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18-24 April 2014

Vol. 3 No. 35  Pages 24  ` 10

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

Judgement on the Rule of Law { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


he Builder community in India has often used loopholes in the Building laws, a slow and corrupt bureaucracy and inherent delays in the judicial system to impose themselves upon hapless apartment buyers who are forced to sign on the dotted lines and bear with poor standard of construction and maintenance. The dictum, ‘howsoever mighty you may be the law will catch up’ had almost proven itself hollow, as Builders with deep pockets and some top lawyers ensured that investors in real estate projects would keep moving around in circles - without any hope of getting justice. However, the recent judgement of the Allahabad High Court, against Supertech Builders in NOIDA, has changed the gestalt of the entire Real Estate industry, which has been used to even having its way with governments. Real Estate experts say that the unambiguous order of the Allahabad High Court, ordering for the demolition of the two 40-storied towers being built by Supertech, and simultaneous legal action against the NOIDA Authority for being complicit in this ‘illegal’ construction, will send a very strong signal to all the stakeholders that rules and regulations can't be violated at will, and transgressions would not be tolerated. The High Court Order is also being hailed for neutralising the stratagem often used by Builders, of creating ‘third party’ rights by quickly selling flats and apartments in contentious buildings to buyers which often has forced the authorities and the judicial system to temper their decisions, keeping the interests of the innocent ‘third parties’ in mind. But the extant Allahabad High Court, taking into account the interests of the ‘new’ buyers’, has ordered that their money should be returned along with an interest of 14 per cent per annum. Vineet Singh, CEO 99 acres, a Real Estate firm, says that this decision will definitely send the message not only

Allahabad High Court – ‘The time has come when everyone should realise that the rule of law is not a purchasable commodity and illegalities will not be tolerated merely because the builder has taken protection against a sanction that, admittedly, is illegal and in violation of building regulations and the Act... to Builders but also the government authorities, that they should not implement rules and regulations as per their whims and fancies. “The High Court decision is based on the rules that were framed by the NOIDA Authority – which had then allowed the rules to be violated by its own people. That is why the Court has also ordered legal action to be taken against the officials who failed to implement the rules,” says Singh. In his opinion, this Order has also sent a signal to the government to review the rules and regulations, so that discretionary power is minimized, and cannot be misused by the officials or politicians. While the Builder might put the onus on government authorities, claiming that it has received all the requisite ‘approvals’, the (Supertech) Emerald Court RWA, which had filed the Petition, says that repeated requests to the authorities as well as the Builder had met with cold responses. Rajpal Tandon, President

of The Emerald Court RWA, tells Friday Gurgaon that, ever since 2009 he has written hundreds of letters to the NOIDA Authority, complaining about the illegalities taking place in the Complex - but there never was a response. “We had to move the High Court because the Builder had begun developing two additional towers within the Complex, which was totally in violation of the laid down rules and regulations,” says Tandon. He recollects that it all began in 2005, with Supertech laying the foundation for 660 flats, to be housed in 12 towers of 10 stories each. The FAR was revised in 2006, and the Builder also acquired an adjoining plot of 6000 sq yards – with a plan to build a 12-storied tower. While the Project was under construction, the NOIDA Authority allowed the purchase of further FAR, which induced the Builder to first plan a 24-storied, and later a 40-storied, building. Tandon says that the Builder

did not take the permission from the RWA for purchasing the additional FAR and for the construction of 857 more flats, which is required as per the law. With the NOIDA Authority not willing to listen to the woes of the residents, and the Builder playing truant, the RWA had no other option but to approach the Police in 2011. “An FIR was lodged against the Builder, but it had little impact. This forced us to approach the High Court in 2012, and there we presented our case forcefully,” says Tandon. The basic premise that they presented before the Court is that these two towers - called Ceyane and Apex - are unsafe, as the separation between the two buildings is less than the prescribed area. Further, the infrastructure, which has been installed for 660 flats, cannot meet the needs of 857 additional apartment owners. The builder has conveniently kept the common areas and facilities common/shared – and basically treated it as a single project. Tandon alleges that obviously the NOIDA Authority officials were complicit with the builders. In fact this has been taken into cognizance by the High Contd on p 7 


18-24 April 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–35  18-24 April 2014


Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondents: Abhishek Behl Shilpy Arora Sr. Photographer:

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:


Stress on a Balance

Gurgaon is home to many successful professionals and entrepreneurs, and aspiring youth who want to achieve success in every sphere of life. Economic success has definitely made Gurgaon a ‘millennium city’. But at the same time it has also led to an increase in the Stress levels in the day-to-day lives of people. The ‘modern life’ in the City, primarily driven by a ‘western’ model, seems to generate a constant desire and a relentless aspiration for material gains. Intense competition, the need to excel, peer pressure and the desire to make money is a heady combination. Stress is something that comes as a package deal with a corporate job – just like a posh apartment,” says Garvit Shah, a resident of DLF Phase V. Coming from a ‘smaller’ city, Meerut, Garvit settled in Gurgaon in 2008 in the hope of getting a high-paying job. Within a month he landed a dream job at an MNC.

...P 9

Shiv Shankar Jha

Social... They Click Well

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office

Spritual... Spiritual Seekers & Teachers

It is very rare to see CEOs, doctors, young professionals, school students and housewives walking together on a street with cameras in their hands. It is the passion for Photography that has brought these people together and encouraged them to form a hobby club, the Gurgaon Photography Club (GPC). Started in 2012, the Club currently has over 270 members - and the number is increasing every day.

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

The idea that spiritualism leads to happiness is correct; the idea that it does so by eliminating suffering is false. A spiritual seeker generally believes that following a path of spiritual life will bring him into a world of no pain, no suffering, no obstacles, no wrinkles… and perhaps no death! But we all know that howsoever pure and compassionate our life ...P 15

...P 10

Bon Vivant... Pluming Good!

Wellness... Rosemary

The afternoon sun was at its zenith on a hot Summer’s day. The ball of fire blazed in the crimson sky and its rays of fury touched the dry crevices of the barren desert land. Parched and tired of flying, four birds of different feathers flocked together under the cool canopy of the giant Banyan tree, sipping from a stream of clear water. There was no cloud in sight, nor any respite from the warm winds.

Battling the growing global tsunami of Chronic lifestyle-based diseases is clearly emerging as a major challenge of the 21st Century. Not only are 65% of all deaths attributed to these diseases, the impact of prolonged medication and related costs is threatening to cripple or severely impact the economies of many countries. The Chronic diseases’ illnesses are induced by prolonged exposure to stress,

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.

C ontents

...P 17

G-Scape ....

...P 19

Plus Other Stories.... Social

Open their you close yours.................P12 Kid Corner

Activities/Events/Exhibitions/ Seminars......P 13-14 Comment


Editorial......................................................................P 16 Wellness

Let not Heart Surgery dampen..............................P18

You can just see the Road!


...P 24

Med Students turn Detective............................P21-23

18-24 April 2014

H appenings


Latina Woods Collection


oods hosted a Pool Party at India Fiesta Latina - recreating London life using iconic symbols. A Fashion Show provided a preview of the Woods' Spring/Summer 2014 Collection.

Fact to Fiction


ashodhara Lal’s second book, ‘Sorting Out Sid’, was launched recently. Her first, ‘Just Married, Please Excuse’ (2012), was a hilarious account of her trials and tribulations with marriage - almost autobiographical in nature. By contrast, Sorting Out Sid is about a man going through a divorce - and is a work of fiction.

NDIM Upskills & Upscales NDIM and Bloomberg partner for effective education and learning in the field of Managerial and Financial Skills Development! Bloomberg is a leading provider of local and global financial information to Global businesses, banks, government ministries and universities. Bloomberg India team has established working relationships with key government associations and regulatory bodies, to ensure that local requirements are met. Bloomberg Institute has now joined hands with NDIM to help enhance the Management and Leadership Skills of young budding managers, by imparting its financial expertise. NDIM, with a unique culture of pursuing innovative ways to provide unparalleled learning and skills development to its students, has stepped ahead in the field of skills development by earning the tag of 'Official BAT Centre' for the Bloomberg Aptitude Test (BAT) - a test designed to help students connect with financial employers worldwide in a more efficient

Naturals Banks on Mahila


aturals, a leading unisex hair and beauty salon, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bharatiya Mahila Bank BMB). Women with entrepreneurial skills and potential can look forward to setting up a Naturals spa, salon or lounge, for which they can avail financial assistance from Bharatiya Mahila Bank. In picture -  Ms. Usha Anantha Subramanian, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, and Kumaravel, CEO & Co Founder, Naturals.

manner.Taking this endeavour further, Bloomberg Institute decided to hold this Test free of cost for students across the spectrum of different colleges in Delhi NCR. NDIM, in the same spirit, hosted Bloomberg official Summy Kataria, Country Manager University Relations along with the Campus Ambassador - Ashita Modi, and conducted BAT at the NDIM Campus free of cost - which was taken by a huge number of NDIMites. With this, NDIMites have stepped up the ladder and gained unmatched and invaluable exposure, while receiving valuable feedback regarding their strengths and weaknesses related to a career in Business and Finance. An added advantage of taking BAT is that one is simultaneously marketed to over 20,000 global employers via the Bloomberg Talent Search. NDIM’s students got evaluated on their aptitude for a career while identifying their personal strengths relative to global peers, thus enhancing their exposure for full-time and internship opportunities. The students not only found the Bloomberg Aptitude Test very practical and comprehensive, but also a very effective, time-efficient and innovative tool to assess their aptitude and knowledge, as also their skills related to a career of their choice. The results were posted quickly and efficiently by Bloomberg. NDIM is proud to be associated with Bloomberg and looks forward to enhanced learning and exposure for its students through this wonderful educational drive.


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C oming U p

participants to impress our tech partners for prospective employment - and to get noticed by GSF.

Miles To Go - Walkathon For Senior Citizens Date: April 20 Time: 7:30 am to 10:30 am (Registration at 7am) Venue: Leisure Valley HUDA Ground, Sector 29 The thought behind ’Miles To Go’ (Walk of Dignity) is to celebrate ‘life’, which now resides as experience and wisdom in those who have already walked their part on Earth for over 60 years.

One day Workshop on Living in Harmony with Nature Date: April 19 Time: 9 am (Workshop 10am to 5pm) Venue: Club Patio, South City II GSF Hacks Date: April 19 Time: 11am Venue: Investopad,18, Sector 32 GSF, in partnership with Investopad, is set to launch a brand new initiative, GSF Hacks -- a re-conceptualised, 30hour hackathon that will allow young programmers a flexible platform to create next generation applications and technologies. 75 of India’s top coders will come together to tackle challenges and pitch products to high profile mentors and investors. It is a great platform for

CAK Mumpreneur Workshop Date: April 19 Time: 9:30 am Venue: Career after Kids, Level 1 Block 2, Vatika Business Park, Sohna Road, Sector 49 This Workshop is to help budding/aspiring Mumpreneurs who wish to start their own business. It will be facilitated by Gaurav Sareen - a Gurgaon-based Executive Coach and Business Consultant. Talk on the Travel Industry SSGGN April - Travel Industry Date: April 19 Time: 4 pm to 7 pm Venue: iseed, Plot no. 64, Sector 44 iseed conducts a discussion on trends , opportunites and growth in the Travel industry. Experts, Aloke Bajpai and Anirudh Gupta, will lead the discussion.

Gurgaon's Funniest April Day Date: April 20 Time: 7 pm Venue: Epicentre, Sector 44 2 back-to-back Comedy shows - by Vaibhav Sethia, Anirban Dasgupta, Nishant

Spirit of India 2014 Date: April 23 & 24 Time: 3pm onwards Venue: (Hotel) Westin, IFFCO Chowk In this first of its kind initiative, SPIRITZ is offering an ultimate business experience for alcoholic beverage makers, importers, distributors and allied industries, by connecting them directly with their target audience and other stakeholders in a two-day affair – full of entertainment, music and glamour. The participating companies will get to interact with a large number of guests walking in to enjoy 'open tasting' and other activities organised to involve the end-consumers. Please join us in this unique endeavour to promote the liquor industry and focus on issues of concern. We request you to book your exhibition space and other alliances fast, as we have limited number of offerings. Tanwar & Abijit Ganguly. 7:00 pm: Stand Up for Gurgaon feat: Vaibhav and Anirban 8:30 pm: Live show of India Doesn't Want To Know feat: Nishant and Abijit. Featuring parodies, sketches, roasts, improve...and lots more. Book Reading by Gurgaon Book Club  Cough Syrup Surrealism, by

cAndle - a platform to promote creativity in children Date: April 19 Time: 6 pm Venue: GD Goenka La Petite, Malibu Towne, Sector 47 A meet-up for people who think their child(ren) could be the next creative world talent - if polished and mentored properly. Tharun James Jimani Date: April 20 Time: 5:30 pm Venue: The Pintroom, Crosspoint Mall, DLF Phase IV A book that does not try to dilute the Indian experience, and with its liberal pop culture references lends a unique voice to the Indian 90s child.

Gurgaon Circle of Moms Meet Date: April 18 Time: 11am Venue: 21 Gun Salute, Sector 29 Gurgaon Circle of Moms celebrates its first Meet. There will be a lot of interactive games & quizzes. Five mompreneurs will introduce their venture to the group & motivate other moms with their experiences.

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Exhibition Reflection - The Journey Of Soul Date: April 17-28 Time:11am to 7 pm Venue: All India Fine Art and Craft Society (AIFACS), Gallery A, Rafi Marg, New Delhi. A solo exhibition of Aarti Makkar

"Feel India' - A Kuchipudi Recital By Renowned Kuchipudi Exponent Meenu Thakur And Her Disciples An Initiative Of 'Incredible India' And Itdc Date: April 24 Time: 7 Pm Venue: Hotel Ashok, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

M.E.C. Art Gallery Presents Livable Art Group Show of paintings by: Samit Das, Manish Pushkale,Sajal S Sarkar, Rahim Mirza, Mukesh Sharma, Chanden Sen Gupta, Debasish Mishra, Tapan Dash & Monideep Saha   Date: open till 30th April 2014 Time: 11:30 to 7:30 Daily (Sunday closed) Venue: M.E.C Art Gallery # 70B First Level, Middle Lane, Khan Market, New Delhi - 3 R.S.V.P- 9811039741

Exhibition Different colors Group Exhibition at AIFACS Date: April 16 - 21 Time: 11am to 7pm Venue: AIFACS, 1 Rafi Marg, New Delhi

Heart-friendly Cookery Workshop by Chef Kandla Nijhowne Date: April 18 Time: 2.30 pm Venue: artt'dinox, B-77, Bhishma Pitamaha Marg, B-Block, Defence Colony, New Delhi artt'dinox invites members of Lions and Rotary Clubs to the Heart-friendly Cookery Workshop by Chef Kandla Nijhowne. A subsidiary of JSL Stainless Ltd, artt'dinoc is famous for the most contemporary range of modular kitchens.

1. Creative Platform Series # 6 : Exhibition 'trans × form in Delhi' This Exhibition is a continuation of the Artist in Residence 2013 at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre, Japan (ACAC).  Artists:  Manisha Parekh, Takahiro Iwasaki Curator:  Hiroyuki Hattori Date: April 1 to 30 (closed on Sundays and Public Holidays) Time: 11 am to 7 pm Entry Free   2. First Step to Contemporary Dance – Dance & Me Are you new to the nuances of Contemporary Dance? Well, here your chance to get well versed with it. The Japan Foundation, New Delhi brings to you the expertise of Yoriko Maeno & Yuichi Nishikawa  in the ‘Cultural Talk Series # 5’. Ms. Maeno is a Japanese Dancer/Choreographer/Director and will talk about Dance and perform. Mr. Nishikawa will support her with Music. Date: April 22 Time: 6:30pm to 8:30 pm Entry Free   3.  Regular Film Screening Enjoy the screening of Japanese Films. Title of the Film : Crayon Shin Chan : Bravo! Samurai Battle Date: April 16 & 26 Time: 6:30 pm (on 16th) & 2 pm (on 26th) Venue for all: The Japan Foundation 5A, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar- IV New Delhi 110024 Tel: +91-(0)11-2644-2967, Fax: +91-(0)11-2644-2969 M: 9999 154 554

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18-24 April 2014

4U 4


 Gurgaon constituency records a 70% plus voter turnout. AAP alleges booth capturing and rigging in some areas - asks for repolling there. Over 4,000 policemen are deployed on Election Day. Punhana witnesses violence after a bulletridden body is found; after 5 days of curfew, the villagers reconcile. A Mega Lok Adalat in held in the City. Out of 5,165 cases presented, 3,148 are resolved. Chief Justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court and Chairman of HLSA, S.K. Mittal, also attends. INLD has decided to fight the upcoming Haryana Assembly elections on its own – no alliance. A 6th. FIR is being filed against Minister Sukhbir Kataria and others, in the ‘alleged bogus votes’ case. CM is to hold a meeting to review the toll rates in the City – after protests across multiple cities.

 A 29-year-old businessman hangs himself at a guest house in Sector 45, after an extra-marital affair turns sour; a labour contractor shoots himself, in Basai Enclave; a 30-year-old auto driver is killed near Badshahpur – hit on the head with a hammer; a chowkidar of an Aravalli farmhouse is killed and his body buried – the stench leads to its discovery; a family alleges that their married daughter has been killed because dowry (a Scorpio car) was not given; the charred body of a youth is found near Sector 57; a 30-year-old man is arrested for hitting and shooting his father over a property dispute, in Palam Vihar.  2 girls (19-year-olds) from the North East are molested by a guard in a South City I high-rise; a Nagaland girl is molested by a person who has given her a lift – she is still suffering trauma; a 48-year-old woman

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registers a molestation case against 4 people; a 24-year-old woman accuses her husband of physical abuse; a father alleges that his 20-yer-old daughter has been kidnapped. 10 are hurt when a gas cylinder bursts in Hira Nagar Colony. A father and his 2-year-old child succumb to their injuries and burns. A 33-year-old IBM engineer goes missing from his residence in DLF Phase V. A Sub-Inspector of Police is thrashed by 5 men near Sheetla Mata temple, for asking them not to park in a no parking area – two of the men are arrested. An engineering student is abducted and robbed at gunpoint, on Railway Road.

 A domestic help allegedly flees with Rs 5 lakhs cash taken from his employers’ car at a service station in Shikohpur; a house is robbed in DLF II.  A shop owner is booked for selling stolen MCG water pipes.

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 Diarrhoea, Typhoid and Viral Fever cases are rising.  Construction is alleged to have taken place in the restricted 900m area, while the police were busy on election duty. 7 people are booked. Hundreds of Subros Ltd workers protest the suspension of 29 of their colleagues. HUDA Gymkhana Club (Sector 4) members decide to take their complaints to the Lokayukta. Sector 29 Club also joins in. DLF puts up 30 CCTVs at 23 entry/exit sites in its various Phases. A fire drill takes place at Hamilton Court. Prepaid Autos will get smart cards. A Prepaid Auto booth (the third) opens at the Bus Stand. Ambedkar Jayanti, Hanuman Jayanti and Baisakhi are celebrated. Raahgiri restarts – and will be extended to Palam Vihar from this Sunday.


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

Q. Despite eating healthy and sleeping sufficiently, there are dark

circles under my eyes. Is there anything I can do to remove them?

SH Some of the reasons for the formation of dark circles around eyes are

hereditary factors, nutritional deficiencies, stress, inadequate sleep, sun-sensitivity, etc. So, along with external care, you should check these aspects. As a home remedy, you can daily apply pure almond oil sparingly (very little quantity) around eyes and massage it lightly on the skin, using only the ring finger, for one minute under each eye. Massage in one direction only. Leave on for 15 minutes and wipe off gently with moist cotton wool. You can also mix cucumber juice and potato juice in equal quantities. Apply under eyes daily for 20 minutes. Wash off with water. Before going out in the sun, apply a sunscreen lotion sparingly under the eyes. Add a drop of water to it before applying, to give a lighter coverage.

Bhavna Khanna

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

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18-24 April 2014

C over S tory


Judgement on the Rule of Law  Contd from p 1 Court, which has ordered action against the officials as well. The RWA also says that the ‘new’ buyers who have purchased apartments in these contentious towers, should force the Builder to pay back their money with interest – as also directed by the Court. Currently the price of the flats in this Complex is between Rs 6000 to 6500 psf, whereas the rate in the adjoining ATS Greens is Rs 11000 psf, says Tandon. “We don’t want to cause a loss to anyone, but the illegalities that have been committed should be removed, and exemplary punishment given to those who allowed them,” he asserts, The RWA has also filed a caveat with the Supreme Court, to ensure that no ex-parte decision is given, in case the Builder approaches the Apex Court. While the Allahabad High Court Order may be challenged in the Supreme Court, it has caused more than ripples in Gurgaon. Even though the dominance of Builders in this City is more than that in NOIDA, Real Estate activists opine that this Order will shake both the industry and the authorities


(especially DTCP), which have seldom taken any action against the repeated violations by the Builders here. Advocate Pooja Aganpal, who has taken up several cases on behalf of the local RWAs, points out that this Order has reinforced the faith of the buyers/residents in the judicial system, despite the recent setback in the Manmohan Law case - in which Supreme Court had favoured the Builder with reference to ‘common areas’. “This Order will set a precedent; it will make Builders and the authorities well aware that violations of even the spirit of the law may not be permitted,” she says. In Haryana this ruling would have special importance, because in many cases the State government has brought in retrospective regulations to help condone the violations by Builders. The Haryana Apartment Owners Act 1983 is believed to have been re-notified, on a specious plea, thereby allowing some powerful builders to escape the clutches of the law, allege some RWAs. The decision of the State government to bring apartments under the Societies Act 2012 is also being seen as

xperts says that the ambiguity in rules and regulations in the Real Estate sector, which has been further confounded by the changing norms and byelaws, has led to a situation where the nexus of builders, bureaucrats and politicians is able to hoodwink the buyers – as also the law. Till 2006, a Builder was allowed a FAR of only 1.75, which was revised to 3.00 in 2006 which means that a Builder can now build three times the ‘ground area’. Tandon says that a Builder can also build only 80 flats on an acre. This forces them to go for vertical buildings with more than 5 stories, as the Builders need to utilise the entire FAR. In 2006, the NOIDA Authority also allowed 140 more flats on an acre of land. Tandon says that using this rule, Builders not only constructed more apartments in the under-construction projects, but also in those complexes that had reached completion or were being delivered. With no additional land to create common areas and facilities, every law in the book was subverted to take the ‘benefit’ from the changed norms. The Emerald Court RWA's contention is that many rules – for example, relating to the sale of car parkings, fire safety norms and construction norms as laid down by NBCC - were violated. Sanjay Sharma of Qubrex says that when FAR is increased, the infrastructure has to be built keeping the increased number of apartments in mind - but this is not happening in most of the cases

another move to ensure that the apartment owners are left with no legal remedy - as the Societies Act 2012 bars them from approaching the courts in case of a dispute, says Aganpal. Col SS Oberoi, who has been involved in several legal cases with Builders, says that he has already filed an application with the Gurgaon District Court, citing the Allahabad High Court judgement, along with a score of others, to prove the illegalities that have been committed in their Complex. “Extra apartments have been built, which should now be demolished, and common areas and facilities have been compromised,” asserts Singh. Real Estate activists point out that violations in Gurgaon are primarily: delays in the delivery


iving a jolt to the hopes of hundreds of buyers who have invested in Emerald Court Phase II, the NOIDA Authority has sealed the twin towers as per the order of the Allahabad High Court - which has ordered the demolition of the two towers. The Authority maintains that it will file a Special Leave Petition with the Supreme Court, to challenge the Order, which directs for the prosecution of its officials. The buyers have become the biggest losers in this battle between the RWA and the builder. Most of the buyers want the Builder to be directed to give them flats instead of a refund of their money - as most of them are living in rented houses. The banks that have financed the buyers as well as the Builder are also worried. IDBI, ICICI, Corporation Bank and HDFC are the major creditors who have disbursed large amounts in the Project. Experts say that the Builder will take a hit of Rs 750 to 800 crores if the High Court Order is implemented in toto. The buyers, a majority of whom has paid almost 80 to 90 per cent of the cost, are now thinking about filing a criminal case against the builder - for allegedly suppressing facts about the litigation that has been ongoing for the last few years. Meanwhile Supertech has repeatedly asserted that it will approach the Supreme Court to challenge the High Court Order, and stated that the investments of the buyers were safe, as the two towers were built in compliance with rules.

of houses, poor construction, lack of promised infrastructure and facilities, and the refusal of Builders to vacate the premises once the projects are ‘complete’. Sanjay Sharma of Qubrex says that one of the reasons that Builders are able escape scrutiny is that they never apply for ‘completion certificates’ and in this the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) is hand in gloves with the Builder lobby. Advocate Aganpal adds that if the authorities had the interest of the people in mind, the Builders would never be able to use the loopholes in the system to escape from their responsibilities - but clearly the

people do not matter. A new dispensation at the Centre (and soon in States) may hopefully help change this attitude - fast. Aganpal also points to the DLF Belaire and Park Place projects, which were taken up by the Competition Commission of India after the RWA complained that the Builder had increased the number of floors and apartments without permission from the ‘original’ owners. The RWA also alleged that common areas, which belonged to it, had been ‘taken away’, in order to construct new apartments - which was against the rules. Finding relevance in DLF being a dominant player, the CCI had imposed a heavy penalty and also proposed that

the agreement between the builder and buyer should be more fair and equal. While this is still pending before the CCI, it showed how the Builders can use their clout and financial power to subvert the system. The Allahabad High Court Order has revived the hopes of many aggrieved Gurgaon RWAs, which had been dampened by the recent Supreme Court Order in the (DLF) Silver Oaks case. It’s time now for Gurgaon RWAs and residents to keep the flame – that has been ably lit by a NOIDA RWA and residents - burning. Builders beware - ‘howsoever mighty you may be the law will catch up’. u

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{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


urgaon is home to many successful professionals and entrepreneurs, and aspiring youth who want to achieve success in every sphere of life. Economic success has definitely made Gurgaon a ‘millennium city’. But at the same time it has also led to an increase in the Stress levels in the day-to-day lives of people. The ‘modern life’ in the City, primarily driven by a ‘western’ model, seems to generate a constant desire and a relentless aspiration for material gains. Intense competition, the need to excel, peer pressure and the desire to make money is a heady combination. Stress is something that comes as a package deal with a corporate job – just like a posh apartment,” says Garvit Shah, a resident of DLF Phase V. Coming from a ‘smaller’ city, Meerut, Garvit settled in Gurgaon in 2008 in the hope of getting a high-paying job. Within a month he landed a dream job at an MNC. Today he is making good money, but finds it difficult to cope with the mounting Stress levels arising out of the work pressure and family responsibilities. “Garvit always feels stressedout, which many times leads to an argument. It seems that Stress has become an integral part of our life now,” feels his wife. She too feels stressed, as it is challenging for her to manage both work and home. She works as a teacher with an international school, where her shift starts at 7am and ends at 4 pm. Be it a teacher, a techie or an entrepreneur, the stories on Stress are similar. Dr. Momita Sen, a psychologist based in Sector 56, says, “The primary reason for Stress is the high aspiration to achieve success in every field. Many young women, for instance, want to become super-moms – they want to be great homemakers as well as excel in their careers. It is important to realise that every human being has some limitations. I always tell people to set realistic goals and clearly say ‘no’ to something they can’t do. Unfortunately, in India we have a culture of not being able to say ‘no’ especially at the workplace. Many people find themselves agreeing to do more work than they are capable of (doing). All this causes Stress at work as well as home.” Stress is certainly not limited to our professional lives. Mutual affection, love and empathy are feelings that once

Stress on a Balance

cemented relationships – but now seem to have vanished from our family lives. Garvit admits, “Sometimes the most stressful time is that spent with my wife and friends. I now prefer being alone a lot of the time.” This is not an isolated case! “When I come home from work I want to relax, unwind and spend time with family; but many times I feel stressed-out and like to sit in my room alone,” says Deepak (name changed), a resident of Park View. Unfortunately, one person’s Stress impacts the entire family, and affects the children’s mental health. While recounting a case, Dr. Sen says, “Family can be a support system for a child. At the same time it could be a source of Stress and anxiety. Last month I had come across a case where a nine-year-old girl was pulling out strands of her hair and eating them. In the first session itself I figured out that she was undergoing acute depression. I interacted with her sibling and found out that he also was going through a high level of Stress. It is unfortunate that parents only realise the danger when their children start doing something strange to attract their attention.” On an average Dr. Sen receives at least two cases of stressed-out children every week. Despite, or maybe because of, the focus on the accumulation of wealth, some children even in financially well-off families are struggling to live a happy life. A resident of Essel Tower, Faruq (name changed), 40, realised that his son was suffering some

kind of Stress when one day he saw him throwing a flower pot on a stranger from the window of his apartment. “I was shocked to see this behaviour. When I questioned him, he didn’t utter a word and left the room,” he says. Faruq is now consulting a child physiologist in Medanta. The primary reason for Stress is our incapability to accept failure(s). People just want their children to achieve success in each field - be it academics, sports or extracurricular activities; any failure is frowned upon. “In most of the cases the parents are trying to make their children live the lives they wished they had

(lived). The parents wish their children to achieve the goals that they had not been able to. The children are therefore being forced to pursue someone else’s dreams…not theirs. All this generates Stress and frustration - and sometimes leads to depression,” informs Dr. Kriti Singh, Assistant Professor, Mental Health, Army College of Medical Sciences. The lack of maturity to accept failure(s) is seen even in college students. Dr. Singh recounts an incident of a medical student who committed suicide, just because her parents didn’t let her go for a college trip. “Peer pressure is so much today that the youngsters tend to get


too competitive. If they are not given equal opportunity, they develop a feeling of inferiority, which can lead to depression and unfortunately sometimes leads to suicides,” she says. Further, the public world is now almost dead – it is all private here. “In small cities, people take out time for social functions. Ramlila, for example, used to be a major attraction during the festive season in Meerut. But in cities like Gurgaon, people hardly go out even for Ramlila. Everything is extremely commercialized and personalised. We have no option but to visit a mall for our daily shopping. It seems that even mall shopping gives a feeling of ‘having made it’,” says Garvit. To manage Stress effectively, it is important to first realise that living with a higher degree of anxiety is now a part of ‘modern life’. The key to prevention of Stress is good ‘self-management’. Another important factor is to have a ‘positive’ attitude towards life; while one person sees a situation as a problem, another views it as a challenge. The analysis of, and the take-away from, a situation depends on a person’s attitude towards life. As Dr. Sen puts it, “It is natural to feel a little stressed before appearing for an interview or an examination; you may perform better. However, too much Stress can cause serious damage to the mental and physical well-being of a person.” Dr. Singh adds, “We encourage people to inculcate simple relaxation practices - such as yoga, deep breathing, regular exercise, a walk in a garden, meditation and a holiday excursion at least twice a year - in their lifestyles." We all need to find that magic balance between our aspirations and our peace of mind.u



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18-24 April 2014

S ocial

They Click Well

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


t is very rare to see CEOs, doctors, young professionals, school students and housewives walking together on a street with cameras in their hands. It is the passion for Photography that has brought these people together and encouraged them to form a hobby club, the Gurgaon Photography Club (GPC). Started in 2012, the Club currently has over 270 members - and the number is increasing every day. “To establish a forum for photographers to interact and learn from each other, I decided to establish a Photography group, along with a few amateur photographers. Initially we used to organise Photo Walks, which are now complemented with workshops and exhibitions,” says Sanjeev Kumar, Founder, GPC. GPC has become a platform for the exchange of ideas, tips and, more importantly, the passion for Photography. The Club has members from all walks of life. Sunil, an Advertising professional, who has been associated with the Group for the last one year, says, “GPC has not only helped me learn Photography, but has helped me make friends. I have come across many likeminded people in this City, which was very new to me till last year.” Naina, COO of Instolio Solutions, feels that the activities organised by GPC are great stress-busters. “Before joining GPC I had never taken time out for myself - now weekends are only for my camera and Photo Walks. When I come back home and have a look at the photos that I have clicked, it gives me so much satisfaction. I think that this is the best gift that I could

have given to myself,” she smiles. Interestingly, a hotel in the City has used a photograph clicked by her for its print commercial. Similarly, some of the photographs taken by a few members have been published in magazines. To participate, one just has to join the Group on Facebook and then he/she can accompany the Group’s members for Photo Walks, workshops and other activities. “The idea is not to teach Photography to the members, but to help them learn by interacting with each other. The aim is to enhance the knowledge of Photography among various people and to boost their interest in this hobby,” says Sanjeev.

Photo Walks

Many people join the Club to experience the interesting Photo Walks — a group activity aimed at improving the photographic skills of the members. An experienced photographer usually accompanies the members. Photo Walks are theme-based, as the idea is not to just click images randomly. Sunil loves them, as he gets to learn something unique. “Insect Photography has always fascinated me. I bought a DSLR camera some five years ago, but never actually explored this

field. Joining the Club has provided me an opportunity to visit the Aravallis, where one can find some beautiful and rare species of insects. Moreover, you learn a lot from your fellow members,” he says. For Rachit, a Management professional, a Photo Walk provides a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and to discover the City in a leisurely but focused manner. “These Photo Walks have helped me discover so many aspects of this City in the last one year,” says Rachit. Shivani, a college student, likes Cause-based Photo Walks. “Recently GPC was invited to a Cycling Marathon, to help spread awareness about the health and environmental benefits of cycling. Our cameras captured the essence of the message that needed to go to the youth,” she says. “The motive is to encourage people to take to the camera; there is no money motive,” says Sanjeev. Some companies and institutes have come out with exclusive courses, workshops and training programmes for the members of GPC. Panasonic, for instance, conducts free workshops wand seminars on Photography. u

18-24 April 2014

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


he all-time high polling percentage in Gurgaon has confounded most of the political pundits, who were surprised by the increased participation of the urban voters. While Mewat and rural areas of Rewari are known to vote in large numbers, the City voters have rarely shown this kind of enthusiasm. Political experts say that this shift marks the awakening of the middle class, the youth and the residents of ‘new’ Gurgaon, who have realised that living on the sidelines of the City’s (and Country’s) politics is not going to help their cause - both administratively, and socially. This also is the reason for the increased engagement of the corporates with the District Administration. Sumit, a resident of Sector 15, tells Friday Gurgaon that he decided to postpone his official tour, to exercise his vote for the ‘right’ candidate. “I did not participate in any election in the last 5 years, and came to realise that there was no politician to whom our Colony could go and tell their woes. Even the Councillor would not listen to us because we were seen as a disparate group that did not

really matter to him,” he says. Another resident says that when his friends and he went to meet the local MLA a year back, he asked them whether they had enlisted as voters - and from where. It was then that they decided to get registered and to participate in the polling process. Likewise, Ramesh Kumar, a resident of DLF Phase III, tells Friday Gurgaon that people had come out in large numbers to boost the prospects of the Aam Aadmi Party, which has promised to take on the builder lobby. Kumar says that they were impressed by the detailed Manifesto of the AAP, and want Yogendra Yadav to win. However, it was Modi and his ‘magic’ that was working on a large number of business families, and well-to-do Delhi migrants. A large number of residents in Palam Vihar and the adjoining HUDA sectors seem to have accepted Modi as the next Prime Minister of the country, and thronged the BJP polling agents’

P olitical


Polling Day Report tables on Election Day. Pollsters say that it was the combination of the AAP effect, the Modi wave and efforts made by Voting Tau, which ensured a record voting at the polling stations on April 10th. The entire City as well as the rural areas bore a deserted look, as all the markets and offices remained firmly closed. In fact the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat saw the maximum jump in turnout across the 10 seats in Haryana. Compared to the last election, the Gurgaon Parliamentary constituency saw an 11.02 per cent increase; and the biggest surprise was that the Gurgaon

Assembly area saw a jump of 15.18 per cent. Deputy Commissioner, Shekhar Vidyarthi, informs that the Gurgaon LS seat recorded 73.19% polling, with a break-up as follows: Rewari 70.06%, Pataudi 73.22%, Badshahpur 68.55%, Gurgaon 66.97%, Sohna 75.88%, Nuh 77.81%, Ferozepur Jhirka 76.20% and Punhana 74.49%. Political analysts say that this high turnout had made the political battle quite interesting, as people have voted with strong fervor – perhaps looking for change. The INLD voters were split between their liking for Modi and their loyalty for Chautala - who had asked them to support Zakir Hussain, a Muslim candidate from Mewat. In the unauthorised colonies of Gurgaon, particularly the 900 meters disputed area, the residents said they would vote for the Party that had promised a resolution of their problems. The people from UP and Bihar favour the BJP - they are angry

with the decision of the State government to keep 40 lakhs migrants out of the purview of the free government health services. Interestingly, the Punjabi community, which has traditionally voted for the Congress, seems to have switched to the BJP. In a majority of the Punjabidominated areas, the BJP flags could be seen flying high. The INLD did not see much support in the urban parts of Gurgaon, as it is traditionally identified with the farmers. Mangat Ram Bagri, Councillor from Laxman Vihar, says that the people this time have decided to give a chance to Modi, and have kept their local loyalties aside for now. Amar Arora, a resident of New Colony, opines that they had given enough time to the Congress both in the Centre and the State - and now

perhaps led to a polarisation of the votes. AAP candidate Yogendra Yadav, who was expected to elicit strong response in Rewari, seems to have failed to recreate the Kejriwal magic in his home district as this rural area seems to have voted for Rao Inderjit in strong numbers. Congress candidate Rao Dharampal, who was always seen as a reluctant challenger to the BJP, will get the traditional votes but has been hit by the anti-incumbency factor. BSP candidate Dharampal Rathi is expected to create some ripples, as it is expected that the BSP vote bank would have remained intact. The Gujjars, who have 1.3 lakhs votes in this Constituency, have voted primarily for Rathi. The Badshahpur Assembly segment saw more than 2 lakhs votes being polled. Rao

want a change in politics. While a large number of people supported the cause taken up by AAP, they were not ready to cast their vote in favour of Yogendra Yadav - saying that the Party needed time to stabilise before it could make a mark in national politics. The AAP supporters claimed that their goal was to ensure that their Party could achieve the goal of becoming a National party. An AAP supporter accepted that the Party had failed to anticipate the public angst over their decision to resign. “We did not realise that it could be such a big mistake, and now we are paying the price. The decision to fight a large number of seats has also weakened us.” The rural areas of Rewari, Bawal and Badshahpur preferred to support candidates on the basis of traditional caste and community lines. It is believed that the BJP candidate, Rao Inderjit, who is also the erstwhile scion of Rewari principality, got overwhelming support from the Yadavs. A large number of exservicemen and villagers also seemed to have been swept away by the Modi wave. However, the INLD, which has strong pockets of influence in Bawal and some parts of Rewari, managed to garner votes for Zakir Hussain. For the Yadavs, who see Gurgaon as their pocket borough, it is anathema that a Mev candidate should win from this constituency – which has

Dharampal, who is the MLA from this segment, is expected to get almost 20 per cent of the votes. One candidate who cannot be taken lightly is Zakir Hussain of the INLD. Relaying primarily on the Mev votes in Mewat, which number almost 3.5 lakhs, Zakir is said to have polled almost 80 per cent of the votes in this huge backward area of Haryana. So strong was the wind in favour of the INLD candidate, that certain polling stations in this Constituency witnessed an almost 100 per cent voting in his favour. There were also incidents of alleged communal violence in Punhana. Yogendra Yadav of AAP, who was expected to make a strong showing in this Mev dominated area, failed to cut much ice, as Zakir Hussain was seen as someone who could defeat Rao Inderjit Singh of the BJP. The Mevs were also hopeful that the Yadavs of Gurgaon would vote on divided lines, owing to the presence of strong Yadav candidates from both the Congress and AAP. Whether their strategy worked will be known after May 16, but punters across Haryana seem to be predicting the victory of the BJP in Gurgaon. So strong is the postvoting mood in favour of the BJP, that Rao Inderjit is supposedly carrying a rate of 20 paisa - against 80 paisa for Zakir Hussain of INLD.u


18-24 April 2014

S ocial

Open their you close yours { Abhishek Behl / FG}

ndia has the greatest number of Blind people in the world; and of our 19 million Blind people, 80% live in rural areas and slums. Unfortunately, this number is still increasing every day, particularly in the older population – and both in the rural as well as urban areas (like Gurgaon), says RS Jain, an 84-year-old resident of Sector 14. He has been working tirelessly to push for free eye care, eye donations and eye transplants in the City. Despite his age, Jain is full of energy and enthusiasm and talks passionately about the need to spread eye care in every part of Gurgaon. He has been working in the social sector after his retirement from the Sahu Jain group. “I worked with SNS foundation for 4 years, and in 2006 I began to promote eye care, inspired by Dr Trilok Nath Ahooja, a famous eye specialist and a philanthropist in Gurgaon,” says Jain. Jain has worked among his friends and relatives, and through an NGO, Niramaya Charitable Trust, to help people take care of their eyes, pledge eye donations, and to provide free transplant operations for the needy. With the help of volunteers, he has organised at least 20 eye care camps, in which people were screened for various eye ailments - particularly cataract, which has been spreading fast in India. Further, about 100 people have pledged their eyes for humanity. As per Jain, the biggest hindrance to eye donation is the prevailing orthodox mindset, whereby people have to wait for years to get eye transplants. What is surprising is that Sri Lanka witnesses more eye donations, and India has to import eyes from that country - which is a long process. Explaining eye pledging/ donation, Jain says that the cornea has to be removed within 6 to 8 hours of the death of the person; and within this period it is important to ensure that the eye does not get hard (for example, by stopping the use of a fan). Gurgaon has an eye bank that works round the


clock, and a doctor with his team can come and perform the procedure within an hour. Almost anyone who does not have a communicable disease can donate his/her eyes; for health reasons, a blood sample of the donee is also taken. In case the eyes are not transplanted within 72 hours, they are sent to either Rohtak or AIIMS for storage. The Gurgaon volunteers have also asked the Police department for permission to approach the families of the deceased at the City mortuary, to motivate them for eye donation. Among his own family and network of friends, Jain says that he has ensured that every one has pledged to donate their eyes as he believes that it is a very worthwhile contribution to humanity. Interestingly, great care is taken to check the potential of the donated eyes. A sophisticated machine reveals the potential, after which it is decided whether the eye(s) will fit a young man or someone in his/ her sixties. “A number of eyes that the eye bank gets do not have the potential, and these are sent to Rohtak Medical College for use in further research. This ensures that none of the eyes get wasted,” says Jain. To spread the message of eye awareness, Jain also regularly helps in organising awareness camps in Gurgaon schools and colleges; he believes that the young today are more sensitive. Jain says that the Trust is also running a Drishti Rath, which is a mobile ‘correction unit’, to help address the problem of refractive error - which is one of the major causes of preventable Blindness. For the rural community, a medical van equipped with the necessary instruments also visits designated areas - where patients are screened, and provided free consultation and medicine. Jain says that more than financial resources, Gurgaon today needs active co-operation and support from the community, to help banish eye-diseases. No one should have to face Blindness – more than any other illness or disease, it makes a person totally dependent on others.u

Need for Special Education


n recent years, the need to address the special needs of children with learning disability has been understood not only by parents, schools and teachers, but also Govt. institutions. In another landmark decision in this direction, the Delhi High Court has again highlighted the need to have Special Educators in every school. In its ruling the Court made it a must for all private schools to appoint at least two special educators to teach children with special educational needs, and has asked the government to consider reimbursing the salaries that the schools pay to (these) teachers. Currently only 1 per cent of the estimated 2 lakhs children in Delhi with  ‘special needs’, have been able to undertake school education. Dr. Geet Oberoi, President Founder of Orkids (a chain of multidisciplinary clinics that provides remedial intervention to children with special needs), says, “I welcome the judgment and hope that the administration in various educational institutions will understand this grave matter and take suitable steps soon to appoint special educators in their schools. Recent researches and surveys show that with the increased awareness, especially in the metro cities, the number of children identified with learning disabilities is increasing drastically. Every school must extensively train the teachers and also involve parents, to identify the symptoms of Learning Disabilities and address the requirements of children who need specialised remedial intervention.” Unfortunately, while many such decisions have been taken by the judiciary, not much has been achieved till now. All schools need to equip themselves to cater to the needs of a diverse set of learners in their classrooms. u


t’s called a ‘What if a truck hits your top boss?’ situation, in common Corporate parlance. In layman’s terms, it means what if a top executive in your Company – the MD/CEO, COO, President, Director or VP - resigns? If such a situation arises, how does it affect the day-to-day functioning of the Company? What does a Company do? Should it appoint a replacement as soon as possible or chartout a contingency plan for such eventualities? Here’s a perspective:

The Impact

Today’s businesses are more dependent on their top leadership to provide a vision and a business strategy that differentiates a Company from its fierce Competitors. In other words, most corporations are reliant on their

When Top-Notchers Depart key human assets to survive and thrive. Therefore, the retention of its top leadership pre-occupies the minds of many business houses. The impact of a leader’s exit manifold. Not only does it affect business initiatives, but also the morale of employees – particularly the top and middle layers. Of course there could be even a more direct impact – on stock market valuation, on the retention of clients or on a big project(s).

Damage Control

The impact needn’t necessarily be unpleasant. The Company should certainly communicate openly with its employees, so that rumours don’t start and spread. Many times when changes are explained in the right

Maa (The Mother) In the first kick of a baby She feels a life in her womb In those few seconds She is overwhelmed with joy Shine of her eyes And a big grin on her face She enjoys every bit of pampering On the journey to motherhood Umbilical cord holds them together In forty weeks of hide-and-seek And then the day comes When she holds her own baby She kisses her countlessly Looks at her in the daylight and the shade Trying to understand – if she looks like her As she is now a mother!   Tiring days and sleepless nights She is always awake to feed She talks to her baby in numb voice And often tells her fairy tales She holds her little fingers Amid the daisy flowers But she still waits for the day When she will be called – ‘maa’   With each passing day She imagines her own childhood From baby steps to tiny words She captures every single move One afternoon baby calls her – ‘maa’ And tears roll down her cheeks She calls to tell her mother As ‘maa’ still echoes in her ears. Archana Kapoor Nagpal

perspective, the concerns get dissipated. Further, the exit of a leader could also be seen as an opportunity - a blessing in disguise, as the Company would now be able to hire a leader who possesses fresh competencies and who could help Implement certain ‘desirable’ changes in strategies and policies that were not possible earlier. However, the process to hire a replacement could turn out to be expensive (in terms of time, energy and money); and sometimes the transition to a new leader may not be well managed. Of course the best antidote is to ensure that companies are run on sound business principles and policies and not by an individual leader’s whims. That way, continuity is best assured. Maj (Retd) N K Gadeock Mob : 9810832753, 9818383322.

18-24 April 2014

Modern Baisakhi

Prime Painting



he little ones at Modern Montessori International School celebrated Baisakhi by participating in several activities - like Dhol-making and a Dance show. They were also informed about the association of the Festival with the harvesting of the crops (mainly wheat) - especially in rural india.

Alpine Baisakhi


he festival of Baisakhi is celebrated with a lot of joy and enthusiasm in the northern States of Punjab and Haryana. Students of Alpine Convent, Sector 38, enjoyed Bhangra and Gidda on this occasion. Dressed in colorful Punjabi costumes, children put up a great show along with their teachers.

K id C orner


ver 100 children participated in a Painting competition organised by Prime Events at Omaxe City Centre, Sohna Road. The children made beautiful paintings, while enjoying the Bhangra and Gidda show. Avni from Ryan Global School, Uditi and Leepakshi from Ryan International (Sohna Road) and Ashita from Chiranjeev Bharti were adjudged the Winners.

The 4th. Annual ‘Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards’


0 school students of Classes VI to XII from across the country were felicitated for their extraordinary efforts in the area of Community Service at an Awards ceremony in New Delhi. These finalists were shortlisted from over 5,000 applications received in a nationwide search for the Country’s top student Volunteers. Dia Mirza was the Chief Guest at the Event. This prestigious Awards programme, organised by DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance Co. (DPLI), is the India chapter of the Spirit of Community Awards, the largest youth recognition programme in the United States - based exclusively on Volunteer service. A top honour in the Individual Category went to Maneka Sharma, a Class XII student of The Shri Ram School, Aravali, Gurgaon, for her efforts towards water conservation - including authoring a book on the topic, to encourage children to save water. She was presented with a gold medallion, a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C. in May 2014.


18-24 April 2014

K id C orner

Principal Awarded


he esteemed jury of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which organised the BSE International Finance Olympiad, selected the proposal of Principal Ms. Sangeeta Saxena, and also awarded her the ‘Principal Award’ - for the proposal and the initiatives taken by Chiranjeev Bharti School, Palam Vihar. The topic for the national contest was: ‘How to incorporate Financial Literacy in schools’. The CEO of BSE , Ashish Kumar Chauhan, graced the occasion and honoured the Award winners. 

When a tyrant dies, his reign is over but when a Martyr dies his reign begins”


yan International School, Sector-40 organised a Special Assembly to pay homage to the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre - and the children relived the Freedom struggle through their performances. The School Head Ms. Peeya Sharma appreciated the efforts of the students and emphasised the values of patriotism, peace and non-violence.

Lancers’ Dream performance


ancers International School’s Dramatics Club hosted its year-end production based on an abridged version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sqn. Ldr. A.S. Mann (Retd), Chairman of Lancers International School, was the Chief Guest. Parents, teachers and the families were enthralled by the performances of the budding actors.

Radiant Kirans


t was a lovely interactive session between the Radiant School kids and some highly creative ‘special children’ of MatriKiran School, Sohna Road. All the children co-ordinated beautifully and created some truly amazing Art works. Adults could surely learn co-existence from these children.

Banyan Rangotsav


he last day of examinations was a joyous day. The children celebrated Rangotsav among the Spring flowers in the garden. They drew with charcoal sticks to give their Art a unique look.

S piritual

18-24 April 2014

Spiritual Seekers & Teachers { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


he idea that spiritualism leads to happiness is correct; the idea that it does so by eliminating suffering is false. A spiritual seeker generally believes that following a path of spiritual life will bring him into a world of no pain, no suffering, no obstacles, no wrinkles…and perhaps no death! But we all know that howsoever pure and compassionate our life may be, we cannot free ourselves from the challenges that life offers. Spiritualism points to the possibility of happiness within suffering, and suffering within happiness. The one does not preclude the other. We can die happy. Suffering is a respectable reality of life. Many spiritual seekers have come to believe that the enlightened or self-realised person or a saint is a kind of perfect being - totally disciplined, entirely in control of his mind and body and removed from the daily realities of existence. He is seen as a person to whom everyone looks for guidance and who will protect his disciples from all the difficulties of life. Self-realisation is not about being separate from the world and other people, but being at one with everything. It means understanding that one’s place in the fabric of all that exists in the moment has never been in one’s control. And with this understanding comes true peace. Spiritual seeking is usually about achieving enlightenment, but there is confusion about the methods of attaining that stage of self-awareness. We think that awakening is a state of calm, where everything is fine – and there is no trouble, pain, grief, sadness, disappointment or frustration. The spiritual path is often described as the path leading to the end of suffering, particularly in all the Eastern religions. A spiritual teacher is like a person holding a torch. When seekers comes in contact with a true teacher, the responses can be varied: some may want to take the teacher’s torch or think that’s the type of light that they should be shining; some are immediately appalled at everything that they see, blame the teacher and run away; some are transfixed by the teacher holding the torch, and choose to sit and adore the light instead of igniting their own torch. Sometimes the student will be wise enough to touch his or her torch to the

teacher’s, and from that contact the student’s awareness is momentarily ignited. But it then becomes the student’s job to tend to that light; if not tended, it may quickly get extinguished - like fire on wet wood. The student must repeatedly return to the teacher, to re-ignite that flame… until he can create an acceptable space that can hold the heat and brilliance of the fire - which is nothing more than his own awareness. One of the most important purposes of the spiritual teacher is to turn the student inward and to teach him how to learn. The student must also be taught how to engage with rationality and to know when to let go. Without that inner compass, the student becomes dependent on the teacher and loses clarity. The teacher has no intention of being the permanent eyes for any student, and so he will continue to guide the student back to his inner journey - until the flame of awareness burns on its own. It is true that spiritual teachers do not work with all spiritual seekers. This is not out of an ego game, but instead comes from a profound and loving space of helping those who are ready to go into these deep places - while letting those others, who are not yet equipped, continue to grow on their own. The spiritual teacher truly understands that there is a divine plan at work, and that if the student is not yet ready, the teacher should in no way interfere with that lack of readiness. For those who are ready to take the next step, the teachers will often challenge them, to see if those inner seeds of readiness are actually ready to sprout. No one can really explain the truth. No religion, doctrine, scientist, spiritual leader or guru can tell you what it is. And absolutely no one can give it to you either. Either you experience truth for yourself or all you will ever get is a blurred picture of someone else’s experience - which might not have anything to do with truth in the first place. Some people are born with a spiritual propensity; the rest of us awaken later in life. A dramatic event such as a neardeath experience can awaken us; or we might experience a spontaneous awakening through a holy instant. So a spiritual

awakening can be gradual and subtle; or it can sometimes be sudden and intense. Regardless of the form it takes, it launches us on a conscious spiritual journey. We become interested in all things spiritual, and less interested in material things. We start asking questions like - What am I? Who am I? And what is life’s real purpose? As our awakening continues, we undergo a personal and spiritual transformation. We no longer want to be what we used to be; nor do we want to do what we used to do. A quest for spiritual knowledge and wisdom now motivates us. We want to know the Truth. Because of his spiritual dedication, a seeker can lose interest in other activities that once seemed important to him. Perhaps he regrets that he wasted so many years of his life on them. In contrast to his old ways, he now seeks to change himself, rather than trying to change the world. The spiritual journey is seldom easy; and the seeker discovers this sooner or later, when he encounters blockages, temptations and his own character defects along the way. He often experiences frustration, spiritual stagnation and dark moments - when He seems remote. The learner should be cautious in getting caught up in spiritual sideshows and guru worships, cults, sects and secret societies. These can divert him from his spiritual goals. There are two spiritual practices that he can take up: one is to practise contemplation, which is a variation of meditation - in which he consciously focuses on a spiritual thought; the other is to practise random acts of kindness at all times - with no expectation of reward or recognition. It is strange but true that some of us become spiritual seekers, while the rest of humanity continues to languish in darkness. How do we become spiritual seekers, and how does this transformation affect our lives? For seeking the truth we must go alone. Religion is only a tool - like a boat that will help us cross a river on a foggy afternoon. We still have to row to get there. And when we finally reach the other shore, we will have to leave the boat and make our own way forward. There is only that much a boat

can do for us; and if we do not let it go, it will become a burden. Spiritual teachers are incredibly helpful people. In a world where there are so many lies and misconceptions, they help light the path back to the inner world within each of us. However, due to deceptions that lead people towards external answers, the role of the spiritual teacher is today vastly misunderstood. He is often expected to be some kind of candy seller; and if the seeker gets enough of this candy dose he may be deluded into thinking that he has reached an afflictionfree land. I am a spiritual seeker, and have been since my adolescence. I read almost everything that I could get my hands on, because I had a strong passion to learn and to explore. I am not a religious person, but I certainly remain a student of spiritualism; and may be these two are very different things. I turned to self-help books of enlightenment in my quest to learn who I am. I have always


loved to study and learn about different religious philosophies. In many ways I embrace all faiths, because I believe in my heart that people have a right to worship as they see fit, and diversity leads to exploration and understanding. I still remain a student and a seeker. What I could learn till now is that all the efforts that we put into ascetic practice in this life are intended to get us to a point where we would be immune to all the ups and downs of life. What is necessary is to live a noble life. Our heart would then always be at peace. That is the true Nirvana that a spiritual seeker can attain even while living on this planet. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 25 years. He can be contacted at

To The Seed inert { Shobha Lidder } It is a truth well known The Seed is the microcosm of the Tree It is inert till put to Earth And then it sprouts into an offspring Such a magical thing The two cotyledons nourish it with Prana Till the sapling is strong to stand on its own Then they fall off, leave the tree alone Each sapling is a living enigma An insignia of its Destiny Forever its roots will pierce the Earth Forever the shoots, leaves & flowers Will generate fruits by the hour Only to relinquish it all, to one and all The ugly, avaricious roots, hidden in the underground Are life providers God forbid if they be destroyed or severed The dandy Tree would wilt & die No outside forces could revive Such is the paradox of Life The Tree is its own yin & yang The good, bad & ugly live side by side As manifestations of the Divine Designed for the divine drama Called Life Such is the allegoric history of the Tree on Earth It lives, and dies Into the Eternity of the Seed inert! Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer


18-24 April 2014


Letter To The Editor Dear Sir, Most of today’s problems in India are due to corrupt politics. Unless it is cleansed, nothing would improve the situation of the country. Mahatma Gandhi once said that politics devoid of honesty and spirituality is disastrous for the nation. We have to change the politics of India and I am confident that together, we can. Today, most of the politicians in India make tall claims before the onset of elections but forget to deliver them after coming to power. This only goes on to show that they are least bothered about the welfare of the common man who takes time from his/her busy schedule to exercise his/her franchisee.  Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai


C omment

The Business of Politics

espite all the talk of a new age India & Indians, and of youth, modernity and development, many an Industrialist would not be wrong in lamenting that we still operate in a 70s political mindset. The big Industrialist has remained the convenient villain especially during elections, and for politicians. One can maybe understand Kejriwal’s ‘theatrics’ (to get prime coverage), but even a ‘youth leader’ like Rahul has not been above this gamesmanship. The result is that, while Industry may (rightly) be touted as the best answer for large-scale employment/jobs – which our burgeoning youth population sorely need - Industrialists have not been given the respectability that most of them deserve. Let us remember that they take the maximum risks; try running a large manufacturing business. Does the Congress not have (and always had) their ‘favourite industrialists’? Did Ambani flourish only under Modi, and under BJP Central rule? Many approvals need to come from the Centre. Why is industry, and that too only in Gujarat, suddenly the focus? Rahul says land has been given ultra cheap to Ambani, Adani and Tata (Nano). The world over industry is wooed – because they invest heavily and for the long term, hire people in thousands and lakhs, pay multiple duties and taxes, and produce goods that are required by millions of customers. And how come the IT industry and Private Hospitals are not seen similarly – after all, prime land in many Metros has been given to them virtually free (for far lesser investment or job creation). Big Industry (read Industrialist) remains the most convenient scapegoat. Is it because they are not politically – as in votes – relevant? Is it maybe expedient for AAP to look for appreciation from the aam aadmi by railing against a top Industrialist like Ambani? Kejriwal & AAP should also have sensed the mood on corruption (at least the type) by now. The middle class does not see Mukesh Ambani as a villain – in fact he is probably a role model for many; and the poor clearly have other (lower level) priorities. Reliance as a corporate is still the pride of India. It has delivered record output, employment, returns and taxes – for decades; that too through global scale investments and operations. It requires entrepreneurial skills, including risk-taking, of the highest order. To go after him as if he is the worst scamster is, to put it mildly, being ‘political’ – as Kejriwal now happily concedes he has become. The reality is that corruption in high places is not the killer app. In fact

The piece de resistance is to hear the Congress, including Rahul, talk of the high BJP Ad spends! The big Party has just been outdone on something that was its pride. The Congress crib cannot be due to a shortage of Party funds – the past 5 years have been a bonanza of scams of the highest order. Maybe the funds are being parked privately – after seeing the writing on the wall….

The aam aadmi’s interests would best be served by AAP fighting and winning the Delhi and Haryana Assembly elections – and then proceeding to deliver good governance and delivery of effective civic services through Mohalla Sabhas. With a few years of that performance as a showcase, they should be in a strong position in the next Parliament elections, as also for other State assembly elections. Any shorter cut is proving to be impractical and costly….and also leading to a credibility loss. even the scams may have not tilted the scales against the Congress, if food and fuel prices, atrocities on young women and the daily corruption had not escalated – and some concrete action was taken to tackle them. The poor (rightly) see AAP as a Party that can best deliver them their basic rights, services and facilities (including removal of corruption at ‘low places’). As long as these are delivered, aam aadmi can ‘live with corruption in high places’. The real scams are of Ministers and Politicians merrily making money and delivering nothing; of Builders making profits based on inside information, and late/non-delivery and ‘change of land use’ regularly – by first duping farmers of their land. The Builder Mafia has been allowed to run amok. They are playing with the middle-class’ hard-earned money. Gurgaon, in a State run by the Congress, is their favourite playground. AAP, and especially Kejriwal, also need to come clear on some other points. Why is he silent on corrupt (ex-fellow) bureaucrats – and there are more than a few? In fact, without them, scams are almost impossible. Hopefully he does not see them as victims of the system! Further, are ‘middlemen’ not the really big villains in our country? They buy from farmers at Re 1, then hoard, and sell finally at Rs 10. And yet BJP and AAP do not want FDI in Retail. They see traders as their vote bank (how so for AAP?) and are willing to ignore farmers and consumers. They probably believe that if these beneficiaries are not given the opportunity, they will never know the benefit. Kejriwal has even gone to the extent of calling 90% of traders basically honest. He says that the system makes them do wrong things. What a convenient alibi. Why not so for others? Kejriwal should know that traders seem to prefer the current system – they can fix it easily. They are not looking for a change. The talk from all Parties should be one of hope…and opportunity. There should be no room for the stoking of fear or for making grand accusations. We need to increasingly look at the youth. They all want to make it big. Politicians and even Society will do well to remember that in today’s world, and especially for the youth, money and profit are most positive words – and they know that they do not come automatically (for most anyway). Successful Industrialists and Businessmen are therefore strong role models for them – as they should be. u

W ellness

18-24 April 2014

Health & Vitality... Naturally!


tioners and nutritionists are veering towards a consensus; they believe that by taking a majority of our calories from plant-based foods, we can dramatically lower the incidence of disease. There is need for a concerted effort to stem the growing tendency amongst urban populations towards diets high in hydrogenated fats and sugars, low in fibre and high in refined and processed grains. It is pretty well accepted now that the dramatic shift towards the consumption of fast and ‘convenient’ junk food, over the past 50 years, is a direct and important cause of the growing incidence of Chronic illnesses.

Tip of the Week

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


attling the growing global tsunami of Chronic lifestyle-based diseases is clearly emerging as a major challenge of the 21st Century. Not only are 65% of all deaths attributed to these diseases, the impact of prolonged medication and related costs is threatening to cripple or severely impact the economies of many countries. The Chronic diseases’ illnesses are induced by prolonged exposure to stress, and are wors-

ened by the growing epidemic of Obesity. The list of Chronic diseases keeps getting longer - it includes Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Lung and Respiratory disorders, Brain and Nervous System issues and various forms of Cancer. Is there hope? Can this growing challenge be met? There is a silver lining – and it is more a prevention than a cure. It has long been known that a diet largely consisting of plants, fruits, nuts and seeds promotes optimal health. Antioxidants

Kidney Care ‘Share a glass of water’ is the message, as doctors emphasise the importance of drinking sufficient quantity of water to flush out toxins and prevent infection. As per Dr Anupam Roy, Consultant, Nephrology, Columbia Asia Hospital, “The proper functioning of the human body depends on the accurate working of all the body parts - including the Kidneys, which play an important role of natural filters, helping to remove waste products from the blood and form an essential part of the Urinary system. Any type of Kidney dysfunction can be very risky, as it leads to the build-up of waste toxins in the body due to malfunction in the natural filtration. The situation can lead to multiple disorders and also be fatal. While Kidney Stones are commonplace and generally not risky, other Kidney problems may put a person’s life at risk - with the condition not being treatable easily and dialysis and transplant being the last options. A problem in passing urine, high blood pressure, lethargy and shortness of breath are signs of Kidney problems. If these warning signs are ignored, they can pose serious health risks. Due to a lack of awareness, people usually ignore these symptoms and do not realise the problem till its gets extremely complicated and risky.” Dr Kousar Ali Shah, General Manager, Columbia Asia Hospital, added, “Kidneys are vital organs of the human body and any harm to them can be fatal. In the face of an abnormality in their functioning, patients are left with the options of dialysis and transplant only. Dialysis is a tough option, as every three days the procedure has to be undertaken, to remove waste products from the body; while getting a matching donor for a transplant is very difficult. A simple screening can help diagnose any harm to the Kidneys at an initial stage and prevent it from reaching an end-stage disease status.” u

from natural foods, eaten raw or minimally cooked, and Bioactive compounds found in plant foods, play a role in controlling the genetic and other biological factors that lead to Chronic disease. Foods that may help prevent Chronic diseases are: artichokes, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, lentils, olives, pumpkin, rosemary, thyme, watercress and many more. Their impact is more dramatic when accompanied by a healthy lifestyle. Not surprisingly, most food scientists, healthcare practi-

For most individuals, a natural diet of seasonal (ideally local) vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds - and no more than 10 percent of the total calories from organic meats is the key to prevent Chronic disease, premature ageing and early mortality. Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the Week: Rosemary or Rosmarinus Officinalis Native to the Mediterranean region, centuries ago Rosemary found favour with famous healthcare practitioners like Hippocrates and Dioscorides. In some countries it became popular as a cure-all. Most often it was prescribed to address liver and memory problems. Amongst


the herbs, it is held in high regard due to the symbolism attached to it – it is not only used at weddings, but also at funerals. Modern science has confirmed that Rosemary is a powerful anti-oxidant and has important anti-inflammatory properties. It contains diterpenes and flavonoids, which inhibit free-radical damage and strengthen blood vessels. Apart from being a popular condiment in the kitchen, Rosemary has many topical usages as well - in the Health, Cosmetics and Personal Care industries. Tender tops of fresh Rosemary are used for garnishing and flavouring of cold drinks and soups. Its dried and powdered leaves are used as a condiment. Interestingly, it has for ages been used to handle long-term stress. More importantly, it can address fatigue and general debility, by stimulating several key systems - such as the circulation & digestion system, the adrenal glands, bile production by the liver, and the brain and nervous system. Herbalists use Rosemary as a carminative, anti-depressant, anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, carcinogen blocker, liver-detoxifier and an anti-rheumatic.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

No more rushing to the hospital for Dialysis


nyone who has seen a friend or a family member go through the loss of a kidney function and the regular need for Dialysis thereafter, would know how difficult and draining the experience can be. Waiting for a Renal Transplant and meanwhile undergoing a thrice-a-week dialysis routine is both physically and emotionally taxing. While the need for Dialysis cannot be eliminated until a transplant donor is found, the need for visits to hospitals or Dialysis Centres can today be done away with. So says Health Care at Home’s (HCAH), which offers a home Dialysis service. Dr Gaurav Thukral, Head Medical Services, HCAH, says, “Our home Dialysis service makes life more convenient for the patients; they can even keep moving while the blood cleansing is being done.” Kidneys are responsible for cleansing the toxins from our blood and removing excess water. Dr Thukral adds, “Dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating this waste and undesired water from the blood. In people with acute kidney injury, Dialysis will be a temporary requirement; once the kidney function is restored, it will not be needed. However, in people with chronic kidney disease, Dialysis is often the stage just before Renal Transplant”. For most people, four hours, three times a week is the frequency of Dialysis needed to keep them well. This constant visit to hospitals, and prodecures, can become very frustrating; it tests the will power of patients. The Company (HCAH) provides Peritoneal Dialysis, in which the patient can stay in an ambulated state. In the procedure a catheter is put in the stomach of the patient and it is then tucked outside on the abdomen with a bag in which the toxin material gets collected. The abdominal lining in this case acts as a filter. The patients are able to move and walk during the whole procedure. They can schedule the dialysis after office hours. Dr Thukral says, “The procedure is performed in a very aseptic and proficient manner by the skilled Renal nurses of HCAH. After the procedure, they check patients for any signs of infection, for any misplacement of, or blockage in, the catheter. They also educate the family members about possible side-effects and preventive steps to be taken in case of an emergency. Also, the HCAH nutritionists keep the patients updated on what kind of diet they should take and the drinks they should consume. Besides, the patients’ doctors at all times are kept in the loop. The process is cost-effective and far cheaper than Hemo Dialysis”. u


18-24 April 2014

W ellness

Preventive Health Care D

Let not Heart Surgery dampen your Spirit or Beauty W

omen can now cease worrying about the side effects of a Heart Bypass Dr. Pradeep Nambiar (Chairman, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Moolchand Medicity, and Sr. Consultant, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Max Hospitals, Delhi) has revolutionised the field of Heart surgery with the ‘Nambiar Technique’ of Keyhole Heart Bypass. It has been published in the world’s top journal of Heart surgery, Innovations, in December 2013. Heart disease is often thought of as a ‘male’ problem. However, medical research and experience have both proven that this idea is only a misconception. The chances of Heart problems are as high in women. In fact a recent study has shown that Heart disease claims more female lives each year than Breast Cancer and Lung Cancer combined. This information is vital for the prevention, detection and treatment of lingering Heart risks in women. Women shudder at the thought of Heart Bypass Surgery, because of the scar it leaves in the middle of the chest. In many cases the trauma that comes with the Surgery itself, and the unappealing 10-inch scar that stays as a reminder for all time to come, leads to depression in many a woman. The scar seems impossible to hide. This can be a real dampener for the spirits of the modern, independent, beautiful and fashionable women, who have spent their lives dressing up stylishly and wish to continue doing so. The solution has been provided by Dr. Pradeep Nambiar. The innovative method, christened the ‘Nambiar Technique’, is fast becoming popular, as it involves a minimal incision - and therefore the smallest possible post-surgery mark. The Technique was presented at an international platform at the 2012 World Conference of the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, Los Angeles, USA, as a video presentation. The world’s leading Heart surgeons were unanimous in their opinion that this Technique is the future of Coronary procedures. At present Dr. Nambiar carries out 99% of his Heart Bypass cases through this mini-incision - with excellent outcomes; even hearts with poor function are operated through this small incision. Cutting of the sternal bone is a rarity. Women who have undergone Bypass treatment with this procedure are its staunch supporters, since the Surgery leaves a maximum 2-inch incision on the left side of the chest. Other advantages of the Nambiar Technique are: less pain, reduced risk of infections, early mobility, minimal blood transfusion, discharge from the hospital as early as two days and the ability to get back to work in 10 days. All these factors contribute to women getting back to their pre-surgery lifestyles in the shortest span of time. It has been scientifically proven that when aftereffects of surgeries last long, chances of depression - especially in cases of women who are used to being care givers and not care takers - are very high. Fortunately, such a scenario is obviated when the surgery is performed by the Nambiar Technique. u

How is it beneficial for women? u u u u u u u u u

Single 2-inch cut under the left breast - painless Just a hairline scar No cutting of the middle bone of the chest Both internal mammary arteries from inside the chest are used for multi-vessel Heart Bypass on a beating heart One-time operation as mammary arteries last for more than 25-30 years No usage of leg veins, which get blocked in 10-12 years Discharge from hospital within 3 days Back to active work in 10 days Low risk of infection, bleeding and blood transfusion.

id you know that sedentary lifestyle and stress in corporate employees are the leading causes of heart and obesity problems? Assuming that you do, how many times does the thought of taking a Health Check-up cross your mind? demystifies healthcare by offering comprehensive information on Preventive Check-ups for all non-communicable diseases and suggests recommendations based on age, gender, risk areas & symptoms - as opposed to a basic, one-size-fits-all approach from most of the providers in India. As an example, most of us get recommended a regular, brochuredriven Whole Body check up without any counselling, whereas the ideal process should include factors like age, gender, symptoms, lifestyle habits & more. Deepak Sahni, Founder, Healthians. com, said, “We carried out extensive research before entering the segment, to identify the reasons why Indians do not proactively undergo Preventive Healthchecks. The fear of ‘detection’, lack of reliable information and difficulty in accessing healthcare emerged as top reasons. Our Website equips users with information compiled by our panel of doctors, lab technicians and bio-medical researchers - to understand healthcare, decipher symptoms and comprehend lifestyle risks. Our online diagnostic tool recommends the right test based on your medical vulnerabilities, books appointments at top testing centres in your vicinity and hel Ms. Shruti Gupta, Co-Founder,, said, “The key problem that we’re trying to solve is that of sheer disregard for transparency in the medical eco-system. Right to Information is the core of our brand, thereby enabling users to make informed decision about their healthcare needs. Our partnership with India’s premier hospitals and diagnostic centres ensuresqQuality services, credible reporting systems and better transparency.” offers a first level of recommendation for early diagnostic tests and empowers users to conduct an educated preliminary self-diagnosis. The Company is associated with leading hospitals in northern India - with a strong presence in Delhi NCR, Dehradun, Chandigrah, Mohali, Bathinda and Ludhiana - and is expected to reach 22 cities by June 2014. u

For a Tough Spine & a Healthy Heart


free consultation initiative by Paras Hospitals: According to Dr Arun Bhanot, Chief of Spine Services, Paras Hospitals, “The patients who came for consultation were mainly those with chronic neck and spine problems. They had visited a number of doctors and had not got relief. Our department specialises in treating acute cases.” In Cardiology also patients who had just gone through a cardiac procedure - cardiac surgery or a stenting procedure - had come forward. Ashok Chand was a chronic smoker and had recently undergone a cardiac surgery at a hospital in New Delhi. According to him, “I came to check whether my present medication, diet and lifestyle was correct. Although I am following another doctor, there is no harm in having a second opinion; after all it is my health, and having compromised on the same earlier in life I don’t want to make the same mistake.” There were a number of patients who wanted ‘fresh eyes’ and a second opinion on a prescribed procedure or an investigation. A patient who was prescribed angiography by another hospital consulted with Dr Kuldeep Arora, Sr. Consultant, Interventional Cardiology. u

B on V ivant

18-24 April 2014

Pluming Good! { Meenu Thakur Sankalp } Seek deep within your inner self and magnify the many colorful layers within your magnificent and vibrant soul. Expose and express your bold and beautiful self by spreading your feathers freely and proudly like a peacock for all the world to see Melanie Moushigian Koulouris


he afternoon sun was at its zenith on a hot Summer’s day. The ball of fire blazed in the crimson sky and its rays of fury touched the dry crevices of the barren desert land. Parched and tired of flying, four birds of different feathers flocked together under the cool canopy of the giant Banyan tree, sipping from a stream of clear water. There was no cloud in sight, nor any respite from the warm winds. A Kite, buoyant in flight and flapping its wings in angled rhythm, was perched atop a twig - holding his beak high in vain vanity; a cruel-eyed Eagle, the apex predator of the skies, with his crooked beak and a heavy body, had joined him for a sip from the pool; a colourful and talkative Parakeet, with soft feathers, had emerged out of a hole in the tree trunk; and a Cuckoo bird, possessing an inexhaustive repertoire of calls (whistles), drank mercifully to quench its thirst. Just as they were all done, a Peacock walked by to rest under the shade of the tree, unwelcomed by the other birds. The Kite looked up and declared in boastful pride, “Now that I am refreshed, I shall fly back to the sky. I shall traverse the lofty peaks and ride the clouds as the winds blow past. The world looks tiny to me from up there and I am the master of all that I survey. I am God’s own creation for there is no one who can caress heaven like me.” Not to be undone by the Kite’s pride, the Eagle thundered, “Look

at me. I am mean and cruel and I can kill at sight. You may fly higher dear Kite, but do you possess my strength? I can grab a rodent crawling in the desert or a fish skimming on the water - with my pincer-like claws. I am the greatest and the strongest. All the birds fear me. And you two, Parakeet and Cuckoo, I can tear you apart with my razor-sharp beak.” Though cowing in fear, the Parakeet mustered some confidence, protecting himself within the tree hollow, and said, “I know both of you are strong. But look at yourselves. You are ugly. I am colourful and bright and I entice by sight. So back off Eagle and Kite.” The Cuckoo cooed and whistled, “Shut up, vain birds. When I sing, everyone listens. You may be powerful, beautiful or strong, but you can’t beat me when I am on song. So fly away and never return.” Oblivious to the banter, the Peacock bent his crowned head to sip from the stream. The other birds mocked and taunted him in chorus, “Look at him. We have something to show. The Peacock is big in size and can’t fly high. He has a croaky voice and no poise. He is not colourful and beautiful. He can’t hunt or fight. He is not one of us… in fact, he is none at all.” The Peacock quietly slid into the shade of the Banyan tree, easing his magnificent blue body and lovely feathers. Why should he have to prove his mettle to these vain birds? Silent in character and unpredictable in action were his forte. “So, keep chattering

{ Krishan Kalra }


any years ago I had heard this joke about the guy who walked into the Ladies’ toilet in a Paris hotel. Having made the mistake and invited the ire of several shrieking females running out of the place, this chap decided to explore the ‘mysteries of the unknown’. The Automatic Perfume Spray (APS) was heavenly, the Applied Powder Puff (APP) made him woozy, before the ATR (Automatic Tampon Remover) landed him in a hospital. So when the potty seat started moving, literally under my backside, I was really scared. I was in the Lufthansa Lounge at Frankfurt Airport. As I pushed the flush, the damned thing started rotating. Like a weird sci-fi contraption, the

birds”, did he seem to say. Soon the sun was enveloped by a cluster of dark clouds and the strong dusty breeze was eclipsed by a cool gush of fresh air, as little droplets of water fell from the skies. As the rain got stronger, the Kite perched on the tree to dry its wet wings. The Eagle, though hungry, also stood around. The rodents would have retreated into their burrows and the fish would not be easily sighted through the ripples on the water. The timid Parakeet hid itself inside a hole in the tree, shivering in the cold. The Cuckoo bird opened its mouth to sing, but instead coughed and choked as it spluttered out the rainwater. The Peacock stood up majestically and belted out a croaking war cry, as he unfurled his beautiful wide feathers in blueishgreen hue and fluttered them for all to see. He sauntered up and down in happiness as the raindrops fell on his body. Villagers soon gathered to witness the spectacle. The Peacock, still oblivious of his audience, continued to match his steps with his unfurled feathers and rhythmically placed his paws on the slushy mud. The other birds were spellbound by this display of divine grace in the Peacock’s dance. How could they have forgotten? As the rain stopped, the other birds came out, drying their wet wings. Their sarcasm-laced chatter had been quelled by the Peacock’s silent retaliation. The Peacock looked up to them and smiled. He said, “I know, dear Kite, that I can’t fly high. I don’t have to, as I stay grounded on land. Dear Eagle, I can’t hunt like you; nor can I sing like a Cuckoo and I am not colourful like the Parakeet. But all this doesn’t pain me, for I have been created with a purpose. I am not a fair-weather bird. I progress and prevail in all seasons. Your strength may at times desert you, mine always sustains me. I am fortunate to be the only species of the Animal Kingdom that can Dance.” Leaving the other birds to contemplate on this, the Peacock walked towards three waiting Peahens - who stood admiring one of the rarest of male species created by God.u The Writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

And the Potty moved flexible seat convoluted and went ‘a full circle around itself’, so the fixture (at one end) could clean it. Enchanted, I pressed the knob again, and it repeated it’s jig. Thoroughly baffled now, I collected my pants quickly and got out before it could scrape my bums off. I had seen paper seat covers come down as one lowered the seat, but this was too much. Batteryoperated toothbrushes and hand-held massagers – that work when pressed to the body – are passe’. Even water jets to clean up the underside are


A Soldier’s Wife I wear no uniforms, but I am in the Army because I am his wife I’m in the ranks that are rarely seen, but I have no rank on my shoulders Salutes I do not give, but the military world is the place where I live I’m not in the chain of command, Orders I do not get But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget I’m not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line But my job is just as tough…I’m the one who’s left behind My husband is a patriot, a brave and proud man And the call to serve his country not all can understand Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me I love the man I married, Soldiering is his life And I stand among the silent ranks known as the Army Wife.

common…but this? What would they think of next? I remember the time I sat in the front seat of a new 1983 Toyota Cressida, and suddenly the seat-belt slithered around me without as much as an ‘excuse me’ - scaring me no end. On my first visit to the US, my friend quietly pressed the garage door remote, saying ‘Ramu’ would do the job and I needn’t get down from the car. Then there was the amazing Coke vending machine at a Tokyo station, which gave you the choice of a can or a glass, with or without ice (cubes or crushed) – all at the press of a button. But the darned potty thing was really far out! Perhaps the next time I wake up in a Japanese or German hotel, my bowels would have been cleared, teeth cleaned and stubble removed; I would be showered, and a hot cup of coffee – black, white or with sugar - would be ready on the bed side table.u


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Med Students turn Detective


rankfurt University medical student Juliane Pfeffel is 23 years old, and for almost the same number of years a man whose case she is studying has been suffering from a mysterious illness. Once a high-performance athlete, he can now only walk with the help of a rollator. Pfeffel has been assigned to investigate his records as part of her Internship at the Frankfurt Reference Centre for Rare Diseases. Her job description: Medical Detective work. It’s a concept that is of very much interest around the world these days, if for no other reason than the popularity of the US TV series Dr. House - in which doctors try to ‘think outside the box’ while diagnosing and treating some hitherto unrecognised illnesses. A core idea at the Frankfurt centre is that a student can sometimes find a solution (in a case) where all the specialists have failed. According to the Centre’s Director, Professor Thomas O.F. Wagner, students have not (yet) developed a ‘narrow’ specialised view of a medical problem at hand, and so are more open and less biased. “They don’t immediately reduce a patient to a specialised area or an organic system,” he says. Also, they are very highly motivated. Since 2011, Frankfurt University Clinic has offered consultations for patients whose illnesses have persisted without any diagnosis of their problme(s). Most of the people have visited multiple specialists and have been repeatedly told, “we simply don’t understand what’s wrong

Samples are deposited by a lab technician in a microtitre plate at the Reference Centre for Rare Diseases.

Daniel Reinhardt

{ Sandra Trauner/ Frankfurt/ DPA }


Ronald Wittek

Juliane Pfeffel, 23, (left) with her fellow medical student Carola, as she investigates medical records dealing with a mystery illness. Pfeffel is interning at the Reference Centre for Rare Diseases in Frankfurt, Germany. Thomas O.F. Wagner, Head of the Reference Centre for Rare Diseases at the University Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. His Centre assigns student Interns to study strange cases, because experienced doctors are often ‘blinded’ by their ‘immense’ knowledge! with you.” “One male patient had undergone 10 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of his skull,” Wagner says, shaking his head in exasperation. In his Centre, the approach is a different one: no new examinations; instead, they look closely - and very thoroughly - at the test results that have already been documented. In most cases, patients do not even have to personally visit the Centre in Frankfurt. According to Pfeffel, each new document she sees comes as “something of a surprise.” Sometimes she is looking at temperature readings jotted down by hand, and at other times perhaps a moving personal experience written

in longhand. She organises the documents and studies the test results, X-rays, doctors’ notes and sketches. Then she pores through the specialised medical literature, uses diagnostic search engines, reads medical journals and questions professors. “Our slogan is, ‘everything is important’,” says the Medical student, who is now in her seventh semester. She examines various probable diagnoses methodically. At the end, she writes a report that she presents to her colleagues in a weekly team meeting. In the case of the man now reduced to using a rollator, she had proposed that he was suffering from an extremely rare disease that so far had only

A sample is shaken in a solution by a lab technician at the Reference Centre for Rare Diseases at the University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. been identified in Scandinavia. She asked the patient whether he had any relatives there, and suggested a genetic screening test. The case has not yet been closed. Other cases, however, have been happily resolved. There was one involving a man who, for 10 years, was plagued by periodic long spells of high fever, joint pains and heavy coughing. However, every time he went to a doctor, everything was ‘found’ okay - leading to a conclusion that the man was a hypochondriac. But a meticulous study of his medical documents by a researcher at the Frankfurt Centre turned up a detail that had so far not been noticed - the man’s profession. The man was a welder. He worked without a protective mask. It turned out that he was

allergic to zinc vapours. However, only in 4 per cent of cases in Frankfurt is a new and rare disease discovered (a rare disease is defined as one afflicting fewer than 5 out of 10,000 people in the population). Most of the time the illness diagnosed has already been documented by someone else and is unfortunately untreatable. The diagnosis made most often is ‘polyneuropathy’, a nerve ailment in which sufferers describe a feeling of ‘everything hurts’. But even if it can’t be healed, the patients are in one respect better off, says Wagner: “they now have a diagnosis,” and so can stop running from one doctor to the next. Centres for unknown illnesses are found in many hospitals and university clinics; but Frankfurt is in the vanguard in getting students intensively involved, according to Germany’s National Action Alliance for Humans with Rare Diseases (NAMSE). Christine Mundlos, who receives the physicians’ inquiries at ACHSE (Chronic Rare Diseases Alliance) says that involving students is “an outstanding idea.” While their “open outlook” is helpful to the Centre and its patients, the students are also themselves learning something different. “What better preparation for the future can we wish for?” she says. Pfeffel spends about 20 hours a week at the Centre. About a dozen young people currently belong to the Team, and together they work on some 200 cases every year.u

Droplet Research { Marco Krefting/ Stuttgart, Germany/ DPA }


ne hundred milliseconds, maybe 120, is all the time that Florian Weckenmann has for his experiment. An engineer at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of Aerospace Thermodynamics, he is investigating how individual droplets of Acetone behave near the critical point at which the substance’s liquid and gas phases have the same density and are therefore indistinguishable. What may seem at first blush to be a rather vaporous pursuit has in fact very practical applications. More precise knowledge of droplet behaviour could, for example, boost the efficiency of diesel

engines and aerospace propulsion units, Weckenmann said. “Droplet Research has been going on for some time,” said Weckenmann’s colleague Andreas Birkefeld. The Research is aimed at enriching scientists’ understanding of droplets and improving measuring techniques and calculation models. “But the more extreme the conditions become, the more imprecise are the findings.” As an example of the extremes being studied, the small but sturdy test chamber used for the experiments is designed to withstand pressures exceeding 60 bar - atmospheric pressure at sea level is equal to about 1 bar. “The Auto industry has been puzzling over this topic for years” and developers have made “quantum leaps,” remarked

a spokesman for the Association of German Engineers (VDI). As technology advances, the relevant droplets get smaller, but computer models have become more accurate, too, he pointed out. An understanding of the thermodynamic processes involved is key. “You can only simulate them on a computer when you’ve got an idea of what happens when a droplet vapourises,” the VDI spokesman said. Matthias Brock, a spokesman for the Germanybased luxury automaker Daimler, while talking of effects on engine efficiency, said that the atomisation process and vapourisation influenced emission behaviour. “Unwanted side effects, such as oil dilution during catalytic converter regeneration, are likewise

strongly influenced by vapourisation,” he said. “These effects can increase with larger proportions of biodiesel, for instance.” The Droplet Research in Stuttgart is part of a joint project with the Darmstadt University of Technology and German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Initially focused on individual droplets, it will now turn more to droplet groups and then sprays. Each research site has a different area of study. Under investigation by scientists in Darmstadt, for example, is how droplets behave on the surface of an insulator - such as dew on high-tension wires - and whether they attack it under the influence of strong electric fields. The DLR is looking at the injection of sprays into rocket thrust chambers.u


Upside Down and Painted Over A

rt historian Gero Seelig is using everyday technology to discover the secrets of paintings by the Old Masters - using a cheap webcam to see what’s below the layers of the centuries-old paint. He points the webcam at a scene of dice-playing soldiers painted by Benjamin Cuyp (1612-1652), one of many Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings in the State Museum in Schwerin, northern Germany. This particular painting was recently received by the Museum as a gift from a Berlin collector. On the monitor something strange can be seen: across almost the whole width of the painting a large face can be spied, along with neck ruff, fur hat and doublet - all of them upside down. “Exciting,” mutters Seelig. Under the soldierly scene from the 17th century, a different picture, a portrait, was once there. Judging by the clothes of the person it was painted in the 16th century. It’s not an isolated case: under a farming scene by Jan Molenaer (1610-1668), Seelig has found a painting from the 16th century. The figure of a woman reading is probably a depiction of a biblical narrative. “The wooden board probably came from an altar and was painted over by Molenaer, more than a hundred years after its first use,” he says. Seelig got the idea of using a cheap webcam as an art-research tool from Helmuth Groetzebauch, a physics lecturer at the Free University in Berlin. Groetzebauch demonstrated the technique during a Berlin Long Night of Science, a public-outreach event. Installing an infrared filter on a standard camera makes it sensitive to a part of the spectrum we cannot register with the naked eye. The resulting image in the display gives the illusion of us being able to ‘see’ through layers of oil paint. This summer Seelig, a staff curator at the Museum, will explain the possibilities of the low-cost technique

Jens Büttner

{ Iris Leithold/Schwerin, Germany/ DPA }


he iconic Roseland Ballroom in New York will soon close its doors for good, after serving as a beacon for the City’s music scene for nearly a century - with appearances by Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and - as the closing act - Lady Gaga. The famous venue, sometimes billed as ‘The World’s Greatest Ballroom,’ with its relatively small capacity of 3,000 people, is one of the last relics from the by-gone era of legendary Manhattan nightclubs such as Studio 54 and CBGB. The Ballroom opened its first New York location in 1919, after the Club’s founders, Louis Brecker and fiancee Dorothy Faggen, decided to relocate the dance hall they had established in 1917 in Philadelphia - where so-called ‘Blue Laws’ prohibited

‘Paper and Crates’ wins top Architecture Prize { San Francisco/ DPA }


Gero Seelig, a staff curator at the Schwerin State Museum in Germany, holds a laptop showing the infrared-light view of the painting in the background. The painting is “The Liberation of St Peter” by Dutch artist Hendrick Terbrugghen (15881629). Seelig found that it is painted on top of another (upside down) painting. at an international conference of art scholars in Boston. Infrared reflectography is nothing new in itself and has long been used in art history research to make artists’ signatures and over-painting visible. What is new and what excites Seelig is the discovery that it can be so simple and so cheap. Even though the Schwerin State Museum has one of the most important collections of 17th century Dutch paintings in Germany, its budget is tight and a professional infrared camera costing tens of thousands of euros is not an option it can afford. “A proper infrared or X-ray examination is only worthwhile when you have reason to suspect that something important is hidden under the visible layer of paint,” Seelig says. But with the cheap webcam solution, it’s now possible to survey every painting - just to see if there might be something there. Admittedly the quality is not as good as a professional instrument provides, “but

the little camera shows at least enough to tell if there’s something there.” An infrared inspection can also help to uncover mistakes. This happened with “The Liberation of St Peter,” a painting by Dutch artist Hendrick Terbrugghen (1588-1629), which hangs in Schwerin. During restoration of the large painting a few years ago a long shadow was observed in the upper lefthand corner. After long discussion among art historians and conservators, it was interpreted as the hint of an architectural arch that had darkened over the centuries - and it was decided to make it more visible in the restoration. However, the infrared camera has revealed a different story: Terbrugghen had painted his work over an existing painting, which he had turned upside down. The architectural arch turned out to be the shinbone of a figure from the original painting!u

New York’s iconic Roseland Ballroom closes after a century { Christina Horsten and Emoke Bebiak/New York / DPA }

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the sale of alcohol on Sundays, according to the New York Times. In the 1920s the Ballroom rose to fame by hosting events such as a jazz wedding and a dance marathon - which had to take place on a ship at sea, to avoid breaking local laws banning competitions lasting longer than 12 hours. While the Club opened as a ‘whites-only’ ballroom in 1919, iconic African-American jazz singer Louis Armstrong made his New York debut there in 1924; and in 1926 the venue hosted a most unique contest. “That Event has gone down in jazz history – it was the first time that a great ‘white’ band battled a great ‘black’ band,” Loren Schoenberg, Art Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem told the New York Times. In 1956 the Ballroom moved to its current location, a former skating rink at Broadway and 52nd Street, only a few blocks away from Times Square. The Club kept up with

the changing music scene: it hosted disco sessions, which then gave way to performances by Metallica, The Rolling Stones and Madonna. As a closing act, Lady Gaga performed seven consecutive shows at the ballroom over a week, leading up to the very last show on Monday (April 7) night. The decision to close the Ballroom, announced in November 2013, came as a surprise to many, especially since the its current owner did not explain why. In New York, where the price of property has skyrocketed in the past decades, historic buildings are often transformed into less lofty establishments: the legendary CBGB became a men’s clothing store; while Paradise Garage, a disco famous for its influence on pop and dance music, is currently used by a mobile phone provider. What then will become of Roseland Ballroom, with its prime location in Manhattan? u

higeru Ban, a Japanese architect famous for building refugee houses out of cardboard, paper and beer crates, recently won Architecture’s top annual prize. Ban, 56, was cited by the Committee of the Pritzker Architecture Prize for buildings, which ‘provide shelter, community centres and spiritual places for those who have suffered tremendous loss and destruction’. “For twenty years Ban has travelled to sites of natural and man-made disasters around the world - to work with local citizens, volunteers and students, to design and construct simple, dignified, low-cost, recyclable shelters and community buildings for the disaster victims,” the Committee said. Ban’s structures have given vital shelter to thousands of survivors of natural disasters in Rwanda, Turkyt, India, China and Japan. He first came to widespread attention after creating the Paper log house used in the aftermath of the 1994 conflict in Rwanda and the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan. The houses had walls made of Cardboard cubes, with an origami like roof of Paper and Plastic, and a foundation built of beer Crates. Ban was also cited by the Prize Committee for for his Cardboard Cathedral erected in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the City’s central church was damaged in the 2011 earthquake. The soaring public structure was built used Plastic sheeting and Cardboard forms. The Committee also mentioned his Curtain Wall House in Tokyo and the Nomadic Museum - which was built using shipping Containers. Ban also designs permanent structures. His 2010 design for the Centre Pompidou in Metz, France features a dramatically swooping roof made of latticed Wood, covered with Fibreglass and Teflon. “Receiving this Prize is a great honour, and with it I must be careful,” Ban said on receiving the news. “I must continue to listen to the people I work for, in my private residential commissions and in my disaster relief work. I see this Prize as encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing; not to change what I am doing, but to grow.“ Ban will be the seventh Japanese architect to win the Pritzker Prize, which is considered the Nobel Prize of Architecture. The Award ceremony will take place on June 13, 2014, at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Pritzker Prize ceremony is held each year at a culturally or historically significant venue around the world. u

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Broken Hearts star in Museum { Andrea Sosa Cabrios/Mexico City/ DPA }

ship. Grubisic did not forget the idea. A few years later he called his former girlfriend and suggested the idea of an exhibition on broken relationships. They contacted their friends also, for contributions. The first exhibit came in 2006 and finally, the Collection got a permanent home in Zagreb in 2010. Sixty per cent of the objects donated in Mexico came from men. Young people made most of the contributions - this could be gleaned from the stories, since participants were not asked their ages. "Some stories are heart-wrenching and some a little light-hearted," Newman said. All exhibits are anonymous. The Museum does not reject any piece, unless it is offensive or discriminatory. The manager of MODO, Mariana Huerta, showed some of the Mexican-donated pieces at a Press preview. They included a polystyrene ball stuck with pins and coloured beads, a stuffed toy, a knife, two cardboard Pokemon figures and a woman's diary. The woman in question said that re-reading the story of her love affair (via the diary) had helped her recognise it as an ‘unhealthy relationship’ – and so she had ended it.


o one loves a love affair like the Mexicans. But the massive response to a recent public appeal, for the debris from broken relationships, suggests they may also be among the world champions at splitting up. Organisers of a museum received a shower of sad objects when they announced (in January) a special exhibition focusing on the death of love. The Show has just opened and runs until June 8 at MODO, a Mexico City Museum. MODO is named from a Spanish-language acronym, which means Museum of the Object of the Object. The Show was set up by the Zagreb-based Museum of Broken Relationships. More than 1,000 people contributed articles for the Exhibition. One woman sent in a half-burned wedding gown. It was not fully destroyed, because seconds after she set it on fire in a jealous rage at being jilted, she changed her mind and stamped the flames out. A man sent in a knife that he would use to prepare sushi

{ Sara Leme/Jerusalem/ DPA }

Paulina Newman, Director of MODO, with some of the objects donated for the Mexico show on broken relationships. at romantic dinners at his girlfriend's place; that is, until she sent it to him as a sign that she was cutting him off. There was such an enthusiastic response from Mexicans - greater than in the other 30 cities where similar shows were set up globally - that after the third day the organisers had to ask the participants to change the method of submissions. MODO

is a new venue inside a large 1909 Art Nouveau house run by young Art experts in an artsy district of the Mexican capital. "We asked people to donate objects representing a broken relationship. It did not have to be a love relationship or even a romantic one. It could be one that dealt with family ruptures also - like a communication breakdown between generations," MODO Director Paulina Newman told dpa. Every object is depicted with a write-up of its significance and the story of the breakup. In 2011, the Zagreb venture won the Kenneth Hudson prize, a European

MODO Museum Manager Mariana Huerta shows some of the objects for the Exhibition. The MODO Exhibition runs upto June 8. award honouring originality and innovative vision. The Museum has taken to travelling all over the world, to increase its collection. The Museum itself began with a break-up! When film producer Olinka Vistica and sculptor Drazen Grubisic ended their four-year love affair in 2003, they sadly joked that they would need a museum to keep all the mementos of their relation-

Breaking Bread Tours Sara Lemel


nticing scents waft through the covered passageways of Jerusalem's ‘Old City’. Three women tourists are pushing their way through the Oriental Bazaar towards a booth selling exotic spices. The women enthusiastically inhale the aroma of cardamom, cumin-seed and rusty-red sumac. "We'll be cooking with these tonight," says Shawna Goodman, a blonde tourist from Canada. She is out shopping with Breaking Bread Journeys, an agency that has set a goal of providing tourists with authentic travel experiences in both the Israel and the Palestinian territories. Behind this tourism idea, which is supported by the US development assistance agency USAID, are Christina Samara, a Palestinian, and Elisa Moed, an Israeli. "Tourism is a means to finding a way to co-operate," says the 43-year-old Samara, whose mother is originally from the southern German city of Fuerth. "The name of the Project is based on the tradition of blessings that are invoked during the breaking of bread - something that all religions have in common," she says. The

A knife, a toy panda bear and a diary that helped a woman end an unhealthy love affair: all items donated by Mexicans for the MODO Broken-Hearts Exhibition.

Christina Samara (left), who is Palestinian, and Elisa Moed (right), who is Israeli, break bread outside a shoe-shop in the ‘Old City’ of Jerusalem. They operate ‘Breaking Bread Journeys’.

Zalatimo (right) makes ‘Mutabak’, a sweet pastry made from flour, soft cheese and syrup, following a recipe passed down from generations. The cook expertly twirls the paper-thin dough and slaps it down on the marble table top, stretching it thinner and thinner.

A visit to a Jerusalem spice shop, a regular stop for customers of ‘Breaking Bread Journeys’, a tour operator for Israel and the West Bank.

two women got to know each other while working for a committee chaired by the Mideast envoy and former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Till now, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have sought to keep the tourists separate. “We realised that, at the end, it is the tourists and the local businessmen who suffer," Moed says. The two women offer various tours, including ‘On the trail of Jesus’ and ‘Herod the Great’. The female tourists exploring the spice market are on a tour called ‘Authentic Food and Culture’, which also takes in the

West Bank towns of Nablus and Bethlehem. "I really believe that eating together can serve the cause of peace. If someone invites you into their home, it is very personal," the Canadian woman says. "It is also a very pleasant way of making peace," she adds with a laugh. On the way towards the old City Centre, the travel guide leads the group to an unusual, very simple-looking restaurant where, since 1860, only one type of a simple sweet pastry has been baked. Called Mutabak (Arabic word for ‘folded’), it is made from flour, soft cheese and syrup; the recipe has been passed down from generations. In the evenings the women cook together in an Armenian restaurant, together with ‘Chefs for Peace’, an association of 13 Muslim, Jewish and Christian cooks. Kevork Alemian, the organisation's founder, stresses that one can't trust the politicians to deliver peace in the Middle East. ‘Chefs for Peace’ challenges the people of the Middle East to approach each other at a personal level. "I believe that If we cook together in a kitchen, we can learn to forget our differences," Alemian says hopefully."We're not acting as if everything is alright. We want to simply face up to the problems."u


18-24 April 2014

G -Scape prakhar PANDEY

You can just see the Road!

Friday gurgaon 18 24 april, 2014 the change you want to see

Friday gurgaon 18 24 april, 2014 the change you want to see