a sporting enthusiast; and it was a pleasure for me to see him take his passion and create something socially uplifting out of it.” “Every year,” Raj says, “we’ve taken out a rally around the city, to let people know about us, and what we do. The youth are wildly excited about our annual event, and the word-ofmouth only draws more members to our cause.” What is the bigger picture for YEM? “The sporting events will continue as long as I live. Our members have set a target for themselves to reach the 10,000 membership mark. We’re planning cleanliness missions, in which the members will take up brooms and clean colonies for a period of time; as well as blood donations, and polio drives. We can help the administration in their work. We have the manpower and the time; and we want to put them to positive effect,” says Bhadana. u


3–9 February 2012

W

hen Kamala Chowdhary joined the Provincial Civil Services in the sixties, there was fire in her belly. She wanted to do something for the people, and society. Those were the heady days of Indian bureaucracy, as it performed its task without fear and the head held high. Chowdhary was also fortunate that, after joining the erstwhile Punjab bureaucracy, she was assigned to the fledgling state of Haryana – from where she hailed. She proudly says, “I was the first woman to enter the Provincial Civil Service from this part of Punjab, that is now called Haryana.” Recalling her first posting in Hissar in November 1966, Chowdhary says that her Deputy Commissioner S.K Mishra was a brilliant officer, and a hard taskmaster – who groomed and trained her in the art of administration.  “He was a man of impeccable honesty and action,” she says. She laments that officers of that quality and pedigree are no more present in the service today. The current status of bureaucracy and administrative functioning, she says, has broken down, because of the inability of the officers to take a stand beyond their own personal interests. “The quality of governance has gone down, because there is no accountability at the political level as well. The steel frame of India has bowed down to wily politics; but this does not augur well for the society and the nation, ” says the former IAS official, who retired as Commissioner and Secretary to government of Haryana. Chowdhary still recalls the speech delivered by an ICS offi-

Of A Different Mettle PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

C ivic/Social

cer during her training period, when he said “France had political turmoil for 150 years, but the country still managed to function – because of the strong bureaucratic traditions.” She is of the opinion that India too has had strong bureaucracy, but it has failed to live up to the expectations of the people. During the sixties, there was great scope for development, but the resources were limited. Still the government worked, and officials were accountable. “Today we have plenty of resources but the quality of work is poor – there is inadequate planning, the

monitoring and evaluation process have gone haywire.” Chowdhary holds both the political bosses and the state bureaucracy accountable, for failing the people – particularly those living in Gurgaon. “The city has expanded exponentially, and we need government intervention in every sphere – but it seems to have abdicated its responsibility. The agencies like HUDA, MCG and the local administration are working only in an ad hoc manner,” she asserts. However, she admits that the recent work of the HUDA Administrator, Praveen Kumar has given hope to residents.

“The people of the City, the civil society, must support him in his work,” she says. Chowdhary, however, points out that HUDA was primarily formed to protect the common man from the clutches of unscrupulous private builders; but the Agency seems to have abdicated this responsibility. “The new Sectors in Gurgaon have been completely left to the mercy of private builders. How will the common man buy dwellings in the area?” she asks. Chowdhary also wants the government officials to be made accountable, if encroachments take place in the area under

09

their jurisdiction. There is lack of discipline and punctuality in government offices, and this mess is created because the bosses do not set an example. The offices in Gurgaon start functioning at 11 am, and close at 3 pm – barring a few, alleges the former bureaucrat. She remembers how some of the former Chief Secretaries of the State would stand at the gate of the Secretariat in Chandigarh, and ensured discipline and punctuality. Chowdhary also says that government officials today need to remember that they are holding public office to serve the people, and not lord over them as if they are serfs. “The police and revenue officials must become more accessible and people friendly, and inspire confidence amongst the citizens,” she says. What Gurgaon needs today is the involvement of the citizens, and equal participation by the State and private sector – to bring this city back from the verge of collapse. The sewerage system, the traffic management, parking, water supply issues need innovative solutions – that will come only if everyone thinks of this City as his or her own, says Chowdhary.   The current State Director General of Police R.S Dalal is her brother, and her son is also an IAS officer serving the state of Punjab. “I am happy that my son in humble, and desires to serve the society – as we did in the early days of Haryana, when Chief Minister Bansi Lal inspired us to work  for  building the State. He is rightly called the architect of Haryana,” says the former IAS official. u

RATH YATRA

The Community Spirit

M

ore than 300 participants gathered for a first-of-its kind sports event — a sports meet organised by the residents 5 societies of Sector 43. The participants included residents of all age groups – from toddlers to senior citizens. This sports meet was part of an initiative by SynerZy, a community forum formed by the residents of Sector 43. This 3-day event included badminton, athletics and several group sports. The event was flagged off by Councillor Sunita Yadav, who was also the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony.

Devotees participating in the 12th Annual Shri Jagannath Ratha Yatra Festival, in Gurgaon, organised by ISKCON, Gurgaon

Science Conclave and Exhibition

D

epartment of Science & Technology, Govt. of Haryana, & Manav Rachna International University (MRIU), Faridabad jointly organised a two day Science Conclave & Exhibition at MRIU campus on 27 & 28 Jan 2012. Sh. P.K Das, IAS, Financial Commissioner & Principal Secretary, Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. of Haryana, was the Chief Guest at this function. He was accompanied by Dr. Amit Roy, Director, Inter University Accelerator Center (IUAC), New Delhi, who was the Guest of Honour. Dr. O.P Bhalla, Chancellor, Manav Rachna International University, presided over the function. The programme was attended by about 1000 school children from nearly 20 schools of Faridabad & Delhi NCR areas, and science faculty members – they set up over 60 scientific & technology stalls.


10

3–9 February 2012

T

Here Comes The Sun

here would be no earth, as we know it, without the sun. Along with the light and warmth that has nurtured us for millennia, the sun may yet provide a magical solution—this time for our energy needs— for time to come. We know oil and its derivatives are decades from running out; so is coal. Decades are like human minutes, in earth’s life. Water/Hydel based energy is not providing a sustainable, cost-effective alternative. The time has therefore come to harness some powerful natural forces around us – the wind and the sun. Unfortunately, the quantum of wind needed for our humongous energy needs is not available extensively—both over time and place. And that brings us to the Sun—an almost limitless source, providing heat and light (and therefore energy) in abundance - day after day, across the earth.

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Comment

So why is solar energy not already our major source of energy? The basic reasons are space, cost, and productivity – essentially the need for a huge land bank, and rows of large equipment/panels, to get the required output. Gurgaon, like most parts of India, is energy deficient. And with a high growth in industrial, commercial and residential activity, the energy requirement is increasing exponentially. The energy deficiency is also leading to extensive usage of diesel gensets. With 4 to 6 hour power cuts, when diesel is used in gensets, the average cost of power is already fairly high today. And this excessive diesel is also causing pollution problems – damaging the environment for generations to come. This is not sustainable.

mercial, and industrial. In the city itself, rooftops of all the establishments would be ideal locations to instal solar equipment. This space, however, is clearly not enough to produce enough solar power – even ignoring the cost for a moment. Therefore, a large arid area in Haryana, with good exposure to the sun all through the year, needs to be demarcated. And multiple solar energy projects should be commissioned immediately. A model Gurgaon solar sector(s) can be commissioned – maybe from the new sectors (58 to 115). Instead of subsidizing other forms of energy (which are rapidly depleting anyway), and adding substantially to environmental degradation, this is the time for a bold step. The State government should provide a 10year incentive/subsidy for all users also—residences, commercial establishments, and industry—to instal and increasingly use solar energy. There already is extensive research being committed to solar energy, across the world. A breakthrough on cost, scale and productivity should be achieved within this decade. In fact, it may be only a matter of time before even vehicles and various equipment become solar-powered. Let us therefore commit ourselves to this extensive, clean energy source. We have very little to lose - and much to gain - for millennia. The Sun deserves our daily salutation. We forgot. Our wise ancestors had known this all along. Surya Namaskar to you.

The answer lies in the rays of the sun. We have to make Solar Energy our base; and now. We cannot wait, and start only when we have made solar power productive and affordable (though it is already fairly close to our average DHBVN-diesel combo cost today). We must start the implementation at all levels – residential, com-

LETTER TO THE EDITOR ir, You are doing good for Sbless all the community. God you and your family.

May God (give you) success in your mission. Vijender Singh, Palam Vihar Road, on the article, Supreme Justice

ould it be possible for you CSupreme to update us regarding the court case dates? What happened on 19.1.2012 at (the) courts? Please upload it on the net and also the next date of hearing Joginder Singh, on the article, Supreme Justice

upon itself the responsibility of providing good roads in urban areas with such heavy turnover and volume of traffic, because people are paying the taxes. The purpose of the toll, it seems, is to give bumper profit to the private operator. The toll rate @Rs 21 is also questionable. Comparing the toll rate of Noida Expressway (Rs. 25) and the volume of traffic over there, one feels this Gurgaon toll could have been easily carried on with a rate of just Rs. 5. This is a big example of corruption. Ajay, on the article, For Whom the Highway Tolls I felt like I had a visit to Lhearovely. Benu s garden. I could even the bells Susan Scott, on the article, Those were the Days

work done by Mr. ast Sunday, our electrical Good L Gaje Singh meter, which DHBVNL has Dinesh, on the article installed on a pole outside my Supreme Justice

would like to extend my IThe support to this movement. very existence of the toll gate at Delhi Gurgaon border is questionable. Tolls are meant for Highways, not for urban areas with thick population density. The Government should also take

house was burnt (neutral wiring ran short). So on Monday, 22Jan12, I visited DHBVNL’s office in Sec 32. I had never expected what lay in store for me. I first went and met the Ex Engr Mr. V.K Agarwal, explained him the entire situation. He then guided me on how to go about. Thereafter the whole experience

of dealing with Mr Rajesh Nandal, SDO, Mr Satpal, Cashier, Mr Srikishan, UDC counter was quite smooth. The office looked much neater than my last visit (there is always room for improvement in Govt office) but it looked good. There was also a very helpful lady at the “May I help you’ counter. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask her name. We all residents of Gurgaon have one common past-time, we complain and complain. So, I thought we must also commend the people who help us. The entire experience of submitting an application, buying a new meter and walking out of that office with the MCO in my hand was completed in 50 minutes which, by any standard, is great. Through your newspaper I wish to place of record my sincere appreciation for all DHBVNL staff particularly the ones I dealt with i.e. Mr V K Agarwal, Mr Rajesh Nandal, Mr Satpal, and Mr Srikishan. Thank you for being a part of our Gurgaon community. R D Mathur A 46/5 DLF City Phase 1, Gurgaon 122002 Please send your letters to:

letters@fridaygurgaon.com

Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner P.C Meena paying floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his martyrdom day (Jan. 30th), at the War Memorial.

Famous Quotes asked for my autograph. As a rule, what is out of Shirley Temple sight disturbs men’s minds more seriously than what they see. Not everything that can Julius Caesar be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” It isn’t enough to talk about Albert Einstein peace; one must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it; one must work at it. “Everybody pities the weak; Eleanor Roosevelt jealousy you have to earn.” Arnold Schwarzenegger I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. He who has a ‘why’ to live, can Mother took me to see him in bear with almost any ‘how’.” a department store and he Friedrich Nietzsche


Spot The Difference

Kids Brainticklers

3–9 February 2012

Sudoku Kids

Solutions

Solutions Spot The Difference 1. Sock on line 2. Glass is empty 3. Stripe on shorts 4. Another peg 5. Bird loses tail feathers. 6. Deck chair leg shorter. 7. Washing line rope changes 8. Blade of grass shorter 9. Butterfly vanishes. 10. Stripe on towel.

Kid Corner

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3–9 February 2012

K id Corner

Toddler Republic @ The Sylvan Trails

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ressed in colours of the Indian National Flag, toddlers at the Slyvan Trails School celebrated the 63rd Republic Day. The day began with the unfurling of the National Flag, followed by the National Anthem. It was delightful to see the little ones stand at perfect attention, with their chin up high with pride. Their thirst to know more about the Republic Day was quenched by a short presentation on the national symbols, historical landmarks and a few patriotic songs like ‘Vande Matram’. They participated in a craft activity, wherein they made the National Flag, using ribbons and wool. They also made peacocks, using paper and sticks.

Chamki Ki Awaaz

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CCA Republic

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he Republic Day celebrations were interspersed with a variety of programmes in the CCA school. With a sports show put up by the primary students, rhythmic Lezium, recitation of patriotic poetry and songs, the students showcased their immense talent. A thought-provoking street play – Kya Yehi Loktantra Hai? – urged the students to introspect on the present state of affairs of the country, and brace themselves to serve the nation. A dance performance – A salute to India – set the mood for enthusiastic foot tapping by the audience. The Chief Guest, Dr. T.K. Sharma, IAS, Commissioner, Gurgaon, along with the School's Chairman Col. Kr. Pratap Singh, and the Principal Ms. Nirmal Yadav, unfurled the national flag.

30 school children celebrated the Republic Day with Chamki, the famous muppet of the TV show Galli Galli Sim Sim in Govt. Primary School, Sec 5. The children were thrilled to interact with Chamki, and with the announcer Soumya of Gurgaon ki Awaaz – who chatted with children on air, about the significance of Republic day; and taught them about responsibilities of a good citizen. Also, teachers and HSBC volunteers helped children learn healthy habits, through the life kit given to them at the event. “We look forward to more such activities with Chamki in our school,” said the school Principal Ms. Santosh. The Galli Galli Sim Sim Radiophone School Program aims to expand access to quality education. The event was organised in association with HSBC and Gurgaon ki Awaaz, community radio station.

Blue Bells Republic

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ultural programmes added colour to the Republic Day celebration held at Blue Bells Model School, Sec 4. The programme started with a group song, and a prize winning melody by Abdul Samad Khan. Ruhani Seth of Class X A and Radhika of Class VIII B, threw light on the recent strides of development in India. Titiksha Vashisth of Class X A presented a patriotic poem, conveying the essence of Republic Day. The programme was beautifully conducted by comperes Titiksha, Ishita and Ishaan. The students presented mesmerising folk and western dance performances, having a strong patriotic flavour. The Chief Guest Dr. Alka Saxena, Consultant, Healthcare & Awareness, Blue Bells Group of Schools, Gurgaon, hoisted the tricolour.

Manav-Robo-Rachna Trophy

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ine students of MRIS Sec 46 – Sheryl Agarwal, Sanket Goyal, Sreekar Voletti, Prikshit Rao, Aashwin Shrivastava, Mayank Jain, Anees Shaikh, Sparsh Mishra and Prakhar Goyal – bagged the trophy for the Best Robot Design at the First Lego in Genesis Global School, Noida. They spent hours in the iCarnegie lab, perfecting every aspect of their robot design. The students prepared the design under the guidance of Teacher Ms. Jyoti Siwach, and Mr. Sanjay Bansal, the Head of Manav Rachna Innovation and Incubation Centre. As the theme of the competition was Food Factor, The Manav Rachna Team – Robo-Rachna – chose chicken; and made a documentary on its contamination. The whole enterprise proved to be an amazing learning experience for the students.

Joy of Spring

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ids of Shakuntalam Shikha Kendra gave a scintillating performance on the occasion of Basant Panchami. Head of Shakuntalam Dr. Nalini enlighten the students about the significance of Basant Panchami in all religions. Shakuntalam Shikha Kendra, a part of the NGO Shakuntalam, provides free education to the underprivileged children.


3–9 February 2012

K id Corner

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Drums On, Ryan

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he “Drums of India” group of Ryan International School, Sec 40 mesmerised the audience with their enthralling performance at the Ambience Mall. Ryanites combined intricate rhythms on the drum. The MD, Ambience Mall, Raj Singh Gehlot appreciated the performance, and declared it as the show stopper of the day amongst the other cultural performances.

A Republic High

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Literary Gala

ith a grand 63rd Republic Day celebration, the students of Scottish High International School honoured the ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India. Highlanders from Grade VI performed the customary march-past and the Principal, Mrs Sudha Goyal hoisted the National Flag. To commemorate India’s National Voter’s Day, which was on January 25, the students of Grade 9 presented a topical play on the significance of every vote. As the tri-coloured balloons flew in the bright morning sky, patriotism too reached its zenith at Scottish High.

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idge Valley School celebrated literature in all its forms. Many schools from Delhi and Gurgaon participated in a week long literary festival. With an aim to promote reading and reading-related activities, the school organised various activities – like writer’s workshop, vocabulary building activities and games, Just A Minute, and storytelling session for kids. Drama and cacophony marked the story telling session, that was taken by the renowned author and leading storyteller Ms. Paro Anand.

Literary Flourish

Artistic Strokes

FG Creative Writing Competition

Lost and Found “H

i Mom!”, said a pretty blonde girl named Christal. “Hello sweetheart, how was your day?” “It was fun. Mom, I invited four of my best friends over for the weekend,” said Christal. “Really?” said Mom. “Yes, Marizelle, Rachelle, Sarah and Kimi.” “Oh good,” said Mom. “We will have lot of fun together, won’t we, sweetheart?” “Yes, we will!” said Christal. Friday, after school, Christal and her four friends went to Christal’s house to spend the night. The next morning, they went to the mall to watch a movie. It was called “Hoofmeisie’. It was fun. Rachelle suddenly said, “I need to get some fresh air” and then went out. She went out and got an Ice cream. When the movie was over, everyone went out. Searching for Rachelle, the friends got very tired and each got an Ice cream. They searched the whole big mall and could not find a trace of Rachelle. They started to panic, as they could not go home without Rachelle.

Name: Shreya Agarwal, CLASS III Australia, Manav Rachna International School, Sec 46

Name: PRABJOT, CLASS VI, The Banyan Tree World School

Rachelle was sitting outside and it was very hot. She went in, but alas, she went to the wrong side. Kimi sighed, Marizelle bit her nails, Sarah turned pale and Christal said, “Do not lose hope! Let’s go for one more quick search!” “Okay,” agreed the others. They walked and walked and found nothing. Ka Boom! They walked into each other (Rachelle and the others). “We thought you were lost Rachelle,” cried Christal. “But here you are at last!” They went home happily that they found Rachelle and very sadly said “Goodbye” to each other.

Jolise Bakker, Grade 5 Lancers International School

Name: Megha Saini, CLASS VII, Green Dales Public School

Name: Muskaan Saund, CLASS I, The Shri Ram School – Aravalli


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3–9 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.

K id Corner

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© 2011 Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, All Rights Reserved

Baby Blues

9 to 5

Star Fun

Animal Crackers

Two Wise Men

Dogs of C-Kennel


3–9 February 2012

Goodness Graincious { Alka Gurha }

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ultigrain foods and whole wheat foods provide the body with numerous health benefits. However, it is important to understand the differences between them.

Multigrain

Multigrain refers to a food that contains more than one type of grain. Common grains included in multigrain foods are oats, bajra, ragi, flax and millet. While some multigrain food may include whole grain ingredients, the term multigrain does not necessarily mean that the food contains whole grain ingredients. Multigrain foods often have between three to five different types of grains; but can also have more than a dozen. Multiple grains provide a dense texture and rich flavor; in a variety of foods – such as bread, cookies, oatmeal  and cereals.

Whole Wheat

Whole wheat refers to the whole wheat grain. To be considered whole wheat, a

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W ellness

entirely of whole grains – and has limited health benefits, compared to whole grain foods. It is common to have significant amounts of enriched wheat flour combined with small amounts of several whole grains, in multigrain food. Some common sources of multigrain foods are breads, cold cereals, hot cereals, tortillas, rolls, waffles, chips crackers and baking flours.

Health Benefits of Whole Wheat Foods

grain must still contain the endosperm, bran and germ. Many processed or refined versions of wheat contain only the endosperm. Whole-grain foods are a healthy choice because they contain nutrients, fibre and other healthy plant compounds found naturally in the grain. Look for products that list the first ingredient as “whole grain,” “whole wheat” or “whole oats.” Healthy adults should eat at least three 1-ounce equivalents of whole grains a day, as part of a balanced diet.

Health Benefits of Multigrain Foods

Multigrain foods are high in  complex carbohydrates and protein. For maximum health benefit, multigrain food should be created from whole grain ingredients. Look at the food label and make sure that all the grains include the word ‘whole’. An easy way to see if the food contains refined grains is to look for the words ‘enriched wheat flour’, in the ingredient list. This means that the multigrain food is not composed

At most grocery stores in Gurgaon, you will find whole wheat breads, whole wheat pastas, whole wheat cereals, whole wheat tortilla, whole wheat chips, and whole wheat flours. Why are they good for us? Well, whole wheat is beneficial to the body because it can help prevent heart disease, and reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Whole wheat is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B and fibre. Fiber has been shown to help individuals lose weight.

Understanding our Daily Breads

Often the brown bread available in several Gurgaon markets contains added brown colour (caramel); and is not wheat bread. Being brown doesn’t

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

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

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n Nature, diversity and change are a constant reality – life does not like to stand still. Living organisms show a dynamic capability to respond to change… quickly restoring to a new equilibrium. This is homeostasis. This week we look at yet another facet of this wonderful phenomenon – The ZZZ factor … ‘quality sleep’. The word homeostasis is derived from the Greek—homeo or “same”—and stasis or “stable” and means remaining stable. The concept was developed in 1932 by Walter Cannon, a physiologist at the Harvard Medical School. How can we strengthen the homeostatic principle ? Of course, it all starts with what and how we choose to eat. Eating a varied and well-balanced diet, and maintaining an active lifestyle, go a long way towards strengthening our body’s ability to keep its feet ‘evenly balanced, and firmly planted on the ground’. During a typical 24 hour cycle , our body goes through its paces – in sync with the circadian rhythm. These are natural rhythms triggered by the day and night cycle. In a day, our body temperature can vary by as much as 0.5 degree Celsius; and our blood pressure and infection-fighting white blood cells can fluctuate by 20% and 50% respectively. All our body’s systems go through phases of alertness, high activity and rest … in a gentle wave -ike fashion. Many of the hormones in our bodies follow the daily circadian cycles. They are held within prescribed physiological limits, by homeostatic mechanisms. They are part of the body’s dynamic balance, just as seasons are for our planet’s climate. Understanding these cycles helps us understand what part of the day is best suited for which

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

The ‘ZZZ’ Factor kind of activity. Quality sleep is essential for our health and well-being. It allows our body to go through its daily ritual of renewal. It gently detoxifies our system … even as we delve into the world of dreams. Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest causes of loss of productivity. It can affect our cognitive ability, and the wider ability to use our brain. Each day can become a drag, and our alertness and wit can desert us. There is no set amount of time that anyone needs for sleep – it varies from person to person. On an average it varies between 5 and 7 hours. The quality of the sleep, however, is key. A good night’s rest enables us to welcome each day with a light step, and a smile on our face. The positive energy multiplies manifold as we come in contact with others. The day unfolds like magic! Tiredness, on the other hand, can literally send the sun behind a cloud. Chronic fatigue can increase the risk of depression, anxiety and accelerated ageing – a veritable downward spiral. Insomnia can be caused by deficiencies in certain nutrients. Antioxidants are important for regulating our internal bodyclock. In this context, the presence of the hormone, Melatonin, in our blood stream at night, provides an important clue as to what leads to quality sleep. The levels of melatonin in our body vary during the day and night cycle. During the day the pineal

is inactive. As the sun sets, it begins to release melatonin into the blood. Around 9 pm, the level can rise sharply, making sleep look even more inviting – especially after a hard day’s work. Daytime levels of melatonin in the blood are barely detectable. By increasing the level of melatonin, we can assist our body to adjust to any mismatches that may be induced by jetlag, late night work in shifts, or sleeplessness.

Tip of the week

Tryptophan is a biochemical precursor for Serotonin – an important neurotransmitter , which in turn helps the pineal gland to make the antioxidant hormone Melatonin. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. Consuming Tryptophan rich foods can help us get quality sleep. This explains why a warm glass of milk and cocoa works for children. A good alternative is to have a light, tryptophan-rich snack, an hour or two before retiring. Some examples are having half a sandwich made with almond butter, chicken or turkey; and a cup of warm milk. Or having a warm cup of chamomile tea with a banana. Or a small bowl of whole grain cereal with milk—or yogurt—topped with muesli. Eating a large meal up to two hours before going to bed can disrupt our sleep pattern. Avoid high-fat, overly spiced foods, alcohol and caffeine, close to bedtime. In addition to going to bed early, it

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Having a paste of soaked almonds and honey, two to three times a day will help in soothing a dry cough

make the bread whole wheat or whole grain. So specify that you want whole wheat bread. You will often find that your bread has whole-wheat flour as well as wheat flour – which is actually maida. But this is a normal practice, because whole wheat bread is usually made with some amount of wheat flour. Also you may find that the colour of the bread changes according to brand. This is because some brands use a little “caramel colouring”, to give the bread a dark shade of brown. u

Only for Ladies Fitness Place

is a good idea to switch off all lights, as this directly impacts the ability of the body to produce melatonin. The environment in the bed room can have an important bearing. Make every effort to reduce or eliminate the noise level, and the presence of lap-tops and TVs in the bedroom. Investing in a quality mattress and pillows can directly impact the quality of sleep – besides having an important additional benefit in terms of avoiding spondylitis.

Nature’s wonder foods of the week :

Foods high in Tryptophan are raw milk or cheese, yoghurt, organic soy milk, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, asparagus, nuts and seeds, mustard greens, potatoes, oats, beans and lentils, whole grains. To make tryptophan more effective, combine foods containing it with carbohydrate rich foods. The best foods to boost melatonin levels are : Whole grains – Fibre-rich foods like brown rice and quinoa. Berries and cherries – especially Raspberries, Strawberries and Cherries. Almonds, Sesame, Sunflower and Flax seeds are great natural sources. Bananas are a delicious sleep-time fruit. They also contain magnesium, which is a muscle relaxant. Chamomile tea is a mild sedative, that calms and relaxes – making it the perfect natural antidote for restless minds and bodies. Honey, dates and figs are – excellent options as natural desserts; as well as aids to a good night’s sleep. 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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n this article, we will cover types of building complexes, and the impact of auspicious and inauspicious construction. CHATUSHALA: CHATUSHALA is a complex built with doors and verandahs in all the four directions. It is called Sarvatobhadra. It is auspicious for temples and Raj-bhawans. Without a Gate in the West, it is called Nandavarta. If there is no door in the South, East or North, the buildings will be known as Vardhaman, Swastik and Ruchak respectively. TRISHALA: It is a complex of buildings in three directions. Without buildings in the North is called Dhanyak – it is auspicious for well-being, prosperity, and promotes the birth of male offspring. Without buildings in the East is called Sukshetra – it ensures long life, affluence, and endless fame. It destroys grief and sorrow. Without a southbound building block is called Vishal. It is devastating for peace and harmony, and results in deaths in the family – and creates a fear psychosis. Without construction in the West is named Pakshghan. It causes loss of friends, siblings, wellwishers and sons. Also creates fear of all sorts. DWISHALA: A complex comprising of two building blocks located in the South and West is called Dhandhanyaprad. It promotes well-being and male progeny. If built in the North and the West, it causes the wrath of the ruler, and fear from fire. Such a building complex is called Yamsurya. If construction is in the East and the North only, it is called Dand. It causes untimely and unnatural death of the owner. If located in the East and the South, it is known as Dhan. It causes fear of weapons, and defeat. If located in the East and the West is called Chulli. It causes death, widowhood to women, and fear from multi-dimensional sources. If it is in the North and the South, it causes constant fear. Such inauspicious complexes should not be raised. Wise people should never opt for Siddharth (eight

{ Surekha Waldia }

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n India, on one side we want to save the environment; and on the other we are mindlessly removing the native plants, and planting new species – and taking a pat on our back that we have done our bit for the environment. This is a paradox. In Gurgaon, there was a drive initiated last year by an NGO – to plant a million saplings during the monsoon season. The suggestion given, to accommodate some of these million saplings, was to remove fully-grown native kikar and babool trees from the nearby Aravalis, and to plant new varieties of saplings – to make Gurgaon a more 'beautified' and greener city. This whole drive was quite ironical. They wished to remove those fully grown trees, that are best fit to survive the dry and arid weather conditions of this re-

3–9 February 2012

B on V ivant

Vaastu In Building Construction

Matsya Puran specifies five categories of dwellings. A mansion should ideally have 64 pillars or pada, where devtas reside. The best dwelling for a ruler should have a frontage of 108 haath (one haath is from elbow tip to the farthest end of clenched fist). The remaining categories

Figures not mentioned above are not recommended, because they are inauspicious, disrupt peace and tranquility, cause health hazards, and create enemies. The height of roof is also significant for proper circulation of air, and entry of energy waves. The following measurements are recommended: 6’ Peaceful life. 8’ Brings prosperity. 10’ Princely life begins. 16’ Prosperity 17’ Progress. 20’ to 22’ Prosperity and happiness. 27’ to 28’. Affluence in abundance. 29-30' Multi-dimensional gains. Other heights are not favourable to peace, progress, health,

Dwishala - Chulli

Dwishala - Dhandhanyaprad

will be eight haath shorter each, in their order of precedence in the heircharchy. However, for all the five categories, length should be 1.25 times the width. Minimum width prescribed for the lowest type of house is 28 haath(hands). The height of the first floor should be a sixteenth part of its width, and four haath. Thereafter subsequent higher floors should be equal to 1/12 th of width. For convenience of readers I am quoting dimensions (width/ length) of rooms in a house in feet:

wealth or progeny – therefore must be avoided.

angular building). EKSHALA: A single building unit complex should be constructed with more open space in the East and North, and maximum construction in the South and West zones. Door and window openings are recommended in the East and North zones. Least openings should be planned for South and West zones.

Dimensions

Length/Width

6’ Auspicious. 8’ Glamourous life. 10’ Prosperous. 16’ Proliferation of wealth and progeny 20’ Happiness and joy everywhere. 21’to 30’ Good health, growth of wealth 31’ to 45’ Enormous wealth.

Construction

The following considerations must be kept in mind before commencing construction:  Correct size, direction and angles of the plot.  Proper preparations of architectural drawings.  Selection of auspicious Muhurt for Bhumi Poojan. The first digging should be done by the oldest man present – he could be a labourer. The oldest man symbolises long life of the proposed building. Dig a well/water storage tank in the North-east, before construction begins. The digging for the foundation should start in the following order:  North East zone;  North West zone;  South East zone; and  South West zone. The laying of foundation should be done in the

reverse order. Soon after poojan— prayers—a water source should be created. The well should not be dug in the energy line that connects the SW tip of the plot with the NE tip. The trenches should be dug from the North to the South, and East to West. Heavy construction material should be stocked in the SW zone of the plot. Septic tank should be in the North or North-West, or West of NorthWest only. Space left open in the North, East, or North-East brings peace and prosperity. Any depression in the South-West brings illness to the inhabitants. Besides, it restricts growth, and causes pecuniary problems. A higher South gives good health, wealth and fame. The South por-

Chatushal Sarvatobhadra

Trishal - Dhanyak

tion of the plot should be higher than the North; and the West portion higher than the East. At least 1/3 of the portion of walls on North, East and NE zones should have doors, windows and other openings – for better entry of lighting, air, energy and good luck. Open space should be given more towards the North and the East. Open space in the SouthEast and North-West should be equal. Avoid planting trees in the North-East corner. Heavy trees that are slow-growing and long-lasting must be grown towards the South, West and South-West directions. More windows must be given towards the East and North. Windows, openings and doors in the South and West directions must be avoided inauspicious waves and air enter from them. Toilets and stair case should

‘Plant A Tree, Save Our Soul? gion. There is a clear reason why kikar and babul are growing in this land. These plants grow where the moisture level is low; and their deep roots help in preventing soil erosion. They are also used as forage for the cattle. We should learn some lessons from the past of developed countries, where they experimented with such things – and are now facing the repercussions. Common gorse, originally a hedge plant in Scotland, was introduced in New Zealand for the same purpose. Gorse became New Zealand's most costly weed to control; and total eradication, with current technology, seems impossible. It is important that we go in for plantation drives – but in a

more thoughtful manner. We need to understand the topography and geographic conditions of the place where we want greenery. We should do some scientific research (eg. as to which plants are native to that area), set realistic and achievable targets, and then accordingly go for 'green' plantation drives. For example, one cannot plant Eucalyptus trees everywhere, because they are known

as Bio-drains – as they have the capacity to transpire eight times more water from the soil to the air, through their leaves. But they are perfect for areas where, with a rising water table, underground salts are coming up in the upper layer of soil and making it totally saline – which none of the agricultural crops can tolerate. An example of thoughtful, systematic 'go green' plantation was of Shisham—in the sixties and seventies—when canals were being laid in Sirsa region (Haryana). They have now grown into big beautiful trees. The primary alluvial soil of this area, along with a long summer growth season, is very suitable for Shisham. This technical and scientific analysis of the region, in that era, led to the

be preferably in the South, South-West and West Zones. Light points should be on the North and East walls. Two doors should never be facing each other. Front door must be larger than other doors – especially the exit door. In yesteryears, the villagers, even in mud houses, always had a strong, well-decorated main door. The slope of the ground and roof should be towards the North and East. Thus, at the top level, the highest points should be in the South and the West directions. Maximum ventilation should be in the East and the North. South should have none, and West can have partial ventilation. No window openings are recommended for the South and West zones. Balconies are recommended in the North and East only. A bore well/tank and underground tank may be located in the North and/North East. The 'elements' may be located in the following directions: North East for predominance of water; South East for predominance of fire; South West for predominance of earth; North West for predominance of wind. Thicker and higher compound walls in the South and West, and thinner/lower in the East and North should be planned. It is desirable to construct stone walls in the South and West zones. Heavy stores, main loads, almirah, cupboards, showcases and cabinet structures should be designed in the South and West. Some astrology theories recommend the following for flooring: NE White marble; NW Kota stone; SW Yellow stone; SE Pink stone. In Brahma Vaivart Puran, Lord Krishna directed Vishwakarma to use Padmaparag, Markat, Paaribhadra, Syamantak, Gandhak, Chandrakant, Sphatik, yellow-blackish and blue stones, and multi-coloured precious stones – for the construction of the Dwarika capital. It will therefore be appropriate to use crystals, chandeliers, coloured lights, mirrors, and flashy colours on the Northern and Eastern walls. u success of this project. We are enjoying the fruits today. If we continue with 'mindless' plantation drives, imbibing 'each one, plant one' just literally, we may be actually heading towards a natural disaster. We must do our homework properly, and be accountable for our actions. These activities are not a fad - as they have become of late. We need to understand the seriousness of the actions that we are taking. We need to realise, and make our children understand, the how and where—as much as the why—of 'go green'. It is about the right implementation, and then reaping the benefits from it. We should not be drawing another action plan 50 years from now, on how to clean-up what we have done today – which ironically will be executed by our children's children. u


A rt

 Contd from p 1

JIT KUMAR

3–9 February 2012

India Art Fair 2012

European galleries displayed some original Picassos and Chagalls, and some of the world’s leading artists were themselves present. Every few minutes, uninitiated art-viewers would unknowingly cross paths with some of the Van Goghs, Rembrandts and Botticellis of our current times – such as the ebullient Paris-Indian painters Sakti Burman, Maite Delteil, Viswanadhan; and the brilliant Greek-German Op-Art painter Jannis Markopoulos. All of them were caught up in lively conversation, or seated discreet-

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poetic rapture – in a classicallydistressed palette of pale pinks, blues and golds. Burman and his French artist wife Maite Delteil were to be seen all over the fair.  Perhaps the most noteworthy European artist on display was the dramatic  Jannis Markopoulos, Greece-born and Berlin-domiciled, who was present at the  Frida Project Gallery of  Berlin in Booth C-15. What immediately caught the eye in Jannis’s detailed photorealist canvasses was the presence of Cinema – from portraits of Scarlett Johannson with her Vermeer pearl-earring, to Andy Garcia as the brooding, intense

An International Art~Bonanza Rahul Arya, Rajeev Lochan and Trupti Patel. They had specially created artworks for AlM.F. Hussain Creativity, Vadhera Art Gallery ternatives, accordly – observant in brightly-lit, ing to a concept-note with the open gallery-booths.  beautiful statement: “The mind A vast range of Indian gal- of the sage, being in repose, leries were present – includ- becomes the mirror of the Uniing some good gallerists from verse, the speculum of all creaGurgaon – such as Gallery tion.   Sanskrit is the mother Alternatives from DT Mega- of all European languages. No Mall,  Nature Morte  Gallery books on earth exist that can from the Oberoi Gurgaon, match our Indian scriptures. and Art Alive of Sector 44.   In 1916, Mahatma Gandhi, in At Booth A-10, Manu Dos- his humble, soft-spoken way, aj of Alternatives displayed suggested self-criticism, mass a soulful spiritual collection education, abandonment of called THE SEEKERS – includ- greed and trust in God as the ing art by Raza, Shakti Maira, way to success, which is much needed today.” In keeping with Maite Delteil, with her painting such inspiring thoughts, Alternatives  depicted peaceful, lambent themes in varied media – from fine blue and green blownglass, to luminous Tantric forms on canvas. Peter Nagy was his usual quicksilver self at Nature Morte’s  Booth D-4, merrily displaying airbrushed westernised froufrou and gilded parakeets – like a scene from ‘The Bird-

Nature Morte, Oberoi Gurgaon’s Peter Nagy

Sculpture from London Art Gallery

Cage,’ – in European candy-colours and a commercial  funkyfun style. Nearby at Booth C-9, however, the erudite and radical art-specialist Herve Perdriolle, from Rue  Gay Lussac, Paris, struck a sharper and mellower contrast. Herve’s walls elegantly showcased the more authentic power and brilliance of India’s genuine Tribal Artists, with several profound tribal paintings from Mithila to Midnapur.  Indigo Blue Gallery of  Singapore’s presentation of colourful Kalighat-inspired catsculptures by Tapas Sarkar was a favourite booth for the young at heart. For those more seriouslyinclined, Aicon of New York and London displayed some powerful Souzas – as did Art Musings, Mumbai, and Dhoomimal

Manu Dosaj, Gallery Alternatives Gurgaon, with S.H. Raza’s work

Gallery, Delhi.  Some serious Souza Collection of Dhoomimal Lado Sarai Galleries were also represented – such and doomed Parisian paintas  Threshold   and   Latitude er Modigliani. In a quaint juxta28. The skilful Tamil painter V. position, the artist Lucian Freud Ramesh’s work at Threshold is depicted painting a Vermeer, was inspired by three Indian while on another wall hung a women-poet-saints from the 5th portrait of Andy Warhol. Frida to 14th centuries: Lal Ded, Akka Project was one of the best EuMahadevi, and Karaikalamma. ropean art-booths in terms of This interesting fusion of the display and layout. literary, spiritual, feminist, and As in all melas,  however, painterly was worth a careful there remained the problem of a viewing. dissipation of aesthetic focus; The ‘Indian-Botticelli’ of Par- with too much to absorb. Shoulis, Sakti Burman, was repre- der-rubbing, name-dropping sented by Art Alive at Booth F-8 and hustle-bustle are all distinct – with Burman’s quintessential aspects of commerce, rather dreamy Krishnas, cherubs and than creativity. u peacocks dancing in ethereal Artist, Writer, & Curator Sakti Burman, with his painting

Berlin Artist Markopoulos with his paintings


18

Fun In The Sun

Mama Mia

{ Shirin Mann / FG }

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s the harsh foggy winter days give way to bright sunny afternoons, everyone wants to be out – on their balconies or terraces; or in clubs or restaurants. Friday Gurgaon brings you some wonderful open-air joints – where you can have that perfect cozy afternoon. With Valentines Day just round the corner, these options might just make this Valentines a special one.

Mama Mia- The Bakery Cafe

The white wicker furniture, umbrella shades, the pleasant sound of the fountains, the warm sun accompanied by a cool breeze, and 90s popular music playing in the background – they sure make your dining experience memorable. The outdoor garden seating at the Mama Mia Cafe is popular amongst the corporates as well as the students; and the lunch hours in the winter season are generally busy with guests enjoying the amazing Mediterranean cuisine. Sidharth Kapur, Entrepreneur and a regular client says, “This place is perfect, to come and enjoy some chilled beer in

the sun. My friends and I come here at least once a week in these months—when it’s not too cold – to sit outside and enjoy the afternoons. Their sandwiches and burgers are excellent. ” Along with an extensive list of cakes and bakery items, the food at Mama Mia Cafe is very popular. Try their Feta Cheese Salad, the Classic Ceasers Salad, and the Pan Roasted Sea Bass Fillet. And for all you teetotallers, the fresh juices at the Cafe will definitely have you coming back. We loved the Apple, Cucumber and Kiwi Juice. Where: 32nd Milestone, off the NH8, Sector 15, Gurgaon Contact: 0124 4870432

A popular micro-brewery and a club, the Club Vapour offers a terrace that is a perfect setup for families to gather under the open skies. With cane furniture and a beautiful cabana set up, it has a terrace bar and open kitchen with Barbeque, Live Pasta counter, Tawa Counter, Egg preparation, and a spread of salads. There is also an authentic Italian wood fire pizza place where you can pick from a range of breads and Italian ingredients, to make your own pizzas. It all makes for a perfect Sunday Brunch on a lazy afternoon. Vapour’s delightful terrace is also open in

B on V ivant

the evenings – where you can have angeethees and oil heaters keeping you warm. Shikha Shah, Jewellery Designer says, “Vapour’s Sunday Brunches are excellent. There is something for everyone. While me and my husband enjoy our cocktails, our kids have a variety of juices to pick from. The food counter has almost everything – from Indian to Italian. I personally like the Tawa Counter, and my husband and kids enjoy their pizzas. The best time to come here is really anytime – it is a beautiful ambience, and the cabana seating takes you to a different place. I recommend it to all my friends.” Where: 2nd floor, MGF Mega City Mall, MG Road, Gurgaon Contact: 0124 4222313; +91 9582555608

Wokamama

Nested on the third floor of an unobtrusive complex in DLF Phase 3, this 150 seater

Asian cuisines. Sanya, General Manager Wokamama says, “We have beautiful outdoor seating, that is enjoyed by our customers – both during lunch hours as well as dinner. The weather is great these days, so people like having their lunch in the sun – and the evenings are quite nice to sit out too.” If it’s your first visit to the restaurant, try the Ebi Tempura and the Red Thai Curry. And make sure you have some space for their dessert, because the date pancakes are absolutely delicious. Priya Rai, Homemaker, says, “Wokamama is a family favourite. We love their outdoor seating, and always book the sheer covered seating. It’s pretty, and also gives you that privacy. This is the best time to come, and enjoy the yummy food sitting outside. In the summers, they have their sprinkle fans on, and its nice then too. My friends and I meet here quite often. I definitely recommend it.” So if you still haven’t checked out Gurgaon’s openair joints, or experienced outdoor dining, it’s time you get out there and enjoy a laidback lunch – or drinks with friends and family. u

Wokamama

Club Vapour

{ Bhavana Sharma }

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Club Vapour

JIT KUMAR

3–9 February 2012

olour psychology has its effect on children, and their natural instinctive feelings – and reveals a collective emotional, mental and physical response in them.  The impact of colours in their environment effects them on a daily basis, and triggers how they think, feel and react to the world around them. The ‘right’ choice of colours can increase their productivity, stimulate their mind and raise energy levels. Babies respond extremely well to colour therapy, in a variety of ways. If your baby is having problems with sleep, then yellow curtains and net curtains should not be used in his or her room – as these will not keep out the light. Simple colour changes can bring about wonders. Using a sufficient amount of blue in the baby’s room will create magic. Strong colours are not suited to babies of 0 to 3 months – and the usual colours used for their garments should be white, baby blue, pink or pastel shades (light yellow). Pink is an excellent colour for bonding, as it’s the colour of the heart chakra; so if bonding with your baby is difficult, surround yourselves with soft pink colours.  Do not dress your baby in black colour, as this can attract a lot of negative energies and negative emotions. Young children too have a sen-

Pan Asian restaurant offers a beautiful serenading open air terrace seating for 75 people – with a perfect blend of lounge and formal seating. A section covered with sheers is available for groups; while the indoor part of the restaurant opens to the formal, authentic Pan Asian seating – with low zens and seats. Apart from the breathtaking open air ambience, Wokamama has an array of select dishes – from Chinese, Thai, Japanese and other South East

Colour Mantras For Children sitivity to colour exposure; and it’s important that when they’re able to articulate the colour choices, parents should pay heed. If your older child is having sleeping problems, he/she could wear blue pajamas; or else you could use blue bed covers or curtains for the décor. Along with this, white, violet and some shades of green are also appropriate for the child’s nightwear. Even use of blue lampshades in his or her room will

bring in the soothing effect, for inducing healthy sleep patterns. When the children pick up colours unconsciously, there is holistic healing. If your child is feeling lethargic and pessimistic, the use of orange colour in clothes, furnishings and interiors will help him/her become more enthusiastic and cheerful towards life . Green too is a colour of harmony; and eating fruits like an orange and green apple could also do

the magic. If your child is feeling bullied by his peers, then adding some bright red will help him/her gain more confidence – and ability to defend. Children who face trouble with concentration and studying can use a lot of yellow in the study area; probably using a yellow covering table cloth can improve their focus. Placing small yellow and white quartz crystals on the study table will also enhance the energies and improve focus.  Yellow can make children bright and sunny, and get them interested in activities. However, do not paint their rooms yellow, as this can make them disoriented and lazy. If your child is feeling too vulnerable to express his or her feelings, using turquoise blue  would enhance their outlook; and it is a powerful healing colour. Green color  is ideally recommended for children’s rooms, as it  gives freshness, peace and increases brain power. A dash of orange colour in the creativity area can help boost his/her talents. As some people find indigo to be helpful for studying, it could be used as part of the décor for the child’s library or study room. If your child harbours the need to be unique and different, you can consider making him/her wear a little purple – as this will build up individualistic and strong opinions.

You can also check out ► Jolly Rogers, 10th floor, Time Tower, Near IFFCO Chowk, MG Road, Gurgaon ► Earth, Sector 15, SCO 10-12, behind 32nd Milestone, Gurgaon ► The Mozart Cafe, South Point Mall, DLF Phase 5, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

COLOUR CONSUMPTION (Violet) Fruits That Have A Soothing Effect On Frayed Nerves: Blackberries, Purple Broccoli Grapes (Red) Fruits That Can Overcome Inertia : Black Cherries, Red Berries, Plums , Red Peppers , Radishes (Orange) Fruits That Can Help Boost Appetite: Oranges, Melons, Carrots , Apricots , Pumpkins, Mangoes (Pink) Fruits That Can Help With Insomnia: Pomegrantes, Strawberries, Watermelons. (Yellow) Fruits To Aid Digestion: Bananas, Lemons , Pine Apple, Sweetcorn (Green) Foods To Feel Peaceful : Cabbage , Spinach, Broccoli (Blue) Foods For A Calming Effect: Blueberries, Blue Plums, Blackberries , Grapes Tarot Card Reader, bhavanasharma89@yahoo.comu


3–9 February 2012

Bon Vivant

19

Party Pooper { Manjula Narayan }

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For Budding Poets { Alka Gurha }

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hen we wish to express our innermost feelings, we are compelled to write poetry. Yes, poetry is all about feelings and emotions. It is like opening a window to our soul. The truth is that feelings and passion cannot be taught. They come and flow naturally. Most poets are compelled to write about nature: of sunrises and sunsets. Some others wish to write about love and longing. But in all cases the images that are evoked in our mind form the subject of our poetry. Once we are in synchronization with our thoughts and feelings, poetry begins to flow. So if we are writing about love, we visualize the person who has compelled us to write. We should be clear whether we are writing poetry for self, or for others to read. It is important to allow the reader to become a part of our thought process. We must write as often as we can; and take notes, so that whenever we feel inspired, the notes flow into poetry. And of course, in order to write poetry, we must read poetry. There are some techniques to writing a poem. Let us discuss what distinguishes great poetry from the average scribbling. 1. In poetry the basic rhythmic structure of a verse, or lines in a verse, is called a meter. 2. A single metrical line of poetry is called a Verse. Not all verse is poetry but certain sacred books like The Holy Bible have small verses. Verses can be Rhymed, Blank or Free. Rhymed verse has a discernible meter, and usually rhymes. Blank verse has a regular meter, but does not rhyme. And Free verse has no regular meter, and no rhyming. 3. It is not necessary that your poetry should rhyme. However if you want your poetry to rhyme, do not change your thought process for the sake of rhyming. The poetry should flow naturally, unhindered. Remember, the essence of any good poem is the thought behind it; and not the rhyming words. 4. Free verse has no form or rules. Such poems are like short pieces of prose, with intense imagery and feelings. Free verse poems have no rhyme scheme, or any particular structure. Robert Frost, the famous poet,

once said that writing free verse poetry was like playing tennis without a net. 5. Two or more lines of poetry can form one division of a poem, that becomes a stanza. The stanzas are normally of same length and pattern – to give a structured look. 6. Poetry comes in many different forms. A common form is – Sonnet. Sonnets have a certain rhyme pattern. Try reading the Shakespearean Sonnets, to get a better grasp. 7. Poetry is also based on Alliteration. Alliteration is similar sounding words at the beginning or the end of the lines. Like the tongue twisters: Betty Botta bought some butter; or Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. 8. Imagery and symbolism give special depth to poetry. Remember that our first poem does not have to be perfect. We just need to be ready to unlock our inner poet, and share our work with others. u

anuary is a month of beginnings; and I began mine with the odious task of party hosting. Now, there are lots of folk who enjoy entertaining, who excel at putting together a great menu, who have exquisite chinaware that draws ‘oohs’ of appreciation from the most discerning guest, and whose home is in a permanently immaculate state. I’m not one of those folk. My house always looks like it’s been hit by one of our famous summer aandhis; with lost socks nestling in corners, monthold newspapers obscuring the side tables, family photographs permanently askew, and a sofa set that looks like it has suffered the onslaughts of a teething puppy… though none exists. My collection of tableware is, to put it mildly, somewhat mismatched: tribal curry bowls made from gourd jostle for space with glazed turquoise china, dented steel plates, and a whole pile of chipped this-and-that. Then, I’m a slave to the domestic staff. I love eating, but I’m a nincompoop in the kitchen – the sort who might absentmindedly put salt in a cup of coffee! This means I’m always sweet to the maid, because I live in terror that she might abandon me – and move in with the neighbouring memsahib. Chetan Bhagat recently wrote a long and sanctimonious piece about how the help should be treated. I could give him some tips. I treat them better than I treat my awfully wedded spouse. Anyway, one day, late last year, the afore-mentioned spouse swung through the door and announced that he had invited a bunch of people for 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).

New Year’s bash. Remembering that the maid had just left for her year-end break, I almost swooned like a lady in a Victorian novel. I could hear the sound of my dreams of a quiet New Year’s eve, quaffing someone else’s premium alcohol, crashing in a valley of despair. “But, but, but,” I blubbered, “How will I manage?” “Find a way,” the man of the house muttered, “I’ve already sent out texts to everyone”. Eventually, the big night dawned. In preparation, the progeny, rather unexpectedly, spent the day retrieving socks, rearranging the furniture, and even removing smudges of pigeon poop from the balcony plants. The itinerant cook was, ah, impressed upon to do the kitchen duties; while I attempted to be sparkling company. I succeeded mostly, thanks to a very polite gentleman called Mr Johnny Walker – but hey, that’s not belittling my achieve-

ment. My sole brave endeavour in the kitchen was the simple strawberries in cream, which I had developed a taste for in Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra. “Very Wimbledon,” someone said appreciatively, proving yet again that if you pass enough alcohol around and provide enough finger foods, everything tastes like ambrosia. After the last guest had left, the esteemed spouse turned to me. “We did it!” he said, while I wondered about the use of that pronoun. I let it pass. I needed to get a move on -- I was scheduled to spend the first few hours of the brand new year washing a mound of vessels. Agatha Christie once quipped that she got her best ideas while doing the dishes. I’m a writer too. The only idea that came to me at the kitchen sink was to pray fervently—to whichever deity deigned to listen—that the maid return, and that I not be doomed to labour in the dreaded kitchen. u

Laughing St

ck

Phrases used in office interviews and what they really mean! Phrase: I’m extremely adept at all manners of office organization. Meaning: I’ve used Microsoft Office. Phrase: I’m honest, hard-working and dependable Meaning: I pilfer office supplies. Phrase: I take pride in my work. Meaning: I blame others for any mistakes. Phrase: I’m personable. Meaning: I give lots of unsolicited personal advice to co-workers. Phrase: I am very adaptable. Meaning: I’ve changed jobs a lot. Phrase: I am on the go. Meaning: I’m never at my desk. Phrase: I’m highly motivated to succeed. Meaning: The minute I find a better job, I’m outta here.

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


20

3–9 February 2012

L istings

Of Offshoring, Gurgaon, And Leadership { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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espite the current slowdown in the global economy, the IT and BPO industry in India will continue to grow. Also, their model will become the way to do business in many industries, believes Nitin Seth, Country Head, of Fidelity International’s offshore operations in India. However, the Indian BPO industry will now have to move forward, and adopt a more knowledge-driven approach, to continue as a world leader in this sector, believes Seth. He has been associated with this sector for last sixteen years – as a senior manager, consultant and entrepreneur. In a freewheeling interview with Friday Gurgaon, Seth tells us, how India will continue to be a leader in the offshoring industry, of the domination of Gurgaon as an IT hub, how this city can be developed further into a Silicon Valley kind of destination, his views about leadership within an organisation and society, and his faith in Brand India. As Indian outsourcing industry has attained critical mass in terms of scale of operations and expertise, the country will continue to attract business from abroad. Seth however believes that the time has come for the industry to grow itself out of its current fundamental propositions – cost arbitrage and  scale of operations. “It is time the offshoring industry drives knowledge, and moves into the intellectual property mode. We have to develop expertise for performing complex jobs, research, analytics – and become a part of the entire process of an organization,” he says. This is what Seth achieved at the Mckinsey Global Knowledge Centre. What was a back office for the global operations of Mckinsey was turned, under him, into an innovation centre – with 600 employees that became a business hub for the entire organisation. Secondly, Seth believes the IT/BPO industry has to become more broad-based, and reach tier II and III cities, to offset higher costs and reach out to fresh talent. “Currently the BPO industry is a big city phenomenon; but it has to spread out across the country,” he says; adding that the next couple of years will see a shakeout. There could be consolidation and segmentation, as the larger players, he says, will grow bigger – but the smaller players will face difficulties to scale up. Despite the epitaph being prepared for the Captives (In House Outsourcing Centres), Seth believes that these will continue to remain a relevant part of the industry; and become more integral with the parent industries. “The captives that drive innovation and intellectual property functions will emerge as a source of competitive advantage for the organisations,” opines Seth.

The challenge for the Indian industry, he predicts, is that despite the growth, global organisations will continue to look for, and develop, other offshoring options – to reduce their dependency on India. Despite the gloom that surrounds Gurgaon today because of the poor state of infrastructure, Seth predicts the Millennium City will continue to be the outsourcing capital of not only India, but the entire world. “Gurgaon will continue to remain an important player in the BPO sector; but the government and the city must resolve the issues faced by the industry at the earliest,” he says. The high cost of operation in Gurgaon, infrastructure bottlenecks, and lack of transport facilities are proving detrimental to the industry, observes Seth. He also Heads the Haryana Chapter of NASSCOM. “There is lack of local employable talent – but we are working with the State government to find out ways to resolve the issues; and the response from the state authorities has been very positive,” says Seth. Another interesting idea put forth by the industry, to resurrect Gurgaon as a global

Nitin Seth - Profile India Country Head, Fidelity International Nitin has over 16 years experience as a Senior Manager, Consultant and Entrepreneur. He is the Managing Director and Country Head for Fidelity International’s Offshore operations in India. In addition, he is responsible for the company’s global location strategy, and footprint development. Nitin joined Fidelity in June 2010 from McKinsey, where he was the Director of McKC, McKinsey’s Global Knowledge Centre in India. Nitin led McKC for 8 years, and developed it into the pioneer in delivery of hi-end research and analytics out of India, and the largest and most valuable knowledge

Gurgaon will continue to remain an important player in the BPO sector; but the government and the city must resolve the issues faced by the industry at the earliest business destination, is to develop the Gurgaon-Manesar Urban Complex (GMUC), into another Sillicon Valley. “We have initiated talks with the government of Haryana, as to how the IT/BPO industry can drive inclusive development in the State. We are also working towards improving the quality of education, and related infrastructure in Haryana,” informs Seth. Another way of spreading the growth story would be to move to smaller towns and cities of Haryana, and give an impetus to local industry and growth, he says. While predicting a great future for the industry, Seth admits that India will have to set its house in order, to ensure that development takes place across hub for McKinsey. Before joining McKC, Nitin was a consultant in McKinsey’s Delhi office. Nitin left McKinsey for two years (from April 2000 to April 2002) to be an entrepreneur; when he set up ActiveKarma Ventures, an Internet company focused on offering innovative health and lifestyle solutions. Nitin is passionate about the development of the IT and BPO industry. He chairs the NASSCOM forum for Captives in NCR, and is the Co-Chair of the NASSCOM Northern Regional Council. Nitin holds an MBA (major in Finance and Operations) from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, where he graduated first in his class. He also holds an undergraduate degree in engineering (B.Tech) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

regions and social classes. On what he feels is holding India back from attaining its full potential, he says, massive corruption that is inhibiting the system, the society, and the people. “Corruption is all-pervasive, and it is not only in the public domain – but also encompasses the private sector and the society. The Anna Hazare movment has played an important role in bringing this issue to the fore, and forced government to take some action on the issues,” says Seth. He is also not concerned whether Team Anna would be able to deliver India from corruption; but for him Anna Hazare has done yeoman duty for the country. “I think passionately about the country, and I am thankful to him that this nation is now thinking about how to get rid of this menace,” he says. He is also happy that the this anti-corruption movement youth have galvanized the youth into action. “This GenNext is great news for the country. Centuries of foreign subjugation, and past decades of limited economic means, had sucked out the self-belief and spirit from our national character. The recent generations have worked very hard, but perhaps not got their place in the sun. However, the tide is turning.  The GenNext knows no fear. They have ambition and self-belief, and just go for it.  And, this is not just about cricket.  Look around us.  We can see the influence of this generation in the workplace, and the society around us.  Over the past few days, we have been fortunate to see the sparking of the remarkable “India Against Corruption” movement.” He is quite enthused by the turn of events. When asked about how he himself practices leadership in daily life, Seth says that it is all about giving. “It is not about yourself. It is about others. How do you make a difference around you? You have to focus, and go beyond the ego,” he asserts. I have devised a formula for leadership. It has many elements. Cause – identify and

champion a cause or vision that makes a real difference; Careleadership or vision is not about your own dream, but touching the silent dreams of others; Commitment – you can inspire others when you are inspired yourself; Communication – connect with people and get your message across; Character – all your great work as a leader can be undone in a single moment of indiscretion. All this sums up my idea of leadership, and I follow it religiously. In addition to an inspired leadership, there is a need to balance the various facets of life that – include the spiritual and the material. “My broader goal is to learn continuously, and develop my self potential – to make a difference to the society, to the company, and the country as well. In addition I always strive to live a true life, that encompasses performing the right actions.” In a country like India, that is full of traditions and wisdom passed down the ages, Seth believes learning is a continuous process. “My stint at Mckinsey was a great learning experience, as I understood the importance of giving. In this process, not only id others grow, but I also developed into a better leader and human being”, he says. Setting up his own venture and turning entrepreneur also taught him a lot of lessons. “When I set up my own venture, I realised that things cannot always be controlled. There are things that you can do, and several  that you can't; but one has to find the fine thin line between one's passions, unique talent, and the service one is giving to society,” says Seth. He prefers being an intrapreneur, as he is more in control in a large organisation like Fidelity, where he has been given the freedom to pursue his ideas and ventures. Seth, who is an Alumni of IIM, Lucknow and IIT, Delhi says that the time spent in these institutions was a great learning experience – and he made hundreds of friends there. “At IIT Delhi, I was into extra-curricular activities and sports, and that helped me make a lot of friends. It was a great time, and learning was good; but I think I should have given more time to academics,” he rues. What Seth missed out at IIT Delhi in terms of studies, he says, he made up at IIM, Lucknow – where he topped all the semesters, to make amends. “I worked hard at studies, and my friends were surprised by the change in priorities; but I think that happened for the good,” he asserts. He however gives great credit to sports like volleyball, basketball and football, for bringing out the man in him; as he was a very shy personality in his childhood. “Life is all about confidence, and sports gave me that. I have become what I am by playing sports,” he concluded. u


G lobal 21

3–9 February 2012

Eiffel Turns 125: It Was Not Love At First Sight W

hen work began on the Eiffel Tower, on January 26, 1887, many Parisians were far from enamoured – describing it as a useless monstrosity that robbed the French capital of its beauty. But as the Paris landmark marks its 125th anniversary, such reservations have long been forgotten. Built between 1887 and 1889, as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle - a world fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution - the tower was originally meant to stand for 20 years; after which time it was to be dismantled. However, the wrought iron lattice tower, located on the Champ de Mars, survived – thanks to its value for telecommunications. And went on to become one of the world's most popular monuments – attracting millions of visitors each year. Nicknamed "la dame de fer" (the iron lady), the Eiffel Tower has inspired singers, poets, painters and filmmakers; while miniature Eiffel Tower souvenirs sit in millions of households around the globe. Designer Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) could never, in his wildest dreams, have imagined that his creation would become such an icon, when he hoisted the French flag on the monument – on its completion. Standing at a height of 300.65 metres, the tower assumed the mantle of the tallest man-made structure in the world; and immediately became the main attraction at the Exposition Universelle. Concerned citizens, including some artists, cursed Eiffel's creation, calling it a "monstrosity" and a "disgrace". A committee was formed, to campaign for the removal of the structure. Initially

Friso Gentsch

{ Ansgar Haase / Paris / DPA }

IRON LADY: The Tower marks the 125th anniversary of the start of construction.

due to be dismantled in 1909, the 7,300ton steel tower's salvation came with the telecommunications revolution – and its usefulness as a relay for telegraphy and radio signals. The tower was allowed to remain after the expiry of the original 20-year permit; and it was from here that France's first public radio programme was broadcast in 1921. The Eiffel Tower came under threat again during World War Two, when the French army considered partially demolishing it, to prevent it from being used for communications purposes by Adolf Hitler's invading German army. The tower survived, however. Hitler ordered Paris military governor Dietrich von Choltitz to demolish the tower; along with the rest of the city, on his withdrawal – but the gen-

eral disobeyed the order. Following the liberation of Paris, the head of the Paris fire brigade climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to hoist the French tricolour. The public's fascination with the Eiffel Tower is as strong today as it was over a century ago. Its silhouette also varies, depending on the weather; with the upper part of the structure disappearing from view on cloudy days. The Eiffel Tower is now 324 metres high, due to the addition of an antenna in 1957. When temperatures rise, it can increase in height by up to 18 centimetres – as the metal expands. The Eiffel Tower also lights up every day of the year - from sunset – for five minutes every hour. No less than 20,000 light bulbs turn it into a glittering object, that has tourists gasping in wonder. Not surprisingly, the famous structure has become a favoured location for death-defying stunts. In 1989, to cel-

ebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit walked on a wire – strung from the Chaillot Palace across the River Seine, to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. A mountain biker also has conquered the structure's 1,300 steps on his bike. More tragically, a Norwegian died in 2005, when he tried to parachute from the Eiffel Tower. In the last couple of years, the tower has faced several bomb threats—and resultant evacuations—although explosives have never been found. Despite such concerns, more than 7 million people visited the Eiffel Tower's viewing platforms in 2011 - a new record. There are plenty of plans for what can be done with the tower in the future. One engineering group, for instance, has proposed attaching 600,000 plants to the metal structure, to make the Eiffel Tower look like a giant tree! u

Free Ride For Lucky Melbourne Bus Drivers { Sid Astbury / Sydney / DPA }

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apitalism has turned on the charm. A Melbourne bus company owner has shared his wealth with the workers. Grenda Corporation founder Ken Grenda was dubbed Australia's best boss, after his 1,800 staff learned they had shared 15 million Australian dollars (16 million US dollars), from the sale of the company. Some thanked heaven and wept with joy, when an average of 8,500

Australian dollars showed up in their accounts. Others rang in to report what they thought must have been a payroll or banking error, the Herald Sun reported. "A business is only as good as its people, and our people are fantastic," 79-year-old Grenda said. "We have had people here who are second generation; and one fellow has been in the same job for 52 years." Even better: Grenda has won from the new owners an undertaking that all staff will be kept on. u

STANDING TALL: The 634-metre Tokyo Sky Tree, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest tower, will open in May

{ Takehiko Kambayashi / Tokyo / DPA }

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he world's tallest tower, Tokyo Sky Tree, is set for opening in Asakusa area, in May 2012. Officials and business people say they are hoping for a big economic boost from the tower, and the adjacent shopping complex. The 634-metre tower was certified in November by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest. The new skyscraper, for digital terrestrial broadcasting, surpassed in March the height of China's Canton Tower, a 600-metre broadcast and sightseeing tower. Guinness named the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, as the world's tallest structure. Sachiko Fuke, a public relations official at Tobu Tower Sky Tree Co, said 25 million people are expected to visit the tower and the complex annually – and the company believes the facilities “will contribute significantly to the area's economy.” Tanaka and Haruo, former construction workers, said they have lived on the streets for 10 years, in the central district – known for traditional crafts that help draw in tourists, low-paying jobs, and its homeless. While advancing a redevelopment project, local government officials “keep sweeping homeless people out of the areas without providing accommodation for them,” said Mitsuo Nakamura, the leader of a labour group that supports the homeless. The local government is not driving

Takehiko Kambayashi

Tokyo Sky Tree

Tokyo Sky Tree – No Shelter For Homeless

UPROOTED: Haruo has lived on the streets of Tokyo for two decades; and now government officials are trying to drive him away

homeless people away, Shuji Sato, senior staff at Taito city office, said. The office asks homeless people "to go to selfsupport facilities, so that they can look for a job," Sato said. The office also gets older ones to apply for welfare benefits, Sato added. Like Haruo and Tanaka, many of the older homeless people in Tokyo used to be day labourers, working for construction companies without fringe benefits – “to help build the foundation of this country after World War II,” Nakamura said. “Once it was done, they were dumped.”u


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3–9 February 2012

Being Elizabeth II { Anna Tomforde / London / DPA }

half a million people subscribe to the royal household’s Facebook page, while 300,000 follow the Twitter feed. But the queen’s ability to move with the times goes far beyond keeping up with the latest technology, according to a number of recentlypublished biographies to mark her Jubilee. In his book, the Diamond Queen: Elizabeth II and Her People, author and journalist Andrew Marr argues that, “under her watchful eye, the monarchy has been thoroughly modernized, and made as fit for purpose in the 21st century.” Bowing and curtseying, says Marr, are now no more than signs of “simple politeness”, as the monarchy has responded to challenges to become a “continually selfinventing institution.” British historian Sarah Bradford, in her new book Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times, wrote: “Our world has changed more in her lifetime than in any of her predecessors’. The queen has remained a calm presence at the centre, earning the respect of monarchists and republicans.” A new biography by US author Sally Bedell Smith, Elizabeth the Queen, has won praise for “bringing to life one of the world’s most fascinating and enigmatic women.” u

T

to the throne. Although surrounded by traditions and customs, the Queen has kept up with the latest trends, helped by her grandchildren, insiders report. In the six decades of her rule, the queen has seen the advent of popular colour television, mobile phones and the internet. When email technology was in its infancy, the Queen became the first monarch to send an electronic message, in 1976. She is now reported to have a BlackBerry, and a number of iPods. The royal family launched its own website in 1997, and the annual Christmas address can be viewed on YouTube – which also proved a hit during last year’s royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Between 2009 and 2010, the Queen strode into the social media sphere, and allowed aides to create a Facebook page and a Twitter account. More than

The Cryosphere Today

he closest most Britons will come to catching a private glimpse of the Queen, is perhaps on unofficial newspaper photographs – showing the 85-year-old monarch astride a horse, in a headscarf and brightlycoloured riding boots. Readers may be informed that - just like Helen Mirren in the award-winning film, The Queen - the monarch had taken to the wheel of her Range Rover, to drive herself to the stables. The enigma that surrounds Queen Elizabeth II is, partly, due to her being an intensely private person; who balances her invariably well-rehearsed moments in the public eye, with her private passions of horse breeding, riding, and being with her Corgi and Labrador dogs. Despite the glamour of her official role, her private frugality and hatred of waste are legendary, a trait royal observers have attributed to her personal experience of World War II, and the austerity of the postwar years. Her sense of duty was instilled in her from an early age, by the example of her father, King George VI to whom she was very close. It was his premature death on February 6, 1952, that brought the young Princess Elizabeth

The Ice In The Tale { Gopal Panicker }

I

n 2007, Al Gore and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a UN group) shared the Nobel Peace prize. Why did they get it? Gore and the IPCC had been propagandizing about manmade Global Warming for years. In the summer of 2007, the Arctic sea ice (floating ice) reached the lowest area covered, since regular satellite photos have been available. This convinced the Norwegian parliament, who award the prize, that Gore and IPCC were right. What will they do now, when the ice is making a comeback? In this piece, only the ice will be discussed – since it is the crux of the argument. The two polar regions are very different. Antarctica is a continent surrounded by the ocean; the Arctic is an

ocean, mostly surrounded by land. The best place to view pictures of the polar regions is an internet site called ‘The Cryosphere Today’. This is maintained by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. They have good pictures, going back to 1980. The pictures are supplied mostly by NASA. They also have graphs of the sea ice area in both hemispheres, and the combined worldwide area. Remember both UIUC and NASA are propagandists for global warming – this is their own information turning against them. If you examine the pictures and graphs, you will find that there is no problem with the southern hemisphere.The Antarctic ice, both on land and sea, is very healthy. In fact, the sea ice area has been slightly above the long term average in recent years. So the

problem exists only in the northern hemisphere. The northern sea ice area reached a low in the summer of 2007; it recovered slightly after that, and just touched the average area in the winter of 2010. The summer of 2011 saw a low that was the second lowest after 2007. Since then it has been freezing fast – and is just a shade below the long term average. If you take the combined worldwide sea ice area, it is already above the long term average – since there is a slight surplus in the south. It is very likely that by the end of this northern winter, the sea ice area will be well above the long term average. Take a look at the land area covered by ice and snow in the northern hemisphere. It comprises Russia, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, Alaska, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Tibet; parts of USA, China, Europe, Japan, and Korea. Then there are mountainous areas – like the Himalayas, Karakoram, Alps, Caucasus, and the Rockies. There is more land under ice and snow in the northern hemisphere. Does this look like a warming planet? We have satellite pictures only for the last few decades. There is anecdotal evidence of a dramatic retreat of northern sea ice in 1919. Then, the coal shipping season from west Spitzbergen (now Svalbard) ports went up, from 3 months to

G lobal

Prince Philip, 90, Is The Queen’s Tower Of Strength { Anna Tomforde / London / DPA }

B

ritain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who marks the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne next week, could not carry out her considerable workload without the support of her 90-year-old husband, Prince Philip, their grandson has said. Confirming the long-held assumption that the Duke of Edinburgh, to whom the queen has been married for 64 years, is her “rock” when it comes to fulfilling her official duties, Prince Harry said: “I don’t think that she could do without him, especially when they’re both at this age.” The queen turns 86 in April. Harry’s remarks, published by the BBC Tuesday, came ahead of the screening next

week of a three-part TV series to mark the queen’s Diamond Jubilee on February 6. Harry, 27, the younger son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, also seemed to allude to temporary difficulties in the royal marriage when he said: “Regardless of whether my grandfather seems to be doing his own thing, sort of wandering off like a fish down the river, the fact is he’s there.” Prince Philip suffered a heart scare over the Christmas holiday, when he had a stent fitted to clear a blocked artery. He has since resumed his public duties. The royal couple are set to embark on a round trip of Britain in April, to mark the anniversary; as well as being at the centre of a weekend of lavish Jubilee celebrations planned for early June. u

Mistress Of The River { Anna Tomforde / London / DPA }

A

spectacle worthy of a Canaletto painting will be laid on, to celebrate the 60year reign of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II this summer – as a flotilla of 1,000 boats sails through London. The spectacular flotilla - something not seen on the river Thames since the reign of Charles II some 350 years ago, is the centrepiece of the Diamond Jubilee pageant in June. The 11-kilometre procession, to reflect Britain’s maritime heritage, will feature historic vessels, the “little ships” that sailed to Dunkirk in World War II, steamboats, dragon boats, barges, river buses and passenger ships. It will also include ships provided by Commonwealth nations Australia and Canada, organizers said. More than 1.5 million people are expected to watch, as the river is “reclaimed as a royal route” - in an event inspired by an 18-century painting by Venetian master Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto. The Queen and Prince Philip will travel on the royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, 7 months. This ‘warm’ period lasted till about 1950. During the next 30 years the world went through a cool phase. The ‘climate scientists’ of the time were predicting the next ice age. When the next warm phase began around 1980, the IPCC and others got all excited, and started talking about man-made global warming. This phase is now over. We can look forward

from where the queen will be “seen by her subjects,” from an elevated platform, said Chief Adrian Evans. Bells housed in a floating bell tower will ring a quarter peal during the procession, which will be answered by peals from churches along the route. A mix of classical music, regional British folk songs and military marches will be played. The costs have been put at 12 million pounds (18 million dollars), which will be covered by private sponsors. A Jubilee Lunch and numerous street parties will be another highlight of the celebrations, which take place over a long weekend from June 2 to 4. In other activities to mark the Jubilee, the Queen and Prince Philip are set to tour all parts of the United Kingdom – from April, while the younger generations of royals will be despatched around the world to visit Commonwealth nations. On March 20, the queen will address both houses of Parliament, to mark her Jubilee. A Thanksgiving Service in St Paul’s Cathedral will be held at the close of the celebrations, on June 5. u to a cooling phase for about 30 years. It is good to be concerned about our environment. This is the only planet we have. But we should make reasoned decisions and judgements. There is strong pressure from ‘environmentalists’ to spend billions of dollars a year to mitigate a non-potent, if not a non-existent, problem. It seems all about money. u


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3–9 February 2012

Trade In E-Cigarettes Booming C

oncern is rising over the use of electronic cigarettes - or e-cigarettes - that produce an aerosol mist for inhaling rather than tobacco smoke and are used by many smokers to help kick the habit. The small devices generally contain a rechargeable battery and an atomizer for vaporizing a liquid intended to simulate some of the pleasures of smoking without the harmful effects. The potential risks involved and the precise contents of the liquids, along with their side-effects have been little researched. However, warnings are becoming increasingly loud, leading some countries to ban the devices. “Consumers should be able to rely on a product that is safe from a health viewpoint and that is by no means certain in the case of the e-cigarette,” Martina Poetschke-Langer of the DKFZ German cancer research centre says. She cautions that lessons should be drawn from the mistakes of the past when promoting a new product. “The standard cigarette

Marcus Brandt

{ Yuriko Wahl-Immel / Berlin / DPA }

A woman smokes an e-cigarette (file picture, January 26, 2011 in Hamburg, Germany). Critics claim the electronic devices are a health threat and should be outlawed.

caused millions of deaths over the course of the last century and would never have been allowed if we had known a hundred years ago what we know now,” she says. The precise legal status of ecigarettes is far from clear. Many US doctors back the device as an aid to stopping smoking, but across the border in Canada, the federal health authorities have

come out against them. The British body Cancer Research UK sees them as safer than real cigarettes and possibly useful in breaking smoking dependence. Germany’s 16 states have taken differing approaches. “Things could be starting to move here. The states are talking about how to proceed in unison,” Poetschke-Langer says. But the trade

is booming, with consumers in states where e-cigarettes are banned simply ordering them over the internet. Barbara Steffens, health minister in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where they are banned, notes that, “Not everything on the market has been licensed and tested.” In her view, the liquids contain levels of nicotine that are so high that they need to be classified as medications and thus fall under the stringent provisions of the medications act. Many questions remain. The e-cigarettes contain widely varying amounts of nicotine, which is a stimulant and relaxant, and is also highly addictive, along with aromas like chocolate-caramel and liquorice. Consumer Alexandra Funck says she is aware of the controversy. “E-cigarettes don’t contain all that muck. Sure, they’re not healthy, but they’re less harmful,” says the 42-year-old from Dusseldorf who is using the devices to quit smoking. “You also don’t have the

butts and the ash. Your clothes don’t stink and you don’t irritate others,” said Funck, who is angry at the ban in her state of North Rhine-Westphalia. “Then you should ban normal cigarettes or sell them only through the pharmacies.” While the producers insist their product is much less harmful than ordinary cigarettes, German doctors are not so sure, pointing to a study that reveals harmful effects on the bronchial passages. They blame the propylene glycol, an anti-freeze agent contained in the liquid, which makes up 90 per cent of the inhaled vapour. Poetschke-Langer says the e-cigarette is likely to be just as addictive as the ordinary kind and notes that there is no good evidence that they assist in stopping smoking. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found carcinogenic substances like nitrosamines in the liquid, and there is little clarity on whether there might be effects on “passive smokers” in the immediate environment of the e-smoker. The product is banned in Norway, Turkey, Switzerland and even in China, where it was invented some 10 years ago. There are strict controls in Denmark, Canada and Austria, and the European Commission is probing the health effects.u

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G -scape JIT KUMAR

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Friday Gurgaon, February 3-9, 2012