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11-17 October 2013

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

Vol. 3 No. 8  Pages 24  ` 7

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

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A Healt hy Pre-Nup The concept of a Pre-Nup (Pre-Nuptial agreement) was introduced by the West. It is a contract signed prior to marriage and commonly includes provisions for wealth distribution in the event of a break-up of the marriage. Maybe it's time we provide for preservation and distribution (to progenies) of health too.


hile most of the children of his age are busy playing and enjoying their childhood, Sushant (name changed) is lying on a hospital bed and is being given blood transfusion. He is a Thalassemia patient. This is a routine for six-year-old Sushant, who visits the hospital every month so that his haemoglobin level can be maintained. More than 1,000 children in the City are born with this disease every year. It is ironic that Sushant and many like him might have escaped the disease if their parents had undergone a simple test before marriage. Marriages are made in heaven, but one perhaps needs to be a little more careful before tying the knot. Unfortunately, even today, open discussions on medical and sexual health matters are avoided between families, and even individuals, when they finalize partners for marriage. They are afraid to discuss the subject with 'others' – or even 'each other'. In many cases couples do not know about the existence of disease of their individual spouses. Those suffering from sexual problems may pose a threat to the lives of their partners. Perhaps it is time to be practical – to be safe, rather than sorry. Why not have an agreement that everyone – man and woman – undergoes a range of tests before marriage? Dr. Ganapathi Gangoli, Personal Physician with NationWide Health Care Services, says, “The

aim should be that medical problems don’t pose any serious threat to a successful marriage. Medical problems, detected before the wedding, can be rectified by medication or minor surgery - so don’t be afraid to get the ‘medical horoscope’ matched!” When a couple ties the knot, the aim is to build an emotional, social and healthy relationship. To have a happy and stable family, it should also be important that the couple know about their 'medical compatibility'. A complete pre-marriage medical check-up should be conducted – and not just an HIV test. The check-up should include tests for all blood groups. This can ensure better medical compatibility between the partners. “The idea is not to reject the prospective match. It is to provide medical consultation on the probability of the transmission of certain diseases to the other partner - or to the children in the future; and to provide options and alternatives to help the couple plan for a healthy family,” says Dr. Ganapathi. Many feel that pre-marital medical tests can also help 'clear the air'. “In a society that blames only women for 'childlessness', a pre-marital check-up will help give the women a voice. We should also remember that undiagnosed sexually transmitted diseases can have a devastating effect during childbirth, and on children. So proper counselling of the bride, groom and close relatives, by a doctor, is a must,” feels Dr. Jaypradha, a gynaecologist. What tests need to be done? HIV and Hepatitis: HIV and Hepatitis C virus screening are important. The sexual contact history Contd on p 8 

Janta Meals { Abhishek Behl / FG }

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large part of the population in Gurgaon comprises of migrants who have come to work in factories, corporate offices, malls and other such places. However, the jobs and incomes do not necessarily provide them a 'better' life. A majority of these people are dependent on roadside 'dhabas' for their daily sustenance, as the alternatives in this City are expensive. The presence of a large number of food joints selling 'parathas', snacks and tea, often in

unhygienic conditions, points to the lack of options that the poor rickshawallahs as well as the young BPO workers have in the Millennium City. To help plug this gap in the food chain, Janta Meals was launched recently by entrepreneur turned social activist Prabhat Agarwal, in association with a Dutch NGO Envui. The first Janta Meal centre was set up at Sikanderpur four months ago, with the goal of making available reasonably priced food of good quality, prepared by local women. What started as an experiment has now been fine-tuned, says Agarwal. The Centre at Sikanderpur is selling almost 500 meals daily to customers from every section of society. What is heartening for this impact-driven venture is that there are a large number of repeat clients. Prabhat Agarwal, who runs the NGO, Aravali Scholars, in Sikanderpur, says that after working for the last one and half years in the area, he realised that many people were missing out on simple Contd on p 7 

A Natural Transformation { Shilpy Arora / FG }

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he urban and rural divide is quite apparent in the Millennium City. On the one hand, there are traditional rural families that have always relied on agriculture for food and water, and often clothing and shelter – though for many rural families those times have now gone. Population growth, the real estate boom and commercial farming have affected their lives and they are today struggling to even get some basic civic facilities. On the other hand, convenient facilities and

modern consumption patterns in urban areas have had a wide impact on the environment. The challenges faced can perhaps be addressed by promoting exchanges between the two – specially of knowledge and culture. And they should begin right from childhood. So believes Surekha Waldia, Founder, Experiential Learning via Nature-based Activity (ELNA). Through a unique initiative under ELNA, Surekha aims to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas, with the active involvement of schoolgoing children. “I always wanted to Contd on p 8 

02 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–08  11-17 October 2013


Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora


Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Sub Editor:

Anita Bagchi

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav

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Dy. Manager Accounts & Admin: Shiv Shankar Jha Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Vikalp Panwar

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib


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

Sr. Photographer:


C oming U p

11-17 October 2013 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.

Music Arif Lohar Live @ Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen, Sector 30 Date: October 17 Time: 9:00 pm


ear the Pakistani folk singer belt out traditional songs with his trademark musical instrument, the 'chimta'.

directed by Vikram Kapadia. Insightful, provocative and hilarious, Bombay Talkies takes you to the lives of eight unique and universal individuals. Vikram has used humour to essay reality and present the face of Mumbai through varied forms. 

Music Road Show @ DLF Galleria, DLF Phase IV Date: October 11 Time: 6:00 pm


ne World College of Music gathers for a Road Show – it's going to be pure music to your ears.


eam 'Dastangoi – The Lost Art Form of Urdu Storytelling' presents the iconic
Dastan-e-Betaal Pachisi – one of India's oldest collection of tales of King Vikram trying to capture Betal. This adaptation revives the beauty of storytelling with its seamless mixture of Hindi and Urdu. This Act will be followed by a Dastan (Qirtaas Jaadoo) from Tilism-e-Hoshruba. The Acts are directed by
Mahmood Farooqui and performed by Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Husain.

Suitable for 18 years & above.

Open Mic Series Open Mic 21.0 @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 12 Time: 6:30 pm

Theatre Untitled @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 15 Time: 7:30 pm


ased on Vijayadan Detha's, 'Nyari Nyari Maryada' and Dario Fo’s 'Medea', Untitled―performed by Lushin Dubey, co-actors and her puppets―is a pendulous swing between the two stories and giving voice to the woman’s case. In 'Nyari Nyari Maryada', women surprise the men, who relentlessly treat them as 'kathputlis'. The powerful Greek tragedy of Medea gives the foreign princess a voice of dark revenge and slaughter. Lushin's solo piece is a completely experimental venture, without a script. The Show is directed by Arvind Gaur. Suitable for 18 years & above.


nother installment of the Open Mic Series, moderated by Nicky Chandam. Perform your own work, in any of the languages of the National Capital Region. Poetry, fiction, diatribes, songs – all are good. You get two minutes, and the microphone.

Theatre Dastan-e-Betaal Pachisi & A Tale from Tilism-e-Hoshruba @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 13 Time: 7:00 pm

Theatre Bombay Talkies @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 12 Time: 7:30 pm


ld World Theatre Festival presents ‘Bombay Talkies’, a theatrical performance written and

Art Harmony @ Galaxy Hotel, NH-8, Part-2, Sector 15

Festive Bazaars & Melas Let the festive spirit come alive with these fun Melas. Flea Market Dussehra BuzzouQ @ Unitech Club Patio, South City 1 Date: October 13 Time: 5:00 pm

Bazaar Karwa Chauth and Diwali Bazaar @ Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon, Sector Road, Sushant Lok I Date: October 17 & 18 Time: 11:00 am

Date: Up to October 24 Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm


solo Painting Exhibition by Ekta Jain. Ekta's artwork is autobiographical, a testimony to her never say-die spirit. Her abstracts are reflective of hope and faith, assurance and conviction, and trust and optimism.

Nightlife Urban: The Maverix & Traffic Jam @ Tease, Vivanta by Taj, Sector 44 Date: October 18 Time: 9:00 pm onwards


wo of Delhi's best retro bands come together to give you a lively trip down memory lane. From the music of the 50s and the 60s to some

Diwali Mela @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 18-20

great home-grown Rock, the Bands will give you a real blast from the past.

C oming U p

11-17 October 2013


WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART Workshop Rangoli @ Sttudio 292, Raisina Residency, Glenbow Building, 5th Floor, Sector 59 Date: October 16 Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Nightlife Fun Friday @ Zura, SCO 40, Sector 29 Date: October 11 Time: 9:00 pm


reak out on Friday with DJ Sumit Pradhan spinning Rock and Retro music.

I playing live the best of Sufi numbers from their unmatched collection.

Nightlife Ibadat Live @ Howzatt, Galaxy Hotel, First Floor, National Highway 8, Sector 15 Date: Up to October 30 Time: 8:30 pm onwards


njoy an evening of unlimited fun as the talented band Ibadat performs live. On stage will be Harsh Kumar, Sanjeev Punj, Sukhjeet Ghai, Yuvraj Singh,Vikrant, Kapil, Navdeep, Vikram, Vikrant and Upkar Brar. The evening will also have DJs Tanny and Ankush

Nightlife Gentlemen Nights @ TAXII Bar & Kitchen, Global Foyer Mall, Sector 43, Golf Course Road Date: Up to December (Tuesdays) Time: 6:00 pm onwards


or all those men who thought clubs are biased towards the ladies, here is a breather. Presenting 'Gentlemen Nights' for all the men who pamper their ladies at the bar. Enter with your lady and you get free drinks! How's that for special treatment?

Urban Art Collection @ M.E.C. Art Gallery – Urban Cafe 70-B First Level, Middle Lane, Khan Market Date: Up to October 31 Time: 11:30 am to 7:30 pm



Comedy Ouch @ Indian Grill Room, Sun City Business Tower, 3rd Floor, Golf Course Road Date: October 19 Time: 8:00 pm


riotous tale of three glamorous young women taking a pot shot at television super stardom. The Show is presented by Katyayani and directed by Sohaila Kapur.


Delhi's Artscape

Group Show of artworks by Tapan Dash, Laxman Aelay, Monideep Saha, Yogendra Tripathi,Ebenezer, Atin Basak, Kamal Mitra, Rini Dhumal, Rajib Chowdhury, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Dhiraj Chowdhury, C.Prakash, Manoj Kachangal, Gogi Saroj Pal, Ravi.K,Tapati Sarkar, B.V Nalakar, C. Acharya, Anil Shukla, Partha Shaw
and others.

Art Trunk Show @ CMYK Bookstore, 15-16 Meharchand Market, Lodhi Road Date: October 17 & 18 Time: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm

f your child is artistic and loves creating beautiful Rangoli patterns, then this is the place to bring him/ her. Experts will teach the art of creating beautiful patterns, making attractive designs and filling them with colours.
Fee: Rs. 500 per person, (includes supplies for the Workshop).

n initiative to promote sustainable livelihoods and create opportunities and exposure for rural artisans and their art. Tinga Tinga from Tanzania, Patachitras from Bengal and Orissa, Tibetan Thangkas, Kalighat paintings from Bengal – many works by National and State award winning artists. Also on display are handpicked pieces of traditional art from India and Africa on a special preDiwali sale. Also available are silk and woollen stoles from Uttaranchal, brass lamps from Chhattisgarh and other handcrafted gift items.


by ShahnaZ

Salt: The Great March @ Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Rd, Janpath Date: Up to October 20 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm


ew Delhi-based artist and poet Shelly Jyoti brings forth a new body of work in a solo show, by recrafting contemporary quilt-making traditions in Azrakh textiles. The Show features a large khadi fabric site – specific installation, sculptural installation of khadi yarn, 25 contemporary artworks using Azrakh traditions of printing and dyeing on khadi fabric, needle-crafted by women – amongst other things.

Art Exhibition @ The Lalit, Connaught Place Date: Up to October 13 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

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 skin around my elbows is very rough and

scaly. What can I do to soften it?


Take lemon halves and rub them daily on the elbows. Wash it off and then apply sesame seed (til) oil or pure almond oil and massage it into the skin. Aloe vera gel may also be applied on the area. Mix together curd and a little turmeric (haldi). Apply the on these areas daily. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily.


n Exhibition of Ganesha paintings by Art Junction, and Bhiteshwar Foundation. The Exhibition includes works of 34 participating artists― Ayaan Ali Khan, Raja Deori, Rajni Kiran Jha, Rashmi Saxena, Bhupinder S. Nanda, Dharmendra Sharma and others―and is curated by Arshi Ahmed.


Shriya Gera

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


11-17 October 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS  The 1372 schools in the State, which had received termination notices, are bailed out by the High Court. The Court is concerned about the impact on thousands of children.  Haryana revises Property Tax rates. Gurgaon is classified as an A1 category City. The Tax rate is Rs 1 per sq. yd. for a plot less than 300 sq. yds.  Haryana issues a Common Compounding Policy for addressing the issue of 'illegal' colonies. Meanwhile, 44 'illegal' colonies in Gurgaon (543 in the State) are set to get basic civic amenities (not regularization), through a new Act.  Dr SP Yadav from Gurgaon has been chosen to represent Haryana at the Medical Council of India.  A 25-year-old man is found hanging in a Sector 55 guesthouse.  A 35-year-old doctor alleges rape by an ex-live-in partner.  A woman accuses her brother-in-law of raping her – allegedly a case of dowry harassment by the husband's family.  A woman and 2 male accomplices are caught for kidnapping a contractor's daughter for ransom.  A woman manager alleges sexual harassment by her senior in a travel company – also alleging that this led to her miscarriage.  A 23-year-old man is held for the sexual harassment of a teacher, by posing as an assistant director of a film company. BPO workers and manager fight over leave; 2 are killed in the violence.  A retired officer is duped of Rs 82 lakhs by an NRI woman and her accomplices, in a land fraud case; a man is duped of Rs 5 lakhs under the pretext of an insurance policy; a mobile and a purse are snatched at

Haryanvi Made Easy

knife-point; Rs 1 lakh from a bag, and a pistol, is stolen from the car of a businessman; a resident of Sector 10 is duped of Rs 78,000 in a credit card fraud on an online transaction; there are 4 cases of chain snatching by a biker gang, all within a few hours; a car window is smashed and Rs 5 lakhs stolen; a Rs 20 lakhs loan is given based on forged papers.  23 mobiles are found during a surprise raid at Bhondsi Jail.  An Inspector and a Sub-Inspector of Police are caught accepting a Rs 20,000 bribe to help remove an accused's name from a chargesheet. Rs 30,000 had been paid to them earlier.  Students attack a truck allegedly carrying cow meat, and hold up NH8. Timely intervention of the Police and vets helps defuse the situation.  MCG belatedly takes over the responsibility of water supply in its area from the PHE Dept.  AK Nagpal is chosen as the President of the Sushant Lok I RWA.  The 8th edition of the National Floorball Tournament is held in the City. There are about 700 participants from 19 states.

The shape of things to come...borewells run dry in Uniworld Gardens! No water even at 200 ft....and counting. Special drive for Voter Forms/Voter IDs will take place from October 20th. The Chief Minister defends the 'Khaps' and says they do not encourage honour killings.


be the change you wish to see

Get a taste of the local lingo 1. I want to buy a new car. Manne nayi gaadi leni se. 2. Will you come with me to the showroom? Manne gael dukaan me chaalega? 3. I can't decide which car to buy. Mere samajh me na aari kaunsi gaadi lun 4. The bigger the car, the better. Jitni baddi gaadi, utna hi badiya 5. I can go for long drives in the big car. Main baddi gaadi me lamba route ja sakun su 6. But there is no place outside my house for a big car. Par ghar ta aage gaadi khadi karne ki jagah konye 7. It is better I buy a small car. Chhoti gaadi le lun, badiya rega.



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






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11-17 October 2013


H appenings


Watch Out For Glamour

atch World, from the Chitralekha Group, hosted the fourth edition of Watch World Awards at the Westin Hotel. Luxury watch brands and watch makers were given a glittering accompaniment by celebrities at the Event. Moderated by Chitralekha’s President and Publisher, Mitrajit Bhattacharya, the jury comprised Antoine Simonin, Priyadarshini Rao, Harbhajan Singh, Ravi Shastri, Ayaz Memon, Neeraj Pandey, Shripad Nadkarni and Sharda Agarwal. Also spotted were actors Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu and Aditi Rao Hydari.

Google ki Mallika Actress Mallika Sherawat visited the Google office in the City to promote her new reality show on Life OK, ‘The Bachelorette India - Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika’. What better way to get closer to the Tube?

Green Conference


Conference was held by CII to help the Industry, Education Sector and Society to discuss the important issue of 'Green Growth: The Only Way Forward’. dataserv APAC, a leading global organisation in the field of redundant electrical and electronic equipment, partnered with CII for this Conference . The aim was to bring together important stakeholders like RWA’s, students and industries and apprise them of their responsibility to dispose waste from electrical and electronic equipment responsibly.

CAD Career


he students of ITM University who are hoping to make a career in the field of manufacturing design, got a unique opportunity to discuss their field of interest, as the University faculty was joined by German company Graebert representatives, at a unique Workshop. Graebert India’s representative, Dilip Damle, interacted with the students and spoke to them about ComputerAided Design (CAD) software and its evolution. Dilip was accompanied by ITM University’s senior CAD faculty, Ashwini Sharma. The Workshop also had a Q&A and Career Counselling session for the engineering students.

Legendary Sufi


Sufi Qawwali & Music Festival—‘The Legends of Sufi’—was held at Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen. Acclaimed Sabri Brothers belted out some soulful Sufi numbers, including the popular “Chhap Tilak Sab Cheeni Re’ and “Duma Dum Mast Kalandar”.

Junior Master Class


ullman Gurgaon Central Park played host to 3 star Michelin Chef, Roger Pizey’s Master Class for children (aged nine years and above), as part of the Creative Services Support Group (CSSG) initiative. Roger is one of the nine international chefs who has come to India to showcase his skills and talents through a series of fund raising events. The delighted children learned tips and the art of cooking from the Master Chef.

Earthy Art


rtist and Veteran Pottery Designer Anju Kumar unveiled her latest collection, Earthen Aura. This Festive Collection showcased art that is sculptural, architectural and functional. Her works were earthy – from muted, antique golds, oxidized silvers and majestic beiges to vibrant and electrifying burnt sienna.

06 Son Power vs Scion Power { Abhishek Behl / FG }


ven before the dust raised by the high profile exit of Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh from the Congress could settle, his arch rival in Congress as well as the Ahirwal region, Captain Ajay Yadav, the current Power Minister, has made a strong push for the party ticket to be given to his son and political heir, Chiranjiv Rao. Yadav, while inaugurating a Congress office in Badshahpur Village, amidst a large number of supporters, expressed strong hope that the Party high command would look into the claims of his son, who wished to fight the parliamentary polls on the Congress ticket from the Gurgaon parliamentary constituency. He however reiterated his own resolve to stick with the Rewari Assembly constituency. While Yadav claimed that the Party office had been opened to spread the message of the good work done by the Congress, political watchers term it an astute move for pushing for the candidature of his son in the ensuing parliamentary polls. Chiranjiv Rao, who is with the Youth Congress, stated that the Party General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi, has in the past given a chance to youth leaders, and he was therefore hopeful of getting the Party ticket. While speaking on the issues concerning the people of South Haryana, Captain Ajay Yadav asserted that a lot of development has been brought about by the current Congress government in the State as well as at the Centre. He referred to the setting up of a Defence University, a Sainik School, a university in Rewari and several other infrastructure projects that have changed/will change the shape of this Region. When asked about why he had changed his stance of earlier talking of discrimination towards South Haryana to now expounding the development in the area, Yadav said that the State government had agreed to their demands in the last couple of years - particularly with reference to the land acquisition bill. “We took up the matter with the Congress High Command, and it was the intervention of Rahul Gandhi that brought about

the required changes in the Bill,” claimed Chiranjiv Rao. He further said that new Party offices will also be opened in the Mewat region. Rao, who is 27 years old, was the youngest Party General Secretary of the Youth Congress, and is believed to have close equations with the the Party General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi. With the exit of Rao Inderjit, Congress hardly has any candidate who can challenge the might of the erstwhile Rewari scion who has formed the Haryana Insaaf Manch, a platform which his supporters claim is apolitical. It is likely that the Congress would like to field a strong candidate who has local credentials, and a strong base among the Yadavs. In fact the change in the tone and tenor of Captain Ajay Yadav, who in the past has had his own brushes with the Chief Minister, clearly points to an understanding between the two sides over the sharing of seats, to ensure that the Congress is not hit badly by Rao’s exit. The Chief Minister also knows that he faces a strong anti-incumbency factor, and a good performance by the Haryana Insaaf Manch could weaken his chances of retaining power. Fortunately, the conviction of Ch Om Prakash Chautala, in the JBT scam, has been a breather for the Congress. The Power Minister was however taken aback when questions were raised as to why locals were not being given any priority in employment by the industries being set up in Gurgaon. Yadav said that though there was no rule, the industrialists have been asked to employ youth from the surrounding areas. Another uncomfortable question was regarding the frequent transfers in the Power Department in Gurgaon subdivision. The absence of area MLA Rao Dharampal at the inauguration of the Congress office was also pointed out, to which the Minister said that the MLA had to rush for some urgent work. However, sources point out that since Dharampal considers Gurgaon as his turf, it is quite likely that the idea of an office being opened by an outsider is not palatable to the Badshahpur MLA. The Haryana Insaaf Manch, which has been created by Rao Inderjit Singh,

11-17 October 2013

also organized a Press Conference and accused the Hooda government of making false promises and doing nothing in South Haryana, particularly in Gurgaon. Citing information obtained from an RTI query, former Congress leader and now confidante of Rao, GL Sharma, alleged that while the CM had made around 1,200 announcements for setting up development projects in Rohtak, he had made only 66 such promises in South Haryana. “Out of these 66 also none has been actioned. The promises of a college in Badshahpur, a technical institute in Sultanpur and several others remain pipe dreams,” alleged G.L Sharma. Referring to a visit the Chief Minister had made two years ago to Badshahpur, Sharma said that the much promised Commerce college, on the lines of Shri Ram College in Delhi, is still ‘on paper’, despite the Education department having deposited its share of Rs. 17 crores. The Haryana Insaaf Manch also raised the issue

of the need for a Gurgaon Development Authority (GDA), which it said had been approved by the Congress State observer, BK Hariprasad, but has been put into cold storage as the CM does not want to do anything for Gurgaon. “When I was in the Party, four resolutions passed by the District Congress were sent to the State high command, but no action was taken. We have raised the matter in the public as well, but since no concern was shown by the Party, we were forced to set up a new platform,” Sharma asserted. The Haryana Insaaf Manch, he said, would fight for the approval of unauthorized colonies in the City and resolution of the Ammunition Depot issue (an area where lakhs of people are residing), and push for the development of the entire South Haryana. He also accused the government of sitting on a massive amount of money collected as EDC and IDC (development charges) from the City, while doing nothing on the infrastructure front. When asked about the future of Hary-

C ivic/S ocial

ana Insaaf Manch, which he described as apolitical, Sharma said that a decision would be taken in the near future. “We will choose the best way to unseat the current dispensation, and find ways to have a CM from this Region,” said Sharma. Political analysts point that the Manch has the strength to retain 3 to 4 assembly seats, while it can influence results in another 3 to 4 seats. It is expected that no party will get a clear majority in the coming polls, which might give a chance to Rao Inderjit to play the kingmaker. Sharma also took Haryana Power Minister Captain Ajay Yadav to task, for changing his stance regarding discrimination of the CM/ State towards South Haryana. “When Yadav came to a rally organised to felicitate the Gurgaon Mayor, he openly spoke about this discrimination – so why the change now,” alleged Sharma. The other members of the Haryana Insaaf Manch who were present in the meeting included Satish Yadav, Dharmbir Dagar and Balbir Manesar. u

Drug and Substance Abuse { Priyanka Bajaj } “Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect.” Adolescence is a time of rapid change. While significant development occurs during the teenage years , maturity is just taking shape; decision-making and future- oriented thinking are not fully developed; and even the neurological development is not complete until the early 20s. When teenagers are entering into adult roles, they may physically appear to be mature, but they are still not very well-equipped to deal with new tasks and challenges. The adolescents of today grow up in an environment that surrounds them with mixed messages about sex, drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, etc. On the one hand, parents and teachers warn them about dangers of early promiscuous sex, adolescent pregnancy, STDs/HIV/AIDS, drug use and alcohol abuse; and on the other hand, messages from, and the behaviour of, entertainers and sports figures and peer pressure seem to contradict those messages. At this ‘tender’ age, the attitudes and values of peers is crucial. Substance abuse means the use of illicit drugs. The onset of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use generally occurs during adolescence. Many teenagers experiment with these substances and then use them to the point where their behaviour starts interfering with their school, family and social relationships. A few substances of abuse, which are commonly used, are: Stimulants (Tobacco, Cocaine , Nicotine), Depressants (Alcohol, Barbiturates), Narcotics (Heroin, Opium, Morphine derivatives), and Other compounds (like Steroids and Inhalants). Is the cigarette in or out of fashion with today’s generation? Unfortunately they still do not fully understand the harmful effects: of a diminished sense of smell and taste, smoker’s cough, gastric ulcers, chronic bronchitis , increase in heart rate and blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke – and cancer of the mouth, lungs, pancreas , cervix, uterus and bladder.... Why then does substance abuse still continue? Is it as simple as easy availability? Or do teens see some ‘benefit’? Or is it a lack of knowledge of the consequences, or personality factors like low self-esteem and depression? “Honour isn’t about making the right choices; it’s about dealing with the consequences” (School Psychologist) Manav Rachna International School – 46 Gurgaon

11-17 October 2013

 Contd from p 1 quality food; some of them because of low income, and most others because of lack of time. "Cooking gas is available mainly in 'black', and people also lack the time and space to cook, so we decided to find a solution for this issue," says Agarwal. The idea of Janta Meals was born when Jesse Van De Zand, the India representative of Envui, a Dutch NGO, approached Agarwal with some social projects. Janta Meals today has two centres - one in Sikanderpur and another that has opened recently near

Sheetla Mata Mandir (in 'old' Gurgaon). The location of the centres has been chosen so as to tap the low income groups who do not have access to good quality food at the 'right' price, says Jesse, a Dutch national. Agarwal says that, with this initiative, they aim to also empower women, who are part of the kitchen staff. "We have trained around 12 women to cook food in a large kitchen. They are now able to interact with customers, handle the kitchen and earn a good salary," he adds. Most of the ladies have never worked outside their homes, but the training has indeed helped in making them more confident and skilful. Champa, who has been working with Janta Meals, says that the training has helped them in becoming more efficient and productive. Many of the youth living in Sikanderpur, who are working in call centres and nearby offices, and also include auto drivers and rickshaw pullers,

have become regular customers. For Rs. 20 to Rs. 60 they can have their fill - depending on their budget and mood. Jesse says that they experimented in Sikanderpur to right-size the kitchen, staff, processes and supplies - which are procured from reliable vendors. "The role of local partner Prabhat has been crucial, as he has been instrumental in tying up things and recruiting at the local level," says Jesse. The kitchen space at Janta Meals in Sikanderpur allows 15 people to work seamlessly, is equipped with large doughmaking machines for making chapatis, has steel counters,

a washing area and a serving station - giving it the look of a common man's restaurant. Agarwal says that Janta Meals plans to open 20 such food centres across Gurgaon, to help make a major impact. "We are an impact-driven social venture, wherein we wish to make an impact on society, and then look at how to break even (which would be at perhaps 15,000 meals a day). Fortunately we have a good investor who wants to help the society as well as help this Project scale up," he says.

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The workers at Janta Meal Centre are all residents of Sikanderpur, and migrants. Earlier they used to work as domestic helps, and were not treated well; working here has transformed them. They work 42 hours a week and are able to spend quality time with their families. Champa, who has a constant smile, and is courteous to a fault, says that it is now easier for her to reach home as it close by, and the quality of life of the family has improved. Working in a team has also improved their productivity, as they are able to share tips and learn new skills. Jesse says that the kitchen has no hierarchy - all the ladies are required to perform all jobs. "Everyone has to cut vegetables, cook food, make chapatis, clean the space and wash the dishes," he informs. This 'restaurant

for the common man' also has a trained chef, who earlier worked at Ashoka hotels, and is paid well. His role is to train the women to cook in a large establishment, where hundreds of meals could be served in a day. Handling customers is also a challenge, as they come from different strata of society – including shopkeepers and construction workers. Apeksha, who works with the NGO and interacts with customers as part of a survey, says that the customers are very happy with the fresh food and the size of portions served. The NGO says that instead of having a centralised kitchen they will cook food at every centre - ensuring fresh and good quality food at all locations and for all customers. Sarvesh, a fashion designer who lives in a rented room in Sikanderpur, is a typical customer. He says that the quality of food is good and prices are very

reasonable; but, like most Indians, he dislikes the idea of self-service. "However, Janta Meal is a great option, as we have no energy left after a tiring day at work, to cook food," he adds. When asked about the

challenges that are being faced by the Company as a startup, Agarwal says that the major issue is of ensuring quality food supplies. The constant rise in prices of raw material and fuel also puts pressure on the goal of providing quality food at a very reasonable prices. Jesse adds that the kitchen was a mess at the beginning and the operation was quite hectic. However, after some time the staff picked up the workflow and the Centre is working more or less smoothly now. Agarwal says that they will constantly invest resources into streamlining the operations, adding better equipment and improving the packaging, while ensuring that the food prices remain within the reach of a common man working in Gurgaon. The goal is to ensure that people don't have to fret about food in a City where they have come to realise their dreams.u




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08 A Healthy Pre-Nup

11-17 October 2013

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A Natural Transformation

 Contd from p 1 before marriage, especially with sex workers or partners with a history of druginjection, will have a significant bearing on this. Peripheral blood test (or DPL data): It includes Haemoglobin (Hb), Hematocrit, Leucocytes, Platelets, Erythrocyte Morphology examination and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) count. This check is good for both brides and grooms. DPL data is important, as sometimes low Hb levels can lead to Thalassemia. A person can be either of the following three: Normal, Thalassemia Minor and Thalassemia Major. Thalassemia Major means a serious blood disorder - a person with this condition has insufficient Haemoglobin, which is the critical oxygen-carrying component of blood. As the disease can be transmitted to the child, it is one of the most crucial pre-marital tests, after HIV. A mother with low Haemoglobin would impact even the health of the foetus during pregnancy. Blood Group test: The blood group and rhesus check are also important in order to predict the possibility of the children’s blood group and rhesus from the marriage. Besides, tests like Toxoplasma, Rubella virus, Cytomegalo virus and Herpes virus should be conducted, as these diseases can cause miscarriage, abnormalities in the foetus and premature births. An impotency test for men and infertility test for women are also essential. How far can we go? Although pre-marital medical check-ups are the need of the hour, they can be misused - like any other human invention. Riya (name changed), a diabetic patient, recounts her experience. “In an arranged marriage situation, pre-marital check-ups can easily be misused. My in-laws asked for more dowry when they came to know that I am diabetic. I think pre-marital medical tests should be limited to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases,” she feels. Dr. Jaypradha agrees that the issue is complex. Narrating an experience, she says, “A boy and girl had decided to marry. After a few days of engagement, the boy met with an accident. He had to undergo blood transfusion and ended up as HIV positive. The boy told the girl about it, but she still decided to marry him.” The scenario is not similar for girls though. There have been many cases wherein girls have been rejected for having even minor and harmless ailments. “Whatever it is, impotence and infertility must be revealed because it is a question of integrity. Renal transplant or diabetes must be detected. Marriage is a life-long bond after all,” feels Dr. Jaypradha. Dr. Geetanjali, Marriage and Relationship Counsellor, says, “There have been several instances when the couple has decided not to proceed with the alliance if any one of the partners was found to be affected with even a minor disease - especially in case of arranged marriages. When a couple comes to us, we provide them pre-marital counselling. We tell them about the benefits of pre-marital medical check-ups. If the disease is curable, we counsel them on how to help their partner fight the disease.” Some 40 years ago, Panditjis used to match the horoscopes of prospective brides and grooms to evaluate their astrological compatibility. Parents used to speak to friends and relatives of the groom and bride respectively. At that time, the trend was to investigate about the bride’s and groom’s workplace and his/her habits. A suitable match had to meet a 'behaviour bar'. Today, the youth have been ushered into an era of personal choice. They define suitability in terms of behavioural and mental compatibility. Yet, marriages are failing and divorce rates are climbing. Many times health issues are responsible for this. Pre-marital check-ups can therefore be a sensible thing to do before tying the knot. It may also clear a lot of misconceptions. Moreover it is good to lay down the foundation of a relationship with honesty. “When you plan to live with a person, why don’t you make it a point to insist on him/her to keep fit? Premarital medical checkups are in fact a way of showing care,” feels Dr. Geetanjali.u

 Contd from p 1 do something that would help change the lives of the people in cities as well as villages. In Gurgaon, urban and rural areas almost co-exist. That is what encouraged me to take up this 'Exchange Project' in the City. I also believe that education should empower the learner by developing his/her critical and practical awareness. I work in schools to inculcate life skills among the children. A rural-urban exchange programme is a great way to do that,” she says. Under the Programme, ELNA, along with Action Centre for Transformation (ACT), has tied-up with The Banyan Tree School and the Government School in Bandhwadi. The objective is to make the students of both the schools visit each other and organise seminars and workshops, so that they can learn from each other. The Programme is also expected to help develop their life skills and hone the children’s attitudes and value systems, by imparting a clear understanding of the deep-rooted concepts that are taught in class. Surekha puts forth an example. “Recently, when we took urban children to Bandhwadi village, we were stuck on the way due to the rains; we were stuck for more than an hour, as it was raining heavily. When rain the stopped, the students noticed that there was no water logging in the Village. They were surprised to see an open, yet effective, drainage system. We were surprised to see that how soon the urban children picked up the positives of village life. This visit helped them to know about drainage and water harvesting systems,” she smiles. “Many urban children don’t know much about agriculture and the environment – they only read about them in books. Similarly, some issues like gender sensitisation and the use of technology are very important for rural students. Through ELNA, we will also help to reduce any inferiority complex among the rural children or superiority complex among the urban lot,” says the Principal of The Banyan Tree World School, Indu Mehrotra. The School has also decided to contribute towards the re-development of the community resource centre at Bandhwadi, by providing learning aids, furniture and books for the library set up by ACT in the Village. Many believe that such an exchange can lead to improved self-development and awareness among children - by interacting with students from a completely different section of society. Besides, students can thus develop independent opinions and make their own informed decisions.

For example, Shamit, Class 7th student of The Banyan World School, says, “It was my first visit to a village. I was shocked to see that there was an acute shortage of electricity, which we consider basic. However, it was heartening to see that they seemed satisfied even when living with limited resources.” Rural students will soon visit The Banyan Tree World School and partake a Workshop on Up-cycling and its importance. Kusum, a mother of two children from Bandhwadi Village, informs, “ACT has helped us attain regular employment through the Up-cycling of newspapers. Our children can definitely teach urban kids about Upcycling.” Unlike Re-cycling, no electricity or any other form of energy is used in Upcycling. Interestingly, village women, with the help of ACT, are making 'diyas', coffee tables and jewellery, with newspapers! Urban children, on the other hand, can help spread awareness about the more active role of women in today's society. “Women are a large part of the transformation, whether as urban workers or participants in rural administration. A dramatic change in their

traditional roles is taking place, both in rural as well as urban areas. Through ELNA, we also want to teach children how women are contributing to families and society, and the need to respect them, as part a developed society,” feels Nilanjana, Founder ACT. Future plans Surekha plans to involve many schools, so that this rural-urban exchange can help a large section of the society. “I plan to conduct an Inter-school teachers' conclave and an inter-school drama competition in this area. We will not just involve rural and urban children, but also present success stories and spread awareness about the exchange programme,” informs Surekha. Thanks to better communications, closer links between the rural and urban areas will help shape the course of our social and economic development. The exchanges influence behaviour and values on both sides, and tend to blur the distinctions – or any divide - between them.u

11-17 October 2013

{ Anita Jaswal }


ndira Mohan possesses the polish and sobriety of the Indian educated upper class and conducts herself with restraint and poise. She is a poetess, a social worker and a spiritualist. She is a charming Indian beauty with a subtle touch of sophistication and elegance. She is a gracious host and a 24x7 hands-on mother. She feels that the people we admire the most are those who act with honesty and decorum during tough times. “So when you feel the odds are stacked against you, tap into your inner dignity – people will respect you for it, and you’ll boost your self-esteem, too!” she says. “Dharti Rahti Nahin Udaas”, recently published, is her fourth book on poetry. She uses nature in her poetry to make us think about life; she sees life reflected in nature. She not only tries to show  us what she sees, she also tries to make us understand how she feels.  “Every human being is a part of nature, even if we live all our lives in a huge city.  Everyone who sits under a tree in the summer, smells the flowers in a field, climbs a snowy mountain or walks through a grassy park is affected by nature in some way.  There is more meaning in nature than just the plants and animals around us,” she says. Her first foray into poetry began when she was barely 12 years old; she became a serious poet years after her marriage. "I must confess to having had a pencil

The Law & Beyond Air Travel { Vidya Raja }


n 1992, India opened up its skies to private carriers, with the ‘Open Sky to All’ policy. With a potential of over a billion customers, in one of the fastest growing air passenger markets, air traffic and travel in India has truly taken off. As with any industry that is still maturing, this industry too has multiple issues, relating to: denial of boarding despite holding a confirmed ticket, delays, reschedulings, cancellation of flights without due intimation, refunds, misguidance by travel agents, failure of airlines to provide lodging and medical facilities, loss of baggage, deficiency in inflight food service, deficiency in handling visas and passport documents, poor facilities at airports and unfair trade practices by airlines/agents. Passeng ers/consumers are being exploited, with many of them lacking an awareness of their rights. Sukriti Chauhan, a trained lawyer, is an extensive traveller who has faced numerous unpleasant incidents. From being subjected to racial slur aboard a United Airlines flight, to having to suffer an eleven hour journey being seated in a faulty seat, Ms. Chauhan believes that she has the

A Poetic Life

Indira Mohan is the 'Mahamantri' of the Hindi Sahitya Samellan and the 'Nyasi' of Hindi Bhawan. For the past 25 years she has been associated with Mahila Karyakram and Sahityik Vaarta, on All India Radio. She is also the Editor of Sewa Samarpan, a magazine associated with her NGO, Sewa Bharti, which works for the empowerment of people in jhuggis. worst ‘flight karma’. “I have always ensured that I write to these airlines, stating the ordeal that I went through, and ensure that I mark a copy to all the senior level employees. If you are right and have been put through such suffering, after having paid a hefty sum as the ticket cost, you shouldn’t let them off lightly,” she says. So where does one go and how does one complain about the poor or bad service that airlines seem to increasingly indulge in? In the case of Air Canada v. S.K. Malhotra and Others, for example, a couple who were to board the flight on a particular date were not informed about a rescheduling that had taken place. With no accommodation provided by the airline, the couple found themselves stranded. Upon their return they filed a case in the District Consumer Forum and were awarded compensation to the tune of Rs. 1,00,000/-, and an additional sum of Rs.10,000/- to cover the cost of litigation. Amit Kumar Srivastav, of Rights Based Approach Society,

and paper always so near at hand that a flying thought could be caught instantaneously. In my room there is a chair for myself and another for my muse. When we read and write poetry, it is as if a long-settled cloud in our mind suddenly dissipates, and we are divine once again. Poetry is the language of devotion in prayer, chant and song. Reading and writing poetry creates clarity, deepens and expands spiritual enquiry and cultivates wisdom, compassion, self-confidence, patience and love,” says Indira passionately. Close to her heart are her family and spirituality. Living with her sons and their families, she says, “I come from an era when there was a common thread of family values – of the family being most important and of unconditional love for one's children. The lessons I have learnt, the feelings of groundedness and belonging that have been woven into my character, are difficult to break. It's important for us to pass on the traditional family values – to family members, to children and to friends. By practising these values and passing them on to others, we are arming future generations with the God-given tools necessary to building a better future. A family is like the branches on a tree; the lives of different members may says, “We look at an average of 15 cases every month, against airlines. Most of these cases arise due to loss of baggage. The paltry sum that the airlines offer is often challenged by our organisation.” When asked how much a consumer must be willing to spend to get justice, he says, “It depends on what is being claimed as damages. One should be ready to spend a minimum of Rs. 5,000/-. These cases can take upto two years to get resolved. Some cases are also resolved out of court.” Speaking of some of the successes that Rights Based Approach Society has had, he says, “We secured an order for a consumer who was subjected to a loss of his baggage by the national carrier, Indian Airlines. Despite several letters, follow ups and visits to their office, there was no result. The South-West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum awarded the consumer a sum of Rs. 75,000/- for the loss of baggage and cost of litigation.” Service provided by an airline comes within the definition of ‘service’ as defined under Section 2(1) (o) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. A consumer may approach a consumer forum and file a case to seek redressal of grievance against an airline. A consumer need not engage the services of an advocate to file a case in the Consumer Forum. There are also no strict legal formalities to be followed. Since the aviation industry does not yet have an Ombudsman to hear

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grow in different directions but their roots will stay as one. Family values make you who you are!” You have also to learn to let go. “Some people believe that holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go…and then do it. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as a sea…or an ocean. Just holding on to something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better tomorrow.”  She says that making poetry an essential part of daily rituals, aspirations and intentions will put you on the path to greater meaning, growth and peace in your life. Her unique style of expressing the intricacies of life sometimes bring forth a smile, or exhorts and enlightens. Her poetry mirrors the realities of our lives. u A sample:

Dharti Rahti Nahin Udaas Jahan Tahan Ug Aayi Ghaas Dharti Rahti Nahin Udaas Sookhe Patton Ke Neeche Kusum Salone Khil Jaate Bheege Bheege Jharnon Se Pat-thar Tak Bhi Hil Jaate Kan Kan Mein Umge Vishwas Dharti Rahti Nahin Udaas

grievances, all cases are filed in the Consumer Forum alone. In scenarios where alternate redressal mechanisms exist, the Consumer Forum must be approached as the last option. A senior airline official with over three decades of experience, who wishes to remain unnamed, says, “Around 50% of the claims are ‘unrealistic’. The airline industry is subject to so many vagaries – political, nature (flood, rain, fog), co-operation of various other service providers (catering, ground handling) - which a consumer does not appreciate. It is easy to put all the blame on the airline. It is important to confirm whether there has actually been negligence on the part of the airline, or the slippage in service was due to reasons that were beyond their (airline’s) control. Every well-meaning airline wants to ensure that they retain their customers, and hence if the complaint is bonafide, then due weightage is given to the complaint and adequate compensation is awarded. Of course there is at times a gap between what a customer expects as compensation and what is paid out.” One can only hope that the current issues that the industry and the consumers face is the result of the fast-paced growth and fledgling nature of the sector (though competition has at times been fierce), and things shall become better as the aviation industry and air travel matures in India.u The writer is a qualified legal professional who has practiced before the Madras and Karnataka High Courts

10 { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at


espite Gurgaon emerging as a Dengue ‘hotspot’ in the State, little is being done by the Administration to battle this menace, even as there has been a steady rise in the numbers afflicted - which is expected to continue till Diwali. While the health officials sitting in Chandigarh maintain that they have strengthened their efforts to check the spread of Dengue, the ground situation tells an altogether different story. In Gurgaon, almost 200 ‘Dengue positive’ cases have been reported, and the worst affected are urban villages like Wazirabad, where the municipal failure is quite visible. The Village is surrounded by posh residential condominiums and HUDA sectors, but the civic conditions inside the Village are deplorable. Wazirabad is one of the largest villages, and residents allege that lack of sanitation is mainly responsible for the increasing number of Dengue and other diseases. There are about 12,000 original inhabitants; but along with tenants (migrant workers), the population is almost one lakh. Naresh Wazirabad, a social activist, alleges, “There is a huge amount of sewage and waste generated and then not taken care of.” Just outside the Village, on the Ardee City side, there is a huge tract of land that has turned into an open sewage pit; garbage is dumped here not only by the villagers but even by the people who collect waste from the nearby apartments. Pigs can be seen playing outside, and even inside, the village, in pools of dirty water that have been formed on the sides of the ‘roads’. Phoolwati, a local, says that she does not know when the municipal authorities last carried out a de-fogging operation in the Village. “We know the MCG has taken over the Village, but where is the promised action on cleanliness, sanitation and health?” she wants to know. Villagers in fact allege that there are no ‘common

It is also being feared that poor sanitary conditions could lead to the spread of HFMD (Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease), which is a viral infection that causes high fever in children aged below 10 years. There has been a minor outbreak of HFMD in neighbouring Delhi, and if effective measures are not taken, then ‘urbanized’ villages of Gurgaon could also suffer, warn medicos.

11-17 October 2013

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Our Return Gift To Villagers

prakhar PANDEY

areas’, as these have been taken over by MCG, and the Village Panchayat, which was earlier empowered to take action for the welfare of the residents, is redundant. Pointing to the poor sanitation facilities, villagers allege that while around 30 workers have supposedly been appointed by the MCG to clean the surroundings, the results are minimal. Phoolwati says that no official from the local health department or MCG has visited the area to take stock of the situation. “The number of Dengue victims is increasing in the Village and people are suffering. Many of the migrants are daily wage earners and they can’t spend much on health,” she adds. While the villagers are angry with the authorities, a local also admits that a number of times the people themselves are also responsible for throwing garbage just anywhere and maintaining unhygienic habits. Phoolwati says that there was a time when women in the Village would go to the outskirts to throw the garbage, but there has been a change in ‘lifestyles’. “People now put the waste in polythene bags and throw the same in the drains, which chokes them,” she asserts. Health officials in Gurgaon say that they have formed teams to spread awareness about the spread of Dengue. The Department is also working with RWAs to take up fogging and other measures. However, villages like Wazirabad are obviously not on the municipal checklist, allege residents. As per the latest data, a number of houses checked by the Malaria department in Ashok Vihar, Khandsa, Sheetla Colony, Shivaji Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Sikanderpur, Mollaheda, Dundahera and Carterpuri were found to be infested with mosquito larvae. While villagers were initially happy to have come under the jurisdiction of MCG, they are now ruing this change. Todar, who was born in the Village, says that prior to ‘urbanisation,’ the Village was very clean and water from the nearby hills used to flow down to it. This water was stored in a pond and it also helped raise the water table; now the residents have to depend on the government supply, which is minimal. The water supply lines in the Village are also broken at many places, allege locals, as a result of which the sewage flow is mixing with,

and contaminating, the potable water. Rajbala, a villager, says that drains are rarely cleaned by the municipal staff, as a result of which water remains stagnant in the entire Village. Naresh says, “We have lost our land, our common rights and control over our destiny. What we have got in return is Dengue and disease, and many civic problems,” he alleges. The villagers are also angry that a promised 50 bed Primary Health Centre has been reduced in size, while the ‘excess’ land (that was acquired) has not been returned. “We are also fighting with the government for setting up a playground in the Village, as there is a large population of youth here. The government, instead of trying to force the setting up of a crema-

torium adjacent to the Village, should set up a stadium, which has been our long pending demand,” he adds. Wazirabad residents had staged a protest and forced HUDA officials to stop the demarcation of land for a proposed all- religion crematorium, which they say was never a part of the original plan. Yadav says that the government has always shortchanged the villagers. The results of the Health department survey make it clear that if effective measures are not taken soon, all the other ‘urban’ villages in Gurgaon, which have become concretized slums in the absence of adequate civic facilities, could be the next ‘hotspots’ for the Dengue outbreak – which could reach epidemic proportions next year. u

Re-discovering Toilets { O.P Ratra }


rovision of toilets in rural and semi-urban areas, where this essential facility does not exist,is a social and cultural necessity. It has always been the responsibility of local self govt. departments,along with the Panchayats in various States, to look after sanitation, by creating awareness among the population at large and providing appropriately designed toilets - low-cost or otherwise. Funds/grants are made available from the Centre (for instance, the Ministry of Urban Development and CPHEEO), or even have been drawn from international agencies like UNDP. The decade 1980-1990 was extensively devoted for the cause of Sanitation, all over the world - including India. Various states in the country were geared up to provide for appropriately designed toilets and to upgrade the existing damaged ones, under the title “Low cost sanitation/Toilets.” Funds/ grants were made available from both the Centre and international agencies. Even low-cost squatting pans, along with septic tanks and low-cost latrines, were designed by the UNDP Project, to deliver low-cost sanitation. The Programme proved quite effective (the author was associated with the technical aspects of this Programme at that time). However, the maintenance and sustainability of latrines, where the local supply of water is a scarcity, and/or where the sewage system is not laid out, proves to be very ineffective. The purpose is not served and the toilets get damaged and forgotten. Defecation in the open fields and along railway tracks, as well as outside public toilets (both in semi-urban and rural areas) has become a traditional ‘culture’, and exposes the lack of hygiene and sanitation in the country. Even if toilets are provided in these areas, there is frequently no water supply, and thus no maintenance. Not surprisingly, in public buildings, it is seen quite often that the fittings are found missing/pilfered, and toilets are in a very unhygienic condition or ‘out of operation’. Despite all this, many local authorities as well as private organisations like Sulabh Shauchalaya have made commendable efforts to promote sanitation. Finally, charity begins at home...a hygienic local toilet user culture is most important. u

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11-17 October 2013

Can We Power The Ricks?


Consent & Control { Ankur Mithal }


{ Shilpy Arora/FG }


ith three wheels, two big arms, solar power and an easy pedal, it truly looks like the chariot of the Sun God. These solar-powered Rickshaws are likely to hit the City soon. The brainchild of an IIM-Ahmedabad graduate, Irfan, these Rickshaws are based on the model of solar-powered chariots that were introduced by the Kunwar of Mewar some 10 years ago. “We are concerned about the climatic changes that are taking place, particularly in the City, where we have less rain as compared to the Capital. Besides a clean environment, we would like people to enjoy a nice, slow ride in the City. This Rickshaw can also play a key role in ‘greening’ our noise and fume-ridden City. The aim is to bring about a renaissance of this eco-friendly set of wheels,” Irfan says. These new-age Rickshaws are run with the help of a dual-powered cycle and a solar-charged battery. The Rickshaws would generally ply routes near a solar battery charging station, which is expected to be set up in the Sadar Bazaar area. The charging stations will have solar panels that will convert sunlight into electricity. With a one-time charge, the Solar Rickshaw will be capable of covering a minimum of 50km, at a speed of 15 kilometres per hour. A resident of Sector 45, who prefers cycle-rickshaw over other means of transport, says, “Rickshaws should be seen as a part of the solution for the modern traffic woes and pollution. They have never been a problem; the problem is that we don’t have designated tracks and areas for them. In a city like Gurgaon, where personal vehicles are more in use than public transport, it is today actually unsafe for the Rickshaw pullers to move around”. The objective is not just to introduce an environment-friendly means of transportation, but also to provide a simple employment option. Generally, cycle-rickshaw pulling is a tedious job and involves a lot of labour. There is a need to make this easier for the poor rickshaw pullers. Bajranj, 46, who has been running cycle-rickshaws for the last six years, had an opportunity to participate in the trial of the solar-powered Rickshaws. When asked about his experience, he says, “Pedalling a ‘normal’ Rickshaw was difficult for me; I suffer from muscle tear and shortage of breath. But riding this Rickshaw is pretty easy. I think the introduction of such rickshaws will not only make our lives easier, it will help us gain some respect.” Asif, another Rickshaw puller, feels the same and says, “The new model offers us parity with auto-rickshaw drivers.” To launch the Project, the authorities have tied-up with an NGO, Uthaan. “As of now, Rickshaws are an organised transport in the City. Anybody can start riding them. We are not only focusing on solar power, but also on making the Rickshaws safer for the rider and the commuters. With this Project we will tie-up with RWAs and introduce fixed fares, so that the service can be monitored,” says a volunteer of Uthaan. Despite all the publicity, the solar-powered Rickshaws have not been able to succeed in Delhi. The reason is the lack of charging stations. For more than 4,000 Solar Rickshaws, there are just three stations in Delhi. Moreover, all the stations are based in South Delhi. That is why the Project, which started during the Commonwealth Games, has not expanded. Another concern is that the batteries take about five hours to be charged fully. Undoubtedly, these Rickshaws would provide a more relaxing and ecofriendly way to enjoy a short ride in the City. However, we need to ensure we do not repeat the experience of the Capital.u

am deeply saddened”, began the Minister for IT and Telecom, “by the aspersions that have been cast on the capability and intentions of this government, by honourable members of the Opposition.” “Are you saying that our country has not been the target of a secret surveillance programme carried out by NSA (National Security Agency) of the US?”, a firebrand young member of the Opposition queried, before the Minister could start the next sentence. The Minister took a sip of water from a glass placed on his table. He calmly said “No, not at all.” A murmur of excitement buzzed through the room at this almost insolent declaration, and died down. The Minister continued, addressing the Lower House of Parliament, “The media will say anything. You cannot believe everything the media says.” It was a ‘truism’. All members of Parliament ‘knew’ that. The Minister continued, “Firstly, let me tell you that the US government has kept us fully in the loop, as is expected from trusted friends and allies. They have even told us that their monitoring has only involved looking at patterns and trends for checking aberrations. This is why we have given them unfettered access, allowing them to tap into computer networks of our telephony and technology companies. But we have limited their access to phone-calls, emails, video-sharing, Voice-Over-IPs, chats and social networking - as no other medium currently exists for communication”. Triumphantly signing off, he said, “I can assure you that if a new medium were to come into use for any sort of communication in the future, we will limit their access even further to include that medium as well!” There was applause for the Minister, for his Ministry taking the security of the country so seriously that they had even considered future events. The Minister decided to carry on. “Hence, whoever has told you that it is a secret programme has obviously misled you. I suggest you check your sources of information before you question the government on such sensitive matters. Do you think we would let the security of the country and its citizens be compromised without any knowledge? Of course not. The security of the country and its citizens can be compromised only with our full knowledge and consent!” There was an audible sigh of relief even from the opposition benches. Nobody wanted nasty surprises. It was comforting to know that the government was following laid-down principles of governance. The Minister was not done. Addressing the opposition he roared, “And I heard the word ‘surveillance’ being used in your statements, is that correct?” The Opposition was on the run. They were scared of looking him in the eye. They had dared to insinuate that it was a secret programme and the Minister had provided an adequate explanation. What else did he have up his sleeve now? “Breach of any Indian law pertaining to the privacy of Indian citizens by surveillance is unacceptable. It would be a matter of concern for our government if intrusive data capture has been deployed against Indian citizens or government infrastructure. Don’t use that word lightly, I advise you. It has serious and sinister connotations. NSA is not carrying out surveillance. I repeat, they are not carrying out any surveillance,” the Minister concluded. The Opposition members were just not sure of anything any more. They meekly waited for the next sentence from the Minister. “The NSA is only doing some snooping and spying”, the Minister thundered, protected by the armour of righteousness that he had snatched from the Opposition members. There was now disarray in the Opposition ranks. Everyone was looking at everyone else, as if accusingly saying, “you put me up to this embarrassment, didn’t you?” “The government is convinced that it has not compromised the security of the country and privacy of its citizens”, the Minister continued, in a somewhat conciliatory tone, now that he had been able to ‘convince’ the Opposition. “Private calls made by citizens are safe. The Americans are only studying data pertaining to India’s domestic politics, military plans and strategic and economic interests - including its nuclear and space programs.” At this, the Opposition members got up and applauded whole-heartedly. The Minister had looked into each and every detail of the operation. Their private lives were, once again, clean and beyond reproach.u


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S pecial

11-17 October 2013 7-13 September 2012


Best of Editorial Year II

Just When Will We Get It ?

here should be one simple way to work out our relationship with Pakistanis. What do we think Pakistanis would have done if the roles were reversed? What if India or India based/Indian RAW sponsored groups had carried out an attack like 26/11, or Kargil, or a Parliament attack, or bombings across Pakistan - for years and decades? And what if we also collaborated with the other neighbours to incite protest/violence/terrorism against Pakistan – 24x7. Further, whenever an attack took place in Pakistan, our Ministry would glibly assure all possible help, then quietly ask for proof – and in the process wash its hands clean of the mess. Meanwhile we, the Indian citizens and media, would keep making the right noises about our own problems at home, and never speak out against our govt’s/army's acts. Would the Pakistan State and army, and the people, have taken all this lying down? Would the Pakistani entertainment industry have said that they are not really impacted, that it is all a govts/armies issue; and then gone out of its way to call our artists – to star in their own movies, and to also sing and dance? Looked at another way, would Russia allow any CIS country to do to them what Pakistan has done to India? Would China allow a Taiwan to do so? Or the US a Mexico? Maybe the simple fact is that we really cannot do the same to Pak. We have little local help there. Yes, that is an inconvenient truth. Though we surely have other means. And why is this mainly happening in the Entertainment industry? Is it all for commercial reasons? And then, commerce for whom? What are the non-commercial reasons? Why Pakistanis of all people? Why not Nepalese, Bhutanese, Bangladeshis, or Sri Lankans? Is there something else at work here, other than good neighbourliness with our enemy? Forget the fact that there is no reciprocity – not that many this side are itching to go to a failed State. It is so convenient for our entertainers to say (act) that they do not really understand politics, and that it is the govts and armies that are playing spoilsport, and wanting war – ‘we, the ordinary people, only want peace; we want people to people contact – we love Pakistanis’. What a farcical statement, and what a slap on the face on our State and armed forces, and on the countless citizens killed by the machinations of that one State. Of course, when they face trouble, the same people suddenly want the State’s/Army’s protection. A Kargil (after it finishes) makes us feel ‘macho’ for a while, and makes us see the point – but only for a short while. Then commerce – or whatever – takes over. Let us remember that it is people who collectively make a nation; and the collection of people called Pakistan has attacked India – time after time. If Pakistan is also impacted, why does it not crack down on terrorists? Simple, because they have given birth to them, to fight India. The crocodile tears (and actually even they are not offered) by the Pakistan State have no meaning – the Army/ISI rules, and they are running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. The Americans learnt a little late – but took down Osama; we are yet to learn. If the roles had been reversed, we would have hunted down the perpetrators in India, and handed them over to Pakistan on a platter – to score brownie points in the next NAM Summit. Where would you find in a country that has been attacked multiple times by another – directly by armed forces, and then with ‘jehadis’ - and where there are still open and raw wounds, an 'enlightened' civil society that wishes to go out of its way to invite, fete and promote that same attacker's citizens? We are now even willing to let the Pakistanis question the Indian witnesses on 26/11, and thus allow some ridiculous international PR exercise and nit-picking to those who perpetrated this terror. It's almost 4 years, and no closure in sight. The Pakistanis must be laughing all the way to the bank – and then bank-rolling the next ‘jehad’ against us, the sworn enemy. The soft folk are paraded in front of us, while the Army and the ISI play their hard game behind closed doors. We are the big looking boys who are too scared to fight – the sheep in wolfs’ clothing. The $ 2 trillion economy of a billion plus people that is all talk and no action. Being a nice man or country, at the cost of being taken for granted, bullied, and shot at, is not good diplomacy, or even good Gandhism. It’s time we stopped patting ourselves on the back for ‘restraint’. It now smells of cowardice. The tragedy with the govt is that while its earlier action/current inaction on many fronts is causing extreme frustration and anger, its side-step or look-away from security matters is dangerous. Security decisions are not taken for gaining popularity, but for securing the nation at any cost. Bush was ridiculed by his ‘civil society’ for taking extreme security measures, but he protected his country and citizens (including those same civil society folk) from terrorism. There has been no repeat of a 9/11, or anything close. What seems to also be the Pak plan is to recruit a few Indian Muslims for spreading terror, to cause the entire community to be viewed in a bad light – to try and drive a wedge. It is time Pakistan realized that the Indian Muslim has seen who and what has failed; and more importantly, that the Indian Muslim is a very integral and equal part of India. Thank God for the tall and upright leaders of the freedom movement, some of whom we decry and criticize so easily; thanks specially to Nehru, who set India on the right secular path post Independence. Nobody says go to war with Pakistan on this. But do not be forced to make peace. Do not get so taken up with the virtue of restraint, so as to see it as the (only) end and not a means; and to therefore become so predictable that our enemies know they can get away with murder – as they already have, multiple times. We cannot get lulled to sleep or euphoria by some artists and singers and songs trying to portray to us the ‘true’ image and feelings of Pakistanis. They will, as before, at the next big bang, turn and look away. And wait for us to get ‘normal’ again. Just when will we get it? If we continue like this, we will only have aasha, no aman.u

24-30 August 2012

It’s Bangladesh, Not Kashmir


t is laughable that we even consider ourselves worthy of a higher status in the comity of nations. We cannot even take care of our small neighbourhood. We anyway have had 2 hostile neighbours in Pakistan and China, for decades. We botched up in Sri Lanka, and finally just watched a civil war explode. Within a decade we lost all the goodwill from Bangladesh. We even made our best ally, Nepal, antagonistic to us ! And now we are doing it within the country too. We have opened up another front, after Kashmir – and this time in the East. We are playing into the hands of Pakistan (and China). We are driving the North Eastern folk away. After years of insurgency, we had some calm – and now this storm. It is we who have allowed Bangladeshis to flood Assam - and now Gurgaon too, mind you. We also seem to reserve more bias and contempt for our NE countrymen, than for illegal immigrants. And does blaming Pakistan wash away the sins of some of our countrymen who have been accomplices? Are we saying that morphed SMSs (that too of citizens of another country) can make our countrymen kill each other? Whoever is behind this should be tried for treason – high treason. Yes, the Pakistan govt. also needs to be nailed to its lies – or its helplessness. They know that the ISI and its rogues are forever plotting something against India – while we constantly hand out olive branches. We also are overly and wrongly hung up on Kashmir as the core issue. Post 1971 it has never been about Kashmir – it is about Bangladesh. It is about being unable to forget a defeat – a surrender. The Pakistani core, that has plotted and managed – and does so every day – all the terrorist attacks against India, has only one objective. They live, and work, to see a ‘Bangladesh’ split away from India; Kashmir is only one option. (Our ‘national’ channels talk and focus only on Delhi. The South, in particular, is totally ignored. That could be another ticker). We are always ‘surprised’ by the next attack… The dastardly killings of 26/11 have had no closure; and now we have another open wound. Inflicted this time more directly through local sympathizers. Pakistan has perfected the art of making all the right noises, asking for ‘proof’ and meanwhile taking no action. Can we at least stop patting ourselves on the back, every time, for our being ‘sensible’ and ‘restrained’ and ‘not provoked’ – it has started smelling of cowardice. The big guy has turned out the sissy. Just when will we Get It? The life of an Indian seems real cheap. u

S pecial

11-17 October 2013


28 December 2012 - 3 January 2013

Do Solemnly Swear... To Protect And Preserve...


he youth, despite being frustrated and angry, chose to just march to Rajpath. They are waiting to hear some answers – and to see action. They believe that it is time that the daily mistreatment of women – from the womb to old age – comes to a halt. Alongside, the angst, hurt, frustration and anger, pent up for decades, has spilled out. Women have found their voice. Brothers and fathers and friends have marched alongside. They did not flinch from the police excesses. They have not gone away. It may be worthwhile to compare the crusade against corruption with this march against rape (and for women’s security). Corruption it is mainly a matter of money; the attacks on women can literally be a matter of life and death. We have tolerated each for more than decades. Rising prosperity made us a little immune to corruption. That it didn’t happen nearby/near enough, made us insensitive to rape. While we may need a white paper to know the extent of corruption, the answer to the extent of insecurity in women is known to every household – definitely between the mothers and daughters. It happens every day, and impacts every family. For the men, ignorance (deliberate or otherwise) seems to be bliss – till it hits home. And even then the first reaction is to sweep the matter under the carpet. Much like the corrupt cash.

youth all across India, to come on Sunday January 20th to a large ground at their respective State’s capital city. NCR people should come to Delhi. Let all political forces get a feel of this new Force. The team should ask for a concrete action plan – who will do what, by when – on women’s safety. The Women’s Protection Bill should then be tabled, and passed by March 8th. (Women’s Day). Justice Verma has asked for the opinions of the public, on how to strengthen the law, to help minimize the issues of sexual assault (mail to justice., by January 5th.) FG’s current recommended list is : 1) Members of society have to get involved, have to become part of the solution. We should set up Citizen Security Forces (CSF) that would have a clear mandate to protect women. To start with, their numbers should be half the strength of the current police force on the road. This Force would have the powers to warn, and recommend arrest, of any man found misbehaving in any way with a woman.

2) Cases of eve-teasing, molestation or any misbehaviour towards women should be able to be registered on-line – mentioning who did what, when and where. The guilty should be tracked down by the CSF, their names entered in a database, and then taken to the police station for an official Women’s Protection, though warning/booking. We need to almost an end in itself, should start naming and shaming those involved. Any hostility shown tolead to a more meaningful wards the accuser should mean Women’s Liberation – maybe police custody/jail.

A Bill on Women’s Protection is urgently called for. Women’s safety is too dear and personal a matter. It directly impacts half of India. With growing urbanization, via some Reservations. and with more women having It is surely written that the 3) The number of eve-teasing, started to work, and move out soft-power of women - like molestation or misbehaviour of the homes, the incidents cases reported/lodged should would only increase. software- shall prevail. not be taken as a negative, while The Women’s Protecassessing any police station/ tion Bill should not end up officer. Let every case be lodged freely. The time to like the Lokpal Bill – stymied by vested interests. compare and assess will be maybe 2 years down the Income, caste, religion or location (urban/rural) line. should not become a hold-up point. It would be a thick-headed suicidal party or leader that would 4) Special courts for crimes against women, stick his/her neck out against the Women’s Protecand the fast-tracking of such cases, are of course tion Bill. The standard setting up of committees, a must. Even the judiciary is positively inclined to like for the Lokpal, will this. However, in the current system the girl/woman not cut ice. goes through hell in trying to even prove that something horrible happened with her – forget proving Anna has decided to focus on corruption and that a particular person is guilty. Reliving the nightLokpal. Kejriwal has entered the political world. We mare ad nauseam, as part of the FIR/investigation, wish both the very best. is bad enough; then follows the frustration from the This movement, for women, needs a person(s) legal system – the ‘tareek pe tareek’. It is time for whom the youth can rally around. The integrity a fundamental change. For any case filed for rape, and credibility of the person would be paramount. the identified man should be held guilty till he can Knowledge of the police and the legal systems prove himself innocent. Yes, some rare flimsy, and would be a good advantage. Being a woman should even false, accusations may take place. That would be a bonus; it is difficult for a man to truly underneed to be managed; and men should feel this heat a stand some very unique women experiences – childlittle at least – for once. But the benefit— physically birth, eve-teasing, and psychologically—to millions of women, would molestation, rape… be life-changing. It would restore a peace of mind Kiran Bedi comes to mind. that has gone missing for a while now. She needs to step up to the plate – but, step away from any politics. 5) There is a strong case for prostitution to be leHer credibility cannot be compromised in any galised across cities, and channelled better. way; the stakes are too high. She seems to have the experience, the resoluteps - Of course we also need to see the police evness, the daring and the passion to take this on, erywhere, recognize the brave citizens who even toalongwith the youth day protect women against the odds, light up all our and succeed. streets, and use technology (eg. CCTV) – see FG Vol 2, No 18 (Dec 21-27). u Let Kiran Bedi and her team give a call to the

19-25 October 2012

The Middle Pathism


t is perhaps a rude awakening to realize that, despite being an almost $ 2 trillion economy, and an emerging ‘superpower’, we still count for little on the world stage. In both word and deed. Let us keep the economics to one side – that has been talked of enough. In essence, even today we have little say (and not say much, or take a stand anyway) in world matters; we have even less say with our neighbours. It’s time for a new game plan – a new awakening. Who better to awaken us than Siddharth, Gautam – the Buddha. Charity begins at, and near, home. We need to put our own house in order, and then turn to Asia. This is where Buddhism can be the force multiplier. While Hinduism was perhaps the base for Buddhism, it, and the Indian govt., needs to stop playing big brother. Nepal should be a lesson. We have handed it on a platter to Maoists and China. Hinduism should happily accept the many good paths offered by Buddhism. In fact, we in India need to celebrate Buddhism much more; we need to promote this home-grown way of life that has caught the global imagination. It does not have to be about the Dalai Lama only. A broader engagement would also take the issue beyond a Tibet-China arena. Bodh Gaya and Sarnath should become world-class sites, especially for Buddhism followers globally. Just the tourism potential is overwhelming. The Dharma-chakra of Buddhism is already represented in the Ashoka Chakra, one of our prominent national symbols. A big bonus would be the integration and inclusiveness of the Dalits, many of whom have embraced, or wish to embrace, Buddhism. It should definitely lead to a better life and recognition for them. It will also perhaps occasion a needed, closer look at some practices of Hinduism. (India also needs to celebrate Hinduism more, and with pride. But that story, another time.) We need to integrate with Asia better. Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, South East Asia, Japan, Korea, even China, have Buddhist leanings. Our relations with immediate neighbours would improve. Japan, a super power, already has begun a tilt towards India; Buddhism would be a great catalyst. Many East Asian nations also have been influenced by Hinduism along with Buddhism. A more Buddhist leaning in India would help ensure a better integration across Asia. Maybe even Nepal will get warmer – after all, the Buddha was born there. With Buddhism we can truly trod the Middle Path. Nirvana should be achievable. u


K id C orner

11-17 October 2013

Kids Brainticklers

Artistic Strokes

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

Soasha Sanadi, Class-8th The Banyan Tree World School

Shivani Ahuja, Class 6, The Shri Ram School, Aravali

Kriti Jain, Class I-D, Swiss Cottage School

11-17 October 2013

K id C orner



Safety First


he School conducted a fun-filled Workshop for its students on Road Safety. The Workshop, in collaboration with P.V.R Nest, educated the students on how important it was to follow the traffic rules. The Speaker, Debjani Banerjee, encouraged the students to follow traffic rules and be safe. The students were also encouraged to write short stories, narrating incidents on ‘Road Safety and its importance’.

Elders Honoured


he students celebrated “World Elders’ Day” to express their love and gratitude for their beloved grandparents. The School invited the grandparents at a special function. The children presented a variety of splendid performances. The Montessori II Choir sang heartfelt songs, followed by a warm welcome song that had over 160 grandparents clapping with joy. This was followed by an address by the School Head, Peeya Sharma. The dance drama, ‘To Grand Pa- Grand Ma with Love’, by Montessori III, and an enthralling dance performance by Montessori II F girls, was appreciated by the proud grandparents. Grandpas dressed up Grandmas in festive attire, in the ‘One Minute Game Utsav’. An Antaksahri session was also held.

Peaceful Ryanites


he School celebrated ‘International Peace Day’ at Safdarjung Tomb, by presenting a skit based on the preachings of Gandhiji – of peace and nonviolence. Dhirendra Bhatnagar, Secretary General of CUCAI, and Anil Dajar, Manager of Archeological Survey of India, shared inspiring words on the saving of India’s heritage. Kiran Mehra, Director of United Nations Council of India, was also present. Ryan International School highlighted the message of how love and forgiveness can win the hearts of all. They presented a skit based on “bullying”, and how it can be overcome with love and compassion.

Of Vehicles and Rules


o show the different methods of travel and to familiarise the children with land transportation, Pathway Early Years, Golf Course Road, conducted a number of activities, which involved discussions on two, three and four wheelers. The children got to compare a cycle with a motor cycle, a rickshaw with an auto and a vegetable cart with an ice cream cart. The tiny tots also learnt about the different features of a car – the wheels, bonnet, seat belt, fuel tank, boot, horn, wipers, number plates, brakes and the fuel it runs on. The kids enjoyed going on a Metro ride as well.
They were taught about road safety rules, speed breakers, traffic lights and the zebra crossings. They were also taken for a visit to a Traffic Park, where a discussion was held on the consequences of disobeying traffic rules.

Lotus Honours Elders


otus Valley International School celebrated World Elders Day, where grand parents of the students were invited as guests. The Programme began with the Principal, Anita Malhotra, and select grand parents addressing the students. The Speakers advised the students to respect their elders and give them affection. The students presented a short thematic Play, “Dadi Amma Dadi Amma Maan Jao”, which was appreciated by the grand parents. As a mark of affection, the students presented roses to their respective grand parents.

MRIS Learnings


tudents of Grades I-V at MRIS, Sector 46, shared the joy of learning with their parents in their Theme Assembly. The Assembly began with students paying homage to Dr. O.P. Bhalla (Chief Patron MRIS 46), for his contribution to society. Through various presentations— Yoga, Aerobics, Skits, Dances, PPTs and experiments—the students showcased their learnings in Term I of the Academic Session.


11-17 October 2013 RYAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, sohna road

Banyan Saving Acts

Kaleidoscopic View


Down Memory Lane @ Ryan


randparent’s Day was celebrated at Ryan International School, Sohna Road. The students from Montessori and Primary Sections welcomed the grand parents in regional languages. Presentations included ‘Back to the Memory Lane’ by Montessori-I, ‘Childhood Masti’ by Montessori-II, ‘Grand Ma! O Grand Pa! We Love You’ by Montessori-III, ‘A Salute to your Love n Care’ by Class-I and ‘A story from Dadi Ma’s Treasure Pot’ by Class-II students. The highlight of the Programme was the Antakshari session, where grandparents participated enthusiastically.

K id C orner

he Montessori students of Ryan International School are the true catalysts of change. Beyond the class room learning they are given platform to recognise their abilities, develop confidence and sharpen their skills. The toddlers are determined to march ahead with the spirit of enhancing their capabilities and bringing in change. The journey of infinite miles has just started for these tiny-tots. Each activity is a celebration for them, for each is a great learning experience. Be it an academic or co-scholastic achievement, the students strive to excel and most importantly spread fragrances and smiles.


he Banyan Tree World School opted for the theme, ‘Gender Sensitization’, for their SAVE project. The main objective of this project was to sensitize children about gender discrimination. The SAVE Culmination Programme included an exhibition of the findings of the Survey conducted in Gurgaon, and the students' interactions with the people of Bandhwari Village. Students of Grades II & III presented stories created on the theme. The Nursery & K.G children presented a musical on the theme 'We are all equal'. A Panel Discussion was held with Neelanjana Das, Head of  the NGO ‘ACT’( Action Centre for Transformation), Usha Mahajan (Hindi writer) and Divya Jain (Clinical Psychologist from Mental Health department at FORTIS Hospital), who shared their experiences and views. The students interacted with the Panelists and posed some thought-provoking questions like, "When we worship Durga, why don't we respect our women? and "How do we sentisize and change the mind set of the people towards women?" The students also performed ‘a Nukkad Natak’.

Montessori Gandhigiri


he Montessori Wing of Ryan Global School celebrated Gandhi Jayanti with a Special Assembly. A skit was performed by the tiny tots on Gandhiji’s life, and the struggle for Independence. Different dances, along with a series of hymns, were performed. Some tiny tots dressed up as freedom fighters—Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose—and recited famous slogans. Headmistress Vandana Sharma urged the students to follow the path of truth and non-violence.

Battling With Injury


ccidents happen and injuries occur, but an injury that can challenge and change our life and lifestyle creates a strong impact on our will-power. Life is said to be a tightrope walk, and when some situations and circumstances take over our life, we feel helpless - and somewhere hopeless too. I had suffered a knee injury, called an Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear. It occurred while I was playing cricket, when I was running - rather flying - to catch a ball. I collided with one of my friends, and went down. At that moment I was crying out in pain as it was unbearable. I wasn't aware that this incident could mould my life to such an extent that I would have to quit my passion Cricket & Athletics. It all happened in April 2013. My family and I first took this incident lightly and just consulted a doctor; he gave me pain-killers for a week. But the injury was serious; it didn't heal. We had an X-Ray taken, and found that none of my bones was fractured. On 1st May I underwent an MRI. That confirmed that I had a ligament tear. My family was upset, and I was in tears – and also wondering, what next? We now started visiting several big hospitals and reputed orthopaedic surgeons. I tried to be strong through all this. Finally, a surgery was scheduled on 27th May at Max Hospital. Time for a confession. I have a hospital phobia, and fear to even visit a doctor – and I had to undergo a surgery! However, I convinced myself that if I continued to live in a phobia it would cut down on the quality of life. The surgery was successful. I was advised not to walk for 14 days; if it was necessary, I had to use an elbow crutch with a knee-brace. This harsh reality brought tears to my eyes, as I had seen myself winning a Silver medal in the 100m sprint. In fact I was even unable to walk properly. It was the most difficult phase of my young (18 years) life. I was continuously surrounded and supported by my family, who were my strength. Now I have been advised not to indulge in any physical activity for a period of 7 months. It feels like I have been caged and my freedom – especially of playing sports - has been taken away from me. I guess sometimes we have to give up the things we want the most - even our dreams. This incident did made me feel somehow stronger, though inside I was broken. When I see my friends playing and running, I do feel disappointed. Life is still challenging me with its complexity...but now I think its time to move on. Nischai Vats, 12th E, Blue Bells Model School.

Magic Pill


anu was nervous,as she tied her shoelaces. She was going for her Karate Belt exam, not feeling sure that she would be able to perform all the tasks given. In spite of her daily practice, she was still the thinnest kid in her batch, and for this Belt, physical dexterity was thoroughly tested. As she invoked a silent prayer to the powers that be, that she be able to complete the Exam, her father saw the anxiety on her face.When she was taking the blessings from the elders in the house, he quietly went into his room. She went in to get his blessings:”Papa,wish me luck,”she said.“Are you worried about the exam?“he asked? The large pretty eyes looked up and gave a quiet nod.“Then let me give you some secret powers,so that you can complete them in a snap,”he assured her.He gave her an orange and black pill, which she swallowed with water.“Now come back victorious,”he said. Nanu returned with a bright smile on her face and her hand swollen to the size of a tennis ball. She entered the house yelling, “Papa, the magic pill worked, I passed!” Though everyone was happy, her mother was concerned about her hand and asked, “How did this happen?”Nanu said,“I had barely managed to complete the many running, exercises and other tasks; the final task was to break a thick brown tile with one strike. Everyone finished before me - I was the last to go; I was nervous. The tile did not break with my strike. The examiner said that I had failed. I begged him to give me another chance, as I felt that I could break it by invoking the magic power given to me by Papa. After a lot of persuasion, and support from my coach, he agreed - but kept two tiles instead. All my friends requested me not to attempt this,and to attempt the Exam the next year. But they didn't know about the magic pill I had taken. I prayed that all it’s energy should come out now. And sure enough, I smashed the tiles into two.”And she showed the action with a broad smile.“Thanks Pa,” said Nanu.“You are the Champion, now let’s put some ointment on the hand so that it heals fast,”said Papa. Her Mom asked Papa curiously, “What did you give her?”And Papa whispered sheepishly, “a Vitamin supplement!”The next day, Nanu was the talk of her school, as the girl who had broken two tiles in one go. The magic pill had transformed the dainty little girl into a model of courage. Mihir Joshi

11-17 October 2013

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

High C Duo { Jaspal Bajwa }


igration is an interesting phenomenon. Born out of necessity, it invariably becomes a catalyst for promoting diversity. Increased diversity, in turn, results in beefing up resilience, thus helping promote sustainability. In the 17th century, Captain Shaddock carried the seeds of the Pomelo (Pamplemouse) plant from Southeast Asian to Barbados. Crossing the Orange with the Pomelo led to the Red Grapefruit. Today, both the Grapefruit and the Pomelo are popular as high Vitamin C fruits and are relished in the autumn and winter seasons. In fact, Pomelo is a popular favourite during the mid-autumn ‘Mooncake festival’ in Asia. Either for its size, or the fact that it probably dates back to 2200 BC, the Pomelo is sometimes called the ‘grand-daddy' of citrus fruits. The typical Pomelo is much larger in size than the Grapefruit. It has very little, or none, of the Grapefruit's bitterness. It has

{ Alka Gurha }


n undesirable part of the ageing process is the appearance of wrinkles. Wrinkles are delicate creases caused by thin, sagging skin. In order to understand wrinkles we need to know a bit about our skin. A fibrous protein, called collagen, imparts firmness to our skin. Apart from collagen, elastin fibres present within the dermis work like rubber bands to keep our skin elastic and tight. The damage to collagen and elastin results in wrinkles. As the body ages, the cells that produce these proteins become fewer in number and less active. Lacking protein, the skin weakens and loses tone. It sags and creases also because the fatty cushion beneath the dermis thins, and oils dry up. Wrinkles are particularly visible on the face, neck and hands. There are several reasons for the appearance of wrinkles before time: The Sun: Apart from natural

a mild sweet flavour, with a welcome tartness, which gives it a very clean palate. Ancient alternative medical practitioners used the Pomelo to help calm seizures and coughs. In Ayurveda, Pomelo is used as a mild laxative and digestive. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the bioflavonoidrich rind of the Pomelo has been used to reduce the incidence of pancreatic, intestinal and breast cancers. In some parts of the world, a preparation of the tree’s wide leaves is used to cure rashes and ulcers. Both the Pomelo and Grapefruit contain Pectin, a form of soluble fibre that can slow down the progression of atherosclerosis and helps regulate blood pressure. As per the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the red fruit is more effective for triglycerides, as it contains more anthocyanins and lycopene. These two fruits are also considered ideal for weight-

from the refrigerator. Some would claim they are ideal for hangovers! The pulp and the juice can be used as a tasty addition to sauces, salads, salsas and marinades. The thick rind can be boiled and used to flavour soups and stews, and can be pickled or used for marmalades.

watchers; not only are they low on calories, they can also speed up the breakdown of proteins and fats. Both fruits are also beneficial for diabetics. Tip of the Week It is better to choose firm, yet slightly springy, skinned fruit. Some blemishes on the exterior are okay; soft, dullskinned, limp or dried out Pomelos are best avoided. Pomelos are refreshing first thing in the morning or cold

Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Pomelo or Citrus Maxima/Grandis or Chakotra or Mahanimbu Both the Grapefruit and the Pomelo are excellent sources of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which are believed to help slow down the ageing process and protect against several diseases. Both contain zero % fat and provide about 38 calories per 100 grams (half cup). Like most members of the citrus family, they are very high in immunity-building Vitamin C and can provide upto 193% of the Daily Value recommended. Pomelo is also a good source of dietary fibre, providing upto 8% of the Daily Value. Pomelos and

Erase Those Fine Lines ageing, the biggest enemy is the Sun – especially when we are over-exposed to it. The collagen fibres under the skin get damaged and stretched out by the Sun. Our butts are the last body part to get wrinkled, as they are not directly exposed to the Sun. Doctors say that it takes decades for the Sun damage to show; the damage that begins in our twenties, shows up in our forties. If you must go out in the harsh Sun, it makes sense to apply a good sunscreen. Stress and Smoking: Stress speeds the ageing process. The link between stress and cellular ageing is complex and isn't fully understood. However, stress does have negative effects on physical and emotional health. If you are concerned about developing wrinkles, it makes sense to practice a healthy lifestyle, which includes keeping stress levels under control. Excessive smoking is also said to fasten the ageing process. The

large amount of free radicals produced by cigarette smoke is one of the major culprits for early ‘wrinkling’. 
Pollution: Ecological factors such as contact with air pollutants, dust, chemicals and long exposure to harsh lights can cause wrinkles on the skin over a period of time. Weight Loss: Rapid weight

loss can cause wrinkles. As the volume of the fat cells decreases rapidly, it causes the skin to sag. Remedies Wrinkles are inevitable, but several non-surgical remedies can be used to delay and minimize wrinkles. For maximum anti-ageing benefits, you also need an anti-

W ellness


Grapefruits have a similar nutritional profile. Pomelos however have a higher Vitamin C (+50%), Potassium (+100%) and fibre content. Grapefruits, on the other hand, have a higher Vitamin A and Vitamins B1 & B5 content. Both these citrus fruits contain cancer-fighting Limonoids, which inhibit tumour formation, by promoting the formation of glutathione-S-transferase - a detoxifying enzyme. This helps in the fight against cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon. Limonin can be readily absorbed and retained for longer times than other natural anti-carcinogens (e.g. phenols in green tea or chocolate remain active for just 4-6 hours). Drinking 3 glasses of Grapefruit or Pomelo juice a day may help protect against lung and colon cancer, by reducing the activity of an enzyme that activates cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke. As reported in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Naringenin, a bioflavonoid in Grapefruit, can help repair damaged DNA in prostate cancer cells. People on blood thinning, kidney and other medications need to exercise caution and seek professional medical advice. Both the fruits tend to increase the concentration and potency of medication (like statins). There should be a gap of at least 4 hours in between taking medication and having these fruits.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

inflammatory diet consisting of high quality protein such as fish, fresh fruit and vegetables and good fats (like from salmon, olive oil and nuts). The medical treatments for reducing wrinkles include Botox, Wrinkle Fillers, Skin Tightening, Laser Resurfacing, Dermabrasion etc. And then there are the home remedies: At a basic level, moisturize your skin and keep it hydrated. Melt ice cubes on your face every night; try to sleep on your back and ensure a good night’s sleep of 7-8 hours; apply pure castor oil or softly massage coconut oil – every night - on parts of the skin that are prone to wrinkles. Many people apply Vitamin E under the eyes to reduce wrinkles. Empty the contents of 3 Vitamin E tablets into a small bowl. Add a halfteaspoon of honey and a halfteaspoon of lemon juice (or some curd). Apply this mixture on the face with the use of a cotton ball. Keep it on for a few minutes, and wash. Above all, eat healthy, exercise and remain stress free. u

18 { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

write to us at


t often happens that we weep inconsolably when we remember some tragic events. I still have not recovered from the death of some near and dear ones. Emotional distress, if not expressed, gets stored and can create pressure in the system; venting of emotions decreases this tension. The venting occurs through sobbing and crying. Deeper layers of pain are released by uninhibited convulsive sobbing. The pain of separation, of love frustrated, pours into our consciousness and is fully experienced. Silence can be very uncomfortable, even for family members. Emotional expression, such as crying, is a natural human necessity. Crying itself is instinctual: a baby comes out of the womb with an ability to cry – this ability is unlearned. What is learned (later) is the ability to suppress crying. Suppressing emotions has a negative impact on individuals and societies. As a part of the socialization process, children are taught, very often with punishment, how to control their emotional reactions and suppress the instinctual need for discharge. Most people accumulate repressed emotions and the accompanying body tension, which is always present but usually not recognized. Suppressed emotions interfere with our thought and perception processes – with our ability to respond to others and to co-operate; and with our ability to tolerate strong emotions in others. Undoubtedly, mindfulness can aid inner healing, but it does not go very deep. The really deep mindfulness comes out of conviction; from a sort of inner change, a kind of catharsis. Enlightenment is a cathartic experience, an inner cleansing. Often such an experience is triggered by something unexpected; sometimes it comes out of a feeling of penitence and sometimes out of gratitude or grief. The fire of enlightenment is kindled by our passion – to make something of our lives. It is only strong authentic emotion that has the power to penetrate to the core of our being. No intellectual procedure will ever reach deep enough. One of my dear friends recalled how she had to sobbingly make calls to her parents and other family members when her grandfather had a fatal heart attack. Her mother was in her office, her father was out of town and her brother was at a beach in Goa, with friends. My friend loved her grandfather and still sobs when she remembers how he fell down so suddenly from

S piritual

11-17 October 2013

his favourite chair and left the family so unexpectedly. She still caresses the empty chair at the dining room table. In such situations we are tripped by a chance contact with some deep grief or grief laden events buried in our memory. We start weeping copiously. After a deep cathartic experience we may see familiar sights as if for the first time. The effect of such experiences may normally be brief. In some enlightenment experiences this brilliant reality may persist for weeks or even months. Catharsis has long been recognized as a healing, cleansing and transforming experience, and has been used in cultural healing practices, literature, drama, religion, medicine and psychology. Some contemporary modalities such as psychodrama, primal therapy and emotion - focused therapy, make use of catharsis as their core technique to achieve positive therapeutic change. Although it takes different shapes, the essence of catharsis remains the same: it is a release from some burden, either physical or mental, and furthers healing through its cleansing effect. Catharsis is described as an involuntary, instinctive body process – like crying. It is also defined as the process of reducing or eliminating a 'complex', by recalling it to conscious awareness and allowing it to be expressed. It is also known as the discharge of effects connected to traumatic events, which had previously been repressed - by bringing these events back into consciousness and re experiencing them. We cannot avoid natural disturbances and turbulences impacting us; and we cannot help responding to them. We also face, at one point or another, some deep trauma. We make many unrealistic attempts to extinguish such disturbances permanently. We should not think that an awakened being is one without any personal problems. An awakened being is one whose enlightenment is constantly unfolding. The processes of Catharsis Therapy are not just for those who are failing; they are also appropriate for those on the path to enlightenment. Spiritual and cultural rituals have been known to help people process collective stress situations, such as death or separation, or major life changing events like the rite of marriage. Traditional societies have ceremonies and rituals for funeral rites, mourning and curing, which most often include cathartic activities such as crying, weeping, beating of drums or ecstatic dances. Similarly, different forms of mass ceremonies promoted mass cathartic experiences, attracted mass audiences and became the socially acceptable way for collective crying. It

Inner Cleansing The word catharsis is derived from a Greek word, which means 'cleansing' or 'purification'. There are two essential components of catharsis: the emotional aspect - strong emotional expression and processing; and the cognitive aspect of catharsis - insight, new realization, the unconscious becoming consciousness - and as a result, positive change. is apparent that collective forms of emotional re-experiencing and discharge in social, cultural and spiritual events are highly popular, attract massive audiences, are known to provide relief and increase group cohesiveness and solidarity. Catharsis can cleanse us and help us revive. Just as the rain pours down and sweeps the earth clear of all impurities, catharsis seeks to flush our mind and soul of all their accumulated burdens. Every humiliation that we have ever suffered, every rejection thrust upon us, every sorrow or loss that invaded our life, every slight that we received as a child, every time our heart broke, every time we witnessed tragedy – has weighed us down. Because we have not learnt to move on. So many times such experiences are merely brushed aside and interred, only to resurface in our life many years later as the ghostly remnants of those pains. They prevent us from reaching out to the peace and happiness that can be easily ours. They create emotional strain, which is intensified if these worries are buried in the subconscious. Emotional pain can be a strange thing. It leaves an imprint on the mental surface even after the storm has settled down. And this imprint haunts every other experience that is deposited on that surface. Sadly, we are many times not even aware of the imprint. 
The problem of not being able to let go is more serious than just a lack of life skills. It is a source of mental maladies. Unfortunately, half of all the beds in our hospitals are reserved for patients with nervous and mental troubles, patients who have collapsed under the crushing burden of accumulated yesterdays and fearful tomorrows. One of the tools for the

purging of such feelings is Cathartic Meditation. Shut your eyes and simply observe your breathing - do not try to control it. Let the inhalations and exhalations happen naturally. You will find thoughts rising into your conscious mind. Stay calm and do not try to wish away the thoughts - observe them. As you surrender yourself completely to the feelings of deep relaxation you may encounter thoughts of painful or embarrassing experiences coming up. You may even fall asleep from pure exhaustion. As you recall the forgotten details of excruciating experiences, try to look at them in a better light. Understand that they were meant to happen and that they only brought you more learning. Practice rationalization. For instance, if it is the death of a loved one that torments you, accept that dying is inevitable. May be it taught you to be more independent and to value the people around you better. For some people, reliving a repressed memory helps diminish its pain or discomfort. If there is something that you have avoided confronting, do so now. Cry if you must. Let tears roll down your cheeks. We are

{ Preeti Rawal }


conditioned to believe that tears are a sign of weakness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Tears are fundamental to catharsis. As the tears flow out, your pent-up emotions find release as well. Let everything flow out. Hold nothing back. Sometimes catharsis occurs naturally. When you hear some very beautiful music, you may cry for no reason and feel rejuvenated. People have this experience with movies as well. It is seen that movies and books depicting great suffering and tragedy often attain the highest success. This is because you let go of your burdens when witnessing the catharsis experienced by the characters. Great suffering often brings great purification. Artists experience catharsis through their paintings, music and poetry. If every individual were to undergo catharsis, we may have a care-free, pure world that would mirror paradise.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

The Mystery Of God

ife is a mystery for all of us as none of us know from where we come and where will we go after our death. Death is still the mystery of life. I feel that we are messengers of God, who have come into this world to perform a certain task; and after we finish our task we die and our soul goes back to heaven, where God stays. I am a strong believer in God and that is why I have a such a belief; but I know of people who have other beliefs. I met a very aged and learned person who was a non-believer in God and felt that everything is Nature. He strongly felt that it is our parents who bring us into this world, and then we survive the vagaries of Nature and live our lives as we want. We decide our own fate and we can make or break things according to our own wishes. When we die, our bodies decompose and disintegrate, just like other organisms – there is no soul. He had tried to solve the mysteries of life by delving into deep study about various living organisms and their behaviour, and he felt that these organisms live because they are a part of Nature (with its benign climatic conditions that aid the organisms to survive and thrive). This was a very explosive approach to the mystery of life as it totally ruled out the existence of God. On the other hand, many people feel that God rules their lives in every sense and they are constantly watched and taken care of by God. I too feel that I have a spiritual connect with God and I can feel him around me at all times. He is my friend, guide and mentor and helps me out in every way I can think of. Life does not seem difficult for those who strongly believe in God; this belief makes any problem or dilemma in their lives seem trivial. They are always positive, and they know that whatever they do in their lives, it will be monitored by God – which also makes them cautious. These Believers live a life of contentment and happiness. They work hard and treat other people with compassion. They are always very secure. As they don’t question God’s intentions they never feel deprived or cheated (e.g. when they are not the ‘lucky’ rich ones); every time a person ill-treats them or speaks badly to them or cheats them, they think in their hearts that they might have wronged that person at some time. They strongly believe in Karma; they feel that they deserve what they have got in their lives. For them life does not carry any mystery, as they know wherefrom they have come and whereto they will go. I believe for sure that there is God; we all have to just have faith in him and then life becomes easier to live. Life is joy and we should live it to the fullest - and feel God’s glory at all times. u

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11-17 October 2013

{ Christopher Daruwalla }


e see theatre happening everywhere. In our homes, on the street, in our workplace, in hospitals and schools...wherever we look we can see theatre being played out in one form or another - be it a beggar trying to extract more money from a passer-by, a street vendor trying to attract a customer to buy his wares or a young college student relating a funny incident to his friends. In the formal sense, when we go to see a play on stage, there is bare space (to start with); once an actor walks across the stage, we have theatre. Add a few props and a suggestion of a set and we have a context in which the scene is to be played out. Put in some music and we have set the mood of the play. Costume and lighting add to the tone. Put all these elements together and we have created a scene – something that is nothing more than a moment from real life, recreated to tell you a part of a story. As we see these scenes play out, we experience what the playwright has imagined when he conceived his story. She too had many scenes playing out in her head, but chose those that she felt would drive her story forward, with some significant content. We often speak about theatre being a comedy, a tragedy etc.; but more than that, theatre is about life. Everything around us

A Winter in Prague


ften people are sceptical of travelling to Europe in the winter months – the deterrents being an early sunset, excessive snow or little night life. But I guess we preferred to brave the cold. Europe can actually be more lively in winter months than in the summers. We realized that on a short trip to Prague. Every year, from December 1st through 30th, Christmas markets are held all over Europe - and it was no different in Prague, the capital of the Czech Repub-

Theatrically Yours their exits and entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts…”. Is that not what we do in our daily lives? And yet when it comes to us performing a part in a ‘formal’ play, we struggle desperately to act out something that we effortlessly do every waking moment of our lives. Some of us even use our creative skills to create situations in our workplaces or homes to achieve our desired outcomes - directing colleagues on what they should say and do, deciding their entries and exits and even what they should admit or not admit to. We are the masters of humour, surprise, deception and scheming in our daily lives – we have only changed the nomenis theatre; theatre is life and life is nothing more than a grand theatre. In all situations and settings we can see the elements of theatre being played out in different ways. Often when I work with people who want to act, some tell me that they are not actors, that they don’t know the craft; what they don’t realise is - what they are not conscious of - is that they are already actors playing out their part in the play called life. It was the Great Bard who put it so well, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players, They all have lic. The main markets are held in the old town square and the Wenceslas Square,bringing the locals and tourists together the markets consist of decorated wooden huts selling traditional handcrafted products, Christmas tree ornaments and various

In the formal sense, when we go to see a play on stage, there is bare space (to start with); once an actor walks across the stage, we have theatre. Add a few props and a suggestion of a set and we have a context in which the scene is to be played out. Put in some music and we have set the mood of the play. Costume and lighting add to the tone. Put all these elements together and we have created a scene – something that is nothing more than a moment from real life, recreated to tell you a part of a story. As we see these scenes play out, we experience what the playwright has imagined when he conceived his story. other goodies. Outdoor Christmas shopping is so much nicer, with ‘hot wine’ (svarene vino) being served aplenty. You forget the cold in a minute! Prague is full of narrow and cobbled stone alleyways, making it very pedestrian friendly. A must have souvenir is the famous Bohemian crystal , for which one should definitely bargain. The essence of Prague lies in the breathtakingly beautiful Prague Castle,which forms the backdrop to the famous Charles Bridge. Visit Prague for its sheer beauty, and more so in winters, when it is covered with snow – and resembles a fairytale land. u Ruchika Makhija


clature of what we do. In all our waking moments, in our dreams and in our thinking we constantly have theatre being played out in our heads. When a businessman talks to me about strategy, I think theatre. When he says advertising, I think theatre. When he says brand image, I think theatre. When he asks me my charges – I sure think theatre! But on a more serious note, all the above elements are nothing else but using one’s players, controlling one’s players and portraying one’s players to create a desirable end - the one big picture that will make for a better image and higher profits (or trying to rejig the brand image of our products to be a better fit to the fast shifting trends in thinking and behaviour). We are constantly doing these things at a micro or macro level, trying to fine tune our lives so that we can keep to the image we have set for ourselves or aspired for. Without theatre there is no life…without theatre we do not exist. The question is: have you found your role? u The Author is Founder and Creative Director of Actors World – an actor, writer and director, he has trained from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art [LAMDA]. He is the Representative North India for LAMDA Graded exams in communication and performance.

The Body-Soul Twins Body and Soul are Twins, Brother How can one live without the other? And so they influence each other. If the body is not well the spirit feels low When the mind is jubilant the body will glow The spirit is invisible without the body as its host. Some do Yoga asanas to be in sync Some do meditations, deep contemplations To understand this concept Some delve into the mazes of philosophical terrains Go insane, trying to understand The biology or chemistry of the intangible. You can never really define the energy form The sages have spoken no end of the brilliant non-form This wonderful enigma, this beautiful soul Can be well seen reflected in the eyes And emotions of its twin: the body. Logic, reason or debate Is too limited to define the Divine The Buddha, The Nanak, The Kabir, The Christ They all experienced their illuminations Thousand words cannot describe. The soul, the energy is an experience unique In our own way our God we must seek! Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master & Pranic Healer


Gems Of The Earth these colours upsets the body’s energy balance, leading to illness. The energy of the Gemstones helps in healing, by restoring the balance (to the original composition of the nine colours). Every Gemstone transmits a specific wavelength to the body, through vibrations. These are merely the positive vibes that change or modify a planet’s ill-effects on our lives.

Healing Properties and Usage

{ Bhuvana Shridhar }


hrough the ages, humans have relied on gems and stones as a basis for alternative healing. There is evidence to show that the healing properties of gemstones were accepted in the Greek and Egyptian civilizations, as also in India in the Vedic period. Today, so many years later, people are still discovering the powers within these stones. Practitioners of this Therapy believe that Gemstones carry certain vibrations, which when placed within a person’s aura, can change it.

B on V ivant

11-17 October 2013

The simplest way to practice Gem Therapy is to wear high-quality round beads around the neck. Some practitioners make a solution using Gemstones and alcohol: a high-quality Gemstone is placed in a solution of diluted alcohol and stored in the dark for about a week, allowing the vibratory force of the Gem to permeate the alcohol. The alcohol can then be used as medicine. Another process involves placing the Gemstone in a glass jar filled with water, in the sunlight. The rays of the sun help the water to acquire the vibratory force of the Gemstone, leading the water to acquire medicinal value. It is imperative that the Gems used in therapy be of natural origin. Synthetic Gems, or Natural Gems that have been heated or irradiated in a laboratory to improve the colour or the clarity of the stone, lose their inherent energies and are useless from a therapeutic point of view. It is advisable to wear Gems of pure and raw quality - those that are derived from the rocks and the seabed.u Tarot Reader, Coffee Cup Reader


The human aura consists of nine colours, namely - violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, infrared and ultra-violet. Any deficiency or excess of

Gem Therapy –

Gem, Chakra Affinities, Affirmation

Amber – Its energy is projective. If one is subject to feeling negative, it can help in removing repeated patterns of such behavioral thinking. Chakra Affinities - Root, Lower Abdomen and the Solar Plexus. Affirmation – I am patient with whom I am, and accept myself without judgment. Amethyst – Provides spiritual upliftment. Chakra Affinities - Crown and the Third Eye. Affirmation – I will heighten my spiritual awareness and remember the divinity in me. Diamond – Is pure carbon and is crystalline in nature. It is worn to enhance personal relationship and beauty. Chakra Affinities - Third Eye and the Crown. Affirmation - I would like to treat others, as I would like to be treated. Emerald – Is useful for both personal and emotional healings. Chakra Affinities - Heart and the Third Eye. Affirmation - I joyfully give thanks to the abundance in my life. Ruby – Opens the heart and helps to overcome fear. Chakra Affinities - Heart and the Root. Affirmation - I have the courage and strength to be truly who I am. Jade - Is a peaceful stone that can attract positive energies and is worn to draw love and compassion. It is also worn to prevent and help cure many diseases. Chakra Affinities - Solar Plexus and the Heart. Affirmation - My body, mind and heart are in perfect balance. Sapphire – Provides mental clarity. Chakra Affinities - Crown and the Third Eye. Affirmation - I have faith and trust in my growth towards the light. Opal – Broadens one’s outlook, enabling one to see things in a different perspective. Chakra Affinities - Third Eye. Affirmation - I am now free and independent, as I expand beyond perceived limitations from the past. Lapiz - Is good for establishing the connection between the heart and the mind. Chakra Affinities - Third Eye. Affirmation - I seek the truth in understanding my experiences. Sunstone – Helps to curtail bad habits. Chakra Affinities - Root and the Lower Abdomen. Affirmation - There is no limit to what I can do.

Man With a Selective Memory { Krishan Kalra }


ave you heard about the Professor at the Memory Workshop? He started − and ended − by saying, “Friends, I want to tell you two things; the first is about my strong memory and the second ….er…second…never mind, we’ll talk about it later. Indeed, memory does play games with us – the not-young-anymore. Often I dial a number and the moment someone answers, I go blank I forget whom I want to speak with. It goes like this: “Hullo”, I start, “who is speaking”? “Whom would you like to speak with please”? asks the other party. “What number is it”? I carry on. “What number have you dialled, sir”? is the cool response. “Oh, never mind”, I mumble, and hang up. And then almost immediately it hits me! Of course I had dialled my travel agent to make a booking for….? God, not again! The ‘Seth’ I used to work for had an incredible memory. He just didn’t forget anything. Be it the technicalities of a hi-tech machine or the finer nuances of a financial package, the Sethji was always clear. Once he had read a report, he wouldn’t forget a single word - even after ten years. We used to always marvel at this uncanny ability. His mental prowess was not limited just to business. Ten years after attending my marriage, he remembered where the function was held and whom he had met there. He would not forget where a manger’s children had studied, who had an ailing parent or a problem sibling or …. Naturally, we were amazed when his wife once complained about his poor memory! While on a visit to the factory in some far-off place, she had bought some shawls at the market. The payment was to be sent alongwith the Sethji on his next visit. On return she made sure that the money was kept in an envelope in her husband’s briefcase. Six months later, however, the plant manager, on a trip to Delhi, sought an audience with the lady. Very apologetically he reminded her about the money for the shawls. The Sethani was furious. She believed that she had sent the money through Sethji within two weeks of her return. He had even been back to the factory many times after that. It was inconceivable that he hadn’t made the payment. Along with the manager, she immediately drove to her husband’s office and barged into the conference room where he was chairing a meeting. “Please tell this man you have paid for my shawls. I gave you the money six months ago,” she implored. Sethji was surprised. “What money, what shawls, what payment are you talking about? he asked? “This is not funny. Let me see your briefcase,” thundered the better half. Promptly someone fetched the bag. Sethji opened it and, sure enough, the envelope was right there. Sheepishly he handed it over to the nervous manager. “I am sorry, I forgot,” he said graciously. The apology was hardly accepted. “Can you ever remember anything?” were the Sethani’s parting words as she stomped out. She has finally diagnosed his problem. “A man with a selective memory,” is how she describes her husband now. “He remembers only what he wants to.” How enviable! I wish we all had that ability. Just like a computer…store and forget, access at random – what you want, and when you want. My favourite joke, however, is about the guy who brought home “Harry Lorrain’s Memory Improvement course” − and forgot to read it.u

G lobal

11-17 October 2013

Men’s Kiddie Nights

{ Christina Sticht/ Hanover, Germany / DPA }

Peter Steffen


aybe it’s because they normally feel too shamefaced to play with a slot-car set or fly a remotecontrolled toy helicopter. But when he looks at the faces of the adult men in his toy shop, owner Heinz Lehmann sees nothing but happiness. Up to five evenings a week, after the child customers have left, Lehmann turns over his mid-city toyshop in Germany to adults. The evening, for up to 52 paying guests, features a tournament with table football, a slot-car race, a childsized billiard table, and a rally over the floor with remote-controlled cars. None of the men seems the least fazed at playing between walls stuffed with shelves of dolls, bubbleblowing kits, pink and purple stuffed animals and Playmobilbrand construction sets. They are back in boyhood heaven. “A game, some suspense and a beer - we guys don’t need more,” is how the 63-year-old shop owner explains his recipe for success. It was about four years ago that he held his first Guys’ Evening, an event to support a charity cause. The enthusiastic reception gave him the encouragement to make a big boys’ night out at the Idee+Spiel toyshop in

An evening guest plays with a remote-controlled helicopter in the Idee+Spiel toy shop. Many men end up buying toys like the helicopter. Delighted men play with a slot-car racing set in the Idee+Spiel toy shop in Hanover, Germany.

Relaxed men play Table-Football in the Idee+Spiel toy shop. For a charge, the Shop allows groups of adults to ‘kiddy’ games, after hours. 

Heinz Lehmann, 63, Proprietor of the Hanover toy shop operated under the Idee+Spiel franchise in Germany. Lehmann invented the idea of guys’ evenings, and it has now spread to other toy shops.


Hanover a regular thing. About a dozen other toy stores in Germany have copied his idea, for which Lehmann received a business innovation award. The idea offers toy retailers a great money-making opportunity, the businessman says. He too is feeling enormous competition from the online toy vendors. He plans now to convert his shop into a venue for toy events. Especially in big German cit-

Relaxed men play at a child-sized billiard table in the Idee+Spiel toy shop.

ies, classic toy stores are having a rough time. The Internet and chain megastores in the shopping malls are undercutting the small family-run toy shops. Retailers everywhere are having to scramble to find new approaches, reports Willy Fischel, Managing Director of the German Toy Retailers Confederation. Ideas like evenings for guys are great for winning over customers. “The toy scene is becoming trendy once again, thanks to such events,” Fischel says. “After all, adults are no more than grown-up kids.” Industry statistics underscore the trends. Although fewer children are being born in Germany, toy sales last year increased to about 2.7 billion euros (3.6 billion dollars). Specialty stores account for 38 per cent of the market, while the Internet’s share is already up to 25 per cent. In any case, adults - especially men - are a major target group for toy sales. Whether it’s a Lego Technic bulldozer or a StarWars space ship, 15 per cent of the customers are men - buying the items for themselves, not for children, according to toymaker Lego. Since 2010,

Lego has had an Internet site specifically targeting adults. On a recent evening at Lehmann’s shop, the atmosphere was a mix of a child’s birthday party, a football stadium and a bachelor party. Most of the men were between 30 and 50 years of age. At many games they’re boisterous—yelling and back-slapping—while the mood is one of quiet concentration at a poker table. Shop owner Lehmann can be seen going around, handing out warm pretzels to go with the guys’ beers. One of the guests is Urs Natzchka, who has been brought here, as a present for his 45th birthday, by his wife. “I’m positively surprised by the relaxed, pleasant atmosphere,” says the father of four. “This place wakes up the child inside you.” Ralph Sander came along with 11 of

his friends. “It’s better than any computer game,” the car salesman says during a brief break between games. The entrance tickets - 40 euros (50 dollars) for four hours on a Saturday night - pay for the men’s evenings at the toy shop. There is no pressure to buy the products (toys), as happens at a Tupperware party. But the guys’ parties do generate sales. Happy guys with wallets can get quite gooey-eyed when they see remote-controlled helicopters. It’s a nice side effect for business, notes Matthias Wiedmann, at his family’s toy store in Backnang, a town near Stuttgart. For the past year, he has staged a guys’ night once or twice a month. “The greatest thing for me is seeing how men rediscover the child inside them,” Wiedmann says. u

India’s First Gay (LGBT) Radio Station { New Delhi/ DPA }

  ndia’s first radio station for the gay community aims to change mindsets in the largely conservative country, its owner said. “One of the main goals of Q Radio is to serve as a platform where even homophobes, religious and fundamentalist groups can begin a dialogue with the LGBT community,” said Anil Srivatsa, Chief Executive of, the online radio portal that owns the station. “This dialogue will help change mindsets, create better understanding and bring social change,” he told dpa. Q Radio has been broadcasting from the southern city of Bangalore since last month. Its programming is tailored to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) audience, “a large special interest group which is left out in India,” Srivatsa said. The Station aims to “give them media representation as well as a common ground to exchange their thoughts,” he said. Q Radio plays songs from LGBTfriendly and gay artists and discusses issues faced by the gay community in India. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 2009, but homosexuals are still subject to discrimination and lack basic rights, campaigners say. u



11-17 October 2013

Chugging Through a Market

World Toilet Summit { Jakarta/ DPA } ‘

The market awnings cover the rails (centre) and the goods on display are pushed right up to the gangway marked by the railtrack, in the Talad Rom Hoop market in Mae Klong, Thailand. 
 Shoppers walk along the rails running through the Talad Rom Hoop market in Mae Klong, Thailand.

{ Christiane Oelrich/ Mae Klong, Thailand / DPA }



ack of public toilets’ and ‘open defecation’ were among issues highlighted at the World Toilet Summit, which recently opened in Indonesia. Worldwide, 2.5 billion people have no access to toilets and sewage systems. One million children die each year from diarrhoea, which is equal to those who die from AIDS, measles and malaria combined, according the United Nations. In Indonesia, 63 million people practice open defecation because they have no access to basic sanitation facilities, said Naning Adiwoso, Chairwoman of the Indonesian Toilet Association. “For many people in Indonesia, mobile phones are more important than toilets,” Adiwoso said. “People defecate in the backyards and think that nature will take its course.” “There’s a widespread lack of awareness about the importance of sanitation,” she said. At the three-day Summit in the Central Java city of Solo, speakers talked about how to clean, repair and maintain toilets, as well as the designs of public restrooms. Adiwoso said that even in Jakarta (the Capital) some households do not have toilets and public restrooms are hard to find. “There are hardly any toilet maps in Jakarta, and the few public toilets are in terrible condition,” she said. Jack Sim, a Singaporean who founded the World Toilet Organization in 2001, said the theme for the Summit this year is “toilets and tourism.” “Without good toilets, tourism can’t thrive,” he said. “Toilets are part of the holiday experience.” u

Making Public Toilets a Better Place { Bangkok/ DPA }


ack Sim’s mission might be unsavoury to some: to scrub the humble public toilet of its soiled reputation, and bring better sanitation to some of the world’s poorest people. For 13 years, the founder of the Restroom Association Singapore and the World Toilet Organization has fought taboos and political inertia, to improve the design, quality and hygiene of public conveniences. His Organization’s annual three-day World Toilet Summit kicked off in the Indonesian town of Solo, in Central Java recently.

Charubutr Asavaroengchai

egetables, fruit, fish, meat, soups, juices and cooked treats, plus a lot of pushing, shoving, shouting and cackling hens: in the marketplace of Mae Klong, 70 kilometres south-west of Bangkok, you can feel life pulsating. But eight times a day there is a unique spectacle: the booth operators must quickly pack up all their wares, because a railroad track runs right through the market. When the front car of the rail unit announces its imminent arrival with a deafening blast of its horn, the traders routinely pull their goods out of the way and the train then glides past them – just centimetres away from the fish and vegetables and other goods. The Talad Rom Hoop market - roughly translatable as the “umbrella-pulldown market” - is the name of this tourist attraction. On the right, a woman is stacking a pyramid of juicy green and yellow mangoes. Come, try, she says in gestures to the visitor, holding out bits of fruit impaled on toothpicks. Next to her, two young girls are offering purplecoloured pitaya fruit. The woman next to them has made a spiral of some giant shrimps atop a tin tray. Everywhere you look, people are examining, touching, bargaining and weighing the wares on offer. The market is long and narrow. The booths are squeezed close together; behind them the walls of buildings, in front of them the railroad tracks. When a siren sounds to warn of a train approaching, the booth operators jump to their feet. “Get back!” shouts a market guard, before giving a sharp

G lobal

The market awnings are drawn back and the goods on display are rolled away to let the scheduled blue and orange train pass through the Talad Rom Hoop market. Tourists want a picture of the spectacle.

blast on his whistle. With practiced hands the vendors gather up their goods atop rollers and pull them back out of the way. The woman grabs her tray of shrimp, while her father tugs sharply at some ropes, to pull the tattered awning back. The train’s whistle blasts a warning, three times, and then hundreds of tons of steel on wheels rumble through the narrow alleyway, toward the nearby railway station. It’s not travelling fast, but being up so close to a 4-metre-tall steel monster creeping past you can be terrifying. The whistle, which, out in a broad expanse of the landscape, might stir up some deep longing of wanderlust, can penetrate down to your bones when the train is just inches away. Scarcely has the train passed then the alley quickly fills up once again. The awnings are extended, the umbrellas

are unfolded, the goods are rolled forward, and business resumes. It all begs the question: why a market here, of all places? And the simple answer from a woman selling fish, as translated by a Thai local, goes like this: “And why not? My grandparents were already here (first), selling things.” The rail line has been in existence for more than 100 years. Someone else suggests that there may be another reason. The vendors along the rail tracks don’t have to pay any market fees. The rail company and farmers reached an arrangement, and nobody gets upset about the Talad Room Hoop market. And, on the route between Ban Laem and Mae Klong, tourists often ride the train simply to be able to take pictures of the spectacle outside their windows. Nobody has ever heard of an accident. u

dpa: Why should toilets be on the agenda? Sim: Around 2.5 billion people worldwide have no access to toilets or a sewage system. A million children a year die of diarrhoea each year, which is as many as from AIDS, measles and malaria combined – many as a result of sewage-borne infections. Toilets are a health issue with wide-reaching consequences. dpa: What needs to be done? Sim: Above all, proper cleaning. Cleaners often clean public toilets only as they do their own at home. But more users requires tougher measures: for example, crystals that form in the toilet bowl need to be removed with special chemicals, otherwise a stink can build up. Also, the toilet area is often wiped down and left wet. Public toilets must always be dry, otherwise the floor becomes rapidly dirty. And when something doesn’t look clean, the following users quickly stop caring about keeping it clean. dpa: What do you think of facilities in developed countries? Sim: The design of most public toilet spaces leaves something to be desired. Facilities for men and women are usually the same size - this is a mistake. For a men’s room with four cubicles and four urinals, the same ladies’ room would only have space for five cubicles. Women need to use this facility longer – an average of 96 seconds to men’s 35 seconds. Singapore building regulations now stipulate that women’s toilets must be larger. We would like to see this in every country. dpa: Which is better from a hygiene perspective, the squat toilet or sit-down option? Sim: As far as personal hygiene is concerned, the squat toilet is better. If you are sitting on the toilet, the bowels are not emptied as effectively, and it is not as easy to clean yourself thoroughly. But if the area around the squat gets wet, that’s bad too. There is a trend towards more sit-down loos – among other reasons, because people around the world are getting older, and squatting is harder. u

G lobal

11-17 October 2013

The Biker Look

{ Simone Andrea Mayer/ Berlin/ DPA }


here is something unique and eye-catching about the biker look. Though it’s not suitable for everybody - tough leather and metallic rivets can create a hard and somewhat remote look - it is turning into one of the big trends in women’s fashion for the autumn/winter season. Rich & Royal have combined the punk look with baroque and lots of leather in its collection – which includes a short biker jacket with long, spikey rivets and a glittering pair of trousers in silver and black. Le Comte has a flashy pair of leggings that go well with rock star boots and a leather jacket. There are toned-down variations of this style that make it more suitable for normal daywear. Luisa Cerano has a great

pair of biker pants combined with a fluffy pullover and jacket. If you throw in a pair of high heels you get an extra boost of style, which helps soften the overall impression. Stylist Ines Meyrose recommends combining the biker style with clashing elements. “That helps you avoid looking as if you have just dismounted a motorbike.” But no matter how much you may try to soften the style (unless you’re a very feminine type), you will end up looking a little manly. “The rock star look can create a rather tomboyish feel. You need to be careful and not overdo things,” says Meyrose. Luisa Cerano has dubbed

Humour in Crises { Andy Goldberg/ Los Angeles / DPA }


s always, in times of deep national crisis, some of the sanest explanations of America’s bewildering political impasse are coming from the country’s comics. From Jon Stewart to Jay Leno, David Letterman and hundreds of other comedians and celebrities, the main challenge seems to be of finding something to say that can actually top the absurdity of the real-life situation that has brought the richest, most powerful government on earth to a virtual standstill, over a manufactured political crisis. For Stewart, whose satirical news show has long been regarded as one of the most salient commentaries on the US political class, the challenge has been to find adequate ways to describe the shenanigans of the Republican lawmakers he holds responsible for the crisis. Never usually at a loss for words, Stewart has had to invent some new pearls of the English language to describe those he sees as responsible for the fiasco. These include terms that no-one has ever heard before, such as “taint-sniff McGillicuddys”, “self-righteous Orwellian zebra-queefs” and “bald-eagled fellators” – all of which he pulled from a thick folder kept under his desk, titled “Names to Call Republicans.” Jay Leno was also having a field day. “I am glad the government is shut down,” he said. “For the first time in

the look “The New Black”, keeping in view the trend colour of the winter season. Colourful garments play just a small role in most collections, according to Gerd Mueller-Thomkins from the German Fashion Institute. There is also a colour called “new black” in the shops. Mueller-Thomkins describes it as Bordeaux red mixed with black, to give a particularly dark colour. Another trend colour is pine green. Comma has a pair of pants in dark red or pine green. Germany’s Shoe Institute confirms the trend towards dark colours. “The bright colours we saw last season have been replaced with dark tones – with black the most favourite. Dark colours like midnight blue, emerald, deep violet and ox blood in particular are proving popular,” according to the Institute’s Winter trend report. Dark colours automatically provide a touch of rock star style. Comma has called the look “Rock Glamour”, in its trend report, and describes it as a classy and elegant look with a hard rocker edge. Combining biker jackets with cardigans or stylish blazers softens the overall impression. Comma also has a feminine looking boucle jacket in Chanel style with leather sleeves. Van Graaf has opted for a softer nuance to the look. “We’ve combined the metal look of rivets and rhinestones with big voluminous woollens,” says its collection description. Marc Cain has chosen a lace dress to take the edge off. Adding rhinestone chains to what would be heavy looking boots can tone down footwear. Other collections went for lace stockings to provide a more feminine touch.u


World’s Largest Cave Opening Up { Hanoi / DPA }


he largest cave in the world, in Vietnam, is soon to be opened to tourists, tourism officials have disclosed. The Son Doong Cave, discovered just 20 years ago, will be opened up on a test basis to visitors. The tourism authority of Quang Binh Province said that the cave would be opened between February and August of next year, with small expeditionary groups of up to eight persons permitted entry at a time. “After that we will decide whether to keep the cave open on a regular basis,” said the tourism authority’s deputy director Nguyen Van Ky. “We’ll be studying whether the visits will have any adverse environmental effects.” Tours must be booked via the Vietnamese tour operator Oxalis. Already, the Company says, it has more requests than it has capacity for in the coming year. Oxalis says a total of 220 visitors to the Cave are planned for 2014. An expedition in Son Doong, located in the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, 500 kilometres south of the capital Hanoi, is not for novices. Tourism officials say that the underground trek is 17 kilometres long. The expeditions will start after an overnight stay at the site. The Cave contains spectacular rock formations, pools of water and unique flora and fauna, Nguyen says. A tour costs 3,000 dollars per person. The National Park was declared a World Natural Heritage site by UNESCO in 2003. Local inhabitants of the area of Central Vietnam, bordering with Laos, discovered the Cave along with its underground river in 1991. In 2009, British scientists carried out the first expedition, with researcher Howard Limbert reporting a cavern length of 6,481 metres. At some points it is 150 metres wide and 200 metres tall, surpassing what earlier had been the largest known cave in the world, the Deer Cave on Borneo. u

years it’s safe to talk on the phone and send emails, without anybody listening in!” Jimmy Fallon referred to reports that some Congress members had been drinking while debating the shutdown. “See, Congress is just like most Americans; they need to get drunk before they screw people,” he quipped. Other celebrities took a more serious tone. “F the shutdown,” tweeted singer John Legend, an outspoken supporter of US President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act, which was the pretext for Republicans’ blocking the budget. “The Health Insurance Marketplace is now open in every state. Don’t wait another day to #GetCovered!” he told his 4.8 million followers. Actor James Van Der Beek had a succinct message for his elected representatives. “If you can’t avoid a government shutdown, you have failed to govern,” he tweeted. Kirstie Alley, on the other hand, had a specific demand. “Mr. President, tell us why Congress is still getting paychecks and the average Joe employed by OUR government isn’t. You owe THEM an answer.” Former Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine was even more forthright. “I think they need to get their sh*t together,” he said, during a video interview with TMZ. Actor Samuel L Jackson called the move “shameful” and un-American.” I know they are angry – we get it; but don’t make the whole country pay for your anger,” Jackson told The Wall Street Journal. “Don’t devalue our status as a nation because you are angry.”u

California Bans “Revenge Porn” { San Francisco / DPA }


alifornia Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a ban on “revenge porn” – making it illegal to post nude pictures online of someone else without permission and with intent to humiliate them. Senate Bill 255 provides for up to six months in jail and a 1,000 dollar fine for people “convicted of illegally distributing private images with the intent to harass or annoy.” The Bill is an attempt to combat the rising number of unauthorized pictures of ex-girlfriends posted to online porn sites by jilted former lovers. Hackers are also known to post stolen pictures on line and then charge victims hefty fees to remove them. “I want to thank Governor Brown for recognizing that this Bill was needed. Until now, there was no tool for law enforcement to protect victims,” stated the Bill’s sponsor, Senator Anthony Cannella. “Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted.” u


11-17 October 2013

Happy Dussehra

G -scape Asha Pandey

Friday gurgaon 11 17 oct, 2013 the change you want to see

Friday gurgaon 11 17 oct, 2013 the change you want to see