Issuu on Google+

20-26 December 2013

Vol. 3 No. 18  Pages 24  ` 7

For More Information Call- 9711740633

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014


02

20-26 December 2013

S pecial F eature PRAKHAR PANDEY

The New (Cyber) Hub

Gurgaon Haat (INTACH)

PRAKHAR PANDEY


C over S tory

20-26 December 2013

T

Judge With Care

wo judgements of the Supreme Court (SC), coming within a day of each other, have vividly shown our middle-class extreme-path relationship with this supreme of our courts. The ‘No More Lal Batti’ judgement, which seemed to target the many self-appointed ‘dignitaries’, was loudly cheered; the ‘Reintroduction of Sec 377 and consequent re-criminalization of gay sex’, which seemed to target the LGBT community, was roundly jeered. The point being made is beyond just these judgements. When we are happy with any Supreme Court ruling, we believe the Court can do no wrong; but when it impacts us, the SC becomes a villain. We clearly cannot only like what rulings and orders suit us, and shrilly take on the ones that ‘hurt’. It’s time we behaved a little more responsibly on our supreme judgements, lest we allow even the Supreme Court to become ‘breaking news’ cannon fodder. We would then have much to pay; this may not sink in immediately, like the Emergency… but pay we will.

Our Liberal Social Agenda Sec 377 has been in the news lately. Gay sex and marriage has challenged societies around the world, and even the developed (liberal?) world is not in unison on this. Did the SC prefer to rule on a legal technicality because it wanted Parliament to decide on a 152-year-old law – a Parliament that has fought shy of this for ever and ever. This was probably the fourth time it was returned to the Courts. Or did SC fear that a liberal judgement would set a precedent for other ‘social/liberal causes - e.g. for the institution of marriage and gay marriage, for live-ins, for adoptions, for the children of gays tomorrow? Would live-in couples, or even man-man and woman-woman couples be defined as parents tomorrow? Can we allow any parent(s) to impact the future of their (own or adopted) child’s future in society? Most ruling party members, as well as the principal opposition, are happy with the SC verdict. They do not want to lose the conservative vote, the minorities’ vote. Congress could have rescinded the Act any time. It waited for the SC – just like they all will wait for the Babri verdict again. They would allow SC to do the tough and ‘dirty’ work – and take credit accordingly. The ruling party needs to stand up and govern – be counted; have the courage to take tough decisions – esp. unpopular ones; have the courage to pass an Ordinance, repealing Sec 377. ‘Tear’ it up (no, not at a press conference) and say, “I have taken charge”.

The PMs, the Cabinets, the Parliament and the Legislatures have proved quite inept in ensuring some basic amenities to the citizens, even after 66 years of Independence. The bureaucracy seemingly cannot, or will not, take the politicians to task. The Police - even the CBI - and the lower courts have been rendered quite ineffective. Some High Courts and the Supreme Court are our last refuge…our last resort…our last port of justice. By ridiculing, or allowing some lawyers (itching for it) to ridicule, the Supreme Court, we probably club our own foot, be hoist on our own petard. Some of this is a legacy starting from the 70s, when Parliament (or just the PM and family?) decided to protect its decisions (including new laws) from review by the judiciary by amending the Constitution. It has now almost come full circle, with people cheering any ruling that ‘takes on’ the Establishment. The extent of corruption today, and especially so in the face of acute food price rise and poor civic governance, has just broken the citizens’ backs.

of the PIL (Public Interest Litigation) has been most helpful in this endeavour. This has also been the time when civil society activists have taken centre (and media) stage on many an occasion. In frustration at times, the SC has tried to shape policy and even directed State agencies – to ensure that they enforce the laws and correct governance failures. In this role it has almost taken on the mantle of the custodian of the country – at least of the Rights of its less privileged citizens. This has led to the charge – mainly convenient – by mainly politicians that the SC is not working within the ‘separation of powers‘ as envisaged in the Constitution. Does the SC wait interminably and continue to observe prolonged injustice to millions; an injustice that has ostensibly led to the increasing spread of ‘Maoist’ unrest? Why should the Courts not help correct festering aberrations and shortcomings in society? Should poor implementation and enforcement by the politicians mean that even the High and Supreme Courts should abandon the pursuit of rights and welfare?

The SC has played an ‘activist’ role for a few decades now – especially in matters relating to social and economic concerns. The concept

The SC has been strict in checking many abuses of the Law. Decades ago it took direct decisions impacting the ‘environment’ of the Capital -

like the relocation of hazardous industries and introduction of CNG buses and autos, to help reduce vehicular air pollution. It has continued to be a crusader against deforestation, and for the prevention of ecological destruction. High profile interventions have been for the Ganges River and the Taj Mahal. The Court also ruled for immediate medical attention for accident victims, even in ‘police’ cases; for proper handling of women accused and prisoners; for improvement of conditions in protection homes; for banning bonded labour; for ensuring entitlements to the needy – of food, clean air and working conditions; for protection against discrimination; for ensuring compensations for unlawful detention, custodial torture, extra-judicial killings etc. But, side by side, old scourges, outlawed for centuries, are still practiced – like Sati, no widow remarriage, child marriage and untouchability. The new scourge is of course Corruption. One shudders to think what would have been the status and consequences, if the Supreme Court had not intervened in these and so many other cases. Ironically, but perhaps not unexpectedly, the State continues to flout many of the rulings, with impunity! On the other hand, in many cases even Supreme justice is being delayed…and

so denied. Not only are many legal cases pending for long, even PILs are piling up – maybe defeating their very purpose. Why is there little sign of activism from the High Courts? Since the Supreme Court seems to bat for the Capital only, why is it not able to ensure activism through High Courts in every State? Surely the citizens would completely back such a move. It would be as important an initiative, f not more, than the Lokpal, as Courts would then adjudicate and review all matters – civil and criminal - and not just corruption. The Punjab & Haryana High Court seems too far, and seems to do too little, for Gurgaon. Some food for thought, some clarifications and some questions, for/from this Supreme institution: How does the SC judge if there is a ‘widespread failure’ of implementation? How does it judge the ‘interest of the public at large’? When can an article in a newspaper(s) be sufficient cause for SC to take up the matter? The SC surely needs to prioritize. Who prioritizes today, and on what basis? Why should this not be a transparent, public process? Why should there not be a full bench for deciding on critical cases/issues, which should first be decided by the very bench itself? Are SC judgements of a single or 2 or 3 member Bench (versus a full bench) more a rule of judge(s) versus a rule of law? Is there a correlation between (political) governance and judicial activism? Is coalition raj the worst time? Are we still too immature politically? And with coalition being the future, heads of States becoming more powerful, and more states waiting to be carved out, what is the prescribed future for

• LAMPS AND SHADES • CHANDELIERS • HANGING PENDANTS • WALL LIGHTS

C - 98, Hosiery Complex, Phase - 2 Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India - 201305 Ph. no: 91-120-4309146 Email : mkt@suchirlighting.com Visit us : www.suchirlighting.com

Centre-State relations? Is it time for a new States' Reconstrcution Commission? When will we tackle the biggest challenge – of Right to Freedom of Religion vs other Fundamental Rights – impacting the very definition of Secularism? Who will bat for the ‘upper class’ poor? Before all else, it is time to pronounce Contempt of Court against all those who have the authority (mainly the CMs, Cabinet and the PM) to implement the Supreme Curt’s rulings, but have not done so - repeatedly. The SC should no more tolerate this. It should choose the right body to investigate and provide monthly reports on the status, and the efficacy, of all its rulings. The punishment should be exemplary. You have the mandate, dear Justices. You represent us, the citizens. And We, the People, are constitutionally Supreme. (Note for our TV brethren) Please do ensure that TV debates on SC judgements are not reduced to the ‘normal’ cacophony. There needs to be much reasoned debate sometimes at leas.u

Meet the DC An exclusive Interview with the District Commissioner of Gurgaon, Shekhar Vidyarthi (Page 9).

03


04 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–18  20-26 December 2013

Editor:

Atul Sobti

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora

Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana, Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93

Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Emails:

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

editor@fridaygurgaon.com

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

C oming U p

20-26 December 2013

letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.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 122018, Haryana.

Vikalp Panwar

Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha

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

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib

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.

Story-telling Session

The Clown’s Cry For The Moon @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: December 25 Time: 7:00 pm onwards n interactive story-telling session that is a combination of folk tales, nursery rhymes and popular characters from children's books and TV programmes. Spectators are invited to sing along with the actor on stage, give him suggestions, warn him of the dangers in the story, and thus create and re-create the story.
Tickets priced at Rs. 200, available at the venue.

A

Christmas Celebrations

Run

Fundraiser Concert

Yo Yo Honey Singh Live @ Leisure Valley Grounds, Sector 29 Date: December 24 charity musical night to raise funds for animals, featuring popular singer Yo Yo Honey Singh; presented by People For Animals.

A

Nightlife

Nightlife

DJ Nisha Live @ Tab 01 Kitchen and Lounge, Cyber Green Building, DLF Phase III Date: December 20 Time: 8:00 pm njoy an evening of unadulterated fun and masti and dance the night away as DJ Nisha teams up with DJ Rubel to bring you a magical musical evening.



E

Bolly Jazz @ Cocktails & Dreams Speakeasy, SCO No. 23, Basement & Ground Floor, Sector 15 II Date: December 24 Time: 8:00 pm onwards iscover Indian film music with a power-packed Jazz, ensemble. A fusion of Classic Bollywood tracks and Jazz with Parvati M. Krishnan, Pranai Gurung, Shikhar Prasad, Nathalie Ramirez and Nikhil Mawkin.

D

RWM Farm Run @ IREO site, Sector 60, Village Behrampur Date: December 22 Time: 10:00 am n exciting Event for those who like to run hard and party harder. Get into the running mode...and end it with a party to remember. Do a tough 10K & 5K Trail Run and head straight to the dance floor.There will also be live performances and foot tapping numbers.

A

Nightlife

MTV Bollyland @ Kingdom of Dreams, Sector 29 Date: December 20 Time: 5:00 pm ome of the biggest Bollywood singers team up with the topmost DJs to belt out electrifying performances at this Event. 
Featuring singers like Mika Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Hard Kaur, Shibani Kashyap and Harshdeep Kaur; with DJ's Aqeel, Chetas, Khushi, Kiran Kamath and Sumit Sethi – the evening promises to keep you glued to the dance floor.

S

A

Bernard Shaw Invites You @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: December 22 Time: 7:30 pm iscover the timely wit, wisdom, controversial thoughts and insights of one the foremost thinkers of our age. Shaw is brought to life in this Play by Paddy O'Keeffe, who recreates scenes and stories of Shaw's extraordinary childhood, tempestuous love affairs and controversial politics; and his work as a novelist, playwright, critic, agitator, prophet and reformer.

D Film Screening

First Position @ Central Contemporary Ballet, L 17A 5, DLF Phase II Date: December 21 Time: 2:00 pm atch the screening of "First Position", a ballet documentary movie. The goal is to spread awareness about Ballet through this amazing movie. No entry fee.

C

For Advertisement Please Contact:

S

Theatre

Nightlife

King of Bollywood Mashups @ Anarchy, Ground Floor, Tower B, Global Business Park, MG Road Date: December 21 Time: 9:00 pm treat for Bollywood lovers. DJ Chetas, known for popular mashups in movies like Son of Sardar, Golmaal 3 and Dabangg, brings you an evening of music, a la Bollywood. Accompanying him are resident DJs Chirag and Switch, along with rapper Maddy.

Christmas Carnivals @ Club Patio, South City I; South Patio, Block D, South City II; and Nirvana Patio, Block K, South City II Date: December 25 Time: 12 noon to 5:00 pm pread the warmth and Christmas cheer at these Carnivals, being held at 3 locations simultaneously. There are joyrides, Tattoo and nail artists, Painting Competitions, games for both parents and kids, mouthwatering food stalls... and Santa Claus with plenty of goodies!

9999444818

Theatre

An Evening of Stories @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: December 25 Time: 4:00 pm onwards oted storyteller Jaishree Sethi brings an evening of Christmas stories for children aged 5 years and above. Kids will get to share the joy of togetherness and merriment.

N


C oming U p

20-26 December 2013

Delhi's Artscape Simply Suhas

@ Open Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road Date: December 18 to 24 Time: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm (open all days) Solo Exhibition, highlighting the 'Journey of Suhas Roy in Art'.

A

05

Workshops

@ Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park, Sector 29 Date: December 22 fun-filled Workshops. Also on display are organic, solar, ecofriendly and recycled products.

2

Creative Learning Workshop Time: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Participation Fee: Rs. 600 Workshop for children aged 3 to 9 years. Get ready for a morning filled with fun and creativity. Listen to some magical Christmas stories. You also get to whip up a chocolate pudding and make a Christmas card.

A

Workshop on Energy Conservation & Organic Farming Time: 10:00 am onwards No Participation fee Workshop conducted by the little Conservationist, Taksheel Buddhadeo, for all age groups. Participate in a Quiz and games based on energy conservation and organic farming. A Cooking demonstration, using a solar cooker, will also be held and creative, quick and healthy recipes will be tried.

A

Dance

Gallery Collection

@ M.E.C. Art Gallery, Flat 70-B, Khan Market Date: Up to December 31 Time: 11:30 am to 7:30 pm (Sunday closed) n Exhibition of the Artworks of Thota Vaikuntam, Satish Kale, K. Balamurli, Jatin Das, C. Prakash, Ramesh Gorjala, Tapan Dash, Laxman Aelay, Monideep Saha, Atin Basak,Kamal Mitra, Rini Dhumal, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Dhiraj Chowdhury, Gogi Saroj Pal, Ravi.K, B.V. Nalakar, C. Acharya and others.

A

Kathak Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: December 26 Time: 7:30 pm Kathak recital by Rajender Gangani, paying a tribute to Pt. Kundanlal Gangani.

A

Kathak Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: December 27 Time: 7:30 pm Kathak recital by Harish Gangani and disciples, from the Jaipur gharana. 
Harish has received training in the dance form from his elder brother Pt. Rajendra Gangani.

A

4U

Cat-Walk, Blue Moon

@ Sanchit Art Gallery, 167, DLF South Court, Saket Date: Up to December 25 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Preview of the Exhibition to be held in Singapore, displaying works of renowned artists – Arpana Caur, Neeraj Goswami and Thota Vaikuntam. Curated by Arun Ghose, the Contemporary Art Show displays the diverse hues of modern style.

Tips

A

by ShahnaZ Herbal Cosmetic Queen Padma Shree Shahnaz Husain is the CEO of the Shahnaz Husain Group – India’s leading company in the field of natural beauty and anti-aging treatments.

Filmy Jagat – Contemporary Artwork

@ Art Heritage, 205, Triveni Kala Sangam, Tansen Marg Date: December 22 to January 21, 2014 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm n Exhibition of Contemporary Artwork inspired by Bollywood On display are M.F Husain's Photographic Portfolio – ‘Culture of the Street’; Arpana Caur's Acrylic on Canvas; Anchan Chander's Mixed Media; Bharti Verma's Digital Print & Oil on Canvas and Installation; Rahul Kumar's Ceramics; Shirley Bhatnagar's Ceramics; Aaban Raza's Photographs and Serigraphy on paper; Rajiv Gautam's Digital Art & Mixed Media and Sharmistha Dutta's Digital Art on Canvas and Paper.

A

Q. I am allergic to most commercial creams. Please

suggest a natural way to moisturise my skin.

SH

Aloe vera is a powerful natural moisturiser. The aloe gel or juice may be applied directly on the skin. The gel obtained from the plant itself is the leaf pulp and is found in the inner portion of the leaves. The aloe juice is found just beneath the outer skin of the leaves. However, one should observe total hygiene. Apply the gel or juice daily on the face and wash off with plain water after 20 minutes. Samina Chadha

WINNER Ask the beauty expert questions on skin, hair and beauty. The best question (picked by Shahnaz Husain) will receive a gift hamper from the Shahnaz Husain Group. Write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

Food

Sunday Brunch @ 7 Degrees Brauhaus, DLF South Point Mall, Golf Course Road Date: Up to December 29 Time: 12 noon to 4:00 pm ake your Sunday special with this exquisite Brunch. On offer is a variety of soups, salads, appetizers, main course dishes and desserts, with fresh German brews and refreshing beverages.

M

Bazaar

Organic Bazaar & Farmers Market @ DLF Community Centre, Phase III, Moulsari Avenue Date: December 21 & 22 Time: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm o healthy with natural and organic products at this Bazaar. Also on offer are street plays, sessions by Drum Circle, skits and NGO awareness groups.

G

Drinks

De'Wine Festival @ Hotel Nidra, Plot No.9, Samalka, NH-8 Date: December 24 & 25 n exclusive Wine Festival, showcasing the best domestic and international wines, accompanied by food, chefs, music and art. Enjoy a classy fine-wine-dine experience.

A

World Cinema

Fire On The Mystic Island @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: December 25 Time: 1:30 pm onwards njoy the screening of Toshiya Shinohara’s last film of the InuYasha movie series – 'Inuyasha The Movie: Fire On The Mystic Island.’ The story is about Inuyasha, who, about 50 years ago, has been marked with a blood scar. In a bid to seek revenge, he frantically looks around until he bumps into a bunch of children who bear the same scar. Can he seek revenge? Find out in this adventurous movie.

E


06

20-26 December 2013

H appenings

High Fives for Jhumroo

J

humroo, the spectacular musical comedy at Kingdom of Dreams, celebrated its successful run of 500 shows at  Nautanki Mahal. The entire cast and crew, including actor Gaurav Gera, got together to share their happiness.

Sunny Jackpot

G

urgaonites enjoyed an enthralling musical evening with DJs Gaurav Madan and Mickey along with Rapper Maddy, at Anarchy-Pub & Brasserie. Sunny Leone’s presence added spice to the evening when she entered with Sachin; both Sunny and Sachin were promoting their film, Jackpot.

Scintillating Soiree

A

n evening of high fashion and fine wine—Gurgaon Network’s Wine and Fashion Soiree 2—was held at Club Madness. 12 lovely ladies walked the ramp for Vero Moda. With loads of fun games and amazing prizes, the ladies had a blast.  

Jiyo Theatre

T

he first performance of the Hinglish play, Jug Jug Jiyo, was held at Epicentre. A dark comedy with sharp witty intensity, the Play, scripted and directed by Smita Bharti, was enjoyed by the audience. Cast included Dolly Ahluwalia Tewari, Sabina Mehta Jaitly, Jyotsna Sharma and Neeraj Yadav.

Rukhsat Seniors

K

IIT organised a grand farewell—Rukhsat 2013—for the batch passing out this year. The theme for the farewell was Bollywood, and decorations included a golden entrance, a carpet of flowers and movie posters. Witty titles and souvenirs were awarded to the seniors. There were music and dance performances... and a bonfire.


H appenings

20-26 December 2013

07

Exchanging Awards

T

he exchange4media group hosted the 3rd edition of its annual prestigious awards - Pitch Youth Marketing Summit and Awards, to recognise and reward excellence in the field of Marketing. The Jury included Agnello Dias, K. Ramakrishnan,Pratik Mazumder, Jyotsna Makkar, Basant Rathore, Anamika Mehta, Papa CJ, Indranil Gupta and Dalveer Singh.

Bal Artists

K

ids from around 20 NGOs engaged themselves in a day of fun-filled activities at Balakalakaar 2013, an Event initiated by AIESEC to help underprivileged children. Activities included a Play by theatre group Asmita, a gripping Magic Show and a Painting Competition.

Political Jacky

A

ctor Jacky Bhagnani, who is busy shooting in the City for his upcoming film, ‘Yo Youngistan Go Youngistan', took some time off with Neha Sharma, his co-star. Jacky, who is playing a politician in the movie, gave some sound gyan to youngsters – “Vote dena shuru Karo nahin to complain karna band karo”. Role well played Jacky!

Health in the Family

N

ationwide - The Family Doctors’, organised a free Screening Camp at their Sohna Road Clinic. The aim of this Camp was to spread awareness about potential health issues that come with age, and how proper management of these problems can provide for an active and healthy life. The Camp provided a free assessment by the physician, including a 'physical', hypertension & diabetes screening (IDRS Score), Body Mass Index (BMI) and risk score for the heart.

Real Downturn

F

ormer Miss India and noted artist and writer, Anjanna Kuthiala, released ‘The Downturn’, a first-ever fiction based on the Real Estate sector in India, penned by journalist & author, Varun Soni. ‘The Downturn’ is the journey of a media professional who enters the Real Estate sector.


08

20-26 December 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS  Rapid Metro is formally inaugurated by the CM.  He also lays the foundation for a govt. Commerce College in Sector 51.  AAP Rally has a fair response in the City. Similar rallies take place in Rewari and Mewat.  BJP’s ‘Run for Unity’ takes place in the

City.  City Police Officer Suresh Kumar, of the Cyber Crime Cell, is awarded the ‘India Cyber Cop of the Year’ Award by Data Security Council of India, a NASSCOM body, at the DSCI Excellence Awards 2013.  Retired Justice Nawab Singh is appointed as the President of Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission State announces 50,000 flats for ex and current army men who hail from Haryana – by March 2015.  The State proposes ‘eco-friendly’ minimum 100 acres colonies – in lieu of farmhouse policy that was under attack? Unauthorized colonies (44 in Gurgaon and 542 in Haryana) will get basic civic services soon (pre-election), on payment of only Rs 150 per sq. yd. People living in the restricted area near the Ammunition Depot would not be covered by this ‘scheme’.  Minister Sukhbir Kataria and 36 others are to be booked in connection with the ‘bogus votes’ case.  A 32-year-old woman commits suicide in Baldev Nagar.  A policeman is killed when his bike is hit by a water tanker, near Badshahpur.  A guard is electrocuted at a construction site in Sector 92, and dies.  The Police are on the lookout for a plumber who allegedly raped a domestic help almost a year earlier – the maid revealed this when delivering a baby girl.  The son of a former DSP and his friends are booked for the murder of a property dealer; an ex-serviceman is murdered by his friend, over a pet tortoise.  A 16-year-old girl from Ghata Village goes missing; another girl (17 years) is missing from the Vinay Park area.  5 are booked for molesting a woman; a woman accuses her colleague’s wife of harassing her; a man is booked for sending obscene SMSs.  There is an arrest of a person, in Mewat, who allegedly has links with the LeT.  A woman is held for plotting the murder of her sister and brother-in-law.

WORKSHOP

WORKSHOP

NIGHTLIFE NIGHTLIFE

MUSICMUSIC ART ART EXHIBITION

EXHIBITION

DANCE

DANCE

 A truck driver is booked for thrashing a policeman who was trying to stop him entering a wrong lane, near Sector 18.  Bouncers are booked after a brawl at a mall.  An audit officer of a co-operative group housing society is arrested while talking a bribe of Rs. 15,000.  4 rogues in a car hit another car, then beat up and driver and steal his Swift car, near Atul Kataria Chowk.  Robbers steal cables worth Rs 10 lakhs from a construction site in Sector 96.  Bikers snatch Rs 4 lakhs from a businessman.  An employee of a firm in Udyog Vihar flees with Rs 2.75 lakhs.  An accountant is robbed in an autorickshaw, by the driver and 2 accomplices, near Jharsa Chowk.  A man is duped of Rs 20,000 in a banking fraud; a person is the victim of a Rs. 40,000 job fraud.  CCTVs have been made compulsory at all public locations and properties hosting a marriage ceremony.  Hero Motocorp accuses vendor of PF fraud.  A pub owner and manager are booked for serving liquor beyond the closing time.  A pesticide company and dealer are penalized for the failure of their sample.  10 people are caught gambling in a hotel in sector 40.  2 unlicensed drug stores are sealed.  An in-principle decision has been taken to start prepaid autos, to fix auto meters and rates and extend the City Bus routes – in phases.  The High Court asks HUDA to carry out another survey of Sai Kunj, to find an alternate to the displacement of 36 families, in connection with relocation issues caused by the construction of the Northern Peripheral Road (NPR). Bank employees of State banks stage a protest.  All autos are to have valid permits by January 1, otherwise they will be fined and not allowed to ply. A Bhutanese delegation visits the City, and interacts with MCG.  120 people participate in a District Roller Skating Championship at the Vivekanand Academy.  A 10m shooting range is inaugurated at Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46.  Maruti is asked by the State to set up a Driving school in Mewat.  The Raahgiri campaign comes in for criticism – of littering on the roads.

Want an Event to appear on the Coming Up page? Write to us at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com

CM/Gurgaon speciality - AdministratorSwapping In the now patented Millennium fast merrygo-round ‘Policy’, we now have the 5th. MCG Chief of 2013 ! And the current HUDA Chief was briefly MCG Chief just before this, and was Gurgaon DC before that. What a small world indeed !

Haryanvi Made Easy Get a taste of the local lingo How are you? Key haal se? I have not seen you for so many days. Kayi dino se dekhta kaunya? The last time I saw you you were so thin. Pichle baar dekha tu ghanna patla tha You have put on weight now. Ib ghannaye motta ho gaya Why don't you start exercising? Tu varzish karna shuru kyun nahin karta I will give you the name of a good wrestling arena. Main badiya sa akhare ka naam dyunga You will fall sick like this. Is dhaal tu bemaar padh jaavega.

T PIC be the change you wish to see

OF THE WEEK Dear Readers,

Each week we will feature a question/topic to get your views/suggestions. Selected views will be published in the subsequent issue(s) of Friday Gurg. This week's Topic is:

What would be your New Year Resolution for Gurgaon?

Write in to us at

letters@fridaygurgaon.com

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY SMS NR to 08447355801


20-26 December 2013

C ivic/S ocial

09

{ Abhishek Behl / FG}

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

G

urgaon DC Shekhar Vidyarthi is quite the opposite of the ‘traditional’ Indian bureaucrat. He is accessible, warm and confident. He is also perhaps among the very few officials who answers or returns every call. Sitting in perhaps one of the most frequented offices in the City, he handles both the commoners as well as the movers and shakers with remarkable poise. Vidyarthi perhaps learnt the tricks of the bureaucratic trade from his father, who rose to be the Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh. The chairs in front of his large and impeccably clean table are subtly placed a couple of feet away, adding a courtly feeling to the ambience of the room - as the DC speaks to Friday Gurgaon about his current priorities and his plans for the City. In his view the biggest challenges in the Millennium City are related to the augmentation of infrastructure, removal of traffic bottlenecks, improvement in road infrastructure and, most importantly, the delivery of citizen services in a time bound manner. Outlining the essence of his leadership, Vidyarthi says that the District Administration is reaching out to the common man, addressing his grievances and trying to provide citizen services and social welfare schemes at the doorstep through a number of “Khula Darbars/Prashasan Aapke Dwaar” programmes in the villages. “The villages have made this City, and it is important that development reaches there,” he says. When asked how the State plans to assimilate the villages, which are becoming urbanised, into the ‘new’ Gurgaon, Vidyarthi says that the infrastructure and facilities have been planned by the DTCP, for the urban areas as well as villages, and have been reflected in the Master Plan. He claims that the learnings from the past have been built into the system. This would really be known when the Plan is executed, and the early signs do not give such assurance. The most important initiative taken by the Administration has been the resolution of the Hero Honda Chowk, which has remained a vexed issue - due to massive traffic jams and

prakhar PANDEY

Towards a new Gurgaon

waterlogging. Vidyarthi says that this issue has been taken up at the highest levels, and a solution has been found; it may take some time, but will permanently solve the problems. “We are soon going to get traffic lights installed at the Hero Honda Chowk, so that movement of vehicles is eased,” he says. Vidyarthi says that the proposed construction of a flyover at this Chowk, for which Rs. 90 crores has already been sanctioned, could be one of his worthy contributions as an Administrator. When asked why officials were not allowing villages to spend money that is lying with Panchayats, for the creation of infrastructure, the Gurgaon DC says that BDO recommended expenditure upto Rs. 50 lakhs is allowed; beyond that, permission from the State government is required. As far as facilities in Gurgaon are concerned, he admits that there is need for a massive buildup of infrastructure. Vidyarthi says that plans are afoot to set up more bus-shelters and public facilities; the sites for these facilities have been identified. The roads across the City are being refurbished, and within a couple of months Gurgaon will have better roads, he promises. The issues relating to the Badshahpur Nullah and the Sukhrali pond are also under active consideration, and steps to improve the situation are in the offing. On the issue of liquor vends, which have spring up anywhere in the City, Vidyarthi says that as per the instructions of the High Court, steps were taken to ensure that liquor vends were not operating on the Highways. “We formed a committee of officials to set the matter right,” he says. But he also opines that vends in the City are established under the Excise policy, and are not randomly set up. That logic would be hard for any local resident to buy into. When asked about the poor state of the Civil Hospital, the Gurgaon DC says that, “We will soon set up a District early intervention centre, increase the number of specialists and improve the working of the ICU”, he informs. Regarding

the disputed 900 meters area around the Ammunition Depot, he says, “All the facets have been discussed and we plan to compensate the residents in case they suffer any loss. The matter is under the consideration of the Court and we will abide by the outcome of the case.” Regarding the frequent announcements made by the Chief Minister, on development projects in Gurgaon, which have been slow to materialise, Vidyarthi says that he has directed the Administration to ensure that action is taken as per the timelines. Rs. 1 crore has been spent on development of Gairatpur Bas, Rs. 53 lakhs in Shikohpur and another Rs 50 lakhs in Binola. Likewise, an amount of Rs. 25 lakhs has been given to HIPA, for the promotion of sports and creation of sports infrastructure. The plans for the proposed slaughterhouse in the City are also afoot, and money has been earmarked for this purpose. To make the City safer, the DC says he has given orders to ensure that tenants as well as domestic help are registered with the Police. The City Administration has also made it mandatory for all Guest Houses, Paying Guests (PGs), Celebration Points, Vatikas and Gardens, which are used for wedding ceremonies, to install CCTV Cameras and proper lighting, and position security guards round the clock. This has to be completed within 15 days. The District Administration has also taken an important decision to rein in the auto-rickshaws, since a large majority is plying without permits. It has been directed that all autos will have to obtain a permit by January 1. Police verification of auto drivers has also been made mandatory. This would help in bringing down the incidents of crime against women, says the DC. A successful and high profile initiative, for which Gurgaon Administration has won appreciation, is the support to Raahgiri Day. Vidyarthi says that due to the joint effort of the concerned people, NGOs, Police and the District Administration, the Campaign has been successful. “People from across the City have participate in Raahgiri, and we now plan to take it across Gurgaon. We are identifying areas in ‘old’ Gurgaon. The whole idea is to bring the people together and work jointly to make this City more livable,” he says. Instead of a Gurgaon Development Authority, as proposed by some to oversee the holistic development of the City, Vidyarthi is

Crescent School

Ansari Road, Dariyaganj, New Delhi-110002 Requires: One Head Clerk Commerce graduate, Computer literate, good communication skills, proficient in office procedure. Two L.D.C/Office Assistants Graduate, Computer literate with Secretarial knowledge. Preference for those with working experience in a recognized school, able to handle matters related to Directorate of Education, C.B.S.E and knowing Urdu. Salary as per Govt. Scale. Apply to: A.R Shervani, A-51/3, Phase-I, DLF City-122002, Gurgaon. pitching for his own version of CSR. Since Gurgaon is a ‘corporate city’, the Deputy Commissioner has spirited an initiative of forming a Gurgaon Community Foundation that would adopt a Public Private Community Approach (PPCA) - under which the government and private sector will join hands to make Gurgaon a better place to live in. “We have asked Ernst & Young LLP to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on this Model and present it before the team of officers in the next 15 days,” says Vidyarthi. The District Administration would help the companies in discharging their social responsibilities. Non Government Organisations (NGOs) would also be involved and asked to float proposals relating to social causes. Like most other officials, the Gurgaon DC is also not very enthused with the idea of HUDA sectors and private builder colonies being handed over to the MCG, for civic maintenance. In his opinion, the basic infrastructure that was to be built by the private developers has to first be delivered as per the approved plans. “Palam Vihar was

supposed to be handed over to MCG, but even that process has slowed down as certain specifications have to be followed,” he says. He says that the government has no problem with the shift of responsibility from private hands to MCG, but norms must be followed. Pointing to the number of high-rise structures in the city, Vidyarthi says that instructions have also been issued for the survey of highrise buildings and hazardous industries. Those not following the safeguards will have to face action as per law. Commenting on his working style, Vidyarthi says that his objective is to strengthen the Administration and make it more accessible to citizens. “I would like the officials to be polite and courteous while doing their duty, and work should not be left pending,” asserts Vidyarthi. Living up to his claim of being accessible to the public, he points to a large delegation that has come to meet him. Perhaps meeting people and listening to their problems is a part of any bureaucrat's job…but how one does this makes all the difference. u


10 { Abhishek Behl/ FG}

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

A

fter winning the battle in Delhi, the AAP (Party) has started to prepare for the war at the Centre. A key battle will be fought in Haryana, Kejriwal’s homeland, with perhaps Gurgaon as an epicentre. Corporate executives and the middle class of the Millennium City have played an important role in shaping the fortunes of AAP in Delhi. The AAP Volunteers’ Meet in Gurgaon on Sunday saw a number of CEOs, midranking executives, entrepreneurs as well as ‘common’ citizens. They are now even more enthused, given the robust performance of the Party in Delhi, and want to replicate the phenomenon in Gurgaon – and Haryana. They admit that it would not be easy to copy-paste the formula in a mainly semi-urban and rural State, but feel that issues of the common man and the middle class

are quite common across the country, and the angst against corruption and price rise can be turned into votes even here. Mehmood Khan, a former Unilever senior executive, who has been closely associated with AAP, says that the Party is run like a company, where positioning and campaigning are carried out scientifically. “We have managed to create and sell our ‘brand’ in Delhi, and there is no reason that we can’t repeat it across the country. Our focus is now on Gurgaon, and Haryana,” says Khan, who agrees that victory in the National Capital has added a spring to the step of the rank and file. Corruption, high inflation, lack of security, poor infrastructure and a rising middle class are bound to give an edge to the AAP in its fight against entrenched political interests. Pankaj Gupta, a senior AAP functionary from Gurgaon, says that the victory in Delhi has made the people rethink the political options available to them. “We are preparing a political roadmap for Haryana, and this meeting has been organised to formally create a Volunteer network, which will form

20-26 December 2013

AAP in the City the backbone of the Party in the ensuing elections,” he says. Dr. B.S Yadav, a Gurgaon citizen, says that the Delhi victory has given people the choice to vote for candidates who are clearly different from the mainstream politicians. “People are fed up with dynastic politics. AAP stands for clean governance, is secular and has no dynasties,” he says. Mehmood Khan says that AAP rules ensure that two people from the same family cannot get a party ticket; and after holding office for two terms, an AAP leader will have to step down. There is a fixed tenure for office bearers as well, he says. The success of AAP in Delhi, feel the volunteers as well as activists closely associated with the Party, is that it instilled a sense of purpose within the common people. Khan says that thankfully the test-market in Delhi has proved very successful. “It is a simple brand, with its USP built around volunteers, honesty, integrity and connect with the common man,” he says. Another AAP volunteer, Sanjay

Gupta, who was an Indian Airlines Commander, says that they want to fight with honesty, to beat corruption and to improve the lives of people. The focus on corruption not only helped the brand AAP but also motivated the activists and supporters, making them feel that they were fighting for a higher cause. The integrity of the leaders – particularly Kejriwal – and their grassroots connections, helped galvanised the group into a cohesive movement. Khan says that they have introduced a new marketing paradigm in politics – one that is based on values and beliefs, rather than caste, religion and ethnicity. The market and customers were seen as a whole, Pankaj Gupta admits that the road ahead would be difficult, but unless the Party embraces the rural parts of the country, it would not be able to spread the AAP revolution.

Why Gurgaon is attracted towards AAP

Gurgaon is a Millennium City just in name, as it has perhaps some of the worst infrastructure among major and/ or upcoming cities in the country. The government rarely works, the Police are understaffed, the civic agencies work at cross-purposes and the officials as well as the State see it more as a cash cow that helps finance the rest of Haryana. In such

a scenario, Captain Sanjay Sharma, who has turned entrepreneur, says that promise of a democratic and local level governance, with a focus on the common man, is what has attracted him to the new Party. “We are fed up with corruption. The politicians are inaccessible and it is impossible to get things done. I have seen how governments function across the world, and want the same accountability here,” he says. Rajesh Jain, a Gurgaon based engineer, says that Kejriwal should be given a chance in Haryana as well, as he is promising to change the system. The promise of the AAP to divide Delhi into Mohalla units, and bring governance to the lowest levels, is also a great attraction, says Jain. In fact, with a large number of Gurgaon residents being used to working through RWAs, and constantly fighting with the Administration on civic and social issues, AAP activists feel that the Millennium City would be an ideal battle ground against the Congress and BJP. Vijay Jaggi, a resident of Sector 33, says that decentralized and peoplecentric approach of AAP is great news for Indian politics. “We are prakhar PANDEY impressed by how the Party has made manifestos for every constituency in Delhi. The local civic issues, like lack of roads, streetlights and safety for women, have never received so much focus and importance from any party. BJP and Congress are only talking about macro issues, which have little concern for the common man on the street,” he says. The Gurgaon volunteers say that the Party will make a major dent in Haryana, particularly the urban centres, where people have common issues, and caste and ethnicity are less dominant. The endemic issues with builders, who are supported by the political class and aided by the bureaucracy, is also likely to see the public veering towards the new option, say political analysts. Seema Singh, President of Sectors 3,5 and 6 RWA, says that she has been watching this movement and has been impressed by the discipline and values of the Party workers, and the leaders. “I think Haryana, and particularly Gurgaon, needs an option other than the established parties, which have failed the people of the State,” she asserts. Rajesh Yadav opines that AAP has become a formidable force because it has given a sense of empowerment to the people. “We have come to realise that a political option, which has been created by honest people, can fight and win elections. If Delhi can do it then Gurgaon can also do it,” he says.

Yogender Yadav’s Clarion Call

Addressing the Party Volunteers’ Meeting in Gurgaon, Yogender Yadav, AAP leader and a former political analyst, told workers that the Delhi result was

C ivic/S ocial a giant step for a small party but a small leap in changing the political system in the country. “Volunteers from Haryana (Gurgaon) have done wonderfully well in Delhi. Now the next challenge is in Haryana and it is time for people to unite, and hit out at political corruption and vested interests,” he said. Yadav also said that the AAP result has instilled fear in the major political parties, who are now trying to malign AAP and its leaders. However, their attempts would not succeed, as there has been a moral reawakening in the country. He also said that though AAP did not have a large organisation, people see it and have used it (in Delhi) as a medium of change. In Haryana, Yadav said, all political parties are in the pockets of dynasties, and till these are overthrown, it would be difficult to bring about the rule of the common man. There is need to democratise the system, which has been bottled up by vested interests. The AAP Model is held to be very attractive for the people of Gurgaon, as

they have been in a ‘self-help’ mode for over a decade – with the State interested only in Real Estate dealings. While the Congress and INLD are known opponents, the role of the new Haryana Insaaf Manch, of Rao Inderjit Singh (Gurgaon MP and Rewari scion) and the Yadav vote bank will be major factors in the coming polls. Mehmood Khan says that every village will have an AAP presence, and volunteers will take the message of honest politics to every house in the State. “We are starting with Gurgaon and Mewat, and will soon be all across the State,” he promises. AAP activists also refuse to buy the argument that their Party is an urban phenomenon and could face difficulties outside the political laboratory of Delhi. The volunteers and supporters of the Party say that AAP is not regional in its approach, and is not based on caste or religion. It is a value- based grassroots Model that now has a pan-India appeal – and respect. People across India want change – in their lives and how they are governed. One party promises to remain forever AAP ke saath. u


C ivic/S ocial

20-26 December 2013

The New Face of Delhi { Shilpy Arora / FG}

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

A

am Aadmi Party (AAP) has made a spectacular electoral debut in the Capital by winning 28 seats. The credit goes not only to the Party Chief, Arvind Kejriwal, but also to his young brigade, who defeated wellknown names of the Congress and BJP. A young engineer, Saurabh Bharadwaj, was able to defeated BJP’s Ajay Kumar Malhotra, the son of VK Malhotra, with a margin of over 13,000 votes, in the Greater Kailash constituency. Similarly, women candidates have also shown their mettle. Rakhi Birla, a journalist, defeated Raj Kumar Chauhan, the former PWD Minister, in the Mangolpuri constituency, Veena Anand from Patel Nagar won by 6,262 votes and Bandana Kumari from Shalimar Bagh trounced BJP’s candidate by over 10,000 votes. “Such huge support from the people has been a blessing. The results have shown that people want change,” says Saurabh. For the past eight years he has been trying to help bring reform to the social structure, by participating in social causes. Saurabh left his high profile job at an MNC in Gurgaon and joined the Anna Hazare movement. During his college days he has helped the blind, the needy students, women and the elderly. In 2005, Saurabh was terribly shaken on hearing of a rape of a minor in his area and decided to help the victim fight her legal battle in court. This led him to take up legal studies so that he could provide assistance to the poor. Saurabh has been specially backed by young voters, as he raised his voice on many civic and infrastructural issues. Sukhbir Chadha, a resident of GK 1 says, “People in the area have been demanding the scrapping of the BRT corridor, which causes heavy traffic jams, but the Delhi Government has strongly opposed this. It was only during election time that the Congress and BJP promised to scrap the corridor. This time the people didn’t trust the national parties and instead chose a young candidate who not only promises to resolve the issues, but also offers solution in public meetings.” Many don’t know that the GK constituency comprises of six villages where the lower-middle class resides. The villages suffer from problems of inflated water bills and poor road infrastructure. Saurabh was the first candidate who pointed out the issues faced by these villagers. Talking about the focus of his electorate campaign, Saurabh says, “These villages suffer a lack of basic amenities. They are situated in one of the most posh blocks in the Capital, but the residents are forced to live in acute poverty.  The residents of the posh colonies on the other side hare waging different battles. There, security is an important issue; the unrestricted movement of trucks in most localities causes security concerns. An increasing crime rate is also a worry. The BJP candidate focused on the old ‘1984 riots against the Sikhs’ issue in the area, which

Nirbhaya ki yaad mein Saara desh umad aaya tha sadkon par Liye haathon mein chiraag Socha tha hogi roshni Bhulegi shaayad desh mein Phailti hui hawas ki aag

didn’t work. Despite the Congress government allowing people to build bungalows up to four-storeys, they didn’t think about planning for water, drainage and parking.” With the emergence of AAP, the election campaign in an area like GK saw the focus shifting from community and caste-based politics to a civic-based one – for water, electricity, infrastructure, security and parking. People face these issues on a regular basis.

Women candidates

{ Vijay K. Saluja} am a citizen of India & a resident of Delhi for the last more than 50 years. Over this time, Delhi, a contained city with peaceful & congenial environs, has grown into a megapolis, bursting with an ever-growing population that keeps coming to this city from all corners of India. Many of the people who are now permanent inhabitants of the capital of India came for work; some, of course, came for education, business, medical treatment, entertainment and tourism, and also discovered that the City offered a better quality of life. So, what started as a trickle in the sixties, turned into torrents by the nineties. This has resulted in the mushrooming of ‘jhuggi’ clusters, especially near the construction sites; there are now slums, unauthorized colonies & squatters’-spots all over Delhi. Be-

Jwaala ab bhi bhadak rahi hai Hawas ka taandav ruka nahin hai Kal Damini ya Nirbhaya thi Aaj koi Anaamika hai Nahin hai to koi khauf Koi jalta hua chiraag nahin hai

A Post Graduate in Mass Communication and Journalism, Rakhi Birla defeated the Congress Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, by a margin of 10,000 votes. She had participated in Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption protest in 2011 and then left her job in a TV news channel to fight the polls. Speaking about Rakhi, a resident of Model Town says, “She is a patriot and a person who thinks beyond the usual. Her approach in solving social issues is distinct. She wishes to make the society a better place. We have huge expectations from her.” Immediately after the results, Rakhi Birla headed to her constituency to thank the people for their support. “It is not my victory. It is victory of the people of Model Town, who have shown their trust in a new candidate. Now I owe them good governance,” she says. Veena Anand, AAP candidate from Patel Nagar constituency, celebrated the victory by visiting the ‘unauthorised’ colonies in her area (there are 14). She had been working as a full-time volunteer with the Party - going door to door every day. “We have promised regular water supply, a reduced power bill and authorization for the colonies. All other candidates focused on the upper-middle class, but AAP has targeted all the areas, using different and relevant strategies,” she says. “As of now some households are forced to fetch water from public toilets, as they have no authorised connections!” informs Geetanjali Sahay, a resident of Baljeet Nagar. People are learning to value their vote. Over the years they have voted for different candidates of the Congress and BJP, but now feel cheated. People see an opportunity in the AAP, which is why many donated their hard-earned money to the Party. Ankit Verma, 40, of Patel Nagar constituency, even opened his house to the volunteers of the Party. “The time for change has come,” feels Ankit. u

What Next in Delhi?

I

11

Har roz kisi na kisi rajya mein Koi nayi Damini hoti hai Jo kuchh darindon ke haathon Apni laaj aur izzat khoti hai Kya kisi kadhe kanoon ka saaya Kisi naari  ko mil paaya hai? Har nyaay ke chhat ke neeche Bas doshi hi bachh paaya hai Ek Nirbhaya ke naam par Kitnon ke jeb garam hue Vakeelon ne naam kamaya TV waalon ki keemat khoob badhi Roshini kahin bhi hui nahin Mombattian pighal kar khatam huin Jaago ae desh ke waasiyo Asliyat ko zara pehchaano Jahaan har roz ek behen tumhari  Hawas ki sooli par chadhti hai Aur kitni hi Nirbhaya ki qurbani par bhi Koi soorat dikhti nahin badalti hai !

sides impacting the authorized or approved colonies of the City, this migration has also affected the urban villages. It has resulted in phenomenal pressure on the existing basic services, of water, drainage, sewerage, garbage management & various civic and social infrastructures. The City started expanding in an almost unplanned manner in all directions. The elected representatives & the authorities in power have not done enough to take stock of, & act decisively on, the multiple problems. Most of them only took ‘band-aid’ measures. The result of that apathy is there for all to see. But having said all this, I had felt that things would change now – especially after Sunday the 8th Dec 2013, which I thought was an Awakened Sunday. I was sure that the newly chosen representatives would bring the much-needed succour. But, what is happening? All the parties are now playing games with us, the electorate. I do not understand this. Do you? u Director, Giraffe Heroes India Program

Ashok Lal

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY SMS NR to 08447355801


12 { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

S

eema Kohli, an Accounts Executive at Accenture and Vishnu Khurana, Software Engineer at IBM, despite being physically challenged, have been able to secure ‘regular’ and worthwhile corporate jobs. 24-yearold Seema is an accounting professional suffering from the severest form of Cerebral Palsy, the one that affects all the limbs. Vishnu, 28, can’t move his left arm and leg, as he suffers from Polio. Both have made a place for themselves in the corporate world of the Millennium City, thanks to the initiative of Anubhuti M Bhattacharya, who runs an HR Consultancy for the Differently-able in Delhi. Anubhuti has not only helped disabled people to get high-paying corporate jobs, but also helped them bag several awards. “I handle the accounting processes coming in mostly from the US. It is very convenient for me. I work on the sixth floor of the building, but there is no problem getting there, as all requirements for the Differently-able have been taken care of. The Company has also provided a special cab service for me,” smiles Seema. For a long time the corporate world had not been receptive to employing the Differently-able, but it seems that the long wait is now over. In 2005, when Anubhuti started the Consultancy, no one was talking about the economic rights of the disabled. “The idea was to find a ‘suitable’ job for the differently abled. The corporate sector has started opening up to people with disabilities, though I still don’t get a positive response always. Many times companies don’t respond to my mail, once they come to know that the applicant is physically or mentally ‘challenged’,” she says. Anubhuti’s Consultancy has found jobs for the paralyzed, the blind and even people suffering from very serious illnesses. While most of the blind easily get jobs in the field of Medical Transcription, those who have nonfunctional limbs can work in BPOs and KPOs. “When disabled persons approach us, we first find out what kind of job they want or are suitable for, and then draft a resume’. We offer them counselling sessions, where we prepare them for interviews. We also tell them about the importance of work ethics, following rules and meeting deadlines, as working in a professional environment is generally a new experience for them; we try to make the transition as easy as possible,” informs Anubhuti.

C ivic/S ocial

20-26 December 2013

Eminently Employ-able How to prepare for an interview

For a Differently-able person, approaching the employers and getting a job requires special skills and guidance. Here are a few tips: 1) Look for the right HR Consultant: Those specializing in getting employment for the Differently-able have an expertise on job mapping, and the relevant contacts, to help find the appropriate jobs - depending on the disability. “Just like qualifications and work experience, the type of disability is an assessment criterion when it comes to the placement of a Differently-able person,” says Anubhuti. 2) Choose the right job: Back-end job functions that do not involve travelling are more suitable. However, job profiles depend on the nature and extent of the disability. 3) Acquire suitable skills: Apart from education, acquiring the required skill is important. Depending on the type of disability, the Differently-able should equip themselves suitably.

Despite the legal system in the country encouraging the industry to employ five per cent of the Differently-able, and the public sector having a policy of three per cent reservation since 2003, the reality is not promising. The Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 recognizes the following disabilities - blindness, low vision, leprosy-cured, hearin A recent study involving the top 100 Indian companies reveals that only 0.5 per cent of people with disability are employed by the government and just 0.2 per cent by private firms. People with disabilities constitute over seven per cent of India’s population. It is a mistaken belief that the Differently-able are not fit for ‘mainstream’ jobs. “The attitude of companies is an issue. Stereotypes of what a disabled person can or can’t do still persist,” says Vishnu, who struggled for three years to find a job. There are many jobs that a blind, deaf, mute or Polioafflicted people can perform. The issue is that a disabled person finds it difficult to approach employers directly. In such a scenario, HR consultancies that cater exclusively for the Differently-able can definitely make a difference. They have, and also develop, the expertise and contacts to get the disabled people placed. Fortunately some employers do feel that the Differently-able can contribute well. “The first benefit is their impact on the other employees, who soon learn to be more accepting of the physically and mentally challenged; secondly, a Differently-able

employee provides a muchneeded diversity in thought and action in the workplace, as he/she has been exposed to a different environment and has studied under different conditions. I also feel that the Differently-able are more loyal. They have a better attendance record and are less likely to shift jobs. So, it even makes good business sense to employ them,” says Subramaniam, General Manager, Digital Marketing at Accenture. He has two Differently-able members in his team. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) charter has also responsible for bringing

about some change. Moreover, a shortage of skilled manpower is also contributing to the increased employment of disabled people; it is making companies look at alternate resource pools. “India is a talent-driven market, so most corporates look for diverse employable groups,” says Subramaniam. There is a need to provide adequate training to the Differently-able. Mphasis, a firm based in Cyber City, has recently started a career guidance and placement unit for the Differently-able. In the last two months the Firm has discovered 85 talented persons who have disabilities. The call centre business is a viable option for the Differently-able. Challenges A conventional education sys-

tem is not normally accessible to the Differently-able. There is a lack of trainers and training centres for them. Besides, most of the school and college buildings are not even equipped with basic amenities such as elevators or wheelchairs. Companies don’t generally provide assistive aids such as special software and equipment that would enable the Differently-able to perform certain tasks. For instance, with the help of screen-reading software, a visually impaired person can work efficiently on any computer. Further, newspapers and jobseeking sites should also have exclusive sections for the disabled. And there is certainly a need to broaden the perspective of employers, by providing them guidance about the potential of the Different-able. u 

A New Friendly Hub { Sujata Goenka }

T

his City is widely acclaimed as a Cyber centre. Literary societies have not been known to be this young City's taste. But the last few years have seen a change. The latest addition to the City’s pride is The Cyber Hub. The City was recently treated to two days of an artistic feast here. This place is well connected by the Rapid Metro and has ample parking space. The entrance is free. The place is a sprawling area with a host of restaurants. It is a food lovers' paradise. You have a choice of the best cuisines – from the very expensive to kiosks where you can pick up a plate of momos and coffee within Rs. 200. At the 2-day Fest, there were book reads, live-size art models and forums discussing issues from food to security of women. There was something for all age groups. The kids were enjoying theatre workshops and story telling. I spent the afternoon walking around, taking in works of Art. There was a photograph exhibition and also sculptures made of discarded motor parts. Both of them were breathtaking. There were many canvases on display – from abstract to conventional flowers. The free spirit of colours was displayed with pride. The artist humbly came forward to accept praise and provide further information on the pricing. The Art

installations of Gopal Namjoshi were so imaginative. A pipe used for the crane's neck, a top of an old iron for the feet was unique. It must have taken months, painstakingly collecting 'kabadi' pieces, to fit the exact slot. Authors like Abha Aynger, who were reading out from their books, attracted book lovers. They discussed and took questions from the audience. Later they would mingle with the crowd and talk about their recent works. Copies autographed by the authors were also available. Talks included the safety of women and other issues like healthy eating, by Shikha Sharma – which went on all day. One could chose the topic of interest. If one got tired there was a lot of choice, where one could get refuelled. Dunkin Donuts had a sitting arrangement just outside their place. It was filled with youngsters. This place is disable-friendly. It not only has ramps everywhere, but also an elevator to the first floor. It was most heart-warming to be offered a wheelchair by the management. The attendant not only came to me with a wheelchair but promptly gave me his mobile number for future use. Certainly this is a step to an advanced society– inclusion of old, young and the challenged, in enjoying entertainment. It would be an excellent place to hangout in winter with the family. I do hope the Cyber Hub has more such events. u


C ivic/S ocial

20-26 December 2013

13

A Rightful Man { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

A

ll truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. This was said by Galileo hundreds of years ago, but is eminently applicable to the Indian political system and society today. Our truth remains hidden somewhere between the lines and in the huge bureaucratic system, where important files get lost, burnt, or stolen as soon as some falsehood is discovered. Till 2006 the discovery of truth was a difficult task for an Indian citizen; but the arrival of the Right To Information (RTI) as an Act, and as tool, has empowered many citizens to discover what is going in the corridors of power and officialdom and expose the discrepancies and deficiencies in our system. J.S Walia, as a Central government official, had always been pained by the rampant corruption and profligacy of the State, including his own department, but did not know what to do, to help end this malignant culture. Walia says that RTI has proved to be a great tool in his search for the truth; and since 2007 he has filed hundreds of RTIs to get information about policies, projects and systems in the government. Interestingly, the first ‘target’ of his RTI became his own department, CPWD, an

alleged corruption hotbed, as this organisation is involved in large-scale construction and maintenance of government projects. “I filed an RTI to know why the Department was not asking for a discount from electricity product suppliers, as huge discounts are given as routine. This has meant a payout of large scale commissions, at the cost of the government exchequer,” says Walia. Once the RTI was filed, it led to a veritable commotion in the Department and ultimately led to a vigilance inquiry as well. The result was that CPWD started asking for discounts, and these were incorporated into the NITs. Walia says that his goal is to contribute to the society in such a manner that corruption and the misuse of taxpayers’ money is minimized; and towards that end he is ready to go to any extent. When asked about the pressure from groups against whom he has filed RTIs, Walia says that he has been sometimes asked to refrain from doing such things, but ultimately the truth has prevailed. His belief in God and his meticulous research has also helped him in getting out of tricky situations. “Once I filmed a police official taking bribe, but somehow the information was leaked and the entire police station came to know about it. The entire staff turned up at my house and asked to be forgiven,” he recalls. An RTI filed by Walia forced the then Minister for State for Agriculture to surrender 8 vehicles that had

{ O.P Ratra }

T

he Campaign run by the local Police/Administration/corporates/ citizen groups, for promoting cycling and the need for footpaths/ cycling tracks - as against the growing craze for more cars on the City roads - sounds good and healthy. But the blocking of some Gurgaon sector roads around residential areas, on Sundays, for activities that mostly appear to be picnics/tamasha, does not seem to be the appropriate way to create awareness for the desired objective. Yes, there is a need for good pavements for the pedestrians to walk on and good wide roads/crossings/ slip roads and signage, but where are the facilities for the pedestrians to cross the City roads/junctions? There are no subways or overhead bridges around areas like HUDA City Centre, Signature Tower, Rajiv Chowk and IFFCO Chowk. The overurbanisation of Gurgaon has meant that some basic facilities for pedestrians have been overlooked, includ-

been solicited from different departments - as a minister is entitled to only one vehicle. In another such application, it was revealed that many offices of the Central government ministries were running in five star hotels in Delhi. “Once this information became public the Central government had to shift these offices to other buildings, which saved the money of the tax payers,” he asserts. Walia says that corruption in the country can be contained, but it will be an arduous process, in which every Indian will have to contribute his/her bit. If we are first able to improve things in our own circle, it would soon be possible to get things done without paying a bribe. To catch a public person

lying and asking for a bribe, has in fact become a passion for this Gurgaon based resident, who shifted to the Millennium City two years ago. After experiencing the corruption and sloth in the system here, Walia struck, and filmed a HUDA official who was demanding Rs. 30,000 for the Completion Certificate of his house. “I used a spy camera to film the JE who had asked for the money, and showed it to top officials. This led to his suspension, but nothing happened thereafter,” he says. Walia was able to have the Completion Certificate issued within 3 days. Now he carries the spy cam in his pocket all the time. With time, his passion for filing RTIs has only strengthened and he has been accessing information from the local civic agencies regularly. A recent RTI filed by him has revealed that Gurgaon has only six authorised banquet halls - the rest of them are operating illegally. “This information has forced the MCG to issue a notice against these halls. I hope some action is taken against them and they are asked to register,” he says. That a scam was being perpetrated by advertising agencies was also revealed by Walia. “The number of unipoles and wallwraps installed are much higher than the ‘official’ number, which means a loss of revenue to the State,” he alleges. An RTI filed in connection with the facilities being given to farmers, reveals their current state of affairs in Haryana - where it

Waah Raahgiri ing cycling tracks. To regulate the traffic, rotories/gole chakkars are a necessity at major junctions, but all these have been removed - creating more chaos and risk for the pedestrians. Why such lack of vision? We do not need to invite an expert from Columbia to advise the Gurgaon Administration on this score. The City Administration should have done some basic groundwork, and with some vision should have planned facilities like pedestrian crossings at busy junctions. During the past decade, Gurgaon has urbanised beyond limit, and with no cycle paths, the cyclists are forced to use the main roads, leading to many accidents. The road users also seem to have little traffic sense, or even common sense. Would campaigns like Raahgiri really help in such a situation?  Even the  provision of cycle tracks has failed in some cities, due to the frequent redevelopment works and encroachments in certain areas. I am taken back to 1979, when I produced a documentary, ‘Capital City of

India - Problems of Urban growth”, for Doordarshan. It was a 2-hour programme in four parts, covering the period from when Delhi was Shahjahanabad and projecting the status to the year 2000. During the production I had come across an old (1946) news item in a local daily, which reported that a cyclist had been knocked down by a motorist at Windsor Place (Janpath); the comment was that there was ‘no traffic sense in Delhi’. Things have clearly not improved since then, and Gurgaon is no exception. To bring about an awareness of traffic rules and safety on the roads in and around the shopping areas/complexes, my suggestions are as under: 1. The local Police Administration should create a voluntary force of a few thousand residents, call them Traffic/Citizen Wardens, and give them a mandate to make people aware of traffic rules and safety on the City roads/sectors. They should be assigned specific crossings/

was once said that the only culture known was ‘agriculture’. Walia’s RTI has found that out of 4 Kisan Bhawans in Mewat, three are being used by government officials - to house a police chowki, a mobile court and a department office. All these Bhawans were meant to serve as guesthouses for farmers on the move – like those going to the mandis with their produce. Similarly, the Kisan Bhawan in Gurgaon has been encroached by government officials as well as the security posse of a local MLA. When asked what he does with the information that he gets from the RTIs, Walia says that he sends all this information to the Chief Secretary and Vigilance officials. “Sometimes they take action and cases are filed. At other times the offenders are warned and made to feel the heat, and some very quickly decide to ‘change’". For his brave work, Walia has been given a letter of appreciation by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal. The Delhi Dare Devils cricket team has also honoured him, for being a dare devil in real life. Walia believes says that RTI should be used by all citizens, to inform themselves on what is happening at ‘ground level’, and then to put pressure on concerned government officials. The discovery of truth, he says, is a difficult but exciting journey. The only requirement is the passion for an honest and just cause.  u

sectors every day for 2-3 hours.  2. Pedestrian zones should be created/assigned in and around shopping areas/complexes - like Vyapar Kendra, Galleria Market, HUDA Markets, Malls located on MG Road, Sohna Road, Sectors 29, 31 and 56; simultaneously create convenient parking areas, advising users to use and pay for these facilities. 3. Design and create convenient subways/overhead bridges for the benefit of pedestrians around all traffic junctions/crossings in the City.  5.Create exclusive cycle tracks, though at this stage of chaotic development of the City, this may perhaps not seem feasible/practical. In India we do not care for traffic sense, and overtaking from the wrong side, overspeeding and jumping traffic junctions are not seen as violations. There is no fear of driving wrongly and unsafely on the roads. We continue to live and drive in our own worlds – oblivious of our impact on others. Let us hope that the creation and operation of cycle tracks in the City does not only remain a ‘dream world’.u


14 { Maj. N.K. Gadeock }

A

dequate Internal Security is a must for survival even for a well-knit secular nation – which today we sadly are not. While our governmental agencies are up-grading themselves to deal effectively with foreign-guided insurgency and terrorist organizations, religion is being misused by these anti-Indian and antihuman outfits to instigate the youth and economically backward people to work for them. They have managed to develop contacts at various levels of our society. This situation is a major cause of worry and needs to be confronted with a determined approach, especially by those involved in the safety and security of our Nation. All of us by now have realized that Mother India is under attack from both within and outside. Millions of lives and trillions of rupees have been lost in the damage. The term Homeland Security may sound American, but it has a lot to do with our very basics, our homes and hearths, which are today threatened by multifarious forces that need to be urgently identified and destroyed. I am amazed at the number of serious threats that envelop us – any of which could seemingly strike at will. Thankfully

{ Pramila Balasundaram }

T

his is the story of Christmas….of 60 years ago. Christmas began in our house in early December much before schools closed or the Xmas spirit had set in. My mother would be harassed and say, “so much to do, so many people to contact”. My most vivid memories are of ‘putting up the Xmas Tree’ and ‘baking the Cake’. Both had to start early enough, to be preferably finished by the 20th of December. Our Xmas Tree was a branch of a huge old Oak Tree, which towered over the house. This branch had to be cut at the right time; if too early, it would begin to dry up, and if too late, we would have no time to trim it, carry it inside, place it in a huge pot and decorate it. We were dependent on my two brothers and the household help, like the cook, the dhobi and the mali all of whom were like members of our large family and looked forward to Xmas as much as we children did. Everyone gathered around the Tree, shouting encouragement. Monica, our cook, collected the twigs, which willy-nilly got hacked along with the branch.

20-26 December 2013

Check Your Security Cover the Security Industry, which I have been a member of, has been able to harness many vagrants and idle youth, by employing them gainfully - after imparting them the required training and skills. The Industry has made great inroads into the rural heartlands of India. This youth could have been led into the world of crime; instead, our industry has converted them into securityminded crime fighters. Closer home, effective security is one of the biggest challenges faced at both the corporate and personal levels. I am convinced that there is an urgent need to review the way we look at Security Agencies and the monitoring of security cover for our organizations. The ground reality of any security situation is always different from what is projected. Those who understand this timeless truth are mature and pragmatic, and do not get taken by surprise. Those who do not heed it are always surprised by the ‘turn of events’. A direct fall out of this thought process is that nothing - absolutely nothing - should be taken for granted in the security business; nothing should be taken at its face value. Only inexperienced or incompetent people

The first casualty is security reportage is invariably the truth – for the simple reason that since many people are involved in the reporting cycle, the truth gets diluted by varying perceptions. There is a pronounced tendency to protect one’s ‘turf’, even if that means tinkering with, or fine-tuning, the truth. This is why, on sensitive duties, the Army always has soldiers working in ‘buddy pairs’, thereby reducing bias or subjectivity in reporting and increasing the chances of successful followup action. In a recession led world, this ‘back-up’ may be seen as a luxury; yet, where the security needs are critical, this precaution is valid and deserves serious consideration. Sometimes a stitch in time does save nine… An added dimension today is the all-pervasive frauds and scams - in banking, credit cards, personal data theft, wire transfers, Internet auctions and IT security. would express blind faith and trust - in a person(s), system, security procedure or security gadget. Acceptance of an imperfect world is the best baptism to the security domain – to a ‘police’ mind - as it shows that one is blessed with sense as well as sensibility. It is also important to have an open mind. A smart approach in a sensitive situation is to maintain appearances that are socially attractive (for instance, not showing visible mistrust), but have procedures, check–backs and systems in place, which would allow us to access the reality

whenever we need to. Of course we can get fooled sometimes by others’ appearances, manners, relationships, references, attitudes and ‘reputations’, which make us form poor judgments. Most glossy brochures and presentations that are used to aggressively market security services (human and technical), emphasize how well trained are the personnel and how responsive are the companies’ hardware and software. They conveniently/inadvertently forget to mention that they are speaking of delivery under ideal circumstances – which is, of course, never available in real life (beyond the presentation and contract signing stage, that is!). The commandment that security service providers need to remember is very clear and uncompromising: it is, to continuously train their

A Christmas Tale The next activity was the preparation for the Cake mixing and baking, which took hours. Come Christmas Cake baking time, amma would do the shopping for the ingredients - mostly the nuts, I think. She would shout across the wall for Manickam to come with his cycle rickshaw (since he parked just outside the gate), and one of the children went along with her to Russell Market. Back home the bundles of stuff were handed over to the eldest daughter-inlaw, whose responsibility it was to get going on the many steps of preparation needed for the final product – which would be admired, eaten and served to the many who came to visit. And now the fun began. Each of us would be given the task of cleaning and cutting up the cashews, currants and almonds, sieving the sugar (I don’t know why we did that) and pounding it to a fine powder. I don’t remember stuff like orange peels or candied cherries. It was a very precise and demanding exercise. You had to hold the heavy wooden pounder in your right hand and lift it up as

high as you could, then bang it down into the stone bowl; then, change hands. You also had to say, ‘tsai, tsai, tsai, tsai’… with each pounding action. It was highly entertaining and we would always have some others watching and waiting to take their turn. Perhaps it helped build muscles and flatten stomachs ! While all this was going on a message would be sent to old Hanumanthaiah to bring a cartload of river sand from our farm outside Bangalore. He would arrive in a bullock cart

that was piled high with lovely clean sand, which was dumped in the back yard. Some of the sand was then piled up to about a three feet height, and the rest was left for us kids to play with. I remember the sand lying around well after Xmas. The fireplace was made first, and was a scooped-out pit around which big fat bricks were placed on three sides, leaving a deep hollow to be filled later with fire wood and coal. The sand was then piled all around and over it. On December 22nd. the fire would be lit under the sand, for over an hour or so, to get it hot enough to bake the Cake. The fire had to be kept going. It was all done under the supervision of Lenakka, who would decide when the fire was hot enough to begin the baking. The batter would have been mixed on that morning. We took turns mixing the batter in huge vessels. When Lenakka was ready she would ask the servants to scoop up a big depression in the middle of the sand. The huge vessel with the Cake batter would be lowered into the depression. It would be covered with a lid, on top of which Monica would keep

C ivic/S ocial personnel, because training cuts down reaction time by placing all players on a common functional grid; and to educate themselves/their personnel, in order to cope with the events that the friction and the ‘fog of war’ will inevitably bring. It is this linked training cum education that should help a client choose a security service provider/hire a security person. The Security Industry has embarked on a nationwide programme to sensitize the country’s top public as well as private institutions - like utilities, airports, docks, hospitals, sporting venues, border security - about the need and the benefits of having security as one of the top agendas in today’s geo-political scenario. The Security picture is changing rapidly and risks are increasing; new threats are emerging. In the hostile world that we live in, security can no longer be taken for granted. Every company’s security strategy works towards protecting its assets – customers, employees, property and data – as also reducing risk, mitigating liability, protecting revenue streams and reducing operating costs and insurance premiums. Ensuring and delivering effective security is clearly one of the biggest challenges at both the corporate and personal levels. It cannot be left to the ill-equipped or the ill-trained.u putting hot coals and replenish them constantly. This was the Big Moment. I remember standing around watching the Cake being gingerly lowered into this pit, so that it did not spill over. It had to be held upright and needed two people to hold it. It was not something we kids were allowed to do; it was a highly specialized skill. I think the whole Cake baking process took about four to five hours. While the Cake was baking, we had to help with the making of Rose cookies, decorating the Oak/Christmas Tree, putting up handmade paper decorations, and cleaning the house for the many visitors who would come calling. One of my most sublime memories of Christmas is the absolutely divine smell of the Cake, baking ever so slowly in this wood-fire-sand-bath contraption. It would begin to waft into the back verandah and then the dining room and soon the whole house would smell of Christmas (Cake); it was there when you woke up in the morning and was still there when you went to sleep at night. You then knew that Christmas had come. u The Writer is FounderDirector of Samadhan


K id C orner

20-26 December 2013

Kids Brainticklers

M

EducationWorld INDIA PRESCHOOL RANKINGS 2013 (The Top Ten) GURGAON 1. Pallavan, Sohna Road

6. Medhaam Preschool, South City I

2. The Shri Ram Early Years, Sector 48, Sohna Road

7. Modern Montessori International, DLF Phase I

3. Anand Preschool, DLF I

7. BloomZ, Sector 51

4. iDiscoveri XSEED Preschool, Sector 46

8. ibambini Preschool, Sector 56

5. Pumpkin House, Sushant Lok

9. Pathways Early Years, Sector 49 10. KLAY, Sector 49

15

A King’s Will

any years ago, there lived a king, Peter, his queen and his two sons, Richards Vonvolt and Collin Vonvolt. The brothers fought very much and were eyeing the money and wealth kept in their father’s secret room. After many years, when the King was really weak and old, he quietly passed away and so did the Queen who was heartbroken after the sad funeral. Richards had the will of his father in which was written that he would inherit all the wealth after the King’s death but he was the younger of the two brothers. He was really happy with the decision. People respected Richards and he took the wealth and did not even give a penny to his brother. Now the new King, Richards Vonvolt lived a good life while his brother was poor and miserable and lived in a shabby house. However, one day Peter’s brother, Steven was reading the King’s favourite book in his brother’s huge library. He was looking at the notes remembering the moments they had together in childhood. Oh, how they loved stealing mangoes from their neighbor’s field! Suddenly, he noticed a note which looked like it was written recently (it wasn’t the King’s handwriting). He read it aloud: “You will never find the real will, Unless on the sink basin, germs you will kill!” “What on earth is this?!” Steven said, as he was very confused. Still he went to the washroom. Once he entered, on the basin he saw a liquid soap’s bottle where it was written: ‘Germs You Will Kill’. He understood that whatever the chit was, it was leading him to something. He examined the bottle and found another chit at the bottom. He read it: “You will never find the real will, unless, you find a Cooking Spoon, on the Window Sill!” He started getting excited and thought that he will find a cooking spoon on the kitchen window sill and went there. He found a cooking spoon lying on it and picked it up. A paper was attached to it. “You will never find the real will, unless on the garden wall, pins you will drill!” He quickly ran to the wall and there it was hanging on a pin – another chit. There was the garden’s map drawn inside. He saw a red cross near one big oak tree. He searched for the tree and found it standing upright, dying to tell some secrets. He dug where the cross was, for hours. Finally covered in dust, he found an old paper he was shocked to see another will. He quickly checked for the signature and it was there but this time, it was the real one. That night there was a big meeting. All the people, including Collin, were curious for what had they been called. King Richards sat on the throne which was once his father’s. Steven entered the hall and told them he had found another will. He read it. It was mentioned that instead of Robert, Collin will be the King. There was stunned silence. He also read at the back that the King had written that he made a fake will because he wanted to share the kingdom between the two brothers. Now that Richards had ruled the kingdom for some time, he wanted Collin to rule also. After hearing all this, Richards himself gave the crown to Collin and congratulated him. Eshaan Soni , Grade 5, Pathways


16

20-26 December 2013

K id C orner

RYAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SECTOR 40 Martialising it Right

T

he School felicitated its young Martial Arts Champs at a Ceremony. Karate Champs Uttkarsh Baberwal, Gourish Baberwal and Shankar Seth were honoured with Silver medals, for their victory in the 1st Indian Open Karate Do Championship held recently at the Community Centre. School Head, Peeya Sharma, encouraged the young champs to focus on their abilities and strengths and to use them well to defeat their rivals.

A Heritage Trip

A

n educational trip to Farukkhnagar was organised for the students of the Heritage Club. The young Ryanites enjoyed the sight of the 200 years' old palace -‘Sheesh Mahal’. They were thrilled to see the garden area with fountains, and the rooms of the king. The enthusiastic Ryanites also got to visit the Sitaram Mandir – a temple, gurudwara and a mosque all under one roof. The trip was organised in co-ordination with Atul Dev, Convener, INTACH, Gurgaon Chapter.

Bye Bye Madiba

T

he School paid tribute to Nelson Mandela at a meeting organised by the High Commission of South Africa. The objective was to provide increased awareness on the life, struggles and the mission of Nelson Mandela. A candle light ceremony was held, wherein students of different schools contributed with short poems on Mandela. Some students also got an opportunity to interact with some high dignitaries who were close to Mandela.

Transporting Kids

A

n Inter-house Competition on ‘Modes of Transport’ was conducted, wherein all the sections of Class I participated. The children spoke about different means of transport – land, water and air. They talked about the early transportation system and the history and invention of different types of transport and their use. They also explained about the environmental hazards that are caused by vehicles, with the help of charts and models. The winners of the Competition were Vedika Lala (I), Bishakha Ranjan (II) and Akshay Madhani (III).

Students Energised

A

n educational visit to the Rajiv Gandhi Energy Center was organised by the School and presentations were made on the different ways to conserve energy. This Event was organised to mark the World Energy Conservation Day. The students watched the distillation plant and water pumping system working on Solar Energy. They also witnessed the functioning of the turbine for the harvesting of the crops and generation of electricity. The students of Class IV—Mannat Gothwal, Riddhi Mittal, Arnav Rana and Shankar Seth—presented on the need for using alternative sources of energy and ways to conserve natural resources, in the School Assembly.


20-26 December 2013

Blue Divinity

Winning Lionesses

T

tudents of Lion’s Public School participated in the CBSE National Table Tennis Tournament organised by D.A.V Model School, Durgapur,West Bengal. The School bagged 3rd position in U/16 Girls. Rachna Sharma and Shweta Kataria from Class XI and Aditi and Anjal Laad from Class VIII were the winners.

CBS Search

T

he Science Department at Chiranjiv Bharati School (CBS), in association with Teri, organised Search Day – to raise awareness on issues of recycling, sustainable development, and active citizenship. Workshops, interactive discussions, simulation games, exercises and film screenings were held. Various competitions were organised—like face painting and poster making— on Environment.

RYAN GLOBAL SCHOOL

A Date to Remember

T

he students and staff of the School decided to do something fun on 11.12.13 - a special date of the century. Activities included ‘Design the Date Competition’ in the Primary Wing and ‘Badge Making’ in the Montessori Wing. Children also tried their hand at Date Formation.

Capping It

MANAV RACHNA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SECTOR 46

A

s part of its Christmas celebrations, the School organised a ‘Cap Making’ activity for the M-I children. The students enjoyed pasting and painting with different colours on the cut-outs of their caps.

MRIS Takes Aim

T

S

17

S

he tiny tots of LKG at Blue Bells Preparatory School participated in a Divine Singing Activity, wherein they recited dohas and shlokas and sang bhajans sincerely and melodiously.

Waste Not

K id C orner

he Shooting Range at Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46, was inaugurated by Raninder Singh, President NRAI, in the presence of Dr. Prashant Bhalla (Chancellor MRIU), Dr. Amit Bhalla (VP MREI), D.V.S. Rao (General Secretary NRAI), Baljeet Singh Sethi, Gagan Narang, Ronjan Singh Sodhi and Vijay Kumar. Raninder Singh congratulated the School on its latest facility and hoped that it would help in producing ace shooters.

tudents of Grade V visited the Toilet Museum – a unique Museum founded by Dr. Bindeswar Pathak, as part of the great Sulabh Sanitation Movement. The trip educated the students on the ways human waste can be used to produce bio-gas and liquid. In the Museum campus the students also got an opportunity to visit the Sulabh International Centre For Action Sociology and interacted with the students there.

Paintings stories poems

For children – write a poem, an article, a fictional story or even a real life experience (300-350 words). See it published in Friday Gurgaon – make your teachers and parents proud!

Space, the Final Frontier

K

indergarten students of the School went for an educational trip to the Nehru Planetarium. Inside the Sky Theatre, the kids watched the show, “Ultimate Universe”. They saw the Universe, space, planets, constellations, comets and asteroids come alive.

For teachers/administrators/ co-ordinators – here’s a chance to pen down your experiences, teachings and learnings. Send us your contributions (400-450 words). For information, Call us at 0124-4219092/93 Or email at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com


18 { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

L

ife means birth and death, youth and ageing, meeting and parting. A life that we can be happy to live is not one in which we are constantly trying to ‘live out’ only one half of these pairings – for the one implies the other. Despite this knowledge, we try and isolate ourselves from the elders when we are young; in exchange we get the same treatment when we grow old. There is reciprocity in human relations. Reciprocity means some agreement on equivalent service exchange; it involves an understanding of what one ought to receive in exchange for what one gives. In an inter-generational exchange, each generation may give at different times, according to need; parents may ‘give’ to their young children and, in later years, receive help from their adult children. However, reciprocity may also be unequal. The social exchange perspective attempts to account for exchange behaviour between individuals of different ages as a result of the shift in roles, skills and resources that accompany ageing. Social exchange is composed of some basic assumptions. A central assumption is that the social exchange framework is composed of various actors (such as parent and child or elders and youth), each of whom bring resources to the interaction or exchange; and the resources need not be material and will most likely be unequal. Another assumption is that the actors will only continue to engage in exchanges, as long as the benefits are greater than the costs, and

S piritual

20-26 December 2013

A Fair Exchange while there are no better alternatives. It is assumed that exchanges are governed by norms of reciprocity; when we give something we trust that something of equal value will be received. A concern in viewing social support from this theoretical perspective is that a hierarchical relationship is implied. In this scenario, equality is lost, and one will have more power or more resources. Because our increasingly westernized society tends to give negative attributions to ageing, it is not a surprise that the elders are seen as a burden. There has been a drastic change in the flow of ‘services’ between adult children and their aged parents. Due to economic transitions from an agricultural economy to an individual and service economy characterized by urbanization, the preponderance of the nuclear family and geographic mobility, there has been an erosion of the traditional norms of family obligation and reciprocity. Modernization has given rise to the loss of control over resources, and thereby prestige, by older persons. This has had the effect of lowering the likelihood and extent of support that parents can expect from their children. When looked at from the beginning of time, changes in our life are called development; when viewed from the perspective of the ending, they are called ageing. The concept of spirituality, as being an inter-subjective elevation of the biological, leading a person beyond selfcenteredness into solidarity with others, when applied to old age people, suggests a spirituality of various human worlds. This thinking enables us to take each other

Spiritual intelligence is the most essential to our well-being. It is concerned with the inner life of mind and spirit and its relationship to being in the world. It implies a capacity for a deep understanding of existential questions and an insight into multiple levels of consciousness. It is more than individual mental ability. In addition to self-awareness, it implies awareness of our relationship to the transcendent, to each other, to the earth and all beings. Spiritual intelligence opens the heart, illuminates the mind, and inspires the soul, connecting the individual human psyche to the underlying ground of being. It can be developed with practice and can help a person to distinguish reality from illusion. It may be expressed in any culture as love, wisdom and service. It is related to emotional intelligence, in so far as spiritual practice includes developing intrapersonal and interpersonal sensitivity. Spiritual intelligence is the ability to act with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the circumstances.

Senior citizens, after reaching 60 years of age, experience less continuity in life, more dissatisfaction, more social isolation, neglect, loss of self worth; these feelings are more commonly found among senior citizens living alone or without a family.

seriously in whatsoever state or condition we may be, and prevents us from looking upon any member of the human family as worthless or as a human deviant. Therefore, understanding old age infirmity and disability does not require compassion, let alone pity, but it does demand that one should be able to enter into a world very different from one’s own. One must learn to see the way the other worlds look from within the world that one has entered. Another approach would be by means of denunciation; yet another might be to heighten the awareness of one’s senses through the temporary elimination of one sense, or feeling the nonfunctioning of some parts of the body, in old age. The easiest sense to suspend is sight, which may be due to ‘zero vision’, because of the onset of serious ophthalmic complications in old age – though the experience of being forbidden to speak for a day or spending a day in a wheelchair can be just as ‘enlightening’. For social and economic reasons, the elderly must also live in the greater world, which should be made more enriched and fulfilling with support from the youngsters; this can be achieved most successfully if the adaptation to the larger society springs not from a sense of deficiency and loss, but from the realization of the intrinsic character of the world in which one lives. Disability or chronic illness may occur in the later stage of our life. Our life expectancies have increased by more than 30 years during the past century. The older population is expected to double by 2050, due to technological advances and our ability to survive disease, chronic illness and disability. The elderly constitute a vast untapped resource of skills and wisdom. Some advocacy

groups, espousing the rights of residents of assisted-living facilities, have started to come up. Rehabilitation counsellors are now involved in all the aspects of the lives of ‘disabled’ older persons – from providing physical help to mental peace. Ageing individuals have the potential for continual development and the pursuit of self-actualization. One way to reach this potential is to incorporate and practise spirituality in one’s life. This can help one to transcend the obstacles and negativity often associated with ageing and disability. Each of the elderly should identify a model of successful adaptation, which would not only help them cope with their constraints but also bring out their potential. A large majority of people believes in spirituality. This can provide a source of empowerment for the elderly. Having a foundation of faith can also assist them in assigning meaning to life – in living a life with purpose. Spirituality is a powerful tool and can be used at any time to draw positive energy from. Modern society has valued intellect and physique, and reduced its attention on spirituality and emotionality. When we conceive of our self as

nothing more than mind and body, and one or both of these has been challenged irreparably in our old age, it does not leave us with very much that is stable and intact. The balance does change, however, when credence is given to the spirit, which seems to be impervious to the onslaughts of age. The lessons in showing warmth and care for the elderly in the family should begin in childhood itself. This sapling of love, care and regard for the elderly, sown in the impressionable period, will blossom into much better fruit when we will grow old. An intergenerational reciprocity, to which we all need to be sensitized, will lead to intergenerational solidarity, and will lead to happiness and contentment in families and will offer a more closely woven and caring society. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 25 years. He can be contacted at rabhola@yahoo.com

Homing Hermits { Shobha Lidder } Seeker seek no more The Hermit with his hermitage has moved next door Look! Yonder… Flaunting peacocks woo their girls With shimmering tails of emerald, sapphire n pearls Pigeons grey rub their beaks n say Sweet nothings to each other The Romeo crow trailing at their tails is such a bother Daring eagles brave n shy, sentinels of the skies Hawks perched high on lofty trees with piercing eyes Mynas n sparrows, nameless birds twitter high Fluttering their wings, breeze by A symphony of unscripted sounds When the pigeon and the hound Snooze together, in hot May weather My country hound, so soft sweet brown Snugs her head on hers paws n ignores the diversity Extending her hospitality, my sweetie pie! And so I seek no more The Hermit with the hermitage has moved next door Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


W ellness

20-26 December 2013

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Cinnaromatic { Jaspal Bajwa }

O

ver 5,000 years ago, emperors and doctors were drawn to the alluring sweet aroma of a spice that seemed to be loaded with healing properties. Imported from distant lands in the East, this precious spice found an important place in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs and at the altars of places of worship. At one time it was considered to be worth many times more than gold and sparked tussles between the colonial powers. Today the welcoming and cozy touch of Cinnamon is found in many an aromatic dessert, beverage and culinary delight all over the world. This wonder-spice is obtained from the brown bark of the Cinnamon tree and is available either in its dried tubular form - known as a quill - or as ground powder. Most of the cultivation is in Sri Lanka, China, India and South-East Asia.

Traditional healing systems have long revered this health promoting spice for its ability to improve digestion, absorption and blood circulation, while at the same time promoting efficient elimination of toxins. Additionally, Cinnamon has been used in the treatment of respiratory and sinus congestion, bronchitis, colds and the flu. In Ayurveda, Cinnamon is often recommended for its warming and energizing effect on individuals having a slow, moist and heavy Kapha disposition; as also the Vata types characterised as thin, cold and prone to nervousness. In the Chinese tradition, Cinnamon is valued for its warming qualities often in combination with ginger or honey - to ward off colds, and for kidney disorders. The essential oil from Cinnamon has the ability to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, molds and yeasts. Sparked by a 2003 report in ‘Diabetes Care’, what has attracted a lot of attention in

recent times is Cinnamon’s ability to regulate blood sugar, prevent insulin resistance and thus help manage Type 2 Diabetes. Despite several debates, with each passing year the evidence mounts that Cinnamon indeed has a potentially beneficial effect on glycemic control. A 2007 report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that Cinnamon can help slow down the rate at which the stomach empties out high-carb foods - by 35-37% - thus reducing the risk of potential spikes in blood sugar levels.

Tip of the Week Cinnamon

provides

immediate relief when we are faced with the onset of a cold, sore throat or flu; take half a tea-spoon in hot tea, with some fresh ginger, 2-3 times a day. Honey is a welcome optional. The vapour released from boiling a few Cinnamon sticks can also be inhaled for added effect. While Cinnamon sticks can be stored longer, the ground powder has a stronger flavour. A sweet smell characterises its freshness. It should be kept in a tightlysealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Cinnamomum verum and C. cassia or

19

‘Dalchini’ Sri Lankan and Chinese Cinnamon are the most common commercially produced varieties. The former is often called “true” cinnamon, because of a lower coumarin content (hence a lower liver load). However, both varieties have similar health benefits and are high in polyphenols. In fact, with the exception of mint, Cinnamon is considered a more powerful antioxidant than many spices - like anise, ginger, licorice, nutmeg and vanilla). In addition to its unique essential oils, Cinnamon is an excellent source of fibre, the trace mineral manganese, and calcium. The Cinnamaldehyde in Cinnamon is responsible for the distinctive aroma, which boosts the brain cognitive processing skills, possibly improving working memory, visual-motor speed and virtual recognition memory. Despite the numerous health benefits of Cinnamon, people who are on diabetes or blood-thinning medication, or have pre-existing digestive disorders, should use Cinnamon under advice from medical practitioners.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical

Eat & Win { Tripti Tandon }

Y

our love for food could help you lose weight. You love eating, don’t you? You want to lose weight – right? You have tried everything - exercising, dieting and skipping meals. It is not working for you! If this is your story, I urge you to read on. You will be surprised that your love for food (eating) could help you lose weight – the stress free way! Learn how to stay healthy Eating right, at the right intervals and in limited quantities, is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Food is like a light switch. It turns the ‘fat burning’/’fat storage’ in your body On or Off. Fat burning starts when your body gets food and stops when your body does not. Feed your body when it needs it. Skipping meals only results in fat storage and makes your system behave like

a scrooge – your body will start making fat reserves, resulting in rapid weight gain. Eating right will help you lose weight and give proper nourishment to your body - keeping it fit, healthy and fulfilling. There is a simple science behind this. Our brain controls the release of ‘fat burning’ and ‘fat storage’ hormones. These hormones get released into our bloodstream and together they control our metabolism. They are released after each meal and your diet can manipulate these hormones. This is how your body makes it work. After each meal, your body produces a large amount of fat burning hormones and a little of the fat storing ones. eatofright, in Nutrition, the right ExpertWhen in theyou field Clinical quantities (more 3 times a day in Naturopathy, Childthan Obesity, Weight Loss limited quantities), some fat burning management for Men & Women, hormones consumed in burning Karmic and get Self Healing.

Tripti’s

Wellness 1

DLF - Phase 1, Gurgaaun, Haryana www.facebook.com/ieatright.triptitandon email: ieatright@yahoo.in mobile: +91 9810038656

Tripti Tandon – Founder & Chief Nutritionist

the new fat and the balance get used in burning the accumulated fat in your body - resulting in a healthy weight loss. Over a period of time this healthy regimen helps in speeding up the metabolism and reduces the storage of excessive fat. Once you know the trick you are a magician. Your metabolism doesn't know how much food you will eat the next day. Hence it burns the calories based on your eating habits during the past few days (and assumes that you will continue to consume the same calories in the coming days). If you keep eating the same type of food/calories, you'll be stuck with the same body forever. To start losing weight/ inches, you need to give your body a different type of food everyday. The trick

is to confuse your body and force the fat loss. Yes, it is maybe hard to believe… but eating more than three times a day could be a solution to speeding up your weight loss. And yes, you can keep eating…no dieting needed.u Founder & Chief Nutritionist - ‘Tripti’s Wellness 1’ & ‘I Eat Right’. Expert in the field of Clinical Nutrition, Naturopathy, Child Obesity, Weight Loss management for Men & Women, Karmic and Self Healing. DLF Phase 1, Gurgaon https://www.facebook.com/ieatright. triptitandon Follow on twitter @I_EatRight


20 { Meenu Thakur Sankalp }

S

wanky desks placed symmetrically in evenspaced cubicles spread across towers of concrete, interconnected information systems substituting to and fro physical movements, the body’s circulatory system driven out of circulation in the truest figurative sense, driving or being driven for no less than an hour in a traffic jam with jerky stomps on the accelerator pedal and brake, the car seat becoming the de facto breakfast table, endless cups of coffee and muffins being the ‘real’ lunch, mobile phones ringing while answering nature’s call…welcome to the competitive world, the microcosm of urban India, replete with an increasing advent of ‘razor edge’ work ethics. Why is it that most urbanites working in the corporate sector, Information Technology industry, Business Process Outsourcing companies...and even housewives, are facing health problems hitherto unheard of in this part of the world? Why do men and women who are hardly in their twenties look much older? Heart attacks before the age of forty, high blood pressure, diabetes, digestion problems and stomach

Classically Healthy ulcers, irregular periods and inability to conceive among women, drooping eyelids, premature wrinkling, greying of hair, lethargy at work, bulging waistlines and bony necklines are just some of the health issues faced by residents and workers in modern ‘growing’ cities. One often wonders if the answer(s) to these health problems lies in ‘forced upon oneself” physical exercises - like ‘hitting’ the gym everyday - or is there a need to enjoy oneself through a stress-busting option - both in the physical and the mental sense? Indian Classical Dance has often been looked upon as a prayer - the connect between the body and the soul, the mind and the intellect and the creator and the created. Dance evolves around movements, gestures, posture and the simple manner by which almost every part of the body prominently the hands, feet, neck, eyebrows, nose, eyes and the torso – is at play in unison. Anger, frustration, ill feelings, stress and dissatisfaction are released through the scientific base on which each dance movement

Gstaad Grandeur { Ruchika Makhija }

N

B on V ivant

20-26 December 2013

estled amidst the Swiss Alps is one of the best ski resorts of Europe – Gstaad - notorious for being the playground of the rich and famous. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself walking among international celebrities, as most of them are ‘regulars’, having their vacation homes in the surrounding areas. It might also be a little easier to find a Louis Vuitton outlet than a grocery store. But don’t let that deter you - it really is worth a dekko. And the residents of Gstaad are down to earth and people-friendly. Gstaad is best covered on foot, as it is ‘car-free’. It’s a great place for beginners to get introduced to the world of skiing and snowboarding. Winter events in Gstaad include an annual horse show, skijoring (a sport in which a horse or vehicle pulls a skier over snow or ice), ice hockey matches, ski meetings, curling competitions and toboggan races. You have the option of staying in one of the numerous hotels and wonderful chalets - none of them ‘budget’ though. The Gstaad Palace, a 5 Star hotel, is a great place to stay and offers breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. Here you can unwind in their in-house spa or the very famous GreenGo Nightclub. Last year Gstaad saw the opening of its finest luxury hotel, The Alpina Gstaad, which offers one of the best holistic and rejuvenating programs to its in-house guests. From Gstaad, the Panoramic Express takes you to Luzerne, where the surrounding Sannen area is indeed breathtaking. So go enjoy the plush hotels, designer boutiques, beautiful chalets bedecked with flowers and the sublime scenery…in and around Gstaad.u

has been conceptualized. Often the nine sentiments (the nava rasa) of every created being - of which anger, terror and disgust are the biggest negative influences - are bottled up and threaten to implode. The purpose of Dance is often misinterpreted to ‘impress’, when its inert qualities actually seek to ‘express’. Making of facial expressions, wherein each (facial) muscle is tweaked and the eyeball contracted and expanded, leads to better vision and the delay of wrinkling. Lumbago, lower back pain and cervical spondylitis can be treated effectively by the tapping of the feet lightly on the ground in a lyrical set of movements, which are a stark contrast to the involuntary jerky twists and

{ Krishan Kalra }

R

turns when sitting on a couch in front of the TV or adopting an incorrect posture while working at the office. Rotations, with the co-ordinated stomping of the feet, relieve vertigo and giddiness. Sample a delirious child on a roller coaster or on a merrygo-round, who does not feel giddy or nauseated, because the mind enjoys the encircling body. The same is true of Dance. Twirling the waist rhythmically results, over time, in the formation of a slender silhouette in women. The subtleness and the sublime balance in Classical Dance forms, striking easy-footed movements that portray a remarkable sense of balance, ensure that the lower back muscle seldom suffers a pull. It is often noticed that Dance is recommended a few months after childbirth, when the posterior weight piles on quicker than expected. Dance tones the muscles and burns the excess fat that seems to invariably get deposited during this time in a women’s life. Of course Classical Dance is not the only (dance) answer to urban India’s growing health problems. Western and non-

Indian forms - be it Rumba, Samba, Ballroom, Tap, Salsa, Hip Hop, Rock n Roll – also deliver their own stress-busting intricacies; the principle holds true for folk dances. And the basic idea of inculcating Dance in one’s life cannot substitute good living or controlled eating, or for that matter an organized lifestyle with time for recreation and relaxation, or undertaking outdoor physical activities and games - and above all a positive attitude towards life. The paucity, or even the general absence of these basic requirements in today’s urban life, is indeed food for thought. “The embodied soul is eternal in existence, indestructible and infinite; only the material body is factually perishable.” (Bhagavad Gita - Chapter 2, Verse 18). Even though the soul is indestructible, our bodies are being systematically destroyed well before they are merging with the Divine. This provides enough of a reason for making Dance a value addition in our daily routine, especially during our work-life. u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

Made in Heaven

amesh Ramaswamy, a handsome qualified engineer working with one of the Silicon Valley (LA) biggies, was nudging thirty but hadn’t yet found the right girl. There were many proposals from prosperous Tamil families settled in California, but our man had other dreams. He wanted to marry someone ‘indigenous’ - someone brought up in India. One evening, when visiting his friend, another bachelor from India – Moin Ahmed – he sat and watched the video of a recent Muslim wedding that Moin had attended in Delhi. At one point Ramesh asked Moin to pause and reverse the film; he then asked him to freeze on one of the frames. “Who is that girl? She doesn’t look Muslim”, Ramesh asked excitedly. It was a case of ‘love at first sight’. He begged Moin to call home and find out about the “girl of his dreams”. Several international calls — and several video viewings in LA & Delhi — later, Moin’s mother confirmed that the slim, attractive girl with a pony tail was indeed non-Muslim – the daughter of her good friend and colleague, Rani Rangarajan. Her name was Malini and she’d just finished school! “Tell your friend to forget her,” Mrs. Ahmed advised her son. “She’s too young”. But our man had other ideas. He’d found his princess and would do anything to woo her. “I am going to Delhi,” he told Moin. “Please ask your mom to talk to the Rangarajans; I want to meet Malini” Once again there were many calls

back and forth. Mrs. Ahmed even mentioned about the middle class social status of her friend, their conservativeness and their small flat in R K Puram…but Ramesh was adamant, and very persuasive. Rani and her husband finally agreed that Ramesh could visit and meet Malini. A further request to stay with them – so that he could spend maximum time with the family – was politely declined. It seemed that Moin’s repeated assertions about his friend’s character and financial security had helped. Mrs. Ahmed even managed to persuade Rani’s family to consider an immediate marriage, if Malini approved of the young man. The small flat of the Rangarajans was spruced up quickly. The living room was specially done up with new curtains & some artefacts. Ramesh came and checked into a hotel nearby. He would come over for breakfast and then virtually stay there for the day. He didn’t really get much time alone with Malini, but that didn’t matter. He impressed everyone with his polite demeanour, engaging conversation and witty stories about LA. At 10 pm on the last day, hours before Ramesh’s return flight, Rani called a few close friends and announced the engagement of her under twenty daughter. One month later Ramesh came back to marry his first love and take her to Los Angeles. Nine years on, the couple is blissfully happy; they have a 3-year-old son, Rani visits her daughter every summer and Malini also travels home frequently. No one gives a damn to the couple’s ‘social differences’. Marriages are indeed Made in Heaven.u


20-26 December 2013

{ Johannesburg/ DPA }

O

ver the course of his life, antiapartheid icon Nelson Mandela provided many memorable speeches and soundbites. In the dock at the 1964 Rivonia Trial, facing the gallows for acts of sabotage against the apartheid government, he told the court: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Nelson Mandela in his own Words - Nation building: “You sometimes need a bulldozer, and sometimes a feather-duster.”

“One of the things that made me long to be back in prison was that I had so little opportunity for reading, thinking and quiet reflection after my release.” - Courage: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”

A wider selection of quotations follows:   

- Racism: “Racism is a blight on the human conscience.”

- Prison: “A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred; he is locked behind bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.” “In my country we go to prison first and then become President.”

- On his inauguration as President in 1994: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.”

- Negotiating with the enemy: “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” - On “retiring from retirement” in 2004: “Thank you very much for your attention and thank you for being kind to an old man - allowing him to take a rest, even if many of you may feel that after loafing somewhere on an island and other places for 27 years, the rest is not really deserved.” “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” - Bad governance in Africa: “We must face the matter squarely, that where there is something wrong in how we govern ourselves, it must be

H

ijackers who opened containers inside the lorry they stole in Mexico earlier this week unwittingly exposed themselves to dangerous radiation and are most likely seriously ill or already dead, a Mexican nuclear security official said. Police were searching for the armed robbers who stole the lorry, carrying a dangerous cargo of radioactive hospital waste, from a petrol station outside Mexico City. Authorities have recovered the truck and said that the container holding the material had been opened and its contents spread on a field. “These people had not the slightest idea what they took out. Apparently they were not specialists,” Physicist Mardonio Jimenez of the National Commission for Nuclear Safety and Safeguards told dpa. “The risk of them dying is very great.” They were likely exposed to radiation, but pose no danger to others, he said. “Whoever took the material out of the container is in bad shape or already

dead,” Nuclear Commission Chief Juan Eibenschutz said. The material’s dangerous radiation was preventing authorities from recovering it. Authorities asked people living in the neighbouring town of Hueypoxtla to stay in their homes, and the area has been cordoned off. The lorry with the radioactive material was hijacked in Hidalgo State. Two armed robbers overpowered the driver while he was on a break, tied him up and left him in an open area, the newspaper El Universal reported. The hijackers probably burned themselves when they opened the containers, and discarded the radioactive material, not knowing what to do, Eibenschutz told MVS Radio. In Washington a White House spokesman said it had monitored the situation as it unfolded, had been in close touch with Mexican officials and taken precautions along the border. Spokesman Jay Carney said: “At this point we do not have any reason to believe that the stolen vehicle ever posed a threat to the United States.” u

Scientists sequence 400,000-year-old Human DNA { Leipzig, Germany/ DPA }

S

cientists in Germany said Wednesday that they have sequenced the oldest genetic material linked to human evolution. The material, extracted from skeletal remains of a Homo heidelbergensis individual in a cave in northern Spain, dates back 400,000 years. The team from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, said it was not related to the Neanderthals as first thought, but to a lineage of the Denisovans, another extinct species. Only a single human species, Homo sapiens, now exists. In the past, research into human origins relied mainly on studying shapes of fossil bones. A team led by Matthias Meyer obtained an almost-complete mitochondrial genome sequence from the bone, found in the Sima de los Huesos complex of caves in Spain. Mitochondria are the power plants of cells and have their own DNA. Meyer said the previous benchmark was DNA  from a Neanderthal individual 100,000 years old, found in the Scladina Cave in Belgium. The species in Spain and the Denisovans, who are known from bone fragments in Siberia, forked apart 700,000 years ago, Meyer said. u

21

said that the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves. We know that we have it in ourselves, as Africans, to change all this.” - Meeting the Spice Girls in 1997: “They are my heroes ... this is one of the greatest moments of my life.” - Learning language: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” - Freedom: “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that, after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.” u

Orange Alert raised in China

Thieves who stole Nuclear waste could be fatally exposed { Mexico City/ DPA }

G lobal

{ Beijing/ DPA }

S

mog choking central and eastern China caused authorities to issue an orange alert – as the number of people seeking treatment in hospitals for respiratory problems jumped, and sales of air filters and masks skyrocketed. The alert was raised from yellow, to the second-highest level on China’s four-tier warning system for extreme weather—in which red is the highest—as the pollution reduced visibility to a soup, disrupted flights and caused many people to stay home. “It stinks like smoke,” a woman in Shanghai said. “The air really scratches in your throat. We’ve never experience such terrible smog.” Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Henan provinces have suffered smog for six consecutive days, the Xinhua news agency said, while other central and eastern regions have experienced three to five days of smog. “It is like a disaster movie,” one angry online post said. Nanjing, Jiangsu’s capital, was under a red alert, and Shanghai has been plagued by high levels of air pollution after air masses carried industrial emissions from neighbouring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Shanghai authorities halted all construction work and ordered children indoors, as the financial hub suffered one of its worst bouts of air pollution.

Officials also reduced bus service by onethird and cancelled some flights to and from Shanghai Airport. The City’s concentration of harmful fine particles in the air reached 602 micrograms per cubic metre, 24 times higher than the level considered tolerable by the World Health Organization. “It’s never been this bad before,” said a German expatriate living in Shanghai with his wife and two primary schoolaged children. “We’ve been here four years, but next year we’re done. Enough is enough. We have no idea what living here is doing to the children.” Companies have complained in past years that the pollution has made it hard to attract foreigners to work in cities such as Beijing and other regions, repeatedly hit by smog. Medical experts warned that the levels of air pollution could increase the risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as cause respiratory problems, birth defects and cancer. “Smog and haze are largely attributed to the current development model,” Xie Zhenhua, Deputy Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency. Manufacturers are concerned only with the growth of their production and ignore the environment, he said. Meteorologists said the weather was partly responsible for the abysmal air quality.u


22

20-26 December 2013

Not a good Christmas gift idea

New Panorama Walk in Canada

{ Berlin / DPA }

{ Berlin/ DPA }

G

I

iving a loved one a voucher for cosmetic surgery is not such a great Christmaspresent idea, Germany’s Society of Plastic Surgeons (DGAPC) warns in a new information leaflet. A voucher for breast enlargement or fat removal may also trigger offence with the implied message that ‘darling’ is not looking so lovely any more. The Society says that from a medical point of view, no decision in favour of cosmetic surgery should be taken until the doctor has examined the patient and weighed the possible health risks. It is unwise to surprise a loved one by paying the surgery bill in advance. Of course any other kind of vouchers as a gift is likely to suggest that the giver couldn’t be bothered going shopping. u

f you get a kick from walking on a glass floor over a deep drop, try the new Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park in Canada. It is due to open on May 17, 2014, near the visitors’ centre at the Columbia Icefield. According to Travel Alberta, the 500-metre walkway will provide a fantastic panoramic view over the Sunwapta Valley, 280 metres below. The glass floor is part of an observation platform, which juts 30 metres out from the cliff edge. Tickets for the experience in the Canadian Rockies cost about 25 dollars (about 18 euros). u

New Museums in Los Angeles

V

isitors to Los Angeles will have three new museums to discover next year. Two of them – the Museum of Neon Light and the Wende Museum – are moving to new locations, while the Broad Museum will be a new attraction. The new museum will be located near the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Museum of Contemporary Art, and exhibit a portion of the collection from Eli and Edythe Broad in 11,200 square metres of space. The Los Angeles Tourism Board says that entrance will be free. The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) has already left its premises in the city centre and will re-open in Glendale. The building will display 50 neon signs. The Wende Museum will display its exhibits in Culver City, starting 2014. u

{ Berlin/ DPA }

A

wake-up-light alarm clock can provide a gentle and effective way to get out of bed faster in the morning. The clock works by turning on the dimmed light 30 minutes before the alarm is due to go off, and then making it steadily brighter. It’s a little like having the rising sun in your bedroom. As the light gets brighter, the body prepares itself to be woken up. A wake-up-light alarm can also be used as a bedside reading lamp. It’s also a good idea to use a light in the bathroom, which will make you alert faster. A cool, white light is a good one to choose; though in the evening you should have a warm, white gentle light to help your body relax. Adding a dimmer switch to both sets of lights will allow you to set them at the optimal brightness level. u

Google working on Robot development

G

oogle has bought seven robotics companies in recent months, as part of a strategy to develop its own robots, which can be used for warehouse, manufacturing and delivery work, the New York Times reported. The Report said that Google had placed Andy Rubin in charge of the Project. Rubin is the highly regarded executive who led the development of Android into the world’s most widely used smartphone software. Google has long been committed to investing resources in ambitious technology projects that are not directly related to its core search software. Recent examples include the development of driverless cars and high altitude balloons, to provide broadband access to remote areas. The Company usually develops new technolo-

gies in its Project X experimental unit. But in a sign of how advanced Google’s Robot project is, Rubin’s unit functions as an independent division in the Company, the New York Times reported. The Report appeared just days after web retail giant Amazon.com detailed its plans to develop a fleet of autonomous drones that would be capable of delivering packages weighing up to 2.5 kilograms to customer homes within 16 kilometres of its distribution centres. According to the Report, the

Ferrari that inspired toy racer sells for 14.3 million dollars

{ Los Angeles/ DPA }

Using Artificial Light to wake up more rested

{ San Francisco/ DPA }

G lobal

robotics companies that Google has bought include Japanese robotics company Schaft, Redwood Robotics, 3D vision company Industrial Perception and Bot & Dolly (which built the robots that helped film Gravity). Google has also acquired Meka Robotics, advertising and design firm Autofuss and advanced wheel design firm Holomni. Rubin told the paper that the Project was being developed with a 10-year vision. He compared it to that of Google’s self-driving cars. “The automated car project was science fiction when it started. Now it is coming within reach,” said Rubin. “I feel with robotics it’s a green field. We’re building hardware, we’re building software, we’re building systems – so one team will be able to understand the whole stack.”u

{ New York / DPA }

A

handsome 50-year-old Ferrari 250 LM racing car, which inspired one of the world’s best-selling child’s toys, has been sold at an auction by Sotheby’s in New York, for a record 14.3 million dollars. Unlike its competition stablemates, this ultra-rare 250 LM, known as Chassis 6107, was used mainly to cruise around town and the scenic Mulholland Drive highway in southern California. Only 32 examples of the Ferrari 250 LM were ever built and few people ever got to see the real car, which was first shown at shows in 1963. Many remember a diecast version in the now defunct Corgi range of model cars. It sold more than 1.6 million times until the early 1970s, making it one of the most popular miniature cars ever made. The 1/47th-scale Corgi 250 LM was numbered 314 in the range and featured an opening hood to reveal a tiny engine along with detailed spoked hubs. The most recent owner of the real car auctioned in New York was a Japanese collector, who bought it in 1983 and displayed the vehicle for 30 years. The car has been driven only 10,000 miles. u

Worldwide wishes planned for Confetti drop in New York { New York/ DPA }

P

eople from round the globe will be able to make a wish in New York this New Year’s Eve: if you can’t personally post your wish with a slip of paper on the New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall, just send one in online. One tonne of wishes on paper will rain down as confetti over Times Square, after the big countdown to 2014 reaches zero. Visitors can hand in their wish lists at the Times Square Museum & Visitor Center on Seventh Avenue between 46th and 47th streets. The premises are open seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm. The marketing organization, NYC Company, says anyone abroad can take part simply by visiting www.timessquarenyc.org and writing a wish online. All wishes collected by New Year’s Eve will be printed and included in the midnight confetti drop. u

Munitions experts defuse 250-kilo bomb from World War II { Oranienburg, Germany/ DPA }

A

bout 12,000 people were evacuated from their homes and workplaces in the eastern German town of Oranienburg, while munitions experts defused a 250-kilogramme bomb from World War II. Trains to and from the town in Brandenburg state saw delays and cancellations because of the operation, the 176th such deactivation there since 1990. “Today’s events have proceeded without complications so far,” Mayor Hans-Joachim Laesicke said. “However, the danger of significant damage is high today,” he said, adding that the bomb was situated close to a multistoried apartment building. Unexploded devices dating back to the bombardment of Germany during World War II, are still frequently found. Two weeks ago, another bomb was defused in Brandenburg, and a house was destroyed as a result – but no one was injured. u


20-26 December 2013

{ Philipp Laage/Huaraz, Peru/ DPA }

Trek to Peru’s Nevado Pisco

G

ood weather for Pisco,” said Carlos, my guide. Our three-day journey to the white-capped summit of Nevado Pisco, 5,752 metres high in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Peruvian Andes, began at 3,100 metres in the trekking mecca of Huaraz. The conifer-covered slopes and glaciated peaks are close to the city, fully rebuilt after a massive earthquake and landside killed about half of its 30,000 inhabitants in 1970. The people seem strangely distant, though. We climbed into a four-wheeldrive vehicle in front of the small mountaineering outfitter run by Carlos Callupe Carrera, 34, a certified mountain guide with chiselled, youthful features, an easy smile and upper body that stretched his shirts taut. After following the Callejon de Huaylas, a valley along the Santa River between the Cordillera Blanca and snowless Cordillera Negra range, we turned onto gravel roads leading up to Huascaran National Park. To our right towered Mt. Huascaran, only slightly shorter than Mt. Aconcagua (6,960m), in Argentina on the Chilean border – the tallest mountain outside Asia. Around noon we reached camp at Cebollapama, a trailhead 3,900 metres above sea level. Quenoal trees dotted the slopes of the Llanganuco gorge. Carlos pitched his tent, and Marcus - hired as a cook and organizer - put up an eight-cornered tent for himself and me. The gorge is popular with trekkers, who make a day’s round-trip climb to Laguna 69, a small glacial lake at 4,600 metres. On Day 1 of our Pisco ascent it was a good destination to get acclimatized to the altitude. Carlos gave elevation-coping tips along the way. “Drink before you’re thirsty,” he said. “And eat a lot of small portions. Otherwise, for digestion, your body will direct too much blood to your stomach, from your muscles.” A young German day-tripper was breathing heavily beside the trail. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done!” she sputtered. Trekkers who head straight to Laguna 69 without getting acclimatized to the altitude for a couple of days in Huaraz, pay a price: dizziness, headache, fatigue. The body can permanently tolerate altitudes only as high as 5,500 metres or so. “A person can remain higher up for a few days, but not weeks,” Carlos said. The “death zone,” survivable for just a few hours, begins at about 7,500 metres. Atmospheric pressure there is so low that the lungs are unable to take in sufficient oxygen. Laguna 69 was a forget-me-

23 2

3

Philipp Laage

G lobal

1

5 1: The orange glow of the rising sun on the flank of Huandoy (6,395 metres, in the Andes) against the deep blue of the clear highaltitude sky. 


4

2: Carlos, the guide, at not blue. Behind it, jagged edges of the glacier, on the steep, south face of Mt Chacraraju (6,112m), dropped towards the Lake. The air was cold and clear. Breathtaking by day, it’s no place to be unequipped in darkness, so we went back down to camp. That evening at Cebollapampa our mules grazed by the stream. Marcus prepared a traditional Peruvian dish on the gas cooker – lomo saltado (beef with potatoes, onions, soy sauce and rice). And Carlos regaled us with tales of his wild youth. The next day was sunny and we climbed to the base camp at 4,600 metres, encountering four dejected Americans going the other way. Stricken with splitting headaches the night before their planned ascent to Pisco’s summit, they had been forced to turn back. “It was really bad,” remarked Beth, who said their guide had been of little help. “He hardly spoke with us at all.” The four had been in Peru less than a week when they booked their tour in Huaraz. The guide should have known they weren’t ready to climb past 5,500 metres. “He asked me if he could buy my sleeping bag!” Beth said. It’s not easy to find a good mountaineering outfitter in

left in grey shirt, advises his climbers to constantly drink even if they do not feel thirsty. At right is his colleague Marcus. The mule carries supplies during the trek to Pisco.

6 Huaraz. Some have low-quality equipment and poorly qualified guides. For climbs of 5,000 metres or more, a certified guide should be hired. Good outfitters usually supply all necessary equipment as well: crampons, ice picks, ropes, carabiners and helmets, along with thick gloves, climbing gaiters and hard-shell expedition boots, which protect against cold better than ordinary hiking boots. In the afternoon, at base camp, Carlos rechecked the gear carried up by the mules. Meanwhile, dark clouds gathered and it started to hail. Though the summit seemed very near now, rough weather in the morning would make an ascent too dangerous. But when we peered out of the tent at 1 am, stars sparkled in the sky and the icy faces of the surrounding six-thousanders shone so clearly under the full moon

3: A party of four roped together and wearing crampons on their boots during the Pisco climb. Good equipment and safe practices are vital to survival in the high Andes. 4: Laguna 69, an astonishing speck of azure blue in the black-and-while world of Peru’s highest Andes, as seen during Philipp Laage’s ascent of Pisco.

5: The view from the

summit of Pisco. In the distance, at right, the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca puncture the cloud layer, which resembles a sea of cotton wool.

6: The Plaza del Armas in

the centre of Huaraz, the Peruvian city where many foreign climbers strike deals with outfitters for highaltitude climbs and treks, such as the ascent of Pisco. 


that every crack in the ice was visible. There was almost enough light to set out without headlamps. We reached the glacier after a climb of about two hours. First we put on the crampons and gaiters, and then we roped up. My fingers were numb with cold. “Swing your hands and feet back and forth to stimulate blood circulation,” Carlos advised. He manoeuvred me through the craggy nocturnal icescape, furrowed with crevasses up to 60 metres deep. The route led through a wind gap in the ridge on the approach to the summit. Shortly before dawn the summit seemed deceptively close. Exhaustion came ever more quickly - after 10 steps, after five ...And then ... we were there. The flank of Mt Huandoy (6,395m) gleamed orange in the morning sun. To the north, the moon still hung in the dark blue sky, while a pink stripe spread over the white mountains. There stood Mt. Artesonraju, said to be the peak in the Paramount Pictures logo; and Mt. Alpamayo, often called the world’s most beautiful mountain because of its trapezoidal south-west face. The clouds below, punctured by the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. resembled a sea of cotton wool as seen from an airplane. I was flying, and my feet were on glittering ground.u


24

20-26 December 2013

G -Scape asha PANDEY

Merry Christmas


Frdiay gurgaon 20 26 dec, 2013