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2-8 May 2014

Vol. 3 No. 37  Pages 24  ` 10

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

Food Basket to F&B City

PRAKHAR PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

T

he erratic weather this winter, which extended almost into April, with excess rains in February and March, is likely to effect the farm produce negatively in and around Gurgaon. Although the Agriculture department maintains that the Rabi crop will be more or less normal, but on the ground it appears that Mustard production will take a hit in Gurgaon, Sohna and Farrukhnagar. However, a positive of the unseasonal rain will be that the Wheat crop will witness a higher output this season. Babu Lal, an official of the Agriculture department, says that the rains came when the Mustard was fully matured, and this could cause a loss of 5 to 6 per cent. “The crop cutting experiments are still going on and once they are completed we will be able to assess the

loss block wise,” he says. More than the losses caused by the late rains, the farmers, and even the Agriculture department, are concerned about the prediction of a less than normal monsoon by the Met department. Agricultural experts say that this will badly affect the Kharif crops, particularly the sowing of Bajra - which is a staple in Gurgaon district. The Kharif crops in the area are totally dependent on rains. Babu Lal says that even if there is a single good rain in June, the sowing could take place; since these crops do not require too much water, they are then able to sustain even in a low rain situation. However, many farmers do not share his confidence, and opine that the lack of rainfall could affect the vegetable growing areas such as Mankdola, Kaliawas, Farukhnagar and parts of Pataudi. Satish Sehrawat, a progressive farmer Contd on p 9 

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

I

s Gurgaon a great Food City in the making? The answer is clearly yes, going by the number of different restaurants, cuisines, bars and wine stores that have created an exciting food and beverage scenario. The City also has a new generation of chefs and owners, who have travelled the world and are bubbling with fresh ideas. Gurgaon even has stores that offer food ingredients from across the world, and a large number of ‘artisan’ stores - dedicated to singular perfections like bread, chocolates, cookies, a particular style of pizza or regional food. A number of destination restaurants have also marked their presence in the City – and have taken the food and alcohol experience (and budget) to a new high! The food, like the City, is the melting pot of India. It

Is the Bandhwari Waste Treatment Plant closing down – with no alternative even identified after more than a year of trouble? This farce has gone on too long – of first promising an increase in the capacity to the required 900MT (versus 600MT), and then promising to get it up and running after the operator just shut it down. For over a year now waste has accumulated at the site and much of it has seeped into the ground(water). There is an estimated 150,000 tons of untreated waste scattered at and around the site. It’s a disaster waiting to happen! Meanwhile garbage is now being dumped all across Gurgaon, on any open ground or roadside,,,even in the new sectors. We never learn….

represents the diversity of the population, of cultures that are trying to mix and build a unique identity for the City and its people. The strong influence of social media and blogs - which ensures easy connectivity and accessibility - has also played an important role in transforming the food scenario in the City to a higher level. Food blogs, Review sites and Facebook likes today play an important role in the success or failure of a food venture. Pavan Soni, an avid food blogger, and the man behind the recently held Gurgaon Food Freak Awards, says that the evolution of food in Gurgaon is related to its large population of migrants - from all parts of the country and abroad. “The migrants are widely travelled folk and have been exposed to different cultures and cuisines. They are well-off and young at heart; they are most willing to experiment and love being part of a culinary

experience - rather than just ‘eating out’,” adds Soni. The well- travelled food lover in Gurgaon is as comfortable with Korean food as with his Chicken Tikka. The demand for new food experiences is so high that even individuals catering to regional cuisines, and bakeries, are finding the going very good in the Millennium City. Food watchers in Gurgaon say that a key reason for this great restaurant cum foodie boom is that the majority of the families here are nuclear – and earning well. The presence of experienced hoteliers and former hospitality professionals has provided a nice icing on this cake. Sameer Puri, owner of WokaMama, a Pan-Asian restaurant chain that won top awards at the Gurgaon Food Freak Awards, says that their success is due to a very strong focus on food and service. “We ensure that the food is of top quality, innovative, and is served with warmth. Contd on p 8 

All private colonisers have been asked to send a report to the DC office immediately, regarding the current status of civic facilities in their areas. They have been told that they are clearly accountable for provision of these facilities, and services thereof. The facilities include: roads, water, sewage, streetlights, storm water drains, parks and community centres. RWAs need to be involved in this exercise.


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2-8 May 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–37  2-8 May 2014

Editor:

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

Civic...

Don't Bank on their Votes Naman has spent the last six months motivating more than 10,000 youngsters in the City to vote. “If youngsters don’t develop strong civic and political opinions, and don’t vote, nothing will change ever,” he feels. Naman, 19, a college student, along with a Delhi-based NGO, had organised many social events and meetings in Gurgaon to connect experts and politicians with young people. He also involved several youngsters from the City to join the Election Commission’s campaign, which encourages people to vote. Geetika Desai, a 22-year-old PR professional, is also helping spread this awareness among youngsters. “Despite Gurgaon being known as the Millennium City, people here don’t have access to good roads, footpaths and public toilets. Many basic facilities and services are missing and not being delivered.

...P 7

Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:

Shiv Shankar Jha

Civic / Social... Numberdaars!

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office

Special Feature... Purana (Qila) Excavation

The craze for ‘vanity’ number plates seems to be very high in the City, as the Regional Transport Office (RTO) made over Rs 2 crores from the sale of these numbers in the last financial year. Many people want to have car numbers similar to their lucky numbers, date of birth or as per the suggestion of their numerologists. A prominent businessman in the City prefers to have number plates with the digit 4.

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

editor@fridaygurgaon.com letters@fridaygurgaon.com contributions@fridaygurgaon.com subscription@fridaygurgaon.com adsales@fridaygurgaon.com

Undoubtedly man has always been excited about things past - be they historical sites, old coins or ancient artefacts. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) recently organised a public exhibition at Purana Qila (Old Fort) to showcase an excavation site. A first-of-itskind in the Capital, the Exhibition provides people an opportunity to witness ‘history in the digging’. ...P 12-13

...P 9

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

Spritual... The Joy of Solitude

Wellness... Shockingly-Good

When I ask myself where I am as a human being, there are just as many reasons for being happy as for being sorrowful. Many of the ‘struggles’ from decades past are still very much alive. I am still searching for inner peace, for creative relationships with others and for the experience of some higher force. As human beings we take up many ‘movements’

Arnica comes from a Greek word meaning ‘Lambskin’. It got this nomenclature because of the texture of its leaves. Arnica Montana is a mountain dweller, and this particular species grows in the European Alpine region, Central Asia and Siberia. Other varieties are widely grown in North America and Canada.

...P 17

G-Scape ....

India Photo Archive Foundation

APARNA MOHINDRA

'Millennium Dreams'

...P 19

Plus Other Stories.... Social

Healing-Caring..........................................................P 10 Social

Office Romance........................................................P 11 Kid Corner

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING FG COPIES REGULARLY

Activities/Events/Exhibitions/ Seminars.......P 14-16 Comment

Editorial.......................................................................P 18

SMS NR to 08447355801

Global

...P 24

Eight of Tomorrow's Destinations..................P21-23


C oming U p

2-8 May 2014

Biz Divas Power Networking Meet Date: May 8 Time: 6 pm Venue: Ramada, Sec 44 Biz Divas invites you to a Power Networking Meet – a perfect place to mingle, network, make friends and get inspired by accomplished professional women over a lively evening. Networking is a fine and subtle art that can go a long way in building long-term associations and giving that much desired direction to your professional journey. Biz Divas has also set up an Online Job Portal dedicated to Diversity Hiring, in collaboration with Monster.

Road, Sector 49 This Workshop is to help budding and aspiring Mumpreneurs answer 2 incredibly challenging questions that every entrepreneur is confronted with when they decide to start his/her own business.

Araveli Centre for Art & Culture (ACAC) presents 'Baap Ka Baap' Date: May 3 Time: 4 pm to 6.10 pm; 7.30 pm to 9.40 pm Venue: Epicenter, Sec 44 Starring: Asrani, Padmini Kholapure, Naveen Bawa & Chitrashi Raawat Ride for a Cause Date: May 3 Time: 6 pm Venue: 32nd Milestone, NH 8 A Ride against Rape - by Blitzkrieg Riding Club. The route shall be explained on whatsapp. Pillions are welcome. Helmets are mandatory for both the rider and pillion.

Play: DRAUPADI Date: May 4 Time: 7pm Venue: Epicenter Writer and Director: Atul Satya Koushik Synopsis: This Play takes excerpts from the known story of Draupadi and adds some imaginative sequences to explore an 'association' between Draupadi and today's women. This juxtaposing makes for an imaginative re-telling of an old tale. The incidents in the Play take place in an Indian village in the late 1960s. The Play incorporates some excellent Folk Music. Empowerment by Self Hypnosis Date: Sat Apr 26 Time: 09:30 am  Venue: Career after Kids, Level 1, Block 2 Vatika Business Park, Sohna

Theatre Workshop Date: May 1 to 20 Time: 4 pm onwards Venue: Epicenter, Sector 44 This summer, let the actor in your child shine, by enrolling him for a theatre workshop conducted by actor and director Imran Khan. The Workshop is aimed at kids between the ages 4 to12. Classes will be conducted from Monday to Friday. On May 21 there will be a special kids' production performed at the auditorium. Imran has been very active as a children's theatre director and has produced successful plays like Raja ki Khoj, Laghu Mahabharat, Portrait of Dora, A Player of Chess, Bhasmasur and Dragon. HR Practical Training Date: May 4 Time: 12 pm Venue: 1254/31 Laxman Vihar (near Shani Mandir) P.K jha is an HR Professional with the JK Group. Topics covered in the Training are: PF, ESI, Online Process, Gratuity, Bonus, Income Tax, TDS, MIS, Labour Laws, Payroll, Salary, Leave Policy, Personnel Management, PMS, T & D, Recruitment (practice on all Job Portals), and Interview Tips. Wednesday Theatre @ 8 Date: May 7 Time; 8 pm Venue: Club Patio, Block E South City 1 On one Wednesday every month there will be theatre on the menu. Enjoy exciting performances and also have quality family time - as these plays are for all ages. The Plays are : Table for Two: an unintentional comedy about loneliness, in an urban setting.

Written & Directed by Maheep Singh; Language - English; Duration - 15 minutes Dastan Ek Chhoti Si Cheenti Ki: a 'dastangoi' adaptation of a modern folk tale. You may well relate with this ant in a (corporate) jungle. Written and Performed by Ankit Chadha; Language - Hindi; Duration - 20 minutes

08-12 years Date: May 10-11, May 17-18 Venues: Espace 277, Nirvana Country, Sector-50, Gurgaon Toggle your Child's imagination and problem-solving skills through loads of fun and paper modeling. Last day for registrations May 4, 2014

Delhi's

Culture-Scape

'Spring Splash' Group Show of 18 Artists from NCR Date: April 29 to May 5 Venue: Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi M.E.C Art Gallery PresentsLivable Art - Group Show Ramesh Gorjala, Laxman Aealy, Rahim Mirza, Chandan Sen Gupta, Debendu Bhadra, Manish Pushkale, Tapan Dash, Uday Mandal, Tapati Sarkar, Samit Das, Mukesh Sharma, Sajal Sarkar, Jagmohan Bangani, Parish Mridha Venue: 70 B First Level, Middle Lane, Khan Market,  New Delhi - 3 Timing: 11:30 to 7:30 Daily (Sunday closed)

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Huge Day Jam Session Manjeet Singh [The Punjabi Rap Star] Live & Loud Date: May 3 Time: 12 Pm Venue: Lucia, Mgf Metropolitan Mall, Mg Road Battle Of Djs Music By: Dj Krn (Bass Blue) - Dj Dpk Hip Hop - Uk Bhangra

NOTHINGNESS - The hidden driver to counter dilemma Date: May 3 Time: 11 am Venue: The Soul Walk. 682, Phase 5, Udyog Vihar, behind Hotel Trident In our lives we continuously face dilemmas and have to make choices. The  ability to select a healing modality/career or even to focus on the path/activity we have chosen, is not easy - as we have innumerable distractions today. Here is a workshop that will help you counter your dilemmas. You will also learn the tools to make the right choices and remain focused on them.

TATVAN at Jindal Power Date: May 2 Time: 11 am Venue: Jindal Power, Plot 2, Sector 32 The Association of Tarot, Vedic Astrology & Numerology (TATVAN) is blessed to announce Healing and Consultancy Services in the fields of Vedic Astrology, Tarot Card Reading, Angelic Messages, I-Ching Oracle, Rune Reading, Pendulum Dowsing, Numerological Analysis, Name Corrections, Crystal Divination and much more, under the roof of JINDAL POWER LIMITED, one of the leading corporates. REDISCOVER YOUR LIFE AT THE TATVAN STALL ! Remedial products and solutions will also be offered. Wishing YOU Empowerment! Puneeta V Chandna


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H appenings

2-8 May 2014

INTACH Haat INTACH-Gurgaon Chapter organised a Gurgaon Haat at DLF Phase I Community Centre. A total of 52 artisans from across India displayed their products - ranging from hand woven garments to jewellery, pottery and home decorations. Alka Arora, Managing Director, Central Cottage Industries, inaugurated the Haat.

Teenage Tennis Ace

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urgaon-based 14-year-old Tennis prodigy Jennifer Luikham has created quite a stir by winning the Finals of both the Girls Singles and Doubles at the International Tennis Federation’s Junior Grade 5 Event held recently at Indore. Jennifer’s ITF Junior ranking in Girls Singles is likely to climb to about 500, worldwide. Jennifer is the first girl from Haryana to have won a ITF Junior title in recent years. Jennifer trains at the Siri Fort High Performance Center of Team Tennis under renowned tennis coach Aditya Sachedva.

Satrangi

A

man Jassal is celebrating the second edition of his debut novel, ‘Rainbow - The Shades of Love’. The story, on different phases of a relationship, has seven chapters - corresponding to the rainbow colours, VIBGYOR (with Red for love & passion and Violet for sorrow). Aman works as a design engineer with an MNC in Gurgaon.

Performance by renowned Kuchipudi exponent Meenu Thakur and her disciples at Feel India, a Ministry of Tourism Event.


2-8 May 2014

H appenings

05

Creative Conclave

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areer guidance was provided to aspiring design and fashion students through engaging sessions taken by eminent panelists. More than 200 eager ‘students’, including parents and future budding minds, participated in the Conclave. Sharad Mehra, CEO, Pearl Academy (the host), said, “Creative careers are extremely challenging and rewarding, and the demand for creative professionals has also increased tremendously in the last few years. Our aim in conducting such conclaves is to ensure that the students make informed decisions to channelise their energies and potential in the right direction.

Convocation Day at Dronacharya College

Decoding Dog Language

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ogSpot.in, an online destination for pet lovers, organised a session for creating awareness about dog communication and decoding their language. The Session was conducted by Sindhoor Pangal a well-known Canine Family Coach and Behaviorist from Bangalore. She has received her training from Norway under well-renowned Animal Behaviourist Turid Rugaas. More than 100 dog lovers attended. Rana Atheya, Founder & CEO, Dogspot.in said, “The intriguing world of barks, howls and actions of dogs has baffled pet owners for long.” All the proceeds from this Session will go to Friendicoes – SECA, an organisation known for fostering animals and providing them with medical care.

Milky Words of Mom

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Tetra Pak initiative to improve young mothers’ understanding on benefits of UHT (Ultra High Temperature) Milk. Chef Nita Mehta launched her new cookbook ‘Milkalicious’. Over 40 mothers from across Delhi NCR attended the Event. There was a discussion between nutrition experts and the mothers.


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2-8 May 2014

THE WEEK THAT WAS

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 SS Dhillon, Personal Secretary to the CM, visits the City and expresses displeasure with the local Administration on the condition of roads, sanitation and power. Elections to the District Bar Association are cancelled, due to allegations of bogus voting. Kanda (ex-Home Minister and accused in the suicide of a woman) has withdrawn support from the Congress and decided to float his own party – called Haryana Lokhit Party; he will be based in Gurgaon. 402 FIRs have been lodged in the alleged ‘HUDA Plots’ scam. 6 DHBVN officials are suspended on graft charges, after a sting operation by a local TV channel. Sec 144 is imposed on Hookah Bars (again). The revised NCR Plan bars tourism in green zones, with no condition or exception allowed beyond the 0.5% original allowance for certain constructions. Vikram Singh, a local jawan who was recently killed in J&K, is cremated with full military honours. MP Rao Inderjit Singh meets with IT leaders of the City. On May Day labour unions demand an increase in minimum wages, as promised by the State.

 A widow, a mother of 3, is run over by a speeding tanker while crossing a road in Sector 31; the driver is arrested.  The driver who ran over a Medanta doctor and his daughter is arrested and charged under a more serious criminal charge (he was earlier charged and let out on bail).  A 22-year-old woman, a Civil Services aspirant, is killed when a truck smashes into the car she is sitting in, near IFFCO Chowk. 2 men in the car, who came with her from Delhi, escape any serious injury.  2 people on a bike are killed when a car hits them on Pataudi Road.  A man is arrested for the murder of his wife (and then hanging her from a fan).  A 27-year-old cab driver commits suicide in Rajiv Nagar Colony; 3 are held.  A doctor from a reputed hospital is arrested for raping his (27 year old) sister over a period of 9 years; a 21-year-old woman charges 4 persons

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(including her live-in partner) of rape; a woman in Carterpuri accuses an air force employee of rape, after a 3 year live-in relationship turns sour. A girl is kidnapped from Carterpuri. A man is booked for sending obscene messages to his (woman) manager, at a company in Udyog Vihar. 3 are severely burnt when a cylinder bursts, in a Rajiv Nagar house. NHRC asks DC whether the family of a labourer, who died while working at a site, received due compensation. The City’s CNG supplier’s legal advisor is attacked on the NOIDA e-way – she sustains a fracture on her leg. Gurgaon Police is undertaking a ‘Lane Driving’ campaign – especially for commercial vehicles on NH8.

crores, with a special Rs 70 crores for the benefit of the poor. MCG says it will videograph the progress of all its projects. MCG will build more check dams before the monsoon – currently dams at Ghata, Nathupur and Kadipur Villages have been built. MCG starts a collection drive at RWAs, to collect unused household items – under a project called Needs. It starts at Suncity (Sector 54).  President of HUDA Gymkhana, Divisional Commissioner DPS Nagal, reigns. There had been protests from some members, alleging inappropriate working of the Club. Kherki Daula Toll Plaza will now have 23 lanes (vs. 18 earlier); CCTVs, sensors will be installed, and the toll collection will be computerised. Many unauthorised constructions between Mahavir Chowk and Mehrauli Road have been demolished. The 5.2 km stretch, from HUDA City Centre to Subhash Chowk, is planned to be redeveloped, keeping in mind the needs of non-motorised transport and walkers. Cyber City station of Rapid Metro is now open. ‘Rural Raahgiri’ starts at Chandu Village, supervised by NGO Parivartan Sangh (Head, Rakesh Daultabad). Over 1,000 villagers participate in various games. Raahgiri activity at Sushant Lok will stop from May 11 – only a dedicated lane for non-motorised vehicles and for walking will be demarcated every Sunday thereafter. Volvo Bus Service to Katra starts.

 222kg of marijuana (worth over  Rs 20 lakhs) is seized and 3 people arrested, after they are caught on the Faridabad e-way. They are part of an Inter-State gang.   20 cases of liquor are seized from  inside an Innova car in Sadar area. A gang of vehicle lifters is arrested in Sector 17 – I car  and 10 bikes are recovered. A builder runs away with about Rs 3 crores money taken from clients, for a proposed construction in Old DLF Colony, Sector 14. A security personnel guarding cash in a car is fooled by thieves who drop cash outside the car and snatch  the cash bag (containing Rs 15 lakhs) from within the car when the guard steps out. A company employee and his friend are Friday Gurgaon is also available at: booked for a Rs 3 lakhs fraud.

 Fights over water start, and power vanishes for 4 to 5 hours – it’s summer time, and things never seem to get better.  Taps run dry for 3 days in Sector 45; 200 families are impacted.  Sunbreeze Apartment owners protest in front of Unitech’s office, for excessive delay in hand over of this Sector 69 project; they accuse the builder of not even being willing to meet.  MCG Budget for the year will be Rs 980

Indian Oil Petrol Pump (Opp. Neelkanth Hospital, M.G. Road) Paritosh Book Stall (Sikanderpur Metro Station) C.S.P. - Kanchan (Opp. Vyapar Kendra - C Block Sushant Lok-1) C.S.P. - Sector-14 Market (Near Mother Dairy) Deepak Book Stand (Bus Stand) Nagpal News Agency (Bus Stand) C.S.P. - Madhav (New Railway Road) Jain Book Stall (New Railway Road) Rojgar Point Book Stall (New Railway Road) Karan Book Stall (Railway Station)

Watch and listen to

'Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan' a ballad on Gurgaon, based on the legendary song... 'Ye hai Bombay Meri Jaan'. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHKm54U913g OR View it at the FG Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fridaygurgaon

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C ivic

2-8 May 2014

07

Don't Bank on their Votes { Shilpy Arora/FG}

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon aman has spent the last six months motivating more than 10,000 youngsters in the City to vote. “If youngsters don’t develop strong civic and political opinions, and don’t vote, nothing will change ever,” he feels. Naman, 19, a college student, along with a Delhi-based NGO, had organised many social events and meetings in Gurgaon to connect experts and politicians with young people. He also involved several youngsters from the City to join the Election Commission’s campaign, which encourages people to vote. Geetika Desai, a 22-year-old PR professional, is also helping spread this awareness among youngsters. “Despite Gurgaon being known as the Millennium City, people here don’t have access to good roads, footpaths and public toilets. Many basic facilities and services are missing and not being delivered. I don’t see any Party really focusing on these (except during a few election days). But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t vote. In fact if we don't vote, we should be prepared to live with broken roads, non-existent jobs, communal politics and corrupt official,” she says. The interest of the youth in politics is definitely on a rise, especially after their active involvement in the anti-corruption march led by Anna Hazare, the formation of AAP and the protest against Delhi gang rape. Owing to this recent activism by youngsters to address social issues, many first-time voters have formed strong political opinions – which they are expressing at the polls. And their opinion matters a lot, especially in Gurgaon, as the City has the highest number of first-time voters in the State. A student of MBBS and a resident of Palam Vihar, Himanshu, 22, supports the Congress. “Congress always advocates secular politics. That is why I support them,” he says. Software professional Karuna, 25, from Sector 28, however says that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the future of the nation. “The Congress and BJP have given tickets to criminals. We can’t expect criminals to make policies for the welfare of the people. It is high time that people looked at the modern and more transparent politics offered

N

by AAP,” she says. Narendra Modi, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate has also drawn many youngsters towards him and the Party. Abhilasha, MBA student at IBS Gurgaon, believes that Narendra Modi can solve the country’s problems the best and will devise a strong foreign policy for the country. “Modi has brought development and prosperity in Gujarat. He can replicate that model in many other parts of India,” she smiles. Interestingly, there are many youngsters who flew down to the City to cast their vote. Subham Verma, 27, a resident of The Pinnacle, has been working in Hyderabad for the last two years. He however made it a point to visit Gurgaon to cast his vote during the recent Lok Sabha polls. “While we are all committed to our jobs and families, we cannot ignore our country. After all, the future of our careers and families depends on the policies of our government,” feels Shubham. The gender divide also seems to be vanishing. Earlier, only young men were believed to be interested in politics; but now women are also taking active part in political discussions. “My mother’s voting decision was always influenced by my father’s views on the policies of various political parties. Women in my family have been casting their vote for BJP blindly, viewing it as a pro-Hindu party. I have given my vote to a Party that I feel will make a difference in the lives of all segments of society,” says Karuna. Youngsters in rural areas have a completely different view on politics. They are excited about the new choice on the ballot – NOTA (None Of The Above). As most of the youngsters and their families are thoroughly disappointed by politicians, they are happy that they have an option to help lodge their protest against all political parties.

Surender (name changed), 20, a resident of Chakarpur Village, says, “Politicians have always given emphasis to the needs of urban Gurgaonites. Big companies are given contracts to build luxury facilities and services for rich people who live in posh colonies. Villagers, on the other hand, don’t have access to even clean water and electricity. In summer we are totally dependent on generators for electricity. I don’t think any political party will ever think about the villages in this City. So all the youngsters in my Village had decided to go for the NOTA option this time.” According to a survey, more than 70 per cent of the youngsters in Haryana are dissatisfied with the state of politics, for a variety of reasons. “I met a lot of young people in the last five months. When I asked them why they don’t vote, they said, ‘nothing will change.’ They don’t understand that by not voting they are doing themselves the biggest harm,” says Geetika. Youngsters who are casting their vote are wanting to see a major change in political leaders. They want leaders who are dedicated and sincere, and who will prevent corruption. “Housing, roads, drinking water, employment and health are major issues in the villages of Gurgaon. A good leader is needed to implement welfare schemes and develop villages too,” says Abhilasha. The youngsters don’t believe in blindly supporting a Party. They would rather vote on the basis of the stated positions of different parties on various social and national issues. Karuna for instance, feels that the manifestoes of all political parties should be considered as official declarations and political parties should not be allowed to rule if they break their promises. Naman, on the other hand, believes that

politics should be more about people taking decisions than politicians. “I firmly believe in the ideology of AAP, as it gives freedom to the people to choose what (public facility or service) they want. The public should decide what facilities in schools need to be built and when a road needs to be renovated,” he says. Youngsters in the City seem to be willing to taking an active part in politics. They are witnessing and influencing a change in the society and expect the politicians to respond accordingly. They want

leaders to be accountable for their performances (or lack thereof ). The clear message to political parties is that the young voters are going to be more demanding and impatient than the electorates of old, who have mainly voted on the basis of sympathy or admiration for a family, individual or a background. This more ‘practical’ approach of the youth towards politics is a good sign. It will help shift the focus towards more modern, secular and progressive politics.u

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08

C ivic/S ocial

2-8 May 2014

Food Basket to F&B City PRAKHAR PANDEY

 Contd from p 1 We are less focused on liquor, unlike a majority of the restaurants in the City,” says Puri. Interestingly, WokaMama managers observe that serving the Gurgaon clientele is a lot tougher than serving people from Noida or Delhi, as the customers here are very knowledgeable about food. Puri says that people are aware about what is ‘authentic’ Japanese, Korean, Thai and Indonesian, and sometimes surprise even the chefs by their knowledge of the ingredients and sauces. Most of the restaurant managers agree that the combination of food and liquor has to wellbalanced, as Gurgaonites love to drink. Many eateries that have concentrated on food alone have suffered. The transformation of Gurgaon's food scene began with the arrival of Ambience Mall, which set the trend of a large food court, exclusive restaurants and an experience centred on food. Multinational chains, independent Indian restaurants and micro-breweries – all at one location - attracted the many food lovers. What began there has matured into the Cyber Hub, created by DLF - a property created around foods and beverages. There are fine dining restaurants, casual dining and even fast food restaurants mushrooming at a fast pace. Varun Duggal, General Manager, Made in Punjab, a restaurant in Cyber Hub owned by Zorawar Kalra (son of the famed Jiggs Kalra), says that this area will add a great zing to the already rocking food scene in the City. Duggal says

that its prime location, as well as the presence of a large number of corporates around, has led to the opening of world class restaurants and eateries at the Hub. “Made in Punjab, Sodabottleopenerwalla and The Wine Factory are some examples, and many more have opened shop here,” adds Duggal. To cater to the corporate crowd, his Restaurant has created a special ‘afternoon buffet’, for those on a tight schedule. The food philosophy of Made in Punjab is to have the original flavour of Punjab and the Frontier provinces of Lahore and Peshawar come alive in their restaurant. Despite the presence of a large number of Punjabi and North Indian restaurants in the City, Duggal says that the number of patrons is increasing because of their use of authentic recipes and original flavours (which have mostly become extinct in the fast food culture of today). While Gurgaonites have been open to the consumption of packaged and processed foods, they are becoming increasingly health-conscious. There is a

slow but steady move towards more healthy food options and such eateries. Restaurants will have to offer options of low fat foods, low carbohydrate offerings, food that is sugar free and has little trans fats. With an openness towards new cuisines and varieties, City-folk are also seeking more ‘authentic’ outlets, serving recipes made from imported ingredients. Amit Kumar, manager at Prego, a popular Italian restaurant at the Westin, says that Gurgaonites not only want good food but also want to be entertained in a certain ambience - as eating out has become a complete entertainment experience, which must be relished over a few hours. That is why Prego, which also won an award, has created an environment that is vibrant and Californian in style – to complement their quality Italian food. “Opening a restaurant is easy, but positioning it in the market is very difficult, and it takes almost six to seven months to make it visible to the desired patrons.

Prego is a lively place and it matches with the international and young mood that defines this City,” says Kumar. For him, Gurgaon is a very challenging city as far as food is concerned, as many new restaurants keep opening – as also star hotels. Popular Chef Kunal Kapoor says that the presence in Gurgaon of a good number of well-travelled Indian chefs, who are exposed to international food and who have developed individual styles, is a great strength. What makes the job easier for these chefs and their owners is the willingness of the Gurgaonwalas to experiment with food and their ability to pay good money for the experience. So impressed is Kapoor with the food scene in the City that he forecasts that some years from now Gurgaon will be a gourmet destination that will overtake Delhi in terms of food quality and variety. The food in Gurgaon is well researched and more original, and even the small single product eateries selling cakes, pizzas and tandoori chicken are giving top names a run for their money. Kapoor also credits social media, which has helped spawn online groups like Gurgaon Foodie, which allows people to bond over food, share reviews and give honest opinions. Pawan Soni of Food Freaks says that their group has around 5,000 members who discuss only food particularly the developments in Gurgaon. Smartphones, 3G connections and food portals have also led to more people first researching about various food and restaurant

choices – before deciding what and where. Deeba Rajpal, a Gurgaon-based blogger who writes about baking, has a large number of followers and fans online. Many follow her blog and comment about the food she has posted there. Rajpal says that her kitchen is her laboratory, where she bakes food from locally available material. For her, blogging has been an enriching experience as it has allowed her to get in touch with local food enthusiasts who are knowledgeable. They want to explore authentic food, which in turn is giving a fillip to individual bakers, chocolate makers and small eateries specializing in salads and organic food. Ila Prakash Singh, who has been running Truffle Tangles, says that the open-minded residents of Gurgaon are very good at supporting good talent. “My home-based bakery has received tremendous support from the local food lovers, especially after I went online in 2011. The faith, trust and love from my clients has evolved my creations and has helped me in creating a niche for myself. A lot of people are now also feeling comfortable ordering from home-based caterers. It's exclusive, personalised and helps in building healthy relationships, while promising great quality,” she adds. Yes, Gurgaonites also love to order food; and surprisingly, compared to ‘eating out’, there is 35 per cent more spending on ‘eating in’. Shivani Gupta, MD, SPAG Asia, and co-founder of Gurgaon Food Freak Awards, says that the City loves its food, and the last ten years have transformed it into a gourmet destination - with quality food options that can compete well with Delhi. Shivani says that the participation of City residents at the Food Freak Awards was intense - they received more than one lakh votes. Food in Gurgaon is kind of religion - people take it very seriously. Now even Delhiites have started to visit the food addas of Gurgaon – especially the gourmet destinations of Cyber Hub, the individual restaurants at Galleria and Sector 29, the Ambience Mall variety and the exclusive Pubs – for a great food and beverage experience. Gurgaon could soon emerge as a Food & Beverage (F&B) hotspot in the country, and add one more reason to why it is called the Millennium City. u


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2-8 May 2014

 Contd from p 1

PRAKHAR PANDEY

from Mankdola, says that erratic rains have reduced the Mustard production by half, though Wheat is better this time. “We are worried about vegetables, as they depend on rain. Most of the agricultural areas in Gurgaon have high salinity in the water underneath, as a result of which tubewells are not very useful,” adds Sehrawat. With vegetable production likely to take a hit, it is expected that food prices will rise. Progressive farmers in Mankdola say that, to ensure that produce does not suffer in the coming months, agriculturists should opt for better seeds and invest in drip irrigation; they could use the subsidy given by the government to instal sprinkler systems. To overcome the shortage of water, the Department of Agriculture is also financially helping the farmers to construct small ponds in their farms - which could even be

used by the community. Sandip, a resident of Farrukhnagar, says that farmers in his village are a bit scared by the predictions being made by the Met department, and some are even thinking of late sowing, to ensure that they are not caught off-guard. With most of the land dependent on rains, they expect that the government should take some action to help the farmers in case the monsoon fails. Farmers within the City are fortunately not dependent on agriculture and carry on this activity as a form of tradition. Gurgaon has witnessed almost 40 to 45 per cent of its agricultural land being transferred to real estate. Historically also Gurgaon has had the least amount of agricultural land in the District. Even fertile land in Manesar, Pataudi, Badshahpur and other areas has been diverted for commercial operations, as a result of which agriculture has shrunk. This also has had a debilitating affect on the production of vegetables. Locals recall a time when Chauma

and Carterpuri Villages would send truckloads of vegetables to Azadpur Mandi – but now Gurgaon imports food from Delhi. It is being feared that within the next couple of decades Gurgaon might have no agricultural land, as every month some new sale of land is taking place. The prices are too good to pass up. Officials say that on an average a farmer here owns 1 to 3 acres of land. The large number of SEZs that have

been approved around Gurgaon in the past couple of years have taken a heavy toll on the farm operations in the District. As per the available data, cultivable land in Gurgaon District, which has 291 villages, was 75,165 hectares in 2013. A large portion of land that is today categorised as agricultural has already been purchased by builders, but it is still shown under farmland as the project work has not begun. Some of the farmers

Numberdaars!

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

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he craze for ‘vanity’ number plates seems to be very high in the City, as the Regional Transport Office (RTO) made over Rs 2 crores from the sale of these numbers in the last financial year. Many people want to have car numbers similar to their lucky numbers, date of birth or as per the suggestion of their numerologists. A prominent businessman in the City prefers to have number plates with the digit 4. “We often get requests for ‘vanity’ car numbers from him. He owns several luxury vehicles, including a Land Cruiser, an Audi R8 and a Mercedes, all of which have ‘4s’ in their registration numbers - such as ‘4444’, ‘0444’ and ‘4440’,” says an official at the RTO. He also informs that 5, 7 and 9 are some other favourite digits. The craze also varies

Playing with fonts The use of the right fonts on number plates is also considered a style statement. Despite several warnings issued by the RTO and regular drives conducted by many NGOs, people continue to use stylish fonts on their number plates. Nowadays people are crazy about numbers like 8055, which can be read as BOSS when written in a weird font. An RTO official from Sohna, Farukh, informs, “In a campaign that we conducted last year, over 800 vehicles were booked for having stylish number plates.” Hira, who makes number plates at his shop in Sector 14 Market, says that he advises his customers about the dos and don’ts, but if the customer insists he makes the stylish font at an extra charge of Rs. 1,000. “For luxury cars and trucks, people prefer to have stylish number plates. These days, getting something written in Punjabi is in,” he says. Jasmine Kaur, a social activist based in Sector 56, says, “The authorities speak a lot about women’s safety and take measures against eve-teasing. But if a crime is committed in a car that has a misleading number plate, a formal complaint can’t be lodged. It is therefore extremely important to put a ban on stylish number plates in the City.” She also suggests that gold number plates should be made mandatory, as they have letters embossed into them and are easy to read.

PRAKHAR PANDEY

09

have bought agricultural land in the neighbouring districts of Haryana, and also Rajasthan, for carrying out farming with the help of hired hands. Sehrawat from Mankdola says that with the rising price of land, agriculture could take a hit in their village as well, as farm operations have become costly and agriculture is becoming more capital intensive. Agriculture Department officials assert that they have been doing whatever is possible to sustain farming. Babu Lal says that they have distributed good quality seeds, given subsidy under various heads and also carried out training and extension programmes, to motivate the farmers. He says this is why Gurgaon has seen a higher production of various crops. While the government departments still appear to be optimistic on the farm front, the farmers in Gurgaon are looking towards the sky, as well as towards Delhi, where the new government is expected to give a boost to this sluggish sector. u

from community to community. While Jains and Hindus believe in the astrological principle of nine planets, and thus demand numbers like 1008, 9999 and 009, Muslims prefer 786. There is popular demand for number plates that match one’s date of birth. A resident of Sohna Road, Kulvinder, says, "I prefer a number plate that matches the birth date of my son. Since his birth date is May 30, my registration number should be 3005 or 0530.” For Kulvinder, the uniformity of a ‘lucky’ number across various facilities and uses is also important. “All my important numbers - ranging from my car number plates to bank account numbers and credit card numbers - are the same! It is also easy to remember all the numbers this way,” he smiles. Kritika Saini, a resident of Sector 15 and the proud owner of three Sports Utility Vehicles, says, "I find it easy to remember my vehicle number. It always has ‘111’ in it." Owing to the high demand for ‘vanity’ numbers, there is a special procedure at the RTO for obtaining one of these. These numbers are issued only at certain times and a fee is charged for them. ‘Vanity’ number plates cost between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 4 lacs. “A person who has money to buy a luxury car would have no issues in spending a large sum on a number plate of his/ her choice,” feels an RTO official. Moreover, a number plate is today a status symbol. People want to flaunt it among their friends, relatives and neighbours. They feel like VIPs. Many times people who have ‘vanity’ number plates get an advantage at 5-star hotels, where they ‘throw their weight around’ in order to get an easy entry…maybe to a special Party. u


10 Healing-Caring { Anita Jaswal} ‘You are the sunshine in my morning and the stars in the night.
I know that in this life when I am troubled through God it's you who keeps me strong.’
‘You are the mother of my children and the air that gives me life.
My truest friend of all…my heart, my soul, my wife.’

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r. K. K. Sharma and his wife Rashmi have been married for over 45 years, and if ever there was a couple truly made for each other, it’s them. “I get exhausted just thinking about all the little things she does to keep things on the straight and narrow around here. My wife truly makes me want to be a better person, and I live every day knowing that I am married to the most wonderful woman in the world. Because of her, all of our dreams have come true,” says Mr Sharma happily! Their life started from Lahore, Pakistan. “I was born in 1941, and after Partition we shifted to Amristar and then settled in Saharanpur. My father

was a doctor and I got my Dentistry degree - B.D.S. - from Calcutta. I didn’t waste a single day, and in August started my practice. Within a year I was an established Dental Surgeon in Saharanpur. We got married on 22nd November 1968 and my marriage has been the greatest and most precious happiness in my life. My wife, Rashmi, fills me with admiration. She is a partner and a companion, but most of all she has been my best and closest comrade through all life's struggles. I would tell my wife that if I were to be born again, I would hope to be married to her again and again, in lifetime after lifetime, through eternity. Rashmi is never without a smile. And she is so optimistic that she often amazes me. A wonderful cook, a devoted daughter-in-law, a perfect mother… she fills all these roles beautifully. Rashmi says her mantra is that whatever unpleasant things may fill your day, always send your husband off and greet him back home with a smile. “This may seem like very simple advice, but I think that it takes great reserves of strength

Mr Sharma: “We have had a rich and fulfilling Life. Both our sons are well settled and I have left my practice in Saharanpur and moved to Gurgaon to live with my lovely grandchildren. Here I got an opportunity to serve Clove Dental Clinic as a Mentor and would love to do more voluntary service for health care.”

The New (Home) Deal { Prabha Prabhakar Bhardwaj}

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2-8 May 2014

he unrecognised role of a ‘non-working’ spouse in an Army marriage is very aptly described in the poem, ‘A Soldier’s Wife’ (published in Friday Gurgaon, 18-24 April 2014). Millions of Army wives would connect with the sentiments that have been expressed there so eloquently. It brings into focus umpteen similiar situations, where one spouse’s role/sacrifice is glorified while the other ‘silent‘ - in the background - partner’s often more difficult role goes unrecognised. There is the story of this couple, who work as managers in a Bank. The wife got transferred to another city as a Branch Manager, and the husband stayed back with their two school-going daughters. The wife would take an overnight train back home on Saturday. She would slog the whole of Sunday taking care of the girls. Additionally, she would make the house ready for the next week, completing as many chores as are humanly possible (in advance) – before boarding the train in the evening for the return journey. She would reach her office on Monday morning, impeccably dressed and with a smiling face, to greet her customers and tackle their problems. This routine carried on for more than a year; the whole family and the close

Being a Dentist, Mr Sharma wants to give some practical tips for taking proper care of teeth.”It's really important to have good oral health habits, because a dental problem may have more negative consequences than you can ever imagine. If you really don't take care for your gums and teeth, it won't be long before cavities and unhealthy gums make your mouth very, very sore. Eating meals will be difficult. You won't feel like smiling much either. Choose Your foods wisely, avoid snacking constantly. This can cause plaque to build up in your teeth, which can increase the risk of getting cavities. Eat lots of vegetables and drink water instead of soda or juice. Strong, healthy teeth help you lead a healthier and happier life. Teeth also affect the appearance of your face and smile. Most important is brushing teeth twice a day; a night brush is a must.” and wisdom to put into practice every day. Most people consider a smile the result of happiness; I see a smile as the cause of happiness.” Mr Sharma adds, “Her constant encouragement and care have enabled me to overcome great obstacles. In fact I feel that our history is really the history of my wife's daily victories. Our life together has not been easy. I have always been surrounded by people and there are many demands on my attention and time. Yet, somehow, the more hardships we faced, the more we could strengthen our bond as friends, as human beings and as a couple. Every day the bond between us gets deeper. And I know it will continue to deepen forever.” u

circle of friends admired her tireless devotion. At last the husband’s long overdue transfer materialised and the family shifted to the wife’s location. Life returned to normal, with both the parents’ getting back to their welldefined roles of everyday life. The wife’s role was endlessly glorified. Very often at evening gatherings the conversation would revolve around her tough travel routine during the past year. One day the husband opened up on his routine during that period. He said: “Normally a late riser, I would get up early to wake up the girls and get them ready for school. I would come home at lunch time to receive the little one and settle her in for the afternoon. In the evening I would change from an office mode to a kitchen worker mode preparing dinner and the next day’s food requirements. I would then supervise the girls’ homework and extracurricular activities and finally tuck them into bed. No doubt the older one helped with the household work. At the end of the day I was able to spend some time with myself – reading or catching up with family and friends. I dutifully performed the new role that circumstances had assigned to me.” Many couples, expecially in our Millennium City, have to learn to live with, and balance, the often conflicting demands of their professional and family lives. The modern married life of working partners, who do not have old loyal househelp and choose to bring up their offsprings under their own loving care, is indeed very challenging, u

The subject of my thoughts this time is the sudden disappearance of ghost stories, which were the scary part of our growing up!

Bhoot-Pret Woh sab Bhoot-Pret kahaan gae jinki kahaniyan hum Bachpan mein suna karte the Din mein unke naam pe hanste the Raat mein sote hue dare the. Har shaher, har nagar mein Kuchh bangle hua karte the Jismein log kahte the Ki bhoot basa karte hain. Marghat ke aas paas raat mein  Koi jaata nahin tha Bade bade bhi us taraf Jaane se dara karte the. Kuchh logon ka Aisa vishwaas tha Ki peepal ke ped par Zaroor bhooton ka waas hai. Bhooton ke naam par Filmein bhi khoob banin Dara dara kar logon ko Kitne hi ban gaye dhani. Par aaj kal to bhoot ke naam se Bachche bhi darte nahin Balki ‘ spooky’ ko  apna Dost samajhte hain sabhi. Jo yuva hain aaj ke Unka bhi yeh kahna hai Ki dekha nahni jise kisi ne Bhala us-se kya darna hai. Sach to yeh hai Ki logon ko darane ko to Aaj ke neta hi kaafi hain Jinki fitrat mein bhari be-insaafi hai Woh jise chahen din daharhe loot len Qatl karva den bin palak jhapke Kisi ki zameen le-len, kisi ki bhi izzat loot len. Dar ke in netaon se Shayad saare bhoot bhi bhaag gaye Isi liye ab marghat par mazaaron par Ya peepal ke neeche, shaanti hi shaanti hai Aur sansad mein, sadanon mein  Dekho machi kaisi kranti hai! Ashok Lal, ablsl1971@yahoo.co.in


2-8 May 2014

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he work place of today is what singles bars were to the 1970s - a great place to meet a mate. Office romances are nothing new, but the frequency is. In our 24/7 work-world, where people spend more time at work than they do any place else, it’s no surprise to find that intra-office romance is on the rise. As per a survey report, 66% of employees say they know of a relationship that developed on company time. The ‘fields’ most susceptible to office romance are media and entertainment, followed in order by marketing/ communications and law and consulting, reports the same Study/Survey. However, other industries are hardly immune. This phenomenon can be problematic for Human Resource (HR) professionals. While HR is loath to step into what’s widely perceived as a personal matter, the impact these relationships have on the work place can force the issue. Office romances can be distracting and destructive, not only to the couples involved but also to their colleagues. The Survey found that only 29% of employees believe that office romance is ‘perfectly appropriate and fun’. In addition, feelings of the ‘couple’ can interfere with their work. Although it’s a sticky subject, one that most HR professionals would rather not touch, the prevalence of intra-office dating makes the issue impossible to ignore. It’s important to have a clear company-wide strategy, so that there’s no confusion. At many companies it is forbidden. These companies are so unwavering in their desire to keep the work place ‘romance-free’, that when a couple begins to date, one or both are expected to resign. If caught dating they are not reprimanded – just summarily fired. Some may argue that this impinges on individuals’ personal choices. Other companies have policies that call for the removal of one of the two employees from the work unit. Not a bad idea, but there are two caveats. One, that the company should be big enough to accommodate a

{ Krishan Kalra}

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aneka Gandhi made a pretty picture holding up her ‘pallu’ at Pilibhit. More than all her ‘aandhi’ slogans, Shishupal stories and enthusiastic support from the filmi hero Raj Babbar, I think it’s her symbolic gesture of covering her head with the ‘pallu’ of her temple-bordered saris that may ultimately win the hearts of her voters - including many ‘ghunghat-clad’ women. Many women of substance – especially Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto and Sonia Gandhi – have demonstrated the effectiveness of the ‘pallu’. Equipped with this infallible ‘accessory’ − whether as a ‘sari’ or a ‘dupatta’ − and trained in its multifarious uses, the Indian woman is a winner all the way. Her western counterparts are no match; their wardrobes have no such garment that can be put to a thousand uses. A ‘pallu’ is made for all occasions − literally. An Indian (Hindu) lady starts the second phase of their life by knotting her ‘pallu’ with her husband’s ‘safaa’. This silent gesture means more than all the public declarations of undying love. Once

Office Romance

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transfer to a different department; and two, that the employee is willing to take the transfer. Many others deal with these ‘arrangements’ on a case-to-case basis. The upside of this solution is that it may make the company vulnerable to legal action, should such relationships be handled inconsistently. And then there are companies who not only don’t mind an office romance, but encourage it! 1600 of Southwest’s 26,900 employees are married to each other (data is a little ‘old’). Many of these couples met and courted while working for the Airline. Southwest is so pleased to have a role in these pairings that it has dubbed itself the LUV Airline and uses LUV as its ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange. Most companies will fall somewhere in between these ‘extremes’. But no matter where your company lies, you’ll need to pen guidelines for the employees, managers and the HR department; so that when romances surface, they’re handled consistently. Most companies do not have formal written policies on the issue of intra-office dating – which is a mistake. Written guidelines not only help direct the supervisors

on how to handle such situations when they arise, but also serve as a legal protection for the company. When penning a policy, you’ll have to straddle a fine line between ‘too much and too little’. Spell out what the company considers appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. Take nothing for granted. What might seem like common sense to you may not be to others. The more concrete you can make it, the better. On the other hand, there is such a thing as too much information. You don’t want so many disciplinary actions listed that managers lose the important power of discretion. Choose those offences most likely to negatively impact the work place and be clear about what repercussions those behaviours will carry. For each one indicate whether it merits a reprimand, a re-assignment or a dismissal. By clearly tying together cause and result, you’ll compel managers to take strong action and protect the company legally in certain extreme cases. There are three areas where office romance can blossom into major problems for the company. Adulterous Affairs – This may be

among the most awkward, and one that many HR professionals understandably shy away from….and that’s probably the best way to handle a delicate situation that is more personal than professional. However, if you work for a company with headquarters in certain parts of the world, such as Japan and some Arabs nations, you may find that you’ll have to delve into this uncomfortable territory. For many foreign firms, adulterous intraoffice liaisons are grounds for immediate termination. Overt Actions – Intra-office romance can become a problem when relationships are overt. Amorous interludes can distract and disturb other employees. While there’s probably no direct role for HR in the handling of small interactions, HR should talk to the concerned managers about quashing any overt displays of affection that others find either irritating or non-professional. Supervisor & Subordinate cases – This kind of romance is potentially the most damaging to the company. When these kinds of romances fade, complex legal issues can arise, as subordinate employees can claim that they were pressured into relationships with their supervisors. It is generally observed that these kinds of relationships also have the biggest impact on the workplace, because they often lead to resentment among the (couples’) co-workers. When colleagues see their fellow employee dating their manager, they feel justified in believing and reporting this as favouritism. If the relationship is prolonged, it leads to a general mistrust of management. HR’s role isn’t to stop intra-office dating. Even if your company policy discourages it, human nature may win out - at least now and then. However, that doesn’t mean you should throw up your hands. There’s a role that HR professionals can play in shaping and communicating acceptable behaviour on company time.u Maj (Retd) N K Gadeock

Pallu ke peechhe...

The ‘pallu’ suddenly becomes a thing of immense beauty, embodying all the grandeur and elegance of the ‘sari’ and the delicate movements of the model wearing it. You would think ‘pallus’ are only for the world of romance and the elegant lives of beautiful people. Certainly not. A ‘pallu’ plays a role in everyday life too. When the busy working girl is returning home − tired after a full day’s work − the neighbourhood ‘subziwali’ gently suggests that she should buy the vegetables now, unless she wants to come down from her third floor DDA flat later. Not carrying a bag, she decides to offer the ‘subziwali’ her ‘pallu’, which acts as an impromptu ‘thaila’ for some fresh greens… the ‘sari’ has to go for washing anyway. In another situation a housewife has had a harrowing morning and is just about ready to settle down for a well-earned rest in her favourite chair - when the power goes off. Cursing the administration, she sits down anyway - and presto the ‘pallu’ becomes a fan for some breeze and a handkerchief for wiping her brow. The postman knocks when she is rinsing the laundry, and so the mail is held with the dry ‘pallu’. Mother-in-law arrives for

an unannounced visit; up goes the ‘pallu’ over the head, while touching ma-in-law’s feet - even while mentally preparing for trouble ahead! The little lovable menace Bablu returns home without his ball, and his mischievous eyes look suddenly scared. He is followed by an angry neighbour, shouting about the high cost of replacing her windowpane, which has been broken by the little fellow’s ball. The ‘pallus’ soon get tucked in, and the friendly neighbours become firebrand enemies, hurling abuses at each other and the entire clan on the other sides. Bablu and Taploo (of the other side) soon join in − crying. The ‘pallus’ are soon untucked and used for wiping the brats’ noses; before being tucked again - and the fight continues. The brats slip away, hand in hand friends once again. Don’t start thinking that the ‘pallu’ is versatile only in its use. Yes, it is the very symbol of a woman’s modesty, but it’s great even when discarded. The gesture of a socialite casually dropping her pallu, or a dusky Bengali beauty uncovering her head to show off her lovely hair, can have unintended (or most-intended) effects on ‘company’. Long live the pallu. u

the festivities are over and the couple is safely away from overzealous friends and relatives, the ‘pallu’ becomes a ‘ghunghat’ for the coy bride. Married life starts on a romantic note - with the ceremonial lifting of the ‘pallu’ veil inviting comparisons with the moon’s beauty, and the limpid eyes being likened to the depths of a blue lake. Most fashion shows, especially in India, exploit the ‘sari pallu’ to the hilt. ‘In its warp, weft and its weave, countless creative impulses colourfully manifest in silks and handlooms − resplendent, intricately patterned, rustic, sophisticated or even ethereal’, read the poetic advertisements. ‘Pallus’ are displayed artistically and with flair by models on catwalks, helping win countless buyers for their patrons and many admirers for themselves.


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Purana (Qila) Excavation { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon

‘People's relationship to their heritage is the same as the relationship of a child to its mother’ – John Henrik Clarke

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ndoubtedly man has always been excited about things past - be they historical sites, old coins or ancient artefacts. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) recently organised a public exhibition at Purana Qila (Old Fort) to showcase an excavation site. A first-of-its-kind in the Capital, the Exhibition provides people an opportunity to witness ‘history in the digging’. Purana Qila, now a popular venue for music concerts, is an important gateway to the City’s past. It was part of the trade route and a popular residential area, from the time of the Mauryan Empire (upto Mughal times). “It is a site from where Humayun gazed at the stars, where Sher Shah Suri gave administration in medieval India a new direction, and where the Mughals overcame their rivals (after initial disastrous setbacks) to build a powerful and enduring Empire. It is therefore a place that ‘houses’ artefacts that are thousands of years old. Our excavation site helps showcase the unearthing of that history,” said Delhi Circle Chief, Vasant K Swarnkar. Over 17,000 people have visited this Excavation Exhibition. While calling it a ‘life-time opportunity’, Bhuvnesh Kumar, who came all the way from Bhopal, said, “It is a unique experience for me. I am a student of Archaeology. This visit will help me better understand the work and role of the different dynasties.” Children were equally excited. Anjali, a student of Class 10 at Ramjas said, “I had never been to the Purana Qila before, but this Excavation sounded very interesting. It pulled me here. I am sure it will help me understanding the past in a better way.” Many parents had brought their children, to educate them differently about their history and heritage. “I came with my wife

S pecial F eature

2-8 May 2014

ASI’s excavation has led to some rare finds: a rare 12th century sculpture of Vishnu, terracotta seals from the Gupta period, pottery from the Kushan and Gupta periods, s a Ganesh figurine from the Mughal period, an ivory pendant and a Gajlakshmi tablet from the Gupta period, structures from the Rajput and Kushan periods, copper coins, terracotta human figurines, charred wheat and rice grains and many more remains from the Mauryan period. “The seals from the Gupta period have letters in the Brahmi script,” said Swarnkar. Beautiful ear studs made of terracotta, miniature pots, block-printing stamps and pieces of glass bangles showcase the importance of art and creativity in ancient India.

PRAKHAR PANDEY

and children to see how excavation is done. It’s exciting to witness this unearthing of our past,” said Gagan Mitra, a resident of Ghitorni. Although the artefacts were protected by a glass covering, visitors are given an opportunity to go inside the excavated trenches and witness how history is unearthed. This is the third excavation at Purana Qila - after those in the 1950s and 1970s. “Since this excavation at the Purana Qila has been conducted after a gap of 40 years, we felt it was important that the public at large should be involved; we decided to put together an exhibition displaying everything that we had found. Volunteers have been trained to explain the historical significance of each piece. The public is also able to actually see how an excavation is conducted,” said Swarnkar. The 14 trenches at the excavation site house the remains of more than eight dynasties -- the Mauryas, Guptas, later Guptas, the Sultanate, Rajputs, Kushans, Mughals and most probably the Indraprastha era! Interestingly, the excavation indicates that Indraprastha, the capital of the kingdom of the Pandavas (as mentioned in Mahabharata) might have existed around the Purana Qila. The major clue that supports the existence of Indraprastha is the Painted Grey Ware (PGW) - a particular type of pottery that archaeologists associate with the Mahabharata period. “It is grey pottery painted with geometric patterns in black. By excavating another 1.5 metres, we expect to expose remnants of the ‘lowest’ cultural settlement that was founded at this site. It would take almost one month of excavation to find some solid evidence,” informed Swarnkar. ASI will soon put all the artefacts on public display. There is currently no open excavated site in Delhi. ASI is planning to make a glass pathway over the excavated structure and open the site for the public by next year. Excavation will continue to be carried out in an area measuring more than 4,900 sq. m. There is hope that the excavation site might help discover the original layout of the Mughal Gardens and the water channels, and how the fountains worked.u


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K id C orner

2-8 May 2014

Banding together

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hildren at Modern Montessori International School participated in a guitar-making activity. With the use of waste material, the little rock stars made a range of guitars.

APS Earth Day

Raah Nataks

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other Earth provides us with varied resources - such as food, air and water - and is our duty to conserve and preserve them. To commemorate Earth Day, a Special Assembly was held. Students of Class II spoke about the various causes of pollution and the ways to mitigate the same. A special song on ‘Mother Earth’ was sung by the students of Classes I and II; a drawing activity was held for the students of Class II; and the students of Montessori I to Class II planted various saplings.

t Raahgiri last Sunday, some of the senior ‘Bagiya’ kids, Grades 6 to 10, studying at DPS Shikshakendra and CD School, enacted a Nukkad Natak on Women’s Empowerment. The skit was written and put together by a Sanshil Foundation BBA student volunteer and Gurgaon resident, Niharika Jain. Venues were Vyapar Kendra & Phase V.

Count & Paste

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he children of Banyan Tree World School learnt the concept of ‘Count and Paste’. They enjoyed pasting colourful stars and matching them with the given numbers in the workbook sheets.

Save the Earth

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Earth 2025 Foundation conducted an Environment Protection Seminat at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 14. The students took an oath to protect the environment


2-8 May 2014

K id C orner

15

GEMS Modern Academy sounds the rally cry for Parental Engagement R

ecently there’s been much interest in the role of parents in education, and debate between parental involvement or engagement. Both are important, but each can impact students in different ways. Ultimately, educators want students to be open and receptive to learning and how to learn, to thrive in the 21st Century, which is why GEMS Education focuses on the powerful influence of Parental Engagement on student achievement and guides parents in relevant, effective engagement strategies. To clarify, involvement relates to the things a parent can do to assist the school community such as volunteering, attending science fairs or concerts, or participating in recycling or food drives, etc. Meanwhile, engagement relates to the parent getting actively interested in what their child is learning, how they learn, what they think about various topics. It may be related to school work and extend to learning about the broader world around us. Ideally, parents are both familiar with and comfortable in their child’s school and engaged in their child’s learning – inspiring them to learn new things and challenging them to think about new concepts.
Coming up in South City II, Gurgaon, GEMS Modern Academy (GMA) is part of the GEMS Education network of schools, which is the first educational organisation to introduce parental engagement as a strategy for greater student achievement across all of its schools. The new GMA will benefit from best practices developed and proven in GEMS global schools covering a variety of curricula across, including CBSE and ISCE. According to international studies, one of the main reasons children do well in school is because their parents take an active interest in what they are learning and positively support it at home. Research suggests that parents who are consistently engaged in their child’s learning can add the equivalent of two to three years of formal education, adding massively to their potential overall achievement – can you imagine how much furthered you’d be with two to three years more schooling? In addition, when parents are positively engaged children get better grades, have fewer discipline problems and are more likely to be successful. In GEMS schools, parents are encouraged to support learning beyond the school walls - at home, anywhere, anytime. Engaged parents

are strong role models of learning and send the message that they value education. They demonstrate respect for education by making time for home learning, and believing that their child can learn. Every parent, regardless of culture, language or experience, has something to offer their child, and conversation is at the heart of this positive parental engagement. As partners in the education process, parents can reinforce learning by discussing a variety of topics, asking clever questions, listening, doing activities or reading together, and perhaps most importantly, encouraging their children with praise and direction. Parents can leave everything to school, but their children would miss out on thousands of hours of potential learning that could be going on at home. This is especially true when you take account of evenings, weekends and holidays spent outside of class, that amount to as much as 85 per cent of students’ waking hours. “GEMS believes very passionately in helping all of our students reach their full potential. We see our parents as central to that aspiration,” says Punam Singhal, Principal of GEMS Modern Academy, South City II, Gurgaon. Schools facilitate regular opportunities for parents to understand the value of engagement and help develop their skills to assist learning at home. GEMS ensures the school infrastructure and professional development to integrate parents into teaching and learning, and provides information, tips and resources on both parenting and how to support the ‘3-a-day’ approach at home, on a dedicated Parental Engagement website, www.gemsparents.com It is believed that a quality education is about Ad Vitam Paramus -‘preparing for life’. The GEMS approach to learning is one which focuses not only on academic excellence but also in helping students develop their character, creativity, values, personal leadership and the spirit of enterprise necessary for them to achieve their full potential as global citizens and leaders of the future. (See world-wide University Acceptances for GEMS students) Further, a high quality education, with an international outlook, is critical in an increasingly competitive global environment. ‘Globalisation’ maybe the catch-cry of today but we have acknowledged its impact for decades, and prepared our students accordingly.

GEMS guides parents to make family learning part of their lifestyle by reminding them to do three of the most effective engagement activities every day. We call this the 3-a-day approach. Parents are encouraged to: • talk about learning • share learning • encourage learning “By talking about learning, we mean have regular two-way conversations about what your child is thinking and learning - this means listening too,” says Punam. Parents are guided to ask questions about the world around us, support with repetition, and extend learning by introducing new vocabulary, ideas or examples. “By share learning, we mean experience or do learning focused activities together. The types of activities will change as children grow older,” informs Punam, “and reading is proven to be the best activity for Primary children.” Encouraging learning means specifically praising the progress and efforts children make to learn. This is perhaps the most important of the three daily habits. Parents are encouraged to give specific feedback on how/what they are learning, even if it’s simply stating what they are learning. Other keys areas for encouraging children include being a strong role model with a positive attitude towards learning, teachers, and school. Parents are advised to role model perseverance and discipline by showing children that how to stick with challenging tasks, setting and guiding daily routines – this also promotes independence, stability and confidence. Parents should set high standards and realistic expectations by discussing what is expected academically, behaviourally and socially “We integrate 3-a-day into classroom routines, and remind busy families to “talk about, share, and encourage” learning daily, in their own way or style. Even parents who do not speak English or feel they lack the skills/confidence to support the curriculum, can do “3-a-day” in their home language, and be strong role models of learning. At every age or stage, we hope that “talk, share, and encourage” become healthy family learning habits, which stay with students throughout their school careers, and develop as their needs change,” she says. An upcoming project of GEMS Education, GEMS Modern Academy, South City II, Gurgaon follows the similar ideology.


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2-8 May 2014

K id C orner

Red Colour Day

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he ability to identify colours is considered a milestone in a child’s cognitive process. American Montessori Public School celebrates ‘Colour Day’ every month! April was all about ‘red’. Children of Classes MI & II came dressed in red coloured casual dresses. While the girls wore frocks and looked like little princesses, the boys looked as yummy as red apples. They also performed art-craft activities related to the colour red.

Ryan Unity

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n line with the values stated by the Founder Chairman Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, Ryan International School, Sector 40 celebrated Human Unity Day on April 24. The students of Standard VI gave a presentation on the importance of the Day by highlighting the values of peace and brotherhood. A talk show on ‘Together we stand, divided we fall’, was also organised. The Headmistress, Ms Peeya Sharma shared her views and talked of the blood donation camps organised by the Sant Nirankari Mission on this Day.

Botanical Trip

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field trip was organised for the students (Montessori I to Class II) of American Public School to the Tau Devi Lal Botanical Gardens. The teachers explained the different kinds of plants - such as trees, shrubs, creepers, climbers and herbs. It was an enriching and informative trip for the students.

Egg-Hunting

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‘A Minute to Win It’ 

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‘speaking’ activity was held for the students of American Public School, Classes I and II. The students spoke for a minute on varied topics related to the Earth such as dharti, suraj, hawa, gal and chaand. The students spoke with clarity and confidence, with the use of attractive props.

rade 1 students of Lancers International School enjoyed an Easter Egg-hunting activity. It is an interesting activity in which the eggs are colour coded. Children are then divided into groups and each group is asked to hunt the eggs of a particular colour. The boys hunted for blue and the girls hunted for red and yellow. The activity fostered a cooperative spirit amongst the kids, who helped each other in gathering the eggs.


S piritual

2-8 May 2014

The Joy of Solitude { Dr. Rajesh Bhola }

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hen I ask myself where I am as a human being, there are just as many reasons for being happy as for being sorrowful. Many of the ‘struggles’ from decades past are still very much alive. I am still searching for inner peace, for creative relationships with others and for the experience of some higher force. As human beings we take up many ‘movements’: ‘inward’, in deeper relationship with our true selves; ‘outward’, in loving relationship with others; and ‘upward’, in prayerful connection with the higher force. Each of these generates tension, as we move back and forth on a continuum. We do not always feel the same sense of connection to ourselves, to others or to the higher force. We all have a natural instinct towards connection, towards relationships - and we feel a lacking, a discomfort, if that need is not met. Today technological advances allow us to carry a complete entertainment system in our pocket. Modern culture has become most sophisticated in the avoidance of pain - not only our physical pain but our mental and emotional pain as well. We have become so used to this state of anesthesia, that we panic when there is nothing or nobody left to distract us. When we have no project to finish, no friend to visit, no book to read, no television to watch or no record to play, and when we are left all alone to ourselves, we become so afraid of experiencing an all-pervasive sense of loneliness that we will do anything to get busy again - and continue the game that makes us believe that everything is fine after all. Loneliness is not something we like to talk about, or think about. However, we also need to learn how to be alone with ourselves, to accept and love ourselves – to look upon ourselves with soft eyes. Hopefully our experiences of loneliness will give us a glimpse of the importance of solitude. Solitude enables us to look at the inward dynamics - our relationship with our true selves. In solitude we get rid of our scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain and no books to distract. There is just us – probably vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived and broken. It is this that we have to face in our solitude nothingness so dreadful that everything in us wants to run to our friends, our work and our distractions, to make ourselves believe that we are worth something. As soon as we decide to stay in our solitude, confusing ideas, disturbing images, wild fantasies and weird associations jump about in our minds. Anger and greed begin to show their ugly faces. We give long, hostile speeches to our enemies and dream lustful dreams in which we are wealthy, influential and very attractive – or poor, ugly and in need of immediate consolation. We try to run from the dark abyss of our nothingness to restore our false self in all its vainglory. However, we can use silence and solitude to grow closer to our self, by paying attention to what is stirring inside the soul. We can notice the feelings of desperation and desire that we experience at various times. Instead of trying to suppress or run from those feelings, we need to incorporate silence and solitude into our regular life.  Choose a time and place to get away from life as usual and spend at least 10 minutes in silence - alone. Choose a physical position that will enable you to stay alert yet worshipful, and say a simple prayer . Take a walk on a nature trail or sit beside a lake or at a quiet spot in a park - or even in backyard of your home. Even a secluded chair inside your house may work, as long as

all your communication and media devices are turned off. Overcome any resistance. Do not let anything distract you. If you are anxious or afraid, admit it and ask Him to comfort you. Seek rest for the body, mind and soul. Pray for the wisdom to recognise when you have become dangerously tired – exhausted by life’s demands; to the point where you cannot even hear His voice speaking to you. Take deep breaths and let peace fill your body. Let go of concerns that your mind is trying to hold onto, by opening yourself to the revelation that comes from beyond your mind – which only your spirit can hear. Face yourself as you really are. Solitude is a spiritual discipline. It takes discipline and effort to ensure that we are not disturbed. Solitude forces us to face everything in our lives head on – it is an internal confrontation. We are then able to see clearly, through a full perspective, what is of importance in our lives. The movement from loneliness to solitude involves accepting a degree of separateness and aloneness. It also involves the idea that each person is unique and carries with him a certain mystery - there is no one just like him. If we are uncomfortable, or unwilling to be alone with ourselves, then we may never actually discover who we really are. We may never see ourselves the way our higher self sees us. If we never come to know ourselves, we may continue to crave the distractions of the world, which help us to avoid feeling the loneliness we fear. We may also fall into the pattern of using the people in our lives as a part of our distraction strategy. Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into fruitful solitude. To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude. This requires not only courage but also a strong faith. As hard as it is to believe that the dry desolate desert can yield endless varieties of flowers, it is equally hard to imagine that in our loneliness is hiding unknown beauty. The movement from loneliness to solitude is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inwardreaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play. We should seek to simplify our existence, to cut down on our wants and to diminish our cares, so that more time and energy may be found for divinely lived solitude. Men have become so steeped in material living, in the struggle to earn a livelihood, and in the distracting environment of big cities like Gurgaon (in which they find themselves forced to live), that in the past two decades they have become more and more obsessed by their material bodies. Work, living conditions and pleasures have become so definitely material that relaxation in a spiritual sense has become an exception. It is important to escape regularly into the quiet solitude of Nature. Surrender yourself to the impressions that come to you from the new environment. If you are looking for guidance on any particular problem, you will find it there more easily. It is great virtue to evolve as a human being who can live in solitude and can practice silence. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 25 years. He can be contacted at rabhola@yahoo.com

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Just for Today { Shobha Lidder } Just for today practice non-injury Just for today be nice Just for today speak in a soft voice Just for today don’t raise your voice Just for today listen to someone Just for today don’t be curt to anyone Just for today forgive & forget Just for today don’t regret Just for today don’t feel guilty Just for today drop anxiety Just for today don’t panic Just for today don’t give up Just for today avoid resentment Just for today feel contentment Just for today think you are great & able Just for today think you can vanquish Just for today feel blessed Just for today feel you are the best Just for today feel you are special Just for today think you are impeccable Just for today think your life is a blockbuster And you have the remote control You are the master Just for today And you just may… Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer, Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

GURGAON’S

OWN

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NEWSPAPER To Advertise

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2-8 May 2014

C omment

Communal Secularists

I EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

Letter To The Editor Dear Sir, While campaigning before any election, political parties profess to be saviours of minorities, the champions of the poor, etc. While recounting their ‘achievements’, they talk about whatever infrastructure projects or welfare systems they have implemented as though they had done them as a personal favour to the voters. Our politicians need to realize that whatever little they manage to do for their constituency is nothing more than their duty - the very purpose of being in power. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai

t’s open season on Modi. Rarely has a PM-inwaiting been idolised or dreaded as much. He seems to bring the best or worst out of us. He even has the hundred(s)-year-old Party running scared. They will do a deal with anyone…just anyone… whom they believe can stop him. In Varanasi they have probably stooped to their lowest – getting a Party ‘stalwart’ to broker an alliance with a (‘noncommunal because Muslim?’) don alleged to have killed the Congress Party nominee’s elder brother! It seems that for the Congress it is acceptable to have the weakest PM, even a non-PM – but a strong PM terrifies them. We are only allowed to idolise a Gandhi/Nehru; the rest are always just impostors or pretenders… however popular. How dare Modi intrude into an arena that is only their prerogative? Only ‘Indira can be India’; and of course she is Sonia’s role model. They conveniently forget the Emergency (perhaps because it was not ‘communal’). It’s ok to subvert the Constitution as long as you are ‘secular’. A single family running the country is ok, because they are ‘secular’; a Party Head running the Executive branch of the Central Govt is considered constitutional (the Gandhis & Nehrus rather seem to believe they are ‘extra-constitutional’ authorities – including a Vadra now, listed especially at ‘check points’). However, a leader voted in by the electorate is still not acceptable. We can have CMs and PMs as most corrupt (scams worth thousands of crores) and nondelivering...keeping the poor in a sorry state for decades…but all is fine as long as they are not ‘communal’. It is Sonia, through the Imam, who asked for votes in the name of religion - for Muslim votes to be collectively cast against Modi. That is called ‘mass communalism’. When Congress wins, they say the people of India are ‘secular’;

when it loses, they say those same people were misguided. Is the idea to somehow paint BJP as a communal Party by definition? That should be the job of EC, Courts…and the people. If the Congress has been accepted as a ‘secular’ Party – and God knows it has been there long enough for a vote count on this – and if ‘secularism’ is paramount for Muslims, why are most of them not willing to vote for Congress? Have they finally realised that Congress is a sham secularist in communal vote-bank clothing? Of course the Congress believes that despite treating minorities as vote banks, it still remains ‘secular’. Muslims in UP and Bihar – the maximum across India – will probably never get consistent Congress support or affirmative action. Congress has realised that it will be a while before they can win there…and so concentrates the Party and govt resources elsewhere. Being ‘communal’ means living and sharing together as a group. So, by calling BJP ‘communal’, does Congress accept that BJP helps integrate people better? Also, if BJP is a ‘communal’ threat, should the Communist Parties having proximity to China be seen as ‘national’ threats? May is now upon us… The Congress High Command, the unseen Hand, is so used to back-seat driving, that it is now looking for another ‘driver’ - this time from the Third Front….a deja vu of Deve Gowda and IK Gujral times. The ‘communal’ BJP knows that almost every Party, except the Congress and the Communists (strange bedfellows!), has had a tie-up with it. Come crunch time, self-interest suddenly seems to matter more than any ‘secular’ interest…or maybe they just accept the truth about secularism having become a convenient bogey. We shall soon see…. u


W ellness

2-8 May 2014

{ Jaspal Bajwa }

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

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rnica comes from a Greek word meaning ‘Lambskin’. It got this nomenclature because of the texture of its leaves. Arnica Montana is a mountain dweller, and this particular species grows in the European Alpine region, Central Asia and Siberia. Other varieties are widely grown in North America and Canada. Arnica Montana is a highly respected healer; yet, long before its healing nature was discovered, Arnica was used in Europe in pagan rituals during the harvest seasons. Billions of these deep bright yellow flowers were gathered and spread across the fields, to enhance the fertility of the crops. An Italian Herbalist first recognised the healing properties of Arnica and wrote about them in 1544. From then onwards Arnica has found a special place in the medicinal herb category, especially in Germany and Austria (it is not very popular in North America). Arnica is the ‘first response’ medicine for any and every kind of medical situation or emergency - painful sprains, heavy duty injuries, surgeries, visits to the dentist, accidents and falls resulting in bruises, inflammations, pains and swellings, injuries to the head and skull and all kinds of musculoskeletal injuries. Basically it is ideal whenever there has been any sort of ‘shock’ to the body. It is proving to be good for headaches, migraines and injury to the internal organs as well. Studies have shown that even for burn injuries and scalding to the skin, Arnica creams and salves are very effective. A word of caution: Arnica should NEVER be taken by orally. it can have toxic side effects if eaten; these could be in the nature of respiratory or heart arrythmia distress. It

{ Alka Gurha }

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sprout is at the transitional stage between a seed and a plant; simply put, a sprout is a baby plant. It is said that there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than uncooked fruits and vegetables. These enzymes act as catalysts and ensure that more vitamins, minerals and amino acids are extracted from the food we eat. Sprouts have several health benefits, as they include high levels of dietary fibre, B complex vitamins and protein. Sprouting of seeds has several other benefits; it is said that some harmful compounds, such as tannins present in seeds, are eliminated during the soaking of the seeds prior to sprouting. The quality of the protein improves when seeds or grains are

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painful joints and inflammations. 2) To make a poultice: place Arnica flowers in a cup of hot water. Let it stand for 20 to 30 minutes till it cools. Then apply on the inflamed skin two to three times a day. Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the Week: Cayenne Pepper Cayenne forms a perfect duo with Arnica. An indispensible ingredient for all the spicy cuisines of the world, Cayenne is full of healthy surprises. Cayenne can be taken orally. It helps

ShockinglyGood should also NOT be applied to broken skin and open wounds. Homeopathic remedies make the best use of Arnica Montana. These (Homeopathic) medicines, tinctures and creams are safe to use, and the medicine can also be taken orally. Therefore the Homeopathic way is excellent and highly recommended.

Tip of the Week

1) Try to make Arnica balm in your kitchen. Here is the recipe : Fill a wide-mouthed jar with Arnica leaves and top it up with almond oil. Let it steep for three weeks, stirring the mixture everyday. Afterwards, strain the oil and discard the leaves. Store it in a fridge. Use this for massaging onto any

Sprouting Health

sprouted – thereby improving their nutritional value. The fibre and vitamin content also increases substantially.  This is especially true of Vitamins A, B-complex, C and E; in fact the vitamin content of some seeds, grains, beans and nuts increases

by up to 20 times the original value within only a few days of their sprouting. Research shows that during the sprouting process of ‘mung’ and beansprouts, the content of Vitamin B1 increases by up to 280 percent, Vitamin B2 by up to 500 percent and Niacin

reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It improves blood circulation and thereby helps in the reduction of joint and muscular pain and inflammation. It provides big relief from cluster headaches and helps prevent heartburn and stomach ulcers. Cayenne also helps regulate blood sugar, by breaking down carbohydrates. Purified Cayenne Pepper has an ingredient called Capsaicin, which is of tremendous help in taking care of painful joints, arthritis and nerve pains. Osteoarthritic pain is also reduced by Capsaicin. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

by up to 250 percent. So, eating sprouts is an excellent way to get more of all these important nutrients. Like any fresh produce that is consumed raw, sprouts carry a risk of bacterial contamination. The fine root structures of sprouts can form a tangled mat, harbouring harmful micro-organisms. Seeds that have rough surfaces make it easy for bacteria to cling to them. Unlike other fresh produce, seeds and beans need warm and humid conditions to sprout and grow; unfortunately, these conditions are also ideal for the growth of bacteria. Not many commercial sprout manufacturers sanitise the seeds before beginning the sprouting process. However, cooking helps kill the harmful bacteria; and so cooking your sprouts is a good way to be safe - though you will lose some of the nutrient value. Preparing sprouts with known anti-microbial foods -

such as vinegar, garlic and onions - can also help kill the bacteria. When growing sprouts at home, look for seeds that have been specially prepared for sprouting. They will be clearly labelled for this purpose and can be found in many health food stores. These would have been cleaned and are less likely to contain pathogenic bacteria. Avoid seeds that are packaged for growing into mature plants. Having brought them home, the first step is to wash the grains/legumes, place them in a jar or bowl and cover them generously with cold water. On the second day, drain the water and cover your seeds with a clean muslin cloth. Continue to rinse and drain the legumes twice a day. The sprouts are ready when you can see little tails that are about the same length as the original grain/ legume.u


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2-8 May 2014

R eal E state


G lobal

2-8 May 2014

Return of the Kennedys? { Washington/DPA }

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ed Kennedy Jr, nephew of former President John F Kennedy, is expected to announce soon whether he will run for an open seat in Connecticut's State Legislature. Kennedy is athe son of the late US Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy. It would be his first bid for public office and would follow years of speculation about whether he will follow his father and uncles into politics. If Kennedy decides to run, he would pursue a seat left open by Democratic Senator Ed

Meyer, whose public service career began when he was appointed Federal Prosecutor by Robert F Kennedy, John F Kennedy's brother and Ted Kennedy Jr's uncle. After Meyer said he wouldn't run again, Ted Kennedy Jr immediately was named as a possible successor, and the Governor has encouraged him to run. Ted Kennedy Jr, 52, is a health care lawyer and disability rights activist, who lost his leg to cancer at a young age. Although Massachusetts is the

'Whaling’ - newest Online craze { Berlin/DPA }

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he ‘neknominate’ drinking game is yesterday's online craze: today we're all into ‘whaling’ - which requires you to take a flying, headfirst leap through the air and record it on video. It comes hot on the heels of planking (a still photograph of you lying face-down in a public place and keeping your body straight as a plank), the Harlem Shake, twerking, cat bearding and imitating the ‘First Kiss’ video. Whaling is so named because you hurl your body up and over, arms outstretched and vanish again so that you resemble a breaching whale. The craze has got people literally bending over backwards to be online. Whaling is taking off in social networks like Vine and Twitter, where it has its own hash tag: #whaling. u

From Brooklyn to Paris

Selfie Fad prompts rise in Plastic Surgery { San Francisco/DPA }

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he practice of taking your own picture from an arm's length and posting it on Facebook and other social media may have an unforeseen cost, according to a new study. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery says one in three Facial Plastic Surgeons is reporting an increase in procedures due to patients being dissatisfied on how they look online. This includes a 10-per-cent increase in nose jobs, a 7-per-cent jump in hair transplants, and a 6-per-cent increase in eyelid surgery. The survey also found that 58 per cent of surgeons saw an increase in Plastic Surgery among patients under the age of 30, according to a press release on the impact of ‘selfies’. “Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and the iPhone app Selfie.im, which are solely image based, force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a very self-critical eye,” says Edward Farrior, President of the Association. “These images are often the first impressions young people put out there to prospective friends, romantic interests and employers - and our patients want to put their best face forward,” he said.u

The Nose knows

{ New York/DPA }

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food co-operative modelled on a one-of-a-kind community grocery store in Brooklyn, New York, will open in Paris next year, becoming the French capital's first co-op that obliges its members to work at the store. Two Americans living in Paris are working to open the French version of the Park Slope Food Co-op. At the original, located in a hip Brooklyn neighbourhood, members can buy high-quality, locally grown food for low prices in exchange for working 3 hours a month - which reduces labour costs by 75 per cent and lowers take-home food prices by 20 to 40 per cent. The co-op named ‘La Louve’, which translates to ‘she-wolf’, is set to open in June 2015 in Paris's 18th arrondissement, which has a large immigrant population, said founders Tom Boothe and Brian Horihan. "The neighbourhood is a little bit poor and bohemian," Boothe said. "It's easy for food to be taken over by rich people. Food then becomes this lifestyle thing, and that's not vital." Boothe and Horihan have already collected over 40,000 euros through a crowd-funding campaign to kickstart the project. u

New beverages at Global Wine Fair { Berlin/DPA }

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political base of the Kennedy dynasty, Ted Kennedy Jr has made Connecticut his home. A member of the Kennedy dynasty hasn't held Federal or State elected office since 2010, when cousin Patrick Kennedy resigned from Congress with addiction problems - ending the family's 63-year run. Caroline Kennedy, 56, John Kennedy's only surviving child, was appointed US Ambassador to Japan earlier this year. She maintained a low profile for years, but in 2008 endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic Presidential nomination.u

hocolate wine, vodka tasting of green tea and lemon and sparkling wine with a perfume of violets, were just a few of the unusual cocktail drinks offered at ProWein, the recent Global Wine Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Netherlands company, Team Products BV, showcased ChocoVine, which has a wine base enhanced with chocolate flavours, plus a choice of optional aromas - such as whipped cream, espresso or raspberry. Another Dutch company, Van der Linde Nijhof Dranken, was offering a vodka, Teashu, which comes with a flavour of green tea, pepper and the Japanese fruit yuzu - combining to create a rather tangy-fresh taste. One of the sparkling wines on show was created by the Austrian firm Spitz and has been perked up with flavours from hibiscus flowers. It is an extension to a type of fizzy cocktail popular in upscale German and Austrian bars, the hugo - which has an elderberry flavour. "We were on the look-out for an addition to elderberry," says Spitz’ Export Manager Timotej Pesut. Spitz' new hugos have a choice of aromas from real violets to real hibiscus flowers, but the drinks' pink colours are artificial. The Cupcake Martini and Salted Caramel Martini from US company,The Modern Cocktail, give what it calls ‘a new twist’ to the traditional Martini, by adding the flavours of favourite snacks. Both Martinis need no mixing and will be sold ready to drink.u

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{ London/DPA }

O

rganisers of a regular matchmaking event in London are testing smells as a way to ‘smell’ ideal couples: each guest at the party in Stories Bar on Broadway Market must bring a T-shirt in which they have slept for three nights. The idea is to rely on odours we don't consciously notice. Pheromones are naturally occurring chemicals produced by humans and animals during moments of stress, fear and lust. Researchers believe they play an important role in partner compatibility, and bars from Berlin to New York have been offering fun with pheromones. The T-shirts are placed inside a zip-lock bag with an assigned number. Only the T-shirt's owner knows the bag's number. The bags are arranged on a table and guests can open the bags and sniff the T-shirts over the course of the evening. If you find a shirt that seems agreeable, you take a photo of yourself with the bag and its number, which is then projected as a slideshow on a wall. If the T-shirt's owner sees a person showing delight in their pheromones, and finds the person attractive, he/ she can ‘make a move’.u

London's historic Mail Rail system { London/DPA }

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he general public is to be given access to a piece of London history, with the planned opening of a section of the metropole's underground mail-rail system. The Post Office Railway consisted of approximately 10 kilometres of tunnels and ran from 1927 to 2003, carrying parcels and other post between eight different sorting centres. The British Postal Museum plans to open a one-kilometre stretch of the network to the public in 2016. It will house an exhibition and visitors will be able to go for rides hauled by the original locomotives. The system was originally constructed to improve the reliability of postal service within London. By the end of the 19th century, smog and clogged streets had started causing serious delays. u

Converting Booths into Libraries { Prague/DPA }

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zechs have found a use for public telephone booths in the era of the mobile phone: convert them into mini public libraries. So far Prague has set up seven tiny lending libraries, where passers-by can help themselves to books. People can borrow, or drop off old books they no longer need. The organisers, Knihobudka, set up the ‘book boxes’ last month in booths that the telecom company no longer needs. Over 95 per cent of Czech adults own their own mobile phone, leaving little use for public telephones. There are still about 15,000 telephone boxes in the Czech Republic – 15 years ago the figure was twice as many. u


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2-8 May 2014

From Burundi to Uzbekistan

G lobal

{ Philipp Laage/Berlin/ DPA }

Eight of Tomorrow's Destinations F

or tourists looking for more remote, less familiar destinations, the world is getting smaller - but there are still some genuinely lesser-known exotic places out there. Here are eight of the best ‘less-visited’ locations that travel agents enthused over at the recent ITB Travel Trade Fair in Berlin.

Georgia: The mountainous country on the Russian border has only been a minor cultural tourism destination to date, but has much to offer - with peaks higher than the Alps. Contrastingly, the Georgian Black Sea coast offers a subtropical climate - a big change within a small distance. The tourist season runs from early April to late October.

Uzbekistan: Central Asia is still one of the largely unexplored regions of the world. Uzbekistan offers the historically significant city of Samarkand, on the former Silk Road - the ancient trade route through Asia. A popular tourist route goes from the Uzbek capital Tashkent, via Samarkand and Buchara, to Xiva.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: This predominantly Muslim nation in the heart of Europe is best known for a civil war (two decades ago) and has been largely undiscovered as a travel destination. The Balkan republic offers both culture and nature, says Damir Muminagic of the Tourism Association based in Sarajevo. There are picturesque towns like Banja Luka in Bosnia and Mostar in Herzegovina, and the mountains also offer winter sports of a decent standard.

Papua New Guinea: This island off South-East Asia doesn't appear on the travel plans of too many tourists. Of those that do drop in, more than 50 per cent are from Australia – due to its geographical proximity. Mass tourism not being an aspiration here, the tourist attractions emphasise the local culture and adventure.


2-8 May 2014

G lobal

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Burundi: People travelling to East Africa usually visit Kenya or Tanzania. "We are the least well-known," admits Valentin Kavakure, Marketing Chief at Burundi's National Tourism Office. However, the small, land-locked country offers pristine, tropical landscapes, colonial history and Lake Tanganyika - the second largest lake in Africa. "Here everything is still authentic," says Kavakure. Sierra Leone: In better days the West African country was known as ‘Caribbean Africa’, but civil war set the country back by decades. Even though today the security situation is safe, most visitors are either business people or members of aid organizations. The country is hoping to lure tourists back, with its picturesque beaches and ecologically sustainable tourism. Lodges and hotels are available along the Freetown peninsula and the government also plans to build centres for sustainable tourism in the interior.

El Salvador: The Central American country may be small, but it offers 300 kilometres of coastline on the Pacific Ocean - a particluar attraction for surfers. In addition, there are around 25 volcanoes; and Joya de Ceren, an archaeological site, can compete with the cultural hotspots of Mexico and Guatemala. The number of European visitors has increased substantially. One problem though is security: in El Salvador there's quite a lot of crime.

Colombia: In terms of area, the South American country is a giant, but tourists tend to prefer Argentina, Brazil and Peru. Because of its varied history the country is pretty exotic. Tourism highlights include the Tayrona National Park in the Caribbean north, the colonial city of Cartagena and the volcanoes of Cocuy National Park.


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2-8 May 2014

'Millennium Dreams'

G -Scape India Photo Archive Foundation

APARNA MOHINDRA

Friday gurgaon 2 8 may, 2014  

..be the change you want to see

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