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27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

Vol. 3 No. 6  Pages 24  ` 7

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

Aam Aadmi

ki

Khaas Party

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

S

ituated in Ghaziabad, the small office of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is bustling with activity. While on one side a group of people enquires about how they can join the Women’s Security Force (WSF), on the other side volunteers of AAP fervently explain the policies of the Party to a businessman. An elderly person narrates his woes with corrupt officials in the electricity office. It is four in the afternoon and all the volunteers haven’t had lunch yet. People from afar have come to the Party Office - from places such as Simla, Ambala and Assam. Rekha, a volunteer of AAP, explains, “Many people come here as they are plagued by issues that are not being resolved by the ‘system’ – be it as ‘simple’ as issue as a wrong water bill or a delay in getting a driving licence. Some of them want to become active members of AAP. Every week the Office is

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

T

he slowdown in growth, coupled with inflation and the weakening of the rupee has had a cascading effect on the Indian economy, particularly the Real Estate sector - which is today in the doldrums. The tightening of credit norms to this sector (due to anticipated defaults) alongwith the poor market sentiment has slowed down the market, with builders increasingly finding it difficult to sell their Real Estate - which once was ‘sold-off’ even prior to the official launch. In some projects in Gurgaon people have even decided to cancel their bookings; this has happened for the first time, in what is one of the hottest Real Estate markets in the country. Sources reveal that developers are in a precarious position, and it only a matter of time when we see who will blink first. Real Estate analysts say that given the

visited by over 700 people.” It seems that Haryana-born activist, Arvind Kejriwal, who is determined to fight against corruption, has given hope to many people across the country; they want to help AAP achieve its – and

consequently, their - goal. Aditya Choudhary, a 28-year-old professional, who has come to the Capital all the way from Simla, says, “This Party has given us a chance to vote for people and a system that can change

the future of our children. They offer no rhetoric or false promises. Till now our frustration and anger has been expressed through mass protests and hunger strikes; soon, our voice will be heard in Parliament. This is a

It Is Really Bubbling current market conditions, there should be a correction in the prices by 25 to 30 per cent in the near future. If the rates are not brought down to realistic levels, there is every chance that the Real Estate bubble - which has been sustained by big ‘investors’ and ‘underwriters’ - could burst, destroying the wealth of a large population. Vineet Singh, Business Head, 99 acres, says that the Real Estate prices in the secondary market have already seen a correction of 10 to 15 per cent, and this will soon be reflected in the primary market as well. “How can a developer continue to sell a product for Rs. 6,500, which is available for Rs. 5,500 in the secondary market? It is imperative that builders understand that realistic prices will have to be offered to sell real estate,” says Singh. He expects

significant achievement of the Anna-Kejriwal movement,” he says. Yunis Khan, a businessman from Faridabad, whose family has been a supporter of the Congress for four decades, says, “For a long time the Congress was the only party committed to serving our interests. But now, after following the AAP and its activities, I feel that this Party is the best for me; all major political parties have become very corrupt.” Lalit, a student at Karori Mal College, says, “Corruption is the common man’s enemy. Kejriwal is fighting against it. He is one of us. He wants to change the way Indians govern themselves. He hopes to bring about a genuine participative model of governance, wherein groups of citizens can take their own decisions - instead of plans being made centrally by a few ‘cut-off from their roots’ politicians. This model sounds good and workable. It Contd on p 7 

the market in Gurgaon to correct by 25 to 30 per cent within the next year, and says that subvention schemes and other such incentives cannot stop this slide. In fact there are investors who are now ready to exit a property by making as little as Rs. 200 per sq. ft. profit on their investments – and even at this rate they are finding it hard to find buyers. To add to the gloom, a recent Report has revealed that top builders in India are sitting on a combined inventory of around Rs. 58,000 crores – due to a substantial increase over the last two years. DLF, HDIL and India Bulls are having a huge inventory of unsold stock, as sales have declined during this period. The figures do not include unfinished and underconstruction projects, which are substantial. A Report by Real Estate firm JLL states that since 2009 the total supply of ‘office stock’ has nearly doubled, Contd on p 20 


02 RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319 Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014, VOL.–3 No.–06  27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

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events@fridaygurgaon.com marketing@fridaygurgaon.com 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

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Nightlife Friday Mashup @ Club Rhino, South Point Mall, DLF Golf Course Road Date: Up to October 25 (Fridays) Time: 8:00 pm onwards

I

t's time to put on your party hats and go wild this weekend. The music belted out by DJ Karan will make you want to dance all night. Get grooving to the hippest Hollywood and 'desi' tunes.

A

Group Exhibition by Da' Strokes, where five upcoming artists, along with the five Directors of Da' Strokes will showcase their paintings.

Workshop Chocolate Making Workshop @ Rendezvous, J Block, Near Shikshantar School, South City 1 Date: September 28 Time: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Age Group: 7-12 yrs

A

yummy Workshop for kids, where they get to learn the art of making two different types of delicious chocolates. They will also be taught how to wrap the chocolates for a lovely presentation. Call 8860649685/86 for details.

Run Let's Go Red @ Artemis Hospital, J - Block, Mayfield Gardens, Sector 51 Date: September 29 Time: 6:00 am

Workshop Young Astronauts @ Maple Club, H Block, Near Umkal Hospital, Palam Vihar Date: October 5 Time: 11:00 am to 12:30 pm Age Group: 6-9 yrs Price: Rs. 600 per child

A

Workshop for Young Astronauts, who will take an imaginary journey through the Solar System. Participants will virtually visit the eight planets, explore rocky planets and gas giants, understand the recent demotion of Pluto and go up to the edge of the Solar System. Photographs, animated videos and hands-on games will reinforce the learning experience.

A

rtemis Hospital, in association with Run With Me Foundation, is organising a Walk & Run on the occasion of World Heart Day (Sept 29) – a 5.5 km loop of Artemis Hospital via Nirvana Country. Visit the Hospital to register.

Art Narayan Chandra Sinha @ Art Alive Gallery, 120, Industrial Area, Sector 44 Date: October 5 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

A

solo Exhibition of the works of Narayan Chandra Sinha, who is known for his installations – created with junk automobile parts, metal drums, fuel tanks of kerosene stoves and more.

Art Motley Bazaar @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 4 to 6 Time: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

Art Group Art Exhibition @ Gallerie Alternatives, DT Mega Mall,DLF City, Phase I, Date: Up to September 30 Time: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

A

Group Exhibition of paintings, drawings, graphic prints & sculptures by S.H Raza, T. Vaikuntam, Jayasri Burman, JayShree Kapoor, Rajat Nandi, Trupti Patel, Rajesh Rana, Manoj Kachangal, Medha Sharma, Daya Chand, Yogesh Kumar and others.

Theatre Boeing Boeing @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: September 28 & 29 Time: 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm; 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

A

n English play, based on an international smash hit sitcom, which in 1991 was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French Play in the world. The Play is directed by Mrinal Dhar.Tickets: Rs. 1000, 700, 500 and 400.

Quiz Drink & Think @ Cocktails & Dreams, Speakeasy, Sector 15, Part II Date: September 27 Time: 7:00 pm

I

t's Trivia time folks! Put on your thinking caps as Master Quizzers Chugh and Chanty (Dr. Sanjay Chugh and Vikram Achanta) challenge you with various topical questions. The challenge lies in you answering after you've downed a few. Up for it?


C oming U p

27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

03

WORKSHOP  THEATRE  NIGHTLIFE  MUSIC  ART

NH 8, PAOTA on Delhi Jaipur Highway

Nightlife Friday Night With DJ Vicky @ Attitude Alive, Super Mart 1, DLF City Phase IV Date: Up to September 27 Time: 8:30 pm onwards

S

tanding behind the console, DJ Vicky will be spinning out an amazing freaky mix of commercial, house and hip hop numbers. Get set to make the weekend happening and...perfect.

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Food Indian Street Food Festival @ Pirates Of Grill, MGF Mega City Mall, MG Road Date: Up to September 29 Time: Lunch: 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; 
Dinner: 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm

A

scrumptious Street Food Festival for gastronomes. Savour an elaborate meal of authentic North Indian street style dishes – from Amritsar, Lucknow, Moradabad, Kanpur and Old Delhi.

4U 4

Tips Food Lemon Treats @ New Town Cafe, Park Plaza Hotel, B Block, Sushant Lok 1 Date: Up to September 30

F

eaturing zesty refreshing lemon flavoured delicacies. Experience the fresh, energizing goodness of lemon in an interesting variety of cakes and pastries - like the Lemon Fantasia Cheese Cake, Lemon & Chocolate Cake (eggless), Sour Cream Lemon Cake, Lemon Orange Pastry, Lemon Mousse Pastry, Lemon & Strawberry Pastry (Eggless), Lemon Tart, Lemon Muffin, Lemon Danish and Lemon Cake slice.

by ShahnaZ

A

Programme in the memory of Jagjit Singh & Mehdi Hassan. Enjoy an evening of Ghazals by Moinuddin Khan, disciple of Noor Hassan Khan and Mahmood Khan. He will be accompanied by Ahsan Ali on Sarangi and Rashid Niyazi on Tabla. Tickets at Rs. 200 available at the Venue.

Exhibition Something About Hair @ Alliance Française, S-24/8, DLF Phase III Date: Up to October 11 Time: 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

A Nightlife Ladies Special @ Madness, 2nd Floor, Star Tower, Sector - 30, NH-8 Date: September 28 (Saturdays) Time: 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm

C

alling all the lovely ladies in the City who take insanity seriously. It's time to venture out from regular busy schedules and come to this maddening world. So check your wardrobe, pick your fave attire, put on your dancing shoes, get a perfect hairdo and make your night memorable with foot-stomping beats of DJ Uday.

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.

Music Hungama @ Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector 44 Date: October 2 Time: 7:30 pm onwards

Photography Exhibition by noted French photographer, Oriane Zerah, who has been spending her time travelling between France, India and its neighbouring countries. In this Exhibition, the photographer takes on the strength and the power of hair.

Q. Iam suffering from a drastic case of hair loss. Please help! SH

Some of the reasons for hair loss are dandruff, oily scalp, stress, thyroid imbalance, illness, nutritional deficiencies, hair damage (caused by repeated dyeing, colouring, perming, straightening), etc. Hair loss after pregnancy and during menopause is also common. So, you can try to identify the cause in your case. Apply non-oily herbal hair tonic on the scalp daily, using cotton wool and leave on. Avoid massage. Part the hair in sections and apply on the scalp. Apply oil once a week the night before shampoo. If you like, you can apply olive oil or pure coconut oil. Avoid head massage. If there is hair loss, the roots are already weak and massage may aggravate the problem. Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily and include fresh fruits, salads, leafy green vegetables, soyabean, curd, in your diet. Ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements.

WINNER Vidhi Kapoor

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 letters@fridaygurgaon.com


04

27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

THE WEEK THAT WAS  Rao Inderjit Singh, MP from Gurgaon, quits the Congress Party.  UK India Business Council is established in Cyber Park, Gurgaon.  National Green Tribunal (NGT) asks for explanation from State against a complaint of untreated wastewater being pumped into Village Khalilpur.  1372 private schools across the State get closure notice, for not even applying for recognition; 94 are in Gurgaon District, which would impact about 20,000 school children.  Urban Development Ministry shows interest in extending the Airport Metro line to IFFCO Chowk.  NHAI asks the Centre to hand over the NH8 project exclusively to it (NHAI) – by terminating the Concessionnaire Agreement.  A Court announces a 10-year jail sentence to a man who had raped a handicapped woman near Kherki Daula. The judgement comes within 6 months.  A woman is raped by a colleague, after an office party at a Manesar resort. The accused has been held in custody.  A 3-year-old girl dies after accidentally falling into a water tank in Sector 10.  A person posts a blog relating to his being harassed and beaten up while returning from a job interview in Manesar, in an auto. The Police take up the case, trace the auto driver and release a sketch of the ‘accused’.  A man throws acid on his father, after a property dispute, in Sushant Lok I.  A traffic constable is beaten up by 4 auto drivers near Manesar Chowk; he is admitted to an ICU, and the accused are caught.  2 men are held for threatening the 12-year-old daughter of an army officer living in Vatika City.  There is a kidnap attempt on a woman, in Sector 5, by a group of men in a car.

Haryanvi Made Easy

 A Roadways driver and conductor are beaten up in the Rajendra Park area, by men whose car was allegedly scratched by the bus.  A guard and a youth fight in the parking area of a mall.  A man is held for making a bomb hoax call.  A woman and her brother are acquitted, after being accused of abetting a suicide.  There are 2 accidents on Sohna Road on the same day. In one, a speeding call centre vehicle hits a schoolboy; in another a truck rams into a car from behind. Protestors hold up traffic after the schoolboy is hit.  Taking cognizance of increasing economic crime, a Serious Fraud Investigation Cell (SFIC) is set up within the Crime Cell, in Sector 51.  A man is held for a Rs 1.25 crores property fraud. Jewellery is stolen from a hotel where a Jewellery Exhibition was being held.  A house in Palam VIhar is robbed – lakhs in cash stolen, plus jewellery.  A man is held with fake currency (Rs 19,000).  Many shops are gutted in a fire in Khandsa Chowk.  Hero Chowk area is to get traffic lights as an interim measure, till a flyover is constructed.  Unitech leases out 8 lakhs square feet of its SEZ space to Aon  Hewitt for a 15-year term – the deal is potentially valued at Rs 800 crores.  Over 60 Honda Company workers are acquitted of all charges relating to a protest that turned violent, in 2005.  A Business Registration Number (BRN) will be a must for those engaged in commerce of goods and services. It needs to be taken within 6 months.  Many defaulting private developers get notice for failing to install required power infrastructure in their areas; they are asked to provide bank guarantees.  Unitech and Ansal are the top defaulters. DLF has taken better care in its colonies.

T

be the change you wish to see

Get a taste of the local lingo 1. There is a new cinema hall opened in my colony. Mhaare colony me naya hall khuleya hai. 2. hear they show old movies there. Manne suna hai uth purani filum dikhawe hain 3. I am going to go and watch a movie there. Main uth jaunga aur ek filum dekhunga. 4. The tickets are cheap also. Ticket bhi ghanni mehngi na se. 5. I hope there is a good crowd. Bhagwan kare uth tey badiya aadmi hon. 6. I am fed up of going to the malls all the time for a movie. Main mall me filum dekh ke haar liya sun. 7. If it is good, then I will take you there next time. Jo theek laagya, te main ttanne agli baar le chalunga.

PIC

OF THE WEEK

Dear Readers, Each week we will feature a question/ topic to get your views/ suggestions. Selected views will be published in the subsequent issue(s) of Friday Gurg.

This week's Topic is:

Who would you consider as a Guru of Gurgaon? Write in to us at

letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

H appenings

05

Khaas Funds A Fundraiser was organised by members of Aam Aadmi Party at Epicentre. Arvind Kejriwal was present, and received the support of some notable Gurgaonites.

Minding Their Business The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and UK India Business Council (UKIBC) launched the first UK India Business Centre in the City. UKTI Minister, Lord Stephen Green, launched the Centre. Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was the Guest of Honour.

Graceful Danseuse Kuchipudi exponent Meenu Thakur, along with her disciples, performed at Epicentre. The graceful Dancer's performance was appreciated by dance lovers of the City.

Aye For The Cause Park Plaza organised an Eye Donation Awareness Session, facilitated by Ahooja Eye & Dental Centre and Niramaya Charitable Trust. Dr. Hitendra Ahooja, a pioneer in eye transplant, and R.S Jain, Head of Niramaya Charitable Trust for Eye Donation, conducted the Session. The staff of the Hotel offered Pledges for Eye Donation.

Outstanding Women Punjab Engineering College (Chandigarh) Old Boys Association (PECOBA) organised its 10th Annual Function in memory of its alumnus, the late astronaut Kalpana Chawla, at Epicentre. Outstanding women achievers received The Kalpana Chawla Excellence Awards at this Function. Awardees included veteran film heroine Kamini Kaushal, Junior World Chess Champion Tania Sachdev, innovative educationist Minoti Bahri and Kathak dancer Vidha Lal.

Innovative Session Dr. Rajneesh Kapoor hosted an Event to mark the closing session of the 3rd Summit on 'Innovation in Cardiology'. More than 400 national and international cardiologists and physicians attended the Event. The guests were enthralled by the performances of stand-up comedian Rajeev Thakur and singer Sonu Kakkar.


{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

D

espite a ban on the use of mobile phones by schools, the gadget continues to find its way into classrooms. Karuna (name changed), a student of Class VIII, says that in her class of 30, at least 25 students carry mobiles. “Recently a student brought the newly-launched iPad mini. I will also get it soon,” she smiles. When asked about the need of a Smartphone for a student, Karuna argues that there are many educative apps for students. “One can see live experiments, read any book and even explore the most complex scientific formula with the help of a phone app,” she says. In fact children as young as three or four years are seen skillfully swiping and tapping on Smartphones. Students find the online world very fascinating, as it offers tremendous opportunities to learn, communicate and play. But alongside, Smartphones pose risks for children. Dr. Kavita Mathur, a Child Psychiatrist at Medicity, points out, “If children are constantly connected socially, spending hours on Smartphones, they could also experience the dark side – of cyberbullying and uncomfortable sexual content. Children are unfortunately becoming addictive to Smartphones – spending up to six hours a day on the Internet.  For toddlers, the usage of Smartphones can be extremely harmful. It can impede their brain development; the first five years are crucial. Due to excessive mobile usage they can face problems with their basic social, verbal and learning skills.” SMS, the Internet, social networking sites, online gaming and pornography are becoming the latest addictions - thanks to Smartphones. 

Pornography, a major issue

A recent study has shown that children in Delhi/NCR region are increasingly viewing and reading sexually explicit content on the Internet. “Earlier, the Internet was mainly available on a laptop, so it was easy to keep an eye on the activities of your child. Now it is in their pocket and it is extremely difficult to monitor what they are viewing,” says Neha Baruja, a worried parent. A student of a government school, Vipul (name changed), 13, was caught viewing a porn video on his Smartphone in the school. His class teacher informs, “We have often caught students with Smartphones in schools. Most of these phones

S ocial

27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

M for... Mobile Then

are bought from illegal dealers, who sell them for under Rs. 4,000. We have noticed that the children’s obsession with Smartphones and tablets have also led to increased thefts in our School. Exposure to explicit sexual content is more dangerous to children of government schools, as they are hardly given any sex education either in school or at home. Shockingly, some porn websites encourage children to upload real-life videos and pictures. “The lines are blurring, between pornographic and social network websites. What was once an explicit image on a porn website is today easily accessible on Facebook. I was shocked when, last year, I came across a case wherein a video of a 10-year-old girl was made while she was getting ready in the green room of her school to perform for a cultural event. The video was posted on a porn site and the link was shared on a social networking site. The parents filed a complaint against the school and decided to send their daughter to Australia,” informs Dr. Mathur. Neha stumbled upon an ad for “free sex for children”, on Google. “It was horrible. When I clicked the ad, it took me to a website where links called ‘View Forced Sex’ and ‘View Gang Rape’ were flashing in big fonts. I think that we as a society still don’t understand the implications of this. It is incomprehensible that we can allow young children to so easily view glorified versions of such heinous crimes," says Neha.

Cyber-bullying Cyber-bullying

is

another

ASHA PANDEY

06

Now

form of harassment of an individual, on the Internet. It is fairly common on social networking sites. What makes Cyber-bullying so prevalent is the anonymity that it provides. Unlike in school, where one comes face to face with the bully, in Cyber-bullying the bully is unknown. Besides, the Cyber-bully can’t see the harm he/she has caused to the ‘victim’. Yosha (name changed), a Class VI student, admits “I often post silly messages to new entrants in our class. It started off as an April Fool prank, but became a major gossip in our class. So I started doing it regularly. I do it from a fake ID. But I don’t want to hurt anybody or cause any harm. It is just for fun!” Yosha doesn’t know that making a fake ID, and posting inappropriate comments on social media, is a crime. Priya, a Class IX student of Blue Bells, recounts a horrible experience. “My mother gives me her mobile when I go for a tuition class. I used to get calls from a boy, asking about my whereabouts. When I stopped taking his calls, he posted stupid messages on my Facebook account and tagged me in ‘dirty’ pics.” Her mother says, “We want to use the mobile phone for our daughter’s safety, but it seems to be causing more trouble.” A recent trend of creating ‘Confession’ pages on Facebook is seen as a potential medium for Cyberbullying among children. A Confession Page is a kind of portal where one can confess anything anonymously. Most of the schools in the City have Confession Pages. It can be

created by anyone - a student, an alumni or any other person, who might not even have any connection with the institute. Students also use these pages to confess their love for fellow classmates. Sometimes these pages are even used as a dating portal. Most Confessions on these pages are absurd and even lewd. A Confession on the page of a popular school says, “I was in Class 10th when Mrs. Kavita (name changed), a teacher, called me to the staff room. She tried to sexually harass me. I hit her on her face and ran away.” The Confession Page of a tuition centre reads, “Hey friends, this is the page where u can confess your heart out. Post about your sexual interest and weird sexual experiences. The confessions will be totally anonymous... even for the admin.” It can be very stressful for any person, when they come across such abusive posts,” says Amita Thakur, a teacher at St. Michael.

How to prevent it

“Children need laps, not apps,” says Neha, who feels that children shouldn’t be allowed to use mobiles until the age of 15. Amita, on the other hand, believes that technology sometimes makes learning more relevant. "These gadgets help students to access vast and varied content, for use across the curriculum,” says Amita. Besides, many parents see the mobile phones as a safety device. For Meeta Ahluwalia, a resident of Vatika City, allowing her four-year-old daughter to play a few rounds of Angry Birds makes it easy for her to prepare dinner. “It

also prevents her from being a nuisance in a restaurant or a cinema hall. However, I monitor the time she spends on the Smartphone,” says Meeta. Dr. Mathur also says, “Don’t deny access to the Smartphone, because stopping children from doing something will only increase their curiosity and it can then make them more determined to try it.” Moreover, children often need it to access information for school projects. Content filtering is a better option. While taking a Workshop on Cyber Crime in a school, an expert, Rakshit Tandon, suggests, “It is the responsibility of online platforms such as Google and You Tube to adhere to the strict content filtering rules. You Tube for example has banned all porn videos. No matter if it is an adult or a child, nobody can view porn videos on You Tube. Such steps need to be taken by other search engines and companies as well.” There is also a need for adults to step in. As soon as you see a derogatory comment or sexually implicit or explicit content on the Internet, make sure you report it to the concerned site. Facebook, for example, follows a strict policy for porn content. Anyone can report a post, a pic or a comment, if it is deemed inappropriate for children. A complaint can also be lodged with the Cyber Crime department in the City. Director of Excelsior American School, Shalini Nambiar, feels that we need to enable parents to support, educate and protect their children. “To do that, they should first be educated about certain sites and the complexity of the content available on the Internet,”she says. Besides, it is also important for parents to monitor the activities of their children. Parents, for instance, can install a popular app, Spyware, in the phones of their children. It also helps in ensuring the children’s safety, as the parents can track their movements. Although the use of Smartphones among children has become a major problem, the safety aspect of mobiles can’t be ruled out. It is important to understand that crimes like Cyber-bullying and pornography often take place when there is lack of monitoring. Children who are left alone, and access the Internet at will, are exposed to threats. Encourage your children to be open, so that you would know when they fall victim to any Cyber Crime. They need to be guided on the right use of technology. The challenge is to keep your children safe while they are ‘connected’ to an outside world.u


27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

C over S tory

07

Aam Aadmi ki Khaas Party  Contd from p 1 will also help in reducing corruption.” However, Radhika, a student of Amity University, Manesar, doesn’t agree. She feels that Kejriwal’s vision for politics, as described in his book, ‘Swaraj’, is based on idealism, which is impossible to achieve in the current scenario. She puts forth an example. “AAP’s policy to resolve land acquisition in villages sounds ‘ridiculous'. The Party believes in giving authority to the rural people to decide the fate of their land. However, at ground level, any company can bribe the influential leaders of the Gram Sabha and easily get itself a favourable verdict. I think we should leave governance to the ‘regular’ politicians. If those leaders fail, the people will not elect them the next time,” she feels. Some argue that Kejriwal should not have taken the political plunge by going against the wishes of Anna, as Indian politics is a ‘dirty’ business. That is being a little unfair to Kejriwal. His stand and action should be appreciated, as he and his team have decided to join the system and be a part of it, in order to bring about a change from within. “Like Anna Hazare, Kejriwal could have chosen to stay away from the ‘dirty’ politics and continued with protests and hunger strikes. He rather took a stand and decided to be a full-fledged participant. I really admire him for it,” says Lalit. Some youngsters also want to know about AAP’s stand on issues such as the Ayodhya temple, riots of 1984 and communal violence in Gujarat. “How can you form a party without having a clear ideology? Fighting corruption and poverty alleviation is fine, but how about views on the communal disturbances that have shaken the country in the past? These are important issues too,” says Bhawish, a 25-year-old MBA who works as a communications officer with an MNC in the City. There seems to be a lack of awareness of the policies of the Party; probably that is also the reason why the AAP has sometimes been facing unnecessary criticism. FG decided to check out the Party that may be setting the trend for the future of politics in the country.

How AAP proposes to work

AAP proposes a model that will help people take their own decisions. “India is a diverse

country. Almost everything, from language, sect and culture changes every 50 odd kilometers, so we can’t have identical schemes for the whole country,” feels Rekha. AAP proposes that money should directly go to RWAs and Gram Sabhas, so that people can decide what they want to do with it.

Right to Reject

The ‘Right to Reject’ would give the choice to the people to reject all the candidates in an election. Many times people don’t vote because they ‘know’ that all the candidates are corrupt. They believe that the current voting system forces them to choose any one candidate, which makes them ‘waste’ their vote on someone who may be unfit for the job.

AAP is the only party that talks of offering voters an alternate option – of a ‘Reject All’. “The Party proposes that all voting machines should have a “Reject All” button, for those voters who don’t think that any of the candidates is fit to be their leader. If this button gets the maximum hits, fresh elections in the area will be conducted within a month. The candidates who have been rejected won’t be able to contest in the reelections,” explains Rekha.

Right to Recall

“No MLA/MP has time to listen to your problems, and after elections take place, the people are left with no choice but to suffer that candidate for at least the next five years. AAP offers an alternative. We will enact a Right to Recall law, wherein the common man need not wait for five years to remove a corrupt or incompetent leader. If people file a complaint against their ‘leader’ to the Election Commission, and the charges are verified to be true, a win-

ner will be ‘recalled’ and fresh elections will be conducted,” informs Rekha.

Special Women’s Security Force

AAP has decided to set up a Women's Security Force (WSF) in every college and constituency. Volunteers and concerned citizens will come together to form these groups. Not only will this Force help women file FIRs and perform other ‘police’ formalities, it will also provide medical help to women. Furthermore, it will work with Women NGOs. Interestingly, one doesn’t need to be a member of AAP to join WSF. However, members are expected to take the responsibility of their locality, colony or society. They also have to make themselves available

for activities organised to help women. Under this initiative of AAP, many hospitals have come forward to offer free treatment to women victims.

How Candidates are chosen

Anyone can apply for the ‘Ticket’, as long as he/she has the written support of at least 100 people in the constituency. The Party will of course cross-check. If required, interviews would be conducted to choose the right candidate. The Party can turn down the request of a candidate, if any individual or group files a valid and significant complaint against him/her. AAP also promises not to put up any candidate having a criminal background, and to select not more than one candidate from the same family. The candidates will not get any ‘VIP’ treatment, even after winning their elections.

The Way Forward

AAP is a new political party that promises to change the way

politics will take place in India. It is clear that the country needs a better set of politicians. But are we ready for the change? With its unique and transparent funding policy, it is clear that the Party doesn’t have enough funds to invest in Press/ TV adverts, and does not wish to participate in the practice of ‘paid’ stories. Election funding has been a major cause of corruption in India. AAP has made it clear that it will not accept ‘black money’ or any donation from the corporate sector. In fact AAP puts the name of all its donors on its website, to maintain absolute transparency. The Party has declined offers from businessmen - some of whom want to donate huge amounts - who don’t want their names to appear online. Although it leads to lesser funds, it also means that AAP would not have corrupt ‘investors’, and so can work independently when it comes to power. Despite challenges and some drawbacks, AAP has clearly been the organisational force driving the anticorruption movement. Anna may believe that politics is dirty, but he surely would like to support good candidates. Where will such candidates come from? This is essentially why AAP is important. It has rekindled the desire among the people to participate in the political and election process. It is actively involving the youth, women and the elderly. The Party knows that there is no looking back from here. It has renewed the hope of corruption-free politics. Now it has to deliver, when it forms the opposition…and soon, as the ruling party. u

Women Shall Prevail { R.S Jain }

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In India the role of a woman is most versatile. As a child she is a daughter who loves her parents warmly. As she grows up she is a sister who wishes her brother a happy and prosperous life. When married she serves her husband and his family throughout her life as a house(home) maker – and also does some work for society. She makes compromises and adjustments in her everyday life. Later, as a mother, she bestows all her love and affection on her children, even at the cost of her own comfort. An old saying aptly states, 'Naari Devi Samaan Hai'. She has always been benevolent and practices forbearance. Shockingly, in the present disturbed environment, a woman is faced with heinous crimes on her person, by men who have become beasts. While women are often seen as weak, they do have both the mental and physical strength, to overcome. They will win this battle – of course with the help of all rightthinking men, who now need to also act. u


08 write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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esidents of upscale Nirvana Country, a Colony built and sold by Unitech on the promise of an exclusive and world-class lifestyle, are worried over the constant dilution of their privacy, security and comfort, due to excessive commercial activities that have started to take their toll on them. The biggest headache has been the unplanned construction of a large number of schools, which has forced the residents to come out in the open against the Builder as well as the school owners. Residents allege that Unitech has allotted land to schools without giving any thought to location or access, and more importantly the need and concern of the residents. Of the 20 schools being planned, two are high schools, six primary schools and 12 nursery schools apart from two crèches. Nirvana residents assert that the presence of so many schools in the complex, in the midst of residential dwellings, will not only be inconvenient, but also compromise their safety and security. “When there is no direct access that has been planned to these schools from the arterial roads, and no (future) traffic study has been carried out, are we supposed to just watch silently while this gated community is systematically destroyed by the Builder? There is no plan for widening the sidewalks either, to account for the expected enormous rise in foot traffic,” allege members of Nirvana Residents Welfare Associa-

Far From Blissful prakhar PANDEY

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

tion (NRWA). Rakesh Sachdeva, resident of Nirvana Country, says that multiple ‘vacant’ irregular land pieces, over time, have been earmarked as sites for schools. “That is the reason why 20 schools are proposed to be built in a hundred acres, which were to be used exclusively for the residents of Nirvana,” he adds. The Nirvana Residents Welfare Association says that construction of these schools is not only in violation of the school orders, but is also being undertaken in gross violation of building norms. Citing the example of one such school, Bella Mante, a nursery school that has built a five storeyed structure, NRWA says that this goes against the directions of the Supreme Court. Ruchika Sethi, member of NRWA, says that the life of the residents will be seriously impacted once these schools become

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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C ivic/S ocial

27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

eteran Congress leader Rao Inderjit Singh, Gurgaon MP and a Yadav leader, recently announced that he was leaving the Party, at a major Rally organised at Rewari. The decision to quit the Congress was on expected lines, and political watchers say that it is likely to increase the difficulties for the ruling Party. Addressing his supporters at the Rally, Rao accused the Chief Minister of discriminating against South Haryana, and Gurgaon in particular. He also challenged Hooda and his supporters, such as Rao Dan Singh, Captain Ajay Yadav and others, to fight an election against him in the ensuing polls. The current assessment is that Rao’s Haryana Insaaf Manch is likely to join the BJP. Sources reveal that his group has demanded four assembly seats and an MP seat, and a final decision in this regard might be taken in the first week of November. Inderjit admitted to people at the Rally that he had made mistakes in the past by

operational, as many outsiders will come to the Colony on cars, buses and rickshaws, and it would cause traffic nightmares. Sethi further says that Nirvana Country residents do not require such a large number of schools; instead the Builder should have built Community Centres, play grounds for kids, visitors’ parking, or other common civic/social facilities – which are conspicuous by their absence. Surprisingly, the plan for adding so many new schools is taking place at a time when schools already operating in and around Nirvana are finding it difficult to sustain

themselves financially, and are using their premises for all manner of commercial activities - far removed from anything to do with children and education. They partly operate as ‘sabzi mandis’ or offer dance and karate classes. NRWA claims that, within a radius of 3 kms around Nirvana, there are already 100 schools that are operational. The dispute has been taken to the court by a group of Nirvana residents. “Why should the nursery students sit in a five storeyed structure, when it is against the norms? It is also dangerous, in case of an emergency,” says Kumar. With a number of school owners having already started to build, the residents also accuse them of using potable water for their construction activities, which is again a violation of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana

Striking Out listening to Congress leaders, particularly the current CM, but reiterated that the time had come to make amends. Political watchers say that Rao Inderjit has the capacity to influence 5 to 8 assembly seats, and in 3 to 4 seats he could ‘assure’ a winning performance. In a closely fought election, a strong performance by Inderjit's Haryana Insaaf Manch could make him a key player in Haryana politics, say sources. His daughter, Aarti Rao, obliquely referred to him as potential Chief Ministerial candidate, when she called for a CM from South Haryana this time. INLD has welcomed the decision of Rao Inderjit Singh, and has said that Congress was a sinking ship from which a large number of leaders will flee. Anant Ram Tanwar, member of the INLD National Executive, said,

“We welcome Rao Inderjit Singh and the Haryana Insaaf Manch, as it is crucial to strengthen the opposition vote bank”. Tanwar talked to Friday Gurgaon. R S Dahiya, INLD spokesperson in Gurgaon, also described the move by Rao as timely. Despite the loss, Congress State spokesperson Jitender Bhardwaj asserted that their Party was a large ocean and is not affected when some people come and go. He also accused the Congress MP of indulging in politics to further his own interests. Senior Congress leader Rao Dharampal said that Rao’s exit would not have any effect on South Haryana politics. Rao may also find his support base in Gurgaon being weaker now. Locals allege that it is not easy to access him; he has hardly been visible in the City and has not champi-

High Court. Nishat Kumar, member of NRWA, alleges that while ground water is being pumped for construction activities, the residents are suffering due to a massive shortage of water in the summers. Kumar further says that despite there being a thousand families now living in Nirvana Country, Unitech has not built a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). “Water that could be treated and used for gardening and horticulture is being wasted,” says Ruchika Sethi. Tinu Bawa, a resident, is unhappy because a school has come up near her home, and she says that this is going to be a major distraction. “Earlier I was confident that my kids would be safe, as the entry of outsiders was restricted. My daughter could roam around in the area even in the dark, because people here know each other. Now almost anyone would be able to enter Nirvana, on the pretext of going to these schools,” asserts Bawa, Nirvana residents allege that Unitech is callously pursuing its interests, in complete disregard to the well-being of its residents. This, the residents say, is tantamount to reneging on the original promise of providing a peaceful, safe and secure living environment. “We are going to fight this blatant violation of norms; if unchecked, it would lead to a poorer quality of life for us,” says the RWA. It seems clear that, unable to get the builder to address their many concerns, Nirvana residents are determined to wage a battle to prevent their dream of peaceful living being sacrificed at the altar of the Builder’s greed.u

oned any major issue or solution. BJP leader Rao Narbir Singh said that the entire South Haryana is now against the Congress. Rao Ajit Singh, who is the brother of the Congress MP, and is an INLD leader, welcomed Rao’s decision to leave the Congress and called upon him to join hands with his party, to fight the Congress misrule. Political sources say that senior Congress leader Shakil Ahmed had also tried to stop Rao's exit; however, there are serious differences between Hooda and Rao. In the Congress, the Rewari MLA Captain Ajay Singh, Mahendergarh MLA Rao Dan Singh and Gurgaon MLA Rao Dharampal are the main Yadav leaders who have the capacity to pick up the gauntlet thrown by the Haryana Insaf Manch. The Congress is also trying to entice the BSP leader Zakir Hussain. If Rao Inderjit Singh is able to provide strong support to an opposition alliance and deliver, he could emerge as the kingmaker in Haryana, as none of the parties is expected to get a majority in the coming election. u


27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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-waste is a universal problem. Home to several foreign and domestic IT and BPO firms, the Millennium City figures prominently in the ‘danger list’ of cities faced with the e-waste hazard. Electronic equipment, such as computers, TVs and laptops, has become a part of not only every company, but also every household. The City generates over 11,000 tonnes of e-waste every year; of which barely 13 per cent gets recycled properly. Apart from electronic equipment, daily use items such as bulbs, CFLs and batteries also form a large part of e-waste. Such waste often goes to local scrap dealers and ends up in sites where it gives rise to soil, air and water pollution. The unorganised sector, which today handles most e-waste pick up and disposal, often uses unprofessional methods - causing damage to health and the environment. For example, the mercury or magnesium coating on electronic equipment seeps into the soil and water and affects the water table of the area. The workers are also at risk, as they do not use safety equipment, gloves and masks, while handling the e-waste. Besides, e-waste has spurred a trade in ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Unfortunately not many people know how to properly dispose of or discard electronic equipment. Despite strict

Serving e-Waste

To use Dataserv service, residents can call up a toll free number 18002082828 or SMS ‘WEEE’ to 58888 or Email: contact@dataserv.co.in e-waste regulations having been introduced by the Central government in 2011, they have never been enforced effectively. The solution lies in working at the individual level, by ensuring proper waste segregation at the start of the waste cycle. Ideally, each household should have separate e-waste bins – for biodegradable and nonbiodegradable waste. If that is not possible or practical today, a society or a condominium can have a common e-waste bin for its residents.

Door-to-door Collection

Recently, Dataserv APAC, a global leader in e-waste

{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

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Amit Sardana, MD, Dataserv APAC, while launching the service. The Company is also encouraging many Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs) to place e-waste drop boxes in their colonies. These drop boxes will be serviced under Dataserv's free collection initiative. Recycling certificates and comprehensive reporting of e-waste processed will be made available to the residents on request. “I was not aware of the health hazard that e-waste can cause if not disposed of properly. Thanks to Dataserv, we will now be able to dispose the waste in the right manner. I am glad that this service has been introduced in our area first,” says Siksha, a housewife.

elivery of quality customer service is a basic necessity for any enterprise. However, it seems that some businesses are yet to learn this lesson. It was because of this indifference towards consumers that Ram Avtar Yadav decided to join Grahak Sahayak Gurgaon, a consumer welfare organisation based in the City. Yadav, who is now President of this NGO, says that they try to help people who do not have resources. The NGO has helped hundreds of people in getting justice from consumer courts, as individuals find it difficult to handle legal matters. “There are strong and clear laws in the country to protect consumer rights, and one needs only to be aware of these,” says Yadav. Grahak Sahayak also works towards creating awareness among the consumers. Yadav says that his organisation is also listed with TRAI, and works with different telecom companies to resolve customer complaints. “We have a monthly

management, has launched the first door-to-door e-waste pick-up service in the City. Launched in Nirvana Country, the initiative encompasses a mobile van that collects e-waste at the doorstep; the e-waste then goes straight from a household to an authorised recycling unit. "The City is a fast growing contributor to e-waste. The production of e-waste here is likely to increase by over 300 per cent by 2020. This initiative seeks to not only sensitise people about the safe disposal of any e-waste generated, but also brings professional disposal to their doorstep,” said

Other initiatives

Interestingly, some scrap dealers and online ‘sale and rent’ websites offer vouchers, redeemable at electronics stores, in exchange for old computers or cellphones. This innovative idea was born out of a tie-up between some NGOs and local scrap dealers. Instead of introducing collection centres at residential areas, these NGOs are sourcing e-waste from scrap dealers or electronic goods manufacturers. “No matter how much aware people are, they prefer to sell their e-waste. Local scrap dealers (‘kabariwallahs’) offer them a better deal than the recycling companies, which generally expect people to

Consumer 'Sahayak' meeting with senior officials of telecom companies to get complaints resolved. These are mostly related to overbilling, poor connectivity and call drops,” he says. The NGO also takes care of complaints made by customers with regard to insurance, real estate and other issues concerning the common man. “The deficiency in services by the real estate companies is also taken up by us, and a number of times consumers have got relief from the consumer courts,” he says. Yadav, who also fought an election from Rewari in the last polls, says that his mission is to serve the society in an effective manner. Having worked in Gurgaon for the past several years, Yadav says that consumer awareness is slowly increasing, especially with the arrival of the ‘corporate’ population. “Our goal is to make every one

aware of their rights as consumers. If someone feels shortchanged he/ she can complain to us, and we can work on the issue with the concerned company or department,” says Yadav. When asked who is considered to be a Consumer as per the law, he says that any individual who makes a purchase of a product or service for personal use, and not for resale or manufacturing, is described as a Customer. Referring to the rights of consumers, Yadav says that Indian law protects them from all kind of hazardous goods and services, the right to be fully informed about the performance and quality of all goods and services, free choice of goods and services, the right to be heard in all decision-making processes related to consumer interests, the right to prakhar PANDEY

{ Shilpy Arora / FG }

C ivic/S ocial

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give away e-waste free of cost. Therefore, the key is to work with the 'kabariwallahs',” says Ravi Aggarwal, Director, Toxiclink, an NGO working for e-waste collection in Delhi and NCR. There is a need to bridge the gap between local scrap dealers, recycling companies and the electronic goods manufacturers, for the e-waste collection system to work efficiently in the country. Some companies are also asking people to pay a bit more when they buy the electronics, by which they have the option to return the item (after use) to the store/company. For every store to introduce this offer, it would require the will as well as cooperation from manufacturers and retailers. While Apple and Canon offer gift cards and discount vouchers in exchange for old gadgets, Dell and Samsung have over 20 physical disposal centres across the country - no centre is operational in the City yet. It is time we stopped giving our old PCs and mobile phones to local scrap dealers. All of us need to act responsibly for the proper disposal of our e-waste. There is a need to understand that e-waste requires a specialized process for its pick up, disposal and recycling. We should not discard any item without knowing its destination. “If we don't act now, we will have a polluted environment and increasing disabilities in children," warns Prashant Yadav, an expert in e-waste recycling, working with the Haryana State Pollution Control Board.u

seek redressal whenever consumer rights have been infringed and the right to complete consumer education. “Whenever there is a violation of these rights the consumers can approach the courts and get justice,” he asserts. The NGO has also been involved in social activities, like organising health camps and planting trees. Pointing to the conditions under which a consumer can file a complaint, Yadav says that in case the goods or services purchased, or agreed to be purchased, by a person have one or more defects or deficiencies in any respect, than he/ she can file a case. In case a trader or a service provider resorts to unfair or restrictive trade practices, he/she can be taken to consumer court. Yadav says that consumer courts are doing good work in the country, and the only issue is the big pendency of cases, which leads to delayed justice. “There is need for more consumer courts and better education among the common people, so that they can protect themselves better,” he says. His goal is to build a strong consumer movement in the City. u


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27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

{ Anita Jaswal }

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r. Ashok, an Orthopaedic Surgeon, and Dr. Pushpa Sethi, Gynaecologist, have been married for over 30 years and have worked in tandem all along. Together they understand the long hours and the stresses of medical practice. “We have the luxury of asking unguarded questions of each other, sharing our professional and family life and overcoming challenges together,” says Dr. Pushpa. Residents of Sector 14, they set up their Clinic in 1981 on Basai Road. Managed and run by their son Dipankar, it is today a prestigious, well-equipped facility that provides exceptional care for all medical cases - with special focus on Women’s Health Programmes. Dr. Pushpa is actively involved in many

What’s up, Docs! causes, including DASS (Doctors Against Sex Selection). She is always there to support and advise women on issues like parenting and mid-life tribulations. This is part of her social service. We all know doctors have their work cut out,but they also must focus their acumen and energy on philanthropic activities. I look forward to the opportunity to use my skills and experience as a doctor for the service of those in need – with no expectation of monetary reward. It’s been three decades since we took our Hippocratic Oath, and we have strived to become humanitarian doctors first. We share a passion of bringing a better quality of life to as many people as possible. 

Our greatest priority is providing the best available care to our patients, says Dr. Ashok” Humanitarian aid work is not only physically challenging but

psychologically and emotionally challenging as well. However, a simple smile from a child is all it takes to make their fatigue disappear. I have a congenital propensity for the less fortunate. I was born into a happy family, but was always aware of families needing food and medical care. As the years passed, I increasingly realised the need to help those less protected, less gifted and less educated than myself. Helping others was what I was destined to do, says Dr. Pushpa” The doctor duo are actively involved in tree plantation projects, free multi-speciality Medical Camps   and hygiene awareness programmes. “I look forward to each day with eagerness and anticipation,

Art at Heart { Shilpy Arora / FG }

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f nothing else, believe in Art” - so believes a young professional, Hersh Gulati. For him, Art is not just about aesthetics, but also about hope. With the help of Art, he aspires to bring change in the lives of the underprivileged. A resident of Beverly Park, Hersh has recently launched an NGO called ‘Young Art and You’, to raise funds for the education of poor children. Painting has been Hersh’s passion since childhood. Although he took up a CA course after school and is currently working in the corporate sector, this has not diminished his interest in Art. He always manages to squeeze time for his creative pursuits. “Since childhood my family has been participating in welfare work in the City. That is why I also wanted to do something to help change the lives of the underprivileged. I am fond of the Fine Arts, and so decided that I would use Art to help me in this endeavour,” he explains. During his childhood, Hersh dabbled with charcoal sketches and later began to experiment with oil colour, watercolour and pastels. Drawing inspiration from real life, Hersh’s paintings showcase rickshaw pullers, balloon sellers and the elderly. A self-taught artist, Hersh treats every painting as his service to society. “My artwork is inspired by simple human figures that I have seen in different cities. A charcoal sketch of a rickshaw puller, for instance, is an inspiration from my stay in Kolkata,” he says. Some of his artworks beautifully capture the innocence of women. When asked about why he would like to work for the cause of education, Hersh says, “Poverty is the biggest issue in our country. The situation can change only when children in poor families also go to school and achieve a respectable position in society. Education can change the life of a person. An

educated person is self-dependent. They can earn, and can take wise decisions for themselves and their family members.” Further, the aim should not be just to educate these children, but also to develop their personalities in a way that builds self-esteem and strengthens their will. The NGO aims to donate money and the latest technology to government schools in the City. Young Art and You is also aiming to provide an opportunity to amateur artists to exhibit their Art free of cost. The NGO is going to put up an exhibition at Zorba The Buddha soon. Encouragingly, some artists are coming forward and even contributing their finest works. “I have told the artists that they need not confine themselves to any theme or ideology; it is good if viewers see a variety of artworks on a single platform,” says Hersh. The exhibition will also showcase other art forms such as photography and sculpturew, and even provide an exhibition of dance and music. “Art lovers can take home their favourite work at an affordable price and also derive satisfaction from the fact that their money is going to be spent for a noble cause,” says Hersh. u

S ocial as we take on the challenges of preventing disease, promoting health, treating illnesses and helping to mend broken hearts. Being a family doctor means creating a long-term covenant with a patient and being willing to walk life’s often challenging journey together. It sometimes means just being there to share the joy and the pain of some of life’s most significant moments,” says Dr. Pushpa. “She is philanthropic at the core. She is someone who wants to save lives and she is doing that every day; I am happy to be part of her good work,” adds Dr. Ashok, about his wife.. Dr. Pushpa unwinds by dancing. “I found that the balance brings me happiness. Happiness comes from your work, your relationships and your passion,” she concludes.u

Not a Groupie Yet?

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eople from all walks of life and ages have moved into Gurgaon. Meetup.com and various clubs have provided an opportunity for them to find people whom they can interact with. Finding the right Group is just a click away. The community network is becoming one of Gurgaon’s plus points. There are a lot of expatriates who wish to be a part of a Group. It can be lonely in a city where you are new and have no contacts except your office colleagues. There are widows and widowers whose children are abroad, and they need to fill their vacuum. The Drink-up Group, which meets regularly at a pub, is an ideal venue for some. Here people of all ages and both sexes intermingle, drink, dance and leave. If one makes a friend, that is certainly a bonus. For those who do not care for the loud music and crowd of a pub, there is a Fifty-plus (singles only) Music Group. Name it and you have the Group, in this City. If one is looking for a support system, there is a Moms forum, where mothers meet to let their hair down, share their interests and discuss the pains of child-rearing. If you are a food lover, there is a Foodie Gurgaon Group on Facebook, which not only shares recipes but also helps you identify restaurants. Once a month they organize a lunch. It is most amazing to meet more than fifty food lovers at one spot. The Walking and Cycling Group is for those who love the outdoors. If you have an adventurous streak, do not worry; there is a group that opts for sports like rafting, sailing etc. The Group organizes convenient and not too expensive trips. For those women who are happy to not include men, there are many exclusive Groups. Member of these Groups go together for walks, movies and even drinks. The activities let them take the much-needed breaks from their family. Many book clubs have mushroomed. The lack of libraries in Gurgaon does not mean that there are no book lovers in this City. There are five book clubs operating in the public arena. There are book clubs for members in individual societies and clubs as well. People from different parts of India have brought a rich and diverse reading habit to the City. Spirituality is not far behind. There are various yoga centres and spiritual meets happening all over the City. The advantage all these Groups have over a Friends’ Circle is that one need not make intimate relationships. Adults find it hard to forge new relationships and even harder to fit into a new lifestyle. Here, in these Groups, casual acquaintance is sufficient. The interactions, over time, may of course lead to deeper friendships. The activity is group-centred. One can choose to go when one feels the mood for a particular activity. There are no charges…and no commitment. If ever one feels that one’s interests have changed, one can just stop visiting the Group. Is there some Group missing? For me, a Travel Group for the challenged would be most welcome. Or just a Group that provides a support system to the differently-abled. u Sujata Goenka


C ivic/S ocial

Not Rosey Townes { Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon.com

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uilders in Gurgaon, despite promising the moon at the time of the launch of their projects, seem to forget the needs of apartment buyers once the payments have been received. The difference between what is promised and what is delivered is big, and the problems are further complicated by the fact that maintenance agencies backed by builders are only concerned about making profits. The lives of the residents are thus troubled, and instead of getting a world-class lifestyle for which they have paid, the buyers often have to engage in years of struggle to get even some basic amenities while the authorities look the other way.

Rosewood City

One such posh colony is Rosewood City in Sector 49, where residents, despite having paid through the nose for their property, are hassled by the lack of maintenance, poor security and the general apathy of the builder. Dharmender Jha, President of the Rosewood City Residents Welfare Association, says that security is a major issue for residents, as inadequate staff has been

RWA members of Rosewood City

Entrance to Rosewood City

posted by the builder. “Last year five cases of theft took place in the Colony, and yet no action has been taken by Eros Management to increase security. We requested for CCTV cameras but nothing happened, so the residents pooled in resources and installed two cameras at the gates,” says Jha. The residents are also unhappy that no dedicated estate manager has been employed by the maintenance agency for the upkeep of Rosewood City, which has more than 200 villas. “The maintenance staff is mostly absent, and we have only one gardener for such a huge area. There is no dedicated plumber or electrician within the locality and residents have to face a lot of problems due to this,” says Jha. The power distribution wires in the Colony are in a poor state, while they take a high load. K.K Sharma, a resident of Rosewood City, alleges that the builder had promised 5 KV backup for each house, but the generator capacity is much less. “We have frequent power cuts and the back-up does not meet our demand, particularly in summers,” says Jha. The residents further say that despite repeated requests the maintenance agency has not worked on improving cleanliness and the pruning of trees, because of which the streetlights have become use-

less - as the light is blocked by the tree leaves. Rahul Puri, a resident, says that no horticulture work takes place in the Colony, as a result of which plants have gone wild, and the area has the look of a jungle. The lack of a community centre and recreation room, for such a large population, is also decried by the residents, who now want a vacant plot inside the Colony to be used for the same. Jha says that despite repeated pleas the builder insists that only a school will be built on this plot, despite an academic institution already being developed in the area. “We have been demanding a representation in the maintenance agency, but our requests are not heeded. The residents want to know how the money collected from them is spent,” says Jha. The RWA also alleges that for the past couple of years the builder has failed to reply to their queries. A resident, whose house is located on the road opposite the EWS Colony, rues the fact that he bought a property in the Colony. “There is no check on the entry of outsiders. Most of the families here do not belong to EWS category, and trucks carrying construction material move without any check,” he says. At a number of places construction material has been lying waste, as contractors have finished the work and moved to other sites. Whenever the RWA tries to bring some order to the movement of outsiders, there is tension. Jha says a guard was recently injured seriously when he tried to stop a vehicle from entering the Colony. The residents also rue the fact that there is a common entry for the EWS housing, while the builder has given a separate entry and exit for the neighbouring Wembley Estate. “We took up this matter with the builder but the matter was not resolved, and now there is no land for providing such an exit,” he says. Pointing to the nearby Nirvana Country, Jha says that if Unitech can provide for high boundary walls then what is the problem with Eros? The residents are also considering taking over the maintenance, like other RWAs in the City, if the problems are not resolved at the earliest. Recently the RWA had invited JAFRA to look into the problems of the Colony, and intervene on their behalf with the builder. Right now another issue presently being faced by the residents is the decision by the Eros Management to set up a gate that will leave some

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27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

Inner area of Malibu Towne

housing units outside the Colony. “We want a gate to be set up at D1, so that no house is left outside,” says Jha. For such a large Colony, there is not even a single shop, for the residents to buy their daily need items and essentials. N.K Sinha, a resident, says that they have asked for a few shops to be built inside the Colony, but there has been no action taken on their request. Jha is however hopeful that their fight will yield some good results for the residents.


Malibu Towne

The plight of posh Malibu Towne residents, particularly those who live on the Floors, is not much different as they face numerous power cuts, lack of adequate power back up facilities, encroachment of green belts and entry of outsiders. Common areas in the Colony, which should be the property of the RWA as per the Haryana Apartment Ownership Act, are still controlled by the builder who has in fact rented these out to outsiders. Facilities such as primary schools, dispensaries and post office have yet to appear in this posh Colony even after a decade of its existence. Sarika Panda Bhatt, Secretary of Malibu Towne Residents Welfare Association (MTRWA) Floors, says that power backup as promised by the builder has not been given, as a result of which long power cuts are frequent in the Colony. “We were forced to install our own genset, but even for that the builder is not

ready to provide space. As a result it had to be set up in a sports ground,” says Bhatt. The residents further allege that while the non-performing maintenance agency is able to manage a huge office in the Colony, the RWA has not been allotted even a single room to run its office. Bhatt says that the swimming pool meant for residents is being operated by an outsider; most residents avoid using it. “Last year I used to go to the swimming pool but the presence of a large number of outsiders has scared me, so I did not use it this year,” she adds. The residents of the Colony further rue the fact that there is no check on the entry of people, and even cattle roam freely inside Malibu Towne. The security is compromised because of encroachments by outsiders, and due to a number of gates where the monitoring is lax. The Association has also approached the DTCP for resolution of the complaints, but Panda says that the developer seems to listen to no one. “We recently sat on a ‘dharna’ to protest power shortages,” says Bhatt. When the complaints were made to DHBVN it became clear that the poor state of power distribution cables was the main reason behind Malibu Towne’s power woes. DHBVN has clearly said that the Builder needs to change the cables. Bhatt knows that it would be a herculean task to motivate the Builder to bring about changes to the poor state of affairs in Malibu Towne. u


12 See The Disabled – Don't Just Look T he body and mind can by no means be separated. It is distressing to see young children who are disabled. They feel pain and inconvenience. I sit with them and try to understand their minds. Many spastic children have a deep sense that they should not have had to face this disability; being ‘different’ causes them great unease. But they feel ashamed to ask for help. Many of them sit alone soberly for hours, hooked to a toy, a calculator or television. Disability has been around for a long time, but is conspicuously absent in the history books we read. The history of disabled people is the history of being visually conspicuous, while being politically and socially absent – erased from all records and memory. Recovering disability’s lost or untold history is important, to illuminate some of the darker corners of our past. We will start seeing disability in a whole new light when we realise and visualise what we could be, if our grandpa had been blind or disfigured. Disability—as both a condition and concept— and the disabled are caught up in a multitude of social and cultural contradictions: between individuality and an objectified isolation; between medicine and the law; between sainthood and stigma; between being stared at yet ignored; between being labelled “special” as well as “deviant”; between presumed privilege and disenfranchisement; between being too public yet too personal; and between the discourses of rights and reasons. For rehabilitation, the disabled are wedged between schools and hospitals for the better part of their life – between being either pupils or patients. We are unable to provide a larger or richer social support for people with disabilities. The lack of will on part of the families and the government, to arrange for medicines, education, and employment, would continue to wear down the disabled. In fact, the families and the society think that the problem of disability can be eliminated by removing the disabled from sight, from social spaces. I have never forgotten the moments I used to spend with a child known as Sonu. He would throw a ball, but could not pick it up off the floor. At this point we both used to smile. We both recognised the so-human quality of this situation. We both knew how difficult it was to accept disability, and how the embarrassment of the condition was harder to cope with than the problems of the condition itself. Sonu

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iving on this planet as a human being is a very diverse and intense experience. When we live a human life, we experience many sensations, thoughts and feelings. As per Hindu philosophy, this experience is in great contrast to what we experience at the astral plane – where we enter after we die, and where we remain in between our various lives. Souls love to be incarnated in the human form, to gain this special and rare experience of realness on Earth. There is a deeper meaning behind our travels. At the astral plane there is no lag between the thinking of something and the realization of it. But on planet Earth, dreams do not always come true. There is sometimes a huge gap, an unbridgeable distance, between what we imagine and what we achieve. It is a great struggle to make our ideas take shape into realities. We face challenges, obstructions and contradictory impulses and emotions, which blur our view on what is right and wrong. We often get desperate by the non-compliant nature of our reality; reality does not always answer our wishes and hopes. Our creative intentions seem to end up in pain

S pecial F eature

27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

was abandoned one morning by his parents. The child was a spastic and could not speak, could not express anything. His parents never came back – and he was left all alone. However, even in his aloneness we found him in communion with all of us. He was rehabilitated in a shelter home. We lost him two years ago. I was greatly pained – and wrote his obituary: Sonu, 18, left for his heavenly abode at 3 am on Thursday, 20th January, 2011. His parents do not know that the journey of their young child is over. Throughout his journey Sonu could not get a birth certificate Dropped by parents one morning alongside the road, to his fate It was an effort in Civil Hospital to get him a disability certificate He has gone for a deep sleep I woke up Dr. Arora in the wee hours of the morning to at least get Sonu a timely death certificate His afflictions are over; at least let him go for a quiet sleep I weep, I wail. The tears don’t stop He has gone for a deep sleep Sonu, you woke me up forever I will always remember you Till my turn comes... to go to sleep. Social arrangements also shape what is considered a disability. A lack of social support encourages the perception that people with severe disabilities are burdens, incapable of having rewarding relationships. Resultantly, many such disabled persons live and die unnoticed – like Sonu. Another young teenager, who is spastic, confides in me that “Uncle, I try to do things that most others do, but my body does not obey my orders.” Is it his fault? Will we as a society just continue to perceive such persons as ‘burdens’? We need a shift of consciousness. We need people in society to extend a hand to those who need help. We cannot live an isolated life; we are indissolubly linked to the fates of one another, and the world around us. We all need to be committed to a new view, a non-alienating approach towards the disabled. Let the disabled complete their journey on this planet in a barrier-free environment, and let us help them come to terms with their personal conditions and emotions, by including them in the social mainstream. u

Karmas To Moksha and disillusion. Still, we find that the experience on Earth cannot be matched by anything at the astral level. It is a most creative experience, to be able to monitor and navigate our 'karmas'. We can heal ourselves of a number of wounds that have been suffered by us in many of our past incarnations. We can also feel blessed by feeling the pain of others; and by helping cure those who have been through the same afflictions. Each birth is yet another chance to perform better, and to hope to attain salvation. In this process, the challenges we meet are our greatest teachers. Despite a life full of struggle, the experiences are valuable; they help us in evolving to the next stage. The life at the astral plane, in comparison, leads to stagnation, and withholding of further evolution – until the soul again comes for an earthly experience. Our souls can attain 'perfection' or salvation–from the cycles of birth and death–only by evolving to the level of ‘ego-less-ness’ or the ‘witnessing

of awareness’; we have to learn to become detached witnesses to the happenings in our lives. Many 'karmic' seeds are needed to be sown, to reap the harvest of cyclic salvation. Good 'karmas' start purging the effects of bad 'karmas', and lead finally to purification – of freeing the 'being' from the cycles of 'karma'. The term 'karma' embraces both our past and present deeds. 'Karma' is a law in itself, and operates in its own field. Every time we think or do something, we create a cause – which in time will bear its corresponding effect. This cyclical cause-and-effect generates the concepts of the world, of birth and reincarnation. The soul is constrained to a cycle of rebirth, trapped within the temporal world, until it finally achieves liberation – by following a path of purification. God is entirely good. There is goodness all around Him. There is only light. Human beings were sent by God, with complete ignorance of their past life and past deeds. The true purpose of their journey

I Forgive I

know of two brothers who were the very picture of brotherhood. However, soon after they were both married, certain differences surfaced between their wives. For more than thirty years the brothers remained estranged; even their family members didn’t talk to each other. Both are grandfathers today. Fortunately, very recently, wisdom dawned on both the families. They finally reconciled. The wife of one of the brothers has already left for her heavenly abode. The grand children of both the families now feel that their grand parents should have lived more responsibly, and should not have created artificial walls between the families. They should have forgiven each other long ago.

The brothers and their families could have shared the journey of life in a more constructive, loving and fruitful way. We all carry burdens - resentments, acrimony, childhood difficulties, anger, fear – and sometimes for a lifetime too! Forgiveness allows us to let go of our burdens, which can weigh us down, and even lead to heart attacks and other physiological and mental ailments. The act of forgiveness has great healing powers and medical benefits. Forgiveness is a process that starts with 'me'; it is about 'me' letting others (who have ‘done me wrong’) go. Forgiveness means using our vital energy to tame our worries, hatred, chronic anger or fear. Forgiveness is learning to free ourselves, so as to experience the present - and to live in a more serene, loving, healthy and positive relationship with oneself. Meditation helps us develop the habit of forgiveness. Bring to mind somebody you care deeply about. Let yourself be filled with the feeling of love. Imagine

Best Of Spiritual Year II

love radiating out from you to the other person. You may see it as light rays, or imagine feeling the person in a beneficial manner. You can also bring to mind someone whom you treat as your enemy. This time there may be other feelings present. Do not worry. Smile, and try to cultivate a loving kindness even for your enemy. You will see deep feelings come up within you in response to the awareness of the forms that appear in your mind; and you should gently but effectively contain these feelings in a nurturing way. This practice puts you in touch with your deeper self and strengthens you against the ravages of hate and delusion. You learn to be still in the midst of all that is going on, and learn to master your internal control. A sense of warm radiation will slowly come to you even for your enemy. Gradually you will learn to be merciful. The emphasis should be on letting go of hurt, helplessness and anger, while increasing confidence, hope, happiness and compassion. People who learn to forgive experience significantly fewer symptoms of stress - such as backache, muscle tension, dizziness, headaches and upset stomachs. In addition, such people experience improvements in appetite, sleep patterns, energy and general well-being. By and large, people have the capacity to make peace with their past. They then regain their ability to trust and

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is to allow light to conquer the dark, and create a new type of consciousness. Our earthly cycle of lives draws to a close when our consciousness is able to hold all the experiences of duality with equipoise, remaining centred and fully in the present – moment to moment. Our consciousness swings when we identify ourselves with only one aspect of duality – light, opposed to dark; good, opposed to bad; or rich, opposed to poor. 'Karma' is a natural leveller for the swings that we are engaged in, from time to time. We release our ties to the 'karmic' cycle, when we arrive at the central point of motionlessness, on this seesaw. There is a feeling of stillness, compassion, joy and tranquility at this central point. It was termed as ‘ataraxia’ by the Greek philosophers; in many oriental religions it is termed as ‘moksha’. It is a form of perfect tranquility and imperturbability, which takes us to another level of consciousness. We get rid of the energies of anxiety and fear; we become more quiet and open inside – we truly enter another world. It is the turning point. We start enjoying being with our self. We will start experiencing the world, and all its beauty, from this state

of bliss. There is emancipation, liberation and freedom from the continuity of afflictions. The end of craving leads to the end of the circle of rebirths. Bliss resides where there is peace and joy in our heart. The choice of a life of love, compassion and hardships is, therefore, a way to rid oneself of the pain caused by moral guilt; and to perfect qualities that are necessary for the spirit to progress to a higher form. To get freedom from the constant recurrence of karmic cycles, it is necessary to be absolved of the past, present and future grievances. It is an individual's effort to reach the other shore. But it will be great if we are able to help others also land on the other side. For this, it is necessary to share unconditional love and forgiveness with everybody. Let us put our ego and pride aside, and feel relieved of our 'karmic' obligations – by not feeling angry, by not hurting anybody, and by forgiving all. All spiritually enlightened people took this path, for their salvation and emancipation from the 'karmic chakra'. u

The Bible talks of forgiveness such: “Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Jesus asked for God’s forgiveness of even those who crucified him, when he said: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ Buddhism recognizes that feelings of hatred and ill-will leave a lasting effect on our karmas. If we have not forgiven, we keep creating an identity around our pain. That is what is reborn, that is what is suffering. In Jainism, as a matter of ritual, the followers personally greet their friends and relatives and seek their forgiveness. No private quarrel or dispute may be carried beyond Samvatsari. love, and stop blaming other people for their emotional distress. They happily count their blessings, rather than complain about what has gone wrong. They understand that they need to look more at who they can become, and less on what has happened; and they look at each day as a fresh start. By forgiving, they begin to heal, in both the body and the mind. We are turning a corner in our consciousness. More of us are realizing

that the ways of hate and fear are not necessary; that there is another way, a more loving answer to our seeming problems - whether personal or global. As we learn to accept that our ego consciousness is a shared experience, we develop a better understanding of how every thought of forgiveness must have an effect somewhere. As each of us begins to practice forgiveness, a network begins to spread in different forms, offering a way for us to come together and change our collective experience of the world. The world is not what it seems to be. There is loveliness in everyone; but this is unfortunately mostly hidden behind a mask of fear. There are innocent and loving hearts buried beneath shrouds of guilt. Guilt has taught us to hate ourselves - and then our brothers. We have become afraid to love, and have put our faith instead in fear. Our world will be whatever we choose to make of it. We can continue our old and ancient grievances, or decide that it is time to walk a different path. Forgiveness provides the alternative to hate and conflict, and to deprivation and suffering. Forgiveness teaches us that there is a peaceful way to deal with our differences, as well as to heal what seems to be a wounded and failing environment. Forgiveness is the opportunity to remake our world.u

Prepare Your Child

hen children bid adieu to school they feel vibrantly alive. Many scenes live on in their memory, as emotional associations – of many unforgettable moments spent with their peer group. The parents feel that their children will soon be leaving the ‘nest’, and embarking on life’s real journey. The children realize that they have gained adulthood, and will soon be ‘major’ citizens of the country - with a right to an independent driving licence and a bank account, a passport and the right to vote. But do we really prepare our children for the vicissitudes of life? Do we equip them with the suitable mental climate that will enable them to respond to the changing weather of life? We as parents are by nature protective; we generally go to considerable lengths to shelter our children from challenging situations. When the children leave school, they find themselves in a different atmosphere altogether. At each turn they will face new hills and valleys in their landscape of life, and each experience will be another milestone along the path. A certain brashness and intolerance that they had when younger will gradually give way. Through new experiences they will learn to appreciate many things deeply – things that, in school, they had simply taken for granted. A good education is one that stands us in good stead in our subsequent work-life, and teaches us compassion. When our children experience failures, obstacles and hardship, they may become bitter and alienated, or mature faster. Each experience will broaden them. It is important that they be enlightened, rather than defeated, by the various situations in life. The most difficult troubles are often psychological and social, rather than physical. There may be a setback, even a series of setbacks, which may throw them into a state of depression. A black mood may hang over them. They should try and develop a habit of meditation, and be spiritual in outlook. To grow as human beings they need to imbibe the basic virtues of self- enlightenment, discharge their duty towards society, have an unflinching faith in God and compassion for

all beings. With so many troubles, and with difficulties galore, our children cannot handle the world alone. They require the co-operation and blessing of many forces - some of which they are not even aware of. They should remain connected to the cosmic consciousness, by enjoying the subtle beauties and energies of Mother Nature. They should take care of all beings. All of us always have the power to give something; nobody is so poor that he/she has nothing to give to anybody. A good word, a cheerful smile, a cup of water when someone is thirsty - any little thing that we have, whatever it may be – shows our respect for other human beings. Our children have a special duty to be compassionate to those who are helpless, and to the needy. Who else will take care of them? All creations of God are worthy of love, care and compassion. Let our children become compassionate human beings and learn to be charitable. When they give, they shall be given back - in an appropriate manner. However, they should just learn to ‘give’, and not crave to ‘get’. Our children must meet their difficulties face-on, and live nobly. Whether different challenges turn out to be victories or defeats for them at the end, will depend not upon the nature of the troubles themselves, but on how our children will manage their resultant emotions, thoughts, feelings, imaginings and impulses. They cannot change their external settings and circumstances, but they can certainly change their view and mindset about the problems. As we manage our internal world, so shall our external life become. By training themselves, our children may change the content and form of their response to various stimuli. They should face the troubles squarely - and feel inspired, and have the guts, to do what needs to be done. When they have such an indomitable spirit they will not flinch from looking into the eyes of the hurricanes that will come in their lives. An enlightened person enjoys life as it is, and by doing so liberates the creative person within. When we recognize, acknowledge and contain our own difficulties, and are no longer afraid of the shadows that arise within ourselves, we put ourselves in a position to think well of others and to become useful to the world.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


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Kids Brainticklers

Artistic Strokes

Mohit Kumar, ROIS, Gurgaon

The Holidays are over... but your creativity isn’t. For children – write a poem, an article, a fictional story or even a real life experience. See it published in Friday Gurgaon – make your teachers and parents proud! For teachers/administrators/co-ordinators – here’s a chance to pen down your experiences, teachings and learnings. Send us your contributions (300-350 words). For information, Call us at 0124-4219092/93 Or email at anita.bagchi@fridaygurgaon.com

Paintings stories poems Shiksha Sagar, KR Mangalam World School, Gurgaon


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15

Pathways World Schoo l, Arava li

Swimming To Success

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he 7th Annual Pathways World School Invitational Inter-School Swimming Tournament was held. The Meet—with participants from several Schools across Delhi/NCR—was filled with high-spirits, enthusiasm, healthy competitiveness and commitment. The participants displayed exemplary skills and sportsmanship and presented an impressive performance. 
Pathways World School, Aravali won the Event with 1000 points, followed by Assam Valley School, Assam with 233 points and Genesis Global School, Noida with 229 points respectively. The two days of fun and excitement ended with an Awards Ceremony.

Path-breaking achievements

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athways World School, Aravali has been ranked as the No. 1 Day-cumResidential International School in Delhi NCR and No.2 in the whole of India, according to the 2013 Education World India rankings. The School has also scored a hat-trick in being on top in the Infrastructure provision category.
The rankings have also recognised Pathways for its Parental Involvement, Teacher Welfare & Development, Community Service, Special Needs Education and Internationalism. At an Event organised by Education World, the country’s top Day, Boarding and International schools were felicitated and awarded. Dr. Sarvesh Naidu, School Director (Pathways World School), collected the award on the School’s behalf.

Ryan Internationa l Schoo l, Sohna Road

Playing With Colours

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he School organised an Inter-Playschool ‘On the Spot Painting Competition’. The tiny-tots were given colouring sheets and were instructed to imaginatively apply their colour scheme to their drawings. This freedom of creative expression enhanced their artistic skills and they presented beautiful pieces of art. The students of Love Dales School stole the show and grabbed many prizes. The day was full of enjoyment and accomplishments for the little ones. Principal Dr. Mouna Gupta appreciated the efforts of the toddlers and congratulated the teams.

Les French Manavs

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tudents of Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46, performed brilliantly in the first ever French Competition, organised by Prayatna Educational Society. The students participated in a traditional French dance, French Elocution and enacted a French Skit for the Competition. MRIS bagged the First position in Skit and 2nd in Dance, as well as Second position in the Zonal Round, thus qualifying for the Semi-Finals.

Creative Maths

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he School celebrated ‘Maths Creativity Day’. The Chief Guests were Rajesh Patel, Head of Project and Engineering of Carlsberg India Pvt. Ltd. and Vijender Singh. The Event began with a Solo performance by a young instrumentalist from the Primary Wing. Students from Classes I to V exhibited their creativity through 2D/3D models and projects, landscaped with different shapes and tangrametry. Students also participated in a Sudoku Competition.

The Art Maestro

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iplav Rej of Chiranjiv Bharati School Palam Vihar (Art Dept.) was felicitated & awarded the prestigious Delhi State Award for his Scratch Paintings at a glittering function. The Award was presented to him by Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, at Delhi Sachivalaya Auditorium. Biplav received a shawl, certificate and a cheque for Rs. 25,000. The function was well attended by other artisans and dignitaries.


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Ryan Internationa l Schoo l, Sector 40

Lifetime Recognition

A 'Privileged' Visit

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he school children, in their endeavour to work for the upliftment of the underprivileged, visited Kanhai Village to help facilitate education. They prepared worksheets for the little students in the local School, and took turns to teach them. The Maths worksheet, created by Ryanites, was distributed among the children, who worked on it enthusiastically. The Ryanites assisted the children, helping them understand the sums and problems. While the children were keen students, the Ryanites proved to be able teachers. The students also distributed pencils, erasers and other stationery. The local students were happy and excited to receive colourful pencil boxes and stationery. Young Ryanites also educated the students and villagers on the importance of maintaining good health and hygiene. They discussed and emphasised the need to have clean surroundings for a healthy living.

ducation World India, in association with C-Fore, organised its sixth Annual India’s School Ranking Award, wherein India’s top Day, Boarding and International schools were felicitated. The Chairman of Ryan International Group of Institutions, Dr. A. F. Pinto and Managing Director, Madam Grace Pinto were awarded with Lifetime Achievement Awards in Education Leadership 2013. The Recognition is for their extraordinary contribution towards the growth and development of high quality English medium K-12 education, and for playing a major role in building India’s promising education segment – the provision of value-based education to lakhs of children throughout the country.

On-The-Spot Creativity

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n Inter-School Poster Making and Slogan Writing Competition was held at the Lt. Atul Kataria Memorial School premises. A team of 6 students participated from Ryan International, in two categories. Muskan Jain secured First position at the First Level and Anam Akhtar stood First at the Second Level. The School also bagged the Roller Trophy for the best participation. Even though the topic for the Competition was given on the spot, the students came up with creatives ideas. The School Head, Peeya Sharma, congratulated the students.

American Montessori Pub lic School

Open Advice For Parents

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n Open House on the topic, ‘Your child needs you – How to raise independent and responsible children’, was conducted by Lalita Trehan, the Founder-Director of the School. The Chief Guest at the Workshop was S.K Trehan, Chairperson of the School. Ms.Trehan gave parents tips on enhancing parenting skills with love and affection, positive discipline, role modelling, setting limits and boundaries, good communication, reading to the children etc. A child who is handled positively tends to have a higher EQ (Emotional Quotient) and IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and also performs better in School. She also stressed that these parenting practices will help the parents to act as facilitators, rather than controllers, in the parent-child relationship.

Hindi Recitation

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Hindi Recitation Competition was held for students of Classes I and II. The children presented beautiful poems on various topics – like Prakriti, Jal Bachao, Mera Hindustan, Mehengayi and Aao Mil Kar Kaam Karen. The poems were accompanied with beautiful props.

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Dr. O.P Bhalla - Tribute to a Legend

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e will remain in the hearts of all. Dr OP Bhalla (1947-2013), Chief Patron of Manav Rachna International Educational Institutions, philanthropist and a social icon of Haryana, left for his heavenly abode on 16/09/13 (Monday). Here is a tribute to a great guide and a great mentor. I am still trying to accept the bitter fact that he has left us all; I am not sure that if I ever will. As I recollect the wonderful times I spent with Dr O P Bhalla, I am torn between grief, pain and sorrow. At his funeral, as I cried and screamed, unable to put up a brave face, unwilling to be patient and calm, I heard so many voices talking about Dr OP Bhalla's contribution to the society and country at large. After all he was a colonizer – a colonizer of hearts. For all these mourners just one meeting with Dr OP Bhalla was more than enough.  What were his ideas? What were his visions? Introducing students to the latest technology and ensuring that it helped in making their dreams come true; encouraging positivity and positive thinking; and a strongly held belief that if this generation of students had to prosper, our approach would have to bridge the gaps between different generations. How can anyone forget the revolution he brought in Education? A proud and a decorated recipient of the highest honours - like Vikas Shiromani Puraskar, Bhartia Shiromani Puraskar, Rashtriya Nirman Gold Award, Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award, Indira Gandhi Priyadarshani Award, FIT Life Time Achievement Award, Haryana Ratan Award, Buisness Icon of Faridabad and many more – Dr Bhalla has been instrumental in changing the educational landscape of this country. He was a man of ethics, religious values and spirits.  An encomium of Dr OP Bhalla is very hard to write. There are a million thoughts and even more emotions - yet I am at a loss of words. Sir, I wish I could tell the world how you were an intellectual phenomenon and not just an individual. I wish I could tell you how strongly you stood for justice and purity - leading to a just society and in turn leading to a just and a pure country. I wish I could tell the world about your shrewd academic mind or the extraordinary patience, soberness and kindness you possessed in your actions and visions. I wish I could just meet you once more and you would put your hands on my head and hug me the way you did when I always met you. I am not too sure about there being another Dr OP Bhalla or someone who could really come close to your persona. But I know that in the years you lived, you left a million lasting impressions on countless minds. In the reflections of those impressions, Dr OP Bhalla would continue to exist. You, Sir, will be missed, forever and ever.  Emaad Muzaffer, Student - MRIS-46


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27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

Various parts of the Moringa Tree are excellent sources of protein, vitamins, beta-carotene, amino acids and various phenolics. Drumsticks also contain a high profile of important minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium and magnesium.

Health & Vitality... Naturally!

The Miracle Tree { Jaspal Bajwa }

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ometimes the most amazing gifts of Nature are right in front of our eyes … yet we do not see them. One such example is a humble tree, which dates back over 5000 years. Native to the sub-Himalayan plains of South Asia, its cultivation has now spread around the world. What indeed is the story behind this ‘Miracle Tree’? The Drumstick Tree (also called Moringa) offers a vast array of benefits as a natural wonder food; it also can be used as fodder, medicine, fuel wood, biogas resource and fertiliser. The World Vegetable Center in Taiwan considers it to be the vegetable with the highest nutritional value among 120 species studied. It is used as a delicacy in all the cuisines of India. Interestingly, the footprint of 70+ countries where it grows also happens to be places where the risk of malnutrition is high. In Africa, several long-term studies have proven its benefits in helping combat malnutrition among infants, children, women of childbearing age as also individuals infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. In Philippines it is called the ‘mother’s best friend’. Ayurveda and other traditional folk medicine practitioners have been using various parts of the Moringa tree for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-hypertensive, antispasmodic, antipyretic, anti-diabetic, anti-tumour, diuretic and hepato-protective properties. A Drumstick acts as a cardiac and circulatory stimulant, helps lactating and nursing mothers and has been used in the treatment of ear, eye and bronchial complaints, skin infections, rheumatism, fevers, stomach ulcers,

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gout, diarrhoea, syphilis and nervous disorders. With so much going for it, it is no wonder that the Drumstick (Moringa) Tree has been much revered.

Tip of the Week

A quick Equivalence guide: On a per gram comparison, Drumsticks have significantly more Vitamin C than oranges, more Vitamin A than carrots, more Calcium than milk, more Potassium than bananas, more Protein than yoghurt, more Fibre than oats and more Iron than spinach. Nature’s Wonder Food of the week: Drumstick Tree or Moringa oleifera or Saijana

The Seeds contain about 35–40% oil. Known as ‘Ben Oil’, it is similar to olive oil, has an excellent nutritional profile and does not go rancid easily. Seed oil can be applied externally to treat rheumatism, gout, sexually transmitted diseases, boils and epilepsy. Seeds can also be crushed and used as a flocculent, to purify water. The Pods: the edible, tender pods have a taste very similar to asparagus. These are eaten as a nutritious vegetable, either cooked or pickled. Medicinally they are used to relieve joint pain and used as a de-wormer, as also aiding in the treatment of liver and spleen disorders, diarrhoea and malnutrition. The Leaves are an excellent source of Vitamins A & C, protein, iron and potassium, and can be cooked like spinach. B Complex Vitamins are also present in good amounts in the pods and leaves. The juice from the leaves can be used for its anti-bacterial, anti-malarial and anti-scurvy properties. It is believed to stabilise blood pressure, blood sugar and respiratory problems. Dried and powdered leaves are a concentrated source of quality amino acids and can be used in curries, soups and sauces. A paste made from the leaves can be used externally to heal wounds. The Flowers are consumed raw as well as relished as a cooked delicacy. They are also used for curing inflammations and urinary problems. The Roots & Bark are pungent (like horseradish) and are used both as a condiment as well as to treat rheumatism, cardiac and circulatory problems. The flowers and roots contain an antibiotic that can be used in the treatment of Cholera. Given the pungency and potency of the root and the bark, these parts are best used under medical supervision.u Registered Holistic Nutritionist (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition) For education purposes only; always consult a healthcare practitioner for medical conditions

{ Pramila Balasundaram }

This is about a Boy I met – who is suffering from Down's Syndrome (intellectual disability). He speaks, through my Letters to God Remember - but What?

Thank You God

I Didn’t Do It

No One Has Now

Lord, they say you made me. I often wonder Why you made me this way? I cannot remember many things. But you know that. And it does not really matter. Nobody expects me to remember things anyway. I’m not complaining But sometimes, Lord, you really make things difficult for me. There are times I need to say important things But I don’t know how and I don’t remember what I wanted to say. Then, I feel sad. But you make life lovely once again You show me the sun shining on the grass The birds flying against a blue sky. The flowers…the wind in my hair Then I feel happy And it does not matter that I cannot remember I can just sit quietly in the sun.

So, what ‘s new, Lord? Do you see the way people look at me? Am I a clown? Am I some sort of an animal That they stare so? Yes, I do look different…I know that But so do they. He has Downs Syndrome, they say. Don’t they have asthma, diabetes… Ortho pro or whatever? Yes they do You know and I know that too. But enough of cribbing, Lord. I can live with Downs and all I see others who need help More than me. I love that…helping others I mean. So, mostly I am happy, Lord Thank you for making me. You allow me to sit quietly in the sun Downs and all.

Lord, today I am sad. I am mad. Do they seriously think I did it? Why me, Lord? Why me? But they are forgiving It makes them feel good. But it doesn’t make me feel good Because, Hey, I did not do it! It is such a simple matter really Whenever something is missing Or something has happened Which should not have happened It is always “maybe’ Sunny did it. Yes, there is a “maybe “ attached to my name All the time. “Maybe “….“ maybe “… But, Lord, you know something? Let them figure out the “maybes” With you up there and me down here There is no “maybe” between us And I want to just sit quietly in the sun.

I wanted to talk to my dad He said, ”Not now Sunny “ I went to my mom. She was on the phone She said, “Not now Honey “ My sister. She does not mean it I know, but she said “You are so funny”! My brother? Forget it. Eyes glued to the computer He cannot hear even if you called, Lord. But you know something, Lord They all love me They listen to my jokes They say ‘Excellent, Wonderful, Great job’ – even when I know it isn’t. But they have no time to listen to me. No one has time I wonder why, Lord? You made such a beautiful world. I mean Just look at the sky, the trees, the birds Only you can make something so beautiful And you gave it all to us. Free! But we don’t see…we don’t smell…we don’t listen. But I can, Lord. I can soak it all in Just by sitting quietly in the sun.


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27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

C omment

2 Years After

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riday Gurgaon has recently completed 2 years and we thought that it would be a good time to take stock of Gurgaon, and especially review and update stories on various topics/subjects undertaken by us in the past. A series on ‘2 Years After’ is therefore being kicked off. Perhaps we should appropriately start with the City in all its aspects. When we cover Gurgaon on a regular weekly basis, especially in the Civic and Social space, we are mainly frustrated at the lack of progress almost all across. Would we feel a little different if we saw the picture, the big picture, over a 2-year period? Perhaps. Within the last 2 years we have seen:

EDITORIAL Atul Sobti

The Metro, our new lifeline Kingdom of Dreams – a world-class act An extended City Bus service & some private auto services RWAs finally taking on errant builders, with World Spa setting a trend A drastic reduction in drunken driving The first settlers in the new sectors (of Gurgaon II) A burst in Medical Tourism, with Fortis being the last big hospital to set up shop A new (tolled) highway to Faridabad One too many MCG Commissioners Master Plans for Gurgaon Manesar Urban Complex though one too many, too fast (2025 followed soon by 2031) Closure of most SEZs, including the much-hyped Reliance SEZ Violence at the Maruti Plant, resulting in a manager being killed A mushrooming of Liquor Vends, literally in our faces An AIIMS Outreach OPD on the outskirts of the City Many new malls A modern DLF Fire Station A CCTV Control Room managed security coverage of DLF Phase V area

And while we are at it, at least for the City overall, what do we think we may see within the next 2 years? The Rapid Metro (Phase I) – with Phase II in full swing, along with the Cyber City to Golf Course 16 lane InnerHighway Our own ‘Appu Ghar’ MG Road made over Hero Chowk flyover – already taken a decade to decide A new Cultural Centre - hopefully Water supply from the NCR Water Channel Many new colonies in new sectors (in Gurgaon II) Intra and Inter City, and Inter State Bus Depots “New’ Toll Plaza(s) Master Plan 2041 (in 2014) A correction of real estate prices Unfortunately, however, the Administration continues to fail even in the delivery of basic civic services. Will this never change…or is this a 10-year plan? Here is our wish list ! Running Water; no illegal borewells Running Power Separate Sewage and Storm Water drains Multi-Level Parking facilities Traffic sense Fire tenders that can reach 100m No further exploitation of the Aravallis Repatriation of Bangladeshis Liquor vends where they should be MCG as the municipal body for the entire City A Tree Act RTE implementation across the hundreds of schools No delay, let alone closure, of the many GII residential projects (with buyers not being taken for a ride) We’re far from being the Millennium City of India, and not seeming like The Future Destination; but we are better than most of the rest – especially within the private condo worlds. It seems like we would have to be content with just that.u

Well, most are positive - sure does not sound too bad. Thank you for your lead story (Vol.3, issue 5). Even though my family has always voted for the Congress, I really wish Modi becomes the next Prime Minister of India! As Additional Secretary General of FICCI, I have had the opportunity of extensively interacting with him. We used to coordinate his flagship marketing event Vibrant Gujarat and, in that connection, I often attended the weekly review meetings chaired by him. We even travelled together to Moscow, Astarkhan, Singapore, Shenzen, Shanghai and Beijing for promoting this mega show. The man is a 'doer'. He works hard and makes sure that every one around him also slogs - often from early morning to late at night. He doesn't hold any meetings at his modest

house; every one must come to his office. He is so handson at Vibrant Gujarat that almost any one who wants to sign an investment MOU gets to meet him personally. During the 2-day show he is there almost all day and is very 'approachable'. His 'salesmanship' for this Event is legendary. He personally makes sure that almost 40 A-list businessmen are at on dais every time. And I am told he is honest. …. Our country has many great "Policy Makers" but no one to implement them. Here is - I think - a man who is great at project implementation Krishan Kalra


B on V ivant

27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

The Inner Gaze { Bhuvana Shridhar }

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Task: To get a glimpse of her future through Crystal Ball Reading Sonia was looking for a job change and was hoping that the Reading would give her some direction and would highlight her current malaise.

A Crystal Ball is a pure crystal sphere, usually translucent and made of quartz. The method of divination is called ‘scrying’, and is a practice by which literal or symbolic images are seen while gazing into the Ball. These images are believed to have symbolic meaning and purpose, which is correlated to the issues that arise in a person’s life. They can foretell events and happenings in the lives of people.

Symbolic Image observed A sorrowful figure shrouded in a black cloak - sometimes weeping. There were some cups and water symbols that indicated a move away from a stressful situation and the end of an anxious phase. It also symbolized a new cycle or thinking process. There was a lot of grey smoke around the crystal, which indicated the fear of the unknown, the emotional situation and disillusionment. The Reading Her Reading spoke of a situation in which emotions of fear, anxiety and surprise were influencing her decisionmaking process. Her thoughts and actions were involuntary, not well thought out, and seemed to be in response to some kind of internal emotional stimulus. It was a classic ‘fear and flight’ response, which had its roots at the subconscious level. Repeated negative patterns at that inner level were making her react irrationally. In Behavioural Sciences, these are called biases.

How-to-do the Readings

Be the Sun in the Moon Don’t be the shadow of your soul Making the body your sole goal Tending & fussing over it Being obsessed with fitness And beauty skin deep.

Be the Moon, of the mighty Sun Reflect the Luminescent One So soothing to the eyes Every poet’s delight Lovers languish in the Moon The romantic swirl & swoon The soul is the Sun & the mind is the Moon. Let the mind reflect on pleasant things

{ Krishan Kalra }

Sonia: a woman aged 30 years; Profession: Logistics Manager in a Multinational Company; City: Gurgaon

Concept

You have to sit in front of the Crystal Ball, which is placed on a table. The ritual starts with a short prayer, to connect with the universal energies. You then gaze into the Ball, looking for answers. Always hold the highest intention when asking for spiritual guidance. Your subconscious knows, and talks to you through the symbols that you will see in the Crystal Ball. If you wish the Ball to shed light on your present circumstances, you need to learn the meaning of the appropriate symbols. Since different symbolic images may appear at different times, you have to be able to connect at a psychic level to interpret these meanings. For example, when choosing between two lovers, a man might envision in the Crystal Ball a heart next to the woman he should choose – the one who would be the best for him. He might also see other symbols that might help him think better, before choosing. As symbolic images play a very important role in Crystal Ball readings, you have to become adept at reading the hidden meanings of various symbols. These symbolize the challenges that we meet when we attempt to manifest our ideas in the material world. Arrows or wands symbolize that sometimes a fresh momentum is being generated, as we prepare to launch ourselves into a task at hand. Likewise, a symbol of a cup denotes emotional realms and the culmination of everything we would wish for. Similarly, a lot of other symbols connected with our subconscious mind will evoke spontaneous feelings and insights, which have to be grasped by the intellect of the reader.
 In sum, Crystal ball Readings help us: n  Examine our personality n  Analyze events, thought processes, motivations and conflicts

A Walk In The Park!

Case Study Example of a successful Reading

rystal Ball Reading originated in India during the ‘Satyug’ Age, when the Rishis or sages used this form of divination by asking the elements of the universe to foresee the future. Others say that this form of cartomancy originated in Britain, in 2000BC and was passed on through the Druid community. With the passage of time it became a tool for fortune-telling and counselling all over the world. Today this popular art form is being used to help people understand the various issues influencing their lives, as well as providing guidance for their future.

Advice She was advised not to react to her circumstances in a knee-jerk manner; instead of acting in haste, she needed to assess her potential and then take a call based on her career goals. She was told not to let her emotions interfere with her decision-making process. She needed to keep her mind open to various possibilities. She had to work on distancing herself from repeated emotional patterns like rejection, and base her outlook on the demands of the current situation (at work). She was advised to not move out of the current job at this point of time.   Resolve repeated patterns of emotions and thinking   Access the subconscious mind and work on physical, emotional and mental issues n  Get to know our inner self n  Foresee future events and fulfill our destiny n  Solve ‘karmic’ issues n  Get rid of phobias and health-related problems Crystal ball Readings can also be of use to psychotherapists. u Tarot Reader, Coffee Cup Reader n n

Soothing & nourishing Be busy as the bee Striving at what you want to be Think of the brave & the fearless Think of the selfless crusaders Contemplate on success & prosperity Give happiness in charity. When the mind becomes the Moon Your face with shine like the Sun in bloom It will soften, soothe & glow Happiness will inside flow For no reason at all Be it winter, spring or fall You will radiate like…the Sun in the Moon!

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Shobha Lidder Writer Journalist, Teacher Trainer, Social Activist, Reiki Master & Pranic Healer

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common topic of discussion among the three of us during our morning walk is the other walkers. It is incredible how we can keep track of every single absentee, especially when it happens to be a woman! Since we are in the old-men group, there are few fantasies or ‘plans to conquer’ – though we remain young-at-heart. Of course we do feel a twinge of envy when an attractive female strikes up a conversation with another oldman and starts walking with him. Ah, the women ! Let me start with the ‘reluctant debutante’. Actually she does not come out for a walk; we see her standing by the roadside, waiting for a lift. Perhaps she is a teacher at a nearby school. She has a mannequin-like figure, wears elegant clothes, sports an elaborate hairdo and uses strong perfume - but there is never a smile on her face. She just sees through us, without the slightest hint of recognition. Well, we haven’t lost hope! Then there are the ‘Patton tanks’ - we have the same name for both husband and wife! He runs so powerfully, we couldn’t think of anything more appropriate; she walks chin-up, chest-out, ramrod straight. The only difference is that she has a very charming face. Another couple has been christened the ‘ranchers’. The guy is a very fit 55 - he is always running, perhaps 10 kms every morning - June or December. He is always dressed in proper P.T. shorts and T-shirts; and in winter is sweating away to glory while we lesser mortals shiver in our heavy woollens. The wife also walks very briskly and they sort of cross each other all the time. The most ‘looked-forwardto’ female on the circuit is known as the ‘whiff of fresh air’. This one is young - may be thirty - pretty and invariably dressed for an evening party, in pleasant printed salwar suits and lovely pastel walking shoes. When she initially started walking, her eyes would always be downcast; now the eyes see level, yet there is no recognition or smile, except for the lucky old man with whom she has been seen walking on some days. We have our ‘grand old man’ too - some retired Secretary level person. He is always elegantly dressed, complete with a walking stick and a designer dog on leash. We also have the ‘arrow’, a former NRI who is probably the fastest walker on the course and is only 65! Then there’s the ‘bull’, who looks and walks exactly so, but strangely has an almost effeminate smile. And a young marathoner is forever asking me why I don’t walk earlier. We also have a very tall, athletic Sikh, who wears a cap and walks along with his attractive wife. Let me not forget the ‘black beauty’, some habitual flower collectors and a few ‘neem-kadatun’ enthusiasts. Guess it takes all kinds to make the world. And for some days we had our ‘local’ – an ordinary looking woman. But she changed, and how! Within two months she had changed her make-up and dresses, and she now walked with a spring in her gait. The husband did not change, but has started walking two steps behind (from an earlier two steps ahead). There are many young girls, of ‘marriageable’ age, who start the walk or run specifically for slimming - before their big day. The most interesting case is of the one who was forced to walk by her father. She lost over 20 kg, got married, gained 30 kg and is now being goaded all over again - by the husband who obviously cannot afford her food bills!u


20  Contd from p 1 to 70 million sq. ft. in the NCR. This has unfortunately led to a high vacancy rate, as IT/ ITES companies, which power Gurgaon and Noida, have witnessed a downturn in this period. The retail sector also witnessed downsizing, with most of the major retailers shutting down stores where their volumes were low. The ‘unrealistic’ prices still demanded by most builders has also slowed down buying. Sam Chopra, CEO Remax, a Real Estate brokerage firm, says that most developers have already sold everything to the investors and underwriters. “To help the latter, developers continue to ‘officially’ increase prices, to provide them options to exit – hopefully with reasonable profit,” says Chopra. His argument is that developers are caught between the devil and deep blue sea; they have borrowed money at high interests rates - or got it from investors and private equity funds - which forces them to increase the prices constantly, despite opposing market conditions. To make matters worse, the recent changes in the Real Estate sector in Delhi - which was hitherto controlled by DDA - are also likely to impact Gurgaon and Noida in a big way. Chopra finds the recent Delhi Land-pooling Policy as well as the Delhi Master Plan as an excellent way forward, for increasing the supply of Real Estate in the Capital. “Now, either the builders in Delhi will raise their prices or realty prices in Gurgaon will come down - the time frame is about 3 to 5 years,” he says. Chopra also sees a correction in the short term. He also believes that the market will have to provide options to the middle classes to buy affordable (Rs. 3,500 per sq. ft.) housing. Surely a pipe dream in Gurgaon! The realtors have been hit by the recent decision of the RBI to tighten credit to the Real Estate sector, and also by a restriction on subvention schemes, which were being used by the developers to fund their projects indirectly. Industry analysts say that the primary objective of these policies/actions has been to ensure that the holding power of the builders is reduced, so that they are forced to reduce their Real Estate prices, which will help reduce the nearalarming inventory levels. The industry is presently saddled with unsold supply of a 14 to 15 months’ level, which is uncomfortable. Ashutosh Limaye of JLL

R eal E state

27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

It Is Really Bubbling

predicts that there could be a correction in prices of certain projects aimed at the mid-income segment. It would be within a range of 12-18 per cent, depending on specific projects and their builders’ holding capacity. The large-scale exit of black money from the Sector, due to the ensuing elections in some States and the Centre, is also likely to put builders in a difficult situation. Ramesh Menon, CEO Certes Realty, says that the Real Estate market in Gurgaon has changed from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market. “There had earlier been an astronomical rise in property prices, due to easy availability of money, speculation and developer greed. The economy’s slowdown, alongwith measures taken by the RBI, will certainly deflate the bubble,” predicts Menon. He also suggests that while buying a property the customers should check the licences and building plans and even find out if the developer has something personal at stake. Someone who enters into a joint venture with farmers, and has not invested in the project, needs to be avoided. There has to be correction in prices in the coming months, he asserts. Who, how and when are the imponderables. Many new builders and investors seem to wish to exit, but have bought land at high prices. The recent introduction of the Land Acquisition and Resettlement Bill is also likely to raise the cost of land prices, as farmers will demand more compensation. A squeeze in

It seems that big investors are looking to hold on to their assets upto the next elections. It could be a costly mistake. It just needs a few to blink; that could trigger a downward spiralling effect on property prices. It would be better if rationality and mature business sense prevails now, and the bubble is deflated in a ‘controlled’ manner. supply for some time may in fact be a lifeline for the Sector. The investor class today would prefer that projects be delayed, hoping that they can make profit. It is the buyers, the end users, who would end up suffering. Is the honeymoon of Real Estate investors likely to end? Reports say that the Property Sector will now see mid-term moderate returns of 10 to 15 per cent, unlike the 30 to 40 per cent earlier. The NCR, which sees a sale of 70 to 80, 000 units in a year, is unlikely to even see growth. Some reports have already predicted that the role of speculators in the Indian Real Estate market is likely to reduce, as a number of factors are combining to set the stage for a correction. This could also bring an end to the

very high Real Estate prices which are amongst the highest in the world. The control on liquidity, the reduced exposure by banks and the exit of Private Equity players - who have suffered losses due to the weakening of the Rupee – could lead to a crisis, warn experts. Sanjay Sharma, MD Qubrex, predicts a further slowdown in construction and the delivery of projects in Gurgaon, as builders try to conserve their cash flow. “The delay will help investors, but not real buyers. This will also make it difficult for new projects to be sold,” he says. He adds that even the rental market has gone down. “There has been no rise in rents in the last one year in most places; in fact, for premium properties in the Rs. 1 lakh plus per month range, the rentals have even come down,” he adds. Sharma opines that if the economy does not improve, and negative perceptions stay, then prices could fall, over a

year or so. It seems that big investors are looking to hold on to their assets upto the next elections. It could be a costly mistake. It just needs a few to blink; that could trigger a downward spiralling effect on property prices. It would be better if rationality and mature business sense prevails now, and the bubble is deflated in a ‘controlled’ manner. Many Real Estate consultants say that they are advising their clients to adopt a wait and watch approach, and not look at the market for investment purposes. “If your are buying a house to live in, it is fine; otherwise the market is in a bearish phase and it will be long before it recovers,” says Chopra. It is not as if buyers are not at all there and deals are not happening; it is just that the these few customers now first want to check out the ‘real’ picture. Singh of 99 acres says that the recent trend is that people now want to buy ready-to-movein properties or those where possession will be given within a year.u

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Hero or Villain: Assassin Who Sparked WWI { Thomas Brey/ Sarajevo/DPA }

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Army Museum, Vienna

Serb, Gavrilo Princip, triggered off the First World War, when he assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Habsburg throne, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. Almost a century later it’s still being debated whether Princip was a terrorist or a patriot. On that summer’s day in Central Sarajevo, the 20-year-old Serb nationalist from Bosnia, fired two shots into the royal motorcade, killing the Archduke and his wife Sophie, and starting the impossible political demands that led to World War One. The Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Habsburg throne, and his Gavrilo Princip is arrested after assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Habsburg throne, and his monarchy delivered an ultimatum to wife Sophie in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, minutes before they were wife Sophie. Serbia, which the country rejected. The assassinated. Habsburg Empire, backed different view of what planned. by Germany, then declared supply and sewerage and happened in their capital war on Serbia. Various treaty Equating Princip with established good systems of that day. The revolutionary bin obligations saw Russia, France Laden is “idiotic,” administration, justice and organization, which Princip says academic Dragoljub and Britain side with the education. In particular, belonged to, aspired for Zivojinovic, who is responsible Serbs and the Great War was Vienna is credited with the creation of a “Greater for the programme at the under way. The four years protecting Muslims from Serbia,” says Mirsad Avdic, Conference. of carnage killed 17 million attacks by the Serbs. Curator of the 1878 to 1918 people and changed the map The Belgrade newspaper, However, Serbian period at the Sarajevo Blic, surveyed a range of of Europe forever. academic Zivojinovic Museum. Thus Bosnians Serbian As the anniversary historians, who disagrees with that. He consider the movement generally concurred that approaches next year, Princip speaks of a falsification of remains a controversial figure Ivo Komsic, Mayor of to be a precursor to the Princip was not a terrorist. Gavrilo Princip, history and says that the late 20th century Balkan “At that time there was no the man who in the Balkans. Were Princip Habsburg reign was bad Sarajevo, Bosnia. wars, when Serbia again terrorism in the modern assassinated Franz and the group he belonged to for the entire population, tried to subjugate Bosnia. sense. Such attacks were Ferdinand and terrorists and the forerunners Muslims included. He Princip and two accomplices were narrowly to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, as targetted on his wife in 1914, contends that the EU finds some historians maintain? Or were they recruited by a Serbian secret society, the crowned heads of state,” triggering the First it imperative to “shift the World War. freedom fighters struggling to liberate “Black Hand.” They were given shooting said Zivojinovic. responsibility for the war lessons in a Belgrade park and equipped their country from the Habsburg yoke? Historian Avdic from the onto Russia and Serbia,” Serbs - already burdened with with pistols and bombs to carry out Sarajevo Museum says Serbs because it needs to uphold the main share of the blame for the the assassination. After the attack later “venerated” Princip, even though unity between the warring parties of bloody 1991-99 Balkan wars - fear the assassins narrowly escaped being the states of Serbia and later Yugoslavia 1914-18 among its members. another round of loathing, where lynched by an angry mob. They were officially dissociated themselves from The Conference planned for next they will also be held responsible taken into police custody. Heavy prison his actions. Under the Communists in June is supposed to attract 100 foreign for WWI. At a recent commemoration sentences were handed down to all those the 1950s, Princip came to be seen as academics, but the agenda has already of the 99th anniversary of the battle involved in the plot and Princip was representing the “revolutionary roots of caused controversy. Ivo Komsic, the given 20 years. He died in April 1918 of of Cer, one of the first major battles of the people.” After the bloody 1990s civil Mayor of Sarajevo, has no desire to the war, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica tuberculosis, in a prison located in what war, Princip was again banished from see old wounds opened. “As Mayor, Dacic warned against any “falsification is now the Czech Republic. the history books and a bridge named I am committed to the entire War being The Serbian side is already after him in Sarajevo was renamed. of history.” “If the First World War was looked at on a scholarly basis and triggered by insanity of the Serbs, we preparing for the 2014 anniversary. The view of Bosnian historians, not just the assassination separately,” would have had no allies,” he said. Dacic The chapel in the Sarajevo cemetery about the period of Habsburg rule he said. said that “decades of propaganda” have where the assassin is buried was recently of their country (1878-1918), is not French President Francois Hollande portrayed the Serbs as the troublemakers renovated and Princip’s childhood home nearly as negative as that of their and German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Balkans. In reality, he said, in the village of Obljaj near Grahovo— Serbian counterparts. For example, have already scheduled their attendance Serbia had to resist the “imperialist and which was destroyed by Croatian units they argue that the Habsburgs built at next year’s ceremony, to mark hegemonic empires” of the Germans during the 1992-95 War—is to be rebuilt infrastructure such as streets, water Princip’s fateful act of a century ago. u with private funding. In Belgrade an and the Austro-Hungarians. Many Bosnians, however, take a international historical conference is


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27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

Barbara Munker

The Neon Museum

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any of the display items are fading. The desert sun above Las Vegas has bleached away much of their colour, while rusted frames are jutting out from among broken light bulbs. One might call it a cemetery for the erstwhile neon lights of the gambling metropolis, but it is in fact an open-air museum on the northern end of Las Vegas Boulevard. The desert sands provide the “red carpet” for what once were the brightly blinking display lights of the casinos and hotels, the restaurants and wedding chapels. The Neon Museum is their final resting place, and visitors can learn much about the history of the city from signs recovered from junk heaps and dusty warehouses. The Museum is open between 9 am and 9 pm daily and entry costs 18 dollars (seniors and juveniles pay 12 dollars). Visitors may only walk through the site as part of a guided tour. “Of course these are works of art,” enthuses Museum guide Sean Caudill, as he takes visitors around on a tour. It is evening, and the old neon signs are brought back to life. The sign of the

This 1960s neon sign from the now defunct “La Concha” Motel, still shines brightly.

“STARDUST” casino, 10 metres wide, is alternately blinking in red, blue and green. In fact, the letters’ lighting is no longer functional. It has to be illuminated with a colour projector. The Museum has around 150 neon advertising signs, but only a few have been painstakingly restored by hand. One of them is a giant arrow with the glittering lit-up words “Wedding Information” - underscoring Las Vegas’ reputation as a paradise for quick weddings. The 1960s-era sign of the erstwhile “La Concha” motel also lights up under its own power. The more than half-a-century-old lobby of the “La Concha”, which was rescued from the wrecking ball in 2005, now serves as the Neon Museum’s Visitors’ Centre. The strikingly unusual design, with three curving mussel-shaped arches forming the roof, is a fitting place to start to explore Las Vegas’ glittering history – linked to names like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, and to such erstwhile entertainment palaces as the Moulin Rouge, Sahara and Treasure Island. The oldest neon sign, from the 1930s, advertises cocktails, steaks and chicken, a relic from a restaurant that during Prohibition was famous for its own distilled whisky and crispy fried chicken.

Barbara Munker

{ Barbara Munker/Las Vegas/ DPA }

{ Chicago/ DPA }

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The Neon Museum

This old Las Vegas sign spells the word “Stardust” and it glows in red, bue and green respectively.

The Chicago Opening isitors can get a free, City-wide, behind-the-scenes look at many of the Windy City’s great places and spaces during the third-annual Open House Chicago, October 19-20. The public will be able to tour 150 sites, ranging from a presidential suite in a hotel to private clubs, skyscrapers, theatres, restaurants and mansions designed by star architects. The Empire Room in the Palmer House Hilton – one of the most famous nightclubs in the United States during the Great Depression years in the 1930s - is another of the venues to open its doors. There is also free entry, without registration or appointment, to view the neogothic Tribune tower, City Hall, the House of Blues Music Club and the McCormick Bridge House. u

Biggest Rubber Duck { Taipei/ DPA } The Neon Museum is the final resting place of the dusty display items, and visitors can learn much about the history of the City from signs recovered from junk heaps and cobwebbed warehouses.

During the tour, visitors stroll past a house-sized teapot that once was an attraction of the old Aladdin Casino. A few steps further, there is a 3-metre-high neon light from a collection of illuminated letters. Then there’s the “Pool Player”, made of steel, holding a giant pool cue in his hand. This once stood outside a poolhall. Las Vegas is a City known for always wanting the newest, biggest and most spectacular attractions. This site, for used neon lights and signs, owes its existence to a handful of collectors and friends of the Arts.u

The Neon Museum, Las Vegas

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giant Rubber Duck, the largest so far created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, made its debut recently in southern Taiwan. The enormous yellow duckling, which will be on display for one month, attracted a large crowd to the southern port city of Kaohsiung. City officials predicted that the floating model would draw 3 million tourists, with potential revenue of 1 billion Taiwan dollars (3.34 million US dollars). The 18-metre-high Rubber Duck is larger than the ones displayed in other Asian cities. Since 2007, Hofman’s trademark model has been displayed in 12 cities in 10 countries. Kaohsiung Mayor, Chen Chu, signed a contract with Hofman in early August to produce the Duck and other 18,000 official, smaller souvenirs. After the show in Kaohsiung, timed to coincide with the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, the Rubber Duck will be moved to northern Taoyuan County. u

Beer on Tap In Video Prank { Wellington/ DPA }

F The Neon Museum is the final resting place of the bygone signs that once attracted so much attention.

{ Sydney/ DPA }

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The “Pool Player” is a 3-metre-high sign made of steel - the Player holding a giant pool cue in his hand. This once stood outside a poolhall.

Aussies Drinking More Wine

ustralians are drinking less beer and sipping more wine, statistics released show. Beer is now at its lowest point in 66 years,” said Louise Gates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show beer consumption fell 2.3 per cent last year, while wine rose 1.9 per cent. The average Aussie drank 331 standard glasses of beer last year – 44 less than in 2008 - compared to 304 glasses of wine, which is up by seven glasses. Alcohol consumption is down overall, with spirits and ready-mixed drinks falling further in popularity. u

or many people a prank played by a New Zealand builder on his brother would seem like a dream come true. When Aucklander Russell Brown went out for the day, his brother, Sean, with the help of a few friends, sneaked into his house and carried out a few modifications to the plumbing. Instead of water, all the taps in the house, including the shower, were dispensing cold beer from kegs under the building. Hidden cameras were set up throughout the house, to catch Brown’s astonishment when he would see the brown liquid coming out of the kitchen tap. A clip of the prank, on YouTube, has generated more than 1 million hits since it was posted on 16 September. The prank was pulled in conjunction with Tui, a New Zealand Brewery. u


27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

Belgian Horse Fishermen

{ Martina Herzog/Oostduinkerke, Belgium / DPA }

Alexandra Mayer-Hohdahl

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ince the 17th century or earlier, shrimp fishermen from Oostduinkerke, Belgium have been charging into the waves on powerful draft-horses, towing a contraption made of planks and a net in their wake. “Levelheaded and willing to work” are the two most important attributes of a sturdy horse, which must be prepared to wade breast-deep into water in order to do its master’s bidding, said Marius Dugardein. That calls for “blind faith” on both sides, said the seasoned 68-year-old. After four decades as a regular fisherman, he swapped his boat for the saddle. Trawling for shrimp with a horse, requires both the planks and the net. The pieces of wood being dragged across the sand alarm the shrimps, which wriggle upwards and land unwittingly in the mesh of the net. The equine fishermen break in their horses gently. The beasts are less nervous about standing in the water than they are about the unpredictable roar of crashing waves and the chatter of moving water. This unusual activity has a long tradition in the Belgian coastal town, one of the last places where “Paardenvissers,” as the fishermen on horseback are known in the Flemish language, are still active. With a little luck they may soon find themselves on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

Bernard Debruyne astride his draft horse in Oostduinkerke, Belgium.

A draft horse hauls a shrimp-fishing cart along with some tourist hangers-on into the English Channel off Oostduinkerke, Belgium.

said Dugardein with a grin. The hooved powerhouses, which each weigh the equivalent of a small car, are paragons of calm.

The bond between horse and man becomes strong, and “we often like our horses, more than we do our women,”

By the time they find themselves trotting across the beach among hundreds of holidaymakers, they know the ropes well. Children whine and cameras click; like their steeds, the fishermen are used to being at the centre of attention. A fishing session can last up to three hours, but if paying tourists come along for the ride, this is usually cut back to 60 minutes. Horse and rider generally harvest around 8 kilograms of shrimps per session, said Yvonne Koenig, who works for the local tourist office. Foraging for shrimps on horseback only works properly when the tide is out, said 18-year-old Yoshi Delancker, the youngest of the 12 regularly active fishermen. The tasty crustaceans do not relish being left high and dry, and so they tend to congregate farther out. When the water level is low they are still reachable. The main season is between February and May and from September to November. Horseback fishing was once a common sight on the coast of many western European countries; for centuries it was a lucrative seasonal job for locals who happened to have a horse at their disposal. The fishermen prepare the crustaceans for open-air consumption, using a huge saucepan perched on an elderly stove – within full view of the sea and numerous onlookers. “You

{ Christian Schultz/Koblenz, Germany/ DPA }

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ico carefully examines the medieval chain mail and gauntlets before putting them on. “It’s very heavy,” says the 10-year-old schoolboy, as his classmates look on in wonderment, laughing as Nico is transformed into a medieval knight. The school group is on a visit to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, a huge 19th century German military citadel, which is home to the Koblenz regional Museum. Dusty glass display cases, so common in museums of this kind, are nowhere to be seen, as the children enjoy a handson experience of what life was like for people living in the Middle Ages. They are actively encouraged to touch and try out the exhibits. There is much to explore and discover at the “Hands-On” Exhibition, curated by Museum Educator Joerg Hahn. The

children learn about the difficulties of milling corn (before the advent of electricity), what it felt like to walk in sandals having nailed soles, and how uncomfortable life was living in a yurt - a tent-like home, in Ice Age Europe. The Exhibition covers around 800,000 years of human history, stretching from the early Stone Age to the Middle Ages. “The children come to life in here,” says Hahn. Comprehension through touch is the founding principle of the Project. Using a pointer painted blue at the tip, Hahn explains human development to his young listeners, concentrating on how small episodes influenced the whole of human history. Distractions and shrieks are taken in their stride. A young boy marches through the room, waving a sword and doing goose-steps. “Left march, two, three, four,” he chants before exiting. The Hands-On Museum

Thomas Frey

Hands-on Museum

Children in a yurt, as used by hunter-gatherers in Ice Age Europe.

opened its doors in 2006, and has been growing exhibit by exhibit ever since. It is specifically aimed at youth and schoolchildren, but can also cater for blind groups and is open to all-comers on specific action days during the year, explains Hahn. There are currently around 150 objects on view, consisting of a mixture of original artefacts and accurate reproductions. The Ex-

A German primary school boy enjoys being dressed by his fellow student in medieval armour, including chain mail, at the State Museum in Koblenz.

hibits include a Stone Age Mill, helmets, weapons and a curule chair, which is something like a modern-day camping stool but was a medieval badge of power, explains Hahn, as he stands beside a Roman dining couch replete with a bowl of grapes. “An 11-year-old once reclined on it

G lobal

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need water, salt and a touch of something else - that’s the fisherman’s secret,” said Eddy D’Hulster; at 70 years of age he is the most senior shrimp fisher hereabouts. “If you ask me, the magic ingredient is plenty of Tender Loving Care”. Bernard Debruyne, a relaxed 50-year-old with grey bristles, who regularly takes Jorka, a muscular Brabant shire horse into the waves, said, “You have to love the sea and you have to love horses.” He is confident of finding new recruits. “My second son has already got his own horse. I don’t see any problems there,” he said. u

Handling Pearls { Frankfurt/ DPA }

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earl jewellery should not be placed on cold surfaces and should also be kept out of the sun: both conditions can impair its gleam. At risk is the pearl’s lustre, or its capability to reflect light. “The best is to keep them in a velvet-lined jewel box,” experts advise. Pearls should also not come into contact with perfume or skin lotion, both of which can impair the lustre. The good news is that you don’t need to be scared of wearing your pearls. In fact, the more a pearl is in contact with the skin, the prettier it becomes. u

and observed immediately how powerful he felt,” recalls Hahn with a smile. Like her students, elementary schoolteacher Sandra Weber is also a big fan of the Exhibition. “Everyone is having a wonderful time,” she says. Weber had previously tried to explain medieval life to the children in the classroom, but the Museum has helped the youngsters gain a deeper insight into the period. As she finishes talking, Weber is suddenly surrounded by a group of children dressed in Celtic attire. “Tell her not to give us any more homework,” cries one junior warrior. As usual, the Tour ends with a visit to the Musuem’s workshop, where each child makes their own marionette, from paper and cloth. Calm only returns when the children have boarded their bus and departed. “Nobody has ever left here thinking it was boring,” says Hahn. The objective is for schoolchildren to understand that museums can be fun. “It’s a wonderful feeling when they come up to me and say that they want to come here again.” u


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27 Sept-3 Oct 2013

G -scape

...Sab Ko Sanmati De Bhagwan

ASHA PANDEY

Friday gurgaon 27 sept 3 oct, 2013  

..be the change you want to see

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