Page 1

21-27 March 2014

Vol. 3 No. 31  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Guru's Krupi, Gurgaon's Mata

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


Vishnu Chaturvedi from Mumbai visits the Temple every year in March. "I am a firm believer in God, but I never used to believe in miracles. In 2006 my son suffered from small-pox. An elderly person suggested that we visit Sheetla Mata Mandir. We witnessed immediate improvement in my son's health condition. Since then I have been visiting the Temple every year during the Chaitra season," he says. A section of the visitors come for the 'mundan' ceremony – the first hair-cutting ceremony of a child. Married couples also come to invoke the blessings of the Goddess, for a happy married life. Rudra and Kamakshi, a newly-married couple, feel, "The hustle and bustle of the traffic outside hardly affects the serenity one experiences as one steps into the Temple. Our families have been followers of Ma Sheetla and we are happy to take this tradition forward." Chaitra month (March and April) is considered to be the most auspicious time for the worship of Sheetla Mata and Sheetla Ashtami is celebrated on the eighth day of this month. In order to keep Sheetla Mata


urgaon (nee Gurugram) had always been popular as an abode of Guru Dronacharya, who established his 'Gurukul' here, to educate the Kauravas as well as the Pandavas. The illustrious kings and princes who visited Gurgaon built many temples here. Tucked in ‘old’ Gurgaon, not very far from the National Highway, the Sheetla Mata Mandir is one of them. The Temple is famous for its ‘miracles’. It is believed that some 5,000 years ago, the son of King Puranjet was brought to the Temple in a paralysed state. The Prince was treated with the pond water and mud. With the blessings of Sheetla Devi, the Prince recovered within 15 days. Since then, many people suffering from small pox, chicken pox and skin diseases come here for being healed.

‘cool’, people don't burn any fire on Sheetla Ashtami and thus no food is cooked on this day. Devotees prepare food on the seventh day - a day before Sheetla Ashtami, and come to worship the Goddess along with the food. This food is then distributed as 'prasad'. Berthina, a student from Norway, informs, “While Sheetla Ashtami is celebrated as a festival, it is one of few festivals in the world where no food is prepared. The idea is to give some rest to the women of a family and keep them away from fire, especially in the hot climate during Chaitra. On Sheetla Ashtami, people eat ‘Basoda" - food from the previous night. Bajra, Rabri and yogurt are said to be essential offerings on this occasion, as these food items have a cooling effect and are good for health in this season." Berthina is pursuing a Degree course in Hindu Mythology from Delhi University and has been carrying out research on Hindu Goddesses. Her friend, Aman, who has come from Malaysia to carry out research on Hindu Mythology, interestingly points out, "Sheetla Mata doesn't only find mention in the Hindu religion. In Buddhist culture, Jvarasura and Shitala are depicted as companions of Paranasabari, who is the Buddhist Goddess of diseases. Some tribal communities in Malaysia and Bangladesh worship Goddess Mariamman, who is believed to be a form of Sheetla Mata." Talking about the relevance of the Sheetla Mata Temple, Pandit Daya says,

History and Origin

It is believed that Mata Sheetla Devi was the daughter of Rishi Sharadwan. She was born and brought up in Gurugram and was named as Krupi during her childhood. One day, Rishi Sharadwan left his two children, daughter Krupi and son Krupacharya in the forest, as he thought that the children would disturb him in his worship. Bheeshma's father, King Shantanu, met the two children in the jungle. He took the children to his Palace and looked after them thereafter. King Shantanu then arranged Krupi's marriage to Guru Dronacharya. As Guru Dronacharya was training the Kauravas and Pandavas in Gurugram, Krupi also came along. She became a mother figure for the students of Guru Dronacharya. She spent her life on the banks of a small pond.

"Sheetla Mata is considered as an incarnation of Goddesses Parvati and Durga. She is known to cure the dreaded small pox and chicken pox. Symbolically, she represents Nature's power of generating viruscausing diseases as well as Nature's power to heal those very diseases." As the idol of Sheetla Devi wears a redcoloured dress and is placed on a donkey, it is said that she rides around the villages in India with the power to heal diseases. She carries a silver broom, a winnowing-fan, a small bowl and a pitcher in her arms. While the fan symbolises 'coolness', the broom emphasises the need for cleanliness and hygiene. The Goddess carries the holy water of the Ganga in the pitcher and the small bowl is believed to contain the remedy for viruses that spread in the Spring & Summer. The first Temple of Sheetla Devi was built by a rich merchant, Singha, who lived in a Palace in Gurgaon. Singha was spiritually inclined. One day Sheetla Devi appeared in his dream and granted him a boon - that his mere touch would free a person from all pains. Singha left his Palace and started meditating near a pond. He also made a templelike structure and started worshipping Sheetla Devi on the banks of the pond. This Temple is now located in DLF Phase III, near the Biodiversity Park. Narrating the story behind the establishment of the other Sheetla Mata Temple in ‘old’ Gurgaon, Pandit Daya,

who has been serving at this Sheetla Mata Temple for more than 20 years, says, "Some 2,000 years ago a Mughal Ruler of Farukhnagar tried to force a poor local carpenter to part with his daughter. The carpenter took the matter to King Surajmal of Bharatpur - but the King refused to interfere in the matter of another Kingdom. The carpenter then went to meet the Prince, who decided to help him. An altercation led to the Prince deciding to attack Farukhnagar. On the way, while passing through Gurgaon, he pledged at the Sheetla Devi Temple (the first one – now in DLF area) that if he returned victorious he would build a new, big Temple. The Prince cam back victorious." "Many modern day inventions can be traced to ancient Hindu scriptures. Some studies in Geneva have proven that viruses found in stale food are known to kill the viruses that cause small pox. It is amazing that people in India discovered this centuries ago," says Aman. Moreover, Bajra and curd are consumed on the occasion of Sheetla Ashtami as these food items have a ‘cooling’ effect, and keep away small pox viruses. Worshipping Sheetla Mata also provides us motivation for cleanliness. Pandit Daya informs that the Temple is becoming popular and is now visited by foreigners too. However, he is concerned with the lack of interest, especially among youngsters, about Hindu Mythology. "Gurgaon, which was once one of the most spiritual places in India, is now better known for its ‘pub culture’. It is most unfortunate. I always interact with the youngsters in the families that visit the Temple, to know about their interest in worship and spirituality. It seems that for them, a visit to the Temple is just an annual ritual. They don't believe that it is important to acquaint themselves with the mythology surrounding the Temple and its significance; it’s sad, as it would make their worship more meaningful," he says. u (see Back Page also)


21-27 March 2014

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–31  21-27 March 2014


Atul Sobti

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

Prakhar Pandey

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh

Circulation Execs.:

Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Sr. Exec Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar


Just Who Runs This City?

Gurgaon has the distinction of being ‘given’ multiple Master Plans (and their revisions) in the last decade – with a 2031 Master Plan being the most ‘current’. These have ensured that almost all agricultural land has been converted into Real Estate. However, none of the planners had a plan, forget a vision, for infrastructure – not even of roads and transport networks…and Parking. The ‘design’ of the City has almost made it imperative to use cars as a mode of commuting, even for half a kilometre. The growing number of corporates offices and malls has just meant more cars. Unfortunately, for all of these, there was, and is, no Plan for Parking. This situation has been tailor-made for a new tribe of ‘entrepreneurs’ called the 'Parking Mafia' – which is flourishing all across the Millennium City. Any ‘vacant’ plots, whether they belong to government agencies or private builders or even residents, are ‘controlled’ by them – of course with the ‘patronage’ of officialdom and politicians.

...P 7

Dy. Manager A/cs & Admin:

Shiv Shankar Jha

Civic... A Bumper Harvest

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana, Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails:

Wellness... Magnum Mineral

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

G-Scape ....

...P 24

...P 17

Plus Other Stories.... Political

Battleground Gurgaon............................P 8 Social

Putting Women & Children First........P 11

NR to 08447355801

...P 15

The role played by ‘supporting actors’ is many times under-rated. In the context of the minerals in our diet, this role is mainly played by Magnesium - the eleventh-most-abundant element in the human body. Like with all supporting casts, there is an intricate interplay of this salt with calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium chloride - and it is critical to achieve a balance, to optimise their absorption.

published and printed by Atul Sobti on


I was still in my teens when I first saw the ruins of what had been a spacious and magnificent house, while I was trekking my way from Kalka to Kasauli. There was an eerie silence inside the house. Totally desolate, partly ruined, its well-laid paths were overgrown with weeds, and its garden had disappeared under a growth of thorny jungle.

...P 10

Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited,


Spiritual... Paranormal Phenomena

The ever-increasing population of Gurgaon is putting constant pressure on the natural resources of the City, and in particular Water - which is in short supply in this fairly arid land. Gurgaon’s dependence on its limited and fastdepleting ground water, for quenching the thirst of the residents as well as for using it in real estate and industry, has led to an alarming decrease in the water levels.

213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47,

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

Kid Corner

Activities/Events/Exhibitions/ Seminars/. ................................................................P 12-13 Global

Spain's 'Great Fast-Food'......................P23

TO SUBSCRIBE You would have sampled Friday Gurgaon during the year. Here is your chance to get FG at your doorstep every Friday, at a very attractive rate. 52 issues (1 Year), for Rs 200 (Two Hundred) Only – a Saving of Rs 164 on cover price. To Subscribe SMS FGYES to 08447355801 Send an email to Pay Online at Delivery will be through your newspaper vendor. Circulated only in Gurgaon.

H appenings

21-27 March 2014


Showing Attitude


6 handpicked young fashionistas from North India showcased their innate sense of style with Attitude, from Amway Femina Style Diva North 2014. Hida Siddiqui was announced as the Winner of the coveted title, Kanika Kapur and Meenakshi Chaudhary were the first and second Runners-up at the Event. The panel of jurists included Fashion icon and Actor Malaika Arora Khan, South-Indian superstar Tamannaah Bhatia, Managing Editor Femina, Kermin Bhot, Entrepreneur and Socialite Ramola Bachchan, Delhi-based model Tina Chatwal and Sanjay Sharma, Complex General Manager, The Westin. Performances at the Event included singing sessions by Siddharth Mahadevan and Ankit Tewari, and energetic acts by Delhibased Dance group MJ5. 

Band Baja Dreams


he Band of the Year Competition was held at the Kingdom of Dreams. The 'Top 8 College Bands' performed live for the coveted title of the Best College Band of the Year. The Band Zephyr won the award for the Best Band in the Hindi/Fusion category and the Band Sternoid won the award for the Best Band in the English category.

Cyber Brunch


oted Gurgaonites were spotted having fun at a Sunday Brunch held at a popular restaurant in Cyber Hub. Stand-up comedienne Radhika Vaz kept the guests in splits with her uncensored, rip-roaring comedy act. Guests 'spotted' at the do were Charu Parashar, Dimple Fouzdar, Anjanna Kuthiala, Ramneet Pantal, Monisha Bajaj and Sonu Wasan.

Pappus Can Dance Salsa


t was an evening of pure Dance at the Salsa Night, held at a nightclub recently. Couples showed their sharp Salsa moves - individually and in groups. The fun-filled Event was enjoyed by all the Dancers – young and old.

Developing Health


eal estate developer M3M India Ltd. organised a free Health Camp for its 4,000 strong ground work force. The Health Check-up was carried out at Medanta Super Specialty Hospital and the Blood Donation Camp was organised by Lion’s Club and Maitri Parivaar.


21-27 March 2014

Time: 10:00 am to 12 noon On the occasion of World Poetry Day, witness LOL (Laugh out Loud), a Hasya Kavi Sammelan, featuring eminent Hindi author and poet, Dr. Ashok Chakradhar. Participants will get a chance to share the stage with him.

Exhibition Aravallis - from hills to apartments @ Alliance Francaise, S-24/8, Phase III Date: Up to April 5 Time: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Explore the City through some interesting (lens) captures by Vinit Gupta, Cara Louwman, Vicky Roy and Marianne Van Looa. The Exhibition showcases their perspectives and reactions to the changing landscape of Gurgaon.

Exhibition Regal Splendour @ House of Ishatvam, MG Road Date: March 14 to 30 Time: 11:00 am to 7:30 pm An Exhibition of elegant, formal creations, featuring a wide range of jewelled, innovatively accessorised cushions.

extensive hands-on sessions on camera settings and will cover all genres of Photography in a practical and easy way.

Theatre Sir Sir Sarla @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 29 & 30 Time: 7:30 pm onwards Watch this Play on the love of two university students for their teacher, philosopher and guide - Professor Palekar. The Play is Written and Directed by Makrand Deshpande, who also essays the role of the Professor. Workshop Photography Workshop @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 2 to 31 Learn the fundamentals of Digital Photography with acclaimed photographer Dheeraj Paul. The Workshop will have

Workshop Fuzzy Front End Innovation @ ISEED, Building No. 64, Sector-44 Date: March 22 Time: 11:00 am Attend this free Workshop with David WittenBerg, CEO, The Innovation Workgroup, and an internationally recognised keynote speaker on innovation and other relevant business subjects. The Workshop will include sessions on the identification of business opportunities, brainstorming for solutions, early-stage development, and misplaced assumptions and how to identify them.

Music Darakshaan, disciple of Jawaad Ali Khan, Mazhar Ali Khan and I.D. Prasad.

Stand-up Comedy Appurview: Laugh With An Engineer @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 22 Time: 7:30 pm The Act, featuring Appurv Gupta, talks about the day-to-day life of an engineer, why everyone is crazy about joining IT firms and people’s obsession with going abroad. Appurv shares some interesting thoughts about a 'typical' Indian from an engineer’s point of view.

Poetry LOL: Hasya Kavi Sammelan @ Auditorium, Paras Hospital, C-1, Sushant Lok, Sector 43 Date: March 21

Talat Aziz Live @ Club Patio, Block E, South City I Date: March 21 Time: 7:30 pm Continue to celebrate the festival of colours with an evening of enchanting ghazals by Talat Aziz. Sufiana & Ghazal Evening @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 23 Time: 7:30 pm Enjoy an evening of Sufiana numbers and Ghazals by Sheeba

An Evening of Raga @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 26 Time: 7:30 pm Enjoy an evening of Raga and light Classical Music by Nanda Nair, disciple of Santosh Kumar Banerjee and Nikhil Banerjee. This will be followed by a performance by Sigma, a Rock Band that will perform Fusion tunes.

C oming U p

Workshop Self-Expression Workshop @ 105/106 Sushant Shopping Arcade, Sushant Lok-1 Date: March 24 to 28 Time: 10:00 am IDimensions-The Skill Centre, presents a Self Expression Workshop for kids aged 8-14 years. There would be 4 Modules: Module I - Delivering and preparing effective presentations; Module II Handling speech anxiety through mind mapping; Module III - Structuring of thoughts for extempore speaking; and Module IV - Self conduct and confidence building through body language and verbal communication.

Food La Tomatina Food Festival @ Pintxo, Galleria Market, Phase IV Date: March 7 to 31 Time: 11:00 am onwards This special Food Festival rolls out a Tomatina menu, offering an assortment of Tapas and Spanish cuisine. Start with vegetarian soups like Gaspacho and Tomato Soup with Chorizo Balls; and Appetisers like Chicken Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce and Baked Tomato Nest. In the Main Course, go for delicious Cherry Tomato with roasted garlic, figs and cheese, Toasted Tomato Bread, Chicken Breast stuffed with mince and spinach on a bed of rice or a rich tangy Tomato Sauce, Roasted Tomato with flavoured rice and cheese or Grilled Cottage Cheese with tomatoes, vegetables and Orange Sauce.

Meet Ek Din Shaheedon ke Naam @ Galleria Market (oppositeLe Marche) Date: March 23 Time: 12 noon Participate in this get together on Martyr’s Day, to remember and salute the heroes who fought and sacrificed for our Country’s Independence.

21-27 March 2014

ride that can be completed at one’s own pace. Funds raised will support education of the underprivileged, especially the girl-child. The Route length ranges from 2km to 28km.

Health Programme Freedom from Diabetes @ Zorba the Buddha, MG Road Date: March 23 Time: 9:30 am Participate in this unique Programme for diabetic patients, to help free them of medicines/insulin. This Programme empowers Diabetics to follow a scientific, creative and enjoyable diet, encourages appropriate exercise and aids inner transformation.

Dance Manipuri Recital @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 21 Time: 7:30 pm Enjoy an evening of exquisite Manipuri Dance by Kuhelika Basu and troupe.

Cyclothon United India Ride @ Cyber City, behind Gateway Towers Date: March 23 Time: 7:00 am Participate in this celebratory bicycle Art Affordable Art Fair @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: March 28 to 30 Time: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm A new Collection of affordable Art by Hunar Showcasing Art. The Exhibition includes works by Abdul Wasi Hamdard, Anisha Gupta, Aziz Ullah Tohki, Sanjay Soni, Rajesh Borse, Jyoti   Kalra, Dalip Chandolia, Rakesh Mandal, Kiran Borse, Prabhu Ram Rathod, Prashant Anasane and others. The Exhibition is curated by Nidhi Gupta.

Camp Blood Donation Camp @ ITM University, Sector-23 A Date: March 24 Time: 10:00 am Here’s a chance to do your bit for society donate blood at this Blood Donation Camp, organised by Yukti Foundation.

Spiritual Maitreya’s Message to You @ The Belaire Date: March 23 Time: 1:00 pm This Event is designed for people looking for answers to their lives, who want to educate themselves on how to raise their vibrations to a higher consciousness. Spiritual teacher Maitreya will speak directly through his deep trance 'channel', Margaret McElroy. Verified Property Show 2014
 Date: March
23 Time: 11am onwards
 Venue: Westin, MG Road
 This is research-backed Property Exhibition inviting pre- approved property developers and brokers.

C oming U p



Culture-Scape Dance Odissi Recital @ India International Centre, Lodhi Estate Date: March 25 Time: 6:30 pm Enjoy an Odissi Recital by Vishwanath Mangaraj, disciple of Sharon Lowen. Opera Le Nozze Di Figaro @ India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road Date: March 25 & 26 Time: 7:00 pm Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). Day 1- Acts I and II (Italian with English subtitles). Sunit Tandon, with the help of live excerpts sung by some of Delhi's best young opera singers, introduces a live video recording from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, of a warm and vibrant production of Mozart's revolutionary opera. The production features Erwin Schrott, Miah Persson, Gerald Finley and Dorothea Roeschmann and includes the great tenor Philip Langridge in his last operatic appearance. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden are conducted by Antonio Pappano. Concert Piano Concert @ Russian Centre of Science & Culture, 24, Ferozeshah Road Date: March 28 Time: 6:30 pm A Concert by the renowned pianist Natalia Kapylova, dedicated to the 170th Birth Anniversary of the noted Russian composer, N.A. RimskiyKorsakov. Art Exhibition @ All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society, 1, Rafi Marg Date: Up to March 24 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm An Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints by Jivan Adalja. Food Naga Special Thali @ Nagaland’s Kitchen, Green Park Date: Up to March 24 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Nagaland’s Special Thali is served with boiled rice, boiled vegetables, dal, chutney & steamed fish with bamboo shoots. The Thali is served with a variety of chutneys and servings - including Dry Fish Chutney, Dry Meat Chutney, Raja Mircha Chutney, Shrimp Chutney and Repchi Chutney. The Thali is available with Pork and Chicken options.

06 

  

21-27 March 2014


 NHAI pulls up almost 50 illegal businesses (petrol pumps, hotels and industries) operating along the NH8 Highway. All liquor vends would need to stop wef April 1, as per a HC order. Activists are very upset at the Poll Panel, for allowing a meeting of the NCR Board to clear the NCR (esp. Gurgaon) Master Plans in a hurry. There is anguish at the clandestine introduction of ‘eco-tourism’, which would seriously impact the Aravallis and the Green cover in and around Gurgaon. Ministry of Environment & Forests empowers States to issue showcase notices to violators. Chief Secretary, Haryana gets a 3 months extension. The U turn on NH8, for going to Ambience Mall, has been stopped. There is a 3-hour jam on Tuesday. Residents block the e-way on Thursday.

 4 die and about 200 are injured on Holi Day. A minor girl on a cycle is killed by a speeding car; an elderly person is killed by a speeding Canter; 2 bikers are killed in a road accident in Sector 55.  A pregnant woman’s body is found near Naharpur Kasan Village.  A man is found hanging from a tree, near HUDA City

 

Road.  There are 5 robberies on Holi day.

Centre Metro Station; a youth hangs himself in Palam Vihar. A man is held for a rape bid on a minor in Jharsa Village; a woman alleges rape, over 6 months, by her landlord’s sons, at Rajendra Park. 5 people are booked for molesting, and stealing from, a lady doctor – and also beating up her male friends, in Raj Nagar; a woman is molested in her house, in Sector 55, on Holi day. A tailor from Fazilpur Dhani Village is booked for sodomy. A man tries to immolate himself in front of the MCG Commissioner’s Office – is living on roads and is upset with people harassing him. The owner of a dumper is kidnapped, but rescued by the Police; 2 groups clash in Bhondsi Jail – 2 are injured; 2 (Rewari) Jeeta Gang members are caught; 5 people in a car open fire at a youth in a house, in Village Bhodka.

 Kejriwal (AAP) Roadshow is expected on Sunday.  Mayawati would hold a BSP Rally in the City on March 25th.  MCG wins its case against 2 Ad. Companies – HC asks them to pay Rs 7 crores (out of Rs 23 crores demand) in 15 days. MCG says it has a further (over and above Rs 23 crores) due of Rs 16 crores. MCG’s Rent-a-cycle program is stopped by the DC, after an objection by a political party. 554 students receive PG Diplomas and 96 get Doctorates at the MDI Convocation. 332 graduates get a total of 325 job offers from 156 companies. There would be a ban on sale of liquor in Gurgaon, from April 8 evening to April 10 evening, due to the elections.

 A ‘snatcher’ is held at Udyog Vihar – several mobiles and bikes are seized; a gang of 4 robbers is busted; a woman is robbed in a taxi.  Over Rs 17 lakhs cash is robbed from a prominent sweets shop on Sohna

Raahgiri would now take place from 6.30am to 10.30am on the 23rd and 30th of March (Sundays). There is an expected stoppage thereafter, till the elections are over.

4U 4

Sensitive Actor, Writer and Activist Nandana Sen was the Chief Guest at an International Women’s Day event. She inaugurated the Panel Discussion, ‘Today’s World - Do we need a Sita or a Draupadi’, which featured eminent Women like Bharti Arora, Joint Commissioner, Traffic Police, Odissi Exponent Sharon Lowen and Kathak Dancer Majuri Chaturvedi. Sen, in her introduction speech, referred to Sita and Draupadi as women icons of India, and said that both had suffered injustice at the hands of men - a trend that continues even till today. This needs to change. Sen is deeply committed to the issues of the woman and child. “I am the Smile Ambassador for a global children’s NGO and the Ambassador for RAHI, a premier organization tackling child sexual abuse,” said Sen. She has also been actively fighting against child trafficking. Nandana added, “I have combined my commitment to child rights with my acting work. I was the first to play the role of the protagonist in Lillette Dubey’s play, Thirteen days of September. I believe cinema can change the world, by influencing the minds of the viewers. An Actor and an Activist must have a very social and political conscience. Most of the films I’ve done have a socio-political consciousness - like Rang Rasiya, which explores the first court case on the censorship of Art. There is a message against religious intolerance and fundamentalism. Black was about a physically challenged person.” Most of her 22 films present social concern - such as The Forest, which has an important message onThe World Unseen, which shows the plight of a girl during South Africa’s apartheid. Sen has also acted in several anti-war films, like The War Within (USA) and Tango Charlie (India).

Watch and listen to

'Hai Ye Gurgaon Meri Jaan' a ballad on Gurgaon, based on the legendary song... 'Ye hai Bombay Meri Jaan'. OR View it at the FG Facebook page at


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

Q. Can you suggest a good hair conditioner that I can

make at home?


Aloe vera gel may be applied on the hair and washed off after 20 minutes to soften and condition the hair. For dry and rough hair, mix well together one egg, two tablespoons almond oil, the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon pure glycerin. Massage this into the hair and shampoo after half an hour. Beer is also a good conditioner. After shampoo, add the juice of a lemon to beer and pour over the hair. Leave on for two minutes and rinse with plain water. Kanika Lal

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

21-27 March 2014

C ivic


Just Who Runs This City? { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


urgaon has the distinction of being ‘given’ multiple Master Plans (and their revisions) in the last decade – with a 2031 Master Plan being the most ‘current’. These have ensured that almost all agricultural land has been converted into Real Estate. However, none of the planners had a plan, forget a vision, for infrastructure – not even of roads and transport networks…and Parking. The ‘design’ of the City has almost made it imperative to use cars as a mode of commuting, even for half a kilometre. The growing number of corporates offices and malls has just meant more cars. Unfortunately, for all of these, there was, and is, no Plan for Parking. This situation has been tailor-made for a new tribe of ‘entrepreneurs’ called the 'Parking Mafia' – which is flourishing all across the Millennium City. Any ‘vacant’ plots, whether they belong to government agencies or private builders or even residents, are ‘controlled’ by them – of course with the ‘patronage’ of officialdom and politicians. The failure of the authorities to fix a Parking rate has also allowed these illegal operators to charge whatever they feel like. Depending on the profile of the area, the number of vehicles and demand for space, these operators charge Rs 30 to Rs 300 (for a few minutes to a day) for the parking of a car. Such is their might, that the residents of DLF Phase IV, which houses the prestigious (and lucrative for Parking, too) Galleria Market, have failed to get any action taken against the local Parking Operator. They allege that he is operating without any authorization, either from the government or the builders/developers. The RWA of the DLF Phase IV Plot-owners had started an agitation to get them evicted…and it has been seven years of frustration! Vinod Chopra, Secretary of the RWA, says that on January 28, 2013, the executive members of the RWA had met and handed over a letter to the DCP Traffic, regarding the illegal Parking in the Colony. In March they submitted a letter to the DCP, East, who constituted a team to inspect the matter – and took no further action. The RWA then wrote to the Commissioner of

Police, as the Parking Operators were misbehaving with the residents. They also met the DCP, East again, to apprise him of the matter. Chopra says that despite persistent requests to the Police, the matter was neither taken up nor any action taken, because the ‘Parking Mafia’ in the City is powerful and allegedly works hand-in-glove with the local Police. No help is forthcoming even from the developer, DLF; in fact some residents allege that the Developer is also in in collusion with the illegal Parking Operators, as a large amount of cash is generated through these operations. On Tuesday, a deputation of the DLF Phase IV residents was invited by the DCP, East Nazneen Bhasin, after an email was sent to her by the RWA, detailing the travails of the local residents. After the meeting, Chopra said that they have been asked to meet the local SHO, and DCP Bhasin has assured them that the matter will be resolved. However, given their past experience, the RWA members are clearly apprehensive. Just in the last one year they have submitted letters

G S Jhalani, a resident of DLF Phase IV, says that the attendants talk menacingly and abuse any car owner who questions them or refuses to pay. Satishwar Dayal, a resident, feels that the basic issue is that the Developer has not ensured adequate Parking space for residents and visitors; and whatever space has been planned, has not been well- demarcated. There is completely inadequate planning for the ‘commercial’ buildings and areas. As a result, the internal roads and vacant plots in the Colony are constantly ‘choked’ by cars, which have nowhere else to go. Padmini Singh, Vice President of the BJP Mahila Morcha, Haryana, who accompanied the RWA deputation to the DCP’s Office, says that another issue is the large number of cab drivers gathering in private colonies and often indulging in drinking, which is a potential risk to the security of women and children. “We want the authorities to take cognizance of this fact as well, because crime


to the officials at the Sector 29 Police Station, visited the Office almost ten times, met the SHO multiple times…and even met the Parking attendants and the Operator at the Police Station. While there was no action taken by the Police, some RWA members – including Chopra - were threatened by the Operators! The RWA had also filed an RTI application with the Police and the MCG, asking them who had given the permission or licence to the Operator to charge Parking Fees. There was no answer from the government authorities. Chopra says that as per the law an RWA can appoint a Parking Operator and also give permission for the charging of a Parking Fee.

against women is a serious issue in the City”, asserts Singh. The residents of DLF Phase IV further allege that instead of removing the Operator, he is being helped by officials and the local Traffic Police – they send cranes to pick up cars that are not parked in the ‘area designated as Parking’ by the ‘Mafia’. There are no Police officials in, or coming along with, these cranes. “We have visited the Office of the DCP Traffic to make this complaint in writing and we have spoken to the ACP Traffic to register the complaint, and we have met and explained the issue to two other Police officers. We have also written about this ‘Crane Mafia’

to the DCP Traffic and ACP Traffic on February 11, 2014”, says Chopra - but the ‘Mafia’ continues to rule. The RWA members have also met the MCG Commissioner Praveen Kumar, and told him about the problems being faced and he has assured them that he will look into the matter. However, the manner in which the proposal to build multi-level parking sites was scuttled in the Millennium City, allegedly due to the influence of this ‘Parking Mafia’, it is unlikely that this menace could end soon. Despite the repeated floating of tenders, there was not even a single company that came forward to take up this (multilevel Parking) Project. The fear of the local parking operators, many of whom allegedly have criminal backgrounds, has also prevented established firms from entering this space. R S Rathee, President of Gurgaon Citizens Council, says that the authorities must take action against the errant agencies and ensure that the RWA is able to manage the affairs of the Colony. “Why should outsiders, who have no stake in the Colony, control Parking or any other activity?” he asks. Satender Singh, who works in Cyber City, says that parking a car is a headache, but ensuring that your expensive car remains safe and untouched from scratches is almost impossible, as no one takes responsibility. Sunil Mathur, a resident of DLF Phase IV, opines that due to a huge ‘floating’ population and the constant movement of cars in their Colony, the residents feel fairly insecure - despite living in a premier private colony. The residents allege that illegal

Parking areas are flourishing in the City because it s a low investment, high returns non-tax business. Unofficial ‘sanction’ from local civic officials, policemen and even the administration departments of relevant MNCs is all that one requires to set up an illegal Parking lot. A large number of these have now come up on the newly flourishing Sohna Road. A couple of years ago the then HUDA Administrator, Nitin Yadav, had launched a crackdown in several HUDA sectors where the ‘Parking Mafia’ had taken hold of vacant plots and even the free parking areas in HUDA markets. In fact large plots around Leisure Valley were also being controlled by the Operators, which had forced HUDA to launch a ‘cleaning drive’. However, illegal parking operations have again boomed in the City, backed by powerful interests and a pliant administration. The problem gets more complicated in developer colonies, as government agencies have little stake in these areas and the builders prefer to side, and do business, with the Parking Operators. The builders have tasted the fruit of ‘permanent’ maintenance revenue from the ‘common areas’ of their (always noncompleted) projects – and the vacant plots are now included in that definition. In a slack Real Estate market, this ‘extra income’ is even more inviting. But the residents will not give up. It’s a battleground tailor-made for AAP, that too in election season. These 'khaas damaads' have stayed a little too long.u

08 { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


ent upon somehow defeating the Party rebel and strong Hooda critic, Rao Inderjit Singh, from the Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat, the Congress has declared sitting MLA Rao Dharampal as its candidate from the constituency. His candidature is an attempt to divide the Ahirs, who have backed Rao Inderjit in the last two elections. The announcement also proves that despite the Congress being weaker now, Chief Minister Hooda still carries enough weight in the corridors of power, to be able to deny the Party ticket to Congress strongman Ajay Yadav's son, Chiranjeev Rao. Till a couple of days ago Chiranjeev Rao had been certain to get the Party ticket; his claim was also boosted by the Congress’ alliance partner in Bihar, Laloo Prasad Yadav - who happens to be his father in law – allegedly giving one more seat to the Congress in Bihar, in lieu of the Gurgaon ticket. Hooda had preferred the mandate to be given to Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, as it would have been a ‘win-win’ situation for him. If Captain Yadav won the polls it would ensure the decimation of Rao Inderjit Singh, a tall leader of South Haryana; and if he lost, it would ensure that a strong Congress leader, who could challenge Hooda's supremacy after the polls, would have been neutralised. Ajay Yadav refused to take the bait. A three-time MLA from Badshahpur, Dharampal has a good base in Gurgaon, but his performance in his last tenure has led to disaffection among his supporters as well as the local populace. The fight between three Yadavs, political analysts say, could help INLD's Zakir Hussain, because Meos in Mewat are known to vote en bloc for a single candidate from the community. The Congress basically wants to teach Rao Inderjit a lesson for revolting, and the tone and tenor of the Party leadership has been largely anti-Inderjit. It is also being felt that Yogendra Yadav of the AAP could benefit, due to this ‘special’ fight between the Congress and the BJP. The BJP candidate, Rao Inderjit Singh, is confident that none of the stratagems of the Congress would be able to bring him down, as the people this time want to vote for the nation, and help bring Narendra Modi to power at the Centre. “If we want a government that is stable, will stop corruption and bring development to the nation, only a Modi-led Party can ensure

21-27 March 2014

P olitical

Battleground Gurgaon

Rao Inderjit Singh

Rao Dharampal

Zakir Hussain

that”, asserts Rao Inderjit, while addressing Gurgaon residents during a meeting. Rao Inderjit has pressed the campaign accelerator and is holding several meetings in a day. The BJP workers, along with his Inseam Minch supporters, are trying hard to win over the ‘urbanites’, knowing that these are the swing voters who could play an important role in the final victory. He said that existing models, rules and regulations were enough to set matters right, but the need of the hour was to ensure that these are implemented. “This will however happen only when someone from Gurgaon takes command at Chandigarh,” he asserted. Inderjit believes that he has the benefit, this time, of not only his traditional vote-bank, but also the BJP-Mode wave and a large number of ex-servicemen. It The Congress hopes to dent the traditional vote-bank through the selection of Rao Dharampal, who has a good following particularly among the Yadavs of Badshahpur and Gurgaon, and even the Muslims of Mewat. INLD enters the Equation: INLD meanwhile is not ready to let CM Hooda have a field day, and internally there is a feeling that the defeat of the Congress in Gurgaon would bring the standing of the CM a couple of pegs down. INLD also has a grudge with BJP. Despite repeated efforts by INLD, the BJP did not enter into a pre-poll alliance, which could have ensured an opposition clean sweep. The Party had chosen the two-time MLA Zakir Hussain from Mewat, to neutralize the likelihood of Congress playing the ‘Muslim card’. The Yadav vote is likely to split three ways. Zakir Hus-

sain has strong political roots in the area, as his father and grandfather were elected as legislators from this area several times. The INLD move had also ensured that Congress leader Aftab Ahmed, who had been lobbying hard for a Party ticket, failed in his efforts. The INLD has announced that the Party will contest all the ten Lok Sabha seats, after it became certain that a pre-poll alliance with the BJP had become a non-starter. The INLD has distributed tickets with only winnability as the criteria, and it is likely to emerge strong after the polls, say political insiders. Addressing a gathering in Sirsa, senior Party leader Abhay Chautala said that the people of Haryana are now waiting to teach a lesson to the Congress. Targeting the HJC Chief, Kuldeep Bishnoi, he said that the HJC was working as the B team of the Congress. “As the HJC Chief has failed to handle his five MLAs, now he stands nowhere in Haryana’s politics”, he added. He said that Dushyant Chautala would create history by winning the Hisar seat with a record margin. The AAP Factor: AAP leader Yogendra Yadav had to don different hats during his campaign in the Gurgaon constituency. While in the City he called on the corporates for more funding and talked governance, in the villages he exuded rustic charm and sat on the ground while interacting with the masses. With a lot of diversity across Gurgaon in language as well as income, Yadav has been telling the people of Mewat that they would be shooting their feet if they allowed the victory of the BJP candidate from Gurgaon - as he is the representative of Narendra Modi. In Rewari, Yadav spoke more about the forcible land acquisition by the State government, the conversion of thousands of acres of land into Real Estate and the large-scale corruption of the Congress government. During his interactive session in the City, Yadav agreed

that AAP leaders and activists should be restrained while making statements, though it is important for them to participate in the political discourse. He said that the media also needed to be interrogated. When asked why there seemed to be no intraparty democracy, Yadav said that AAP is a Party born out of a movement, and for any political Party to become a mature organization it takes almost 10 years. The Party did not find time for transition, and internal democracy became a casualty, he said. He also said that the Party holds the view that the Lok Sabha candidates should be more than aam (aadmi), and this was the reason that some ‘prominent’ names had been given the Party tickets. Referring to specific plans related to Gurgaon, Yadav said that dealing with corruption needs a long-term strategy, but accepted that the nexus be-

tween the builders and politicians was shocking. Multiple agencies in Gurgaon had failed to deliver the goods, and the City should no longer be ruled from Chandigarh. There is an urgent need for the decentralisation of power, he concluded. The BSP sideshow: The entry of Dharampal Rathi as a BSP candidate is likely to sway some core BSP voters to his side, along with a large number of Gujjars, as Rathi belongs to that community. Rathi being an affluent candidate is also likely to spend a small fortune in this election, as he would like to be remembered as someone who put up a good fight against political veterans. Political watchers say that his entry could hit both the Congress and BJP candidates, as Gujjars have predominantly voted for Rao Inderjit and the Congress in the past.u

Own, not Owe, Happiness { Shobha Lidder } There is no I owe you happiness There is no you owe me happiness Only you can earn your happiness No bonus can be given No debit can be drawn You were born With the skill & ability to be happy The power is within Happiness & you are kin Learn to win your happiness With good deeds Stop chasing it In son, daughter, father, mother, spouse In other people’s house For only you house your own happiness And that is the stark truth, sooth Take responsibility, learn the ability To be your own ‘Nirvana’ Not in the ‘zamana’ There is no I owe you There is no you owe me I owe me my own happiness I invest in my own happiness I am the credit & debit of my happiness I no more depend on outside factors For my happiness...I am happiness The Consciousness. Writer Journalist, Social Activist, Teacher Trainer Reiki Master, Pranic Healer

S ocial

21-27 March 2014

{ Anita Jaswal}


riends are whom you walk with, Friends are whom you talk with
And they will help you make your dreams come true!
Friends are whom you dream with, Friends are whom you scheme with
Friends are whom you tell your troubles to
If you have a bad day and nothing seems to go right
Just look around…your Friend will be beside you. We all need Friends who will be there with us for many reasons…and for all the seasons. When I think of Friendship I think of respect, love, shared thoughts and hobbies that we can share with special people. Friendship does not come overnight; it takes a long time to build such a strong connection. Six-year-old Ishan Niranjan has a Best Friend, Satya Sekhar. They both truly aspire to be BFFs – Best friends Forever! “Satya is my Best Friend. He and I first met in the school bus and we became great friends.  He is very helpful. Satya likes to play games. In the evening we usually meet in the park; we sit in the garden and also play together. I hope Satya and I will be Friends forever. I like him very much.” To this, Satya Sekhar replies - in rhyme: “When Ishaan and I became close Friends with each other We took a pledge to always stay together Once in a while we had fights But, after all, we knew that our Friendship was tight Now it is quite easy to see


Friends In-deed! Who are these cute Friends sipping a cup of tea Well, they are Ishaan and me!” Poonam Soi feels,” Friendship is about having fun together, enjoying each other’s company, learning from each other, encouraging, supporting and caring for each other, building memories and helping each other to grow. It is about opening ourselves up and allowing others to do the same. Friendship is when we build bridges to each other’s islands and realise that we are stronger and better as two - as or more than we are on our own. A true Friend is consistently willing to put your happiness uppermost. It’s said that ‘good advice grates on the ear’, but a true Friend won’t refrain from telling you something you don’t want to hear, something that may even risk fracturing the Friendship - if hearing it is in your best interest. A true Friend will not lack the ‘mercy’ to correct you when you’re wrong. Time and distance cannot diminish the bond we have with these Friends. Smita Sondhi feels the mother-daughter relationship should be built on Friendship. “The word ‘Friend’ should bring to mind only positive ideas and images, such as relaxed, free-flowing communication, honesty, trust and affection - gushing full-force both ways: from mother to daughter and daughter to mother. When mothers strive to be Best Friends with their daughters and sons, the younger

generation will be more apt to be respectful and appreciative, and Mothers’ words will carry a lot of credibility and authority.” Shuchi Birla feels, “Your Friends are those you share your life with – your most soul-bearing moments and even those in between. And despite the fears you have about sharing everything about yourself – be it your trivial day, your greatest joys, your deepest secrets or your greatest despair – you know you can share them with your Friend(s). You do it without thought, because you know your Friends are there for you and you are there for them. You know they will love you despite yourself, despite your fears and insecurities, despite your shortcomings and despite what they bring to the relationship you have with them. With my closest Friends I do not hesitate to express those intimate life moments – the ugly or the joyous. They make us feel how human we are and how little we are in this world. I count myself fortunate that at every stage of my life I have known the love of special Friends, who will be forever the reason I feel gratitude in all of my waking moments.”u

Encouraged by reading very expressive and informative articles on Cancer in Friday Gurgaon (FG), I feel that a lot more can be done on the subject (other than just holding a ‘Cancer Awareness Day’ every year. FG can help spread the human angle on Cancer Care, and also help in eradicating the ‘fear of Cancer’. I have penned a ‘light’ article on this theme and hope that you may find it interesting. Being a patient myself, I have touched upon the core fear areas and issues that weigh heavily in the heart of a sufferer. I have conquered this fear, and also expressed it in a poem - Mera Marz (see Page 11)


he letter C becomes scary when it stands for Cancer. This dreaded word generically covers many specific names, some of which are in fact more ‘frightening’ to read and spell – like Lymphoma, Sarcoma, Leukaemia, Carcinoma, Glioma. Nothing sends a shiver down the spine more than this six-letter word. This is despite medical science having progressed a lot. The Fear Factor remains. I can think of many C-beginning words that can make Cancer less scary. I want to propagate these simple words to soften the fury of the dreaded C word. The first word is CAN. It means that a person CAN fight Cancer; CAN survive Cancer; CAN tolerate the pain of Cancer; and CAN beat Cancer. Yes, all these are possible if a person makes a firm resolve and says ‘I CAN’. The second word is CARE. It can make light the sting of Cancer. A Caregiver has a role equally as important as the sufferer. Together they can lighten the ill-effects - by sharing information, educating themselves, learning what to expect next and preparing for it. CARE,

Cancer scares - but why Fear? especially empathetic Care, holds the key to success in the battle with Cancer. Once the fear factor dilutes and the patient knows he/she is not alone and has a positive support, the battle is half won. Knowledge of what one is up against, and how to cope with it, goes a long way in effective Cancer Care. The third word is COST. Yes, sometimes more than the disease itself, it is the COST of treatment that is scary. Those who are careful always prepare in advance; they do not believe that diseases like Cancer cannot happen to them. They take proper medical insurance cover when they are in good health. They plan their savings for the proverbial ‘rainy day’. There is one more aspect to the COST factor. Fortunately the society at large is more scared of the C- word than the individuals who actually suffer. No other disease attracts the sympathy of philanthropists as much as Cancer. Again it is the Caregiver who can help the suf-

ferer in gathering information about the charitable organisations, government-aided schemes and NGOs. The world over, Cancer treatment is one of the most aided charities. The fourth word is COMMITMENT. It is the determination of the patient and his kin not to get defeated by the dreaded disease. COMMITMENT means going all out in the battle. It also means that even if we do not emerge victorious, we would have contributed our might for the future generations. For example, Research is being undertaken on a war footing by many COMMITTED scientists, who are determined to root out this malady. The last and the most important C-word is CONNECT. No other disease brings us closer to the Divine whether we succumb or survive. As it is, whenever we fall sick, a prayer to God enters our sub-conscience - even if it does not come to our lips; but when the sick-

ness is the C - worded horror, we go into deep introspection. Cancer gives us ‘time’ to reach out to our God. It forces us into an ‘attitude’ towards divinity. If we are succumbing, we look for His help for a less painful exit; if we see a hope for survival, it makes us look towards Him for strength and determination. When a person does survive, he/ she will be a person deeply bonded and CONNECTED to the Divine. There is only one way to come into this world, but there are countless ways to depart. CANCER is just one of them. So why does it become more scary? If we were not to die of Cancer, we would surely die in one of those countless ways - and only the supreme Creator knows when that would happen. So there is really no need to be excessively fearful of CANCER. It is something you CAN face, fight and survive. The COST of treating Cancer can be prohibitive; but rest assured, He will provide you with the means. Just stay COMMITTED, and CONNECTED to the Divine. u Ashok Lal ablsl1971@

10 { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon he ever-increasing population of Gurgaon is putting constant pressure on the natural resources of the City, and in particular Water which is in short supply in this fairly arid land. Gurgaon’s dependence on its limited and fast-depleting ground water, for quenching the thirst of the residents as well as for using it in real estate and industry, has led to an alarming decrease in the water levels – leading to warnings about an impending Fatehpur Sikri-like disaster from even responsible organizations like the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has in fact recommended a ban on the digging of borewells in the City. Although it is not possible to completely reverse the ground situation, experts say that if timely remedial measures like Rain Water Harvesting, recycling and responsible use of water are implemented, the City could ‘survive’ for long. Gurgaon based NGO, SURGE has embraced the idea of setting up Rain Water Harvesting structures across the City, and it recently inaugurated the 125th harvesting well in the DLF II) area - which was inaugurated by Gurgaon MP, Rao Inderjit Singh. Darshan Singh, Chairman of PAN India, and member of the Executive Board of SURGE, tells Friday Gurgaon that they have designed the well in such a way that rain water is filtered in two stages. In the first stage the non-biodegradable wastes like polythene, and

A Bumper Harvest prakhar PANDEY


Udyog Vihar

Sector 17

in the second stage bio-degradable materials, are filtered by the natural material of the earth. Radhika Kohli of SURGE informs that they have used the services of geologists and geophysicists to design the Rain Water Harvesting structures, and a detailed analysis of the topography of the land and the soil structure is conducted, to ensure that an optimum amount of water can be saved. SURGE recently entered into a tie-up with DLF Foundation to construct 46 wells in different parts of DLF Colonies. Each unit built by the NGO can hold up to 18 kilolitres of water. The design enables water percolation to the maximum, thereby helping increase the water table. These structures would be under regular maintenance by SURGE and DLF Foundation, to ensure that all the units are kept functional through proper desilting and civil maintenance. Kohli claims that all the structures that have been built by

them to date are fully functional, and are regularly maintained by them - unless the local RWA takes responsibility for the well. SURGE spends Rs 4 to 5 thousand for the yearly maintenance of a well. SURGE executives are disappointed that many RWAs and other resident bodies are still not ready to take responsibility for the wells. There is also a lack of awareness among the people, as a number of times they refuse to allow the construction of RWH structures near their houses. The cost of building an RWH structure is about Rs 1.35 lakhs, and part of this cost is taken care of by SURGE, as a CSR initiative. Fortunately the govt agencies today value the expertise and advice of SURGE (earlier they would not give permissions to build the wells) and help in pushing such projects. However, the frequent change of officials makes it challenging – every new person needs ‘convincing’. To strongly promote the cause of Rain Water Harvesting, SURGE believes that if the government

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


he residents of posh Sushant Lok Phases 2 and 3, despite paying top dollars for buying property at a premium in this gated colony, are now ruing their decision, because of the poor infrastructure, bad maintenance and lack of services. The residents in fact allege that the inner roads in the areas where new projects and plots are coming up, have been kept comparatively better. Mahesh Dayma, Councillor of Ward 32, in whose area these colonies fall, says that the residents are suffering because of the poor condition of roads, lack of sanitation and irregular power supply. The residents say that they have called the maintenance officials multiple times and made them aware about the poor conditions in the Colony - but to no avail. Dayma says that they had called a senior official of the Company (Ansals), and asked him to take immediate measures to correct the situation. “We have

given them a month’s time, and if things do not improve in the area then we will be forced to sit on a dharna and organize protests”, he adds. The residents of Sushant Lok 2 and 3 allege that the condition of the roads in the Colony is pathetic. The potholes make life very difficult, says Y M Gupta, President of RWA, Sushant Lok 2 and 3. The lack of connectivity of the sewage system with the master drain network had led to very poor sanitary conditions. “The lanes and drains are not cleaned regularly, which leads to massive waterlogging whenever it rains. The sewage is stored underground, and private tankers are employed to collect the refuse and dispose it, as there is no direct connection with the HUDA network”, alleges the RWA President. That is because Ansals have not, can not, apply for a Completion Certificate, as the ‘project’ is incomplete – and most builders have conveniently kept that so. Apart from other benefits, it helps make modifications and CLUs easier. Councillor Mahesh Dayma points out that

makes it mandatory for every plot and every house, then it could prove to be a gamechanger for the City, and also improve the water table. Kohli says that Roof-top Harvesting is possible even in smaller plots, and the cost is also very less as compared to that for large buildings. Many thoughts and ideas are being discussed today, for improving the water situation in the midterm: reviving lakes and check dams in the foothills of the Aravallis, between Gurgaon and Faridabad; regenerating village ponds; and promoting conventional methods of water harvesting in villages. While the DLF Foundation has come forward to support water harvesting, SURGE has not been able to get any help from Unitech, in whose colony they have built around 10 structures. The NGO says that major hydrological surveys were also conducted by them, to analyse the ground water situation. In their opinion, apart from Rain Water Harvesting, there is need to recycle water, augment the canal water supply and to use water responsibly, if the City has to save itself from future problems. SURGE experts further point out that water storage and water treatment capacities need to be augmented urgently. In fact, with better Sewage treatment, that treated water could be used for gardening and the washing of cars – rather than wasting precious treated water for such activities. We may all ‘talk Green’ and profess to be ‘eco-sensitive and friendly’, but rarely act concertedly. Just planting a sapling a year – by a member of the family - won’t do. Partner with bodies like SURGE and help set up water wells. Or one day we may all be digging our own wells! u

prakhar PANDEY

‘Badshant Log’ { Abhishek Behl / FG }

C ivic/S ocial

21-27 March 2014

he has already taken up this issue in the MCG House Meetings, and also called for bringing the builders and their maintenance agencies into the MCG fold so that they are answerable to some authority. Right now it is beyond the capacity of MCG to take over the entire City, but at least the elected Councillors can ask questions from the developers and hold them accountable if their services are lacking, says Dayma. The residents also question why they are being forced to pay House Tax by the MCG, apart from the maintenance charges paid to the developer’s maintenance arm – and still get no service. Gupta says that they had to file a case in the Consumer Court when the maintenance charges were increased from Rs 1 to Rs 2.50psf arbitrarily. “We asked them for the accounts. How many

Dayma says that the power supply situation is alarming, and plagues not only Sushant Lok 2 & 3, but also nearby areas, as the condition of the power cables and transformers is precarious. Therefore, as soon as there is even a gust of wind, the power authorities cut the power - and this happens quite frequently. security men, how many gardeners, what were the expenses on various heads? Since there was no answer, we had to approach the court,” he says. The residents in the Colony are also perturbed by the lack of safety and security, as petty crime, and even thefts, is taking place regularly. Gupta says that they had asked for an increase in the number of guards, but nothing happened. The parks in the Colony are not maintained

properly - except for a few near the commercial properties. The streetlights are non-functional in many areas, and in several areas there are dark pockets - which allows anti-social elements to move about freely. While at the time of selling the property, a club for the residents was promised, the RWA says that the membership fees has been pegged at a couple of lakhs - making it impossible now for many middle class residents to enter the precincts of the facility. There seems no end to the residents’ woes. Fed up with multiple issues, the residents are now demanding that this area/colony be either properly maintained by the builder or it should be taken over by the government civic agency. To them it seems that anything and anyone else would be better (than the Ansals).u

S ocial

21-27 March 2014

Putting Women & Children First { Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


resident of Chakarpur Village, Meeta, 40 (name changed), is happy that she can count money, write her name and earn a living, She has undergone a Vocational (Sewing) training and Basic Education programme conducted by an NGO, Pratham, at her Village. This has also helped her to form an open and positive attitude towards education. Earlier she was reluctant to send her daughters to school; now she ensures that her daughters attend school regularly. “After learning a skill at Pratham,

my self confidence has increased. I can earn so I am respected, heard and given importance by my family.It gives you an amazing feeling. Now I also want my daughter to be selfdependent in life,” smiles Meeta. Many married women are now sending their children to school and coming forward to help other women in their villages. According to a recent survey by ‘Aser’ (Impact) - an initiative of Pratham - the literacy rate in Haryana is 78.49 per cent for males and 55.73 per cent for females – a drastic difference. Mrs. Sharma, from Pratham, feels that Vocational training and Primary education for women should go hand-in-hand. “They

learn a skill, which helps them earn a living; and on the other hand, they interact with educated youth and volunteers, which makes them aware about the importance of education. They understand the importance of sending their children to school. They now want their kids to use computers and work in international companies,” says Mrs. Sharma. The NGO has also been running a school for underprivileged children in Chakarpur for the last seven years. “In one of the surveys we found that only about half of the students in Standard IV here could read Standard II level textbooks. It shows that many chil-

‘Light A Cycle, Save A Cyclist’


urgaon has experienced something very unique in these last few months through the Raahgiri concept, which aims to draw attention to the rights of Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) – namely cyclists, rickshaws and even pedestrians - and to make roads safer for them, as they form a high percentage of road accident victims. However, we thought that this Event seemed to be targeted at the ‘elite cyclist’ – someone who cycles for health or environmental reasons. What about the underprivileged cyclist, who cycles for economic reasons, because he cannot afford any other mode of transport? It is a group that forms the bulk of Gurgaon’s

labour. Was there some way to include them as well? That was when the idea to set up a ‘safety stall’ hit us. The idea was to make these cyclists/rickshaws more visible in the dark, reducing the risk of accidents for them as well as other motorists who may collide with them. They never use bicycle lights and pose a definite safety hazard. This initiative, steered by a few concerned citizens, has made almost 2,300 underprivileged cyclists/rickshaws safer, after 15 Sundays of running the Stall at Raahgiri. The model is simple – we apply high-quality retro-reflective tape (in strips) on the back, front and sides of the vehicle. This provides a lowcost option for visibility, and

drastically improves road safety. This Initiative has succeeded entirely due to Volunteers = who are required for many activities at the Stall. Equally important are Volunteers conducting the fund-raising, for this Initiative is funded entirely by donations. We chose our spot well – the Galleria junction, and we literally lure all passing cyclists and rickshaws with the words ‘free mein tape laga rahen hein, suraksha ke liye’ (interesting how the word ‘free’ is understood by people of all languages - and they stop immediately!). Inspired by a visit to our Stall, a GM from Maruti has motivated his Company to cover 5,000 cyclists on their premises. Nirvana as an ‘ideal’ condominium has come forward to volunteer, with their team poised to take this initiative to the hundreds of cyclists on their premises. Anyone wishing to be associated with this Initiative, including condominium/corporate representatives, may please contact Odette Katrak okatrak@gmail. com or Chetan Agarwal chetan_ agarwal1@hotmail.comu

Odette Katrak The Writer is a Softskills Trainer and Social-change Activist

dren in Haryana lag far behind. Unfortunately the curricula at government schools are not comprehensive. Therefore there was an urgent need to set up schools for the underprivileged children all across Haryana,” says Rachal, from Pratham Haryana. To ensure a grade level literacy, Pratham introduced a ‘Hindi, English and Mathematics Direct Programme’. Herein, the NGO uses childfriendly materials and a resultsoriented teaching approach for the students who are lagging behind in academics. It is ensured that learning promotes a love for reading, to help children improve their linguistic skills and sharpen their mathematics concepts. Moreover, the English module has been designed to address areas of reading comprehension and conversation, using an interactive learning process. Children are encouraged to employ conversation concepts in their day-to-day lives, and their performance is tracked throughout the programme. The NGO also lays emphasis on the training of teachers and volunteers, especially in the areas of Eng-


lish and computers. “These are two skill areas that are highly sought after in rural India, but are often difficult to acquire,” says Rachel. There has been a marked improvement in social life and activity in the Village. Pratham, which started its School programme with just 20 students, now has over 5,000 children in its Primary education programme in Gurgaon. Many corporates have also joined hands. “Women in the Village, who once knew nothing about letters and numbers, can now read and write well. Children, who used to work as child labour, now attend school. It is good to see this change,” says Mrs. Sharma. Pratham plans to organise a Summer Camp for the underprivileged children - across the State. The Camp will serve as a special opportunity for the children, to participate in music, art and dance activities. Further, the NGO aims to partner with the government, for pilot programmes to impart better training and skills to teachers. u

Mera Marz (My Disease)

Jo saath na chhoden kabhi, asli dost hote hain aise Ai mere marz, tujhe main apna dost na samjhoon to kaise Meri zindagi ki saari bachat, aur us pe laga soot Mera Bima, meri zameen, meri jaayadad Sab milakar meri keemat to maano tay ho gayi Tu meri zindagi mein aaya to woh ab aur badh gayi Mere dushman bhi ab mujhse adab se pesh aate hain Badi sanjeedagi se mera haal pooch ke jaate hain Woh bhi aata hai jo aaj tak milne aaya nahin Izzat deta hai jisne kabhi gale se lagaya na kabhi Ai mere dost, tu jab se meri zindagi mein aaya hai Ek ajeeb si aazadi tu apne sang laya hai Aaj main azaad hoon, main kuchh bhi karoon ya na karoon Tere siva ab koi nahin jis-se main daroon Bas ek guzaarish hai ooperwale se Ki ‘tu dard mujhe zyaada mat dena’ Chaahe meri jaan bhi aagosh mein apne bhar lena! Hai yakeen mujhe Tu mere sang rahega chaahe saath chhod den sabhi Marte dam tak na chhodega tu mera haath kabhi Tu hi dilayega rihayee mujhe, main chaahoonga jabhi Tu mera humdum hai, hum-nawaaz hai, mera saaya hai Parwar digaar ne hi tujhe mere paas bhijwaaya hai Tu maseeha hai mera, tu hi uss-se mujhe milwayega Raah jaati hai jo uske dar pe woh tu hi mujhe dikhlayega. Tu laaya hai paighaam-e-khuda, mano ho farishta jaise Ai mere marz, main tujhe apna dost na samjhoon to kaise Ai mere marz, main tujhe apna dost na samjhoon to kaise... Ashok Lal Email: ablsl1971@

12 Lancers’ Symposium

21-27 March 2014

A Green Holi!



ancers International School held a Science Symposium for students of Grades 6-8. The students were asked to select a topic from a given Five. They presented on their Topics to the judges and audience, using different interactive resources, and made some interesting observations. The Winners of the Science Symposium were: 1st Prize-Min Ha (Grade 8), 2nd Prize-Kushagra (Grade 6), 3rd Prize-Gilbert (Grade 7) and Consolation Prize-Suraiya (Grade 7).

oli celebrations were held at Modern Montessori International. The little ones celebrated the festival of colours by making ecofriendly colours - using flour, turmeric and henna powder. Happy Green Holi!


Fancy Characters


Fancy Dress Activity was held for the students of Montessori IV. The little ones were seen dressed as soldiers, Bharat Mata, political leaders and butterflies. It was wonderful to witness the spectacle and to listen to them speak about their characters.Â

Math Wizards


Math Olympiad was held at the School, to equip the students with critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills. Of 140 participants from Classes III to VIII, 16 students won Gold Medals (90 marks and above) and 3 students won Gold Shields (100 marks). Gold Medal winners were Himanshu Dixit, Raghav Sharma, Aman Chaturvedi, Meenakshi Pillai, Pranay Jangra, Pranay, Diya, Deeksha, Harsh Gupta, Mrinmayee Gatkal, Raghav Arora, Niyati Saini, Sneha Singh, Shambhavi Sabharwal, Aditi Goel and Prachi Desai. Vandita Goswami, Ayush Sachdeva and Kartikeya Gupta were awarded the Gold Shields.

K id C orner


Olympic Winner

The Man In A Black Suit



he School participated in the 7th SOF International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) and achieved great laurels. Divij Singh Deo of Class III made the School proud by winning the 1st position at the International level of the IMO. He also bagged the 1st State rank and 1st School rank. School Head Peeya Sharma felicitated Divij at a Special Assembly.

Quiz Masters


n Inter House E.V.S Quiz was conducted for the students of Class 2.The topic of the Quiz was Air, Water and states of Matter. There were three rounds in the Quiz - the Rapid fire round, the Picture round and the Take your Pick round. All the participants were well prepared and gave the answers enthusiastically. The winning House was Indira Gandhi House. It was indeed a fulfilling and enriching experience for the participants - Tanvi Gupta, Sarthak Singh, Navya Bhola, Vibhor Vasishtha, Shivansh Sharma and Abhigyan Chaturvedi.

K id C orner


am David and I live with my parents in a bungalow. One foggy night in January, my parents had to attend a wedding and left me all alone in a cold, scary and a deserted room. The wedding was not far from our house. It was all silent as I lay down in bed thinking about the day I had in school. But then I heard something. Something very scary! I heard some footsteps outside my window and first I thought it was a dream but when I pinched myself and rubbed my eyes I saw something emerging from the fog. It was a man in a black suit but I couldn’t look at his face because it was hidden behind his long and pointy collars. I saw him coming straight towards me. I was so scared; I hugged my teddy pillow which was my only support. I held it tight and tried to be brave and not think about the man. “It’s going to be all right,” I told the pillow and ran out of the room. I decided to hide in the garage which was on the ground floor as I was living on the first floor. I ran to the staircase. The day was looking like a big obstacle in life to cross. Suddenly, the fog started to clear out and I heaved a sigh of relief. But I didn’t know the next problem I was about to face that minute……… Suddenly, it started to rain. I slowly crept down the stairs and the thing I feared the most happened. The light began to flicker and then it went out! It was pitch dark and I could not see anything. I sat down with the support of the wall as I had lost hope and started to cry. Then I saw the same person in the black suit coming towards me with a knife. (Be scared it’s not a dream!) I shouted and started to pray and he crept nearer and nearer. I closed my eyes and then as if God heard my prayers the lights came back and I heard my parent’s voice, “David, are you there? We are back!” I opened my eyes and the man had vanished. I quickly ran to my parents and hugged them but I was too scared to tell about the man. Now after 50 years, still I have not told anybody and the mystery of the man in the black suit remains unsolved.                                                                                               -Eshaan Soni, Grade 5, Pathways Aravali

‘Playing’ for a Cause Aapno Ryan Fun


ore than 10 children from BG Foundation presented a Play at South Point Mall. The theme was ‘Saving the Girl Child’. Visitors were surprised to see the little ones putting up a brilliant act. Later the kids were served with refreshments.


tudents of Grades III and IV were treated with a trip to Aapno Ghar. The students tried all the rides – Mini Columbus, Monocycle, Merry-go-round and Jumble Dumble and had a great time. They also enjoyed a Puppet Show. Many students also participated in a Dance Quiz. The students returned to School exhausted but happy.

Creative Reports


ursery students at Banyan Tree World School displayed their creative talents on Report Card Day. Each child painted his/her Report Card beautifully. The aim was to make the result day a fun day.


21-27 March 2014

R eal E state

S piritual

21-27 March 2014

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


was still in my teens when I first saw the ruins of what had been a spacious and magnificent house, while I was trekking my way from Kalka to Kasauli. There was an eerie silence inside the house. Totally desolate, partly ruined, its well-laid paths were overgrown with weeds, and its garden had disappeared under a growth of thorny jungle. Now abandoned, feared and shunned, it stood encircled in mystery - reportedly the home of evil spirits. It had seven rooms, which were now occupied by bats and other animals and insects. The house was hidden by large pine and other wild trees. Some wild trees and creepers grew out of the ruins of the house, strangling it - much as its owner Vijay Singh Rana was said to have done to a number of persons passing through. Rana’s evil spirit was said to haunt the deserted house. I entered the building and examined the room where he reportedly strangled the victims. I did not encounter any spirit of this notorious man. Perhaps I was too innocent at that time to be targeted by evil spirits. But that did not mean that the stories about Rana, his atrocities, the malignant spirits and paranormal beliefs were not true. Later I was told that there were other unexplained occurrences – of people hearing sounds of wailing and weeping women. Occasionally, residents of the area complained of a malignant ghost in their midst, who was given to flagging down cars, especially those driven by single men. There had been one or two mysterious disappearances. Ask anyone living along this stretch of the Kalka – Kasauli, and they will tell you that it is true. There are several people who have had similar experiences and dropped dead, from inexplicable heart attacks. One of my friends in Himachal told me, “Ignore it, my friend; do not stop to answer any questions from anybody on this stretch of road at night, especially if driving alone.” I have never believed in ghosts, but that piece of advice given by my friend has made me believe that, perhaps, there are some things beyond our realm.


als. While we Indians believe in ghosts of all types - ‘bhoots’, ‘pretas’, ‘jinns’ - we are not alone. A 2005 Gallup Poll found that 37 percent of Americans believe in haunted houses, and about one-third believes in ghosts. Tens of thousands of people around the world actively search for ghosts as a hobby. Researchers have counted about 2,000 active amateur ghosthunting groups in America. Ghosts have been a popular subject for millennia, appearing in countless stories, from Macbeth to The Bible - and even spawning their own folklore genre: ghost stories. Ghosts are perhaps the most common paranormal belief in the world. Part of the reason is that belief in ghosts is part of a larger web of related paranormal beliefs, including near-death experience, life after death and spirit communication. The idea that the dead remain with us in spirit is an ancient one, and one that offers many people comfort. Who doesn’t want to believe that our beloved but deceased family members aren’t looking out for us, or will be with us in our times of need? Most people believe in ghosts because of personal experience; they have seen or sensed some unexplained presence.

Paranormal Phenomena

More than two decades ago, long before the Hollywood film, The Sixth Sense, created the ‘I see dead people’ blitzkrieg, there were individuals who said that they could see and even converse with ghosts. They were looked upon as freaks. In some cases the parents wanted their children to get professional help, for treating such paranoia or figments of the imagination. Today a lot of people - sometimes even doctors - come to my psychiatrist friend, requesting him to act as a ‘medium’, so that they can get in touch with their dead. It is strange how non-believers become believers when they want something. While the supernatural has its believers, there are those, many of them from the fields of the science and academia, who debunk any such claims. According to mental health experts, the reasons for such a belief system are varied, often detached from reality. Very often a temporary reactive cause to trauma, such as the death of someone close, can trigger hallucinations and psychosis, which are classified as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSDs), opines my Consulting Psychiatrist friend. “Such reactions are not pathological in nature and they very often abate after proper counselling and medication. But those of an esoteric bent of mind, who believe in the existence of ghosts, spirits and other things supernatural, are very often conditioned by the environment they live in. They often externalise these beliefs, by giving them a form and a shape,” he says. Then there are those who are ambivalent. Whether or not they believe, they do not dispute others’ claims. Many seem to feel: “Although I have never seen a ghost, I believe that there is something out there; and I feel that the day may be very near when their existence will be confirmed.” The debate continues to rage at a frenzied pace - questioning supernatural beliefs, seeking an in-

sight into the unknown and reasoning with the ‘decidedly’ unreasonable. However, the one question desperately looking for an answer seems to be, ‘Is there something, or more importantly someone, out there?’ Scientists feel that people consistently report unusual experiences in ‘haunted’ areas because of environmental factors, which may differ across locations. Some of these factors include the variance of local magnetic fields, size of location and the lighting level - stimuli which witnesses may not be consciously aware of. Ghosts and spirits have always interested human beings. The feeling of being closer to someone unknown or someone from the ‘other world’, has always aroused a sense of both fear and curiosity. Whether there is life after death is a question that none has an answer to. There are hundreds of ‘haunted’ houses all around the world; all these have an element of mystery, fear and the unknown associated with them. Because there are so many incidents, places and people who are believed to be linked with this paranormal phenomenon, there must be something ‘out there’ that instigates these stories every now and then. Ghosts are explicitly recognised in the Tibetan Buddhist religion, as they were in Indian Buddhism - occupying a distinct but overlapping world to the human one, and feature in many traditional legends. They believe that when humans die, after a period of uncertainty they may enter the ghost world. A hungry ghost (Tibetan: yidag, Sanskrit: preta) has a tiny throat and a huge stomach, and so can never be satisfied. Ghosts may be killed with a ritual dagger or caught in a spirit trap and burnt, thus releasing them to be reborn. Ghosts may also be exorcised, and an annual festival is held throughout Tibet for this purpose. As per beliefs, such spirits are usually considered to be perturbed and restless, due to some factor that prevents them from moving on to transmigration, non-being, heaven or hell - depending on tradition. This could be due to a violent death, unsettled matters in their lives, or simply the failure of their survivors to perform proper funer-

There can sometimes be a darker side. In the wake of popular ghost-hunting TV shows, police across the country have seen a surge in people being arrested, injured and even killed, while looking for ghosts. In 2010 a man died while ‘ghost-hunting’ with a group of friends, hoping to see the ghost of a train that had crashed years earlier. The ghost train did not appear - but a real train came around a bend and killed him…

However, scientific evidence is another matter. Part of the difficulty in investigating ghosts is that there is not any universally agreed-upon definition of ghosts. Some believe that they are spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, get ‘lost’ on their way to ‘the other side’; others claim that ghosts are telepathic entities projected into the world from our minds; still others create their own special categories for different types of ghosts - such as ‘intelligent spirits’, ‘residual haunting’ and ‘shadow people’. Of course it is all made up - like speculating on the different races of fairies or dragons. There are as many types of ghosts as you want there to be. There are also many contradictions inherent in our ideas about ghosts. For example, are ghosts ‘material’ or not? Do they move through solid objects without disturbing them, or do they slam doors shut and throw objects across the room? Logically and physically, it should one or the other. If ghosts are human souls, why do they appear clothed, and with inanimate objects like hats, canes and dresses - not to mention the many reports of ghost trains, cars and carriages? If ghosts are the spirits of those whose deaths were un-avenged, why are there unsolved murders - since ghosts are said to communicate with psychic mediums and should be able to identify their killers for the police? Just about any claim about ghosts raises logical reasons to doubt it. In recent years, the study of quantum mechanics has enlightened our understanding, not only on the existence of ghosts, but also the existence of ‘parallel worlds’. Modern physicists have helped us explain and understand the ghost apparition phenomena., based on ‘quantum chromo dynamics’. The evidence on ghosts is no better today than it was a year ago, a decade ago or a century ago. There are two possible reasons for the failure of ghost hunters to find ‘good’ evidence. The first is that ghosts don’t exist, and that reports of ghosts can be explained by psychology, misperceptions, mistakes and hoaxes. The second option is that ghosts do exist, but that ghost hunters are simply incompetent. However, ultimately, ghost hunting is not about the evidence (if it was, the search would have been abandoned long ago). Instead, it’s about having fun with friends, telling stories, and the enjoyment of pretending that they are searching the ‘edge of the unknown’. Everyone loves a good ghost story! 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


21-27 March 2014

C omment

Hindi Chini Bye Bye It’s time to revisit...again. This time it is 1962.


'As if dealing with regular Pakistan sponsored attacks was not enough, we now have to deal with Chinese incursions. Their actions are not so blatant, and happen less frequently – but they are part of a long-term strategy of encircling India – restraining us….from becoming a worthy competitor. Every time we first opt to ignore, or play them down…patting ourselves on the back for our being ‘sensible’ and ‘restrained’ and ‘not provoked’. We then politely ask for return to ‘normal’, get no answer or action, think of a reaction – and then let status quo reign. An then act ‘surprised’ at the next incident. This side-step, or look-away, on security matters is dangerous. We cannot get so taken up with the virtue of restraint, that we begin to see it as an end in itself; and to therefore become so predictable that our enemies know they can get away with naked belligerence. Being a nice man or country, at the cost of being taken for granted, bullied and shot at, is not good diplomacy - or even good Gandhism. It’s time to be pro-active; we have reacted far too long. We do not need to play war-games with China on this; there is no need for a ‘tit for tat’ - of erecting a tent in Chinese territory. But we should not be forced to either ‘accept’ or ‘backtrack’. And we now need to act on multiple fronts. We need to do it smartly, somewhat similar to how the ‘soft’ US took on the ‘hard’ USSR. We need to keep China guessing, and make them feel some discomfort too. We need to bring them to the table on the boundary issue. It is time to open up ‘Tibet’ – indirectly at first. The Dalai Lama and Buddhism need to be brought centre-stage in India. What we do with them on Indian soil should be our call. China will react, but they anyway have done enough to foment trouble in India – through Maoists, by being hand-in-glove with Pakistan, and even tampering with our water supply. Buddhism is fortunately the majority religion in most of South East Asia and Japan – areas

that are wary of Chinese designs. We should open our doors wide to Japan, Taiwan and ASEAN. Dalai Lama and Buddhism are also great connects with the Western world, and even Hollywood (never underestimate its power, especially on the youth. Bollywood too has better global appeal now). Simultaneously, we should open up with China culturally. There is deep tradition on both sides, and that can help avoid difficult situations tomorrow. Politically, the Congress should find benefit in promoting a minority religion; the BJP should easier find common cause with Buddhism. Our famed IT skills will one day be of immense strategic advantage. There will be a Cyber War – it is not a fantasy. It will impact the physical war, and so the physical world – significantly. Most weapons are digital, and use satellites/GPS. It’s time to set up a Cyber War-Room. We should also open up Defence procurement liberally, to get the West economically ‘hooked’. Strategic military ties with the US or Japan should be welcomed. However, it is important to keep the process clean. The Army, as an institution, needs to be kept out of controversy. We most importantly need to earn respect locally – especially with our smaller neighbours. Our China border foils - Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar – though small, are most critical. We should deal with them as an equal – maybe even pamper them. We do not want a repeat of Tibet in any of them – in any form. Finally, there of course have to be some ‘hard’ actions’ – and we always need to keep our powder dry. We should expeditiously modernize the armed forces. We are a large economic nation (though plagued by some current mega-scam drainage). There must be greater focus on the Navy and Air Force, and a regular patrolling of our Zone - the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. We should have learned this much in 50+ years…it’s time to say a final bye to an imagined bhai.' u

Playing with the News: Games as a new form of Journalism { Anita Hirschbeck/ Cologne, Germany/ DPA }


an a blue man who shoots red lasers change Journalism? The man on his own probably can’t, but the idea behind it could, believes Journalist and Computer Games expert Marcus Boesch. His Cologne-based firm, The Good Evil, has developed a free online game called Prism - The Game. The ironic mission: ‘Help the NSA’ (the US National Security Agency). An agent - the blue man - flies around the Internet and tries to scan as many private pictures as possible. Prism is the controversial electronic monitoring programme of the US Intelligence agency. ‘Prism - The Game’ belongs to the category of ‘News Games’. These are computer games that present information about current affairs. For Boesch, such games will be among the writing forms that Journalists will use in the future. “Games have some advantages over classical, linear media,” he says. In the traditional media people only receive information, whereas “a game makes possible an entire experience.” Ideally a player should also have fun. Games can demonstrate connections, says Katharina Tillmanns, from the Game Lab of Cologne’s University of Applied Sciences. As an example, she cites the Classic News Game, September 12, which deals with the ‘war

on terror’ that followed the 9/11 (September 11, 2001) terrorist attacks. Players can drop virtual bombs on terrorists, which of course leads to the killing of some civilians - whose relatives may then become terrorists. In the September 12 Game, the consequences of the ‘anti-terror war’ become clear, says Tillmanns. Players can better understand real life decisions when they have to make the same decisions in the Game. But News Games can sometimes walk a fine line. Apple refused to allow ‘Endgame: Syria’ on its App Store. The Game about the fighting in Syria was rejected on the grounds that it was about a real-life conflict, the Game’s Developer, Auroch Digital, said. Apple declined to comment on this. The Developer then removed the references to Syria and called the game Endgame: Eurasia, instead. The modified version is now available on the App Store. Moral objections to Computer Games that wallow in real-life violence are not new. A controversial 2005 Game was based on the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in the United States, where two pupils killed 12 fellow students and a teacher. However, Boesch clearly says that, for News games, Journalistic standards should apply. “When a Game is created by Journalists with the same care by which an article is written, then I see no problem.” u

W ellness

21-27 March 2014

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Magnum Mineral { Jaspal Bajwa }


he role played by ‘supporting actors’ is many times under-rated. In the context of the minerals in our diet, this role is mainly played by Magnesium - the eleventh-mostabundant element in the human body. Like with all supporting casts, there is an intricate interplay of this salt with calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium chloride - and it is critical to achieve a balance, to optimise their absorption. The deficiency of this mineral in our diet was first discovered roughly 90 years ago. We now know that Magnesium is a critical ‘co-factor’, which needs to be present in over 300 bio-chemical actions in our body. Some people allude to it as the ‘Anti-Stress’ mineral. As Magnesium has a key role in the production of energy within our cells, low levels of it can potentially contribute to fatigue and even depression. In fact low levels are associated with ill-health in almost all vital aspects of healthy life – from high Blood Pressure and chronic inflammation to serious abnormalities in reproduction, growth and development. The consequences of a prolonged deficiency can be quite serious. As a co-factor for over 100 enzymes involved in the control of blood sugar and glucose metabolism, Magnesium plays an important role in preventing Diabetes. As about 60% of Magnesium is stored in the bones and teeth, even a mild deficiency can lead to significant bone loss and accelerated Osteoporosis – further compounded by the fact that Calcium absorption is simultaneously impacted. Large sections of the population are at risk of being deficient without even knowing about it. Of particular concern are certain groups. In the elderly, the average intake drops by 25% or more. Other high-risk populations are people suffering from kidney, heart or lung disease, as well as those who are on excessive medication or low-protein diets. For anyone suffering from dehydration (due to Gastro-Intestinal disorders, long distance athletic sports, or consumption of excessive alcohol, sugar, caffeine or dietary fibre), replenishment of salts like Magnesium, as also potassium, sodium and phosphorous, is critical.

Tip of the Week

Consuming proteins with meals can enhance the absorption of both Magnesium and Calcium. Another tip for enhancing absorption is to consume fermentable carbohydrates, like those found in grains, dairy and fruit. In several countries research has shown that the drinking of highly mineralised spring water can reduce deaths from heart attacks by 10-20% (some countries are ‘naturally’ lucky). When considering Nutritional Supplements, rather than having Calcium and Magnesium separately, a good option is to go for a high quality combo - with a Calcium (Ca) : Magnesium (Mg) ratio of 2.5 : 1 ( e.g. 1000 mg of Ca and 400 mg of Mg, which is the Daily Value). Nature’s Wonder Foods of the Week: Magnesium-rich Natural Foods Vegetables, especially green leafy ones, along with nuts, seeds and legumes are probably the best bet for imbibing adequate levels of Magnesium. Amongst these, the top of the ladder is occupied by Spinach, Swiss Chard and Beet Greens - closely followed by Pumpkin Seeds, Turnip Greens and Squash. Seafood too has fairly high amounts of this mineral. Just one cup (cooked) of Leafy Greens can provide 157mg, or 39% of the Daily Value (DV). Similarly, 28 gm of nuts and seeds - of pumpkin, sesame or sunflower - may provide another 35% of the Daily Value. A cup of cooked lentils or beans provides upwards of 20-30% of Daily Value. To top it off, a single square of Dark Chocolate (29g) can provide another 95mg (24% DV). When possible, opting for ‘Whole Grains’ (brown rice, barley, buckwheat, quinoa and millet) can be another way of supplementing Magnesium levels. It is worthwhile remembering that only 40-50% of the Magnesium that we consume is actually absorbed - depending on our body-type and the quality of the source.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition). For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions


A Detox Diet { Alka Gurha }


he season of marriages, festivities and indulgence begins with Diwali and ends after Holi. Now that spring is in the air, it is the right time to think about a diet to rejuvenate and clean-up the clogged digestive system. Spring season is about shaking off the weight of winter and getting revved up for summer. If you are feeling sluggish or struggling with skin and digestive problems, try a Detox Diet for a week. When the toxins stored in your cells are mobilised, they must be eliminated from the body through faeces, urine or sweat. Through detoxification, you cleanse your intestines, kidneys and liver. Practised for centuries by different cultures around the world, detoxification is about cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out. According to Ayurveda, the detoxification of the body (Panchkarma) is essential, and should be completed before undertaking any other major treatment. Detoxification is recommended even for healthy people - once every five years - to rid themselves of the accumulated impurities and chemical toxins. When you eliminate toxins and nourish your body with healthy nutrients, your body is able to replenish itself and stay healthy. Lack of physical activity, stress and over-eating can result in poor circulation within your body. The best way to get the blood flowing is to detox your body, and exercise. The key is to choose the diet that best matches your health, energy level and lifestyle. Because the foods recommended in a Detox Diet are high in fibre and fluids and low in fat, the vital organs in your body get to cleanse themselves. The total food intake is not restricted; instead, many unhealthy foods are omitted. Most Detox Diets keep you away from complex carbohydrates, wheat and gluten. The Detox Diet often provides the nutrients needed to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. Along with healthy eating, some people prefer to also sweat it out in a sauna, so that their body can eliminate wastes through perspiration too. It is a good idea to incorporate mind/body practices, such as yoga and pranayam, to relax your body and help relieve stress. Stress can impair the body’s detoxification systems and lead to digestive ailments and impaired immunity. Some people also take an enema for clearing their digestive system. Pregnant and lactating women, and diabetics, should avoid going on a Detox program. Also make sure to introduce grains, milk and foods gradually. If a Detox Diet does not suit you, stop it immediately and consult your nutritionist. u Simple changes, such as drinking more fluids, eating more vegetables or eliminating wheat can have a profound effect on how you feel. A Detox Diet includes plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and anti-inflammatory foods – such as nuts, fresh juices, raw vegetables, lemon juice, green tea, warm water, buttermilk, coconut water, thin dals and soups. Begin the day with a glass of warm water with honey, to cleanse your intestines. Eat egg whites or some nuts along with coconut water for breakfast. Lunch can include fruit, soups, dals and salads. Try green tea instead of your regular tea or coffee in the evening. Dinner can be something similar to lunch. You can also consume some psyllium husk in a large glass of water, to aid the detoxification process and improve your bowel movement. Some foods and drinks, such as coffee and sugar, are slowly phased out.


B on V ivant

21-27 March 2014

By Col Tej S Dalal (Retd.)



t was my long and cherished dream to build a house as per my own design, specifications, layout and furnishing. We moved into our Home before Diwali 2012. I decided to share my experience with friends who may find it useful. Doors/Windows: For doors, windows and frames you have a choice of Wood, Flush or UPVC, or Aluminum. The last one is certainly the cheapest option but has its own drawbacks. It is much lighter, not very strong and does not provide a good finish. UPVC is the latest material in the market for doors/ windows, but is as expensive as Teak Wood. Popularly known as rigid PVC in western countries, it is very extensively used in the building industry there. It also has the advantage of durability and good looks, and being light weight (as compared to wood), weather proof, termite proof and resistant to chemicals, sunlight and rusting. Wood has been the traditional option for the making of doors and windows, for centuries. It comes naturally in two varieties – hard wood and soft wood - depending on its density/hardness. The common variety of soft wood is the ‘Chaap’ (Pine). Soft wood is susceptible to termite attack and the weather, will damage easily and absorbs/loses moisture fast - and is therefore not very suitable for furniture making. Most societies use soft woods for their doors, windows and

Use of Glass enhances space

Brick by Brick : Land to Home frames, along with a Teak Ply covering - to give it a Teak finish. Teak Wood is preferred by those who want a good finish and have the money for the grains. The most common types in use are the Ivory Coast, Nagpur and Burma Teaks. They are hard woods, resistant to warping and insects (due to their oily contents), have distinct grains/ patterns and can last really long (a century!). Don’t just go by the name of the wood - check its properties (hardness and resistance). Rosewood, Rubber Wood, Sheesam and Meranti are also cheaper options of hardwood. In the manufactured wood category, the two most common sheets are MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and Particle Board. They are made from wood particles, mixed with glue and bonded under high pressure. These sheets are most preferred by carpenters, because they are easy to handle, faster to work with and require minimum effort. The factors to decide on the type of wood are strength, hardness, type of grain and cost. Nangloi in West Delhi is one of the major wood marts of North India, but even your local supplier should be explored if the quantities required are not very large. Ensure that the wood is seasoned before making your doors/windows, else you would be requiring the services of a carpenter in all the seasons. Seasoning is the process of taking out the water from inside the veins of the wood, and can be done by stacking it in a honeycomb fashion and drying it for at least 2 to 3 months. You can also buy seasoned wood from the dealer, by paying a little extra. The latest in the market are Ready-made Doors. They come in various sizes and designs and can be ordered as per your requirements. They can be of

metal, wood, Board or PVC and are less/not affected by the weather. You can choose from a large variety of designs and sizes. The options range from Flush Doors and Panel Doors to Metal Doors. For cheaper options, plenty of second hand doors or PVC Doors are also available in the market. A few tips before you go in for the design of the doors/windows: (a) A normal door should not be of more than 1.5 to 1.75 inches thick - else it will become too heavy. (b) The size of the door frame /‘chaukhat’ will also have to be broad enough to take on two doors, if you are going for wooden and mesh doors. (c) There should be a gap of at least 2.5 inches between the mesh door and the wooden door. Most inbuilt lock handles require this space. (d) Go for doors with ventilators only if you really need them. The ventilators these days are of fixed glass, and serve very little purpose - except for adding to the height, the cost of the wood and of course the length of the curtains. (e) It has become a trend to put a door closure on mesh doors. They serve no purpose; rather, they allow flies/mosquitoes to enter the house (because of their slow movement). If you feel this option is ‘necessary’, go in for a spring door closure. (f ) If the wood is not seasoned, then chances are that your glass panes may crack/ break when the window frame warps. Glass: Along with the doors and windows comes the Glass you use for them. This comes broadly in three varieties: (a) Normal Glass of varying thickness. (b) Toughened Glass, which is approx. 5 to 7 times stronger than the normal glass and is twice the cost. It is good for window-panes and all cabins (baths/sliding doors). It comes out in small pieces when broken, side windows just like the of cars. (c) Safety Glass, which has a thin layer of plastic film inside, with glass glued on both sides. These layers can increase, depending on your requirement. This combination makes it stronger and does not allow easy access when broken - as the glass pieces remain stuck to the film. Its most common use is for the windscreen of a car. It is suitable for windows where greater safety is required. It is 3

to 4 times more expensive than Toughened Glass - depending upon the thickness and safety layers. It is also advisable to put reflecting film on the big Glass windows, especially those getting direct sunlight. It makes a lot of difference to the room temperature and your A/C bill. Use, where possible, Glass partitions inside the house. They do the job and do not seem to occupy ‘space’. Use blinds for privacy, where required. A Glass door/window/partition with a wooden frame is much cheaper than rimless glass. Glass accessories like hinges, locks, handles and brackets cost a lot and can be avoided - by using wooden frames instead. Make sure that the mirrors you select are of a standard make; ‘cheap’ ones will start rusting and spots will appear very soon. It is better to put a distance piece or screw caps, which fits from the sides. Flooring: The floor can be of marble, wood or tiles. Marble is the traditional material and is most commonly available, in a wide range – like Morward, Katni and Granite. Morward is white, with slight shades of gray/green, is sturdy, easily available and can cost from Rs 50 psf to 150 psf - depending upon its whiteness. It can be used in the bedrooms and washrooms. Katni comes in patterns, is slightly yellow in colour but, compared to Morward, is weak. Granite stone is tough, but its usage is restricted, due to its shade. It is generally used in the kitchen, washbasin tops, stairways or gates. Most natural stones will require layers of polishing, which adds to the overall cost. Composite Marble comes in many shades, is polished and has no cracks/veins/irregular patterns. It is more expensive (cost is almost 4 to 5 times that

of Morward) and may not be available at all places. Italian Marble is very popular with high-end clients and commercial outlets. It is almost 6 to 8 times more expensive than Morward. It is very weak and requires very careful handling. It is porous when in raw form and needs filling and polishing before it can be used. Being weak, the cost of polishing, grinding and handling goes up. The life of this stone is also said to be much less than the normal marble. Stone is strong, absorbs moisture and can be polished - but will have veins and shades, since it is a natural extract. The more it is used the more polish it gets. And, if any stone breaks, it can be easily replaced. The downside is that it has limited shades, although these days artificial or composite marble is available in different shades, and with glitter added. Other stones - like the Gwalior Stone (beige colour), Bansi Pahadpur (pinkish colour), Agra Stone (red colour) and Slate (grey shade) - are used for cladding. For cladding with stones, the additional cost of clamps/fasteners has to be considered, besides the high cost of stone-laying. Tiles can be a quick, less tedious option for flooring. These come in all sizes, shades and patterns, look good when finished, do not require polishing, are comparatively easy to lay and can be cheaper on an overall cost basis. However, any replacement at a later date may be a problem, as the stock turnovers are fast and shades/patterns change often. Tiles wear off fast where there is greater footfall; these areas require repeated cleaning, and when some tiles wear off, the entire lot may need to be replaced. Anther option is wooden flooring. Natural wood is very expensive, and due to

Use of Wood Laminates for Flooring

B on V ivant

21-27 March 2014

its quality of absorbing water, dirt and grease, its maintenance is also not cheap. Wood can cost from Rs 500 psf to Rs 2000 psf. However, Wood Laminates are commonly available in the market. They are made of composite ply(wood), with a high resolution print pasted on top and laminated. They offer a cheap and good-looking option for flooring. The cost is between Rs 60 psf to Rs 120 psf, which includes the cost of laying. They can be laid or replaced within hours. The rest of the construction is related to the quality of material (bricks/ cement/’bazari’/steel) and the right mix, which needs to be checked from time to time. Your mere presence can be a deterrent and certainly stop pilferage. Cement quality is generally of two types - OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement) and PPC (Portland Pozolona Cement). OPC, which is also called grey cement, is more commonly used, and its finer version is RHPC - which is very strong and hardens rapidly. White Cement is also one of the varieties of OPC. PPC is the cheaper variety, as Fly Ash is added to it. It is better at preventing cracks. Two important items the present day masons have forgotten to use are the hand held Hammer-head (‘dumchak’) - to hammer the soil before putting the tiles/marble; and the Spirit Level. Without their use you can end up with cracked/sinking floors, or floors with reverse slopes. Ensure that these are used - and properly. Electric Items: These are basically of two types - the hidden and the exposed (or visible). All wires and conduits are hidden inside the walls. Make sure that the ends of the conduits are properly sealed, so that no water can seep-in from inside or outside these conduits. (a) Use the best type of cables and wires. It would be difficult to repair or replace these, and any overload on the cables can be a fire hazard. (b) Plan the switches well, and beforehand. Every room should have its switch just at the entrance (and preferably with a red light indicator), so that anyone entering the room does not find it difficult to locate it. The placement of switches inside a switch box should also follow the pattern of the lights and not be set up in a haphazard manner. (c) Have sufficient socket points for your TV, DVD, Music System, Table Lamps and Mobile Chargers. Bedside sockets should be above the height of the bedside tables. Similarly, in your Drawing /Sitting Room, place

cleaning them is always a hassle. Any spillover will go down to the drawer below the Hob. (i) Do not have too many bends in your chimney - it reduces its suction power.

Modular Kitchen with double shade the sockets such that they do not obstruct the placement of the corner pieces and sofas. Have sufficient sockets in your Study for the Computer, Printer, CCTV and Wi-Fi connections. (d) The Kitchen is a place where any amount of sockets will fall short. Keep points for your inbuilt cabins, Oven, RO, Geyser, Hob, Fridge, Dish Washer, Exhaust and Chimney. Plan for all the gadgets, so that you don’t keep pulling out wires every time you want to use some gadget. (e) Wiring for the ACs has to be done before plastering of the walls. Have the wiring & conducting, and later the sealing, done by the AC company. The water outlet pipe from the Split ACs can be connected to your waste water outlet, but make sure it is not connected to the sewage pipe - or else you will get a foul smell each time you switch on the AC. It is better to keep the power stabilizer outside, and the AC switch inside, the room. (f ) In case you go in for Solar lights, have their wiring done separately - beforehand. (g) Lighting for the house can be either on the ceiling (with or without a false ceiling) or wall hung, or a combination. Most fancy shades today are of Chinese origin. Nothing wrong, except that they all have screw type (big and small both) connectors and you have to cater for those CFL bulbs. (h) While Bhagirath Place is good for your bulk purchase of cables, wires, switches and pipes, go to Lokmanya Bhawan (near Khan market) for shades. There you will get more variety and it is also comparatively cheaper. Sikanderpur in Gurgaon is also a one-stop market for all your construction-related needs. Kitchen: Modular kitchens are not only convenient but space saving too. Within a Modular Kitchen, select as per convenience and cost. The cost can range from a couple of

lakhs to 15-16 lakhs, depending upon the size of your Kitchen, quality of the racks/pullouts and your specific requirements. It is always better to first plan your Kitchen layout - of what you want and where. In your initial market survey, have a look at the types and sizes of racks, pullouts and drawers. If budget is a constraint, it is better to have a pantry cupboard than a tall cabinet - the difference in cost can be 5 to 6 times. Similarly, the drawers that you need to open less frequently can be wooden, with channels; you may not require steel drawers (most expensive) for keeping utensils. Some of the other points you must keep in mind while planning your Kitchen are: Be selective in (a) choosing between steel pullouts (expensive), wire racks (less expensive, but be careful of the quality) and wooden drawers (which are more economical). A combination can bring down the cost by almost 50%. (b) Keep provision for slim tube lights underneath the top cabinets, to get more ‘working light’. (c) To break the monotony of the look , have a few glass panels, or different coloured panels. (d) Have plenty of electric sockets, or strips, for all your gadgets. You will always fall short of them, and it is better to have some spare – rather than set up ad-hoc arrangements later, which can be a fire risk. (e) Remember that the inbuilt versions of an oven, microwave and dishwasher are more expensive than the normal ‘standalone’ ones. Keep at least a 37 to 38 (f ) inches ‘gap’ for your fridge to fit in. If space permits, have (g) a small movable island in the centre, with one or two stools. (h) Deliberate well before opting for a Hob. They are heavy on gas and expensive, and

Bath Fittings: The choice of bathroom fittings is again very difficult and confusing. Every brand in the market will give you the same design, but with different quality. If you go in for single lever taps/showers, then the diverter has to be fitted inside the wall - which has to be decided earlier. If the shower is big, you may need more pressure in the pipes to get the ‘effect’ - for which you may need to instal a pressure pump. When this does not work during a power failure, there will only be a trickle in the taps. Fancy faucets like flat nozzles will get clogged even with small dirt particles. Normal round taps are the best. All the taps/showers these days have concealed screws, which open with an L-key - and each type will have a different size of the key. Keep

all these keys handy. Showers come with rubber fittings in the sieve, which prevents them from getting clogged/rusted. Concealed cisterns require at least 6 inches of covering and you must cater for this space while laying the WC pipe. Decide beforehand whether you want wall hung or ground WC. The distance of the WC pipe from the wall should be around 12 inches (as you have more choice in this type than in the 4 in or 9 in.). Wash basins are either table top (placed on top of the marble), under the counter (placed below the marble), stand alone with their own stems, or Vanity types (which are readymade - with the basin, cabinet/drawers, mirror and/or shelf, and give a very fancy look). Before you go in for a Vanity type, measure the space available, as they come in all sizes and shapes. A glass cabin for the Bath is advisable, as it keeps the shower water confined within its space. Ensure that the brackets and their screws are of good quality steel, or else they start rusting from day one!u

Bathrooms - Vanity & Glass Cabins

A table-top Wash Basin


20 { Meenu Thakur Sankalp }


n a rainy night, tucked into a cosy blanket and cuddling her teddy bear, little Priya waited eagerly, as always, to listen to Granny’s bedtime story – her free ticket to fantasyland. “What story do you want to hear today?” asked Granny. Priya had just been introduced to the music of the popular Swedish pop group ABBA, and loved their record-breaking single, ‘The Dancing Queen’. “Tell me a story about a dancing queen, Nani ma”, said Priya. Granny lowered her spectacles, waved her magical wrinkled fingers in front of Priya and came up with a story seemingly woven from thin air. Granny began, “Long ago, King Madhava was a benevolent ruler of the Kadaldweepa Island kingdom. The splendour of the Kingdom, unrivalled in culture and warfare, reached its zenith under his rule. However, the love affair between King Madhava’s cowardly, pusillanimous son and heirapparent Satyendra, with a courtesan Zeenat Afareen - a danseuse of Persian origin threatened the legacy of the empire. As Prince Satyendra was not interested in warfare and aloof from administration, there were murmurs in the Court about an inevitable decline of the Island Kingdom. The aged King Madhava, blinded by fatherly love, was oblivious to these signs; he did not foresee the turbulence creat-

The Dancing Queen ed by an heir-apparent drowning himself in the company of Court singers and dancers. There was also an increasingly restive neighbour, Suvarnadweepa, readying for an attack. What happened, Nani ma?” Priya asked restlessly. Granny stroked Priya’s curly hair and proceeded, “As ordained by misfortune, the danseuse, who had been gifted as a slave (to King Madhava) by the Shah of Persia, was presented at Court. She glanced at the Prince, who had already become besotted by her charming demeanour, as she eased into the rhythm of the accompanying Boshaghabak and the Chaghanek.” “What are they?” asked Priya. “Musical instruments used by Persian dancers”, replied Granny. She continued, “The Danseuse’s melodious singing and dance floored the Prince and he professed his love for the her in public. The King, bewildered by his son’s audacity in the presence of courtiers, ordered Zeenat Afareen to be exiled to far away Kamarupa - brushing aside the wailing Prince Satyendra. When Madhava was breathing his last, he summoned his courtiers and ordered them to faithfully serve his successor - his son. However, soon after his coronation, Satyendra banished the courtiers and ap-

{ Krishan Kalra }


B on V ivant

21-27 March 2014

n 2004, when we moved from New Delhi to the Millenium City, my first priority was to find out a decent place for my addiction - the daily morning walk. Luckily I was able to locate the beautiful, verdant Leisure Valley in Sector 29 – one round exactly 1 km - and drove to this oasis every morning for over an year. In due course the Gurgaon traffic increased and the driving time each way – which was initially about seven minutes – increased to more than 15; also, some self-appointed ‘contractor’ started demanding Rs 20 as parking fee. Even the 1 km periphery was reduced to some 700 metres, due to encroachments by various HUDA ‘sanctioned’ projects. As a result, my search started again and I found this nice small park very close to our house in DLF Phase II. The walking track here is only 200 metres, but the lovely old trees, flowers, regularly trimmed bushes and grass more than make up for the ‘boredom’ of endless rounds. With some help from the local RWA, our Park became a beautiful meeting ground for the residents (mainly our

pointed musicians and dancers to high posts, as the Court became a refuge for entertainment. He ordered that Zeenat Afareen be brought back to the Kingdom with respect. Though widowed, and with three children, Zeenat was anointed the Queen and ordered to dance

at the Court. A gifted and accomplished danseuse, Zeenat presented a new Persian Dance composition every day, as the Court echoed with the throes of music and dance. The couple together romped into markets and taverns, swamped the Court with entertainers and visited faqirs and sheikhs in prayer - transforming Kadaldweepa from a prosperous kingdom to a haven of entertainment. This caused deep resentment among the nobility, who approached the neighbouring Suvarnadweepa ruler, the cruel Gajendra, for deliverance.” Granny paused, while Priya’s anxiety began to grow. Granny continued, “One day, while they were returning from the shrine of a sheikh, Satyendra and Zeenat were ambushed by the soldiers of Gajendra. Zeenat bravely wielded her sword, killing many enemy soldiers and then escaped into the jungle carrying the King with her on horseback. With the enemy in hot pursuit, the royal couple travelled mainly by night, disguised as traders, along with a lone surviving bodyguard. They reached the Kingdom’s capital after many days. But they were betrayed by the bodyguard and ‘handed over’ to Gajendra - who ordered that Satyendra be blinded. Zeenat implored that she be allowed to wear her traditional

Good Riddance neighbours) of all ages. Trouble started about five years ago, when a group of Holi enthusiasts managed to get permission from DLF to conduct their Holi Milan in the Park. Although the ‘permission’ was for a quiet get together, with a little bit of harmless gulal and some eats, and strictly no litter or damage to the Park, in practice it became a big nuisance. Their paraphernalia – tables, chairs, huge spiked bamboos for erecting shamianas, dance-floor boards, monstrous 2,000 decibel loud speakers et al – would start arriving a day or two earlier. This would be followed by the halwais’ brigade, with their huge bhattis and burners, tubs, karhais, degchis, groceries to feed five hundred hungry revellers, ice blocks, soft drink crates and – I suspect – some bhaang too. The sponsors – mostly real estate developers - poured in enough money for the annual ritual to expand beyond all limits of decency. For 4 to 5 days the Park would become out of bounds for kids and grown-ups alike.

Hooligans would throw filthy colours on every one and remnants of the food and ‘crockery’ would lie around stinking to high heaven (stray dogs had a field day). Trucks from the tent wallah would drove in wantonly, ruining the grass - which would take the next four months to grow back to ‘shape’. I was at my wits’ end, having to do my walking on the roads. We wrote several emails to DLF, to shift the tamasha to the Community Centre or, at least, rotate it to other parks - but no one heard us for years. Then, this year, the kind RWA Chief suggested that if we gave him a written appeal, he would try to take up our case. Promptly one neighbour printed out a fervent plea ‘to save our beloved Park from vandals’, even got it signed from 9 friends and sent it to me. That evening I made it a mission to go visit various houses, and got 23 more signatures. I guess I could’ve got many more distraught residents to sign, but for the fact that the ‘petition’ had to be submitted the same night lest the Holi brigade beat us to it and

Persian dance costume for her lover’s last gaze; she also requested that she be imprisoned with him for life - a wish that was promptly granted. However, sensing a possible rebellion, Gajendra soon ordered that the blind King Satyendra and his consort Zeenat Afareen be poisoned. Thus ended the love story of a king and his beloved danseuse queen.” With tears in her eyes, Priya asked Granny, “Do all love stories have such tragic endings?” Granny smiled and replied, “No, my child. Only our bodies perish, the soul is always eternal. Their love will remain immortal.” As Priya closed her eyes, Granny softly concluded, “Where two purple lilies sway over two moss-wrapped tombs nestled together in swampy vegetation alongside a clear stream, somewhere in the countryside, is where a danseuse queen lies buried in union with her lover.” Just as Granny completed her tale, she could see little Priya slip deep into slumber; she tucked her grandchild’s blanket firmly in place and put off the lights. Years later, as Priya, a beautiful woman and an accomplished danseuse, tucked herself into a quilt on a foggy winter’s night, she looked up – as was her habit now - to the ceiling and sighed. Closing her eyes she drifted to forced sleep - sans story, sans fantasy and sadly sans Granny.u The writer is a renowned Kuchipudi Danseuse and Choreographer

get their ‘permission’ first. There were hilarious moments when one of the ladies, whom I had stopped in the Park with the request to sign, told me “arre uncle ji aap Holi ke liye yeh kar rahe hain, koi problem nahin, mere husband hi to NASSCOM ke President hain, wohi to sab intezaam karte hain, ghar aa jao aap, sab kaam ho jayega”. I took the paper back from her and ran. Thank God she was not aware of my objective! Sure enough, the Holi brigade was at the DLF Office the next morning; they were told about the ‘petition’ and refused ‘permission’, in view of the strong objection by the residents. This tough lot didn’t want to give up. They started door to door rounds, trying to make people change their minds. Somehow I faced the brunt of it…and was also offered the bait of ‘cutting the ribbon’ at the international (some foreign guests too) Event! Thankfully most of the signatories stuck to their guns and DLF did not oblige our friends. What a pleasure it was on Holi morning – to walk in the Park and to rejoice in the feeling that this year there would be no mortal damage to the little space that we all love.u

G lobal

21-27 March 2014

Searching the Sea from Space { Bangkok/ DPA }

{ Paris/ DPA }


he European Space Agency (ESA) plans to launch a space-based observatory by 2024 to search for planets outside our solar system that could be hospitable to life. The Mission is called PLATO, which stands for “PLAanetary Transits and Oscillations (of stars). “PLATO will discover Earth-like planets that have the pre-requisites necessary for life,” predicted Laurent Gizon, Co-Director of the Max Planck Institute for

‘Tiger’ chases away leopard - Mumbai { New Delhi/ DPA }


ays after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared off the radar, and with the search area widening, attention is focusing on how satellites can help scan large areas of the sea. China was the first to say that it had reconfigured 10 satellites to search for the missing plane. Vietnam has used a satellite to survey the seas around Tho Chu Island, one of the possible crash areas. The sensors on the Chinese satellites include highresolution optical telescopes, infrared cameras and microwave detectors, according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. One of the highestresolution commercial satellites, the GeoEye-1, used by Google for its Maps’ service, has a resolution of around half a metre. However, ocean waves can make detection from space difficult. “If the object is non-metallic, such as plastic, it would be very difficult



to spot with a radar,” said Professor Xie Tao at the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology. Military satellites, with more sophisticated equipment, have also been involved in the search. Analyzing the satellite images is another challenge. US satellite company DigitalGlobe has uploaded satellite images of over 3,200 square kilometres of the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand to its crowdsourcing website Tomnod. It asks users to scan the images and tag anything that could be wreckage, a life raft or oil. Some, however,

have questioned whether the satellite search effort has come too late. Dr Chi Tianhe, a satellite imaging researcher who took part in the Chinese search, told the South China Morning Post that a lack of staff for monitoring data around the clock and poor co-ordination with international agencies, had reduced the chances of success. In the days since the Plane went missing, any debris is likely to have floated far from the crash site, experts say - also meaning that the most likely period for finding something from MH370 may have passed.u

stray dog chased away an adult leopard that had wandered into a residential area in Mumbai from a wildlife park nearby. Footage captured by surveillance cameras shows the big cat sidling into the apartment premises in the Goregaon area and approaching a couple of stray dogs in the parking lot. The canines didn’t scamper to safety. And one of them, Rocky, barked and managed to chase away the ferocious feline. The incident took place early on February 26 and Rocky has become a hero for the residents. They are calling it ‘Mumbai’s chase of the year’. They said the brave dog deserves a new name - Tiger. “When the leopard entered our building, it was Rocky who chased it out, not only saving his life but that of another dog lying next to him,” resident Rajan Mayekar was quoted as saying. “Running a leopard out of a building is a big task for a dog, and from today we have decided to call him Tiger - because only a tiger can chase away a leopard,” he added. Residents said the leopard could have strayed from the nearby Sanjay Gandhi National Park. This is the second recent instance of a leopard wandering into a city and sparking panic. In the last week of February, another big cat entered an army hospital, terrifying the patients, before it strayed into the northern city of Meerut, prompting the closure of markets and schools. Rampant deforestation around Indian cities is forcing wild animals to come out of their natural habitats. Similar incidents have been reported from other states, pointing to a growing conflict for space. u

Looking for Exoplanets Solar System Research (MPS) in Goettingen, Germany. An MPS data centre will evaluate the PLATO data. Equipped with 34 small telescopes and cameras, PLATO will operate about 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, monitoring as many as a million nearby stars. It will be launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket from ESA’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, for an initial six-year Mission. To discover the ‘exoplanets’,

PLATO will look for tiny, regular dips in stars’ brightness as orbiting planets transit in front of them. It will also investigate seismic activity in any stars found to have planets, enabling a determination of the stars’ mass, radius and age. Coupled with ground-based radial velocity observations - the backand-forth movements of stars relative to Earth as they ‘wobble’ under the gravitational pull of an orbiting planet - calculations

will be made of the planets’ mass and radius, and therefore density – thereby providing an indication of their composition. “PLATO’s discoveries will help us to compare the makeup of our solar system with that of other planetary systems,” said Alvaro Gimenez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration. Heike Rauer, Head of the Department, Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres, at the DLR’s Institute of Planetary

Research, said, “We’ll find planets that orbit their Sun-like star in the habitable zone, where conditions are suitable for life - planets that may have liquid water on their surface and on which development of life as we know it could therefore be possible.” Part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-25 Programme, PLATO follows the ESA mission CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits) and NASA mission Kepler, which had discovered hundreds of exoplanets and came to an end in the summer of 2013. u

www: Happy 25th Anniversary { Andy Goldberg/ San Francisco/ DPA }


he world wide web marked the 25th Anniversary of its ‘invention’ with a new campaign for a ‘free, open and truly global Internet’. ‘The Web We Want‘ campaign was launched by the World Wide Web Foundation, established by British scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee. It was he who, on March 12, 1989, filed the first proposal for what would later be named the world wide web. The campaign comes amid new revelations of government surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA). The latest documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden portrayed an NSA slide from a programme called

Quantumbot. The surveillance scheme piggy-backed on ‘botnets’ that infect computers with malware to implant the NSA’s own spying tools. The slide described the programme as ‘highly successful’ and said that some 140,000 computers had been ‘co-opted’ into the programme since August 2007. Another programme revealed that the NSA would masquerade as a Facebook server and use the social media site to infect targeted computers. The reports were published by a web site called The Intercept, which was set up by Glenn Greenwald, the privacy journalist who broke Snowden’s story. ‘The Web We Want’ campaign calls for an Internet users’ Bill of Rights. “The Web enables everyone on the Planet

to participate in a free flow of knowledge, ideas, collaboration and creativity,” the Campaign statement reads. “But now the actions of some companies and governments threaten our fundamental freedoms on the Web.” Berners-Lee also called for action and protest against surveillance and the adoption of a ‘Magna Carta’ for the world wide web. “Are we going to just continue on the road and allow the governments to do more and more control - more and more surveillance?” he asked on BBC. u


There’s no business like YouTube Show Business Armin Weigel

{ Georg Etscheit/ Regensburg, Germany/ DPA }


alentina Lisitsa, a Ukraine-born Pianist, has barely slept, but she is just hours away from performing a murderous Concert – playing the music of Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninov and Beethoven. Her posters describe the US-based musician as the ‘First YouTube Star in Classical Music’. She is in Germany to build a Fan base. Her story is an Internet-age Fairy Tale. It goes something like this: a talented Pianist is wasting away somewhere in the backwoods of America, but does not lose faith in herself and her Art. She takes the initiative of posting her video on the Internet – of the famous Etude 39 Nr. 6 of Sergei Rachmaninov, a highlight of her repertoire. The recording, in ‘pretty lousy quality’, goes down well with the Internet audience. The number of clicks keeps rising and new videos, showing her at practice or in concert, As the first YouTube follow.
 Pianist, Lisitsa, along with her husband - who is also a Pianist - establishes a label. It succeeds at a time when the Classical Music audience is ageing and when orchestras, opera houses and concert agents are wringing their hands trying to find a way to get younger people interested in Classical Music. “You have to present a good story,” explains Lisitsa, now in her early 40s. “It sounds like a gimmick, but it works.”
The breakthrough came in 2012, when Lisitsa played before an audience of 8,000 in the august Royal Albert Hall in London. The

Valentina Lisitsa, the Ukraine-born, US-based Pianist, rehearses on a Concert Grand in the Theatre at Regensburg University, Germany. She won world fame with YouTube videos of her performances. evening before, she let the audience, unprecedently, vote online to select her Concert Programme. Now the label, Deca, has taken Lisitsa under its wing, and live recordings from the London Concert are being offered on CD and DVD. Her YouTube performance has by now logged more than 60 million clicks and 120,000 subscribers. Lisitsa regularly communicates with her followers via Facebook. And, ever the proud mother, she posts a video of her eightyear-old son, who is back home with his father in their house in North Carolina. Michael Schoene, Marketing Director of the Munich concert agency, MuenchenMusik, calls Lisitsa an interesting phenomenon. On the Internet she is better-known than such superstars as Lang Lang or Anna Netrebko.
“Mrs. Lisitsa very early on posted

Valentina Lisitsa shows a smartphone playing one of her videos. some of the most popular works of Piano Literature on the Internet and, via search engines, thereby quickly reached a high number of clicks,” he says. But, he notes, her popularity on the World Wide Web has not yet adequately translated into Concert ticket sales in ‘Old’ Europe, where audiences expect top-flight musicians to develop their careers the hard way - with music directors and critics as arbiters of success. “Perhaps

Obama engages in deadpan { Washington/ DPA }


G lobal

21-27 March 2014

resident Barack Obama showed a mastery of sardonic humour as the guest of an overtly rude US Comedian, who joked about everything - from Obama being the last Black President to his building a Presidential library in his ‘home country’ of Kenya. The biting interview, with Zach Galifianakis, was posted on the Internet. Zach is a star of three Hangover movies and is wildly popular among the under-30 crowd with his show, Between Two Ferns. Zach wanted to know what it’s like to be the last Black President, and Obama threw it right back at him: “Seriously? What’s it like to be the last time you ever talk to a President?” Next question: “Does it ‘stink’ that Obama can’t run for a third time as President? Obama retorted: “If I ran a third time it would be sort of like doing a third Hangover movie. It

didn’t really work out very well, did it?” When the talk came to ‘pardoning turkeys’, as the US President does every Thanksgiving, Obama asked his well-fed host: “Was that depressing to you to see one turkey taken out of circulation - a turkey you couldn’t eat?” Jokes aside, Zach at the end gave Obama a platform to plug his message of healthcare reform to the Comedian’s young followers. Zach then rolled up his sleeve and showed Obama his arm, which the President declared was “one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen.” The Comedian declared they were ‘”spider bites”. When the two shook hands at the farewell, sitting between the two ferns on the set, Obama hesitated to give his hand. Zach has earlier roasted a series of celebrities - from Justin Bieber to Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Anniston. But this was his first - and possibly last President. u

this is a case of two different target groups,” Schoene adds. Lisitsa began learning Piano at the Lysenko Music School for highly-talented children in her hometown, and then graduated to the Ukraine’s Music Conservatory, where she met her husband. Together the couple won a prestigious competition for Piano Duets, and in 1992 emigrated to the United States. There they attempted to launch a joint career. “But we didn’t get anywhere,” Lisitsa says about those times. “There are beautiful works written for two pianos, but nobody wants to hear them. And besides, people want entertainment. That’s something we couldn’t offer.” Now she has learnt the ‘marketing’ ropes. Her London Concert was even advertised with the slogan, “Known as the Justin Bieber of Classical Music.” Music critics acknowledge that she has a stupendous technique, but say that there is a certain lack of personality in some of her interpretations. Lisitsa’s trademark is the audience voting on her Concert Programme. At her recent appearance in Regensburg people were given a choice of Schubert songs as arranged by Liszt, or works purely by Beethoven or Liszt. The voting was by a show of hands in the auditorium - just before the Concert was to start.
Things didn’t go smoothly - there appeared to be no clearcut choice when the hands went up in the auditorium, even after several rounds of voting. So Lisitsa broke off the voting and in an ad-hoc fashion announced a surprise potpourri from all three options. “I’m sure it will be a wonderful evening,” she said.u

Princess Diana gave Royal Phone Book to Tabloid { London/ DPA }


he late Princess Diana gave a phone book containing Royal contact details to the former ‘Royal Editor’ of the News of the World tabloid, a London court recently heard. Clive Goodman, who is accused of two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, said the Princess had given him the book in 1992, and that she was looking for an ‘ally’ to ‘take on’ her estranged husband Prince Charles. “She was going through a very, very difficult time,” the 56-year-old told the court. “She told me she wanted me to see the scale of her husband’s staff and household, compared with others. “She felt she was being swamped by people close to his household. She was looking for an ally to show him that there were forces that would rage against him,” he continued. Goodman is one of seven defendants on trial over allegations relating to the hacking of phones belonging to celebrities, politicians and crime victims by News of the World journalists. He denies the charges against him. Princess Diana divorced Charles in 1996 and died in a car crash in Paris a year later.u 

Plan to charge pregnant boozers draws flak { Sydney/ DPA }


roposed legislation that would allow Police in Australia’s Northern Territory to charge women who have drunk excessive amounts of alcohol during pregnancy, was criticised by an academic expert as ‘scapegoating’ indigenous people. Aboriginal Health expert Janet Hammill said a better plan to tackle high levels of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) would be put up health warnings where people buy alcohol. Indigenous people make up a third of the Territory’s population.”If women are drinking during pregnancy, there’s something going on in their lives,” the Queensland University researcher said. “Often what we see is that they’re second and third generation FASD sufferers themselves.” FASD shows up in abnormal physical features, low intelligence and behavioural problems. John Elferink, the Territory’s Attorney General, said that he was looking at draft legislation to “either prosecute or alternately restrain (those) engaging in conduct that harms their unborn children.” If the legislation gets on the Statute book, it would be the first in the world.u

Skip the Clubs and go Online { Berlin/ DPA }


ant to know what music is popular, but don’t want to deal with the fuss of hitting the clubs every night? A group of DJs and music experts from Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Paris have got together to regularly update their 22 favourite songs from a variety of genres, on, an English-language site. Listening to the music is free. A mouse click accesses more detailed information about many of the artists. There’s also a blog full of movie previews and popular music videos. u

G lobal

21-27 March 2014

{ Silvia Ayuso/Washington / DPA }


hroughout the Spanishspeaking world, the very word ‘tapas’ starts the mouth salivating. Designer and Architect Juli Capella says that ‘tapas’ ought to be translated as ‘great fast food’, as distinct from ‘bad fast food’ like hamburgers and hot dogs - with their high calorie counts and too much saturated fat. ‘Tapas’ are a kind of hors d’oeuvres: cold cuts and cheeses placed on top of small slices of bread. Capella converted this idea into the slogan for the Food Exhibition - Tapas: Spanish Design For Food - that has travelled internationally and recently made a stop at Washington DC. It is running at the former residence of the Ambassador of Spain until March 23 and also at the Korean Foundation in Seoul. “In earlier times, meals were ceremonies, and would last a long time. But over time an almost opposite, though interesting, concept - that of Fast Food - was introduced,” he explained. However, Fast Food never caught on in Spain, in contrast to the way it became a fad in other countries. “Why? Because we already have an alternative to Fast Food, and that is ‘tapas - or tapeo’. It literally means the ‘fast, good’,” he said. “’Tapas’ do not need to be prepared; they have already been prepared. You do not even have to ask for them; all you have to do is take them and eat whatever you want. You do not have to ask for a big hamburger, which you are going to have to eat in its entirety. Instead you choose little portions, combine them with wine…and when you finish, you just leave,” he said. ’Tapas’ are a

‘food to be shared. 
 “The concept of ‘tapas’ goes beyond the aesthetic and is part of the ‘Spanish way of life’ or ‘Spanish way of eating’. It is healthier and more fun,” he added. The Tapas Exhibition, which has also been to Japan, includes skewered meat and slices of ham on bread. Famous Spanish Chefs have contributed - among them Ferran Adria and Jose Andres in the United States. Capella said that if the title of the Exhibition had referred only to Spanish design, nobody would have come to see it. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the over 200 objects that make up the Show are those that go beyond the obvious. The ‘great revolution’ in Spanish gastronomy was in ‘breaking the dichotomy between the dish and the food’, said Capella. “Now creativity in the kitchen is not only in the hands of the Chef, but also in the hands of the Designer.”
Inspired by Adria and internationally famed restaurants such as El Celler de Can Roca, Designers and Chefs work together to make dishes in which the food and the presentation are equally important. The Exhibition displays ‘containers’, as Capella calls them, which have magical shapes and are made from unlikely materials such as the ‘PlatDePa’ - an aluminium plate in the shape of a slice of bread, to offer, elements traditionally served on a slice of bread’. Another one is the ‘PlatViu’ (Live Dish), a dish used by the El Celler de Can Roca Restaurant for one of its ‘performing desserts’. The ‘dish’ in reality is a silicone platter in the shape of, and almost achieving the texture of, a mass of fermenting bread

Acción Cultural Española

Spain’s ‘Great Fast-Food’

A poster for 'Tapas: Spanish Design For Food' - a travelling Exhibition. With more than 200 objects, videos, photos and installations, the Show explores the relationship between design and food in Spanish cuisine.

The Oxymoron Maker, an ice-cream-sandwich maker designed by Andreu Carulla for the Roca brothers' Rocambolesc Restaurant. dough. The Exhibition also contains several classic objects of Spanish cooking, which Spaniards touring the Show can recall having been used by their grandmothers - like porous clay water jugs, wine bottles and wineskins. 
 Some are in

A modern wine glass with a spout: Design by Martin Azua and Gerard Moline.

their traditional forms, others made in modern ways with daring designs. For example, there are wine bottles that are really Tetra Brik packages and wineskins that athletes can use to keep their isotonic beverages cool while training.

Property ‘Badverts’ { Berlin / DPA }



ome owners and estate agents trying to sell houses usually try to show the properties in the best possible light; but there are exceptions…that prove their own rule. Some advertisements are so terrible that they're almost funny. Check out . Here can be found, for example, a toilet installed between two kitchen units, and houses that even lack walls. Every couple of days a new photo is added - with some commentary. As with many other blogs, users can submit their own favourites. u

“This Exhibition explains that there is craftsmanship in Spain; and it reveals some Spanish ‘inventions’ that many people are not aware of - like the blender, the orange squeezer and the tin-can opener,” Capella said.u


21-27 March 2014


Sheetla Mata Mandir

Friday gurgaon 21 27 march, 2014 the change you want to see

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you