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4-10 October 2013

Vol. 3 No. 7  Pages 24  ` 7

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

New Women's Lib Licence To Be a Man? { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

R

ASHA PANDEY

ekha (name changed), 24, works in an advertising agency. Born and brought up in a conservative family in Bihar, she has faced gender inequality many times during her childhood. “I was fond of my paternal aunt and saw her being mistreated as a young widow. My grandmother never let her sit on the sofa and a lot of restrictions were imposed on her. Everybody wanted to control her. She suffered in silence,” she says. Young Rekha always wondered why her aunt was treated so badly. This influenced her so much that she decided that she would break all social norms and leave her hometown - to become an independent woman. She now lives independently in the Millennium City, though she has struggled to build a career. She has this manic drive 'to do all that a man can do'. Besides earning a living and driving a car, Rekha has picked up some negatives (from the men) too. She admits that she smokes regularly, drinks heavily and doesn’t mind a Contd on p 7 

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

A

fter graduating from a polytechnic college last year, Satender Kumar had applied to a large number of companies. However, the slow down of the economy and the consequent reduced hiring of freshers, had adversely impacted the job market. After struggling for almost an year, Satender saw a glimmer of hope when he received an email stating that his CV had been shortlisted by a leading Gurgaon- based car company. He was asked to apply for the position and come for the interview at the Company’s headquarters. Seeing this as a God-sent chance, he enthusiastically fulfilled all the ‘requirements’; he also deposited money, which the ‘Company’ said would be fully refunded, as it was ‘a security for the interview’. Once the money was deposited there was no further communication; and after a couple of days the candidates received a mail from the ‘original Company’ that they have learnt of this ‘scam’, and that many people have been duped by a fraudster(s). Considering the good salary on offer from a reputed brand, not only Ravi but also

Fraud Is Their Job ASHA PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

a large number of people from across the country have taken this bait. Such ‘job scams‘, using the Internet, have become rampant in Gurgaon, as the presence of a large number of multinational companies makes it a perfect playground for such activities. A Gurgaon Police official says that while some of the scamsters are using the Internet, some have even opened offices, while others offer jobs via the classified columns of newspapers – all, to dupe gullible job aspirants. Apart from IT and Auto firms, the names of large pharma companies are also being used by racketeers to promise jobs that do not exist. Inspector Suresh Kumar, Incharge of Cyber Cell in Gurgaon, says that domain names and email ids, similar to ones used by these reputed companies, are created and then used to call candidates for interviews as well as make offer letters. "The scamsters conduct everything on mail and hold the interviews on the phone. They prey on the insecurity of the unemployed youth and on the fervent hopes of people who need jobs. Many people pay and get duped, but some of them do sense they are being cheated and report the same to the Police," says Kumar. Contd on p 6 


02 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–07  4-10 October 2013

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Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora

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WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

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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 Carpe Diem Delhi-NCR 2013 @ Hotel Leela Kempinski, Ambience Mall. NH8 Date: October 4 Time: 3:00 pm

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anmali Agrawala, President & CEO of GE South Asia, will share his personal experiences on Wholesome Leadership. Arun Wakhlu will chair the session and moderate the discussion.

Workshop Style N Beyond @ The Close South, Nirvana Country, Sector 50 Date: October 5 & 6 Time: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

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C oming U p

4-10 October 2013

feel-good Workshop on making the right choices of clothes and make up and learning the art and science of creating that perfect first impression. From 'body type analysis' to 'make-up routines', it's all here for the ladies. For registrations:
Ph: 9871912153
Email: info@idimensions.co.in

Kiddie Fun Drawing Competition & Fashion Show @ Creative Kadam, M-34 Old DLF Colony, Sector 14 Date: October 5 Time: 5:00 pm

A

fun-filled evening for kids aged 3-13 years. A Drawing Competition with the theme, 'Under The Water'
will be held. This will be followed by a Fashion Show with kids 'walking the ramp'. To Register, contact: 9811951145

Theatre The Vagina Monologues @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 5 & 6 Time: 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm; 3:30 pm & 5:30 pm

D

irected and Produced by Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and Kaizaad Kotwal, this critically acclaimed Play is
an unusual blend of outrageous comedy and heartbreaking drama – narrating the stories of different women. From the Maharashtrian woman who met a man who loved to look at her, to a Parsi woman who hasn't been down there since 1994, this Play promises to enlighten and entertain you.
Originally written by American Playwright Eve Ensler, the cast of the Play includes Sonali Sachdev, Avantika Akerkar, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Dolly Thakore and Jayati Bhatia.


Dance Vilasini Natyam @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 10 Time: 7:00 pm

D

r. Dimple Kaur performs the Vilasini Natyam, the solo Bharatam (formal dance), which was performed over centuries by female dancers of Telugu origin in temples, royal-courts and public theatres of Southern and SouthEastern India. Dr. Kaur has received extensive training in Vilasini Natyam from Padma Bhushan Swapna Sundari.

Conclave 5th Mega HR Conclave @ Fortune Select Global, Global Arcade, MG Road Date: October 10 Time: 9:30 am

Dance Bharatnatyam recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 4 Time: 7:30 pm

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Bharatnatyam recital by Swati Biswas, disciple of Jayalakshmi Eshwar.

I

ndus Business Academy, in association with Delhi Management Association, presents its annual mega HR event. Listen to the who’s who of the Corporate world discussing topics pertaining to various fields across different domains of business. These business leaders will share how their organisations have built a culture to drive organisational performance and excellence.

Art Debi @ Art Alive Gallery, 120 Sector 44 Date: October 7 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (Monday to Saturday) Festive Celebrations Durga Pooja Theme: Vonadi Baril Pujo Date: October 10 to 13 Timing: 6 pm on October 10 (after that 7 am to 11 pm) President: Mr. Atin Chattopdhyay Ph: 9818451797 Condominium: Bangiyan Parishad, Sect. 56

A

dramatic profusion of works from the private studio of sculptor and installation artist, Narayan Chandra Sinha. 'Debi' is a bridge between craft and fine arts. It reflects an intelligent use of discarded materials woven together to tell a story that resonates with culture and tradition. Yet, the language is modern, chic and understated in every sense of the word. The Show is a tribute to beauty, originality and style, which is sensibly crafted in a modern language.

Mela Festive Pop Mix @ Laburnum, Sushant Lok I, DLF City Date: October 11 & 12 Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

E

njoy this unique Mela with edgy fashion, funky art and irresistible home decor on offer.


C oming U p

4-10 October 2013

03

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART Food Paratha vs Pizza @ Cafe Delhi Heights, Ambience Mall, NH 8 Date: Up to October 15

A

n epic showdown of steaming hot Italian Pizzas vs the classical earthy Paranthas. Let your taste buds decide. From the team of Parathas, you have the Egg Masala Paratha, Minced Meat Paratha, Broccoli and Palak Paratha and Varqui Paratha. The Italian team offers Classic Margherita Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza, Pizza Alla Rustica and Pizza Frutti Del Mare Con Marinara. What are you waiting for? Go play the Food Game!

Exhibition Symphony of Cushions @ House of Ishatvam, MG Road Date: October 10 to October 27 Time: 11:00 am to 7:30 pm

A

n Exhibition featuring an elegant range of complementing quilted, printed, textured, woven and embroidered cushions in various sizes and forms.

Delhi's Artscape

his charcoals on paper or canvas. Om Swami is a self-taught artist whose works are renowned for their fluidity and the movements of their subjects. The various characters in Devidas Dharmadhikari's work aptly demonstrate 'the thoughtful self-engaged in the search of self-identity'.

Harvest 2013 @ Arushi Arts, G 114, 13 Gallery Mall, MG Road, Mehrauli Date: Up to October 30 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

E

njoy a limited edition showcase of 95 exceptional sculptures, paintings and videos of over 65 renowned artists, at the Stainless Art Gallery. The Group Art Show trends Indian Contemporary Art, with works from G.R Santosh from Kashmir, Krishen Khanna from Delhi, Ram Kumar from Himachal, Akbar Padamsee and Atul Dodiya from Mumbai, Sanjay Bhattacharya and Paresh Maity from Bengal, Arpana Caur from Punjab and more. The Show is curated by Payal Kapoor.



Rama-Katha @ The National Museum, Janpath Date: Up to October 13 Time: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

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n Exhibition of paintings called Rama-Katha: the Story of Rama through Indian Miniatures. Consisting of 101 masterpieces, the Exhibition amalgamates different styles from various regions. From Pahari paintings, Rajasthani styles, Provincial Mughal style from Bundelkhand to Central Indian styles of Malwa and Classical Folk style, 'Rama-Katha' features the finest of art genres and forms.
Explore the greatness of Lord Rama through this mystical journey.

In Other Rooms @ Art Alive Gallery, House No. S - 221, Panchsheel Park Date: Up to October 10 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

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solo show of the recent works of artist Tara Sabharwal.

Fantastic Four @ Pearl Art Gallery, Bldng No. 185/k/3, Basement Karan Palace, New Friends Colony Date: Up to October 7 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

T

he Show brings together four talented artists, each with his own style and expression. There is intangibility in Asit Patnaik's works, of words left unsaid. Jagannath Paul is known for

Festive Fervour Raas Rendezvous @ Trinity Towers, Party Hall, DLF Phase 5 Date: October 8 Time: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm

K

ickstart the festive season with a mega event, Raas Rendezvous. The 3 hours of unlimited masti include a DJ spinning out Dandiya and Bollywood numbers, amid exquisite Navratri delicacies.
Price: Rs. 500 per head.
Pre Registration is mandatory. Call 9818136085

Nightlife Midival Punditz Live @ 7 Degrees Brauhaus, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road Date: October 4 Time: 9:30 pm

Shut Up, Internet! @ Shrine Empire Gallery, Building No. 7, Friends Colony West Date: Up to October 5 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

C

elebrate Oktoberfest 2013 with
The Midival Punditz, featuuring Karsh Kale.
Accompanying the Band will be Ajay Prasanna, Kutle Khan, Malini Awasthy and Vidhi Sharma.

T

he latest innovative art work by artist Suchitra Gahlot, titled 'Shut Up, Internet!', is a creative take on complex human behaviour and intricate relationships. It pulls the trigger on the contentious notion of the New Age man being always responsive to the alerts of his device, literally living in a pool of gadgets.
The artistic brilliance of Suchitra is evidenced by an installation of suspended jars, containing around forty thousand torn emails (from 1995). The small pieces of paper fly within the jar, representing a human's ambition to break free from the trap of the digital world. The Art Installation is strongly recommended for those who like to think out-of-the-box and explore a new side of Art.

Zebra Among Horses @ Gallery Espace, 16, Community Centre, New Friends Colony Date: Up to October 31 (Sundays closed) Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

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Solo Show of the recent works of Brooklyn-based artist, Chitra Ganesh. She showcases digital collages in light-jet prints, mixed-media drawings on paper, a site-specific installation and a text-based wall piece composed in-situ at the Gallery space. Chitra’s digital collages are inspired by images from Amar Chitra Katha books, which present the religious and cultural narratives of Hindu and South-Asian mythology. 


Friendly Strangers: Fields Of The Universe @ Niv Art Centre, Plot No. 210, Neb Sarai Date: Up to October 18 Time: 10:30 am to 7:00 pm 


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n Art Show displaying works by Shridhar Iyer and Ajay Narayan. Empty space or the Universe is the dominating theme of this Exhibition, which showcases a number of interesting creations by these two artists. The Exhibition is curated by Rahul Bhattacharya.

4U 4

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. The dandruff in my hair goes when I use the shampoo but returns when I stop using it. Is there any other way to get rid SH of dandruff completely? Apply herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Wash your hair with a mild herbal shampoo three or four times a week, using less shampoo and rinsing very well with water. Half an hour before shampoo, apply two tablespoons vinegar on the scalp, massaging it lightly into the scalp. Once a week, heat olive oil and apply on the scalp at night. Leave on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon 15 minutes before shampoo.  Weekly henna treatments will also help. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning. 

WINNER Sonali Jain

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


04

4-10 October 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS  NH8 toll operator is accused of under-reporting income, to the tune of a few crores per month.  The Toll Plaza operator is asked to install CCTVs and also set right about 500 streetlights that are not functioning.  A joint action plan, involving various govt agencies, is being evolved, for tackling the Hero Chowk issues.  Haryana to offer Senior Citizens 50% discount on Haryana Roadways wef January 1, 2014. Senior Women, 50+, to also get nutrition scheme.  Traffic Police start a Joy of Giving Week, that will close on October 9th. 'Good' drivers will be felicitated with gifts, as also 'good' policemen.  Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary opens.  A son confesses to killing his mother, citing constant fights between her and his wife.  A resident of Sector 9 kills his wife for refusing to give him money to buy alcohol – he is arrested.  A headless body of a woman is found near Rajendra Park.  Tahir, the killer of the person who tried to stop cow smuggling, is arrested.  A 25-year-old from Assam is held for raping his 12-year-old niece and killing her.  A 25-year-old domestic help is found murdered in his room in Nirvana City. A delivery boy is held as an accused.  A woman alleges that she was raped and thrown out of a car. Her story keeps changing. Police arrest an auto driver for questioning  A man is arrested after he tries to rape his daughter in law.  2 robbers belonging to a notorious UP gang are arrested – they were

Haryanvi Made Easy

carrying lots of ammunition.  An executive is robbed of his cash and mobile at knife-point, near IFFCO Chowk.  Rs 1.5 lakhs is stolen from a person by bike borne miscreants.  Strict Police checks on Auto drivers result in a mass demonstration by them. Many Autos stay off the road, leading to inconvenience to passengers. The Auto resume service after meeting the Police Commissioner.  The stray animal menace – of dogs, pigs and monkeys – is now being taken seriously. There is a plan for sterilization, as well as a parallel plan for the registration of pets.  2 sacked ex-Maruti employees get justice after 13 years – are to be paid Rs 6 lakhs and Rs 5 lakhs respectively.  HSIIDC is developing parts of Sector 35 for fresh industrial projects.  DLF QERWA elects Rakesh Kumar Jain as its President.  City Bus opens 3 new routes.  Many citizens walk the City on World Heart Day.  Solar Rickshaws may operate in Sadar Bazaar.

FG is happy that HUDA has disconnected the water supply of the builder who was constructing a school within Nirvana City, against the wishes of the local RWA and residents. FG had carried their grievances, specifically of the plan for multiple schools - in the previous issue.

T

be the change you wish to see

Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I am shifting my house next week. Main agle hafte apna ghar badlu sun. 2. The new place has no power problem. Nayi jaga bijli na jaati. 3. There is also 24 hour water supply. 8 pahar paani aave se. 4. My neighbours are also very helpful. Mhaare padosi bhi bahut ghaane badiya aadmi hain. 5. There is good security too. Chowkidaar bhi badiya hain. 6. I will throw a party once I shift. Ghar badle paach main ek party dunga. 7. Come to my new house and see how nice it is. Mhaare ghar ma aake dekh kitna badiya se.

PIC

OF THE WEEK

Dear Readers, Each week we will feature a question/ topic to get your views/ suggestions. Selected views will be published in the subsequent issue(s) of Friday Gurg.

This week's Topic is:

Who would you consider as a Guru of Gurgaon? Write in to us at

letters@fridaygurgaon.com

WORKSHOP MUSIC

NIGHTLIFE

ART

EXHIBITION

DANCE

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H appenings

4-10 October 2013

05

Illustrious Awards The 4th Indian Sports Illustrated Award ceremony was held at Pullman Gurgaon Central Park Hotel. The Event was organised by the sports magazine to honour good performances of the year 2012. Cricketer VVS Laxman was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Athlete of the Year was presented to cricketer Virat Kohli.

A Lesle-Arjun Weekender

A Universal Bash

P

ullman Gurgaon Central Park co-hosted a Party with designer Sanjana Jon, in honour of Miss Universe Olivia Culpo. The Beauty Queen is visiting the City to advocate ‘Save the Girl Child’, as part of the world tour to garner support towards the cause. Many personalities were in attendance to pledge their support.

s part of the Bacardi Weekender series, musicians Lesle Lewis and Arjun were in the City for a performance. While Arjun's playlist included songs like 'Smoke on the Water' by Deep Purple, 'Iris' by Goo Goo Dolls and some of his own tracks, Lesle performed a selection of brand new tracks and classic hits and also sung his popular compositions like 'Paree Hoon Main', 'Krishna', 'Yaaron', 'Pal' and 'Janam Samjha Karo'. They rocked the stage and the fans rocked the night.

Designer Goes Suffiana

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glittering Fashion Show was held by designer Kanishk Mehta, who showcased Suffiana - his wedding fashion range for men, for the forthcoming season. ‘Desi to Videshi’ was the theme of the Collection that featured fine cuts, elegant quilted suede, velvet Indo-Western outfits, waistcoats and formal wear.

Ryback Dream

K

ingdom of Dreams celebrated its 3rd anniversary with WWE superstar 'Ryback'. The popular wrestler interacted with fans and flaunted his muscles, much to the delight of the awed fans.

Life Begins at 60! VAAD, an initiative taken by Payal Mathur to transform and rejuvenate the lives of seniors above the age of 60, was launched in the City. The Event included games that emphasised the importance of dialogue. Expert sessions by service providers in Health and Financial Management were also held. “The thought behind VAAD is to provide a platform where 'youth' above 60 can freely express themselves, share thoughts with their peer group and have fun together,” said Payal.

T

Gurgaon's Haat

he INTACH Gurgaon Haat, held at the DLF Phase I Community Centre, received an overwhelming response. Seen here is Sudhir Kapoor, Head of DLF City RWA, along with INTACH and DLF members.


06  Contd from p 1 His Department has taken action against several such fraudsters, but he admits that even gangs based abroad are involved in these activities. It is suspected that Nigerian gangs, notorious for online frauds, could be behind some of these suspicious activities in Gurgaon. Ranbaxy had to file a complaint with the Gurgaon Cyber Cell against fraudsters who had created a fake email ID of the Company, and issued offer letters to aspirants after taking Rs. 12,500 from each of them. The scamsters particularly targeted candidates with Science and Pharma backgrounds, and sent them mails congratulating them on the selection of their resume from a job portal, for “a good career opportunity with Ranbaxy India”. “Congratulation... we are one of the world’s top generic pharmaceutical companies... Apply Now... We have selected your resume for providing you a good career opportunity with Ranbaxy India,” the email stated. A majority of the candidates were elated on receiving this mail, and instead of scrutinizing the documents forwarded with this mail, fell for the bait. The mail included a 'Ranbaxy Interview Application' Form and an Offer Letter asking for money to ward-off non-serious candidates. A salary between Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 60,000 was offered in the Company's production department, and the candidates were called for an interview at the HR branch in Bangalore. Inspector Kumar says that they have investigated the Ranbaxy matter and traced the culprits, who were based in Western UP. The accused had allegedly obtained details of the aspirants from the Naukri website and contacted them. They had even organised interviews of candidates at different locations, and managed to swindle them. While the Police investigate the ingenious ways of these fake players, the corporates in Gurgaon, and even across the country, are finding it hard to deal with the situation. An HR official of a top Gurgaon-based company says that candidates in smaller cities more easily fall prey to such fraudsters. The advertisements in English papers, especially in second-tier cities, attract a large number of youth, as newspaper advertising is considered very credible. Once a candidate applies, he is asked to deposit an amount in a leading bank, which also adds to the credibility. It takes fairly long before the victim realises that he has been duped, he adds. Gurgaon

C over S tory

4-10 October 2013

Fraud Is Their Job Police officials have warned candidates to be very careful about jobs being offered through newspapers, particularly the classified columns. "Any case where jobs are offered through emails and classifieds, and money is later asked for, is an almost clear cut case of fraud. People must check with the Company mentioned, before even applying," asserts Kumar. Nitin Seth, CEO Fidelty, an IT company, says that it must be understood by job aspirants that no private company will ask for money to recruit people. "In fact we pay consultants to hire candidates who have the requisite skill and talent to perform on the job. Anyone asking for a consideration in cash or kind should be avoided, as they are just out to dupe the candidates," says Seth. He however raises the problem of ‘inflated’ CVs being submitted by not only freshers but also middle-level professionals, which leads to problems later. Corporate insiders say that the maximum number of email frauds and fake job advertisements come when the private sector is hiring. The ‘hottest season’ for job frauds is from January to April, as most companies hire aggressively during this period. Kumar suggests that if an offer letter says that a communication or a visit to a company office is not allowed, then certainly it is fake. "If a letter promises air tickets after the money is deposited, then again candidates need to be doubly suspicious," he adds. One of the fake letters sent to a candidate gives the following reason for taking a security deposit: “This is a measure we have taken to check bogus applications from unserious candidate...and we send them offer letter and air ticket and also make the above mentioned arrangements in other to give them a comfortable interview and they fail to appear for interview which is a huge loss to the company and the interview becomes shabby and hence we fail to recruit the needed manpower. But with your security deposit we will be assured that our expenses will not be wasted... Security deposit will be returned to you before interview...”. The poor English and weak reasons for taking money should clearly warn candidates, say experts - but this happens rarely. While a large number of candidates are duped by fraudsters using online mails and phone calls, there have

been instances when former company executives have joined together to dupe mainly fresh candidates. In one such instance a former IBM executive formed a ‘gang’ and they issued fake appointment letters to a number of youth in Bhopal, after taking Rs 2 to 3 lakhs from each of them. The accused had promised the candidates jobs in top companies like KPMG, IBM and others. The modus operandi was simple: they would organise job fairs in cities like Bhopal and offer jobs in BPOs and IT companies, for a consideration. To ensure that his efforts looked genuine, the prime accused had even roped in his corporate friends, who posed as senior executives of leading companies. Prabhat Agarwal, a former IT CEO turned social activist, says that a number of times such corrupt practices are aided by insiders in the companies. "Like the government sector jobs, corporate openings are also now being given on pecuniary considerations. HR departments in private companies have embraced corrupt practices, as good jobs are now scarce in the Indian economy; there are many corrupt consultants and corrupt insiders,” he says. Inspector Kumar says that people in Gurgaon should also be wary of companies that offer to set up mobile towers on their rooftops. "They promise to get the towers installed, and after fulfilling the documentation, ask for deposits - which are mostly paid, as people are looking to augment their incomes," he says. In addition, offers made from suspicious domains that look like originals, should be avoided. He tells about a major scam that was perpetrated by an operator who had created a website that looked like an original government property owned by the Department of Agriculture. The accused operator had taken money from hundreds of people, to appoint them as Kisan Sewa Pratinidhis across the country. "The people fell for this scam as the site looked original and the money they were asked to deposit was not much. It was a scam of a high magnitude. The Police arrested 8 people and some others are on the run," informs Kumar. In Gurgaon, being the hub of Auto companies, the scamsters have also used the name of Maruti Suzuki to dupe a large number of candidates. Police officials say that a smooth operator had sent emails to candidates

from the Chairman himself, calling them for interviews and jobs. When this scam came to light, the Company had to take many corrective measures; the Vigilance Department of the Company keeps in regular touch with the Police, to ensure that such scams do not recur. Police officials say that even experienced professionals are conned by scamsters, with offers of better jobs abroad – including visas, and similar sops, which are difficult to obtain normally. In one such incident, a doctor of a leading Gurgaon hospital forked out a couple of lakhs after receiving a mail from a UK hospital, promising him a job and a visa. After instilling faith in the medico of their sincerity, the scamsters asked for a processing fee, which amounted to a couple of lakhs. Once the payment was made, the doctor never heard from his prospective employers. Officials say that in cases where scamsters are based abroad, the Police can do little other than file a case. Nidhi Gupta, Regional Manager, Nasscom, says that they have created a skill repository to check the antecedents of candidates, and this would help any recruiter to conduct a background check. Similarly, she suggests that anyone getting a job offer from an IT firm can check from Nasscom whether the company is genuine or fake; also, the ‘real’ company can be contacted, to

check the genuineness of an offer. Manas Fuloria, CEO, Nagarro, believes that job aspirants must not get lured by shortcuts, as no private company will hire people who are short on skills. "I advise people to work hard, learn skills and be confident. There still is a huge shortage of talented manpower in IT, and the majority of the people can be absorbed," he says. The IT and IT Enabled Services companies are trying to manage this challenge through industry bodies such as Nasscom, as they have been at the receiving end for years now; the auto and FMCG sector, which has been hit by this menace only recently, is finding it hard to comprehend the challenge. Pharma major Ranbaxy had to issue a warning, stating, “Ranbaxy is genuinely concerned about the welfare of job seekers and in order to safeguard their interest has made public announcement through advertisements to reach out and inform them. We urge prospective candidates to guard themselves from such fraudulent people and their malpractices and not fall in their trap.” Gurgaon based CEOs say that companies across the country have faced such malpractices, and they have even asked their Vigilance and HR organization to keep a tab on suspicious activity taking place on the Internet and their websites. However, they agree that not all the measures are foolproof, and that the candidates will have to be aware and beware, to ensure that they are not cheated of their money…and jobs…and their dreams….in this harsh material world. u

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4-10 October 2013

C over S tory

New Women's Lib

07

Licence To Be a Man?

 Contd from p 1 one-night stand. “I smoke because I like it. Yes, it gives me a feel that I am equal to men. If a man can smoke, drink and sleep around, I can do that too!” she asserts. Rekha’s story indicates how the harking for gender equality has been sometimes misinterpreted in our society. More than a few women have gone completely to the 'other side' – with a vengeance. While a Rekha may have broken a stereotype, has she really helped her cause, or those of women like her? Smoking, swearing, drinking, fighting and sleeping around are hardly an answer to a man’s world. Women are undoubtedly entitled to live with dignity and freedom in this world. Educating and empowering women is also an indispensable pre-requisite for helping reduce poverty, as they contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and the community at large. It is imperative that we practice gender equality in education and the professions – and of course in human rights. But it is equally important to realize that some by-products of mindless gender equality can be devastating. Is the idea of the ‘modernists’ to create a genderless society – ignoring some basic realities? It is important to understand that men and women can never be ‘equal’, as nature has never intended them to be. One would normally be ‘better’ at something, and vice versa despite women being already classified as the overall better half ! And besides the obvious physiological differences (men can only give birth to ideas), there are also differences in the role of men and women in the society. There is a need, especially for women, is to understand the difference between gender equality and gender neutrality. What is required is a rational re-evaluation and re-interpretation of the concept of gender equality. It is very important that girls and women feel proud of their gender. They should celebrate their uniqueness and enjoy what makes them special and different, instead of feeling inferior and running after ‘equality’. India is perhaps the only country where God is also worshipped in a true feminine form. Besides, motherhood has always been cherished. A few

women, however, feel burdened of the idea of motherhood. 56-year-old Dr. Sudha Dayal, a Gynaecologist, points out, “These days motherhood means a long leave from the workplace. While motherhood was celebrated in our times, today it is seen as a big problem, whereby a woman has to sacrifice her career and social life. In fact this is a major reason of stress among the expectant women. They don’t believe that this power of giving birth to a child is a blessing.” Mukta, who works as a Vice President in a multinational firm thinks differently. She took a long break after giving birth to her daughter. “I have always been a career-oriented person, but I decided to give a good five years to my baby – as I felt that was my prime responsibility. I think that nature has endowed women with greater responsibility because we are better able to deal with it. Believe me, I didn’t face any problem in getting back to work. After all, motherhood makes you a stronger and better person,” she smiles.

love women because women are different - and of course better than men. “In our society, mothers have always been seen as role models. Sisters have been considered as best friends and wives as the betterhalves of men. They have always provided the better sense, and the balance. But now, with women also wishing to indulge in manly vices, like alcohol, smoking and extra-marital affairs, the children would begin to be neglected. In fact the home and family structure would be severely impacted. This is already a major problem in the Millennium City, where gender equality seems to be be basically associated with the freedom to go to late-night parties without children – and to have a blast. It seems that women have become ashamed of themselves, and what they stand for” feels Walji. As childbearers, women have the unique responsibility of passing on good morals and values to their children from a tender age. Women are thus rightly called the pillars of society – men’s physical strength

The myth about leadership (of the temperament for it) has also been broken. Women are today preferred in many leadership roles because of their superior social skills and emotional intelligence. Women also score high in empathy - the ability to understand other people’s feelings and identify with their difficulties. They are typically less violent and aggressive, and commit fewer crimes. “Studies have shown that females also adhere to laws more often. I believe they are better leaders, be it at the workplace or home,” informs Dr. Sudha. Karim Walji, a resident of Sector 50, says that men

notwithstanding. Women help restore the inner balance in men and children. If women lose their morals, society will soon descend into chaos – a worse state than even the animal world. Men should therefore understand that while women are the gentle sex, they are clearly not the weaker sex! Moral strength does ultimately prevail. Dr. Sudha says, “Apart from the socio-cultural problems, bad habits adopted by women in the name of gender equality generally lead to serious health issues. Firstly, women tend to develop alcoholrelated diseases sooner than men, even though they may drink smaller amounts of alco-

hol. Secondly, women are more likely to develop alcoholic liver diseases, such as hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. Women who take more than six drinks in a week, and smoke regularly, are at risk of developing osteoporosis, infertility, high blood pressure, heart disease, premature menopause - and even miscarriages.” A new ‘problem’ is the growing attention-seeking behaviour among women today. This doesn’t remain limited to hairstyles and dress, but becomes a part of the personality of a person. Mukta, for example, recounts how her colleague used to attract ‘eyeballs’, with her short skirts and deep necklines. “Even in the most liberated societies there is a certain dress code. Of course, miniskirts, booty shorts and low-rise jeans are not ‘bad’. But almost vulgar skin show in office or college clearly indicates the growing attention-seeking behaviour among women,” says Mukta. Why is that so? Are they not comfortable with, and confident of, their minds and hearts, that the body needs to be their only recourse for getting attention or recognition? Rekha, on the other hand, strongly feels that women should choose any dress they want – however provocative - and it is the men who should control their emotions. Walji retorts, “Yes, a woman holds the ownership of her body and she can wear whatever she wants. But why is it only women who use their bodies to achieve success in their careers? Sometimes I wonder if women really want to attain gender equality. Imagine what would happen to those who impress their bosses with their cleavages – and more”. Why do men not give as much importance to their body – at least relatively? Because they

have better minds and hearts? Would you, as a woman, believe that? Then why do so many women prefer to use (or over-use) their bodies?

The need of the hour

It is time children are taught to appreciate and accommodate the natural gender differences. The overt 'sexualization' in the media, literature and arts should also be limited. Young boys should be taught to maybe feel proud of their physical prowess, but not to use it for abuse and violence – especially against women. The different roles of men and women in society need to be appreciated by both. They should form a partnership, which is not constrained by notions of superiority or inferiority. The idea that women don’t need men, or men don’t need women, is absurd. They in fact complement each other. The answer lies in the true 'liberation' of both the genders. There is therefore first a need to end the male domination and abuse in the society, and ensure full protection and equal rights for women. At the same time, true women's liberation doesn’t mean merely seeking equality with men – to do what they can do. It is about liberating even more the divine feminine aspects of a woman’s personality and using them for the benefit of humankind. Men and Women are what nature has made them. Let us accept that we are different. Vive la difference! True liberation is not about equality; it is about providing an enabling environment for both the genders – to grow and prosper together. ‘Gender Equality’ is passé; let us welcome 'Gender Partnership'.u


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4-10 October 2013

C ivic/S ocial

Behind The Scene Of Crime { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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oonam (name changed), a resident of New Gurgaon, was surprised when she got a call from the Gurgaon Police Control Room (PCR) wanting to know whether the complaint she had made - relating to her getting unwanted calls was resolved. Surprised also at the politeness of the caller, Poonam not only expressed satisfaction but also thanked the Police for helping her. Every caller to the Police Control Room, who registers a complaint, is later asked about the resolution of the problem; and the case is not considered closed till this process is complete. Every call made to the Gurgaon PCR is recorded, a form related to every complaint is filled and the records can be accessed by the general public. Inspector Kailash Chander, In-charge of the Gurgaon Police Control Room, says that ten police operators are manning the lines, 24x7. They take calls from people who are seeking help or information, or wish to register complaints. “There are calls related to various crimes, and people also Dial 100 to get information. Once a call is received, we send the message to the concerned PCR Vans within minutes, so that they can reach the location from where the problem has been reported,” says Inspector Kailash. Every day the Police Control Room receives 2000 to 2500 calls on their registered numbers (particularly 100). Surprisingly, almost 1500 calls to the PCR are ‘blank’, as people dial this number inadvertently. The rest of the calls are related to minor accidents, vehicle thefts and crimes against women; and sometimes serious crimes such as murders and rapes. There are also other issues related to law and order, such as encroachments and land disputes. A number of callers also ask for information about the City - relating to the Police and the Administration. The Gurgaon PCR receives 40 to 50 complaints per day from women, relating to eve-teasing and molestation, which are dealt with on a high priority. Inspector Kailash says that, apart from dialling 100, a dedicated Women Help Line Number, 1091, has been made operational, on which the complaints are received by a woman police officer. “A trained woman constable is taking the calls on this number at all hours. The staff works in shifts alongwith a team of officials,” he says. Constable Poonam, who is on duty at the moment, says that once a call is received, she immediately asks for the name of the person and the location where she is at that time, and sends the message to the concerned field staff. In most of the cases, if a Women PCR is present in the proximity, the message is sent to them, else the message is forwarded to other vans. Poonam says that either the PCR personnel get the issue resolved on the spot, or the complainant can get the case registered – for which an Investigating Officer is deputed by the concerned Police Station. Inspector Kailash says that the PCR keeps in touch with the caller. “In case a crime is registered, an SMS is immediately sent to all the concerned officials, including the Commissioner of Police,” he informs. Poonam adds, “The girls who call also want to keep their identity hidden; we ensure that names are not revealed. Often family members report about harassment and such issues and want privacy - which is maintained.” A major issue being reported by Gurgaon women is of receiving obscene and unwanted calls on their mobile phones. Jitender Kumar, who works in the PCR, says that in case of obscene calls, the PCR calls the offending person and tries to make him understand that unwanted calling is an offence. “We also send him a warning SMS. In case the problem continues, the complaint is referred to the Anti-Obscene Calls Cell of the Gurgaon Police, which takes cognizance of the complaint,” says Kumar. To close the matter the PCR sends a mail to the Cyber Cell of Gurgaon

Police, asking for the cell phone details of the offender, and the same are forwarded to the Anti-Obscene Cell for registering a complaint. There has been a decline in the number of such complaints after the Gurgaon Police pro-actively took up this issue in the last year in particular. As per the data of a particular day recently, the PCR received 1200 blank calls, 25 calls related to crimes, 15 calls from Delhi asking for information, 140 enquiry calls, 120 calls asking for information, 250 missed calls and even 20 'wrong numbers'. Inspector Kailash says that the system can handle 30 calls simultaneously, which are handled by the operators seamlessly. “We even send a ‘Thanks’ SMS to the callers, for calling the Gurgaon Police,” he adds. Apart from registering and forwarding the complaints, the main task of the PCR is to co-ordinate with the various police teams and officials, and ensure effective communication, so that timely help can be reached to the victims of an accident or a crime. In case of a vehicle theft, which figures in large number, the first thing the operators do is to pass on the information to PCR Vans, riders and all the police stations, to try and catch the stolen vehicle before it can be taken out of the City. A citizen whose car is stolen can also obtain information and records related to the stolen vehicle, by filing an RTI with the PCR. This information can be submitted to the insurance companies, to obtain claims; this facility of the PCR comes in handy, says an official. On being connected to the nationwide ‘Vahan’ Registration system, a resident of Gurgaon can also call the PCR to know the exact ownership of a vehicle he plans to buy. “By using this facility, Gurgaon residents can ensure that they do not get cheated into buying stolen vehicles or those that have been involved in accidents. If people call us prior to buying a vehicle, it can save them trouble later,” says an official. The PCR also manages an SMS Service, wherein a message that is sent to the number 0124100 from any landline or mobile phone of any telecom service provider, is received at the Police Control Room. A confirmation SMS is sent back, with a complaint number. Three police personnel are constantly deputed for this task. Apart from the Women Help Line, the women police officials also attend the calls received at the Senior Citizens Helpline number 2335100. The PCR Van can also be called at 1090, to inform about any suspicious activities. In case of an accident, the PCR officials say that they immediately inform the nearby PCR Vans, riders and police stations, so that they can provide urgent help to the victims. Policemen in the PCR vans are required to ensure that victims get their complaint registered, or, if required, are admitted to a hospital. Sometimes a crane or a gas cutter has to be called for. Inspector Kailash says that at present 46 motorcycle riders and 54 PCR Vans are working round the clock to keep the City safe and sound. However, sources say that often the number of PCR Vans on active duty stand reduced, as these vehicles are

sent on bank duties, allotted to VIPs and even sent on ‘bandobast’, which affects the quality of policing. In fact, in a growing city like Gurgaon, there is need to almost double the number of riders and PCR Vans. Recently the Haryana Chief Minister had called upon the Centre to include Gurgaon and Faridabad in the Mega-city Policing scheme, so that additional funds could be made available for modernizing the police force in both the cities. Some officials say that the Police Control Room needs upgradation in terms of technology and manpower. The PCR sometimes feels handicapped because it does not have a crane, a gas cutter or a modern ambulance, which could be sent to accident sites directly. In case of accidents on the Gurgaon Expressway, the High Control Room, which has been set up by the private operator, comes to the rescue of accident victims. Connecting the Police: Apart from reaching out to help the citizens, and keeping an eye on the City, the PCR also keeps the Police department constantly connected through the wireless system, which was upgraded in 2009. There is a constant whirr of wireless sound in the Control Room that is full of policemen on the third floor of Gurgaon's Mini-Secretariat. ASI Satyavan, who is incharge of the shift, keeps a close tab on the messages being exchanged on the Police Wireless system in the Police Control Room, which functions as the nerve centre of the Department. The Police Control Room not only helps the citizens but also directs the Police officials to trouble spots where there presence is required. Inspector Kailash says that at present there are two types of Wireless Communication Network systems installed in the Gurgaon PCR. The PCR is also connected to the POLNET, SWAN and WAN networks, to provide a seamless exchange of information through the Internet, emails and a secure server system. The Gurgaon PCR has a separate Server Room, having 9 servers. The staff that has been posted at the PCR is also educated, trained and given basic English speaking training. Poonam, who often gets calls from ‘new’ Gurgaon, says that most of the callers are polite and understand that it would take some time for help to arrive. “Sometimes people are scared and they want immediate help; in that case we try to reassure the callers and pacify them,” she says. Inspector Satyavan, who has worked as an Investigator, when asked what was the pressure of working in a PCR, says that Police work is tough everywhere, but the satisfaction here is that a number of times lives are saved because of the timely dissemination of information by them. “We help people all the time and it is very satisfying,” he adds. To know exactly where the Police personnel are located on the streets, the PCR Vans, Rider Motorcycles and even some of the Police Station vehicles are also fitted with a GPS system. In case of an emergency the vehicles are tracked on the system and the nearest Police team is asked to reach the victim or the trouble spot. While Gurgaon Police and the PCR are doing what they can to secure the City, the Bureau of Police Research, a National agency on Police functioning, says that there is need for a more appropriate and standardized police response mechanism to deal with the different kinds of incidents and emergencies. With Gurgaon having many high-rise apartments, and being in an earthquakeprone zone, there is also need to develop a holistic security and safety vision, say local experts. BPRD says that the Police Control Rooms in Indian cities should move to the concept of ‘Anywhere Policing’, and act as single windows for resolution of complaints. For an ordinary citizen, what matters most is the quality of response and the effective resolution of their complaints. “God forbid you run into a problem, do call us and find out for yourself whether we perform or not,” asserts an official with confidence. u


4-10 October 2013

Web Wars { Alka Gurha }

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eaders network online with voters’ was the headline of a leading newspaper. With elections on the horizon, presence on the ‘Social Media’ seems to have caught the attention of political parties like never before. Digital armies are waging wars to win votes. The Congress Party is organizing Social Media workshops for its legislators, councillors and block-level office bearers. The BJP too is organizing volunteer meets to increase its support base. Barack Obama tapped Social Media, including podcasting, MySpace and YouTube for his political campaign. However, India is not America. It is too early to say whether frantic activity on ‘HamaraCongress.com’ will really translate into votes for the Congress. We may be the third largest user of Social Media after the US and China, but owing to the low density of Internet access, Social Media usage remains largely an urban phenomenon. And yet, less than seventy kilometers away from Delhi, in Bulandshahar, religion, caste and creed cannot be ignored - and elections are fought on local issues facing each constituency. God forbid, unless there is a war, national calamity or a sympathy wave, it is the availability of water, electricity, affordable food, housing and jobs that play on the voters’ minds. Policies like MNREGA, Food Security Bill and Land Acquisition Bill can be ‘advertised’ via Social Media, but unless the voters experience the positive outcome of such schemes, they are unlikely to be swayed. The first mover advantage has gone to the BJP. Their PM nominee and his think-tank have gone on an overdrive much before the UPA has woken from its slumber. Given high food and fuel prices, skyrocketing corruption and a dwindling economy, the current Social Media blitzkrieg by UPA II is perhaps a case of too little, too late. Once your image is dented, there is precious little that Social Media can do to change perceptions. After Narendra Modi’s speech in Hyderabad, both BJP and the Congress had coined terms # Pappu and # Feku (for Rahul and Modi respectively), to score brownie points over each other. “Twitter is more open and chaotic,” feels Arvind Gupta, the IT Cell Head for the BJP. Irrespective of the trending topic or the number of followers, voters are unlikely to be swayed by tweets alone. Most may have already made up their minds. While a majority of young voters use Social Media, how many youngsters have politicians and local councillors as their Facebook friends? And are any of these youngsters following the tweets of politicians? People realize that politics today is mostly about serving self-interest, and opportunism. As a result not many voters are interested in the policies and agendas of different political parties. Moreover, many on Social Media are miffed at the establishment, due to vindictive actions taken against their ‘brethren’ - like arrests on the basis of status updates and attempts to police their blogs. The Smartphone-wielding voter is the ideal target audience for our political parties. Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the BJP is reaching out to his voters via an app called ‘ShivRaj’. Arvind Kejriwal of the AAP has downloadable apps to reach out to lower middle class voters who own Smartphones. It is interesting to learn that leaders are sending out friend requests. I haven’t met or heard my local MLA. In Gurgaon, factors like dwindling employment opportunities, skyrocketing food prices and deteriorating women’s safety may play a bigger role than any Social Media campaign. However, there is no denying that online trends are creating a buzz. u

The Law & Beyond Service Charge { Vidya Raja }

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ith the advent of online food/ restaurant portals one is able to decide on where to dine, what to order and most often how much it will cost as well. Newlyweds Payal and Hemant, with some help from the virtual world, decided to celebrate an evening by dining at one of the City’s up-market restaurants. Hemant had checked the Menu well online, and diligently ordered for the dinner. While both of them thoroughly enjoyed the food that was served, they were miffed with the service at the restaurant. Since it was a celebratory dinner, they both chose to ignore the lapses and enjoyed the evening - until the bill was presented to them. Not only was the total way beyond what Hemant had estimated, he was rudely shocked to see

the levy of a 10% Service Charge. He was certain that there was no mention of this online. Not wanting to ruin the evening by getting into an altercation, he coughed up the ‘excess’ money. Already unhappy with the service, they vowed to never return to that restaurant. Many of us have been in similar situations. While most of us ‘check’ the billed items and also whether a Service Charge has been levied, we do not ever stop to think of what is our legal standing vis-avis this Charge. A Service Charge is levied by a restaurant for the services that they provide to their customers. This Charge, not fixed by the government, ranges from 5% to 10%, and is collected by the restaurants owners. This Charge is also applicable only to those customers who choose to dine at the restaurant, and cannot be levied on deliveries and take-aways. Another important point to note is that the restaurant is required to make a proper disclosure of this Charge in

C ivic/S ocial

09

Walk on, Gurgaon

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o promote active commuting in Gurgaon, Nasscom chapter of Haryana has sponsored a song, WALK ON, in collaboration with leading music band Euphoria, to help push eco-friendly activities such as walking, cycling and the use of public transport for commuting. Employees from different IT companies, such as Nagarro, Fidelity, Genpact, Mckinsey, WNS, Make My Trip and several others, participated in the shooting of a video, at the Epicentre. The objective of this Song, say participants, is to send a message to the people in the City that active commuting could help in safeguarding the environment and the future of the residents. Nitin Seth, CEO Fidelity, told Friday Gurgaon that they are pushing for active commuting in Gurgaon to reduce the pressure on roads and the environment. He has performed the role of a traffic policeman in the video. The IT companies are also changing the way they operate and are motivating employees to travel in the Metro, use public transport – and even cycles. “Over the last few months sensitization workshops for HR, Admin & Transport managers have been organized in various member companies. The intent has been to share best practices on how some companies have made efficient use of public transport and have been able to drastically reduce their fleet size” says Rakesh Kapoor, MD Summit Information Technologies & Co-Chair NASSCOM Haryana Council. WALK ON” will serve as an anthem for this unique campaign, and the Song has been shot at various locations within Gurgaon, stated Manas Fulotheir Menu card – though the exact percentage charged need not be mentioned. Nisha Laju, a foodie, finds some relief in the implementation of this Service Charge. She says, “It saves me the hassle of wondering how much I should tip. The flip side, however, is when I find the service bad or not upto the mark. Then I feel cheated if this Charge is levied.” Ila Prakash Singh, a veteran in the field of hospitality and food, sheds some light on how tips were distributed before the Service Charge days. “The entire amount of tip that was collected would be deposited into a ‘tip box’ and then be distributed according to the seniority of the staff. For instance, the Captain of the restaurant could take home an amount – as tip - almost equivalent to his salary. The Service Charge was introduced to help streamline the process of tipping and also regulate the division of tips,” she says. Aalok Wadhwa, a well-known foodie in the City, says, “Service Charges are an unjustified burden on foodies. They are

ria, Co-Founder Nagarro & Member, NASSCOM Haryana Council. Right now there are very few places in the City where a family can walk, and cycling is also a difficult proposition. NASSCOM says that transportation cost is among the top three costs for most of the IT, and IT Enabled companies. Companies within the vicinity of each other are also exploring options like bus pooling for their employees. The IT industry employs close to 2.5 lakh professionals directly, and another 7 lakhs indirectly. Nidhi Gupta, Senior Manager, NASSCOM, says that the Song has got support from different sections of Gurgaon, including the Police. Police Commissioner Alok Mittal also participated in the video, along with a platoon of 50 women constables, she adds. Performing the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the music video, lead guitarist of Euphoria, G.D Bhaduri, says, “This Song will motivate people to embrace ecofriendly living". NASSCOM members say that this music video will be launched in the next two to three months, and hopefully boost active communing in the Millennium City. u even charged when dining experiences are less than satisfactory – which is quite the norm. The customers are left with no choice. One does not want to fight over a Service Charge in front of friends and family. There should be a strict law against such charges.” A Service Charge is not a levy that a restaurant can force its customers to pay. If the customer is disgruntled with the service, he/she is at liberty to refuse to pay the Service Charge. While in the U.S.A. tipping is part of the dining-out etiquette, countries like Singapore and Italy do not insist on it. Japan and Iceland do not even have a concept of tipping – and yet the Service is top class! Leaving a tip, after partaking a good hearty meal that is well-served, should be the sole prerogative of the customer. It is time for restaurant owners to re-think this levy – before they are perhaps forced to… 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

4-10 October 2013

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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Metro Woes

Women’s Security

The initiative by the Metro authorities to reserve the first coach for women was expected to instill a sense of security amongst women. But not many feel so. Commuters, especially belonging to the 16 to 35 years’ age group, have pointed out that the Metro has not been able to provide safety for women in and around its premises. While filling the Customer Feedback Form, Ranjana Sethi, who travels regularly from MG Road to Saket, shares her experience. “Last month I, along with my two colleagues, was coming back from Saket. The women’s-only compartment was populated with men, who had occupied almost all the seats, forcing the women to stand. When we asked them to leave the compartment, they shrugged and argued that the ladies compartment turns general after 9 pm,” she says. Another commuter, Nitya (name changed), recounts a horrible incident. She says, “One day, while returning to the City from Malviya Nagar, a group of drunken men entered the ladies’ coach. One of them started rubbing his elbow against me. It was 9.30 pm and there weren’t any security personnel around,” she says. Furthermore, women who choose to travel in the general compartment are often harassed. “Men don’t like it when women travel in the general compartments. Using derogatory and vulgar comments, these men sometimes force the women to leave the compartment. There have been times when the Metro security staff has driven out men from the ladies compartments, but have not imposed any fine. That is why men don’t take these warnings seriously. The Metro staff is not trained to deal with the public strictly”, feels Pratima Khurana, a resident of DLF Phase II.

A woman cop at IFFCO Chowk Metro station informs, “If you are in trouble and you don’t see any Metro staff around, you can press a red button to call the security staff. This red button is there in all the compartments. Unfortunately, many women are not aware of this feature.” She suggests that the Metro security staff, especially women, should also be present in the trains. Besides, there is a need to spread awareness about the various safety measures introduced by the Metro authorities, especially for women. A woman cop at IFFCO Chowk Metro station informs, “If you are in trouble and you don’t see any Metro staff around, you can press a red button to call the security staff. This red button is there in all the compartments. Unfortunately, many women are not aware of this feature.” The most convenient way to spread awareness should be to make regular announcements inside the Metro trains. “Announcements about security features and fines, like, ‘Men entering the women’s compartment will be fined Rs. 250,’ should be made at regular intervals - both in the trains and at the stations,” suggests Pratima.

No CCTV inside the train

According to the Survey, over 6,000 people have raised their concern over the lack of surveillance within the

prakhar PANDEY

early 85,000 people participated in a special Survey conducted by the Delhi Metro in July. While many people spoke of the Metro as the most comfortable mode of commuting, Gurgaonites had a different story to tell. Although 18,000 Gurgaonites, who participated in the Survey, have appreciated some crucial aspects of the Metro operations - such as customer care and timeliness – the inadequate measures for women’s safety, lack of surveillance and presence of beggars and drunken vendors outside the Stations have been raised as major issues.

trains. Presently CCTVs are installed only in the new eight coach trains. While giving his feedback, an elderly person, Basant Vohra, recounts an incident. “Once I was travelling with my four-year-old granddaughter. We were travelling in the last compartment and the train was very crowded. My granddaughter suddenly disappeared. I was really worried and I called the Metro helpline. The train was stopped at the next station. When I asked the security staff to check the CCTV footage, they said that CCTV was not installed in that train. Thankfully, they were able to find my

granddaughter. I was surprised that the Metro has still not provided 100 per cent surveillance.” People also suggest that information on how to procure CCTV footage, if and when required, should be provided to the commuters.

Tackling Beggar Nuisance

As per the Survey, the presence of drunken street vendors and beggars seems to be a major problem with the commuters. Be it at the HUDA City Centre, IFFCO Chowk or Sikanderpur, beggars can be seen everywhere, pleading for money

and food. “It is frustrating to see beggars standing on the stairs at Metro stations every morning; it seems that Metro stations have become the new ‘mandirs’ in the City. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be bothered,” says Prof. Azhar, HOD Chemistry at Atma Ram College. He commutes from HUDA City Centre to AIIMS daily. Vohra adds, “Sometimes we have no space to even walk. In the mornings, when there is a huge rush, there is a real danger of people tripping over each other.” Many also feel that the presence of beggars has led to an increase in pick-pocketing cases. The Metro authorities have been turning a deaf ear to this problem. They express their helplessness. “The area outside the Metro stations is not in our jurisdiction. The area comes under the Delhi Metro Rail Police (DMRP). We therefore can’t do anything to resolve this issue,” says CISF Deputy Inspector General, Delhi Metro Operations, Udayan Banerjee. This is quite similar to what the Concessionaire seems to feel about the issues around NH8 and the Toll Plaza – with various other bodies (NHAI, HUDA, MCG, HSIIDC, Police) also being in charge of parts of the problem. Some things never change….u

Woman Extraordinaire { Preeti Rawal }

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he Indian women of my mother’s generation are a complex mixture of countless attributes, qualities and virtues. They are so full of emotions and sensitivities – so complete. India’s rich heritage and cultural roots seem to have seeped into them, which is evident from their behaviour and mannerisms. They are morally upright, have sparkling characters and are full of righteous virtues. These women, though brought up in a sheltered atmosphere, were always looked up to. They were co-opted when taking major decisions in the family and always respected for the values they stood for. Though seemingly docile, many educated themselves and brought up their kids the way they wanted. They gave their kids the best atmosphere at home, always listened to their daily problems and gave them a wholesome upbringing. They can be called the ideal women, as they were epitomes of love and care and affection, in their different roles as mothers, wives, daughters or daughters-in law. They gave all her love and attention to their close ones; and when it came to sacrificing for any one of them, they did it with all their heart. Their only drawback was their ‘dependence’ on their men for even their basic requirements. Though some women had come out of their homes and started working in offices, it was not on a large scale. Our generation of Indian women is the modern version. We are more independent

and confident, and have a different attitude towards life. Due to financial independence we are able to lead our lives as we want. We are more involved in the decisions of our family – both by skills and rights. We are more educated – hopefully enlightened too - and more realistic in our approach. We feel more respected and appreciated…though not are equally cared for. We have many friends.     The rural women, especially in most of the north Indian villages, are not even literate, and are bound by social shackles. They are the symbols of our culture at its most  unadulterated  and unmoderated form. They not only toil hard in the fields but also take care of all the chores of their home. The marvel of it all is that they never seem to complain and are invariably smiling. They bear the brunt of male domination at its worst, and yet never raise their voice against it. I sometimes feel so surprised at how they can be so accommodating, even endearing, while having to face so many adversities at the hands of their male counterparts. They cannot even dream of breaking their shackles, as they do not have the mental and financial acumen.  In sum, Indian women are extraordinary in nature; they provide an excellent upbringing to their offspring and a good atmosphere within their family and home. They are the binding element and take care of everything with their personal touch. An Indian woman is the basic foundation of not only an Indian family but also of the nation as a whole.u


S ocial

4-10 October 2013

Haat To Heart

{ Shilpy Arora/FG }

prakhar PANDEY

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ringing together beautiful artefacts, paintings and eco-friendly products from different parts of the country, “Gurgaon Haat” received an overwhelming response in the City. Organised by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the Event was based on the concept of the popular Dilli Haat. While the Haat turned out to be an educative outing for youngsters, it provided an opportunity to Gurgaonites to purchase items that could be used during the festive season. Sarika Yadav, who came from Sushant Lok III, explained, “Such exhibitions are a great platform for the poor craftsmen and various NGOs. By participating, we are not only supporting the artisans financially, but in a way we are helping to protect various Indian art forms.” Hailing from Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, the artisans displayed a variety of handicrafts, handlooms, paintings and artefacts. While a stall from the Capital displayed a fusion of contemporary and traditional work on skirts and kurtas, the Rewari stall put up by a village artisan offered ‘jutis’ for men and women. Ojshima Gifting Smiles showcased unique items made of stone, brass and clay; a miniature vintage car was the pick of the Collection. Amazingly, all the items were on offer for under Rs. 150. The jewellery section had a breathtaking collection of semi-precious stone items, silver pendants and stone bracelets and earrings. Besides, hand-woven jackets, block-printed bed sheets, marble artefacts, carpets and exclusive Khadi jackets were on display. To attract the young crowd, wraparound skirts, bandini churidar material and chikan-work kurtas were available too. “It is good that such items are being made available so close to our home. Earlier we used to go to Delhi for everything. I wish we had a permanent ‘Gurgaon Haat’ in the City,” said Sumit, a resident of DLF Phase II. He bought items worth Rs. 5,000. Many NGOs also participated in the Haat. Mata Bhagwati Chadha Niketan (MBCN), a charitable school for children with special needs, displayed beautiful table covers and interesting sketches made by these special children. “We have over 800 children suffering from congenital, intellectual and physical problems. MBCN not only provides them education, but also offers skill development

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classes to teenagers. They are trained to make artefacts, which are sold in such exhibitions,” said Sumit Kumar Ghosh, a volunteer at MBCN. Himjoli, an NGO from Uttarakhand, showcased organic products. Apart from regular items, one could find unique herb pillows made of dried herbs that are used to scent a room, ‘aepan’ notebooks embellished with the traditional art of Uttarakhand and attractive silk boxes. Started with an aim to create sustainable jobs in Uttarakhand, Himjoli involves poor women in the manufacturing of such products. “In 2009 we realised that a large number of people in Uttarakhand were migrating to the cities, as there were no employment opportunities. So we decided to help create jobs

in the villages. But we wanted to help them with trade, not aid,” said Hemant Ghildiyal, Business Head, Himjoli. The NGO has a vast distribution system in Uttarakhand, Delhi and Bangalore. One of the best selling products of Himjoli is Apricot Oil, which is appreciated for its quality. A visitor, Dharam Singh, said, “I have come here just to buy Himjoli’s Apricot Oil, as I have heard a lot about it. I used to order it from their Delhi store. I have bought six packs.”

Unique paintings

The highlight of the Haat was a unique painting stall put up by artist B.L Rajpoot. A variety of his miniature paintings mesmerised the visitors, as they were made with natural colours extracted from stones. Interestingly, Rajpoot

spends a lot of time in hunting for natural colours. “Every year I go to Vaishno Devi to collect a stone that gives me a natural indigo colour. No artificial colour can match the colours obtained from these stones,” he said. Rajpoot keeps the colours in natural shells and uses a painting brush made with the hair of squirrels. A painting of Lord Krishna, adorned with all embellishments, struck a unique chord with the visitors, as it was made with unique colours and pure gold and silver filigrees. Rajpoot’s work ranges from ancient Indian to Mughal paintings. Sumit, a visitor, commented, “Such paintings are much sought after in the international market, as the natural colours always look better than artificial colours. I am glad that INTACH has provided an opportunity to Rajpoot,

who doesn’t have enough funds to participate in larger exhibitions and fairs. This would also help youngsters to appreciate this unique art, for which you have to spend years looking for colours in different locations around the world.”

Future plans

Talking about the plans to establish a permanent ‘Gurgaon Haat’, Atul Dev, Convener, INTACH-Gurgaon Chapter said, “The two-day Event was held to give the residents an idea about what could be a permanent set up in the City. The aim was to whet the appetite of Gurgaonites for such products, as well as to support the needy artisans.” The artisans who participated in this Haat would be given temporary stalls, for a short duration, at the permanent Gurgaon Haat. u


12 Detox And A Dandy Herb

Best of Wellness Year II

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

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toxin is any substance that irritates or harms our body, and undermines our health. Toxins come in many shapes and forms. Some are chemical pollutants, that we are exposed to from the atmosphere; others are produced in our body as by-products of metabolism. If our digestion, excretion as well as the immune system are working well, our bodies are able to naturally detoxify every day. However, this ability gets dulled over a period of time – especially due to the lifestyle abuses and addictions which touch almost all facets of modern urban life. As winter runs its course, our bodies accumulate a lot of junk. Eating heavy foods and exercising less results in layers of fat, excess toxins and sluggishness. One thing leads to another. Soon enough the clogged pipelines result in ‘congestion’ and ‘stagnation’ in our body’s vital systems. If unchecked, this can become the root cause of degenerative diseases. It is for this reason that ancient health systems, like Ayurveda, recommend internal cleansing at every change of season. Gentle cleansing gives our body an important break. In some cultures, people take the time to fast. Stepping out for walks, practising deep breathing and quiet meditation can help take the full benefits of the cleanse. Detox is considered especially beneficial in the spring, because that is the time all of nature is rejuvenating itself. Coming out of hibernation, a detox or cleanse can be the best way to jump-start and recharge the body, and prepare it for a more active and healthier life. A note of caution. Some people get enticed by fads which are in the nature of “aggressive detox diets” – many a time promoted in the guise of rapid weight-loss programmes. Excessive fasting or use of laxatives, colonics or diuretics, or even excessive exercise, can result in a serious imbalance – with negative consequences. Fasting should always be undertaken with the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, or a Nutritionist. More importantly, it should invariably be followed by a long term healthy diet plan that one can stick with – like an integrated plan based on a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, beans, healthy fats, and plenty of fluids – along with regular physical activity.

Tip of the week

A gentle fast works on the same principle as “eating less leads to a longer life”. The wisdom of the ancients has been validated through experiments. Laboratory studies show that when mice were fed 60% less calories, they tended to live almost twice as long, and with much fewer tumors. Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Dandelion or Taraxacum officinale Some people consider the humble dandelion to be a nuisance as a garden weed. To others, it is an important detoxifier … a harbinger of spring. In French ‘dent-de-lion’ means ‘tooth of the lion”, referring to the jagged shape of the dandelion leaves. Native to ancient Greece or Persia, dandelion now has a global footprint. It has many local names – such as Pu Gong Ying in China, Dudhal in India and kara hindiba in Turkish. The botanical name - Taraxacum officinale gives us the first hint of its real importance. It translates to "official remedy for disorders". Dandelion is one of the most useful and respected herbs of our planet. Not surprisingly, it finds a mention in the Pharmacopeias of a host of countries. It has a heavy-weight status in all three of the world's oldest systems of herbalism - Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and European. In TCM it is one of the top 6 herbs, and in Ayurveda it is believed to reduce Kapha– which tends to accumulate mucus in the body in winter. Dandelion stimulates bile flow, and has been used for centuries to treat jaundice, cirrhosis, hepatitis and liver disease. As it is a natural diuretic, it has been used to treat swelling, water retention, breast problems, gallbladder problems, pneumonia and viruses. Not only is the dandelion nature's richest green vegetable source of betacarotene (from which Vitamin A is created), it is also particularly rich in fibre, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamins C,D,E,K and the B Vitamins – thiamine and riboflavin. Micro-nutrients such as copper, cobalt, zinc, boron and molybdenum are also present. The presence of a long list of nutrients is not unusual – however, what definitely stands out is the particular combination – together with high levels of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fibre. Some scientists have even gone as far as to say it is an interesting example of “a harmonious combination of all nutrients, in ratios optimal for a human organism”.u

S pecial F eature

4-10 October 2013

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

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here is a gift from Nature which has a `three-inone` role – as a potent antioxidant, an immune system booster, and a detoxifier. It is an ally which can help us fight off the ill-effects of stress, pollution, radiation, infection, drugs, aging, injury and trauma! Enter Glutathione(GSH), our body's very own 'master antioxidant', which is present in almost every cell. As an essential component of the immune response, GSH helps regulate and regenerate our immune cells. It helps us mitigate the effects of pollutants and carcinogens that we are exposed to every day. GSH deficiency leads to the proverbial breach in the fortress. It opens the doors wide for damage from free radicals (oxidative stress), inhibits DNA repair, destroys red blood cells (anaemia), and impairs lymphocytes – which are vital for an effective immune function. To make matters worse, there is a sharp drop in GSH levels as we age. There is mounting evidence of low GSH levels being associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hepatic and cardiac disease, cancer, premature aging and death. Not surprisingly, it is finding a place in the treatment of a whole host of chronic lifestyle diseases – from high blood pressure to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and various cancers. Interestingly, although it is present in every cell, it cannot enter most cells directly. This vital nutrient is made inside the cell, from its three constituent amino acids: glycine, glutamate and cysteine. Of these, the limiting factor is cysteine, as it is relatively scarce in foods. Cysteine also bestows a sulphur-containing portion, which is critical for the full range of GSH ‘biochemical activity’ to materialise – especially activating other well-known antioxidants such as Vitamin C and vitamin E. In its role as detox agent, GSH forms soluble compounds with toxins, thus enabling easy elimination. This is one reason why the liver, kidney and lungs have abundant supplies of glutathione. Like the conductor of an orchestra, GSH balances

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

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Super Nutrient oxidation and anti-oxidation, regulating vital cell functions like DNA synthesis and repair, as well as the activation of enzymes. Furthermore, glutathione is required in many of the intricate steps needed to carry out an immune response, to exterminate virally infected cells or cancer cells. The fact that GSH is neither present in foods nor can it enter our cells directly makes Glutathione an enigma. What can one do to get this elusive super nutrient? The answer lies in the following natural foods, which provide the important sulphurcontaining amino-acid precursors, which in turn help our body to make more Glutathione :  Fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably locally-grown and organic): especially broccoli, potatoes, spinach, asparagus, avocado, squash, okra, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, onions, peaches and watermelon;  Certain spices, like cinnamon, cardamom and curcumin (found in turmeric);  The ‘liver-tonic’ herb milk thistle – an excellent source of the antioxidant compound silymarin;  Certain foods, such as raw milk products, goatmilk, raw eggs, and fresh, unprocessed meats (preferably range-free and hormone-free). High quality coldpressed whey protein, derived from free-range cows, is one of the most potent sources;  Walnuts and rice bran.

Tip of the week

Oral Glutathione supplements are virtually ineffective. Intravenous Glutathione is effective (though expensive), and can be relied upon only as a therapeutic intervention. The preference is for Glutathione precursors – foods which contain the amino acids the body needs to make glutathione.

Kokum Kool

uring the scorching summer months, a vibrant red refreshing sherbet is very popular in large parts of South Asia. Not only is it great for quenching thirst, it also helps prevent dehydration and sunstroke due to heat. The fruit that helps make this delicious cooling beverage is Kokum. The beverage can either be made by steeping the fruit in jaggery or sugar syrup, to make ‘amrut kokum’; or taken as a salted juice (agal). Once known only in its native region, the humble Kokum is slowly gaining new respect all over the world. In India Kokum has been traditionally used in the regional cuisines of the Western Ghats and several southern

states. It is used as a souring agent in various dishes – especially in fish curries, coconut-based curries, vegetable dishes or lentils. It is also included in chutneys and pickles. The sun-dried rind (amsul) can be used as a garnishing, and is a good substitute for tamarind in cooking. The dried rind is usually purplish black in colour; the darker the colour, the better the flavour. Kokum butter, obtained from the seed kernels, is used as an emollient – similar to shea or cocoa butter. It is finding widespread use in confectionery and cosmetics – especially in skin care products, as it softens the skin, heals fissures and restores elasticity.

Tip of the Week

The shelf life of the fresh fruit is about one week. However, the dried

Balle Bael

Health & Vitality... Naturally! { Jaspal Bajwa } If supplementation is found necessary, Cysteine, in the form of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), may be moderately effective. Dosage should be under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, to limit side effects such as headache, dizziness and blurred vision. The best dietary source of cysteine is bio-active, undenatured whey protein.

Nature’s Wonder Foods of the week : Avocado or ‘makhan phal’

Native to Central and South America, Avocados are one of the most nutrient dense foods. In recent centuries the cultivation has spread to most Asian tropical regions. Besides being a veritable gold-mine of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, Avocados have the highest energy value (245 cal/100 g) of any fruit. Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including heart-healthy dietary fibre, muscle-healthy potassium, bone supportive Vitamin K, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. The pulp is rich in proteins (4%) and fat (30%), but low in carbohydrates. Avocados’ unique combination of Vitamins C , E, A, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation – the root cause of most degenerative diseases and cancer. Avocados also contain essential minerals, such as magnesium, manganese, copper and phosphorous. Avocados sometimes get an unfair rap due to the high fat content, which is about 20 times the average for other fruits. However, what is often overlooked is that 65-70% are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially heart-healthy Alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and oleic acid. These monounsaturated fatty acids, along with significant amounts of Vitamin B6 and Folic acid (which controls homocysteine), help lower the risk of heart disease. When it comes to anti-cancer properties, Avocado’s unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients come into play. Showing an uncanny native intelligence, avocado works in healthy cells to mitigate inflammatory and oxidative stress levels; yet when it comes to cancer cells, avocado works to increase oxidative stress, literally pushing them over the cliff. u

Kokum rind can be kept in an airtight jar for about a year. Soak the dried rind overnight in a tumbler of hot water. Next morning the decoction can be drunk on an empty stomach. Left-over rind can be used in cooking. A

little jaggery, brown sugar or salt can be added to the drink. When making sherbet, a dash of asafoetida, cumin powder, parsley or mint leaves can also be experimented with.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the Week: Garcinia Indica or Kokum, Bhrinda, Brindonna, Cocum

In traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda, Kokum has been used to allay thirst, improve digestion and heal stomach ulcers, bleeding piles, dysentery and mucous diarrhoea. It is considered to be a good cardio and liver tonic. Kokum is also used as an infusion in skin ailments such as sunstroke, sores, rashes caused by allergies and the treatment of burns. The National Medicinal Plant Board in India has identified Kokum as one of the 32 prioritised species of plants for promotion and development. u

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astro-Intestinal diseases usually hit a peak during the summer months. However, cases of diarrhoea, dysentery and indigestion, along with excessive flatulence, can happen at any time of the year – especially festive times, when we indulge. If adequate care is not taken these can lead to more serious conditions. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) is a broad term for chronic or recurring immune response and inflammation of the Gastro-Intestinal tract. The immune system mistakes food and other particles as foreign substances, and attacks the cells of the intestines. In the process white blood cells amass in the lining of the intestines, producing chronic inflammation. When looking for a remedy which might combine the qualities of controlling pathogens(harmful bodies) in the gut, and helping in the healing of ulcerated intestinal surfaces, the search points at several plant-based natural remedies. Any such plant possessing anti-viral, anthelmintic (anti-parasite), anti-spasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties would ensure optimum functioning of the gut, and would indeed qualify as a wonder food. Some herbs which have been traditionally relied upon for this are: chamomile, fennel, psyllium , devil’s claw, golden seal, ginger, alfa alfa, turmeric and peppermint. A traditional plant which stands out is the Bael or Wood Apple - it has been held in high respect over the centuries. In Ayurveda, the Charaka Samhita, written in the 1st century BC, describes the medicinal properties of Bael. Almost every part of the tree is considered useful, and it occupies an important role in some religious rites in the Hindu tradition. This probably explains why bael trees are so common near temples. The ripe and unripe fruit, as well as the roots, leaves and branches have all been used in traditional medicine.

Tip of the week

The Bael or Wood Apple fruit can be cut in half, and the pulp can be processed as nectar or squash, by adding some palm sugar or brown sugar. Mixing jaggery or honey with the pulp can help in reducing tiredness and fatigue. Adding salt and black pepper helps with constipation, and increases digestion capacity. Juice extracted from the pulp can be boiled and consumed before lunch or dinner, to remove excess heat from the body. When mixed with warm water and honey, Bael juice keeps the kidneys clean and helps purify blood. The juice from fresh Bael leaves, mixed with sugar, can alleviate stomach pain and constipation.

A paste made from the leaves can help reduce swellings in the joints. Bael fruit can be stored for 2 weeks at room temperature; after that a mold can develop.

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week : Bael or Aegle marmelos or Limonia acidissima

A native plant of the Indian subcontinent , Bael has spread out over wide areas of Asia. It is also known as Wood Apple or Bael Kaitha or Kath Bel. The fruit, roots and leaves have antibiotic activity.It is a good source of proteins, iron, phosphorus, calcium, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, kerotene, citric acid, oxalic acid and tonic acid. It provides about 140 calories per 100 gm, with a protein and carbohydrate content of 2 per cent and 31 per cent respectively. The ripe fruit is rich in beta-carotene (precursor of Vitamin A),B vitamins (thiamine and riboflavin) and small amounts of Vitamin C. Marmelosin in the fresh, ripe pulp juice is good as a mild laxative, tonic, diuretic and digestive aid. In large doses, it lowers the rate of respiration, depresses heart action and causes sleepiness. In Ayurveda, the ripe fruit has been used for chronic diarrhoea and dysentery; as a tonic for the heart and brain; and for boils, earaches, fevers and colds. The astringency, especially of the unripe bael, is prized for halting diarrhoea and dysentery. The roots have traditionally been used to treat melancholia, intermittent fevers, and palpitations. The leaves are good as a poultice for reducing fever, eye disorders, and for weakness of the heart, dropsy, and beriberi. A decoction of the unripe fruit, with fennel and ginger, is considered useful for haemorrhoids. When used as food, and in judicious amounts, Bael has no side-effects. Bael is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The leaves can induce abortion, and can lead to sterility in women. People on blood sugar or thyroid medication should exercise caution. u

Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions


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K id C orner

4-10 October 2013

Kids Brainticklers

Artistic Strokes

Peehu Bhardwaj, Presidium

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

Paintings stories poems Pavni Bajaj, Class IX, Shriram School


K id C orner

4-10 October 2013

15

RYAN GLOBAL SCHOOL, SECTOR 40

Banking on Students

Fabric Collage

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he Primary Classes of the School visited the State Bank of Patiala in Sector-48. The Branch Manager briefed the little ones about the working of a Bank. The students visited the counters of Loans, Insurance, Enquiry, Cash, Cheque deposit and Bank statement. The students also got an opportunity to open their accounts in the Bank.

Collage-making activity, with the theme ‘Cloths & Textiles’, was organised for the children of Grade 2. This Activity helped the students in studying the different types of fabrics—like cotton, silk and woolens— and the sources of these fabrics. The children pasted the samples of different fabrics on chart papers and made a beautiful Collage.

Dancing to Global Tunes

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s part of the International School Award (ISA) activities of the School, a Cultural Show was organised, which showcased the dances and songs of the countries under study. The children of M-I, M-II and M-III looked adorable in their colourful costumes and danced beautifully to the tunes of a variety of music.

Kinder Events

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inder Care was in a festive mood as young Kindercarians celebrated Janmashtami by dressing up as Kanha and Radha. A skit on Lord Krishna’s life and dances were presented. Radha-Matki and Kanha-Mukut races were also held. On Teacher’s Day, the Asters (Kindergarten kids) presented an act on what a teacher means to them. The confidence shown by Lotus and Roseum (Pre-Nursery kids), during the Rhymes Festival was appreciated. Great teachings of ‘Ahimsa Messenger-Gandhi Ji’ were staged by Tulip (Nursery kids), to mark the 144th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The kids also participated enthusiastically in a Quiz on Mahatma Gandhi.

Ryan’s Flower Children

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he Montessori-III students of Ryan International School, Sohna Road, participated in a Flower Show Competition. They came dressed as various attractive flowers and spoke about the relevance of the flowers they were depicting. The stage was abuzz with sun flowers, roses, orchids, lilies and marigolds. The Principal Dr. Mouna Gupta congratulated all the participants for putting up a wonderful Show.


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K id C orner

4-10 October 2013 RYAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, SECTOR 40

Winning Art

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he School celebrated their win of the overall trophy, alongwith 23 Gold Medals and 21 Silver Medals in the All India Art Competition organised by Maruti Art Academy (Gujarat). Several students from Montessori to Grade VI participated enthusiastically in various categories – Card Making, Painting and Cartoon Making. The School Head, Peeya Sharma, felicitated the winners and appreciated the efforts put in by the students.

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ith an aim to protect information and build capabilities to prevent Cyber attacks, the government released the National Cyber Security Policy 2013, to safeguard both the physical and business assets of the Country. A Policy is a framework document and it gives you a broad outline of the vision; the real task or challenge is the operationalization of a Policy. The Cyber Policy was necessary in the wake of possible attacks from State and non-State actors, corporates and terrorists, as the Internet world has no geographical barriers and is anonymous in nature. There may be multiple places from where Cyber War could take place; it could involve individuals, sections of society, businesses, terrorists, drug dealers and those who want to generate violence. The Policy lays out 14 objectives, which include creation of a Cyber Ecosystem in the country, providing fiscal benefits to businesses for adoption of standard security practices and processes, developing effective Public Private Partnerships and collaborative engagements through technical and operational co-operation. It also plans “to create a workforce of 5,00,000 professionals, skilled in Cyber Security, in the next five years, through capacity building, skill development and training.” Cyber Crimes & The Law Information Technology (IT) has given birth to the Cyber space, where the Internet provides equal opportunity to all the people to access information, store it and analyze it. Misuse of this technology gave birth to Cyber crimes at the domestic, and International level as well. The word ‘crime’ carries a general meaning as “a legal wrong that can be followed by criminal proceedings, which may result into punishment”; Cyber crime is termed as “unlawful acts wherein a computer is either a tool or a target - or both.” Cyber Crime: It could be hackers vandalizing your site, viewing confidential information, stealing trade secrets or intellectual property. It can also include ‘denial of services’ and virus attacks preventing regular traffic from reaching your site. There are certain offences that impact individuals at a personal level: Harassment: by sending letters, attachments of files & folders via e-mails. This is increasing by the day, with the extensive usage of social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Cyber Stalking: is an expressed or implied physical threat, which creates fear through the use of technology - such as the Internet, e-mails, phones, text messages, webcams, websites or videos. Dissemination of Obscene Material: includes indecent exposure and Pornography, and the hosting of websites containing these prohibited materials. These obscene matters cause harm to the mind of the adolescents

Hamare Maan-Abhimaan

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everal students from Class III participated in the Hindi Declamation held at the School premises. The Declamation, titled ‘Hindi-Hamari Maan Hamara Abhimaan’, witnessed the little orators emphasising the importance of Hindi in our lives. Many students were in favour of promoting the use of Hindi in Government Offices. The judges of the Competition appreciated the efforts put in by the students. The School Head, Peeya Sharma, felicitated the winners with certificates.

and tend to deprave or corrupt their minds. Defamation: is an act that intends to lower the dignity of the person by hacking his/her mail account and sending mails to many people from there, normally using vulgar language. Hacking: means unauthorized access and control over a computer system, and the act of hacking completely destroys the data as well as the computer programmes. Hackers usually hack telecommunications and mobile networks. Cracking: is amongst the gravest crimes. It is a dreadful feeling to know that a stranger has broken into your computer system and tampered with precious confidential data and information. E-mail spoofing: a spoofed email may be said to be that misrepresents its origin. SMS Spoofing: is a blocking spam involving unwanted, uninvited message(s). Here an offender steals the identity of another, in the form of a mobile phone number, and sends fake SMSs. It is a very serious Cyber Crime against any individual. Carding: involves use of false ATM Cards by criminals, to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account. Child Pornography: involves the use of computer networks to create, distribute or accept materials that sexually exploit underage children. Assault by Threat: refers to life threat to a person or his/her family, using email, video or phone.

lowed to email or call children, except when this is related to school work. All emails sent to children by the teachers and staff should be copied to the parent, guardian or caregiver, unless a teacher or staff member is suspicious that they are abusing the child.”

Cyber Crime

Preventive Measures Prevention is always better than cure. A citizen should take certain precautions while operating the Internet: You should avoid disclosing any personal information to strangers via e-mail or while chatting; you must avoid sending any photograph to strangers online, as misuse of photographs is rampant; you should never send your credit card number to any site that is not secure; as parents you should keep a watch on the sites that your children are accessing; website owners should watch and track the traffic and usage, and check any irregularity on the site. It is the responsibility of the website owner to adopt policies that help prevent Cyber Crime. Prevention of Child Abuse The dangers of the virtual world are addressed in the ‘Guidelines for the Prevention of Child Abuse’, released by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. These have to be complied with, by all Child Care institutions and Schools. The guidelines for Online Safety state: “Teachers and staff should not be al-

Keeping Children Safe n  People applying for jobs in institutions that work with children, should swear on an affidavit that they do not have a record of sexual abuse or violence, and submit a Character Certificate with two references. n  All institutions must have a Child Protection Policy; there should be qualified Counsellors, to whom the children can report suspicious behavior; and Child Abuse Committees should monitor and prevent incidents. At least one female ward or guard should be present in a school vehicle. The contact numbers of Child and Women Helplines, and Police Stations, must be displayed. n  The written Consent of parents/guardians should be mandatory, for taking children out of the institution, even for picnics and outings. n  Internet Safety Protocols must be established and implemented in schools. n  Teachers must not engage with students on social media. n  Residential institutions must have CCTV Cameras in public spaces and Child Abuse monitoring committees in hostels. Schools in India, unlike their western counterparts, are far less equipped to handle Cyber Bullying or other crimes involving minor students, according to Cyber Crime experts. The criminality of Cyber Bullying is not just misunderstood, but also taken lightly, both by parents and school authorities. They need to be educated that though in some Cyber Bullying cases the offender might be a minor, his crime is punishable as per law. The law enforcing agencies are very strict abroad and all offenders, including minors, are taken to task - but in India, Cyber Crime and investigation is yet to achieve such standards. It is very easy to blame the school authorities for not preventing schoolchildren from indulging in Cyber Crimes, but unfortunately most of the parents today are not behaving responsibly. They are pampering their children and allowing them to carry their mobile phones to school – against the instructions of the school authorities. This is akin to conniving with their children to commit Cyber Crime. Maj (Retd) NK Gadeock


S piritual

4-10 October 2013

17

Healing of Mental Ailments

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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ften people come to me feeling that their lives are meaningless. Last week I met an old friend after many years. He narrated a very painful story of how his son had been diagnosed with cancer – first identified in his leg and subsequently in his lungs – and finally died at a tender age of 17. My friend had sold his flat in order to meet the medical expenses over four years. He finds his life is empty and deprived of any meaning; he also feels mentally sick and highly depressed. We all are sometimes challenged to the extreme. There are many different challenges: some may be physical, brought on by diseases like cancer; some are mental – like a loss in business; some are emotional, like a split in the family; and then there are spiritual challenges from within our own selves. In such moments of crisis, across time and space, many people have sought solace in religion – which has taken up healing as one of its principal objectives. Though today no major faith would regard itself as a substitute for medicine, all of them continue to stress faith’s ability to heal - and most have spawned ‘healing sects’. The confrontation with mental sickness has brought out the best and the worst in religion. To eschatological faiths such as Hinduism and other Eastern religions, the triumph of good over evil is an ultimate ideal. Yet, impatient for this ideal, faith may attempt to hasten its coming by resorting to witch-hunting, hereticburning and religious persecution; and, in the process, lead to the exploitation of children and young women. Evil is elevated to an object of obsession and negative worship – an ‘antigod’ to be exorcised at any cost. To this mode of thinking, nothing more clearly manifests the presence of evil than mental sickness and emotional instability. Naturally inclined to

regard mental illness as the work of strange spirits, humanity has been all too ready to interpret it as a symptom of satanic possession. When families stand at the crossroads and fail to get a correct direction, they remain highly vulnerable and fall prey to such religious doctrines. In regarding mental ailment or depression as symptomatic of the diseased general condition of humankind, faith makes a relative distinction between the sick and the well, and calls attention to a deeper, less obvious level of selfhood. In the eyes of faith we are all diseased and salvation must lead to the healing of the self. Yet, religious healing never simply coincides with an ordinary cure, even for those whose physical or mental health is fine. If the true disease lies beyond the obvious illness, the cure also must reach beyond the symptoms. Only suffering can convey the feeling of insufficiency, without which the human person experiences no need for salvation. The condition of the mentally ill keeps alive the awareness, both of the self’s hidden depth and of its insufficiency. It is an object lesson that aids us in finding the meaning of our most private and most painful experiences. In the same spirit, modern thinking tends to regard a person’s religion as the sum total of his or her mental inadequacies. This view may contain more truth than its contemptuous holders suspect; for, without an awareness of basic inadequacy, no genuine awareness of transcendence can exist. Yet it loses sight of the fact that religion is not a desperate attempt to cope with matters that cannot be handled otherwise, but a positive vision in which personal suffering is needed for spiritual growth. To regard the mentally diseased merely as “cases” for psychopathology is a convenient way of escaping the message about the fragile condition of the mind. In selfhood, the primary distinction is not the one that divides the sick from the well, but that which separates the developed from the

Be My Mentor & Friend

How can I make you my best friend? Be dear to you and transcendent Be my anchor, mentor and icon

undeveloped. The more complex the self, the more refined its awareness of itself and the more imminent the threat of mental disorder. Existential psychiatry has revealed the universal significance of states of mind, which we have all too lightly brushed aside as “sick.” Mental ailment resulting from mental anguish is inherent in the nature of a self that is both interior to it and exterior to others. In its essential duality, the self is constantly torn between the mode in which it knows itself and the one in which others envision it. The inner self feels threatened by the outsider’s look. As a safeguard, it hides in the self and tries to conform entirely to the way that it imagines the outer self appears to others. It avoids being, in order to escape self-destruction. In severing appearance from reality, the self creates an outward persona, a mask, which no longer reflects the inner self and which may eventually replace it. The cure of this illness cannot consist of a return to the ‘normal’ (which drove the self into hiding in the first place), but to the achievement of a new synthesis of selfhood. All faiths share a close interest in the various forms of self-alienation. They keep the believer constantly aware of the alarming facility with which the self may disturb or destroy its own fragile synthesis. Their interest is not fortuitous, for the salvation that religion promises, presupposes an unsatisfactory state of being that must be remedied. Indeed, religion stands so badly in need of that preliminary feeling of alienation that one may well wonder whether it does not itself create the very condition that it wants to remedy. This attitude,

My benefactor, shelter & home Be my prime motivation May I woo you through dedication May you be my inspiration Your friendship my destination May we meet in a blissful location Be my provocation and invocation May pursuing you be my vocation Seeking you with devotion May my role, goal & profession Be to frolic in your Divine mansion. Whether I seek you through karma or meditation Yoga or education; contemplation or incantation May there be no hesitation in my determination. To aspire for Your Friendship Would be such a wonderful scholarship You shower & burst on me O Dark Cloud You are my celestial clout

I believe, has its roots in the profound religious concept of human alienation. The existence of religious health resorts, the expulsion of evil spirits and the sacramental prayer for the sick - these practices signify far more than a surpassed stage in the history of medicine. They symbolize that salvation itself is healing, and that all healing is part of the redemptive process. This connection is particularly valid for mental sickness. When confronted with the mentally ill, all religious men and ‘godmen’ first wish to liberate the afflicted, before curing them; other illnesses are directly treated. The mental patient is a captive, closed up in an unreal self and, like the deaf and mute, unable to relate. He is in despair; he cannot reach out and be in touch with his own transcendence. He needs to be cured, loved and assisted, before anything else; and the primary assistance consists of healing - whether the healer is a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a physician, an occupational therapist or a counsellor. Let us enjoy the companionship of those in mental anguish or mental instability. While our lives are disrupted by various illnesses and other afflictions, they are even more challenged by the embarrassment and shame that we feel about some of them. Though we are all acquainted with suffering and feelings of selfestrangement, our ordinary objective ways of articulating them make it easier to suppress, rather than express, the experience. Let us not be in flight from the suffering in our lives; and let us enjoy those pleasures that are available to us. It is not really suffering that is challenging; the psychological pain, of being in flight from the reality of our lives, can be far more disabling.u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years

Wash out my burning sanskaras And the false desires of samsara. If you, Krishna, consent to be my friend I will do no wrong, make amends I will be intoxicated in your bliss Be devotional & tranquil I will become a flicker of your celestial hue Render bhakti for you Dole out relief & belief to those in grief Make me your friend, your 'mitra' In devotion be drenched my 'jeevan yatra' May your benedictions show me the route Your beatitude reflect in my attitude In whatever I do… Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master & Pranic Healer


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4-10 October 2013

C omment

The 'Other' Toll Plaza

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e are again missing the woods for the trees. It is surprising that all our energies are being concentrated on the removal of the Sirhaul Toll Plaza, mainly due to time being wasted in traffic jams and queues. However, the other Plaza, at Kherki Daula, at the ‘exit’ of Gurgaon, is clearly the more strategic – especially for the future of this City and its environs. Here the issue is much beyond the frustration of delays in reaching office or home or the airport. It is about the impact on the future of Gurgaon.

EDITORIAL

The Kherki Daula Toll Plaza is the gateway to future residential and commercial sectors (from Sectors 76 to 98), and the Industrial Model Township (IMT) of Manesar, the Manesar Bawal Industrial Corridor (MBIR), the link to the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, the Delhi Mumbai industrial Corridor (DMIC), the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), the Integrated Multi-modal Logistics Hub (IMLH), the Mass Rapid (Rail) Transit System (MRTS), the Exhibition & Convention Centre (ECC) and a proposed Cargo Airport.

It also provides connectivity to the newly developing towns of Pataudi, Farukhnagar and Dharuhera; and also to Sultanpur Lake. It is therefore metaphorically a 'gateway' to the economy, industry, logistics, investment, growth and jobs. The massive residential and commercial space that has been, and is being, built in the various current and new sectors of Gurgaon, would go abegging – and crash in value - without this further industrial investment, growth and jobs in and around the City. Freer movement of goods will help establish this area as an industrial logistics zone also. So, if there has to be a case for the removal of a toll plaza, there is none more deserving than the one at Kherki Daula – rather than Sirhaul. The Administration needs to act urgently, before this ‘other’ Toll Plaza starts gaining traction and building volumes – due to the new residential, commercial, industrial and logistics projects in and around our City. This Greater Gurgaon, for our greater good, deserves to be given free rein – rather than allowed to take a further toll on us.

Atul Sobti

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Baba Rules...blow it, yet win

re there shades of Uncle Sanjay in Rahul Baba? The contempt and arrogance with which he tore into the Ordinance that had been promulgated and staunchly defended by his Party and Mama (and of course the PM and Cabinet also), was a reminder of the ‘other’ Gandhi – who also had no time, or need, for being PM. So what was Baba doing? It seems that the Party (and Mama) had realized that the mood out there was strongly against the Ordinance, and more importantly the President was in a questioning mood. Someone soon felt that this could provide an opportunity to regain some lost moral ground, and also to strongly pitch the heir apparent against the pretender Modi. But of course Baba blew it.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR I find this site (FG websitewww.fridaygurgaon.com) very informative regarding development in Gurgaon and New Gurgaon. I will be happy if you put information regarding the current status of SPR. Some people say the work is started from the Sohna road end, please throw some light always on SPR road also. Kiran Mahajan

The drama does not end there. Nor do our learnings. Beware the sycophants. They still exist all across, and they may be the most unlikely. The young and modern Ajay Maken and Shashi Tharoor were the first to pitch their tent alongside Baba; poor Maken had to argue for and against the motion, almost simultaneously. Nobody waited for Mama this time. Rahul was apparent. Again, mistakenly, a blunder was being seen as an opportunity. It was made out as if this ‘bluster’ event was the coming of the Prince – the King moment. The learning is that if you are looking for honest feedback and advice, go to Milind Deora and Anil Shastri. They gave their views independently, even against the Party line – and well before they heard Baba (Mama never speaks – well, ok, a little more than the PM). And if you wish to identify ‘safe’ players, you may not go wrong in Maken and Tharoor. The difference in the two groups may be of substance versus style - much like how the Rahul incident was soon conveniently converted to a debate on content versus style (what was said versus how it was said). Not to be outdone, even eminent Editors (current and ex-) chose to see it just as such; in fact, almost becoming apologists for the Baba. Why does a Mama or Baba or

Namo have such an effect? Good men suddenly forget what to call a spade. Or is there perhaps something deeper playing out? Could Rahul have taken a unilateral decision – with just his coterie? What lends credibility to this is that Mama would perhaps never have done it (or allowed it) the way it played out – in terms of what was done, as well as how, when and where. And, lest we forget (and Mama can’t) this Ordinance was a coalition compulsion – the reason for which had not gone away. Laloo has been her most secure partner. So was Baba striking out on his own? Was it to be his moment to show Mama – like Uncle Sanjay’s versus his Indira Ma? Or was it simply that Mama and Baba felt that Laloo was now finally expendable, especially with Nitish being the current flavour? Mama won’t tell, Baba knows only a part of it, and the PM never knows…. p.s - The PM will now not resign even if Sonia asks him to. He believes that he is finally his own Man.

When Will We Get It?

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lsewhere, the adrenaline rush of an ‘exclusive’, and the on-going political savagery, have combined to once again let Pakistan off the hook – to continue to cock a snook at us. The ‘dehati aurat’ snide remark was clearly meant for our PM. It is very surprising that grant of ‘exclusives’ can make us blind to that; worse, make us try and justify it ‘in a context’. Our gush, gush media needs to pause… and maybe learn a lesson from the Geo TV guy (who adroitly spilled the beans and yet got away, having seen that our side was not complaining, and was happy to just get an ‘exclusive’).


4-10 October 2013

R eal E state

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4-10 October 2013

GTMO’s High Security Tract { Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/ Guantanamo Bay/DPA }

Cody Stagner, a US Army NCO, shows a disused cage at Camp X-Ray, a former detention site at Guantánamo Bay on the island of Cuba.

Schmitt-Tegge

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eveille sounds through the morning air and the visitors from Washington wait patiently for the strains of the trumpet to die away, near the tents of Camp Justice in Guantanamo Bay. Gravel crunches under well-shone shoes as the visitors converse with the military at this notorious US base on Cuba’s southern tip. Just metres away, one of the men, reputed to be the most dangerous terrorist in the world, is being driven across the base. A Jamaican sells hot dogs, coffee and cold drinks to the visitors.The ordinariness of his snacks and his chatters jars with the history of a place that is off-limits to anyone but the invited. “Cool, man,” he calls out to an acquaintance in a jeep. Fourteen most dangerous, of the 166 Guantanamo detainees, are held at Camp Seven, isolated from the rest. These “high-value detainees,” as they are called, are completely sealed off from the rest of the world. One of them, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has confessed to involvement in a string of terrorist attacks, from the 9/11 World Trade Center attack in 2001 through the failed Richard Reid shoe-bombing, and the Bali nightclub bombing to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. John McCain has said that Mohammed “was waterboarded 183 times.” The Senator, who was himself tortured by the ‘other side’ during the Vietnam War, effectively dismissed the usefulness of any evidence

Cody Stagner, a US Army NCO, stands at a disused gate at Camp X-Ray, a former detention site at Guantánamo Bay on the island of Cuba. No pictures are allowed of nearby Camp Seven where top al-Qaeda prisoners are kept. Even Camp Seven’s precise location is a secret.

obtained in this manner. Mohammed is said to have mocked his torturers. At some point he realized that their rule book laid down that they had to stop after 40 seconds, and Mohammed would tap out the time with his fingers while they pressurized him. A lawyer, Joseph Connell, says what he has seen behind the wall is a breach of the Geneva Convention. After a long legal battle Connell was allowed in to see his client, Ammar al-Baluchi, who served as a model for a character in the movie Zero Dark Thirty. He is seen in the film battling sleep withdrawal and being forced to crawl on all fours like a dog, with a collar around his neck. “Conditions at Camp Seven are safe and humane,” insists Robert Durand, military

{ Tuebingen, Germany/ DPA }

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hesus macaques have the ability to decide whether to give utterance to a sound in a particular situation or to keep silent, much like humans, according to a team of neurobiologists working at Tuebingen University in Germany Writing in the journal Nature Communications, Steffen Hage and Andreas Nieder said that this ability was confined to just humans and these monkeys. Even though a cat’s mewing or a dog’s barking might appear to be intended to cause an effect, these sounds are in fact emitted purely affectively, without any previous consideration of their effects by the animals. Hage and Nieder hope that their work will further research into speech development. Hage said that the fact that people can control the sounds they emit is the basis for the ability to use speech. Loss of this ability, as a result of a head injury, can frequently be traced to damage to those nerve cells in the brain that are used to control the voice. The research team aimed to probe this mechanism

spokesman at Guantanamo Bay. But he adds, “We make no comment on proceedings at Camp Seven.” The folder, issued to the press at the briefing, claims that the base “provides safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees.” Connell is barred from providing any information, as US National Security interests are at stake. Connell merely shook his head in answer to journalists’ questions. Even the location of Camp Seven within the base, an area measuring 11,000 hectares in total, remains secret. Connell was taken to his client in a windowless vehicle. “Not even I know where it is,” Durand says. The pledge of fairness and transparency is also made by the Military Court that stands

surrounded by barbed wire, within sight of the tented camp. It is here that judgement will be passed on the men charged with being the brains behind 9/11. Journalists are allowed a view through glass into the windowless, soundproofed room, much like gazing into an aquarium. The censor is able to cut the sound to observers by pressing a button. The accused have laid out prayer rugs in black, gold and green - the colours of Islam - in the Courtroom. They bow, rise and kneel in turn, reciting the holy verses as they go through their ritual, watched by US military personnel in uniform. The details of those on hunger strike arrive by email, shortly before the midday recess. There are currently 44 inmates refusing food, 35 of whom are being force-fed. Doctors and prison staff insert a tube into the oesophagus through the nose, feeding the patient nutrients in liquid form. “Others drink straight from

Monkeys R Us

more closely in the rhesus macaques, training the animals in the laboratory to call every time that they saw a point of light in front of them. For this they were rewarded with juice. The training lasted around a year, after which the monkeys were able to fulfil the task reliably, Hage said.

a container,” says Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale. Journalists sent to cover the trials at GTMO or “Gitmo” have long grown accustomed to hearing the details of abuse. Most are overwhelmed by the sheer tedium of covering the drawnout legal proceedings, delivered by video link from the tribunal to the press room they have set up in a rusting hangar 100 metres away. The tour through the now abandoned Camp X-Ray, hastily improvised after 9/11 for “the worst of the worst”, as then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put it, offers little relief from the boredom. “A waste of time,” is the verdict of one journalistic old hand. The initial detainees were held here in 2-by-2-metre “cells’, on concrete floors enclosed by wire mesh under an iron roof. A disused camp for criminal elements among refugees from Cuba and Haiti had been left behind here in the 1990s, and a US general was given 96 hours to knock it into shape. It opened its doors on January 11, 2002 and closed them again 92 days later at the end of April that year, when the prisoners were transferred to Camp Delta. The initial detainees were issued with just a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and a copy of the Koran, and had to make use of a bucket for their ablutions. The new facilities have upto-date medical equipment, a library and educational facilities. But as David Nevin, a lawyer defending Mohammed, said in 2009, “Being there is not the problem. It’s what they do there.”u

Further investigation allowed the team to detect an area in the brain that is apparently responsible for the control of calls that are produced with an intention in mind. Hage said it remained unclear as to what extent the macaques used their voices purposefully in a natural setting, without laboratory training. He added that the vast majority of animals were unable to use their calls in a purpose-directed way, even if the owners of pets often had the contrary impression. “When an owner stands in front of a dog with something to eat, the dog is in a state of high emotion. For this reason it barks affectively,” Hage said. “The owner thinks that the dog is begging and using his bark to express the fact that he wants something to eat.” Animal rights activists have for years been severely critical of the kind of experiments conducted by Hage and his team. The apes are locked into a so-called “primate chair”, with their heads in a fixed position, to compel them to focus on the experiment. Hage defended the method, saying that the monkeys were allowed to adjust to the position step by step. Research had shown that the animals did not show any behavioural idiosyncrasies as a result, he said. u


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4-10 October 2013

Vlieland in Autumn

{ Christoph Driessen/Vlieland, The Netherlands/ DPA }

{ Alvise Armellini/ Venice, Italy/ DPA }

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hould Venice be closed off to visitors? Some activists are urging for a radical solution to the problem of ‘tourism overcrowding’, yet local authorities and other residents are strongly opposed to the idea. The debate has been ongoing for years, but gained new prominence after excessive traffic on the Grand Canal - which has risen exponentially along with tourist numbers - was blamed for a fatal crash last month (between a gondola and a ferry that left a German man dead). Italia Nostra, a heritage group, says that the City now has 30 million visitors per year, whereas a 1988 academic study concluded that 7.5 million was the sustainable level, with 12 million the absolute maximum Venice could bear. “The alleyways are full, nobody can get on the water buses; it is becoming a torture even for tourists,” Paolo Lanapoppi, an Italia Nostra campaigner, told dpa. Another common complaint is that shops catering to

Christoph Driessen

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t could be the Sahara: as far as you can see, nothing but blindingly white sand and a deep blue sky. But the temperatures don’t fit the illusion. Huddled closely together and wrapped in warm clothes, some families are riding at the back of the Vliehors Express, a military truck painted a bright yellow. Its giant wheels are churning through the sand. Welcome to the island of Vlieland in the shallow tidelands off the Dutch coast. It’s not a place that global tourists visit much. Arriving here in autumn is an even tougher sell. Every ray of sunshine feels like a gift. But it is such an extraordinary spot that you accept the poor weather as the price of a special experience. Vliehors claims to be Europe’s single biggest sand surface. The view from the Express is one of a giant abstract painting: the upper half blue, the lower half yellow. Otherwise, absolutely nothing. On second glance, however, there is something. Here and there are the wrecks of military tanks, lending a surreal element to the scene. The Vliehors is, for the most part, an off-limits military zone – a place where the Dutch Royal Air Force practices bombing raids. The first outpost of civilization is a former postal station. From here you ride a bicycle into town. This means a 10-kilometre ride, and it can be a long one if

The tree-lined Dorpsstraat (village street) of Oost-Vlieland feels like the middle point of the island.

you are suddenly hit by a rain shower. Most of the route leads through a dark pine forest, which provides some protection. Only rarely does a car pass you. Tourists may not bring their cars to the island, and Vlieland itself has only about 1,000 local residents. There is just a single town on the island, OostVlieland. There was once another, West-Vlieland, but it was swallowed up by the sea. The tree-lined Dorpsstraat (village street) of OostVlieland feels like the middle point of the Island. Here, you can take a seat, stare at the flames in a fireplace, and try to imagine what it would be like to spend your entire

life on Vlieland. Amid the flat scenery there is one “mountain” - the Vuurboets sand dune, 36 metres high. Atop this is an 18-metre-tall lighthouse. From up there you feel you’re on top of the world. Since time immemorial the Vlielanders have had a broad horizon. For many generations they were forced to go to sea, for want of any other means to make a living. One prominent Vlielander was Willem de Vlamingh, who explored the Australian coastline 70 years before Captain James Cook. Most Vlielanders, however, were whale hunters. When, from

Reaching the ferry on Vlieland is an adventure in itself. Travellers have to negotiate a long wooden causeway before boarding ship.

Taking the ferry to Vlieland can be a bit uncomfortable if the weather is inclement. Travellers are grateful for a warm cup of coffee served.

Venetian: Bane or Goldmine? the needs of residents - a community that has shrunk from 66,000 in 2001 to just under 58,000 this year - are being replaced by trashy souvenir boutiques. “The last grocery store closed here in St Mark’s,” wrote Petra Reski, a German journalist who has lived in Venice since 1991, on her blog in July, complaining that plastic gondolas and fake leather bags were a poor shopping substitute for fresh fruit and vegetables. “In order to manage the tourism, someone at a high level has to admit in public that the numbers will need to be limited,” wrote Anne Somers Cocks, former head of Venice in Peril, a British charity, in the New York Review of Books in June.     She suggested forcing visitors to pay 30 euros (40 dollars) towards the City’s upkeep, and added that they “will have to book in advance; and if Venice is full on one day, they will have to come on another.” Mayor Giorgio Orsoni will hear none of it.

“Venice is not, and never will be, for as far as I will be able to muster authority, anything approaching a museum,” Orsoni wrote back this month to Somers Cocks, lambasting her suggestion that people should pay to enter – like they do at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In a separate interview with dpa, the Mayor said he was working to make the pressure from tourists more manageable, by encouraging them to spread out around the entire City, “so that they don’t all cram into St. Mark’s Square.”

In an apparent reference to Somers Cocks, he heaped scorn on “so-called friends of Venice” who, he claimed, “do not really love” the place, viewing it only as “a very decadent city, in the style of Thomas Mann.” Instead, the City needs to dragged, even kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, he suggested. He spoke of making it “more accessible, more simple and more modern”, for tourists and residents alike – as well as “more normal.” Long-debated plans to modernize the City include the construction of an underwater underground system, as well as the development of a container hub connected to the port, which is already a major cruise ship terminal. Venice “needs to become once again a hub of activity, without which its beauty will inevitably fade: the magic of a place can flourish around real life, not in its stead,” Orsoni

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atop the Vuurboets dune you look out over the shallow Wadden Sea, you might spot an old sailboat, a flat-bottomed vessel gliding into the harbour. With its large wooden stabilizers jutting out on both sides, it looks like some antediluvial fish with giant gills. Further out, on a sand bank between Vlieland and Terschelling, lies the wreck of the Lutine, a frigate of the Royal Navy that went down in 1799 with a huge treasure of gold on board. The value of it today is put at 50 million euros (65 million dollars). But so far, nobody has managed to salvage it. The sea has only surrendered the ship’s bell, which now hangs at the headquarters of Lloyd’s of London. In bygone times, the Lloyd’s bell would be rung whenever a ship sank. Vlieland’s greatest attraction remains the beach. Naturally autumn is no time to lie down on the sand, nor is it a place for a stroll because this term implies proceeding at a leisurely, relaxed pace. The wind is whistling through the dune grasses and whipping up the sand in your face, forcing you to squint your eyes or look downward. You don’t hear anything except the wind and the waves breaking offshore. You wind up taking the ferry back to Harlingen; you don’t want to feel that you are stranded out at sea. But then something peculiar happens. Once the island vanishes on the horizon, you get a strange feeling – one of homesickness for the place. u wrote in another passage of his reply to Somers Cocks, also published in the New York Review of Books. The Mayor highlighted plans to repopulate the City through subsidized housing for university students, and by promoting the City as the location for the headquarters of an international organization. Matteo Secchi, a hotel owner who belongs to the protest group Venessia.com, also opposed the idea of kicking tourists out. He proposes an extra tax on all purchases made in the City. “Sure, restricted access would save Venice from the invasion,” he told dpa. “But we would turn it into Veniceland, a sort of Disneyland where you need a ticket to get in. And how will you stop people when the City is full? With turnstiles at entry points to the City?” he asked incredulously. Other Venetians were even more sceptical. Luigi Frizzo, a bookseller whose picturesque store is set in a former boat depot, told dpa that all those who want to constrain tourist numbers were “fools.” “They are our goldmine, we should make the most of them!” he said.u


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Four Activists win “Alternative Nobel” { Stockholm/ DPA }

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ctivists from Congo, Palestine, Switzerland and the United States were recently awarded the 2013 Right Livelihood Award, for their work on human rights, improving food security and combating chemical weapons. Paul Walker of the US was cited “for working tirelessly to rid the world of chemical weapons” – a looming threat highlighted by recent events in Syria. Jury member Juliane Kronen told dpa that Walker was “good at building coalitions and bringing people together,” referring to his efforts to get rival factions in the US Congress to fund the destruction of chemical weapons - that cost far more than making them. He has also involved local communities, for instance in Kazakhstan, for helping safeguard stockpiles that are yet to be destroyed, Kronen said. Walker later told dpa that Syria’s recent accession to the global chemical weapons ban was “a historic step forward,” but underlined that six countries—including Egypt and North Korea—have yet to sign on. “The biggest challenge now is completing a Syrian destruction programme and moving on to the remaining six states,” he said. The 67-yearold works for the non-profit organization Green Cross, which has helped verify the elimination of over 55,000 tons of chemical weapons

Paul Walker

Denis Mukwege

Hans R Herren

Raji Sourani

in the United States, Russia, India, South Korea, Albania and Libya, the jury said. Denis Mukwege, 58, a doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was lauded for “his courageous work in healing women survivors of war-time sexual violence, and speaking up about its root causes.” Mukwege runs a hospital in Bukavu, eastern Congo, which has treated an estimated 40,000 victims of mass rape committed by warring groups. His criticism of these assaults, and the failure to charge the perpetrators, has made him a target, and resulted

in several threats on his life. Jury members, as well as Foundation Director Ole von Uexkull, said the Award could offer laureates some protection. Palestinian Human Rights lawyer Raji Sourani, 59, based on the Gaza Strip, was mentioned “for his unwavering dedication to the rule of law and human rights under exceptionally difficult circumstances.” Sourani - the first winner from Palestine heads the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), which monitors and documents Human Rights violations. He has been jailed by both Israel

and the Palestinian Authority, and is engaged in efforts to strengthen Human Rights in the Middle East – including training Syrian lawyers and activists. Swiss Agronomist Hans R Herren, of the Biovision Foundation, was credited for “expertise and pioneering work in promoting a safe, secure and sustainable global food supply.” The Jury cited his use of biological methods to tackle a pest that threatened the cassava root, a key crop in Africa. The Award, often called the “Alternative Nobel,” was announced by the Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation. In all, 94 nominations from 48 countries were considered this year. Each winner is to receive 500,000 kronor (78,000 dollars). An Award ceremony will be held on December 2. The Swedish-German philanthropist, Jakob von Uexkull, created the Right Livelihood Award in 1980, “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges.” In 2012, the Awards were presented to: female Afghan doctor Sima Samar, a Human Rights campaigner; US peace researcher Gene Sharp; Turkish businessman and conservationist Hayretttin Karaca; and the British-based Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which lobbies against the global trade in arms. u

UN Report says global sea levels to rise “at a faster rate” { Stockholm/ DPA }

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UN Report on Global Warming predicts that global sea levels are to rise “at a faster rate” than previously anticipated. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report cites more and better observations, improved

understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models. “As the oceans warm, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, but at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years,” said Din Qahe, co-Chair of the IPCC working group that compiled the Report.u

Nano-tube Computers { San Francisco / DPA }

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esearchers at Stanford University in California have developed the world’s first computer, which uses transistors made from Carbon Nano-tubes (CNTs) rather than silicon, it was recently announced. The breakthrough would allow scientists to make computers that are smaller, faster and more efficient, even when silicon transistors cannot be shrunk any further. “People have been talking about a new era of Carbon Nano-tube electronics, moving beyond silicon,” one of the Project leaders, Subhasish Mitra, said in a statement. “But there have been few demonstrations of complete digital systems using this exciting technology. Here is the proof.” For decades, researchers have been shrinking the size of each transistor to pack more transistors on

a chip, in line with the law postulated in 1965 by Intel founder Gordon Moore – that the density of transistors would double roughly every two years. But as transistors become tinier, they waste more power and generate more heat, all in a smaller space – as evidenced by the heat emanating from the bottom of a laptop. The world’s most advanced chips now use 22-nanometre transistors. These are so small that roughly 4,000 could fit on the width of a human hair. But the material’s limitations mean that no further progress can be made once transistors are scaled down to 5 nanometres, which is expected to be reached sometime after 2020. Because they use less power and are smaller than silicon circuits, carbon nanotubes could overcome this barrier, said Phillip Wong, another Project Leader.u

UN Report on scale of Global Warming { Stockholm/ DPA }

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cientists and government officials from more than 100 countries have adopted a UN Report that sizes up the scale of Global Warming. The delegates, who have been working behind closed doors in Stockholm, have also adopted a 30-page summary for policymakers, following overnight deliberations. The documents sum up the latest science on changing temperatures, rising sea levels and melting glaciers, and their influence on humans.u

iMaps on Runway { San Francisco/ DPA }

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year after the notorious debut of Apple’s own mobile map iMaps, a new snafu is heaping more embarrassment on the iPhone maker. According to a report from the Alaska Dispatch, the much-maligned mapping app was directing drivers across the Fairbanks International Airport’s taxiway and runway, in order to get to the terminal. The Report said that the Airport staff had complained to Apple about the glitch, which, despite assurances, had not yet been fixed. The Report came just over a year after Apple launched its in-house mapping programme, in a bid to dislodge Google Maps as the location app of choice on iPhones and iPads. User complaints mounted so quickly after the September 2012 launch of iMaps that Apple was forced to issue a rare apology. It recommended users access alternative apps, and fired the executives responsible. u

Batman Prequel Series on TV { Los Angeles/ DPA }

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ans of Batman will soon be able to get their superhero fix on television. Fox has commissioned a prequel to the Batman story, called Gotham, which will focus on the adventures of the Crusader Cop’s crime-busting ally, Police Commissioner James Gordon, according to industry website Deadline.com. The Show will focus on Gordon’s career in the fictitious city of Gotham before he nabs the top cop role, and Batman will reportedly not make an appearance in the show. However, the show could delve into the history of the Wayne family – before Bruce Wayne becomes the Caped Crusader, the report said. u


E xclusive

23 Jit kumar

4-10 October 2013

Bringing Pujo to Life { Srimati Lal }

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ith the start of the pre-Puja 'muhurtha' of 'Mahalaya', we are bringing you images from the timeless atelier-lined lanes of North Kolkata's historic KumortulI, in the ancient Sovabazar area. This is where the cosmic Devi, Durga, comes mystically alive from clumps of sacred Ganga Clay, as she is tenderly sculpted by the Kumor’s masterly hands and painted in vivid kaleidoscopes, for the ensuing days of worship. This kinetic panorama of Goddesses-in-the-making is a sight out of some surreal planetary realm where Divinity rules; where humans know the true meaning of Sadhona, Bhakti, Art, worship and supplication. Kumortuli  is one of the seven wonders of Kolkata:  it is also spelt as Kumartuli, or the archaic colonial British spelling Coomartolly. This is a traditional potters’ quarter in northern Kolkata . By virtue of their brilliant and unique artistic sculptural productions, these 'Kumor' potters have moved from obscurity to international prominence as artists of repute. This ancient and sublime north-Kolkata neighbourhood not only supplies clay idols of Hindu  Gods and Goddesses to 'barowari ' - aristocratic 'khandaani' - domestic pujas in Kolkata and its neighbourhoods, but a number of idols are also exported. In the 18th. century. the three villages of Gobindapur, Sutanuti and Kalikata developed to give rise to the amazing metropolis of ideas called Calcutta - now Kolkata. Some neighbourhoods acquired specific workrelated names – Suriparah (the place of wine sellers), Collotollah (the place of oil men), Chuttarparah (the place of carpenters), Aheeritollah (the cowherd’s quarters) and Coomartolly (the quarters of potters, artisans and sculptors). In the late 19th. century, with the commercial invasion of Burrabazar, most of the skillful and humble artisans living in these north Kolkata neighbourhoods dwindled in numbers - or even vanished - as they were pushed out of the area by the calls of urban commerce. The potters of Kumortuli, who fashioned the clay - from the river beside their homes - into pots to be sold at Sutanuti Bazar (later Burrabazar), somehow managed to survive. Gradually they took to making iconic images of Gods and Goddesses that were worshipped in large numbers in the stately Bengali mansions all around - and later at community pujas in the City and beyond. Visually, we are surrounded here in Kumortuli by a surreal clay-scape of looming beautiful Parvatis, Lakshmis, Saraswatis, Ganeshas and Karttiks; as well as ugly Asura-demons with the face of Evil, squirming beneath the Devi's outraged dainty foot; and also charming, pet-like animistic 'Vahanas'

- including Durga's lion, Lakshmi's owl, Saraswati's swan, Karttik's peacock and Ganesha's mouse. These are all being invoked and brought alive with the help of the holy Ganga Clay. The River flows alongside these mysterious ateliers, where master-sculptors work in dim light under straw roofs to create our Devi Durga Mahamaya-Shakti, protectress of the Universe. Resplendently graphic and unrobed, she - of the ten arms and the sweet Gioconda-smile, Trinayani, the three-eyed Devi of all Devis - rises from the mud, majestically naked, sans any sari and adornments. She is first as grey as the sacred Ganga's dark silt and mud, and then is scintillatingly painted in glowing shades of pure, sacred yellow and gold. Her Chakkhudaan - 'Eye-benediction' - is the final painterly touch that makes this Goddess Jagrata – Alive - before she is lovingly draped in exquisite red and gold brocade saris and ornamented with golden tiara and jewels, like a Bengali bride.  Behold Durga! She is the beloved married daughter,  Parvati,  who returns from her distant northern Himavant to her eastern paternal home in Kolkata for the Sharad-Utsav or Autumn harvest, to save her people from all evil and injustice, which is manifested in the ugly, twisted face of the demon Mahisasura - whom she exterminates with her long pitchfork and multiple weapons, as he squirms, helpless, at her divine, red-'aalta'rimmed, lotus-feet. Behold the Supreme Mahamaya: bow down to Her wrath and Her benedictions! The sculptures are of myriad aesthetic styles - from the ancient Chaalchitra folk-tribal Totemic idiom to Renaissance-inspired neo-classical Greco-Roman models. The Kumor sculptors have formidable artistic skills. And yet they choose to remain nameless, humble and silent, penitent worshippers of this supreme Shakti - which they spend their entire artistic lives to evoke and invoke for worship. Their astounding creations are preserved as High Art in all the world's museums. The Mother will be worshipped with the devout Arati of 108 clay lamps, incense, sandalwood, chants and fresh flowers; and finally, would be emotionally immersed back into the Ganga river on Dashami - as she is tearfully asked to return to us again from the sacred River the next Sharat or Autumn season.  Millions poetically entreat her ---  "Ma, aabar esho, amader rokkha koro shorboda" ~ ("Ma, return to us again and again; save us forever from all evil"). Ma Durga Namoh Namaha. On the Back page, Jit Kumar's worthy lens captures the spirit of Kumortuli. u Artist, Writer, & Curator


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4-10 October 2013

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Friday gurgaon 04 10 october, 2013  

...be the change you want to see

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