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30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

Vol. 3 No. 2  Pages 24  ` 7

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

The Scams of Gurgaon


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H appenings

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

Dastkaron Ki Karigari

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he Dastkar South Asian Bazaar, on till September 1st at Andheria Modh, brings together the cultural wealth and diversity of South Asian countries –namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan. Craftspeople and crafts organisations from these countries have come together to share and showcase their talents, techniques and products.

Dentists Cry 'Quack'

M Colposcopy Workshop

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eading gynaecologists from across the City gathered together at the Columbia Asia Hospital to attend a Workshop and an interactive session on Colposcopy. The specialists engaged in detailed discussions about the procedure and its use in detecting other cervical issues. The aim of the Workshop was to enable more doctors to train in the procedure. Colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure that uses the colposcope—a light and a low-powered microscope—to magnify the cervix and aids in taking a biopsy from suspicious areas in the cervix.

DLF5 Freedom Run

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n the occasion of Independence Day, DLF5 held a Freedom Run for residents and their guests at The City Club. Over 800 participants across all condominiums of DLF5 took part in the Event. The Freedom Run—spanning over 5 kilometers— was flagged off by Aakash Ohri, Executive Director, DLF. While participants were engaged in the Run, their families enjoyed the Carnival held at Club5. It included various activities for children – a Drawing competition, Air Hockey, Reverse Bungee Jump and Paintball. ‘Flavours of India’ – a multi-cuisine lunch – was also on offer. Professional kite flyers, especially flown in from Gujarat, guided the residents in flying specially-designed kites.

embers of the Indian Dental Association (IDA) of Gurgaon served a memorandum to the City Administration regarding the menace caused by dental clinics run by unqualified persons. Indian Dental Association members Dr. Mandeep Yadav (Secretary), Dr. Mandeep Goyal (President), Dr. Gaurav Gupta (Treasurer) and other dentists—including Dr. H.K Bhel, Dr. V.P Singh and Dr. S.Kawatra (Vice President)— met the Deputy Commissioner, Shekhar Vidyarthi. The Commissioner of Police, Alok Mittal, assured the members that strict action would be taken against the 'quacks'.

Mental Adventure

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elebrated Mentalist Lior Suchard performed at Nautanki Mahal to a wide-eyed audience. The Show was full of interaction, humour and fun. Lior took the spectators on a nail-biting adventure, beyond telepathy and mind-reading. The Master Showman’s ‘mentalism’ was built on drama, tension and astonishment, which left the audience gasping for more.

KIIT Founder's Day

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amrah Institute of Innovative Teaching (KIIT) celebrated its 10th Founders Day.The Function was inaugurated by the Chairman of the College, B.R Kamrah, DG S.S Aggarwal, CEO Harsh Kamrah and Registrar Neelima Kamrah. The Chief Guest of the function was former Director of IIT Delhi, Surendra Prasad, who lit the lamp. Darpan, an e-news letter of KIIT, was also launched.


04 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–02  30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

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Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora

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WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

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

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

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

Conference

OWASP InfoSec India Conference 2013

@ Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sector 29, Opposite Signature Tower Date: August 30 Time: 9:30 am

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Conference on security events, followed by hands-on training on cutting edge technologies. There will be two parallel sessions running in two Convention Halls, addressing strategists and experts on emerging security threats and counter-measure technologies. The Speakers at the Conference will be renowned experts from across the globe. cocktails. Featuring an elaborate menu, where you can choose from the salad counter, chaat counter and a live South Indian counter. In the main course, meat lovers can enjoy mutton and chicken delicacies, while the veggies can savour paneer, dal and other delectables. A wide assortment of Indian and Western desserts ensures that you leave on a nice, sweet note.

Exhibition

Adaah – Contemporary Fashion & Lifestyle

@ Hotel Courtyard Marriot, Sushant Lok 1, Sector 27 Date: August 30 & 31 Time: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

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Lifestyle Exhibition showcasing bridal wear, apparel, jewellery, Pakistani suits, Onyx stones, handicrafts, home furnishings, home decor, gift items and more. Entry is free.


Papa CJ Live

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A

Nightlife

Stand Up Comedy @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 31 Time: 7:30 pm

'hatke' evening of laughter with noted comedian Papa CJ. The Show promises to be unscripted, unplanned and unstructured – yet brilliantly funny.

Exhibition

Auspicious Occasions by Sia, The Divine Creations

Live Retro Western Music

@ Wokamama, A-4, 1st Floor, Nathupur Main Road, DLF Phase III Date: August 30 (Every Friday) Time: 8:00 pm

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aze, Sip, and Relax over Live Retro Music on the Terrace. Enjoy the flavours of Pan Asian cuisine on a jazzy Retro evening. The Chef’s special preparations―be it the Sushis or the Chicken-Yakitori―will add to making the evening divine.

@ The Legend Apartments, Sector 57 Date: August 31 & September 1 Time: 11:00 am

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f you are looking to update your Festival wardrobe, this is the time. On display is a blend of style and tradition – ethnic designer wear, including salwar suits, office wear, Pakistani kurtis and more.

urgaon Half Marathon is running for a cause – to raise funds for Uttarakhand. Join the Run, which starts and ends at Leisure Valley. Call the toll free number 1-800-200-2848 or visit www. gurgaonmarathon.org, for more.

Run

Promo Run with Milind Soman @ Leisure Valley, Sector 29 Date: September 1 Time: 6:30 am

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iz Divas, in association with Pinkathon― Milind Soman's initiative for breast cancer awareness and fitness for women―has organised a Promo Run with actor Milind Soman. This Run is a precursor to the Pinkathon Run in Delhi on September 15th.

Marathon

Gurgaon Half Marathon

@ Leisure Valley, Sector 29 Date: September 1 Time: 7:00 am

Food

An Irresistable Deal

@ India House, Hotel 32nd Milestone, NH8 Date: Up to September 15 Time: 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm

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reat yourself to an irresistible lunch deal – a lavish buffet lunch paired with two special

Food

Goan Food Festival

@ New Town Cafe, Park Plaza Hotel, Sushant Lok Phase 1 Date: Up to September 1 Time: 12 noon onwards

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reat your palate to authentic coastal cuisine from Goa. Chef Peter de Araujo, who has been specially flown in from Lucio Restaurant at The Radisson Blu Resort, Goa, will familiarise you with delectable Goan delicacies. Some of his signature dishes include Piaxe Pataniscas, Galinhas Caldeirada, Pescado Cafreal Tamale, Goan fish curry, Chicken Cafreal, Lamb Vindaloo, Mutton Xacuti, Mackerel Raechad, Fish Ambot Tika, Bibinca and Dodol. 




30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

C oming U p

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART Workshop

Garba-Dandiya Raas

Registration Dates: 27th Aug to 7th Sep (08:00am to 04:00pm) Registration & Workshop Venue: Ryan Global School, Site No.1, Nursery Site, Sector – 40. Workshop classes: 7th Sep. to 7th Oct. everyday Grand Finale Dates: 11th & 12th Oct. 2013 Workshop Fees: Rs. 2000/- Only. Contact: 0124-4362752 (8am4pm) : (0)7838044833

Food

Chai Pakora Party

@ Cafe Delhi Heights, DLF Cross Point Building, DLF City Phase 4 Date: Up to September 15 Time: 10:00 am onwards

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ccording to the Met department, there's still scope for some rain. So make the most of that and enjoy a steaming cup of tea with a plateful of spicy and sumptuous pakoras. The Monsoon Special menu offers a variety of delicious pakoras in its ‘Pakora Tokri’ – including Aloo, Beguni Eggplant, Bhavnagri Chillies, Paan Treats and Gobi Grace. Team the lip-smacking Tokri treat with your favourite flavoured chai.

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month-long Garba – Dandiya Workshop conducted by a group of trained Instructors from Gujarat is being held for the first time in Gurgaon. This format has successfully completed 9 years in Delhi, and has over 500 members. Learn intricate steps and group dancing in four dance forms: Dandiya, Garba, Heench and Teen-Tali.The Workshop culminates in a Grand Finale during Navratri, with the Garba-Dandiya Raas at Delhi.

Art

Mystic Expressions

@ Beanstalk, Galaxy Hotel, NH8 Date: September 6 (Preview & Reception) to October 3 Time: 6:30 pm onwards

Art

Ehsaas By Alpna Kataria

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: August 30 & September 1 Time: 11:00 am onwards

Workshop

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collection of recent artworks of Neeti Agarwal. The Artist works with mixed media in layers, to create a visual depth and interplay of light and colour.

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solo Art Exhibition by Alpna Kataria. The Artist attempts to capture fleeting intense moments of happiness, sorrow, hope, love and passion in her paintings.

Discussion

Roundtable on

presents Empowering Locala Bodies for Better Governance

@ Auditorium, Artemis Hospital, Sector 51 Date: September 1 Time: 9:45 am

Empowering Local Bodies for J Better Governance

oin this Round Table if you, as a Gurgaonite, are interested in understanding the key issues concerning the City. Participants include representatives of Gurgaon's Citizen Groups, notable citizens September 1, 2013 Art as well as Guest Speakers. This is Sector 51to learn more about the Artscapes 3 Venue: Auditorium, Artemis Hospitals, a chance @ Ramada Gurgaon Central, activities and initiatives being taken Site No 2. Sector 44 up by various citizens and Citizen How often have we wondered if there were better ways and systems of getting things done Date: September 6 Groups. There is no fee or charge for by improving efficiency of our urban local bodies and felt that nothing indeed may change. Time: 10:00 am attending the roundtable. You need The “Good News” is that things can indeed become better, through a collective and nYahh!! presents an exhibitionto pre-register at teamgurgaonfirst@ constructive approach by Citizen Groups, NGOs, RWAs and progressive citizens. cum-sale of paintings and Art gmail.com by sending in your name Join us onartists. September 1 for aand Better Gurgaon… collectibles by emerging phone no.

Issues, Perspective and Way Forward for Gurgaon

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06 write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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he Poll bugle has been sounded. Ambition, selfinterest and survival are the three keywords that seem to be guiding the current political scenario in Haryana – not that it is very different across the country today. Performance, transparency and accountability are not even on the agenda. With little internal democracy in most parties, the Party High Commands’ writs run supreme across the political spectrum. While the Congress in the State is suffering from political infighting amidst the waning popularity of CM Hooda, the opposition INLD is fighting its own ghosts - with the Party High Command comprising of Om Prakash Chautala and Abhay Chautala indicted in the JBT scam. BJP has always been an urban phenomenon, and has been effective only when in an alliance with the INLD. Political pundits opine that BJP's truck with the Kuldip Bishnoiled Haryana Janhit Congress is more likely to act as a drag on the Party than help it win seats. Rao Inderjeet has raised the banner of revolt in the Congress after being sidelined by Haryana CM Hooda, who has been able to glean away MLAs who were considered close to the MP. The recent media attack by a group of six Congress MLAs on Rao, after he raked the Vadra land issue, was a pointer to the Party being in no mood to forgive him for transgressing the party line. In fact Rao Dan Singh, Congress Legislator and a close confidante of Hooda, recently alleged that the Congress MP had made patently false allegations on the CLU (Change of Land Use) issue, and it was done only to gain political mileage. He also rejected the demand of a probe into the land deals of the Haryana government. On the issue of poor development and discrimination, which Rao Inderjeet has repeatedly raised, Singh wanted to know why the Party MP had not raised the issue in the last 8 years, and what had prompted him to do so now. Meanwhile, the Rao camp is keeping all its options open. While speculation is rife that he could join the BJP during the proposed visit of Narendra Modi to Rewari on September 15, it seems that some other options are also being explored by him and his supporters. Recently his daughter, Arti Singh Rao, applied for registration of a new political party in the name of Haryana Insaaf Congress. Political observers say that this could be a ploy to put pressure on both the Congress and BJP to agree to his political demands. Rao's close confi-

The Party Has Started dante G.L Sharma told Friday Gurgaon, “Gurgaon and South Haryana have seen no development under the Hooda government. The entire South Haryana has been discriminated against in terms of jobs, infrastructure and development. This is why we are against the current leadership.” The formation of the Haryana Insaaf Congress, which was announced this year on March 5 in a rally in Rewari, is a step by Rao towards forming an independent front in the area. With the formation of the new party, Inderjeet is emulating his father Rao Birender Singh, who launched the Vishal Haryana Party. The elder Rao had created history by winning five seats in the Ahirwal belt, but later merged his Party with the Congress. A large number of Congress workers, and even Rao supporters, however admit that this time it would be difficult for Rao to pull off the coup in South Haryana (including Gurgaon), as the people are unhappy over his inaccessibility and poor performance. While Rao has been repeatedly accusing the Hooda government of discrimination-

ASHA PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

Haryana politics has always been more about following individual leaders than political parties - or issues. There is a sudden surge of factionalism in most of the political parties. Party watchers say that the internal bickering and infighting has just begun, and it will reach its peak at the time of distribution of tickets. The ruling Congress is worst hit, as top leaders like Rao Inderjeet Singh, Ch Birender Singh and Kumari Sailja are making life difficult for CM Hooda. Senior Congress leader and MP Birender Singh openly criticised the CM and his style of working at a rally in Jind recently. Kiran Chowdhary, who is the daughter-in-law of former Haryana CM Ch Bansi Lal, also has a strong following within the Party, and has the capacity to upset the CM's applecart. Fortunately, CM Hooda currently has the strong backing of both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. The factions led by Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, Avtar Singh Bhadana and Randip Singh Surjewala are keeping their cards close to the chest as the election approaches. against Gurgaon, his critics argue that the Gurgaon MP has done little in his two tenures as the local MP. Ramkrishan Yadav, a BJP activist and former sarpanch of Tikli, and Rao Narbir Singh, State Vice President of the BJP, told Friday Gurgaon that the BJP has announced a major rally in Rewari, to be addressed by the charismatic PMcandidate Narendra Modi, on September 15. The BJP is not very keen to renew its alliance with the INLD, and wants to continue its pact with the Bishnoiled Haryana Janhit Congress. Kamal Yadav of the BJP, who is also a close confidante of former MP Sudha Yadav, asserts, “BJP will fight the election on the issues of devel-

opment, good governance and growth." He also asserts that there is no chance that the Party will join hands with the INLD in the near future. Political watchers say that the Party is also a divided house in the State, with Party Chief Rambilas Sharma not being able to manage the affairs with the required acumen. In Gurgaon also it could suffer because of infighting within the local unit. INLD, which had surprised every one with its strong performance in the last elections, was expected to ride to power on an anti-incumbency wave, and a strong disaffection of the populace with the Congress regime, over corruption and inflation. However, the recent convictions, of Party Supremo

Ch. Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay, have almost splintered the Party. While party workers and some leadership is trying to steer the ship in their absence, it is clear that the INLD will have its hand tied if it fights the election without Chautala senior. Gopi Chand Gehlot, senior INLD leader and former Deputy Speaker, is however very hopeful that the Party will bounce back and defeat the Congress - as the people are angry with Congress misrule and want to end the rule of property dealers. “The Hooda government has done nothing for the people. The farmers are unhappy as precious agricultural land is being taken away and sold to developers,” says Gehlot. The Party is also hoping to cash in on the anger among the residents of unauthorized colonies, and residents living within the restricted area around the Ammunition Depot. Gehlot says that it was the Congress government that banned development work in unauthorised areas. R.S Dahiya, INLD spokesperson for Gurgaon, says, “We are ready to ally with the BJP or any worthwhile formation.” INLD leader Gaje Singh Kablana says that his Party is in a strong

P olitical position in Gurgaon also because of the poor performance of the sitting Congress MP and MLAs, who have failed to deliver the goods. He also says that this time migrant voters will play a decisive role in the Assembly elections, which have till now been mostly dominated by the Punjabi voters. Historically INLD does not have strong roots in Gurgaon as well as South Haryana, as the Party is dominated by Jats from North Haryana. The Yadavs in Ahirwal, the Punjabis in Gurgaon, and even the Jats of this area have traditionally sided with the Congress and BJP. Congress leader Madan Lal Grover, who is also a strong contender for the Party ticket in the coming polls, says, “The number of Punjabi voters is more than one lakh, and it is certain that this time a Congressman with strong roots in the Punjabi community will get the mandate. Last time the Congress candidate, Dharambir Gaba, lost because of his age and an inability to mobilise the masses - the voters were not unhappy with the Congress.” Political pundits say that it would be difficult for the current MLA, Sukhbir Kataria, to hold fort as he was been found involved in the ‘fake voters’ case. The sitting Congress MLA from Badshahpur will also be under pressure this time, as people do not see him representing the cause of his electorate or constituency. Despite being close to the CM, the Badshahpur MLA has not been able to leave a defining mark on the City. What can work in favour of Dharampal is the local caste composition in the villages - as a large number of urban voters in ‘new’ Gurgaon rarely vote. Meanwhile, Congress workers, like in the BJP, are unhappy over the conduct of their leaders. The leaders’ lack of access has left many workers disgruntled, which might spill over and impact the ensuing polls. Shanti Devi, a Congress worker, alleges that the Party leadership has not been giving due respect to the rank and file. She says that despite working so hard for the Party, the workers are not given their due share in the hierarchy. “If the Party does not reward its workers it will surely fall,” she asserts. Shanti Devi is also critical of Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjeet Singh, who she says will lose his relevance without the Congress. With Polls on the horizon, now only political opportunism and a sense of survival will guide the instincts of political leaders and parties in Haryana. The churning has begun. As the Polls come nearer the political battlelines will become sharper and swords will be drawn, to decide the future of Haryana.u


C ivic/S ocial

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

The Right Activist

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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ight To Information (RTI) is a powerful tool, which if used with the right intention can bring transparency in governance as well as give enough power to the common man to question the State authorities over issues that have remained hidden in files for decades, believes Harinder Dhingra, a Gurgaon-based RTI activist. Dhingra says this confidently because he has successfully filed more than 3,000 applications under this Act in the last three years. Not even a single application filed by him has been rejected. Dhingra, who hails from Rewari, and was an exporter till 2008, says that he turned to the RTI Act after realizing how it could empower the common man. “I had a streak of activism right from my student days. I used to write, and also successfully participated in college elections,” says Dhingra. He was also the President of the Rewari Vyapar Mandal for 8 years, and has seen the transformation of Gurgaon from a sleepy town into a metropolis in the making. The change, he says, has not been smooth as the Administration has not been able to deliver the goods; corruption is rampant and the ‘system’ is not accountable to the general public. It was this malaise that motivated him to use the RTI Act as a tool to bring about ‘the change that everyone talks about, but no

one wants to work for’. Many times the RTIs filed by Dhingra have elicited important information that proved crucial to the welfare of the public - not only in Gurgaon but also across Haryana. In one of the major decisions based on his RTI, the State Information Commission (SIC) has directed the major hospitals in Gurgaon (Medanta and Artemis) to display on their websites the free treatment given to poor patients, which is mandatory. “These Hospitals have not complied with the directions of the State Information Commission and I am going to file an appeal again. In case of refusal I will file a petition in the High Court, as these Hospitals have been allotted land at concessional rates, on the promise that they will provide free medicare to the poor,” asserts Dhingra. The State government should also take cognizance of such violations, and act, he says. In another major victory, Dhingra says that he has been able to bring private universities like Amity and Ansal under the ambit of the RTI Act. “There needs to be transparency in the functioning of private educational institutions. They should spell out their criteria for admission, how much fees is being charged and why, and the status of

The Law & Beyond { Vidya Raja }

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Rash Driving

s a country we have been callous in dealing with deaths occurring in road accidents. India has one of the highest numbers of road accident causalities in the world. According to government estimates one person dies in a road accident every four minutes. While this isn’t a new occurrence, the enormity of it hits us only when one of our own is lost in such a tragedy. An upmarket housing complex in Gurgaon witnessed a tragedy of an unspeakable nature early last week. Little did the mother of a three and a half year old know that an incident on a normal Friday afternoon would change her family’s life forever. The school bus dropped off the child at the usual spot, from where the mother picked up the child and started walking towards their building. According to people at the site, the child then let go of his mother’s hand and ran towards the entrance gate. Within seconds the child was hit and dragged by a car that

reimbursement of caution and security money," says Dhingra. The private sector also needs to be brought under the RTI Act, as it is increasingly becoming very influential in our lives, he says. A major Gurgaon-based school was also brought into the ambit of the RTI Act earlier this year, and more will be come within this Act soon, he says. On the opening up of online filing of RTIs pertaining to Central government departments, the RTI activist says that it is a welcome move. “Filing an RTI will become very easy, and also people will no longer need the services of an expert or a lawyer to get information,” he says. For his more than 3,000 applications, Dhingra has never hired a lawyer; he always pleads his case personally before the In-

was exiting the building. The injuries that the child sustained seem to indicate that the car was being driven way above the 20km/hour speed limit in that zone. It is being said that the driver, a young lady, was talking on her cell-phone while driving. While we can study and dissect the accident now, the damage that has been done is irreparable. The young lady was arrested and almost immediately let off on bail. The doctors at Artemis hospital, where the child was rushed after the accident, couldn’t do much such were the child’s injuries. Parvathy Rao, a resident of the complex, is still in shock at what has happened. “We must surely be aware of our surroundings while we drive. And why must we use cell-phones while driving? Such a small child losing his life

formation Commission. The experience of filing so many RTIs has also given him great learning and expertise, as a result of which he has been shortlisted for appointment as an Information Commissioner – 4 have to be chosen from a shortlist of 16 candidates. “I don't have any ambition for a public office; my only goal is to serve the cause of the people and help bring in more transparency and accountability into the system,” he says. Recently the Ministry of Environment and Forests invited him to help enlighten its officials on how to implement the RTI Act in a more effective way. Dhingra says that his only advice to the bureaucrats is that they should answer the queries honestly and supply documents as required under the Act. Suppressing of information will prove counterproductive. One department in Haryana which is not ready to share information, as well as change its working, is the Police, says Dhingra. In fact one of the RTIs filed by him recently revealed that this Department has a totally skewed profile, with one community dominating the entire force in the State. “Haryana Police does not want to share information and I have repeatedly got strictures passed against them for failing to abide by the RTI Act,” says Dhingra. The Police needs to change the

has come as a real rude eye-opener. Even at this cost, will we really wake up?” she asks. The authorities are now working towards streamlining the processes within the complex. No one is willing to see these things. Everyone is in such a mad rush to get somewhere or the other.” As she rightly feels, we don’t seem to learn for our mistakes. A similar incident took place in a plush DLF property a while ago. A child who was riding his tricycle got dragged a few meters by a car. The lady driver in this case was also allegedly speaking on the phone while driving, and didn’t realise that the child was being dragged. With several extensive surgeries the child did survive, but is still not in good physical condition.

The Supreme Court, in Dalbir Singh v. State of Haryana, held: “When automobiles have become death traps any leniency shown to drivers who are found guilty of rash driving would be at the risk of further escalation of road accidents. All those who are manning the steering of automobiles, particularly professional drivers, must be kept under constant reminders of their duty to adopt utmost care and also of the consequences befalling them in cases of dereliction. One of the most effective ways of keeping such drivers under mental vigil is to maintain a deterrent element in the sentencing sphere. Any latitude shown to them in that sphere would tempt them to make driving frivolous and a frolic.”

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way it works or else the courts will have to intervene, he says. The lack of a proper mechanism to ensure that the decisions taken by the State Information Commission (SIC) are implemented, is an important aspect to be set right, he says. Currently the performance of an order by the SIC can only be ensured through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), if the government does not take action in the right spirit. Dhingra has also filed a number of PILs on issues concerning not only the people of Gurgaon, but citizens across the country. An RTI filed by Dhingra has revealed that only 5 out of 577 mobile towers in Gurgaon have been set up legally. It is with the connivance of MCG officials that such a large number of illegal mobile towers have been set up in the City, while the government has suffered a revenue loss of Rs 71.50 crores, he alleges. “I have given a notice and will file a PIL before the Punjab and Haryana High Court," he asserts. Dhingra says that ‘information is power’ these days, as it can be easily shared and used to corner corrupt officials. Earlier, important information would remain hidden in files - but the RTI Act has changed all that. Once the idea of information sharing becomes pervasive in our country, it would ensure that the ‘system’ works more towards the betterment of society rather than of just a few individuals, he predicts. u

With changing times it is essential that our laws also evolve. Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 desperately needs a facelift. Under this Section, if a person dies in a motor accident, the driver responsible is charged with causing death by negligence, and the punishment can extend to two years in prison or a fine or both. All these offences are bailable. Given the track record of our judicial system, no matter what the punishment is as per law, the general impression is that most  accused in motor accident cases easily escape by paying a meagre fine. The Report has suggested for the amendment of Section 304A – recommending that the punishment be upped to ten years and the offence be regarded as non-bailable. While the legislation and our Courts can lay down strict guidelines and punishments for offenders, we must ensure that as responsible citizens we follow the rules with precision and care. u The writer is a qualified legal professional who has practiced before the Madras and Karnataka High Courts


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C ivic/S ocial

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

New-Age 'Bandhans' { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

R

aksha-bandhan is one of the most awaited festivals in India. The markets are flooded with sweets and special gifts. Girls start preparations quite early; they shop for new clothes and buy Rakhis. For boys it is an occasion to give gifts to their sisters. 13-year-old Ritika had also been waiting for Rakshabandhan. When asked about what she likes most about the festival, she smiles and says, “Of course gifts! Every year my brother buys me the latest gadget. Last year he gifted me an iPhone, and this year it is the iPad mini.” Ritika doesn’t know much about the history and the significance of the festival of Raksha-bandhan. Like her, not many know that the Festival was once about building relationships with another community, making sweets at home, singing folk songs and giving gifts to the poor. Today people see it as an occasion to have a get-together. The emphasis is mainly on gifts. People prefer to watch the latest blockbuster in the multiplex, rather than celebrate the Festival. The pure bond of love between a brother and a sister seems to have somewhere lost its meaning.

Consumerism of a Festival

Rakhsha-bandhan, though an ancient Festival, has been adapt-

ing to the economic and cultural demands of modern India – like other festivals and customs. The Festival is now associated with mega Sale offers - where apparel brands, salons and sweet shops come out with attractive offers to woo the customers. Gone are the days when a Rakhi was a symbolic thread to be tied on a brother’s wrist. Traditional Rakhis are steadily going out of fashion. Sisters now prefer 'Designer Rakhis'. The prices range from a few hundred rupees to a few thousands, and yet sell like hot cakes. “Yes, today’s youngsters are spendthrifts. We spend thousands of rupees on friendship bands and gifts for our beloved on Valentine’s Day. So why can’t we buy expensive Rakhis for our brothers?” questions Archana, who bought a Gold Rakhi for her brother. Rajat, a resident of Sector 50, says, “So much of tradition and custom has changed, and the Festival of Rakhi cannot be an exception. Youngsters want to do something novel all the time. I think festivals give them the perfect opportunity to do that.” Interestingly, his daughter bought an Edible Rakhi (Strawberry flavour) for her toddler brother. The latest fad was Angry Birds Rakhi, inspired by an application on Apple. Somewhere we have lost the thread… While many see Rakhi as an occasion to celebrate, it could

THE WEEK THAT WAS  Hearings on the Toll Plaza issue continue in the High Court. Next hearing is in early September.  The Administration says that NHAI and the Concessionnaire will be charged the next time Hero Chowk undergoes water-logging.  Police Commissioner asks Sarpanches for assistance, and also to shoulder responsibility in their respective villages. The Police intensify the Tenant and Domestic Help verification drive across the City.  Names, photos and numbers of SHOs of all Police Stations of the City will soon be available on Facebook.  A Joint Team, appointed by the DC, will review the status of pubs and liquor ads. around NH8 – as per a High Court directive.  CBI Team inspects the house of CJM Garg, and speaks to him, in connection with the death/killing of his wife.  The Police, led by the Commissioner, carry out a flagmarch in West Zone, after the recent unrest there.  Janamashtmi is celebrated with gaiety.  The 17-year-old girl found dead in a bus was smothered to death by her father and cousin brother; the body of a 10-year-old girl, who was kidnapped, is found – 2 people are held; an 80-year-old woman is tied up and strangled to death in Sector 4 – the maid and 2 accomplices are arrested;

A Way Forward

ASHA PANDEY

Historically, the festival of Raksha-bandhan has helped in easing out of tensions and building of ties among kingdoms – like during the Mughal rule. Raksha-bandhan also united Hindus and Muslims against British rule in 1909. Rabindranath Tagore suggested that the day of partition should be observed as the day of Rakshabandhan, so that people of different religions could be united. As the Festival allows a girl to choose a brother beyond her biological relatives, her religion or caste, it has many times helped to unite communities. Moreover, in some communities, women would visit orphanages and prisons to tie Rakhis to the inmates. It was believed that the sacred thread of Rakhi would bring hope, love and care to all who celebrated it. be stressful for some. 16-yearold Rhythm says, “Earlier I always had to ask for money to buy dresses and shoes for my sister. This year I decided to save my pocket money and buy her flowers and chocolates. But she didn’t like it at all. She said that chocolates are so common and impersonal.” Not just kids, salaried professionals also seem to go through a lot of stress.

Shamik, a marketing professional, had gifted a Europe Tour to his sister the last year. This year he was confused. “This year’s gift had to be something better than last year. I had already gifted her jewellery, holiday packages, spa packages, gadgets and accessories,” he says. It seems that just love, even in a sacred brother-sister relationship, has little value.

a 35-year-old businessman commits suicide, in Sec 56, allegedly due to constant harassment by his wife and her parents.  Cattle lifters kill a person who was trying to catch them, near Pataudi. Villagers get violent and torch vehicles as well as stop trains. Some policemen are suspended. Hundreds of villagers face FIR charges. Some miscreants demolish a mosque wall in Wazirpur, allegedly in retaliation to the death of the person.  A man is arrested for raping his cousin’s wife, in Bajghera Village.  A helper/conductor is run over by the school bus, and dies; a man is shot at while sleeping in a village – he manages to escape.  A wanted criminal, on the run for 6 years, is arrested; Police nab 3 people of a gang that was involved in about 40 robbery cases; a person from Gurgaon has been held on the charge of smuggling liquor to Gujarat.  Residents foil a carjacking attempt near Wazirabad, Sushant Lok 1.  A corrupt ASI is held by the Vigilance Squad, for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 20,000.  Kasbah Bar is raided, and the manager and 25 guests are held, for serving/consuming hookah, which is illegal.  A one-year imprisonment is handed down to a person whose cheque had bounced.  An ex-employee and accomplices dupe a company of Rs 1.36 crores; a man is duped of Rs 12 lakhs over the sale of a plot; a parking attendant near Medanta is attacked and robbed; a bag containing Rs 1.80 lakhs is stolen from a car; a purse is stolen and Rs 50,000 spent from the stolen credit

The Festival of Rakshabandhan can be used to promote unity in our society and even help cement friendship between different cultures, religions and countries. In 1996, the women in Bhigun Village of Uttarakhand laid the foundation of an environmental protection project on the occasion of Raksha-bandhan. They tied Rakhis around trees and adopted them as their brothers. Gradually the women from across Uttarakhand used the Rakhi as a symbol to create an emotional bond with the environment. Many NGOs use the occasion of Raksha-bandhan to encourage people to donate blood. This year many school children celebrated Raksha-bandhan by tying Rakhis around the wrists of helpers, service staff and drivers of their school buses. “I think that the sacred thread of Rakhi can help to bridge the gap between various cultures,” says Sadhna, a teacher at Vidya Niketan. The aim of festivals is to promote harmony and peaceful co-existence in the society. When the sacred thread of Rakhi is tied on the wrist of a close friend, a neighbour or even a stranger, it underscores the need for a harmonious social life, where all members of the society promise to protect each other. u

card; a laptop and foreign currency is stolen from an Innova.  A truck topples over a car on the service lane of NH8, near Hero Chowk.  A couple of fake dental doctors (quacks) are nabbed. Many illegal dental clinics are closed down, and FIRs are being prepared against them.  Villagers turn violent and torch MCG vehicles that have come to demolish ‘illegal’ structures at Basai Enclave. An FIR is lodged against hundreds of the alleged culprits. The Administration says that those stopping demolitions in future will also face fines.  Unauthorised colony residents of Shakti Park and Hari Nagar take to the road and protest the lack of civic facilities for years.  12 of the 148 accused in the Maruti violence last year have been charged with murder – with another 32 charged with assisting in the murder.  MCG Chief inspects Construction & Demolition Waste Recycling Plant in Delhi, in preparation for setting up a similar plant on the outskirts of Gurgaon. Meanwhile there is a plan to set up 25 small Solid Waste Treatment Plants outside villages in Gurgaon District.  CCTVs will be installed in City Buses soon – 3 per Bus.  Online approval for electricity connections would soon be offered.  A Road Safety Knowledge Centre is re-opened.


10

C ivic

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

2Y

ears

After

New Palam Vihar prakhar PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

N

othing has changed in New Palam Vihar despite the area being a core part of Ward no. 1 of the Municipal Corporation. Roads remain broken, lanes and drains are non-existent and filthy waterlogging has become the bane of the residents. Friday Gurgaon visited New Palam Vihar after 2 years, to re-assess the ground situation and found that status quo prevails. The Colony gives the look of an urbanized slum, with no civic facilities to speak of; the hopes of residents, which had soared in the aftermath of the Councillors’ elections, have been dashed. The massive and filthy water logging in the area has made it impossible for the residents to even move around. Standing in front of his office on the ‘kuccha’ road two years ago, the local Councillor, Rishi Raj Rana, had said that his Ward was the most neglected area of Gurgaon. “There are no basic amenities like roads, sewage, transport and electric connections. The Authorities call New Palam Vihar an unauthorised colony and refuse to carry out any development work here,” he had said in October 2011. His allegation that MCG Councillors

Then

The local Councillor, Rishi Raj Rana, who is quite popular and has the image of a tough person, is facing problems of his own. Recently an FIR was filed against him for manhandling an MCG official, a charge that Rana says is baseless and politically motivated. “I have not misbehaved with any official. There was just an exchange of hot words. I had asked the official to speed up work in my Ward, as the roads in three major streets have been lying unfinished for the last six months”, he says. He also alleges that his Ward has been given step-motherly treatment because he belongs to the opposition.

were mere toothless tigers still holds true, as the government has failed to give any financial powers to the elected representatives. In the last two years Rana says, he has been able to arrange for some streetlights, roads and a few basic services, but the majority of the area is devoid of the same. Ram Avtar, brother of the sitting INLD Councillor, says that after a lot of effort the main Bajghera Chowk was concretized by MCG, but nothing much has moved after that. Rajesh Kumar, who has bought a plot in the area, told Friday Gurgaon that he was expecting at least some development, but nothing has happened. The residents of New Palam Vihar also have to wait a long time on the road, at the Bajghera crossing, which has become the lifeline for a large number of commuters who cannot cross Bijwasan due to the construction of a flyover there. The access road on the Palam Vihar side and the road from Bajghera Chowk to Spanish Court is also in bad shape. The residents recently gheraoed the Municipality office and even protested against the Commissioner, for not carrying out any development activity in the area for years. A visit to New Palam Vihar reveals that a population of about one lakh, of which 25,000 are registered voters, has been forced to live in primitive conditions. The two sewage ‘nullahs’ passing through this area have flooded the Colony like every year. Foul smell emanates from these, and people can be seen walking with handkerchiefs pinned on their noses. Every road and street in this Colony is ‘kuccha’, dotted with large potholes and without lanes and drains. The lack of internal sewage and drainage has made life almost impossible. Rakesh Yadav, a local, says that despite repeated submissions to the Municipality, nothing worthwhile has been done. A revenue road that passes through the Colony, from Prakashpuri to Chiranjeev Bharti School, has been concretized but left incomplete, says Yadav, This has made life even more difficult, as the residents have to cross the railway track twice to cover just a couple of hundred meters. Residents of Phase III New Palam Vihar, in particular, are peeved over the failure of the Administration to build the revenue road, which connects their Colony to the outside world. As there is no direct entry into their block, the residents have joined hands and, with the help of Councillor Rana, installed large cement pipes over which they have constructed a ‘kuccha’ road. “It is very difficult to cross this ‘nullah’, particularly as the road gets flooded and sewage is strewn on the streets. I have been living here for the last seventeen years and not once has this road, from Prakashpuri temple to Jahajgarh village, been concretized”, alleges Sharma, a resident. Bang opposite this Colony is a major condominium being built by India Bulls, which also faces a poor road and the foul smelling ‘nullah’. K.S. Yadav says that despite many representations to the builder, no help has been forthcoming from them. Instead, he laments, the water tankers that carry ground water to the construction site are responsible for damaging the temporary bridge that the residents have created. Local residents also complain that while the High Court has banned the use of fresh ground water for construction, it is being used brazenly by the builders in the area, and authorities have failed to act against the suppliers as well as users. Interestingly, a number of real estate projects are coming up in and around New Palam Vihar, and these have been sold on the promise of the (Dwarka) Expressway coming up soon in the area. Insiders however say that due to legal issues it is likely that this Road will be delayed, and the residents of these new condos might have to use the existing village roads - which are practically in a shambles. Ramesh Kadyan, a resident, says that development activities have almost been stalled in the area, and the building of roads and streets has been lying pending for months. Rishi Raj Rana says that people of Ward no 1 had voted

now

for him expecting development, and now when nothing is happening on the ground he has to face their anger. “Is it not our right to demand that basic amenities like water, roads, power and streetlights be given to our area? While the issue of ‘unauthorized’ is being resolved, they can at least build the revenue roads and concretize the ‘nullahs’, without which the daily life of residents here is very difficult,” he says. Pankaj Sharma, a resident, laments that only people with big cars can move in the Colony – especially once it rains, as the sewage from the overflowing ‘nullahs’ leaks on to the roads. “When it rains the kids cannot go to school, the ladies cannot go to work or market and the men can be seen moving around with their pants folded. There is a grave danger of waterborne disease spreading in the area, and the health department must seriously look into this,” he warns. The residents have also pleaded before the local MLA but found no solace, as he is unhappy with them for having voted for the opposition. With no hope for improvement in the near future, the residents are now expecting that the coming elections might give them a chance - as it is expected that the government might regularize a couple of colonies as a political move. However, the locals agree that unless there is a change in the basic system of governance there is little hope for New Palam Vihar to come out of this abyss. u


30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

Baking De Cakes

{ Anita Jaswal }

T

here are more ways to change your mood than deep breathing and long walks. Certain hobbies, such as baking, just make you feel better. The icing-on-the-cake benefit, of harnessing your inner baker, is that the end product is something you can enjoy and share with others. So don your favourite apron and start baking your way to happiness. This has been the mantra of Divya Sreeji. Divya is married to Sreeji Gopinathan, a Senior Director at Philips, and is the proud mother of 12-year-old Gautam and 5-year-old Aarcha. It’s been three years since the family moved to India, after living more than a decade in Europe. “I cry over the infrastructure issues, bang my head against the wall during the frequent power outages,

She has moved her operations throw my hands up in despair from home to a factory. She gets at suppliers who never delivorders for about five cakes a day er on time, fume internally – more on weekends. “I don’t adat workers who don’t turn vertise outside Facebook,” she up......but there is no other says. “Every few months I pay $2 place in the world that would for a Facebook ad. and run it for have given me the welcome, three weeks. The response is trethe confidence, the love and mendous. One person likes the the trust to turn my passion ad. and then 10 of their friends into a successful business!” come on board. I can’t cope with says Divya. the orders. It all started when she “De Cakery is all about baked some cakes for a charyou - tell me your stoity event hosted by YWCA, ry, your hobbies, your and a few people took Divya has been invited to talk passion and I’ll sculpt her number. When they about De Cakery’s success story at a cake that perfectly called in with orders for The Women Empowerment and Soshowcases you. I use cakes, she began putting only the very best ingreup photos of her baking cial Development Seminar at The dients sourced from all on Facebook. This was in India Habitat Centre. She has also over the world. Nothing 2010. Two years later, Dibeen featured in Outlook Business, but the best for the disvya, whose online store is in the feature Emerging Business. cerning De Cakery cuscalled De Cakery, turned tomer!” says Divya. She into a full-fledged baker.

Till Life Keep Us Together { Alka Gurha }

A

s clouds float over my balcony, I settle down with my cup of coffee and ponder over more than two decades of togetherness. It was the matrimonial supplement of ‘The Times of India’ that brought us together. When the local priest, bless his soul, matched our horoscopes – and found thirty-five out of thirty-six qualities in tandem – I guess he knew his astrology. Though opposites are said to attract, we are similar in many ways – especially when it comes to values, beliefs and attitudes. Both of us are loners, preferring to stay away from the din and bustle of socializing. Both of us prefer to save rather than spend on clothes, vacations or gadgets. Being Leos, we value our pride more than anything else. Right or wrong, that’s the way we are! However, if men are from Mars, and women from Venus, we too are distinctive in our unique ways. I am more likely to talk to other women when I have a problem, while my husband prefers to keep his problems to himself. While I focus on building relationships by sharing experiences and asking questions, my husband prefers to give information rather than ask questions. So our premise to coexist peacefully rests on the basic philosophy of ‘Agree to Disagree’. How else can I explain his Zen-like patience, a perfect foil for my child-like edginess? While I am instinctive, his approach towards people and situations is nuanced. We have distinct approaches towards reading – on which author to read, what genre to buy or how long to delve on a page. I am the kind of reader who loves to zip through stories, while exploring emotions. My husband enjoys ruminating, introspecting and regurgitating at leisure. He wants me to read Bimal Jalan’s ‘Emerging India’ and Shashi Tharoor’s ‘Pax Indica’. Broaden your horizon, he says. I want him to read Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘The Interpreter of Maladies’ and Jodi Picoult’s ‘My Sister’s Keeper’. Soak

in the emotions, I say. Ditto with movies and television. For instance, he loves realistic cinema, with ‘Pyaasa’ being his alltime favourite; I appreciate ‘meaningful’ cinema - I am unable to sit through movies that portray violence or misery. In the more than two decades we have endured the loss of parents, suffered in sickness, screamed with joy, cried in pain and wrestled with adversity. Every event provided an opportunity for two strangers to cement their relationship. I believe that the one thing that makes for a meaningful relationship, much like lucid prose, is the honesty with which it is created. Its depth lies in capturing its subtle nuances. And much like a saga, there are moments when one needs to delve back into the chapters of life to understand the script better. As love endures the test of time, it reaches another level, where trust overcomes any ego, where acceptance overcomes grudges and where criticism is for mutual growth (and not for belittling each other). A mature romance is beyond looks, beyond bad hair days, beyond puffy eyes, beyond mood swings and much beyond cellulite. It is non-judgmental. It gives you the space to blossom and to flourish. It just lets you be. On the other hand, there are many ways to kill a relationship – like disrespect towards respective parents, or towards each other’s preferences or professions. Doubting the other’s feelings and not appreciating their insecurities is another. As I write this article, the husband saunters in. ‘So what are you writing?’ I promptly minimize the screen. ‘Nothing. It’s yet a rough draft.’ I treasure my privacy when I am negotiating with my thoughts. I wait for him to leave the room - but he lingers on. ‘Can you please leave me alone?’, I ask. ‘What can you possibly write that I don’t know? I know you more than you know yourself,” he laughs. I don’t have an answer to that. Pardon my rambling…I am not offering any advice here. u

S ocial

11

strongly feels that baking is a great way to get into cooking, and to teach your  kids some essential kitchen skills. Today home baking  is increasing in popularity. It’s a cheap and easy way to create some delicious cakes and biscuits, and it also means you know exactly what goes into them! It is said  baking  soothes the soul. How can it not? There is something so reassuring about the ritual – quietly weighing out the butter, sugar and flour, cracking the eggs, whisking, beating and folding. “If you’re feeling a little bit  down, try to knead some cake dough. Baking is not just about indulging in the end result – the cake; the process itself is therapeutic. And then, as if that experience isn’t enough, you take a bite and allow the warm flavours to mingle and burst on to your salivating palate….
u

In The Beginning...

T

he early Earth was a vision of hell, all scalding rock and choking fumes. Since then, its preface has cooled, continents have drifted, mountains have risen and eroded and life has emerged - benign and green. Nearly all traces of the planet as it was have been wiped away. But from clues in the oldest rocks, deepest magmas and even the cratered face of the moon, scientists have traced the planet’s beginnings. Earth’s birth pangs began some 4.6 billion years ago, as rock and ice particles swirling around the young sun collided and merged, snowballing to produce ever-larger planetary building blocks. They smashed together in violent pileups to create planets - including the infant Earth. In the turmoil, another body, as big as Mars, struck our planet with the energy of trillions of atomic bombs - enough to melt Earth all the way through. Most of the impactor body was swallowed up in the bottomless magma ocean it created. But the collision also flung a small world’s worth of vaporised rock into orbit. This debris quickly gathered itself into a ball, and since then Earth’s history has unfolded beneath the blank stare of the moon. After the moon’s fiery birth, the Earth’s surface cooled. Even so, our planet remained an ‘alien’ world for the next 700 million years; scientists call this time the Hadean, after the Greek underworld. Rafts of solid rock drifted in the Magana, like dark ice floes. Gases hissed from the cooling rock-carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water vapours and other gases - enveloping the planet in a scalding atmosphere devoid of oxygen. As the temperature dropped further, the steam condensed into rain, which fell as primordial monsoons and filled the ocean basins. These first oceans may have been short-lived. Space rubble left over from the birth of the planets - chunks of rock tens to hundreds of miles across - bombarded Earth throughout the Hadean. The greatest impacts might have boiled the oceans away, forcing the process of cooling and condensation to begin again. By 3.8 billion years ago the impacts relented. Liquid water could persist. About that time, perhaps in the oceans, lifeless chemical reactions crossed a threshold, producing molecules complex enough to reproduce themselves and evolve toward greater complexity. Life was on a road that led, as early as 3.5 billion years ago, to single-celled, blue-green cyan bacteria, which flourished in the sunlit parts of the oceans. By the trillions, the organism of these microscopes transformed the planet. They captured the energy of the sun to make food, releasing oxygen as a waste product. Little by little they turned the atmosphere into breathable air, opening the way to the diversity of life that followed. Those days are long gone, but the processes that turned our planet from a hell to a habitable world are still alive today. Primordial heat left over from the formation of the planets still bursts out in volcanic eruptions, spilling lava that exudes gases – like in the time of the young, cooling Earth. And even today, in Earth’s harshest environments, cyan bacteria reign as they have for billions of years. Each time a plant gains a toehold on newly-cooled lava, a victory of life over lifeless rock – as won so long ago on the young Earth - is affirmed. u Major ( Retd.) N K Gadeock MRIS - 46


12 Happy Teacher's Day

S pecial F eature

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

DPS, Maruti Kunj

Excelsior American School

American Public School-Senior Wing

Ryan Global Montessori, Sector 40

Ryan International School, Sohna Road

American Public School-Montessori Wing

Ryan International School, Sector 40

Manav Rachna International School, Sector 51

Chiranjiv Bharti School, Palam Vihar

Kinder Care

Ridge Valley School

Why is Teacher’s Day celebrated?

When S. Radhakrishnan became the President of India, some students wanted to celebrate his birthday, on September 5th. He remarked: “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 could be observed as Teacher's Day ". The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book–Anonymous Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more–Anonymous


14

K id C orner

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

Kids Brainticklers

Artistic Strokes

Shivani Ahuja, Class 6 The Shri Ram School, Aravali

Literary Flourish Spot The Pug Yashika is very happy today. It is her birthday. Mom and Dad gave her a surprise gift – a pug. Yashika’s brother Harry kept his name Spot because the pug had big brown spots. One day they took him out in the Park for a walk. Spot saw another dog. They became friends. Spot loved going to the Park and jumping with the other dog. One day Spot ran away to the Park. Yashika looked for Spot everywhere. She went to the Park and saw Spot chasing butterflies. She ran to Spot and hugged him. Malavika, Class III, The Ardee School


K id C orner

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

Helping Avert Disasters @ GPS

15

Chiranjiv Bharati School, I-Block, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon-122017 Web site: www.chiranjivbharati.com/pv Email: anscbspv@airtelmail.in Contact us @ 4075063, 4398615, 4398600

A

Disaster Management Workshop was organised at Gurugram Public School, Sector 55, by The Green Locus (an organisation that provides unique Himalayan experiences). The theme of the Workshop was ‘Responsible living by learning from the wisdom of nature and the Himalayas’. The Workshop was conducted by experienced trainers from Adventure Guide Welfare Society (AGWS), Nainital. More than 80 students of Class IX participated in the Workshop. The Workshop began with an introduction to disaster management by Priyank Tewari, founder of The Green Locus. This was followed by a detailed lecture on Disaster Management by Sunil Vaidya, Chief Instructor. The topics discussed were – types of disasters, fire fighting techniques, casualty lifting, first aid and search and rescue. A demonstration on how to deal with different types of disaster situations and how to administer first aid was also given. School Principal Mrs. Vibha stressed on the importance of imparting trainings like Disaster Management to the students, to make them responsible.

Weaving Wonder into Learning Green Campus, Environment Education Favourable Teacher Student Ratio n  Project and Activity Based Learning n  Cultural Calender with Global Vision n  3D Theatre, Touch Tables, Tablet and Interactive Board n  Sports, Swimming Field and Track Training n  In – house growth and development for students and faculty n  Many subject streams and options at +2 level n  n 

MRIS Calling

M

anav Rachna International School, Sector 46, hosted the 4th India Calling, an Inter- School event. The Event was inaugurated in the presence of Nisha Singh (Councillor Ward 30), Prof. M.M Pant and Vijay Lokapally. The Event was an amalgamation of unique simulations conceptualised by the students, which gave a GenX perspective to India and its present day problems. Infused with fresh ideas from the students of Grade XII, India Calling this year looked at the past, present and future through 3 unique simulations—Delhi Conference 1945, a Group Discussion on Communism vs Democracy and an Open Forum—and aimed to put forth youth ideas on the same.

My Dear G’Teens T

he Teenagers of Gurgaon are a mix of the rich and middle class, and local Haryanvi kids, who are not only carefree but also very cynical towards life in general. Gurgaon is a city with throbbing energy and the palpitating heart-beats of these teenagers, who are living life to the hilt. They are independent and have a lifestyle wherein they are exposed to lavish malls catering to their varied tastes. When such a mouth- watering spread is available, they are bound to be sorely tempted. The outcome is an emerging culture of spoilt brats, who care two hoots for any and everything in life! The life of a teenager is marked with academic stress, and there are also many overbearing parents, who keep pressurising their kids to perform better and excel in their schools. In this really tense and grim atmosphere, when the teenager looks for an outlet and change, he or she is justified. But if the change is harming the child, and the parent(s) is not even aware of it, then it

is an alarming trend. These are modern and advanced times and Gurgaon is an ultra-modern City with lavish amenities. The general population is exposed to a lot of good things in life - such as lavish malls, expensive clubs, boutique hotels and a huge range of eateries; and along with that they are also exposed to the “free for all” drink joints and bars and shops that sell liquor without any restriction. The City is dotted with numerous shops that not only provide the teenagers with alcoholic drinks, but also provide entertainment in countless weird ways. These kids are usually in the age group of 14 to 19, and they have access to expensive cars provided by their parents, and lots of ‘pocket’ money. With so many things at their disposal, these highly impressionable teenagers tend to not only get spoilt, but also misuse the freedom provided by their parents. They create a nuisance for young girls, as well as the pubs and bar owners in the City. The parents of

The Holidays are over... but your creativity isn’t.

these youngsters have to wake up and take notice of their kids’ activities. It is advisable for the parent to also know their children’s friends and whom they are roaming around with after school. Most teenagers are carefree, smart and extremely active, and if their bubbling energy is channelised in the right direction, they turn out to be jewels and a pleasure to be with; and grow up to be responsible people. But, if this same energy is not channelised in the right direction, it can reproduce a ruffian! Gurgaon is a beautiful city with a modern, sensible and cosmopolitan population, and living here has always been a pleasure. So why should it not be a memorable experience for the teenagers too, who are living in their prime? They have the right to enjoy their lives without being pressurized. My dear teenagers, do enjoy, but at the same time be cautious and careful with your lives, as one small mistake at this stage can harm you for your entire life. Preeti Rawal

Paintings stories poems

For children – write a poem, an article, a fictional story or even a real life experience. See it published in Friday Gurgaon – make your teachers and parents proud! For teachers/administrators/co-ordinators – here’s a chance to pen down your experiences, teachings and learnings. Send us your contributions (300-350 words).

For information, Call us at 0124-4219092/93 Or email at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com


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30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

K id C orner Literary Flourish MY SISTER Sipping through my warm milk My eyes moving around through the window silk Waiting for that red car to appear from the hospital not so far. Blessed with a little angel Waiting for the bell to ring Just to see that heavenly thing. Just as the bell rang, a figure appeared Her eyes as green as grass Her lips as red as blood. She was the angel of my heart I held the magic to make my day And happy as ever I will forever stay.   Harshda Ghai Grade VI, Suncity World School

The Ajanta Investiture

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janta Public School held its Investiture Ceremony at the School premises, wherein House Captains, Vice-House Captains and Sports Captains for the new academic session were declared. The newly elected Head Boy and Head Girl received the School Flag with pride. A performance by the School Girls' Band was appreciated by the students and the staff.

CBS Orates, and How!

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he Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Inter-school Debate was organised at Chiranjiv Bharati School, Palam Vihar. The topic of the debate was ‘What unites India today is neither Bollywood nor Cricket, it is Corruption’. It was a thought-provoking session with varied opinions and apt rebuttals. Radhika Gupta, Blue Bells Model School, won the award for Best Speaker and Saswati Mishra of CBS, PV, won the award for Best Interjector. The overall Championship Trophy was also bagged by the Host School. School trustee Archna Luthra, Director Goldy Malhotra and Principal Sangeeta Saxena congratulated all the speakers for their excellent oratory skills and praised the English Department for putting up a great show.

Ryan International School, Sector 40

Book Launch @ School

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he School held the launch of the book ‘Elbiels Quest’, by Gurgaon-based author Manjul Bajaj. Ms. Bajaj briefed the audience about her book and its special features. A short session was also held, wherein the author interacted with the students. This was followed by a skit presentation of an extract from the book. School Head Peeya Sharma congratulated the Author and wished her success.

Ryan Reach-Out

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embers of the Ryan Community Development programme visited Kanhai Village with the message, ‘Basic hygiene is a must for a healthy body’. They highlighted the ill-effects of unsafe water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene. The students explained that diseases like diarrhoea, jaundice and typhoid are spread through air, water and food. They advised the villagers to boil the water before drinking, and wash their hands with soap/ash and water before touching or preparing food. The students also gave a presentation on first aid and educated the villagers on how to treat wounds and injuries. Students from Ryan also educated the children of the Village on the ‘Three Golden Words’ – Thank You, Sorry and Please. Different situations were given to the village children and they were asked to use the appropriate golden words.


30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

Trick & Treat

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n every culture across the world there exists a Cinderella-like fairy-tale that celebrates the eventual recognition of the true worth of a virtuous - yet often neglected – person (or thing). The humble Pumpkin has often been overlooked in a listing of superfoods. However, in an interesting coincidence, research has shed new light, which has transformed the image of the Pumpkin - much like the famous tale, in which the fairy-godmother magically transforms a pumpkin into a gilded royal carriage. The story of this ‘dark horse’ goes back over 10,000 years, when Native American tribes discovered the benefits of this superfood. It was revered for its flesh as well as the seeds. So strongly was it seen as a symbol of nourishment that it was left with the dead, to accompany them into the after-world. Today it is grown virtually

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oung Gurgaon is witnessing an upsurge in heart ailments Cardiac ailments are catching up in the young, but are they aware of the impending crisis? Cardiac experts blame improper lifestyle, unhealthy food habits and tobacco consumption, and stress that we need to create more awareness in the community. Gurgaon is a young city bristling with energy and opportunities. It has become a magnet for young professionals. However, underlying the positive stories is an

all over the world. There are many varieties, coming in a wide range of colours and sizes. The largest pumpkins can be several hundred kilos in weight – which also explains the (Greek) origin of the word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’. Pumpkins provide versatility to great-tasting recipes. Extremely high in fibre and low in calories, the bright yellow flesh of

pumpkins is enjoyed both as a savoury as well as a sweet dish. The seeds are also a veritable nutrition powerhouse by themselves. Pumpkin contains one of the richest supplies of bioavailable carotenoids known to man. Other foods that are high in carotenoids are sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots and mangoes. Some green, leafy vegetables,

including collard greens, spinach and kale are also rich in Beta-carotene. Carotenoids are deep orange, yellow or red-coloured, fat-soluble compounds. Carotenoid-rich foods have been linked to a host of health-promoting and disease-fighting benefits, especially for chronic disorders. When present as a ‘complex’ of carotenoids (and not just Beta-carotene) there is increasing evidence of their health benefits. Carotenoid consumption also decreases the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) accord a high value to Pumpkin. It is considered to be a cooling vegetable, which is ideal for the monsoon and autumn seasons, as it pacifies the various ‘doshas’. Tip of the Week When selecting pumpkins, look for fully ripe ones. A ripe Pumpkin has a tough skin, which can be gently tested with the fingernail … if it leaves a mark on its skin, the Pumpkin is not yet ready for cooking. A Pumpkin can be prepared in many ways – as a soup, as a curry and as a pie or ‘halwa’. One of the best preparations is to simply steam 1-inch cubes of Pumpkin for about 7 minutes.

Hearty Lifestyles? impending health crisis, which if left unchecked can make Gurgaon the cardiovascular disease capital of India. The myth that heart ailments can strike only when you are past middle age has gradually been busted. Young professionals in Gurgaon are blissfully unaware that by living a sedentary lifestyle with unhealthy eating habits, they are among those at risk. Experts

say that the lifestyles of a ‘corporate city’ are taking a toll on the professionals. “The young and hard-working professionals in the City are increasingly falling into the wrong lifestyle trap. They follow sedentary lifestyles, spending most of their day in office, fail to follow even minimum levels of exercise, and are consuming junk food more than they should. They smoke and drink too much, and added to this are the high levels of stress – a sure

According to a recent survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Registrar General of India (RGI), India is home to 60 per cent of heart disease patients worldwide; and heart diseases are responsible for 19 per cent of all deaths in the country and 25 per cent of deaths in the 25-69 age-group.

recipe for heart ailments,” says Dr. Anil Bansal, Chief Consultant, Cardiology, Columbia Asia Hospital. “We have witnessed an increase in the number of young cardiac patients. My youngest patient is 25 years old. While older people are aware of the possibility of a heart ailment and keep themselves under check, the younger ones mostly believe it is too early for them to develop an ailment of the heart. The disease pattern is changing, but people have not yet come to terms with it,” added the doctor. If you are ignorant of the problem, how do you tackle it? Unless you consider yourself at risk, how will you prepare yourself to stay fit? Most youngsters just go on living their faulty lifestyles. Such people also risk mistaking a heart attack for another problem. They might link a chest pain to acidity… or simply indigestion. This leads to a dangerous situation. This ignorance can prove to be disastrous - even fatal. According to Dr. Bansal, the need of the hour is to

W ellness

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This retains all the nutrients in the most efficacious manner. Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Pumpkin, Cucurbita, Squash, ‘Halwa Kaddu’ Pumpkins provide important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, thanks to the carotenoids and the cucurbitacins present in them. They are also an excellent source of immune-supportive vitamin A (in its "previtamin" carotenoid forms) and Vitamin C. In addition, pumpkins are full of enzyme-promoting manganese and digestion-promoting dietary fibre – as also folate, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper and Vitamin K. One cup of baked winter squash (of Pumpkin) can provide approximately 340 milligrams of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats. The unique combination of elements in pumpkins, together with a unique enzymeinhibiting substance that blocks the formation of cholesterol, helps reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Their unusual B-Vitamin composition helps regulate our blood sugar.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

start awareness and outreach programmes, to make the young population aware of the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and the steps they should take to keep their heart healthy. “I meet a lot of youngsters who, when told they are at potential risk of cardiac ailments, just laugh it off. They do not know that ‘30 is the new 40’ when it comes to heart ailments,” adds Dr. Bansal.u

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18

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

C omment

We The Media In these times of Media hype and the start of FG's third year, it is worthwhile revisiting the Media world.

I EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Judgement Time It is time for the Supreme Court to intervene in the Nirbhaya case. Incredibly, the most sensitive case of the year/ decade has been almost running like a run-of-themill case ! A Supreme Court Bench needs to take up this case as a Case Study, and review how it has proceeded at every hearing/sitting – in terms of what took place, and over how much time.  Surely, a case that was to ‘set an example’ could and should have been completed in a few prolonged sittings, and in 3 months flat – with justice being neither hurried nor delayed.  The findings of the Bench - to be compiled within 30 days of its being set up - should be used as a guide by all the Fast-Track Courts across the country - to deliver effective, speedy, time-bound justice (especially for women and the vulnerable). Judges, it’s time to judge thyselves…it’s an apt time for the judiciary to display transparency and accept accountability. 

t’s time for some serious introspection. Do we, the Media, the Fourth Estate, hold ourselves up to the high standards that we literally demand of others? In fact we should be the most upright, as we wield the power to influence public opinion. Unfortunately, the products and services on offer are on a decline. A newspaper is now ‘manufactured’, and is less about the writers and content and more about the brand. Many a newspaper is just an Ad. medium – clearly no longer the message. Editors are the kings who have been jacked. The product is offered to a customer for a price far below cost. Many times it is offered for below disposal/’raddi’ cost. In every industry we have watchdogs, and of course the Competition Commission, to check unfair and/or monopolistic trade practices. How has the newspaper trade escaped that? How has a product been allowed to be sold below cost – way below cost – every day of the year? Our newspaper industry is also the only industry where market share and price are perhaps inversely proportional. Seemingly a brand is being chosen as a ‘leader’, but elicits no brand premium from the customer – assuming of course that the reader is the customer. What should be the brand valuation in such a case? Would we continue to read our newspaper if the cost were a real Rs. 1,000 per month (Rs. 12,000 per annum)? Would we stop reading a paper? Would we switch? Would we wait for the company to provide a low cost option? For the first time we would truly evaluate – and pay as per value received. Today we accept the product as is, since we pay peanuts for it. We don’t believe we can take the paper to task - we cannot take umbrage. And so we accept whatever change has

Fortunately, there is a glorious media-mix future that can be scripted – a perfect vision of Media Conglomerates. Of a Full Course and Snacks and Starters; of a Test Match, a One-Dayer and a 20/20; of Weekly Print and Daily TV and Instant NetMobile. The billion-dollar answer is blowing in the wind, for any media house – to have a full house of the 3 formats, and price and play them according to their core competence (e.g. the 32 pagers every day could first be made into 8 pagers daily, and 32 for the weekend – and is probably what the customer would also be content with and pay accordingly). Currently we have confused the Teams, playing all 3 for/with everything – and hoping that, by packing only hitters, and taking wild swings, something will always connect.

Mahatma Gandhi’s views on the Press There are certain spheres of work that are of such consequence, and have such bearing on public welfare, that to undertake them for earning one’s livelihood will defeat the primary aim behind them. When, further, a newspaper is treated as a means of making profits, the result is likely to be serious malpractices. It is not necessary to prove to those who have some experience of journalism that such malpractices do prevail on a large scale. Newspapers cannot escape criticism merely because they serve the people. But who would stop those that are useless? And who should be the judge? The useful and the useless must, like good and evil, go on together - and man must make his choice. Taken from a 2001 article by Prof. V.S. Gupta, former Country Representative Asian Media Information Centre (AMIC), Singapore. Edited by FG.

taken/is taking place. 
What professional rules does the newspaper industry play by? Is it print and dump; and/or re-circulate? And what is the commercial logic? Do we just take the Ads. and promise praise; or threaten, and settle for Ads. ….or more? Yes, more than a few allegedly have their hand in various tills, or largesse – either through compromise or threat – or perhaps even nurture loftier ambitions. The status quo suits them perfect. And it will only get ‘better’ come election time. It has become the age of the Infotainment Paper (The I-Paper; it is a one pager called Page 3, enclosed in a supplement of Ads.). Earlier, when you were a public figure, the media had to cover you; now Page 3 covers you, and you become a public figure. They say only negative stories and sensationalism sell – only ‘man bites dog’ sells; and that people do not wish to hear about the ‘good’. It seems they wish to hear about bad people who make it good, or hear that people are worse off than them. People are supposedly content that they are better than bad, rather then aspiring for goodness what... Such are the times - Hindustan mein bhi woh bura time aa gaya hai. But change we must – sooner, than later. Doing a good, even great, assignment one out of ten times is not an excuse for doing it wrong – and not learning – the rest of the time. And even for us, every time we point fingers at others, there are 3 pointing back at us. Let us heal ourselves – while there is still time. u


S piritual

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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he majority of us will die fighting a losing battle against aging, struggling against the inevitable advance of disease and perhaps disability. Finally and inevitably many of us will die - suffering. If God exists and God made the world, why did he make it so full of suffering? If God does not exist then we are locked without hope in a world filled with gratuitous and unredeemed suffering, and there is no hope for deliverance from evil. If God does not exist, life is ultimately meaningless. And ultimately all of mankind is doomed to perish in the death of the Universe. Not believing in God is thus a philosophy without hope. Does God exist? This ‘controversy’ was raked up by legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, in his book The Grand Design. “God did not create the Universe, and the ‘Big Bang’ was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist,” he says. The concept he talks about, which he has named as ‘M-theory’, makes the ‘Creator of the Universe’ redundant. Evidence has been found that the Universe had an absolute beginning about 13 billion years ago, in a cataclysmic event known as the Big Bang. The Big Bang represents the origin of the universe from literally nothing; all matter and energy, even physical space and time, came into

By God!...Or Not being at the Big Bang. There are scientists who believe that this Universe is infinite and eternal. However, if the universe is infinite, it means it never had a beginning. David Hilbert, perhaps the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century, states that the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality; it neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. Infinity is just an idea in our minds, not something that exists in reality. Since past events are not just ideas, but are real, the number of past events must be finite. Therefore, the universe must have begun, at some time, for it to exist today. The proponents of this thought have therefore been forced to adopt the hypothesis that there exist an infinite number of randomly-ordered universes, composing a sort of World Ensemble, of which our universe is but a part. During the last 40 years, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life depends upon a complex and delicate balance of initial conditions that were present at the Big Bang. Earlier, scientists had believed that whatever the initial conditions of the universe, intelligent life had evolved. Even if God does not exist, the rational thing

to do is to believe in Him. It is irrational to prefer death, futility and despair over hope, meaningfulness and happiness. Even atheist philosophers like Sartre, who has thought very seriously about this problem, admit that the existence of God has great significance for man. We may or may not believe in God – or whether he exists – but there is no denying human suffering, and there is no one to blame for it. There is no escape from it, though we do try our best to do so. Selfmortification, being hard on oneself, also does not work. Enlightenment comes when we start facing the realities of life as they come our way. Let us not rely on an external or an internal God. It is more important to be enlightened than to be a religious practitioner. Do not be selfish by exhibiting that you are close to Him; drop that dissipative selfishness. On the other hand, do not wear yourself out by feeling guilty that you are not pursuing daily religious rituals. Instead, start doing something more positive in your life. Begin with facing your own despair. You will enter a wholesome, constructive, positive and satisfying way of life - when you will stop feeling frustrated about what you cannot do anything about, and start doing whatever you can do something about. u

To My Grand Old Lady My Grandmother was always chanting her mantras Day in and day out, stout Doing her daily domesticities She was neither good looking nor pretty An enigma of inner beauty and simplicity She could boast of no literary certification She had just elementary education Yet she was wiser than the wise Gave the most accurate advice She raised half a dozen children They all scaled heights of achievements This illiterate & uneducated woman Had inner powers of a Superwoman She chanted her daily rounds As she went about Moving her ‘japa beads’ Made of rudraksha seeds She had very few needs Her life was spent in dedicating Her Services to everyone Her Family was her sole concern Her life rarely moved outside The confines of her householder life She was an indispensable mother and wife They all came home tired and tested In her Home her brood rested And families endured This Grand Old Lady tended the fires As she baked crisp fresh bread on its embers And listened patiently to their day’s stories It was a therapeutic domain Of this simple rustic Grand Dame She sought no laurels name or fame Other than her children’s successful claims Her family was her only aim To such a Grand Mother my toast May every home have her as their host May their tribes return manifold To be the heart & soul of their Homes, Sweet Homes

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 20 years

Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master & Pranic Healer

Police Ourselves

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t is time to ensure the security and safety, especially of women, on our streets, roads, residential and commercial/shopping areas and parks. The blame for increased crime is almost always first placed on the inadequate number of policemen. Why so much dependence on the Police force? Police stations are set up area/zone-wise, and the responsibility of the constables is to keep a watch on criminal activities of the local as well as the floating population, besides taking care of emergency operations due to accidents/natural calamities. Let us take social crimes - murders in and outside the family, suicides, accidents due to road rage, arguments on flimsy grounds leading to crimes. How can the Police force anticipate such crimes? Further, over the past three decades, security concerns/checks have generated largescale employment of Security agencies, and Security Guards - both private and sourced through the Police force. They have become an essential part of society. They have become our first line of defence – and have largely failed when really needed. The Police perhaps come in too late. Similarly, on the road, why cannot the road users discipline themselves? Why do we expect the Traffic Police only to ‘set things right’? Community Policing/Neighbourhood Watch programmes are the need of the times, through the active participation and co-operation of the residents - with volunteers being appointed as Special Police Officers/Traffic Wardens. Senior Citizens can play a stellar role. O.P. Ratra

Extend The 'Bandhan'

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resently the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in Hindu families, within close relatives. It remains limited to the four walls of individual houses. Due to a spurt in crimes against women and girls residing in neighbourhoods, it has become imperative to develop a culture of respect towards women in neighbourhood houses, schools, colleges and working places. Women in small groups should approach the other sex and offer to tie 'Rakhis' on them. By doing this we would impart the spirit of this Festival – and celebrate it in its true colours. We may not expect results soon, as it takes time to change the mindset of men, but it would be a step in the right direction. R.S Jain


20 Coffee Cup Readings

B on V ivant

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

{ Bhuvana Shridhar }

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rinking a cup of hot coffee does not just make you feel warm and energized, but can also be used as a predictive art. Coffee Cup Readings is an ancient technique of cartomancy, or divining the future; it originated in Turkey thousands of years ago. Today this practice has become a popular means of giving insights, direction and counselling.

Initiating the Process

One needs to have a cup of richly brewed hot Turkish or Arabic coffee, as only this blend leaves enough dregs that can be read easily. Pour the coffee into a cup and let it cool down for a few minutes. Relax, then drink it slowly - enjoy it. As you finish drinking, the residue - or coffee grinds - will be left

behind in the cup. You now place the saucer over the cup, move it thrice in a clockwise direction and then place it upside down. When the cup has drained out, you can then turn it over. Now go ahead and ask a question about your future, past or present.

The Readings

Before undertaking the Coffee Cup Readings, it is mandatory to clear your mind of everyday thoughts. It is advisable to

Case Study – Example of a successful reading Mrinal Sapra, 40 yrs, Profession - Photographer, City – Ahmedabad. Task : Get a glimpse into the future through a Coffee Cup Reading.

He was told that that the straight lines of the coffee strains on his cup indicated that he was a happy and contented person, but one who was finicky about quality. The circular symbols of coffee residue at the left end of the cup showed that his life was going to be a pretty perfect picture - his wife, child/children and friends would all fulfill his expectations and he would have a lot of fixed assets - some from unexpected sources. Apparently another pattern, which looked like a butterfly, meant that he also had a knack for the arts, music and literature. But since there were some dark spots to be seen on the sides of the cup, it meant that the sun was not very illuminated, which prevented him from getting his money’s worth. The bubbles that formed on the edges of the cup, at the bottom, indicated that he would reap the benefits of his last birth. The dark shadows at the bottom meant that over the next five years he was expected to branch out and travel a lot.

{ Krishan Kalra }

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orging on delicious ‘mooli’ (horse radish), liberally sprinkled with rock salt & doused in lime juice, on a sunny winter morning, is an unparalleled treat. The fact that you burp contentedly - and with an overpowering whiff – for hours thereafter is added bliss. Or so I thought, till my grandchildren caught me in the act and I saw their shocked faces and heard their collective embarrassed gasps…. “Daaaa…du, how could you, we never thought you’d do that!” The wife, sons & daughter-in-law joined the chorus, with sage advice: “You would become the butt of many jokes. Never do this in public; and if at all you can’t help it,

take some deep breaths and become mentally passive, before you start to read and interpret the symbols. This process will help you receive messages from the leftover symbols in the coffee cup. Your intuition will guide you through the process, and soon the messages will become clearer. Be calm and pay attention to the size of the symbols, as large symbols would have more to tell about the present situation and the future circumstances. A full moon phase is generally considered an excellent time for coffee cup readings

Patterns

The coffee deposited at the bottom of the cup foretells the distant future. Those patterns at the sides of the cup represent the near future, and the strains near the rim predict imminent events. If you can see symbols in the coffee cup that look like notes, it can denote a period of good fortune - and that business is surely moving on. If you happen to see a heart-shaped symbol, it could well indicate the start of a relationship. Triangles mean you may inherit wealth and fortune. Alphabets in the cup denote the initials of persons, places and things; and numbers refer to the timing of events occurring in a person’s lifetime. You may notice big vertical lines - these indicate travel plans. If the lines are not finished, or have cuts in between, it denotes a change of mindset, or that someone is jealous or has an evil eye on your intentions.u Tarot Reader, Coffee Cup Reader

Full Of Gas apologize.” Now, I always thought that burping was a very natural action – I still remember rubbing our infants’ backs after their feed and making them burp. I never thought one would need to apologize for this – like, say, when you sneeze. Don’t we deliberately gulp down a fizzy coke to induce burping? In fact I recall attending a nature-cure lecture, where the instructor demonstrated how to slowly drink a glass of water and then, you’ve guessed it right, burp loudly. So, why the fuss? In fact there’s an old line that goes: “why fart & waste it when you can burp & taste it”. One of those small pleasures of life, I’d always

thought…till recently at least. Talking of farting...isn’t that too a natural release system for unwanted gas in the body? Rude as it might sound, the relief following it is sheer bliss. Remember the young Englishman who was visiting his ‘rawther snobbish’ mother-inlaw-to-be for the first time. Poor guy had eaten some high protein Indian curry like ‘chholepathure’ and was ‘somewhat uncomfortable’. When he just couldn’t help it, he twisted a little & let out a ‘muted one’. The artstrocratic lady just lifted one of her designer eyebrows and addressing her dog sternly said, “Spot”! Encouraged that the blame had shifted to the canine,

4U

Tips

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. Q.

Of late, my skin has become very patchy and I have also started noticing dark patches appearing on my face. What do I do?

SH

You should apply a sunscreen with high SPF before going out in the sun. Mix rice powder with curd and use as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply only on the dark patches and rub gently on the skin with tiny circular movements. Leave on for a few minutes and then wash off with water. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply daily only on the dark patches. Wash off after 15 minutes with plain water. Twice a week, apply face mask. Mix 2 teaspoons oats with one teaspoon each of ground almonds, honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply on the entire face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after half an hour.

WINNER Kavita Sharma

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

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7838003874, 9999444818, 7827233023 the young man let out another – a trifle louder – one. This time both the eyebrows went up & a louder “Spot” essayed from her mouth. Ecstatic at the thought of the pet obliging him this time too, the son-in-law-tobe released a big one – with all sound & fury. “Spot, move before the idiot shits on you!” bellowed the disgusted lady, as she walked out of the room. The Bush story is too well known. Riding the royal buggy with Her Majesty in London, he heard this loud explosion – from one of the horses - and took it for the Queen’s doing. “Sorry, there are certain things even a Queen can’t help,” the Royal said, trying to make light of the incident. “Neither can the President of the US of A,” retorted our man, as he lifted his right bum and gave out a thunderous one. u

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G lobal

30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

US Attorney General: Too Many In Prison For Far Too Long { Washington/ DPA }

A

ttorney General Eric Holder announced changes in Federal drug prosecution, intended to reduce prison populations, save money and remove built-in bias against poor minority defendants. Holder declared the current system “broken” and “far from sustainable,” in a speech in San Francisco to the American Bar Association. Holder cited the soaring prison population, which since 1980 has increased 800 per cent, while the US population increased only by about onethird. He emphasized studies such as one that showed black male offenders receive sentences nearly 20 per cent longer than white males convicted of similar crimes. “This isn’t just unacceptable - it is shameful,” Holder said. The US in 2011 had the highest rate of imprisonment per population in the world, with 716 inmates per 100,000 population. That compares to 479 in Russia, which has the eighth-highest rate, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies in London. Federal and State mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession have been driving the ballooning prison populations and have disproportionately affected the poor – especially black and Hispanic communities. For example, until 2010, five years were mandated for possession

2.2 million people were in Federal, State and local jails. Those 2.2 million represent 25 per cent of the world prison population, studies show. The US has only 5 per cent of the worlds population. of five grams of crack cocaine, used more widely in poorer communities. The same sentence applied to possession of only 500 grams of powder cocaine, which is more prevalent among wealthier drug users - a 100-to-1 disparity. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed legislation that reduced the disparity to 18-to-1. “A vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities,” Holder said. “Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.” Holder announced changes in federal charging polices, so that “certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders” will be spared severe mandatory minimum sentences, if the defendants have no ties to large criminal organizations, gangs or cartels. Several Southern states, including Texas, Kentucky and Arkansas, have moved to find alternatives to jailing low-level drug offenders, such as community service and treatment for addiction - a move driven largely by soaring prison costs. Holder said he hoped other states would follow those examples.u

Dog Walks Free Despite ID Parade Setback { Sydney / DPA }

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Jack Russell terrier accused of biting a jogger walked free from a court in Hobart, Tasmania, despite being picked out in an identity parade arranged by the local dog catcher. The Hobart Mercury reported that 5-year-old Jackie was fingered in a photo line-up of neighbourhood dogs that included known offenders. After hearing testimony from the victim that she was not familiar with dog breeds, Magistrate Catherine Rheinberger gave Jackie the benefit of doubt and dismissed the charges against the owner stemming from the February leg-biting incident. Rheinberger was reported as saying that history had shown that witness identification was a vexed issue in cases involving people, let alone dogs, and that she was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Jackie was the culprit. u

Air Guitar World Championship { Helsinki / DPA }

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n American who failed to qualify for the Air Guitar World Championships booked a ticket to Finland anyway and won the dark horse round of the competition, which springboarded him into the finals, and then onto first place and the crown as the world’s greatest head banging air shredder. “I have no idea what I did to win except put my heart and soul into every moment on stage, and I think that the crowd might have been able to feel that,” Eric Melin told his hometown newspaper, the Lawrence Journal-World, in Lawrence, Kansas. “Mean Melin” won Friday night with his rendition of the song Hash Pipe by the US band Weezer in Oulu, beating out compatriot Doug “The Thunder” Stroock by 0.2 points. “Eric Melin is a bit different than the others,” said Hanna Jakku, a member of the competition’s organizing committee. “He has a clean style: simpler and clearer rock. I liked that best.” In another twist, Melin advanced to the finals by performing to a song he had composed himself. His prize was a transparent guitar made from acrylic. About 7,000 people attend the annual event, at a place 600 kilometres north of Helsinki.u

Florida Sinkhole Swallows Resort { Washington / DPA }

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sinkhole caused one building in a Florida resort villa near Disney World to be slowly swallowed by the earth and another building to collapse, local media reported Monday. Guests at Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, Central Florida heard loud cracking sounds as the ground beneath them gave way and windows began to shatter, reported the Orlando Sentinel.

Iconic Mermaid Statue Hits 100 { Copenhagen/ DPA }

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he Little Mermaid, Copenhagen’s landmark statue, celebrated its 100th anniversary on Friday, with a performance by 100 bikini-clad “live” mermaids on the Capital’s waterfront. The small bronze statue was unveiled in 1913. It is just 1.25 metres high and is situated

on a stone in Copenhagen harbour, a few metres from land. It was inspired by a fairy tale penned by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, who lived from 1805-1875. Over the years, numerous visitors to Copenhagen, including cruise tourists and even the former President of China, Hu Jintao, have posed next to The Little Mermaid. The statue of the beautiful girl, having the tail of a fish, has lost its head twice, been covered in paint and draped in a burka as part of various pranks and protests during the years. In 2010, the statue was moved to China for six months, as part of the Danish Pavilion at the 2010 World Exhibition in Shanghai. Women in bikinis, with their skin painted brown, were also sighted in several other cities — including Amsterdam, Hamburg and Oslo—as part of events organized by the Danish tourist organization, Visit Denmark.u

None of the estimated 36 guests inside were injured, CNN reported. Local media said they had between 10 and 15 minutes to escape before being sucked into the 18-meter-wide hole. Sinkholes, which are common in Florida, often form when a layer of limestone in the ground is dissolved in slightly acidic water, creating a cavity. In February, a 36-year-old Florida man died when he was sucked into a sinkhole after the ground opened up under his bedroom. u

Youth Gets Surprise Call From Pope Francis { Vatican City/ DPA }

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n Italian teenager got the biggest surprise of his life when he picked up the phone and found the leader of the Catholic Church at the other end of the line. Pope Francis called 19-year-old Stefano Cabizza at his home in Camin, on the outskirts of the northern city of Padua, to respond to a letter that he had sent to him through a cardinal. “I could not believe it. We laughed and joked for about eight minutes. He called at around 5 pm, after not finding me at a first attempt,” Cabizza was quoted as saying. “It was certainly the best day of my life.” Cabizza, a university student and amateur football player, said the pontiff had insisted that he use the informal “tu” to address him in Italian, rather than the polite form of “lei.” Since his election in March, Francis has repeatedly surprised observers by eschewing pomp and protocol. “Do you think the Apostles used ‘lei’ to speak to Jesus? Or called him Your Excellency? They were friends like me and you now, and I am used to address my friends with ‘tu’,” the pope was quoted as telling Cabizza. u


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Eye Tracker To Make Games Scarier { Regensburg, Germany / DPA }

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omputer gamers who feel a rush of fear have something new to worry about: what the computer can see in their eyes. Researchers at the University of Regensburg in Germany have worked up a new horror-genre game called Sophia. The twist is that the game uses an eye tracker to determine what the player might be thinking and then reacts accordingly. Thus, if the player happens across a horrifying alien and thinks that the best plan might be to try to escape, the computer could look for telltale signs in the player’s eye movements and have the alien act accordingly. The technology’s focus on the eyes is based on sensors that assess emotions associated with ocular reactions, which should give some idea of what a player might be thinking. But how does a player’s expression change when his character is threatened? Their research showed that there’s a wide degree of variability. A player who’s exploring will look broadly into the screen’s middle. But if he’s looking for

Satellite images show the march of time

an exit, the eye movements will look in the direction of the nearest exit. If the person wants to hide, he’s more likely to look at the potential direction from which the danger emanates. Sophia tries to take advantage of that knowledge by looking at where the player is looking and then modifying the game accordingly – usually to provide even more scares. The technology is best suited for horror games, says Wolff. “That’s where the player goes through a dark castle or cellar while being stalked by aliens, ghosts or dark figures.” The eye-tracking technology could be used to provide new, surprising features. Even an object that is stared at for too long might start to react. Efforts to harness eye-movement technology have been in the works for years. It has been used a lot in evaluating users’ reaction to software interfaces, says Wolff. But its application in gaming is relatively new, particularly because it has been so expensive, he noted. u

‘Stop Rubbish Bin Spies’ { London / DPA }

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hey had the gadgetry, but none of the glamour of James Bond - and now authorities in London’s financial district are demanding that a firm’s high-tech rubbish bins stop spying on passers-by. “Irrespective of what’s technically possible, anything that happens like this on the streets needs to be done carefully, with the backing of an informed public, said a City of London spokesman.” Advertising agency Renew London installed around 200 of the bins around the time of last year’s Summer Olympic Games, ending a long absence of trash receptacles from city streets due to terrorism concerns. The bomb-proof bins are networked together and contain wi-fi modules and highdefinition display screens. In June, the Company added Orb tracking devices to 12 bins, to record passing smartphones’ MAC addresses, with the eventual aim of sending them targeted advertising. The timing could not have been worse: The testing began just as US whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the existence of broad-scale clandestine data-gathering programmes run by American and British intelligence. The public responded with outrage. The Company’s Chief Executive has said the information-gathering had stopped. “We are no longer conducting the tests and the specific sites installed with the Orb technology have no data capturing hardware currently operational,” Kaveh Memari said. “During early analysis, which is no longer being conducted, a limited number of pods had been testing and collecting anonymized and aggregated MAC addresses from the street and sending one report every three minutes concerning total footfall data from the sites. A lot of what had been extrapolated is capabilities that could potentially be developed, but none of which are workable right now, he said.” u

Apple’s New iPad, iPhone In Autumn

Apple’s share of the tablet business dropped to around 32 per cent in the second quarter from almost 40 per cent in the first, according to market researcher IDC. Android cemented its lead at nearly 63 per cent, while shipments of Windows tablets grew to 4 per cent of the market. But experts say the lack of new iPad models has slowed down the entire tablet market. Apple’s iOS 7, a refresh of its mobile operating system, is already scheduled for a third quarter release.  The new iOS version turns away from Apple’s previous real-world-inspired designs, but some technology writers have compared its appearance to that of the Windows Phone. u

{ New York / DPA }

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pple plans to unveil updated models of its iPad tablet computer - to go along with new iPhone versions coming in September - ahead of the important Christmas shopping season, reports said. The new iPad models - including a thinner iPad and an iPad mini with a higher resolution screen - will be released at a later event, a source told Bloomberg financial news agency. The new iPad will more closely resemble the design of the existing iPad mini, Bloomberg said.

{ Berlin / DPA }

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atellite maps online have long become old hat. Timelapse, sponsored by US magazine Time, doesn’t just let you look at other places, but into other times. The Site doesn’t limit itself to satellite images from 2012 or 2013, but reaches further back into history – usually into the 1980s. Clicking on the Explore the World option provides options that really show the march of time. Turning to Dubai, viewers can see artificial islands for hotels grow out of the waters of the Gulf. Moving on, viewers can watch Shanghai’s explosive growth, or how the Columbus glacier in Alaska keeps melting away. Users have their choice of sites to explore, though many locations have images of such low resolution, with such large pixels, that it’s difficult to recognize anything at all. u

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30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

Ultra-fast Satellite Computer

Vodio: The Right Clip App { Berlin / DPA }

{ Stuttgart, Germany / DPA }

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ne of the fastest and most compact satellite computers in the world has been developed by students at the University of Stuttgart in Germany and will be sent into space next year on a commercial rocket. The computer is part of a small, 130-kilogram satellite dubbed the “Flying Laptop,” which is being developed by more than 50 students and professors at the University’s Institute of Space Systems. Beginning in the fall of 2014, the satellite is to record shipping movements and measure vegetation with its three camera systems. It will also test new technologies under space conditions.

The Project was launched in 2004 and has received more than 1 million euros in funding. A government agency has granted 800,000 euros (1.07 million dollars) to a rocket company to get the Flying Laptop into orbit. u

here are enough videos on the internet and one can spend years watching new clips. However, it can be difficult to sometimes find something interesting to watch in the flood of irrelevance. A perfect help for that is the app Vodio, a personal video curator, offered free of charge for iOS and Android devices. When starting the app for the first time, it will ask what interests the user has – for example, categories such as Movies or Comedy. Vodio takes that information and the favourites of other users to create a personalized playlist of web videos from various sources. The app accesses the users’ social network accounts to determine their taste in films. u


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Indoor Camping - Overnighting in Retro Style { Guenter Waechter/ Bonn, Germany / DPA }

Henning Kaiser

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he 15 caravans - or travel trailers - dating back to the 1950s and 1960s have names like Big Ben, Hunting Lodge and Rockabilly. Their travelling days over, they stand parked in an old warehouse in Bonn. They offer Indoor Camping, a home-awayfrom-home adventure. At his BaseCamp, Bonn hotelier Michael Schloesser has four Airstream models - the legendary US travel trailers with their characteristic streamlined shape, in gleaming aluminium. The Huettenpalast (Hut Palace) in Berlin has a similar concept, offering its guests accommodation in caravans and small wooden huts set up in the former production hall of an old factory. A key advantage these caravans offer is a permanent roof, as holidays in the Northern European summers are seldom rain-free. The indoor campers stay dry while still being able to sleep out of doors, so to speak. The Bonn indoor camping site covers some 1,600 square metres and counts school groups among its customers. Schloesser has acquired two old railway carriages, one of them a sleeper and the other with reclining chairs, and set them up in the hall too. Guests seeking something more intimate can opt for an old Trabant, the icon of East German communist motoring technology, complete with a twoperson tent on the roof. Also on offer are models from Volkswagen and Citroen. “Collecting all of these old vehicles wasn’t that easy,”

Michael Schloesser, Chief of the BaseCamp indoor motor camp in Bonn, Germany. Behind him is the “hunting lodge” caravan, with animal skins as decor.

The BaseCamp indoor motor camp in Bonn, Germany: guests can sleep in the caravans or the old railway sleeper car on the back wall. The interior of Flower Power.

One of the caravans in the BaseCamp indoor motor camp in Bonn, Germany. On the back wall is a giant poster of the Pacific Ocean.

Schloesser says. He found many of them at an auction in the Netherlands, engaging the services of a film-set maker to turn them into acceptable accommodation units. Much of the decor comes from Berlin’s well-stocked flea markets. Rockabilly is covered on the outside with vinyl seven

The inviting bed in the Flower Power, a caravan recalling the psychedelic-style 1970s, at the BaseCamp indoor motor camp in Bonn, Germany.

singles, while the Drag Queen is in bright colours with a great deal of plush and chintz. In front of each of the vehicles there is a garden, with places to sit in the appropriate theme. The Hunting Lodge has a boar’s head and deer’s antlers mounted on the outside, above a sofa covered with ani-

mal skins. Schloesser has also had a gallery measuring 170 square metres installed in the hall, to provide a kitchen and seating for breakfast – and it offers a panoramic view out over the entire hall and its walls, decorated in the theme of a South Pacific holiday. The Reception is open

24 hours, and the campsite is monitored by closed-circuit television. Outside, there is an old US school bus in traditional yellow, serving fries, burgers and sausages. Unlike the average big-city campsites that are always in the suburbs, BaseCamp is in the heart of Bonn, within easy walking distance of the museums and the old West German government quarter. Huettenpalast is in the middle of the trendy area that straddles the Berlin boroughs of Kreuzberg and Neukoelln, to the south-east of the City centre. The prices reflect the changed status of the cities. In the sleepy former West German capital, a bed in the sleeper carriage can be had for as little as 22 euros (30 dollars), rising to 128 euros for one of the Airstreams; while in trendy Berlin, single accommodation starts at 55 euros.u

Dump That Bike, Go For a Longboard { Rebecca Ciesielski/Berlin / DPA }

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ver 50 colourfully decorated longboards hang in the Lassrollen skateboard shop in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district. A young female customer is looking for what she describes as a “handy set of wheels” for a trip to France. Longboards are large skateboards measuring between 80 and 120 centimetres in length, and they are a great way to get from point A to B. Thomas Steigueber owns Lassrollen, and says there’s no such thing as a typical Longboard rider. “Last week a building company owner came in with his 11-year-old son,” recalls Steigueber. The next person to come in was a mother whom he advised to get a board made with especially soft wheels. Dads, students and tourists are just a few of those who ride Longboards. “Five years ago I was being asked what a Longboard is,” says Longboard owner Richard Ruchay, 29, who is sitting in front of Lassrollen, with friends enjoying the evening’s summer sunshine. Skateboards and Longboards may be similar

but for Ruchay they are not the same at all. “Skateboards are to longboards what a BMX bike is to a racing bike.” Skateboarders and BMX riders are adept at performing jumps and pivots, but longboarding is about “surfing” the road. A Longboard’s large, soft wheels are perfect for reaching high speeds on roads. They can even reach up to 100 kilometres per hour downhill. Ruchay says a Longboard is a great alternative to riding a bike, and he says he often travels long distances on his board. But there are regulations in Europe that define where a Longboard can be ridden in urban areas. In Germany, for example, they are supposed to use paths; but for Ruchay that’s too dangerous for pedestrians, and he prefers the carriageway of the road. The Longboard trend has even encouraged a debate about how to encourage other forms of

transport in urban areas. German Green politician Stefan Gelbhaar says city planners need to rethink how city dwellers get about. “Basically we need to create more space for alternative modes of transport.” u


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30 Aug-5 Sept 2013

G -scape

The Roads to Heavenly Homes are... pRAKHAR PANDEY

Friday gurgaon aug 30 sept 5, 2013  

..be the change you want to see

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