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26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Vol. 2 No. 10  Pages 24  ` 7

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

The Better Half Worse Off { Shilpy Arora/ FG }

{Inside} On Grand Education Road


his GT Road suburb could emerge as a ‘mini-Gurgaon’, with an Education thrust. ...Pg 13

Just Dumped


f sewage was not bad enough, we have the ‘malba’ to add to our stink. There is no concrete pick-collecttransport-dispose plan. It is strewn all over.

...Pg 14



igh fashion is now viewed as a form of aesthetic-cultural expression – as Art. The recently held Fashion Tour, had some of India’s finest couturiers also displaying their designs on Bollywood Divas – who added some glam quotient. ...Pg 18

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Curtailing right to free mobility

For Bincy Thomas, an IT-professional and a mother of a nineyear-old daughter, safety is of utmost importance. “Safety is a concern at all levels — from whether my daughter reaches school safely, whether my domestic help is reliable, or whether I should send my daughter to her friend’s birthday party in the neighbourhood. I have no choice but to take precautionary measures, and put restrictions on the mobility of my daughter,” says Bincy. Clearly there would be no

{ Shilpy Arora/ FG }


nce famous for its green spaces, the City has now turned into a concrete jungle. High rise buildings and space restrictions have taken away the charm of gardens, which once adorned almost every home. It, however, has not discouraged a few gardening enthusiasts, who display their love for greens by turning their terraces and small spaces in the backyard into beautiful gardens. Prof. Sahni (from Delhi) is probably the first green enthusiast of the City. She started off with the concept some 30 years ago. Prof. Sahni says, “I wanted to cool my terrace, as it used to increase the temperature in the house. Hence I shifted some of my plant pots to the terrace. This helped, so I decided to continue with the concept.” Prof. Sahni has some rare varieties of vegetables in her garden – such as black carrot, red lettuce, and Thai ginger. The terrace garden of Raksha Bhutt, on the other hand, has been declared by the Gurgaon chapter of

Is Kung Fu a solution?

Renuka also condemns the view that training in self-defence makes women less vulnerable to crime. Richa Dubey, who initiated ‘Gurgaon Girlcott’, seconds her view and recounts a personal incident – “During a trip to Mussoorie I was molested by a group of boys on the street. Since I was familiar with self-defence techniques, I was quite confident that I could fight back. However, it turned out to be an ugly incident, as one of them punched me on my back and other two dragged me on the road.” Contd on p 7 

Edible Gardens Asha Pandey


he Millennium City seems different from the rest of the country when it comes to women’s safety. Here, if a woman is molested in public, it no longer raises eyebrows. If a woman is raped, the police comes up with ‘quick-fixes’. Everybody seems to have an advisory for women's safety, but no solution.  In the month of March, when the report of a brutal gang-rape of a pub employee by six men came to light, the Gurgaon Police outraged civil society by just proposing a blanket curfew on the late working of women. The police issued the statement without prior permission from the Department of Labour. Later, they faced criticism from various NGOs and women's rights groups. Now the police, as well as society, seem to advocate various self-protection measures; there is no sight of a clear, effective solution for the safety of women. It is almost an admittance that women will always be subjected to sexual crimes – will never be safe. And nobody seems to be talking to the women – the actual or potential victims. Friday Gurgaon talks to the women in the City, to understand their concerns about safety, and their suggestions on how to control this menace.

such concern for a son. Smita Agarwal, who moved from Pune to the City some 6 years ago, feels the same. Her 18-year-old daughter misses the nightlife of Pune, as now she is not allowed to step out of home after 8 pm. “Stepping out after dark in the City is unthinkable. This City is not safe. My daughter’s friend was accosted in broad daylight in a busy area like IFFCO Chowk,” says Smita. She feels that ultimately safety lies in the hands of a woman. “We need to be cautious and avoid anything that might earn us grief and regret,” she believes. Even after becoming an adult, a woman feels unsafe, and cannot live the life she wants. Mothers of young women might agree with Smita, but just curtailing the movement of women at night will not stop heinous crimes. “First of all, rapes don’t necessarily occur after 8 pm. Secondly, restricting the freedom of women is anticonstitutional. Women have a right to equality in all forms – just like men. It is not only illegal, but also, in a way, shows the incompetence of our authorities,” says a Delhi-based lawyer, Renuka John.

All India Kitchen Garden Association (AIKGA) as the garden with the most unusual variety of vegetables. Currently, AIKGA has more than 100 members – all of whom have cultivated full-fledged

kitchen gardens at their homes. Bhutt was inspired by a flower and vegetable show at Hauz Khas village five years ago. She has grown a brinjal the size of a coconut, and a pumpkin that weighs over 20 kg – making

it to the Limca Book of Records. “I bought six unusual varieties of vegetable saplings from the show. However, only two could survive. Contd on p 20 


26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Coming Up

WORKSHOP  NIGHTLIFE  EXHIBITION  MUSIC  ART  DANCE Masterchef Vijaylaxmi. Besides an interaction with an organic food expert, participants will get to learn 5 organic recipes. For Registration, Call: 9911750664

Dance Brevet 'Chalo Agra Chalen' @Millennium Plaza, Sushant Lok Date: October 27 to 28 Time: 4:00 pm


eam T3 is back with the last set of Brevets of the season. The 400K (27/10/2012) Flag Off Window opens at 16:00 pm, and has to be completed by 19:30 pm the next day (27.5 hrs). The 200K (28/10/2012) Flag Off Window opens at 6:00 am, and has to be finished by 19:30 pm on the same day (13.5 hrs). Brevets are long distance endurance self-supported cycling rides. They are not races, so there aren’t any prizes for reaching first. Contact: Chiro – 9810341661, Manas – 9810609616, Shubho – 9811828342


Loving Relationships Workshop @ A-23/21 DLF City Phase – 1 Date: October 27 Time: 10 am to 1:00 pm

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



solo show on the universal subject of lying! This comedy gives you hints, tips and tricks to be a successful liar – by lying motivator Christopher Daruwalla. Contact: 9810059550, 2715000


The Shell Seekers @Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 28 Time: 4:00 pm


he Exhibition displays Stylish Classics – a fresh range of jewellery for women celebrating life. The designs are chic and contemporary, and can be worn with both traditional and western wear. Contact: 9560094478, 4888444

Lying But Honestly @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: November 1 Time: 7:00 pm



Organic Cooking @ Earth Italian Lounge, Sector 15 Date: October 27 Time: 2:00 pm n initiative by Anisa Media Ventures, this Workshop offers a 2 hour session on organic cooking by

Rasvihar Jewellery Exhibition @ Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 27B, B-Block, Sector-27, Sushant Lok Phase 1 Date: October 26 to 27 Time: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Mono Act

Workshop on loving relationships, based on the philosophy of Louise Hay. The Workshop offers techniques on the awareness of relationships, and the challenges of dealing with them. Contact: 0911303803




neo-classical Bharatnatyam and contemporary recital by Seshadri Iyengar, disciple of Padmini Ravi.

screen adaptation of Rosamunde Pilcher’s bestselling 1988 novel of the same name. This engaging drama presents some thoughtprovoking approaches to life – mothering, the art of happiness, and the redemptive power of love.

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012


Coming Up

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014 VOL.–2 No.–10  26 Oct-1 Nov 2012


Atul Sobti

Sr. Correspondent: Abhishek Behl Correspondents:

Maninder Dabas

Sr. Photographers: Prakhar Pandey Jit Kumar Sr. Sub Editors:

Anita Bagchi Shilpy Arora

Sr. Designer:

Amit Singh


Virender Kumar

Sr. Circulation Execs.: Himanshu Vats Syed Mohd Komail Circulation Execs.:


Karva Chauth Carnival @ Rendezvous, J Block, South City 1 Date: October 31 Time: 10:30 am


njoy an evening of unadulterated Arabic music with a group of 10 performers from Rabat, Morocco, who have preserved the artistic heritage of Andalusian music. The musicians perform traditional songs and chants – using Arabic poems and traditional instruments. Contact: 9910185042, 65657265


Black Slade Live @ Club Rhino, South Point Mall, Sector 53 Date: October 26 Time: 9:00 pm

Diwali Mela

@ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 26 to 28 Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm


isit Gurgaon's biggest shopping extravaganza. Besides plenty of shopping, on offer at this 2-day Mela is a Ram Lila presentation by

Charukala Arts Academy, a Painting Competition for children, creative Workshops, and an evening of Bollywood songs. Enjoy this pre-Diwali bash with your family and friends.

If you are not getting FG copies regularly

Call - 9910518785

Pankaj Yadav Sunil Yadav Manish Yadav

Accts. & Admin Mgr: Deba Datta Pati Head – Sales & Marketing:

Ankit Srivastava

Asst. Manager Media Marketing: Bhagwat Kaushik Sr. Exec Media Marketing:

Vikalp Panwar

Ad Sales Exec :

Amit Agarwal

Consulting Art Editor: Qazi M. Raghib Editorial Office 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001, Haryana Phones: +91 124 421 9092/93 Emails:


elebrate Karva Chauth with your friends at this pre-Karva Chauth Carnival. Hear the story of Karva Chauth by Master story teller Simi Srivastava (Founder of Kathashala). Also on offer are mouth watering delicacies, along with traditional music and dance, mehndi and bangles – a full day of fun and festivities. Contact: 9818136085 or 8860649685


The Moroccon Symphony @ Zorba the Budda, Tropical Drive, Mehrauli Gurgaon Road Date: October 31 Time: 8:00 pm

ear up for some head banging action with the Goan band, Black Slade, performing live. The Band’s genre includes rock, pop, jazz, classic rock, and dance music. Contact: 9560700123, 4409501

Original Booking In Gurgaon Special Project for Army / Central Govt. Employees

  Contact: Ms. Saroj – 8800930085 Friday Gurgaon (Weekly) edited, published and printed by Atul Sobti on behalf of Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd. from 213, Tower A, Spazedge, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122018, Haryana. Printed at Indian Express Ltd. Plot No. A8, Sector 7, Gautam Budh Nagar, NOIDA – 201301, Uttar Pradesh The views expressed in the opinion pieces and/or the columns are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Friday Gurgaon or Arap Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd.

FG Invites Citizens n Are you interested and concerned

“from the outside in” At MOVA1 studio 42, Ashoka Crescent, DLF Phase-1, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon Date : 22nd Oct – 20th Nov Time – 11AM – 6 PM

If yes, write to us at, with a brief background of yourself, with contact number(s). 2–8 March 2012

Vol. 1 No. 28  Pages 24


howcasing the latest works from 3 leading design studios – SOTODECOR, HEIRLOOMS & MOVA1 – that explore nature both in its delicate details and magnificent strengths. Bringing you the works of furnitures, lights & home interiors.



RNI No. HARENG/2011/39

For The Other Half


{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


It lives in two urgaon is a paradox. the Naunequal halves, whereinthe Great as tional Highway-8 acts Wall. The core Divide – like the Berlin the new subbut of the City is rotting; – with malls, gated urbs shine like stars and clubs setting colonies, golf courses never before seen a standard of life




he third in our astrology series – featuring Libra, Scorpio and Saggitarius.

...Pg 16

Tantric Art


e feature

Shobha Broota, a 68year old ‘young’ and energetic artist.

...Pg 17

Master Recipe

Prakhar PaNdey


about civic and social happenings and issues around you? n Are you motivated to do something positive for society? n Are you interested to also write, and express what you see, hear, feel?

in India. forces that It is this flux of extreme balance – the is threatening to unraveland helpful for a balance that is natural and for civiliwith; great cities to evolve attain glory. sations to develop and urban core, the Gurgaon’s rotting within the City, concretised villages hinterland that and the vast rural is under once comprised Guru-gram, – under and 210 Panchayats threat of being submerged Nagar, Manesar); Millennium a of the new identity that cover 291 villages. a week with in ‘New GurgaFriday Gurgaon spent City, with its capital Meena, checkthe role of the State on’.  It is here that Deputy Commissioner will is executed – ensure that the forces comes into play; to ing how the State’s that has known all the populace. of development touch in this historic area, since the Commissioner Gurgaon Deputy some form of governance of Being is the point man of Guru Dronacharya. power, P.C Meena, who in the Dis- time capital seat of the State Administration close to Delhi, the by Gurgaon is much has also been influenced trict, concurs that District the District and social developments The itself. City political more than the viz. Gurgaon the includes 3 sub-divisionsPataudi; 5 teh- taking place there. Contd on p 8  ,and (North and South) Pataudi, Farukh Sohna, sils (Gurgaon,

Please Visit Us At en Emergency Servicem Ask Your Newspaper Vendor For Friday Gurgaon. M

asterchef Top 5 Vijaylaxmi shares a Recipe exclusively for FG readers.

...Pg 18

little, for so long, with so We have done so much,do anything with nothing. to we are now qualified

Let’s Be Civil


avan Choudhary, Managing Director of Vygon, speaks on the need for residents to become responsible citizens. ...Pg 21

Regular Features Food Take

...Pg 6

Cinema Listings & Helplines ...Pg 7 eek That Was

{ Hritvick Sen / FG }

service worth its lmost every significant call-in. Whether it salt has a telephone information is food (or liquor) delivery, civic and reservations, services, bookings on cells... there is a line facilities, grievance call in. But when there which people can or a fire – there is an accident, a robbery that people dial is only one type of service Services. in a hurry. Emergency themselves count people Most haven’t had a fortunate that they for they had to ask which in situation who work in these help; but for the people people is helping distraught


100 – Police Emergency main Police


Control Location: The Mini-SecretarRoom (PCR) in Gurgaon’s lines chirping, phone iat. Wireless sets staff they’re set down, ringing as soon as papers – the very rushing about with air hums with activity. who is the Inspector Rishipal, the Operations, says senior in-charge of given day, we receive seriously, “On any a 3,000 calls.” In between 2,500 to from which he can closed glass cubicle he manages the day-tosurvey all activity, PCR. “We have stateday operations of the equipment, and I can of-the-art servers and has one of the safely say that Gurgaon the country.” in st advanced PCRs


26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

R eviews/L istings



A Political Biography { Alka Gurha }


hen an accomplished body builder, a successful movie star, and a famous politician decides to write an autobiography, there is enormous anticipation, hype and hoopla. In ‘Total Recall’, Arnold Schwarzenegger etches an engaging self-portrait, but fails to enthrall his fans, who were looking forward to his ‘tell-all’ book. This 650 page tome is more of a political memoir of achievements than a celebrity autobiography. The narrative is chronological, and so begins with the birth of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a small Austrian town. The son of an austere police chief, Arnold dreamt of moving to America – to become a bodybuilding champion and a movie star. Arnold elucidates his struggles with learning English, and talks about his dreams coming true – when, at the age of twenty-one, he was crowned Mr. Universe. Soon Hollywood offers started pouring in, and thus

TOTAL RECALL: MY UNBELIEVABLY TRUE LIFE STORY Author: Arnold Schwarzenegger Publisher: Simon and Schuster Price: Rs. 699 Genre: Autobiography


THIS WEEK PVR: Ambience Premier Chakravyuh Time: 10.20 am, 1.30 pm, 4.40 pm, 7.50 pm, 10.55 pm Ajab Gazabb Love Time: 12.35 pm, 3.10 pm, 5.45 pm, 8.20 pm, 10.55 pm Rush Time: 10.00 am, 6.00 pm, 10.50 pm Ted Time: 10.50 am, 3.40 pm, 8.30 pm Paranormal Activity 4 Time: 5.30 pm Cloud Atlas

♦ Dussehra is celebrated with gaiety and reverence across Gurgaon. ♦ Gurgaon Citizen Council asks govt for update on EWS housing. After years of handing over large areas to private builders for this purpose, only a very small percentage of the area has been earmarked for EWS. ♦ Rs 173.45 crores has been sanctioned by Haryana, as its share for disbursement of money to MGNREGA beneficiaries this financial year. Gurgaon has been sanctioned Rs 40 lakhs. Hisar has got Rs 64 crores. ♦ The country’s latest milk dairy, from Amul (GCMMF), opens in Dharuhera, with a capacity of 30 lakhs litres per day. ♦ MCG prepares a plan for Parks upkeep by RWAs, and a Sewerage budget. Also, the main roads in ‘old’ city will have dividers, where saplings will be planted. ♦ DHBVN has come out with an attrac-

began the great ‘immigrant saga’ of the famous Terminator hero. Eager to serve the people, Arnold moved to the world of politics, and was Governor of California, from 2003-2011. Arnold is in his element when he chronicles achievements – leading the state through a budget crisis and natural disasters, working across party lines for ensuring a better environment, election reforms, and bipartisan solutions. For those looking for juicy details of his affairs, Arnold prefers not to wash dirty linen in public. The chapters on his relationship with Maria Shriver are poignant and insightful. “Total Recall’ is all about eulogising the achievements of the author, and devoid of any self-examination. The book fails to establish any emotional connect with the reader. It is a striking Polaroid of a young successful immigrant, who realised his dreams – with sheer dedication and will power. u

Time: 10.30 am, 2.00 pm, 7.40 pm, 11.10 pm Student Of The Year Time: 10.30 am, 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.30 pm Argo Time: 1.10 pm PVR: Ambience Gold Chakravyuh Time: 12.50 pm, 7.20 pm Ajab Gazabb Love Time: 10.15 am Cloud Atlas Time: 4.00 pm Paranormal Activity 4 Time: 10.05 am Ted Time: 10.30 pm Student Of The Year Time: 12.15 pm, 3.15 pm,

THE WEEK THAT WAS tive Out of Court Settlement Scheme for customers, valid till January 31, 2013. ♦ DTCP cuts penalty for registration of independent floors – from Rs 1000 per sq ft to Rs 250. ♦ The Haryana Budget preparation exercise, with effect from the current year, will only be through the online budget system. ♦ 23-year-old bartender hangs self. Husband accused in Ruchi Bhuttan murder case is denied bail. ♦ A mentally disturbed woman is found wandering in the Gurgaon court premises, and sent to the Old Age Home in Sector 4. ♦ A man is booked for teasing and molesting a woman. ♦ 7 are booked on the charge of cheating and land fraud. ♦ 6 are held for creating nuisance on MG Road. ♦ Job aspirants for IFFCO are duped by operators running a ‘duplicate’ website –

{ Vijaya Kumar }


here is one feature about Karan Johar’s latest directorial effort (also produced by him), Student Of The Year (SOTY) which I like: it has no pretensions of wanting to be the Film of the Year. Everything about SOTY sounds unreal. The dramatic scenes are devoid of drama, the romantic scenes lack the passion, and the so-called sad scenes are bereft of any pathos. It is a big come-down – SOTY mein Kuch Nahi Hota Hai... Much gloss pervades every frame of the film. The dresses and the colours are picture perfect; Dadiji even wears a crisply starched saree on her death bed! One must not forget the tremendous energy in the songs created by VishalShekhar, and the dance sequences which add generously to the feel of the movie. The debutant star cast performs well, and one can’t attribute it only to the genes – Varun Dhawan is the son of formula comedy film maker David Dhawan; Kayoze Irani is the son of Boman Irani, and delivers the only punch-packed dialogue in a speech at the end); and petite-looking Alia Bhatt is the daughter of Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan. The other debutant, Siddharth Malhotra, who doesn’t have any such linkages, also emotes well. K Jo has been a good teacher, but hasn't been able to put it all together. He also has this serious fixation with gays. In SOTY we have the Dean, played by Rishi Kapoor, having a crush on the sports coach, Ronit Roy. If not for anything else, the movie will surely be remembered for its ‘Debutants of the Year’. u

6.15 pm, 9.15 pm Address: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, NH-8 Website: PVR MGF: MGF Mall Ajab Gazabb Love Time: 10.15 am, 12.50 pm, 3.25 pm, 6.00 pm, 8.35 pm, 11.10 pm Chakravyuh Time: 10.20 am, 1.30 pm, 4.40 pm, 7.50 pm, 10.55 pm Student Of The Year Time: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm, 4.00 pm, 5.00 pm, 7.00 pm, 8.00 pm, 10.00 pm, 10.55 pm Rush Time: 10.00 am, 1.15 pm, 6.00 pm, 10.45 pm Cloud Atlas

4 operators have been arrested. ♦ The car of a city advocate is stolen. ♦ Rs 70 lakhs are demanded from a property agent, under life threat. ♦ A property dealer is charged with cheating a person of Rs 32 lakhs. ♦ Rajendra Park colony and nearby areas have now got canal based water supply. A boosting station will supply 52 lakhs litres of potable water, to benefit about 30,000 people. ♦ Hiring of open grounds and community centres in HUDA areas will now be much costlier. ♦ Marble traders near Sikanderpur get notice to shift. ♦ South City 1 residents demonstrate outside Unitech House, after being frustrated with the continuing poor infrastructure of the Colony. Apart from poor roads, parks, water supply and security, the issues are of electricity transformers not being upgraded, stray animals, unclean vacant plots and absence of footpaths.

Kuch Nahin Hota Hai

Student of the year directed by: Karan Johar cast: Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt genre: Comedy, Romance

Time: 10.00 am, 12.30 pm, 4.00 pm, 7.30 pm, 10.55 pm Paranormal Activity 4 Time: 11.00 am, 8.30 pm (3D) Delhi Safari Time: 3.45 pm Ted Time: 1.20 pm, 3.40 pm, 6.00 pm, 10.50 pm Argo Time: 8.20 pm Address: 3rd floor, MGF Mall, MG Road

Ph: 0124- 4530000 PVR Sahara: Sahara Mall Chakravyuh Time: 10.10 am, 4.20 pm, 10.40 pm Ajab Gazabb Love Time: 10.00 am, 3.05 pm, 5.40 pm, 10.45 pm Rush Time: 12.35 pm, 8.15 pm Student Of The Year Time: 1.20 pm, 7.30 pm

Haryanvi Made Easy

Get a taste of the local lingo

1. Let us play cricket tomorrow. Kal bat ball khelan challe? 2. We will call all our friends. Arre saare dostan na bula lenge. 3. I will be the captain of my team. Main apni team ka kaptaan banunga. 4. We need to book the big park. Humne wo badda ala parak le lena chahiye. 5. Who will get the sporting equipment? Khelun ka samaan kaun lyawega? 6.

We haven't played together in such a long time. Hum ghanne din tey khelle koney ek saath.

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Mova 1 Exhibition


n interior design exhibition ‘from the outside in’ was held at Mova 1 design studio. It was formally launched by Mr. Martin Strub, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland, at a classy evening attended by several eminent personalities. The Exhibition features latest works of 3 leading design studios: Sotodecor (Lighting), Mova 1(furniture) and HEIRLOOMS (luxury home textiles). Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Strub said, “India is rich in its art, and more art should be encouraged as creativity is what makes life.” According to Mr Varrun Motihar, Director, Mova 1 design studio, “Each collection in the group show examines and reflects on “Origin and Material usage”. Sushant Lok 1

Puja Celebrations Palam Vihar

Maruti Vihar

C eleb W atch


Deadline for the Nation-wide “Sing A Song” Contest is extended to 15 November, 2012


loysius, Founder Trustee of LAMP Trust, has announced that the last date for receiving the entries to the National “Sing A Song” Talent Contest, to win the award of the LAMP – iCONGO Karmaveer Chakra Award for Music, has been extended after persistent requests that the last date for online application coincided with the festive holiday season. Entries can now be submitted by 15 November, 2012, for the 2012 Awards. At a media conference in September 2012 organised in Panaji, Goa by the Kala Academy Goa, the Chairman of Kala Academy, Mr. Vishnu Surya Wagh, announced the association of Kala Academy Goa with Lorraine Music Academy and LAMP Trust, to launch (in Goa) the annual nation-wide talent contest “Sing A Song” for the LAMP – iCONGO Karma Veer Chakra Award for Music – a coveted annual award instituted along with the United Nations. This Contest is open to everyone, of all age groups, across Goa and the nation; language is not a bar.  Mr. Wagh announced that in order to provide an opportunity for everyone across Goa, especially those that

may lack the necessary infrastructure, two days will be set aside at Kala Academy premises in Panaji for the purpose of helping record the contest participants’ performance on video, then upload on YouTube, and submit the contest entry online. Thus, Kala Academy would help contestants to shoot and upload videos. The Academy will announce the details of the arrangements and the dates shortly. Speaking about the association with Lorraine Music Academy and LAMP Trust, Mr. Wagh gave an assurance for conducting a Goa Music and Art Festival in Gurgaon. “We want to take our Goan art to the northern states of the country. We are planning to start the Goan Art Festival, which will showcase the panorama of Goan art,” added Mr. Wagh. He mentioned that the Event will be held in the month of March 2013. u


26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

C eleb W atch

Enrique Evening


panish pop-star Enrique Iglesias, rocked the stage at the Leisure Valley Grounds. Giving in to the demands of his audience, Iglesias sang one of his popular romantic tracks, "Hero", and danced on the stage with a member of the audience. The singer, dressed in casual jeans and a t-shirt, made the night special for his fans, as he crooned his popular numbers – like “Tonight I'm lovin' you”, “Rhythm divine”, “Bailamos”, “Escape”, “Tired of being sorry”, “Just wanna be with you,” and “I like how it feels”.

‘Student of the Year’


he star cast of “Student of the Year”, along with Director Karan Johar, visited Ambience Mall. Lead actors Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan unveiled a new range of an apparel brand at the Mall. While Alia Bhatt looked pretty in a short dress, Sidharth and Varun sported cool t-shirts. All three actors are making their debut with this film.

Bolly Designs


two-day fashion extravaganza—Seagram’s Blenders Pride Fashion Tour—took place at a five-star hotel in the City. Day One saw designer Nandita Mahtani with her collection of dresses and gowns, with Bipasha Basu walking the ramp in a neon green gown. Wendell Rodricks' Fash Splash, featured a mix of beach and red carpet dresses. Mandira Wirk experimented with the concept of veils in her collection Veils Unveiled, with Sushmita Sen as her showstopper. Vikram Phadnis wrapped up Day One with his ethnic wear collection titled Nazakat, with Malaika Arora Khan as his showstopper. The second day saw Nida Mahmood presenting Bombay Bun Maska, and Vidyut Jamwal walking the ramp for her. Lisa Haydon did the honours for Gaviin Miguel's Stairway to Heaven collection, and Neha Dhupia walked the ramp for Pankaj and Nidhi; her hairdo got a lot of attention post the show too. Sameera Reddy was the showstopper for Neeta Lulla, and Genelia Deshmukh, for Falguni and Shane Peacock. 

To University In Canada



oConcept, a Denmark based premium urban brand, organised a splendid evening in association with Junckers, a leading flooring brand from Denmark. The Event was held at the BoConcept store, in Global Foyer. BoConcept played host to important architects and socialites, like Vivek Sabherwal, Tanya Kohli, Baljit Khurana, Ashok Dhawan, Vandani Mehta, Pooja Kaul, Tanushree Roy, Sabyasachi Roy, and Sundeep Khanna, to name a few. The guests raised a toast to cheer the latest trends in home décor, furnishings, and floorings from BoConcept and Junckers. The evening was organised over cheese and wine.


he Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC) conducted an Education Fair at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on October 19. The fair provided an opportunity for students to learn about various Canadian universities and their academic programmes, by speaking directly with professors and administrators from Canada. Managing Director of CUAC, Mel Broitman said, “This is a unique opportunity for Indians who are interested in Canada. It's not easy to find honest, sophisticated and professional help for study in Canada – so the CUAC Fair is a chance to learn the truth." For more information:

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

C over S tory


The Better Half Worse Off  Contd from p 1 She advises girls to be very careful in using muscle power against men, as it could invite even bigger trouble. It is very situational. Most of the self-defence programmes are short term, and a person is usually trained to fight an individual, not a group. Moreover, metabolically, women tend to be less powerful, due to several factors – such as lower muscle mass, lower lung capacity, and smaller hearts. Self-defence is, therefore, not something to bank on, for prevention of rape. “By advocating self-defence as a means to prevent rape, the authorities are admitting that they can’t eliminate crime. It is like placing the burden on a potential victim to de-

Protection For Women Victims of Crime Haryana State Legal Services Authority (HSLSA) has asked for implementation of the following: The victim should be reached urgently, through a panel of women advocates or female paralegal volunteers. The SHO of the concerned police station is under duty to inform the concerned child or woman victim of her right to representation, before any question is asked from her. Legal assistance is to be provided at the police station, upon arrival of the woman or child victim at the police station, and at the time of being questioned by the police. The same Legal Aid Prosecution Counsel, who has looked after the concerned woman or child victim’s interest in the police station, is to represent her till the end of the case - unless the woman or child victim requests for a change. The Counsel will also: provide guidance on how the concerned woman or child victim may obtain counselling or medical assistance from other agencies; assist in applying for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, or other competent authorities; represent the woman or child victim before the court - for awarding of compensation by the court, on conviction of the offender; and assist in exercising right of appeal or revision, as permissible under the law.

fend herself; and not on the criminal, to adhere to a higher standard of behaviour,” points out John.

Early marriages?

Khap Panchayats have come out with a ridiculous suggestion – that the marriageable age limit should be abolished. “The children should get married as soon as they attain puberty. It is natural for a 16-year-old guy to have sexual desires, and when these are not fulfilled he can become a rapist. Hence, there should not be any minimum age limit for marriage,” said a Khap representative in a public meeting, after a teenage Dalit girl was raped in the Jind district of Haryana. John, who has been working for the rights of rape victims in the rural areas of Haryana, fumes, and says, “It is unfortunate that some people believe that all men should be provided with a legal sexual partner so that they don’t rape random women on the streets.”

Enforcing a dress code

Like beauty, lust also lies in the eye of the beholder, feels famous Haryanvi Director, Ashwini Chaudhary. Coming from a small village of Haryana, Ashwini points out, “There are scores of rural women who are harassed, despite they being clad in traditional attire”. “It is not always lust that drives a man to rape. Many times, factors like a wicked desire to show power to a woman leads to rape,” says Dr. Nayar, a criminologist based in DLF Phase II. She has been working on the psychology of rapists for the past 16 years.  

Viable solution

Richa Dubey blames poor urban infrastructure for the rising crime against women in the City. “Forget about the public transport, the City doesn’t have wellconstructed pavements for pedestrians. Take, for instance, MG Road. A girl walking on the road-side can easily be dragged into a car,” says Richa. She adds that traffic light and a camera surveillance system, which were supposed to be put into action two years ago, are still dysfunctional. John urges law bodies to hand out severe punishment to rapists. “We have to make men realise how their lives will be torn apart if they are faced with a rape charge. This is the only way to

keep check over the rising number of rapes in the City,” says John. A women rights activist, Gauri, however, blames the mindset of society. “We don’t value our daughters. It is apparent in the dwindling gender ratio in Haryana. Yes, crimes like rapes are heinous, but there are also various forms of sexual assault—such as domestic violence— that often remain an untold story,” says Gauri. She suggests that the State have more female politicians, to improve the status of women in the City.  

Recently, a District-level committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner P.C. Meena, to monitor heinous crimes against women. The Committee is expected to keep a close watch on crimes against women, and ensure that there is no delay in justice, at any level(See Box also).   For the City to become safe for women, it needs to instil confidence in them. Speedy justice and severe punishments are the need of the hour. u

Setting up of a District Development and Monitoring Committee (DDMC)


nder the District Plan Scheme for the year 2012-13, Rs 17.58 crores has been allocated to District Gurgaon.

DDMC Chairman - Minister heading the District Public Relations and Grievances Committee Vice-Chairman - Deputy Commissioner Member Secretary - Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chief Planning and Development Officer Members - MPs and MLAs, Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor, Deputy Mayor of Municipal Corporation, President and Vice-President of Zila Parishad, all Chairmen of Panchayat Samitis, all Chairmen of Municipal Councils or Committees, Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, All Sub-Divisional Officers (Civil), City Magistrate, District Development and Panchayat Officer and Planning Officer. In addition, the Chairman or Vice Chairman may associate as members any officer, social worker, economist (maximum two in a district) for the smooth discharge of the functions of the DDMC. DDMC would ensure proper framing of works or projects, and release District Plan Funds to the implementing agencies. The works approved by DDMC would not be changed at any stage by any implementing agency. DDMC would ensure that all the bank accounts in operation are closed down, and that no funds are parked in banks. A total of Rs. 294.4 crores for the year 2012-13 has been allocated. Out of it Rs. 14.5 crores has been earmarked for the Scheduled Castes Special Plan (SCSP). DDMCs would allocate a part of this provision to the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), at Rs. 10 lakh for each Zila Parishad

Member (to be allocated to the Zila Parishad for rural areas), and at a rate of Rs. 50 lakh for each MC or Panchayat Samiti. Emphasis would be laid on creation of permanent infrastructure or assets of the Government only; temporary or consumable items would not be covered under the scheme. The funds would be released online to all the Additional Deputy Commissioners-cum-Chief Planning and Development Officers - funds will not be drawn, to park them in any bank account. The State Government has also fixed the sectoral allocation for spending of the funds: 30% - Streets and drains 10% - Community Centres and Panchayat Ghars 10% - Educational infrastructure of schools and colleges 10% - Water supply and irrigation 10% - Women and child development, including construction of Anganwadis 10% - Health infrastructure 10% - Sports 10% - Completion of incomplete works.      All the blocks or MCs would be given their due share according to this sectoral allocation. Any kind of recurring expenditure on the created assets would be borne out of funds at the local level.   (Even with literally the entire District Administration and leaders being part of a DDMC, the State is micro-managing and deciding what should be done at every level. Local decision making and local priorities seem to have little meaning). u

08 { Maninder Dabas / FG }


his City is governed by multiple agencies, and most of the times this multi-polarity in administration leads to a disastrous civic state – a failure at multiple levels. With a population of more than fifteen lakh, Gurgaon ought to have an indispensable garbage disposal mechanism. Garbage collection and its disposal is an area that can’t be avoided for long because, literally, it also stinks – like sewage. It can’t be ‘tolerated’ – like bad roads or poor power supply. Gurgaon produces around 900 tonnes of garbage daily; and sending such a huge amount to the central garbage disposal and treatment centre at Bandhwari requires a formidable pick, collect and transport system. An alternative is to have permanent garbage dumping/collection stations within the City limits.

The Stake Holders and the City

The MCG effort MCG has the largest service area. It has 54 villages, along with 90 big and small colonies of the City. “MCG disposes around 450-500 tonnes of garbage daily. From door-to-door garbage collection, to the removal of garbage from the streets, MCG is making every effort to keep the city clean and healthy for the residents,” informs Birender Sharma, the Chief Sanitation Officer, MCG. However, a check around the neighbourhood does not confirm this. “I settled in Gurgaon in pursuit of a nice  peaceful life after my retirement from the Indian Navy, but here our life has become miserable. Our area stinks, and you can see pigs playing on these huge heaps of garbage. The MCG  
garbage truck only comes once or twice a week. I regret my decision to move here,” said Shankar Lal, a resident of  Laxman Vihar area. O.P Taneja, a veteran resident of New Colony, reaffirms Lal’s claims. “They don’t come regularly to collect the garbage. Since the sewage system in our locality hardly exists, even a 15-20 minute drizzle is enough to fill up the roads, with water daring to invade our doorsteps. The Corporation should seriously do something about it.” Sharma is quick to add, “We have planned to build 103 new garbage collection centres, where garbage can be thrown by the residents even if they miss the door to door collection tempo.” said Sharma.

C ivic/Social

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Just Dumped

of his Sector. “I have been living here since the late 60s, and I was one of the first residents of this first sector of Haryana. The state of sanitation has gone down drastically in recent years, and now for the last one year or so it’s pathetic. Sweepers don’t sweep streets, and when we ask them to do their job they argue with us. You can see this filth collected on the sides of this park, and this doesn’t get lifted for weeks. I don’t why HUDA pays these contractors,” said Sagar. Sector-4 is not an exception, as other sectors in Gurgaon are also facing the wrath of administrative negligence. Sector-12 is perhaps the worst affected, as it’s on the edge of the MCG area and hence HUDA doesn’t seem bothered to maintain cleanliness here. “Here we have Laxman Vihar on one side and Adarsh Nagar along with the Haryana Roadways terminal and workshop on the other. These two MCG areas have become our nemesis, as the corner plot of Laxman Vihar has become a dumpyard, where all the garbage from the surrounding area is being collected and later sent to Bandhwari. But this dumpyard

MCG Operation Garbage collection in MCG areas can be divided into three parts: door to door collection, street garbage collection, and collection of garbage from places like parks, community places etc. Sulabh and Balaji collect garbage from the streets, parks and community centres, whereas the door to door collection is the responsibility of Anthony KSLV. At present MCG has six permanent dumpyards (near MCG old building, Haryana Roadways workshop, Sukhrali commercial centre, MDI corner, Begum Khatola, and Subzi Mandi). Contractors

“These private collectors are the same people who are hired by the contractor hired by HUDA, and hence the contractors is making double money! You can see the sides of the streets and corners outside the parks, where the sweepers collect garbage; it lies there for at least three to four days before the contractor picks it up. These sweepers too don’t come to sweep the streets on a daily basis, despite our several requests to them,” said Lal Singh Yadav, a veteran resident and RWA member of Sector-9. 

Private Builders’ Bit 

Private builders are no different from their government counterparts, and in private colonies too one can see garbage being piled at the corners of parks. They too have hired private contractors to dispose of their garbage, and the door to door collection in colonies is being charged and included in the maintenance charges. “We are charged by the builder for door to door garbage collection, but this doesn’t ensure the cleanliness in the colony, as most of the parks have clusters of garbage. It gets lifted only after weeks,” said Ashok Bhardwaj, the President of South City-I Resident Welfare Association (SCRWA). In other private builder colonies in the City also garbage collection and removal is a tainted process.


keeps stinking, and this has made our lives miserable. HUDA contractors come once or twice a week to sweep the streets. For our home litter we rely on private people employed by the same HUDA contractor,” said Kultaj Kataria, RWA president, Sector-12 (A). “The contractor charges us Rs. 40 per month to take garbage from our homes. HUDA people come to sweep  daily, but the garbage contractor takes weeks to remove the accumulated sweepings from the streets,” said Rakesh Sharma, a shopkeeper in Sector-12. fill trucks from these dumpyards, and send the garbage to Bandhwari. "We have all the necessary infrastructure for the removal of garbage, ranging from the small tempos for door to door collection, to big trucks,” said Rajesh Kurup, Project incharge of  Anthony KLNV Tek Pvt Ltd. "We dispose of almost 90 per cent (around 450 tonnes) of garbage daily,” said Birender Sharma, the Chief Sanitation Officer (CSI), MCG. MCG has also advocated a new scientific system, in which there would be no filling of trucks by conventional means, and there would be no stink from the trucks while they transport the garbage to Bandhwari,” added Sharma.

Bandhwari: Gurgaon’s dumpyard

Ever wonder where it all ends up? In Bandhwari, a nondescript site on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road, about 20kms from the City. On an average, the Bandhwari treatment plant hosts around 600 tonnes of garbage a day, being collected by different civic bodies of the City. “The Bandhwari Treatment plant is for both Faridabad and Gurgaon. Nearly 900 tonnes of garbage come here daily from both the cities,” said an official at the Plant.  u

Road Improvement Plan - HUDA To Delhi

A. Patch Work (Done) B. Full Carperting (Done) C. Strengthening & Carpeting D. Strengthening & Widening E. Dismantle, Reconstruct F. Strengthening (after drainage provision) G. Carpeting + service lanes H. Special Project




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HUDA City Centre

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Tau Devi Lal Park



To Sohna




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Here again, the bureaucrat’s claim is belittled by street-level realities. HUDA seems to have taken an escape route, as it neither has any temporary nor any permanent malba dump centre in all its sectors. “We do not collect garbage from homes, but we take care of the sanitation and removal of the garbage from the streets of the sectors. Contracts have been awarded to dispose garbage from HUDA sectors. As far as street cleaning is concerned we have 400 sweepers here in Estate Office–1 area, and they all do their jobs well, to keep the sectors clean. They sweep the streets, and later contractors collect the garbage and dispose it outside the City,” said a HUDA official. Dharam Sagar, President of FORWA, and the resident of Sector-4 unearthed the real picture




The HUDA Hokum






Citizens may check and responed at

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012


gobble up the life,   please don’t, let it come down  to the last drying leaf.” Her first tryst with reel life was part of an All India Inter-School competition organised by Intach and FilmIt. Her visuals and script on Environment won her the second prize, at the age of 11. The very next year her film on Pottery won her the First Prize in the competition, and a technical award as well. The following year too her films on World Heritage site-Bhimbetka, and one on Kashmir, won her more

Rudderless Traffic { Maninder Dabas / FG }


ince the transfer of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Traffic, Bharti Arora, last month, the traffic problems in the City have seen a rise, due to the non-availability of the traffic personnel at various important traffic congestion points during peak hours. Gurgaon has 300 odd traffic personnel. “We have been hearing and seeing this too, but despite some problems in the recent days I think the traffic police is working with the same determination. I have been told by many of my associates and friends that most of the important chowks in Gurgaon face a huge traffic problem in the peak hours, despite having functional traffic lights. Areas like Sohna chowk and Sadar Bazar chowk are especially affected,” said a Road Safety Officer (RSO) who has been working with traffic police for the past two years. Even after a month of the last incumbent’s transfer, no other official has come to take over. Till last month there was hardly any roundabout or traffic light that did not have traffic personnel managing the traffic flow. “This light works properly, but the recently removed roundabout is causing a great traffic jam in the peak hours. Vehicles bunch


A Wide Canvas 

ll children are born artists”, said Picasso; and how true it holds for sixteen year old  Vidisha Aggarwal. When she was 2 years old, Vidisha began dabbling in paint. What resulted was an abstract depiction, with pronounced brushstrokes, that her parents found very deliberate and startlingly artistic. They quickly realised that their daughter’s approach and technique was different from the other children’s play paintings. Finger painting was clearly child’s play for this tender toddler artist! Over the next several years she created more art, much of it remarkable, and all of it suggesting a talent for shapes, colours and patterns. “At first we thought we liked her work because we loved her,” says her mother, Rekha Bajpe Aggarwal; “but with time we realised that though her art was simple, it was profound in its simplicity. Painting abstracts is the most difficult. It was always wonderful seeing her creations.” Over the years Vidisha blossomed, and the colours, canvasses, and creations got bigger. Though she has been honing her artistic talent under artists Naresh Kapooria (initially), and Vijaya Bagai (for the last 7 years), her work is the result of intuition, imagination and inspiration. And a collaboration of her genes! Both her parents are artistic, and fizzing with creativity. Her father, Rajesh Aggarwal, has his own successful advertising firm, and firmly believes that creativity is the marriage of imagination and execution, thinking and doing. Her mother, Rekha, was also into advertising and film making. Today she is fully devoted to her ceramic studio, offering expertise in contemporary studio pottery. Vidisha, a Grade Xl student of Modern School, though continuing with her painting, has also digressed into the realm of photography and film making. Her first entry in a photography competition on Environment, of a little peepal plant struggling through a concrete drainpipe hole, went along with this poem: “The graveyard of concrete;  unhabitable and unkind,  a victim of progress;  perished and confined... In the battle between man and nature,  don’t let the grey overtake the green,  don’t let the vortex of concrete 


{ Anita Jaswal }

C ivic/Social

up from all directions, causing kilometres-long traffic jams in all directions. The commuters are frustrated. Earlier, there was a traffic policeman present in the peak hours, and he used to manage the traffic quite efficiently; but now there is nobody, and I daily encounter a 15-20 minute jam at this point,” said Ranjit Jamwal, a daily commuter. At Bhakhtawar Chowk there used to be three to four police personnel, not only managing traffic but also issuing challans to the traffic rule violators, but now one can easily trespass the red light (that too without a helmet) and there is nobody to catch you. The traffic pocket constructed earlier this year is lying empty. The police, however, still believe that they are at their job in the same effective manner. “I don’t think there has been any depletion in our performance in managing traffic since the transfer of the DCP. We are working efficiently in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the City,” said a senior official in the traffic office. Recently it has been noted that only Iffco Chowk has an adequate police presence. Rajiv Chowk has only one traffic havaldar, and there is none at Signature Tower – leaving the traffic to the mercy of ill-functioning traffic lights, “Now a days we don’t see any

police personnel, and that’s why we face jams more often. Earlier the situation was better, and there used to be at least half a dozen policemen here. Now I wonder where they have gone,” said Ajay Shokeen, another daily commuter at Signature Towers. The situation in ‘new’ Gurgaon is still bearable, whereas in the ‘old’ city people are spending hours on the road amidst buzzing horns, in order to a cover a mere distance of a few kilometres. “This area, from Sohna Chowk till Kabir Chowk, is the most congested area of the City, and hence we daily see long traffic jams, despite having three traffic lights within a 400 metre odd stretch. Earlier there used be police personnel present at the three lights, managing the traffic flow from all directions, but for the last few days this situation has become grimmer, as there are no police personnel now. That’s why this problem of jams has increased many fold, especially in the peak hours,” said Ramesh Kumar, a tea stall owner at Sohna Chowk. “Of course, since the transfer of the DCP the traffic situation in the City is getting worse. Although I won’t say that now the police have stopped managing traffic, but we are seeing much less number of policemen on various congestion points – which automatically results in the increase of trafficrule violators, and traffic jams,” pointed out another RSO. u

technical awards. After the 9th grade she was no longer eligible for the competition. Earlier this year her teacher entered her name in another All India InterSchool Competition, organised by Teri and Tetrapak – with the twin themes of Saving the Antarctic, and Recycling Tetrapaks. She was flown to Pune for 3 days, to attend the award ceremony, as her film was shortlisted. She found that her film had been selected for the second prize, out of 300 entries. A proud moment indeed for herself and her school. She received her prize, a Canon Ixus camera, and a certificate from Sir Robert Swan – who is the only person to have walked the Arctic and Antarctica, and is a world famous explorer and environmentalist. In a fast-paced, computerised world that is often dehumanising, Vidisha’s works evoke an intimacy and sensitivity unique in the world of art. She celebrates life through art. Her style and palette are distinctive. There is joy, discovery, and wonderment. She employs a high key palette, that is bright and active. Colours seem to change as you watch. A passing glance at the dozen or so works in progress, propped helter-skelter around her studio, suggests the multiplicity of her vision. “I don’t really remember how it all started.  I feel that art as a medium is so powerful that it breaks all barriers. People from anywhere and of any background or age can connect to it. I want to continue my passion forever. And for that I have my parents to thank, who have supported me all the way. I love them as the trees love water and sunshine – they help me grow, prosper, and reach great heights!” says Vidisha. Rekha adds, “Whenever we can, we have an all-girls day of fun. From browsing in the mall to shopping, to sharing secrets – we do it together. We recently went on a wonderful 3 week holiday together and really bonded, though we really missed her dad. I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life, and I only hope my prayers stay with my child, and that she is happy in her world of colours,” says Rekha.  They love, they share, they argue, they sulk. That is the seesaw of feelings between them.    But the relationship between this mother and her daughter is indeed a very special one. Rekha is her daughters’ role model, her biological and emotional road map; yet Vidisha has her own unique style and special identity. They are an unusual mother-daughter duo. Both are artists; their bond is through art, and from the heart. u

Citizen Watch


riday Gurgaon has added definite value to Gurgaon in the last year by the issues it has addressed and highlighted, and the focus on solutions to solve these. What is more, it goes a step further, inspiring the reader to think likewise.   When I sent in a photograph of choked drains on Golf Course Road, which were responsible for large scale flooding in July, I was delighted to see the drains being thoroughly cleaned up the very weekend after the picture was published. It reminded me that small steps by citizens can play a role, by pushing things in the right direction. So when I sent in a photograph highlighting the scary state of the mosquito-breeding drains outside Vyapaar Kendra (published two weeks ago), I had hoped for similar speedy action. Ten days after the picture was published, here is the state of the same drain. The close-up photograph confirms that the mosquitoes still exist, not just by the dozens or by hundreds, but by the thousands – while the dengue count sadly rises in Gurgaon. One wishes the MCG would swing into action to clean up the stagnant pools of water visible all over Gurgaon, and learn from this experience to prevent repeats next year – by timely action well ahead of the rainy season. u Odette Katrak, Suncity (attached picture of drain taken outside Vyapar Kendra market entrance in Sushant Lok, near the Baluja end).


26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

K id C orner

Presidium Investiture

Alpine Grand Day


residium organised an Investiture Ceremony to acknowledge the efforts of the students, and to make them the proud members of the Presidium Student Council. The individual attention given by the Principal to each student—by calling him/ her on the stage—was appreciated by the parents. The role of the club mentors was also acknowledged. Some cultural events—a presentation by the school choir, and a spectacular dance performance—were presented. The highlight of the Event was the water dance, which left everybody spellbound.


eeping in mind that the pillars of a family, the grandparents, need special treatment, students of the Alpine Convent School celebrated Grandparent’s Day. The children presented some wonderful dance performances exclusively for their grandparents. They also presented bouquets and gifts to them.

The Sixth Element Folk Tale


he little ones at The Sixth Element presented the famous English folktale, Jack and the Beanstalk. The children donned colourful dresses, and enacted the characters of “Jack”, “Dame Trott”, “Simple Simon”, and “King Ambroises”. They beautifully presented the Jacobs’ version of the story. The moral of the story is: ‘taking risks is the only way to achieve ones goals’.

Banyan Language Week


anguage Week was celebrated at The Banyan Tree World School. The week long programme offered various Workshops, conducted by teachers on Hindi, English and other languages; and plays, songs, and project works presented by the students.

Compiled by Shilpy Arora, email:

Shalom Pink Day


t is said: “put some pink in your life when you want to remain calm, relaxed, and content.” And so the tiny tots at Shalom Hills International School celebrated ‘Pink Day’. The children were first introduced to the various shades of the colour; and then they indulged in activities like sponge dabbing on strawberries, and identified several things coloured in shades of pink.

CCA wins Volleyball Championship


tudents of the Volleyball Team of CCA School, Sector 4, bagged the prestigious Inter-School MPS Volleyball Trophy (Under 19 category). The Championship was held at Meenakshi Public School, Sector 10, amidst much fanfare, and in the presence of a number of dignitaries. The Event saw participation from over 16 renowned schools in the City.  

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Kid Corner


Festive Euro 


uro International School put up a grand show to celebrate the festivals of Navratri and Dussehra. The Chairman Satyavir Yadav, Chairperson Sarla Yadav, and Director-cum-Principal, Reena Sharma, graced the occasion. The Principal of the Sec -10 branch, Nidhi Kapoor, lit the inaugural lamp. The Montessori students performed the Saraswati Vandana. A ‘Euro Ramleela’ was also presented. The Montessori kids presented a dance performance to the tunes of ‘Nani teri morni’, ‘Dadi Amma-Dadi-Amma maan jao’, and ‘Dadi Ma pyaari - pyaari Dadi Ma’ – for the grandparents present on the occasion.

Swiss Sports Day


wiss Cottage School celebrated its Annual Sports Day. This glittering function was graced by the Chief Guest Gen. (Dr.) Ranjit Singh VSM, AVSM, and Vice Chancellor of Global Open University. The Function was declared open with a release of balloons and pigeons, and the bursting of fire crackers. It was followed by a dumbbell display, Yoga, and Taekwondo. Children participated in 200 m, 400 m, sack, and relay races. The guests and parents were overwhelmed, and they appreciated the efforts of the Principal, Col. C.R. Jakhar, and the management, in promoting sports.

Scottish Rhapsody


cottish High International School celebrated its Annual Day with great fervour. The highlight of the Celebration was a 100 per cent participation by the students. The Event began with a bhajan – ‘Ae Malik Tere Bande Hum’. This was followed by a graceful dance performance. Scottish High Special Education Needs (SEN) students and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) students also performed wonderfully.  The Guest of Honour was

Medhaam Grand Day Her Royal Highness, Princess Sheetashma Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, of Nepal. She bestowed lavish praise on the perfectly synchronised programme. The popular classic film, ‘The Sound of Music’, was re-interpreted and titled the ’Lilting Rhapsody’. There was a wonderful rendition of dance and melodious music, with evergreen songs – “The Hills are Alive”, “My Favourite Things”, “Doe a Deer”, and “So long Farewell”.  The Principal Sudha Goyal, presented the Annual School Report, that extolled the academic, co-curricular, and sports achievements.

Artistic Strokes


edhaam celebrated Grandparents day with a special programme, ‘Sanskar’. The students presented stories from the Panchatantra, with each story having a moral theme. The Principal, Nita Datta, in her welcome address emphasised the role played by grandparents in ones life. She termed them as the closest representatives of our ancestors – passing on the family heritage, and helping us imbibe the values of life. A 100 per cent participation by the students was well applauded by all the grandparents.

Literary Flourish

  Galloping over the hills and rivers   Hi, I’m a nine year old, I don’t like school because my teacher scolds. I get lots of homework, which is very boring! I want to be free, and fly like a bird soaring! I want to gallop over the rivers and hills. Feel happy and pray for good will!

Mahika Agarwal, Grade VII, DPS, Sector 45

Tanya Jain, Grade V C, Delhi Public School, Sec 45

Sagar Harsana Grade V, Heritage School


26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

K id Corner

Kids Brainticklers

Ozzimals: Color this picture

Animal Crackers


Fill in the grid so that every row, column and coloured box contains ALL the numbers from 1 to 6. Bonus clue: which number should go in the circle: 1 or 4?

Two Wise Men

Dogs of C-Kennel

Special 13

{ Maninder Dabas / FG }


he last three decades have seen an unprecedented development in the areas or the suburbs surrounding the national Capital, and now they fall under an umbrella called National Capital Region (NCR). While some of these erstwhile suburbs—like Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Noida—have grown into full fledged cities, the others— like Sonepat and Bahadurgarh—have been denied the same blessings. Despite being in a strategically important place, Sonepat has constantly been ignored – both by destiny as well as the State. Maybe it is because North Delhi, which Sonepat is adjacent to, is itself a pariah, when it comes to growth and development (unlike the South DelhiGurgaon combination). But change is the thread that binds the process of evolution, and now this area too seems to be hitting the chords of development. “Sonepat is going to be the next big thing in the NCR, because the process of urbanisation and development needs new horizons. Sonepat is perhaps the best answer to this quest. This area not only provides fertile agricultural land in the form of the Yamuna basin, but it can also be a prelude or breeding ground for

a residential, educational and industrial renaissance in the years to come,” said Pankaj Agarwal, the Deputy Commissioner, Sonepat District. If Maruti catalysed Gurgaon, Atlas Cycle Industries has bestowed Sonepat with an identity of an industrial town. Kundli and Murthal, along with Sonepat City, are the potential and established industrial hubs of the district; and Rai is the centre for sporting excellence, with the Moti Lal Nehru Sports School, along with upcoming educational and residential destinations. Rajiv Gandhi Education City, and twenty odd residential buildings, with malls and another amenities developed by builders like Ansals and TDI, are on the horizon.

The History

Sonepat District was carved out of Rohtak District on 22nd December, 1972. It is believed that it was founded as Swarnaprastha, by the Pandavas. It was among the five villages demanded by the Pandavas in exchange for peace with Kauravas. Sonepat also finds a mention as one of the places visited by Shravan Kumar, with his parents on his shoulders. Another legend ascribes it to Raja Soni, the thirteenth descendent

On Grand Education Road


26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Education City Project are not happy, because they believe that this Education City won’t be of any use to them. Neither will their children get admission in the institutions, nor any jobs.

Murthal: an evening igniter

of Arjuna. The first mention of the word Sonepat was found in great grammarian Panini’s celebrated book ‘Ashtadhyayi’, near about 600 BC. The River Yamuna runs along the eastern boundary of the district.

The Development

a) Industrial development: “This is one area where we have a great chance to excel, and present ourselves in a new light. At present we have four phases in the Kundli Industrial area, with the famous industries like Hilton Rubbers and ECE Industries, along with many cold storage establishments. A land measuring 400 acres has also been acquired by the state for expansion,” said the DC. Murthal is the new industrial hub, patiently waiting to make an impact. “Murthal Industrial Estate is the only industrial sector developed by Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in the

recent years, and now it has been handed over to HSIIDC. There are breweries, and makers of electric goods (like fuse gears), and cycle parts,” said Devender Malik, a HUDA official. From the Singhu border to the outskirts of Murthal, this 25 odd km stretch has everything in it – ranging from mammoth industrial establishments to large residential areas developed by private builders, along with many educational institutions cobbled together in the form of universities.

b) Residential development: The moment Kundli ends (with the under construction Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway), a whole new saga of residential buildings begins. Beautiful residential flats, constructed by private builders (mainly Ansals and TDI), not only provide the buyers with a ‘cheap’ home, but also give them an exotic living just a couple of miles away from the river Yamuna. “Earlier it was believed that Sonepat, and even Kundli for that matter, are remote places – because even North Delhi was distant. But now with Delhi and nearby suburbs getting costly and crowded, this area has come up as

For those who want to spend their evenings away from the noise and crowd of the Capital, Murthal is the perfect place to go to. It is a small town situated on the banks of GT Road, and is just an hour’s drive from Delhi. You will relish the fresh and mouth-watering paranthas. Murthal is famous for its exotic and unique dhabas, that provide cheap quality food with the much desired flavour of desi ghee. “On weekdays we receive a large crowd from Delhi, as people come out of their homes to spend quality time The Education City will spread over 2000 acres, with the campuses of institutes of higher education – across the fields of management, architecture, engineering, law, telecom, medical, insurance and biotechnology. Institutes in the first phase would include the extended campuses of IIT-Delhi, National Law University, Bharti Vidyapeeth University, FORE School of Management, Manav Rachna International University, Asian Education Society, Skyline Business School, Ashoka University, NC College of Engineering and Research, Hindu School of Architecture, RIMT Technical Campus, Balwant Rai Institute of Technology and Research, and SRM University. Bhupinder Singh Hooda inaugurated the Education City on 9th June, 2012, and said that a sum of Rs. 15,000 crores would be invested on its overall development. It would provide quality education to about 1.5 lakhs students, and is likely to create employment opportunities directly and indirectly for about 50,000 people.

an alternative abode of luxurious living. These gated colonies, like Sushant City developed by Ansals, and TDI City, have both plotted bungalows as well as residential apartments. And the way this area is excelling in the field of education and industry, it is bound to become a key residential area in the future,” says Kuldeep Singh, a property consultant in Balgarh. Residential development has taken place inside Sonepat City too, as 7 HUDA residential sectors are now being occupied at a greater pace.

with their families. The speciality of the dhabas here are the Paranthas. We offer all sort of Paranthas – including aaloo, pyaaz, gobi, chicken,” said Jagdish Sharma, owner of one of the dhabas. Although HUDA has developed a new city in the outskirts of the old one, it is still is quite cut off. Despite the City of 3 lakh people being over-crowded and noisy, there is an alien silence which is not seen (or heard) in Gurgaon or Delhi. u

c) Education hub: Like Rohtak, its elder cousin, Sonepat too seems to have taken the path of becoming an educational hub, with many government and private universities already operational. “Sonepat is going to be the education hub, as it already has 6 universities along with many private colleges. And with the advent of the Rajiv Gandhi Education City, this area will become a much desired and sought after educational destination,” said Agarwal. There have been reports that the farmers whose land has been acquired by the

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B usiness

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Industry Labours the government. Referring to the dispute at FCC RICCO, Narwal says that this was a tripartite matter which had assumed a law and order problem after the management suspended 18 workers. He says that all the parties to the dispute were summoned by him, and a tripartite settlement was worked out. “This led to the smooth conduct of elections, and all suspended employees were taken back by the company,” he says. The labour department, he says, has made all efforts to

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }


G has covered the frustration of industry, and of workers, in earlier issues. We caught up with the Additional Labour Commissioner (ALC), Gurgaon, Naresh Narwal. Narwal asserts that he has taken a pro-active approach to control the situation, and bring about normalcy. He says that the functioning of the entire department is being streamlined, to ensure smooth labour relations and a conducive industrial environment. “We have taken a pro-active approach to improve the labour management relations in the District. The Department is taking up individual and collective demands of the workers on priority,” says Narwal. He further says that the court cases, under Sections 2A and 2K, have been significantly reduced in the past six months. Another decision taken by him has been to minimise the practice of referring labour cases to the State government; it is being stressed that these need to be addressed at the level of district officials only. “We are taking cognizance of important issues, and ensuring that minor issues do not grow out of proportion,” says Narwal. In his opinion it is most important to improve the communication between the labour, industrialists and

The industrialists allege that the majority of the officials in Gurgaon are politically connected, whereas the field staff is always on the lookout for making some money on the sly. Manoj Tyagi, President, Mansear Industrial Association, says that there may have been some improvement in paper work, but the field staff of the department is yet to be reined in. He says that despite the labour policy clearly mandating that labour officers will not enter the factories, they are doing so without any compunction. A deputation of the Manesar industrialists even complained to the CM about the rampant corruption in the department. “The CM told us to catch hold of the corrupt red-handed – but this is not something that can be done by businessmen,” he asserts. The majority of the industrialists in Gurgaon aver that senior officials of the labour department need to seriously check corrupt practices. Amina Shervani, President of Manesar Industries Welfare Association alleges that the objective of the department is not to improve the lot of labour, but to help maintain the status quo. “There are thousands of small and medium enterprises which are labour intensive, and who care for their labour. It is mainly large firms, with big HR departments, that are probably not following the spirit of labour welfare,” she asserts. Bishan Mehrish, Secretary, Gurgaon Industrial Association says that the labour department in the past couple of months has

Area/ vegetables

become more pro-active, and this augurs well for the industry. He also wants that funds meant for labour welfare should be spent wisely on improving the lot of workers. S.K Ahuja, Secretary, NCR Chamber of Commerce, suggests that the department should work on improving communication between the different stakeholders. “The industry, workers, and labour officials need to understand each other better,” he says. The labour unions are also not happy with the functioning of the department. S.K Yadav, senior INTUC leader, says that large funds available with the department for labour welfare are not utilised effectively. “I want to ask how many challans have been issued by the labour department in the last six months. Let us organise a debate where officials of the department, industrialists and workers come together, and a discussion is held about the state of affairs,” he asserts. Another important issue being raised by the trade unions is the lot of contract labourers, and how the department is not checking the misuse of the Contract Labour Act. “There are thousands of contract workers who are doing work in violation of the law, but no action is being taken against them,” Yadav asserts. In the last six months the trade unions in Gurgaon have taken a decision to go slow on labour disputes, and be less aggressive, he says. “The peace is only on the surface, and there is lot of discontent brewing in the working class. It is important that the issues are resolved amicably,” he says.

As on October 25, 2012 All Prices in Rs/kg.

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ensure a settlement between the management of Eastern Medikit and the workers. “The top management of the company was summoned to Haryana Bhawan in Delhi, as it was trying to avoid reconciliation. We have taken all possible action as far as labour laws are concerned, and  all efforts will be made to ensure labour does not suffer,” he says. He adds that it is a peculiar situation, because the management of the company has almost refused to take responsibility, and the owners do not want to run

Reliance Fresh

the industry.   The Labour Department has filed 29 challans against Mahinder Paul, Occupier and 7 challans against Karun Raj Narang, Director of the Company, in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gurgaon for violations under different Acts and breach of settlement, Narwal informs. In addition to these labour issues, long pending disputes in different units in Gurgaon – that include Harsoria, Senior India Limited, and Parash, were also resolved by his office.  He has also streamlined the system of issuing Factory Licences, Building Plans, and Registration Certificate (RC) under Contract Labour Act. “We have issued more than 500 factory licences since February this year, and that too has been done online. The pendency of such documents is being monitored daily. Issuance of building licenses has also been streamlined,” he says.  The department approves building plans of factories as per an approved check list. “The Registration Certificates under the Contract Act are being issued at an accelerated pace, and during the last six months 1400 RCs have been issued to different units,” asserts Narwal. The ALC says that efforts are on to enroll the construction workers also, across the district, so that they can be brought into the fold of welfare activities. “Registration camps are being held across the industrial areas, to register workers. All efforts are being made to help the workers, so that industry can function smoothly,” he says. When asked if any action is being taken against units violating the contract labour norms, and not giving due benefits to the workers, he replies that if any individual or union lodges a complaint action will be initiated immediately. u

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W ellness

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012


Health & Vitality... Naturally!

Gout Prevention

{ Jaspal Bajwa }


iving the good life’ is often a thinly-veiled allusion to a sedentary life laced with rich foods. With such richness it is not long before our metabolism breaks down, opening the Pandora’s box of ‘dis-ease’. Gout – an extremely painful condition which can occur in any joint of the body – is one such disease. The chief underlying reason for gout is high uric acid levels in the blood. Under normal circumstances, Uric acid is a by-product of purines, which occur naturally in the body, as well as from eating certain purine-rich foods. When our kidneys are not able to efficiently flush out uric acid, inflammation causing crystals materialize and accumulate around the joints. While the genetic factor should not be ruled out, over-indulgence in red meat, oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, and herring), asparagus and mushrooms, accompanied by saturated fat in our diet, can tip the balance. Matters get worse when these foods are accompanied by heavy alcohol consumption, and insufficient water intake. Drinking two or more sugary soft drinks a day increases the risk of gout by 85 per cent. For gout sufferers, fruit juice and fructose-rich fruits, such as oranges and apples, should also be on the watch-list, as also certain medicines like diuretics, aspirin, cyclosporine and high doses of niacin. As if the excruciating pain by itself is not enough, elevated uric acid is also related to a variety of other serious complications – such as diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure. Men are six times more susceptible than women. Another familiar culprit is obesity. Weight gain, especially around  the abdomen, leads to increased levels of proteins called cytokines. These, in turn, cause an inflammatory response, which can contribute to the formation of fatty deposits in arteries (atherosclerosis), and worsening of all

kinds of arthritis – including gout. When looking for natural ways to heal, polyphenols have emerged as perhaps the most essential group of nutrients in terms of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer health benefits. Polyphenols are found in virtually all plants, and they are split broadly into phenolic acids, flavonoids, and tannins. Although most fruits

botanicals (such as nirgunda, guggul, sonth or dry ginger, shallaki, giloy and ashwagandha).

Tip of the week

Clearly, there is no perfect diet for everyone. Each one of us has our own unique individual and biochemical nutritional needs. For gout-prone individuals it is essential to avoid a purine-rich diet (no red meat, poultry, oily fish, dried peas). Similarly, processed foods with high-fructose corn syrup have to be avoided. Fructose is also a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit, vegetables and honey. Fructose is the only carbohydrate known to increase uric acid. As fructose converts more readily to fat than other sugars, it contributes to a major risk factor for both diabetes and obesity. To combat gout, it helps to consume an alkalising diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, low or free of meat and fish and dairy. In addition, magnesium supplements can be taken, as they help to alkalise the body. Importantly, the fluids intake should be closely monitored. Drink a minimum of 8-12 glasses (230 ml each), to help flush out uric acid.

Nature’s Wonder Food(s) of the week: Tart Cherries - Prunus cerasus L.

and vegetables are naturally rich in polyphenols, the darker-coloured ones are superior. Dark cherries, grapes, plums and apples are concentrated sources of polyphenols, followed by berries. Among vegetables, rhubarb and red cabbage are outstanding. However, the benefits of polyphenols vanish if we over-cook, or do not consume them fresh. Traditional medicine has relied on several botanicals to treat gout. Some examples are Aconite, Nux Vomica, Agrimony, Bilberry, Bromelain, Turmeric, Chondroitin Sulphate, Chamomile and Pycnogenol. Ayurvedic gout preparations contain upto seven

One fruit which has received a lot of attention in folklore remedies for gout is Cherry. Interestingly, an increasing number of studies support this long-held tradition, linking cherry consumption to less pain associated with gout attacks. Tart Cherries can be eaten fresh, or as cherry juice, or in the form of tart cherry extract. Cherries are renowned for an array of health advantages – ranging from alleviating the pain of gout and arthritis, to helping with a good night’s sleep. Sweet cherries(Prunus avium L.) are considerably less effective than tart or sour cherries. u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

Ginger juice, mixed with hot water, can be used as a mouth wash. This concoction also helps stops bad breath.




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How Healthy Are Diet Sodas? { Alka Gurha }


any of us believe that diet soda is a healthier choice over regular fizzy drinks. For those struggling with weight gain, ‘diet soda’ seems like the ideal choice – since the word ‘diet’ is reassuring. Undoubtedly, opting for a diet drink over a high-calorie beverage feels good. But diet soda isn’t a health drink, or the ideal beverage for weight loss. While switching from regular soda to diet soda may save calories, some studies suggest that drinking more than one diet soda a day increases the risk of weight gain without shrinking the waistline. If you are dealing

with a sugar addiction then diet soda may have its uses in the short term – but it will not help you lose weight. Diet soda may not have the sugar or calories of regular soda, but it is often full of other chemicals, like caffeine, artificial sweeteners, sodium and phosphoric acid. Such chemicals, over a period of time, can damage kidneys and carry the risk of type 2 diabetes. Loaded with the sugar and acid, fizzy drinks are also hard on the tooth enamel. Diet soda eliminates the sugar, but not the acid content of the beverage. Phosphoric acid is found in many diet sodas, and its purpose is to promote


carbonation. Citric acid is another ingredient added to many diet sodas, in order to preserve carbonation. Like phosphoric acid, it eats away at your tooth enamel. It is the acid content that erodes tooth enamel over time. Since enamel is the main barrier against tooth decay, we can imagine the effect of acid on dental hygiene. Check your favourite diet drink to see whether it contains phosphoric acid. Generally, darker colas are more likely to contain phosphoric acid. If you really love your soda, a smarter way is to try sipping cola through a straw, in order to reduce its contact with your teeth. Drinking excess of diet

soda can also lead to some amount of bone loss. This is because the phosphoric acid in the soda causes calcium in your bloodstream to be excreted more quickly than normal, through urine. Your bones then give up some of their calcium, in order to keep the bloodstream calcium level constant. In the case of sugar addiction, weaning away from sugar with the help of diet soda and other artificial sweeteners may help temporarily; however, one may still have to deal with an addiction to caffeine. So, when you really want to quench the thirst, exchange the can of diet soda for a cool glass of filtered water. Your teeth and bones will bless you for a long time. And your waistline won’t complain either. u


26 Oct-1 Nov 2012


The Good Guys Need To Win


shok Khemka, the gutsy IAS officer of Haryana cadre has been again abruptly transferred. It seems he did not toe the line of his superiors and political ‘masters’, in some of the high profile landallotment cases. Surely they should have known better – Ashok has a strong reputation of being a very upright officer.

EDITORIAL It is my privilege to host a man of uncommon courage and integrity. Ed.

nario. The foremost mantra is therefore to not fight alone, but try to associate with like-minded persons in authority. The Khemkas will find some, if they try. The media has a vital role to play, if they are really interested in helping these officers. Carrying stories, conducting interviews, organizing panel discussions, for a day or so, make a temporary dent. Media need to keep a regular check on the arbitrariness in governance, which is giving rise to corruption, scams et al.

Ashok, an IIT –Kharagpur graduate, is probably an idealist - and idealists have a well-nurtured conscience. He must have had dreams of making a better India, for blooming his Haryana State and citizens The courts also need to fast track their proceedwith well-rounded overall development, through op- ings, to give their final decisions on cases pertaintimum utilisation of the available public funds/re- ing to sustained harassment of officers. The punitive sources. But his dreams, actions against the unfair I am also an IIT graduate who joined a local body of seniors, if found guilty, and of so many others (in the IAS and State servic- the capital of India in the seventies, with the fond hope need to be clearly recordes), have been shattered of being a part of the team responsible for the proper ed in the orders. And if – many times. Honest, per- development and upkeep of the central part of New the Government loses the forming officers are being Delhi. It was my earnest desire that the available public case, then funds spent in harassed, hounded and hu- funds should be judiciously spent for providing the defending the case need to miliated, day in day out ! maximum facilities to citizens, and for making the city a be recovered from the salThey are watched by many better place. Unfortunately, my call of conscience, and aries of the seniors – who silent, passive officers who my decision to not compromise on principles, turned were punitive, unfair, and dare not speak up…. But, my career into a long battle with the establishment – it did not discharge their duas rightly said by Ashok, lasted for almost twenty years. ties as per the laid down passive acquiescence is guidelines and rules. This Representations to all the seniors, right up to the then will send the right signals worse than active connivance. And that is why prime-ministers, about the harassment meted out to in the Administration. Ashok also commented me by my immediate superiors, were sent back by their that ‘if bureaucracy was offices to the same set of officers against whom I had Alumni Associations proactively dutiful, the 2G made complaints - for their comments ! Then followed can play a very supportive responsible role. Scam and Coalgate could a string of more harassments, frequent transfers, and spoiling of annual confidential reports, charge-sheets They need to have a Cell never have happened’. on frivolous charges, being overlooked for promotions, manned by experienced persons, to whom officers These arbitrary stoppage of salary…. Even bringing the matter to the notice of the Central like Khemka can turn to, transfers are extremely demoralising for Vigilance Commissioners did nor bring any succour. for advice/help. While committed and upright One of them advised me to bring the matter to the it is extremely elevating officers who decide to notice of the honourable court, for appropriate relief. I and encouraging to be for swim against the tide. filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court, and argued commended/chosen As per the statutory the case myself, against top lawyers of the country - awards for these acts IAS [fixation of cadre pitted against me by my own organization ! The case of bravery, sustainable strength] Regulations was finally won by me, after twelve years of its filing; support to these officers, various ways, by 2010, a minimum of two and on the express orders of the honourable Court I in organizations, years tenure is prescribed. was installed Chief Engineer of my department, just various But the transferring twenty four days before my superannuation. It is a saga is imperative. authorities, ignoring of a lone and unequal battle against a system that is The Prime Minister’s these guidelines, assert expected to take care of its officers, but unfortunately office, the Director-IAS that it is the prerogative does not. Academy, and the Adminof the Govt to transfer any Yes, there have been a series of recognitions and istrative Training Instiofficer. And, to rub salt in the wounds, the coterie awards from civil society & IIT Alumni Associations, tutes of the States need [of officers] who toe the celebrating my victory. The media also supported the to have Advisory Cells, line of their unscrupulous cause in a positive way. But, the moot point remains: where officers like Khemseniors/political masters why does not the Govt, whose employees we are, ka can turn to for advice/ are not only pampered and take good care of committed officers - those with high succour. The Govt needs promoted, but are well integrity and proven good performance? Why do the to place Vigilance officers protected when caught Courts have to intervene? Why are the seniors at fault of an organization under in corruption/unethical defended at huge state expense? Why are punitive the CVC, and not under practices. And it is not just actions not taken against the unfair seniors, when laid the administrative control frequent transfers that down rules clearly recommend disciplinary actions of the chief executive of the same organization in the upright have to cope against their acts? which they are serving. with - sometimes there Of course all this is possible only if the Government are even suspensions on absolutely flimsy grounds; or an arbitrary withdrawal of staff or work or basic has the desire and will for good governance. facilities; even payment of salary is delayed. The Persons like Khemka are doing a good job for main purpose is to teach a ‘lesson’ to anyone who dares to stand against the ‘system’ (and the system, the country, and it is heartening to learn that the President of IIT Kharagpur - Yatinder Pal Singh, has of course, is not the laid down/prescribed rules). pledged support for this right cause/crusade. The media is also supportive, and hopefully many other This menace needs to be tackled on many fronts. Swimming alone against the tide, when in the associations and people will join in. u Vijay K. Saluja Govt, is extremely tough; it is exhausting and mind Ex-Chief Engineer [Civil], New Delhi Municipal Council wrecking. One’s commitment to the cause, integrity, Ex-President, IIT Delhi Alumni Association qualifications, and skills will not make one a winner (also Honoured by IIT, Kanpur and IIT, Kharagpur) - in the existing mostly value-less and unethical sce-

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

B on V ivant

4U 4


Planted Secrets { Bhavana Sharma }


e seek balance constantly – whether it be in the outside world, or in our homes. Plants bring in a positive energy, a balance, in our day to day life. It is important to place the indoor plants at the right place in the house – for prosperity, happiness, health and good luck. This will also guard the house and its members against negative energies. When you are recovering from a surgery, or even a common cold, green plants are an excellent remedy to help speed up the healing process. They will make you feel better, bring in positivity, and lift your spirits So let's bring some green into our lives, in the little and big things we do, and be in perfect harmony with nature. Here are some plants that help bring in the balance in our lives:

The Jade

Crassula Argentea, also sometimes known as the money tree (or lucky tree), has leaves that are oval-shaped. This plant is considered highly valuable, and therefore a symbol of luck, great wealth, and status.

They are usually kept at the entrances of many Chinese restaurants and homes. Their usual placement is in the south east direction of the home, as the vibration from the plant can improve the finances and attract prosperity. During Christmas, jade plants are decorated with money envelopes, coins and red ribbons, to bring good luck for the coming year.

The Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)

This plant has glossy, green spiked leaves, which speed up the flow of positive chi in

the home. They also absorb toxins from electronic devices. Use them in stagnant areas, such as dark corners, or near electronic systems. Plants with spiked leaves also speed up the flow of chi in rooms with narrow hallways or small doorways, where positive chi is blocked for some reason. They can be placed in foyers as well. This plant connects us with the forces of the cosmos. Being

The Lucky Bamboo

Bamboo has, in modern times, risen to a height far above other plants. Since this plant does not have any intoxicating effect, it

can safely be kept in any of the rooms in the house. Imported from Taiwan, Lucky Bamboo comes from the original stock and is extremely hardy. They will grow indoors for years with virtually no care, requiring only an inch or two of water. This lucky charm will keep giving, too: you can break off a stem and re-plant it in water. By changing the water every three days, it will quickly root, and can then be passed on to a friend. This plant has also captured the imagination of builders, designers, decorators, farmers and environmentalists.

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.


The Basil

a ‘spiritual’ plant, it can be kept at the entrance of every home.

by ShahnaZ

unique properties to sooth and exfoliate. It has a strong fragrance, and can be kept in the toilet. Although it flowers for only three months, its fragrant aroma will do the magic. It works on all the five elements of the

body – fire, earth, water, air and ether. Its unique properties are passed on to our bodies through smell – for healing and restoring our balance. This further enhances blood circulation and aids in deep tissue healing, spasms trigger points, as well as the elimination of toxins.


We can easily grow the daisy plant in the toilet as it offers a softening effect, and will make the toilet feel more welcoming. Daisy plants have been proven to release about

Q. My elbows and knees are very dark. I apply cream regularly to the affected areas, but they remain dark and scaly. What do I do? SH Take lemon halves, and rub them daily on the elbows and knees. Wash off and then apply sesame seed (til) oil and massage it into the skin before bath. Avoid soap. Immediately after a bath, apply cream on these areas – while the skin is still damp. This helps to seal in moisture. Another remedy is to make a paste of gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric (haldi). Apply this paste on the affected areas twice a week. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily.  Tania B Q. These days my hair becomes very oily. I used to wash my hair twice a week earlier, now I have to wash them almost every day. Why is this happening? SH You can wash the hair daily, but use a mild herbal shampoo and apply less shampoo. Dilute with a little water, and then apply. One application of shampoo is enough. Harsh shampoos stimulate the scalp further, resulting in excessive production of natural oil. You can also apply egg white, 15 minutes before the shampoo. This helps to reduce oiliness. After shampoo, add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse. Weekly henna treatments will also help. Shikha Gupta


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

impurities; and as it is fast growing, it will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. Consider it for your garage, since car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde.  Golden pothos, also know as devil’s ivy, stays green even when kept in the dark corners of the home.

30 per cent more oxygen into the air, and so help purify the atmosphere.

Bamboo Palm

The famous bamboo palm plant, which is also known

Warneck Dracaena

You can remove all pollutants from your home with this plant. Warneck creepers grow inside easily, even without direct sunlight.


The best way to help you get rid of the pressures and stress of your daily life is to keep a lavender plant in your bedroom. Its micro-particles can liven and stimulate your senses,

Chinese Evergreen

and induce sleep for those who suffer from insomia and other sleep disorders. Lavender also can be miraculous, with its

Weeping Fig

Keeping a fig plant in your living room can help filter out pollutants that typically accompany dust from wooden furniture. The caring for a fig plant is necessary and tricky; but once you get the watering and light conditions right, it will last a long time.

Aloe Vera

as the reed palm, thrives in shady indoor spaces – and often produces flowers and small berries. It has special properties, that help filter out chemicals—benzene and trichloroethylene—from the interiors of our home. Place this plant in bedrooms, or even in the corridors or foyers. It is an easy-to-care-for plant, that can help filter out a variety of air pollutants; and begins to remove more toxins over time and exposure. Even with low light it will produce blooms and red berries.


With striped leaves forming clusters atop a thin stem, this houseplant can be striking, especially if it reaches its potential height of 12 feet.

Golden Pothos

This is another very power packed plant for tackling

As a houseplant, aloe vera can be easily grown indoors. Its graygreen leaves are fleshy and firm, and its sun-loving succulent (plant with thick, fleshy,water storage organs), helps clear formaldehyde and benzene. This can clear the aura of every room, and remove negativity. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns. u Tarot Reader & Author


26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Devi~Diva Design~Darshans

{ Srimati  Lal }


highlight of this Season of the Goddess in Gurgaon was a prismatic promenade of DeviDiva Design-Darshans  on the catwalk, at the Leela Kempinski. Gurgaonites with an aesthetic and cultivated eye were delighted by the 'live' descent upon the dais of quite a few daring diva-damsels from the drama-factories of Mumbai, projecting the most recent designs of sixteen of India's most creative couturiers. Haute-couture has been elevated to the ranks of an aesthetic form primarily by the ecoles of Europe, ever since its rapid evolution since the late 19th century. The aesthetic relevance, and historic influence, of all fine design, evolved textiles and sartorial embellishments have now found their niche in the world's best museums, as credible and accurate creative expressions of any epoch.  A heightened awareness of couture, art-decoratif and design as credible, influential art-forms gained urban relevance and flourished during the 19th-c Parisian and British  ArtNouveau movements – under the benedictions of  such cutting-edge artists as Toulouse-Lautrec, Klimt and William Morris, who actively patronised and employed the decorative arts. Similarly, in India, which is a major seat of the world's design and aesthetic skills, such influential cultural institutions as Tagore's Kala Bhavana, Rukmini Devi Arundale's Kalakshetra, and the fine art schools of Baroda and Ahmedabad extended their courses and research and analysis facilities to the aesthetic realms of design and textiles.  As an aesthetic barometer of different cultures, employ- ing the commendable hand-craft skills of mastercrafts-ateliers, the Design and Couture-genre has gained artistic credibility within

discerning circles of aesthetes and advanced studio and gallery circuits – thus extending the range of Art from painting and sculpture to all facets of evolved design. Taking its cue from Fine Art, the fastevolving genre of haute couture incorporates colour-palettes along with originality of form, texture, drama, silhouette, and high benchmarks of the beautiful – expressing individual style with a cultural fusion, that becomes a sociological leitmotif of our prevalent milieus. High fashion is hence no longer viewed as mere 'clothing,' but a form of aesthetic-cultural expression. Effective designers are now expected to extend sartorial language to genuinely creative heights. Most designers emerge from a painterly or artistic background, and an essential

aspect of design-training is an intensive study of Art History. Hence, many significant painters, from Matisse, William Morris, Picasso and Husain have also painted upon textiles and saris, designed jewellery and artefacts, and extended their skills to the realms of art-decoratif.  India's finest couturiers have, of late, earned a laudable international reputation, as design-artists of commendable imagination, skill and global influence. The 8th edition of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2012, that took place in Gurgaon on October 20 and 21, will be held in six Indian cities from September to November – from Chandigarh to Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Stylishly showcasing sixteen of India's most promising designers, from the Goan Wendell Rodricks and the Rajput Raghavendra Rathore to Shantanu and Nikhil, Gaviin Miguel, Ashish Soni, Pankaj and Nidhi, Nida Mahmood, Neeta Lulla, Nandita Mahtani, Mandira Wirk, and Phalguni-Shane Peacock, the Event is a design extravaganza.  The BPFT catch-phrase was "confidence and attitude, making the world a stylish place." In this context, the Minimalist line of Wendell Rodricks exemplifies stylish design understatement. From the aesthetic point of view, Wendell's latest couturerange echoes the stark colourfields of the European Modernist Piet Mondrian. Working from a remote Goan village and incorporating India's fine handwoven skills, Wendell has described his humble beginnings and entry into the world of the haut-monde in his recent 2012 autobiography 'The Green Room.'  Splashes of Indian jewel-tones, like festive yellow, spiritual saffron, chilli-red and rani-pink, in modernist geometric panels on deep black, created graceful and dramatic contemporary silhouettes. From subtle tunics with in-built simulated dupattas, to radical long gowns in desi yellows and reds, none of Wendell's creations struck an awkward or discordant note. It was to the credit of some of India's leading models and choreographers that they could project the designs with understatement, ebullience and panache – that is so essential to evoke stylistics on the ramp. Wendell's couture has been displayed at such serious platforms as IGEDO and Paris' Salon Pret-a-Porter. What is couture, however, without a Diva-Devi to carry it? Stemming from the Latin and Italian, 'Diva' literally means 'Goddess'. The presence on the ramp of two such Bengali divas, Sushmita Sen and Bipasha Basu, added a certain Sapphic splendour to this sartorial soiree. Bipasha's appearance in a glimmering Nandita Mahtani neon-green chiffon gown, in Romanesque mode, conveyed international elegance – heightened by subtle Indian metallic


embroidery.  Mahtani's stylistic is tasteful; not over-the-top, despite her Bollywood clientele. A feminine palette, which could have descended into confectionerytones, was redeemed by the elegance of her drapes, that effectively conveyed an Eastern aesthetic. The next diva emerged preening in pink, with a permanent smile -our own Ms. Universe Sushmita Sen, in a bridal gown, ready to fling her peachy bouquet at an astounded audience member. The trouble with Mandira Wirk's collection, titled 'Veils Unveiled,' is its over-ruffled Victorian look. Of course, there is no accounting for tastes, as such effulgently-flashy frocks do find buyers. A huge amount of Indian handworked kaarigari goes into such designs, which should rightfully retain the essence of the Indian design-aesthetic. Bollywood designer Vikram Phadnis presented desi versions of fantasy-fashion in his intricately-wrought formal saris, ghagras, angarkhas, anarkalis and achkans. The topees worn with every outfit looked incongruous, however, as a contrast to the glittering durbari  embellishments. The intricate handwork of authentic Zardozi embroidery and detailing, upon luminous and incandescent traditional khandaani  textiles such as velvet, silk, brocade and georgette, redeemed a range that appeared decadent. Actress Malaika Khan as model was a fitting USP to Phadnis's tinselly theatrics in jhikmik regalia. By contrast, Phadnis' formal male range, of ivory textured brocade achkans, highlighted with colourfully-appliqued flamboyant shawls, stood out. This striking range presents a far more aesthetic and viable option to the stiff western suits and ties, as formal wear for men – both in the east and west. While our emerging designers can certainly stretch their visual imaginations further with even more radical experimentations, there is much potential in India's current couture textures, prints and silhouettes. Shantanu and Nikhil, Neeta Lulla and Nida Mahmood are producing interesting and sophisticated urban designs, incorporating unexpected prints and edgy forms. The Show was overall an absorbing and effective visual experience, for which due credit must also be given to the choreographer Alison Woodham, and the makeup artist Ambika Pillai, for maintaining a high international standard. The musical score was, however, cheesy and repetitive. Greater analysis and research will produce more evolved design-events, that can educate and heighten the public's sartorial sensibilities. A final word of caution: as a note of essential social responsibility. Sponsors of high-profile Indian fashion presentations should also involve responsible Crafts, Research and Historical foundations from our own country. Indian high fashion needs to be seriously associated with social commitment, and an awareness of heritage, ethics and responsibility.u Artist, Writer, & Curator

B on V ivant 19

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Heritage Clubs

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }


t Baljati Shah Kund in Sohna a statement from a young boy takes every visitor by surprise. “We are parents of this ancient site. We are working towards its protection. We request all of you to co-operate with our volunteers.” A group of children, enthusiastically decoding the signs inscribed on the walls near the Kund, have adopted the site. The children visit the Kund every weekend, and work for its protection and conservation.  It all started when Kristian, a German volunteer at Dhani Foundation, a local NGO that provides education to underprivileged children, ventured to explore the historical sites in Sohna. Touched by the rapid depletion of the Baljati Shah Kund, the volunteer decided to engage students of Dhani Foundation to save the historical treasure. “There are many monuments in and around Sohna. Our historical sites tell us about the past, ancestors, culture, and tradition, which we should be proud of. However, nothing has been done to protect them,” says Kristian.  “When Kristian told us about the history of this 3,000 years old Kund, a sense of pride engulfed me, and I felt that I should contribute for its protection,” says Daya, 14, daughter of a construction worker. The initiative proved to be a success story, wherein the students played an important role not only in preservation of the monument, but also in sensitising the locals about the antiquity and importance of the historical site.  Like Baljati Shah Kund, there are a number of monuments around – such as Durga Maa Mandir at Bhondsi, Idgah at Akola Village, Nizam ul Haq Masjid at Sohna, Narain Das Ki Samadhi at Manesar, and Sheesh Mahal at Farrukhnagar. Undoubtedly, this land

is a treasure of heritage and culture. “But how many young Gurgaonites are sensitive to the true value of heritage?,” questions Atul Dev, Convener of the Gurgaon Chapter of INTACH. “There is an urgent need to preserve these sites, as they can also serve as important tourist destinations. The involvement of youth can definitely help in bringing about the relevant change,” believes Dev.

The way ahead

INTACH Heritage Clubs

With an aim to have a greater participation from youngsters, for the protection of these age-old monuments, INTACH initiated a nationwide Heritage Education & Communication Service (HECS) in the year 2002. As a part of this initiative, the Gurgaon Chapter of INTACH has set up Heritage Clubs in schools. The students and teachers, who become members of the Heritage Club, are motivated to participate in heritage conservation, and to learn more about their local and natural heritage. The Club conducts heritage walks, and spreads knowledge about arts, music, and culture of the region. Every member of the Club is provided a Heritage Club passport, in which the child can write about herself, her family, and her City. The Club also brings out quarterly newsletters, carrying articles on culture and heritage by children. INTACH is also working on an ambitious “Adopt a Monument” project. “This Project will not only tell students about the history of the monument, but also involve them in protection

{ Dr. Rajesh Bhola }


Poonam Sood, a teacher at DPS. “We cannot involve ourselves in protecting a monument along with our student life. The solution is, therefore, to rope in locals.” says Vathul, a student of the school. Such initiatives will also help students learn about the historical monuments from their elders. “During one of the visits to a nearby village, our students had a chance to interact with the village elders, who are a great source of information and traditional knowledge,” says a teacher at Summer Fields School. 

n the language of neurological sciences, meditation is described as consisting of a behavioral discipline repetitively practiced through a stylised mental technique, for the purpose of attaining a subjective experience of heightened alertness, that is very restful and silent – often characterised as blissful. Meditation has been linked to a variety of health benefits. Meditation may produce physiological benefits by impacting our neurological processes. The practice of meditation is accompanied by a host of biochemical and physical changes in the body, that alter metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and brain activation. Meditation has been linked with various favourable outcomes, that include: effective functioning, academic performance, concentration, perceptual sensitivity, reaction time, memory, self control, empathy, and self esteem. When we sit in meditation we sit still. Many emotions and fantasies will start arising in you. You will be afflicted with all types of ‘perversions’: some violent, some terrifying, some lustful

and promotion of the historical sites,” says Dev. Recounting a success story of an initiative by INTACH Heritage Club, Nikhil Juneja, a student at DPS, says “My attitude towards history has changed. After Class X, when I opted for history, I faced a lot of criticism from my peers. Everybody thinks that the subject is boring. However now I feel proud, as I could decipher certain aspects of the inscriptions and the antiquity, which my friends from other disciplines could not – thanks to the INTACH Heritage Club.” While the association with INTACH Heritage Club helped

Nikhil in realising the importance of history, Kavita, a science student, found a relevant connection between elemental chemical composition and history.   “Before taking up a revamp project at a monument, it is important to study the composition of stones and material used in the construction of the monument. Unfortunately, six out of ten renovation drives at historical sites in the country are initiated without the consultation of qualified archaeologists and scientists,” says Kavita, who wants to build her career in Forensic Archaeological Science.

Learning from each other

“The idea is not only to promote heritage literacy among the students, but also to involve students in sensitising locals towards the protection of monuments. I believe that it is possible to bring about a change in the attitude of elders by sensitising children,” says

Bliss You and some tempting. These emotions will keep flooding your mind and body, and assail you till you stop censoring them. Soon you will start experiencing how insubstantial and impermanent these thoughts are. Be observant to everything that arises. You will notice what comes out of the storehouse of the mind, as it emerges into consciousness. This is the awareness of feelings in the midst of feelings: the practice of meditation. You will soon see how the mind works, how the body gets impelled into behaviour by the mind. The arising of impulses cannot be prevented. Each impulse is like a seed, which if encouraged to grow could take over one’s life. Although nothing can be done to prevent them from arising, there is something we can do. By understanding their source and their effect we can change their consequences. They can be converted

into positive thoughts, transformed into something beautiful – a garden of flowers, a rainbow, or a smiling face. If you find it very difficult to prevent the mind from wandering, start counting your breaths. Count from one to ten, and then count down again from ten to one. Count one for each complete inand-out breath you take. Meditation is the full awareness of everything that comes up, contained within the posture of a silent sitting. The posture plays a vitally important part. By sitting up straight we exhibit the mind in the best state. We should not think of meditation as just a means towards enlightenment. It is an end by itself. The unconditioned mind delights in the miracle of daily life, enjoys each breath, savours each taste, listens to the chirping of the birds, and looks quite naturally with eyes of love. The reason that we experience this bliss

There is a need to immediately start the “Adopt a Monument” project. “Of 50 monuments listed by INTACH, 20 will be made available for adoption to schools. It means schools can take students to the historical site, can look after the monument, promote it and appreciate it,” says Dev. Besides, an active involvement from teachers of other subjects is crucial. Poonam feels that teachers of environmental science and geography should also be part of such an initiative. “Anybody who cares for culture and heritage can become a trainer. The aim is to promote cultural education, and imbibe a value for conserving heritage among the children,” says Dev. Associating history with other subjects will be a learning experience for the students as well as teachers. Instilling a sense of belonging among youngsters is also important. “Severe punishment should be meted out to people who are involved in the destruction or misuse of a monument,” urges a 12-year-old kid, Sawant, who feels strongly about the depletion of monuments. The participation of youth to protect the remains of our defaced and ill-maintained heritage monuments will, undoubtedly, go in a long way in protecting our rich legacy. u

only rarely is that we are thoroughly conditioned. The aim of meditation is to allow our original nature to function. This original nature is not something we can construct. We need to stop doing what cuts us off from our natural happiness. Meditation will teach you to stop. When you feel angry, for instance, do absolutely nothing. Do not let your self be swept away by the wind; cultivate stillness. Return your attention to your breathing, and enjoy a few moments of being alive. Look at the way the sunshine is catching the wall of the building across the street. You will become simply whatever it is that registers beauty and peace – the unconditioned. That is beyond good and bad, profit and loss, a beginning and an ending. It is not born and does not die. It is. You will feel relief. This is the meaning of meditation, if practiced on a regular basis. This practice puts us in touch with our deeper life, and strengthens us against the ravages of greed and hate. We learn to be happy in the midst of a daily life. u Dr. Rajesh Bhola is President of Spastic Society of Gurgaon and is working for the cause of children with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities for more than 20 years.

20 Edible Gardens  Contd from p 1 I displayed ‘Radha’ (a big sized brinjal), and ‘Khush’ (an over-weight pumpkin) in the same show this year,” says Bhutt. She has given a special name to each sapling, as she feels that plants are like kids, and they too need a lot of love and care. Krishan Singh, an official of the Forest department, who has turned his terrace into a kitchen garden, reveals that he has not bought any vegetables from the market in the last one year. He has grown an assortment of vegetables – brinjal, tomato, bittergourd, gherkin, spinach, and other leafy vegetables. As he grew up in Uttranchal, he sorely missed nature in the City. “I wanted a big garden, but space was a major constraint, so I turned my terrace into a kitchen garden.” Today, Singh takes free workshops on gardening, in Sector 4. “The number of gardening enthusiasts is increasing in the City. I receive at least three calls in a week requesting for a workshop on kitchen gardens,” says Singh. Dr. Arora, a physician based in DLF Phase I, urges everybody to have a small kitchen garden. “Plants require 17 types of rich nutrients to grow. Many chemicals are used in the fields.

As a result, these chemically treated vegetables can lead to liver toxicity, headache, gastroenteritis, and kidney and central nervous system-related problems. A kitchen garden, on the other hand, survives on natural manure. That is why vegetables grown in a kitchen garden have 90 per cent less toxins as compare to those grown in a field.”


Although the awareness on kitchen gardens is picking up in the City, people still have many apprehensions. Most people are apprehensive that their terrace will not sustain the weight of the garden, and that the water content will cause seepage/ leakage. “If your terrace can sustain the rains, growing a garden would not cause any leakage”, says Hema, a member of AIKGA, who has assisted over 40 households in setting up kitchen gardens. Since Hema’s kitchen garden concept works on the potted plant model, it avoids the need to waterproof the roof. She also suggests that we grow plants in light-weight plastic bags and plastic containers, which even senior citizens can lift comfortably. Besides helping people in setting up kitchen gardens, some gardening enthusiasts are also giving away small saplings as Diwali gifts. “As

October-November is the best time to plant saplings, we have decided to gift potted vegetable plants to many corporate groups and families,” says S. Murthy, a green crusader and a retired teacher. A volunteer at Navdanya, an NGO that helps establish community seed banks, Rakesh Mitra believes that there is also a need to set up more seed banks in the City. “Currently, seed banks are limited to village areas. However, we need to have at least one seed bank after every three kilometres in the City. Experts also feel that the authorities should establish kitchen gardens in all schools, to provide nutritious vegetables for the mid-day meal programme. “Kitchen gardens provide healthy and non-toxic food. Setting up kitchen gardens in schools will also inculcate the habit of gardening among the children. Reconnecting our children with nature in their everyday lives is a good first step in environmental education,” says S. Sudha, Principal of Govt. School No. 2, Sector 10. She started off this concept some 10 years ago, and has set up kitchen gardens in over 10 schools – in Gurgaon, Rewari, and Manesar.  In today’s compact urban spaces, kitchen gardens are great natural greenhouses. Not only do they give a green touch to the house, they are also therapeutic. u


Canadian University Counsellor Workshop

he Canadian University Counsellor Workshop got off to a great start last Monday in New Delhi, at the India Habitat Centre. Organized by the Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC), the Workshop provided an opportunity for teachers to learn about various Canadian universities and their academic programs by speaking directly with professors and administrators from Canada. The Workshop also aimed at promoting awareness on the high quality of education available at the various universities and colleges. The Workshop was attended by Counsellors from Pathways, Ansal University, Amity University, The Sri Ram School, to name a few. The participants were pleased with the one-on-one counselling they received from the university representatives. The counselling was absolutely free of cost, and an added value of the genuine services provided by CUAC, as the premier Canadian education information service in India. Recently, Canada has become a favourable destination among Indian students for education abroad, in comparison to the USA, UK and Australia. This is primarily due to Canada’s affordability and quality education including the multicultural and safe environment of the campuses. The co-op (work/ study) programs of these universities are particularly popular among students who wish to gain work experience along with educational qualifications.u

Cookery tips by Vijaylaxmi Masterchef

What needs to be done

{ Yashmeen Manak }


B on V ivant

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Healthy Snacks for Kids Organic fruit yogurt (avoid sugar). Whole-wheat crackers, served with peanut butter (or almond butter) and fruit spread. A handful of nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews or a mix). Popcorn (pop your own, you can control butter and salt content, and there are no added preservatives or ingredients). A veggie plate (broccoli florets, celery sticks, carrot sticks, green pepper sticks, etc) served with ranch dressing. Fresh seasonal fruit. Celery sticks (cut into bite-sized pieces and filled with peanut butter or cream cheese, dotted with raisins). Cheese cubes and ham or turkey cubes, served with a side of ranch dressing. Whole grain cereal (Cheerios, Wheat Chex), served with 1/2 cup of skimmed milk, topped with fruit. Graham crackers, topped with peanut or almond butter, and banana rounds (or raisins). Cottage cheese (top with canned, cubed pineapple). Yogurt, topped with a handful of granola and sliced fruit. Cheese and crackers (kids prefer soft cheese such as a soft herb cheese).

Kids’ Workout

ncouraging physical activity or exercise amongst kids is very important today, as running around, playing in the parks, street games, cycling etc. have taken a back seat. Television, video games and internet rule. For parents, the greatest concern (when it comes to fitness for kids) is to know which physical activity or exercise is appropriate at what age. To start with, parents need to know how they can motivate their children towards exercise. The lifestyle of the parents can influence the impressionable mindset of a kid. So if you want your child to be active, you have to be active yourself. Parents should start teaching their kids about exercise as a lifestyle, to take care of their body and reap many benefits. It is crucial that the exercises be seen as fun. It should never be a punishment or a chore. Praise, reward and encourage exercise. For the age group 5 – 10, there is a variety of activities that children can enjoy, and reap physical and mental health benefits. Apart from normal sports (mainly outdoors), there is: Dance, Group workout (like Aerobics), Skating, Cycling, Martial Arts, Bowling, Obstacle Course, and Skipping Rope. At home, if your child is inclined towards video games, you can go for motion gaming options. Over time, you can analyse which sports (s) your child likes more, and promote that. Here are a few tips, to keep your children hooked to being physically active:  For your child’s next birthday, schedule a Bowling party; or arrange a relay race outside; maybe even an obstacle course, using playground equipment and other items like cones, balls, skipping rope etc.

 Present your child some activity related equipment, games or outings as a reward for getting good marks, or on his/her birthday. For the age group 11+, children can even start gym exercises, but only under the supervision of a professional. Overweight or obese children should definitely enrol in a gym. There are so many exercises – like cardiovascular, calisthenics, group exercises which children 11+ can perform. They can also go for resistance/weight training, where a fitness professional should prescribe the exercise routine with strict supervision on the form and technique. A well structured resistance/weight training program can result in an increased bone and muscle strength during these years. Incorporating exercise or physical activity into your child’s lifestyle will not only promote good physical health, but also develop self-esteem, confidence, an ability to tackle difficult situations, and a positive outlook towards life. u The writer is a certified fitness professional.

B on V ivant 21

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

{ Anita Jaswal }


ouri Nilakantan has spent most of her life in the theatre business. She has never walked through a stage door without the thrill of belonging. On the stage she feels that she is surrounded by like-minded people speaking a common language, and having a common goal. This group is not opposed to the world, but is a worldw i t h i n - t h e - wo rl d — s m a l l , contained, cohesive, mutually responsible.  The theatre is so endlessly fascinating because it’s so accidental. It’s so much like life,” she enthuses. What has she found in there? “Filial piety, humour, language, a responsibility to learn and to instruct, a sense of timelessness and history. This vertical and horizontal community creates incredible solidarity. Once on the stage, everything is taken away, or is about to be taken away: sleep, health, family, comfort—everything, except a sense of shared purpose.” Armed with a degree from Maimi University, Ohio in Direction, Feminism in Theatre and Children’s Theatre, and a PhD in Theatre from JNU, Delhi, Gouri Nilakantan and her husband, Neeraj Mehta, initiated PACT – the Platform for Action in Creative Theater. PACT  is currently involved in Theatrics, Arts and Cultural Management, and also works

Sunny Homes electronic devices should be used, so that the load on the system is reduced,” says Bhatia. The system must be placed such that sunlight is not obstructed, and the tilt of the panels also needs to be carefully set. The load of a typical solar panel is around 12 to 15 kg   per square meter. A solar power system would not be able to produce the same wattage throughout the year, 24 hours a day. The production of power depends on sunlight, location,



urgaonites need to look beyond the diesel gensets that dot the landscape and the sky. Such power is costly and polluting – and even a little noisy. The time has come to use the warm glow of the sun to light thousands of our homes. Despite the cost of a setting up a solar power system still being on the higher side, Tanmay, who works with Advit Foundation, an organisation that manages the Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park in Sector 29, says that it is the ideal foil to the erratic power supply situation. “A 1 KW power plant can be set up for around Rs.1 lakh. It can run 10 CFL bulbs, four fans and a TV on regular basis, and the cost can be recovered within a couple of years,” he adds. Architect Abhimanyu Bhatia says that it is preferable that buyers avoid automotive batteries. Lead-acid batteries are ideal for such a system, as they can reclaim 80 per cent stored energy, and have a life of 8 to 10 years (depending upon maintenance). He also suggests that a pure sine wave inverter should be used, as these are more efficient. Battery power should be chosen on the basis of how much power needs to be stored, particularly during ‘bad weather’. Bhatia suggests that before setting up a solar power system a buyer must work out the load requirements of his/her house. “One can only run low wattage appliances on a solar power system. Energy efficient

and the quality of solar panels. Tanmay, of the Advit Foundation, says, “We have a panel of companies that can help in setting up efficient solar plants at a subsidised rate,” he says. He recommends use of solar powered products such as cookers, water pumps, water heaters and driers. The best thing about a solar power plant is

Dramatically Good

prakhar pandey

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

as a facilitating platform; using theatre as a tool, it also engages in Training Programmes. With their unique outreach programmes designed for children and adults alike, PACT reaches out to more than 15,000 participants every year, identifying and developing their special skills. Purple Umbrella Theatre Festival has been conceived by PACT for the purpose of promoting and strengthening excellence, access, and education in the theatrical arts, and to create a vibrant performing art

culture amongst children and youth. It’s the largest children theatre activity of its kind, and spreads over a month across various venues in Delhi and NCR. “My professional goal is to make theatre more popular, make people more passionate towards this art form. I am proud to be a part of an

“Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; but Theatre will make you good.

institution that helps young children explore their talents, and consider this forgotten field as a career option. Our vision is to become the most recognisable brand in the theatre world, by involving itself in every process of theatre – including education and training,” avows Gouri. The theatre workshops for Educational Institutions and Corporates are specifically designed to help each participant focus and develop his/her communication skills and improve critical thinking ability; as well as improve moral and spiritual values, sensitivity to the feelings of others, and peer acceptance. And it doesn’t matter if you are a school dropout or a PhD; if you are smart and full of crazy and creative ideas… you are eligible to join this Community! Theatre remains the only thing Gouri understands. It

“Theatres are curious places, magician’s trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramatic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts; and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurrences (on and off the stage).”

that the transmission and distribution losses are negligible, says Rajeev Sharma, who has come to visit the energy park. “I think with the kind of power shortages we are witnessing it is important to switch to a hybrid mode,” he says. To motivate citizens to switch to solar power, MNRE offers 30 per cent subsidy on capital expenditure, or Rs. 90 per watt power (for roof top systems up to 100 KW). Soft loans are also given at 5 per cent interest per annum for 50 per cent of the capex, for 5 years – and this is applicable to both commercial and residential complexes. Sharma however says that the government needs to do a lot more to popularise solar energy in the City. This could be done by increasing the subsidy, promoting solar businesses, and giving tax benefits to the industry. “If solar power systems are promoted properly these could easily reduce the dependence on the grid. In future the homeowners can sell their excess power to the grid, as is happening abroad,” he quips. With the decreasing cost of the Solar modules, and the improving technology, experts opine that the time is not far when the majority of the households would opt for offgrid electricity produced by such systems. They only want the government and the civil society to work towards a platform where it becomes easier for Gurgaon denizens to embrace not only renewable energy, but also adopt a more responsible and eco-friendly lifestyle. u is in the community of the theatre that she has her being. In spite of jealousies and fears, emotional conflicts and human tensions; the penalty of success and the dread of failure; and feverish gaiety -this is the only life she knows. It is the life she loves. Gouri has been felicitated with the Best Student award in the Department of Theatre, and her husband has been nominated for the Young Creative Entrepreneur by the British Council. At present the entire family, including 5-year-old son Rudra, is involved with the Short+Sweet Theatre, the biggest festival of ten minute theatre in the world, to be held at the Epicentre on the 7th, 8th and 9th December. Short + Sweet believes that the ten minute theatre works can stimulate, move and entertain audiences as effectively as longer theatre forms. Gouri elucidates, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. I gave my life to the Theatre, because in it I’m building something for myself. What I build, I am. I think there is no world without theatre. I just love being in the theatre with all those crazy, creative people!” u

22 1937_38_Mercedes_Benz_540K_Spezial_Roadster_Rene_Staud

{ Castrop-Rauxel, Germany / DPA }


n original painting by Picasso would have been cheaper to buy. Enthusiasts paid a total of nearly 70 million dollars for 10 of the world’s top classic cars last year, according to Germanbased car watchdog Classic Car Tax. Not one of the treasured vehicles sold for less than 4 million dollars. The most expensive car of the year changed hands at the


celebrated Pebble Beach auction in California. The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, built in 1957, sold for 16.39 million dollars, making it the priciest Ferrari of all time. The runner-up, with a price ticket of 10.3 million dollars, was a Duesenberg Model J Roadster from 1931, followed by a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Roadster, which was

{ Munich / DPA }


wners of cars made by Munich-based BMW are the worst drivers on the road, according to a survey carried out by the Motorwelt magazine, of Germany’s leading ADAC Motoring Club. Almost all of those asked said they had experienced aggressive, rude and inconsiderate driving on German roads – including road rage, and a tendency to drive too close to the car in front. The drivers of powerful cars were seen as the most threatening, with BMW owners topping the list with 50.6 per cent, followed by Mercedes (32.2 per cent), Audi (25.9 per cent), Porsche (8.7 per cent and VW (5.4 per cent). The ADAC said the survey was carried out among a representative number of Germany’s 45.5 million motorists in August 2012. A recent survey by the British used car website Compucars., also highlighted what was seen as poor driving etiquette of BMW owners, on British highways. The biggest faults motorists found with BMW drivers were – an unawareness of others and a lack of concentration. u

Aventador Goes Green


amborghini’s Aventador—one of the most powerful sports cars in the world—is now fitted with a deactivation system, that allows the owner to switch off six of the 12 cylinders in its engine – to save fuel. The new technology allows the latest edition car to run as a straight six, when not under full load. Lamborghini says a blip of the accelerator pedal is enough to bring the full

700 brake horsepower of the V12 back to life. The car has also been given a stop-start system, that reactivates the engine in just 180 milliseconds – faster than most conventional systems. The measures are enough to reduce the fuel consumption of the high-performance Aventador LP 700-4 by seven per cent overall, with a fall in CO2 emissions from 398g/km to 370g/km. The car still uses around 16 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. u

VW’s New Blue Motion Version

{ Paris/Wolfsburg / DPA }



World’s Top 10 Classic Cars @ $70 m

BMW Owners = Worst Drivers

{ Paris / DPA }

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olkswagen has announced that the Blue Motion diesel version of the latest generation Golf 7 will on sale later next year. A concept version of the car was exhibited at the Paris Car Show. The new Blue Motion variant with a 110 horsepower, 1.6-litre engine uses 15 per cent less fuel than the most economical model of the previous Golf range. Europe’s biggest carmaker, VW, says the car will make do with 3.2 litres per 100 kilometres, emitting 85g/km of CO2. “This is the most efficient Golf of all time,” says VW Engineering Chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. The car should be in showrooms from the middle of next year. Pricing has yet to be announced. u

bought for 9.7 million dollars. The car had rare coachwork, and was one of only 25 samples made. Fourth place went to another Ferrari, a 250 SWB Competizione from 1960, which fetched 5.28 million dollars. Fifth was another German car, a vintage Mercedes-Benz Type S 26/180 from 1927, which went to a

new owner – willing to pay 5.05 million dollars. A Ferrari 375 MM manufactured in 1955 was purchased by a collector for 4.79 million dollars, making it the world’s sixth most expensive classic car in 2011. Seventh was a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Cabriolet which clocked up

a price of 4.62 million dollars, while eighth place was taken by a genuine veteran car more at home in a museum than in road use. The 1884 De Dion Bouton Dos-a-Dos powered tricycle looks more like a carriage-withthe-horse missing, than a car. A French made TalbotLago T150C SS—which left the factory in 1938—took ninth place (4.47 million dollars), followed by the inevitable Ferrari, a 1952-built 340 Mexico for 4.29 million dollars. u

'The Middle Of Middle-Earth' versial since the New Zealand government bowed to Hollywood demands two years ago, and agreed to pay an extra 25 million US dollars in tax breaks, on top of its basic 15 per cent subsidy, to Hobbit mania is likely to burst Wellington’s cool ensure the two next month. movies Jackson planned— since increased to three—were { David Barber / Wellington/ DPA } made in the country. As details of the coming ellington—dubbed the “coolest little capital Premiere were announced, New in the world” by the Zealand Prime Minister John Lonely Planet guide book last Key made a surprise trip to year—is set to lose its cool to Hollywood, to try to persuade Hobbit mania next month. the studios to make more movies The countdown to the World Premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, on November 28, is underway, with predictions that it could be even bigger for the city than the last JRR Tolkien blockbuster opening in 2003. That year, more than 100,000 people—close to a third of the region’s total population— crammed into Wellington’s entertainment strip, Courtenay Place, to see the stars arrive for the Premiere of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. A motorcade through the city honoured local director Peter Jackson – who went on to receive a knighthood for his Oscarwinning Rings trilogy. Even Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown showed signs of Hobbit fever, when she kicked off her heels for the cameras, on a sample of the 500-metre red carpet to be laid in front of the Embassy Theatre. She declared that the City would officially be named “The Middle of Middle-Earth” for one week. The City is preparing for the arrival of the stars – Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, and Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins. The Hobbit has been contro-


in New Zealand. He was noncommittal about the pressure they put on him to raise the basic subsidy for foreign filmmakers – amid speculation that neighbouring Australia is considering lifting its rebate to 30 per cent. Hollywood Director James Cameron—who has bought land in New Zealand and is talking about making two sequels to his blockbuster Avatar here—says the subsidies are well worth it. He said that Jackson has created in Wellington, “a global industry that’s competing directly with what’s happening in Los Angeles or London”. “If some accommodations need to be made to foster that, I think the benefits to the New Zealand economy will far outweigh any potential deficit.”u

26 Oct-1 Nov 2012

Hollywood’s Shooting Master

{ Christin Mueller / New York / DPA }


ick Washburn pushes open a heavy iron door leading to the vault of his company, The Specialists. A sign with the words “Fort Knox” hangs on the door, to what Washburn calls his “showroom.” From small calibre pistols to armour piercing military ordnance, The Specialists have everything – except, Washburn’s weapons. The 66-year-old is the go-to man when Hollywood film producers need weapons. “The arms here are all real, but they only shoot blanks,” he says. Pistols, revolvers, shotguns and assault rifles wait to be rented by film, theatre or

TV production companies. All weapons are prepared in such a way that they don’t function with live ammunition anymore. That ensures a minimum level of safety. “But we still need to succeed in pretending that it looks dangerous,” he explains. Nearly 5,000 arms are stored in the secured rooms – under surveillance by countless cameras. An extensive network of Workshops—resembling catacombs—wind their way through the windowless basement of the New York building. A big part is used for storing arms. Besides classic firearms, he offers lances, swords and rapiers. His arms

have been seen in productions such as – The Bourne Legacy, the latest Batman movie, Tom Cruise’s new film Jack Reacher, Law & Order, and Boardwalk Empire. His weapons are not available for sale, due to gun control laws. Only production companies can rent the listed and licensed pieces. “If the weapons are not returned someone will get in trouble,” Washburn warns. The expert is especially proud of one particular gun – the “Miami Vice Special”, a shotgun that he made for the pilot of the series. “After the broadcast I got a call from the Secret Service. They asked me if I had designed the gun, and if it works,” says Washburn. “They told me they had been looking for a gun like mine to protect President Reagan,” he says proudly. He has handed over his designs. Having started out with weapons in 1981, The Specialists have been offering all kinds of special props. They employ 35 people; two of them are Washburn’s sons. Despite his age he doesn’t want to give up the job. “I have no plans to retire,” says the 66-year-old. But for now at least he’s going on holiday. To Africa - for some adventure. u

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G -scape

Birds Of A Feather (Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary)

jit kumar

Friday Gurgaon 26 Oct - 1 Nov, 2012